Thursday, June 6, 2019

Just Believe!

Mark 11:22-25
22 Jesus answered, “Have faith in God. 23 The truth is, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you. 24 So I tell you to ask for what you want in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. 25 When you are praying and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.”

One of the things that makes Jesus' teaching here so powerful is this:  "Receiving" is not based on "seeing" or "feeling"; it's based on BELIEVING.  If it was based on seeing or feeling, then Jesus wouldn't need to tell us what He says in these verses.  He's trying to get across that we have to be so convinced in our hearts that we've received (that His promises are true) that it doesn't matter what the circumstances say or indicate.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Spiritual Food 001

(I'm calling this "Spiritual Food 001" because sometimes there are things I write that I don't know how to categorize due to the variety of content. Anytime I have more posts like this, I'll use this same naming convention)

(this was a letter that I wrote to my dad to encourage and lift him up in God's truth)

Just before Moses' death, God gave him some last words to write down for the future generations.  He says in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 - "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

Notice that God basically tells him "There will be many times in your life where you're going to have to make a choice: Life or Death.  CHOOSE LIFE!"

I know that might seem obvious, but I think a lot of Christians miss the significance of this (I've sure missed it more than once in my own life!).

Take the example of when God was leading His people into the promised land (Numbers 13).  When they finally reached the promised land, it wasn't sitting there on a silver platter for them.  They were going to have to "possess" it.  BUT, the land was already inhabited by giants.  Moses sent out 12 spies to survey the new land that was waiting for them.  When the spies came back to the camp to give their report of what they had found, God's Word says that their report was "evil".

10 of the 12 spies basically said "The land indeed is rich with resources, but it's inhabited by strong people and giants, and the walls are large and tall. We are not able to go against these people. They are too strong for us. We feel like grasshoppers in the sight of these people".

But Caleb and Joshua said "Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to take it in battle!".

I wanna point out something very important:  The "evil report" that was given by the 10 spies was pointing out the truth of the circumstances.  The land WAS filled with strong people and giants, and the likelihood of them taking the land in their own power was slim.  And they probably thought that Caleb and Joshua were nuts (as most people in that circumstance would've thought).

But Caleb and Joshua were speaking/acting in faith.  The reason that Caleb and Joshua believed that they could possess the land is because they believed in their God; the God that they had seen deliver them time and time again in past impossible situations.

Whenever I hear people say things like "The doctor said there's no cure!", it's really hard for me to listen to because it's not how our minds have been reprogrammed to think (and it's not how God wants us to think).

The bible says that when we accept Jesus as our savior, we become a new creation and that all our old traits have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The bible also says that we're not supposed to be conformed to this world, but we're to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

God says that He created us in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26).  That means that we're supposed to succeed in this life by following His example.  Romans 4:17 says that God "calls those things which do not exist as though they did".  And Jesus told us that we're to speak to the circumstances in our life that don't line up with His will.  He not only gives us an example with a fig tree in Matthew 21:18-22, but he also uses the analogy of a mountain in the same chapter.

The sickness that has come against your body is not God's will.  It's a mountain that can be (and should be) chopped down with words (God's Words).

When satan tried to tempt Jesus, he spoke to Him with lies and perverted truths. And every time he did, Jesus responded by saying "It is written!...".  Jesus defeated the devil with WORDS! (God's Words)

There are more verses in the bible than I would have time or space to reference in this email, but I'd like to list a couple that directly tie in with what I'm talking about (and these are to be spoken as declarations over ourselves):

Romans 8:28:  "Father, Your Word says in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your perfect purpose.  That's ME!"
Jeremiah 29:11:  "Lord, Your Word says in Jeremiah 29:11 that You know the thoughts that You think towards me. Thoughts of peace and good, and not of evil, and that You desire to give me a future filled with hope."

Have you ever heard of "The finished works of Jesus"?  The last words Jesus spoke before He gave His Spirit into The Father's hands were "It is finished!".  His declaration means that our healing, deliverance, prosperity, victory, joy, peace and everything else that His Will desires for us to have is already finished and ready for us to claim.  We're not waiting for God to heal you, He's waiting on you to receive it.  Healing is received in the same way that our salvation is received.  We believe that God's Word is true and we receive it.

