Saturday, January 22, 2011

Time with Your Father

Taken from A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

Here are seven simple suggestions for how you can spend time with your Father in the morning:

* Get to bed. What you do in the evening will shape your morning. The Hebrew notion of a day as the evening and morning (see Genesis 1) helps you plan for prayer. If you want to pray in the morning, then plan your evening so you don't stay up too late. The evening and the morning are connected.

* Get up. Praying in bed is wonderful. In fact, the more you pray out of bed, the more you'll pray in bed. But you'll never develop a morning prayer in bed. Some of my richest prayer times are at night. I'll wake up praying. But those prayer times only began to emerge because I got out of bed to pray.

* Get awake. Maybe you need to make a pot of coffee first or take a shower.

* Get a quiet place. Maybe a room, a chair, or a place with a view. Or maybe you do better going for a walk. Make sure that no one can interrupt you.

* Get comfortable. Don't feel like you have to pray on your knees. For years I was hindered from praying because I found it so uncomfortable to pray on my knees.

* Get going. Start with just five minutes. Start with a small goal that you can attain rather than something heroic. You'll quickly find that the time will fly.

* Keep going. Consistency is more important than length. If you pray five minutes every day, then the length of time will slowly grow. You'll look up and discover that twenty minutes have gone by. You'll enjoy being with God. Jesus is so concerned about hanging in there with prayer that he tells "his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1, NIV).

You may also enjoy my past series on Quiet Times.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carysse's "Storm"

The other day while riding in the car, Carysse and I were singing a familiar song that was playing on the radio.

After the song was over, she asked, "Mommy, what's a storm?"

I said that a storm is something we go through that makes us sad. (The context of the song.)

She then said, "When mommy and daddy spank me, THAT'S A STORM!"

Too funny!

By the way, here's the song that we were singing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Taste & See

"…God’s Word to the Christian should be like bread to the hungry man (Matt.4:4) or like water to the thirsty deer (Ps. 42:1). By keeping its commands, we keep ourselves pure (Ps. 119:9). By following its guidance, we have a light for our paths (Ps. 119:105). By meditating on it, we find blessing and joy (Ps. 1:1-2). And by wrestling with it, we find our lives being changed and sanctified (Heb. 4:12). It is our perfect guide and our ultimate authority (Ps. 19:7-11)—because it is the very Word of God. Listen to how one writer describes this magnificent book (John MacArthur, of course!):

This book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell are disclosed.

Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you here in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and is established forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its contents."

Taken from Fool’s Gold by John MacArthur, article by Dan Dumas

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Siblings of Kids with Special Needs

A while back, I posted about the great time I had at a Special Mom's Retreat. I mentioned that I would eventually post all the practical ideas that the panel of moms shared about how to love and care for our children who do not have special needs. My friend, Lanae Doiron, wrote an article with all the ideas. Hope the tips are as helpful to you as they were to me!

Ideas for Siblings

by Lanae Doiron

Siblings of a child with special needs have a unique role. While parents can't shield brothers and sisters from all the effects of disability, they can entrust them to God and His calling for them as special sibs.

Here are some ideas to help parents:

  • Pray: for growth in specific character qualities as a result of the challenges the sibling faces. for the sibling's protection in areas where we fall short as parents, for a person who will give them attention and a safe place to share frustrations, and for a future spouse that will be accepting of the sibling with special needs.
  • Educate adults in their lives about the issues siblings face, i.e. daycare providers, teachers or youth group leaders.
  • Avoid projecting that the sibling should be angry or sad. Every child is different.
  • Watch the compliant sibling that seems okay. He or she may be fine. Or, he or she may be an expert at not putting more burdens on Dad and Mom.
  • Avoid downplaying the sibling's emotions such as anger. Acknowledge feelings.
  • When a sibling is hurting and believing a lie such as "I'm not as important," model how to think through what is true.
  • Admit when you make mistakes and apologize.
  • Follow up with siblings after a disturbing incident such as a meltdown. Ask how they are doing.
  • Encourage your child to keep a journal and/or write a journal to your child.
  • Talk about all your kids in conversations, not just the special needs child.
  • Spend time alone with siblings during times such as naptime or early bedtime for the disabled child, or on a date night (The Secret Keeper Girl, by Dannah Gresh has ideas).
  • If someone can watch your special needs child, go on outings with the rest of the family.
  • Have appropriate expectations and chores for the child with special needs.
  • Respect your sibling's space and privacy. If necessary, put locks on bedroom doors to protect his things.
  • Help your sibling get connected with other sibs through groups like Sib Shops (ARC) or Joni and Friends Family Retreats.
*Ideas taken from panel at Special Moms' Retreat, Nov. 2010

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

God's Good Gifts to the Disability Community

John Knight wrote a blog post that had me reflecting a lot on God's sweet grace gifts of 2010 towards the Disability Community. Take a look at his post and definitely consider looking into the sermon and books mentioned.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Imagine getting a disease that immediately characterizes you as an outcast. From that point on, you have to live in isolation and are declared unclean. Well, that is exactly what it was like for those afflicted with leprosy. Take a look at Leviticus 13 & 14 to see the seriousness of this skin disease and how a person with it was treated. In Luke 17, there were ten lepers who came to Jesus for healing (v. 11-14). They cried out in desperation, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (v. 14). Moved with compassion, Jesus granted them all undeserved mercy and as they obeyed His words, they were cleansed. They all must have felt relieved and eager to get back to normal life; especially physical contact with the ones they missed and loved.

Can’t you see them leaping and running....bursting into their homes, embracing their wives, giving their children piggy back rides, and slapping high-fives with their friends! However, as this true story climaxes, there was one leper who instead of making a beeline home, “turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks” (v. 15-16). That day, ten lepers were healed, but only one was saved. All ten of them were physically cleansed of their skin disease, but only one was spiritually cleansed of his sin disease – “your faith has made you well” (v. 19).

This Christ-encounter highlights the tragic reality, that many people want things from Jesus, but few want Jesus, himself. A truly thankful heart looks through the gift to the Giver, and by God’s eye-opening grace, the one, thankful leper saw through his healing to his Healer. He saw in Jesus, the only One who could heal him of his sins and make him truly clean. This year the Lord has been filling our hearts with gratitude, because of the spiritual cleansing that Jesus provides us everyday through the blood of His cross!

The temporal gifts of God, like healing and other physical blessings, are wonderful and God deserves our thanks for these gifts! However, the eternal gift of salvation in Christ Jesus is needed infinitely more than temporal gifts – we are all born sinners and we need to be saved by this gracious Christ. Receive Him today! Thank Him today! As we look back on the Lord’s faithfulness to us in 2010 and look forward to the promised grace to come in 2011, join us in loud praises to our God, at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks!

Have a Blessed New Year!
~The Turner Family