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8 Reasons the Word of God is Relevant in 2017

8 Reasons the Word of God is Relevant in 2017

A plumb line is a weight that is suspended by a string.  This is similar to a water level that helps someone doing construction determine if a board is perfectly level. These are standards by which we can measure something.  It is an objective look at something.  I can use a plumb line or a level to see if some particular object meets a particular standard.  This is particularly important when constructing a building.  If you don’t know if something is a water level you run the risk of an inferior construction.

The Word of God is our plumb line.  Amos 7:8 says “The Lord said to me ‘What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel.  I will spare them no longer.

This plumb line of the Word of God is a gift that we can build healthy, whole lives upon.

With so many challenges to our families and children, it is good to know there are some things that can be leaned upon as a standard.  Certain things don’t change and that helps us to know how to conduct ourselves.  When the boundaries are fluid and subject to change, we don’t have a sense of stability.  Boarders, boundaries and fences are put in place to keep dangerous things out and keep that which is within those boundaries safe.

Stability provides security and it allows us to explore new things knowing that there are some things that do not need exploration.  Those are the things that have grave consequences and could cause harm.  A former of pastor of mine said that experience is not always the best teacher. That statement has stayed with me and allowed me to know that I do not want to experience certain things.  I can look to the experience of others that have made those mistakes before me or I can look to the Bible to gain instruction.

Money and Wealth

It may take work to increase wealth but it can be had.  It is not only money that we are talking about here.  Families that are strong and connected have immeasurable wealth.

Marriage

  • Ephesians 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives,submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Yep, this passage requires a lot more comment than what I am going to offer here.  There will be more.  Keep your eyes out.  Let me just point out here that there is sacrifice on both parts in the marriage covenant Click To Tweet and the husband has a great responsibility to his wife.  This passage connects that the love that a man is to show his wife is like the love that Jesus showed the church.  That love sent him to the cross. Much to think about when entering to the covenant of marriage.

Raising Children

  • Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

The creator of the Universe, God, took note of Abraham’s character and saw that Abraham was going to teach his children about the one true and living God.  The Lord treasured this and entered into a covenant that impacts the entire world even to this day.  Fathers and mothers have a heavy responsibility to the children in their household.  This is where the young ones will learn of the Lord.  We must be about our Father’s business when it comes to our children.

Wisdom and Education

 

Business and Partnerships

  • Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  Pay attention to who you are entering into business partnerships with.  If there are some ethical issues that are negative, this will impact your reputation and success.

Friendships and Associations

  • Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:  Have you ever noticed that when someone gets really angry they stop listening to the other person.
  • James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  The ways of the world are often in direct opposition to the ways of God.

Peace

  • Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  • Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Self-Control

  • Galations 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

There are many more than just 8 reasons and I am sure you could add scripture references to the ones listed here.  Leave a comment and let me know how the Bible has been relevant in your life.  I am plan on updating the list with your thoughts.  This may serve as an encouragement to those that feel that the Bible is outdated and irrelevant.  Help me share the Good News!

Be sure to join my newsletter for more engaging conversations.

 

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Healthy Families! Bad for Children! Read How You Can Help.

Healthy Families! Bad for Children! Read How You Can Help.

Healthy families are bad for children! I couldn’t believe it!

Reading to your children is unfair!

Providing a nurturing atmosphere is unfair to children!

I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read a Facebook post questioning the value of reading bedtime stories to children. This is what healthy families do!

Children benefit from healthy family interactions. Read to find out how important healthy families are to the health of our children. #Children #Family #families #HealthyFamilies.

Parents read to their children.

They talk with their children.

They play with their children.

I quickly shot a response to the Facebook post letting all those parents that might be confused about the benefits of reading to their children. My response made it crystal clear that reading to your children is a good thing.

Little did I know that the premise of the post was that families are unfair to children. My jaw dropped as I read the work of Adam Swift which acknowledged the benefits of families but also proposed that maybe we need to do away with families Click To Tweet.

Healthy families are unfair to children.

