2 cents worth of wisdom | I AM Powered to Parent

Head’s up! Here’s my 2 cents worth of wisdom for the day (puns facetiously intended)

READ Proverbs 22

We all have Proverbs 22:6 ingrained in our biblical parenting toolkit, “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” We moms wonder if & pray that we have helped set our childrens’ feet on the path that God would purpose for them-using scriptures to train & fashion their character.. .But, have you ever considered the FLIPside WARNING of this exact passage? There are 2 sides to every coin, after all. It’s all how you emphasize the phrasing: “Train up a child in the way HE should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” a completely different mindset, worldview, & outcome!! Contemporary culture is PCing parents to “spare the rod” (which spoils the child). “Woe to you, O land/household, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!” Ecclesiastes 10:16. “The rod & reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” The scriptures, especially the book of Proverbs, trains us parents in the way we SHOULD go, with the confidence that if we “discipline our children, they will give us rest” (Proverbs 29). 

Ok, 2 more cents: DISCIPLINE & PUNISHMENT. I learned this lesson many years ago, before I was married, in leadership training with Bible Study Fellowship. We were empowered to tackle a room full of toddlers which had a Little Tikes slide as the temptation/centerpiece in the middle of the classroom! I was absolutely amazed at how we could manage this crew of motley minis!! We navigated minefields of dysfunction & distress with these simple imperatives:
1. We walk up the steps & slide down on our bottoms. 

2. If you choose to walk up the slide, you will be invited to have a talk with the teacher outside the door. 

….singing the chorus of “Trust & Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST & OBEY“. ..we transition from bible story to playtime.

Jubilant toddlers form a line at the steps, except for Jack. “Jack, remember, we walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” | DISCIPLINE is training a child in the way he should go.

Jack smiles and proceeds to climb the slippery slope, upward. ..to the chagrin of eager bodies, exercising a new lesson in patience, itching to slide downward. There are no willowy threats in this room, no, “I’m going to count to 3”. ..and we don’t allow the insurrection to continue until all the adults are exasperated to the point of an emotional outburst and yelling, “DON’T DO THAT!!” when we have hit our own tipping points as little ones have started to cry & meltdown.. . | PUNISHMENT is giving an apt consequence for the infraction at hand.

Nipping mutiny in the bud, as the newbie childrens leader in training, I am assigned to practice the parenting lesson. Deep breath. I reach out to take Jack’s little hand in mine, smile, & invite him to come and have a chat. Outside the door, hearing the muffled  giggles of pure joy that must seem like a world away to the little pirate prince, I kneel to eye level with the now, wide-eyed Jack. The devious smile has flipsided in reverential fear. This is when we share understanding with the little rebel :: Logic + Love. “Jack, what is the rule for enjoying the slide?” Respectfully he answers, “We walk up the steps and slide down on our bottoms.” “Yes”, I explain, “This way, everyone will safely enjoy the slide. I care about you and all the children here. I want you to be able to enjoy the slide. In fact, Jack, you are the oldest boy in this class. You could be the leader and show everyone how to use the slide safely! Are you ready to go back and try it again?” nod, nod. big smile!

Jack, a 3 year old, rose up to the challenge! He obeyed the rules of the slide & led his classmates, cautioning those who would start to backslide. He also came to trust my loving authority and would save a seat for me next to him at snacktime each week!! A disciplined son gives rest. 

What pocketful of parenting gems have you gleaned from this month’s 31 for 31 challenge in the Book of Proverbs? 

#IAMWise #IAMPowered #IAMPoweredToParent …COMING SOON to the I AM Powered Series



I AM Wise | Proverbs 31 for 31

May’s I AM Powered theme is I AM Wise 

“To know wisdom & instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive discernment in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, & equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge & discretion to the youth-Let wise hear & increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb & a saying, the words of the wise & their riddles. The fear|reverence of The LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom & instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7 

Solomon’s words of wisdom for the wise & warnings for the fool are encouraged today as Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias urges, “Let my people think”. Let each of us be built up & so build up our children to read well & think well. Wise men do still seek The Great I AM.

an apple a day | Let’s each read 1 chapter from the book of Proverbs on each of the month of May. 31 for 31

PLEASE SHARE PROVERBS & RIDDLES in the comments below & let’s think well, being transformed by the renewing of our minds! 

Who’s in the forum?

Serving Others | I AM Love

I AM Love In the transitions from day to day, even moment to moment, season to season, & study to study, this glorious picture of budding trees bursting with life against the azure backdrop above, my gaze extends even beyond, to the heavens. It’s where my help comes from. How pridefully we can assume that after 20+ years of intensive expositional & experiential bible study, the lessons are for others, not ourselves, like this old terrestrial ball, saturated with spring rains. Ha! As a teacher, I have the most yet to learn! “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1

My Dominant Gifts: Teaching & Pastor/Shepherd
My Dominant Gifts: Teaching & Pastor/Shepherd

So, as the teacher, I delegated homework to my students for this month’s lesson, not realizing that The Great I AM had an additional list of life lessons for me. [The next few blog posts will try to extrapolate the vast depth & height of love.] For now, here’s your homework for I AM Love: 1. Memory Verse “Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 Easy to memorize, a challenge to live! 2. Daily Read & Meditate on the page scriptures. [Get your copy of I AM Powered at Amazon.com] 3. KNOWLEDGE | Read Romans & 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 on Spiritual Gifts. Learn what the gifts are, why we receive them, & how we are to use them (hint, the classic “love” passage from 1Corinthians 13-in its proper context-shows us a better way to serve others. 4. UNDERSTANDING | Take this FREE online Spiritual Gifts Assessment discover your gifts http://gifts.churchgrowth.org/analysis/index.php 5. DISCERNMENT | Research your gifts in the Scriptures, use a Bible Concordance if needed. 6. WISDOM | Pray for opportunities to serve others with your spiritual gifts. We study to BUILD UP ourselves | We serve to BUILD UP the local church/the body of Christ “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:4-5 As I As