Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spare time to pray for your children

It seems that my quiet time is all too frequently gone before I’ve had time to get to some of the intercession I want to do for my children. For a few years this has frustrated me- but I don’t want to give up my Bible reading or general prayer journaling which I do before I turn to the “Intercession” section of my journal. Well, inspired by my husband’s lengthy prayer “showers”--- hey- the shower is pretty close to a closet-
       “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room [King James says 'closet'], close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matt. 6:6
                                
-I decided perhaps that place, THE SHOWER, might be a good opportunity to recapture and repurpose minutes I desired to use, continuing in my quiet time, in prayer for the kids! Let’s face it, the shower is sometimes the only quiet place in the house- though for Mom, not even always then!!!
In pursuit of this project, I laminated my prayer pages and hung them on the shower wall. I used some little suction cups, but found that on our smooth walled plastic shower, I didn’t even really need those. When moistened, the laminated pages cling to the wall. So now, while I’m suds-ing up my hair, I’m praying a virture. And while I’m rinsing out shampoo, I’m speaking verses of blessings for them. An added bonus is that my husband has joined me in praying the same things for our kids each day.
        "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." ~Matt. 18:20

In case it would bless you to know, I use two different things for this everyday praying for the kids. One is 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for your Kids. I pray the virtue by the day of the month. Then, I have for years used some prayers out of a book called Prayer Portions for the Family. I retype them and personalize them with my kids’ names each January for the upcoming year. I have used basically Sylvia Gunter’s numbers to correlate with their age (with a few exceptions) and I wrote my own for the year they are in utero and infancy. I also type out a few of her Scripture references underneath as they spawn more prayers for me as the year goes on. So the virtue changes daily, but the large prayer focus of the year is the same everyday. I do the same thing for my god-children.

I have been SO BLESSED this year by this simple act of laminating these two prayer pages for my children and hanging them up in my shower. I hope one of you can recapture a few moments you didn’t even realize you had and spend it in fruitful prayer for your children!

God bless you as you fulfill the Great Commission to “Go and make disciples…”- starting at HOME!

Katherine

© 2011 Katherine Clark | All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Memorizing Scripture Together

"Be careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity..." ~ Ephesians 5:15

 A wise use of our time is committing God's Word to memory so that it is available for the Holy Spirit to use it in guiding us and speaking to us.  In our day and age, memorization seems to be frowned upon.  Is it too hard?  NO!  Absolutely not!  But yes, it does take a little work or repetition.  A few Scriptures in case you need convincing:

  1. "I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11 
    By memorizing Scripture, we give ourselves and our children an internal guide to direct us and keep us on God's path.
  2. "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth…He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you." John 16:13 , 14 The Holy Spirit will bring to mind the Scriptures we have learned to speak to us and instruct us.
  3. "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Eph. 6:17) By memorizing, we take up the SWORD of the Spirit (the Word) and are ready for the spiritual battles we encounter every day.
  4. "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts" (Deut. 6:6)
  5. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…" Col. 3:16

I cannot tell you how much knowing Scripture has benefited me and shaped me during my life. In an effort for my children to have the same blessings, we are memorizing Scriptures together. Here is my attempt to help motivate them. (I believe the initial idea for this book came from Faith Training by Joe White- I will look for it and try to update the post.)

THE PLAN:

I have written verses on colorful index cards and posted them up around the house (microwave, bathroom mirror, on the wall in front of the toilet, etc!). So, they read and re-read the verses and try to learn them.

One morning, I'll ask them to write the verse on an index card and recite it to me. If they can, they earn 25¢. The learned verse card is put into their memory card box. They also write the verses reference (John 3:16) on a slip of colored paper (one color per kid) and drop it into a vase on the kitchen table.

Once a week (ideally)- I dump the slips of paper out onto the table and quiz them. They earn an additional 5¢ for remembering the verse. Conversely, I get 5¢ back if they don't remember it very well.

Then, I rotate the verses as they learn them and put up from ones. I encourage the older to read to and quiz the youngers- while brushing teeth, for example. And, from our experience- their competitiveness kicks in a bit and they want to be able to do what their siblings are doing!

TIPS and TRICKS:

We have used many CD's over the years that have Scripture set to music. Learning verses they've previously sung is very EASY! Here are a few of our favorites:

A Google or Amazon search will help you to locate MANY more!!! : )

If you are interested in bit more systematic approach- at least of the reviewing part… check out this link for a great system! Regardless of how you go about it… it is a VERY WORTHWILE endeavor- and nothing brings me greater joy than to see my kiddos marching around the house reciting Psalm 119:11 (I have hidden your Word in my heart…) to the beat!

