SAVE $250 on a Weekend To Remember!

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Encouragement, Marriage

Great Marriages Don't Just Happen

We believe one of the best gifts you can give your children and grandchildren is a great marriage!  In our efforts to enrich marriages and impact generations, we have teamed up with FamilyLife to promote their Weekend to Remember.  A weekend to focus on your relationship with your spouse.

Carrie and I have attended a weekend and look forward to going again!  We laughed a lot, cried a little, grew closer together and were more equipped!

Click HERE to watch a 1 min. video, read references, and find one of the 95 destinations around the country.

1.5 million couples have attended!

“Marriage is a lifelong adventure of growing together through every age and stage of life. The happiest couples are those who commit to learning skills that help them weather difficult seasons and deal confidently with relationship challenges.”

Here is another reason to go:  We have some gift certificates left that we want to give away.  They are worth $350!  Go for free through Homes Devoted!  There are 95 locations all over the U.S. and 6 locations in Florida starting in May.  See below for Florida dates.

Pick a weekend.  Plan it.  Your marriage is worth it.

Don’t forget to share this with another couple or your small group.  Either way, be the first to claim these before they are gone. To redeem, you can email or message us through facebook.  Jc@homesdevoted.com

Helping you have Homes Devoted,

Sept. 27-29, Tampa and Delray Beach
Oct. 4-6, Naples
Nov 8-10, Destin

Raising Selfless Kids In A Selfish World

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Ideas, leaving a legacy

 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13.35

One of the greatest ways to “love one another” is to give away your time.  Even with all the social media connections, people are relationship starved.

How can your family love others this week with your time?

It’s so easy to let self-indulgence, fun and entertainment (soccer, judo, movies, YouTube, TV, social media, parties) take up a majority of our time, especially, because many of these things are “good”, but if we continue to cater to the entertainment desires of our kids without any thought of blessing others, they will probably grow up to be adults that continue this “i” mentality.  Fast forward 10+ years.  If your grown kids served as much as they do now, how much time would they be devoting to “loving one another?”

In our effort to raise kids that seek out how to love one another regularly, let’s find ways to get the family together to serve others outside our own universe.

This summer we went on a family mission trip and our 5 year old was playing Charades with all the nice folks at a nursing home.  She was the highlight of their day.  Even at 5 years old, she knows she can use what she has to bring joy to others.

We don’t have to train our kids to be selfish.  But it will take time, training and persistence on our part to join our kids (living by example) in serving and loving others.  Each time we do, they become a little more Christ like and we as a family grow closer together.

What are ways we can serve together?  It doesn’t have to take a day or week or even an hour a day.  We can help our kids have a mindset of helping others and thereby showing our love for Christ, simply by:

  • putting the garbage out for a neighbor
  • bringing in the mail for an elderly person
  • writing a note to someone
  • visiting a nursing home for an hour
  • baking extra cookies for a neighbor
  • picking up sticks after a hurricane (Can you tell we live in Florida?)
  • And those random things that just can’t be planned: praying as you drive by an accident, putting a shopping cart back for an elderly person after they put their groceries in the car, holding the door open for someone, etc. etc.

We have a saying in our house: “Perceive the need!”  We want our kids to have a mindset within all our activities and fun, that there are needs out there (and in our own home) and we are called to serve Jesus by loving others.

John Maxwell said, “People are selfish.  Speak to their need first.”  When we meet a need, it’s a way Christ in us speaks to them.  That is powerful!

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13.35

What Our 5 Year Old Gains From Being In Church With Us

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Why Kids In Worship

I read this from a young woman as she reflected on her childhood:

“Our family went to church together every Sunday.  I wasn’t really sure why, but I didn’t mind.  I got to dress up in cute dresses and sit with my dad.  He was so busy during the week, and church was one time I got to hang out with him for hours.  I didn’t care if it was in a pew listening to some guy talking about God.  I just drew pictures and showed them to my dad.”

