Friday, July 31, 2015

Giving Honor Where Honor Is Due


Giving Honor Where Honor Is Due
by Angie Ketcham

As I was cleaning the house today, I allowed my daughter to turn on the television to keep her occupied.  As we were flipping through the channels, we stopped at Cartoon Network just to see what kids were watching nowadays.  To my disbelief, all I saw was characters that treated each other with unkind words, adults that were presented as knowing nothing and the children had to run the show to keep order because their parents were incapable of doing the job.  It got me to thinking about what the Word of God looked like compared to what is being planted in the minds of children everyday.

crosscards.com
The Word talks over and over in many places about honoring and obeying parents.  As a matter of fact, God felt it was so important that He made it one of the top ten rules that create our laws.  It is the only commandment that has been given with a promise, that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you!  How did we get to a place that even those who love God and care about His decrees have allowed themselves to be desensitized to the mistreatment of those who have come before us?  At what point did it become acceptable to devalue those who have lived a full life before us?  Whom God appointed to be the very one to lead us in the way that we should go?

So, my mind wondered further today on this issue of honor.  What exactly does it mean to honor a person? The dictionary tells us that honor means "to hold in high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank".  It is equally paired with obedience in the Word, which shows that the words of someone of honor deserves to be unquestionably listened to.  Unquestionably.  It seems the popular culture of today leads us to question everything, and only then decide what works for you to follow.  No one is held in a higher regard that they obediently follow without questioning the order.  Now, don't get me wrong.  Obviously, some people in this sin-sick world must be questioned before blindlessly following them.  But I strongly believe that, if we follow God's command to honor our parents, even when they are mistreating us or leading us in the wrong direction, God's hand is upon them and He will be with them as they go through live's struggles, because they obeyed and honored those we are suppose to honor.

Once again, from a Children's Pastor perspective, I think about how I can make the Word real to the kids I lead.  I have thought about the bombardment that hits them day in and day out on the T.V. leading them away from truth.  I have thought about what would have to happen to turn the tide back to honoring parents in the homes of this generation.  I think about my own children and how I have directed them as an example to honor those who are in authority over them.  The lightbulb moment was quite simple, really.  Our children are a product of what we exemplify.  In the area of honor, we lead by example!  What is your relationship like with your parents and your spouse?  Do you put them in a position of worth?  merit? rank?  Do we use words of someone that is in submission to those in authority or do we talk bad, derogatory, sarcastic statements that show their worthless?  Do we obey, even as adults, making decisions after hearing out those that have already been there? If not, maybe there are chances that need to be made to lead our children into the future generation.

Secondly, I considered that, once again, children learn by example.  It is our job as parents to make sure our children know their worth.  When we belittle or tear down our children, resentment and angry hearts become the result of low self esteem.  Do our children know that they are valuable?  Do they know that they are worth more than the touch down they made on the field or the grades they made on the report card?  Do they know that their words are valued and that they have a voice and it means something?  Do they know that their words and actions shape eternity and the future before it ever even comes to be?  Do they know they are loved?  This evening my daughter was very upset at me because I made a decision to keep her home from a pool party.  She is just on the edge of puberty and her hormones are unbalanced at best (smiley face).  She exploded on me, telling me she hated me and hated her life, and not to be surprised if she ran away tonight.  I could have easily been hurt by her words and spurred out my feelings at the moment, but I chose to stay level in my tone and care and told her I was sorry this was her feelings but I still loved her.  Within minutes, she did a 180 and was telling me she didn't mean it.  She was just upset and mad.  She was sorry for the hurtful words.  We agreed that everybody has their moments and I already forgave her right when she said it, she will just have to work harder next time with the words she says when she's mad, because words have a lasting impact on the person who receives them.  Where are your words?  Are you speaking life?

There is no doubt that there are many other things that play into dishonoring behaviors, but if you want a respectful child, remember, it begins with you.  For their sake, shut off that television that feeds negativity and begin to teach the value of honor.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just Imagine - Following God's Call

By: Shari A. Miller

"We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness." - Francis Chan

Food for thought:

What if we followed God with our whole heart, using our full potential, no matter the cost?

Just imagine the difference it would make in our lives, as well as the life of others.

"You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him." - Deuteronomy 13:4 (NIV)


Life can get so full...full of things to do, places to be, and people to meet. Everything from joyous occasions to trials can arise and cause us to lose focus of the voice that we can hear deep down within our souls.

Yet the Lord still says, "Follow me. Follow my call and walk along the path that I have called you to go."

Oh how often we may doubt that voice and choose to go our own way instead; because often times we realize that obedience to the voice comes with a cost, a cost that we may not be willing to pay.

"The bottom line in the Christian life is obedience and most people don't even like the word." - Charles Stanley

Are you ready to be different than most and obey God and follow His call?

Let's move forward friends, being deliberate, and intentional every step of the way, following in His footsteps as He leads us forward on a new journey that will mold and shape us into His image.

He's calling us friends to go forth and do great things for Him. To proclaim His name to a lost and dying world. He wants us to be different, to be bold, to be world changers for Him.

Today is a fresh start to begin anew and say, "yes" to the highest calling that we will find. Today is a day to do more than imagine, today is the day to obey, and march forward and watch something beautiful unfold.

Are you with me? Let's go.




