Archive for the ‘Luke’ Category

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. (Luke 15:31 NKJV)

We continue to share the 18 things that Justin Coulson[i] says you can do to help your children feel cared for and heard and thus grow up to be resilient.

  1. Smile. The truth is that sometimes we’re so busy and stressed that we don’t smile as much as we might, or should. Smiling is a great stress-reliever and an attitude changer.  It will do us good to smile.  Science says that just putting a pencil across our teeth stimulates the same muscles that create a smile making us feel better.  So, it is beneficial to us.  But in addition, a smile tells our children they can feel safe, and welcome.  Our children need to see and know that.
  2. Make time to do nothing. Chances are, our children will be more likely to talk to us when they feel conversation is welcome. But if our schedule is packed so tightly we can’t even find time to talk to our kids, they won’t feel listened to much less cared for.  When was the last time you were able to just sit down and do nothing…but be open and willing to listen to your kids? (or your spouse?)
  3. Respond to challenging behavior with maturity. Sometimes we may respond to our kid’s challenging behavior with anger. More than likely this will leave your child feeling you have not heard, much less listen, to them, and that you don’t care. At other times we may ignore our children, with similar results.  Remember that challenging behavior often comes from unmet needs, or not getting sufficient amounts of positive attention.  Think of such behavior as an opportunity to get close to your children and help problem-solve with them.  Keep in mind that discipline means to teach or instruct, to help them become disciples, not to hurt or punish.
  4. Leave love notes. You could write them a note on a napkin and stick it in their lunch bag, or leave a post-it note on their dresser or bathroom mirror. Make use of modern technology and send them a text message or post on Facebook.  They may not always tell you, but children love getting notes from their parents.  It makes them feel noticed, important, acknowledged, valued, and loved.


Father God, help me to love, encourage, and strengthen my children.

[i] http://family-studies.org/eighteen-ways-to-build-a-resilient-child/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=53b6201f47-Newsletter_87&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-53b6201f47-104541745


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So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places.  Luke 14:7 (NKJV)

According to Dr. Perri Klass[i] in 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement saying that all pediatric primary care should include literacy promotion, starting at birth.  As he explains, “That means pediatricians taking care of infants and toddlers should routinely be advising parents about how important it is to read to even very young children.”  The statement of the AAP was based on the extensive body of research on the links between growing up with books and reading aloud, and later language development and school success.

According to Klass, two new studies examine the unexpectedly complex interactions that happen when you put a small child on your lap and open a picture book.  According to these studies, “Children whose parents reported more reading at home and more books in the home showed significantly greater activation of brain areas in a region of the left hemisphere called the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex” As Klass explains, “This region of the brain is known to be very active when older children read to themselves, but Dr. Hutton notes that it also lights up when younger children are hearing stories.”  What was particularly new was that children who were exposed to more books and home reading showed significantly more activity in the areas of the brain that process visual association, even though they were just listening to a story and could not see any pictures.

These studies demonstrated that when kids are hearing stories, they’re imagining in their mind’s eye when they hear the story.  Therefore, as they look at picture books and listen to stories, children may develop skills that will help them make images and stories out of words later on.  As one of the authors of these studies explain, “It helps them understand what things look like, and may help them transition to books without pictures…It will help them later be better readers because they’ve developed that part of the brain that helps them see what is going on in the story.”  Perhaps that’s why Jesus told stories that even children could understand.

Father God, help me to set aside time to read to mi children.

