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September ’07 Newsletter

November 17, 2007

 Stepping Stones to God Time

During our Bible Study time a while ago, the kids & I were discussing Psalm 139:7-10.

“Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast.”

We discussed that it doesn’t matter where we are God is always there.  One of my sons said, “Yeah, like He’s right here.”, as he patted the sofa seat beside him.  Then he looked down and noticed that the sofa was covered with books, pencils, and paper so he began moving it aside so that there would be room for God to sit.  We all had a good laugh out of that, but I thought later, “Have I made room for Christ in my life, what needs to be moved over or out so that he can sit with me?”  We get so busy with our little ones and the daily routines of life that we gradually squeeze God out.  Before we know it there just isn’t time for a quiet time or prayer.  The good news is God is everywhere we are.  We can call on Him any time, any where.  That is a great comfort to me to know that I can call on Him anytime of day and anywhere I am when I do find myself drowning in my day.  

As moms we teach our kids about play time, dinner time, bath time, school time, and other special times of the day.  But, do we teach them about God Time?  How do we teach our kids the importance of spending time getting to know God and when can we start teaching this to them? 

This issue is focusing on the importance of having God Time.  I want to share with you what the Lord has shown me about my need for a relationship with him and the extreme importance of teaching it to my kids.  I pray that you will be blessed.

To His Glory!

Dana

A Gift For You

I love to buy gifts for my friends and family, don’t you?  It is so much fun to watch them open the gift & be surprised when they see what it is.  I love that.  I also love getting gifts.  I like being surprised and unless my 5 yr old gave me a super huge hint I usually am surprised. Do you ever feel as though you truly deserved the gift that you received?  I don’t.  Often words are used like, “You didn’t have to do this.” or “This is too much.” when we get a gift from someone.  Well, God has given a gift to all of us and none of us deserve it at all.  He has offered it to every one, but only a few will accept it.  This gift is eternal life with God himself and his son Jesus. 

Before you can know God, you must accept and believe that he is your Savior. You can read the Bible all day, and even pray, but until you believe that he sent his Son to save you from your sins, you will not know him personally.  You can know a lot as a personal friend is much better!

First you must realize that you are a sinner.  Roman 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned.  The only one who walked this earth who has not sinned is Jesus Christ, God’s son. We are all sinners and according to God’s Law there is a payment required for our sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” In the Old Testament the sacrifice of an animal was made and the blood was payment to God for your sins.

God sent his son, Jesus, to us.  Jesus had many reasons for being here and walking among sinners, but his biggest mission was to die for us.  He shed his own blood for us so that we would not have to die an eternal death in Hell.  His sacrifice for us means we can go to Heaven.  You must believe that Jesus was God’s Son, not just a martyr who died for a good cause.  And you must accept that all of this was done for you.

You must also accept that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  The world teaches that there are many ways. But scripture is clear, there is one way and it is through Jesus Christ.  Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” He doesn’t say those who go to church the most or serve on the most committee’s will be saved.  He doesn’t say those who feed the hungry or do the best deeds.  Those are good & important, but they are not the way to Heaven.  Once again in the book of John, Jesus says in chapter 8 verse 24, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”  All we have to do is believe it and accept it.

If you believe this truth for the first time I must say…CONGRATULATIONS!  WOOHOO!  Pray right now & tell the Lord that you believe in him.  Tell him that you believe that he is the only way to Heaven and holy Son of God and that you know that you are a sinner and he is the one who can forgive your sin.  Ask him to forgive you for you sins and he will!  It is an amazing thing to know that your sins are forgiven.

Now that you have trusted Christ as your Savior you can get to know him as a personal friend.  He will never leave you or let you down.  When you fail he will always be there to help you back up.  Others will let you down, but Christ will always be faithful to you when you believe.

Why Should I make God Time?

First and foremost; God desires a relationship with us.

Jeremiah 24:7 “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart..”

 

 He wants us to know him & how do you get to know someone?  You spend time with them, lots of time.  Knowing God and understanding that he is the secret to peaceful & joyful living will change you forever and that can only happen if you get to know him.

Second of all, when you do spend time reading the Bible & praying, it helps to prepare you for your day.  It won’t change what happens to you that day, but it will change the way you react to what happens. 

Ephesians 6:11 says,

“Put on the full armor of God so that you may take a stand against the devils schemes.” 

Reading his word and praying to him is one way to put on the armor & prepare us for any attacks the devil has in store for us that day.  God wants to speak His blessings & wisdom to us before any attacks are thrown at us. Only God knows what our day looks like & what will happen and when we spend time in prayer with him, we give him the opportunity to prepare us.  A soldier does not go into battle with out his armor on and we should not start our day without putting on our armor of God.

Lastly, we need God!  If we ever begin to think we really don’t need him and can do things on our own we are setting ourselves up for a fall, a hard fall. 

Psalms 63:1, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”

Our souls hunger and thirst for him; don’t let yourself get dehydrated or malnourished.  We often try to quench that thirst for God with other things, material things, or relationships.  Nothing will fill that void in your life except God.  When you have a need, go to God first, not your friends, for counsel.  Sometimes he leads us to others, but many times his Word will give us the answers we need.  It may not be what we are looking for or want to hear, but it will be what we need.  Do you want someone to be straight with you?  God always will.  He knows you better than anyone.

reading momCan I have God Time with Small Children?

