By Domenico Danesi
Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
It’s August and we are about to enter into the final turn of summer. Come September we will be attending school programs, getting children on the bus, and packing lunches 5 days a week. Whether you homeschool or send your child to a public or private school, it can be difficult to “get back into the swing of things”. Below is a list of ideas and suggestions to help ease the transition into another school year.
• Set a devotional time for the family. If this is new, try 5-10 minutes daily or every other day for starters. Include a prayer, scripture, and a song. Take prayer requests, ask your children questions about the topic of the day or week.
• Do not squeeze out the things of God. Sunday morning service needs to be a staple for every Christian home. Mid-week service should also be a priority if at all possible.
• Start getting your children to bed earlier. Try 1 to 2 weeks before the school year begins. This will get them into a rhythm before school starts.
• Start preparing your children mentally and emotionally for the new school year. Give them 3-week, 2-week, and 1-week notices prior to the first week of school. The younger the child, the more verbal transition help and notices are needed.
• Get school supplies and clothes at the beginning of August. Save yourself stress from scrambling around on August 30th trying to find everything on the school supply list and the right pair of jeans.
• Buy items in bulk. Go to Sam’s or BJ’s and buy a large quantity of snacks for lunches. Weekly trips require more time and more money. You can stock up for months at these places.
• Use calendars, chore charts, and schedules. Structure is needed in every home if it is to run smoothly.
• Do not over- commit and under- perform. Limit your child’s activities to 1-extracurricular activity per season. Do not go from a 6 or 7-hour school day to a 45-minute piano lesson then on to a 90-minute soccer practice.
Transitioning back into the school year is challenging but necessary. Seek the Lord as you make this transition and He will help you in your daily endeavors. Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). We serve an awesome God, and though our lives are always changing, He never does!
By Lynn Metier
“And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.” (Exodus 22:27c)
Since Satan’s goal is to keep people from God, he deliberately fosters misconceptions about Him, as he did when he deceived Eve into thinking that God was holding out on her (Genesis 3:1-6). Therefore, it is critically important for anyone and everyone who desires a right relationship with God to understand what He is really like. So let’s continue to look at His characteristics.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) This is the first Biblical verse where the Hebrew word “chen” is found, which is translated as “grace” or “favor”. It comes from a root word that means “to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; (be) merciful, have (show) mercy (on, upon), have pity upon”. In other words, Yahweh looked at Noah favorably, not willing to give him the just retribution due for his flaws, faults, and failures. (“For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23.) And when Noah looked to GOD, he saw in His eyes the willingness to bless instead of destroy; he believed in God’s mercy. And you know the story. Noah and his family were the only eight people saved from the worldwide flood judgment (Genesis 6-8).
Time and again David declared that God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger” (Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 145:8). He had learned through his own experiences that God was not hot tempered and vengeful; He did not give him the deadly punishment he deserved for his sins, but He extended mercy. That isn’t to say that David didn’t have to suffer the consequences of his wrong choices and actions (2 Samuel 12:9-14); but God was willing to forgive his sins and bestow His favor upon him in spite of his failures. God was gracious. Notice that God, even knowing how badly David would ‘blow it’ in the future with regards to Bathsheba and her husband, still revealed His plan to bestow favor upon David (2 Samuel 7:8,9,12-22), with no strings attached. God’s blessings were not contingent upon David’s goodness or worthiness, so the fulfillment of those promises were not thwarted by David’s sins. (Their completion, however, will not be seen until Jesus sits upon David’s throne in Jerusalem during His Millennial reign – Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 20:6.)Read more ...