Quality And Quantity?

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6 -7

You’ve heard parents say this about their kids: “I don’t have much time to give, but what I do give is quality time!” I don’t know what that means, and I bet your children don’t either. Even if they did, I don’t think you really build relationships on “quality time”.

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up.
How can you predict the quality of “quality time?” And what constitutes the distinction, anyway?

My point is that life just doesn’t work that way. For instance, suppose you bought tickets to a local minor league ballgame for you and your son. You planned some real quality time to teach your son about the game you loved, and hopefully instill the same passion in him. But in the first inning he spots a friend, and they disappear together for the rest of the game. So much for quality time!

Then suppose in the same week, while heading to the grocery store, you bring your daughter along. No chance of quality time here, right? But among mundane chores and small talk, your daughter asks, “Daddy, what does salvation mean?” Your last minute errand just turned into quality time.

Quality time can’t be manipulated. It doesn’t happen at our beck and call. Instead, quality time sneaks up on us amidst quantity time. Consequently, the only way we can ensure quality time is to make sure there’s quantity time—and plenty of it.

“If you wonder where your child left his roller skates, try walking around the house in the dark.” – Leopold Fechtner

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I pray that I will not miss the opportunities to turn my time with family and friends into quality time, to share my knowledge about your love and grace with them. Amen.

New Life Live: August 12, 2014

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Topics: DepressionADHDMarriageDatingGriefAsperger’s SyndromeDivorce
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. John TownsendDr. Sheri Keffer

Caller Questions:

  1. How can I help my depressed friend who is usually so strong? 
  2. My ADHD husband is filing for divorce; can I still save this marriage? 
  3. I have been married 3 times; how do I get over choosing the wrong guy every time? 
  4. Does my Asperger’s husband need a different kind of counseling? 
  5. How do you get beyond divorce when you’re still dealing with an angry ex and taking care of her cats? 
  6. I feel separated from my husband even though we are living together; what else can I do? 

Suggested Resources:
How To Be a Best Friend Forever  (not available from New Life)
7 Minute Marriage Solution
Healing Is a Choice
Never Go Back

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Beyond Failure

Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you . . . . 1 Chronicles 12:18 NIV

Mary Pickford was “America’s sweetheart” in the early days of motion pictures. And along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, she formed United Artists Corporation, a Hollywood powerhouse.

Miss Pickford had a simple yet powerful formula for success: She said, “This thing we call ‘failure’ is not falling down, but staying down.” Miss Pickford might have added that every time we get back up, we build character.

Life’s occasional setbacks are simply the price that we must pay for our willingness to take risks as we follow our dreams. But even when we encounter bitter disappointments, we must never lose faith.

Beyond Failure

Hebrews 10:36 advises, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised” (NLT). These words remind us that when we persevere, we will eventually receive the rewards which God has promised us. What’s required is perseverance, not perfection.

When we face hardships, God stands ready to protect us. Our responsibility, of course, is to ask Him for protection. When we call upon Him in heartfelt prayer, He will answer—in His own time and according to His own plan—and He will do His part to heal us. We, of course, must do our part, too.

And, while we are waiting for God’s plans to unfold and for His healing touch to restore us, we can be comforted in the knowledge that our Creator can overcome any obstacle, even if we cannot. Remember that failure isn’t permanent . . . unless you fail to get up. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and trust God. He will make it right. And don’t forget: the best time to begin again is now.

Do not be one of those who, rather than risk failure, never attempt anything. ~ Thomas Merton

The difference between winning and losing is how we choose to react to disappointment. ~ Barbara Johnson

Success or failure can be pretty well predicted by the degree to which the heart is fully in it. ~ John Eldredge

No matter how badly we have failed, we can always get up and begin again. Our God is the God of new beginnings.
~ Warren Wiersbe

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank you for new beginnings. Give me the courage to not be afraid to try because I am afraid of failing. I acknowledge that I can do all things through you who strengthens me and that includes picking myself up when I fail. Amen.

Listening To Guilt

Listening To Guilt

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:1 NKJV

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All of us have made mistakes. Sometimes, we are swept up by events that encourage us to behave in ways that we later come to regret. And sometimes, even when our intentions are honorable, we make errors in judgment that have long-lasting consequences. When we look back at our actions with remorse, we may experience intense feelings of guilt. But God has an answer for the guilt that we feel. That answer is His forgiveness.

Sometimes, long after God has forgiven us, we may continue to withhold forgiveness from ourselves. Instead of accepting God’s mercy and accepting our past, we may think far too long and hard about the things that ‘might have been,’ the things that ‘could have been,’ or the things that ‘should have been.’

Are you troubled by feelings of guilt, even after you’ve received God’s forgiveness? Are you still struggling with painful memories of mistakes you made long ago? Are you focused so intently on yesterday that your vision of today is clouded? If so, you still have work to do’spiritual work. You should ask your Heavenly Father not for forgiveness (He granted that gift the very first time you asked Him!) but instead for acceptance and trust: acceptance of the past and trust in God’s plan for your life.

If you find yourself plagued by feelings of guilt or shame, consult God’s survival guide: His Holy Word. And as you do so, consider the following Biblically-based tips for overcoming those feelings of guilt once and for all:

1. Stop doing the things that make you feel guilty: How can you expect not to feel guilty if you should feel guilty? (Acts 26:20)
2. Ask God for forgiveness. When you ask for it, He will give it. (1 John 1:9)
3. Ask forgiveness from the people you have harmed: This step is hard, but helpful. And even if the other folks cannot find it in their hearts to forgive you, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you asked. (Proverbs 28:13)
4. Forgive yourself: if you’re no longer misbehaving, it’s the right thing to do. And today is the right day to do it. (Romans 14:22)
5. Become more diligent in your daily time of prayer and Bible study. A regular time of quiet reflection and prayer will allow you to praise your Creator, to focus your thoughts, to remind yourself of His love, and to seek His guidance in matters great and small. (Isaiah 50:45)
6. Get busy making the world a better place. Now that God has forgiven you, it’s time for you to show your gratitude by serving Him. (Matthew 23:11-12)

Guilt is a gift that leads us to grace. - Franklin Graham

Today’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, help me to forgive myself as you forgive me. Amen.

 

 

He Is Sufficient

He Is Sufficient

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

our-God-is-sufficient

Learning to depend upon God will help you build character. And of this you can be certain: God is sufficient to meet your needs. Period.

Do the demands of life seem overwhelming at times? If so, you must learn to rely not only upon your own resources, but also upon the promises of your Father in heaven. God will hold your hand and walk with you and your family if you let Him. So even if your circumstances are difficult, trust the Father.

The Psalmist writes, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). But when we are suffering, the morning may seem very far away. It is not. God promises that He is ‘near to those who have a broken heart’ (Psalm 34:18 NKJV). When we are troubled, we must turn to Him, and we must encourage our friends and family members to do likewise.

If you are discouraged by the inevitable demands of life here on earth, be mindful of this fact: the loving heart of God is sufficient to meet any challenge . . . including yours.

Yes, God’s grace is always sufficient, and His arms are always open to give it. But, will our arms be open to receive it? -  Beth Moore

I grew up learning to be self-reliant, but now, to grow up in Christ, I must unlearn self-reliance and learn self-distrust in light of his all-sufficiency. - Mary Morrison Suggs

God’s saints in all ages have realized that God was enough for them. God is enough for time; God is enough for eternity. God is enough! -Hannah Whitall Smith

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, I thank you that in You I have infinite protection, because You are an infinitive God. Help me to live in the center of Your will, I know that in the center of Your will, your protection will always be available for me. Amen

 

This Workshop helped me be a better Relator

This Workshop helped me be a better Relator

Marriage WorkshopMy life before this marriage weekend was horrible. I avoided all issues and tried to to please my wife in ways other than on a relational and emotional level. I wanted to spend more time at work rather than deal with my wife at home. This marriage weekend has taught me better ways to communicate and relate to my wife, and how to comfort her. I also learned how to release and open up. Anyone considering this marriage workshop should definitely go to this life altering weekend. – Mike

 

 

Waiting . . . Patiently

Waiting . . . Patiently

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint – Isaiah 40:31

waiting-patiently.newlife

The dictionary defines the word patience as “the ability to be calm, tolerant, and understanding.” If that describes you, you can skip the rest of this page. But, if you’re like most of us, you’d better keep reading.

For most of us, patience is a hard thing to master. Why? Because we have lots of things we want, and we know precisely when we want them: NOW (if not sooner). But our Father in heaven has other ideas; the Bible teaches that we must learn to wait patiently for the things that God has in store for us, even when waiting is difficult.

We live in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect people. Sometimes, we inherit troubles from others, and sometimes we create troubles for ourselves. On other occasions, we see other people “moving ahead” in the world, and we want to move ahead with them. So we become impatient with ourselves, with our circumstances, and even with our Creator.

Psalm 37:7 instructs us to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (NKJV). But, for most of us, waiting patiently for Him is hard. We are fallible beings who seek solutions to our problems today, not tomorrow. Still, God instructs us to wait patiently for His plans to unfold, and that’s exactly what we should do. Sometimes, patience is the price we pay for being responsible adults, and that’s as it should be. After all, think how patient our Heavenly Father has been with us. So the next time you find yourself drumming your fingers as you wait for a quick resolution to the challenges of everyday living, take a deep breath and ask God for patience.

Remember that patience builds character . . . and the best moment to start building is this one.

The best things in life seldom happen overnight; they usually take time. Henry Blackaby writes, “The grass that is here today and gone tomorrow does not require much time to mature. A big oak tree that lasts for generations requires much more time to grow and mature. God is concerned about your life through eternity. Allow Him to take all the time He needs to shape you for His purposes.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, please help me to accept the sovereignty of your will as I wait on you. Help me to see all the amazing things I can learn about You and myself as I wait and above all draw me close to you. Amen

Neighbors in Need

Neighbors in Need

Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”  That’s exactly what Jesus did. - Romans 15:2-3 MSG

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Sometimes, it’s not you, but instead your neighbors, who are experiencing stress. And, of course, we know that we’re instructed to love our neighbors, and yet there’s so little time . . . and we’re so busy. No matter. As Christians, we are commanded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to love our neighbors just as we love ourselves.

This very day, you will encounter someone who needs a word of encouragement, a pat on the back, a helping hand, or a heartfelt prayer. And, if you don’t reach out to your friend, who will? If you don’t take the time to understand the needs of your neighbors, who will? If you don’t love your brothers and sisters, who will? So, today, look for a neighbor in need . . . and then do something to help. Father’s orders.

Make it a rule, and pray to God to help you to keep it, never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say: “I have made one human being at least a little wiser, or a little happier, or at least a little better this day.” ~Charles Kingsley

Encouraging others means helping people, looking for the best in them, and trying to bring out their positive qualities.   ~John Maxwell

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. ~John Wesley

 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Heavenly Father, help me be a Good Samaritan to the people You place along my path, today and every day. Amen

Ten things to do While you Wait

Ten Things to Do While You Wait

We have all been there at some point. . . in the waiting room of life. Here are ten ways to help you relax and actually benefit from your time of waiting.

whileyouwait.newlife

1. Pray and meditate on Scripture: Through our personal time of prayer and meditation on God’s Word, we will find the ‘peace that passes understanding.’ Spending time in God’s presence helps us remember who we are and how very much we are loved. Scripture tells us Jesus often went to a placed by Himself and prayed.

2. Listen to music: When you need to relax, listen to some calming music. If you need some extra energy, find something upbeat that makes you want to move. Be aware of your moods and your needs, and you will find that music can play a big part in helping you achieve a positive emotional state.

3. Exercise: Not only is exercise the number-one stress reducer, it also controls appetite, increases energy and body temperature, releases endorphins, and improves sleep quality. Physical exercise is the most natural way you can come to experience a state of well-being or satisfaction.

4. Keep a Journal: Take this waiting time as an opportunity to journal about what’s going on in your life and how you feel about things. Journaling can help you sort out the many things that may be going on in your heart and heart. Once you’ve expressed your feelings in writing, they become much easier to understand.

5. Talk to a friend, pastor, or therapist: Not only does talking through your stresses with a close confidant help relieve those stresses, but it will also help you feel more connected with a human being.

6. Read: Take time to read a good book, an inspirational story, or even the comics or sports page of the newspaper. What you enjoy will be unique to you, so don’t get stuck in a rut of comparing yourself to others.

7. Get some R&R: It’s important to have getaways that last for a couple of days or more. Vacation time really does make a difference in your mind-set and outlook.

8. Become involved in discipleship: Discipleship involves growing in wisdom and knowledge of God through the process of gathering with other believers. This involves more than just your personal quiet time. It’s the fellowship of believers that results in building each other up, mentoring, accountability, and Bible study. Discipleship serves the purpose of spiritual growth and gives us a sense of connection and belonging that we all need.

9. Do something for someone else: The process of giving to and doing for others can lift up your spirit and bring about a sense of pleasure faster than just about anything else. When you give of yourself, you move away from a focus on self to a focus on others, and that’s always a good place to be.

10. Laugh: Laughter is good medicine, especially when it comes to managing stress and increasing pleasure in life. Laughter is the natural expression of pleasure and fun. The more we can include laughter in our lives, the better we’ll feel physically and emotionally.

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Dads

Ten Dos and Don’ts for Dads

fathersday2
1. Connect before you correct.
Part of every Dad’s role is to bring a healthy sense of structure and discipline to the family. Communicating with your child, which includes listening to their “side” of the issue, is a key first step in successful, loving discipline.

2. Be there.
One of the great myths is that a little “quality” time makes up for a substantial “quantity” of time. Going to school, sporting and other events is a big deal! It says – “I have your best interests at the center of my heart” to your child. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. ~ Philippians 2:4

3. Express love often.
Kids (especially pre-teens and teens) act like they don’t want their parents to “make a fuss” over them. It’s just an act. Kids need hugs and kisses … affirm them at every opportunity.

4. Phony, macho men are only heroes in the movies.
Real Dads aren’t perfect. You can be a hero to your children if you open your heart to them and admit when you’ve made mistakes. They have an enormous capacity to forgive and their hearts’ desire is to love and be loved. People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. ~ Proverbs 28:13

5. Never make your child choose between parents.
If you have problems with your wife, don’t try to convince your child that you’re “right” or the “victim.” This causes an emotional split in your child and will ultimately drive him or her further away from you. Confine the adult issues to the adults.

6. Love your wife.
The greatest Dad in the world will minimize the true impact he has on his children if he does not model Godly intimacy in front of his kids. That’s where the cornerstone of their future marriage is laid. Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you … And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. ~ Colossians 3:12-14

7. Be consistent.
When you are consistent in your actions, love and discipline, an environment of safety and security is created. Kids need to know that there are some things they can always count on. Discipline your child while there is hope. If you don’t, you will ruin their lives. ~ Proverbs 19:18

8. Be careful, you’re in the spotlight.
Your kids are watching every move you make. To some extent, their picture of you shapes their picture of their Heavenly Father. You have the opportunity to create a positive, loving image or a confusing and untrustworthy one. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness – righteous, holy and true. ~ Ephesians 4:23,24

9. Guard your tongue.
The words you speak to your children can cut like a knife or send them soaring like a rocket. They will remember some things you say in passing for the rest of their lives. Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
~ Proverbs 16:24

10. Develop Godly character.
Nothing will influence your children more than watching you grow in your relationship with God. You can preach the Gospel by your actions much more effectively than you can by your words. And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done. ~ Colossians 2:6,7

For more information on fatherhood and parenthood, consider some of these resources:

How we Love our Kids
Raising Great Kids
Bad Dads of the Bible