Category: Parenting

Playing Around with PrayGround

It was much fun and an honor to write Playing Around with PrayGround. I wrote for both parents and children’s ministers. In Matthew, Jesus gets very upset with His disciples for setting up obstacles that the children could not readily come to Him. He instructed them (us) to not only make the way clear but to strongly encourage the children to come to Him. The scripture says that He rebuked the disciples and called the children to Himself and ‘laid’ His hands on them to ‘bless’ them.

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Gathering Stones: Kids All Grown – They are Solid Stones

This May marked the year that our youngest, our baby girl, graduated from the university.  She graduated from Dallas Baptist University, Suma Cum Laude in a degree of Elementary Education with various certifications from what is considered one of the top universities for Education in the US.  Then just yesterday she signed her contract to teach at Terrell ISD, just south east of Dallas.  Today as we travel she is debating living arrangements. —- All grown up!

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A Trip of Nostalgia – Little Seeds Grow Bigger Than Life

Randy and I just arrived in the Czech Republic (Czechia).  This is the place where missions was planted in the heart of our whole family.  This is where we as a family were ruined forever for the Kingdom.  Our world got smaller and our hearts got bigger.  Normal would never look the same again What a great time to acknowledge God’s goodness and remember His works.  So lets take a nostalgic walk down memory lane. (Old picture – the 1st team we led to Kadan with some Czech leaders & friends –  a life changing trip!  Team members, do you recognize yourself?)

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Tag You’re It – No Touch Backs

Kids playing tag in the yard just makes me smile.  Often you hear a voice rise above the laughter, “Tag your it!  No touch backs.”  That phrase “No touch back” ensures the person who was formerly ‘it’, a secure time to run away before he is tagged again.

As Randy and I ventured into parenting our ever changing, ever growing children, we found ourselves in a continual game of “Tag! No touch backs!”  Every year we would encourage the kids to take on more responsibilities, more self discipline, more self-control.  Maturity is the act of being responsible.  We knew we couldn’t just dump responsibility on our kids.  We had to train them to carry responsibility little by little, getting stronger in character, critical thinking, strategy, and maturing as people with each added responsibility.

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Release the Warrior Within

This is an excerpt from my new book, Playing Around in PrayGround, that is presently in edit, soon to be published.

According to John Eldredge in his book, Wild at Heart, there is a warrior in every little boy. I agree with John Eldredge.   We need to train and release these young warriors for battle in prayer, emphasizing that Satan is the enemy and Jesus is their Commander in Chief!  These young warriors can be heroes for the whole world as they fight for the Kingdom.  Likewise, in the heart of every little girl, there is the heart of a future mother.  A mother is the fiercest of warriors when her children are threatened.  We need to nurture the hearts of these little girls to love people as God loves people.  They need to be angry at what the enemy does to God’s children and potential children.  We need their ‘mother bear’ claws to come out toward the enemy.

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IF We Enter Into Their World, They Will Readily Enter Into Ours

Kids all over the world, in every situation of life, have a longing to PLAY!  In an earlier blog that is posted in the navigation of  Perspectives, I wrote on the the Language of Play.  It is true, I have seen it.  Every four years PI designs a Family Camp where we invite leaders from the 20 different nations in which we partner to join us for a week of encouragement, refreshing, relationship building and corporate worship of God.  They bring their children. Obviously, the children are speaking different languages and it sounds like waves of indistinguishable sounds, but they all speak the language of play.  They soon cross all barriers of nationality, skin color, language, size, background; it all disappears as they play!  

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Dream Big! Have Faith! Work Hard!

In a child’s mind, he/she can become a super hero with just the donning of a cape and a mask.  Dreaming is natural to a child.  Nothing is out of reach.  Faith is unquestionable.  Believing in the supernatural, believing anything is possible is the way their mind processes.  If they can imagine it, it can happen!  Work is not seen as a hardship but rather an honor.  They want to ‘be’ like their heroes!  And their 1st heroes are their parents.  They will develop the attitude we portray to them about work.  They WORK hard in their play kitchens fixing dinner, or can break a sweat and then burst into tears if the lego tower they WORKed  so hard to construct is toppled over by a careless playmate.  

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Parenting FROM a Place of Identity

God says in Proverbs 20:11, that even a small child is known by his actions . . .  And in Proverbs 23:7, as a man thinks, so is he.  I cannot find much distinction in the Bible between our actions and our identity.  Instead I read things like, out of my heart, my mouth speaks, that when people habitually lie they are called liars and so on.  The big Grace is that God can change our identity when we become His child, a new creation.  We heard a teaching from Ray Vander Laan how that in a practicing Jew mind, the schma ( . . . Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. ) is not something they do but rather who they ARE.  It is their identity!  Maybe there really something to this parenting FROM a place of identity!

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Living Our Legacy – Learning to Parent from One of the Single Most Sad Verses in the Bible

King Hezekiah had just gotten a word from the Prophet that he would die soon.  He ‘turned his face to the wall and cried out to God for mercy.  He brought to God’s mind how he had lived righteously before the Lord.  Before the Prophet had left the courtyard, God told the Prophet to go back and tell the King that God would add 15 years of peace to his life.  But after that Hezekiah’s sons and daughters would be carried into captivity and become slaves.  At the hearing of these words, Hezikiah responded in a very religious way of, ‘so be the will of God.’  The Bible reveals that the whole while Hezekiah was thinking, “at least it won’t happen in my lifetime.”  To me 2 Kings 20:19 is the single most sad verse in the Bible.  Hezekiah had no thought of legacy, no true fatherly heart for his children, no lifestyle of discipleship; only religion and self-protection and comfort.

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