Ponder for a moment why God would say there is incredible power in blessings and kindness. The reality is it has the ability to transform the worst of situations. So how can you be an agent of ‘doing good’ today?
- Activities/Teachings, Playing in the Kingdom
Joy is more than an emotion. It releases a chemical in our brain that increases hope. Studies show children with higher levels of this chemical are more resilient when faced with difficulty. Make JOY a priority today!
Break out the dance music
Declare a nerf gun war
Play indoor beach ball volleyball
Do something out of the norm to usher in JOY.
Ask your children this question and privately share their replies with him. “Hey, kids, what is the one thing you want most from your dad?” Then have him ask the kids about you.
This is so precious. I was teaching this mom how to help her children hear God, and she sent me this testimony. THIS is how we teach our children how to be the light around them.
She shared: “We have a not-so-friendly neighbor who never waves to us, making the kids upset. We just asked Jesus what He wanted us to know about him… It amazed me what we heard… We ended it by praying for him.”
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.
Someone was supposed to drop something off at the house but called to say they were running late because he had many screws in his back, which made it nearly impossible to move fast during the cold Colorado weather. I told the kids about the delay, and they all said we should pray for him when he comes. He was such a sweet guy, but I could tell he had a story. He mentioned that his wife had just died in her sleep. I invited him in so the kids could pray for him. While he said he didn’t believe in God, he was willing to let the kids pray for him. They bossed that back pain around like there was no tomorrow! So bold and confident in what they believe. He came in all hunched over, and by the time he left, he was standing up straight. I know more than anything he felt loved by us, which was evident by his spark of joy and desire to keep talking. I bless that man and will continue to pray for his broken heart.
Your child is hungry to learn and hear your personal stories. Your journey will shape them significantly, and your story’s chapters will be valuable to them. Share with them your experiences as it relates to their world. Tell them about a time you dealt with or struggled with the same thing they are walking through. Share with them what you have learned through your own mistakes. Tell them about your God encounters and what Jesus has said to you. You are not their royal emperor dictating from a throne. You are their parent – empowering, equipping, and leading them face-to-face.
I want to share a perspective with you. People often ask me what my highlight of being a part of Azusa Now in LA was. My answer is easy. It was when they showed the video of all the awful things people have done to other humans (school shootings, Holocaust, 9/11, American Indians, etc.) and we began to declare louder and louder, “Father, forgive them! Father, forgive them!” I saw an older African American couple a few rows in front of me, and all I could say was, “I am sorry. I am so so sorry.” They received those healing words with gratitude. It still creates tears in my eyes. It was a highlight for me because the Father was highlighting something to me. I believe God was releasing an anointing to make things right with those who have been hurt.
Fast forward to our first hotel stay when we began our 2-month journey on the road. Every single channel the kids wanted to watch had to do with slavery. As we feasted on this ‘entertainment’ my stomach became sick. I could feel the control, the madness, the loss, the betrayal, the paralyzing fear, the lack of safety, the lack of belonging, the condemnation, and the anger. Humans were treated like animals, only worth their labor and performance, and their hearts were ripped out over and over. Tears poured down my cheeks as I told the kids to turn off the TV. I believe God was awakening this part of our history in me. God has been speaking to me a lot about the spirit of control. We are not wired to be controlled by anyone or anything; rather, we were created to operate out of our free will. It is how He designed us. When we are controlled, especially when it is ongoing, we respond by partnering with a spirit of rejection or a spirit of rebellion. Here we are with the great divide between whites and blacks being highlighted… once again. Could it be that the Lord is allowing pressure so that the heart splinter could be removed once and for all? Could it be that all those years of being controlled by the color of their skin have produced a generational line of rebellion or rejection? Could it be that here we are 100 some years later with a mess we didn’t create but still reaping the fruit of? Could it be that there are strongholds in the atmosphere who enjoy watching humans quarrel based on their skin color? Could it be that while we all have choices, there is a lot more going on in the spiritual realm than we are giving credit to? Could it be that the issue isn’t the color of our skin but more so the doors that have been opened for the enemy to continue to influence? Could it be that the answer isn’t just outward ‘unity’ but more so breaking agreements with the spirit of control, rebellion, and rejection? Could it be that those acting out the rebellion or rejection are actually crying out to be free from the spirit of control that has been in operation in their family line for so long? Could it be that we, white Americans, haven’t yet cleaned up our mess in the spiritual realm our ancestors have made? Could it be that the involvement of police officers is a prophetic statement of the authority we have been given and need to be using, not over humans, but the spiritual realm?
Could we be a generation that changes the world of so many lives that matter by releasing freedom, acceptance, and belonging over them? I think so!
Be sure to check out PART TWO which will give you steps to take in your own home.
I am sharing this testimony from one of my spiritual daughters:
“When the girls and I have some free time, we like to do what we call treasure hunting. We ask the Holy Spirit where to go to find someone that needs prayer. Today before our mission, I told the Lord I wanted to witness a real impact. For someone’s life to be completely changed (well, don’t be surprised when you get what you asked for.). We walked where we felt led at Walmart and ended up in an aisle face-on with my children’s father, who we had not seen in 9 years. Clear as day the Holy Spirit said that’s who you’re here to pray for. Umm, really, Jesus? You know our history, right? We said hello. Did some very minimal catching up and asked him and his now wife if we could pray for them, and they willingly received prayer. (For those of you that don’t know our story. Karina and I walked away from everything we owned when I was pregnant with Val to leave an abusive, toxic relationship and find safety). I truly believe this was a divine appointment. Never in my life have I felt the presence of God as strong as I did at this moment. His peace was definitely present. You know God has done a work in your heart when you can extend grace to somebody when they least deserve it. I am sharing this because I want you guys to witness that the power of God is real. If you knew me nine years ago, then you know this encounter would have been restraining order number four. My heart has truly been transformed, and to be honest, I’m still pretty shocked. What happened today was with strength I cannot take credit for. I would like my prayer warriors to agree with me in prayer for him and his wife to have shelter, find a successful treatment center, as well as some accountability to walk beside them. He told the girls he would be around again someday when he’s clean. I am proud of him for being honest and respectful.”
It is one thing to reject a person because of their looks, style, personality, or character flaws. While it hurts, there is a deeper form of rejection when someone ignores, dismisses, or devalues your destiny because your destiny is the core in which you were knit together. It is not rejecting a part of you, like your personality, character flaws, or weaknesses. It is rejecting the very core of your existence. This is why learning our identity is so critical. We have to know who we are so that when others, who don’t know who they are, speak demonically-influenced words over us, we can stand on His truth about our worth, value, and calling and not cower. The world needs what you carry. You are the answer to someone’s prayer. God knit you together to be a part of His plan for the world around you. It is time to break up with and flush the words and actions done in an attempt to shut you down, silence you, and render you useless.
May I encourage you to make a list of the actions or words that have crippled your ability to move forward? Write down the offense, but also write down the fruit of the offense. Ex: Someone spoke over you that your gifts aren’t good enough (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have partnered with fear and intimidation, which has caused you to shrink back from other opportunities. Ex. Someone spoke over you that they don’t believe in you (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have wandered around from place to place looking for someone to see value in you because you were too afraid to see it in yourself again.
FORGIVE the person for being used by the enemy to put a hook in your heart. HAND OVER the pain, hurt, and regret to Jesus. ASK Jesus to show you what lie you were believing about yourself because of this event. ASK Father God what His truth is about you. INVITE Holy Spirit to teach you how to activate and use your gifts again. BLESS your spirit and tell yourself that you believe in yourself and have permission to carry on. The attack on your calling gives evidence that it is something that causes the enemy fear. It is time to stop partnering with it and get back in the game. The world is waiting for YOU!
Children with the love language of gifts are often viewed as materialistic. They are not really wanting the gift itself, but your love spoken through the gift. It is communicating the message, “I was thinking of you.” A Hershey’s kiss, balloon, or note on a gum wrapper has profound meaning to a person with this language. They look at your object as a token or symbol of being loved.
Here are some creative ways to speak their language: **Make birthdays and holidays a huge deal. **Bring home small tokens from shopping trips (“I bought your favorite fruit”). **Celebrate milestones such as losing a tooth, getting good grades, overcoming a challenge. **Tuck notes in their lunch bag, under their pillow, or in their laundry. **Give them a dollar or two to spend at the store – just because. **Cook their favorite meal. **Pick out a rock or flower on your walk and return home with it. **Buy a package of Hershey kisses and intentionally play a game of spontaneously putting them where they can discover them. It took me a month to empty the bag, but she felt so loved and seen. **Keep a small stash of inexpensive gifts. When you see your child struggling, working through hurts, or just having a hard day pull something out.
I must note that the worst thing you can do for this person is to be flippant about it. Thoughtless gift-giving is like a harsh tone for a word of affirmation person. If your heart is not in it, you might want to hold off on giving it. Oftentimes they are givers of gifts too and like to leave notes, save souvenirs from trips, parties, and outings (like the napkin from the party or an empty container from the Tic Tacs that you bought them). When they give gifts of any kind to others, help them to make the connection between their action and speaking love, such as, “I love that you want to tell your sister you love her by leaving her that note.” “Thank you for loving me by giving me that flower.” Again, the focus is not on the item/gift; it is on the heart need and communication of love. Learn to value lavishing on others as it models a side of our Father, the Creator of the universe who owns the storehouse and lavishes richly on His children. Often when people were raised with a poverty spirit or parents who had fear over finances, this language can be challenging to speak. However, God uses this language in our children to re-align our thoughts and heart back to Him. I get this every time we talk about gifts – “So that means I just have to buy them whatever they want?” Of course not! But it does mean you would be wise to see what they are really asking for. They are saying, “Will you show me you love me by buying this for me?” In those moments, the key to their heart is discovering how you can tell them “No” in a way that still fills their heart.