Tag Archive | bible

What Does The Bible Say About Family?

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Marriage and family are a key to a society’s structure. After asking myself last week “What does the Bible say about marriage,” I asked myself “What does the Bible say about family?” As I combed through the concordance, there are many references to family. I have selected a few to share with you.

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1. Honor

Moses gave the Israelites 10 Commandments from God. One of them is found in Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

This particular verse is interesting, because it doesn’t say to love your parents. It says to honor or respect them. Not everyone grows up in a healthy family. So, some people may not love their father or mother, however, they are admonished to esteem their folks.

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2. Compassion

Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. – Psalm 103:13

I believe this verse could be misconstrued that we must be afraid of God, however, when I think of the fear of the Lord, I think of it as having reverence for a holy God.

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3. Teach

We can teach a great deal to our future generations about the lessons we’ve learned.

Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.  – Deuteronomy 4:9

These verses are just a few I discovered on family relationships.  I encourage you to search for ones that apply to your unique family dynamics.

What principles is your family built on? I would love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

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What Does The Bible Say About Marriage?

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Marriage and family are a key to a society’s structure. So, I asked myself this weekend “What does the Bible say about marriage?” As I combed through the concordance, there is many references to marriage, husbands and wives. I have selected a few to share with you.

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1. Binding Contract

Marriage is a covenant between a husband and a wife.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14

This particular verse has meaning to me in that I wanted to marry a man with the same faith values as me, because I knew there could be disagreements about such things as going to church, reading the Bible, prayer, etc.; especially when it came to raising our children.

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2. Purity

Faithfulness to one another is key.

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. – Hebrews 13:4

I understand this verse can be countercultural if you watch various films and television programs where partners live together before marriage, spouses cheat on one another, etc. However, I believe God is protecting the sanctity of marriages as it is a holy union between husband and wife.

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3. Blessing or Curse

As wives, we can either be a blessing or a curse to our husbands.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones. – Ephesians 12:4

I look back on a time when a friend shamed my husband in front of me and the kids. I remember how awful he felt. Unfortunately, we had to end that unhealthy friendship, because we understand the importance of wholesome relationships.

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4. Respect

It’s important to respect one another and our marital positions.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

I know this verse is not very popular in our American culture today; especially with the feminist movement.  However, God is a God of order and He is above all and places the husband as head of the household.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; – Ephesians 5:25

In addition to the huge responsibility of being head of his family, a husband is given the duty to love his wife sacraficially.

Frankly, I appreciate this covering from my husband. Now, is it always easy to submit, “No.” I grew up very independent, career driven and didn’t marry until 35 years of age. So, I am learning what that looks like.  As a result, I believe God has blessed our marriage of 17 years.

These verses are just a few I discovered on marriage.  There are many more in the Bible. I encourage you to seek for yourself.

What principles is your marriage built on? I would love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

3 Ways to Spend Time with God

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The Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

How does your family spend time with God?

Our family believes it’s important to spend time with God and I’d like to share three practical ways we do.

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1. Read the Bible – If we want to learn about someone,  we read a biography or an autobiography about him/her.  The same is true about God. The way we learn about His nature and will is by reading the Bible. It doesn’t matter how many chapters you read per day. It’s about spending quality time soaking in the word. There are many translations from challenging King James to simple like The Message. I enjoy New American Standard NASB and the rest of my family likes New International Version NIV.

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2. Listen to Worship Music – We enjoy praising God through music. Today, it’s easy to look up your favorite songs on the internet, listen or sing along. Lately. There is a Cloud by Elevation Worship speaks to me.

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3. Journal– A few years back a pastor friend of our Ken Cornell from Hilltop Ministries taught us about journaling with the Lord.  You simply sit quietly and listen to what the Lord has to say to you. Sometimes, we do this in the privacy of our home. Sometimes, we find a quiet place such as Prayer Mountain or a nook at the beach. It’s a great way to spend intimate time with God as we are in relationship with Him. It’s not just religion.

These are just a few ways we spend time with God as a family and as individuals. I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to share with us.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Guest Blog by Teresa Cavagnaro

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This week I invited fellow blogger Teresa Cavagnaro from Biblejournalingjourney.com.   She is a former journalist and a school teacher. She was a full-time mom and remembers that stage very well. Teresa is married and has a son, a Sheltie, and a hound dog. Her favorite way to spend a day is hiking, reading, baking bread, or Bible journaling. Please welcome Teresa!

