Friday, September 26, 2014

Construct PEACE





Peacemaker Toolbox

Give Peace a Chance
and
Let Freedom Reign


In listening to Peacemaker Toolbox, Edy will help you:


• Break the pattern to isolate to move toward a bond of peace.
• Surrender your need to be “right” and your “rite” to be heard.
• Stop agreeing with the enemy of your soul to walk in harmony with the Prince of Peace.
• Replace tiresome habits with skills that build unity.



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Friday, August 29, 2014

Growing a Crop of Love - Introduction Video

Growing a Crop of Love

Video-Based
Small Group Study

INTRODUCTION


Celebrate the beauty of motherhood
through the imagery of gardening.


Growing a crop calls for a special caretaker to nurture the development and output of the plant. The similarity to motherhood is remarkable. As we cultivate the faith of our children, God will produce a bountiful harvest when tended by a Mother's love.

Use the compelling metaphor of gardening to promote growth in your child from spiritual infant to mature disciple. You will learn to trade heavy theology for vibrant visual imagery and exchange elusive concepts with relatable, hands-on processes.








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Friday, May 2, 2014

Growing a Crop of Love: TRELLIS






Trellis

Vining plants need a trellis as they grow in size in preparation to produce fruit. Without support, the plant does not succeed.

Jesus said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 
– John 15:5

As a spiritual infant at the age of 32, my character needed to change and begin growing in the likeness of Christ. The support of those leading me toward greater intimacy with Christ held me accountable to proper growth.  

My daughters are spiritual children at 5 and 6. The development of their character takes time and needs support.

Growth adds depth and breadth to the faith of a maturing disciple of Jesus.

I spent a lot of time stretching toward the Son before I produced an abundance of spiritual fruit. In my case, old behaviors had to be removed and new ones had to be developed. The formation of my character is a continual on going process as I seek to look more like Jesus.

Apart from the leading of the Spirit, I want my own way. Maybe you can relate. Our children are not released from this reality. As mother’s we are in direct contact with the heart of our children. We are to parlay their steps along a trellis of increasing character development. 

The disciple Peter was also a spiritual child at an older age. As an Apostle, he writes of who we become in increasing measure.

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7

As we grow, we become …

Goodness puts off behaviors, which distort the image of God in us. We are to measure our character against that of God’s.

Knowledge comes under the transforming guidance of truth found in the Word of God. Jesus is the Word made flesh. As we combine our study of Jesus’ life and teaching in a context of intimacy with Him, our knowledge comes to life.

Self-Control obeys God from a reverent submission and humble spirit.

Perseverance maintains a joyful attitude in the midst of harrying circumstances seeking and searching for God with praise and thanksgiving.

Godliness brings the sanctifying presence of God in to all facets of life for all to see – a life “set-apart” – in His name for His glory.

Brotherly kindness loves sacrificially for the good of others. Affection for one another arises from an acute awareness of Jesus’ love.

Take Action
-
Are you allowing yourself to grow in the likeness of Christ in ever increasing measure?
Who is holding you accountable?

Family Matters Resource

Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right 


Pray

Pray the scripture, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify (me) through and through. May (my) whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hands on Activities

Grow pole beans with your children. Explain that as the plant stretches toward the sun a so too are they to grow toward the SON. The pole becomes the support to encourage the plant in preparation to produce spiritual fruit.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Growing a Crop of Love: Manifesto





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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peacemaker Toolbox: RECEIVE GOD's PEACE





Receive God's Peace

In order to be an agent of peace, one must first know how to receive God's peace. The measure of joy and peace we have is explicitly tied to our connection with God. 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When we enter in to His rest we experience rest. 


Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.




Consider this flowchart on how to receive God's peace. 



























Grace and Peace to you, Edy







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Growing a Crop of Love: PHOTOSYNTHESIS



Photosynthesis

The life-giving sun energizes the small plant to grow in size and strength. 

Once a germinated seed becomes a tiny measure of faith, a mother cannot make it grow. No amount of coercion or control can increase the child’s faith. Only the work of the Spirit of God can[1].

It is the Spirit who gives life – John 6:63a ESV 



The Spirit intercedes on our behalf, teaches, comforts, admonishes, directs, and protects. J
ust as the process of photosynthesis will increase the mass of the plant, the Spirit of God, dwelling in the heart of a believer in Jesus, guides us in all truth. 



