Never Underestimate a 3-Year-Old!

In my Parenting Bible Study class which meets on Wednesdays, I was asked by one of the Moms, “How old were your children when they started spending “Special Time with Mom?”

I knew our children were at least four, but I could not remember if I did “Special Time with Mom” when they were age three.

I had the wonderful privilege of leading our eldest daughter, Kristen to the Lord at age three.  At the time, I was not convinced Kristen was really saved, because

Kristen, standing in her Daddy's shoes
Kristen, standing in her Daddy’s shoes

she was so young.  A year later, I knew for certain Kristen was a believer, because of her deep concern for others to get saved. I saw the fruit of her salvation.  Kristen, who is now a Pastor’s wife with five children, says that she remembers trusting Jesus as her Savior at age three. I had underestimated my 3-year-old. It also occurred to me that if a child could get saved at age three, then that is a good age in which to begin having “Special Time With Mom.”

In the Bible, a three-year-old child fell on his face and worshiped the Lord at the temple.  Any guesses who this child might be?

“And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he (Samuel) worshipped the LORD there.”  1Samuel 1:24-28

handsIt was the custom in Bible times for mothers to nurse their babies until they were three.  When Hannah and Samuel arrived at the temple, the little child, Samuel, worshiped the Lord there.

“Worshipped” in the Hebrew is “shachah” and is defined as “to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to fall before in homage (respect) to God.”

Imagine that! Can you picture little bright eyed, chubby-cheeked Samuel in the temple showing honor to God by bowing down and worshiping Him? A three-year-old child fell prostrate before the Lord and worshiped Him! How precious is that!

How can this happen?  We understand “how” by studying Hannah, his mother. Samuel learned faith from his mother. While Samuel was worshiping the Lord in the temple, his mother, Hannah, broke out in a song of praise to the Lord.

We must also remember that Hannah was doing something very difficult at the time she broke out in praise. This mother was called of God to surrender her child to minister full time in the temple of God. Can you imagine dropping your three-year-old child off to live permanently somewhere else? The deepest level of worship is when a person praises God in the midst of pain and sorrow.

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2: 1,2.

Why would a little child worship the Lord? Do you think Hannah may have mother baby~whispered these words of praise in her son’s ear while she rocked and nursed him? Do you think Samuel worshiped God at age three, because his mother, whose life exemplifies faithfulness, taught her son to be faithful to God? Spending one-on-one time with her son, Hannah taught him to love the Lord.

Hannah did not underestimate her three-year-old child. Have we underestimated our three-year-old child?

I was not positive my child had trusted Jesus to save her at age three, but I did ponder it in my heart and wondered. Then, I saw the fruit of Kristen’s salvation a year later, and I knew for certain my daughter had trusted Jesus as her Savior.

I believe Hannah started training up her child in the way he should go as soon as he was born. Hannah was known in the Bible for praying aloud. I am sure her baby recognized his mother’s voice from hearing her pray while he was within the womb.

If I were asked today, “At what age was your child, when he started having Special Time With Mom,” I would answer differently. I would say, “I cannot remember what age I began “Special Time with Mom,” but I now believe a 3-year-old will benefit more than we can ever imagine.”

We must never underestimate our three-year-old child. We must never underestimate the incredible influence a faithful, praying mother has over her little child, even while nursing him and even while he is in the womb.

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”  Luke 18:17

Jonathan Edward’s 70 Daily Life Resolutions:

Do you make New Year Resolutions?  I do!

May your New Year be a wonderful year! On each day of 2014, may you and I be in child-like awe as we LOOK for the blessings from our Heavenly Father that He sends directly to us, His children! He loves you and me with an everlasting love! That fact makes me smile!

I thought I would post Jonathan Edward’s Daily Life Resolutions, because this hero of faith is an encouragement to me.

Jonathan Edward’s 70 Daily Life Resolutions:

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’ s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’ s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‹A faithful man who can find? may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’ s day.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’ s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.
64. Resolved, when I find those groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, that is to say, with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every
circumstance.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

I am resolved

Christmas Trees, More Trees and Wives

Some Christians argue that the Christmas tree is a Pagan symbol of worship, and we should not put up a Christmas tree. (Image~tripwiremagazine.com)

As we trace history, the Pagans are known to take Christian truths and distort them. Take a glimpse of the religions and customs of the pagan world, and you will find Bible truths that are re-packaged in lies and distortion. For example, Hindus believe this lie about their false god, Krishna: he was miraculously conceived by a virgin, his family had to travel to pay yearly tax, his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds who brought gifts and so on. Does that story sound familiar?  Who is behind these distortions of truth? The devil is the father of lies. “for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Listen to what God said about trees. “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary…” (Isaiah 60:13) God’s glory was revealed as the Creator of the evergreen trees and His house was made beautiful by them.