Our 5 year old, Bethany, loves sitting on my lap during church.  She sings, draws and colors.  Sometimes she is restless, but I know she is listening.  One Sunday, after getting our new senior pastor, I was talking too long during our “greet one another” time and she said, “Daddy, stop talking!  The new guy is speaking.”

So sweet.  So innocent.

I love having Bethany in there with us.  I know she is young, but she is gaining an experience every Sunday that so many children are missing.  She gets to snuggle with me and other close friends and adopted grandmas that sit with us.  She is hearing other people pray.  She is seeing her mom and dad, other kids, teenagers, adults and grandparents sing and praise God.  She is hearing the pastor’s stories and maybe even getting more of the message than we think. She sees communion, baptisms, testimonies.  Maybe one day she will help pass the offering plate, handout bulletins, sing in the band, lead a prayer.

She also experiences a community that loves Jesus, young and old!  I frankly, want her to grow up and feel out of place when she attends a church with only kids her age!  Why?  Because there is complete community when multi-generations are present.

Trust me, I know it’s not always easy having our young children in worship.  Have any of your kids smacked the bottoms of ladies as they walked down the aisle to partake in communion?  I don’t think so!   (One of our boys was the guilty perpetrator.  I wonder where he learned that from? )

What they gain from the Body of Christ worshiping together is so much more than just whether or not they get anything from the sermon.   They miss being a part of the full body.

Typically, the kind of worship experience our kids grow up with will be the kind they look for when they are older.   What kind of worship experience will your children desire to belong to as they grow into adulthood?  Most of the time, it will look a lot like it does now.   So the next question is: what are the experiencing on Sunday mornings now?

Helping you have Homes Devoted,
Jonathan

The Ultimate Goal

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

If the target of Satan is the family, then your heart is the bulls-eye.

I should stop writing to let that sink in.  Reread that.  I encourage you to stop, think, pray about what this means for you and your family.

Pursue the Ultimate Goal this summer.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6.9

The Ultimate goal of parenting/grandparenting is to connect our children’s hearts to HIS; to connect them with the heart of their heavenly Father.  David Platt said, “The Ultimate Goal is NOT for our kids to behave and be moral upright citizens….Our goal is not for our kids to make great friends, to develop a great self-esteem, to get into a great college, be a great leader, find a great spouse, have a great career with a great income, and then a great retirement.  The ultimate goal of parenting/grand parenting is for them to love a GREAT God.  So much so they will abandon everything this world has to offer in order to follow after Him: no matter what he says, no matter what it costs them and no matter what it costs you.”

Most parents have a vision for their children: get good grades, get into a great college, eagle scout, black belt, 4.0 gpa, etc.  Those are all good things, but the problem is our vision often doesn’t extend to eternity.  We get distracted by earthy things that keep us from being able to focus on God. We want to make sure we give our children every opportunity to succeed in school/sports/music, get into a great college, be socially well adjusted and yet, are not so much concerned about their souls.  (Read Psalm 78:1-8.)

WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES: Are we parenting for earthly rewards or for KINGDOM, heavenly, rewards?   God, our Father, wants our children to know Him personally, intimately.  Even more than we do.  He loves them even more than we do.

Wrap your family in His love, convey the heart of our Father to your children as you enjoy your summer.

The Ultimate Goal…

Jonathan

[This is an excerpt of our workshop, sharing the vision of the importance of faith at home. If you would like to schedule this or other workshops, you can email Jonathan at jc@homesdevoted.com.]

Questions:

  • Are we connecting their hearts with God’s?  In what ways?  When can we have family devotions?
  • How are we pursuing a Kingdom vision with our children?
  • What is our vision for your family? For our children?
  • How might we be conforming to the world vs. seeking God’s plan for our family? Are we just doing what everyone else is doing or do we have a vision from God for each of our children and we are parenting in light of that? (Romans 12.1)
  • If you are a grandparent: How can I be accomplishing the Ultimate Goal with my grandchildren?

 

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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Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32904

321.223.1163 jc@homesdevoted.com