Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the blessing of 13 (round 2)

Today's devotion is a personal note about our family and the joy we have living life together following Jesus!

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

I am honored to spend this week with middle oldest child, Ruth, celebrating her 13th year of life.  Ruth is a special and precious girl, and she has continued to make me as her dad super proud and blessed her mom too.

The past months of Ruth's 13 year of life have brought special things that only she got to do.  We've read books together and will do that again this week.  We are traveling this week on a special trip that she and I will spend together enjoying life, talking about God and preapring for an even brighter future.

I pray that on trips like this and in my time with each of our kids when they are 13 that we will help shape them into strong people of faith convinced of God's peace and truth as each of our 3 kids are able to live it out.  We've chosen to not take our kids for granted.  That is why as parents we planned to take this special trip and to do several other things like this.

By no means are we perfect parents.  We struggle.  But our desire is to equip our kids make great decisions.  Sharing life with them and connecting with them is so important.  During the rest of this week I ask that you pray for us that we will get to connect.  I want Ruth, this precious daughter of mine, to know how special she is and how much God loves her.  I want her to know that I am proud of her and honored to be her father.  That means I have to be an example of what a great father is and what our Heavenly Father might be like.  This is a huge task.

I love all three of our kids, and I'm looking forward to more special times, more learning, sharing and more ways that their mom and I can lead them to the things of God.  Life is short.  Ruth won't be young very long, and our opportunities are few to make great impact in our kid's lives. 

Parents have to lean on God.  We have to learn from and be committed to God and His plan for the family.  I commit is to turn my attention to this time with my precious daughter and celebrate the blessing of 13, a second time because she is our second child.  One of my favorite verses about being a disciple maker is this (which describes what we are doing with our kids):

for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

I live on in my kids.  Faith will live on in those I disciple and help walk with Jesus.  If my kids don't walk with God, we have missed one of the greatest responsibilities that God gave us as parents.  Therefore, we make a commitment to tell them about Jesus, but not just tell them about Jesus, show them who He is and what He is like.  There is no greater honor and joy to spend the rest of this week celebrating the blessing of 13 with Ruth.

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

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happy birthday, Julie

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