Blessings, Rebecca

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The Bible Journaling Journey: How to Impact Your Family with Bible Journaling

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Bible journaling is a creative way to draw near to our creator, but it’s more than paint and pens on a page. It is an act of worship toward God. It is also a source of strength as it connects us to the Word.
On my new site, Bible Journaling Journey, I talk about the ways that Bible journaling can become a powerful tool for Christian women in their daily lives. What really matters is not how great the page looks. It’s the intent of your heart, the way that you honor the Word, and how you communicate with God in the process.
Bible Journaling for Your Family
A woman in the Word can make an impact wherever she is in the world. If you are a stay at home mom, spending time Bible journaling can refresh you and get you in the right mindset for the day.
Being a full-time mom is not easy; unless you live in an area where there are other moms, it can feel isolating. You will need to draw near to God at those times because trying to motivate yourself outside of Him will not work. You will want to remind yourself of the truth about how God sees you and how His values are different from the world’s values. If you are a working mom, Bible journaling can be a way to press pause on the chaos too.
A good process to get you started is to pray, read the scriptures, ask what the scriptures are communicating to you or showing you about God, and then create your Bible journaling page based on that. All of the washi tape and bling are fun, but you can do this with a regular art sketchbook and your child’s colored pencils if that’s easier on your budget.

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Bible Journaling with Your Family
Bible Journaling together as a family is a cool idea, but you will want to keep the age of your children in mind. A younger child (like my Pre-K son) will do better with a sketchbook than a Journaling Bible. After all, you will want to teach your child to honor the Word; a younger child might have trouble understanding why it’s okay to color in the margin but not on the words. I know some people feel okay about covering up the words in the Bible when they journal, but I am not one of those people (I still like to look at what they are creating, but I personally do not want to cover the verses).
Middle school aged children do great with Bible Journaling. I know this because I lead a small Bible Journaling Club for middle school students. Since Bible Journaling incorporates prayer, reading the Word, and thinking about the Word, it is a great opportunity to communicate your faith when you do this together. Yet, Bible Journaling as a family has a different dynamic than using Bible Journaling alone as a quiet time. The quiet, alone times are important too.
Thinking Long Term
Deuteronomy 6:5-7
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Just as family Bibles used to be passed down in families, think about your Journaling Bible as something that you can use to communicate spiritual heritage. It could be passed down in your family someday. I plan to dedicate a page to my spiritual heritage through my grandma soon; she was a devout woman who loved God with all her heart. Even if the art is not always perfect (or even pretty bad), it is a tangible connection to you and your spiritual journey. Remember to write down times that God answers your prayers or He teaches you something new.
Join Me on the Bible Journaling Journey

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Stop by Bible Journaling Journey for some journaling challenges. I plan on doing a giveaway for site followers next month. I hope to see you there!

 

Stormy Weather

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I apologize for not blogging last Monday. As you can see from the photo above of Highway 17 Northbound, the weather has been extreme here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Several storms have swept through our community causing havoc (i.e. mud slides, fallen trees/limbs, loss of power, flooding, etc.); even our children’s schools were closed for a few days.

All this to say, sometimes in life, we encounter stormy weather. This week, I would like to encourage those going through tough times to remember it’s only a season and it won’t last forever.  The good news is that Jesus is with us through the storm of life.

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:20b

Communication

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This week, I researched the top issues facing marriage and family today. As I suspected, communication landed in both arenas. Then, I got to thinking, What does the Bible say about communication?

I discovered several basic truths about communication and I will share with you two.

“But let your statement be ‘Yes, yes or ‘No, no’.” – Mathew 5:37 

When I read this long ago, I took it to heart and do my best to stick to it. In addition, when I do say “Yes” to a committment, I do my best to fulfill it. People may not like it when I say “No,” however, they will appreciate my follow through when I do agree.

I think back to a time when I worked in the semiconductor industry. I remember a director who reported into the same vice president I did. It was my first experience with a “Yes man.” Our VP would ask him can it be done and his proverbial answer was “Yes.” However, each week when we presented our metrics, the lofty goals were often not met. I used to get so frustrated and decided I would not follow suit. If I knew my team could complete the assignment, I would sign up for the task. If we could not, I simply would say we cannot do “X,” but we can do “Y.” As a result, my superiors respected my results and appreciated our contribution.

If you find yourself overcommitted, I urge you to take a look at what your to do list is and ask yourself do I really need to do all of this? If the answer is “No,” then reprioritize and communicate your intentions to others. Like me, you may experience less stress and increased satisfaction for a job well done.

You shall not steal, deal falsely, nor lie to one another. – Leviticus 19:11

Do not lie is found in the 10 Commandments that were handed down to the Israelites by their leader Moses. He met with God on the top of Mt. Sinai and was given laws to live by which were incorporated into Judaism and Christianity.

I strive to tell the truth; even though sometimes it hurts or is humbling. Admittedly, it is not always the easiest course of action. It is sometimes easier to tell a little white lie. However, it’s been my experience that if I lie, I often have to cover it up with more lies. It’s exhausting trying to remember what I told different people. So for this gal, honesty is the best policy, and I think people appreciate it.

If you find yourself caught in a web of lies, I would encourage you to untangle it by simply telling the truth. Like me, you may experience freedom in your communication and relations.

These are just two of the many biblical ways to communicate with your circle of influence. Best wishes with your marriage and family.

I’d love to hear what communication techniques you’ve found successful. Please feel free to share with us!

