We had to catch a morning flight out of Sacramento, and I kept changing the time I thought we should leave. Finally, half joking, I said, “Jesus, what time should I leave?” We left at that time. In the middle of nowhere, my light comes on, saying my back tire is low. We stopped, and the nice attendant turned on the air for free. I filled it up but heard God tell me to check the tire. I kept moving to rotate the tire so I could inspect it. Sure enough, there was a nail! I decided to see if it would hold, but I was losing pressure quickly within minutes. I pulled off, and a tire place was right there. But it was only 7 am, and they didn’t open till 8. If I waited till 8, I would have missed my flight. We called, and the manager answered, saying he would start his day early for me. As I pulled in, he was waiting for me. Expecting to walk out with two new, unexpected tire purchases, he said he could patch it and then had the heart to not even charge me. I tried to tip him but to no avail. From the time I pulled off till I was on the road again was *15 minutes*. Had that happened just two miles later, we would have been stranded on the side of nowhere! I swelled with His goodness and laughed when I heard Him say, “I know about nails.” He knew the nail would be in the road and had me leave earlier, stop when and where we did, and provided each step of the way. Wow!
JESUS AND NAILS
“My three-year-old daughter and I have been butting heads. She has been disobedient and extremely whiny. I tried various methods to learn what was going on with my daughter. I finally sat her down with paper and colored pencils (an idea I learned from you). I asked her to draw Mommy a picture of how her heart was feeling. I left her quietly to herself. I returned shortly after, and all she had on the picture were black scribble lines. I asked her to describe to me what her picture meant. She said, ‘It means… that things just aren’t working out for me.’ WHAT?! That is a lie from the pit! I immediately asked her to ask Jesus if this was the truth. After asking Him, she said, ‘No, it’s not true.’ I encouraged her that we can laugh at lies instead of partnering with them. Together we laughed at the lie. Finally, we declared the truth, and she was immediately all smiles again.”
We had a situation when the twins were four years old down at the park – they both wanted to go up the ladder first and stood there arguing about it. Finally, I explained that someone had to give in and let the other person go. Every time they went down the slide, they would come back and repeat their argument. Finally, I declared “park over,” and we came home. I sat them down and had an intentional teaching time. Jesus says those who are last are first in the Kingdom. We practiced someone being first and someone being last. We instilled a phrase in them: “Ah, no, YOU go first!” It works because they see the heart of being last, which means you are blessed, and there is no lack. Years later, we are still using that phrase as a reminder.
**My twins are now adults, and they often talk about this day. It has reaped so much good fruit in them. If you need to teach your children about character, check out our Character Counts digital resource: Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly
Everyone is born with a selfish, stubborn, rebellious nature. It is the fruit of the fall when sin entered the world. We are all born separate from Him and do not naturally do what pleases Him. Children should be disciplined, trained, and discipled by their parents to grow in godly character, learn to control their flesh, and be kind to others. When we become believers God disciplines us. While He reserves the more painful correction for those who are repeatedly stubborn, He corrects us because He loves us and doesn’t want to see us going down a path that would ultimately harm and hinder us. The goal of godly discipline should be to model His discipline in a way that creates a hunger for righteousness.
We can teach our children that Jesus is a 1st Responder who we can go to with our highs, lows, and everything in between.
When God does something in your life, He is showing others what is possible for Him to do in their life, too. Selling our home in Colorado was a big part of our journey, but little did I know just how much He would allow that testimony to follow us around and continue to impact people. A friend was telling me about getting her house ready for the market and the stress of keeping a clean home with a toddler. God put the name of a realtor friend in my heart, and I texted her asking if she was looking for a house that matched this one, and she wrote back, “YES.” Her parents were en route with cash in hand to purchase the exact kind of home. They closed a month later. Another friend was telling me about their plans to move back home. I got a picture in my mind of a friend I didn’t even know was looking to buy and messaged her. She said they were going through the loan process. Two days later, they went to see the house (before it was even listed), and a week later, they were under contract. I cannot tell you the COUNTLESS times people have stopped me saying they heard this testimony, and it gave them the faith to move. There is life on the fingerprints of God in your life.
I love Holy Spirit – like crazy, crazy love Him. But we didn’t start out that way. In fact, we have come a long way to get here. I was raised in the church and loved Jesus, but I was never introduced to Holy Spirit as a person. Years later, my mom was dying of cancer and went to a known faith healer. She came back glowing from her experience. She was so convinced of her experience that she stopped taking medication. I later woke up from being in a coma for three months to the news that she had died. A deep-seated judgment came over me against faith healers and the charismatic movement. I seethed in anger, blaming Him for taking my mom. I once found a worship tape from this man and ripped out the ribbon in disgust. I spent 15 years pursuing God passionately while rejecting Holy Spirit. It wasn’t really that I didn’t like the Spirit of God. It was that I adamantly did not like the people who fell into the charismatic camp and ‘went after’ the things of the Spirit. It bothered me. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it. And more so, I concluded it didn’t work because my mom still died. Underneath my resentment was a deep sadness that, despite her attempts to get healed, it didn’t work, and I was left motherless. God, in His mercy, brought me into a season of such deep hunger. I was consumed with the need for more of Him. It is impossible to embrace all the Father has for us without also embracing Holy Spirit. I had to forgive this man for my judgments against him, and suddenly the Lord started showing me how precious and sweet it was that my mom pioneered with Holy Spirit and had a massive encounter with Him before she passed. Judgments towards the things we don’t yet understand blind our ability to receive!
What does this mom’s testimony tell you? Children want Scriptures to come alive. Role-play, act them out, write a song, sing a tune, create a rap, dance, and declare.
“I grew up with Sunday school as the norm. Memory verses were a very common tool, but if I’m honest the only one that stands out most to me and that I know off the top of my head is the one my mum taught me as she included me in making up actions to teach at Sunday school with her one week. Doing that brought the Scripture alive (and was super fun).”
Love this testimony from my friend about how she walked in her authority as a parent. We don’t manage the fear; we deal with it.
“My son has been fearful of blood/bleeding ever since his pinky finger accident in January. This week he got his first wiggly tooth, and I immediately saw fear come when we talked; he said he was afraid because when the tooth comes out, it will bleed. He talked about his wiggly tooth constantly for days (not wanting to play certain games/eat certain foods because his tooth might come out). 2 nights ago, I went into his room while he was sleeping and commanded fear to leave him, that he wouldn’t fear bleeding, and would have joy in the process of losing his tooth. The next day he didn’t bring up his wiggly tooth AT ALL, and, this morning, he came out and wanted all the family to wiggle his tooth because it was more wiggly, and he was EXCITED about it… NO FEAR!”
Ellie was feeling afraid, and I was reminded of a story I heard years ago that impacted me. It went something like this. A young girl was walking home late at night and passed a man who she later learned did some terrible things to another girl around the same time they passed each other. She couldn’t shake that it could have been her and went to the police station to identify him. She asked to speak to him and inquired why he walked by her and didn’t hurt her. His response was, “Are you kidding me? With those two big bodyguards walking with you?” I asked Ellie if two big bodyguards were standing at the door of her room, would she feel safer? Yes, of course. I then told her that the same God who protected that girl was there for her. She smiled and drifted off to sleep. Fear always reduces God to being powerless and incapable. Faith restores Him to His rightful place, position, and power.
I ministered to a 20-year-old mom who said with tears streaming down her face, “Lisa, you gave me Daughter goggles. Suddenly all I can see now is the orphan spirit in operation, which makes me so hungry to act like a Daughter.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I like the sound of that. And then we prayed for the gift of discerning identity to be activated in her life. She is a force to be reckoned with and will be used mightily in the Kingdom to give others Daughter goggles.