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Biggest Regret as a Mom

I recently shared with my family that my biggest regret as a mom was not helping our children learn to read and study the Bible. As a rather young mom and new Christian, it took me awhile before I realized the importance of daily Bible reading in my own life. This happened several years after receiving Jesus as my Savior.

I look back and recall the first time the Bible became a focal point in our home. Shortly after my husband surrendered his life to Jesus, he began reading the Bible every night after returning home from working the 3 – 11 pm shift. I immediately witnessed the transformation that was taking place in Jeff’s new life. Tweaking my curiosity, I began reading parts of the Bible and other resources which led me to understand my sinfulness apart from the loving and saving grace of Christ.

Our family 81After Jeff and I received Jesus as our Savior, we immediately started attending church together as a family. So many beautiful memories flood my heart as I look back on this time of growing in the wisdom and knowledge of the LORD while raising our children.

Some researchers say there’s a definite decline in church attendance by young families; probably for multiple reasons. Stop it! Parents, please beware of the devil’s scheme to dethrone Christ in your life and home. Believers need one another and Christ’s Church, to grow in faith through the Word and prayer, enjoying sweet fellowship, and to worship the One True God corporately.  No regrets from this mom for taking our children to church (every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and all the other special services).

Every human being has a natural inclination toward worship. If our world isn’t rightly ordered, we will end up worshiping and serving things besides God. It isn’t until we’re able to rightly prioritize God above everything else in our world that we can begin to worship in spirit and truth.

Spurgeon quote

Thankfully, our children were learning the basic Bible stories at church from their Sunday school teachers and becoming familiar with Scripture through programs like Bible quizzing, Vacation Bible school, and from holiness pastors who unashamedly preached God’s Word faithfully.

Back to my biggest regret. I missed the opportunity to nurture our children’s faith in Christ by helping them learn to read and study the Bible in our home. Yes, we read and even memorized some Bible verses together, especially when preparing the kids for a Bible quiz, and we had family devotions that taught biblical principles. Regretfully though, we never specifically trained our children to build an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father by diligently reading the Bible with them or teaching them to seek God and His wisdom by reading their Bibles. Yes, they all had their own Bibles with nice covers, and they carried them to church. And thankfully, I know their teachers taught them to read their Bibles while at church. So, you see, the Church is vital in partnering with parents to effectively disciple our children and youth. The primary responsibility of training children in the ways of the LORD, however, remains the role of the parents. The reason: To produce Godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15):

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.”

A primary purpose of marriage is the production of Godly offspring—that is, offspring trained in the ways of the Lord. Notice how the Scripture says “Godly offspring”—

If parents fail to transmit knowledge to the next generation, then that generation will not have the knowledge to transmit to generations after. Consider (Psalm 78:1-7):

family Bible reading“My people hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”

 (Excerpts above provided from the following article.)

Where Are All The Godly Offspring?

BY KENNETH HAM  | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 01, 1989

https://www.icr.org/article/where-are-all-godly-offspring/

And from the Word of God through Moses (Deuteronomy 6:4-9):

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

As I draw near to God every morning through His infallible Holy Word, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to miss out on this amazing love story of God for His creation. The apostle Paul reminded young pastor Timothy of this when mentoring him for the ministry of Jesus Christ.  (2 Timothy 3:14-17):

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Learning of my God-given responsibility a little later than I would have liked, I am now using every opportunity I have to encourage our grandchildren to read and study the Bible. I keep several age-appropriate Bibles on hand to read with them, and as they begin reading, to read to me.  

If your children or grandchildren are not learning to read and study their Bibles in your home, possibly you could begin by instructing them. First, be sure that you are being intentional with your personal Bible reading. Kids often will model what they see their parents doing (at least when they are young). Prayer is the key. Ask God to give your children a desirous heart for knowing God and for digesting His holy Word. Challenges and resistance will arise. Expect it and prepare for them. Don’t back away from raising Godly offspring. The world and the evil one would like nothing better than for you to raise children who are living their lives by the varied opinions of others rather than truth from their Creator and Heavenly Father, the God of our universe and caretaker of our eternal souls.