[i] http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/bedtime-stories-for-young-brains/?_r=0

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If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Luke 11:11 (NKJV)

Very few parents are selfish and don’t want what’s best for their children.  Once a child is born there is something planted inside each of our hearts that wants to do and to give the best we can to our children.  There are also some parents that give their children so much that they create in them a feeling of entitlement.  Amy McCready, writing for TODAY Parents[i], lists five of the most common entitlement-prone parenting styles, as well as a few proven fixes:

  1. The “Keep Em Happy at All Costs” Parent. This may describe you if you’d rather let your kids dominate your phone during errands or pull strings with teachers and coaches than face a tantrum. If you drop everything to help your kids avoid unhappiness or disappointment, you teach them that their happiness is a top priority, and they may develop the entitled “What’s in it for me?” attitude whenever they’re asked to behave or show kindness. One of the problems is that when they face life’s setbacks, like not making the team, they’re unable to cope. McCready suggest you tell your kids something like, “You’re really growing up, and I’m confident you can make it through the grocery store without my phone.”  You should also teach and help your children develop some strategies they can use to overcome difficulties and challenges.  T

Remember, as a parent you must give your kids what they need most and what they are entitled to — your unconditional love.  You can also give them the attention they need every day.  Plan to spend at least 10 minutes a day individually with each child, on their terms, doing whatever they want to do during that time. Make it a daily practice.  Remember these words:  “Positive attention is better than negative attention, but negative attention is better than no attention at all.”  Your kids will stop trying to get your attention in negative ways (like tantrums and negotiating) when they know they’ll get it in positive ways.

Father God, help me to remember that I need to give me children love always, but I can’t make them happy always.

[i] http://www.today.com/parents/entitled-kids-these-parenting-tips-can-change-behavior-t32201?cid=eml_tes_20150720

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And Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. Luke 20:34 (NKJV)

Skye Cleary,[i] writes ten questions that German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche would have you consider before you get married:

  1. Can you hold decent conversations? Marry someone intellectually interesting to you. “Everything else in marriage is transitory, but most of the time you are together will be devoted to conversation.” Human, All Too Human

In The Adventist Home we find these words:  “There are persons who have for some time made a profession of religion who are, to all intents and purposes, without God and without a sensitive conscience. They are vain and trifling; their conversation is of a low order. Courtship and marriage occupy the mind, to the exclusion of higher and nobler thoughts.”[ii]

  1. Are you sexually attracted to each other? Imagine what each other will look like in twenty years. “Sometimes it requires only a stronger pair of spectacles to cure the lover, and he who had the imagination to picture a face, a figure twenty years older would perhaps pass through life very undisturbed.” Human, All Too Human

Sexual or outward attraction should not be a determining factor in choosing a future mate.  “Children and youth who devote time and means to make themselves objects of attraction by outward display and affected manners are not working in the right direction. They need to cultivate true, Christian politeness and nobility of soul. . . . The beauty of mind, the purity of the soul, revealed in the countenance, will have more power to attract and exert an influence upon hearts than any outward adorning.”[iii]

For a relationship to develop there must be some attraction, what many today might refer to as “chemistry.”  If you are not attracted physically to the other person, there may come a time where they will find someone else attractive and distract them and pursue them.

Father God, help me to keep these two areas in mind as I consider who I may have a relationship with.  If I ignore these two areas, I could be setting the stage for future discontent.

[i] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-cleary/10-essential-questions-to_b_7699300.html

[ii] White, E.G. The Adventist Home, p. 51

[iii] White, E.G., My Life Today, p. 123

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If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13 (NKJV)

How else is parenting twins different from parenting multiples?  Pamela Prindle Fierro[i] writes:

Parenting Mulitples as Individuals.  As she writes, “Where singleton siblings often feel the sting of sibling rivalry, the effects are offset by birth order and by the passing of time. They have years (or in some cases many months) to achieve the milestones set by older siblings. For multiples, the milestones are expected to be simultaneous.”  Parents of multiples need to overcome the stereotypes, labeling and comparisons by guiding, encouraging, and supporting them to develop as individuals within the context of their relationship as multiples.

Division of Parental Assets.  Parents of singletons have at least nine months of one-on-one time between children.  Many parents of multiples feel challenged to divide their time, attention and love between their children. Multiples generally do everything at the same time. They’re asleep at the same time, and awake all together, making it more difficult for parents to find one-on-one time for individual attention. Also, parents of multiples have to make a more concerted effort to bond with each child.  In addition, parents of multiples often find it difficult to maintain equality when it comes to attention or material goods.

