Praise God for Everything

We’ve been reading through the Gospel of Mark with Lawson Youth with the help of the Bible app and the Foundations Mark reading plan. As we’ve read through it, I’ve noticed a couple of passages that talk about money and finances. As I personally thing about it, I have one simple question:
 

“are you honouring God with your finances?”

That’s it. Think about it honestly. In our current situation, many people will have their budget and bank account pushed to the limit in the very near future. This means that now more than ever we need to make sure we are honouring the Lord with our finances. 

There would be some that would answer that question with, “I don’t have enough money to donate any extra.” Donating is good, you can even donate online. But the question is not about donating. With all of your money that God is giving you, are you honouring him with it? 

In the book of Mark, the rich guy wasn’t willing to give up his financial security to follow Jesus. Jesus was asking a lot. But Jesus also gave up a lot on the cross.

““The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””

Mark 12:29-31 NIV


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KidZone March 29 – Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

Jesus is Stronger than Death

Memory Verse: “Jesus said to her, ‘ I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’ ” John 11:25
 
 
 
 
 
Would you like to be in the next episode of the KidZone show? Contact Pastor Tyler today tylerlhac@hotmail.com
 
Get ready for next Sunday, April 5, with this palm leaves coloring sheet

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Home and School

So here we are, just over one week into the new era of no school for kids. Parenting around the world has changed drastically in the last two weeks. How’s it been going for you? Here are some of the things we’ve been doing around our house and some of the things we’ve discovered: 

  • Keep bed times regular. This is something our family does all year – even during summer holidays.
  • Working from home is very difficult when my wife is working out of the home.
  • Kids go where I go. So if I want them to go outside, I guess that means I go outside too.
  • Set up work spaces if you can – for kids and yourself
  • I feel the most important things for a kid to accomplish in a day are: reading, typing, and playing outside. If we can get through these things, we’ll be OK.
  • So far, each day it does get a little easier. 
  • It might be tempting to look at homeschool parents and think they are superheroes. Maybe they are, but don’t compare yourself. Most of them have had years of experience, with one kid at a time entering school. 
  • Put on Christian music subtly in the background – I love to see the kids quietly singing along thought the day.
  • You can do this.
  • Spend time in the Word and prayer.
If you’d be interested in video chatting with a group of parents from LHAC, contact me (tylerlhac@hotmail.com) and we can set up a weekly Zoom call or something.

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KidZone March 22 – The Good Samaritan

Be Kind to Others

Memory Verse: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
 
 
 
 
 

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Take Me Back

What do you tell your kids when they ask, “Do we have to go to church?” Or “Why do we have to go to church?”

My response is, “We don’t have to go. God is good, he has saved us by his grace through Jesus, and we choose to worship him with the church.”

Christ established the church and it is God’s chosen vehicle for His kingdom mission.

Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 

To the early church, “church” wasn’t a building. The Church is the gathered body of believers, both thought history and in local expressions, that assemble with the purpose to worship God, edify each other, and carry out his mission on earth.

“Fundamentally, the church of Jesus Christ is neither a building nor an organization. Rather, it is a people, a special people, a people who see themselves as standing in relationship to the God who saves them and to each other as those who share salvation.” (Gernz)

We were created to live in community, with other Christians, and worship God in the beauty of his holiness. And as we worship, we also gather together as one body, Christ’s church, to bring glory to His name together.

“We do not enter into a building and then commence to worship. If you are not worshipping God on Monday morning, as you worshipped him the day before, perhaps you are not worshipping him at all.” (A.W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, p.27)

The church isn’t perfect, its full of people who are saved by his grace who gather together to worship God. If you haven’t been to a church worship service, maybe it’s time to “go to church” – check out this song from Cochren & Co – Church (Take me back)


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Taking Attendance

I recently heard someone say the average Christian family attends a Sunday worship service 1.5 times a month. A regular attender is someone who attends a worship service 2 times a month.
 
Do you agree with that stat? I hate stats, but I think this tells us something about the priorities of many Christians, even myself. 
 
If we attend a worship service once a week, that would basically be 1 hour out of 168 hours in a week = 1/168. So 2/672 would be how much time an average Christian family attends church in a month. 
 

If you sat down and plotted your attendance, what would it honestly be? Are you happy with that?

 
As I ponder these thoughts, there are two things that come to mind:
 
1) God Doesn’t Take Attendance
 
He doesn’t take attendance like a teacher who is looking for who is present. He doesn’t take attendance in such a way  that we would get a  credit or a grade for showing up. God desires us to follow him with out whole heart.
 
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37
 
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Our lives, lived out as a living sacrifice for God’s glory, is also extremely important was we aim to disciple our children and instruct them in the ways in which they can follow God. 

You are the primary influence in your child’s life.

 
2) What’s the Point of a Church Worship Service?
I believe, first and foremost, we gather together on Sundays to worship the Lord God together. I can sit on my couch, turn up the Rend Collective and enjoy the Word of God. However, there is something special about meeting together to worship God. I think this might be the focus of my next post, but in the mean time, consider Hebrews 10:19-25:
 
19″Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
 
Personally, for my own life, 1/168 is not enough! 4/672 is not enough either. 
 
God fill me with your Holy Spirit today that I may walk with you, love my neighbours, and make disciples wherever you send me.

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Walk this Way Part II

So what happened when my son’s school decided to have a PRIDE walk for elementary kids? For the back story, check out my previous post Walk this Way
 
I texted a 5 other dads: “I see theirs a pride walk on Wednesday, will your son be going on the walk?” And the answers were: “Yes,” “We don’t have a rainbow shirt so I guess he’ll have to wear something bright,” as well as, “yes, I hope it doesn’t rain.” Just for the record, according to the weather app, there was a 0% chance of rain that day. One asked, “Will your son be walking?” And I just responded, “no, he won’t”
 
I had instructed my son not to attend the optional walk at noon hour. We talked about how it is important that we are followers of Jesus and we are never rude or disrespectful towards anyone, and also that we do not need to be proud and march around to declare it. We can be kind, humble, and respectful every day.
 
I also instructed him not to persuade or convince anyone to leave the walk (and disobey their parents) and pressure them into playing with him. “If the playground is empty and you’re all alone, I’ll make it up to you.”
 
So when recess time came, my son went outside, played with his friends, and that was it. Did I overreact? I don’t think so. I think it is EXTREMELY important that we have conversations with our children, always be respectful, and stand up for what we believe in.
 
People who support Pride support choice, identity, and sexuality. At Kindergarten and Grade 2, I do not believe it is necessary that we talk with kids about exploring sex and who they’re sexually attracted to. But it is always important to treat others with kindness.
 
May God Bless You as you raise your children to be disciples of Christ.
 
“The Lord watches over the way of the righteous…” Psalm 1:6a

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Switch it Up

After Christmas, my boys seem quite motivated to save up their money to buy a Nintendo Switch. Jari has been trying to do some extra chores and memorize a few extra Bible verses so he can save.
They’ve also been to a few birthday parties in which the birthday boys just ask for money consistent with their age. So turning 9 would equal $9 per friend X 10 friends = $90.
While we were walking to the bus stop today, we had quite the interesting conversation about potential birthday money and how it relates to our memory verse of the day.
 
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops” Proverbs 3:9
 
So we discussed, “If you received $90 from your birthday, how would we honour the Lord with our wealth?”
One response was, “If I have any money left over from buying the Switch, I could donate it to missions or the church.”
To which I responded, “But what’s the second part of the verse? It says, ‘first fruits.’ Think about that and we’ll talk later.”
We didn’t have time to finish the conversation, but I really look forward to discussing this more.
 
I’m thankful for this verse and the opportunity it opens for us to discuss our finances, giving generously and worshipping the Lord with all our heart.

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Walk this Way

The elementary school my kids attend has hosted an optional pride walk for children during lunch break. Personally, I feel that my child should not be having conversations or activities to promote sex and sexual attraction at a young age (Kindergarten and Grade 2). I also feel this is an area that it is important for people of faith communicate and live out their faith and values. 
 
Here is the entire email I sent to the teacher and principal: 
 
I am just writing to communicate that our family cares deeply about respecting others and being kind and caring to all people. 

We do not support pride activities in schools. I understand that these kinds of activities are often initiated by the school division and government, and even students and families. However these activities do not reflect our values.

At some point, I know leaders, teaches and principles often think, “I wonder what the people in my community think and how they feel.” So this is how we feel.

Our family aims to be kind, caring, respectful to all people. We aim for humility and not pride. 

Let’s enjoy our beautiful country with being kind and caring to all Canadians and all peoples. 
 
 
Our family isn’t perfect, but I desire that we would honour God and not be afraid of being judged by those who oppose our beliefs. 
 
As we stand up for our beliefs, it is always important that we are loving, kind and respectful. I don’t believe it is ever appropriate to demean, put down, or be disrespectful to anyone, ever. I wonder if those who have a differing view will be able to hold to their values without judging and being disrespectful to me.
 
I’m reminded of Daniel in the Bible. He was taken prisoner, but continued to honour the Lord instead of worshipping the king of Babylon. Daniel and his friends found a way to humbly follow God in the midst of his circumstances. His humble faith was a testimony to the king and continues to be a testimony of God’s grace throughout the generations. May the Lord bless you as you walk in humility, truth, kindness and love. 
 
