Category Archives: Family

What Are We Encouraging Godly or Worldly Attitudes and Style of Living!!

Our Girls at Christmas and Me

I have had a lot of eye opening, mind-boggling sights to behold in this life of mine. I used to know more when I was younger than I do now.  Well, I probably know more after some hair-raising heart breaking scenes of those that seem to rather feed on worldly dress, talk and ideas.

Young men with a desire to work for the Lord, a woman in your life can either help make you or break you. What can you do for God if your wife or girlfriend is sowing discord, undermining ministry and your leadership, whether it is Pastor or Sunday School Teacher or Youth Leader? If she will not respect you and have a tender, clean, honest, calm, non trouble making way, you are going NO where good, in the work of the Lord.

In Church work I have had hope for and loved some young women that acted like they wanted to be a Preachers wife. When I would see how they would stand against their Pastor if he changed a plan in the church or made a standard I knew unless there was a drastic change of heart she was pursuing ministry without a tender pliable teachable spirit. No way does that end up good.  It was so major to her and her feelings would be so ugly and disrespectful I would feel no hope of her being used of the Lord.

Erica our niece and Uncle Marty

The enemy is quick to fill the tender spot that we have in our heart that is teachable and easy to entreat for the work of the Lord. He gets his big foot in the door of our heart and if We Allow he will feed us with resentment, sarcasm, doubts, and he knows if we are materialistic and full of jealousy and fears he can have his way and destroy us and who we deal with.

Your sour, unfaithful, mean spirited attitude is not good material for God to use. I ask the Lord to give me a sweet strong spirit one that can calm and be calmed when things seem to not go my way.  I want to say God will be there with you.   Just be his child and lean on God and be sweet and easy to entreat. We go through some things and without being devastated because God protects us and keeps our hearts and mind tender towards people and him. You cannot be undermining leadership and living on the fringes never really backing the standards and living them with all your heart and be used of God for his kingdom in a great way.

You want to be respected and cherished then live with the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. Read them, seek after them it will bring a wonderful goal to your life of Godliness, strength and peace. If you are hungry for friendship and a fun loving atmosphere in your home let the Fruits of the Spirit give you a wonderful start.

You don’t have to be a weak, sad, beat down Christian when you have the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. It is a contagious word of God that lets the World know you are his child and have something in your life that they want. Your going to go through some stuff called for and uncalled for but with the Ten Commandments and Fruits of the Spirit working you are granting yourself and others around you a much more wonderful life and having the Holy Ghost makes the difference.

If I campaign for anything I sure don’t want it to be for anything that would lead myself or anyone else away from the Church and God or what standards that represent a clean Godly life style.

I hope we never forget that it is dangerous to have a bad attitude and talk against ANY man of God for any reason. You can be sly and put seeds of rebellion in others and if they are weak YOU helped that seed to grow. Sooner than you realize you will see things connected to your life take on the worldly airs instead of the tender sweet Godly way of life.  I made up my mind a long time ago, no matter where I land to live I will cause no grief, strife or make the mistake of sowing discord among the saints. I am a Preachers wife and been a Pastor’s wife, but I never get the right to cause church trouble. I am going to bake cakes, make good meals, and try to encourage everyone I can to love serving Jesus. I Love it and I Love being blessed of the Lord and I Love the Contentment that comes from living the way Jesus wants me to Live.

We have lots of fun!!

I just never feel like I need to let my own will and opinion be spilled out. If I am wrong I will suffer and others will suffer. I can have peace in the midst of a storm. The Lord is in Control if I let him be. If I take the wheel I will miss a turn in the road and he will allow me to miss the turn if I insist. He is God but as we say to our Children You made that Choice. Sorry it didn’t work out.

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Rules, Guidelines, Dedications, Consecrations, These Are Not Problems They Are A Blessing!!

Rules, Guidelines, Dedications, Consecrations, These Are Not Problems They Are A Blessing!!

For every successful close Family there have been Rules to follow, For every successful Business there are rules to keep it successful, For a loving Marriage there are Rules and if you break them sooner or later it will fail, Rules are a safety for things to go smooth and easier. Why do we campaign against rules. You have to teach your children rules matter, that helps them to be enjoyed more by not just you but others too. God has rules because some of us would go too far out otherwise in everything we do.

The First thoughts I had on Rules, Guidelines, Dedications, and Consecrations I allowed them to be read. Since then I have noticed what happens to us and those we love when Rules are challenged and defied, and with that we lose our dedications, and Consecrations and that will begin our Spiraling down and away from all that brings us peace, Joy, and keeps us safe Spiritually. Too soon once you start agreeing with unrighteous thinking, and you partake of all you have been warned to leave alone, you are uncomfortable with your Godly family and with those that have even raised you and nurtured you to where you are today.

