Category Archives: Family

My son,

In the book of Proverbs, there are two words mentioned over and over again that stand out to me when I read it. “My son”.

22 times, Solomon uses these words to begin his writing.
This leads me to believe that Solomon was a man who loved his family and had his children in mind when he wrote this book. He wanted them to do well, just like any other normal parent would.

Solomon was blessed with great wisdom from God, so if he is giving advice directly to his son, then it certainly would be wise for us, as parents, to hear and study what he has to say.

Below, are all the verses of Proverbs, written by Solomon, where he is addressing his son directly. Read these verses carefully and take note of the advice and wisdom that Solomon is trying to get across to his son. Maybe they can be good teaching points to share with your own children.

(All scripture is from the King James Version)

Proverbs 1:8
My son, hear the instruction of thy father and forsake not the law of thy mother.

Proverbs 1:10
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not,

Proverbs 1:15
My son, walk not thou, in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Proverbs 2:1
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide thy commandments with thee;

Proverbs 3:1
My son, forget not thy law but let thine hear keep my commandments:
2 For length of days and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Proverbs 3:11
My son, despise not the chastening of The Lord; neither be weary of his correction:

Proverbs 3:21
My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

Proverbs 4:10
Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

Proverbs 4:20
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Proverbs 5:1
My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

Proverbs 5:20
And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Proverbs 6:1
My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

Proverbs 6:3
Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Proverbs 6:20
My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 7:1
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Proverbs 19:27
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Proverbs 23:15
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

Proverbs 23:19
Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Proverbs 23:26
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Proverbs 24:13
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.

Proverbs 24:21
My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

Proverbs 27:11
My son, be wise and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.


Set the Tone for the Day

The best way to set the tone for the day is to play music in the morning as you and the kids are getting ready for or headed to school and work.

Don’t just play anything. Play a song of praise.

Forget the sports, forget the weather, forget the arguing and fussing, forget about the problems coming your way. Hit the play button on a good worship song and sing or at least hum praise to God.

The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing and that we should pray everywhere. It also says that everything that hath breath should praise The Lord.

Judges 5:3
I, even I, will sing unto The Lord; I will sing praise to The Lord God of Israel.

Psalms 150:6
Let everything that hath breath praise The Lord. Praise ye The Lord.

Have ever had a song stuck in your head that just you just can’t get out.
Most of the time it’s some annoying jingle from a commercial or something similar. Why not, get a song of praise stuck in your head all day.

What is your song of praise?


She Cooks, We Clean

I know that I can be simple minded sometimes and this one seems fundamental, but I thought I would put it out there anyhow. If the mother of the household cooks then dad and the kids should clean up, right? Something seems wrong if everyone scatters to do their own thing when dinner is over except for mom. Something is definitely not right if the kids scatter when dinner is over and leave dad and mom to clean up.

There are many benefits of eating dinner together as a family every day.
One of them is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the importance of working together to help get the dining area and kitchen cleaned up afterwards.

In our house, a fringe benefit of having 3 boys that are old enough to work is that the duties can be spread out amongst each of us.
One is responsible for cleaning the table and sweeping the floor; another is responsible for cleaning the dishes; another helps put food away and I clean off the counters and stove.

If your kids are still young, they can at least carry their own plate or cup to the sink. Naturally, as they get older, then they can do more.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

If it is just you and your wife, if you only have one child or if you are a single mom, the same principle applies. Mom should not have to do it all. The work load should be shared amongst everyone in the house.

If you are already practicing this in your home, then you are probably living in a happy home; cause when momma is happy, everyone is happy.

If your household might need a little work, then the following is how I would go about getting the ship turned in the right direction.

1. First, have dinner together.
This may seem obvious, but if you don’t typically eat at a dinner table together then it’s harder for the kids to form the habits you might be looking for.

2. Talk about it.
Don’t just start hollering and giving marching orders. Make it the topic of the next dinner conversation. Discuss why it is important for everyone to pitch in and help. State what you need help with and then give everyone the option of choosing which one they would like to do.

3. Have the same person do the same task every time.
If no one knows what the other is doing, then something will get left undone or there will just be plain chaos. We are creatures of habit.
The challenging part of this though is trying to prevent your kids from thinking only about theirselves and their own job and not wanting to cross the line and help someone else out when needed.

Good luck and happy cleaning!
If you have any comments or suggestions please share.