Revelation 13 tells us that Jesus was "slain from the foundation of the world".  So God provided everything we would need before we were ever born (our healing for example).  1 Peter 2:24 says "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by Whose stripes you were healed".  Before we were even born, Jesus paid for our healing!

When we "get saved", there's no magic token or anything that we can show people that says "Look, I'm saved!".  The only "evidence" of our salvation is our "faith" (Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.")

Some people can receive their healing by faith and see it manifest immediately.  But others don't always see it the moment after they believe and confess it.  That's when it's critically important for us to not say or do something that is contrary to the truth of God's Word that we believed and confessed (because Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" - we can speak death by agreeing with the lie of the enemy, or we can speak life by agreeing with the truth of God's Word).

As long as we live in this world, we're going to have times when the devil will attack us.  BUT, we can overcome him every time if we stand in faith and exercise the authority that Jesus died and rose again to freely give us.

In John 10:10, Jesus gives us a contrast/comparison of satan's plan vs God's plan:  "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Jesus tells us in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

We have to act in faith and stand in faith (Ephesians 6:13-17 says "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God").

I could go on and on, so I'll stop and let you digest all of that, lol.

Bottomline: I love you more than I could ever say in words, and I desire for you the same thing that Jesus desires for you (3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers).

I love you Dad, and I pray that my words will bless you and refresh your mind to His truth.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Man shall not live by bread alone..."

Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered him, “The Scriptures say, ‘It is not just bread that keeps people alive. Their lives depend on what God says.’” (“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ [Deut. 8:3]”)

This is what I'm hearing the Holy Spirit say about this verse:  It would be far greater for us to be spiritually fully mature but yet physically starve to death than it would be for us to be physically sustained but spiritually dead.

We desperately need to stay immersed in His Word and let it renew our minds so we can be transformed into the perfect image of His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 8:29, Romans 12:1-5).

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Knowing Who I Am In Christ (from Joyce Meyer)

"Knowing Who I Am In Christ"

Have you discovered how amazing your life in Christ is meant to be? This list reveals the truth about who God created you to be and how He wants you to live!


  • I am complete in Him Who is the head over all rule and authority—of every angelic and earthly power (Colossians 2:10).
  • I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
  • I am far from oppression, and will not live in fear (Isaiah 54:14).
  • I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
  • I have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
  • The Spirit of God, who is greater than the enemy in the world, lives in me (1 John 4:4).
  • I have received abundant grace and the gift of righteousness and reign in life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
  • I have received the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my heart enlightened, so that I know the hope of having life in Christ (Ephesians 1:17-18).
  • I have received the power of the Holy Spirit and He can do miraculous things through me.I have authority and power over the enemy in this world (Mark 16:17-18Luke 10:17-19).
  • I am renewed in the knowledge of God and no longer want to live in my old ways or nature before I accepted Christ (Colossians 3:9-10).
  • I am merciful, I do not judge others, and I forgive quickly. As I do this by God’s grace, He blesses my life (Luke 6:36-38).
  • God supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
  • In all circumstances I live by faith in God and extinguish all the flaming darts (attacks) of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16).
  • I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ Jesus who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
  • I am chosen by God who called me out of the darkness of sin and into the light and life of Christ so I can proclaim the excellence and greatness of who He is (1 Peter 2:9).
  • I am born again—spiritually transformed, renewed and set apart for God’s purpose—through the living and everlasting word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
  • I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works that He has prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).
  • In Christ, I am dead to sin—my relationship to it is broken—and alive to God—living in unbroken fellowship with Him (Romans 6:11).
  • The light of God’s truth has shone in my heart and given me knowledge of salvation through Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
  • As I hear God’s Word, I do what it says and I am blessed in my actions (James 1:2225).
  • I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Romans 8:37).
  • I overcome the enemy of my soul by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
  • I have everything I need to live a godly life and am equipped to live in His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
  • I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
  • I am the righteousness of God—I have right standing with Him—in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • I am the head and not the tail, and I only go up and not down in life as I trust and obey God (Deuteronomy 28:13).
  • I am chosen by God, forgiven and justified through Christ. I have a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness and patience (Romans 8:33Colossians 3:12).
  • I am redeemed—forgiven of all my sins and made clean—through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7).
  • I have been rescued from the domain and the power of darkness and brought into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
  • My life is rooted in my faith in Christ and I overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done for me (Colossians 2:7).
  • I am called to live a holy life by the grace of God and to declare His praise in the world (Psalm 66:82 Timothy 1:9).
  • I am strengthened with all power according to His glorious might (Colossians 1:11).
  • I humbly submit myself to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
  • I press on each day to fulfill God’s plan for my life because I live to please Him (Philippians 3:14).
  • I am not ruled by fear because the Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me His power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • Christ lives in me, and I live by faith in Him and His love for me (Galatians 2:20).

