Things I Must Tell the Children

I wish you all a blessed day of motherdom! Whether you’re a mom or a recipient of motherhood, happy Mother’s Day to one and all.

BUSY MOMS… A tender ‘old-school’ moment with a timeless message for mothers (and others). This one broke my heart in a very good way. You should watch it ;o)

CAREER DAY… This is super cute. I have to warn you though, it will make you want to be a parent -like, right now. Actually, it may make you want to be a teacher too. I say, go for it!

SONS… As a mom blessed with three sons, I can assure you this will look familiar if you’re a mother to sons.

JUST LIKE ME… Aww, this brings back precious memories. Your heart will be glad you watched this, no matter how old your children are now.

99 BALLOONS… Motherhood isn’t always easy, it can often be bittersweet, but it is always -always, a blessing.

Rest in Peace, George…

Legend, infamous legend, George Jones, leaves behind a musical legacy that holds a range of life lessons for the rest of us. Lessons not just in the songs themselves, but also in his voice, on his face, and from his life.

I’ve been listening to his music all day. It reminds my why I love country music; it’s real life put to song. And, if George’s voice is on a track, rest assured you’ll be drawn in and feel the real even more. You might laugh, you might cry, you might fall in love with country music, you’ll probably be more thankful for something in your life, you very well may see a need to apologize to someone for something, you’ll feel like you know George and, somehow, that George knows you, you will be glad you spent some time listening, and I think you’ll come back for more.

Now, if you’re talking country music, and if you’re talking George Jones, there’s going to be flawed people involved, there’s going to be some type of conflict and longing, there will be truth revealed, and there’s got to be some kind of hope and redemption before it’s all over. And, love. It could be love of the simple things in life; God, family, country. It may be love between people, love that’s been lost, found, or aged in a barrel. That’s all pretty serious stuff, but country music represents real life, so while a song might make you cry, it could just as easily make you sing along and chuckle all the way through too. And, that, is why I say, George Jones is quintessentially the king of country music.

As a sinner, saved by God’s Grace myself, I find this aspect of George’s life very compelling. If you’re like me, you might find the following of interest:

George Jones: Troubadour of the Christ-Haunted Bible Belt

George Jones has died, and I am afraid a lot of people will think he was a hypocrite. George Jones was no hypocrite. He was the troubadour of the Christ-haunted South. The raw emotion, and even whispers of torture, in his voice can teach American Christianity much about the nature of sin and the longing for repentance. – Russell Moore

Died: George Jones, Legendary Country and Gospel Singer

Jones was raised as a Christian, but in the early parts of his career kept a wild lifestyle which led him to become “infamous for ditching performances after drinking and drug binges.” At one point, Jones even wound up in a coma as a result of an alcohol-induced car accident.

But Jones told CBN that he awoke from that coma singing gospel songs: “I wanted some gospel music, and my whole life changed,” he said.

Although he said he felt that parts of his life had been wasted, Jones said God kept him alive for a purpose. His main goal in life became to “try to get closer and closer to Him.” He recorded an album of gospel songs, and said he was more proud of it than any other album. – Melissa Steffan

Heart-based Parenting

Christian Parenting Handbook

From The Christian Parenting Handbook, by Dr. Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller, RN, BSN

I’m going to go out on a limb here and recommend this book, a book I have not read, based on the fact that I really trust the authors’ parenting advice. I’ve been receiving their free Parenting Tips emails for years and there are nuggets in each one with practical suggestions to help you better relate to your children and change their hearts, not just their behavior.

Notice it’s not called a ‘Childhood’ handbook; it’s called a ‘Parenting’ handbook and for good reason. Behavior starts with the parent and stems from their heart. If we are well trained, especially in the ways of the Bible, it surely has a positive effect on our children’s behavior, and more importantly, on their hearts.

If you sign-up Dr. Turansky and Ms. Miller’s emails, take a few minutes to poke around their website too. The National Center for Biblical Parenting has many resources for families and church or small group settings.