The Blind lead the Blind and they all will fall in the ditch. You become Blind and cannot see danger in breaking consecrations, standards of living, standards that keep you tender and pure, you so quickly lose your brakes at trying whatever you have been taught not too. Then you begin to only have pleasure for a season. Sin is sneaky and if you keep love and respect in your heart for your Men of God and for Good Clean Living it is very fortunate because God can still talk to you and lead you back to be renewed in him.

I don’t dread Rules they were a fence to keep evil mistakes from happening to me and to keep me protected from the snare of the devil. When you defy good solid teaching you don’t learn how to dress better or look better, or make good choices for yourself you knew to do good but didn’t do it and there are consequences to everything you do Good and Bad.

If you take your life out of the hands of God then you will reap how life is when you don’t obey or live like Jesus provided for you to live. He is a GOOD GOD and He loves his children and will help us through difficult times, through bad choices, through wrong spirits he can change us and heal our backsliding but only if we get close to him and cry out to him and then follow his voice and the fruits of the spirit will show if we do. Love, Joy, Peace, Long suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Meekness, Faith and Temperance. It covers all areas of our life to get us safe, to help us live the best, and to get us ready for his Coming in a twinkling of an eye.

No we are not missing anything GOOD for us, we are missing a Life without the approval of God and we are missing Hell and going to be with the Lord. Small things start us on the road breaking down guidelines and rules that would save us from losing our souls and giving us an unteachable Spirit willing to defy our Pastors, Godly parents and make us rather be with those that could not care less what God’s Word says. Yes I Love the Hand of God in my Life and it has made the Ballestero Family Blessed NO MATTER What we Go through it always is better with God.

He Knows How to Smooth Bumpy Roads of Life and Make Us Over Anew and We will Suffer Hardships we did or did not ask for, because that is Life. The Jesus I Serve Loves Through it All and can Change Us for The Better as Long as We keep Holding His Hand and Listen to His Voice. The World has No Hold that He cannot Break If We want him. He Is Working For Our Good if WE ALLOW HIM no matter if the process hurts he will heal and revive and refresh like New. The Answer is Only If You Allow him too you gotta want him more than Sin.

What I Learned Watching Dad……from a child’s eye-view

This is my sister Sara’s writing of our daddy. I am the oldest she is the youngest. She described him so well I wish to share it with as many in Ministry that I can.

Marcia Ballestero

What I Learned Watching Dad……from a child’s eye-view

by Sara Starr Copple

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DAD!!!

This Wednesday will be my Father’s birthday. I am celebrating by acknowledging the mark he left on my life and many others. He has been gone from us for almost 24 years.    He has not been forgotten. I often have people stop me and mention something he said or did or an attribute he had that is still an inspiration and a guiding light. I was the baby of 5 girls. His late in life child. 🙂 I missed a lot of the early days of he & mom’s beginnings. When I came along… his life was very busy and in full swing.  He had a full time secular job, was a full time pastor & District Superintendent of Michigan District and filled many capacities on the national level. My sisters were married when I was very young. I was raised like an only child. I think I was probably the most challenging one- out of 5 girls for my parents to raise. Mom & Dad had the same purpose and what I say about him…applies to her also. She was the one home raising us and being with us day to day….when she wasn’t doing her various and many jobs as the Pastors wife, District work, Office, Advertisements, Finances/accounting,  Music Director,  Decorator, Secretary, Planner……teaching or taking classes, Real Estate, Artist, Speaker, Teacher, Builder, Sales, Fund Raising…you get the picture.  We knew what it was to be diligent in all you do.  I know he thought I was pretty strong headed at times.  As I reached my teen years I was least afraid of my sisters to debate with him.  I had a lot of questions and wasn’t afraid to ask.  I already had older sisters that claimed the good child place–guess I had to make my own way.  🙂  I’m sure I kept him on his toes.  I think when he would get me going really good…..he would start laughing….because the realization came to him….that his own personality traits were coming back from his offspring.

I observed many things that I didn’t understand then or even know were rare & valuable lessons.  He didn’t sit me down and tell me what I’m going to share with you……  And, he didn’t brag to others or even to our family.  He just lived it.  He was a dedicated Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ first and foremost.  A pastor, preacher, pioneer of churches….I know that he was devoted–because I saw his life at home.  He didn’t use a lot of words in our home- day to day….but he walked each day in honesty– with intent and purpose.  He woke up early every day to go to work at the secretary of state office in Battle Creek.  He came home for supper and was off to prepare for an evening service or to care for the congregation or a district church function or pastors who needed his counsel.  Some of his secular work was investigation, presiding over hearings & giving judgments for people with too many points on their license. That’s where he got the tendency to be called, “the Judge”.  In my early teens I would have a little side job of bending stacks of car license plates back & forth -until they were broke in half to be discarded. Don’t remember what my wages were though. ha   So I can unofficially say I worked for the Michigan Secretary of States office. ha.  He taught me how to work hard and to take care of my family.  I was sitting at a friends house one day and had to listen to a gruff man complaining about my dad taking his drivers license away for having too many DUI’s.  Thankfully he didn’t know I was Mr. Starr’s  daughter and I didn’t share that info.

