As our churches are reopening, we are hearing plenty about the awkwardness of following distancing guidelines within the church. What is talked about less is the nosier elephant in the room: the kid element. Even while worship has resumed, nurseries and Sunday schools remain closed, leaving parents trying to figure out how to keep kids happy and quiet while attending this strange new model of worship. It won’t be easy, but here are five things churches can do to help families in a stressful season of trying to worship together.... More
Without a doubt, one of the most significant and defining events in our children's lives occurred every night at bedtime. My husband would take Sarah and Jacob aside and have a time of prayer with them. At the end of the prayer time, he would lay a hand on each bowed head, and, using a Blessing Card, he would pray a "blessing" over them. Throughout the years, on good days and bad days, each day ended with a tired father calling out to God to bless his children. It was amazing to see how that blessing time served to calm troubled hearts and instill peace.... More
In these past two months, families have had a lot of “togetherness” time—maybe even too much if you were to ask all involved. During this time, children have had even more opportunities to observe their parents navigating a wide spectrum of difficult circumstances. What did they hear and see?
God’s eternal, unshakable, unchanging, almighty truth is the only sure foundation on which to stand—no matter what circumstances swirl around us or within us.... More
If we are not careful, we can become so mired in the suffering of this “present time” that we lose perspective on our eternal inheritance. We and our children need to be reminded of God's eternal purposes on a daily basis so that we, first and foremost, anchor our hope in Christ alone, and then live with eternity in mind. Christ will return and make all things new for the glory of God and the joy of His people. May we shine that light in this broken and suffering world!... More
For a Christian, suffering is not simply enduring life in a fallen world. It is not simply toughing it out until Christ returns. Rather, it serves as a precious gift.... More
Our heavenly Father is not indifferent to the current suffering of His children. All suffering will serve to complete His perfect plans for us, and He will provide all that we need to endure every trial and tribulation. Though our children may seem sheltered from many of the hardships and trials of this world, if they are to become faithful followers of Jesus, they will suffer to one degree or another. Therefore, we must prepare them for suffering, giving them a biblical perspective so that, by God’s grace, they will remain steadfast under trial and receive the crown of life.... More
Who bears the responsibility for the discipleship of the next generation? What are parents called to do? What is the role of the church? What is the relationship between the two?
The world makes much of independence and self-sufficiency. Yet we are to our very core, by God’s good design, dependent and needy creatures. But we often don’t recognize the breadth and depth of this neediness until a crisis arises. The world is under a curse because of sin, and no amount of technology, intellectual know-how, hard work, or lending a hand to our neighbor, while all good things, will satisfy or provide for our greatest need—the need for salvation in Christ alone. This fourth lesson in the devotional series focuses on our desparate need for Jesus.... More
In the midst of peace, prosperity, and comfort, people often gloss over the utter brokenness of our world. But sudden calamities, like the one we are experiencing, have a way of stripping away the veneer of “all is well.” Something is desperately wrong with the world. All creation groans. Why?... More