Swift was interested in understanding factors that contributed to people having access to opportunities. His research demonstrated that having a loving family nurtures and protects children.

He determined that this is unfair to those children that do not benefit from a loving family. Many of the responses that I read indicated that people understood that the idea that family life should not be supported was ridiculous.

The post originally popped up in my Facebook feed sometime in 2015.  I hadn’t given it much not thought until I saw it again in May of 2017.

I thought I should do a little research and make sure I wasn’t just reacting to some crazy story that was not true.  We know there are plenty of those floating around. Much to my dismay, the post was based on actual research done by a professor by Adam Swift Click To Tweet.

As noted earlier, he found that healthy families are unfair to children that do not have the benefit of a family life. It seemed logical to him that family activities, such reading bedtime stories to your child, or eating meals together are activities that nurture children.

Truly these are some of just a few things that he regarded as unfair to children that do not live in healthy families.

Families are good and should be nurtured and not done away with. If there is any confusion left.  Let me say it loud and clear.

Healthy families are good for children!

Healthy families are good!

Furthermore, reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read!Reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read! Click To Tweet

Participating in other activities within the family context is also good for children. So, to all of you mothers and fathers out there that are pouring into your children by playing with them, providing opportunities to participate in sports, ride bikes, have play dates with friends and any number of other things that happen in families, I say be encouraged and keep doing your part.

Let me give you some more indicators that families are good. Thankfully, we can look to the Word of God.

Gen 1:28 KJV And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Healthy families serve a specific purpose

Here we see that God had a plan and design for the family.  He is telling Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.

He tells them to replenish the Earth. If we take a closer look at the word “replenish” we notice that there are some interesting synonyms for the word.  There are words like restore, renew, provision, furnish, provide.

The definition of the word is To make full or complete again, as by supplying what is lacking, used up, etc. In Psalm 68:6  God setteth the solitary in families.

The previous scriptures indicate that within the family, we have the opportunity to grow and learn, love and be loved, and create and tame.

We also learn that we are different with unique gifts and talents and we each have a specific call on our lives.  

In the family, we also see the concept of passing something of value down from one generation to the next. In addition, Gen. 18;19 makes it clear that family roles are important to the health of the family and in turn to society.

Gen 18:19 For I know him, he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Clearly, God had in mind that in the family unit, there would be instruction and correction.  God saw the character of Abraham and noted that he would be a man that would instruct and direct his children.

The scripture says that God knew Abraham would keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.  Our children learn about justice and how to conduct themselves from their parents.

Healthy families help children.

Clearly, there are children that struggle in life for a variety of reasons.  This is where the Church and families step in and support those children and families.

I encourage you to not spend any time feeling guilty about being a part of a healthy family.  Adam Swift thinks that it is appropriate for you to feel guilty if you are nurturing your family.

I disagree.  That is misplaced guilt that will sap your energy.  Furthermore, carrying that burden will prevent you from reaching out the family that is need of your strength.

On the contrary, pour more love on your children.  Encourage them a little more.  Let’s not embrace this idea that families are unfair to children. Be strong, healthy and able to help other families in need.

Healthy families are good for society

The healthy loving family environment strengthens human beings. These strong, healthy individuals are the people that are going into our schools and in our courthouses as lawyers and judges.

They will impact government and business.

Healthy individuals will have character and integrity. These are important elements that we need.

What sense would it make to do away with an entity that strengthens our society and provides safety for future generations?  How would that be a good thing?

I don’t understand how making everybody come down to the lowest common denominator is a good thing.

The other thought from Swift is to have children take the driver’s seat in the family.

They would create the atmosphere and the protocol for the family and the parents would simply facilitate.   I would venture to say that this is one reason why we have “snowflakes” running around on college campuses now.

Well, I have done my duty. I have made it clear that families are good.  My children are grown and just about on their own so I can’t read them a bedtime story.

Let me see.

Where is my cat?


Let me know what some of your healthy family habits are.  What can you as a family unit do to help a child that is not part of a healthy family? Leave a comment below.