Dad was gone all day to provide adequately for his family and……so that he could put all of the income from the church–back into the church.  We had all that we needed growing up.  Medical, dental, clothing, good food…..all of the necessities were provided for and then some.   He never wanted us to have a feeling of doing without-because of the church or of saying we were not being provided for because of a Pastors’s lack of income and so that we wouldn’t be the brunt of peoples jokes and rude comments if they felt we had too much.  He did the extra job to make sure that we had what we needed with dignity. He wanted us to love God and the Church and not have bad feelings because our needs weren’t met or that we’d feel sorry for ourselves– as he’d seen some preachers kids go through in the early years. He couldn’t be said of- that he mishandled the Church’s money. He was ethical and he was giving. He was careful and honest with his business and finances. He would hurt himself before he would cause the church to have a bad reputation financially and wouldn’t take advantage of anyone else. He didn’t have a shady financial trail following him around. He made good on his word and made wise decisions. Carefully thought out and not ever rash.

I thought dad was too simple and conservative financially. But, now I can say….Wow, I was a lucky girl to have such a smart dad!  I remember how dad always bought used–American made cars.   #1- he was loyal to the Michigan Car industry.   #2-he refused to drive a flashy car or to spend money for a status symbol.  Dependable was all he required.  My first car he picked out- made me cry. lol   He went to an auction I think.  It was a $500- black Bobcat, no air, nothing automatic, no radio……hot in the summer, cold in the winter. I spun out more than once on the ice…the tires were thin and the car so light weight.  But, now I really don’t care what I drive. I don’t need a Mercedes to feel important. I leave the car buying to my husband. ha.  I don’t have to have new or the best of anything…..as long as it works.  I have a lot more possessions now than I did then.     But, I honestly could be happy without it–because I had a happy life in simplicity & careful economy.  He had humility–he was content with the simple things.  Mom decorated our home beautifully, creatively–but not with a lot of money.  She used her ingenuity.  Now decorating from my heart is my favorite. Don’t need brand names or a model home copy look. I like to pick things that are sentimental in feeling.  Because mom did. Love makes a home.  Our home wasn’t new and I would ask him often….”hey, why don’t you build a new house or get one in a nicer neighborhood where the new homes are–all the other Pastors seem to be living it up????ha.   He had no intentions of living high- even if he could-he wanted to live balanced and maybe even lower than most….he was pretty sure that’s what Jesus would do.  He had simple clothing–didn’t buy much.  Even if we bought him a fancy sweater he’d really feel it was too much.  He had a few same simple gray suits that he wore daily. Dad reminds me of Matlock.  ha.  He liked predictability. He taught me to be content with what I have.

I would go to conference, dressed nice….but didn’t know name brands to save my life.    My purses, shoes, clothes didn’t have a brand name–didn’t come from Nordstroms or Macy’s.  I remember being with pastor’s kids on a national level as they sported their designer wares with pride …….and status was sought after….I was very disinterested and didn’t understand it at all. That wasn’t a part of my world.  It didn’t mean anything to me.  My dad taught me there were more important things to give value to my life. Like loving  & serving people, learning new things,  enjoying good conversation, working toward goals, finding the gold in various types of  interesting people–and not in running after the “in” crowd of flashy personalities that seem to draw a group of eager followers…….but to cast my lot in genuine people who were loyal & sincere….they were always my favorite.    Sometimes they were the unpopular or maybe a quiet elderly friend who had many unseen, interesting skills and stories. One of my best older friends can cook a mean country breakfast and is an expert at wringing a chickens neck. ha. Those are the ones who I find interesting and who you will never hear them speak or read about their great exploits. Simple-but great. I looked for the ones who didn’t like you for outward reasons……IE. because of your popularity, what you could do for them or their name, because they think you have a good name or high financial status—or that they considered you important for their social climbing–rather I looked for those who liked you and were interested in you-just because….they liked you! ha.  I keep at arms length the back slappers, braggarts, and social climbers.  I guess because I watched that be a value to my dad.

He loved all people. He loved all cultures and he loved their different foods-he like to try something different. ha.  He treated all people as valuable. He loved the common man.  He was well loved in our city from the city officials to the drunk. He would stop for a young person that wanted to get his advice or see his viewpoint and give them his undivided attention.  He loved young people. He loved to spend time with young preachers.  He cared deeply for the poor, widowed, fatherless, prisoners….unknowing to me at that age…. there is a scripture that admonishes us to be thoughtful and attentive to people in need.  We often had drifters and addicts that would get our home address or the church’s and show up on our door step asking for money. If they were drunk….Dad would take them out to the local Big Boy for a coffee and a meal to sober them up before giving them cash that could be used for more alcohol.  At Thanksgiving he would load his car up with a basket of Turkey dinner fixings and drive them out to the poor families of our area. Years later the children of these families would grow up and be in the service industry in our city and do special favors for our family because they remembered my dad being kind to them as a child.  I remember as a really little girl–watching dad leave to personally deliver Christmas gifts to the disadvantage families he knew….. and I was crying with jealousy–wondering why those weren’t MY TOYS!!!!! ha.   Now, that I’m older….I can’t help but try to give something away every day.  I can hardly stand to hear of a need and not do something to fill it myself.  I look every child over to be sure they look whole,clothed, fed, and loved….if not that “Starr” trait seeks to find a solution if it’s at all possible.

