Permission NOT Granted

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Permission is NOT granted!

 

“JACOB!!!!” said one of the other preschoolers as he gave our son a huge hug when we walked into his classroom. As my son was recovering from the welcoming hug, I heard his teacher remind the overly excited friend that he had to ask permission to hug Jacob and shouldn’t just give it to him without being granted permission.

This instruction stayed in my head as I was driving home from dropping Jacob off at school. The teacher was pointing out that we need permission to invade someone else’s space. An interesting yet profound thought. I do not remember the last time someone asked me permission to hug me before initiating that kind of touch. (Not that I mind getting unexpected hugs.) As an adult this idea doesn’t normally cross my mind, but it does when I am observing my children playing with other child. “Honey give your friend a little space. Move over a little.” “Stop wrestling, someone is going to get hurt.” “Do not touch your sister, she does not like that.” These have all been said multiple times in our home. How about yours? Continue Reading…


Live Loved!

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Live Loved!

These two words have been rolling around in my mind for the last month since I started reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst. Live Loved. Sounds great, but how in the world to I practically live that command out. There are many times when I don’t feel loved. There are times when interactions with friends or family speak to me that I am not loved. So how do I “Live Loved” when I don’t feel it or experience it?

On the other hand, what would my life look like if I did choose to “live loved?” What if I lived loved, full of God’s unconditional love for me? Knowing I am accepted and deeply loved by my Father God today. How would my life be different? Continue Reading…


Pumpkin Fun

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Do your kids think that pumpkins come from Walmart?  If so, a trip to the pumpkin patch might be a good activity this fall.

We live in an entertainment-rich culture.  From tablets to bounce houses, the world is a playground.  But sometimes it is nice to do a simple activity as a family.  One of our fall traditions is a trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkins.  We have done this for years, and it is something we all look forward to.  As a farm boy who is transplanted into the city, I love to get my kids out to experience agriculture.  I want them to understand where food is grown, and I want them to enjoy vigorous activity that sometimes involves mud or dust.

What kind of memories do you enjoy making with your family?  How do you connect them to nature and our agrarian heritage?  What are your favorite fall activities?

Enjoy pumpkins?  Here is our post from a few years ago:

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Here is our post about shining Christ’s light at Halloween.

 

 

 

 


Dream Big

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dream_big

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to teach about Abraham at chapel for our church’s school.  Abraham had a dream. He wanted to be a father. In Abraham’s mind this was a BIG dream. You see Abraham was old and in the natural eye, way beyond the ideal age for beginning fatherhood. It was an important dream to Abraham, one that he had had for many years. But to God it was a small and limited dream.  God had plans for something much bigger!

One day Abraham talked to God pretty plainly about his unfulfilled dream. In Genesis 15:2-3 it says, “But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Continue Reading…


Back to School Blessing

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PrayerApp

Another summer has flown by, and school has started again.  As you settle into your routine, it is a great opportunity to reestablish faith in God as the center of your daily lives.  Despite the busy-ness, we can be grounded if we are purposeful.

In this printable we have a Back to School Blessing that you can speak over your kids, some Back to School Scriptures that may speak life into the challenges and opportunities that come from a new school year, and a Daily School Prayer that your family can use every day as they get ready for school or drive to school.  Prayer is powerful, and it is even more powerful when you model a God-centered life for your kids.

Enjoy!

Printable: | PDF_Picture  Back to School Blessing |

 

Here are a couple more posts about back to school.

School Time Is Here

First Day of School Prayer

Learn more about OPL’s take on parenting by clicking on the Family – Parenting menu.  And don’t forget to follow us by email by putting your email address in the Subscribe box on the right.  One step and you’re finished!


Planting or Pruning?

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I am a farm boy and I love planting things.  We live in the suburbs, but I have a house with a half-acre lot.  We have a decent sized garden, and I have planted blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, blackberry bushes, and pear trees.  I have also planted dozens of decorative trees, bushes, plants, and flowers.  I love planting things!

I am getting ready to attend a Ransomed Heart event called “Become Good Soil.”  We received a few assignments to complete before we came, and one of them was to plant a tree.  So naturally I was stoked!  Permission, no, the requirement that I plant a tree!  “Morgan told me I have to buy a tree and plant it,” I told my wife.  As you know, God often uses the Holy Spirit in your spouse to break through to you.  “Where?” she asked.  I won’t go through the whole discussion, but after that conversation I opened myself up to God’s leading and realized that I didn’t need to plant a tree – I needed to cut one down.  We have a big yard so I could have easily planted a tree, but any additional trees I would plant would be in the way of our baseball/football/soccer games. Continue Reading…


I Thirst

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Cross

Without thirst, you would be dead.

