Abortion, America, Bible, Children, Church, family, Fertility, god, health, Holy Spirit, Infanticide, Infertility, jesus, Law, Legislation, Life, Love, Miscarriage, Parenting, Reproductive Health, Uncategorized

Iowa says, “NO” to killing babies. So why isn’t this news everywhere?!

“Legislation making it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion in Iowa once a fetal heartbeat is detected won Senate approval Wednesday as a first step toward what many see as a legal battle aimed at overturning the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Senators approved Senate File 2281 by a 30-20 margin.

The measure would bar a physician from performing an abortion when tests determine a heartbeat is present, unless a medical emergency exists that warrants the procedure. Violation would subject a doctor to a Class D felony, carrying up to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine. There would be no penalty for the woman.” The Gazette said.

While Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, floor manager of the bill said, “This bill is the logical beginning point for all of civil governance,” Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City struck back by saying, “It is time for Republican politicians to stop playing politics and stop using your positions of power to harass and disrespect girls and women. Enough is enough.”

So, we know where most Republicans stand on the issue of abortion just as we know where most Democrats stand on the issue of abortion. There’s always the select few that feel different even though they are part of that party. I’m not even going to talk about that.

For just a moment allow me to vent.

When I open my Google app, the news it suggests for me (and yes I know all about preferences and algorithms – I am a blogger) I see:

1. “The Google App’s New iMessage Extension is Pretty Great”

2. “The story of the internet, as told by Know Your Meme”

3. Winter Storm Quinn

and more… yet NOTHING about this landmark decision!

When I go to ABC News online, I see…

1. “2nd nor’easter bearing down on East Coast days after deadly storm”

2. “Democrats, women candidates score big in Texas”

3. “Trump reopens seemingly settled video-game debate”

When I go to FOX News online, I see…

1. “Pelosi slams California ICE raid as ‘unjust and cruel,’ amid outcry over mayor’s tipoff to immigrants”

2. “Tammy Bruce: California chaos — Unchallenged liberalism leaves homelessness, drug abuse, garbage in its wake”

3. “Nikolas Cruz’s jail records reveal details of gunman’s behavior in days after Florida school shooting”

And I could go on. Literally I am not seeing this landmark Iowa decision anywhere!

So, my question to you all is, “Why is this news not everywhere?”

Why is this news not every…where? Why, if we have a Republican president and this is a major issue for Republicans (and many Independents such as myself), is this not all over the news, all over the Internet, and constantly showing up in your newsfeed? Why did I have to read about it in a Christian wives and moms Facebook group? Why was it a post that was typed out by the poster and not even a newsfeed that she was sharing?!

Does the nation not really care about this?

Is this not something to cheer about – the saving of thousands of baby’s lives?

Does the news not want you to know about this? Any news outlet regardless of which way they slant?

I want to hear from you because I’m at my wit’s end over here.

At this point, I truly believe that every news outlet is bought by someone. I filed as an Independent because even at the age of 18 I knew that I didn’t want any particular party to know which way I was going to vote; and my primary party is the party that follows God’s word. There isn’t a party for that so I filed as an Independent. This has allowed me to have a truly unbiased view. I don’t have a particular news outlet that I watch. I do my own research. Having been a paralegal for nearly a decade I know where to look, I know when something smells funny, and I understand legislation.

What I don’t understand is news such as this not being viral within an hour of it happening. Can someone please explain to me why a Hollywood couple getting a divorce propels millions to tweet about it within half an hour… but thousands of baby’s lives being saved, infanticide being abolished, and the torture, dismemberment, and murder of the innocent in Iowa – a thing of which should have never happened in the first place – now no longer happening ISN’T EVEN IN MY NEWSFEED?!

Short story:

For those of you that don’t know, when I was two months shy of being 18, I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t know anything about Planned Parenthood. All I knew was that some people went there to get birth control. So, I went there to get a pregnancy test. When I was told that I was pregnant, I was scared, not as surprised as one would’ve thought, and in awe. I was not in tears. I was not in the fetal position. I did not need to be consoled. The woman across the desk from me proceeded to try to talk me into my “options.” At 17 years of age, I immediately turned into mama bear. I looked that woman dead in the face and said, “If your ‘options’ include killing my baby, think again.” And I walked out of there.

So, I guess this topic is a little closer to my heart than others. Somehow, though, I can’t wrap my brain around why the killing and torture of babies – a thing of which has been proven – is not close to everyone’s heart in this nation, IN THIS WORLD!

So, unlike my usual well thought out, outlined blog posts that I usually post… This one is more of a vent, a question, and a prayer. Forgive me for my not standing on formality today.

If you are a believer, please come together with me – in one mind, one heart – and pray this prayer with me:

God:

Forgive us for not comprehending the miracle, the magnificence, of any creation that you have made in history. But certainly forgive us for not comprehending the miracle that is life. Forgive us believers that have not fought tooth, tongue, and toenail to save the lives of individuals that had a purpose and a plan. Help us to find what each one of us needs to change this horrific practice in our nation, in the world. Expose within us the things that we need to change and shed light on where we need to go, the things we need to say, the things we need to do in our communities. Help us to be better warriors in your army. Raise up Mosess, Davids, and Elijahs! Teach every mother and father how to raise our children to be world changers and earth shakers.

Bind up Satan. His reign of murdering those that could change the tide of the direction this world is going in is over! We ask that you throw out every elected representative that would contribute to the murder of our children by either vote or choosing to not vote. We ask that you open the eyes and the ears of every believer and motivate them to act. We ask, we pray, we even beg that a revival would sweep across this nation. We ask that this nation be reborn under You. We lost our way but You are our True North. We are like the Israelites lost in the desert – the promised land is just in sight with an act of legislation such as this, yet the few are running the many. We ask that you bind up the squeaky voice of the few and you raise up a loud clatter from your followers, your believers, your people. We ask that you help us to save ourselves, our children, our future. Let the Holy Spirit, like a fire, burn inside of each and everyone of your children this day.

The men and women that we read about in the Bible were men and women of action. They were men and women that were called by you and followed. Help us to be this generation’s Esther, Moses, Elisha.

Help us. Hear our cry, today, oh Father! None but you can eradicate evil with your righteousness. You are mighty and mighty to save. You are a promise keeper and you are God of all creation. You are our deliver even right now when the world seems to reign under evil. You are Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end. Simply put, you are I AM. Nothing stands in your way and nothing can defeat you.

Bible, Church, Entertainment, Giveaway, god, Holy Spirit, jesus, Life, Love, Ministry, Music, Praise, Praise & Worship, Uncategorized, Worship

Review & Giveaway: Worship with Higher Vision

Week after week, Higher Vision Church is packed with nearly 3,000 adrenalized God followers. The 12-year-old multigenerational congregation just outside of Los Angeles is quite diverse, and that diversity takes center stage on Higher Vision Worship’s debut album, For Your Kingdom.

“When we design worship experiences at Higher Vision, with every light that moves and every video, our focus is on Christ,” explains Higher Vision’s Sean Loche (formerly of the groundbreaking group Worth Dying For) who produced the album. “And we’re always asking, ‘How are people engaging? How do we help people feel safe and loved in the power and presence of God?’ We try be a place for people to ‘jump in the pool.’ Sometimes they want to jump full-on in — and sometimes they just want to get their toes wet.”

That same vision for Higher Vision the church was applied to the songs on Higher Vision Worship’s For Your Kingdom. “The album feels like a miracle,” says worship pastor April Ashburn. “It feels like there’s something for almost everyone. Different styles and yet a well-rounded whole.”

There are songs on For Your Kingdom that tug at the heart, and then there are others like “Broken the Chains” that squeeze and don’t let go. “I just thought how crazy is it that God created everything,” explains lead pastor Jared Ming, who wrote the song while thinking and praying about a struggling friend. “Yet there’s still a song in heaven that angels cannot sing. The angels worship, but we worship differently…. We’ve been redeemed and forgiven. Angels can’t sing, ‘I’ve been redeemed.’”

The 13-track album rebounds from those lighter moments with energetic worship such as the high-energy title track, the electronica-flavored “Trust in You,” dance-tinged tunes like “Freedom of Your Love” and “Hands Held High,” and then dives back in with heartfelt ballads such as “He Is Here” – which paints a sound picture of God’s presence and our response to it.

“We can get stuck in a cycle of grasping for God’s presence only to realize that God is here all around us,” says Ashburn, who penned the song. “Sometimes we just need to become aware of his presence — and then our response isworship.”

Higher Vision not only wants For Your Kingdom to be an experience the congregation can carry with them wherever they go, but also they want it to speak to those who may not yet have Christ in their lives.

“There’s just so much darkness going on in the world,” says Loche. “Every day you read the worst, most horrific news you can imagine. We want to just be a blip of good, a blip of light in a dark world, to atheists and to Christians.”

For more information, visit www.highervisionworship.com

My Take…

I was given this CD for my honest opinion and that – as always – is what you’ll get.

If you’re a fan of music from such ministries as Elevation Worship and Passion City Church, you’ll be a fan of Higher Version’s For Your Kingdom. With a mix of EDM-like (Electronic Dance Music) and live music, Higher Vision Worship helps to usher you in to the presence of God in your home or car.

I especially liked track 10 – Hands Held High. The songs are a good balance of tempo, praise, and worship.

Being a praise & worship leader (not pastor), and coming from a family of gospel singers, I have my own views of what “praise” and “worship” mean. Very simply put “praise” is when you express approval or admiration of someone or something. “Worship” is deeper though. It’s when you show reverence and adoration. Some would say “The quick songs are praise. The slow songs are worship.” I don’t like to put songs in a box that way. I believe even a fast song can be worship. You may find that to be true, yourself, with the For Your Kingdom CD.

Want to win For Your Kingdom?

Check them out for yourself:

https://youtu.be/FTUIh01ZP2s

Want it now? I can’t blame you.

Your Kingdom Pre-Order Link:

https://sc.lnk.to/HghrVsn

(2 songs are available for immediate download)

Bible, Life, Ministry, Uncategorized

Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible can be challenging at best and discouraging at the worst. It’s frustrating when you want to know more about God, be a better person, have a better life, and yet you can’t understand the manual. If you feel that way – or know someone that may feel that way – this post is for you!

First off, don’t feel like a freak. Everyone – at some point in their journey – has read the Word and gone, “Huh?”

Most people simply don’t announce that but it’s common place. Even myself, even the elders that I know, sometimes spend days or weeks on one passage trying to understand it by delving through concordances and Hebrew translations.

Reading the Bible is truly a journey. You’ll read a passage and it will mean one thing to you. Many years later, it will be more complex and mean something even deeper to you. That’s one of the most amazing things about the Word of God to me – that the Word never changes yet somehow it always adapts and becomes what you need in your very personal season because it’s alive.

Secondly, God wants you to understand and know Him so He wouldn’t give you a book that you couldn’t understand. He loves you and He want you to succeed.

So, here’s a sort of game plan for you…

1️⃣ Call on God

Don’t just open up the Word and expect it to make perfect sense to you. Don’t open up the Word and expect it to pertain to your moment. Instead of expecting the word of God to apply to what you think you need, go to God and ask him to open your heart and open your mind to what he would have that passage teach you no matter what’s going on in your life right now.

2️⃣Never give up

Often times, when something is difficult, we just want to give up. Reading the Bible is one of those things that, once you get going, you can’t seem to put it down. Unfortunately common too often, it’s that “once you get going” part that’s the challenge. As crazy as this may sound, the devil doesn’t want you to read the Bible. If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil. He knows that if you read the word of God you will become stronger and you will be armed for battle. So, you will find that distractions will occur, confusion will happen, exhaustion will come against you,… and it’s your job to stick to it and not give up.

3️⃣Trust God

You may feel like, “What does this have anything to do with?” when you are reading the Bible. That’s OK. Just trust God. Usually you will find that the information that you’re receiving, that your etching upon your heart, will be there when you need it though that time may not be right now.

4️⃣Not sure? Test it!

Don’t know if that passage was for you? Test it!

Ask your elders that are more wise than you, those that God has placed in your life!

5️⃣You were meant to understand His Word

As insulting as this may sound to some of you, the Word was written even for the most simplest of minds. Christ spoke in parables so that anyone and everyone could understand. We do not teach children in Sunday School for no reason. If they are capable of understanding the word of God so is any adult that so desires!

6️⃣Understand that you may understand His words, but may not understand all

Sometimes God reveals His words to us just when we need to understand them the most. Sometimes we hide a word in our hearts and at just the right moment the Holy Spirit reminds us of that word and it all suddenly makes sense. Then there are other things such as the idea that God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit… How can one God be three entities yet one God? If we could all answer these questions, we would have no need for God. All of these things will be understood once we’re with Him. Until then, we have to come to terms with the fact that on this plane we will not understand it all.

7️⃣ Taste and see…

Challenge yourself. Give yourself a deadline. Test Him. Say to yourself, “I’m going to try this Bible reading thing for one year.” In my life, and all the people that I’ve met from around the world, I have yet to meet a person that has told me that the Bible returned void.

8️⃣ Testify

When you see that the Word is good and that it has changed your life for the better, remember where you were before the Word touched your life. Don’t just bury that. Go out and share your testimony so that someone else can have their life changed.

