Archive for March 2014

Pet Parenting with Scripture

April Fools! 

Just getting you in the mood for the holiday!

A friend of mine and I were joking about this as a blog theme as we were discussing my crazy doggies.  We have two of our own and often have a foster dog as well.  She and I were being goofy, elaborating on this silly idea for a post when she stopped and made a very valid, more serious comment

She’s a counselor and pointed out that consistency is the key whether we are parenting a dog or a kid.
Quite true!  
Not only must we be consistent in obedience training (if we want them to ever learn…I confess, I’m a total fail at this with our dogs!), but we must be consistent in the way we treat pets and children.

If our children see us treating our pets without respect, they might learn that it’s ok to treat smaller things cruelly.

There’s also a flip side. 
I heard a whole radio talk show where people were calling in saying how they felt their family members loved their dogs more than them.  How sad!  I’m all for loving our pets well, but let us remember to be consistent and put as much (scratch that)…more effort into loving our family well.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 John 13:34-35

Our two pups, Lacy and Cindy Lou –

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Vacationing with Scripture – Spring Break 2014 Experience

God surprised me this trip in how He used vacationing with Scripture in our lives….well, actually the adults’ lives!  Most of what I do in parenting with Scripture is designed to help teach my kids.  And yet, because God’s Word knows no boundaries of age, I’m often impacted as much or more than my children (which shouldn’t be surprising!).  Such was the case this spring break.

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I shared that my son picked Philippians 4:6-7 as our verse for this trip.  My daughter decorated this card to take along with us as a reminder.  See here about picking a verse and then here and here if you wish to read about our past experiences with vacationing with Scripture.

As we started our 14.5 hour trek from Dallas, TX to Keystone, Colorado, we discussed the verse and how it might apply.  We prayed for travel mercies, health, and safety on the slopes, thanking God as the verse instructs.  But honestly, the verse card sat on the dash and then in our condo, unmentioned for the rest of the week.  It wasn’t until the night before we left that this Scripture became truly alive for me.  We had been watching the weather carefully, knowing that a snowstorm would be hitting our area of the mountains early in the morning.  We decided to leave by 5 AM to try to get out before it started.  I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep, fretting about driving in potentially hazardous conditions.  That’s when Philippians 4:6-7 popped back into my mind.  What a comfort to have a way to work through what we are struggling with through the power of God’s Word!  I followed the instructions in the verse and was able to fall asleep in peace.  I woke up early the next morning and was relieved to see no flurries as I peaked out the window. 

However, as we began descending through the mountain passes in the pre-dawn hours, this was our view out the front windshield. 


During the hour of driving through this on windy, slick roads, I again claimed our vacation verse.  Over and over and over.  It reminded me to be thankful for the snow, as it was the very thing that we drove all the way to Colorado to enjoy!  And enjoy it we had throughout the preceding week. 

13 hours later as we were heading back into the Dallas area, I asked the kids if they had thought about our theme verse at all that week.  Nope.  But, my sister-in-law who was riding with us, and I certainly had!  I shared with the kids my reason to claim the verse and my sister-in-law shared with us a completely different one.  Her daughters (my sweet nieces and my children’s adored older cousins) are both the furthest they’ve ever been away from home and looking for jobs in industries that are a bit precarious.  Turns out, she had been leaning on our trip verse the whole week as she walked through the ups and downs of the job hunt updates with them. 

She and I discussed with the kids how this is a perfect example of why it’s good to hide God’s Word in our heart through memorization…it’s there when we need it!  And, we reminded them that though Mr. 9 year old picked the verse, it was the mommas who needed it this go ’round..reinforcing the point that we don’t outgrow God’s Word!

A few nights later, during our family devotional, I was reminded of our trip verse came up once again.   Our Lenten Tree book reminded us of the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness to turn stones into bread.  I asked the kids if they remembered how Jesus fought back?  His Father’s Words…Scripture!  We can do that, too!  Since my son seems to think and often act as if he lives in an adventure movie, anything related to action appeals to him.  I reminded my kiddos about the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and how the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God!  We can fight with it just like Jesus did! 

Whack!  Whoosh!  Slice!  Jab!  “Take that, worry!  Be gone, anxiety!”  I exclaimed as I wielded my invisible sword representing Philippians 4:6-7.  That’s what it feels like to use Scripture in a real life battle!

When we are faithful to be in His Word, we will surely be blessed by having it on our hearts and minds. 

To find topical Scriptures, don’t forget to look in your copy of
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.






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St. Patrick’s Day- Teachable Moment for the Trinity

It wasn’t until I read this book to my preschool-aged kids, that I realized St. Patrick used the shamrock (3 leaf clover) to teach the Trinity! 

