Painful Reminders

Ever made bad choices and had someone remind you of them? It doesn’t feel great, but it helps not to make the same one mistake again. Those reminders can be like a giant billboard that flashes, “Don’t do it again. Don’t do it again.” 

God put just such a practice in place for our good according to Deuteronomy 28:46. “And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.” “They” refers to the curses mentioned in the previous verses (16-44) brought about by disobedience. 

The Israelites’ disobedience brought curses, which would be ongoing reminders that they should have obeyed the Lord. Read the list of consequences for disobedience. They are very sobering and may even be some that you are dealing with. Also notice verse 47, “Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.” They were not grateful for God’s blessings. Those words are highly convicting to me. I see how my pride has led me to take many of God’s blessings for granted. I have not been grateful to my Lord and am repenting. 

Brothers, are we grateful to our Lord? Gratefulness comes from the heart. Gratefulness to God fuels our obedience. Thankfulness, on the other hand, is an outward expression, which may or may not come from the heart. Being deeply grateful to the Lord carries eternal blessings, the least of which is no regrets. More to be discussed later. 


Motivated vs unmotivated

Teri and I were being checked out at a local supermarket, and I had begun chatting with the bagger while he worked. “Where are you headed with your life?” I asked.

“I’m going to be a graphic designer,” he responded.

“Great,” I continued. “How will you prepare?”

“I already have a degree in graphic design.”

“Super. Do you want to give me your phone number in the event I find something you might be interested in?”

“Actually, I’m not looking for a job.”

Here was a man who appeared satisfied with bagging groceries as “fill-in” work when he could be working full-time and developing professional skills. I was amazed at the “appearance” of his lack of motivation. I am looking forward to speaking with him next time I see him and what I might learn from him.

Have your children learned how rewarding it is to be diligent workers, accomplish things, and strive for greater skills? Oh, how good that feels. Yet, to the unmotivated person, the idea of work (and learning) might be a good reason for a nap until that idea is gone.

Much of life is about perspective and options. Establish the frame of mind in your home that work and developing skills is good. Please don’t make readily available things that are a waste of precious time.

If you have an unmotivated child, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what factors led to this outcome.

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).


Both Are Gone Now

I recently discovered a printed email dated over ten years ago. It was from a dear Brother who was a dynamic follower of the Lord. He deeply loved his Lord and his family. 

I’m also reminded of another dad. He broke his wife’s heart when he told her that he had decided he didn’t want to be married to her any longer and would be leaving the family. There was someone else. 

Both of those dads are gone. The first is with the Lord waiting for his family. The second was killed in an auto accident on his way to work. 

A few thoughts: 

  • Always be discipling your children to know, love and serve the Lord so that their dependence is on Him when you are gone. 
  • Be zealous for time with your family. Life is fragile and uncertain. 
  • Walk uprightly. God does and will chasten. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth…” Heb 12:6,7)
  • Nourish and cherish your wife. Invest in her. Satan’s lie is “the grass is greener on the other side.” God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16
  • Live so that you can step out of this life into eternity unexpectedly. Be debt-free so the ones you love aren’t left “holding the bag” of your financial mismanagement.  

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25 & 28).



Ever happen at your home? A slow bathroom drain needs “attention” if opening the faucet more, the sink begins to fill with the stopper fully open. Not good.

To fix the problem, I remove the stopper gaining access to the drain from above and disconnect the trap below the sink. I clean them both with whatever tools will do the job, pulling out hair coated in disgusting toothpaste and then reassemble. Finally I fill the sink with water, release the stopper, check the flow, and also look for leaks underneath.

How’s your prayer life, Brother? First, are you praying? Is God answering? Might you feel like your prayers are not flowing?

If so, ask the Lord to examine your heart. What sort of blockage could be hindering the flow? “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). What disgusting things have you allowed in your heart? What sort of “eye-candy” are you feasting on? What are you coveting? “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). 

My Brother, is your heart clean?


Teaching Kids to Be Grateful

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). What can we as moms do to help our children toward this vital, biblical, positive, life-giving mindset? Typically children are self-centered, unobservant, and demanding, summarized as—ungrateful. 

Gratitude Is Important

Why is gratitude important in all of our lives? Certainly, we love to be around grateful people, and then we also want to be appreciated for what we, as moms, do for our families. Why, though, is gratitude critical for our children’s future? 

We read in Deuteronomy 28:47, “Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.” Deuteronomy 28 is describing all the curses that will come upon Israel because of their disobedience (v45). These curses will also be signs and reminders to them (v46)  that they didn’t obey joyfully and with gladness of heart, for ALL THE THINGS GOD DID FOR THEM. Could we sum up verse 47 by saying they weren’t grateful? Can you see how essential gratefulness is for our children to learn? It isn’t just a nice character addition, but it can play a huge part in their walk with the Lord. 

Will our children have an entitlement mentality with the Lord, or will they recognize and praise Him for His blessings and joyfully serve Him? Gratitude blesses both the doer and the recipient. The doer welcomes hearing how his kindness blessed the recipient. Now, this is the key part. The recipient GREATLY benefits from sharing how the kindness benefited him. 

Here is how it works. The recipient has to first recognize and then proclaim.

  • Recognize: This is an ever-present awareness of someone doing something for them and to mentally process what it cost the person and how it has benefited them as the recipient.
  • Proclaim: This is to share verbally what was recognized. Without proclaiming, most of the blessing is missed. The doer is further encouraged by how his love and service to the other was used of God.  


If we want our children to be grateful, it starts with us having grateful hearts and frequently speaking words of gratitude. We need to be moms who are verbally thankful to our husbands, our children, and others. Do we recognize and proclaim when they do something kind for us, helpful, or give us something? We should have hearts that don’t complain about negative situations but find ways to give thanks through them. 

Our children will learn first and perhaps foremost through our example. When we are negative complainers, they will be as well. When we expect the kindnesses shown to us, take them for granted, and don’t express gratitude, they will too.

Teach and Practice

Teach your children the importance of gratitude. You can work with them in the gratitude process of recognizing and proclaiming. Children are children, and they need lots of instruction and reminders. We can’t expect them to develop grateful hearts without investing time in teaching and then working with them. 

Give your children opportunities to practice gratitude by role-playing and specifically doing things for them where the proper response would be to recognize and proclaim their gratitude.

Rewards and Consequences

When your child expresses gratitude, notice it and praise him (Sounds a bit like recognize and proclaim, doesn’t it?) for his words or actions. Your smiles, hugs, and positive reinforcement should encourage him to want to continue to have grateful responses. 

When he hasn’t been grateful, you might point it out to him and help him figure out what he should have said or done to be thankful. 

When Not Thankful

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). God gives us a sobering view into the consequence of not being thankful. Gratitude is first offered to God and then to those around us. As mothers, we want to purposefully help our children have thankful hearts. 

Posted in: Mom's Corner