Love & Latch Hook (poem by me)

A cozy cotton quilt sewn, sweet pea,
Thirty squares of intricate needlework,
A puppy, a kitten, Gram’s handiwork,
Pinpricked fingers convey her love to me.

We need a latch hook rug to warm the floor
Step one, separate mounds of colored yarn
Sage for grass, burnt sienna for the barn,
Nothing welcomes like Gram’s homemade decor.

Beans and bacon waft from the crockpot,
Growling tummies ladle it into bowls,
Steam rises from cornbread and rolls,
Nestle it in a cloth napkin to keep it hot.

A pipe organ song lifts the spirit,
Sun hats, bowed heads, folded hands,
A message of God’s love and plans
Gram knows I need to hear it.

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.” —Proverbs 17:6

Awed by Angels (poem by me)

I felt nothing spectacular,
As I entered the cathedral,
I saw nothing supernatural,
Nothing good and nothing evil.

Then, as if my eyes were opened,
I noticed angels—six in all,
Standing still as if frozen,
Each measuring twenty feet tall.

Their appearance was like glass,
Their backs arched against beams,
They watched over our mass,
It felt like a waking dream.

Then, a thought leaped in my mind,
If His messengers inspire such awe in me,
How will I feel when my life is resigned,
And I stand in the presence of God The Almighty?

When [the Son] had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names. —Hebrews 1:3-4 NLT

© 2015 Kim Bond

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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.

High Calling (prayer)

Matthew 317(Join me in this prayer for your church and other Christian churches in your area.)

Lord,

I pray for leaders, members, and visitors of my church and local Christian churches.

Give us the power of the Holy Spirit to be living proof of You—

An invisible God who loves Your creation.

Guide our thoughts and actions that they may align with those of Your Son

With whom You are well pleased.

Help us to shun evil and embrace righteousness, faithfulness, and justice—

All of which are hoisted by Your love.

Remind us never to judge sinners,

But to welcome them with open arms.

Keep us hungry for Your Word that we will forever be students of Jesus—

Even when we are teachers of men.

I pray our work for the kingdom would be anointed to accomplish Your purposes.

Help us to never grow weary that we may constantly serve an Almighty God

Though our foundation in the dust.

Your infinite grace gives life to dead bones.

Purify and refine us for the high calling of Christian service.

In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 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!

Homosexuality & Other Issues

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As a longtime online religious forum contributor, I can honestly say I have witnessed a fair share of people state they reject Christ because of their opinions on homosexuality or abortion or some other other political issue. As a longtime church member, I can also say I have heard the true-life stories of a fair share of people stating they are homosexual or that they received abortions—yet they still committed their lives to Christ. It seems ironic that people would feel so strongly that they must defend someone else’s political rights that they themselves would reject their God and opportunity to obtain eternal life based on the “Christian view” of certain political issues. This is especially disturbing considering the fact that opinions of Christians vary so greatly. Today, I want to implore the strong-minded, Non-Christian political activists reading this blog to reconsider their rejection of Christ. I am not asking you to abandon your political views about any issue—just your view of Christ.

Take a moment to consider how God feels about you. Maybe you feel unsure about God’s feelings for you. Well, let’s look at what Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) says about it: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If God will not let anything in all creation separate you from His love, then why would you let political issues come in between you and your Creator?

 If you have decided you no longer want political issues or anything else to stand in the way of your acceptance of Christ and His promise of eternal life, then pray this prayer: “God, I accept Jesus as my Savior. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross and rose from the dead. I believe His death is the sacrifice that paid for my sins and His resurrection is a promise of eternal life. I choose to commit my life to You, Lord. Thank You for my salvation. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

© 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!