Bible Reading Challenge Check-In

bible sample wide Hey there Friends! Monday is here and I can hardly believe how quickly the week has flown by. Though it was dragging by at times because my hubby was out of town the entire week for work training. I was so busy with the kiddos that I forgot a few things; one of which was to pin the daily Bible Reading Challenge to the Pinterest board! Yikes- so sorry about that. We’re all caught up now and hopefully I can do a little better management this week. So tell me, how is the Bible reading going for you? We were at dinner with some friends last night and I half-joked that I read my Bible twice as much this week with my husband gone because I needed the sanity-saving moments. I’m guessing you’ve been there. Our family’s calendar for the next few weeks is very full and I didn’t think it would hurt to try to read ahead a little. I can hardly believe that I’m telling you I accomplished that. No matter how your reading is going, can you take a moment to check in and say hi? I’d love to know how the challenge is going for you and remember that the point of the reading is simply to stay in God’s word each day, no matter how much or how little. Have a marvelous Monday! Rachel

Teaching Children to Pray

teaching children to pray

Teaching children to pray is a topic I’ve not approached on the blog, because frankly I’m still trying to figure it out. Any time I write from a parenting view, I must preface it with “Work In Progress.” But I love to share the ideas I’ve found that work for an area of teaching children, as well as maybe a few that don’t. I can always rely on you, my awesome readers, to share your ideas for a topic and that is what makes a community. So today, let’s chat about prayer and more specifically, teaching children to pray.

Many times over I’ve told you that my husband and I pray with each of our children each night individually. Our children also pray alone in their beds and this was not something we prompted. The habit just naturally happened as a result of praying with each of them at night from the time they were born. We are working on their ability/boldness to pray aloud in front of others and sometimes it is tough. I never want to push my faith on them, but provide them with the opportunity to discover the beauty of a true relationship with Jesus.

Having a model or guide for prayer can assist anyone to learn to pray. Here on the blog, there are two well-loved prayer tools available:

1. The CH@T prayer bookmark comes in all different colors and can also be printed to use as a prayer journaling page. This tool is fabulous for adults and children alike; my kiddos use this simple guide for their prayer journals.

2. The Prayer by Color guide is an easy way to remember prayer goals also. Available in bookmark form, this guide uses the 8 basic colors of a crayon box as reminders to pray for the needs of a child. This particular guide could also be used to teach children how to pray through their own needs.

Most Bible teaching I’ve heard on prayer begins with the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus himself taught the disciples to pray. Can you imagine what that must have been like? To have the Son of God stand before you and say these words:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

I can’t imagine what must have been going through their minds as their senses took in this scene. If you’d like to learn more about what Jesus spoke to the disciples on the subject of prayer in addition to the verses above, Matthew 6 is the chapter you’ll want to read.

And for us today, the Lord’s Prayer is still used as a model to learn to speak to God, our heavenly Father, who loves us so very much.

book giveaway

To help your child memorize this prayer is truly special and I’ve found a sweet book that will serve as your tool to do just that! Take a peek at this simple, yet colorful and engaging board book:

If you’d like to order this book, you can do so right here.

And I’m excited to be giving away a copy of this awesome children’s book on prayer! Follow the Rafflecopter and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product provided by publisher for review; all opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

Experiencing True Hospitality

what I learned sidebar

This week in the Lessons in Hope series, I couldn’t wait to share the lesson I learned from the Kenyan people while travelling with the AWANA global team a few weeks back!

From the moment that the team arrived in Kenya, I noticed the graciousness of our host, the AWANA local missionary, Benard. Benard has a great smile and you can just tell that he loves his job of ministering to the local AWANA clubs. As he began to take us to schools, churches, and orphanages where God’s Word is reaching the hearts of children,  I noticed a common thread between the many different locations.

Each church pastor or principal kindly and warmly welcomed each of the team members individually. Each visit, there were chairs set up for our group, even when there weren’t enough chairs for all the people in the room to sit in. The nine of us introduced ourselves and each time, all eyes intentionally looked at the person speaking. Time after time, we were told how wonderful it was that we came to visit, how blessed they felt to have us visit, and how they could not wait to have us return.

hospitality

Honestly, I was in tears several times over experiencing true hospitality from these dear brothers and sisters in Christ. One time in particular, that I could hardly control a threatening sob, was when the dear woman in charge of the poorest orphanage prayed and said these words:

Lord, we know it was difficult for our visitors to come here, but we are so thankful for them….

Difficult for us to come?

Yes, we experienced flight delays and yes, travelling can be hard at times. Yes, we had to jump through a few extra hoops, but what we encountered to arrive at her school that day to visit was far, far less difficult than what she does each day in feeding and educating a school of 200 children in the Kibera slums. In fact, I wouldn’t put the two in the same category.

What I experienced in Kenya through the words and deeds of Christians was true hospitality.

They had “nothing” to give and yet they were incredibly gracious.

When I spoke with one of the missionaries, I asked if he had visited America. And he had. So I asked him what he thought. He began to compliment the roads and means of communication. We discussed environment and culture for a few minutes and then he looked thoughtfully and said, “There was one thing I noticed. Americans seem to keep to themselves.”

Honestly, I believe that was a word for me. Essentially the Holy Spirit was whispering to me that hospitality is not about the food or how clean your house is or isn’t… it isn’t necessarily about giving gifts either. True hospitality is about how you make a person feel inside.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Rom. 12:13 NIV

AWANA reaches more than 127,000 children with the gospel in Kenya. And one way that I found I could help them reach one more child or two or three is through the purchase of beautiful global bags handmade by the Kenyan women. Each handbag is made by women who in exchange for their labor, receive training to begin their own business and fair wages to feed their families and send their children to school.

Through purchasing global bags through AWANA, more children are reached with the gospel of Jesus.

After seeing all the incredible difference that the Word of God is making in Kenya, I could hardly wait to order a couple bags when I arrived back in the states!  Want a peek?

awana handbag small

 

This is the size small. I think my daughter has claimed it. We both loved the print!

large handbag

 

And this is the medium size. Bright and bold!

After being in Kenya and seeing the impact this purchase makes on so many levels, I am so excited to purchase more bags in the future to use as gifts. If you’d like to order one or for more information, click here.

You can find the entire Lessons in Hope: What I Learned in Kenya right HERE.

new whimsical wed

Bloggers- thanks for being here and taking part in Whimsical Wednesday each week. Looking forward to checking out the links you bring to the Christian encouragement party this week!

Have a wonderful AND whimsical Wednesday!

Rachel