A Cloud of Witnesses

I am so grateful for all of the books we have about great Christians (cloud of witnesses) of the past.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

Often in my Christian life I find myself proud of my mediocrity. I begin to get comfortable and proud of my relationship with Jesus. I begin to think I am sacrificing so much and the 1-2 chapters a day I read in the Word and little time I spend praying each day is so pleasing to the Lord. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Lord is pleased that I am spending time with Him. But I’m not making that much of a sacrifice. I’m not really spending that much time with Him.

Today I began reading a biography of Susanna Wesley to my children. The first chapter talked about Susanna’s father, Samuel, and how he began reading 20 chapters of the Bible EVERYDAY beginning when he was five years old, until the time of his death. WOW!

Samuel Annesley was known as a man of great character. He was a very godly man. This did not come to him over night nor was it natural. But due to his diligence, he was blessed with Godly character and a great understanding of God’s Word.

My heart’s desire is to be knowing as a woman of Godly character and a woman of the Word. It will cost me something. . . what am I willing to sacrifice?

Morning Worship ~ Prayer

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

Teaching your children to pray is one of the most important things you will ever teach your children to do. Many Christians do not know how to pray – and so they don’t.

What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God. It is how we communicate with God. When I pray I don’t talk to God like I would my children or a stranger. I share my heart with Him, as I do my husband. I pour my heart about before Him. Sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. There are times when I don’t even know what to say and in those times,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26 KJV

Sometimes I pray when I am working in the kitchen. Sometimes I pray when I teaching school or potty training. One of my favorite times to pray is in the middle of the night when I cannot go to sleep. When it is dark all around me and the only sound is that of my husband and children sleeping. I feel completely alone with God. In peace. It is in those time when I am able to completely focus on God pouring the deepest burdens and cares out to Him.

 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

I Peter 5:7 KJV

As an imperfect woman there are many things in my life I regret. But teaching my children how to pray is not one of them. Joe and Bo are learning how to pray like men.  Mel, Rose, and Mercy are learning to pray like women.

In the morning we start Morning Worship with prayer to get our hearts right before the Lord (confessing sin), to bless my husband at work, provide for our daily bread, and to ask the Lord to take our offering of worship and make it pleasing unto Him. Then during our prayer time I have each of the children take time to pray. They will never learn HOW to pray unless they do it regularly.

On Wednesday evenings at church the children stay with Hubbiness and I in the prayer service. My husband and I feel it is vital for our children to learn how to pray. When we look around the world today at Christians and we see how many of them do not pray, because they don’t feel they know how to pray, we see the importance of teaching our children. Joe began when he was just 3 years old sitting by his father and often the Pastor (or other older men in the church) learning how to pray. He heard these older, wise men of faith praying to God, and he learned how to talk to the Lord. He was then given the opportunity to pray – like a man. His prayers are so precious.  His heart would never be like this – unless it was taught.  On the way to Wednesday evening prayer service when he was just three,  you would find him in the back seat of the car with his Bible, piece of paper, and a pen. He was making out his prayer list of all the things he wanted to pray about. Now to me it was just scribbles but to him it was his mission for that night. Today he is able to write down each request and pray throughout the week. {We now attend a Family Integrated Church where only one man prays. While I enjoy the way the prayer service is incorporated in the worship service, I miss the times of my boys and girls praying along side the older men and women ~ learning how to pray by doing. This makes it more important than ever to have my children praying at home.}

So often we say, “Oh he’s just a child. He can learn that when he’s older. He needs to have fun time with kids his own age.” But, when I look around I see teenagers all across this nation, who’s hearts are not close to the Lord, I wonder WHY it is so important to have my children turn out just like the other children? They don’t want to be in prayer service because “it’s not fun”. They don’t want to pray with the “old” people. They don’t even hardly come to church anymore. It should be a warning to all of us parents – we have a choice how we train our children. We will answer to God one day. Are we teaching our sons and daughters how to pray or are we letting them just hang out with the friends – hoping someday they’ll learn?

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 NASB

Treasures

Treasures . . . we all have them. As little children most of us probably went around collecting rocks, flowers, sticks, and other things we could find. These were our treasures which we proudly ran and showed our fathers, mothers, and friends.

Matthew 6:21 states that where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

Moms, where is your heart? What is your greatest treasure? Your “dream” job? Is it your newly decorated house? Name brand clothes or expensive car? Your perfectly done hair or nails?

Our greatest treasures should be the hearts/souls of our children. We need to be pouring our life into these true treasures from God. Unlike our jobs, houses, clothes, cars, and physical bodies, our children’s souls are eternal. All of the things this world can offer will one day perish and be of no value. No matter what happens on this earth, our children’s souls – if they belong to Christ – are safe forever more.

When you are frustrated today with your little ones today, stop and look at them differently – – – as treasures – – – treasures given to you by the Almighty God – – – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Don’t forsake the most amazing, most rewarding mission field ever – – – given to YOU by God.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

I Must Know God’s Word

It is sad but true . . . I have often been told by “godly” older women and pastors that it is ok to NOT spend time studying the Word during this busy season of life. I have been told that I should not worry about it or let it bother me. They said that someday when the kids are grown there will be plenty of time for that.

UM. . . .

Then how will I teach my children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? If anything, as Kay Arthur has encouraged countless women, NOW IS the time to be spending in the Word. The very FOUNDATION of the training of my children rests upon MY understanding, as a mom, of God’s Word. I can only give my children as much of Jesus as I have myself. I can’t tell them they are to do something, if I don’t know what and why the Bible says to do it. I can’t tell them to stop doing something that is wrong unless I KNOW what the Bible says.

Moms, no matter how busy you are, no matter how many little ones you have, you MUST make time to spend daily in the study, memorization, and meditation of God’s Word. Don’t let anything deter you from your most important “duty.” Lay aside all of the “spiritual books”, novels, and how-to books. Put God’s Word first above all else (including social media). Satan desires to snatch away, through distractions, needs of littles, tiredness, and busyness, this precious time with the Lord. Fight for it. Sometimes you must be creative, but ***fight*** with all your might for time at the Savior’s feet.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Matthew 10:38-42
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

What is Discipline?

WHAT IS DISCIPLINE?

By Amy Carmichael

 

When I refuse the easy thing for love of my dear Lord,

And when I choose the harder thing for love of my dear Lord,

And do not make a fuss or speak a single grumbling word,

That is discipline.
When everything seems going wrong and yet I will not grouse,

When it is hot, and I am tired, and yet I will not grouse,

But sing a song and do my work in school and in the house,

That is discipline.
When Satan whispers, “Scamp your work–to say to him, “I won’t,

”
When Satan whispers, “Slack a bit”–to say to him, “I won’t,

”
To rule myself and not to wait for others’ “Do” and “Don’t”

That is discipline.
When I look up and triumph over every sinful thing,

The things that no one knows about–the cowardly, selfish things–

And when with heart and will I live to please my glorious King;

That is discipline.
To trample on that curious thing inside me that says “I,

”
To think of others always–never, never of that “I,

”
To learn to live according to my Savior’s word, “Deny”,

That is discipline.