Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dying to Self

The author of the following quote is unknown, but has been one of my favorites over the years. I am always convicted whenever I read it. Whenever I ask the Lord to make me more like Him, I can always count on some of the things listed below to happen to me to teach me what it's like to die to self. Dying to self is a painful process, but the purpose of being a Christian is to grow in holiness, which is Christ-like-ness.

“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself…”
Matthew 16:24

Dying to Self

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ,

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wished are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence,

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, and unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility…enduring it as Christ Jesus endured it,

When you no longer care to hear yourself in conversation, or to record your own works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,

When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstance,

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart,

Monday, June 12, 2017

1 Corinthians For the Church Body

1 Corinthians 13 for the Church Body
By: Kristin Eason

Though I teach Sunday School, sing in the church choir, and lead a Bible study, but have not love, I am offensive to those around me.

Though I daily read and study God’s Word, am well grounded in sound doctrine, know Greek and Hebrew, and have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Though I deliver meals to shut-ins, write cards of encouragement, and give money to those in need, and though I sacrifice myself to the point of death, but have not love, I profit nothing.

Love is long suffering and kind- It doesn’t keep track of times they were hurt or overlooked. It doesn’t speak ill of someone’s faults as soon as they get in the car or behind closed doors.

Love does not envy someone’s land, house, children, spouse, spiritual maturity, friendships, vacations, garden, decorating, car, outfit, or physical appearance.

Love does not parade itself, but considers other’s better than themselves.

Love doesn’t try to outdo one another in fashion, ministry, social status, or academics.

Love does not make constant comparisons to see who has the most, the best, or the latest.

Love is content to be last and see other’s succeed and prosper. Love does not have to be in the spotlight, but desires to see other’s shine.

Love is not puffed up when they hear a brother or sister get praised by others, excel in their spiritual gifts, or has lost 20 lbs.

Love is not rude or easily provoked when they are excluded, ignored, overlooked, or disregarded.

Love thinks the best of others and chooses to dwell on the good in someone instead of counting flaws and imperfections.

Love doesn’t jump to conclusions or try to read between the lines.

Love doesn’t secretly rejoice to see a brother fall because it makes you feel more spiritual.

Love sees his brother and sister as part of the Body of Christ and not as competition.

Love sees his brothers and sisters in Christ, not as they are, but as they can be and will be in Christ.

Love prays for his brothers and sisters in Christ- faithfully and fervently.

Loves believes in the potential of his brother or sister and dismisses any thought of bitterness or envy at once. Love covers a multitude of sins.

Love patiently puts up with the faults of others without questioning their salvation because they don’t share the same personal convictions that you do.

Love endures all trials, tests, and tribulations.

Love endures harsh words spoken in ignorance, being mistreated, insulted, forgotten, and ridiculed without feeling the need to defend yourself.

Love never fails.

And now abide faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Reminder of God’s Mercy and Compassion

The other night on the way to church we saw a little black lab puppy running as fast as he could, lost and afraid. My husband pulled over and we jumped out to pick it up, thinking it may belong to our neighbors, but it ran from us to hide in the ditch. I called the puppy by what I thought was his name, if he indeed belonged to our neighbors, and scooped him up in my arms. After calling our neighbors we quickly learned that this dog didn’t belong to them after all. After inspecting the dog we realized that this dog probably was abandoned because he was severely infested with fleas and ticks. We took him back to our home to feed and water him while we left for church. Later that evening I started thinking how I was once like that little puppy before coming to know the Lord.

Before coming to know the Lord I spent my time running, lost and afraid, not knowing where I was going, but hoping to end up at a place where I was loved and accepted. I too was untrusting of people, afraid of getting hurt. Instead of running to God when He called me, I was reluctant, not sure if He would really be willing to forgive me of all my sins and accept me. I spent many years running from God, but thankfully He chose to continue to pursue me. My life was infested with sin. There was nothing desirable about me that God would choose to come down to me and willingly pick me up from the miry pit and choose me for His very own. He called me by name and I felt for once that my life had value, not because of anything I had done, but because His Word said so. He took me and cleaned me, giving me a new heart that desires to love and obey Him, ridding me of all my past sins that I had been carrying. He fed me with His Word and quenched my thirsty, parched soul.

If a mere man could have such compassion for a flea and tick infested pup, than how much mercy does our Heavenly Father have on every sin-infested human being, that is created in the Image of God, purchased by the blood of Christ at Calvary when he acknowledges His need of a Savior!

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 NKJV

Raising Children In World Of Modern Technology & The Resulting Mental Health Tragedy

Published at Deep Roots at Home.

Our children are in a devastating emotional state!

