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Free Devotions for Kids and Parents » bullying

Archive for the 'bullying' Category

Delayed Success is Not Failure

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

619307160_019d96a4431

Photo by Alosh Bennett

Day 28
I have come up with some great ideas some times but when I try to implement them they fail.  So I give up and think that must not be for me.  Have you ever experienced that?

I’ve learned that that just is not true.  The ideas came to me for a reason and if I give up I’m losing a great opportunity.  Ideas come to us before their time so we can grow into them.  When the time is right everything will come together.

Sometimes we have to wait for a right situation to come along other times we need to grow in a certain area and often we have to wait for that other person involved to be in the right place too.

Before God could deliver the Israelites from Egypt they had to draw close to God. They had to know Him in an intimate way. God says Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Him but not in the same way that the Israelites could know Him.  He gave them a deeper revelation.

In Exodus 6:9 we read that the Israelites didn’t listen to Moses because of ‘anguish of spirit and cruel bondage’.  They were held captive emotionally. When we come close to God His thoughts and ideas permeate our every thought and desire.  We can then believe that He will give us success if He says He will.

God often makes His promises to us conditional; if we will do ‘this’ He will do ‘that’. We can lose out on God’s promise and help by failing to do our part.  God had to wait for the Israelites to trust that He was working out their deliverance inspite of how things were getting worse for them.

“There is a right time for everything:
A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant; A time to harvest;
A time to kill; A time to heal;
A time to destroy; A time to rebuild;
A time to cry; A time to laugh;
A time to grieve; A time to dance;
A time for scattering stone; A time for gathering stones;
A time to hug; A time not to hug;
A time to find; A time to lose;
A time for keeping; A time for throwing away;
A time to tear; A time to repair;
A time to be quiet; A time to speak up;
A time for loving; A time for hating;
A time for war; A time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1to 8 [ The Living Bible]
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I want to walk with you spiritually this year, inviting you to read the Bible through from cover to cover; from Genesis 1 all the way to Revelation 22:21.  If that sounds too difficult for you and your kids, you can join in again after you have taken a break or join us for the days you’re up to it.  We will start on Sunday, January 18th and finish Saturday, January 16, 2010.  I promise that you will understand the Bible in a much deeper way if you read it through from cover to cover in a year’s time.

Accept my challenge to read the Bible through in one year chronologically, including the Old and the New Testament.

Day 28 Today read:
Exodus 5:22-7:25
Matthew 18:21-19:12
Psalm 23:1-6
Proverbs 5:22-23

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This devotion is copyright protected and all rights are reserved worldwide. You are free to use this devotion with your family or with your class. However, it may not be reprinted or republished in any form without written consent from Ruth Willms. If you would like to request permission to republish this devotion, please contact Ruth at ruth.willms@gmail.com

“Footprints in the Sand”

Friday, February 13th, 2009

footprints2
Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

Day 27

I love the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.  It reminds me that Jesus not only walks with me when I need Him but at times He even carries me.  I can depend completely on Him when I feel inadequate.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”
By Mary Stevenson
We all need someone to be there for us in difficult times.

I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing.  I looked at my alarm clock. Three a.m.

I heard my dad talking on the phone in serious tones. He was asking about my older brother, Ervan.  When I heard him ask, “Is he going to live?” I knew something terrible had happened to my brother.

For the next few months most of my parent’s time was given to visiting my sick brother in the hospital. When he was finally well enough to come home they were busy taking care of him. They had to prepare special meals for him, and feed him, and change his dressings among other things. In time he healed and became independent again.

While my brother was sick he depended on my parents. My parents never neglected the rest of us but like a shepherd caring for a lame lamb until he is healed they had to give him a lot of extra care. During this time I’m sure my brother developed a very close relationship with my mom and dad because they spent so much time together.

There are times in our lives too that as His child God has to carry us.  We depend on him completely.  Sometimes it’s as we go through a difficult time in our life, like a divorce or an illness, or a financial crisis.  When situations are out of our control and we feel lost He comes and walks the dark hills reaching His hands out to us and carries us back to that safe place close to Him.  He cares for us as we depend completely on Him.

