Archives For Christian Parenting

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My title is a much debated question in our world today. But not so debated if you are accepting all the popular press on the issue that says homosexuality is an inborn trait.

But what if there is no research to back up that claim of a genetic cause of homosexuality?

What if homosexual identity and behavior is developed under certain conditions in a person's life? What if it could be prevented or healed?

A couple weeks ago I had a chance to speak at one of the most timely and powerful conferences I have ever attended. It was called.... Parent Pipeline Project.

Ricky Chelette of Living Hope Ministries was one of the presenters who literally had a crowd of parents on the edge of their chairs tackling one of the most controversial questions of our day:

How is gender identification formed in children?

As I took copious notes, I knew I had to share what I learned with my fellow parents....even if some may not agree/like this message.

I came home and found a vimeo link so you can learn what I learned.

Christian parents, we may not want to learn about this issue. But we have no choice! 

So many families are being affected by homosexuality, lesbian experimentation and gender confusion that we must ask ourselves the tough questions and then make the necessary adjustments to our parenting priorities to guard and protect our children.

In this seminar, I learned that my sons and my daughters need certain things from Doug and me in order to develop healthy gender identification and healthy sexuality.

Please invest the time and watch this teaching. Be warned, it is forthright and not for your children to view with you. 

My heart is to help you and your family as together we navigate this sexually confused generation. I am so grateful that our Father forgives and heals our families from even the most complex issues. If this video hits you in a convicting way or causes you to need prayer and support, please email me or call. I would count it a privilege to intercede for your family!

In this vimeo link, Ricky only briefly talks about the female version of this story. The full teaching on the issue of female gender development and the theory of lesbian sexuality are taught in this fuller DVD resource: Why? Understanding Homosexuality and Gender Development in Females.

 

Related external link:

Homosexuality and the scientific evidence

 

Linking up to

Tell it to me Tuesdays

Good Tips Tuesday (a Diligent Heart)

Teaching What is Good

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Valentine's Day is drawing near.

Everywhere you look you find images of hearts and romance…

…Which is great, but also quite confusing to young lives.

I ran across the most incredibly simple and profound article by Josh McDowell they could really help us open a conversation during this season of the year.

Check out his two lists!

What’s the Difference Between Love and Infatuation?

Image: MorgueFile

 

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Janet Pisors’ family does not exchange Christmas gifts....and my family does. So is one of us right and the other wrong in the way we are leading our families?

Every family that is putting Jesus and His Kingdom first place in their lives is to be celebrated and respected. Every sacrificial expression of giving for the sake of our Lord and King is to be honored. Avoiding, at all costs, the traps of materialism, hedonism, selfishness and greed is critical in our Christian walk. That is why I was deeply moved by Janet's article, even if I was not ready to imitate her exact suggestion.

My heartfelt desire is to support the Pisors family's decision. They obviously have given the issue sincere consideration and prayer. My goal is to lift up another side to this issue that is worthy of consideration. And, in the end, we may conclude that Janet and I are both right!

For perhaps the issue of whether to exchange Christmas gifts among family and friends is one of those discretionary areas where we give our brothers and sisters in Christ room to hear God's vision for their own lives. (Romans 14:5-6

In our very busy household, the planning and strategizing for our annual family gift exchange has been in high gear for several weeks. And, quite frankly, I am glad. For this is the time of the year when every one of my children is intensely focused on giving a special gift to each of their siblings and family members.

A few years ago, I considered urging my large family to start "drawing names" to cut down on the work and hassle—until I overheard one of my children talking to another, saying, "I hope no one tries to make us draw names for our gift exchange. That would be horrible! Giving my brothers and sisters their gifts is much better than getting gifts myself. And besides, I want it to be more...personal."

With ten children, two of whom are married and have children themselves, can you see why I would have made the suggestion? Just do the math and consider the mess.

