The Saturday Assortment #8

The Saturday Assortment

The Saturday Assortment is a collection of unrelated and random things that I find interesting, challenging, motivating and sometimes quite out of the ordinary. It’s an assortment of things that caught my attention throughout the week. I bet you will find them equally engaging.  There are no affiliate links on this page. Read and Enjoy!

From a father to his daughters :: The most beautiful thing that I read on the internet this week

To My Daughters on Being Pretty via A Deeper Church.

Remember how Peter warns: don’t get bogged down with trends and keeping up with fashion. Rather, keep up your spiritual beauty—cultivate and prune so the garden will grow. For what glows your countenance is a clear conscience and a pure heart. Worry and stress darken and drown.

Imbibe in the beauty of your youth. But always hold it loose—it flees and withers. If you let it define you then you’ll wither with it, on the inside.

Though your body dims and moves toward the grave, your soul thrives and moves towards eternity. It is like a deep red wine, it’s savory nature deepening over time.

Forget the legalists! They will try to hide all that’s good and beautiful and pure. But do not lash out at them, they, your weaker brothers and sisters. No, you instruct them in your grace and charm and in the stewardship of your beauty.   ~by Timothy

For your family :: A Free eBook for Holy Week

Love to the Uttermost via Desiring God

The devotional begins Palm Sunday (March 24) through Easter Sunday (March 31.) A lovely and special way to focus on the self-giving love of our Savior.

To love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or limit, and without flaw or failure. As we watch his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we gaze on a God-man who begrudges no pain or reproach on his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

A good word for parents :: 1 Thing you need to give yourself immediately

Give Yourself Grace! via Jon Acuff

If you’re a parent and you have young kids, don’t for a second be ashamed that you’re not working on a dream. You are. It’s called “kids.” You are raising humans. Do you understand how crazy that is? You don’t need to go kill yourself looking for a big new dream, you have one. You’re raising humans! ~Jon Acuff

Start conversations that end bullying :: Bully in a Box

Bully in a Box ❘ Solving it together via live.bullyinabox.com

It’s a sad and harsh reality that we need to address the problem of bullying, but here is a very helpful collection of iBooks to assist parents and children identify feelings and resolutions surrounding the situation. My daughter alerted me to this great resource (“Thank you, Leslie!”) The  iBooks, written by a mother and daughter duo (Cheryl Tunno and Michelle Tunno Buelow) cover topics such as: respect, compassion, loyalty, confidence, honesty, fairness and more!

“As a retired Superintendent of Schools I am all too well aware of the issues posed by bullying and harassment among and between students. The Bully in a Box program provides young children with ways to recognize inappropriate behavior and the tools to manage the behavior.”

—Mother of 2, Grandmother of 2 with over 30 years in the NJ public school system ~via Bully in a Box

The Saturday Assortment #7

The Saturday Assortment

The Saturday Assortment is a collection of unrelated and random things that I find interesting, challenging, motivating and sometimes quite out of the ordinary. It’s an assortment of things that caught my attention throughout the week. I bet you will find them equally engaging. Enjoy!

Family Devotion Ideas – threethirtyministries

Free! Easy! Fun! Family Devotion Ideas! You’ll find FUN theme ideas like Toothpaste Squeeze, Spoon Catapults and Izzy Dizzy Walking Wobble that will keep your kids wanting more family time! All devotions are based on a passage of scripture. You’ll discover clever ways to teach timeless truths in a relevant way.

Top 200 ministry blogs – Kent Shaffer 

Kent Shaffer and the team at Church Relevance has released their latest ranking of the Top 200 Ministry Blogs.

Self-Care or Self-Medication: Which path are you on? – Carey Nieuwhof 

When stress and life overwhelm you, you will either choose to respond to it in a healthy way (self-care) or an unhealthy way (self-medication).  Carey Nieuwhof shares five ways Christian leaders self-medicate and Ten healthy options for self-care.

Page CXVI

Page CXVI is a project started with the idea to make hymns accessible and known again. To celebrate their 7 year anniversary of making music, Page CXVI is giving away their entire catalog of music for the month of March. 11 albums, 74 songs, 2 bands. Go to http://www.pagecxvi.com/jubilee and get your FREE music!

