CANDY CRUSH

CANDY CRUSH

Do you play Candy Crush? Everyone (and their mama) kept sending me requests. It got so bad I ended up blocking Candy Crush from my computer. Well… while on the road, I picked up my child’s tablet and discovered the world of Candy Crush. It is more addicting than sugar, and I love it. Ha. One morning God showed me something, and I think it is quite brilliant. He said any time we pray or declare something that is in alignment with heaven, it is like the Candy Crush pieces that gush down and fall into new places. Come on! Having that visual makes me want to increase my prayer life. Let heaven gush down into our lives, hearts, finances, situations, dreams, and passions. If your child plays the game, use it as a visual to teach them that their words and prayers are powerful!

NOTHING WITHOUT LOVE

The Word says if you have EVERYTHING (money, fame, status, awards, a big house, a perfect-looking family, IG followers, Pinterest-worthy snacks, A+ students, fancy cars, leadership titles, etc.), but have no love, you have NOTHING! Love matters because God designed our heart, mind, and soul to need it. I have seen the messiest of situations, exasperated parents, and the most challenging children MELT with the ointment of love.

INSTRUCTING VS. TEACHING

Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”

Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?

1ST RESPONDER

We can teach our children that Jesus is a 1st Responder who we can go to with our highs, lows, and everything in between.

DUPED!

I hate that many people have been duped! They think that the fear they feel is real. If only they could see it for what it is – a smoke screen from the enemy to get you to partner with letting go of the goodness of God. Satan can’t alter the finished work of the Cross, nor can he change God’s love for you, so he strives to make YOU believe something else which diminishes your experience with the Cross and His love. But it is just all a big lie! “I can’t trust God,” “I am afraid of the unknown,” “What if I can’t handle what He tells me,” “I will be out of control,” “I am afraid I won’t hear right,” “I am afraid that I will lose my family,” “I am afraid that…” on and on!

RISE ABOVE

Gather the family in the family room and share this story with them.

The only bird that dares to peck at an eagle is the crow. He sits on his back and bites his neck. However, the eagle does not respond or fight with the crow; it doesn’t waste time or energy on it! It simply opens its wings and begins to rise higher in the heavens. The higher the flight, the harder it is for the crow to breathe, and then the crow falls due to lack of oxygen. Stop wasting your time with the crows. Just take them to your heights, and they’ll fade. The enemy will sit behind your back and bite your neck… “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Discuss ways they have encountered a pestering crow. It may be through siblings, friends, a hurtful situation, or a lie they believe. Ask, “Why is going higher so important?” Talk through specific ways they can rise above and hold their head up high like an eagle.

In the days ahead, when they are dealing with pesky crows, remind them of this teaching and together ask Jesus how they can SOAR higher in that situation. In a world full of crows… be an eagle.

GOING AFTER LOVE

Going after the power of God alone leads to fear and intimidation. Going after the love of God is what makes you powerful.

AFFIRMATION

The opposite of judgment is not acceptance; it is affirmation. Affirm – af·firm – Verb. 1. state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly. 2. offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement. “There are five common ways parents fail to affirm their children.”

When was the last time you intentionally affirmed those around you in their identity, value, or destiny? It is Kingdom to do so.

IS GOD TRANSITIONING YOU TO MOVE?

There is a big difference between moving and transitioning. I see scores of people called by God to move into new locations in this season, and I believe He is RE-positioning many in the Body of Christ for His purposes. Over the years, I have watched people leave their community and struggle through the turbulence of entry into their new homes. I have often coached people to ask a small group of friends to commit to walking them through the transition for weeks or even months to come, like stakes in a tree until the tree can stand on its own. Now that we have walked through our own journey of transitioning, I wanted to add a few more gems that have helped us leave behind precious communities. Make a list of what you will need to leave behind and what is yours. You will have to leave things behind and the more you can identify what that is, grieve it and let it go, the easier it will be. Make a list of what is yours. You get to take many things with you, and it is important to realize that certain things are yours to carry everywhere you go. 

When we left Redding, we determined that things like seeking His presence, worshiping, praying for the sick, certain relationships, hunger for God, adventures with Him, etc., were ours and things we get to take with us. The more you are aware of it ahead of time, the easier it will be to hold onto them. Conflict or friction sharpens us to become more like Him and is bound to happen in community. Make sure you ask the Lord if there is anyone you need to forgive and work that out in your heart before you depart, so you don’t carry that with you. Furthermore, ask Jesus if you need to make things right with anyone before you depart, so they don’t have to carry that with them. It is healthy to end well. Someone told me once we begin our journey to go to the city limits, get out, and literally shake the dust off. This is not a negative act but one that says, “I leave behind what is behind and press on towards what is before me.” We did this at 4 in the morning with our U-Haul; it was a powerful prophetic act. I could feel a shift in my spirit. The whole physical journey (drive) home was deep and rich. I allowed my mind to flow with memories, thoughts, and testimonies. I cried, felt uncomfortable and messy, yet by the time I arrived, I felt like I had drained so much of my process I was able to embrace the new. The other thing that surprised me was that I felt this strange oppression with former things when we arrived. I kept resisting but felt like I was managing it and not walking in freedom. Finally, someone who also transitioned years before shared that there are OLD GARMENTS of who you were before when you lived there.  The minute she said that, I was able to shake it off and walk in who I am today, not who I was before. Very powerful. 

Do not let old garments and identities attempt to lure you back. Community is built by intentionality. Do not wait for people to embrace you. Even though you are the new kid in town, be the leader in creating connections, community, and building relationships. These points have been anchors for me as we continue to process our journey into new territory.

HEARTWORK

Parents – you have homework! Love is a VERB. Grab some paper and begin to write notes to your child. So tuck them in their underwear drawer, by their toothbrush, in their favorite book. Let them find your nuggets of love!!!! You can do it for your children or have them do it for each other.

FEEDING YOUR CHILD’S SPIRIT DAILY

Are you feeding your child’s spirit daily? What does that mean? Like daily food, our spirits need to be fed to stay healthy and alert. How do we feed their spirit? By worshiping, teaching them about a verse, telling them your God stories, sharing with them a story from the Bible, soaking, talking about God, taking Communion, actively forgiving, hearing God, declaring His goodness, loving each other intentionally, being grateful… 

A spiritual orphan will hear that and feel condemned for not doing enough or partner with fear over their child. A Son/Daughter will hear that message, and it will increase their hunger for more of Him in their homes. They will partner with Holy Spirit to creatively feed their child’s spirit TODAY!