A book may impart generalized knowledge but only your personal interest expressed in home visitation will enable you to know the individual pupils.  As you visit acquire facts for the following interest’s inventory. Record these carefully and note the progress from time to time:

Name
Address
Date of birth
School attended
What grade student is in?
What are his favorite subjects?
What subjects does he dislike?
Does he have a hobby? What?
How much time is spent on that hobby?
What type of reading does he enjoy?
What are his sports interests?
What other activities is he involved in?
What is his favorite portion of the Bible?

Parents in some of those homes you visit may seem indifferent to the child’s spiritual condition. They may never come to church at all. The teaching that meets the life’s need will have a carry over into the home. “Gracie isn’t selfish like she used to be.” This makes her mother wonder if being a Christian does make a person different. Jerry returned a dollar bill he saw his brother drop when he took a credit card out of his billfold. The time was when Jerry would have stuffed the dollar into his own pocket. A surprised brother is more ready to listen when Jerry talks church.

Remember discipline problems are usually a sign of boredom. You need to know each child’s particular problem. Jimmy thinks he’s ugly and no one loves him. Sally has alcoholic parents, Frankie always acts up! Why?

How do you measure up to the qualifications of a Sunday School teacher? You must:
Have a college president education
Have the executive ability of a financier
Have the humility of a church deacon
Have the adaptability of a chameleon
Have the hope of a confirmed optimist
Have the courage of a war hero
Have the wisdom of a serpent
Have the gentleness of a dove
Have the patience of Job
Have the grace that will able to approach the Lord’s throne
Have the persistence of the devil
Have the power of the Holy Spirit

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Individual Character Traits of All Ages

When teaching Sunday school  to various ages, it is always helpful to know individual characteristic traits.

Nursery child (Ages 2-3)

One minute they listen, two minutes they yawn, three minutes they wiggle, four minutes they’re gone. The nursery child learns that God is a real person who loves him and takes care of him. He learns to talk to God in simple natural expressions of love and trust. He learns that the Bible is the book that tells us about God and Jesus. He learns to respect the Bible, to take care of it, to enjoy its stories. He learns to say he’s sorry when he does wrong. He learns that God wants him to take care of himself and control himself. He finds security in obeying parents and pleasing them. He learns to accept times when he can’t have his own way.

Beginner child (Ages 4-5)

He learns that God loves others as well as himself. He learns that he is God’s helper, and he is important to God.  He learns that Jesus is God’s son.  He learns that the church is God’s house.  He learns that the Bible is God’s book, which he loves and obeys.  He sees Bible stories as they relate to life’s  situations. He learns to make friends with his own age level.  He learns to show respect to those who will lead and teach him.  He develops good habits which are a foundation for a strong Christian life.

Primary child (Ages 6,7,8) Grades 1-3

He has growing muscles.  He finds that God is the creator of the world and the power that holds it together. God is pleased when we do right and ready to forgive us when we do wrong.  He sees God’s power and love at work.  He enjoys Bible stories and finds in them a message for him. He understands that his actions influence others, learns that Christians share and help each other, and understands that becoming a Christian brings responsibilities. He recognizes his need for forgiveness of sin and for living a life that pleases God. He recognizes that he is part of His family, and under God he has responsibility for his conduct.

Junior child (Ages 9-11) Grades 4-6

He learns by doing (James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves). This is a good verse for a Junior.  He gains a deeper understanding of the cross and God’s work for him there.  He is at the prime age to sense personal sin and his need for a Savior.  He understands God’s purpose in sending Christ.  He begins to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He begins to see the Bible as a panoramic story of God working with His people.  He understands Bible map study and geography. He enjoys using the Bible to read, memorize, and study. He begins to learn how we got our Bible. He learns to compete with others, and still feel  friendly toward them.  He finds that Christian behavior has many shades. He learns to cope with undesirable attitudes common at this age.  He understands that it is important to make right choices in life. He develops strong trust in God’s guidance. He identifies easily with heroes and patterns his life after them.