Here’s a little preview of what to expect in the Parenting Tips emails:

Helping Children Take Responsibility – Part 1

Some children have a hard time taking responsibility for their faults and weaknesses. A debriefing after a discipline time is always helpful. When your child is ready to go on with life take a few moments and talk about what happened.

We encourage parents to ask, “What did you do wrong?”This question helps get the conversation going. Ask in a gentle way, not accusing. This allows your child to admit what he or she did wrong. It’s important for children to take responsibility for their actions. If others were involved, as they often are, a child should not excuse misbehavior by blaming someone else. The foolishness of others doesn’t justify a wrong response.

A common mistake parents make is to engage in dialogue about the whole situation, trying to figure out who else was wrong, what was fair, who started the problem, and why such things happen. Those questions may be helpful at times, but you’ll get much further in helping your children change their hearts if you start by asking “What did you do wrong?” Most children don’t like to admit their faults. They either blame others or just try to overlook the problem.

Your simple question can help children see their own mistakes and learn to take responsibility for them. When two children are fighting, for example, be careful not to focus on just one child’s offense. Usually when two children are fighting you have two selfish children. Ask each of them this simple question. Teach the offended child how to respond properly.

Confession is a spiritual skill that children need to learn. It helps them take responsibility for their part of the problem and that’s always the first step toward change. All of this can be started with a great introductory question, “What did you do wrong?”

Learn more about having a Positive Conclusion after discipline in the Heart Work Training Manual and CD #5 by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Click here to read summaries of all eight lessons.

Sanctuary Sunday is a Sunday blog series focusing on matters of faith, spirituality, wisdom, and the Journey.

Two Things…

Two Things

John Newton
Reformed slave trader, minister, writer of hymns

“My memory is nearly gone,
but I remember two things:
That I am a great sinner
and that Christ is a great Savior.”
– John Newton, 1807

2013 marks the 240th anniversary of Newton writing the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace.

Powerful commentary on Newton and Amazing Grace from the video above which features Scottish bagpipe accompaniment of this blessed hymn:

John Newton was a slave trader. He trafficked thousands of men, women and children from Africa to the Auction blocks.

In 1748 a violent storm threatened to sink his ship and he fell to his knees and prayed to God for mercy. It was that night that John Newton sensed there is a God who hears and answers prayers… even for the worst of men.

Over time Newton repented as a preacher and writer of hymns. In 1772 he wrote a hymn called Faith’s Review and Expectation. A song that you know as Amazing Grace. It became perhaps the most popular song in history.

A song with a few notes lifts the heads of the hopeless, softens the hearts of the hardened.

Amazing Grace was sung by both sides of the civil war and used as a requiem by the Cherokee Indians on the Trail of Tears.

Civil rights protestors sang it defiantly during freedom marches and on that sweltering August day when Dr. King shared his dream.

Amazing Grace rang out when Nelson Mandela was freed from prison and when the Berlin Wall came crumbling down.

On September 11th, Amazing Grace was sung to comfort a mourning world.

It was sung when the Saints marched back into the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina reviving the spirit of a fallen city.

Grace has power to transform, to right wrongs, to turn a man who once traded slaves into one who fought for their freedom.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
Twas grace that brought us safe thus far…
And Grace will Lead us home.
-John Newton

A short bio of his life can be found here. Further reading, images, and videos available here.

Place yourself in the hands of this loving God. Be a sinner saved by grace. He was prepared to save you an eternity ago. Allow His grace to lead you home.

Peace in Christ and a blessed Easter weekend to you all.

Sanctuary Sunday is a Sunday blog series focusing on matters of faith, spirituality, wisdom, and the Journey.

Trustworthy Words

Southern Charm Tip No. 18

Subtle nuances of language denote measure of importance just as seemingly small kindnesses offered to others reflect a measure of caring and respect that often reveals and impacts to a far greater degree than the effort involved in the act itself. Such things reflect your heart. Living with intention leads to speaking according to our heart. Thinking before we speak keeps the record of who we are more accurate and rarely leads to regret.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” -Luke 16:10

Others are listening and watching, often closer than you think. Be mindful of casual conversations and interactions and be trustworthy with both little and much.

An Irish Blessing



TodayWill NeverComeAgain