As your children get older and they want to put their faith into practice, we’ve found that going on a short term missions trip is timely. The entire process of deciding to go, attending preparatory meetings, borrowing/gathering/purchasing the necessary items to go, writing/sending letters to potential prayer partners and those who would give financially, packing, then going promotes maturing. Furthermore, actually getting away from the daily responsibilities and “all that clamors for a young person’s attention eg. phone, computer, internet, xanga, etc.” allows the student to focus on putting others first. Jesus poured Himself out for His people. He suffered the punishment that we deserved.
When a young person goes to a different part of the USA or into another country to be a witness, great things can/do/will happen. Being exposed to others who are different, or poorer, or who speak another language is life changing. A resource that we have found very useful in our children’s lives is a book called Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk. “When man works, man works; when man prays, God works.” This is a quote on page Xiii fo the book. It was Hans von Staden, the man God used to name Operation World, who often quoted those words. This manual is a catalyst for prayer as dozens of countries are described. This is definitely worth having. And there is a children’s version, too, for the younger students.
A Proverbs 31 woman does not stay home and eat chips and dip all day. In fact, rarely. If ever! She is serving others: her family, friends, people the Lord brings across her path. This week our family is able to host 2 German musicians here on a Blue Lake exchange tour. They are in an orchestra.
We are thankful for such opportunities where we can open our home ( which actually is the Lord’s home!) and share the love of Christ. We provide food, shelter, and opportunities to see what an American family lives like. One of the keys to offering hospitality is to be prepared (with food, a plan, etc.) yet, to be flexible. Since the students arrived last night, already some planned events were canceled (due to instruments still being left behind in Germany) and new events have been lined up. Flexibility is key!
Today, my youngest child and I will play some fiddling tunes at our friend’s 90th birthday! He is a wood carver who has a zest for life! We have friends of all ages. This friend and his wife have reminded us to be thankful for each day the Lord gives, to live life to the fullest, and to keep learning new things. Recently, this friend was given an aquarium with fish to take care of. Also, he and his wife take regular “field trips” (aka outings….and not just to the doctor’s office).
When I wrote the blog entry about swimming, my 11 yr. old asked what that had to do with being a Proverbs 31 woman.
Well, the Proverbs 31 woman girds her loins with strength, she takes care of her health by eating well, exercising, and taking care of herself. “Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.” A Proverbs 31 woman is a woman who fears the Lord; she keeps everything in balance.
In Sunday School we’ve been viewing the Francis Schaeffer video series “How Shall We Then Live“. Fantastic. Concise. Very clear evaluation of what’s been going on over the centuries.
I’m thankful I can see this series again after having seen it in college, and several years ago in Sunday School. I was challenged to search the Scripture for verses pertaining to influencing culture. Here are some verses I found:
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle…
Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord god took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
Psalm 8:6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under his feet.
Job 14:15 You shall call, and I will answer you; you shall desire the work of your hands.
Psalm 104:23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.
Psalm 101:3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
My 11 year old daughter is on a local summer swimming team. Mon. – Thurs. morning the team practices from 8am – 9am. Sometimes the neighbor children ride bikes together. If that doesn’t work, I put my bike helmet on and bike over with my daughter.
Once or twice a week they’ve had swim meets. There are over 60 events, from 100 free style relays to IM’s to 50 breast stroke. All 4 strokes are covered in age groups beginning with 6 and under upwards to the 17-18 year olds. This year, my daughter has enjoyed swimming and has earned 2 firsts, 2 seconds, and 2 third place ribbons. It has been a joy to watch her swim and learn about being on a team.
When you’re on a team, you need to remember that being a “good sport” is followed. The players/swimmers need to encourage eachother, congratulate each other, and do their part. Whining and complaining aren’t conducive to fostering sportsmanship. If there’s a discrepancy, it can be dealt with calmly.
This week is the city qualifying meet where all the children gather at one pool and therefore the competition is more stiffl. Then, the final meet is next week with the top places participating. It’s a fun summer sport. Several years ago some of the children went on to continue year round swimming with a U.S.S. team. That was a big commitment.
When I ride the bike with my daughter to swim practice, I usually exercise by walking around the track. Today, the chlorine reading was too high, so my walk was cut short because practice was canceled. Flexibility is key!!