He was my favorite preacher.  He hit the pulpit with fire and excitement and his thoughts were always a result of deep study and understanding of the Bible. He got his Masters’ from the University of Michigan early on and he used his education to study…but he said he didn’t use it to speak. He would speak very common and used current stories, humor and illustrations in a way that anyone could understand. He made me study all the preachers credential study materials to become a minister & take the classes– -he was hoping to have one preacher in the bunch.:-)  He had a love for learning and gaining new knowledge….he was the first person in his family to seek a University Level Education and wanted to be sure his younger siblings had the same opportunity. He went into the service to help pay for his education and sent his G.I. money home to his parents to help out with his younger sisters and  brother.  To be sure they had shoes and the things they needed and to help with college. He wanted to make sure they were all taken care of.    His interest was varied.  He loved sports but he never talked about it.  He’d listen on his radio in his car or on his own.  Of course UofM was his Alma Mater and team. He wasn’t artistic–but he loved art….he took me to museums in High School to give me an appreciation for art. We spent time at the Library and I gained his love for books & reading.  He wasn’t musical and couldn’t sing at all….but he coached me in singing….how to project my voice-to look people in the eye and connect and sing with feeling and passion.  He was a loyal friend. His best friend until he died was his old school buddy.   Howard Cole-an attorney-had shared many school experiences and memories…Howard wasn’t of our religious beliefs or a part of ministry-but the respect & friendship was a lifetime gift. We tend to lose tract of those who are not in our same career path or just like us.  But, they had a deep love and respect for each other that lasted through the years and he was there at dad’s funeral to speak in honor of him.  Loyalty to a friend—even if you are very different–was a trait I gained.  Dad liked good snacks–he could skip a hearty meal for a delicious snack……. and his all time favorite ice cream was Haagen Daz, Vanilla Swiss Almond….that is my number one favorite.  I guess because I remember sitting by him waiting for him to put a spoon full in my mouth and thinking it had to be the greatest thing he certainly acted like it was.  I can pass almost anything…until I see it’s Haagen Daz, Vanilla Swiss Almond and I can’t pass it up!!!!

My husband preached a moving sermon titled, “HUMILITY”  It wasn’t easy to preach.  It’s definitely not a popular subject.  Jesus wasn’t rich or famous….he was homeless and all about doing good to those he came in contact with and following the will of God above all –he was one that ate with sinners…..prostitutes and thieves……….Our congregation was greatly moved to examine our hearts and motives.  I told him- ‘you just don’t hear that preached anymore.’   Tom told me the mental picture he had when he thought of Humility…..was of my Father.  Dad did do many great things……….But he never twittered it, or facebook statused it or announced it or televised it….he just lived it in meekness and honesty.  Not many quote the scriptures on being meek or selfless….verses like–” Let another man’s lips praise you and not your own.”  Today it’s all about the Business Model of Ministry–Promote Yourself–Sell yourself–(guess they’ll hear about Jesus later???)   Try to look more Polished and Successful than your so called competition–Say it even if you haven’t yet done it–look it so others will think you are important….   Celebrity Status of Preachers is suppose to be the thing now….Promoting themselves and being braggadocios to get a following or gather members from other church’s instead of reaching for their own.  My dad exemplified an upright man of ethical practices, selflessness, faithfulness, justice, righteousness, meekness in strength, care for the lowly.  That is a very rare combination in our modern world.  I got very sad when I grew up to see the common thread of many Ministers is egotism…… pride and self promotion are the main traits of their ministry ……and then to find that ethics and honesty are not important to many today was disconcerting.  Mentally I look toward the shadow my dad casts and see that I had greatness leading me…. in the quiet/simple years of my childhood and didn’t know it.  Now, I realize all the richness that I have received early on.   Much more valuable than a monetary inheritance.  The Bible teaches us that…… a good name is rather to be had than great riches.  He gave me eyes to see the really important things…..that’s what I learned while watching my dad.

There is a very familiar Edgar Guest poem that says, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way;  The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear, fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear!”

Dad

What Are We Encouraging Godly or Worldly Attitudes and Style of Living!!

Our Girls at Christmas and Me

I have had a lot of eye opening, mind-boggling sights to behold in this life of mine. I used to know more when I was younger than I do now.  Well, I probably know more after some hair-raising heart breaking scenes of those that seem to rather feed on worldly dress, talk and ideas.