Intermediate child (Ages 13-15)

He is confused, thoughtful and introspective, questioning, gang conscience, day dreaming, full of questions and doubt.  He realizes his responsibility to God for his decisions and actions. He is ready for a deeper commitment of his life to God and to seek God’s guidance for his life. He sees the Bible as God’s revelation to man.  He learns to forgive instead of strike back. He learns to serve instead of be served.  He learns to overcome problems rather than run from them.  He learns to seek reasons from the actions of others. He learns to live with ethical problems and handle them as a Christian. He begins to compose a self-portrait of who he is.  He begins to face doubts. He begins to think of vocation.  He begins to think of choosing a mate.

Young people (Ages 17-25)

He is facing the future, college, homes, and mates.  He seeks life’s answers to his questions about God.  God becomes his guide in choices of vocation, college dates, grades, getting along with others.  He develops habits of Bible reading and study.  He applies Bible truths to his own life.  He probes the deeper meaning in Bible doctrine. He realizes he depends much on others and others depend much on him, especially as a Christian. He seeks God’s help in choosing friends, dates, and group actions. He is concerned about preparation for Christian vocation and marriage. He wants to know himself and God as much as he can. He faces adult responsibilities and relies on God for help.

Adult (Ages 26 and up)

He is working to build houses and careers. Some are divorced and alcoholics.  Many are pleasure mad.  He searches the Bible for answers to everyday problems. He seeks God’s guidance through His Word for home,  business, and everyday activities. He understands his responsibility to God in his Christian life in building his home and conducting his business in community affairs.  He faces the need to withstand the pressures which would cause him to put God after home and business.

Definition of a Sunday School Teacher

A teacher is a lady or man with soft smiley eyes and a mouth that turns up at the ends. You are not afraid of teacher.

A teacher is always a person that is in class when you get there no matter how early. Those early times give you a chance to tell what happened to you last week. You get to show teacher that you like him by helping him get the classroom ready. He lets you put song books on the chairs and erase the chalkboard. A teacher is someone who likes kids. He rumples your hair sometimes, and if you’re a boy, he visits with you before class instead of visiting with the other teachers. He knows what you’re trying to say when you don’t know quite how to say it. He listens and understands. He knows your name when he sees you in the grocery store.

A teacher is a lady or man with special eyes to see what you can do though you haven’t done it yet. He doesn’t mind spending time helping you discover what God wants you to do with the abilities He gives you. Although you can’t really disappoint a teacher because he doesn’t expect you to be more than you can be…but he doesn’t let you get by doing a job the easiest way.

A teacher is a person you want to be like. You can tell he loves God and the Bible but that he doesn’t always behave just like God says. His honesty about it makes you sure God can help overcome your own faults, because teacher tells you how God helped him.

A teacher isn’t fooled when you look him right in the eye, but you don’t really hear what he says. He doesn’t talk all the time. He lets you find out things about God by having plays and games and looking up stuff together.

A teacher lets you like learning.

A teacher is great when it comes to helping you decide what is right to do. You know he knows about God’s book. When he is teaching, he has it right there in his hands. He finds stories and verses in it without much hunting. You are sure he can find answers in it for you.

A teacher comes to your house, even if you haven’t been sick, and brings you a book or a picture. He looks at your room and likes the cowboy pictures on the wall or those stones or dolls you collect. He knows your dog’s name and maybe tells the class about him.

A teacher is one who can stand beside the grave of a kid from the class who died and be glad inside while he cries outside because he led the kid to Jesus and knows he is in heaven and happier now. He makes the kids’ parents glad they let him go to Sunday School.

A teacher is the one you remember long, long after you forgot the aims of the lessons. A teacher is part of you. He belongs to you. When you say, “That’s my teacher!” You grin.

Grandparent’s Day

Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day. It originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. This day is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.  September was chosen for the holiday to signify the “autumn years” of life. This day’s purpose is to 1. To honor grandparents 2.   To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children. 3. To help children become aware of their grandparent’s strength, information, and guidance.  This year Grandparents Day will fall on Sunday, Sept. 11th.