Blessings, Rebecca

Beartruth’s Paul The Apostle A Graphic Novel

Blessings, Rebecca

6 Ways to Grow Closer to God (and each other)

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Through our life journey, there are some things my family and I have learned along the way. This week, I’d like to share with you six ways our family draws closer to the Lord and (as a result) each other.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Worship

In addition to worshipping together at church, we carve out special time where we gather to choose favorite worship song and sing together; usually before we study God’s word or journal. I hope you do or try this with your own family.

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Pray

We pray throughout our day such as before meals, at bedtime and when we need His help. If you struggle with what to pray, you can use a simple formula PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask and Yield). For instance, you could pray something like, “Praise you God for you are worthy to be praised. I ask to forgive me for ____. I ask that you help me in this area and I submit to your will. Amen.”

Twin Lakes Church Aptos

Twin Lakes Church Aptos

Attend Church (Regularly)

We go to church together every week. It gives us an opportunity to worship corporately, learn God’s word, fellowship with Christians, and serve others. In addition, we often join small group Bible studies, family camps, mission trips, etc. I hope you attend or find a Bible based church where your family grows as well.

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Read the Bible

We read the Bible every day. It’s a great way to get to know God, gain wisdom and learn to live like Christ. One way to do it is to read one proverb each day as there are 31 of them, or one Psalm. Another way, is to get a study book on a particular topic and answer the questions together, or look up the topic in the concordance and read all the passages that pertain to it. If you find reading the Bible difficult, there are many translations available to help you understand such as the New Living Translation Study Bible, New American Standard, Amplified Bible and The Message. Also, I recommend Bible Gateway app if you prefer using your device. I hope you find one that works best for you and yours.

Krusees Serving at Camp Attitude

Krusees Serving at Camp Attitude

Serve

We enjoy serving the Lord and others. Our family traveled to Mexico to build houses for brick layers. We went to Foster, Oregon to help families with disabled children enjoy camping activies. We’ve hosted Kidz Korner clothing exchange for thirteen years which helps familes in need. We hosted Project Warmth for twleve years which helped supply homeless men and women with winter supplies such as sleeping bags, coats, tarps, socks, beanies, etc. I say all this not to brag, but share some of the things we enjoy doing to serve God and our community. I hope you find something your family can do in your neighborhood.

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Journal

We find a quiet place such as our living room or a park to journal. Each of us bring our journals and pens/pencils, and simply ask the Lord to share with us whatever He would like to. It is a great time of quality time with God, and it’s fun to share afterwards what we learned. Sometimes, it is an encouraging word. Other times, He may give us direction or answers to our questions. I hope you and your family enjoy your time spent with the Lord.

Another way we journal is to capture answered payer throughout the year, and read it together at Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect time to give thanks to God for all he has done!

These are some things we do together to grow closer to God and each other. I’d love to hear what you and your family do. Please comment below.

A New Year

Staircase at Manresa Beach, California

Staircase at Manresa Beach, California

It’s a New Year! May it be a happy one! It’s a time of reflection of 2015 and to plan for 2016.

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions; never have. Is that weird? Altough, this year, I’ve decided to give it a try. I am resolved to explore and play more with my family.

During our holiday break, we took the kids to visit some local attractions for which I’ve shared some photos today. For instance, the staircase at Manresa Beach (above) is only 30 minutes from our home, but I haven’t walked them since I was a little girl. It was fun to visit with my now thirteen-year-old son and eleven-year-old daughter, and share some of my childhood experiences with them.

Just a few miles down the road, the topography changes rocky cliffs to sandy dunes at Sunset Beach (below) where we walked one mile + to gather sand dollars and seashells. Simple pleasures!

Walkway at Sunset Beach, California

Walkway at Sunset Beach, California

The stairs are a visual reminder that life is like a path; sometimes steep, sometimes leading upwards and sometimes down. Although, we don’t always see where it may lead, our walk is filled with adventures along the way.

Through it all, the journey is worth every step when you get a glimpse of God’s gifts in your life such as the approaching sunset (below).

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I love the Bible verse in Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

My hope is that our family’s exploration and yours this year will create lasting memories…

Blessings, Rebecca

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share with us? If so, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment below.

Sharing is Caring

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Thank you for sharing. It shows me you are caring are the lyrics to a song we sing in pre-school. Yet, it’s my observation kids’ least favorite activity is sharing toys. It’s my experience that children will inevitably want the same toy to play with at the same exact time. The rule at our school is to ask your friend, “Can I be next?” Then the other child will respond, “Yes,” play for awhile and hand over the item. However, there are times when a child will respond, “No!”

Why is it so hard to share? Like when you are savouring a delicious meal and your spouse asks, “Can I have a bite?” Of course you give them some, but deep down you may be thinking, “No!”

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Sharing appears to be a learned behavior varying from culture to culture. Some people share everything with others such as their money, time, house, car, clothes, food, etc.

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I believe the ultimate act of sharing is when God gave His one and only begotten son, Jesus, to be a randsome for the world’s sin. Often, I look at my thirteen-year-old son,  and am reminded of His loving sacrifice.

How do you share or teach your children to share? Or has anyone shared something special with you? Please tell us below.