We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

snowflake

Snowflake

The term “snowflake” that has been hurled at millennials is, to say the least, not a nice term. People have used that term to describe our young people born after 1980. I want to suggest that we look closely at these young people we call “snowflakes” and embrace them instead of simply insulting them. Click To Tweet  They are our children and the way they are reacting to current issues is, in large part, due to the way we raised them.

We allowed our “snowflakes” to get participation trophies just for showing up. We guarded their self-esteem so they wouldn’t feel bad.Trophies meant less than what they were supposed to.  No longer were they symbols of mastery. They were turned into something that meant you were there and you were breathing .” Let’s give our children a little more credit and help them discover their unique qualities.  They need to understand that the Lord has placed gifts and talents and a destiny in each child and we don’t have to create some false feathered bed for our children to land on to protect their self-esteem.

Let’s not insult their intelligence.

Our young people are good people but we have allowed them to believe that their feelings should dictate life.   We have allowed them to think they are just supposed to get what they want because they feel like they should. Click To Tweet How misguided is that?  Where is the motivation to work hard at something?  Where is the drive to create something or find the answer to a problem?  There is none.  They may not even feel that they can be creative or work hard to achieve something. We have raised children that are lost and insecure. They look to some outside source for answers instead of looking inward and engaging the Holy Spirit.  That makes for an unsettled human being.

I believe we, particularly those of us that are Christian, need take responsibility and impact our children’s lives for the better.  Take the ‘snowflake” label off of them and engage them in conversation that may serve to enlighten them.

I applaud you!

Let me just acknowledge the many parents and children out there that are on solid ground and have a healthy growing relationship with each other and the Lord.  I know you are out there and I applaud you.

However, my heart hurts for those millennials that are confused and throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.  They tend to react to what they see instead of thinking critically about what is going on around them.

This post concerns millennials that are right around college age. In so many ways, the college age student is still developing and maturing.  The questions that they have are being addressed by the college professors on the college campuses.  Many of the college professors on the campuses are liberal.  Much of the media is liberal as well.  When all that surrounds you is leaning in one direction, there is very little opportunity to think critically about what you are hearing and seeing.  When an opposing view does come up our millennials are often, not willing to listen.

A large group of students writing.

 

How do we address the issue?

Now is the time to step in and let our children know that we stand with them and are willing and able to guide them through some of the challenges of life.  Yes, they are young adults and need to be able to make decisions on their own. But we can be present to help.

  • Keep the dialogue going.
  • Talk to your child about their classes.
  • Talk to them about dorm life.
  • Express your thoughts and opinions.

You must be aware that on most college campuses, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors. These professors are going to challenge tradition values that you have placed in your child.  This is why the conversation is so important.

Live what you believe.

Equally important to speaking truth, based on biblical teaching, is that we live lives aligned with and submitted to Lord Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet That takes boldness and courage and our children are watching.  The millennials want to know is this relationship with Jesus real and relevant for them in their college years.  We lose many children that grew up in the church right here. Life presents challenges.  The challenge is designed to rip them away from their faith and a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  They need to know your relationship with the Lord is real.   They want to see where we make sacrifices and what we make sacrifices for.  What do we truly value?

 

Live the Bible

They need to know that there is Truth that they can commit to and hang onto.  They are smart enough to know that college life is only for a season and they are going to leave the campus and enter life as a young adult.  What does a relationship with a living God have to do with their lives? Our steadfastness will help them answer that question. When they see us paying lip service to important convictions, they longer see us as trustworthy and we lose ground with them.  Furthermore, it opens the door to error.  It leaves our children vulnerable to bad choices.

Let them continue to see your walk with the Lord.  They may not be at home with you but your conversation will let them see that your relationship with the Lord continues to impact your life. They are going to think about that in their own lives when they make decisions.