Young men with a desire to work for the Lord, a woman in your life can either help make you or break you. What can you do for God if your wife or girlfriend is sowing discord, undermining ministry and your leadership, whether it is Pastor or Sunday School Teacher or Youth Leader? If she will not respect you and have a tender, clean, honest, calm, non trouble making way, you are going NO where good, in the work of the Lord.

In Church work I have had hope for and loved some young women that acted like they wanted to be a Preachers wife. When I would see how they would stand against their Pastor if he changed a plan in the church or made a standard I knew unless there was a drastic change of heart she was pursuing ministry without a tender pliable teachable spirit. No way does that end up good.  It was so major to her and her feelings would be so ugly and disrespectful I would feel no hope of her being used of the Lord.

Erica our niece and Uncle Marty

The enemy is quick to fill the tender spot that we have in our heart that is teachable and easy to entreat for the work of the Lord. He gets his big foot in the door of our heart and if We Allow he will feed us with resentment, sarcasm, doubts, and he knows if we are materialistic and full of jealousy and fears he can have his way and destroy us and who we deal with.

Your sour, unfaithful, mean spirited attitude is not good material for God to use. I ask the Lord to give me a sweet strong spirit one that can calm and be calmed when things seem to not go my way.  I want to say God will be there with you.   Just be his child and lean on God and be sweet and easy to entreat. We go through some things and without being devastated because God protects us and keeps our hearts and mind tender towards people and him. You cannot be undermining leadership and living on the fringes never really backing the standards and living them with all your heart and be used of God for his kingdom in a great way.

You want to be respected and cherished then live with the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. Read them, seek after them it will bring a wonderful goal to your life of Godliness, strength and peace. If you are hungry for friendship and a fun loving atmosphere in your home let the Fruits of the Spirit give you a wonderful start.

You don’t have to be a weak, sad, beat down Christian when you have the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. It is a contagious word of God that lets the World know you are his child and have something in your life that they want. Your going to go through some stuff called for and uncalled for but with the Ten Commandments and Fruits of the Spirit working you are granting yourself and others around you a much more wonderful life and having the Holy Ghost makes the difference.

If I campaign for anything I sure don’t want it to be for anything that would lead myself or anyone else away from the Church and God or what standards that represent a clean Godly life style.

I hope we never forget that it is dangerous to have a bad attitude and talk against ANY man of God for any reason. You can be sly and put seeds of rebellion in others and if they are weak YOU helped that seed to grow. Sooner than you realize you will see things connected to your life take on the worldly airs instead of the tender sweet Godly way of life.  I made up my mind a long time ago, no matter where I land to live I will cause no grief, strife or make the mistake of sowing discord among the saints. I am a Preachers wife and been a Pastor’s wife, but I never get the right to cause church trouble. I am going to bake cakes, make good meals, and try to encourage everyone I can to love serving Jesus. I Love it and I Love being blessed of the Lord and I Love the Contentment that comes from living the way Jesus wants me to Live.

We have lots of fun!!

I just never feel like I need to let my own will and opinion be spilled out. If I am wrong I will suffer and others will suffer. I can have peace in the midst of a storm. The Lord is in Control if I let him be. If I take the wheel I will miss a turn in the road and he will allow me to miss the turn if I insist. He is God but as we say to our Children You made that Choice. Sorry it didn’t work out.

So You Want Your Children to Live for God!!

So You Want Your Children to Live For God!!

Bryan Ballestero with Huntley

When my children were born my main concern for their life was for them to serve the Lord. I learned to pray much about each one as they grew. When they were babies and started clapping their hands and they would raise their hands and pray for us it was thrilling. We had each one dedicated and made a ceremony of it. There was comfort in that for sure. We had prayer over us that God would help us raise our children in the fear of the Lord.

I found as they grew that from a baby on that babies copy what they see, and what they hear. We were blessed to have wonderful leaders and parents that honored and loved God. The Church was a wonderful place to be. It was a blessing and they not only helped teach us, but if you were someone that needed some guidance and wanted guidance it was there for you too. Some folks refuse to ask for any help or even ideas on how to do a better job. Sad because usually those that refuse help or advice need it the worse. Many times they were raised without tenderness, or they are full of bitterness and anger, and yet they are good people that part of them needs help.

Me with our first son Anthony!

First of all I found out to have good communication with your children is the best way to keep trouble at a minimum. I did not like it when children lied and Every Child has lied and tried to cover up when they were wrong. When I was a child I spoke as a child , but when I got older I put away childish things. Well hopefully you put away childish things, but some of the most severe, harsh parents make it hard on their children to grow up right because they are as much of a child emotionally as their kids are.

If you have to unmercifully whip your child what did it accomplish? My mom taught me to never be cruel because your child can never ward of your blows. If you wound your child mentally by harsh words that are making scars you are damaging their self worth, what good effect will that have?

Marty with oldest son Jeron

If their memories of home are grim, tension and harshness most of the time then they will be glad to get away.

