Boston Marathon

16 04 2013

marathon runner
“I can’t sleep.”
What’s the solution? It depends on who’s got the problem.

Adults battle sleepless nights. Young parents literally can’t get any sleep.

Hospital noises may prevent a patient from sleep. Snoring may be the culprit in a marriage.

But, if your child said it the night of the bombing in Boston, you know exactly what that meant. Your child was really saying, “I’m scared. I’m worried it could happen here.”

Parents once again are struggling with what to say to their young children. How can we calm their fears when our own sense of security has been rocked?

Worry consumes our thoughts.
Why did this happen? HOW could it happen? Can we prevent it from happening again?

Experts are saying there’s really no way they could ever guarantee complete safety for an event such as the Boston Marathon. There’s a limit to what can be done.

Likewise, there’s a limit to what we can do to ease the fears of a child. We can assure them adults are working to keep them safe. But, we can’t give them what they desperately need: complete peace.

When our son, Chris, was in elementary school, I felt similar helplessness. I couldn’t guarantee his safety when he went off to school. He often got bullied (as many children with ADHD did). I reassured him that adults were there to help. And I prayed with him.

In high school, Chris suffered a break from reality. He received help from a psychiatrist and entered a psychiatric unit. After his release from the hospital, he received homebound instruction.

When he returned to school, I worried he might be too mentally and emotionally fragile.
What if he becomes fearful or gets distressed? What will he do? Where will he go? Who will help him there?

I gave him a Pass It On® Message Card to keep in his pocket. He could pull it out anytime he needed reassurance from his heavenly Father. The card reminded him God was with him. Each message would restore perfect peace.

Chris learned that the Bible truly is the best weapon for worry. God’s sword can battle fears. There is power in the Word.
passitoncard
The bombing in Boston may have ripped through your child’s peaceful thoughts. In addition to what you’re doing and saying, pass along a scripture message. Your child can cling to God’s strong hand whenever or wherever you’re not there. By reading the powerful message of hope you lovingly tuck inside the pocket of his pants.
Godshandholdingchildshand'

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What’s so exciting about Christmas?

18 12 2011

Knock, knock, knock.

The loud knocking interrupted the Bible instruction. The startled campers were learning about Jesus. I ignored the knocking, for good reason. The children all had intellectual disabilities. The visitor was part of the lesson, arranged ahead of time by me.

The knocking continued.

“Who is it?” I called through the door.

“Miss Barbara.”

Turning to the students, I reported matter-of-factly, “It’s Miss Barbara.”

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK pounded Barbara.

Calling through the door I asked, “What do you want?”

“I want to come in.”

Returning to my seat, I resumed the lesson.

The campers looked bewildered.

“What’s wrong? Is something the matter?” I asked.

“Miss Barbara.”

“Yes, Miss Barbara is at the door.”

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. “Please let me in,” pleaded Barbara.

This time I remained in my seat.

The campers begged me to let her in.

Barbara’s cries became more emphatic. She started shouting, “I – want – to – come – in – now!!!”

The campers yelled, “Open the door!”

Refusing their requests, I explained my reason for ignoring her pleas.

“Why should I open the door? We don’t need to let her in. We know all about her. She lives up on the hill. She has short hair and a very nice smile. She sings our special song before meals.”

“But she wants to come in,” explained one camper.

“Yeah, and we want her to be with us. Let her in.” urged another boy.

They became adamant and shouted, “Open the door! Let – her – in!”

Finally, I relented. Once the door was opened, the children engulfed Miss Barbara like a coat. Clinging to her.

It was time to explain the object lesson.

“You know all about Miss Barbara. But that wasn’t enough. You wanted to spend time with her. She wanted to join us. It seemed very wrong of me not to let her in. Friends want to spend time with each other.

“That’s how it is with Jesus. You know a lot about Jesus. But that’s not enough. Knowing about Him isn’t as special as knowing Him as your special Friend. Friends spend time with one another. Friends do nice things for each other. Jesus loved you so much He died so you could go to heaven someday. You can spend time with Him, just like you can with Miss Barbara. You can talk to Him.

“Let Him come into your heart. Let Him be a part of your life. That’s so much better than just knowing about Him.”

*******

Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ. Historians will acknowledge that fact. The true celebration swells in the hearts of those who know Him – who have a relationship with Him.

Jesus stands at the door and knocks. How He longs for us to welcome Him into our lives! How He wants to fellowship with us!

He waits for each blood-bought soul to receive His gift of eternal life. Knowing the facts of His life pales in comparison to knowing Him in a personal way. Having a relationship with Him throughout the year enriches our celebration of His birth.

Jesus entered this world. The thought of God sending His only Son to die for my sin – my sin – is awesome to contemplate. The deeper my relationship is with Christ, the more Christmas means to me. God’s only Son left heaven to die for my sin, stepped into my life and fellowships with me. That thrills my heart.

What’s so exciting about Christmas? He did that for everyone. No wonder all the angels rejoiced.

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”  Luke 2:13-14





Combating a Materialized Christmas

6 12 2011

When our sons 3 and 5 yrs. old people would ask them, “What do you want for Christmas?”

I found a way to teach them the Biblical meaning of the holiday and at the same time share God’s Word with unsuspecting strangers.

I taught them the entire Christmas passage in Luke. If young children can learn all the words to a song, they can learn Luke 2:8-14. Using lots of expression in my tone of voice coupled with hand motions, I taught our boys the passage.

When someone asked them, “What do you want for Christmas?” they responded, “Well that’s not what Christmas is all about.” They would go on to share the true meaning of Christmas by reciting the passage.  “And there were in the same country shepherds…”

Listen to our son, Bobby reciting that passage. He was 4 yrs. old at the time. Now he’s 29.

YouTube: Five year old recites Christmas passage

What do you do to help your children focus on the real meaning of Christmas?