Parents, bless your children

We as parents have a unique perspective and insight that our children don’t have.  We are better able to see the bigger picture because we have more life experiences.  Millennials may think they know enough but we all know that is not true. We have the responsibility to show share our perspective with them.  This goes back to the conversation.  Talk about lessons you have learned.  Some of these conversations may difficult or embarrassing but your child will come to understand that you are sharing these things in the hopes that they learn from your mistakes.

Joseph

Joseph may not have immediately understood how the Lord was using him when he was thrown into a pit for a crime he didn’t commit, but in time, he understood that the enemy was trying to take him out but the Lord had other plans.  That is an extremely difficult perspective for a young person to take but it is something they must grow into.  When you are vulnerable and share your stories, they can get a glimpse of your perspective.

What is the focus?

Fruitfulness and success are two different things. Cole points out that an important key is understanding that there is a difference between fruitfulness and success. To be successful means to focus on what one can accomplish or how much wealth one can obtain. This tends to be man-centered where fruitfulness is more focused on God and living a life that is a blessing to others.  This focus is everlasting and eternal.  What we do in response to the leading of the Lord is going to withstand the test of time.  1 Cor. 3:13 every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall rest every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

Let's lead with courage! Click To Tweet
What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive?

Cursive handwriting is a unique form of personal expression.  Some schools are finding cursive handwriting worthy of revitalizing.  Writing in cursive decreased in popularity to being just about non-existent.  Joe Helm, of the Washington Post, reports that some public and charter schools are once again embracing cursive handwriting.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/

In fact, Alabama and Louisiana are the two in the line of 14 states that have passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive handwriting instruction (Karen Matthews/AP TIME Staff). I am so glad to see a comeback of cursive.

Cursive Handwriting

As an educator, I know the value of teaching children how to write in cursive.  You will see some of the reasons cursive handwriting is important below. Many of our schools today do not take the time to teach the formation of letters at all.  Some of our children are on their own in this regard.  Some have taken on the task of learning this form of writing on their own.

 

Four Reasons Children Should Learn Cursive

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

1.Life Sills – Signing one’s name is a life skill that every child should know. Each person’s signature is unique and it has meaning. Make sure your child can write his or her name in cursive.
2.Reading Grandmas Letters.  Our children should be able to read letters or even recipes from their grandparents.  This is a wonderful connection that many of our children are losing. It’s wonderful to be able to go to a recipe written by grandma or grandpa. Wonderful memories come flooding back as those recipes are read.
3.Speed-Being able to write in cursive is faster than writing manuscript. This is of particular benefit as children grow older and need to be able to write notes in class.
4.Original Documents-Many of our original documents were written by our founding fathers in a type of cursive and our children need to be able to read these documents. It is good for them to be able to read documents like the Constitution for him or herself. They need to be able to read those documents in order to know what

It is easy to see the importance of cursive handwriting.  Here is a resource for printable sheets that can be used in teaching cursive.

Phonics and Cursive Handwriting Connection

The nature of cursive writing connects the letters to each other. This gives the student time to focus on the formation of the letters, the sound of individual letters, as well as letter combinations.  This is the foundation of phonics and reading.

Cursive handwriting is particularly helpful for the dyslexic student.  Some letters are easily confused when printed.  These letters are shaped differently when formed in cursive. Students focus on text rather than figuring out letters.

Having good handwriting takes practice.  Establishing the habit of practicing something is good for our children and it is good for us as adults. Habits help to make our lives run more smoothly and they can help us master something.  Just think about becoming the master of that chocolate cake when you practice saying no to it often enough.  (But that is a little off topic.:)

Personal Expression

Cursive handwriting is personal.  Each person has peculiarities in the execution of the letters.  This is the beauty of cursive. In the grand scheme of things, handwriting doesn’t take a long time to teach. Much of the instruction is a matter of practice.  Teachers are taking 15 minutes out of the day to show children the strokes and then providing time for practice.  This can be included in their homework as well.

Cursive handwriting is something worth hanging onto in our schools.

Do your children get to learn cursive handwriting at school?  Do they ask to learn how to write cursive?  Put your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

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