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Prayer for Your Kids at Bedtime (And 10 Verses from Psalms to Bring Peace)

(a re-post from https://www.ibelieve.com/motherhood/a-prayer-for-your-kids-at-bedtime-and-10-verses-from-psalms-to-bring-peace.html)

So often, by the end of a full day, we just want to get everyone to sleep and fall into bed ourselves. I wish I could say that I’ve prayed with my children every single night since I’ve been a mom. But I haven’t. And many times, even in my best efforts, I’ve been known to fall right asleep as I’m praying with them or reading a Bible verse.
Other times, I’ve awakened in the night, and have been compelled to kneel at their bedside as they’ve slept, asking God to surround their lives in mighty ways with His love and care, and to give them great purpose and hope. Maybe you’ve found yourself there too many times. No one will ever fully know of a mother’s prayers on behalf of her children, the countless hours and heart-cry over them, but God knows. And He sees. And you can be assured beyond any doubt, that He is at work, in them and through them for His great glory.
Whether you’re in the habit of praying for or with your kids each night and looking for fresh words, or you’re just starting to pray for them before they sleep, here is a prayer you can pray for your children before bedtime, each night reminding them of God’s constant presence and peace.

A Prayer to Pray Over Your Kids at Bedtime

Dear God,
We come before you and we thank you for this day and all that it’s brought our way, the good things and the hard things too. Thank you that within it all, you’ve reminded us again how much you love us and are always with us. We pray that you would help us to leave all of our cares and worries with you right now. Forgive us for the times we didn’t get it right today, in our attitudes or actions. We confess our need for you, and we thank you that you’re so loving and forgiving, compassionate and kind. Help us to be more like you every single day. We ask for your wisdom to keep learning and growing closer to you Lord, and we thank you that each morning is a fresh start again.
We thank you, Father God, for your word that reminds us you never sleep or slumber. You are always watching out for us and your great care is constantly covering our home and family. We ask for you to take away any fears or anxious thoughts tonight, and that you would bring your perfect peace, the peace that goes far beyond our own understanding, to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

We know that in you, we are safe and secure...

We believe you are close, and your protection is more powerful than we could ever imagine. Thank you that you constantly remind us we never have to be afraid, in the day or the night. So we choose to put our trust in you as we lay our heads down and close our eyes to rest. We need the sleep and peace that only you can give. We pray for good dreams, for your blessings to surround us in every way.  
We pray for all those we love, our family, our friends, our neighbors, our pets, and we ask that you would show each of them your great love and care in amazing ways. We thank you Lord that nothing is too big or small for you to care about. You know all that concerns us, and you remind us that you are fighting for us, even as we sleep, even in ways we may not always see. We love you and we’re so grateful for your promise to always be with us.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

10 Verses from Psalms: To Pray with Your Kids Before Bedtime

For Protection

 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” … For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:1-2,11
“The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121:5-6

For Peace and Rest

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-2
“I lie down and sleep, I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” Psalm 3:5
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7

For the Reminder that He is always with us

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limit.” Psalm 147:4-5
“Even the darkness will not be dark to you, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:12-14
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8

For Freedom from Fear

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
God reminds us over and over in His word that He loves us more than we could ever fully know. He longs to help us and is always there. His words of life give us hope that He is our strong tower. He promises to draw near to those who are seeking after Him, and is faithful to see us, and our kids, through every struggle of this life. Your prayers are never in vain with the Lord. He hears every word, He sees your heart for your children, and His arms are open to their every need.
Peace.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Prayer Acronym Named "ACTS"

AAdoration - Give God praise and honor for who He is, what He's done, and what He continues to do in our lives.  (I've also seen this letter listed as "Acknowledge")

CConfession - We will continue to fall short of His holiness and should confess our sins to Him with a sincere heart of repentance.