Way to go, Saint Pat, for creating a great teachable moment illustration we are still using today!   

Before I move on to some crafty hands-on ideas for different ages, I thought I’d mention the following website for those who have older children and teens  who might like to dig deeper into St. Patrick history through media.  I haven’t watched all of these so I can’t vouch for the content, but this link to A&E’s biography site has 6 videos you can watch online about the subject.  One video will start playing immediately.  To see the other options, click on the tiny tab, “watch more videos” under the right side of the video.

If your kiddos enjoy making holiday themed decorations, check out these.  Any shamrock idea here, from Google, or Pinterest would be great to do while discussing the concept of the Trinity. 

For younger children
The kids and I have had fun through the years making shamrock crafts around this holiday to remind us this biblical truth.   Here are samples from through the years that are easily duplicable in your own home with whatever supplies you happen to have on hand. 

st. pats

Handprint Shamrock:
Make green paint handprints for the shamrock, using the side of the hand for the stem.  Once dry, draw heart shaped shamrock outlines around the creation to help define it. 

Coffee Filter Shamrock:
The bottom right shamrock is made from a coffee filter.  It has yellowed over time, but started out green!  Moisten the coffee filter so it will lay flat.  Dab green tempera paint or food coloring on the coffee filter with a Q-tip or small paint brush.  Once try, cut the shamrock shape.

Trinity Shamrock Craft:
The shamrock pictured at the top right is from Oriental Trading Company (my favorite go to place for pre-packaged inexpensive craft kits!) –  Click here to link to this kit.

Color Your Own Trinity Shamrock Cutouts:
Not pictured, but another great Oriental Trading option to stock up on for future years.  Click here to link to this kit.

For upper elementary through adults
Two 5th graders and a 6th grader and I enjoyed working on these shamrock crafts last week over spring break.


Shamrock Garland:
Click here for instructions.

Shamrock Fingerprint Gift Tags:
Click here for instructions.

Bendy Shamrocks:

Click here for instructions.  Scroll down to “Wired Shamrock Trio.”  We used pipe cleaners instead.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 
2 Corinthians 13:14

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Teachable Moment: Revering God’s Name

I was sitting downstairs working on my laptop when I heard, “Good Lord!  Good Lord!” yelled several times from one of the four kids upstairs playing Wii. 

Let it go or make the most of that teachable moment?

I couldn’t let that one slide, knowing that the child who said it comes from a strong Christian home…and being full of grace that he really just wasn’t thinking about what he was saying.   Up I went, quickly trying to decide the way to approach the situation.  Not wanting to embarrass the friend or single him out, I decided to get the attention of all of the kids and frame the discussion with questions. 

Me:  Who remembers the first two commandments?
Children 1, 2, and 3 chimed in together: 
Me:  Right!  What are some examples of using God’s name in vain?
Child 1:  Ummmmm…are we allowed to say it outloud?
Me:  Ha, yes…for the purposes of this discussion. 
Child 1:  Oh my God!
Child 3:  Good Lord! 

Even as he said it I could see by his face he realized my point.  He was the same one who had been yelling it out earlier at the video game.  I grinned at him so he would know that I wasn’t there to make him feel bad or lecture him.  I told all of them that I know it’s hard to remember to think before we speak, but that we, as Christians, need to be careful about how we use God’s name. 

Me:  Are you talking to or praising God when you say “Good Lord” while playing a video game. 
All 4:  No.
Me:  What about when you are think you are about to be in a car wreck?  Is that using God’s name in vain or are you really talking to God?
All 4:  Really talking to God. 
Me:  Right! 
Child 1:  Plus, there are other things we can say like, “Holy Guacamole!” 

That ended us all on a good laugh! 

For more Scriptures, discussion points, and take action ideas
see the topic of Cursing and Reverence in your copy of
Parenting with Scripture:  A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. 
Exodus 20:7



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Vacationing with Scripture – Pick a Verse

One of my favorite things about our family trips is the blessings a “trip verse” brings!   Just as the saying goes…
t-shirt – $15
coffee mug – $10
gift shop trinket the kids think they can’t live without – $8
Vacationing with Scripture experiences and memories = Priceless! 

If your family is traveling this spring break (or summer…just mark your calendar to revisit this idea), consider picking your own trip verse.  It’s as easy as you or your kids flipping through your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments and asking God to lead you to the Scripture He wants your family to travel with.

To read what our experiences of vacationing with Scripture have looked like, scroll through these previous posts

Here’s the verse my son picked and daughter decorated for our spring break road trip. 




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