Celebrate Your Family: The easiest way to get pictures printed.

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Encouragement, Grandparents, Heart Connections With Your Kids, Ideas

2016-04-07 13.00.20If you are like most of us, we take all those pictures in a snap with our smart phone and then we never see them again.  They are lost within our digital devices.   When do we ever look at them?  I found an extremely easy way of getting those photos printed, so we can enjoy seeing them around the house.

I have filled two collages and randomly taped pictures up around the house.  It’s a joy to see our kids share family memories with guests.  It reminds our children (and us 🙂 ) that we enjoy each other and that we want to remember the great family times we’ve had in the past, knowing we are making more memories as we continue to do life together.  Another benefit is that it continues to connect them with extended family that we only see once or twice a year.  Celebrate your family by printing those digital memories (and don’t forget to update them a few times a year.)

You have probably sent pictures from your computer to get printed somewhere in the past, but with the Wal-Mart app, it is so convenient to upload them through your phone and pick them up the next time you go.  I’ve actually been in the store, uploaded my photos and picked them up on my way out.  Walgreens has a similar app.  Whatever method works for you, celebrate your family by getting those digitally captured memories in print.

 

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Easter Continued…5 Min. Family Devotion that continue after Easter

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Faith Conversations, Family Devotions, Resources

#1 John 20:6-20

Read the verses and ask some questions:

  • Do you know why your mom and dad want you to keep your room neat and clothes folded and put in their place?  Jesus folded his clothes.  Verse 6-7
    • (Here is a funny question you can ask your kids.  You can laugh and joke about this.  This is not my theology to justify all the neat freaks out there, but if you needed justification, this is the best verse you will find. 🙂   Keep a straight face to see their reaction.  Then one of them will ask if you are serious and then you can start smiling.
    • But, since we are on the subject, you could ask, “How should we keep our bedrooms/house?”   (I’ll let you take that discussion where you want, but for us, we want to be ministry ready.  We want (not that we always are) to be able to use our gift of hospitality and that means keeping our house neat enough that we can “do a 4 room clean up” in a few minutes.  Well, maybe 15 minutes.  Carrie, my wife, has done a great job keeping our house ready to have people over with a few moments notice.)

(Back to the devo…)

  • Why do you think all the guys left the tomb? (vs. 19.  They were afraid.)
  • Why did Jesus came after everyone had left except Mary?  (My son said, “Because He wanted to stretch their faith.”)
  • How would you have reacted if you were in the locked room and suddenly Jesus appeared?
  • Mary was filled with emotions. One minute she is weeping, because Jesus is gone.  The next minute, she is overjoyed, because Jesus revealed Himself to her.  Even though we don’t see Jesus, how can we know He is with us?  (Through His creation, what He has done in the past, His Word tells us so, and through His Holy Spirit.)

 

#2  John 21:1-14

Read the verses and ask some questions:

 

  • Why did they go fishing?
    • If they don’t know, ask this: What did they do before Jesus asked them to follow Him?
    • They back to the thing they knew how to do.  They went back to the family business. They didn’t know what they were supposed to do now that they were leaderless.
  • They didn’t catch any fish, then a man says to cast their nets on the other side of the boat.  That is a silly idea.  Know why they did?
    • They heard that before.  Jesus said that in Luke 5.4.
  • Do you know who John is referring to when he says the “disciple whom Jesus loved” in verse 7?
    • Himself
  • How many times had Jesus showed Himself to them? (Verse 14: 3 times.)
  • Peter once again “plunged into the sea.”  I think it would have been funny to see a grown man jump into the water and swim to shore out of complete excitement.  How might you have responded?
  • Jesus loves these guys doesn’t He?  He really cares.  Isn’t it good to know?  How do you know Jesus cares for you? (He has blessed you with parent(s) who love you and care about you. He gave us His Word that says He loves us…and He proved that love for us by going to the cross and suffering for our sin.  That is good news!)

More coming.  Check back daily.