Where did the tradition of Christmas tree lights come from? In the 1500’s, Martin Luther, turned the world upside down by teaching the Bible truth that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. Martin Luther is also credited as being the first person to put candles on a Christmas tree to represent “Jesus is the light of the world.” Traditionally, many times the Christmas tree is topped with a star or an angel to symbolize the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

There are two other very important trees mentioned in the Bible. These two trees represent God’s redemptive plan.

  1. The first tree brought separation.
  2. The second tree brought reconciliation.*

Can you guess what trees these are?

Once upon a time in the beautiful garden of Eden there lived the very first husband and wife. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed and they had the freedom to take freely of the land, but God had one limitation; Adam and Eve were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”  (Genesis 2:16,17)

Satan meets Eve by that tree and asks the first question designed to cast doubt on God’s love, plan, care and grace, “hath God said?  By the way, Satan, to this day, uses this same method to put doubt in our minds as to the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word is true, no matter what circumstances are going on in our lives.

When something bad happens, have you ever had the thought, “God, don’t you care?” I asked that question when I was in my second trimester and experienced my seventh miscarriage. Guess who whispered that question to you and to me to cause us to doubt God and His Word? The father of lies, Satan. His plan is to create doubt, discourage, and depress. The truth is that God said in His Word that He loves you and me with an everlasting love. God tenderly cares for you and me with compassion and mercy.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6

Did you notice Adam was with Eve in verse 6?  You probably won’t miss it, because I put those words in bold. Adam was also not deceived according to 1 Timothy 2:14. He was with his wife, but did not protect or lead as the husband of his household. Husband means house-band. The husband is the band that keeps the household together. Notice, the division that occurred as Adam blames his wife and God for his sinful action. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12)

When Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, she followed her feelings rather than the command of God. The devil will tempt wives to follow their emotions. Let us keep our feelings in control with the Truth of God’s Word. I desire to be Spirit-led, not emotionally-led. Because a wife has a huge influence on her husband’s decisions, she needs to ask the Lord for wisdom. I don’t want to influence the love of my life to make a poor decision for our family. So, I must spend time in the Word of God everyday. On the other hand, it is the wise husband who listens to the counsel of his Spirit-led wife.  God gives discernment to the wife when she seeks God’s will for her family.

Confession of Heaven bound Homemaker: There were many times I influenced my husband for good, but there was one time my emotion-led influence makes  he read, "How to be a gentleman."me shudder to think about what could have happened.  Let me just say that a suave debonaire young man who had read a book on “How to be a Gentleman” came for our daughter, and I was completely taken in by his charm. My husband knew the truth about the young man and thank the Lord, God worked things out for good for our family.

My advice to all wives out there: Because he is a man, our husband knows men better than we do, so we need to heed his counsel when the young men come to court our daughters. A husband can do a better job of sizing the young men up. Daddy should prepare his daughter ahead of time to be on guard of the deceptive young man. A wife can size young ladies up best. Mother should prepare her son ahead of time about the deceptive young woman. God warns about “her” in Proverbs. We are thankful to God for a godly daughter-in-law and godly sons-in-law for our three children! Blessed! Also, ladies, let us not be a matchmaker. We may be treading on dangerous ground. It is alright to introduce two people without having any ulterior motives; then allow God to do the rest.

Notice, Eve also blamed “another” for her sin. She blamed the devil for her actions. “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) No, Eve, the devil did not make you do it.

blameBlaming someone else is a lame excuse for sinning. What are we blaming our sin on? Our past, someone else, our circumstances etc? What is our excuse for sinning? Do we realize pride is at the root of blaming others and making excuses for our sins? Have we taught our children that they are accountable for their sin before God and there is no excuse?

Adam and Eve both failed at that first tree, because Eve doubted God’s Word and Adam defied God’s Word. Sin and death entered into the world because of that first tree. First sin fascinates, then sin assassinates.

Because Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the forbidden tree, we are all born sinners. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

The good news is what God told the devil in Genesis 3:15; “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This Scripture is our hope. This Scripture is about the 2nd tree; the tree of Calvary.

Satan will first bruise Christ’s heel, his human nature. But, Christ will crush Satan’s head, Satan’s strategy. How? By dying for our sins on the tree at Calvary and by conquering the grave.  This is a Christmas verse as to why Jesus was born of a woman, the virgin Mary. The seed of the virgin woman is Jesus Christ who will deliver the death blow to Satan by conquering sin and death .