GRANDPARENTS.
Few can bring the warmth
We can find in their embrace,
And little more is needed to bring love.
Than the smile on their face.
They’ve a supply of precious stories,
Yet they’ve time to wipe a tear,
Or give us reasons to make us laugh,
They grow more precious through the years.
I believe that God sent us Grandparents
As our legacy from above,
To share the moments of our life,
As extra measures of His love.
~Author Unknown.~~

GRANDPARENTS.
Grandparents bestow upon
their grandchildren
The strength and wisdom that time
And experience have given them.
Grandchildren bless their Grandparents
With a youthful vitality and innocence
That help them stay young at heart forever.
Together they create a chain of love
Linking the past with the future.
The chain may lengthen,
But it will never part….
~~Author Unknown.~~

GRANDPARENTS AND CHILDREN.
Grandparents and grandchildren,
Together they create a chain of love
Linking the past,
With the future.
The chain may lengthen,
But it will never part.
~~Author Unknown.~~

When To Be Blunt and When To Be Tactful

This article  was written by Pastor Greg Baker and taken from Christian Baptist Articles–For more of his articles go to: articles.christianbaptists.com

Sometimes your bluntness just gets you into more trouble. Sometimes, your tactfulness doesn’t seem to convey the magnitude of the situation or of your feelings. So when should you do either? This article contains guiding, helpful principles for both.

PRINCIPLES FOR TACTFULNESS

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

There are several principles that ought to be followed in regards to knowing when a tactful or diplomatic response is better than a blunt one.

  1. In all personal relationships. Treat your relationships like you would a fragile and expensive piece of china. Remember that your words can act like a sword (Proverbs 26:22). Unless you have a relationship that is flat out wrong or destructive, treat each one as very special, very important. The strength of these relationships is often determined on the strength of your communication. I believe that God meant for you to find joy and happiness within your relationships-including, naturally, your relationship with Him. Possessions and material wealth is a far, far second. Being blunt and forceful in your relationships will bring more conflict than joy.
  2. When you must correct someone. The manner in which you correct someone often determines how they receive it. I understand that there will always be some that take correction badly, no matter how it comes, but even so, your words ought to demonstrate how much you care. It is important to be tactful when you correct someone.
  3. When you must talk about other people’s relationships. Nothing will make you an enemy faster than appearing to intrude into someone else’s business. Telling others how to run their relationships is sure to send the wrong message and to be counterproductive. Learning to be tactful in these situations will help prevent you from making unnecessary enemies.
  4. When you are trying to help. Most of us like to help, but how we come across will determine if someone will accept our help or not. People will reject your assistance if they misunderstand your intentions. Even when you aren’t trying to correct someone-just want to help-your words may come across as condemning and people don’t take to that very well.
  5. When you need help or cooperation. Some time ago, a woman called me up asking for help. Normally, I try to help anyone if it is within my means. But this woman, before I even said hello, began to chew me out for the way other people had refused to help her. She went on and on about how no one cared, no one would even try to help, and she made me feel that it was all my fault. Sorry to say, I took offense and told her that with an attitude like that, I’d be surprised if anyone ever helped her. I regret my remarks, but if she would have been more tactful, I probably would have tried to help. She made it so that I didn’t want to help.
  6. When someone is hurting. Don’t be cruel to the grieving. Even if what you say is the truth, a little bit of tactfulness will go a long way in helping someone. When people are hurting, particularly if they went ahead and did something stupid against the advice of others, an ‘I told you so’ is grievous to that person. It doesn’t help. Learn to be tactful around those that are hurt-even if they deserve what they got. They still don’t deserve you adding to their pain.
  7. When you want someone to do something. This is a big one. Trying to get people to do something that you think they ought to do difficult even if you are tactful. But being blunt will only cause a wall to be raised between the two of you. If you come across as a know it all, bossy, more holier than thou, or even condescending, you’ll find people having no wish to do what you want them to do. I’ve never tasted coffee. The reason for it is just before I went off to college, a man asked me, “Are you taking a large coffee pot with you?” I frowned and replied, “No, I don’t drink coffee.” He smirked and, in a very annoying voice, countered, “Oh you will. You will.” I got so irritated at his ‘I know more than you’ tone of voice that I vowed I’d never drink coffee. I had nothing against it, per say, but now I had a reason not to. And I haven’t. Sound silly? Of course it is, but this happens all too often. Learn to be more tactful.

PRINCIPLES FOR BLUNTNESS

There are times when being blunt is necessary. Although, in my opinion, it is more important to know when you need to be tactful and gracious. These will get you much further in life than being blunt. Still, bluntness does have its place.

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Here we see Paul being blunt about a mistake that Peter had made. In other scriptures, we see Jesus and John the Baptist verbally flogging the Pharisees. Their bluntness is a matter of record, but there is a lesson to be learned from it as well.

Here are a few principles that allow, and even call for, bluntness:

  1. When it is vital to get someone’s attention. If your child is playing in the middle of the street and a car is approaching, you’re not going to be diplomatic about trying to get him to move. You’ll start yelling, bluntly, at both your child and the driver hoping to get either or both of their attention to protect your child. Sometimes, it is essential that we get someone’s attention. This is usually to keep them from hurting themselves or hurting others.
  2. When speaking in crowds or in general terms. It is when you are singling someone out that you ought to be tactful. But telling the truth about, say, political corruption may offend some, but is appreciated by the majority. As a pastor, I often speak bluntly about the social woes that plague our society. Some may not like it. But the majority will appreciate someone who is not going to beat around the bush. Even in casual conversation with only one person, you can be blunt when speaking in general terms. In fact, the bluntness is appreciated and is often preferable to political correctness. You can’t appease the masses. So don’t try. Be honest in such situations. We live in a society where feelings have trumped relationships. We are more concerned with someone’s feelings than we are with establishing good solid relationships. Well, I’m offended at such a preposterous notion. See, you can’t please everyone, so in crowds or speaking in general terms, you can be blunt. Not that you must, just that you can.
  3. When you must protect someone. People are worth protecting. A good relationship is worth salvaging. If someone comes to you to tear down the reputation of another, send him on a way with a blunt, “I don’t listen to trash.” If someone tries to seduce my children to try drugs and I catch him, I’ll have plenty of blunt words to say. I’m not seeking to change the dealer, but rather to protect my own children. If both are friends, I would revert back to tactfulness. Paul had to protect all the Gentiles from the corruptive thinking that Peter had fallen prey to. This wasn’t about Peter as much as it was about thousands and thousands of other people.
  4. When you must protect a value. Morals and values are the ties that bind relationships. When two people share the same values and morals they invariably have a closer relationship than those that do not. These values need protecting. If it’s just you under attack, you can ignore it. But when it involves others, you may need to go to bat for them. Sometimes bluntness is the best action.
  5. After all tactfulness has failed and it’s still necessary to say it. There will be times when you try to be tactful and the person you’re talking to either just doesn’t get it or refuses to hear it. Be sure that it is indeed one of those times before deciding to be blunt. The desire to say something can be stronger than the need to say something. If you still feel that you must be blunt, then this is the time to do it. Be warned, you’ll probably cause hurt feelings. So if it comes to this point, be prepared to help heal any injured feelings that you might cause.

Author Resource: Greg S. Baker is a Pastor, Counselor, and Author specializing in building and strengthening relationships. Visit our website at: fitlyspoken.org

For more books and resources on how to communicate better, express yourself, and strengthen social skills. Check out our book, ‘Fitly Spoken’, a Christian based book that explores the intricacies of human communication and expression in relationships.

Devotion: Developing Friendships

Devotion given at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Mineral Wells, TX Ladies Brunch, 5-7-16

A survey was taken of 300 people. Included in this survey, the people were married, single, men, and women between the ages 18-82. Each person was asked to write a brief definition of a friend.

“Someone you can bare your soul to and not be afraid it will get around. Someone who has tactful truth and not afraid to tell you you’re slip is showing.”

“One who knows you well, but still loves you.”

A person who understand you, appreciates your view and is loyal to you. Someone who has common interests.”

Someone who enjoys being around you, accepts your for who you are, and it faithful to you when the chips are down.”

We will never find a perfect friend because we all have faults. I love this definition of a true Christian friend.

A friend is a trusted confident to whom I am mutually drawn as a companion and an ally, whose love for me is not dependent on my performance, and whose influence draws me closer to God.”

Four Types of Friendships

There are some friends that we would give our last dollar to, yet others we only speak briefly when we meet them at church or at the grocery store. These are our acquaintances or casual friends.

We might have 500 acquaintances each year, but have fewer than 7 friends. We can develop many acquaintances through shopping, working, and church, yet we would not call them good friends . We see these people on a regular basis…we know them by their first name… and may at different times initiate social contact with them.

  1. Acquaintances: These are friends we meet at work, friends from church, friends in our neighborhoods, and even some of our relatives.
  2. Personal friends: These are friends we have made through the years and we want to remain close to them.
  3. Mentors: These are friends who have contributed to our lives in teaching or guiding ways. These could be friends who counseled us through difficult times in our lives.
  4. Intimate friends: These are the friends to whom we can pour out our hearts. We share our deepest feelings and hopes. They meet us at our point of deepest need…we just enjoy being with them. These are the friendships that have lasted for years.

Even our Lord had intimate friends. Mark 5:37  And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

What are some of the things we need to build good friendships?

Foremost…friends must know Christ: As Christian women, we have a different basis than non-Christians for building friendships because we have the Lord and His resources to draw on.

Of course, we want to develop friendships with those who don’t know the Lord, but our goals for developing those friendships are to lead those new friends to Christ.

Developing friendships take TIME and EFFORT: Two great pillars for building a good friendship are time and effort. Sometimes it takes months and years to develop a good friendship.

  1. LOVE: First element of building a good friendship is love.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times. Some people build friendships with others for selfish reasons. If a person has money or position, everyone wants to be that person’s friend. Make sure you build your friendship on love not on what another person might be able to do for you.

  1. ACCEPTANCE: Second element of building a friendship is acceptance. Acceptance does not always mean that you agree with everything your friend does…but praise the Lord, Jesus accepts us, even when He doesn’t agree with everything we do.

If we get judgmental with our friends, it slams the door on building good friendships. There is a difference between sharing the truth in love and judging another person’s motive.

Our world uses false foundations for developing friendships.

Possessions…What do they have?

Performance…How well do they do? Our society is very much performance oriented. The world tells us that we will be accepted if we perform well at school or in the business world.
Position…How important are they? This is based on their performance.
Appearance…How do they look? We live in a world that worships beauty and youth. The girl who is not beautiful has a far better chance of being a happy wife!  Beautiful people get used to being praised and expect it all their lives. When wrinkles come or strength declines and lose the praise of others…what do these women have left? Nothing.

Friendships built on these false foundations are based on the limitations of human love and not God’s love. They are superficial and will not last.

Think of the consequences of using these foundations.

If we begin comparing ourselves with others, we feel forced to compete and begin to feel alienated from people because we will either feel inferior or superior. When we feel inferior, we feel jealous, threatened and insecure and don’t want to be around those people. When we feel superior, we become conceited and obnoxious and no one wants to be around us.

II Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: …comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

It is interesting that the original meaning of Competitive meant  Strive Together toward a Goal.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Our friends can provoke us or stir us on to greater ambitions. In fact, it was a dear friend who inspired me to write my book.

  1. TRUE UNDERSTANDING: Third element of building a good friendship is to develop true understanding. This only can come from God Pro 2:6..the Lord giveth wisdom and understanding.

How do you develop true understanding? By listening. Learn to give advice sparingly. Pro 18:13…don’t answer a matter before you truly listen.

Listen closely to what the other person is saying. Let him know that you really hear what he is saying. Ask questions to clarify what he is saying…then summarize what you have just him say.

Think before you speak…respond very carefully. Take a moment to think about what you are about to say before you just blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind. Remember you will not be able to take back your words once they come out.

  1. SACRIFICE: Fourth element of building a good friendship is self-sacrificing. What does it mean to sacrifice…it means you are willing to give up something that is more important to you for something that is less important. Make mental notes of your friend’s struggles…send her a text or a card. Remember her birthday, anniversary, or other important dates. Be willing to reach out even if it costs you. How much time have you spent praying for a friend when she is going through a very difficult time. Phil 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

David desperately wanted a drink from well.  2 Samuel 23:15-16 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!  16 And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.

What a sacrifice David’s friends were willing to make for him. If his David’s friends were willing to sacrifice their lives for David’s request, why would he pour out the water that he wanted so much?

First, it showed his honorable disposition and his repentance for his own weakness.
Second, to let his men know that he had said something unadvisedly.
Third, it showed a denial of his own appetite. He longed for the water of the well of Bethlehem…but, when he got it, he would not drink it, because he would not gratify his own foolish desire.

