Why is everybody screaming?

I don’t know about you, but there have been a few days in the last few weeks where I look at our country and say, “Lord, what is going on?” There are people who hate us because of our political and religious leanings. The lines are divided, the tension high. How do we encourage our kids when they’re faced with hatred because of who they support or …read more

Hey, Alexa, play my Flash Briefing.

Who doesn’t like an easy way to check information? I sure do. While easy is nice, it’s not always the best for our kids. But, in THIS situation, you might want to make an exception. Our goal as Christian parents and grandparents is to point our kids to Christ. Now, Keys for Kids has an easy way to do that. If you have an Amazon Echo or Dot, you can use your app to create a Flash Briefing that will play Keys for Kids and Parent Minute. Just go to your Amazon Alexa app, and then search for “Keys for Kids.” Tap “Enable” on both feeds, and it will be added to your daily Flash Briefing. Then, each morning, say, “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing,” and you’ll hear Keys for Kids and Parent Minute every day at your command.

Giving Tuesday. Are you participating?

Many of our kids today have a sense of entitlement. Guess what? You and I have created these monsters. The good news is there are still a lot of families today where kids are actively involved in giving to those in need. With today being Giving Tuesday, it’s a chance to model giving, and you and I can do it as a family. Pick a favorite charity. I hope you’ll pick Keys for Kids. You can help us ignite a passion for Christ in more kids and their families around the world—specifically in Latin America, as we hope to begin translating our Keys for Kids devotional into Spanish online every day. As parents, it’s a great way to show our kids that Christmas is about giving—because God gave us His most precious gift of all: His son. Give today. 

It’s Cyber Monday. Get ready for Giving Tuesday!

First, there was Black Friday, the unofficial kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. Today is Cyber Monday, and you can take advantage of ours at shop.keysforkids.org. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. It's the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, creating an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. We want to make our Keys for Kids devotional available online for kids in Spanish. It costs about $19 a day. As parents, it’s a great way to show our kids that Christmas is about giving—because God gave us His most precious gift of all: His son. Give today. 

Giving—it isn’t normal.

Sharing. One of the most important lessons in life. Who doesn’t want a kid who thinks of others? Let’s face it. We’re selfish. We know what we like, and we like what we like. Sometimes we want to keep what we like for ourselves. But when it comes to giving, God is pretty clear. He LOVES a cheerful giver. So, as we’re teaching our kids how to give, yes, we gotta do the obvious—teach them that all our money is God’s. And give 10% back to Him (minimum). But here are some not-so-obvious ideas: start a family ministry project. Maybe sponsor a child or a Keys for Kids Storyteller, help refugees or a local homeless shelter. What does this show? Love, one of God’s greatest commands. Keys for Kids Storyteller: https://www.keysforkids.org/storyteller

My little kids are afraid of disabled kids.

Sometimes kids are afraid of other kids who are maybe a bit different than they are. That doesn’t mean we should allow them to continue to ignore them. It means that we need to help our kids not just get used to them, but encourage friendships. We shouldn’t be surprised when our kids invest in the lives of these kiddos that it doesn’t only impact their lives, but ours too. Sometimes it requires our kids to give them a little extra help. It may require good listening skills because they don’t speak clearly. Or patience because of their quirkiness. If our kids are befriending someone in a non-Christian family, it can open huge doors for outreach.

“Up North” is my favorite place. Yours?

“Up North.” It really is a place. In Michigan, it’s anywhere NORTH of where you live—usually somewhere in a wooded area or a lake. For me, “Up North” was the family cottage that my grandparents built in 1955 along the shores of Lake Huron. It became a place I loved to visit. It created so many childhood memories. As an adult, it allowed my family to get to know my grandparents in ways they never would have otherwise. It also became a place I heard the Truth of God’s Word regularly. Now, my grandkids say “Up North” is their favorite place. It doesn’t have to be a family cottage. Maybe it’s a campground, a resort, or something else—a place to create memories and spiritual formation.

Chores or no chores?

Chores! Yes. Our kids need them. If there’s one thing that irritates me the most, it’s watching a child manipulate their mom or dad out of doing ANY work. How in the world are we going to teach our kids to learn a healthy work ethic if we don’t give them responsibilities to do each day and maybe even every week? Now, I’m not talking about violating child labor laws, but I am talking about making their bed every day and keeping their room clean. Also, maybe giving them a weekly project to do—like clean the bathroom or vacuum the steps. And, for older kids, maybe mowing the lawn or weeding the garden. And, if it’s not done right, you don’t have to get mad, but discipline by limiting freedoms always speaks volumes.

Does it take a village, or a tribe?

In a tribal situation, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what kids belong to what adults. Why? Because the entire tribe is taking a role in raising kids. While I was growing up, I spent a good part of my summer hanging out with two of my neighbors. Both parents had an influence in raising me. One family helped me athletically, while the other family helped me in my love for outdoor recreation. It’s probably why I have a motorcycle today. Do we do enough to reach out to our kids’ friends so that we can influence their lives both physically AND spiritually? Our answer NEEDS to be yes, because our neighborhood kids need Jesus. What are we doing to be Jesus to them?

Are Christians bigots?

I hate being called a bigot. I was recently called that because of my biblically-held belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. But the reality is many Christians ARE bigots, but not like this. Many Christians have this antagonism toward Muslims. While those who practice the Islamic faith have been responsible for terrorism around the world, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the words of Jesus to love our enemies. The reality is many Muslims are searching for truth. I’m told by many who work in the Muslim world that more Muslims are turning to Christ today than ever before. If we really want to turn the tide on bigotry, show love for those it doesn’t make sense to love. It’ll speak volumes to our kids.

My kids have graduated. Now what?

The ceremonies are over. It’s time now for the next season in life. College, meeting somebody special, marriage, houses, babies. You can’t wait. Um, that might not be THE plan. One thing I’ve learned? All four of my kids are different. My plans aren’t always God’s plans…or my kids’ plans. Frankly, not ALL kids want to or SHOULD go to college. That’s okay. I’ve watched some amazing young people NOT go to college yet are now successful entrepreneurs. I’ve also seen young people go to college, go into debt, aren’t working in their field of study, and can’t make enough money to make a monthly loan payment. They’re adults. Remind them that God’s got a plan. He’s in control. But, most importantly, He wants THEM to serve Him.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing