But Whom?

“And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:27-30).

Ten well-intentioned, important, valiant (?) men led thousands to needlessly die and brought great suffering to their families. Yet, ultimate responsibility was on each who listened to them. Had they chosen to follow Caleb and Joshua, they would have lived and not died in the wilderness. The simple will be easily swayed to follow the wrong people to their own hurt.

My Brothers, may I encourage you not to be among them. Be in the Word daily, and be obedient. Don’t be swayed, but stay the course in Christ.


How’s the Fruit?

We caroled to our neighborhood Sunday night. As the family was caroling, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord. Forty-three years ago there was just Teri and me. Sunday night,  all twenty-three of my family – wife, children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law were having a wonderful time showing Jesus’ love to our neighbors.

Are you seeking the Lord as you make decisions?  Are you proclaiming God’s mighty works to your family? Stay the course my brothers. Your children are eternal.  

“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done” (Psalms 78:2-4). 


Are You Right or Wrong?

Have you noticed how many live as if life had no end and there was no accountability for how they lived it? They are wrong on both accounts.

May we live every minute knowing how precious it is and that we will soon be called to explain how we used it.  

“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you” (Jeremiah 7:23).


Posted in: Seriously


Most of us have worked with a coworker or for a boss who was ungrateful or hot-tempered. Working together was pretty miserable, wasn’t it?

Can you imagine being married to a person like that? Why is it some husbands think it is okay to be ungrateful, angry, or impatient toward the one they vowed to love until death? Where’s the fear of God?

“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” (Luke 9:54).

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).


Joy in Giving

Have you purposed to teach your children to find joy in giving? Isn’t that vitally important since our flesh is selfish, and children who aren’t taught to be givers grow into adult takers?

Christmas is a perfect time of year to easily incorporate activities into your Christmas traditions that will help your children discover what Jesus taught: “. . . and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

There is another aspect of this that comes into play as well, that we learn from King David. “And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver” (2 Samuel 24:24). It isn’t just our giving and telling the children what we are doing, but rather helping them invest themselves in their own part of the giving.

Think about the good feeling you have experienced when you gave a gift that cost you something and was meaningful to the recipient. Don’t you want your children to experience that as well?

There are multitudes of giving opportunities at Christmas. The ones you pick, your attitude and excitement about them, and your children’s investment will work toward helping them love to give and focus on that more than getting. They can experience that now as children but also through the rest of their lives.

Family Gift Giving

As our children were growing up, they were expected to do their chores as part of their family responsibility. However, before they were old enough to earn their own money, we gave them a small amount of money each month that was available for them to purchase birthday and Christmas presents. When they grew older and had their own income sources, they used that money, and it truly cost them more.

Even as little children they would spend hours thinking and praying about each gift they would give. They loved to shop and find just the right item in their budget to fulfill their plan. They watched with excitement when the gift was opened, and they were always eager for the next family, gift-giving opportunity.

Steve and I delighted in our children’s involvement and pleasure in giving gifts when they were little, but to see it when they are now adults fills us with the reality of this verse: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).

We see our married children teaching our grandchildren the same joy of giving they learned. Our grandchildren have some extra chores they can do to earn money for gifts. Then they go to the Dollar Store to shop. When they give Grandpa or me a present, full of smiles, they literally quiver with enthusiasm waiting for us to open their gift.

Some families’ gift is one of time and skill because they make gifts for each other, considering the others’ needs and wants and their ability to supply.

Operation Christmas Child

We love Operation Christmas Child that gives a shoebox of toys, gifts, and a Gospel tract to children in third world countries. As young adults, our girls are now helping their nieces and nephews learn to love to give. They set up a Christmas-in-August-extended-family, fund-raising breakfast where the children pitch in to help with decorating, cooking, serving, and cleanup. The children give a presentation on Operation Christmas Child and ask for donations from the family. Then they are involved in purchasing items for the shoeboxes, filling the shoeboxes, and delivering them to the collecting church.

May I encourage you to set a goal of helping your children learn the joy of giving gifts that cost them something, whether it is their time, skills, or money—to make the focus giving rather than receiving—and then do what you can to implement it?

Sarah wrote a Christmas book we just released that I believe would help you in this goal as well. You’ll find find sweet enjoyment reading Sunflower's Christmas Miracle aloud with your children. I am sure it will prompt and motivate the kind of giving spirit you want for your children.

Posted in: Mom's Corner