David’s example of pouring out the water  on the ground not only showed that he had rule over his own spirit, but it also showed his devotion towards God and his tenderness toward his servants. David couldn’t believe that his three brave friends would risk their lives to bring a drink of water back for him.

  1. ENCOURAGEMENT: Fifth element of building a great friendship is encouragement. Some friends drag you down. Encouraging others increases their self-esteem and causes them to have more positive outlooks on their situations. Friends either drive us to God or away from Him.

Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

  1. LOYALTY: Sixth element of a building a great friendship is loyalty. Everyone wants a friend with whom he can trust. Loyalty means that you will defend your friend when someone gossips or criticizes her. A friend keeps a friend’s secrets to himself.

Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

That verse tells us that when we cover and forgive an offense, we seek love, but if we repeat or harp about a matter, it separates even close friends. If we are a true friend, we will not gossip about our friends’ faults…we will be quick to forgive them.

Loyalty is the key element to true friendship. If we repeat something that a friend has entrusted to us, that will probably be the end of our friendship because he will never come to us in confidence again.

  1. FUN: The last element for building a great friendship is fun. We must be able to laugh and have fun…but still be serious. Find something to do that you both enjoy doing. (Host a potluck, go for dessert and coffee, take a cooking class together, roast marshmallows, watch a Christian movie) Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Cheerfulness in our spirits influences our bodies. When we are depressed, it dries up the marrow in our bones.  Marrow is a special, spongy, fatty tissue that is found in our stem cells. These stem cells transform themselves into white and red blood cells and platelets. These blood cells and platelets are essential for our immunity and circulation.

The Secret of a Friend

Some people always seem to know,
How to make each day worthwhile;
They know how to catch the sunshine,
And how to wear it in their smile.

And they always seem to have,
A little time that they can spare;
Especially, when you need to know,
There’s someone who really cares.

They always take a sincere interest,
In all the things you say and do;
And when others turn and walk away,
They stay, and help you see it through.

They are willing to give of themselves,
In ways that never seem to end;
In our heart they have a special place,
That’s why we call them our friend.

Poem: Reflections of a Mother

Reflections of a Mother

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can’t build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can’t say “no” for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can’t prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can’t force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God’s family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life . . .  and I will!!!

Always, Mom (COPIED)

Poem: Cherished Friends

Cherished Friends

God knows that there are times
We need a word of cheer
Someone to praise a triumph
Or brush away a tear.
He knows we need to share
The joy of “little things”
In order to appreciate
The happiness life brings.
He knows our troubled hearts
Will sometimes throb with pain
At trials and misfortunes
Or some goals we did not attain.
He knows we need the comfort
Of an understanding heart
To give us strength and courage
To make a fresh, new start.
He knows we need companionship
Unselfish…lasting…true,
And so God answered the heart’s great need
With cherished friends…like you.

Modest Dress Illustration

A girl bought an iPad, when her father saw it, He asked her “What was the first thing you did when you bought it?

“I put an anti-scratch sticker on the screen and bought a cover for the iPad” she replied.

“Did someone force you to do so?”

“No” “Don’t you think it’s an insult to the manufacturer?”

“No dad! In fact, they even recommend using a cover for the iPad”

“Did you cover it because it was cheap & ugly?”

“Actually, I covered it because I didn’t want it to get damaged or   decreased in its value.”

“When you put the cover on, didn’t it reduce the iPad’s beauty?”

“Actually, I think it looks better, and it is worth it for the protection it gives my iPad.”

The father looked lovingly at his daughter and said, “Yet if I had asked you to cover your body which is much more precious than the iPad, would you have readily agreed???”

She was mute…..

The father made a great point to his daughter, “Indecent dressing and exposure of  her body will reduce her value and respect.”

Dear Ladies,
I just came across this article in my files and  thought you might appreciate it.

Why the Pastor’s Wife is the MOST Vulnerable Person in Your Church
Written by Joe McKeever

We’re all vulnerable…Everyone who walks in the church door can be helped or hurt in what happens during the next hour. Whether saint or sinner, preacher or pew-sitter, oldtimer or newcomer, child or geezer, everyone is vulnerable, and should be treated respectfully, faithfully, carefully.

