Archives For April 2012

By Lisa Cherry

For many years adding babies to our family were considered regularly scheduled “holidays.” With 10 children’s births, our older kids had a chance to establish “having new baby routines” much like one would establish “going back to school routines.”

We might have been the only family on the block who had recycled decorating supplies in the storage closet that said It’s a Boy! or It’s a Girl!  In fact, I remember when one of the children asked if we could have a new baby so that Gram could stay with us and take them to Steak and Shake to celebrate! (Now there’s a good reason to add another family member.)

Honestly, the kids and I miss those days. Josiah’s babyhood is gone and my maternity clothes are too. But no one can get too sad because we have more baby toys around our house than ever. With four grandbabies arriving in three years we are not losing practice yet.

When precious little Benjamin Judah, the son of Nathan and Tara, made his appearance a couple of weeks ago, our family made quite an entry to the maternity ward. I was a little nervous that the nurses might draw the line on our family welcoming event.

But once again, we celebrated with tears of joy that miracle from God. In mass.  All together with everyone begging for their turn for a holding. Ahhh, God is so good to us!

(But, I could not find any of those stored It’s a Boy! signs. Good thing Wal-Mart could help me restock.)

Linking up to the Better Mom  and

Picture
friday favorite things | finding joy

Jesse Wilcox Smith~ On His Knee

By Lisa Cherry

Wow! How the last two years have changed my life! I can hardly believe we are about to finish our second year of touring around the country speaking to parents at Acquire the Fire [www dot acquirethefire dot com] events.

With almost 60 events under our belts, we are now veterans to the traveling ministry lifestyle… Well, almost.  I now think I could navigate an airport in my sleep.  But I’ve written before about some of my travel mess-ups, mishaps and goofs, and I must confess I still sometimes make some ridiculous blunders.
This past weekend I could not find my driver’s license after coming through screening. I knew I would have to forfeit my seat on the plane, since I would never make it back home without it.

Visions of calling Doug to rescue me by overnighting my passport were flashing through my mind, when I suddenly remembered my stupid error. I had set my license in the security tub with my other belongings and had never retrieved it. The TSA agent searched through the tall stack of tubs and found it, and I smiled sweetly at him.

Adventure, fulfillment and fatigue would be choice adjectives for these last two years. My children have risen to the lifestyle adjustment well. Doug is carrying more of the weekend commitments and thoroughly enjoying it; our older kids can handle some events without me; and the younger seven are busy rotating their turns to travel to exotic and non-exotic destinations.

But other than fun and adventure, why would we continue such massive efforts? That’s easy. Because of our call to our tribe. God is awakening a new generation of POTTS (Parents of Teens and Tweens), and we are privileged to be some of His messengers.

Our meetings this year have been so exciting! As parents we are awakening to the Lord to lead our kids to mature faith and holy living. Is it easy? NO way! Raising teens today is extremely difficult….but ever so important.

In each city we expanded our offerings to include new meetings on issues such as Sex, Love, Dating and Courtship; Capturing the Heart of Your Teen; Protecting Your Child from Sexual Predators; Top 7 Things My Parents Did Right; and Normal Parenting Is Not Enough.

The results? We expect to finish this year with nearly 900 POTTS subscribers who have signed up to start some sort of POTTS group either in their own family or their church!  Back in September we set a goal of 600, and thought that was aggressive!

Each month we email our subscribers an instructional parenting video which they can use as the basis for discussion in their groups. Thousands of parents have been challenged to lead their home more effectively.

Prayers for healing and deliverance were offered at every event. Books and resources have sold very well, and we have placed hundreds of copies in homes of parents who could not afford them. And most important of all, Jesus was magnified in the lives of thousands of parents.

All glory to God for what He has done! Truly, He has not forgotten this generation!

As we celebrate what He has done, we are looking forward to year 3 on the tour. Will you join us in prayer?

I'm linking up today with:

 

I'm so excited to announce the launch of our new book, Unmask the Predators.  You can pre-order it now HERE.  It will be available in bookstores nationwide by release the date, May 1.  Watch the video book trailer below.

