Monthly Archives: September 2015

Hoodwinked pic

Family fun with Hoodwinked!

Looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend? The movie Hoodwinked is one of our family favorites. Brad and I have found that movies are not only entertaining, but they also create teachable moments.

Hoodwinked is a fun twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story and a great tool for illustrating how easy it is to be wrong if you only have part of the information. The political and cultural climate we live in makes it difficult to know who’s right and who’s not. Who’s telling the truth? Who’s manipulating the facts for their own gain? If it’s confusing for adults we can be sure it’s confusing for our children!

Below are some questions you can use to talk about how God is always right because He sees everything and He knows everything.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Rent or purchase the movie, Hoodwinked!
  • Have movie snacks on hand…because snacks and movies just go together!
  • If you want your kids to think you’re super awesome, have everyone make a blanket tent in front of the TV, fill it with comfy pillows and watch the movie from inside!
  • Conversation starters for after the movie:
  •    After the first scene, who did you think stole the recipes?
  •    When did you first think it might be the bunny?
  •    The inspector did a great job of figuring out what was the right story. 
How did he do it?
  •     If God had been the inspector, when would He have known the right story? How? 
(Because  God is everywhere, all the time. He sees everything that happens and He knows what story is right. God knows everything and He doesn’t have to ask questions to find out what we do.
  •     Was Granny wrong to lie to Red? Even adults can do the wrong thing, but God never does. He’s always right and He always does what is right.
  • Bringing it to a close:
  • Thank God for the comfort of knowing He’s always right and we don’t have to worry about Him getting the facts wrong.

Talking about the reality that God is ALWAYS Right and completely trustworthy can give your kids (and you!) comfort and security in a tumultuous world. We cannot depend on people, the media or even our leaders to always be right, but we can depend on God and His Word.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Gerthe-IMGP6502

3 ways to protect your kids from the sharks in their life…

I wrote this blog several years ago and it is as timely now as it was then… 

I remember standing at the ocean’s edge as my kids frolicked in the waves. To a casual passerby I was simply a woman enjoying a day at the beach, but in reality I was a momma bear protecting her cubs! I constantly scanned the water for evidence of sharks. In that very spot, a Hammerhead had been trapped with a Tarpon between a sand bar and the beach during low tide. The resulting eating frenzy could have been a Discovery Channel special!

Humans become shark bait along our beaches every year. My first glimpse of the Florida coastline from an airplane made my stomach churn with fear. Looking out the window revealed hundreds of sharks swimming not far from the beach. I decided then and there that my children would never put a single toe in the ocean, let alone their whole body! My how things changed!

What was the difference between the mom in the plane and the mom on the beach?

  1. Knowledge: I’ve researched the enemy. I know when sharks are most likely to attack and I keep the kids out of the water at dusk and dawn. I know what behavior is most risky and what behavior will likely keep them at bay and I educate my children. I also know that, as much as we know about sharks, they’re still unpredictable…so I stand watch.
  2. Experience: Keeping my kids from the ocean in order to protect them from the sharks created a no-win scenario. The best way to help them grow to maturity and enjoy the wonders of God’s creation is to teach them how to identify the enemy, protect themselves from the enemy and equip them to deal with attacks from the enemy.
  3. Trusting God: There’s no fear like the fear that grips a mother’s heart at the thought of her children being harmed. As I stand at the water’s edge, keeping vigilant watch for the sharks, I commit my children into the Hands of the One who loves them more than I do. He’ll be there for my kids, even when they’re hurt. He’ll be there for me, even when they’re hurt.

What are the sharks in your children’s world? Don’t let the PC culture we live in make you hesitant to identify the threats. Every year we lose a vast majority of our college kids to the lies of the enemy of their souls. We haven’t done our job and they have become easy bait.

Teach your kids to identify the enemy and protect themselves from the enemy attacks. Wrap them in prayer, keep vigilant watch, and give them room to explore and grow.

Girl talking to mom

Take 60 seconds to decide…

It will be easy to decide not to. You will make hundreds of decisions this week and you probably won’t even be aware you decided. It just happens. Time gets away from you and suddenly another week has gone by and good intentions are swallowed up by stronger desires and the tyranny of the urgent.

This week can be different.

Decide now. What are you going to do this week to help the children you love get to know God a little better?

Decide to do it. (5 seconds)

Decide your kids are more important than whatever threatens to squeeze it out. (10 seconds…just in case you actually need to think about it)

Decide to ask God for help. You can’t do it on your own. (15 seconds: 1 second to decide and 14 seconds devoted to asking)

Decide to get to know God better yourself…cause you can’t give away what you don’t own. (30 seconds…because the greatest hurdle is always in our own heart)

 

Now that the decision is made, take a few more minutes to decide when, where and how. Put it in the day planner and then do it.

It’s best if you can do a little each day but if you think you only have time for it once this week…do it once…one seed is better than none. One seed can grow.   The garden of their hearts will be bare if the seeds aren’t planted at all.