 

Connecting With Older Children

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Teen Guys

As parents, we long to connect with our children in meaningful ways. Those connections often provide opportunities to teach because feeling closeness softens the heart. When children are young, those special feelings of closeness happen regularly, even daily. You read a book to your four-year-old, he leans on your arm, and you cherish the time of connection. You correct your six-year-old, and she cries that repentant cry and wants a hug—and tears come to your eyes too, because you know you’ve connected with her heart.

The closeness you and your children feel is a function of the heart. In Acts 4:32 we read the early disciples “were one in heart and mind,” a statement of their unity. The heart is where we build the close relationships that help us to teach our kids in ways that will have a lasting impact. Closeness allows us to work with our children rather than against them as they develop the valuable character qualities they need to succeed in life.

These special moments of heart connection also happen with older children, but, in many families, they come less often. Connecting with an older child’s heart often takes deliberate actions on the part of the parent. Moms and dads need to be watching for opportunities and then take advantage of them when they come.

A fourteen-year-old gets a positive school report, giving her dad an opportunity to affirm her hard work. Her smile confirms he made the heart connection he’d hoped for.

Mom makes herself available when her son gets home in the evening because that’s often the time he likes to talk.

You Never Know When They Might Pop Up

Be on the lookout for opportunities to connect with your kids on a heart level, affirming their successes and sympathizing with their hurts. The relationships you build with your children are an essential foundation for helping them to grow. In those moments of closeness you may have opportunities for significant conversations or you may simply want to enjoy the heart connection.

This material comes from the book Parenting is Heart Work  by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. This book was written after a thorough study of how the word “heart” is used in the Bible. Do you know that there are more than 750 times when the word heart is used in the Bible? God cares about our hearts and we should care about the hearts of our children. Many parents focus only on behavior. Character is developed when we focus on the heart.

See this original article here. 


Parenting Techies Workshop

Check out reviews, full description, promo video, editable flyer, PowerPoint slide, and more details HERE.  Our Parenting Techies workshop is getting rave reviews as we equip parents, so they know how to protect their children/teens online and on their gadgets.

A Conference to Inspire Parents

Looking for a conference that comes to you to equip and inspire parents to lead at home?

Book Suggestion: 5 Reasons For Spiritual Apathy in Teens.

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Books, leaving a legacy, Resources, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Teen Guys

KINDLE VERSION:

PAPER BACK:

Rob is a friend and mentor serving on our advisory board. With decades of ministry experience working with students and families, Rob and Amy bring to the table lots of insight and practical ideas to help.  Click here to purchase book.  Click here for Kindle.

(Just a reminder, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Homes Devoted. Bookmark this link and support us every time you shop.)

“When teens are struggling, disconnected, and apathetic, they need parental engagement more than ever. It is not the time to passively accept the behavior as normal and ignore the situation. Parents must express unconditional love and give genuine attention to their teens cultivating faith and character for a lifetime. It’s about pressing in to the heart of your teen, and pushing past the emotional struggle that often occurs in this phase of growing up. Rob and Amy Rienow share from a place of genuine concern for teens and parents alike. They remind readers that spiritual apathy is a serious problem that needs to be given proper attention. The Rienows share five reasons spiritual apathy exists in the lives of teens, and counter those reasons with practical steps parents can take to resolve the issue. Readers are reminded teens are in the midst of making decisions that impact the rest of their lives, and parental involvement is needed more than ever.”511LxTjFrfL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_

Raising Kids With A Lasting Faith: Interview with Ken and Betsy Delgado

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Faith Conversations, Interviews, leaving a legacy, Why Bring Faith Home?

Ken and IOur family was blessed to have Ken and Betsy join us for dinner in our home.  What intrigued me about them was that all three of their grown children are following Christ and using their gifts to serve in ministry.   The week prior to our dinner, we heard their son preach at their church and while there, met their daughter and son-in-law who work for Hillsong Church in Australia.  They can say with confidence that there is “no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.”  3 John 4

As full-time pastors of The House (http://www.thehousepalmbay.org), they raised kids who love the church and love the Lord and they continue to intentionally minister to their grandchildren.  I had to ask them to share some spiritual parenting tips.  So, around the dinner table that night, I asked, “Would you share with us the things that contributed to your children growing to love the Lord?”

