Archive for September 2014

Easy, meaningful way to involve your whole family in Pastor Appreciation Month!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month!
What’s your plan?

This year, instead of tangible gift, we thought it would be meaningful for our family to give of our time…
time in prayer that is.

Over a couple of evenings, we brainstormed 31 ways we could pray for our pastors and will pray one each day of the month.    We’re printing out copies for each of the pastors as well and posting one on our fridge to remind us to pray nightly at dinner.

If you like the idea, feel free to use ours or come up with your own.  Click graphic to open and print.

Pastor Appreciation 2014 Ideas

There are also many great ideas on Pinterest, like the ones that prompted our fun and yummy poster last year.


Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you,
who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 
Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
Live in peace with each other. 
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

For more discussion questions, take action ideas and Scripture on the topic of “Appreciation,”
see Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

What’s your favorite idea for Pastor Appreciation Month?  Please share!




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“But I already prayed today!” – 3 Reminders for our Kids about Prayer

On the way home from the kids’ evening archery class one day last year, we listened to an online devotional and then I asked Kalli to pray for us.  “But I already prayed today,” was her quick response.

Perfect set-up for a teachable moment, don’t ya’ think?  Several points came to mind.

1.  Jesus is our best friend.  Don’t we want to talk often with our best friends? 
I couldn’t think of exactly where the verse was, but reminded the kids that the Bible says to “pray continually.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:17, by the way.)

That means our lives can be a dialogue with God throughout the day as we think of things and as things come up…
Pray out-loud for the people the ambulance is helping as it whizzes by.
Pray for something heard on the news right then and there.
Pray for the friend who texted that she has a sore throat.
Pray out-loud on the way to a play date or party for the friends to be kind to each other.

And, it’s not just requests that can be an on-going dialogue from our heart…
Praise Him for who He is!
Praise Him for answered prayers as they happen.
Praise Him as you notice the beauty of His creation that surrounds you in big and little ways.
Ask Him for help with what your struggles and forgiveness when you realize you have gone astray.

2.  Just because we’ve “officially” prayed once that day, doesn’t mean we’ve met some sort of quota.
I pointed out that I had already prayed at lunch so did that mean I also shouldn’t have to pray anymore today either?  Is that the way we want to view prayer, as something to check off for the day?

3.  And, it was the perfect time to share something with the kids about a prayer time they don’t ever see.
I shared with them that their daddy and I pray together every night right before we go to sleep.  Not long prayers…just short and sweet, whatever is on our heart from that day and/or for the next.  I wanted them to hear an example of how we prioritize prayer with each other, even when they aren’t around. 

Pray continually.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Ephesians 6:18

More discussion questions, take action ideas, and Scriptures related to “Prayer” can be found in your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this is funny!
It’s also a great illustration (unless it would freak out your kids!)
that praying doesn’t have to “look” a certain way. 
“Praying continually” means anywhere, anytime, anyhow! 
Thank you, Lord, for that freedom you bless us with to be able to talk with You, our Heavenly Father!


(Cartoon permission courtesy of

What is your kid’s concept of the how, when, and why of prayer? 
Ask and see where the discussion leads.
Sometimes I’m surprised by what my kids know and don’t know.

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Facebook Post = Teachable Moment about the Power of our Words

Whoever came up with the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” was a complete idiot!  I saw this Facebook post from a friend and knew it was a “ripe for the picking” teachable moment!

God knew that I was meant to raise little girls…probably in part because I was such a difficult one..but tonight, mama bear’s heart aches for her little girl..she can’t go to sleep upstairs tonight because she heard that some other little girl that she doesn’t know and who doesn’t know her “hates” her…..said girl labeled her as the one with fake red hair and an annoying voice..I guess maybe our Friday night fun (dying her hair) a few weeks back has backfired.

I grabbed my copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments, flipped to the topic of “Meanness,” and dove right a conversation with my kids about what had happened to their friend as described in the post.

The beauty of a making use of a teachable moment like this is that our children can learn from other people’s mistakes, which will aide in preventing them from making the same ones on their own.  They could see how the other girl’s words truly hurt their friend.

This real-life example made these Bible verses come alive and will hopefully help them think before they say something ugly about someone in the future. 

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
Proverbs 11:17

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:31

Are you up for discussing the old “Sticks and stones…” saying with your kids today?


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Ask your kids, “What would you do if your teacher made a mistake & gave you a false higher grade?”

Caroline realized her teacher had made a mistake in grading a big test.  More points should have been deducted which would have made her score lower.  Grades especially mattered to this high schooler as college was on the horizon.

Ask you kids, “What would you do in this situation?” 

I’m proud to say that my niece, Caroline,  didn’t even hesitate to do the right thing.  An added blessing is that her teacher appreciated her honesty and left the grade as it was.

In contrast and during that same week, Caroline had a friend who got a good grade for something she didn’t turn in.  Caroline had worked extremely hard and spent much time on this same project and was infuriated that her friend wouldn’t come clean with the teacher.  Instead, the friend made up reasons to justify her action (or lack thereof).

Ask your child, “How would you feel about that situation and that friend?” 

True story.
The more we can help our kids learn from other people’s good and bad decisions, the more prepared they will be when faced with something similar.

Now ask yourself, “How can we connect this teachable moment story to God’s word?”
Remember that you can quickly and easily find out what God has to say about any issue that comes up in Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments!

The verses from applicable topics such as  “Character, Integrity, Choices, and Example” are embedded and bolded below in a letter I wrote to my niece.  It’s a bit lengthy, but I’d like to share the whole thing to show you how teachable moments can often be looked at from different angles.  First of all, I realized that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to positively affirm my niece’s wonderful choice!  Also, it made for an excellent scenario to discuss with my kids as shown above and including the verses below.

Can you see through this example how making use of teachable moments can be powerfully positive and proactive?

Dear Caroline,

It’s been a while since I’ve written you a letter and I’m thrilled for the reason to write you this one. I am so incredibly proud of the way you handled the situation with your grade! It would have been VERY easy for you to just let it slide and not say anything. In being honest, you risked a lower grade. That shows TRUE character and integrity! Both of those traits are just about the most important values in a person. I like to tell Kalli and Jake that character means who you are when nobody is watching. Meaning, if those things are found out, your true colors show. And your colors are glowing beautifully! Stark contrast to the sad colors leaking out of a certain someone. I’m grateful that Kalli and Jake have a cousin they can look up to as a positive example! Kalli had been listening to our conversation at dinner and wondered what was going on. I recounted the situation and we had wonderful discussion. You, my dear, chose the right way…the blessed way. Even if the teacher had counted off, it still would have been the right thing to do! For your steadfast conviction, I am smiling from ear to ear!

These are some of the verses I shared with the kids about character, integrity, and choices. You are right on, girlie! Keep up that faith!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6
(You trusted God’s plan rather than trying to justify to meet your own desires! Bravo!)

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.  1 Chronicles 29:17a
(And, Auntie Kara is pleased too b/c that integrity helps make up the one and only beautiful Caroline!)

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.  Proverbs 10:9(That’s what I’m sayin’. Not your job to bring her to justice. It is already coming back to bite her in the lack of trust and respect she has from her friends. So sad for her. The best way you can be a friend is to pray for her. And, watch out…see next verse…)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

(And by way of another thank you…)
In everything, set them an example by doing what is good.  Titus2:7-8
(Thank you for being this kind of example for your younger cousins who look up to you!)

Love you, dearie,
Aunt Kara



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Coming Soon!

Please pardon the interruption. This is a test post that was created so that we can do some testing on a great new blog feature that is coming soon!

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Happy Labor Day! Ask your kids, “Is work is a good or bad thing?”

Is work a good or a bad thing? 
When we discuss this later today, I can pretty much guess that I’ll have a kid land on each side of this debate.
What does God say?

On the bad side-
We can thank Adam and Eve for getting us into this situation…

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
Genesis 3:17-19

But on the good side-
Ask your child to consider what would happen if Mom and Dad were lazy and didn’t work:
*Would there be money for food, clothing, shelter?
*Who would get the groceries?
*What condition would our home be in?
*Can you see how work is a blessing not only to yourself, but those whom you share life with?
Ask your child, “What is your work?”  (chores, school, being respectful and obeying…)

Through laziness, the rafters sag;
    because of idle hands, the house leaks.
Ecclesiastes 10:18

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
    stay awake and you will have food to spare.
Proverbs 20:13

Similar discussion questions and verses can be found under the topic “Laziness” in
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

Now ask, “Since we all have to work, what kind of attitude should we have?”

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

Similar discussion questions and verses can be found under the topic “Attitude” in
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

Let’s pray with our kids that we will have a thankful heart to enjoy our time when we don’t have to labor.  And, that we will equally “work with all our heart, as working for the Lord”  during the labor filled hours.

Did your kids say work is good or bad?
Did you have a good “parenting with Scripture” discussion?

 (Image courtesy of

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