Archive for June, 2012

I loved Sunday evenings as a child.  Our family would gather around the TV set with a large bowl of popcorn and watch Walt Disney’s featured special.  I didn’t care if we saw The Apple Dumpling Gang, Pollyanna, or Old Yeller.  I just enjoyed the sense of togetherness.  The familiarity.

In this fast-paced, long-distance-relationship-world, children (and their grown-ups) find comfort and stability in traditions.    They are the feel-good memory makers that build relationships.  Whether we make pancakes every Saturday morning,  read story books together each night, or go camping in the same little spot once a year, our traditions are part of the legacy we pass on to our children.

Homes may not last and income might dwindle, but a tradition is often passed from one generation to the next.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  Psalm 133:1-3

 Family Tradition Ideas

    • Weekly Game Night-Gather board games, turn off the TV, and have some fun!
    • Date with Dad/Mom-Take each child on a “date” once a month.
    • Bedtime Stories-Does it get any better than snuggles and fairy tales?
    • Mid-week Pizza-Buy a kit, make your own dough, and crank the music.
    • Formal Dining-Light the candles, dress up, and have dinner in the dining room.

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June 27, 2012

Five days ago, a fire started in Waldo Canyon on the southwest side of Colorado Springs. Now, huge portions of the community are engulfed in flames while more than 800 firefighters battle against the advance of an enemy spurred on by 60 mph winds.

Billowing grey and black clouds mar the clear skies during the day and in the evening cast an eerie glow when joined by the suns barely penetrating rays.

Homes are disappearing at an amazing rate. 32,000 .people as of 10:00 MST are displaced. Please pray for our community.



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Some days, I’m sure I’m leaving my children with more baggage than a legacy.  Mommy guilt grabs hold and my mind races ahead ten years.  Turning on the television set, I’m surprised to notice one of my estranged children–now an adult–pouring out his heart to the Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil of the decade.  “Join us today as one of the Kennington children shares How My Mother Ruined My Life and Other Ugly Truths.”

Okay.  I’m exaggerating.  But, there are times I think I should be investing in a counseling fund instead of a college fund.

And then, there are the moments when I know I’m being a great mom.  When a feverish child finds comfort in my arms or I’m huddled under a blanket in the icy rain at a football game–cheering between chattering teeth.

An honest assessment of my mothering leaves a lot of room for reliance on God.  As Stormie Omartian says in her book, The Power of a Praying Parent, “The key is not trying to do it all by ourselves, but rather turning to the expert parent of all time–our Father God–for help.”

By nature, I cling to worry and fear.  Only by entrusting my children to Him through daily–and often minute-by-minute prayer–do I find relief from the burden of concern.  Why?  Because I know God’s power is unleashed in the lives of those I love most when they are given to Him.

It’s a continual struggle…trusting….releasing.  But the power of prayer–or, more accurately–the power of the One to whom I pray reassures me.  Baggage or legacy–these children are mine because He intended it.

Verse for Today  “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lard.  Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”  Lamentations 2:19

Scripture for Study  1 Samuel 1:1-28

Questions for Reflection

  • In what way is God directing you to dedicate your child to Him?
  • How have you seen Him interceding in the life of your child?

Practical Application

  • Make a list of prayer requests (current and future)
  • Pray each night with your spouse or on a regular basis with another parent for your children (Matthew 18:20)
  • Keep praying until you have an answer to that prayer.  (Jeremiah 33:3)




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We can’t all leave a prestigious background or lots of money to visit our children, but we can leave them a legacy of love.                                        -Naomi Rhode

As parents, we all have a dream for our child.  But,  we soon realize our precious child is his own person–uncommonly gifted and  uniquely challenged.  Our dream may not be his dream–or part of the Father’s plan.  As a friend said today, “when parent’s realize their expectations won’t be met then they can grieve the loss of that dream” and can embrace their child fully–for his beauty, imperfections, and potential.

Consider God’s love for His children.  The day it began, there was a hush in the heavens.  God’s breath rushed across the earth and a man began taking shape. First, a vague form.  Then, legs and arms.  Finally, the Man inhaled the garden’s fragrance while a host of celestial witnesses celebrated.  Adam was alive.  Sadly–like the rest of us–Adam sinned.  But as scripture reminds us,  “So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without loveLove never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.” (1 Cor. 13)  And, as the ultimate example of a perfect and unimaginable love, our Father in Heaven gave His own son to atone for our sins (John 3:16).

This is the legacy He has given us–and one which we are told to share with our own children.  Let’s dismiss our expectations and love our children for who they have been created to be.  Forget impressions, accolades, and GPA’s.  Let’s love our children extravagantly.

Verses for Study 

Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

  • How have you seen God act in your life?  Think of specific examples to share with your child/ren.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Eph. 5:1-2)

  • Make a decision to love extravagantly–not by reward or praise–but through sharing yourself AND the love of Christ.  Does this mean you change your schedule to spend time with your child or, if you’ve neglected spiritual parenting, start going to church together?  List and pray over areas in which you’d like to grow in your expression of genuine love.

Weekend Challenge

Begin the next few days by meditating on the words of Psalm 103:5-7.  What is this scripture teaching you about love?


This inspiring video is an example of the power of a parent’s love.

  What have been your challenges, thoughts, and experiences as you’ve explored leaving a legacy of love?

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Legacy:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past legacy of the ancient philosophers  (www.merriam-webster.com)

I want to leave a legacy for my children.  Not a legacy of riches.  Not a “good” name.  Not even a standard of behavior to pattern their lives after.  I want my children to know how to commit themselves to family, love those who are unloved, and realize their purpose in life.   Most of all, I want my children to grow up in a home full of Christ.  But, how?

Even with all of my good intentions, how can I pass on such lofty concepts when I can’t live up to them myself?  It all begins with sharing the truth of Christ.

Feel free to join me these next two weeks as we explore ways to leave our children with a legacy that lasts more than a lifetime.

Scripture for reflection  Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you.  I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;  I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,  Stories we heard from our fathers,  counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.  We’re not keeping this to ourselves,  we’re passing it along to the next generation—  God’s fame and fortune,  the marvelous things he has done Psalm 78:1-4

Recommended books

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I’ve been in class full-time the last two weeks and missed posting today.  I thought you might enjoy this inspiring clip until I get back on schedule tomorrow.


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Now we see only an indistinct image in a mirror, but then we will be face to face. Now what I know is incomplete, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

English: A roll of silver, Scotch brand duct tape.

English: A roll of silver, Scotch brand duct tape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I had that uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach from the moment my son and I walked through his door.  It was all based on an impression.  The girl behind the counter couldn’t find a record of the appointment and the dank office reminded me of the spaces the Navy condemned when my husband was stationed at NAS Norfolk.  Not a great general impression, but I reasoned the appearance might not indicate the level of expertise.

I was wrong.  After several minutes my son, Connor, and I were escorted to a cubicle where a quick survey of the room only increased my concern.  The sink was decorated with white flecks of–well, something–while duct tape was wrapped around the base of a suction tube that looked as if it were a relic from the 1970’s.

Who lets this dentist (a term I use loosely) stay in business?  Unfortunately, I’m a lot like the duct tape dentist.  I bear a title–Christian; can use all of the right terms–bless, pray, forgive; and give an impression of living my life a certain way.  But, really?  I’m just a duct tape believer–held together by Christ.  Thankfully, one day He’ll make me complete–at least on the other side of heaven.

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The four men encouraged their friend, “We’ve heard of his miracles—healing you will be a simple task.”  Resolute, they hoisted their companion and his bedroll on their shoulders.  Navigating the crowded streets of Judea without dropping the bundle became increasingly difficult as they neared the house.  Men, women, and children; rich and poor; religious leaders and rebels pushed and prodded to gain access to the one called Rabbi.  There was no more room and no way to get any nearer.

Unless….well, it was a longshot.  Without hesitation, the men gathered the mat and its contents; maneuvered up the stairs to the roof; and with bare hands ripped each tile from its place.  Finally, they glimpsed him below—there, in the midst of the crowd, preaching.  Would he resent their boldness?  Grow angry at the desperate need of their friend?  Glancing nervously at one another, they slowly lowered the bedroll and the man lying upon it at Jesus’ feet.

Undisturbed by the interruption, Jesus glanced upward and then at the weeping, paralyzed man.    “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

Like the paralyzed man and his friends, Jesus calls us to live a life of faith.  We can go boldly before Him, lay our “mat” at his feet, and rest in the knowledge He will meet our needs.  Put aside your burden today, dear friend.  Trust in Him for restoration.

Scripture for Reflection-“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.”   Mark 2:11-12

Action Step Make a list of five areas, concerns, or struggles you are managing today.  Pray about them and give them to God–all day long.

Recommended Books

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They were easy to spot.  Every one of them was dressed in red, white, and blue and stood waving a flag with as much eagerness as a boy scout troop might.  Looking like two colorful pieces of popcorn, our two youngest children were jumping up and down.  The older two–both teenaged boys–maintained a cool exterior, but their feet shuffled in anticipation and broad grins split their faces.

As their father strode toward them, there was a sudden rushing to meet in the middle of the causeway.  People turned at the sounds of sudden commotion as the children engulfed their dad enmasse.  Dave had returned.  Daddy was home.

The scene struck me as a foretaste of what it may be like when our heavenly Father returns for His children.  What a beautiful picture!  I can’t wait to run into His arms.

Scripture for Reflection-Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. – 1 Peter 2:12 (MSG)

Just for Today-Remember to live each moment today with an eternal perspective.  Will others notice the way you carry the family name–Christian?

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