Every home has heartaches come, disappointments, trials are going to come. The way we parents handle the hardships of life makes a huge difference in the faith of our children. Church and family life was such a stablelizing factor in my life. We did not have the gadgets, and big expensive toys as children. We had enough of what there was to have I never felt deprived, but I enjoyed the fellowship of good family, my friends past mom and dad’s approval and those times of having fun with friends meant so much. If something was planned in the youth group and I was old enough I was a part of it. I learned how to act and not act by being a part and I never was kept from church functions. Back then if I did make a mistake I was talked to and treated more like I was growing up and learning that all is part of learning and beginning of the feeling of being trusted.

The church was the center of our lives. We never went home with unbelievers for the night because we may learn to like what we got to do there better than church.  My parents might allow me to do school Spanish club or band or be on the national honor society, or study at our home with a friend from school or play outside, but to take a trip for days or stay away from home with unbelievers was not allowed. They taught me that it was too risky and I had many good relatives and friends that knew the Lord and would support me doing what would be pleasing to God and my parents.

Anthony and Carlton his oldest son.

I remember having many nice school friends that came to church or my house,  and sometimes I might go to theirs if mom knew them for a while. But I had such a good time with church family, and the few nice school friends and my own family that I felt more comfortable following the family style I had of church, school, socializing with young people that my parents approved of and they all did not have a church background, but we were taught to live so there would be a chance to win our good friends that did not know Jesus.

School is very important and I am thrilled when I see kids that do well with their education. On the other hand there are some perfectly wonderful, smart kids that do well in some subjects and have trouble with others. That was me

I sometimes didn’t want to miss school, but when tough subjects and projects were to be done I have been full of anxiety. I thought I might like to find a way out of school. My mom was my buffer, I felt like I could tell her and she would help me or something she would say would just give me the courage to calm inside and get it done and have peace enough in my mind not to hate school. It might be average or slightly above failing but hey at least I passed it. When I got in 8th grade I got better grades and felt more at ease. Then ninth grade I got better and got on the honor roll and my confidence grew. Even worked a little harder in tenth grade on subjects I disliked.  And I stayed on the honor roll most the the time through graduation.

Daddy and Bryan

Some parents continually are driving and harsh over school. Somehow that plays into other areas of our lives and even in our ability to make it a drudgery to go to church. I am not pleased in kids that feel free to be disruptive in church services or functions of school and church. I know that sometimes children do act up in church, school restaurants, etc. We don’t like it, but he without sin cast the first stone. It seems best to just deal with it  and don’t go over board .

I grew up in the church and I learned how to act and did not suffer horribly learning. My parents never took away church functions as punishment. They never grounded me or kept me away from church functions. I have seen this happen and watched the kids that were corrected in that way begin to quietly turn cold towards church and church friends and they became hardened towards the things of God.

We were corrected when it was needed and admonished, but never left with the feeling like we were hopeless or that we had done too much to be a part or to be loved. We need to train and correct and leave a feeling of hope for better actions that make things work better for not just us parents but the loved ones we want to do well. I cringe when I hear name-calling from parents and severe treatment that only seems to be a venting of anger instead of a consistent training of good living.

Marisa our daughter with first son Garrison

If you worship and are tender and respectful towards God and man more than likely your offspring will have the same desires to please God. There are always exceptions, but more than not I see Parents that love the things of God and enjoy the church family the children do.

My husband preaches about how when a parent is first feeding the baby with a spoon of food. They make sounds like yum, and lick their lips and play with the baby as they try to teach it to like eating the food. Different textures in foods for a baby start out with a little bit of struggle for the baby, but you keep trying another tiny bite and then the baby will get used to it and it will be easy for the baby to enjoy it. It is not enjoyable for the baby or those that might be watching the process if the feeder rams the spoon in the babies mouth and always gets exasperated and angry and it might even stunt the good digesting of food and happy feeling of being fed. Even though a baby eats messy and spits it out from tasting and eating baby style pretty soon the baby is reaching for the spoon itself and eating  and maybe making a mess , but soon it gets easier for him to feed himself and the mess gets less and less.

Daddy and Andy our youngest son

Serving Jesus has to be a good, wonderful and enjoyable for us to help our young grow up with the joy of serving Jesus embedded in their hearts. And even if they go astray they know that they still love the Preacher, Pastor, Mom and Dad and family of God. They know that they aren’t right, but when they live for God they want it like their mom and dad and how they were brought up.

I was brought up to be careful how you speak of the Holy Ghost and Good Godly people. In fact I was cautioned to be careful what I said about those that were not doing right. I realize that has kept me from feeling free to just say whatever I decided to say even about those that were not right in the church. It also leaves the door to my heart open so if I am needed to show love and concern God can use me to help show Godly love and care to someone that has been wrong.

I Thank God that I never feel free to just assassinate anyone’s character. Those I have seen that feel free to destroy what is left of someone’s desire to  come to church by treating them unkind and telling them off are in trouble in their own character. God is much nicer than we ever thought of being. God Loves when we don’t love. He knows how to clean someone up from the world and make them so right that you cannot recognize how they used to be. And I have seen him do that myself. Love works wonders in the hardest situations, We are limited and we limit ourselves.

