Rage (poem by me)

Your anger runs off the tracks,
Like a speeding freight train,
Scything creatures and kids,
Seething like toxic rain.

It’s electrified,
Completely out of control,
Unjustified,
No one even tries to slow.

Next time you get angry with me,
Count backwards from three,
Cause I’m no longer standing by ,
Waiting for sparks to fly.

Taste some of God’s fruit,
He can easily subdue,
All that hatred inside,
If only you ask Him to.

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered… —Proverbs 22:24

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… —Ephesians 4:26

*Get ready! April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

**Here is an opportunity to make an eternal impact by praying in agreement for the nations of the world. Check out this free ebook:  Beseeching Grace: An International Prayer Collection.

 

God’s Glory Through Healing

God displays His glory with healing in many ways. Sometimes He shows us His glory through doctors. After all, mankind is created in His image. Considering many medicines and even prescription drugs are made from natural materials (which is God’s creation), it is plain to see God’s glory through the use of medicine. In certain circumstances, Jesus even supernaturally intervenes to heal people and show His Father’s glory in a dramatic way. Regardless of how God heals, I think it is right to give Him the glory. That’s why I want to share this personal experience with you.

After my son was born, he started getting frequent ear infections just like I did as a kid. However, I realized he suffered from a more severe health issue that I knew nothing about. Our toddler had trouble breathing. Our pediatrician prescribed him inhalers. It was hard for me to know when our son needed to use the inhaler since he was so young, but it seemed like he needed it an awful lot. She eventually referred us to an allergist who diagnosed him with asthma.

With the help of his allergist, we made the tough decision to pursue immunotherapy (allergy shots) for his asthma. The prescribed treatment would require painful shots over the course of three years and did not guarantee results. Still, we wanted our son to be well and live a full life.

After a year of shots, our son’s breathing tests still showed no progress. The allergist even suggested stopping the treatment, but we decided to continue the shots in hopes there would be some improvement. At that time, I really began crying out to the Lord during that time and got others to pray for him also.

About six months later, there was a sudden and dramatic change in his breathing tests. His allergist said his test results were actually 101%! He recommended we stop all medication. We were overjoyed to learn his asthma was completely under control even after we stopped his medications. Now, my son occasionally uses his inhaler when he plays basketball, but other than that—he does not take any medicine at all. I believe God did a miracle in my son’s life.

Jesus performed lots of miracles in His life. The miracles brought His Father glory. They also displayed His authoritative power to forgive sins. We can trust in Jesus alone as our Savior because God’s Word tells us in Acts 4:12 “there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” I pray you will accept Him as Your Savior. If you have already accepted Him as Savior, I pray you give God the glory for all of the wonderful things He has done in your life. After all, He created you with such care and loves you very much.

 

My Child’s Faith Journey

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” —Proverbs 22:6

As a born again Christian with almost no church background, I did not have a clue how to raise a faithful child. As I reflect on my daughter’s faith journey, there is no question that it was orchestrated by God. I praise Him every day for the ways in which He has helped my daughter to become a lovely, faithful young woman. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness for the ways in which the Holy Spirit guided me to be a part of her journey.

Before my daughter was even born, it was on my heart to pray for her to know the Lord. After her birth, my friend mentioned that she was reading a novel to her infant. Inspiration hit! The Lord gave me a bright idea to read the Bible daily to my newborn. I read one chapter a day until she had grown out of those baby clothes and into toddler clothes.

She began to speak very early—so early,  in fact, that much of what she said was nonsensical. Still, I felt the Lord leading me to teach her not only the vocabulary of everyday items but also to say words having to do with Christianity like “God,” “Jesus,” “Holy Spirit,” “church,” etc. She had received a simple children’s prayer as wall art. I taught her this simple prayer to say at night before bed. Every morning, I felt inspired to say the Lord’s Prayer (found in Matthew 6:9-13) aloud on our ride to daycare. About the time I thought she should start memorizing the Lord’s Prayer, she surprised me by saying the whole prayer all by herself!

My daughter received lots of colorful children’s books with Bible stories. She read about Garden of Eden, Noah, Jonah, Daniel, and Jesus’ death and resurrection. I felt it was important to regularly stress the idea that the Bible and these Bible stories were non-fiction unlike her Dr. Seuss books and the many other books that filled our bookshelves.

As she grew too old for the children’s books, the Lord led me to buy her devotionals with prayers and encourage her to read them every night. We could not afford to send her to a private school or for me to stay home from work to homeschool so she attended public school. Since I felt like public school was the only open door, I hoped this was for a reason. I prayed for it to be her opportunity to be a light in her public school and to share Christ with her life. The decision of where to attend school is a hard one for Christian parents, but God shows us the special place that is right for each child.

Ever since I was saved, the Lord helped me to realize how important regular church attendance is to a happy and healthy Christian’s spiritual life. Since I attended church regularly, my daughter went to church her whole life. She was dedicated to the Lord. She sang in the children’s choir and was even chosen for a lead role in a church play. Being in that environment exposed her to regular opportunities to accept salvation, which she did. She was baptized by the age of ten. In church, she was encouraged to memorize Bible verses by her teachers and rewarded with small toy rewards.

Outside of church, I felt inspired to spend a little time teaching her about the disciples, the differences between being a Protestant and being a Catholic, and some other facts like who wrote the books of the Bible and when they were written. She was always eager be involved with her youth group and to serve in the church. Now she helps me teach Sunday School! (She hopes to one day become a public schoolteacher.)

I am so proud of the faithful young woman she has become, but I cannot take credit for it. God is her guide, and I just try to be His servant. I say “try” because I have certainly made my share of parenting mistakes along the way. Even then, the Lord has been strength in my weakness. I hope this blog will inspire you with some ideas on how to enrich your own child’s faith or maybe just to keep on trusting God as He leads your child on his or her own journey of faith.

Enlightened Parents (prayer)

James 1 5

(This is a prayer for parents to pray for themselves and other parents in their child’s life.)

Lord,

I pray for myself, the other parent, and any stepparents involved in our child’s life

That we would guide them to a lifestyle that glorifies Christ.

Fill our mouths with gentle words when we should speak kindly,

And help us to stand firm when we should be assertive.

Inspire us to be a good example to our children,

And motivate us to keep our word to them

So they will trust in Your Words

As they read them and consider them.

Remind us to teach spiritual concepts

As we teach life skills.

Prevent us from holding them back

When we need to let go.

Give us spiritual insight and wisdom

To understand their problems

So we can communicate enlightened counsel.

Allow us never to forget that

Our children need parents

Long after they have left the house.

Teach us the way to be loving parents

In every stage of their lives.

Help us to let go of selfish sins

So our children do not adopt our sinful ways.

Allow us to leave a legacy to the next generation—

Let it be our upstanding, godly children

With a passion to serve You, Lord.

In Christ’s Name, Amen.

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

For Victims of Child Sex Abuse

jer

There are many types of sexual abuse and all are devastating. One of the most difficult types of sexual abuse occurs when the victim is a child. Oftentimes, the abuser takes advantage of a child’s trust, their desire to please, and their innocence. If you are the victim of sexual abuse, you know the pain is much deeper than a physical pain. Somehow the wounds made by sexual abuse scar the victims in ways that overflow into every aspect of their lives. Do not underestimate the damage done by sexual abuse.

Victims may suffer from any of the following: sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, a desire to cut or harm yourself, desires to numb yourself with alcohol and drugs, paralyzing fear, inability to trust or maintain good relationships, guilt, regret, shame, unhealthy sex relationships, avoiding life, overly concerned with control, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stress, headaches…

If you are the victim of sexual abuse, God wants to help you restore your life. He wants to empower you to overcome the pain of your past and begin anew. The key to moving on is forgiveness. As hard as it may seem, you must forgive your abuser. I strongly recommend Christian counseling to sort through the emotions that are causing problems in your life. If you know someone who has been sexually abused, offer them lots of patience, understanding, and a listening ear. Urge them to get help from a professional so they can embrace all of the wonderful God has planned for their future.

Lord, I pray for you would open the door for the victims of sex abuse to get real help. I pray you would completely and totally heal them of all the emotional pain they experience. I pray for deliverance from all of the harmful ways in which they have learned to cope. Thank You, Lord, for your healing power and ability to restore. Thank You that You have placed so many caring people in the paths of Your people. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

You are not alone. Click here to watch a powerful YouTube video on from Gospel Rapper Json. He and his wife speak out about the affects of sexual abuse.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!