America, Bible, Church, family, god, Holy Spirit, jesus, Ministry

Yes, you NEED the Holy Spirit

….but you don’t have to have Him. You don’t have to have or do anything. God’s funny that way. He’s a gentleman, never forcing Himself on anyone.

I believe we all need the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When Christ left this earth and ascended into Heaven He said that He was leaving us a comforter. If Christ left me something, or someone as it were, I’m going to follow that – since my whole life is based on following Him and being as much like Him as humanly possible – by receiving whomever or whatever that thing may be! We know that whom Christ left us was the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17).

In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul writes, no matter what our diversity of gifts in the Spirit are, it is the same God who works within all of them. He goes on to say, in addition, “but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”

Now, I should be clear that what you’re about to read – my thoughts, God’s word, here is not referring to some willy-nilly unorganized chaos of emotion that so many Christians nowadays call “an outpouring” and that you may have been witness to in person, on television, or the internet. There are certain things that must line up for an outpouring and often times (more often than not, I’m afraid) these things simply do not line up; but, rather people are overcome by their own emotions. That is not always the case though. We must be vigilant to not have the audacity to put God in a box while still cross referencing occurrence with His Word.

I only have a few things to say about this (I’m sure I’d have more but I’ve forced myself to only say three): 1) If your church is having such an “outpouring” that you haven’t heard a message delivered in weeks… you may want to really seek the Lord and ask Him for some discernment in regard to that. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be like throwing pearls before swine if the church hasn’t even been fed.

2) You don’t live like the world Monday through Friday and then speak in tongues on Sunday. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is only possible through having a relationship with God and then making it an intimate one. Think of the most intimate earthly relationship you have. Now, compare that sort of communication, love, understanding, forgiveness, etc. to your relationship with God. It’s incomparable; yet, we almost never even attain that level of intimacy with our Father.

My husband is not going to feel as if we have such an intimate relationship that he wants to share unimaginable gifts and truths with me if I’m dancing with another man just two nights before. We should not expect God to be any different.

3) I do believe that you have days of outpourings but God is organized, orderly. He is, in most all things, a gentleman.

His word says, “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.”

He also lays it out in Deuteronomy by telling us that one way leads to blessings and one ways leads to death; and, then He says, “…choose life that you and your descendants may live.”

See, God has given us the authority to make our own decisions in life.

He will honor those decisions without interfering. He does not force Himself upon us. If a number of individuals within a church are actively living under the anointing of an intimate relationship with God, and then they collectively come together within a church (or any gathering place) and find themselves unified – of one mind, there God will be. Now, He’s been made welcome. Now, if He sees fit to share with us knowledge, prophesy, etc. He will speak to us.

On the flip side, if you are content simply believing that structuring your life around the Word of God – rather than doing that along with believing God moves, heals, and speaks to His children in real-time – that’s your choice. There’s no judgment here. I would be remiss, however, if I did not share with others what they may be missing out on simply because they can’t conceive of God doing and moving miraculously right before their eyes.

So let me share my thoughts by starting with Romans 8:26, since I feel so strongly about it, where we are told that “we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I cannot imagine knowing of the hell that I have been through in my life and knowing that there is an interceder for me (Jesus) and not going to him.

Further, I cannot fathom knowing that there is a sort of conduit, for far lack of a better term, in the Holy Spirit that He would actually pray for what I truly need rather than what I think I need so that I could find true happiness and success… and me not doing everything I can to access Him.

If you have been praying, and it seems as if nothing is getting through to Him – it’s as if you’re praying to the walls and the words are just bouncing off of the sheetrock – I encourage you to look at Romans 8:26 as if it were the first step in God’s list of instructions on “How to Pray.” It is my thought that we, as a whole, simply do not know how to pray to God. I say this based on two things, specifically, that the Bible has told me: 1) In Luke, when John asks Jesus how they should pray, Jesus doesn’t respond, “Oh, you guys do just fine. Just keep talking and He’ll hear ya.” Rather, He gave them specific words to say to God. These words were sort of a catch-all. “The Lord’s Prayer,” as it has been dubbed, covers everything from worship to provision to sin!

I believe He gave us this prayer in order to supplement our prayer lives until we each have come to the place that we have attained that divine entity that would pray for us (Romans 8:26-27). I should add here that of course I’m not in any way inferring that when you talk to God He’s not hearing you. I know that God hears every word you utter. I’m simply trying to draw attention to what is available to all of us.

I’m trying to open your mind – just as the disciples asked Jesus – to ask God, “How should I pray? I know what I want to pray for; but, what would You have me pray?”

As for praying in tongues…. I recognize that a lot of my followers are not as they would describe “Pentecostal.” I pray that you would read this with the understanding that my focus is on your obtaining the power of the Holy Spirit within you that God wants you to have, more so than any outward display.

Paul says to us, in 1 Corinthians 14, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”

Wow, that’s a lot to digest for anyone. The fact is clear, though, that Paul wants us all to speak in tongues. Further, Paul wishes that we would desire, and attain, the ability – through the Holy Spirit – to prophesy because it edifies (instructs or improves (someone) morally or intellectually) the church, rather than simply edifying ourselves.

However! Don’t miss this:

While Paul wishes the new Church all spoke in tongues, He wishes even more greatly that we would prophesy because that is edifying for the entire Church!

After all, this would go hand-in-hand with each and every Christian’s first and most important calling – to share the gospel. What could be better for this world than the gospel than God’s current, spoken, word? A rhema Word as it were…

I must admit that to be in the presence of God, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit is powerful and … awing. If the presence of the Holy Spirit is nothing else, it is that – awing.

Through my teenage years, for mostly medical reasons, my relationship with God became a struggle for me. Thankfully, by the time I was 18 and had a brand new baby girl, I was able to focus on what everything else in my life hinged upon – my relationship with God.

Over the years that followed God showed me how He could be everything to me – husband, father to my child, father to me, best friend, provider, healer, teacher, etc. I had no idea that a person could have that kind of a relationship with someone. It was literally as if He were my husband. Communication now goes both ways between me and God. Through that progress in our relationship the Holy Spirit – within me – was growing all the while; and, I can honestly say that the Holy Spirit has used me in some powerful ways since then.

And, yes, during this relationships of ours (God and mine), I have watched Him heal each of my children. I have heard His voice delivering me from any thought of suicide. He has woken me in the middle of the night to address a spiritual attack from Satan on my husband. That is what having the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life means to me.

So, what am I saying? I’m saying THIS is what the anointing of the Holy Spirit means to me. I’m saying this is available to you. Answered prayers are attainable. Knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is hearing you is possible. Praying over a perfect stranger and God meeting their need is totally possible. And, this world is going to hell in a hand basket all around us. What does it say about us if we’re not trying to change the world?

If you want to change the world, then you must be greater than it. The only way to be greater than the world is to have God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) residing within and acting through you.