The Gold Standard for Raising Kids

A couple of weeks ago I brought to you a question that was asked by Jones, to parents, in the book “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews.
What is the Gold Standard for Raising Children?”

Today, I would like to share with you what I believe to be the answer to that question.

Jesus actually set the standard over 2000 years ago and is recorded in the following verses of the Bible.

Matthew 22:37-40
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Yes, it is as simple as that. We must teach our children to love God and love others. If every parent in the world can accomplish those two things, what else is there to do? The world that we live in would be as God originally intended it.

How to teach our kids to love God.

We must be an example to our children by first loving God ourselves and then teach them His Word. Deuteronomy chapter 6 says it well.

Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

God and His Word should be the center of everything that we do. We must first love God with all of our heart, soul and might and then we must teach this to our children in everything that we do; in the home, outside the home, when we go to bed and when we get up.

Pray with you kids.
Read the Bible together.
Go to church more than once per week.
Lead a God centered home form the time they are born until they are grown and they will get it.

How to teach our kids to love others.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

These two scriptures are often referred to as the Golden Rule by which we should live. The best way to teach our kids to live by this rule is to to live it ourselves. We must show them by example.
Look for every opportunity that you can to reinforce this and teach it to them. Life is all about choices that we make each and every day; at home, at school, at work, and with friends. The opportunities to teach them to treat others as they would want to be treated are endless.
Read some more of Luke chapter 6. Jesus gives us some great examples of how we should treat others.

The standard is set. It has been for a long time. We just have to live it and teach it. The future is in our hands; in our kids, and we as parents have the responsibility to show them how to live.

If you found this helpful please take a moment to share it with others.
We can’t do it alone. In order to make the biggest impact we must all work together with one purpose.

Love God and love others.

(Enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right and future posts from me will go straight to your inbox. Thank you and God bless.)


200,000 miles!!

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I am proud to say that our car has made it to the 200,000 mile mark.
Now I pray that God will help it to make it to 300,000 miles and beyond.

This Ford Taurus and our middle son are both 14 years old.
We bought it 3 weeks before he was born.
It’s been nicknamed “The Big Red Car” for a long time now thanks to The Wiggles.

I would be awesome if this car could stick around long enough to help our kids through high school and college. Oh the stories it would be able to tell.
I lay my hands on the dash just about every day and ask God to help it last another 10 years.

Why am I so excited about a 14 year old car hitting 200,000 miles?
Because I have no car payments and do not ever want one again.
We have been driving this car for over 10 years now debt free and that is why I thank God every day for making it last. He is good!

Do you have a car that has made it to the 200,000 mile mark or beyond?
Please share your story by commenting below.
What kind of car is it?
How old and how many miles?

We will be looking for another used car soon as our kids make it to driving age and would love your recommendations.

Thank you.


Poll for Parents: Need Your Comments Please

Please take a moment to answer the following question…

What result or character trait or would like to see in your child as he/she or grows into an adult?

Start your answer with “To…”

example: To be hard working

example: To have integrity

Please answer in the  comment section below.  You may give more than one or give one now, then come back again if you think of another.  There is no limit to the number of answers.

The answers that you give will be compiled into a list and shared for everyone’s benefit.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.


What Is The Gold Standard for Raising Children? (Part 2)

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In the book, The Noticer Returns, by Andy Andrews, Jones is leading a parenting class. He asks those in the class three questions.

1) “As parents, do you believe that you are doing the very best you can?”
2) “If society’s best parents—the most loving, the most determined, the most concerned parents—are all raising their children by setting their sights on a target called ‘doing the best we can,’ is anyone aiming at the same thing?”
3) “What do today’s parents agree is the gold standard for raising children?”

In response to the first question, most truly loving and caring parents would say that, of course, they are doing the best that they can and then may even respond with their own question, “What’s wrong with that?”
There is nothing wrong with doing the best that you can, but is that good enough? If everyone is truly doing the best that they can, then what is it that everyone is “doing”? Are we all doing the same thing or is everyone just raising their kids how they see fit.
Is there one standard by which everyone parents?

