God Is…

My relationship with Jesus is the most important part of me. Sometimes I struggle finding the words to express my gratitude to Him for all He is to me. I keep this list in my bible when I am at a loss for words.
I encourage each of you to read a line a day over the next 30 days and really recognize all God is for you.

Abundant, All-knowing, All-powerful, Almighty, Awesome
Beautiful, blessing, burden-lifter, beloved
Caring, complete, consoler, creative
Deliverer, defense, delight, discerner
Ever-lasting, encourager, excellent
Faithful, Father, fortress, friend
Great, giver, guardian, glorious, good
Holy, healer, helper, hope-giver, honest
Incredible, irresistible, infinite, independent
Just, joyous, jewel, judge
King, knowing, keeper, kind
Loving, lawgiver, light, lion, Lord, listener
Merciful, maker, magnificent, Master
Near, noble, neighbor, nothing impossible
Only, omnipotent, obedient
Perfect, peace, praise-worthy
Righteous, refuge, redeemer
Savior, shepherd, satisfier, sacred, sacrifice, Spirit
Truth, teacher, talented, trust, tower
Understanding, unbelievable, united
Vine, victorious, veil
Wonderful, Word, the Way, window

By Carolyn Meter

Family Friendships

One thing that was really important to Jim and me when raising our kids was that they would become good friends. When they were young I read the following quote in a book called “A House Full of Friends” and it resonated with me. “It’s so important that our children become friends with each other. They will not always have us, their parents, to turn to in times of crisis and need. Some day the older generation will pass away, but if siblings have become friends, they will have each other.” I am not saying that we did everything right, but Jim and I placed a high priority on making sure our children developed friendships with each other. The following is a list of ideas to help facilitate sibling friendships.
1- Start young! When the newborn is brought home, have the new baby give the older sibling a gift or love note.
2- Try not to allow one child to remain the center of attention. If possible – spend one on one time with each child.
3- Have a “big sibling” activity box that only comes out when you are busy with new baby.
4- Teach children to take turns. Sharing is so hard! Encourage kindness and sharing. Use a timer if needed or remove toy.
5- Realize that sibling rivalry is natural but have clear standards of behavior toward one another. Give them the freedom to fail- but also discipline as needed. 6- Catch them being kind to one another and praise. Don’t just correct them when they are being unkind.
7- Spend time together as a family. Sitting down to a meal together will have a bigger impact on developing family friendships than adding another activity to your schedules. And an even bigger impact can be made if family devotions are included in that family time!
8- Be intentional in telling each other what you appreciate about each other. Do things like play “spin the bottle” and whoever the bottle points to, say something you appreciate about that person. (Even though our kids are grown, we still do this at their birthday dinners. We go around the table and say what we admire about the one having the birthday.)
9- When kids are older send them to each other for advice or help.
10- Make a list of fun things to do together as a family- and do them.
11- Cultivate laughter. Our home’s atmosphere can be either negative or positive. Maintain a sense of humor. Sometimes we just need to laugh at ourselves.
12- If married- don’t neglect being friends with your spouse. This is one of the best things you can model for your kids.
13- Remind your kids that friends will come and go- but they will have each other for always. Their relationships with each other are special.
14- And I can’t stress enough….Pray. Pray with each other. Pray for each other. AND…Pray for each other when with each other!

By Kathy Jenkins