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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

God obviously knows how lovely, how wonderful, how enjoyable singing is. It is so uplifting to hear a beautiful, joyful, inspiring singer, but it is also good for us when we

do the singing ourselves. Whether it is singing a solo in the shower, or gathering with family and friends, singing is such an energizing experience.

Some recent research[1] revealed that  singing strengthens the immune system, it is a good workout, aids in proper posture, and it helps with sleep. Singing is a natural anti-depressant, it lowers stress levels, and improves mental alertness.

Singing can also widen your circle of friends, boost your confidence, broaden your communication skills, and increase your ability to appreciate other singers. And what a better reason to sing but to praise the God who loves us, created us, and redeemed us from our sin. The sweet singers of the Old testament wrote, “You have rescued me! I will celebrate and shout, singing praises to you with all my heart” Psalm 71:23 (CEV). Gather with your family and sing praises to God!


[1] https://takelessons.com/live/singing/health-benefits-of-singing Accessed 2-18-19

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Researchers at Emory University discovered that kids are emotionally healthier and have a better sense of self if they’ve been taught about their relatives and their family history. “Family stories provide a sense of identity through time, and help children understand who they are in the world.”[1]

 

You can do some basic research as to your heritage and share that with your children. You can talk to your parents, aunts and uncles, or people where you grew up.

 

You also teach your children their heritage through the foods you enjoy. What is that special family recipe that has been passed down through the generations?

 

You may also share about your culture through books, music, and videos, or how about learning a language of your ancestors together?

 

The bible states, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance” Psalm 33:12 (NKJV). The word “nation,” in the original Greek is derived from the same word as “family.”

Blessed is the nation – or family – whose God is the Lord.

[1] http://shared.web.emory.edu/emory/news/releases/2010/03/children-benefit-if-they-know-about-their-relatives-study-finds.html#.XF3bslxKiMq  accessed 2-7-19

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In his famous book, “What’s so Amazing About Grace?” Philip Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace’s life-changing power. Grace does not excuse sin, says Yancey, but it treasures the sinner. True grace is shocking, scandalous. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racist, the child abuser. Grace loves today’s addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus’ day.

 

Someone taught us that “Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, while mercy is not getting what we do deserve.” Justice exacts a penalty, but grace reaches out to us.

 

How often we have been the recipients of harmful words or actions from those closest to us. We may carry the painful scars they have left. We could resent them or even hate them, to our own detriment. But grace, without excusing the abuser, grants us freedom from the bondage of negative feelings toward them. Grace is the heritage we have received from God, “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy” Psalm 145:8 (NKJV).

 

Let grace abound in your family.

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A Word for Your Family – STAR

From the time kids are little we sing to them, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are.”

 

During a clear night we look at the stars high in the sky and are fascinated by their beauty. The ancients looked up at the starry night and saw certain patterns. In their imagination they saw bears, lions, and scorpions. They saw people and fish. Those who believed in God saw His handwork. Job says that, “[He] set the stars in place— the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and the stars in the southern sky” Job 9:9 (CEV).

 

As a family, we have sat in the dark of the night, to try to identify the different constellations, and to see the occasional shooting star.

 

If God is able to create the billions and billions of stars, and keep them all moving in perfect harmony, He sure can take care of my family, no matter where we may be.

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Family life is like a long, winding road…it’s never a straight, short one. And if you have gone on a road trip with your family, the journey can be very exciting, but it can also be very stressful.

 

I remember as a young boy riding in back of my dad’s four-wheel-drive Toyota, which he used for his work as a tractor salesman, but which also served as the family car. It was exciting when he would hit big puddles of water or drive through muddy roads, wondering if we would get stuck. I especially loved watching my father put the car in four-wheel-drive mode, and maneuver it deftly out of that dark brown mud trap.

 

After His resurrection, Jesus walked with two of His disciples and explained to them the meaning of the prophecies about his death and resurrection, and afterwards they said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” Luke 24:32 (CEV)

 

Make Jesus your constant companion along the road of life.

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Two blind men had come to Jesus and asked Him to have pity on them and heal them. “Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Matthew 20:34 (NKJV)

 

Pity, compassion, or sorrow for someone’s misfortune… that’s what it means to have sympathy. You feel bad for them. It saddens you to see their condition.

 

In the family, sympathy is a very important part of life. When your son has worked very hard and has saved money to buy a car, but the car is stolen just after a few weeks, it breaks your heart. Or when your daughter has her first break up, it hurts you to see her hurting.

 

Maybe your wife was just told she will not be able to have children, or your husband has been passed over for that promotion he was hoping to get…again, you feel bad for them. You wish there was something you could do to help them feel better. Your feelings for the pain they are experiencing is what we call sympathy. Sympathy is a sign you care, a sign that you love them.

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Jesus asked the question, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (NKJV). When we read those words, we often think it applies to our relationship with other people, outside our home – our neighbor. But doesn’t it apply to those closest to us? Why is it that we seem to notice the faults and shortcomings of our spouse, our parents, our children, before we recognize, and accept, that we have just as many faults, if not more?

 

What does mercy look like in the family? Mercy is being tolerant, knowing that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, experience and knowledge. Mercy is forgiving the other members of the family knowing we also need their forgiveness. Mercy means being patiently kind to those closest to us because “charity begins at home.”

 

Look for the good in others, forgive them for their shortcomings, love them in spite of their faults. Make the words of Jude the mission statement for your family, “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2 (NRSV)

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Conflict is a very natural part of life and of every relationship. Because everyone is different, there’s bound to be a time when they disagree and conflict may arise. Conflict in and of itself is not bad; it’s how we handle conflict that could determine whether the relationship breaks up or if it lasts for a lifetime of love and good memories.

 

Peace does not necessarily mean the absence of conflict but rather that conflict is being managed appropriately. Ignoring or avoiding conflict generally leads to bitterness and resentment which generally leads to feeling less love and even hatred. And when you get to that point, it is very difficult to find any good reason to stay together.

 

The psalmist wrote, “For the sake of my family and friends, I say it again: live in peace!” Psalm 122:8 (MSG)

 

Learn to manage your conflict in such a way that you will find positive, workable solutions which will be satisfactory to all of you. Ask yourself, “What difference will this make in three days? In three years? In thirty years? Learn to live in Peace.

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Normally we think of grief as deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. But grief can happen when we lose a job or when we suffer the loss of a limb, or the loss of health or mobility.

 

The experience of grief is unique to every person. No one can or should tell you how long you should grieve for a loss. There is no specific period of time for how long you should grieve or a prescribed way for how to grieve. Going through grief is painful, dark, heavy. It crushes you, hurts you, squeezes your energy and your soul. Jesus, as He was facing His own death, felt grief sucking the life out of Him so He told His disciples: “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” Mark 14:34 (NLT2)

 

During the tender journey of grief, take care of the essentials to sustain life. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, get enough rest, spend time with family and friends. Only time will make grief more bearable, but we will come out to the light at the other end.

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The prophet Malachi wrote, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?” Mal. 2:10 (NKJV)

 

Jesus introduced a new word never used before for God, the word ABBA, Father.  God is our Father, everybody’s Father.

 

Ellen White wrote, “No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple courts, that every soul may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere.”[1]

 

We can begin each day by reaching out for our Father, who eagerly waits for us with His arms wide open.  And we can also reach out to our earthly siblings, children of the same Father, until all barriers between us are torn down.

[1] White, E. G. (1917). The Story of Prophets and Kings as Illustrated in the Capitvity and Restoration of Israel (Vol. 2, pp. 369–370). Pacific Press Publishing Association.

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