That’s it. That’s all I’m saying. You can be a cog or you can be a spectator.

If you want to know more about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit – but would prefer to hear it from someone more unbiased (as I grew up in a Pentecostal Church), I encourage you to read the book They Spoke with Other Tongues.

This book, from a sceptic’s point of view, shares with you historical and biblical accounts of who the Holy Spirit is and how He can and has operated. I so want someone’s life to be changed that I’m giving away a copy of this book. I am not giving this book away as a promotion. I am not even going to promote this on social media other than to share this blog post as I do all of my posts. I just ask that you comment below that you would be interested in winning a copy of this book because you are interested in what it has to say. I will then take all of those peoples names and let Rafflecopter choose a name.

Please, if you have any questions drop them below. I love all of you and want us to get our job done – changing people’s lives through God – the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

America, Apologetics, Artifacts, Bible, Children, Church, family, Friends, Giveaway, History, Holiday, Israel, Ministry, Uncategorized

Review & Giveaway: This Dangerous Book

I was not paid for this review but was given a book for my honest opinion and, as always, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you intentionally built your life, your family, and even your business around and upon God’s Word? Well, that is exactly what Steve and Jackie Green did. You may recognize their names. Steve Green became President of Hobby Lobby in 2004 and since then the CEO and his wife have opened the Museum of the Bible smack dab in the middle of our nation’s capital.

This Dangerous Book, written by Steve and Jackie Green, is an amazing book highlighting the power of the Bible, the lengths people have gone to to preserve it, and how it is still able to change people today.

Rick Warren says it best in the foreword of this book when he says, “If you want to become all that God has designed you to be, you must build your life on the Bible. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.” And let me tell you: if you’re living life like that then you will be a danger – a danger to sin, a danger to oppression, a danger to those and that who would attack your family.

This Dangerous Book is probably one of my favorite books because it highlights the most important book in history without weighing down the entire book with a person’s opinion and their own personal translation of It. Rather, this book is a journey and the Greens want you to go on that journey with them.

This Dangerous Book talks about how the Bible has been a very controversial thing. How could it not? It has disrupted and interrupted sin and chaos and in its place put peace and abolished death wherever Its words have been spoken.

One thing that I find myself often asking people is, “How can anyone dispute a religion with such documented history?” This Dangerous Book is a great book for your arsenal if you appreciate Apologetics or simply want to be able to defend your faith. And, have no fear! This book is not merely a coffee table book, nor is it a book to make you look good to your fellow Christian friends. This is an outstanding book of reference. In the back, just as with any good reference book, there are notes, credits, and an index. I know I sound a little like a nerd right now but most of you know that I am one!

If you are a lover of history, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who likes to challenge themselves, I encourage you to get this book. If you are a person who reads the Bible and wants to understand even more about the Book that feeds you every day, get…this…book. This book is for anyone – yes, even the unbeliever.

I encourage you to buy for yourself or gift this book this holiday season. This is not an affiliate link. I get no kickback from this. Just like the Greens, I simply want to spread the power of the Bible. So….what are you waiting for?! Get it! You can buy it anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, etc.

Want it for free? Awesome! I’m giving one away! Click on the the Dangerous Book below and find out how!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39884d163/?

Bible

Choosing to depend on God

When circumstances beyond our control come at us in such a way that we are faced with having to depend upon ourselves or God, sometimes it’s easier than at other times. 

Allow me to give you an example:

You’re in a car wreck and can’t get to your loved ones. All you can do is depend on God. There is no other choice; so, the choice is easy.

Alternatively:

You’re told there’s a growth and chances are that it’s not malignant but you won’t know until it comes out. And…it’s not coming out for weeks. Now it’s not as easy.

When time is extended, when circumstances are not panicked, we often find ourselves running to the phone instead of the throne. We want to be wrapped in the loving arms of our spouse or our parent rather than the loving arms of our Father. Hey it doesn’t make you any less of a Christian. It’s much like how a child has to learn to not burst into tears simply because they saw the sight of blood. As we mature, as we endure various types of strife, we practice holding it together and going straight to God rather than going straight to man. I’m 39 years old (about to be 40), have known God all of my life, and I still run to my husband first thing. I give some slack to myself on that because I truly do believe that in God’s sight two became one; so it’s not as if I am running to a friend but rather the other side of myself. Still, though, I’m looking for comfort from someone other than my Creator. 

So… if you haven’t figured it out, I’m in a holding pattern. The ultrasound technician found some things. The doctor will have to remove them. There’s no way of knowing how serious it is until it’s removed. Chances are everything is fine, just painful. Unfortunately – and sadly I am in no way being pessimistic 😂 but rather completely serious when I say that my life tends to be ran by both God and Murphy’s Law. In other words, if in 3% of the population it’s not so good, then you guessed it! I tend to fall in that 3%. 🙃

Before my husband married me, I not-so-jokingly warned him that my life was ran by Murphy’s Law. It didn’t take long for him to see what I meant: If it might be broken, it is. If I may need surgery, I do. If I get my hair cut and styled, it’s storming. If I finally get that rare craving for ice cream, the whole family ate it in one day and there is none. It’s honestly laughable. There have been so many instances when something really cruddy happened; but, it was so astonishing that it even did happen that we all had to laugh. I digress.

So, I don’t say any of this in a “woe is me” way. I honestly have a very humorous look at my life. I sometimes make the joke that I’m God’s little science project. That IS a joke, by the way. I know Him better than that!

Credit: reverendfun.com

So, since I received the news (of which the Holy Spirit had already prepared me for), all that first day I alternated between crying and hearing the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, “Depend on me. Lean on me. No matter what.” It’s that “no matter what” part that’s getting me. Not the way you may think though. I’m actually not having a hard time giving this to God even if it winds up being “bad news.”

Confession Time: I’m having a hard time of letting go and giving it to God. 

I am a person who likes to research, find solutions, and expeditiously apply the solution. In this case, I have absolutely no control over anything other than how I respond to it. 

Let me just get to it:

It’s as if God wants me to depend on him right now. I mean, it’s as if He wants me to stop and depend on Him, trust in Him, right now – before the tears, before the next procedure, before arriving at the hospital, before the anesthesia, before the removal, before the results are relayed to me. And of course He does. His Word tells us that over and over. It’s hard to remember, though, when the storm is raging, though. Isn’t it?


I feel in my spirit that He wants me to know I’m taken care of – whatever that may mean – right now before even assessing the situation. After all, if I want to give God the glory for saving me…. isn’t my act of faith larger if I give him the glory for it right now than giving it to him after the doctor tells me, “It looks as if we took care of it”? 


