Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What is the GOSPEL?

G - GOD | O - OUR | S - SINS | P - PAYING | E - EVERYONE | L - LIFE


The irreducible minimum of the gospel message can be communicated in an acrostic with six letters in it that happen to spell out the word "gospel".

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sins separate us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds. (Genesis 4 - Malachi 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew - Luke)
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John)
Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. (Acts - Revelation)

Click here to read about about the GOSPEL Journey message.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MOTHER'S DAY

I am so blessed to have these two little guys in my life.
So blessed to be called their Mom.
Alex surprised me this morning with this...

Yes it's a bottle of Coca-Cola.
But not just any Coke.
It's 'Hecho en Mexico'.

And 'Made in Mexico' means that it is made with real sugar.
Which means it's not made with high fructose corn syrup like regular Coke.
And that's only a big deal if you have crazy food allergies like I do.

This year, we gave our Mom's this...
Keith and I were both blessed with amazing Mom's, so in their honor, we gave to help provide clean water to a village in Ethiopia, which will free women from the responsibility to search and fetch water and make it possible for them to lead productive lives of hope and dignity.

This is the second Mother's Day Miles has been home.
And the second year we get to celebrate Fikirte, Miles' birth mother.

I am so thankful for her.
So blessed by her sacrifice.
And I proudly share the title of Mother with her.

Happy Mother's Day, Fikirte!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

PRAYER BOX

UPDATE: {1/12/17} I have changed this system over the years as our ministry has changed. I also went to a smaller box to make it easier to travel with. So I updated the pictures and some of the information to make it more accurate.

A couple of years ago, I started helping Alex with his personal time with God.

I knew he needed to learn to do it on his own, just him and the Lord, but I struggled with feeling like he was too young.  I liked spending that time with him and the thought of stepping back and letting him do it on his own meant that he was growing up.

But, I want his faith to be his own.
I want him to know what he believes and why he believes it.
And I want him to know, first hand, that God's Word speaks to every area of his life.

So, I started looking for a devotion book that would guide Alex through God's Word, not act as a substitute for it. I wanted something that would not only walk him through scripture, but help him learn to apply it to his everyday life. There are so many great resources out there, that I didn't have any trouble finding something.

After we found a way to help him read his Bible, I started looking for a way to help Alex organize his prayer time.

To simplify it.
To help him stay focused.
To help him keep up with who he was praying for, what he was praying about, and when God answers those prayers.

There are not a lot of resources on practical ways to helping children learn to pray.
So we created our own system.

Several years ago, a good friend showed me the way she was taught to memorize scripture, and we discovered that we can use it to organize our prayer.

I absolutely loved how the system turned out, so I ended up, not only making a box for Alex, but making a box for myself also and I use it every single day.


Here is my Prayer Box...



Everything and everyone I am praying for gets their own blank index card and that index card gets filed in one of these three sections...

DAILY
I have several index cards behind my Daily tab... Keith, Alex, Miles, then friends and family who have somewhat urgent prayer requests, each have their own card. And on that card, I write out the things I am praying for along with the date.

WEEKLY
My weekly tabs have very specific things that I want to make sure I pray for at least once a week.

Monday {Small Groups, Leaders, and Bible Study Girls}
Tuesday {Local Church}
Wednesday {Relatives}
Thursday {Friends}
Friday {United States of America}
Saturday {Lost and Unchurched}
Sunday {Missionaries, World Missions, and Church Planter Friends}

MONTHLY
The last section has 31 numbered tabs. One for everyday of the month.

This is where most of my index cards are filed. I have made cards for our family members, friends, staff, ministry friends all around the country, couples in our small group, the other small group leaders, etc... I think you get the idea.

Each of those cards are placed randomly behind a number.

This is how it works...

Let's say that it is Tuesday, April 6th.

First, I start by taking out the index cards behind my Daily tab and pray through those.

Then, I would go to my Tuesday tab, which is the day I pray specifically for our Church, and pull out the cards behind that tab and pray through those cards.


Lastly, if it's the 6th of the month, I would jump to the number 6 tab and pray through those cards.



I love how easy and organized it is.
I also love that it keeps the answered prayers in front of me.

When we lived in Florida, a staff member found out he had cancer. So, I found the index card that had his family on it, wrote down the date and the prayer request, and moved it behind my daily tab so I could pray for him everyday. After he went through treatment and finally got word that he was cancer free, I wrote the date that God answered the prayer and moved his index card back into the monthly section. Now, when I pray for his family, I can also see how God has been faithful to them and it reminds me to praise Him and thank Him for that.

I realize that this might not work for everyone. I have a lot of friends who keep prayer journals, but since I can't read my own handwriting, journaling never worked for me.

You can also use this system for children who are too young to read by adding pictures of friends and family members.

What are some ways you encourage Spiritual Habits in your children?
What are some resources that you think we should know about?