God Happenings

God Happenings

Talking about God with your children and noticing his handiwork in the smallest details, such as a blade of grass or the melody of a bird’s song should be as natural as walking together or kissing them on the cheek as they head off to school. Be encouraged and motivated to share with your children how God helped you get through the grind of your work day. Share the “wins” of your day and honor all of that to the glory of God.  Thank God for those wins. Every good thing and even the troubling ones can be used to show your children more of God’s grace. Let your children hear from you about the many ways you experienced the “God Happenings” in the small and big details of your day and they will soon begin to notice their own “God Happenings” where ever they are.

“Don’t walk around with your head down, trying to ‘just get through’ your day so that you can get up tomorrow and do it all over again”. *  God wants everyday to be a delight as you live in His presence and discover His blessings. Model to your children the true kind of delight and joy that only comes from knowing Jesus and the way to know Jesus is to know what God says about Jesus and to know what God says about Jesus is to read His Book…the Bible.

I appreciate this simple acrostic as a guide for my personal bible reading and it’s proven helpful for my family too. We use the word:  P-R-A-I-S-E

Here is a simple summary Adapted from The Journey by Randy Pope, Perimeter Church.

PRAY: Begin with talking to God. No need for eloquent words. Just tell God what is on your mind and ask him to help you see  “God Happenings” through the reading of his Word.

READ: Chose a passage of scripture. Perhaps a chapter from Psalms, Proverbs, or begin reading the book of John. You may want to read from a devotional book  with your children.

ASK QUESTIONS: What does this mean? What should I do? How do I see  “God Happenings” in the verses read? What did God do? How should I respond?

INTERPRET: If you don’t know the answers to your questions, then use an online resource to find the answer or ask someone more knowledgeable about the Bible to help you. Write down the question to remember to investigate later and share the conclusions with your family.

SUMMARIZE: Wrap up the bible reading with a brief summary of what was read. This is the best time to recount the “God Happenings” discovered and responses to the some of the questions asked. You may want to make a few notes to remember the comments family members say.

ENGAGE with GOD: You begin with prayer and you end with prayer. Talk to God and thank him for showing you more of himself. It is a beautiful thing when families pray together. It’s a beautiful thing to experience the “God Happenings” with each other.

I hope this acrostic is helpful for you. Be watchful and expectantly looking for those “God Happenings”!  I would love to know what you find!

**  Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids by Sarah Young; page 236; Enjoy Life! 

Be Persistent

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

I recently bought the devotional book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones to give to my children to encourage them as they establish a rhythm of family devotions with their kids. This is a remarkable devotional book with profound spiritual truths from the Bible told in a conversational tone. I greatly appreciate how theologically rich it is and yet so easy to understand. I think the grown ups reading the book to their children may love it just as much or even more than their kids.

I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite out of the 101 devotions, but what prompted me to write this post was when I read the title of Devotion #65 (Page 146) that simply says, “Nagging God.”  It’s about praying…constantly talking to God…never stopping. The author poses a question and then gives us the answer…

“Is it okay to nag God? And pester him? God says we MUST!”

I have a friend going through a very difficult and challenging time. Whenever she asks me for advice, I encourage her to be persistent with praying to God.  I can’t solve the problem or purchase a quick cure-all solution, but I can be persistent with my encouragement, mercy and care for her while gently reminding her that God is never tired of listening to her. Our problems are not bigger than God. And while we are being persistent with finding a right and just solution, God is even more persistent with rescuing us and pouring out more grace in our lives for his glory. I’m reminded about The Parable of the Persistent Widow:

 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1–8 (ESV)

The widow persisted beyond what is comfortable yet she did not lose heart. If an unjust judge finally grants the window’s “prayer,” how much more will God, who is all and completely just, hear our prayers? God will not and cannot grow tired of us constantly talking with him. He is a big God, a good God and He is a King–
“–and Kings love to do marvelous, powerful things.”

So yes, my friend, it is okay to nag and pester God. Please do so! Be persistent. God is always there and he loves it when you ask him for great things!

I think I shall give my friend a copy of this book. It will encourage her heart to sing.

There is an affiliate link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend.