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Faith Over Family in 2019

Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

As we enter 2019, perhaps you and family are already thinking ahead to new adventures and challenges. Maybe you’re looking to buy your first home, change jobs, expand the family, buy a car, or meet the grandparents at Disney World for spring break fun. A new year holds the promise and potential for change, and some of these changes will be great, while others could be flat out horrible. In fact, as much as I hate to say it, 2019 has the potential to hold sadness, heartache, brokenness, and difficulty. (Ouch! Did I really say that? Ouch again! I don’t like that idea.) But let’s face it . . . we live in an imperfect, sinful world, meaning life is often heartbreaking and capable of destroying our joy. Because we are not all-knowing, like our daddy God, we unfortunately cannot predict what 2019 holds. We sadly can’t promise our children or grandchildren anything with 100% certainty, which is a hard pill to swallow. It’s our nature as parents and grandparents to want to promise our children the world; starting with the joy of great vacations, the excitement of extra-curricular and athletic endeavors, and the fun and frantic frenzy of great food and family adventures. But we plan and promise without knowing for sure that...

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Overflowing Praise

Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 in A LASTING FAITH, Blog, Parenting Perspectives | 0 comments

Five-year-old Baylor sat on the kitchen counter. As she stirred the cookie dough she sang. The song never seemed to end and her demeanor was one of pure joy. I didn’t recognize the song but the words were precious words of praise. I wish I had had my hands on the camera record button instead of in cookie dough. Several days later I asked her, “Baylor, would you please sing the song you were singing the other day? I’d like to record it so I can listen over and over again.” “What song?” “The one you sang when you were sitting on the counter the other day. It was about praising Jesus.” “Oh, that’s not a song. I was just making up the words while I was singing. It is not really a song.” Baylor had spent our entire cookie making time praising God and making up a praise song as she went. What a perfect example of Psalm 68:32. “O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah.” It doesn’t matter what else we are doing, this sweet five-year-old reminded me that above all else our activities should include praise to God. Sometimes we as parents forget that. It is so easy to show our children by example how to praise God as...

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Seize The Moment

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

We welcomed our fifth child in October, and from that moment, we hit the ground running. The night she came, it was chaos and excitement, and what I’ve since realized is we have not stopped since. I do my best to fit in time with God for myself, and for my children, but I’ll be transparent with you—I’m not very good at it. I find that my God time, and the time I spend with my children in God...

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The Jesus Boat

Posted by on Jan 7, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Two fishermen, brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan, trudged along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel—the same body of water where Jesus’s disciples cast their nets. Moshe and Yuval kept their heads down, their eyes fixed on the muddy ground, searching for archaeological treasure. It was the winter of 1986, and a drought gripped the region, causing the Sea of Galilee to lower. The Lufan brothers were also amateur archaeologists, and they wondered if the receding...

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It’s a Brand New Year – Start the Memory-Making!

Posted by on Jan 4, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

Can you believe that another new year is upon us? Three hundred and sixty-five days to make oodles and oodles of family memories to cherish. Be intentional this year about spending quality time together. Read books aloud, dance in the den, build blanket forts, make homemade modeling dough, fly paper airplanes, and share hugs and kisses all year long. Let your family know just how special you think they are by finding something to celebrate in each day. And...

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Happy New Year!

Posted by on Jan 1, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Happy New Year to all of you from all of us at Just 18 Summers! We wish you and your family a blessed 2019. And Happy Birthday to us! January 1 marks five full years of posts for us. As we begin our sixth year, we just want you to know how grateful we are to have you hanging out with us. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my staff for all the amazing posts, and...

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A Modern “Loaves and Fish”

Posted by on Dec 31, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

I have always been an advocate of setting aside a portion of my earnings to support the church and other charities. It’s a practice I learned from my parents. My wife was not raised in a Christian home, but she quickly was assimilated into my dedication to this practice. We in turn wanted to ensure our children had the same values. When opportunities arose, we would talk them through the concept of giving the first portion to help others....

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