But here are the top 11 reasons why I refrained from making my gift-limiting suggestion and embraced our tradition of family gift giving:

  1. It encourages generosity: I have been touched to watch my children work extra in order to give to one another.
  1. It builds relationships: Investing in others opens doors for kindness, mercy, and grace to flow in personal relationships. Our goal is to help our kids form lifelong friendships that transcend the seasons of life.
  1. It creates memories: In our family, we remember the big pile of gift treasures. We have our favorite memories that draw our hearts together with the re-telling. Like the year of the flu, when we moved all the recliners and couches in a circle to make sure no one was left out of the party.
  1. It shows appropriate value to family relationships: Companies give bonuses and friends exchange gifts....so why would I not give gifts to those who are truly my cherished relationships?
  1. It builds joy: A wise Christian counselor once explained to me what he had discovered was the highest predictor of family value transmission. He called it the "joy factor." The more joy and laughter in the home, the more children wanted to imitate their parents' values.
  1. It shows love to those who are natural gift givers: Gift giving is one of the five love languages. (Click Here to view The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.)  Some may find gift giving annoying or expendable...simply because it is not their personal style. People tend to express and receive love the same way. So, for some, gift-giving events are extremely important!  
  1. It creates social maturity: Every person needs the experience of receiving the ugly sweater they would never wear. Learning manners and social skills creates mature leaders.
  1. It honors God: God by very nature is a giver. When we step into giving we reflect His nature.
  1. It prioritizes values: We ooh and ahh over every gift given in our family, whether it was a Dollar Tree special or a handmade trinket or an off-season clearance item. We value the love behind the gift and honor the expression of that love no matter how it comes. And (most importantly) we only have our own Christmas celebration AFTER we have spent much of the month of December working on our church's annual Christmas Operation 350, an outreach of food and gifts to 350 families in our community. Doug and I are honored to watch Op 350 Hannah 2 IMG_2002our kids mature in their personal relationships with the Lord. And we believe it when they say each year as we finish distributing the last of our 350 boxes, "That was the best part of the Christmas! Now let's get ready for ours."
  1. It connects the generations: We still have the privilege of helping our grandparents host their annual gift exchange events. It does not matter to us that we now do "all the work." We love the opportunity to connect our hearts to theirs and serve them with the opportunity to still be the fun place to come.
  1. It builds our team: A family that plays together - as well as prays together - works together.

So what do you think? Is there value in the gift exchange tradition that is important to families?

 

 

  Brenda and Todd

What does a mother do when her prayers to save her son appear to go unanswered?

 How can we continue to serve our God in faith?

This summer around a vacation spot pool, I met a precious mom who is learning those tough lessons...and finding peace in the arms of her Father.

Parents, this side of heaven we will not totally be able to explain why some live....and some die. But we do know that God is a good God and His love in times of loss is unshakeable.

 I hear from many of our Frontline Moms and Dads. We are up against tough experiences in raising our kids. I asked my new friend, Brenda Lurtey, to share her thoughts with us.

I believe her raw candor will strengthen your heart. Maybe you know someone else who needs this also. 

Pass it on.....

Her facebook page is: Remembering Todd Lurtey

 

 “Mom, I might die when I’m young.”

 “Todd, don’t say that! I don’t want you to die when you’re young!”

 “Well, if God wants me, He wants me and there is nothing you can do about it.” With those words, my six-year son Todd turned and walked out of the room.

To this day, I have no idea what prompted Todd to come to me that day, but his words came true just ten years later.

Todd was the second born of my four children. He had always been a happy, active, and healthy child, but in September 2012 his side began to hurt and just a month later he was diagnosed with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.

At first, the doctors seemed hopeful that chemotherapy would be successful, but in just one month and in spite of chemotherapy treatments, the tumor had actually doubled in size. The tumor was invading his right kidney and was wrapped around his vena cava. The situation looked bleak.

Thankfully, after much discussion, our doctors set plans in motion and the day after Thanksgiving, Todd was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, where the entire football-sized tumor was successfully removed by a transplant team. The surgeon told my husband and me he believed Todd would go on to live a full and healthy life.

I had great hopes that Todd would be able to start the second semester of his ninth grade year and we would be able to put the cancer journey behind us. By January he began to have more pain and scans revealed another tumor had formed in his vena cava. Medically speaking, there was nothing more that could be done for him.

Todd lost his battle with cancer on May 10, 2013 just two months after his sixteenth birthday.

Todd’s cancer journey may seem sad and it may appear that nature just took its course, but I have come to see things from a different point of view. The Lord had a lot to teach me regarding His plans versus my man-made agenda, and it’s been a long and difficult battle.

When Todd died, I was emotionally devastated, but even more so I was spiritually devastated.

I was very disappointed in God. He wasn’t who I thought He was.

