Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Raising Kids Who Shine

Before we look at light, lets take a moment and look at darkness.

Darkness is absence of light, lack of, concealment, a lack of sight.  Darkness is all around us, and for those lost in darkness, we are the light calling them home.

Look at the Stars!

Light illuminates, make things visible and is a radiant energy.

Our children, who know Jesus as their Savior, carry the light of Christ within them.  They carry this visible and radiate energy to all who they come in contact with.

So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others…

Jesus knew that carrying the light would not always be easy for us and that must be why he felt the need to remind us.   You see, everyone looks at the light, notices the light and there is a level of accountability for a light carrier.   There are days when this can be hard, uncomfortable and self sacrificing.

Jesus is not suggesting that we shine, He is commanding it.  Not only are we to shine, but shine brightly for all to see.  It should be obvious to all, who we are living for.  Not once do I ever hear Jesus say, stay comfortable.

We aren’t in this faith walk to stay comfortable, Mama Bears.  We shouldn’t want it for ourselves, and we are cheating our kids if we want it for them.

I am known as the ‘pusher’ at my house.  I purpose to push my kids out of their comfort zones whenever I can.   What can I say,  it’s my calling!

We have not been called to stay safe inside our Christian bubble, we are called to Go Out.  Go out into the darkness and SHINE!  

…so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them…

How do people see the light within us?

By being people whose actions and speech are filled with light and goodness, causing people to trust and have confidence in us.

This is how simple it can be.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The Way to a Man’s Heart is His Stomach.”  Truth!

Dinner was a important event in our day, and I receive texts and calls throughout the day asking, “What’s for dinner?”  Many of the boys friends found their way to our dinner table.

I remember one young man who was amazed at family dinner, but he was not amazed at my great cooking, he was amazed at the conversation.  His comments to our son after dinner were, “Your parents asked me all about my day, the even asked how football practice went.  My parents never ask me.” 

Simply inviting a boy to join us  around the dinner table showed him the light of Jesus, we gave him light in the darkness and a place to call home.

My kids saw first hand how simple it is to shine.

and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 

Here is the catcher… praise will come, but it won’t be for us.  The light will be bigger than us, bigger than our kids, it will be God Sized.  This light, this heavenly light, shining through our lives will draw people to God Himself.

 

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A Mama Bear Prayer

Father, I ask that _______ will not hide his/her light, but that _______ will let it shine brightly before others.  That all she/he says and does will be commendable, causing all those who come in contact with _______ to praise You.  In Jesus Name – Amen

Before I pray for you today Mama Bears, I want to share a little story with you about a woman who is simply shining brightly for Jesus.  You can hear Ludmilla’s story here.

A Prayer for you, Mama Bear

Father, I lift my friend up to you today, may she carry Your Light into the darkest places.  I thank you that Your light overpowers all darkness.  Fill her life and her home with Your light.  Let her be a light shining brightly before all she comes in contact with, causing them to have a trust and a confidence in her that leads them straight to You.  In Jesus Name – Amen

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Rejoice in Rejection, Is It Even Possible?

Rejection is hard, plain hard.  No one likes it, or the awkward lonely feeling that it brings.

To be rejected is to be refused, discarded or cast out.  Jesus knows how that feels, to the fullest extent.  That is how He can say these words…

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:12

God’s people have been rejected and persecuted from the beginning and it continues to this day.  You see, those that are different, those who walk to a different code, who step away from the norm in this world will naturally be rejected.

I want to be really honest to those of us who are Christians in the United States.  Do we really know about rejection?  Really?  Your child doesn’t get invited to the party, is left out at recess or not picked  for the team, maybe even made fun of.  I get it, it hurts a bit.

Let’s for a moment put things in perspective.  How does that compare to not being able to attend school, being physically attacked or having your home burnt to the ground?  Truth is, it doesn’t compare, not at all.

Mama Bears, we have to and we must remind ourselves to look outside of the little box our lives have become, and teach our children to do the same.

Rejection of who we are along with our faith is going to come, yet that doesn’t stop the call from Jesus that we choose to rejoice in the face of rejection.  How do we live it and teach our kids to do the same? Let’s dig in and find out how –

Rejoice and be glad …

To Rejoice is to be glad, take delight in or to make joyful.

To be Glad is to show cheerfulness or joy, but it also means to be very willing.

Are we very willing to brush off rejection and choose joy?  You see it all comes down to this, it is a choice.  There are days this choice will be easier than others, but it is our  choice to make, our children’s choice to make, and Jesus reminds us that it will be worth it.

…because great is your reward in heaven…

Jesus tells us to set our sights higher, to set them on Heaven, that is where our real reward is.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t often think of  heavenly rewards, it seems I am more interested in earthy ones.

What reward does await us in heaven?  Streets of gold are mentioned, mansions are mentioned, even crowns are mentioned.  I like all of those, believe me I do, but they are hard to wrap my mind around.

Here is a reward I can grab hold of, For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:17 

You see, Jesus will be there.  The Jesus I love, the Jesus I have taught my children all about, trusting that they love Him too.  When we arrive in heaven, there He will be, our Great Shepherd.  He will take us by the hand and lead us to refreshing, living, eternal water.  And then… the hand of God will come and wipe every tear, every heartbreak, every disappointment from our eyes.  Oh my, what a reward.

We don’t hear much about Heaven these days, and I’m not sure why.    Is it because we are so busy,  trying to make Heaven here on Earth that we have lowered our sights?

Let’s lift our sights.  Let’s talk of Heaven and dream of Heaven, with our children.

…for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  Matthew 5:12 

Jesus reminds us, that rejection is nothing new, many who have walked this faith walk before us were very willing to choose to rejoice in the midst of rejection, prison and even death.

Let’s tell our children of the prophets and the martyrs who have paved the way.  We can learn much from their testimonies, and you can find many of their stories here Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks.

A Mama Bear Prayer

Father I bring _______ before You today, I ask that when he/she faces rejection of any kind, that you help _______ to be very willing to choose to rejoice, and to take delight in You.  I thank you for the promise of a Heavenly reward, may _______ cling to Your promise and set her/his sights toward Heaven in times of rejection.  In Jesus Name – Amen

A Prayer for You Mama Bear 

Father, I bring my friend before You today, may she choose to rejoice in times of rejection.  May you give her abundant wisdom as a guide in times when her children face rejection.  Remind her daily of her great reward in Heaven and may she set her sights not on this world, but higher, in heavenly places. Remind her of those who have paved the way before her, the persecuted and suffering.  Let her take strength in their testimonies and remind her to tell their stories to her children.   In Jesus Name – Amen

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Why Our Kids Must Make Jesus Their First Follow

We live in an age where everyone and anyone is calling for our kids to follow them.  There is a first follow that will guide all of their other follows, and that follow is Jesus.    By following Him first, He becomes the measuring stick by which they measure all of their other follows.

Jesus’ call to follow Him is clear…

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In this verse Jesus is speaking to Peter and Andrew, two brothers who were doing their daily fishing. As we read on scripture tells us that at once, they left their nets and followed Him, they don’t hesitate for a moment.

Jesus’ call is still clear for our kids today:

Come Follow Me

 

Come… 

To come is to take your place, move into position or move into view.  Our children must be positioned so that Jesus is in their view, the first place where we can get them into position is in our home.

They must see that before we make daily decisions, 

We Place Jesus in Our View 

They must see that before we eat a meal, that we pause with thanks,

We Place Jesus in Our View

They must see that when the waves of life come,

threatening to take us under,  

We Place Jesus in Our View 

 

…and follow Me…

To follow is to to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; to obey.  When our children decide to follow Jesus they are making a decision to live according to His commands, to live life the Jesus Way. 

We can make many decisions for our kids, but this decision is theirs alone.  That is why we must pray, that they will not hesitate and come to their own decision to Follow Jesus.

Some Mama Bears will not have to pray this prayer long, other Mama Bears may be praying this prayer for years.  For the Mama Bears who are still praying, I stand with you, I agree with you in prayer that your child will hesitate no longer, and make the choice to Follow Jesus!

The end result of this prayer no matter how long we pray, or how many years pass, is a beautiful transformation…

…I will transform you…

A transformation will begin within them and the living and powerful Spirit of God will come alive inside them. The life long work of Jesus in their lives will begin changing their nature and character, to become more and more like Jesus.

…into men and women who will catch people for God… 

People will see the character and nature of Jesus in them and will be attracted to them, and causing friendships to form.  Then they will cast their nets and they will gather those people and lead them to the Great Fisherman,  Jesus.

I want this life for our kids 

I want Jesus in their view all day

I want them on His heels, following Him so closely,

That He can hear them coming up behind Him 

Let Pray this passionalty for our children, Mama Bears!

A Mama Bear Prayer

Father I  pray that ________ will not hesitate to come to Jesus, that Jesus will be in her/his view all day long.

I rejoice that as _______ follows Jesus, Jesus is doing a transforming work within him/her.

Making _______ a fisher of people, who are need of a Savior, gathering them in, and bringing them to Jesus.  – In Jesus Name Amen

A Prayer for You Mama Bear

Father I pray over my fellow Mama Bears today, that you will help them to keep Jesus in their view, from their rising up until their laying down.  May they resist the temptation to take their eyes off of Him when the waves threaten to crash over them.  May their homes become a place anchored in You, and may their nets reach far gathering in those who need Jesus.  In Jesus Name Amen

Follow & Gather

Mama Bear · Praying the Commands of Jesus

Why We Must Pray for Repentant Hearts

When your child was born, I’m sure one of your thoughts was that he or she looked so pure, so innocent and they do!  There is nothing like a newborn, the softness, the smell the newness.   In that moment you couldn’t imagine that this precious little one would ever sin.

Truth be told,  it won’t take long until their selfish and sinful nature begins to reveal itself.  It’s just a fact, our human nature is bent toward sin, we are selfish lovers of ourselves and we all are in a lifetime battle against it.

Before you know it, that innocent babe is walking and talking, and soon you are hearing the words, “Mine” and “No”.   A few years later you hear the first lie come out of that little person’s mouth, it leaves you shocked and breaks a little piece of your heart.

You will not want to see your child’s sin, you’ll want to look away, ignore it and refuse to  believe it.  You must be brave, Mama Bear, and see your child’s sin for what it is, sin.  Make it your business to face it, name it and never give up praying about it until you see change.

One of the first commands we hear from Jesus as He stepped out in ministry is “Repent”.  This tells us that repentance is an important step, a step that we and our children must  take.

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Turning away from sin…

To repent is to feel sorry, to have regret, so much so that you are willing to make a change, and turn away from it.

Saying you are sorry is not popular these days.  We see people making excuses and getting by with sinful behavior everywhere we turn.

If we do hear the words ‘I’m sorry” it’s often just an attempt to escape the consequences.

Jesus is calling us to be real here.  To be conscious of our of sin and when we sin, we have a sincere desire to not repeat it again.

Consequence is a good teacher
At our house it’s called, “feeling the pain.”

Mama Bear, you will be very tempted to step in and remove the consequence of sin for your children.  Resist it, feeling the consequences, or should I say feeling the pain leads to a lesson,  and those lessons lead truly repentant hearts, away from future sin.

Come back to God…

Our children must see us walking repentance out in our own lives.  Repentance leads us back to God every time, back to the Cross where forgiveness is possible.

As we teach and train our children in the way they should go, part of our job is helping them face their sin, name their sin and turn away from it.  Then we can take them by the hand and walk with them to the Cross, where they can feel the light of forgiveness rising.

For Heaven’s kingdom realm is now accessible.  Matthew 4:17

If you are like me your thinking, “What does this even mean?  Heaven’s Kingdom realm is now accessible?”

Jesus is saying, I’m going to make the way for forgiveness of sin.  Right now there is no way, but when I finish My Mission, you will have a way from the darkness of sin to the light of forgiveness.  You will have access through Me to my Father and to all of Heaven.  The road that leads you there is called the Road of Repentance.

I want my children on this road with me, don’t you?

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A Prayer for Your Child:  

Lord, help _______ to acknowledge, repent and turn away from his/her sin and draw close to You.  I thank you that through Jesus You have made the way for _________ to always come back to You, to have access to You, to step out of the darkness and into Your brilliant light. In Jesus Name, Amen

A Prayer for You, Mama Bear 

Lord, I lift my Mama Bear friend up in prayer today.  I ask that she become a woman who faces her sin head on and is quick to turn away from it.

Lord, You are so gracious that You have already made the way for her to continually turn around and come back to You, lead her from the darkness of sin to the light of a repentant life that serves as a guide for her children.  In Jesus Name – Amen

If you’re wondering about all of the Mama Bear talk you can find out more about that here.  Mama Bear