Category: Blog

Intentional Parenting

Have you ever wondered how children born and raised in the same household could turn out so differently? I mean, really. How can one child in a family grow up to be lazy and addicted to drugs while the others become healthy, hard-working professionals? From the time I was a teenager, the answer to this question befuddled me. I mean, even back then I understood that every person is born with a unique set of gifts and talents that certainly play a role in who a child grows up to be. But even with these unique character traits, how can children in the same families grow up to live such different lives?

Then, I became a parent. And I discovered the unique role I have in this process. While it is only one small piece to this puzzle, there is a great amount of value in recognizing how my parenting (or lack of it) has and will shape my “less-responsible” children into whom they become. 

A couple of years ago, I noticed a trend taking place in my home. Whenever there was work to be done -regardless of how menial the task- I found myself most frequently asking the same two children for help. Rarely would I implore the assistance of the third. In hindsight, it is easy to see why I did it. When I asked one of the “two,” I quickly got compliance. But with the third, a question as simple as, “Can you bring me a cup of water?” or “Take the trash to the road” would almost inevitably start an argument. If I happened to get compliance, this child would quickly begin whining and complaining as he begrudgingly did the task. So, I found myself repeatedly soliciting help from the children who would guarantee the results that I wanted- quick obedience with a good attitude.

In short, asking the two compliant children made parenting much easier for me. Of course, I didn’t acknowledge (or even recognize) that I was neglecting to parent this child effectively for quite some time. Until one day it hit me… Through my “easy” parenting, I was reinforcing my child’s bad behavior and crippling him of the possibility for a successful future.

That day, I made a decision that changed everything! I told the third child that he was the kid of the year. I informed him that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I needed something to be done, I would be asking him. Only when he embraced speedy submission with a smile, would I begin delegating the responsibility between all three of my children again.

Then, I did what I promised.

Now, don’t think for a second that the follow through was easy. It wasn’t. Truth be told, I wanted to pull my hair out and retreat often. Every day I was faced with challenges. Weeks passed without seeing any positive results. In fact, I often wondered if what I was doing was making any kind of difference at all. A few times, I went so far as to tell myself that success with 2 of 3 kids wasn’t a “bad” ratio. On those occasions I was forced to remind myself of the truth: If I want my children to grow into thriving adults, I have to do my part. I have to teach and correct my difficult children. If I want the results the Bible promises, I have to parent intentionally. I can’t take the “easy” way out.

Proverbs 22:15, says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

Our job as parents is to train our children to be who God has called them to be. Some days, and with some children, this is harder than with others. Nonetheless, as parents, it is still our responsibility.

Over the course of the next six months I was forced to hone my parenting skills like never before. I endured heavy grumbling each time I needed a task to be done. This strong-willed youngster bucked. He pouted and complained every step of the way. We argued, no doubt. But each time I gave him a task, I calmly reminded him that when he started doing ‘”it” with a good attitude, things would change.

And, eventually they did.

I stand completely and utterly amazed at the difference this one decision made in my life, in my home, and most importantly, in my sweet child’s life. Two years later, instead of two compliant children, I have three. Now, when I ask any of my children to help out- to load the dishwasher, to take out the trash, to make me a cup of water or to fold the laundry- ALL THREE of them do it with a good attitude, nearly every time.

I want to encourage you. The momentary suffering is well worth the results. Take a few moments to examine your life. Examine your parenting skills. Ask God to show you where you are “missing it” as a parent and where you are taking the “easy” way out. Then make a decision to change whatever area He shows you. I can promise you that a small decision today will make a BIG difference tomorrow. By taking the tougher route now, your future -and that of your child- will be sweet; and in the long run, a whole lot easier to boot!

New Year, Fresh Start

There is something about a new year that beckons a fresh start and encourages new perspective. No doubt it is this way for me anyway. This particular holiday season, however, the New Year crept up on me a little unexpectedly. As I left work early on the eve of 2019, I realized that I hadn’t spent much quiet time with the Lord about the things stirring in my heart for the year ahead. So, I stopped at God’s favorite fast food restaurant on the way home- Chick-fil-A- to spend a few moments with Jesus.

As I sat at a tall table near the window, I pulled out a piece of paper I happened to find stuck inside the book I am currently reading (“Greater” by Steven Furtick, in case you are wondering). At the top of the page I wrote “2019 Goals” in bright pink ink. Immediately, I jotted down my first goal. Then I sat. And thought. And waited. And sat some more. I couldn’t bring myself to write down anything else. Of course, there were and are plenty of other ideas parading around in my mind, but for some reason nothing else seemed worthy enough to sit below words of such great consequence. So, I flipped the piece of paper over and wrote “Things I’d like to do…” instead. Instantly, the flood of thoughts spewed from my pen and I was able to cement them in print.