A woman was the instrument that brought sin into the world, but God used a woman to bring the Saviour into the world.

Fast forward to Luke 2~ Once upon a time, there was a godly teenage virgin, named Mary.  What a lesson for young ladies to stay pure! God still wants to use the unmarried godly virgin girl to impact the world for Him. I know TV and movies depict it as “normal” to lose one’s virginity before marriage, but that is not God’s design.  Liberal minds and those who do not have morals write those Scripts. Making the choice to remain a virgin until marriage… what better wedding gift to give one’s spouse on the wedding night! Purity was my wedding gift to my husband and purity was his wedding gift to me. Our children and their spouses gave this wedding gift to one another. Purity is powerful!

Mary was gentle, and humble, so God chose her for a great honor. God uses the woman who is tender and submissive. God said, “Be ye holy for I am holy.” God will use the woman who has yielded all. Whether single or married, to find favor with God, a woman must be a clean vessel for His use.

The angel, Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast Mary ~ Gabrielfound favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” Luke 1:30,31

Notice, Scripture says about Mary, “thou are highly favored.” (Luke 1:28) Mary is not lifted above women, Mary lifted womanhood.

Just as we all, born sinners need a Saviour, Mary needed a Saviour too, as she said these words, “My Spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47

Jesus Christ was coming to earth to die on a tree. He would make his arrival, born of a virgin, in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and he would lay in a manger.  The question at Christmas is not that Jesus is born, but why was Jesus born?

We cannot get saved by the birth of Jesus. As Jesus grew up, He could not save in His healing power or by His incredible teaching. There was only one way Jesus could save us. “without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).” (Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus, the innocent had to die for the guilty!  Jesus was born of a virgin. Had Jesus Christ been born like we were born, He would have been a son of Adam. Had He been the son of Adam, He would have been a sinner. Had He been a sinner, He could not have been innocent. What was His ultimate purpose for coming? Jesus Christ, the last Adam, came, born of a virgin, to undo what the first Adam did. Jesus Christ was born so that He could die! Jesus would hang on a tree, having become cursed for our sake, to bear the penalty of our sin. He would hang on a tree so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and have communion with God restored and spend all eternity with Him!

At age 33, Jesus was publicly brutally crucified. The pain of crucifixion on the tree is excruciating. Did you know the word, “excruciating” came from the Latin language and literally means, “out of the cross”. This cruel form of death created its own vocabulary word for pain; excruciating.

As He hung on the tree, Jesus ministered to the dying thief who ended up trusting Jesus to save him. Jesus showed honor to His mother and told John to take care of her.  Jesus spoke His final words, “It is finished” which means, Paid in full! (John 19:30)

The first tree was in Eden. It revealed the pride of man.

The second tree was on Calvary. It revealed the pardon of man.

The top of the cross pointed toward the heavens to point the way there. The arms on the cross outstretched “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  God loves me this much with his arms outstretched on that tree! Thank You, Lord!

I am enjoying looking at my sparkly Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath it. As I sit here, sipping on my coffee, Bible in hand, taking in my  surroundings, I am reminded that the Greatest Gift was not placed under the tree; the Greatest Gift was hung on a tree… for you and for me.

The million dollar question is: What are we to do about the Free Gift?
“But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on his name.” John 1:12

Unwrap the free gift of salvation, by confessing to Jesus you have sinned and ask  Jesus to save you. Receive Him into your heart today! For more on “how to be 100% sure you are going to heaven,” visit the post on my website:

https://www.heavenboundhomemaker.com/how-to-be-100-sure-youre-going-to-heaven/

You are cherished with an everlasting love! That truth makes me smile with JOY.

Merry CHRISTmas to all!

*Many statements in this post are from a sermon, by Pastor Stephen Davey.

Ideas for Setting the Christmas Table

A Christmas Tradition at our church is called “Prepare Him Room.” This year, the theme was JOY! When I think of JOY, this acronym comes to mind:

  • J esus First
  • O thers Second
  • Y ourself last

For me, Prepare Him Room is such an incredible ladies church event, that it has become an annual mother-daughter special time together.

Walking into the gorgeous room, the many round tables with exquisite Christmas table decorations and settings, will absolutely take your breath away.