So, you want your child and family to live for God. It really works the best if you have the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. They all point to life with Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness Faith, Meekness, and Temperance. And , If these are working in YOUR LIFE you will have much more success in convincing just by your life that Serving Jesus is the Best Thing that can ever happen.

Our Family Dec. 2009

Say Your Sorry!!

Andy and daddy having tender fun moments!

How many times growing up has this phrase been said to us? I have used that phrase with my own children. I have ask them to say they were sorry to others when they were small. I have thought about whether I made them lie because I could see it in their face that they said it to keep out of trouble with me. They were not genuinely sorry, they were being made to say that whether they were sorry or not.

I realized through out my living around people that some have never yet got the message about the need to say, “ I am so sorry”. It might embarrass you to admit that you hurt someone needlessly or were too harsh for the situation. I would rather admit my blunder and repent than to have too much pride to refresh my tenderness and wipe my record clean showing I have needlessly said or done this and it has hurt you, “I am sorry, that was so wrong of me, I should not have gone this far with my actions or words.”

There are some folks that can’t seem to say the simple words I am sorry, but they will feel bad and buy you a gift. Others may just change their ways towards you and be nice and expect that to work and it does , but there isn’t any method that works better to bring about peace and wipe the heart clean again like just out loud saying “I am sorry” and meaning it from the heart.

In a marriage nothing fixes situations when they go wrong like saying you are sorry for what you did that hurt . You know when you are the problem and most the time everyone else concerned does too. Respect is lost quicker and more when you refuse to repent for whatever your part was in the upset.

If you really want to correct your mistake and be respected again those words will be the biggest and best chance to start over new. The benefits are great.

If you think you lose respect or you feel to big to say your sorry you have just took steps backwards instead of forward. It makes you more careful when you repent to not do that again. If you make another mistake well repentance still works and it shows that there is Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. Love, Joy returns, Peace comes back, longsuffering because you needed it, Gentleness returns, Meekness instead of arrogance, Goodness! Faith! And Temperance!

It might feel dreadful to have to humble yourself and say your sorry, but it is worth the healing of hearts to just say I am sorry.

I have witnessed people talking mean about others and what you say gets around. Hearts have been wounded and disrespect has been planted with a big seed of doubt. You publicly state your opinion and feel like you have a right to say what is true then you assassinate someone else’s character never even a drop of fear while you do that. Your tender side is losing it tenderness and you feed on the faults of others and it begins to be what your mind thinks about so much of the time.

You think you had a right to resent and make fun of good people that seem to be prospering more than you. You feel the need to step on their heart and crunch their confidence and do damage to them and when it is brought out you refuse to just say I was wrong , or that was a horrible way to treat you . How much of a difference in the area of restoration, and rebuilding a relationship or just plain respect again just to say and admit “I said that wrong, I need to be kind, I wasn’t good to you”. Nothing works better to bring peace and harmony again in your own heart like Repenting when you need to.

If you are too harsh or have a pattern of cutting down your child’s confidence because you have outburst of uncontrolled anger you never thought of saying I am sorry. You think you’re the parent and shouldn’t admit because they will lose respect. They go through life have few moments of feeling cherished or fruits of the spirit  in their lives. You have called them unkind names and punished them so much for your own aggravations. You are extreme about every minute problem , then you may feel God talking to you about repenting. The Devil wants you and your relationships destroyed so when you feel tender and repenting  don’t refuse or be afraid of losing ground that is the one key that opens the door to a better relationship with even your children. If there ever is any hope of fixing damage it is in repentance and saying your sorry and then you have more power to actually reverse and repair damage.

I am so thankful that the words,” I am sorry are so precious and cleansing and I love how I feel when that is said.” I can once again smile at someone I wronged and care what happens to them. We both know I repented and my part was fixed whether they accept it or not .

No Pity Needed!!

No Pity Needed !!

If they told me that hell isn’t real and there is no heaven to gain, I would still love the life I am living for Jesus. Just why would my life be better with a cigarette, or a freedom to drink booze. If I could dress any way I want to with no restraints about men’s apparel or wearing shorts and halter tops how would that enhance my looks or give me more respect. Skinny or Chubby I feel relieved to see a Lady dress modestly and lady like.

I wouldn’t look better with my hair cut off like a man or or even stringing down my back unkempt. It is a little work to look neat and decently dressed, but the feeling of taking care about how you act and looked is much more relaxing than the alternative of just going about any way you decide and feel.

I still like to see mom’s teach their little girls from a young age how to sit Lady like and how beautiful they are without makeup, and jewelry. It seems like some Pentecostal mom’s think their daughters are deprived if they don’t allow them to wear make up, short sleeved dresses, slacks and shorts. I grew up seeing Mom look so pretty even when she was casual she looked attractive and she taught me that is the way to look attractive. You dress modestly, you look natural and you act like a lady with a sweet manner and that is the easiest way to be pretty.

