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Telling the Truth Begins With Knowing the One Who is Truth (24 Family Ways #24)

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Way #24

We always tell the truth and do not practice deceitfulness of any kind.

Memory Verse:

Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.- Psalm 34: 12-13

Teaching is taking responsibility for informing the mind, heart and thoughts of my student. When I seek to present truth, knowledge, wisdom–the best thoughts, the most soul-gripping ideals, the foundations of truth and insights of understanding, it forces my own soul to broaden in the preparation of my presentation. Often I find the Life of His words open to my soul as I seek to dig for the best in my presentations. A serious responsibility to seek in some small way to reflect the truth about my creator–an auspicious task. Yet in the pursuit of His reality, my own soul becomes more real.
Truth telling is a matter of integrity, rooted in the heart of every believer. We must train our children to tell the truth about small details, but to understand the difference between what is true and what is deceitful, to have their souls transformed by the righteousness of God, they must know the One who IS truth and pattern their lives after him alone. This is our last of the 24 Family Ways, but it also touches the core of everything we have studied together this summer. What is the most true in your heart? For out of the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks.
When I decided to teach Joy the attributes of God, I thought if she could grasp even a little of what He is like, then as she forayed out into the world, the understanding of His character and integrity and personal commitment to her would serve her in the days she is tempted to feel alone.
I remember sharing with her, “Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Tozer
So we began with the humility of Christ. I have pondered this summer, “I am humble of heart.” What does it mean? He told me to learn this from HIm–not humble in dress, or position or in works--but in heart. And so we began by looking the word up on a dictionary. Humble–modest or unpretentious in one’s estimation of oneself in relationship to others.
So Jesus was modest in his estimation of himself in relationship to others. Didn’t need to brag, to have the last word, to convince others he was right, to criticize others–but was unpretentious in His relationship to them.
Already, my own heart was being convicted. Yet, it was in the context of looking at Satan’s fall, that His humility shown forth like a brilliant light. Ezekiel 28: 12-16 tells us that God created Satan (Lucifer) as one of the highest angels in heaven. He was crafted in beauty–clothed in precious jewels–ruby, topaz, diamond, emerald and defined in the gold settings. His beauty and splendor were magnificent. God created him blameless (Ez. 28: 15). And yet, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty.” It was as Satan looked at himself, and became proud–exalted in confidence at his own glory, that he lifted himself above God. His pride of his exalted esteem of himself became the ground in which sin would grow.
Satan said in his heart (in contrast to the heart of Jesus), “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…. I will make myself like the Most High God.” (Isaiah 14:14)
And so it was his pride in himself–I will be like the most high  (pretentious–impossible that the creature could ever, ever be equal to his creator)–It was his arrogance that said he would not bow his knee to his creator–he would have the power, the worship, the centerpiece of the life of all people, that all corruption and sin and wickedness gave birth. His grasp for power, allegiance–at any cost. He would win the war of capturing the hearts of those created in God’s image, for himself. Pride is the starting point for sin to grow and flourish.
In this light, when the One true God, the creator of the world, the all powerful, omniscient God, comes to the earth, with no stately form or majesty, as a man of sorrows acquainted with grief; as a humble, poor carpenter, –it gives new meaning to the value of “I am humble of heart.”
Exactly in contrast to Satan who would exalt himself above all people–at any cost to crushing and killing the souls of all people in order that God would not have allegiance of his own, Jesus comes to bow His knee before the Father and willingly lays down his life for all–even the very lowly, to serve, wash their feet, heal their diseases, forgive their worst deeds.
So, for me,  all pride and exalting of myself makes me less like Jesus. All “I am better than you” thoughts because of anything I have done or accomplished–takes me more in the direction of Satan’s attitude than that of Jesus. If Jesus, “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself by becoming obedient, even to the point of death,” (Philipians 2: 6-8), then His humility of heart becomes my standard.
Jesus who touched lepers, spoke with and forgave prostitutes, ate with tax-collectors, rubbed shoulders with sinners and felt compassion for them, then if I want to be like Him, I must take the same posture. Repenting of pride, humbling myself–seeing myself as modest in my own estimation–serving all people that Christ may be exalted in my life–a life-changing lesson. Indeed in my pursuit of the best to offer my student, Joy, the very windows of heaven were opened up to my soul.
But, then, came the realization that my daughter would not believe the words I taught unless I modeled them to her–humbly serving all in my home, accepting the limitations of all in my life as Jesus did; becoming more of a servant leader–seeking to wash the feet of those He brings my way–only in this will my student believe that I believe the words of my exalted Teacher, “I am meek and humble of heart. Learn from me.”
And so in the preparation and teaching of truth, I am discipled by the One who is true and I am hopefully changed forever.

Raising Self Governed Children (Our 24 Family Ways #23)

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Way #23 We exercise self-control at all times and in every kind of situation. Memory Verse:  "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." -Proverbs 29:11  A sweet mom recently came over for tea and said she felt like pulling her hair out.  (Don't we all at times.) When she described her situation, I understood that she was afraid to train or discipline her children at all for fear they would not like her, so she rarely made them respond to her. Often we as moms allow permissive behavior in parenting calling it grace.  Yet, children who are not directed or taught to practice becoming stronger little by little, ruling over their impulses are unhappy ... Keep Reading

Teaching our Children to Follow God Begins By Giving Them an Example to Follow Along the Path of Life (24 Family Ways #22)

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24 Family Ways #22 We ask before we act when we do not know what is right to do. Memory Verse: He who walks with the wise is wise. A companion of fools suffers harm.  Proverbs 15:20 "By walking in integrity at home, my children received from my life, training for battles that were ahead of them. By walking through the obstacles and curves of our lives, trusting God, living by faith, choosing to endure, our children became familiar with what it looked like to walk with God in the midst of their own challenges." -Sally Clarkson, The Mom Walk When your children walk with you, are they walking with a wise person?  Can they look at your seasoned responses, your insightful understanding ... Keep Reading

Why Does Motherhood matter? Because babies Matter for Eternity!

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  Training leaders in my home in June to start small groups, retreats, Bible studies to teach women Biblical foundations of motherhood, marriage, discipleship. Dark-blue eyes the color of blueberries, stared up intensely in the direction of my voice. Two matching bruises on her forehead, gave a battered look to her tiny face, with dripping dark strands of hair and pearl-white skin framing her face. At that moment, I was star-struck with my little new born, first child, Sarah. At almost 31, never having changed a diaper, never knowing a mom who had nursed her children, and not even knowing how to hold her, I was not expecting the overwhelming love and reverence that would fill my ... Keep Reading

Righteousness is a Direction of the Heart {24 Family Ways #21)

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Way # 21 We do what we know is right, regardless what others do or say. Memory Verse:  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 With warm mugs of coffee in hand, ease of mood and cheer of heart, the kids were sitting around repeating all of the mantras they heard over and over again throughout their lives. “Mama, the funny thing is, I hear your voice every day of my life, everywhere I go. And the funny thing is, it keeps directing me to make good decisions.” Sometimes we don’t think ... Keep Reading