I have posted many of these incredible Christmas table decorations. Enjoy~

Christmas Table Setting 2What a festive idea, using ornaments~

Christmas Table Setting 3For a woodsy table setting, don’t you just love these chargers? Notice the names of Jesus set in the pine cones~

 

Table Setting 4Oh Come Let Us Adore Him~

 

Table Setting 5Dazzling and Blue~

Table Setting 6Candles and Candy Canes~

Table Setting 7The layered look is fabulous~

Table Setting 8Delightful~

 

Table Setting 9 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11

JOYAs I grow older, my Christmas list grows smaller, because what matters in my life cannot be bought. We are traveling to visit family for Christmas, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  JOY to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her KING! Let every heart prepare HIM room…

Teach Child: Put off Carnal Attitudes~Put on Christ-likeness

At our Parenting Bible Study, the leaders of each small group had a panel discussion. I spoke on the need to encourage our children when we see Christ-like character qualities. Included is a list of definitions of character qualities that we used when our children were growing up. May we, as parents teach our children to put off carnal attitudes and put on Christ-likeness, and may we be good examples.

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

Put On     /      Put Off:

Alertness vs. Unawareness

Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response to it (Mark 14:38)

Attentiveness vs. Unconcern

Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)

Availability vs. Self-centeredness

Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving (Philippians 2:20–21)

Boldness vs. Fearfulness

Confidence that what I have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God (Acts 4:29)

Cautiousness vs. Rashness

Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions (Proverbs 19:2)

Compassion vs. Indifference

Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others (I John 3:17)

Contentment vs. Covetousness

Realizing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness (I Timothy 6:8)

Creativity vs. Underachievement

Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective (Romans 12:2)

Decisiveness vs. Double-mindedness

The ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God (James 1:5)

Deference vs. Rudeness

Limiting my freedom in order to not offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve (Romans 14:21)

Dependability vs. Inconsistency

Fulfilling what I consented to do even if it means unexpected sacrifice (Psalm 15:4)

Determination vs. Faintheartedness

Purposing to accomplish God’s goals in God’s time regardless of the opposition (II Timothy 4:7–8)

Diligence vs. Slothfulness

Visualizing each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to accomplish it (Colossians 3:23)

Discernment vs. Judgment

The God-given ability to understand why things happen (I Samuel 16:7)

Discretion vs. Simplemindedness

The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)

Endurance vs. Giving up

The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)

Enthusiasm vs. Apathy

Expressing with my soul the joy of my spirit (I Thessalonians 5:16,19)

Faith vs. Presumption

Visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it (Hebrews 11:1)

Flexibility vs. Resistance

Not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others (Colossians 3:2)

Forgiveness vs. Rejection

Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and allowing God to love them through me (Ephesians 4:32)

Generosity vs. Stinginess

Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes (II Corinthians 9:6)

Gentleness vs. Harshness

Showing personal care and concern in meeting the need of others (I Thessalonians 2:7)

Gratefulness vs. Unthankfulness

Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life (I Corinthians 4:7)

Hospitality vs. Loneliness

Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those whom God brings into my life (Hebrews 13:2)

Humility vs. Pride

Recognizing that it is actually God and others who are responsible for the achievements in my life (James 4:6)

Initiative vs. Unresponsiveness

Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it (Romans 12:21)

Joyfulness vs. Self-pity

The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord (Psalm 16:11)

Justice vs. Fairness

Personal responsibility to God’s unchanging laws (Micah 6:8)

Love vs. Selfishness

Giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward (I Corinthians 13:3)

Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness

Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those whom He has called me to serve (John 15:13)

Meekness vs. Anger

Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God (Psalm 62:5)

Obedience vs. Willfulness

Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority (II Corinthians 10:5)

Orderliness vs. Disorganization

Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency (I Corinthians 14:40)

Patience vs. Restlessness

Accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it (Romans 5:3–4)

Persuasiveness vs. Contentiousness

Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks (II Timothy 2:24)

Punctuality vs. Tardiness

Showing high esteem for other people and their time (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Resourcefulness vs. Wastefulness

Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard (Luke 16:10)

Responsibility vs. Unreliability

Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me (Romans 14:12)

Reverence vs. Disrespect

Awareness of how God is working through the people and events in my life to produce the character of Christ in me (Proverbs 23:17–18)

Security vs. Anxiety

Structuring my life around that which is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away (John 6:27)

Self-Control vs. Self-indulgence

Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:24–25)

Sensitivity vs. Callousness

Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me (Romans 12:15)

Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy

Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22)

Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness

Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected (Proverbs 18:15)

Thriftiness vs. Extravagance

Not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary (Luke 16:11)

Tolerance vs. Prejudice

Acceptance of others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity (Philippians 2:2)

Truthfulness vs. Deception

Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts (Ephesians 4:25)

Virtue vs. Impurity

The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word (II Peter 1:3)

Wisdom vs. Natural Inclinations

Seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference (Proverbs 9:10)

Do you know other character qualities we need to “put on?”

http://billgothard.com/teaching/characterqualities