Gladness through Sadness

Ecclesiastes 7: 2-4
“It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

Gladness through Sadness seems so contrary to all we were told growing up, the messages we hear today in society, and even at times in our churches.  Yet in Ecclesiastes the opposite is proclaimed. Over the past 12 months of my life I have found this to be profoundly true. When I accept my feelings and allow them to flow freely, my heart lightens and gladness returns even in the midst of some of the hardest things I have ever faced. Read More →

Developing a Proactive vs Reactive Mindset

Proverbs 14:22-24 (NIV)

Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.

All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.

Our already busy lives have been complicated by the Covid pandemic which increased either our frustration or fear. As we live with uncertainty, worry, fear and frustration move us toward a more reactive mindset. This could explain why people are less friendly and more easily agitated which has led to the increase in suicide, divorce and domestic violence that we are experiencing in our society today. Read More →

Find the Joy of Life Again!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 5:13

Remember when we were young. We could find amazement, wonder or joy in even the little things. Then as we got older and found real responsibility the joy of life diminished. Perhaps this is not what God intends. Does He desire for us to lose the ability to find joy in His creation, in people or in our own kids? Read More →

What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 7)

Reliance Upon the Holy Spirit (Part 3 of 4)

The Holy Spirit plays a much more important role in our lives than I realized prior to wrestling with how Jesus led and what that meant for me as a parent. As I studied Jesus and how He handled issues in broken people’s lives it was challenging. Whether it was the woman at the well, the adulterous woman or the disciples wanting to know who was greatest among them, Jesus’ response was caring, kind and vastly different than how I responded or reacted as a parent. Read More →

What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 6)

Reliance Upon the Holy Spirit (Part 2 of 4)

Relying upon the Holy Spirit as a parent is not for the faint of heart. It requires deeper faith, more patience and lots of love.

We all love our kids. The question we need to ask ourselves is do my kids sense, feel and believe that I love them when they fall short, make bad decisions or are caught in a lie? When I began looking at how Jesus handled issues in people’s lives, it was not fun. It was clear that I looked almost nothing like Him in my approach with my two girls at that point in time.
Read More →

What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 5)

Reliance Upon the Holy Spirit (Part 1 of 4)

Recently we have seen a growing emphasis on the Spirit in the Body of Christ. I know that talking about the Spirit can make some of us uneasy for a variety of reasons.

Even if this is the case, let me encourage you to read on as I believe the Spirit can make our role as parents more enjoyable.

Read More →

What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 4)

Great faith-based parents are citizens of heaven. What it means to be a citizen of God’s holy nation is something we should ponder. Today the world and  our nation may give us pause for concern.  We face what appears to be more and more pressure to conform to the world’s  narratives, ideas and beliefs.

Read More →

What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 3)

Seeing and Approaching Our Kids Like Jesus

Last week we explored how our faith and relationship with Jesus can help us escape the pressure and expectations we face today as parents. Escaping the pressure at bay is essential if we want to keep our kids’ hearts close to us and encourage a faith that lasts.

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What Makes Great Faith-Based Parents? (pt 2)

Escaping Pressure and Expectations as Parents

Great faith-based parents are able to Escape Pressure and Expectations.

This may be counter to what we have heard or believe. We have been told that high expectations lead to higher achievement.

Is this true when living under pressure and a list of expectations increases stress, decreases patience, and often leads to internal negativity? Pressure and Expectations can flow from within or be placed on us externally. When we face significant pressure from within we tend to be hard on ourselves and often end up feeling like we are consistently falling short. We may feel or believe we are either not good enough or even a failure. These deeply held internal feelings/beliefs cause us to be defensive, driven, or even withdrawn depending on the situation and our personalities. Any of these may lead to challenges in either our relationships or jobs.

Read More →

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