Unmask the Predators Book Trailer

Image courtesy of Julie Elliott-Abshire

By Lisa Cherry

I had noticed an unusual round of younger brother inflicted wounds in our family in recent weeks. Odd little fingernail marks on big brothers and sisters that occasionally got reported to mom. I wasn’t sure what the problem was, but employed my standard strategies for discipline of a  five-year-old when the situation warranted. This week I finally got the whole story.

Micah, Josiah’s 14-year-old “teammate” came chuckling with a report on Josiah’s activity. It seems the boys have been including Josiah in their roughhousing, i.e. wrestling/fighting. At five, Josiah is remarkably tough and seems eager to join in the fun. However, his smaller stature puts him at continuous disadvantage, and usually those play fights have a way of becoming “real” before they are over.

“Look at these fingernail marks Josiah left all over my arms, Mom!” Micah laughed as he came strolling into our bedroom. “Josiah says he had to do it to me because it was the only way he could make his arm twisty hurt!”

Awww. His secret weapon was discovered.

Good thing he is dealing with big brothers who have an amazing tolerance for five-year-old reasoning.

Got me thinking though after I had a good laugh. Sometimes in relationships we want to give each other a twisty just to take out some of our disappointment or pain. Maybe not with our hands like Josiah, but with our mouths. I have learned over the years that “twisties” are never wise and only lead to further battles. Maybe we should take a lesson from Josiah—retract our fingernails and retire the retaliation!

Growing Home

friday favorite things | finding joy

Finding Beauty in Suffering

admin —  April 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

What a breathtaking photo…such a look of joy on a face scarred by unspeakable horror.

This young woman named Yubelina nearly died for her Christian faith, left severely burned when Muslims attacked her village in Indonesia.

Voice of the Martyrs ministry featured her disfigured image on its January newsletter cover—and it has become a picture that has struck a chord with Christians worldwide.

Joy in suffering. Beauty in the ugliness of persecution.

An image and reminder we need on this week leading into Easter.

It’s so easy in our modern “feel good” culture to focus on Easter, jumping over the unpleasant description of Christ’s suffering for us on Good Friday so we can fast-forward to his triumphant resurrection celebration on Sunday.

Sadly, in our society Good Friday has become another shopping day for Easter baskets or dresses. Or just another day at work before a holiday weekend.

Long gone are the days I remember as a child going to hear my grandfather preach about the passion of Christ on Good Friday afternoon (which always seemed to be a dark, dreary day with a thunderstorm, as I recall).

We don’t want to dwell on the gory details of how our beloved Jesus was mocked, mauled and left in a mangled state of dislocated joints and skin as He hung dying on the cross. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…”(Isaiah 53:5) The prophet Isaiah also foretold that His “visage was marred more than any man.” (Isaiah 52:14) Would His face have looked worse than Yubelina’s?

Yes, we know in the abstract sense that Christ suffered for us. Likewise we know, abstractly, that Christians like Yubelina suffer in the world today for the Gospel.

But it’s not a place we like to stop and stare.

Certainly it’s not a place we necessarily want to take our children (those old enough, and mature enough, who could handle such discussions or images, that is).

My instinct as a mom?

Shield and protect them from seeing evil. But, shame on me, that should not be my action as a Frontline Mom, who wants to instill a biblical worldview in her children.

Suffering is real today, just as it was 2,000 or so years ago on a cross on Calvary.

Ugly? Yes.

Necessary? Yes.

Beautiful? Truly beautiful? Yes.

How could His suffering be beautiful?

Well, without His willingness to suffer punishment for all of our sins, a disfigured young lady like Yubelina would have no reason to smile—no joy or hope in her heart.

Yet the look she offers out of her one good eye says it all. She loves her Savior. And she bears witness with her scars—and smile—of how beauty lies in His sacrifice.

As I look at our sweet sister, I caught myself humming the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, as I wrote this message:

“See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

Sorrow and love flowed down our Savior’s body as His blood was poured out for your Salvation and mine.

Embrace that thought today…and share it with others. Let Yubelina’s smile inspire you to reflect the sacrificial love of our Lord tomorrow on (truly) Good Friday.

Image courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs

Follow Voice of the Martyrs on Facebook

Picture