Savoring…Words

 For many years, my daughter and her family lived in Atlanta, GA.  In my travels to and from my speaking engagements, it often worked out to spend a night or two with them.  When I was there, I would always ask to read the bedtime stories to the grandchildren…and they begged for me to do it.  They knew that I would read as many stories as they liked and did not  skip any pages.  Mothers are usually in a hurry.  Grandmothers are not.

This is why, Dear Reader, as grandparents, we must make the choice to be involved with our grandkids.  They need the balance of parents and grandparents.  Children can sense “hurry.”  Grandparents can help slow the pace for our grandkids.

On one such occasion, I read Anna Esther all her favorite stories, said prayers with her, and kissed her good night.

As I stood to leave the room, she looked up and me and said, “Nana, could you just stay long enough for me to tell you how much I love you?”

My heart stood still – bursting with delight.  I bent down to hold her again, knowing that was the only way to respond to such precious words.  She reached up, took my face in her hands and pulling me ever so close, whispered: “Nana, I could never get over telling you how much I love you.”

Tears flowed.  I left her room – wanting to find a quiet place to savor her words.  Yes, I wrote her precious words in my journal – never to be forgotten.

That’s more than a grandmother story.  It is a God story!

God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross and His outstretched arms reach to all humanity with this love message:

              “ I could never get done telling

                you how much I love you.”

He took the burden of our sins, nailed them to the cross, and signed it with his own blood, sealing His love story forever.  He never stops telling us of His love no matter what we have done, where we have been, or what we will do.

Like a grandchild who declares, “Nana, I could never get done telling you how much I love you,” our Heavenly Father gives the same message: “I will never get over my love for you.”

Savor His words from 1st Thessalonians 3:12, which says:

“ …may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes on everyone around you”

 (The MESSAGE ).

* Savor…means relish, fragrance, affection, flavor, virtue, admiration, contentment, adoration, feasting on, drinking in, rejoicings in and delighting in words.

  These are lovely words to savor and bless.

Esther

                                                                                                                          

Grace Upon Grace

2340619606_0a92acdea4_oDuring our senior year at Oklahoma Baptist University, my husband was serving as part time Music Minister at First Baptist Church, Lindsey, OK. That meant choir rehearsals every Wednesday and, then back on Saturday afternoon to prepare for Sunday Worship. We were young and it worked well for us. Little did we know in the two years we served this wonderful church, we would come to understand grace upon grace, and more grace.

Lindsey is an oil and farming community and for us, it became blessings beyond anything we could have envisioned or deserved. Almost every Sunday, we were invited for lunch in homes of kind and generous people who adopted two young college students who needed “family”.
We spent every Saturday evening with Mark and Maude Weese. This meant having a great dinner, with angel food cake – covered in thick, orange icing, and watching the very popular TV series, Gunsmoke, on a black and white TV.

Each Saturday, we went to the IGA grocery store on Main, owned by one of the deacons, T. J. Goodner. No matter what we spent, T.J. would put the bag of groceries in the back seat, then shaking Bob’s hand—leaving money that more than covered what we had just spent! He would just say, God bless you, and walk away. How does one get over that kind of grace?

As we headed back to OBU, our back seat held homemade goodies, and goodies from our generous church family. Grace upon grace.

Returning from our churches we got together with couples who also served in Oklahoma churches, to share the manna given week after week. Grace indelibly marked our hearts, setting patterns worthy imitating. Yes, grace—upon grace!

Family Worship Times

 

If this is a new idea for you, begin immediately!

The art of family worship is really quite simple. It is

  • As simple or as complex as you wish to make it
  • It can be once a week, twice a month, whatever suits your family
  • Usually the Mom who takes the lead

10 Practical Pointers for Family Worship by Mike Burn

  1. Use a variety of songs.
  1. Avoid saying that family worship is “ especially for the children
  1. If you are going to use action songs, explain why we do them. Never force anyone to join (especially teenagers), ask them to help teach the action songs.
  2. When younger children are involved, make sure they are part of the experience.
  1. Be enthusiastic about family worship!
  1. Be visual in family worship where you can and don’t just talk and sing, but use dance, visual illustrations, or anything with movement.
  2. Use contributions from as many different ages as you can.
  1. Be practical about the length of time that children can concentrate.

9. Once in a while, ask for feedback.

10. Persevere with family worship. Where there is unity, God commands the blessing!

Be sure to go to Mike’s website: http://www.familyworship.org.uk/authors/mike 

 (This article is taken from the introduction to the songbook for Family Worship 3 – Fire & Rain.) 

www.AHolyExperience.com — Website of AnnVoskamp, chock full of beautiful impressions in images, words, and music.  Join the email updates from Ann.  They are sure to touch you deeply 🙂

www.Heartlightministries.org — Website for Parenting Today’s Teens with Mark Gregston. Sign up for the email updates on pertinent techniques in communication with today’s teens (or maybe those that have never grown up).

Dedication & Consecration of Your Home

Some years ago, Bob and I moved into our new home in South Florida. The home was older and needed work. A gentleman was recommended to us as one who would do a very good job in sanding and refreshing the hardwood floors. While working in my new home office, I could hear music coming from the front porch. I discovered it was Jerry–singing to the top of his lungs along with the radio. God’s love filled our home before we ever moved in. On his last day of the job, I heard him pray this prayer:

“Father, I pray for this home. I consecrate my work to you and ask you to bless this family and every guest that enters this home. May your love cover every room in this home for your glory. Amen.”

I knew he was coming around the house to receive his check. My eyes were filled with tears as I told him that we have always dedicated our homes to the Lord, but this is the first time our home has been consecrated by someone outside our family and how blessed we were!

Below are some suggestions and ideas for your family as you consider dedicating your home to the Lord.

Family Worship Bonds and Blends Family

Sample schedule:

  • Entryway: Joshua 24:15
  • Dining Room: Proverbs 25:21- Matthew 20:28
  • Living Room: Romans 12:13
  • Kitchen: John 6: 9 – Psalm 121
  • Children’s bedrooms: Psalm 4:8
  • Guest Room: Psalm 62:1-2
  • Master Bedroom: Galatians 5:22

Of course, you may choose your own scripture promises.

The dedication could be as follows:

  1. Talk about the room to be dedicated – what it is and what it means to the home and to the family (this can be written out for small children/older can speak their dedication).
  2. Scripture: choose a scripture that “fits” the room. i.e. (above) either by the person reading or someone in the group.
  3. Move to next room.
  4. The Dedication should take about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Refreshments could be served and fellowship will follow.

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain, unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

Happy Home Dedication to You!