The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. – John 14:26 


Our role as mothers is to bolster our children’s understanding of and exposure to the light. Jesus is the light of the world.


I {Paul} planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:6 


The process of photosynthesis uses light to convert carbon dioxide (the flesh and its passions and desires) and water (grace) into energy (which becomes the structure of the plant) plus 
oxygen (life giving truth). 






Photosynthesis looks like the relationship we develop with the Spirit. Without Him we remain tiny shoots with no blossoms or fruit.

Christ’s light converts our arrogance in to meekness, our greed in to sacrifice, our selfishness in to service, our strife in to reconciliation, our self-pity in to thankfulness, our hopelessness in to joy, our striving in to submission, our jealousy in to contentment, our anger in to compassion, and our bitterness in to forgiveness.


Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:25 


Additionally, the affect of Christ’s light in our lives spreads oxygen (life-giving truth) to those in our influence so they do not suffocate from the flesh and its passion and desires.

The spiritual formation of our children takes places in the inmost parts growing in depth and breadth to maturity. With heaping doses of grace and ample supplies of Christ’s light, our children will become an abundance of love to pour out to others.


Take Action

1. Consider how you are praying for your children.

2. Consider how you are exposing your children to the light of Christ. Examine the beatitudes in Matthew 5. Are you introducing your children to and modeling for them how to be blessed?


Pray

Abba Father, come to my children make their salvation secure. Grow them in size and strength to worship you alone. Teach them what it means to be blessed. Secure their heavenly role as a prince and princess in the Kingdom of God.


Hands on Activities

Mommy and me.



Grace and Peace to you, Edy









[1] Dr. Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control

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Growing a Crop of Love: SPROUT




Sprout

A sprout is a tender shoot reaching toward the light. 

The faith of our children emerges reaching toward the SON with an unpretentious wonder, the outcome of forming a suitable environment.

As mothers we promise to nurture the needs of the fragile sprout with acceptance and affiliation, affirmation and admonition, abilities and accomplishments.

Childlike faith sees the world as exciting, adventurous and worth pursuing, at the same time, influences in a child’s life work to uproot the tiny shoot.


As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. – Psalm 42:1b 


Every child is born with yearnings in their soul for a secure love, a significant purpose and a strong hope[1]. As parents, we are to be the primary source to meet these needs. Over time we demonstrate to our children how God becomes the place where these needs are met.


Secure Love: Acceptance, Affiliation, Affection
Significant Purpose: Affirmation, Attention, grace-based Admonition
Strong Hope: Abilities, Adventure, Accomplishments


The prince of this world, the devil, will attempt to satisfy and meet these needs. He begins his work early. A mother will protect the sprout from being uprooted and replant the seed as often as necessary.

We affirm the worth of our children with spoken blessings. We teach and admonish full
of grace. We emphasize God’s plan and purpose for their lives. We assure acceptance in spite of their awkward quirkiness. We provide the freedom to fail. We invite respectful, yet candid responses.

Rightly meeting these needs becomes the reference point of their accurate understanding of whom God is. We love as Christ loved us.

Love is the commitment of my will to put your needs and best interests above my own regardless of the cost. – Dr. Tim Kimmel 

Neglecting their needs will make God seem distant or heavy handed in their adult life. We are to make the invisible visible through our nurturing the sprout.

Even on our best day, our children will go about getting these legitimate needs met in illegitimate ways. We are to persist in nurturing the sprout as it grows in maturity.

Take Action

1. Consider what love really is. Commit to following through with the love dare for parents.
2. Consider tangible ways you are meeting the 9 “A” words for your children.

Pray

Wonderful Counselor, show me how I can better meet the needs of my children to best reflect your character, your heart and your promises rightly. Help me to see where they are getting their needs met in the wrong ways.

Hands on Activities

Mommy activity: Spend three days eating only what is grown in your garden. Let your hunger be satisfied by what God provides for you. Allow yourself to go thirsty. Consider what you allow to quench your thirst.

Mommy and me: At the dinner table ask your children if they are hungry. How does the meal nourish their bodies with grow food, energy food and vitamins? Point out that God wants to be their source of spiritual nourishment found in His Word (scripture … man does not live on bread alone). Ask your children if they ever feel lonely? How do they quench that thirst?