Joshua 24:15 “… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
 
– Just for the record, the principal’s response was very kind, respectful and consistent.
 
What happened next? Find out in Walk This Way part II
 
 

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5 Family Prayers for the New Year

For many of us, the New Year is a time for setting goals and making resolutions. Especially this year, as we flip the calendar on a new decade, the new year can feel like a fresh start—365 blank pages just waiting to be written. No matter what happened in 2019, we can move forward to 2020 with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for living the life God intended for us and our family.

The New Year can also be a time of looking back on all that God has done for us in the last year. Or for a year like 2020, the last decade. The relationships He has given us or restored, the opportunities He has provided, and the forgiveness He has extended. The way our children have grown and the way we have grown. When we take the time to look back, we can see God’s hand in all of it, even the hard things.

As we reflect on all that has happened in the last year and look forward to all that will happen in 2020, one of the best ways to start our year off right is with an intentional family prayer time together.

5 Prayers for the New Year

Thanksgiving for the Past

Before we pray for God’s hand on our new year, we can thank God for all that He did for us in 2019. As a family, make a list of all of the ways that God has worked in your lives this year, both the ways that He blessed you and ways that He challenged you. Thank God for all of it—the joys and the struggles.

Dear God, Thank You for all of the ways You worked in our lives in 2019. You have blessed us with good things, comforted us in hard times, and challenged us to grow more like Jesus every day. We know that even when we can’t see it or feel it, You are always working. Help us to look for Your hand in our lives every day and be thankful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1(NLT)

Vision for the Future

Just like many people make New Year’s resolutions, many families set goals for their family at the beginning of every year—anything from saving more money to arguing less to giving and serving more to having a regular family devotion. As a family, decide on a few goals for 2020 and pray for the Lord to help you meet those goals.

Dear God, Give us the strength to work on these goals for our family. If these are not the goals You have for us, give us Your vision for the future of our family. Help us to encourage each other to grow rather than criticize. Lord, change us from the inside out to be more like Jesus every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Put off your old self . . . be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

Patience with One Another

So many of us seem to have the least patience with those in our families. We spend all day being kind and gracious to everyone else and when we get home, we lose it. Or it may be just because we are around them the most or because our family members really know how to push our buttons. As you enter the new year, pray for your family to have the same patience with each other that God has with you.

Dear God, Thank You so much for Your patience with us when we are not behaving as we should. Please forgive us for our impatience with each other. Fill us with Your love and kindness, so that we can be patient with one another no matter what is going on or how we are feeling. Help us to bear with each other in love and gentleness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

“Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Trust in God’s Protection and Provision

In so many ways, the world can seem like a scary place these days. Some of us don’t even feel safe sending our kids to school or to a friend’s house to play. We worry about finances, that we won’t be able to provide for everything our children want or need, or that we aren’t saving enough for retirement. And there is always a chance that one of us will get a sudden and scary diagnosis. Whether it’s physical safety, our family’s health, spiritual warfare, or financial security, we really can’t trust in our own strength to handle everything that may come our way in 2020. We have to rely on God’s protection and provision. As you enter the new year, pray for God’s protection and provision for your family, and pray for you to have faith to trust in Him.

Dear God, Thank You for all the ways You protect our family and provide for us. We know that You are in control and that You have us in the palm of Your hand. Lord, protect us from evil, keep our family safe, both physically and spiritually. Help us to trust in You to provide all that we need and not to worry about the rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Generosity Toward Others

Over and over again in Scripture, God reminds us that we are blessed to be a blessing. We are put on this earth to love God and to love and serve others. Our families exist not just to love each other, but to love and serve the world. As we start the new year, turning your family’s hearts and minds outward to how you can be generous to others will help your family to develop God’s heart for His people and to live as Christ did. As a family, make a list of people you know who are in physical need, people who need Jesus, people who are hurting or scared or alone, and places you can serve others. Pray for those specific people and places and for God to show you how you can serve others every day.

Dear God, Thank You for sending Your Son to earth to serve. Give us a heart like His for Your people. Show us how we can serve others in our community. If anyone is sad or hurting, help us to show them love. If anyone is in physical need, show us how we can help. If anyone needs to know You, give us the words to tell them about You. Fill our hearts with a spirit of generosity and an attitude of service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“Serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command – ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)

There is nothing more important we can do for our families than to pray together. Praying with kids is one of the best ways to instill faith in them that will last a lifetime. No matter what 2020 holds for your family, if you pray together, keeping yourselves centered on God and His will for your family, it could be your best year yet.
 
– This post is from the Editorial Team at Minno Parents

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