Shortly after the findings were relayed to me, I was watching Jentezen Franklin live on Facebook and he challenged me. He was talking about the disciples in the boat after the miracle of the loaves and fishes. He was talking about Jesus’s disappointment in them that they had missed the miracle. And…Franklin said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re walking around in the midst of your storm with the crumbs of your last miracle still on your shirt!” In other words, I still have the memories of every good and perfect thing God has ever done in my life, yet I’m walking through the storm as if I don’t have access to the God of all creation, as if He hasn’t already proven Himself. The disciples were in the midst of the storm, in a boat with the leftovers from a miracle; and, even with the reminder of a very recent miracle, they were operating in fear, oblivious to Whom they were in the presence of.


I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want that to be you. So, together…right now…let’s agree that we’re going to give whatever it is to God because He’s already proven Himself though He doesn’t have to. 


It’s my experience – in life and in reading the Word – that miracles come after desperation and/or an act of faith. 


Let’s not wait for desperation. The Holy Spirit is drawing us near to believe in God’s plans long before we ever feel desperate.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, You are the Great I Am. You are Alpha and Omega – where we see a dead end, You are a new beginning. You created us all, the very blueprints of our lives. We come before You, in one accord, asking for You to help us lay our burdens at Your feet and to not pick them up again. We ask that you imbue us with such a level of faith that others around us must ask us, “What is it that makes you believe so firmly? What gives you such peace?” We ask that you take our storms and turn them into stories – testimonies of Your delivering power and mercy. We give You all the glory because You are King of Kings and nothing in our lives has caught you unaware. We worship You now for what You will do tomorrow. Thank you, God, for loving us so much, so incomparably. May we learn to love You more and more each day. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Bible, Children, Church, family, Kid's Fun, Ministry, Parenting, Uncategorized

When Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it?

Start this 6 part series HERE or refresh yourself on the last article.


When I taught children a lot more than I do now, I used to often say, “God sends them to us perfect. It’s our job not to screw them up.”

So, when parents tell me things such as…

“My kiddo was just asked to not come back to church next Sunday as punishment for behavior…this is the third church we’ve been to. We’ll try again the next Sunday, but this momma is afraid we might be three strikes and we’re out.”

“I was dismayed today to have it reported that a nursery volunteer told a child ’you’re a bad boy’ in response to something he did. The church has such a profound influence on a child’s identity formation- we need to take care to reach children that they are beloved bearers of Christ’s image.”

it breaks my heart.


When I asked if I should write on this topic, parents said…

“Yes! I honestly can’t even take my children to church at times because they are trauma kids and need help. But they have been told they were bad, they’ve been put in time out, and I’ve been told that I’m not a good mom and don’t have control over my kids… I know they are tough. I live with them. I don’t need them to be hurt at church.”

Also…

“Definitely! I have that kid, and now when I serve in children’s ministry, I seek out ’that kid’ and their mom, and try to encourage them and love them both!! I also found that the teacher who I initially felt was tough on my kid turned out to be EXACTLY what he needed.”

I want to be clear about something though: all throughout the responses and emails I’ve received, the parents have been understanding! They’ve been understanding about a lack of volunteers, a lack of training, and more. No parent came across angry or unforgiving. Rather they came across to me as simply wanting a solution, and to be a part of it at that! Occasionally, they were clearly hurting, frustrated, confused, or fearful.


So…how do we fix this?

Well, first – as with any problem , a great part of the solution lies in communication. Just because it’s church, doesn’t mean you just hand off your child as you would with maybe their grandparents. Just as if you were interviewing a babysitter or checking out schools for your little one you need to know the situation they are walking into. It’s OK to ask questions. It’s OK to sit in the back of the classroom and see the way they facilitate their class. It can be frustrating to experience the way a ministry may facilitate discipline, celebration, worship,… any list of things if you are not first aware of how they will be doing that, if you’re not already prepared.

As an example:

If you know that your little Johnny gets out of hand when excited then you need to be his advocate and be proactive. Don’t set him up for failure. If you know that your children’s ministry has exciting worship before their lesson, then maybe you go to children’s church during praise and worship and sit by him simply to teach him how to control himself and then wind down for the lesson…and then you leave. Alternatively, maybe you keep him with you wherever you are until the lesson starts and then you escort him to children’s church.

Another example:

If you know that your children’s minister calls people out by name and sends them to timeout but your child has experienced a past trauma that would be revisited or exacerbated by this, then speak privately with your minister and come up with a plan beforehand. Hit it off at the pass!

These were just some of the responses that I received from ministers when I asked them “What does your department consider a ‘problem’ that must be addressed immediately with parents?”

“Anything that a child brings up about their home life that could be harmful. That would be first and foremost. If a child is injured I would bring that up immediately with a parent. If a child wants to be baptized and has questions about Jesus or God, I would always pull the parent to the side and have a conversation with them. I never addressed behavior [with a parent] unless they harmed another child.”

“A ‘problem’ would be anything that is keeping the department or class from running smoothly. If a child were to hit, kick,bite, cause distraction, harm Church property or others, defy leadership. Any of these things happen, parents are notified.”

“One of the few times I had problems with behavior was if after many times of trying to redirect a child who was unruly (fighting, yelling out, being sexually inappropriate, cussing) I would send for their parents or if it was one of my inner city kids, I would get the superintendent. One instance I was able to turn around was a child who I suspected was dyslexic. The kids were teasing him. So I just rewrote everything on the chalk board for the class. No one could read it but the said child. Victory for him! Understanding and empathy for the other children [goes a long way].”

Do you see how very different all three of those answers were? Different churches, different ministries, different ministers will respond and direct differently! You need to know who and what you’re dealing with so you can be proactive.

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part…But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it…Yes, there are many parts, but only one body….while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-14, 18, 20, 24-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Second, you have to be understanding of your church’s limitations just as you are their positive aspects. Some churches are blessed with an over-abundance of volunteers in every department of ministry. Others are not. Did you know that children’s ministry needs the most volunteers yet typically is the very ministry that has the very least people that volunteer for it? Further, with things being the way that they are in the world now, churches find themselves having to go to the extra expense of paying for background checks. That cost alone can limit them to the amount of volunteers they can afford. Your simple offer to pay for your own background check could nullify that. Also, while there are many that love children and may be parents themselves, they may have not been given any training in regard to the teaching or caring of others’ children outside of or within a church setting…for whatever reason. If there has been no training offered, you should know that before your child has joined children’s church. If you have a problem with that, then you have some options: 1) you can volunteer yourself; 2) you can spearhead getting training brought to your church’s children’s ministry; or 3) you can take your chances knowing that or keep your child out.

When I asked ministers “Are all of your volunteers trained? Some? If so, how?” these were just some of the responses I received:

“[Our] churches do not have a lot of money for training and materials. We offer them the best training possible which is to tell them what we expect in each class/service. If something were to happen, we are to be alerted as the leaders of the department, and then we talk to the Parents.”