The happiest most well adjusted little girls I see are ones that they have been taught basic manners, modesty and how to handle themselves in a poised manner. You never hurt your daughter by not giving in to worldly dress or jewelry and makeup. The beauty comes from within to the outside. If you are beautiful but arrogant you are not easy to be around and you will lack the wholesome friendships that you could have.

How nice it is to see a mom take time to do lady things with their daughters. The relationship of a mom and her daughter is enhanced not by how many clothes you buy her by demand, but how many little things you simply do that are gradually teaching her to be pleased with lady things. Start by doing a little tea at the house some pretty teacups, or take a little pleasure in helping her dress nicely for church and look her age and enjoy without real expensive clothes, where she looks at other girls and compares prices.   Clothes that are fitting for her age as she grows. It is not how much you spend that brings happy feelings.  If you start out quoting prices and spending high prices it becomes a must and takes the contentment out of anything ordinary.

The Bible is the most peaceful guide in how we should bring our girls up. They can be out going or quiet in nature and if you teach them manners and wholesome living either temperament can be a joy. It is good to make over your child and compliment them every chance you get. Teach them how to allow others to compliment them and how much sweeter it feels to not prompt other to brag on you, by bragging on yourself. How good it is for them to learn to compliment others and share the joy of others also. Some learn to be takers but not givers.

Manners have to be taught. The best way to teach someone to me is making it a fun thing instead of drudgery. Some learn to work or not want to work by the harsh style of how they were taught. Teaching in life should not always be a harsh dreadful time. I have heard mom’s sing songs of pick up clean up or make work a more rewarding fun time and that would make a child have fun and learn not to dread work or manners. If you are always punishing and getting overly harsh then the ease that kids can get from what they need to do and have to do is destroyed. Let the pattern they have to cut out and live by simple.

In all we are teaching it is easier to teach and learn if you are not harsh, and so ready to punish.  Tension and dread stunts the growth of good character development. If you the teacher want respect and consistent obedience without inner resentment and having to force without it becoming a way of life, you need to pay attention to how you are teaching. Is it with harsh, angry force or full of threats instead of making it appealing to do? Most things can be taught and made to feel like a livable non-threatening thing to do.  You should explain why and how it is just better, or nicer way to do it this way.

If you never let your child talk about things with you without getting upset or shutting them up then there will come a day you will want to communicate in an easy manner, but you didn’t create that so they will share their communication with others. They will not find you to be the one they can share their confusion or disappointments or joys with because you did not cultivate a easy communication no matter whether it is with joy or trouble.

I have been so blessed to raise my own children in the fear of the Lord. To me the fear of the Lord means that I want to please him. I want him to approve. It is not with dread although I know if I don’t follow his commands and obey that I will suffer and lose his approval. He makes my life so pleasant and the benefits are worth whatever the rules.  The rules are not excruciatingly harsh they are what brings me quality of life and I live them easy. I am deprived of nothing good for me. I can enjoy with my guidelines a pattern to keep me safe and in tune with him.

If you have rules in your home of what you allow or don’t allow why is it that you challenge rules in church. I see people that are not very God conscious making statements of how they want God with no rules. I don’t want that kind of relationship. God is Love and he protects me with what I learn to live by. The Ten Commandments are rules, the scripture has guidelines, your job will tell you good bye if you don’t follow rules. If there were no rules or regards for how you are treated, or how you treat others, you would not want to keep working there.

There are codes to live by in your home that brings comfort and peace and helps to bring a nice environment to live there for everyone there. It doesn’t mean that you should be overbearing and make strenuous rules that bring tension and resentment, you have defeated your own life and those that have to live with you. The Fruits of the Spirit cushions our life to live what we live and feel good about it.

When you want to get a point across don’t cross out church. Are you having trouble with your child? So they love to go to church and they love their friends at church. If you punish and are thinking of what means most, why don’t you ground them from a youth function, youth night, youth conference that they were looking so forward to? Why don’t you get them where it hurts the most in their fellowship of good church kids? If you must punish don’t squash their desire to do church functions or by separating them from church friends.

They will find their fellowship needs elsewhere in their world and lose their desire for church. I have counted the cost and that loss is long lasting and too devastating spiritually to be worth the risk to get your point across. I never want to kill the excitement of church functions. In you’re taking away don’t take away the church; you might be replacing the love for church with disdain and resentment.

We make adjustments and we live by codes, and rules, but we are living a good life and not missing the good important things of life.

The most fun, classy wholesome people I know are living of the best of life, not deprived of worldly dress or activities just safe and dedicated and loving it. Their happy bright pleasing contented manner gives me peace in knowing this is the best way to live.

I have been raised not with pity at what I don’t do. I know why I don’t do what I don’t do and it has been explained and I have seen the value in why. I get to do so many good things that it has replaced the don’ts. No pity or mocking necessary for me.