  1. Publish my book.
  2. Write a Marriage Book/sermon and/or Bible Study.
  3. Read the Bible OT and NT (minus Leviticus:).
  4. Decrease the number of days I work to 3x/week- max.
  5. Preplan and cook nightly meals.
  6. Drink more water and less fake sugar.
  7. Eat less sugar.
  8. Walk daily.
  9. Start my 12 year old son on a Bible reading/reading plan.
  10. Start posting blogs again.
  11. Make a FB author page.

I believe it is wise to take time to examine our hearts and set goals for our lives. Yet, the idea of writing down a goal that I may not be able to accomplish in 2019 nearly made me abort the entire idea. By changing a few simple words, I was able to look inside of myself and write down the desires God had placed there.

I wonder… What ideas are stirring around in your heart today? Maybe they are as simple as going to bed at a regular time each night or reading one chapter of the Bible a week. Maybe your goals are as complex as bringing restoration to your marriage or beginning a new business. Whatever they are, when you look inside your heart, you will find desires that are unique to you and your specific situation. No matter how big or small, those desires were put there by the God of the Universe- because He longs to fulfill them.

Today, I encourage you to put your “2019 Goals” on paper. And if like me, the list eludes you, write instead “things you’d like to do” in 2019. However you choose to do it, don’t delay. Something powerful happens when you take time to write down your goals and ask the Lord to help with the details daily. The desires and goals you set become plans and purposes that propel your life in the direction you were created for.

Proverbs 16:3 (NASB), “Commit you works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”

Habakkuk 2:2, “Then the Lord answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make  it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it, For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

Mother’s Day Prayer for Children

I was recently asked by the staff at East Coast Christian Center to discuss the benefits of journaling and how I used journaling to help me as a tool in my relationship with the Lord. If you attended one of the services over Mother’s Day weekend, you received a journal and a CD with that discussion on it.

For those of you who did not receive a copy of that CD, I stated in short, that one of my favorite things to journal are my prayers over my children. On days when my children misbehave or I feel like the roof is caving in on me, it is such a blessing to go back to those prayers and be reminded of His promises to me. It is so reassuring to know that I have already addressed the important topics with the Lord from the time my children were toddlers;  that He has heard my cry and is working on my behalf to bring those promises to pass on behalf of my children.

Posted below is a copy of the prayer-confession I wrote years ago. My prayer is that you would be able to use my prayer as an outline to help you begin to speak God’s promises over your children, as well. If you have never done something like this before, be encouraged… Something powerful happens when you take the time to write out God’s promises to you and your children. When you write down- and speak out- the words God is speaking to you personally, it becomes alive. It takes root in your soul and from that seed great things are birthed.

I hope that you will take the time to read and glean from my words all that the Lord intends. Multiplied blessings to you and your families. Here it is…

CONFESSION FOR MY CHILDREN:

Aspen, Jayce and Ty (put your children’s names here) are blessed in everything they do. They love righteousness and hate evil all the days of their lives. They see clearly into the will of God and heed the voice of the Holy Spirit always. They have wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong and make wise choices. They are not grumblers or complainers. Each of my children have an attitude of gratitude in all things. They serve the Lord from a young age and live a life wholly devoted to Him. They have wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ and understand the depths of His love for them. Their friends are strong Christians who bring them up, not tear them down. They have purity in heart and body all the days of their lives. My children marry the person God has reserved for them on this Earth. Each spouse is firmly devoted to the Lord, as well, and places Him first in all things. My children excel in school, in athletics, in friendships, and in the workplace. They understand and use self control in all things. They are not led by their emotions. My children walk in love and fulfill the call of God in their lives. They make right career moves and get the right schooling to be who God has called them to be. Aspen, Jayce and Ty know the vision of God for their lives. They are among the greatest followers of Christ of their generation and their legacy extends far beyond their lifespan and impacts generations to come. They exceed what Landon and I will ever do for the kingdom of God.

Two Choices

“Harnessing Your Emotions”

Podcast: Part 1 -“Two Choices”

Podcast: Part 2- “Use Your Authority”

John 17:7,  says,“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” 

Did you catch that?… HIS WORD is TRUTH… No matter how you feel or what you think, JESUS’ WORD is TRUTH.

Our feeling are fickle. They come and go as often as the wind blows.  Yet it is frequently a feeling -that motivates some of the biggest choices we make in our lives. Often, our feelings are contrary to God’s Word, and are only a temporary picture of the reality of what is going on.

I like to say there is a reality of what you are experiencing and there is a truth that supersedes that reality. In otherwords: God’s truth is greater than your reality.

For example: You may feel defeated, but His Word says that you will triumph in victory in all things through Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 2:14) Therefore, you are not defeated, but victorious. You are an overcomer!

