All posts filed under: Family

How to Write A Thank You Note to God

-written by Jean Daniel If my mother gave you something, she expected to receive a thank you note! It might be a wooden nutcracker for Christmas that she got on sale dirt cheap, or maybe just two dollars stuck in a birthday card. No matter how expensive or cheap the gift was, she would be looking for a handwritten “thank you” note in the mail. If she didn’t get one, she would say, “Well, I guess you didn’t appreciate what I gave you since you didn’t bother to write a thank you note!” The next year you might not receive a gift at all!  My children learned to write thank you notes very quickly. In this age of technology, when was the last time that you received a handwritten thank you note for a gift or thoughtful deed? Showers, weddings, birthdays, graduations. We zip off a text or email to the giver, if we bother to thank them at all.  Just last week, I received a note by snail mail from a friend thanking me for …

4 Practical Fundamentals for Parents of Millennials

This past week at Southern Hills, Shannon finished the “Adulting” series talking about parenting. I would encourage you to listen if you missed it. It is solid teaching when it comes to parenting biblically. My takeaway: It is never too late to lead and disciple your child.  With that in mind, I’d like to share four fundamental practices to parents. 1. Know who your child is hanging out with and being influenced by.  It’s not just ok, it’s your job to look into the social media platforms of your own child and their friends. See what they are posting on Snapchat and Instagram. Get to know their friends on a personal level as well, and let them get to know you. Build a relationship with them. You never know what your relationship with your teenager’s friends may lead them not to do. I would encourage you to take it a step further and get to know the parents of your child’s friends as well. You don’t have to become best friends, but simply being in the …

4 Ways to Improve Your Marriage in the Bedroom

  There have been countless blogs, articles, and books written on the subject of sex, a small portion of which I have even read. But interviewing these couples, there are four principles I think we all need to be reminded of and can start applying today. Start with friendship. These couples laughed a lot together. Like… a lot! Before we even “popped the question” they were goofing around together. The husband would crack a joke and the wife would giggle, often throwing a playful, flirty punch to the shoulder. Some of the couples referenced how they interact throughout the day, using their breaks at work to call each other or meeting for lunch. My intention for asking what they liked to do together was just to get them talking, but I learned a lot from their answers. Even in their busy lives, they made time for each other; their relationship was a priority. What about you? Are you continuing to build a friendship with your spouse? There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life …

3 Ways to be Intentional on Monday

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. – 1 John 3:18 A few months ago we did a series called “I love Mondays.”  Let’s be honest… loving Mondays isn’t easy.  In fact, it almost seems human nature to despise Mondays. The weekend is over and it’s “back to the grind.”  We drag ourselves out of bed after hitting snooze far too many times.  We roll in right at 9:00 AM to an overwhelming list of things to do, a messy desk, a disgruntled boss, and the same mundane routine. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2 Let’s intentionally do on Mondays. First and foremost, intentionally be positive on Mondays!  When we think about Mondays as I described above, no wonder we hate them! Philippians 2:14-15 says, …

How Can You Leverage Technology With Your Child?

Are you amazed when a young child knows how to use your smartphone better than you? Have you ever asked a teenager to fix a computer problem? Kids and students growing up today are referred to as digital natives. A digital native is defined as a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age. For this next generation they have never needed directions to get somewhere, just an address, and if you asked them to grab a tablet they would never go to the medicine cabinet. Technology is being integrated into every facet of their lives. So how do parents leverage technology to build relationships with their kids? With the help of the reThink Group, I want to share with you how to leverage technology through the different phases of childhood. In the preschool phase, we embrace their physical needs. When it comes to technology we need to enjoy the advantages of technology so they will experience boundaries and have a positive …

A Letter for Mother’s Day

You were the first comforter. You were the first provider. You were the first protector. You were the first one to hold me. You were the first one to cry with me. You were the first one to LOVE ME! Mom, you were the first. How amazing it is, Mom, that you carried my heartbeat? Is not God amazing? Who gets to do that, but mothers. How special you are to God and how special you are to me. The bond that we have is holy and unique. There is no other human connection that I have that compares to the one that we share. This is God’s design, His perfect plan. I’m sure even Christ, in his humanity, reached his arms out towards his mother and found comfort in her embrace. The humanity of Jesus was just like our humanity. He came into the world just as feeble and as untaught as any other child that ever was born. No mother was ever more to her infant than Mary was to Jesus. She taught him …

From Inadequate and Hurt to a God-Centered Marriage

You love your spouse… or at least you did when you said, “I do.” You love Jesus. So why is marriage hard?  Why is it you sit down around the dinner table and instead of pleasant conversation, you stew on the inadequacies of your spouse? Why do you feel a void left by a spouse who doesn’t fulfill you? What if marriage is less about our desire for comfort, happiness, and self-fulfillment and more about us being transformed into the likeness and character of Jesus? Wrestling with this question, asked by Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Marriage, can radically transform the focus of your marriage from a self-satisfying marriage to a Christ-centered marriage.  Romans 12:2 commands, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If you want to break the pattern of this world by having a God-centered marriage, here are a few steps …

5 Ways to Glorify God in Your Parenting

Parenting is hard. It’s probably the most difficult thing that we’ve ever had to do. Our responsibility isn’t just to feed, clothe, bathe, and repeat for 18 years. Honestly, if it were just that, it would be much easier. But for Christ followers, caregiving is only the beginning. Kelli and I became parents a little over 3 years ago, so we are still learning. We definitely don’t have it all figured out and we understand that we aren’t nearly as deep into parenting as many of you. However, if you are willing, we’d like to share what we’ve learned in hopes that it helps all of us parent for God’s glory. Here are 5 ways we glorify God in our parenting: 1) Love your children Everything we ever do as Christ followers is to be done in love, even parenting. I don’t mean the warm-fuzzy “love” feeling.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of …

The Greatest Role You Play

I was eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant a few years back with a student in the community. He had just recently been caught with some questionable text messages that he had been sending and receiving from girls he knew and girls he had never met. Part of his punishment was having his phone taken from him. He could not understand why his parents were “over-reacting.” He did not think the text messages where that big of a deal. Our conversation led into a discussion about abstinence and how God created females, not as an object, but as an incredible plan for life long marriage. I talked about the delicate responsibility of sex and why God created it. I could tell that he was getting aggravated and he finally blurted out, “But I don’t think it’s that big of a deal; it’s just sex.” My mouth dropped. After sitting in my emotions for a moment and gathering my thoughts, I said, “But this is not how we treat females.” And then he said something that …

The Belt Makes The Man

-written by Joe Bradley Recently, I started to use a belt to help me raise my boys.  Let me explain how. “Vestis virum facit” means “Clothes makes the man.”  Mark Twain put it a little better when he said, “Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.”  My son Jack was the one who really brought this saying home for me.   One day we were getting ready to go to church and Jack ran in my room, poked his chest out, and loudly proclaimed, “Look Daddy!  I’m wearing a belt and a tucked in shirt just like you! Don’t I look handsome?”  It didn’t hit me until a few days later what Jack was really saying: “Daddy, I’m watching you.” My oldest son is watching my every move, my every action, my every word. Even though he doesn’t always follow directions when I tell him to clean his room or to be nice to his brother, he is always paying attention. This realization was scary and made me evaluate my daily life. Does he see me getting dressed …