No one in the church family is more vulnerable than the pastor’s wife.  She is the key figure in the life of the pastor and plays the biggest role in his success or failure. (Note: I am fully aware that in some churches the pastor is a woman. In such cases, what follows would hardly pertain to her household.)

And yet, many churches treat her as an unpaid employee, an uncalled assistant pastor, an always-available office volunteer, a biblical expert and a psychological whiz.

She is almost always a reliable helper as well as an under-appreciated servant.

You might not think so, but she is the most vulnerable person in the building. That is to say, she is the single most likely person to become the victim of malicious gossip, sneaky innuendo, impossible expectations and pastoral frustrations.

The pastor’s wife can be hurt in a hundred ways—through attacks on her husband, her children, herself. Her pain is magnified by one great reality: She cannot fight back.

She cannot give a certain member a piece of her mind for criticizing the pastor’s children, cannot straighten out the deacon who is making life miserable for her husband, cannot stand up to the finance committee who, once again, failed to approve a needed raise, or the building and grounds committee that postponed repair work on the pastorium.

She has to take it in silence, most of the time.

It takes the best Christian in the church to be a pastor’s wife and pull it off. And that’s the problem: In most cases, she’s pretty much the same kind of Christian as everyone else. When the enemy attacks, she bleeds.

The pastor’s wife has no say-so in how the church is run and receives no pay, yet she has a lot to do with whether her husband gets called to that church and succeeds once he arrives.

That’s why I counsel pastors to include with their resume a photo of their family. The search committee will want to see the entire family, particularly the pastor’s wife, and will try to envision whether they would “fit” in “our” church.

The pastor’s wife occupies no official position, was not the object of a church vote, and gives no regular reports to the congregation on anything. And yet, no one person in the church is more influential in making the pastor a success—or a resounding failure—than she.

She is the object of a world of expectations … She is expected to dress modestly and attractively, well enough but not overly ornate.

She is expected to be the perfect mother, raising disciplined children who are models of well-behaved offspring for the other families, to be her husband’s biggest supporter and prayer warrior, and to attend all the church functions faithfully and, of course, bring a great casserole.

Since her husband is subject to being called away from home at all hours, she is expected to understand this and have worked it out with the Lord from the time of her marriage—if not from the moment of her salvation—and to have no problem with it. If she complains about his being called out, she can expect no sympathy from the members. If she does voice her frustrations, what she hears is, “This is why we pay him the big salary,” and “Well, you married a preacher; what did you expect?”

She is expected to run her household well on the limited funds the church can pay and keep her family looking like a million bucks.

And those are just for starters!

The pastor’s children likewise suffer in silence as they share their daddy with hundreds of church members, each of whom feel they own a piece of him, and can do little about it. (But, that’s another article.)

What we owe to the pastor’s wife …

  1. We owe her the right to be herself. She is our sister in Christ and accountable to Him.

My wife was blessed to have followed pastors’ wives who cut their own path. So, in some churches, Margaret taught Sunday School and came to the woman’s missionary meetings. In other churches, she directed the drama team and ran television cameras. A few times, she held weekday jobs while raising three pretty terrific kids.

And, as far as I know, the churches were always supportive and understanding. We were blessed.

Allow the pastor’s wife to serve in whatever areas she’s gifted in. Allow her to try different things, and to grow. But do not put your expectations on her, if at all possible.

Do not try to tell her how to raise her children. Do not try to get to her husband through her with your messages or (ahem) helpful suggestions.

  1. We owe her our love and gratitude. She has a one-of-a-kind role in the congregation which makes her essential to the church’s well-being.

Recently, as I was finishing a weekend of ministry at a church in central Alabama, and about to drive the 300 miles back home, a member said, “Please thank your wife for sharing you with us this weekend. I know your leaving is hard on her.”

How sensitive—and how true, I thought. That person had no idea that my wife underwent surgery two weeks earlier and I had been her nurse ever since, and that in my absence, my son and his family were taking care of her, and that I was now about to rush home to relieve them.

Church members have no clue—and no way of knowing—regarding the pressures inside the pastor’s family, and should not investigate to find out.

What they should do is love the wife and children and show them appreciation at every opportunity.

  1. We owe her our love and prayers. While the Father alone knows her heart, the pastor may be the only human who knows her burdens.