You may feel incapable, but His Word says He rides the heavens to help you.  (Deuteronomy 33:26) So, while you may feel inept, you are extremely resourceful. The God of the Universe is on your side!

You may feel alone, but His Word says He will never leave nor forsake you.  (Hebrews 13:5) He is with you always and directing you in every situation. You may feel alone, but you are never on your own.

You may feel hopeless about the future, but His Word says that He has given you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)  He has equipped you with everything you need to succeed at life. So despite how you feel, the truth is- Your future is bright!

God’s Word is full of promises that you can build your life -and your future- on.  However, a promise in the Word of God written just for you does not guarantee that you will experience the fruit of that promise. “Why not?” you ask. The reason is simple… Because you have a role to play in bringing God’s promises to pass in your life.

And building your future on His Word is up to you.

In every situation, what you choose… is up to you.

Discovering that in every situation I had two choices  was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. For the first time in my life, I understood that I didn’t have to act a certain way just because I felt bad. I was awakened to the fact that I had options. I was no longer bound to living by my feelings. I could live by something deeper…

I was free to live by what God’s Word says about me.

How about you? Have you discovered that in every situation you have two choices: To live by how you feel? Or by what His Word says? To live by what others say about you? Or by what He says about you?

Who will you believe? What will you build your future on?

The choice is up to you.

And how you choose will make the difference between living the abundant life Christ died to give you or the mediocre one you create in your own strength.

I hope you will take a few minutes to listen in to this last podcast in the “Harnessing Your Emotions” series based on Andrew Wommac’s book. It is truly life changing!

Resolving Emotional Conflicts

“Harnessing Your Emotions”

Podcast Part 1- “I Get Angry Too!”

Podcast Part 2- “How to Resolve Conflict”

If you have been following this podcast, you know that I have spent the last six weeks teaching from Andrew Wommack’s book, “Harnessing Your Emotions.” In the process, we have learned so many things… What a great feeling it is to know that we don’t have to live on an emotional rollercoaster for the rest of our lives.

In this series, we have learned how to get our thinking in line with the Word of God; how to operate from our Spirit man; who we are as children of God; and most importantly, how to control those unruly emotions that seek to devastate and steal our joy.

However, despite this wonderful teaching, the cold-hard truth is that no matter how much we have grown in the area harnessing our emotions, we will never arrive at perfection. The truth is, that at some point or another in life, we are going to blow it. And when we do, we need to know what to do.

The Word says in Ephesians 4:26-27, that we are to 26Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath 27nor give place to the devil.” Wow! That is a powerful statement. It actually shows us that we can be angry at someone or something, and yet, still— not sin!

In this week’s podcast, we will be talking about righteous and unrighteous anger; how to recognize the difference; and how to handle the emotional uproar that happens on the inside of us when we get down-right mad.

I am confident you will be able to, not only relate with this teaching, but gain great and valuable insight as I give practical strategies that are sure to help you in resolving emotion conflict in your own life. I pray that you will take a few minutes from your day to listen in. You will be blessed I know.

Multiplied Blessings to you!!!!

Put Off the Old Man

“Harnessing Your Emotions” Week 6

Podcast: Part 1- “Put Off the Old Man”

Podcast: part 2- “Steps to Renewing Your Mind”

Ephesians 4:22-24, “22Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

When we ask Christ to be the Lord our lives,  God replaces our old spirit with the Spirit of the living God. It is this born again spirit that is righteous and perfect just as Christ is. It is our Spirit that is the part of us the Bible refers to as the “new man.” But the Spirit is not the only part of a person. Man is, actually, a three part being: spirit, soul and body. The other two parts (the soul and body) are what the Bible refers to as the “old man.”

Some people think when you are born again that the old person simply ceases to exist. However, this is far from the truth. The old you isn’t erased away completely just because you have asked Christ to be your Lord. After you are born again, you are no longer a child of the devil, but you are still left with some of the old you always had. You still have the same old feelings that got you into trouble. You still have the same, old emotions that are often unstable and out of control. And unfortunately, the same, old perceptions about yourself and others–still exist.

Before we come to Christ, the image of who we are is often through a distorted lens. To put it bluntly; the way we think is often messed up. When our thinking is messed up, we filter all that we do through this wrong thinking causing our behavior to be wrong.

In order to become all we are called to become in Christ Jesus, we have to change the way we think. We must renew our minds according to God’s Word. We must become acquainted with what God thinks and says about us.

In this Podcast from the “Harnessing Your Emotions” series you will learn all about how to put off the wrong thinking that keeps you in a constant state of turmoil; and how to put on right thinking according to God’s Word bringing hope and peace.  I hope you will take a few minutes to listen in. It is sure to change your life!

Let Go of the Guilt and Move Forward!