Mommy and me: Bedtime Blessings by Dr. John Trent




Grace and Peace to you, Edy







[1] Dr. Tim Kimmel, Grace Based Parenting

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Peacemaker Toolbox: 10 STEPS to Constructing PEACE



10 Steps to CONSTRUCTING Peace

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. -- Ephesians 4:3



Today, I ask myself this question, "What is the consequence of raising children who do not know how to make peace in times of conflict?"

It has been a long journey for me to stand on a platform asking this question. 

A peacemaker is thought to be a diplomat who brings opposing sides in to agreement.   

As a child whenever there was conflict with my brothers, the resounding response from my parents was "Go to your room and come out when you have a smile on your face." 

There was no arbitration. I was not taught communication skills to bring about reconciliation. 

This proved to be detrimental to my adult life. 

In times of conflict I insisted on being heard. I would go about manipulating the argument to persuade my opponent. When my efforts failed, I'd escalate the intimidation with critical and condemning words. I blamed. My responsibility in the issue was ignored as I stirred up drama so that my opponent could not develop a reasoned argument.

All this to say, rejection and abandonment littered the landscape of my adult life. 

One fabulously, fateful day I committed to seeking God for relief. I couldn't be rejected and cast aside again. I knew I was the problem not my circumstances.

In my earnestness, God was faithful to answer me. It has taken several years for this story to unfold and I'm certain this story will continue to play out for the rest of my days. 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I look to His sacrifice for my salvation, I also can seek Him as the truth to live by. My studying of His life and His teaching has given me great insight and practical tools for creating peace. 


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. -- Matthew 5:9 
































































































Grace and Peace to you, Edy













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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Peacemaker Toolbox: SOUS CHEF




SOUS CHEF



The name Satan means adversary. He is the enemy of your and my soul. As we walk in agreement with harmful communication, we chef up disunity. Satan is the iron chef. We are his sous chefs when we pick up and use kitchen utensils in times of conflict. 



Use the list below to identify which kitchen utensils
 you are inclined to use in times of conflict. 







Click on the photo and download to view. 







Grace and Peace to you, Edy









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Growing a Crop of Love: GERMINATE



Germinate


Seeds require a suitable environment of water, warmth and oxygen in order to germinate.



  • Water softens and cracks open the hard outer shell. 
  • Warmth activates the formation of a tiny shoot. 
  • Oxygen contributes to cellular respiration for the plant to produce energy to grow. 


Some varieties of seeds will need extenuating circumstances such as fire before they will germinate.



A mother germinates a seed of faith in her young child
in 3 significant ways. 


1. She supplies ample supplies of grace like rain to crack open the outer shell of a heart hardened to and separated from God. 

Her home is an environment where it is safe to make mistakes and to receive admonition 
gracefully. 

There is a clear line between felonies and misdemeanors so that discipline and training is administered with the right size hammer. 

Her home is a safe place to be vulnerable and candid while being different and quirky. 

Grace supplied by the mother gives the child the willingness to embrace the saving grace of Jesus. 



Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth. -- Hosea 6:3 ESV


2. The loving kindness and compassion of a mother covers her child in warmth. She is quick to comfort, encourage and strengthen with her tenderness and warmth. 

The sprouting faith of her child discovers it’s safe to emerge without being mocked.

Humility, gentleness, patience and forbearance embody the climate of her home. 


Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. -- Ephesians 5:1-2


3. A sprouting seed needs oxygen. Before photosynthesis begins, the cells in a plant use oxygen as an animal might to produce energy.

The same can be said of a mother suppling life sustaining truth for a young child. She provides the driving energy to germinate the seed of faith. 


She shows her child evidence of God in His living Word and in His remarkable creation. 



For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. -- Romans 15:4



For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities -- His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. -- Romans 1:20 



Take Action

Consider how you are germinating a seed of faith in your children.

1. Are you administering the same grace God gives you to your children? 

2. Is your home a place of warmth and loving kindness with lots of meaningful touch? 
3. Do you share stories from the Bible of God’s goodness to encourage, strengthen and comfort your children? Do you take your children in the wilderness to show them evidence of God’s divine natural and eternal power revealed in His creation? 


Pray

Creator of heaven and earth, show me one way I can share the truth of your love and power with my children today.


Hands on Activities

  • Share with your children the story of Daniel in the lion's den. 
  • Take your children outside to explain to them the balance between plants and animals and the divine symbiosis they display.
  • Stay up one evening to star gaze. Help your children to understand the concept of eternal from examining the tiniest particles to the vastness of outer space. 




GRACE and PEACE to You, Edy





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