Absolutely!  Is it easy?  Absolutely NOT!  My experience has been that there is no easy formula to  having a quiet time when your children are still living at home. Since all of my children are still at home right now then it is still hard for me.  But I can’t let that be my excuse for not making the time.  But I have learned that I MUST make time for it.  I want to share with you a few tips that I hope will make it seem more possible.

1.       Pray & ask God to show you time in your day when you can spend studying his word.  He will reveal pockets of time.  Or he may show you things in your day that you need to weed out because they are not that important and get in the way of your relationship with him. (like General Hospital at 2:00)

2.       Before you get out of bed in the morning, begin praising God for giving you a new day to worship him.  Ask him for strength & guidance for your day.  Just have a God party right there in bed.  There is no such thing as getting up on the wrong side of the bed when you start out like that.

3.       Write or print scripture cards and stick them up where you spend the most time.  For me I have some by the kitchen sink, my bathroom sink and my computer.  This has really helped me to meditate on his word through out the day.

4.       Pray all day!  I don’t mean to sit with your head bowed all day, but stay in conversation with your Lord.  It is great!  My kids don’t accuse me of talking to myself anymore; they know I’m probably praying.  And if I am talking to myself, they think I am praying!  I love it.  I often pray for my neighbors when I look out & see their house or I pray for a friend or my husband that comes to my mind.  At Christmas time, we pray for those who send us Christmas cards.  And pray Gods words back to him.  He loves to hear his words of praise & wisdom spoken.  They bring great peace & joy also.

5.       Keep your Bible open and available.  That way you can grab short moments in your day to read.  The late Ruth Bell Graham, wife to Billy Graham did this.  She raised 5 children and still found time to read the Bible.  Her kids knew that her Jesus was priority in her life.

6.       Teach scripture to your kids, have regular devotions with them and pray with them.  I can’t tell you how many times the Holy Spirit has spoke to me in a huge way while sharing devotions with my children.  It has been literally life changing for me!

7.       Memorize scripture with your kids. We often have our own family competitions in scripture memory.  My kids blow me away at how many scripture they can learn in a week.  I can’t keep up with them, but I try.

8.       Commit to 5 minutes of prayer a day.  If you don’t have 5 minutes in your day then you are way to busy.  Are you nursing a baby?  There is at least 15 minutes right there!  Do you go to the bathroom?  What are you doing between midnight and six in the morning?  (that’s a joke J) Anyway, you will be amazed at the difference that 5 minutes of concentrated prayer will make in your life.

9.       Use a book with devotions & scripture already written out that you can read quickly.  I have a list of some of my favorites in the back pages of this book that might help you.  Sometimes I use a devotional book & then other times I just begin reading a book in the Bible & let the Lord lead me through & teach me as I go through it. 

10.   Warning!  Time with the Lord is habit forming!  Once you get in a routine of coming to the Lord everyday & praying it can be hard to change.  You begin to see how desperately you need this time.  You will begin to wonder how you ever got through a day without it.  You will desperately miss it when you don’t do it. 

Teaching God Time to Your Kids

I often get asked how we can teach our kids the importance of spending time with God.  Well, let me ask you, if you were to ask you kids what they think is important to you what would they say?  Why would they say what they did?  Probably because they hear you talking about it, they see you doing it and they see a pattern in your life because of it.  Would they say that the Lord is most important to you?  It is a scary question to ask because we are afraid to hear their honesty.

I grew up seeing my mom in her big chair in our living room many early morning’s reading her Bible.  I knew what she was doing.  I never doubted how important her God was to her because she spent time studying his Word, she talked about him and I watched her exhibit faith and truth to so many people.  I knew God was important to her.  She naturally passed on to me a knowledge of the importance of God Time. It was up to me to now apply that knowledge & put it into practice.

We teach God time to our kids by having our own God Time.  We let them see us spending time reading our Bible.  If they walk in your room while you are praying, don’t freak out & get frustrated.  Just patiently ask them to let you finish praying & you will help them as soon as possible. Or if they are really small, pull them into your lap and finish praying with your child in your lap…sweet times! Most often, I just act as if I didn’t hear them come in & when they realuize what I am doing they try to sneak out of the room. 

 If your child can read independently then they can read their Bible alone.  Help them to develop that habit by setting time aside in their day for that.  It will become a habit, best habit ever made!  If they don’t read, then read to them.  Most often we do this at bedtime as part of the routine, but it can be anytime of course.  There are many great resources out there for reading the Bible to your small ones.  One of my favorites is “The Child’s Story Bible” by Catherine Vos.  I most often encourage moms to just read straight from the scriptures to their kids.  Reading short sections, maybe just a few verses from Psalms or Proverbs, is a great way of teaching the how great the scriptures are.  There is great power in the Word of God!

Don’t make God time for your kids as a dreaded time, make it fun & something to look forward to.  It may take a while for your kids to make time for God on their own, but the ground work is laid now while they are still young.  And if you train them in the importance now then they will return to it later.

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