“Harnessing Your Emotions” Week 5 Podcast-

Part 1: “Let Go of the Guilt”

 Part 2: “Move Forward”

Have you ever wrestled with guilt?—Wondering what is the point of it? And why can’t you seem to just “let it go?”

We get a guilty conscience when we do wrong; not so that we will feel bad solely for the sake of feeling bad. No.— God does not want His kids walking around with their heads down feeling like worthless slugs. God loves His kids. He created us to be confident overcomers in a difficult world.

Despite what some think, there is a greater purpose behind the feeling of guilt than what we see. Guilt is a tool used to enlighten our minds to sin when it is present in our lives. It’s purpose is to ultimately cause us to turn our hearts to God and repent.

2 Corinthians 7:9,9Now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.”

It doesn’t, however, always work as intended. In fact, for years the guilt I felt in my life for doing wrong caused me to run from God. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I knew I couldn’t out run God. But it didn’t stop me from trying. I ran and ran trying to make myself believe the lie that what I was doing was ok. I ran hoping to get away from the guilt that gnawed at my soul.

Then one day I made a choice to stop running. I stopped in the face my Maker; guilty of a more than I cared to admit. In doing so, I discovered that in all my running, I was not alone. Not only was the Lord running with me, but He was forging the path ahead of Me– that I might find Him; not to beat me up for doing wrong. But to tell me how very much He loved me.

And… that I was forgiven.

And… that nothing could separate me from His love. Not my sins from the past. Not my sins in the present. And not the sins I would commit in my future.

Jesus Christ erased my sin the moment I repented. He wiped my sin as far away as the east is from the west. What a glorious truth I discovered.

Have you discovered it for yourself?

This podcast from the “Harnessing Your Emotions” series, entitled “Let Go of the Guilt and Move Forward” was recorded just for you. If you have yet to discover the truth of God’s Word that you have been set free– Listen in to this very vulnerable message. It is sure to set you free! And may God bless You as you experience freedom in knowing you have been set free from your past.

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Emotions

“Harnessing Your Emotions: Week 4”

Podcast: “Change Your Perspective, Change Your Emotions”

It never ceases to amaze me that two people can look at the very same item and see two completely different things. Some say the glass is half empty. Others say it is half full. One person calls it an antique. Another says it’s just old.  I might call it trash. You may know it’s a treasure.

I am convinced that many of the troubles we face in life could be easily overcome if we would simply envision them through a different lens. To stay on an even keel emotionally, we must  look at life with a heavenly perspective.

2 Corinthians 4:18, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

In life, there are always two sides to everything: The temporal and the eternal; The reality (what we see) and the Truth (what God sees); There is the potential problem and the potential solution. In everything, the carnal man sees the potential problem.  The spiritual man sees the potential solution. Said another way… The carnal man or woman sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The spirit led man or woman sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

In every situation, you have a choice to make. All that could go wrong or all that could go right? Carnal or Spiritual? Earthly or Heavenly? The choice is yours. But I can promise you this… If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

This podcast, based on Andrew Wommack’s book, “Harnessing Your Emotions,” takes a look at the role perspective plays in handling life’s challenges. I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen in. Even if you aren’t a Christian, I guarantee you, you will be glad to gain these great insights.

Faith and Your Emotions

Harnessing Your Emotions Podcast

Part 1: Faith And Your Emotions Podcast

Part 2: Faith And Your Emotions Podcast

The Word of God says that as Christians, we are to make our decisions in life,  not based on what we see in the natural, but by our faith in who God is and in what He promises us as His children.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (AMP), “For we walk by faith (that is we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief – respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor, thus we walk) not by sight or appearance,” 

Our faith in God’s Word is critical in seeing His perfect plan unfold in our lives. It is the fuel that brings God’s plans into existence into the natural realm. Too many Christians, however, don’t understand the basic principles laid out in the Word of God. Our prayers are often more like wishful chants sent off into the air in hopes that somehow God will have mercy on us and move.

But, this isn’t faith.

And… it isn’t how the kingdom of God works. No. We aren’t childrend tapping on their Daddy’s shoulder begging Him to move on our behalf.

Truly speaking, Christ already did everything He is going to do on Calvary. It is our responsibility as believers to have faith in what Jesus already did in order to see His perfect plan manifest in our lives. This is the type of faith we are supposed to have.

If you need a faith boost, this podcast is for you. It will position you to be able to better receive that which Christ has already purchased for you. He has already given you everything you need to live and walk in victory in life and in regards to your emotions.

“Father, I pray, that every person that hears this podcast would rise to a new level of faith in who you are and what you have done for them. I pray that you would take what has already been done in the supernatural and bring it to pass in the physical as we place our trust wholeheartedly in you. In Jesus name, Amen.”