TThanksgiving - Telling God what we're grateful for and giving Him thanks for his goodness, kindness, mercy, grace, etc.

SSupplication - Bringing our requests to God for the needs of others and ourselves.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"The Law & The Prophets" and "The Great Commandment"

Half of the original 10 commandments identify ways you can fail at loving God, and the other half identify ways you can fail at loving people (failing to honor God is deeply connected to failing to honor people).  This helps bring new and expanded meaning to the "great commandment" that Jesus spoke of in the New Testament (Luke 10:27, Mark 12:29-31 and Matthew 22:37-40).  It's a combination of the two main themes of the original 10 commandments.

The great commandment is "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

What does Jesus mean by "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets"?

If people obey the great commandment, they'll automatically be obeying all 613 laws (and prophets) from the old testament.  Jesus came to fulfill the law and show us by example how we should live (so that we too can fulfill the law).  The one who loves fulfills the law (Romans 13:8).

Friday, February 8, 2019

Growing & Using Our Faith

I heard the Holy Spirit tell me this today: "Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).  If you're not speaking My Word, you won't hear My Word, and you'll lose your faith.  And when you're faith goes, your hope goes. (Hebrews 11:1)"
 
Faith is like the manna that the Israelites received from God in the desert.  They couldn't store it up.  They only had each day to collect and use it, and there was only enough for each day; they had to wait until the next morning for fresh manna.  Faith is a lot like that manna; we can't store it up (not in the way that you would think).  No matter how many weeks, months, or even years that we've been building our faith, it fades fast if we stop building it.  We have to fill ourselves every day in order to stay strong in The Lord.  And that's a good thing, because it continues to keep us grounded in Him (our ultimate source).



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Strategies/Techniques To Win The Battle Against Stress


2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  (Any thought that doesn't line up with the Word of God, don't let it have a place in your heart or mind, and especially don't speak it)

Proverbs 18:20-21
A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  (Speak ONLY life)

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  (No matter how it feels, no matter how impossible the circumstances might seem, trust in HIM and refuse to let your mind ponder it in the natural)

Phillippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  (Even if you "feel" afraid, refuse to let yourself worry.  Meditate ONLY on victorious thoughts and expect God's peace to wash over you)

1 Peter 5:5-11
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  (You're not the only one who's struggling.  The same struggles you're going through, other believers are going through and have gone through the same struggles; you're not alone.  Keep yourself in a continual state of humility, continue to release your concerns to Jesus, and continue to trust in Him)

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Stay grounded in Jesus.  He IS the anointing, and He wants His anointing to rest upon His children)

Read Joshua 1.  In this account of history, Moses was now dead, and Joshua was expected to take over the ministry (a congregation of 3 million people!).  Joshua knew of all the miracles that God did through Moses (a mighty man of God).  Now the church was basically like "OK, show us what ya got".  He was likely under immense stress at the thought of taking over the leadership of so many people.  God tells him 3 times to "be strong and of good courage", and at the end of chapter 1, and even the men in Joshua's army said they would "only be strong and of good courage".  God KNEW Joshua was scared, but He needed him to be strong, to trust in Him and to do what He said.

Joshua 1
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it. And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; Until the Lord have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the Lord your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord's servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising. And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

Attitude: A Window Into a Child’s Heart

(a re-post from https://thrivingkidsconnection.com/attitude-a-window-into-a-childs-heart)
Getting the job done is important, but what about the rolling eyes or huffing and mumbling? Is a bad attitude inevitable? Sometimes parents excuse the attitude by saying, “At least he did what I asked.” Others use excuses like, “She’s tired,” or “He’s only eight” and ignore the attitudes they see.
Unfortunately attitudes don’t typically get better, they get worse. If the heart is in the wrong place, a crisis is just around the corner. Some parents mistakenly ignore attitudes because their children comply.  Kids need to learn how to respond well to the challenges of life even when they’re unhappy. We all need to do things we don’t want to do and respond positively even though we don’t feel like it.