Here is an excerpt from the book that tells us how Jones answers this question…

Suddenly the old man was animated. He rose from the chair and passionately declared the conclusion to which he had come. “You see, my friends,” he said, “by not addressing the issue of an accepted standard, today’s parents have defaulted into an uncomfortable agreement with each other. They have agreed that there will not be a standard for raising our children.
“One set of parents teaches their daughter to say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no sir.’ Another couple contends that standard of behavior to be a matter of opinion.”
“One parent demands her boys dress in trousers that are belted at the waist. Her boys must wear their ball caps with the bill pointed to the front, and those caps are to be removed, with no exceptions, when indoors. That parent’s next-door neighbor, on the other hand, might have entirely different rules about what clothes her children are allowed to wear and how they are allowed to wear them. Meanwhile, society lives with increasingly discouraging results.”
Kelli spoke. “So you are saying there are no standards?”
“Quite the contrary,” Jones replied. “I am saying that there are many different standards. That is essentially why there is a vast array of parenting books published every year, each touting new methods or different ways to measure a child’s success. There are scores of classes—most larger than this one—all being taught by a countless number of people who claim to be experts in the field of parenting.”

Jones goes on in the book with an analogy of planting a fruit tree and raising it. Most trees that you go buy at the store come with instructions on how to plant and care for that tree in order for it to produce good fruit. If you follow those instructions your chances of growing a tree that produces good fruit are much better than if you just stick it in the ground and ignore it.
Those instructions are the standard by which many people came together and agreed would be the best way to raise a fruit tree and get good results.

As parents, we have been given an enormous challenge in raising our kids because when they were born they did not come with an instruction manual. There are many books and lots of different opinions out there, but society has not yet came to an agreement on a single standard by which everyone should raise their children.

About the only standard that I can think of that civilized society has come up with is that parents should send their kids to school for 13 years.

Is that good enough?
Does there need to be a standard for raising children?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

This topic has struck a chord in me and I plan to write more about this in the coming weeks. As parents, the future is in our hands and it all starts with how we raise our kids.

Excerpts From: Andrews, Andy. “The Noticer Returns.” Thomas Nelson, 2013-07-01. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=619416934


What Is The Gold Standard For Raising Children? (Part 1)

In Andy Andrews’ latest book, “The Noticer Returns”, Jones is leading a class on parenting.
He asks those in attendance what the gold standard is for raising children.
It ends up being a very challenging question to answer and Jones’ response will really make you think.
Before I share his response with you, I would like to give you the opportunity, just as I did while reading the book, to ponder the question and see if you can form an answer.

So, is there a gold standard for raising children? If so, what is it?
In order to answer this question, it helps to understand what a “standard” is.

According to Merriam Webster a “standard” is something that is regularly and widely used; well-established and very familiar; something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.

We have standards for many things in this world…

In sports we have standards for the size of the playing fields or courts.
In schools we have standards for passing class and moving on to the next grade.
There are standards for how to dress in sports as well as some schools and even work.
Science has all kinds of standards by which to test and proof theories.
Think about all the standards in the financial world.
What about all the standards that have been put in place for driving on the roads? (colors, shapes and lines)

There are endless examples of standards that we have created for ourselves and they are needed.
A world without standards would lead to chaos and confusion. Everybody would just be doing their own thing and making up rules as they go.

So, “What is the standard for raising children?”
Is there a well established and widely used method of raising children that has been set by some authority as a model or example?

Should we all just do the best we can and see how things turn out or is there a standard to follow?

In part 2, I will reveal what Jones said in the book and then provide my own take on it.
If you have read the book already, then you may have some idea where I’m going with this and the challenge that has been presented to us. If you have not read the book yet, I highly recommend it.

The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews

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Thank you and God bless.

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10 Keys to Successful Parenting

Looking back over 15 years of parenting so far, the following is a list of decisions that we have made concerning our kids that we believe has had the biggest impact.

Here is the quick list and below are explanations of why I believe that each are important.

1) Believe and trust in God
2) Pray together
3) Go to church (consistently)
4) Eat dinner together
5) Be there for them
6) Take lots of pictures and videos
7) Educate yourself
8) Sports and Music
9) Stay together
10) Have fun and make memories

1) Believe and trust in God
God must be number one in our lives and we must show our kids that we believe such. That is why the first 3 keys to successful parenting deal with your faith and belief in one who is higher than us all.

2) Pray together
A great way to teach your kids the importance of God in our lives is to spend time daily with them in prayer. Pray with them before they head off to school. Pray together at dinner. A simple bedtime prayer together is also a great habit to get into with your kids. Becky and I have prayed with each of our kids at bedtime since they were babies. They look forward to bedtime prayer and if you try to skip, they’ll remind you. There is something about praying before bed that gives you and the kids peace of mind to close your eyes and sleep soundly.