Pray for her by name on a regular basis. Then, leave it to the Lord to answer those prayers however He chooses.

If we believe that the Living God is our Lord and Savior and that He hears our prayers, we should be lifting to Him these whose lives are given in service for Him.

Ask the Father for His protection upon the pastor’s wife and children—for their health, for their safety from all harm, and for Him to shield them from evil people.

Pray for His provisions for all their needs, and for the church to do well in providing for them.

Pray for the pastor’s relationship with his wife. If their private life is healthy, the congregation’s shepherd is far better prepared for everything he will be asked to do.

  1. We owe her our responsible care. What does she need?

Do they need a babysitter for a date night? Do they need some finances for an upcoming trip? If they are attending the state assembly or the annual meeting of the denomination, are the funds provided by the church budget adequate or do they need more? Is the wife going with the pastor? (She should be encouraged to do so, if possible.)

Ask the Holy Spirit what the pastor’s wife (and/or the pastor’s entire family) needs, and if it’s something you can do, do it. If it’s too huge, rally the troops.

  1. We owe it to the pastor and his wife to speak up. Sometimes, they need a friend to take their side.

If your pastor’s wife has a ministry in the church, look for people to criticize her for a) dominating others, b) neglecting her home, or c) running the whole show. To some, she cannot do anything right.

You be the one to voice appreciation for her talents and abilities, her love for the Lord and her particular skills that make this ministry work.

Imagine yourself standing in a church business meeting to mention something the pastor’s wife did that blessed someone, that made a difference, that glorified the Lord.

Imagine yourself planning in advance what you will say, asking the moderator (who is frequently the pastor) for a moment for “a personal privilege,” without telling him in advance.

And, imagine yourself informing a couple of your best friends what you are planning to do, so they can be prepared to stand up “spontaneously” and begin the ovation. (Hey, sometimes our people have to be taught to do these things!)

The typical reaction most church members give when someone is criticizing the pastor’s wife is silence. But you speak up. Take up for her.

Praise God for her willingness to get involved, to not sit at home in silence, but to support her husband and bless the church.

  1. We owe them protection for the pastor’s off-days and vacations.

After my third pastorate, I joined the staff of the great First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, and quickly made an outstanding discovery. The personnel policies stipulated that the church office would be closed on Saturdays and the ministers were expected to enjoy the day with their families.

Furthermore, when the church gave a minister several weeks of vacation, it was understood at least two full weeks of it would be spent with the family in rest and recreation and not in ministry somewhere. As one who took off-days reluctantly and would not allow myself to relax and rest during vacations, I needed this to be spelled out in official policy.

When a pastor is being interviewed for the position and when he is new, he should make plain that his off-days are sacred. The ministerial and office staffs can see that he is protected.

The lay leadership can make sure the congregation knows this time is just as holy to the Lord as the time he spends in the office, the hospitals or even the pulpit.

  1. We owe them the same thing we owe the Lord: faithful obedience to Christ.

Pastors will tell you in a heartbeat that the best gift anyone can give them is just to live the Christian life faithfully.

When our members do that—when they live like Jesus and strive to know Him better, to love one another, to pray and give and serve—ten thousand problems in relationships disappear.

Finally, a word to the pastor’s wife …

It’s my observation that most wives of ministers feel inadequate. They want to do the right thing, to manage their households well and support their husbands, keep a clean house, sometimes accompany him on his ministries, and such, but there are only so many hours in a day and so much strength in this young woman. She feels guilty for being tired, and worries that she is inadequate.

The Apostle Paul may have had pastors’ wives in mind when he said, “Not that we are adequate to think anything of ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

We are inadequate. None of us is worthy or capable of this incredible calling from God.

We must abide in Him or nothing about our lives will go right.

One thing more, pastor’s wife: Find other wives of ministers and encourage them. The young ones in particular have a hard time of it, with the children, the young husband, the demanding congregation and sometimes, Lord help us, even an outside job.

Invite a couple of these women for tea or coffee. Have no agenda other than getting to know one another.

See what happens.

After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. These days, he has an office at the First Baptist Church of Kenner where he’s working on three books, and he’s trying to accept every speaking/preaching invitation that comes his way. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. Usually, he’s working on some cartooning project for the denomination or some agency.

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