Archive | June, 2014

For the Kingdom of Heaven Belongs to Such as These

22 Jun

Tomorrow will mark my third year as a teacher for first and second graders at my church’s vacation Bible school.  We see many faces walking through our doors, many familiar , and because we offer a free program, many new faces. For some, this will mark their first time in a church and others will learn that Jesus is more than just a derogatory expression.  What an awesome responsibility this is. This week, 15 hours to be precise, to plant these precious life giving seeds in these precious little ones.

What I really love about this week is that while we are planting seeds in these little ones, the children are going home and sharing the stories, singing the songs, and sharing and practicing their memory verses.  They are planting seeds in their own family, even if they don’t know it.

This marks the biggest and most important outreach event in our church every year.  According to the current Barna study (2004) ” indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday.”  In order to pull off such a big feat we need the whole village to participate.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Matthew 19:14).”  Evangelizing to these little ones is imperative, not just for the children but for generations to come.

Would you please lift our churches up in prayer during the busy Vacation Bible School season?!  Pray for leaders to have pure hearts and intentions as we disciple and lead little hearts to Jesus and pray for families to have tender receptive hearts as their children share with them scriptures and stories, and pray that many lives will be led to Christ.

 

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Not a Cherished Daddy

15 Jun

I love reading all the beautiful tributes to all the wonderful father’s today. It really shows how important a “Daddy” is to his children. Let me speak from my heart for a minute.

I want to talk to the men who might not be among the most cherished men today. You might have become a dad when you didn’t want to be one, maybe you were young, or it was just the heat of the moment, maybe you were dealing with addictions, and maybe just don’t want to have to deal with your child’s mom. Let me tell you how crucial your presence or lack thereof is to your children.  A man can never truly be a man until he takes all the steps necessary to be a pivotal positive role model to his children.  Yes, it is messy, expensive, hard work, and requires sacrifice but I promise you will never regret being that parent but you will always regret being the latter.  It is never too late to take that first step toward reconciliation.  The first steps are scary, uncertain, and sometimes filled with deep hurts but it shows great courage to be the man that can put his pride aside to pursue your children.  It will take time but I promise with consistency and love healing can and will happen.  Our children our suffering with the lack of positive father figures.  Kids without dads are more likely to become addicts, teen parents, suffer from mental illness, and have higher rates of suicidal tendencies.  We seem to make light of the importance of men in our culture and tend to portray you as incompetent, idiotic, sperm donors……you have an important, God given role in our society and it is up to you to live up to it and prove the naysayers wrong!  Men, we need you to step up and become the strong, moral, respectful leaders and ladies we need to build up our boys and men to help them be all that God calls them to be. Ladies, if we spew negativity and bitterness toward men all the time our sons and husbands suffer leading to the further breakdown and disappearance of respectful men.

If this is you, please let me encourage you how important you are in the lives of your children and maybe it isn’t ideal but sometimes the most beautiful rainbows happen after the biggest storms.  To all the ladies (I have been there), God sees all you have sacrificed, seen all the hard work, and has collected every silent tear that has fallen into your pillow (Psalm 56:8). Let me encourage you too, to keep an open receptive heart to your child’s father (without sacrificing safety, of course) and never speak poorly of the other parent in front of them. Good, bad, or otherwise your children will form their own opinion and will respect you even more for it……I promise! If you want to make the first step but need some guidance please message me and I will connect you to someone who can help.  God bless all the daddies and all those mama’s who are pulling double duty!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Alison’s Story

14 Jun

Alison is my oldest child. She was born severely premature and has some cognitive delays along with Cerebral Palsy.  Our church put on a special senior service for all our high school graduates.  The families had the opportunity to put together a display of photos and academic, sport, etc. accomplishments.  Our journey has looked different therefore trophies and other such accolades haven’t been a part of her life.  Alison decided to share her story because it is her greatest accomplishment. Our display was a modest piece of tag board with some pictures and her story. I am so proud of her and her resilience and positive attitude, she is my hero! With a little help from mom…here is her story.

MY STORY

My name is Alison Jordyn.  I was born October 31, 1995 at 7:51 PM.  My mom is Rebecca and she was just 17 and 24 weeks pregnant when I was born.  I weighed 1 pounds 12 Oz. I was born so premature that my eyes were still fused shut.  My mom told me what a whirlwind of doctors and nurses there were, all working hard and fast to give me the best shot possible.

I had open heart surgery when I was only two weeks old weighing 1 pound 10 oz.  From brain hemorrhages to dangerous blood infections I fought through each one becoming stronger each day.  My mom told me that she should plan on me being in the hospital for at least 6-8 months but since I am stubborn (I get that from grandpa) I decided 2 1/2 months was long enough.  One month and one day before my due date I was discharged weighing a hefty 4 pounds 7 oz.

When I was born they took my mom aside to prepare her for what life would be like for us.  Because of the grade 4 brain hemorrhage she was told I would never walk, that I would never talk, and that I would be plagued with illness, allergies, and asthma.  Fortunately, my mama has that same stubborn attitude as grandpa and me and never gave up hope.

I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when I was five months old.  Two months later I rolled over for the first time.  At ten months old I said my first word, “hi”.  On December 28, 1997, I took my first steps and I never stopped moving!  I am now 18 and still haven’t been plagued with illness, asthma, and allergies.

When I was in kindergarten my mom was taken aside again and told that I had learned all that I would ever learn. She told my mom that I was incapable of learning new things and maybe school wasn’t for me.  That didn’t stop us!  I have learned so much and I have accomplished and done more than anyone ever thought possible.  We wish we remembered her name because we would like to send her a graduation announcement 🙂

My mom says that I am proof that God is still in the miracle business.  With God, even the impossible becomes possible.

I know my accomplishments seem ordinary to most and that’s OK.  I don’t have many earthly awards and that’s OK too.  You see, my biggest accomplishment is that my life saved my mom’s life.  God chose to use a sick little baby to save my mom from a life of addiction and instead led her into a life of salvation.  Now that my mom knows Jesus my whole family knows Him.  It’s pretty cool to think that I am the reason my whole family will go to heaven.

I am excited for what the future holds because I know the One who holds it.  My future is bright and the opportunities are limitless and I look forward to seeing where my journey takes me……..because my story is just beginning!

Our display

Our display

Thanks for reading!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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My Girl

4 Jun

On the verge of adolescents and all the things big girls like. Each year I thank God for another year and ask for just one more summer of playing barefoot in the grass, dandelion bouquets, girly shrieks as she runs and leaps through the sprinklers, watching a too big ice cream cone melt down her hand , pink bikes with glittery streamers blowing as she races her brother down the street, the first hints of summer sprinkled across her nose. The easiness of her laugh, the little hand that still finds it way into mine, and the angelic voice that drifts from the shower.  The emergence of the missing printer paper that has been transformed into brilliant illustrated stories, the way she sits next to me on the couch with a tight hug around my arm and soft curls on my shoulder, and bare feet and nightgown at the breakfast table. The way I admire her heart for serving and her heart for the hurting and her love for Jesus.

I thank God for her innocence and that she has this precious time to be little even if it is for just a bit longer. I know that my bargaining for another summer is quickly coming to an end…. but not this summer. I will love her even bigger and cherish all her little girlness be it just a moment longer. My prayer is that she will continue to grow in beauty and grace and that when she can no longer be little she can continue to love life with just as much enthusiasm and joy.

What a gift she is to me and to the world. I am a blessed mama who kissed her 9 year old goodnight and will wake to a beautiful 10 year old!

 

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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