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Finding Religion in Summer Reading

Posted by on Jun 12, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Did you know that school-aged children run the risk of losing critical reading skills during the summer vacation months? Research* shows that children who aren’t reading at home or in the community during a school break will fall behind. Sadly, children from low income homes suffer the greatest loss of skills, due in large part to less access to books. So, what’s a parent to do about this risk and is there a way to wrap “the Good Book” (the Bible) into the reading solution? The answer is pretty simple. Read consistently to and with your children with books that you have at home. For those families near you that don’t have access to books, look for ways to get books into their homes. Let’s consider how we might do this. First, find time every day or at least...

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SMILE Power

Posted by on Jun 7, 2018 in A LASTING FAITH, Blog, Family Do-votions | 0 comments

June is National Smile Month.  June 15th is Smile Power Day. When you flash your pearly white teeth at people it can brighten their day. A smile shows kindness, offers hope, and can ease a person’s anger, fear, or sadness. Check out verses on asking God to smile on you: Psalm 4:6, Psalm 31:16, and Psalm 119:135. If you’re not sure you’re ready to smile, pause and think of the blessings in your life for home, family, country, God, and friends. Think of the beauty outdoors and take a walk to listen to birds sing, see squirrels dart about, and watch the leaves dance when the wind blows. Think of ways to add joy and laughter to go with a smile. Tell a knock-knock joke Give someone a compliment Add a hug or fun handshake to the smile Share...

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Praying for Independence and Dependence

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 in A LASTING FAITH, A Mother's Prayers, Blog | 0 comments

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NASB) I have to admit I suffered from mommy-envy at times while the boys were growing up. I’d gather together with other moms and they’d share how little Susie was a clinger or little Joey wouldn’t let mom out of his sight. I didn’t really want the problems that often accompanied these complaints, but really, it would have been nice to be missed occasionally. For instance, when we began dropping the boys off in the church nursery I would have liked a hug or even a lingering look of longing before they rushed inside. Instead, on one of the few occasions our oldest did glance back he stopped...

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Dead Sea Walking

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Walking into the Dead Sea is like trying to walk across a polished floor in roller skates. When I arrived at the Dead Sea in Israel this past March, I figured I would simply stroll across a sandy beach and stride into the saltiest body of water in the world. Nothing to it, right? I didn’t realize that the Dead Sea’s “beach” was really more of a rock-hard slab slathered with a thin layer of mud—and as slick as ice. I took one step toward the Dead Sea, slipped, and thought I was going to break my neck, which would’ve given new meaning to the “dead” in Dead Sea. Fortunately, I kept my balance—but barely. Meanwhile, my wife found it equally treacherous, so she decided to splash around in a puddle located about five feet from the water’s edge....

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The Loneliest Job

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

The bloodcurdling scream pierced the tranquility of countless shoppers. I swallowed hard and began the painstaking trek towards the automatic doors, which seemed miles away. It mightn’t have taken me so long had I not had 32 pounds of boneless dead weight to pull behind me while also holding 20 pounds of oblivious enthusiasm in my other arm. As I stumbled along, nearby shoppers offered a variety of responses: eye rolls, disapproving glares, averted eyes, and an occasional sympathetic I’m so glad I’m not you smile. I met each gaze with a weak grin. “Don’t worry,” I said to one bystander, “He’s going to be a GREAT leader someday.” Whether or not my quip was heard over the agonizing screams is debatable. Several escape attempts later (by my son, not me…although the thought did cross my mind), a kind...

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A Daily Dose of Grace

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

The day began as usual. Scrambled eggs waited egg-spectantly to be swept from under the high chair and I’d successfully refereed two or three sibling skirmishes. I pulled one child from the window sill—no big deal. I was beginning to think she was equal parts feline and monkey, the way she could balance on a two-inch ledge like that. Quite impressive. As I was enjoying thirty seconds of peaceful bliss, a scream shot through the house followed by shrill cries for help. As I raced in slow-motion toward the girls’ rooms, I knew I would round the corner and face blood and broken bones. I didn’t doubt for a moment that my children could pull off a broken bone in their own rooms. Entering a bedroom, an alarming but somewhat comical sight greeted me. My toddler had crawled on...

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