Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Best Card Ever!

I want to encourage all of you parents who wonder if your faith in God and your efforts to pour Christ into your children make a difference. Perhaps you feel like you're dragging your children to church or at times see them roll their eyes when you bring up God. Stand and believe God's promise in Acts 16:31 which says, "They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." (NIV)

Continue to be faithful because God's word does not return back to Him void. How do I know? Well, it was my hubby's birthday a few weeks and my oldest son Jalen who is 8 years old made him a birthday card. There was nothing fancy about the card. Just a black marker on white paper. I don't know if that's because he's a boy and not into the frilly fun stuff or more than likely, these items were just easily accessible to him. I saw him hand my hubby his homemade card and then a BIG smile came to my honey's face as he told him, "Thanks buddy. That was awesome." When I read it, I almost cried....and here's why:

This card so blessed me. I thanked God for the growing understanding my son has of who Christ is and who we are in Him. The words that we speak to him, the prayers we pray together, the support of our church's children ministry and our example are making a difference.

Maybe your kids are older or even out of the house, but God's promise is still the same. Continue to believe - be and live - your relationship with God in front of them and sow God's word in love. Your efforts will be rewarded!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Be Intentional in 2010

We are a few days into January and a new year and decade has begun. I'm not a big believer in resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals because they motivate us to work and achieve what God has placed in our hearts. Remember, dreaming without planning is simply wishing.

If you haven't set goals yet, here are some tips I share in my book "Living It Up!" to help you:

1. PRAY about what you feel God wants you to do or where He wants you to be. A simple check would be to ask yourself, “What is in my heart to do? What dream do I have for myself and my family?”
2. DECIDE what your long-term goal is first. Ask yourself, “Where do I want to be in five years? How about in two years?”
3. STRAGETIZE on how your short-term goals can help you to achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you want to do something completely different, as in a career change or go into ministry, begin to prepare yourself by going to school or volunteering in that type of ministry. Do your research and prepare.
4. WRITE DOWN your goals and place them where you can see them. Keep yourself driven toward your long-term goals and make checklists for your short-term goals. Each week I have a list of things to do that I need to get done, and the list helps keep me on track.
5. BE SPECIFIC. As you’re prayerfully writing down your short-term goals, be really specific. Don’t just hope for it, but specify something that you can measure with activity and time. For example, don’t simply write “Spend more quality time with my family.” Write “Spend one hour a day coloring, reading, or playing games with my children.”
6. SHARE these goals with one or two people who will encourage you and hold you accountable. Telling someone that you’re going to do something makes you feel more obligated to do it. Having someone ask you, “Were you able to spend the desired quality time with your children this week?” helps in keeping you focused.
7. ACT and follow through. Complacency and procrastination are the biggest enemies of you achieving your dreams. Notice that they have to do with you. Yes, there are other bullies out there that fight to keep you from your goals, but it’s mainly up to you to act and make the necessary choices to bring you closer to your goals.
8. PERSEVERE and don’t give up. Life has a way of throwing us curve balls that can distract or discourage us from our goals, but don’t stop planning and strategizing. Sometimes, they just need to be revised. Be diligent to do what God has called you to do and to be the person God has called you to be. You can. Don’t stop praying, deciding, strategizing, writing, sharing,and acting on the goals you have in mind. Proverbs 13:12 (NLT) says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Faithful determined pursuit breeds a sweet reward!

Be intentional to aim and accomplish. Remember, each short-term goal you accomplish is a stepping-stone bringing you closer to your long-term goals. This is your life, your dream. Dare to bring it to pass!

Happy 2010!!