As I type this, I am eating some delicious, salty pretzels, and these pretzels are making me thirsty!  And that is how it should be. God made our bodies with a complex system to balance the sodium and the water in our cells and blood, primarily through our urge to drink.  Long before Dr. Oz and our Facebook friends were around to tell us to drink water, God wired us with that longing to ensure our survival.

Have you ever noticed, though, that sometimes you can misinterpret the thirst desire?  Sometimes when I am thirsty I will reach for a snack, thinking I am hungry.  Some people have found that they can lose weight if they drink a glass of water when then feel hungry, because they have simply misinterpreted their body’s thirst and thought that it was hunger.

But sin took thirst and twisted it.  People let thirst run their life.  Coffee, beer, Diet Coke – like a toddler with a Sippy Cup, we reach out for our one little shot of happiness to get us through the next hour.  One more coffee to get us through the next meeting.  One glass of wine to get us through the evening.  Continue Reading…


Holiest Week With Your Kids

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Cross

Traditionally this is called Holy Week, which is a great name for it.  “Holy” is the only word that can begin to describe what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago.  But I would challenge you that this week is not the only week that is holy.  Every week can be holy.  If our year is a song, holy week is the crescendo of the chorus, which is followed by many more verses of quieter, but equally beautiful music.

Holy means ‘set apart,’ or ‘consecrated.’  Next week when your daughter gets an A+ on her math test, that is an opportunity to make something holy.  When your son is terrified of going to bed in a dark room, you can make that holy.  When you lose your temper and yell at the kids for goofing off instead of doing what you told them to do, there is holiness there too.  When you invite God into a situation, you make it holy.  When you talk about Who He is, what He has done for you, who we are in Him, and what we can do as a response, that makes it holy.

Every week is holy, if you are purposeful.

Here are some resources to make set aside this week and make it holy with your family.

Passover and Easter Fun

Crafts, food, activities and more!

April Storytime – Easter Week

Great stories and activities with your kids.

Passover With Your Kids – Simplified

Passover is an amazing tradition that reminds us of our heritage.  This is the ‘short version’ for you and your kids.

These 5 posts go a little bit deeper:

Passover: Deep Meanings Behind the Tradition

Passover From Moses to Me

Passover Meal – How To

Passover: The 4 Cups

Passover: The Seder Plate

Uncomfortable, Humble, Stinky, Beautiful Servant Leadership

Before the last Supper, Jesus showed us what “leadership” truly means.

Why We Celebrate Holidays

We love holidays – here’s why!


Label Change

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LabelChange

Have you ever done something that earned you a nickname? Maybe something you did that wasn’t so smart?  Or maybe there is a nickname from your High School years that has stuck with you? For Halloween one year my daughters dressed up in their Little House on the Prairie costumes. When a friend saw them at our church’s Trunks of Treat they decided to call Rebekah “Half Pint,” which was the nickname that Laura in the book was called. Now every time he sees her he greets her with, “Hello Half Pint!” Because of that one Halloween, she now has a label.

Do you feel like you have been labeled by one single act? Or maybe it was by two or three incidences but that is not how you want to be remembered. But it seems like the harder you try to shake that label the stickier it gets.  Oftentimes we find ourselves labeled, and whether we earned it or not, we want to shake that label off so that we can wear a new name. Have you been there? I know I have. I want my actions and words to truly display what is in my heart, but sometimes it is so hard to overcome others thoughts and opinions towards you. Continue Reading…


You Don’t Know How to Pray

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Prayer

That Is Something We Shall Have to Remedy, Isn’t It?!?

Would you like to learn how to pray from an expert?  In his new book Moving Mountains, John Eldredge unlocks the power of prayer in ways I have never read or experienced.  Infused with Scriptures and personal stories, this book is both grounded in truth and true to life.  It is part “How-To Manual,” part diary, part letter of encouragement, and part a call to action.

He sets the stage by explaining what is available to us.

Powerful, effective, life-changing prayer

Conversational intimacy with God

These are available to you and me!

Let’s stop there for a moment.  Deep down, every Christian longs for these 2 things, but that longing has been unfulfilled. Time, experience, experience, frustration has led us to believe that the descriptions of prayer in the Bible are no longer valid to the Christian experience.   At some point, many of us have given in to complacency or bitterness, savvy cynicism or theological explanations, casual indifference or caustic denial.  We think to ourselves “I tried that and it didn’t work.”  Continue Reading…


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