This list serves as a great reminder for all of us, which we can refer to often:

  1. Complete dependence upon God. Betsy said, “We didn’t do anything without prayer.  We wanted them to taste God’s goodness.”   They said there were times when they didn’t have any food in the fridge, leaving them with only one option: prayer.  God miraculously answered with people showing up with food without them sharing their predicament with anyone but the Lord.  Their children experienced God at work!!!
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Ken intentionally spent time with them individually on a weekly basis.  He took them on a walk around the block with the purpose of connecting with them at a heart level and at the same time sharing God’s truths.
  3. The Message. They gave each of their children The Message version of the Bible and asked them to read through the New Testament one summer.  [No matter your opinion of The Message, it is a great read for children.]
  4. Hour for hour. At one point, they instituted a rule: for every hour you read the Bible, you get one hour of electronics such as watching TV or playing video games.
  5. TV in the closet. For 30 days, they would put the TV in the closet with the purpose of spending time together as a family playing, reading, etc.  Fasting from electronics will bind the family together.
  6. Family Dinners. They regularly had dinner together; communicating, connecting, sharing life.
  7. Served Together. They put others first by serving together as a family.  How impactful to serve alongside mom and dad!
  8. Worship music. Not just Christian music, but music that was relevant and worshipful.  They would spend time worshipping as a family.  Who said we had to wait until Sunday morning?

Ken and Betsy lived out their faith at home, with their children.  Faith was a part of everyday life; it was a way of life; Jesus was talked about at home; the Holy Spirit was sought during prayer at home; the Word was read, discussed and taught at home.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  Deuteronomy 6:7

Thanks, Ken and Betsy, for leading many people at church in faithful living, but also for giving us an example to follow in the way you led your home.

*******

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Here are some practical ideas and questions based on the above.  You can use these personally, discuss with your spouse, or share with your small group:

  1. Complete dependence upon God.  How do our kids see God at work?  Have they experienced God answering prayers?  Our kids must see God at work TODAY.  If we want our children to grow into teens and adults who believe that God is more than a fairy tale, we must lead them to experience God at work TODAY.  Read more here.
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Your role is so important. How much time do you spend connecting with your kids one on one?  Click here for more “Dad Stats” to see how important our role is in influencing the spirituality of our family.
  3. Served Together. When have your kids seen you serve others?  What are some ways your family can serve alongside you?  Discuss and set a plan.
  4. Worship music. What are some of your favorite worship songs/artists?  How often do you have them playing?  Are you in a worshipful spirit, or mindlessly listening?  Idea: Set up Spotify or Pandora to a station and play it often as you work together worshipfully.  Pick some songs and play a few while you dance before the Lord like David.  The kids will love it!
  5. Family Dinners. Does your family dinners allow time for discussion?  Could this be a time we catch up on each others’ lives?  Could we take 10 minutes for a devotion?  If getting everyone together for family dinners is a struggle, plan ahead and schedule some nights where everyone knows they need to be home. (We have friends who had very active teenage boys and even after they had their driver’s license, they still knew they better be home for dinner or momma wasn’t going to be happy.)  Have device-free dinners.
  6.  Time Together.  Do we sit with the purpose of connecting and sharing God’s values?  Do we take time to connect at a heart level with our kids?  Can I honestly say I know what each of our kids are experiencing at a heart level?  Where are our kids struggling in their faith?  How have they been encouraged through the Word lately?  What are they reading in the Word?
  7. Time Together II.  Collect those tablets/cell phones and turn off the TV at least once a week to spend time talking, playing a board game, or just hanging out in the living room. It doesn’t have to be a whole night event, but rather 30 minutes more often is better than nothing at all.  (Doing something more frequently for a short duration is better, because it’s easy to miss out on the long event.   When it comes to all that techy stuff, I use an app called Screen Time which can set time limits on everything.   If you are interested in hosting our Parenting Techies workshop, you can read more HERE.

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