“All volunteers are trained before being placed in a classroom. Training takes place monthly for new team members and is required for all team members because it is held monthly in a team rally situation.”

“We took classes taught by church for training. I had an advantage in that I had my AA degree in child education and additional classes in special needs children.” Not all ministries have the luxury of having formally trained teachers, obviously.

Lastly, you must be an active participant. You can’t treat children’s ministry as if it’s a babysitting service and then be disappointed, upset, or angry when you don’t get the results you’re hoping for (e.g., your child knowing the Bible, knowing Christ, understanding repentance, your child ultimately accepting Christ). Babysitters don’t do anything other than assure that your child is safe while you’re away. If you treat it all as babysitting, then you should expect to get called out of church. After all, you wouldn’t expect your babysitter to discipline your child would you? If you treat them as a babysitting service, you would be shocked and astounded if you came to pick up your child and your child suddenly knew how to read a book.


You know…you may feel like they want to get your kids and to get rid of you at the door. If you feel that way, that’s probably not what’s going on. Teachers and ministers get in a zone just like the players of a game do. Seriously! They get totally focused on their “game plan” and are anxious to initiate it. So, don’t be afraid to ask, “How can I get involved?” Because just as you’re getting different responses here, you may get a very different response from your children’s minister!


When I asked “What do you think parents can do to be most beneficial overall and for their children specifically, in regard to their relationship with your children’s ministry?” These were some responses I received…

“The most important thing a parent can do is serve in kids ministry. Especially if they have a child in kids ministry. It helps them [that] you sweat and it’s not a babysitting service and opens up communication about their children’s faith. Children’s ministry is one of the most important ministries in a church and will help promote church growth if done correctly and parents are a big part of this.”

“Talking positively about the teachers. Calling them Ms. or Mr., not their first names. Speaking with parents separate from the classroom. No one needs to hear [about situations] but those involved. Not calling out or speaking about the issue in front of [a] child and [the] whole class. Talk about [the] problem, not [the] child, and without naming names!”

“In our department, we had parents who used us as babysitters. If they would see us as much more than that. We are pouring into the souls of their children for the sake of the Kingdom. If parents could put our classes and services on the top of their priority list, ensure their students are in class on time and as often as classes or an event are held, it only helps. If parents could remind students of how they should behave that would be great. If parents would communicate with leadership and let them know about any special needs the student has, that would be great! As volunteers freely give up their time to serve in the ministry, it is our hope that children and students will have a great time so parents can focus on their own class/service.”

No. You need to treat them and respect them for what they are – educators. They are educating your children on the very most important thing they’ll ever need to know in life – God and His will. Do you recall at the beginning of this series where I lined out how “kids” in the Bible learned?

In Christ’s time, a Jewish child was sent to school within the fifth or sixth year of his life. Until they were ten, the Bible was their one text book. From the ages of ten to fifteen, traditional law was their main subject. After the age of fifteen, they studied theology as it was taught in the Talmud. The Talmud is the record of rabbinic teachings that spans a period of about six hundred years… The rabbinic teachings of the Talmud explain in great detail how the commandments of the Torah are to be carried out.


If with school you get progress reports, you meet with the teacher, you assure that they are behaving properly, you ask them what they learned that day…why would you not do that and more for their lessons on God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit? We are talking about their entire life on this planet and eternity!

Somewhere along the line we all get our priorities messed up, out of alignment, out of order. Sometimes our churches do. After all, they’re ran by us – deficient humans. Sometimes Churches get distracted by trying to entertain the children, trying to hem up the children, trying to grow the ministry. So too, though, do we parents get messed up and begin to treat children’s ministry as if it’s somehow less important than school, a reprieve from parenting for a couple of hours, not our responsibility.


So, today take responsibility for yours! If you feel like your children are being entertained rather than ministered, speak up. Do so with respect and patience; because these folks are working hard for your children.

You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you are directed by the Holy Spirit and speak as Christ would. After all, complaints are usually filed away and put in one of two boxes in our minds: 1) “I can’t let it bother me”; or 2) the box of insecurities. When spoken to with suggestions and concerns, offers of assistance and encouragement, those words are often put into boxes like: 1) “That’s someone who’s on my side. I can work with them.” 2) “Maybe that’s who God is sending me to help me.” 3) “I see there’s an area I need to work on; and, I’m okay with that.”

Lastly, I would challenge you to pray for your children’s ministers and teachers. Are you praying for our president? Your governor? Your boss? Your pastor? You better be! And, if you are, then shouldn’t you be praying for all of those same people that influence your children’s lives?


Thank you for staying with me throughout this series. I pray that God has brought hope and forgiveness to parents. I pray that God has brought insight to teachers and ministers. Above all, I pray that this series is able to change the outcome of even just one of His children and the path that they take for His kingdom.


Do you want to do more with your children? You might start here: Focus on the Family’s Summer Adventure Kit! It’s completely free (but you can always donate) and is a great way for you to take an active part in the Biblical education of your children in a very fun way.

Do you need some more encouragement on a very real and specific thing you and your child(ren) are going through? I encourage you to check out Focus on the Family’s parenting website. They cover a variety of topics from newborn on up. To learn more about them CLICK HERE.

“Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.”

STAY TUNED: We’re on vacation this week but because so many of you have responded so well to this series, when I return home, I’m going to be doing a giveaway! Follow my blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and on Instagram and you’ll never miss a giveaway!

Bible, Children, Church, family, Kid's Fun, Ministry, Parenting, Uncategorized

When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it? (5 of 6)

Begin this six-part series HERE or refresh yourself on the last part.

Then we encountered something God knew we needed – a group of people that just wanted to love my son. Even though my husband still did his leadership gig at “the big church” – and still does – we began attending at a church a ways out from our house. We knew, at the very least, that it was where our son needed to be to heal and we saw this very quickly. His first few Sundays he didn’t trust his teachers for obvious reasons. And…you know what? They thought outside of the box… without even knowing what had happened to him. I found out that Mr. Zach, the youth pastor, was taking him out to the inflated moon bounce every Sunday morning… just the two of them while class was going on. Then, after my son would burn off some energy and see that he was loved and accepted, Mr. Zach would take him back to class.


After a while, I only got random messages (about once every few months) from an usher asking me to check on him. My son would often get excited during music and not be able to calm himself down afterward. I’d sit in class and remind him of his expected behavior. These events only happened on days when there was only one teacher and she couldn’t do it all. It was completely understandable to me. It was a wonderful season for my son that allowed him to see that there was a healthy environment for him to learn about the Lord, away from Mommy’s house, where he could trust the teachers and others to love him and expect good behavior as well.