Victoria Prooday is an outspoken advocate of children and hands-on parenting. I share her post with her permission because we want your children (and you) to thrive.

There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, with our children. Through my work with hundreds of children and families as an occupational therapist, I have witnessed this tragedy unfolding right in front of my eyes.

Talk to teachers and professionals who have been working in the field for the last 15 years. You will hear concerns similar to mine. Moreover, in the past 15 years, researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:
•1 in 5 children has mental health problems
•43% increase in ADHD
•37% increase in teen depression
•200% increase in suicide rate in kids 10-14 years old

How Much More Evidence Do We Need Before We Wake Up?

No, “increased diagnostics alone” is not the answer!

No, “they all are just born like this” is not the answer!

No, “it is all the school system’s fault” is not the answer!

Yes, as painful as it can be to admit, in many (not all) cases, WE, parents, are the answer to many of our kids’ struggles!

It is scientifically proven that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself through the environment. Unfortunately, with the environment and parenting styles that we are providing to our children, we are rewiring their brains in the wrong direction and contributing to their challenges in everyday life.

Yes, there are and always have been children who are born with disabilities and despite their parents’ best efforts to provide them with a well-balanced environment and parenting, their children continue to struggle. These are NOT the children I am talking about here.

I am talking about many others whose challenges are greatly shaped by the environmental factors that parents, with their greatest intentions, provide to their children. As I have seen in my practice, the moment parents change their perspective on parenting, many of these children change.

What is Wrong With Our Children?

Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:
•Emotionally available parents
•Clearly defined limits and guidance
•Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
•Movement and outdoors
•Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being raised by:
•Digitally distracted parents
•Indulgent parents who let kids “rule the world”
•Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
•Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
•Sedentary indoor lifestyle
•Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments

Could anyone imagine that it is possible to raise a healthy generation in such an unhealthy environment? Of course not! There are no shortcuts to parenting, and we can’t trick human nature. As we see, the outcomes are devastating. Our children pay for the loss of well-balanced childhood with their emotional well-being.

How to Fix It?

If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and go back to the basics. It is still possible! I know this because hundreds of my clients see positive changes in their kids’ emotional state within weeks (and in some cases, even days) of implementing these recommendations:

Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT at this time, not a friend.

Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.
•Provide nutritious food and limits snacks. Avoid toxic foods.
•Spend one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, fishing, watching birds/insects.
•Have a daily technology-free family dinner.
•Play one board game a day. (List of family games) Allow for unstructured play.
•Involve your child in one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc).
•Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom.

Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges.

•Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.

Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens:
•Don’t feel responsible for being your child’s entertainment crew.
•Do not use technology as a cure for boredom.
•Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”.
•Help them create a “boredom first aid kit” with activity ideas for “I am bored” times.

Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills:
•Turn off your phones until kids are in bed to avoid digital distraction.
•Become your child’s emotional coach. Teach them to recognize and deal with frustration and anger.
•Teach greeting, taking turns, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills,
•Connect emotionally – Smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, or crawl with your child.

We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be…

Raising Children In World Of Modern Technology & The Resulting Mental Health Tragedy, Raising Children In World Of Modern Technology & The Resulting Mental Health Tragedy, message, Victoria Prooday, Toronto, behavioral, social, emotional, academic challenges, clinic, advocate of children, hands-on parenting, homes. families, occupational therapist, teachers, professionals, concerns, health crisis, statistics, alarm, mental illness, kids, epidemic, ADHD, teen depression, suicide, young children, evidence, born like this, school system, parents, parental rights, emotional state, brain, rewire, environment, challenges in life, parenting, born with disabilities, deprived, healthy childhood, defined limits, guidance, responsibilities, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, movement, outdoor play, creative play, social interaction, unstructured time, boredom, digital distraction, indulgent parents, kids rule the world, entitlement, sedentary lifestyle, indoors, over stimulation, technological babysitter, instant gratification, quiet time, rest, no shortcuts, well-being, happy, healthy, basics of family life, say no, green space, biking, reading, fishing, watching birds, family dinner, limit snacks, independence, skills, delayed gratification, entertainment, training brain, emotionally available, turn off phones, self-regulation, social skills, taking turns, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills, Connect emotionallyFor anyone who questions this phenomenon, the Star News/ Canada article may be helpful: Demand for youth mental health services is exploding. How universities and business are scrambling to react.

Victoria holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical School at University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University. She is founder and director of a multidisciplinary clinic in Toronto, Canada, for children with behavioral, social, emotional and academic challenges. Victoria, along with her team, has helped hundreds of families across Canada and around the world and is a frequent guest speaker to teachers, parents and professionals.


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