It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you want!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

Woman to Woman Ministries

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Creamy Mango Smoothies


By: Melissa Baker

Ingredients:


  • 2 mangos, seeds removed, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 cups mango sorbet
  • 2 containers (6 ounces each) yoplait original 99% fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free skim milk or soy milk


Directions: 

1. Place ingredients in blender.
2. Cover and blend on high until smooth
3. Pour into glasses and serve immediately

Makes 6 servings

Recipe & image courtesy of Betty Crocker




Monday, July 27, 2015

He Needs Friends Too

By: Jenifer Metzger

Yesterday afternoon my husband went to a baseball game with friends. I was thrilled. This would not have been the case a few years ago. No, a few years ago I would have thrown a big temper tantrum.

What's changed? Well, I had to ask myself a few important questions. Now, I'd like to ask you...


Does your husband like to have "guy time"?

Does your husband have Christian friends?

Do you dislike your husband having "guy time"?

Do you dislike your husband's friends?

It wasn't until the past few years that I felt the need for friends. I was perfectly happy to surround myself with my family. But God showed me that I needed to have other women in my life to pray with and be encouraged by. I have been blessed beyond belief with the Christian women God placed in my life.

Our husbands need the same.

They need other Christian men in their lives. While men may not open up and share feelings in the same way women do, they still need Christian men to come along side of. They need to have one or two men that they can open up to, pray with, be encouraged by, bounce ideas off of, and relax with.

If your husband already has Christian men in his life, encourage him to spend time with them. If your husband and his Christian friend both enjoy watching football, offer to make game snacks and invite his friend over, then you and the kids head to the park or somewhere so they can have some guy time. Or if they both enjoy fishing, buy some bait and tell your hubby to take some time and go fishing with his Christian friend. Make sure your husband knows that you support his friendship. Be willing and even happy, yes happy, to give him time to spend with his friend.

If your husband does not have Christian men in his life, pray for God to send a Christian man into his life. It may be that he can connect with someone at your church or maybe God will bring someone new into his life. Maybe he could join a men's Bible study or even start one. But pray for him and be willing to encourage him to grow that relationship.

Ladies, we need to hold our husbands in prayer that God would bring Christian men into their lives. Then when they have a Christian friend, be sure to give him time to spend with that friend. If you do not allow that time or make him feel guilty for spending time with his friend, he may become resentful toward you or break off that friendship, which he needs.

The Word tells us that two are better than one (Ecc. 4:9) and that one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17). God will honor your prayer and send your husband a good Christian man that can encourage your husband and be encouraged by him. This week I encourage you to spend time in prayer for your husband's relationships.


Does your husband have a good Christian friend? How often do they connect? Have you been holding him back from having friends? Share your experiences with us in the comments.


This is in part a repost from 2011. To see the original, click here.


Friday, July 24, 2015

In The Moment

In The Moment
By Angie Ketcham

This has been an exciting week for me!  My daughter gave birth to our first grandbaby!  The little (if you could call him that) guy has already become the love of my life.  And it has been an even greater gift that God has used this sweet baby to provide opportunity for my daughter and I to bond and, for maybe the first time in our relationship, understand what we mean to one another.  But, that will be for another day's blog.  Today, God was speaking to my heart, once again, about time.

It's almost paradoxical, but time races by so fast, and yet, is all we have to count this side of heaven.  Each moment put together makes a lifetime of who we are.  So much of the time I share in my blogs how important it is that we use every minute of our time wisely, being careful not to waste a single moment of what we've been given.  But tonight, as I held my freshly bathed, sleeping grand baby, I just wanted to soak it all in.  I wanted to be right there, in that moment, holding captive the reckless thoughts that abounded in my head, and just be.  I wanted to touch his soft, hairy, little shoulder, as his precious head, full of hair, rested knowing that he would be fully taken care of by the one that holds him in her arms.

In Ecclesiastes we read that there is a time for everything under heaven.  There is not a moment that passes before us that God does not already know about.  He knows my tendency to want to be all and do it all, all of the time, all now!  I see a website and I want to be a web designer.  I see a cool logo and I want to be a graphic designer.  Someone enjoys my sewing abilities and I'm ready to jump into sewing projects full force.  I do some research on eating healthy and now I want to be a dietitian.  Everything I see becomes a possibility for me to take on.  I homeschool my children, work a part time job cleaning houses, I'm the Children's Pastor, and somehow manage to care for my kids, husband, and house, all while I do things that I enjoy, like being a blogger.  I want it all!  

But, then I'm reminded that there is a time for everything under heaven.  That sweet baby in my arms and that worried, first time mom watching intently to learn what she should do to be a good mom, they need me.  They need me to be in that moment.  They need me to make them a priority in this moment.  And it's a sweet sacrifice; an opportunity only given to me, only given once.  So, I lay down all the "good" things that consume my time and energy.  I understand that this is where God has me right now.  THIS is a time.  THIS is a season.  I can rest in my Heavenly Father's arms as I take my place right where I belong.  For this moment.

Where is your moment?  Have you decided, yet, to lay it all down to be fully into the moment that you've been given?  Do you know what that moment is?  My daughter will be needing to go to work full time this Fall and has asked me if I would care for the baby while he is young.  So, I have some big decisions to make about my future and what moments I'm going to choose to capture.  I intend to bathe it in prayer this week.  Will you join me?  How can I pray for you?