Thankfully, his preschool school year helped to solidify this as well. God showed us a great school for our son and placed him with the most perfect teachers ever. His preschool teacher was an amazing balance of firmness and love. She saw all that he had inside him: leadership skills, intelligence, zeal, etc. but didn’t allow her love for him to cause her to neglect to be firm and not reward him for poor behavior. No matter how many times he got put in time out or didn’t get “a bug in his jar,” my son never – not once – felt unloved. I told her many times, “This is your calling. Don’t underestimate that for a moment.”


I was beginning to gain perspective that these were all the growing pains of dealing with many other people very unlike myself. These were the growing pains of being made aware of a growing dichotomy between how the church once did things and now do things. After all my children are 15 years apart.


Then my son visited that same church as his preschool, of where he was so successful, for its Vacation Bible School (his preschool was not at the same church of which we attend). On the very first day of pick-up (a day of which included excitement because it was the first day, meeting new friends, bouncie houses, dancing, etc.) the teacher welcomes me by saying, “He was disruptive during music, bumping people next to him while dancing, so I had to pull him out of music.” I didn’t even get a “Hello,” y’all. I swear I am not making that up. Can I just tell you that it was one of those days and I barely made it to the car before I began hiccup crying in front of my five-year-old? That was never my intention. I don’t like to argue in front of my kids. I certainly don’t like to cry in front of them. I’m not saying those things are bad I’m just saying they’re not who I am or, try to be, in front of my kids. Was it an overreaction? Yes – to this one incident. But my reaction was one of a working mom doing her best and getting a “bad report” yet again.

And…it ruined my day. It disappointed my son. It was Vacation. Bible. School. Why was there even in a behavior chart? It’s four days of bible, songs, and games. We didn’t even have a behavior chart at church camp where we stayed overnight, let alone any VBS I ever went to or taught! Is someone going to tell me they do that at camp now, too?!


The following morning I had gotten it together. I told the teacher calmly and even pleasantly (because I had allowed God to adjust my attitude), “Please remind him to stay in his personal bubble during music time and he won’t accidentally bump into his friends. If you have any problems, though, call me and I’ll come get him.” I think that she read from my body language that if that were the case, he wouldn’t be back. Her entire demeanor changed so I believed the very best.


I was pleased when I picked him up to find out that just as I had adjusted my attitude, the teacher had adjusted hers. She shared with me how all of the kids had learned about their personal bubbles and they all stayed in their own. She shared with me her appreciation for me teaching her about the whole “personal bubble” method. God is good!


I had to remind myself that Matthew 22:14 says that “many are called but few are chosen.” I think that every parent has to remind themselves of that when they place their children in others’ hands. I also did something that some may think a little odd but I put my son in a shirt that I bought him last year. I wanted his teacher to remember something about him just as God was reminding me (Matthew 22:14) about volunteers and teachers. His shirt said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our children are. You know? Whether they’re perfect angels or being selfish. Whether you’re teaching a child that knows every single answer or you’re trying to teach that one kid that just acts as if he’s full of vinegar, God made them and He doesn’t make junk.



Come back tomorrow for the last installment of When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it? I think it’s the most interesting and informative of them all! And…I have a surprise for you for staying with it through this whole series!

Bible, Children, Church, family, Kid's Fun, Ministry, Parenting, Uncategorized

When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it? (4 of 6)

This is part 4 of a 6 part series entitled When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it? Start HERE at the beginning or refresh yourself on the last post.


When my son was three, we attended a church that was pastored by someone who went to Bible college with a great Pastor-friend of ours. The church was exceptional. The children’s ministry seemed to be organized and exciting. The youth was on point with an outstanding youth pastor. The pastor himself delivered a good word every sermon. 

Bells and whistles went off, for me however, when I picked my son up one evening and the teacher – of whom has no medical background – tried to insinuate that my son may suffer from ADD or ADHD. I assured her that he was a typical three year old boy who was also under the care of one of the best pediatricians in the area. Then she proceeded to encourage me to put him in preschool – even though I worked from home – because “the consistency and discipline of being in a classroom environment would benefit his behavior.”


Now, I think every mom – at some point – has experienced the whole unsolicited advice thing; but, I’m sure you can agree with me that this was both a little over the top and above her pay-grade. It was unbelievably hurtful and worrisome for her to infer that my son may suffer from a very real behavioral disorder. Then she assumed my family had the budget to put my son in a preschool and that I would rather him be there than at home with me. All of this should have worried me and it did. I shared my concerns with my husband and he (and please know that I’m not throwing him under the bus here) assumed that this was just one woman who’s opinion didn’t matter a flip to him.

Well, a couple of weeks later I found my three year old in the nursery with the infants. I inquired as to why he was not in his classroom and they said that it was just easier for the class for him to be in there. I was hot. I was livid. I was ….. beyond angry. I was so angry, in fact, that I asked my husband to deal with it because if I dealt with it, I could not promise that I’d be Christian about it. So, my husband spoke to the women of the preschool classes there to assure that it would not happen again. He even offered for either himself or me to be in the classroom if there were any problems. They assured us there would not be and we were not called away from church… ever.

Fast forward about three weeks and while picking up my son a little girl who was about four or five very nastily says in a sing-song way, “Oh she’s here to pick up little baby Eli.” I would not have thought much about it except for the fact that one of the teachers quickly shushed her with a composure of utter guilt all over her face. I came to find out that this was a name that not only the children were calling him but a name of which had been perpetuated by one of the teachers. I guess they thought they would teach him to man up by calling him a baby and allowing everyone to make fun of him.


Can you imagine how I felt in that moment? Can you? I can try and take you there. I can try and explain the seething anger that vibrated through me like a coursing river. I can attempt to describe the way it felt as if my blood was quite literally boiling and the top of my head might blow off. I can tell you that my hands fisted and flexed and I took several deep breaths before lovingly taking my son and then not-so-lovingly looking at the teacher and saying, “You never have to worry about my son being a problem in your class ever again. He will never again darken the doors of this place. Mark my words.”


Pretty awful, yeah? Yeah. I thought so, too. For two years my son called it “the mean church” whenever we drove past it. We tried to never drive past it obviously because we didn’t want our son to harbor anything but good feelings towards a house of God. We would get something in the mail from them and he’d say, “The bad church” and I would have to redirect him. At three! Does that tell you the amount of hurt he had to have endured there that I wasn’t even aware of? I mean… most three year olds forget about their best friend saying they hate them the very day before but my kid held onto this for nearly two years.