I hope that you will not have the same regret I have. It truly could mean the difference between your children living a life of eternal significance for the glory of God or simply living a self-centered life that leads to destruction and eternal Hell. Don’t take the risk that your children will learn all about God and His plan for their salvation in Christ through church (they may), but they may not.

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John 3:16 -Fletcher Family 1981

JOHN 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Fletcher Family 1981

Fletcher Family 1981

Yesterday, we celebrated my husband’s 32nd spiritual birthday. On February 8, 1981, Jeff surrendered his life to Jesus, and at the same time he received eternal life, Jeff was instantaneously delivered from the bondage of alcoholism. Now thirty-two years later, our family is a living testimony of God’s amazing love and forgiveness. Last Saturday, we also celebrated our oldest granddaughter’s 5th spiritual birthday, by taking her to one of her favorite KC restaurants. I had the wonderful opportunity of praying with Ella to receive Jesus when she was four years old. Then, this past Sunday, we held our 5th annual Fletcher Family Legacy Day (click-on link above to learn about Family Legacy Day.) Jennifer, our oldest daughter, led our family with an amazing devotional, speaking about the theme verse, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2). Jen passionately elaborated on the fact that so often we forfeit our rest in God, by living a life that replaces our true rest in God with “stuff.”  In our culture today, “stuff” can include spending too much time on social media, along with other forms of busyness, such as running from one activity to the next. Bottom line, our true rest comes only from God and resting in the assurance of knowing His Son Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and then living a life that exemplifies this rest. Ways to insure our rest in God alone: Spending quiet time with Jesus, reading His Word, praying, sharing our faith in Christ with others, and resting in knowing that God loves us.

I praise God for His great love for me and our family, and for His salvation that is found in Christ alone. This peace-filled rest can be yours today, by believing that God loves you and desires to have a personal relationship with you, through His Son, Jesus. Not “just” believing, because the Bible says that even the demons believe, and shudder, but you won’t see demons in heaven (James 2:19). One must receive Jesus as the Lord of their life.  Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray, to receive Jesus into your heart and life.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and haven’t been living a life that pleases you. Please forgive me of my sins. I do believe that you sent Jesus to die for me on a cross, and I also believe that on the third day, He was raised from the grave, and He is now preparing a place for me in heaven. I love you Lord, and I want you to be my personal Savior. Please help me to live a life that pleases you. Thank you for loving me so much, that you sent your one and only Son to die for me.

Once you have said this prayer or one similar (in your own words, and from your heart), you are now a child of God and have received eternal life.

What to do next:  1.  Find a Bible teaching church, so you can grow in your new faith in Christ. 2.  Share your salvation experience with your family and friends. 3.  Begin reading your Bible daily. Start by reading the Gospel of John. 4.  Spend time talking to God–daily.  4.  Surround yourself with other Christians. 5.  Avoid those things in your life that cause you to stumble and can lead you to sin against God.

Remember growing as a Christian is a lot like growing as a new-born baby. First the baby craves his mother’s milk, then as his body begins to grow, he requires a heartier diet of nutrients found in meats, vegetables, and fruits. After those first few baby steps….he starts to run, peddle a tricycle, drive a car, ..and so on it goes, until the child is fully grown. As a babe in Christ, you will begin to crave “spiritual milk,” (God’s Word) so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:1-3). When you first receive Christ, you are “born again.” To learn more about the term “born again,” read the story of Nicodemus in John 3:1-21. Begin to grow as a babe in Christ by digesting pure spiritual milk, God’s Word….then as God’s Word gets into your heart and mind, you will begin to crave more of the nutrients that will help you to become fully mature in Christ. Of course, this is a life-long process, which will ultimately be complete when we meet Jesus face to face.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Find rest in God alone!

 
 

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New Year Plans

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” Proverbs 16:9 NLT.

Many people begin the new year by making resolutions (to make a firm decision to accomplish something). I found myself typing up a list of goals for 2013, composed of two broad categories: Personal and Ministry.