The Discover God 4Kids website has a lot of free resources and step-by-step help. Try having a conversation about the fact that God is in control of everything using this: http://dg4kids.com/bible-time/day-one-god-is-creator-king/

If I can help you in any way, please let me know on our Facebook page, Discover God 4Kids.

Have fun planting some seeds!! You can do it!

True or false?

Can a positive self-image harm your kids?

We all want our kids to have a healthy self-image, but what is the key? Unlike a current presidential candidate whose enormous self-image is hard to miss, I struggled to have a positive self-image. Why is it that some people have too much of a good thing and others can’t get a crumb? Even with parents who tirelessly taught me lessons about having a “positive mental attitude” and “positive self-image” it didn’t stick…not deep in my soul. Outwardly I found some success, but inwardly I was insecure and didn’t believe I was very likeable. Mom and Dad passed on good information, but it missed the key ingredient. My parents didn’t know the key at the time, and you can’t give away what you don’t own.

So, what did they miss? They missed the root cause of a healthy self-image: seeing ourselves through the eyes of the Creator. If the root cause of our positive self-image is not the Creator we are destined to live with at least one of the harms it inevitably produces.

A positive self-image that is not based in reality: In 2013 an analysis of the American Freshman Survey uncovered a startling reality. We have raised a generation of kids who have a totally unrealistic view of themselves. While test scores dropped and time spent studying dwindled, the students claimed they were “gifted and driven to succeed”. They didn’t have an accurate assessment of what they can do or who they are. (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/08/are-raising-generation-deluded-narcissists/#ixzz2Iv7ICAd5)

Where does the disconnect come from? Possibly from a generation of parents who were so afraid of destroying their children’s self-image that they didn’t help them see the power of their strengths AND their weaknesses; a generation of parents who focused more on creating positive outcomes than developing character.

It takes time to help our children discover their gifts and accept their shortcomings. Become a student of your children. Let them try new things. Let them fail. Let them try again if they want to. Be there with them. Watch them. Learn about them. Affirm your love for them when they do well AND when they crash and burn. Most important, teach them that “apart from God they can do nothing” John 15:5 (He is the giver of their gifts – not them) AND with God “nothing is impossible”. Humility and faith – a powerful pair.

Helping our children develop a healthy self-image requires time and emotional energy; two things parents can’t seem to find in this warp drive culture. I know it’s easier to heap on the accolades, give an unearned trophy and blame failure on the system, the teacher or the coach, but when they’re adults the illusion you’ve helped your children build will do more harm than good.

A self-image based on the greatness of the individual leads to narcissism or depression or both. A self-image that’s birthed in the character of the Creator grows in humility, confidence, compassion, generosity, excellence, love and mercy. It’s not dependent on the successes of the day because its foundation is the unwavering power and faithfulness of the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb.

When I was young I learned how to think positive thoughts, cultivate my strengths and work hard to pursue my dreams, but it wasn’t until I saw myself as the Creator sees me that I died to my self-image and became alive to the person He made me to be. In many ways she is different from the person I imagined I was, but I like her… a lot. I’m comfortable in her skin… she feels like the true me. I become more like her the more I get to know the Creator. Becoming her is natural but not easy. The imitation me likes to rear her head. She ropes me in with old fears, insecurities and empty promises. Every day I choose to die to her and watch in awe as the Creator brings out a bit more of the woman He created me to be for eternity… it is unexplainable joy and security, and it has stuck…deep in my soul, forever.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, friends…Pursue your relationship with the Creator every day. Ask Him to open your eyes to the person He created you to be and then help the children you love do the same.  http://www.dg4kids.com/attribute/god-is-creator-king/

 

For we are His masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. –Ephesians 2:10

On the prowl pic

What keeps Satan “up” at night?

God is capable of doing anything – as long as it does not violate His other attributes… His power is not an abstract idea but a force to be reckoned with.     —Bill Bright, God: Discover His Character

 

God is All-Powerful. Sometimes I have to stop and think about that reality. It’s so easy to be caught up in the daily challenges of life and overwhelmed by the powerful forces dragging our culture down. Is God really the Biggest and the Strongest (as we teach the young children)? Yes, He is! The enemy of our souls knows it and he works overtime to keep us from trusting in it. Satan knows if we try to live life in our own power, we will stumble and fall.

 

God has no weaknesses. There are no chinks in His armor. We have access to His power any time, anywhere.

 

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. Ephesians 1:19-21 NLT

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Ephesians 3:6 NLT

 

Pretty incredible isn’t it?!  The king of darkness fears the relationship we have with the Savior. One that is born in quiet communion with Him each day, strengthened on the meat of His Word, and takes flight in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is what keeps Satan “up” at night. He will pull out every trick in his playbook to keep you from cultivating your relationship with Jesus and living each moment in His power.

 

If you feel the enemy is winning. If your spirit is weak and joy is fading. You are not alone. Ask for His power, courage and comfort. He will fight for you. He will win.

 

“I can do everything through Him who strengthens me.”   Matthew 7:8