3 ASPECTS OF AN ATTITUDE

An attitude is more than just the behavior you see. Attitudes are heart issues that have developed from several factors including emotions and thinking errors. Emotions, like frustration, disappointment, and anger, are complicated. Jealousy, pride, and discouragement are likely to reveal themselves inappropriately as well. Often the bad attitude you see in a child is just the tip of the iceberg with complicated and intense emotions swirling around just under the surface.
Thinking errors contribute to bad attitudes as well. Children may believe that just because they’re unhappy they have the right to display that misery to those around them. Furthermore, a child may believe that the workload he has is unreasonable. Your daughter may believe that homework is a waste of time. Another child may think that if his brother is being annoying, he has the right to punch him. Children typically have misperceptions about life leading to thinking errors that result in bad attitudes.
Part of our job as parents is to help children respond appropriately to emotions and to change what they believe about life. One of the ways you’ll do that is by challenging bad attitudes, since bad attitudes are the flag, indicating a heart problem.
Some parents make the mistake of using their own emotions to overpower their kids, believing that, because this child is wrong, then the anger is warranted. In that case, often the parent’s own attitude is revealed, requiring some adjustments in emotional management and a change in thinking.
The reality is that emotional intensity hinders closeness and, just because you’re right in addressing a bad attitude, that doesn’t mean that your anger is a good strategy for dealing with it.

FIRMNESS IS ONE PART OF THE SOLUTION

So can we put aside our own anger, and still be firm? The answer is yes. Let’s remind ourselves that firmness doesn’t mean harshness. You might calmly say, “Wait a minute. Stop right there. Don’t take the trash out. You need to sit down and think about your attitude. I know you have other things to do in life, and you’re disappointed that I asked you to help out here, but you need to be willing to contribute to the family. So sit down and think about it and come back to talk to me when you’re ready.” In this way you challenge a child’s thinking and you check the emotional reaction to raise awareness of a poor response. Having the child take a break gives opportunity to settle down and change the heart.
Of course, changing attitudes takes much time and work, so don’t give up. It’s usually best to sit down with a child at a non-discipline time to talk about attitudes and how they affect the relational atmosphere in a home. When you begin to open dialogue with a child about attitudes, you might point out that attitudes make a statement even though they don’t usually have words. Attitudes are revealed in tone of voice, posture, grunts, sighs, and unkind looks.
An attitude often gives a message that says, “I’m angry with you.” Or “It isn’t fair that I have to do so much work.” Or “How dare you interrupt me before I get to the next level on my video game.”
After a child has settled down from a bad attitude, it’s often helpful to discuss the message the child was communicating. “Son, you were obviously unhappy when I was trying to help you with your homework. What was going on there?”
Even if a child can’t form feelings into words at the moment, your brainstorming session often raises the awareness of non-verbal communication. You’re then helping your child to think about how to better communicate next time.
If you regularly talk to your child about attitudes and reflect on poor emotional responses by debriefing, then your child will likely begin to choose different responses. You might even discuss scriptures together about people who had good attitudes compared to those who had bad attitudes.
For example, Cain had a bad attitude toward correction so God confronted him in Genesis 4:6-7 by saying, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

BAD ATTITUDES ARE A HEART ISSUE

The same thing is true when children allow their anger to fester. A bad attitude sets a child up to make a poor choice, hurt others, or think selfishly about a situation. When a child responds poorly to a limit you set, an instruction you give, or to correction, then sin is waiting to pounce.
The battle within is an important one for children to understand. Some kids have no idea that they’re wrestling with desires inside. They just freely express their disappointment and many times do it in hurtful ways. The reality is that mature and healthy people put limits on their reactions and choose to do what’s right instead.
Be careful that you don’t just correct for a bad attitude but also look for ways to encourage a positive one. Offer praise for a good attitude under pressure by describing internal strength, not simply right actions.
It’s not hard to show joy or excitement when things are going well. But it’s a real sign of maturity for a child to demonstrate contentment or cooperation in the face of a challenging situation. As you work with your child in the attitude department, you’ll be training and equipping your child for life.