Tag Team. The saying, “there is strength in numbers” is even more true with the birth of multiples.  As a group, multiples can generate a lot more chaos than singleton siblings. Working as a team, they’re likely to be more daring, take more risks, and push the limits further. Whether they are climbing on each other to reach the highest cabinet, or cooperatively unraveling the living room carpet, multiples really keep parents on their toes.  Obviously this is more taxing to their parents as they have to manage “double-trouble.”  This is why it is also important that parents form a strong team together and even recruit other family members to help them manage their multiples.

Father God, help us to manage our multiples wisely and patiently.

[i] http://multiples.about.com/od/familyissues/a/parentingtwins.htm

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By your patient endurance you will purchase your lives. Luke 21:19 (WEY)

As anyone who spends a fair amount of time flying for a living knows, taking children on an airplane trip can be challenging, frustrating, or even irritating for both parents and fellow passengers.  The TODAY Parenting Team[i] provides 13 tips for staying sane while flying with kids:

  1. Pack your patience pants. Make up your mind that not everything will go according to plan. Not everyone will be ready on time, and likely someone will be crying – probably mom. Just breathe and go with it.
  2. Stay away from sugar. Don’t give your kids any candy, juice, chocolate, etc., during travel times.
  3. Bring moisturizer. Flying in the pressurized, dry air makes your lips and hands dry, so imagine your kids will feel the same way.
  4. Bring your own chargers and even a surge protector. Pack a surge protector in your carry-on bag and ask to swap your plug for someone who is already charging his or her phone. When you get to your hotel, you’ll have enough outlets to go around for the entire crew.
  5. Always keep your bag stocked with two snacks and one drink. For example, a granola bar, raisins, and some water can ward off potentially disastrous moments until lunchtime. At the same time, if your kid isn’t starving there’s less of a chance that he’ll scream for ice cream and other sugary treats that you don’t want him to have.
  6. Bring some wardrobe changes. This is important not just for the baby; you should throw an extra shirt for you in the diaper bag because you never know.
  7. Vaccinate. Make sure that your immunizations are up-to-date, especially when traveling. The CDC has immunization tables so that you can easily make sure you and your child have all the shots needed. On the CDC Travel Health website you can find specific recommendations for additional immunizations based on the diseases that are present in the country to which you are traveling.

Father God, help me to plan ahead so the trips I take with my kids may be as pleasant as possible for them, for me, and for those around us.

[i] http://www.today.com/parents/13-tips-flying-kids-today-parenting-team-t23456?cid=eml_tes_20150530

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Get smarter every day – 1

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

Jenna Goudreau, writing for the Business Insider[i] says that is a response to the question, “What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?”, readers shared the following twenty-five habits they follow to fuel their brains:

  1. Come up with 10 ideas every day on anything from how to reduce poverty to solving a daily problem, or the plot for a book. This is one way to exercise the “brain muscle” regularly.
  2. Read the newspaper, which will help you become more aware of the important things happening around the word and by which you will learn to form your own opinions and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things.
  3. Play devil’s advocate. A more modern expression is to “think outside the box” Take something you recently learned and generate an alternate, maybe even unique opinion, on it that wouldn’t immediately come to mind. Try to support it with evidence, and be open to the idea that new evidence will change your opinion.
  4. Read a chapter in a book. Aim to read a book a week. You can always find blocks of time to read, whether on your daily commute or while you’re waiting in line. You don’t have to carry a book everywhere if you download free books to your cell phone.
  5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos. Sometimes, it’s more fun to watch things about a subject you love than to read about it, and you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences. One great resource is the TED talks or the Youtube channel SmarterEveryDay.
  6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. You could subscribe to interesting pages on Facebook or Twitter feeds or follow email newsletters, such as Cal Newport’s Study Hacks and Today I Found Out.

Keep exercising your brain to keep it healthy and strong.

Father God, you gave us such wonderful brains!  Please help me to find ways to exercise my mind and keep my brain  occupied in good things so that it will be healthy and strong.

[i] http://www.businessinsider.com/daily-habits-to-be-smarter-2015-5

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