Now, because my husband and I have been and are a part of different ministries we’ve experienced several different churches and, with them, their respective atmospheres. One church in particular that my husband must attend weekly because he has a leadership role there has an interesting approach. The woman who runs their preschool ministry does in fact run a daycare. With all due respect, this doesn’t impress me as it does others. It’s not a daycare. It’s church, as I inferred earlier. To me that’s like asking me to be impressed that a high school principal is my highschooler’s new youth pastor. The two are different vocations and require different approaches. I cannot tell you how many times my husband was called away to come tend to our son. There was simply too many times to count. At one point we were asked to come get him and take him.


I was done after that. I’m not saying whether they were wrong or right. All I can tell you is my opinion. In my opinion, you don’t kick ANYONE out of church. I mean…exactly how terrorizing can an overly-hugging motor-mouth 4-year-old be?! Isn’t that quite literally saying, “You’re not welcome in God’s house because of your behavior,” when in fact God’s word is constantly begging everyone – regardless of their background – to come unto the Father?


If my home church in Savannah, Georgia could lovingly tell fuddy-duddies that complained about the guy on the pew that stunk to get over their sensitive nose or find themselves a new church, then I’m pretty sure this much bigger church that is spreading its seeds all over North Georgia can figure out that church is where the hurt, lost, confused, and sometimes stinky people – whether in body or behavior – are supposed to be and that my four year old is welcome there no matter his behavior. They never wanted us to partner with them. They wanted our son to fit into their mold or leave. Seriously. That was it.


Come back tomorrow when I’ll share with you the hope we found, the hope God sent us. 

Bible, Children, Church, family, Kid's Fun, Ministry, Uncategorized

When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it (3 of 6)

This is part 3 of 6 of When Children’s Church Goes Wrong: who’s fault is it? Begin this subject HERE or revisit the LAST POST.


NO!

No, I did not do that. You know why I didn’t kick that child out of my class? Because you don’t teach a child by removing them from the classroom. I would have him immediately apologize to the child. I would inspect the “hurt” child in front of him and see that they were fine and put that child on a task. I would talk it out with him away from the other children, not embarrassing him. I would be firm and say, “We do not hit. Ever. If someone in this classroom hurts you or upsets you, you tell me. I will protect you and be by your side if something is wrong. If you don’t understand or you’re angry, you do not hit. You talk to me.” Between my being firm and my providing him a place where he felt safe – where he didn’t have to protect himself, he was able to just… be. He never hit a third time in my class.


This brings me to other children. I had some children that needed validation so they may be my helper for the evening. I had some children who were desperate to talk and show off how smart they were so they make it to read or act out a part of the Bible. I had some that were overly excited and had a lot to say so they sat in my lap and helped me from there. Why? Because he needed a little extra attention and I didn’t want him to distract the entire class. I would find myself saying things like, “Tell Mrs. Erin in her ear while the others work on their project.”


Never… not once… did I ever send for a parent. Ever. The thought never crossed my mind. I was a youth leader on Wednesday nights and kept children from infant to fifth grade on Sunday nights for at least 13 years. I never in that entire time called a parent. Further, it would have never even occurred to me to ask that a child be removed from the classroom or nursery. I remember separating a biter in the nursery and – after church at pick up – speaking to the mom and saying gently, “We’re going to work on not biting.” I remember being on a youth trip and the youth pastor and I pulling a kid aside and saying, “I know you have a smoking problem at home but you won’t be smoking on this three day trip. If you do, you’ll be sent home immediately and the cost will go to your mom.” Do you know? I don’t even remember putting a child in time out?

 

Who needs to be REMOVED from hearing about the word of God? 

Who needs to be REMOVED from hearing about the word of God?

Isn’t that counterproductive?! I mean… if we’re not to expect the unbeliever to act as believers, if we know we’re all lost without Christ, if we know that it’s the direction of the Holy Spirit residing within us that directs our path in the way in which we should go… then wouldn’t it stand to serve that we should be collecting everyone regardless of age and clutching them as close to the Word as possible? One would certainly think. I mean that’s fairly logical. Right? I mean… I am going on basic logic and Biblical knowledge here. I have had no formal training in either child rearing nor childhood education. I’m simply a mom.

Yet…what do we see in The Church now? We see our children being assigned numbers in order that a parent could see it flashed across a screen if they’re needed. Of course this is a great way of getting a parent’s attention if the child has gotten injured or something. (We just used to use ushers, though.) I mean: exactly how many parent-retrieving-worthy injuries do you really think are going on? Not enough to need a flash-the-number system, I assure you. No. As sad as it is, we have parents being called out of church because of the behavior of their child. As mind-blowing as this may be to some of you (and I hope it is) we even have children being removed from the classroom because of their behavior, some of them even indefinitely until a time for them to be reevaluated in the future. This is happening…in The. Church. Today.

This is hard for me because my two children span the spectrum. Seriously. My daughter was the perfect child. She was the most well behaved, intuitive, intelligent, respectful little girl you would have ever met. Everyone loved her – teachers, elders, peers,… everyone. Then… I had my son. I often joke that God had me wait 15 years because I needed to store up the patience necessary to raise him.


Quick rundown on the way we parent in my house: Biblically, with consistency, we give no slack because therein lies the path to madness, and we do our very best to love far more than we discipline. This means that if we’re disciplining hourly, there’s a lot of love that has to be given to balance that. There is no spoiling in my house. My children get no quarter with me. My “no” means “no” and that is the end of it. My children know where the rubber meets the road with me no matter how “cool” I may seem. I’m all kinds of cool and fun until you cross me or my rules. I do believe in spare the rod spoil the child [Proverbs 13:24]. (But don’t send me emails or nasty responses because I know that there is an exception to every rule and that that verse in the Bible may not apply to a child who has had a horrific experience in their past. I’m only referring to my children).


Now, that being said, my son is hell on wheels. Seriously. He’s headstrong, strong-willed, stubborn, and to make it all worse… he’s unbelievably intelligent. He’s going into kindergarten and reads at a 3rd grade level. Smart + Strong-willed = I think I know everything and far better than you…. which subsequently = a lot of discipline. He’s truly very smart and imaginative but thinks he knows everything and has the self control that most five year old boys have which means he has very little. He can’t seem to control his mouth and he’s excited about life in general. I’m well aware of the child that is my son.


So, if you thought this was where I was going to tell you how horribly misunderstood my child has always been in class, you’re wrong. Again, I’m aware of who he is and what he’s capable of. No. This is where I tell you that every single teacher he has ever had has been met by myself and my husband, we have told she or he that we are on their team and want our son to get the most he can out of their class while behaving appropriately, and have made ourselves readily available to them. This is also where I tell you that we have had experiences ranging in “Wow. That just happened.” to “Oh my dear Heavenly Father, tell me that did not just happen in the house of God.” I kid you not. At times it’s been a revelation and aweing. At other times, however, it was heart-wrenching and astounding in its hurtfulness.


Check back tomorrow when I’ll share with you the heartache we experienced…along with the hope.