As we approach this week's way, let us understand that helping our children practice forgiveness over and over again, will establish a pattern in their hearts to remember when they must make this choice as adults. Train up a child in the way he should go--in forgiving 70 X 70 X70 and so on, and forgiveness will become a part of his paradigm for life. If we all loved this way and forgave, the world would indeed become a place open to the heart and message of Christ.
I am so excited to share this Mini-Podcast with you. We sat down quickly together and recorded this conversation after a quick breakfast the morning I left for Nashville. I know you will enjoy hearing his lovely accent and his insight about stories, an inspirational poem and thoughts from C.S. Lewis about table time.
The starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
Serving others helps children to learn how to think of someone other than themselves. Often, serving others softens their hearts, and when they are the one served it comforts them in times of need, and obviously makes their loads in life easier. Serving is a skill and character quality that is easy to spot because it is so rare in adults today.
The story of the Clarkson family has been written at tables. Not with pen and paper, but with words and people, food and fellowship, talk and time. Whatever kind of table it might be—breakfast, lunch, dinner; picnic or deck; plain or fancy; small, tall, wood, metal, or rock; bare or cloth-covered; even the ground—it becomes our family table when we sit down together to eat and drink and be and belong. The delightful fruits of God’s creation we share together fill and fuel us as God’s life- breathed and image-bearing creatures, and our shared story grows from the table’s Spirit-infused life coming alive in us.
Love must become a trained habit. Living by feelings is not a choice. We must help our children to "become strong inside" by choosing what is right, beyond negative feelings. Living in submission to the power of the Holy Spirit and choosing to practice love is what is at necessary here. Obedience to practicing love and learning to forgive is a pathway to maturity.
What does it mean to be transformed, changed, and reshaped as an antidote to being conformed to the world? In this episode, Sally ponders these ideas as she discusses chapters four and five of the Life-giving Table and teaches us about how family culture has the distinct and grace-giving power to both change and protect us. She inspires listeners to instill a sense of "this is who we are" and "this is what we believe" into the hearts of her children as they gather at the table, and gives tools to not only create a vision to define our own family culture, but to practically cultivate a legacy.
How are you painting a vision for the person they will become when they learn to "take the reins?" How are you cultivating a vision for the person you might become when you allow God to take the reins and lead you?
The more you cultivate happiness for yourself, the more happy you will be--and the happier your children will be! Practice being thankful every day--take time to look at the antics, and into the eyes of your children and thank God for them.
Teaching children to obey is essential to their character and moral strength, but it is a process. The beginning of learning obedience is to learn a value like this one--We honor and obey our parents with a respectful attitude.
One of the pleasures of hosting a podcast and be engaged in ministry is the sweetness of getting to rub shoulders with women who deeply love the Lord and are kindred spirits. Ellie Holcomb is such a woman. Her deep love for God, His word, a joyful reverence for life and a deep love for children combined to give us such a wonderful time to visit recently.
A heart that is filled with and informed by Biblical convictions does not just happen. It is shaped intentionally over many years, day by day, circumstance by circumstance, repeated literally thousands of times.
It all starts with a mom who is willing to train and disciple her children and to pay the price of commitment, time, and winsomeness and preparation over many years of time.
Take time to notice the miraculous, to hear the music, to dance to the joy that today might bring and to rest in the endless love of one who is preparing a feast for us in the not too distant future.
When we learn to give value to others by serving them, we will be much more likely honor God--and honoring God is the first commandment. Loving God and honoring Him with our whole hearts is the starting place for appropriate worship, which says He is worthy of our praise and service our whole life long. Honor is a heart attitude.
Today, Nathan and I talk about what it looks like to be a good man and how to shape your boys’ hearts so that they will grow in their self-image to wanting to be a good man in their generation—a good man who is willing to be a part of bringing God’s goodness and light and morality back into a culture that longs to be led and taught.
When I live in true integrity of following hard after Him, my children find the real him living in my home--not philosophy or curriculum or denomination or rules--the the real Christ who lays down His life, shepherds the sheep of his fold, the servant king who cares about real people.
True personal integrity comes from following hard after Him and obeying and loving obeying what He has called me to do.
God cares so much for you and all of the burdens you carry and wants you to know He has compassion and sympathy for you. Just know that your perseverance in faith and being faithful pleases His heart and He understands how you feel. Do not feel guilty about feeling bad for difficult things--that is a proper response. But choosing to take joy and seek to light candles in the darkness so to speak will help you make it through. And the hope that every day of your faithfulness matters will keep you going forward.
When our hearts are surrounded with fear and discouragement in the storms of life, let us look to the face of Jesus, our king, our savior and our Lord. He is with us. He will not abandon us. He will carry us through. Today is the best time, to believe, to hold fast, to worship by faith and to rest in His strength.
This is what I have had in my heart to shape--a home that breathes life and truth and love into all who would enter--
To make sure my home, for my family and friends, is indeed the last homely house and that all that has been excellent and worthwhile over the ages is celebrated in its walls--
because everyone needs a place to belong and a home where welcome is always fresh with all who cross the doorway.
This week my Sarah launches her solo book, Book Girl. I know many of you will love this book. We made a really fun and funny podcast for you last week--we have so much fun talking together about all aspects of life, past stories and memories and of course books. Be sure to get your copy to be lifted up in spirit at the beginning of this new school year. Fall is a great time to read.
Sarah's book, Book Girl, is filled with wonderful, personal stories. I am even one fo the people she writes about. I know you will be inspired by this book.
I know you will love the podcast today, and even more, I know you will be challenged and blessed to your toes as you read this book. I pray you are inspired today as you listen to our time together to renew your commitment to take care of your own soul by taking intentional time to invest in it.
Resting in Him, choosing peace and putting off responsibilities and recreating is sometimes such grand medicine for my soul, that after choosing to rest and to invest in fun and love and ease of life, my strength is renewed and all issues are able to be faced with grace. I know busyness is coming, but I will face it with courage later if I rest today.
Your loving touch, patient service, and sacrifice of time today is not in vain. It is a sacrifice of worship to the One who laid down His own life in moments of time, that we could imagine what God was really like by viewing the incarnate, servant King--the Providing Father.