Friday, February 1, 2013

Words - Guest Post by Janet Harward

You wouldn't have to spend very much time with me to find out that I am a "woman of words."  (now this doesn't just mean that I love to talk, although I do).  I enjoy words.  I like how they fit together.  I like written words and spoken words.  I like how they sound.  I especially like when I find just the right words to express EXACTLY what I am thinking.

I did not come to love words on my own.  This is one of the many things that I learned from my Dad.  My Dad enjoyed words.  Dad taught his children to speak correctly.  He told us the importance of being able to communicate clearly with each other.  He always told us we were smart and special and that what we thought was valuable to him.  My Dad also taught me that nothing has the potential to affect a person like words.  Words are powerful!  They can be positively powerful or negatively powerful.  Very few things in the life have the power to lift our spirits or tear us apart like words.

                                                                   -  Excerpt from Take Off Your Mask by Janet Harward

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Troubleshooting 4 Parents

Want some parenting wisdom?  Join Ronda Evans for a once-a-month parenting support group where Ronda will share effective parenting strategies!  The group meets the first Wednesday of the month at the Hut from 6:30-8:00 PM. February 6th is the first night!  Both moms and dads are invited.  There is child care for children ages 3 - sixth grade if the children REGISTER for Awana.  There is no book required for the adults, but a pen and paper would be really helpful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Posts - Making Memories with Children by Val Childs

When Penny asked me to post a blog about being a mom several weeks ago, I asked my girls to answer a couple of questions for me.  One of the questions I asked them was if they knew another family that they wished they had been born into instead of ours - dodged a bullet there - they both said no.  But when I asked them what they liked best about being in our family I didn't get the answers I expected.  It wasn't that I was a great mom or Robin was a great dad.  It wasn't that we live in a great place or that we went on some neat vacations.  It wasn't even that we had family meetings and voted on things.  (Although, when reminded, they did think that was cool.)

The things the girls found most important to my grown girls is that we have family traditions that have been passed down from their grandparents.  These traditions encompass nearly every holiday of the year.  Rules about holidays are not to be broken lightly.  And, most important tothem was that our family was known to their friends as a giving and generous family.  Funny, we didn't know that.

What I learned about holiday rules are you have to make them in the positive.  The girls can tell you all the holiday rules except Halloween.  I have a personal issue with this holiday, you can ask me about it sometime, so our rule was that we didn't celebrate it.  We did different things every year.  I always took the girls out of school for the day and we did something special - but the girls can't remember this holiday rule because I always stated it in what we DIDN'T DO.  The things you learn when you get old!

The kids say one of the biggest reasons their friends thought we were generious was because we always let them have soda at our house, or taking them to Burger King.  You just never know the perspective a child has - the things you learn when you get old!

When my children were small I spent every minute I could trying to make memories for them.  Now they are grown and those memories I made with them are some of the best memories of MY life.  Who knows how those memories will stack up in their book of memories;  but I know both of my girls treasure making memories - it is a value I believe I have taught well. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Guest Post from Dee Crossley on Love

Matthew 22:37-38 reads “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38: This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22: 39-40 reads “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 40: “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Love for God is the first and great commandment, therefore in our practice of love for all people , we must never compromise our love for God and the righteous standards of His word. We are to love God wholeheartedly inspired by His love for us, dominating affection and value, loving Him with our obedience and to honor Him while on this earth. 
We live in the midst of a God-rejecting world, where instant gratification rules the heart of many people. The heart of the believer is one that desires His presence and fellowship, longing for the companionship like a bride for her bridegroom. Love for God includes an allegiance and loyalty, a firm faith and commitment, with heartfelt devotion and a dedication to righteousness. Gods love for you is everlasting, ever powerful and ever present. Gods love is embedded in your spirit, deep enough to rule every aspect of your life.
Never second guess Gods love for you, nor look at Gods love with questions that have no answer. You are the most important part of God's heart, nothing you do will change that. Nothing you have done, will make Him love you less. This does not give us a free pass to continually ask for forgiveness, but rather it becomes a change of our hearts were we no longer want to do the things that would hurt God.
There is a transformation, when we think less of ourselves and more of God. Meaning that we can't simply look at our own lives and not consider what God is doing. Faith, that non-logical step that allows us to believe God is in control, allows us to use our lives for the greater good of Gods plan.