3) Go to church (consistently)
Find a good church and then take them consistently. Don’t skip church for ball games or days out on the lake. Schedule events around church, not church around your events. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

4) Eat dinner together
Dinner time is a great time to bond as a family. At our home everyone is involved in the whole dinner process, from setting the table up to cleaning up afterward. Eating together should be a daily tradition that is not skipped. Turn the TV off, set the phones and other electronics to the side and enjoy some quality time together.

5) Be there for them
If at all possible, one of you should stay at home with the kids. When our first child one born, we decided that being at home with the kids was more important than making extra money, especially during the first 5 years of their life. Once they were all in school, Becky went back to work, but has always worked a job that was flexible enough to allow her to be there for the kids when they returned home from school. Your must be there for your kids.

6) Take lot of pictures and videos
Kids grow up fast and along with growing up comes change in how they look. Enjoy the moment, but also take lots of pictures and videos. Both you and the kids will love being able to look back, when they are older, and cherish the moments that you had together.

7) Educate yourself
We all spend about 13 to 17 years of our lives going to school and learning just about everything you will need in life, except how to raise children. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals, so it is necessary to educate yourself in some way about how to raise kids. Read books, talk to and learn from others that have been there already, pray, read the Bible. We have learned a ton from reading books about kids and how to raise them. As they get into the teenage years you will find yourself searching for even more than when they were younger.

8) Get them involved in sports and music
There are many benefits of getting your child involved in a team sport. They learn how to interact with others, how to work together as a team, how to control their emotions, develop motor skills and much more.
Every child should be given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument. I can’t tell you how many times that I have heard someone say, “I wish that my parents would have made me learn…”. If your child learns how play an instrument, that is something that they can keep the rest of their lives. It’s not easy making them practice every day, but in the end both you and they will be glad for it.

9) Stay together
Your marriage will be tested many times throughout the parenting years. There will be times when you feel like giving up, but don’t.
Diamonds are formed under pressure. If you can stick it out to the end, both you and your kids will be better for it. I am very thankful for my wife. There are many days, when I think about all that she does for us. How I could do it without her, I have no idea. And vise versa. Husband and wife must compliment each other and work together to make the family run. I feel for all the single parents out there and their kids. They have to be under a huge load that I cannot understand.

10) Have fun and make memories
Amongst all the hustle and bustle of life, take some occasional “time-outs”, put life on pause for a moment and enjoy some time together. Play a board game, cards, roll around on the floor with your toddlers, and get away when you can.
One thing that my wife had to teach me concerning vacations was that it is all about making memories. Often times I would get all caught up in how much it is was costing. Gas, hotel, tickets and other things have a price, but memories are priceless. When you spend time together, either at home or on a trip somewhere, focus on having fun and making memories.

Thank you for taking a moment your time to read this. If you feel that it was helpful to you and believe that it could benefit others, please share.
If you would like to receive future articles from me on parenting, simply enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right.

God bless you.


Turn Off the Internet

Are your kids browsing the internet when they should be going to sleep?
Are they struggling to get their chores done because of the distractions of electronics?
In 2014, most everyone, including kids have their own personal device that can access the internet through Wi-Fi.
It could be a phone, iPod touch, tablet, laptop, desktop PC, XBox, and now even TVs.
This easy internet access makes it increasingly more difficult to control how much time the kids spend on it.
Television is no longer our only concern.

The solution that we have come up with for our home is very simple; we just turn the internet off.
How do you turn the internet off?
Simply pull out the cord that powers the Internet modem and wallah…no internet!
Every week night, at about 9:30, we pull the plug on the internet, say a prayer together and get to bed.

We’ll even pull the plug in the morning or in the middle of the day, if necessary.
If we find the kids staring at a screen instead of doing their homework or chores you can get their attention real fast by simply pulling the plug on the internet.
If they want it back… they will get done whatever it is that they need to do.
Try it one day! It’s kind of a rush to know that you have power over the mighty Internet! (At least, in your home)

Now, there still may be times when simply pulling the plug may not be enough, especially if your kids have their own internet enabled phone. In this case, you can have them turn their phone in to you.

You can limit the use of the internet with anti-virus software as well, but we still find it to be easier to just pull the plug.

If you have other ideas for controlling the internet in your home I would love to hear from you.
Let me know how it goes, if you try pulling the plug.


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