A shepherd has to leave his other sheep as he looks for the lost or hurt lamb, and a parent is forced to neglect the healthy child temporarily because of  their limitations. Unlike the shepherd and our parents, God isn’t limited.  He is with us 100% of the time while He is with the extra needy 100% of the time.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.
“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do?  Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go into the hills to search for the lost one?”  Matthew 18:12 [The Living Bible]

“God has said, ‘I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 [The Living Bible]
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I want to walk with you spiritually this year, inviting you to read the Bible through from cover to cover; from Genesis 1 all the way to Revelation 22:21.  If that sounds too difficult for you and your kids, you can join in again after you have taken a break or join us for the days you’re up to it.  We will start on Sunday, January 18th and finish Saturday, January 16, 2010.  I promise that you will understand the Bible in a much deeper way if you read it through from cover to cover in a year’s time.

Accept my challenge to read the Bible through in one year chronologically, including the Old and the New Testament.

Day 27 Today read:
Exodus 4:1-5:21
Matthew 18:1-20
Psalm 22:19-31
Proverbs 5:15-21

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This devotion is copyright protected and all rights are reserved worldwide. You are free to use this devotion with your family or with your class. However, it may not be reprinted or republished in any form without written consent from Ruth Willms. If you would like to request permission to republish this devotion, please contact Ruth at ruth.willms@gmail.com

Are you bullying others?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Devotional for Kids

“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to – what I hate.
“I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking.
“But I can’t help myself, because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things.” Romans 7: verses 15, 16 and 17. [The Living Bible]

Wow! These are strong words and you probably don’t want to admit that this describes you sometimes. Do you know that a preacher wrote this about himself? He was an apostle of Jesus who everyone in the Christian church looked up to.

The apostle Paul wrote these words and he wrote a lot of books in the Bible to teach us how to live for God. He admitted that he felt like we all do sometimes; he did wrong things, he sinned, because he couldn’t help himself.

As God’s child we are very lucky or blessed. We have God to help us. When we feel angry, frustrated and neglected we can go to God because we know He loves and understand how we feel. The best thing is that in spending time with God in praying and reading the Bible, His Word, we even feel better after. We can tell Him how we feel and ask Him to change our hearts.

What should we do if we are angry or frustrated? If we are taking our frustrations and anger out on others by calling them names or hitting or hurting them in some way, we are bullying them. We might be doing that because we want to be in control or we just feel better after taking our frustration out on someone else.

If you feel angry a lot, talk to an adult you can trust, like your parent or teacher. They will help you plan ways to deal with your emotions in a way that doesn’t hurt other kids.

Talk to God. Tell Him how you feel, and what happened to make you feel this way. Ask Him to put right feelings of love, compassion and forgiveness in your heart and mind.

There are physical ways of getting rid of your anger and frustrations too/ Go for a walk or a run. Play hockey, basketball or your favorite sport. Go for a swim. Punch a stuffed garbage bag. Sing to quiet your mind.

Learn to be a good athlete, join a drama club, study to be an A student. When you excel in something people respect you and give you attention. This builds your self esteem so you feel good about yourself and gives you confidence that you can handle your life better.

In Genesis 4: verses 6-7 God asks Cain, “Why are you so angry? Why is your face so dark with rage?” Then God says, “It can be bright with joy if you will do what you should! But if you refuse to obey, watch out. Sin is waiting to attack you, longing to destroy you. But you can conquer it” [The Living Bible]

You have a choice. Cain chose to ignore God’s advice to stop being angry and he chose to kill his brother. That reminds me of the shootings and violence that happen in schools sometimes. You probably would never do something that extreme but even hitting, and punching and putting others down by name-calling makes God sad because it is sin.

God doesn’t leave us alone in handling our sin or wrongs; He says if we confess our sins He forgives us through Jesus. He makes us strong to do His will.

Going deeper as parents:

Our example has a huge effect on our kids. When we put others down by yelling at them, punching them or bossing them we are teaching our children to do the same.

Do you feel the need to be in control or in charge all the time? God says to humble ourselves and put others needs ahead of ours. We need to look at things through God’s eyes, seeing His perspective.

Ask God to work the fruits of His spirit in you, found in Galatians 5: verse 22. “..when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” [The Living Bible]

Memory verse for this week:

“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself.
“In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3: verses 4, 5 and 6 [The Living Bible]

Want to know more about how God can help you every day? Check out my new book The Lion Tree at http://www.ruthwillms.com

Look for my new unpublished story, An Anniversary Surprise, at http://www.ruthwillms.com