Oddly enough, beginning a new year does give people the sense of “starting fresh” or “starting over.” It’s amazing how many commercials are currently airing weight loss programs. That’s no doubt a biggie on many people’s lists, mine included. So far, I’ve eaten more oranges in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 months. Getting off to a great start! It’s funny how most of us start out with great expectations and enthusiasm to carry out those things we’ve determined to conquer, but then something happens. Our get-up-and-go gradually diminishes to good intentions, and thoughts such as “there’s always tomorrow” or “I may have bit off more than I can chew.”

This brings me to my New Year Plans blog entry intent:  “Mother, May I?”

SAM_1746A few years ago I was scrambling to come up with some impromptu games to play with some energy-filled children at church. In doing so, I recalled some of my favorites as a child, including “Mother, May I?” It dawned on me while playing “Mother, May I?” that I could adapt the game to include some biblical life principles. I changed the name to “Does it please the Lord?” and instructed the children to take X-amount of baby/scissor steps, etc. towards me after including a potential scenario such as: Johnny’s mom told him to clean his room on Saturday before going to his friend’s house. The child then says: “Does it please the Lord?” And the leader answers: “Yes, it does please the Lord….because God wants us to obey/honor our parents (5th Commandment). The child is then able to take their allotted amount of steps toward leader. Another scenario: Carol planned to go to the skating rink with some friends during Christmas break; however, she spent all of her money on a new outfit. Carol decided to sneak some money out of her brother’s piggy bank and use it to go skating. Again the child says: “Does it please the Lord?”  And the leader responds: “No it does not please the Lord…because God’s Word tells us not to steal (8th Commandment). The leader then instructs the child to take X-amount of steps backwards.

Okay, you say, what does the “Mother, May I?” game have to do with New Year Plans (resolutions and goals). Glad that you asked. While making out my Personal & Ministry Goals for 2013, I was reminded of the revised game, “Does it please the Lord?” After looking over all the things I had included on my new year goals list, I ended up deleting some and revising a few others. I then prayed this prayer and added it to the top of my 2013 goals list. “Lord, if these things are pleasing to you, then give me the wisdom and the strength to carry them out in 2013.”

I believe it is Thanksgiving grands pic 2God’s desire for His people to set goals and make plans that will honor and bring glory to Him. For me, this includes taking care of my physical body (1 Cor. 6:19-20), sharing my faith in Christ with others (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15), along with my life passion: to intentionally pass down my faith in Jesus to our kids and grandkids.

May God bless you in this new year, 2013, as you seek to know God intimately, through an authentic life-changing relationship with His Son, Jesus. And may your new year be filled with many goals and plans that are purposefully directed by our Father in Heaven.  Charmé

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith (Our 5th grandbaby). Proud daddy Seth.

 
 

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Grandparent’s Day

I love my Pappy Pastor!

It is such an honor to be a Christian grandparent. Just a couple of Sundays ago, our church hosted its first Christian Grandparent’s Day of Prayer (GAP). It was an amazing day blessed by the Lord. Over 20 grandparents came to the front of the church, while my husband/pastor asked me to come forward and join him on the platform with our two present grandchildren, Ella and Max. Pastor Jeff then asked all the grandparents to share the names of all their grandchildren, and while the mic was being passed around, each grandparent proudly stated the names of their precious grands. During this time, Max (our 18-month old grandson) roamed around the platform some, until his older sister, Ella (8), said to him “Max sit down next to me while Pappy prays for all the grandparents and their grandkids.” Amazingly, he did, but just before, he folded his hands to pray and took a sip of water out of his pappy’s/pastor’s crystal glass, which is always sitting on the platform for Pastor Jeff to drink from during his Sunday morning sermons. Each grandparent left with a list of Scriptures to pray for their grandchildren. This list was provided by Lillian Penner at lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net. To learn more about the Christian Grandparent’s Day of Prayer and other resources for Christian grandparents, go to: http://www.christiangrandparenting.net.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 2: 22 pm - in Grandparenting

 

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