God bless you in the learning as you begin to make disciples- starting at home!
Katherine
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pray with Kids for Libya

This morning, in an effort to combine geography, a little history, current events, and an emphasis on missions (because on the 31st day of the month we pray for our kids to have a heart for missions)--- I made a worksheet to help the girls do some research on Libya. It really worked out beautifully (though it took a little longer than I might have planned!). We used some resources online- mostly here under the "Missions Research Websites" tab (1st on the list). Especially helpful was "Operation World". Then once we've found all of the answers together, looked up some definitions (such as "insurrection"), and determined from the WHOLE sheet what their prayer needs were, we spent a few minutes together praying through that list. {sigh} Makes a mother's heart soar. Now that I have these resources, I hope to make this a regular activity! God bless you and YOUR family as seek to make the Gospel known, shape your children's worldview into God's worldview, and raise up faithful disciples to spread His love. ~Katherine Clark

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meaningful Days of Advent


I found a VERY COOL blog yesterday (by designer Ali Edwards) showing how to make a small memory book for each day in December and was inspired to make one with our family. One thing I really like about the idea is its potential for helping us to make the most of the days of Advent. As I looked through her examples and at my own inspiration books, I'd like to suggest a twist on the memory book idea. I hope to use the added incentive to make the days count- not only to do fun things- but to bring meaning and illumination to this season of preparation which is so rich with depth and meaning. An easy way to start is to find out what meaning lies beneath things you already do--- such as the Christmas tree, lights, or Advent wreaths. An excellent resource is Lisa Whelchel's The ADVENTure of Christmas. By making the memory book and journaling with the kids WHY we do the things we do, we can added another layer to the building of faith along with making memories. I don't expect that every entry in our December Daily book will have deep meaning (some may just show mugs of gourmet hot chocolate or a fun craft), but by starting to intentionally to look for the why's behind the traditions, I know we will have a rich and blessed Advent, filled with the Truth rather than just the all too familiar holiday hustle and bustle ending with the "stuff". Praying your family finds creative ways to make the most of this Advent, preparing and rejoicing for His coming~
Katherine

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Raising Godly Daughters


I was recently asked for recommendations for resources to prepare for discussing "girl" topics. We have used many wonderful resources which are worthy of sharing. I have just ordered several more (which I'll try to review in the not TOO distant future) which I hope to use in the next year or two with my girls. (Raising a Modern Day Princess, Passport2Purity, Secret Keeper Girls, Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl) Below are the books we've already used and recommend. I also recommend anything by Vicky Courtney, Dannah Gresh, or Leslie Ludy. These women have a passion to see a virtuous generation of godly girls survive the bombardment of their culture and mature into godly women. For more information on this topic- check out Generations of Virtue. Do you have resources you don't see listed? PLEASE COMMENT and share them with us!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Christian Worldview

How committed are you as a parent to a Christian/Biblical Worldview? What even IS a Christian worldview? A worldview is the lense through which we interpret the world around us. Therefore, a Christian/Biblical worldview seeks to view life through the lense of the Bible and honor the Biblical perspective across all areas of life- all disciplines of education. So- science- from the perspective of the Bible begins with creation and includes the great flood as it interprets physical evidence, looks at history as God's story, HIS-story, and so on. If you do not have a Biblical worldview yourself, it will be difficult to pass on to your children. There is a quiz you can take to assess your OWN worldview. It is enlightening (and HUMBLING!) to find gaps in our view.

George Barna's research shows that a person's worldview is set by the age of 13. Without a major catalyst- it will not change. (See his book Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should Be Your Church's #1 Priority for more on this.) As a parent, this says to me, I must be considering my children's worldview from day 1 and helping them to learn and know Scripture so they can view and interpret their world according to it.

A couple of resources we've found helpful to aid in this- Answers in Genesis ministry for creation science.

Wallbuilders ministry for rich, American history which is deeply rooted in faith.

It is not easy to walk counter to the step and pace of our culture. As Christian parents, we must ask ourselves, do we want our children to be a product of the culture, or the product of a distinctly Christian home. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. God bless you as you seek to make disciples at home.

~Katherine

Friday, April 16, 2010

Helpful Resources for Character Training

I found several resources at the website which I am hoping will be helpful resources for character-training in our home. I thought I'd pass the link on before I forgot, but I hope to write an update of how we've used them and the impact they've made on our growth sometime down the road!

Doorposts appears to be a Reformed ministry for homeschooling families. They have been operating for a number of years and have developed some neat helps for families. I am always happy to support families who serve the community by working together.

Hope you find something helpful to growing the disciples in your home!
~Katherine

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