Literally thousands of people had prayed for Todd’s healing. I claimed verses that, to me, meant God would heal Todd no matter how bleak the situation seemed. Matthew 8:2 says, “And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’

I had tried so desperately to do everything in my power to save my son’s life. I wondered how God would receive any glory if Todd just died as, I assumed, everyone thought he would. I thought the only way God would receive any glory would be if He healed Todd. Although I tried to trust that God’s ways were best, I battled dark and sad emotions.

Several months after Todd died, a lifelong friend reminded me that a drowning person couldn’t be saved until they stop flailing. I wondered if that was how God viewed me.

He waited to send me a lifeline until I was ready to stop fighting Him and be still before Him. When I quietly asked Him for answers, He met my needs in a powerful way.

One beautiful morning I plopped down by Todd’s grave and began to cry. “Lord, why did you heal Todd in Charleston if You were just going to take him away?” I felt as though Todd’s brief health recovery had just been a tease.

Although His answer was inaudible, He spoke His answer straight to my heart…“To give you time.”

From that moment on, I began to look back and appreciate the time God had given us and to realize with tremendous gratitude, His love for Todd and for me and for our whole family in all of the circumstances leading up to Todd’s illness and death.

We made precious family memories after Todd’s surgery and up until the day he died. The Lord could have taken him before any of those events took place.

In reading God’s Word, I realized that Todd’s days were numbered before the beginning of time. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there were none of them.” That verse showed me Todd was always going to be born on March 4, 1997 and he was always going to die on May 10, 2013. Cancer did not cut Todd’s life short.

I also realized the Lord didn’t have to give him to me at all. I was blessed to be Todd’s mother for sixteen wonderful years. His life was God’s gift to me and one I will always cherish.  

Throughout Todd’s illness I observed an unbelievable peace in his life. It wasn’t a peace Todd mustered up in his own strength. The peace I observed was the peace God promised in Philippians 4:7, which says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

In the days leading up to the actual diagnosis I gave way to despair wondering if Todd had cancer, but when we had the confirmation that Todd actually had cancer, my heart only experienced peace. It was not that I felt no emotion at such a devastating diagnosis, but in the midst of it, God gave me His inexplicable peace and I knew He was in control. I saw His peace in Todd’s life.  

Todd was fifteen years old at the time of his diagnosis. While all of his friends were starting high school and playing soccer, he was lying in a hospital bed with chemo flowing through his veins, yet through it all, his bright smile remained. Only God could have given him that kind of peace.

I also came to realize that God has a Master Plan and whether or not I understand, it must not determine whether or not I trust it.

As we walked with Todd through his cancer journey, one of the main passages of scripture that troubled me was John 11. Why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, yet He did not heal my son when so many people asked God to heal him? Jesus wanted to visibly show the people that He was/is the Resurrection and the Life. At that time, they only knew there was a resurrection to come. They did not yet believe that the Man standing before them truly was the Resurrection and the Life.

I have the written Word of God and everything I need to know and believe about life and death is found in that book. Because Jesus died and rose again, and because Todd accepted His free gift of salvation, Todd lives today.

Death had no victory over Todd. He simply passed from this life into the next. John 11:26 says, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God.” That statement is what the Lord has chosen to reveal to me about Todd’s death. It happened for His glory.

Even if the Lord has chosen to heal Todd of his cancer, he still would have died one day. Death is the curse of sin. I began to wonder if all the while I was trying to spare Todd from death by cancer, the Lord was sparing Todd from far worse things in this lifetime. I thank the Lord all the time that my precious son is now safe from all the evil in this world.

I miss Todd more than I can express, but I do not sorrow as others who have no hope.

I have more than a hope that I will see Todd again. I have a promise from the Creator of the Universe.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”   I look forward to that day with all my heart.

Until then, my Savior holds my treasure!

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My son-in-law Adam (Kalyn's husband) is a righteous young man. His high morals and love for God keep him always looking for the high road. I love that. He is always calling me upward to the call of God.

He is also an amazing steward over all his finances....and very careful with his money.

So when he sent me this article this morning, I knew I needed to take a look.

10 Ways Your Thriftiness May Border on Theft

Parents, this is checkup time!!

While we are trying to lead our kids into thriftiness....are we actually committing theft???

Lisa

 

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