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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV)   Study any psychological test and they’ll tell you the most insecure place for a kid to be is at the center of his or her family – controlling all the strings, getting their way in everything. Kids instinctively know they do not belong in the center of the family; it creates great insecurity in their lives. Where kids find stability and security is in having boundaries. This is true from the moment they are born. We take little babies and wrap them up tightly. It’s called swaddling and being tightly bound gives the baby a feeling of security. When you set boundaries with your children, they may push back, but they will also feel secure when those boundaries stand firm. They learn that you really do care about them. It’s when children don’t have those boundaries, and feel they can get away with anything, that they begin to question their parents’ love. In the same way children need to know God’s purpose for their life is part of God’s larger plan. This creates boundaries of identity for them. It let’s them know that life is not all about them. And in understanding God’s plan, they are able to find the answers to the basic questions of life: who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Where did I come from? Does my life have meaning? What is my purpose and how should I live it out? Why is this happening to me? When you teach a child, “thy kingdom come, they will be done” you are teaching them that God has a master plan for history, but he also has a specific plan for their...

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Your prayers are desperately needed for our nation and our world

Your prayers are desperately needed for our nation and our world

Your prayers are desperately needed for our nation and our world—and for everything you’re believing for in your own life!Today, the first Thursday in May 2011, is the National Day of Prayer for the United States of America.Our country needs all its Christian citizens to join in this call to prayer. And God’s Word promises that we will receive answers as we agree...

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Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

Parenting with the Lord’s Prayer: Creating Stability

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV)   Study any psychological test and they’ll tell you the most insecure place for a kid to be is at the center of his or her family – controlling all the strings, getting their way in everything. Kids instinctively know they do not belong in the center of the family; it creates great insecurity in their lives. Where kids find stability and security is in having boundaries. This is true from the moment they are born. We take little babies and wrap them up tightly. It’s called swaddling and being tightly bound gives the baby a feeling of security. When you set boundaries with your children, they may push back, but they will also feel secure when those boundaries stand firm. They learn that you really do care about them. It’s when children don’t have those boundaries, and feel they can get away with anything, that they begin to question their parents’ love. In the same way children need to know God’s purpose for their life is part of God’s larger plan. This creates boundaries of identity for them. It let’s them know that life is not all about them. And in understanding God’s plan, they are able to find the answers to the basic questions of life: who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Where did I come from? Does my life have meaning? What is my purpose and how should I live it out? Why is this happening to me? When you teach a child, “thy kingdom come, they will be done” you are teaching them that God has a master plan for history, but he also has a specific plan for their...

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Problems Force Us to Depend on God

Problems Force Us to Depend on God

I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me! You can do it; you’ve got what it takes God. Psalm 40:17 (Msg)   Jesus warned us that we’d have . No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. Life is a series of problems. Every time you solve one, another one is waiting to take its place. Peter assures us that problems are normal, saying “Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 LB) God uses these problems to draw you closer to himself. The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT) Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days — when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great, and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heart-felt, honest-to-God prayers. When in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers. Joni Eareckson Tada notes, “When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus.” We learn things about God in suffering that we can’t learn any other way. God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew young men from being thrown into the blazing furnace, but he didn’t. He let those problems happen, and each of those people were drawn closer to God as a result. Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves. Paul testified to this benefit: “We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us ….” (2 Corinthians 1:9 LB) You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve...

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Jesus Will Be With You Day After Day After Day

Jesus Will Be With You Day After Day After Day

The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said …. Matthew 28:5-6 (MSG)   [Jesus said,] “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (MSG) As we’ve been learning this week, Easter is a celebration of Jesus conquering even death in order to give us freedom. He wants you to join him in heaven. How do you do that? You accept the gift that he’s given you, the gift of forgiveness and life. You can do that right now. You can talk to him and tell him, “I accept your gift of forgiveness and I accept your gift of life. I want to live the life that you made me to live.  Thank you, Jesus, for loving me.” This is a very simple prayer, but it changes everything. When you say I accept the fact that Jesus’ blood was given so I could be forgiven, it changes everything about your life, everything about who you are and everything about your eternity. With you in mind, I want to pray, “Jesus, we celebrate you and who you are.  We celebrate your love for us.  We thank you for Easter and the reminder that no matter how discouraging our week was this last week, there is good news in the future for us.” “No matter what other people say about us, you say that you love us.  And no matter what has happened in our lives, you will accept us as we come to you. Thank you for the gift of your love.  Thank you for the promise of your freedom. In your name we pray,...

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