Friday, November 20, 2015

Good Stewardship - Sarai Akin

Brent and I were high school sweethearts. Been together for 17 years, married for 12 yrs. Sadie is 10, Ty is 6 and Eli is 3. We are members at Grace Community Church in Lindale where we actively serve in the GRACE K!DS ministry. I fell in love with Sky Ranch when I attended a leadership camp there as a high schooler. Summer 2016 will be our 6th year having own kids as campers there

In years past, we have paid summer camp tuition in full while requiring that Sadie (10) and Ty (6) earn their camp spending money (usually between $50-$75 each).  This year, Brent and I are committed to paying the majority of their tuition but have upped their required contribution beyond just spending money.  

To help them reach their goal through a visual tool, I created a custom 12-piece magnetic puzzle, each piece worth $25.  From now until May, they can save their chore money (after tithe and savings contributions) to purchase a puzzle piece towards their camp tuition.  We will have a designated space on the family fridge so they can see their puzzles slowly build over time.  I also invited grandparents and aunts to participate by giving them the opportunity to buy a puzzle piece as a birthday or Christmas gift in lieu of toys, games, books, etc. 

Our world of excess and entitlement runs counter to biblical principles of God’s sovereign ownership of all things and our responsibility to be stewards.  The Sky Ranch puzzle is one tool we are using in our home to emphasize personal financial responsibility.  We plan to give Sadie and Ty 1 puzzle piece each at Christmas to get the game started.

Friday, November 13, 2015

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis: God is the Provider

Family Fun Icebreaker: As you focus on the good in your life today, what
are you thankful for?

Topic Question: Who is God?

Today’s Big Idea: God is the Provider

God defines Himself as the Provider in the Holy Bible. Jesus, God’s Son,
explains in scripture that God provides for all of your needs. It is easy
to worry about everyday life, focusing on the negative and all the things
missing. If you focus on the good, however, you can see that God truly
provides for you. Scripture says to not worry about everyday life because
God knows your needs; He provides for you all along without you being
aware. He even knows about the needs that you don’t know about yet. Open
your eyes and see His provision for you. Be thankful for the provisions that
you do see! Scripture shares that “A joyful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs
17:22 NASB). Allow your heart to be joyful by noticing all that you have
to be thankful for!

Talk with God: Read the scripture aloud.

"Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “"at is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. "They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than birds! (Luke 12:22-24 NLT)

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.

God knows your needs, spiritually and physically. He knows your desires
because He knows the things you don’t tell anyone else. He knows your
real need for Him, too! Thank Him. To live a life full of gratitude, or
thankfulness, helps your heart feel happy! The more you think of things to
be thankful for, and truly thank God for them, the happier you feel.

Discuss with your family: Often the things that you call “needs” are really
just things you want. What is the dfference between needs and wants?
When has God provided you with a need after you asked for His help?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for a thankful heart for God’s provision for you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Puppet Master Mom - Lisa Clark

Moms who tend to be the puppet master for their kiddos tend to be their husband’s, too.  I’ve watched it and it’s sad.  It’s sad for several reasons.  First, the kids can’t make decisions.  They don’t know which way is up.  Can’t figure things out on their own and tend to be underachievers.  It’s ironic isn’t it? Puppet master moms seem to want the best and so much for their children.  Their intentions seem noble, but the outcome almost always works in the reverse.  

Secondly, their husbands are immobilized from being the head of the home.  Their hands are tied because mom will railroad her way in and through every situation.  And then one day she looks up and has no real relationship with her husband and her kiddos are in a world of hurt. 

Release the strings, mom.  Today.  Release and let go.  It’s not too late.  As a vessel of the Holy Spirit, you are capable of doing GREAT THINGS for your family! But living their lives is NOT what you’ve been called to do.  You are accountable for YOUR life and your children and husband are accountable for theirs.  

Control seems to be in our DNA as moms, but it is single handedly handicapping our children and families.  Let go and let God.  It’s not a cliché.  It’s real.  He can redeem your days and actions and intentions TODAY.  Claim His promises! Jeremiah 33:3

Thursday, November 5, 2015

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis: God is the Father of All

Family Fun Icebreaker: How does the person to your right encourage you?

Topic Question: Who is God?

Today’s Big Idea: God is the Father of All

Scripture explains that another name for God is your loving, heavenly
Father. Every family receives their name from God. Whether or not you
have an earthly father active in your life, you possess a heavenly Father who
is active in your life. If you will turn to Him, He is always there to comfort
and encourage you. The Bible refers to God in Aramaic as “Abba,” which
means “Dear Father.” Jesus is God’s Son who was sent to earth to reveal the
Father to you and me. Jesus explains that when you pray, you are to say,
“Our Father who is in heaven” and refer to God as your “Father” (Matthew
6:9 NASB). Jesus also tells of how the Father plans to guide you through
your life, such as leading you in the right direction, giving you wise counsel,
providing for you, strengthening you with His Spirit, listening to you, and
encouraging you.

Talk with God: Read the scripture aloud.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.

To recognize God as a Father is comforting to most people. Sometimes,
if there a negative experience of a father in your life, it may be more of a
challenge for you to think of God in this way. Try to think of God as the
good Father that you always wished for; encourage yourself to see Him as a
trusted friend who is there to help build you up.

Discuss with your family: A father is the spiritual leader of his family. He
provides financially, protects, mentors, and loves unconditionally. Do you
see the parallel of the heavenly Father to an earthly father? How does it help
you to think of having a heavenly Father who assists you with those same
responsibilities, except this Father knows all, controls all, and has power
over all?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God, the Father, to encourage you to learn
more about Him.