Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Words to Help Our Teens Make Good Choices on the Internet...

We once had a pastor who taught on the story of Abraham offering Isaac to God on the altar (you can read the Biblical account here) - our pastor had teenagers at the time, and commented that since Isaac was a "youth" and in Jewish stages of development that meant he was either a teenager or young adult, that perhaps it wasn't as hard as we imagined for Abraham to offer that boy!  Of course it was a joke, but the memory always made me smile when facing our own teens' challenges!

Abraham didn't have to deal with the internet, either.

We have done all the things recommended: monitored online activity, implemented stay safe rules, and routinely check the social media accounts.  But just recently, a good friend of Sweet Teen's shared someone else's inappropriate post online...

Now what?

First of all, there was prayer!  And then conversation - a lot of it! 

Our teens are getting older and there are a lot of things they are being exposed to that we, in reality, cannot control.  In addition, teens may not "see the whole picture".  In our case, the inappropriateness was totally missed by the teen in question, as the contents of the article were deemed important and valid (and for the most part, were important) and the image meeting my mom's eye wasn't even considered (!).  So, it was one of those "normal teenage mistakes" that really gave us as parents the opportunity to give them some additional guidance.

We eventually will have to let them stretch their wings and fly away from our carefully guarded nest and into a world full of inappropriate things.  We need to give them the guidelines in how to navigate those arenas, whether they use them or not.  And sometimes in the teenage world/mind, those guidelines we have already taught don't seem to apply (I do not know why this is true, except perhaps it has to do with having a strong-willed child?) I am betting that you, dear reader, have had or are having similar experiences!  

During prayer, God gave me these four scriptures and in this order:

"I have the right to do anything," you say--
but not everything is beneficial. 
"I have the right to do anything"--
but not everything is constructive.

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and 
the building up of one another.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
his good, pleasing and perfect will
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, 
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

The other mom brought 1 Timothy 4:12 into the mix.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, 
but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, 
show yourself an example of those who believe.

Finally, as the conversation with Miss Sweet Teen and myself went in all sorts of fascinating directions, she asked what was my objection to the post in question, as there wasn't any specific curse words and the Holy Spirit gave this verse:

Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)

As parents, we are asking the girls to choose one of these scriptures to memorize and hold in their hearts, (see Psalm 119:9) but it would certainly be possible to memorize all of them!  Consider it as part of a summer memorization program!  There are six verses and six weeks of summer left!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Best Times to Think & Write Creatively...

I found this info-graphic and wanted to share it with all my creative friends - 
if you are like me finding the time to create, let alone the "right time",
is always a "work-in-progress" of sorts!
This scientific research should help us all out!

(Click the Quick Sprout link to go to a nice, large version that is easily read...)
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout


Till later, Beloved, Cindy

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Freedom Prayer

In Galatians 5:1, we are exhorted:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

If you have ever wondered how to make this scripture a reality...pray this prayer*, but also "do" what the declarations claim... and be diligent as everything worthwhile takes time to implement...

Gracious heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. I come to You in praise for who you are. You are Holy. You are God Almighty. You are the One who Was, and Is, and Is to Come. You are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. You created all things.
It is by your will that I was created and that I exist. You created me for good works before I was born so that I should walk in them. You desire that others will see my good works and glorify You. But Father, something is standing in the way of fulfilling Your will in my life.
You said that I have the right to come boldly to your throne of grace, where I may obtain mercy and find grace to help time of need. So I am coming boldly to you, Father, as Your child. I need Your help.
Your enemy wants to destroy me. He hates me because I love you. He hates me because I stand for righteousness and he wants wickedness to reign. He wants me to be in bondage to the cares of this world and the desires of my own flesh. Open up my Spiritual eyes today so that I can see his evil plans for me and those I love. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from his evil plans.
I want your plans, Father because I know your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. Your plans are to give me hope and a future
Help me to know the authority I have in You to cancel any hold that your enemy has on me. He has no right to anything in my life. He has no authority over my mind, my body, my will, nor my emotions. With the authority you have given me in the name of Jesus, I cancel any foothold or stronghold that I have given him permission to create in my life.
I ask in the name of Jesus for forgiveness of any sins I’ve committed or those of my family that have opened the door for unclean spirits to wreck havoc in our lives. In the name of Jesus, I revoke all invitations, cast them out and nail the door shut!
Father, you said that a curse without a cause shall not alight; because Jesus has redeemed me from the curse of the law, then all current and generational curses are cancelled. My sin debt has been paid by the blood of the Lamb. Therefore the Blood covers my family, my finances, and my relationships. I am blessed!
Father, you said in Romans 8:14 that for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. As your child, lead me with your Holy Spirit everyday so that I can grow in wisdom and power. Through your word, I receive riches, strength, honor, glory, and blessing so that I can fulfill your will in the family business.
Each day I take time to retreat, meditating on your goodness, grace, and mercy in my mind and heart. I know that you inhabit the praise of your children so I will bless you at all times and your praise shall be in my mouth continually.
In your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand pleasures forevermore. Now I go forth in joy and freedom, in awareness of my authority and identity in You. Thank you Father. In Jesus’ name,   Amen.
 * Prayer by Kimberly Taylor, http://www.takebackyourtemple.com/

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Number 7 of 100 of exploring cruciform - I have so many partially complete, waiting for that last little touch of symbology...in this piece I was thinking how the intersecting parts of a trellis form a cross of sorts.  I could "see" dogwoods climbing the wood, and found that one of the meanings of this flower was "faithfulness". 

And have I mentioned that Sweet Teen and I are taking Japanese language lessons?  Sweet Teen's interest in all things Japanese continues to influence me!  Their written language is a combination of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.  Even foreign words make their way into the written work.  Kanji is borrowed from the Chinese characters and may sometimes have variations.  Thus, I needed to add the character for faithfulness.  This character also can mean honesty, fidelity, honor, personal integrity, constancy and faith.

Several  years ago I was introduced to the concept that the story of Creation found in Genesis is embedded in the Chinese language - and the study is fascinating!  In the case of the above character, it is developed from combining two pictographs into one ideograph:


If we analyze the character , meaning sincere [trustful, etc.], we find that it is formed by the combination of the characters of a man and words, a collocation of ideas which speaks well for the honourable truthfulness of the ancient Chinese.” *
(There are about 600 pictographs, from which the 214 radicals are formed, and about 700 ideographs.)

 * Nelson, Ethel R. (1979-08-01). The Discovery of Genesis (Kindle Locations 553-556). Concordia Publishing House. 
     Kindle Edition.

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