Summertime tips for busy parents

As parents of school-age children, summer brings mixed emotions for those who have to work. Although school coming to a close can bring a feeling of relief to busy parents, there is a new concern that brings to mind the question of- now what? Summer camps, grandma’s house, Aunt Liz’s or hang out with the neighbor’s kids…. Knowing where our children are at all times has to be a priority. Keeping our children busy and active during the summer months is important to their well-being. God has blessed us with longer days, and we can use those extra hours of sunshine to create memories for our families during the summer months. But what can we do after 5:00 and we are tired from working all day? This is a challenge many working parents face during the summer months. Even if children are at camp or at a babysitter’s home all day, we need to spend quality time with our children.

Another challenge for parents… How do we get our children outside to play? How do we get that teenager away from his/her XBOX or PS3 game system? Many teens are staying inside during the summer months, missing out on all the sunshine and exercise. This is contributing to childhood obesity and depression. Sunshine is not only good for our physical health, but it is essential for our mental well-being also. Get them interested in the outdoor activities at a young age and they will have life long habits that will take them outdoors. Finding ways to encourage our children to participate in outdoor activities can be a challenge.

Here are some ideas to use:

·         Invite their friends over for a cook-out

·         Take them shopping at an outdoors flea-market for items that interest them

·         Pool time is always fun with friends

·         Money- pay them to wash your car, water the flowers, etc.

·         Get them interested in the outdoor activities at a young age

·         Fishing

·         Hiking

·         Bicycle riding

·         Skateboard parks

·         Sports activities

·         Camp

·         Hunting

·         Have a scavenger hunt

·         Music concerts

·         Outside movie in the park

·         Boating

·         Visit a local park

·         Go out for ice-cream

·         Bird watching

 

The summer should be a time for families to build closer relationships. Planning the activities ahead of time is a must. Even for moms who are employed during the summer months can find plenty of time to keep their children busy outdoors. The sun sets hours after most people come home from work. Plan those hours wisely. You will not regret the time invested in your children’s summer fun!

 

Chains are broken, all because of a mother’s heart

Chains are broken, all because of a mother’s heart

 A mother’s heart

Strong and courageous, yet can be broken

Determined and going forward, yet can be broken

Wise and Bold, yet can be broken

Loving and compassionate, yet can be untouchable

A mother’s heart

Can fight the battle of addiction

Knocks on that door that leads their child to the Lord

Can bring healing through the Word of God

A mother’s heart

Lets her prayers rise up to the heavens

Groans unspeakable messages

Although overwhelmed, will be the rock that is unmovable

Will never give up on their child

Chains are broken, all because of a mother’s heart

 Moms-

Let’s never stop praying, for in our prayers are the answers that break chains of addiction, heal broken lives, set captives free, open eyes of the blinded, lead them on to become over-comers and conquers in Christ!

 

 

 

Live as Ambassadors of Christ

        Generational curses are sneaking up on families and many don’t even see it coming! Separation and resentfulness are creeping up on those who aren’t aware of the enemy’s tactics. The tools of the devil are devious. The word of God is powerful. Speak the Word over our family’s and claim healing and reconciliation where needed.

I have seen generational issues show up as families struggle with forgiveness and restoration. In a century of drug and alcohol addiction outpouring, families are experiencing trauma and heartbreaking issues.

Young people carelessly step into  the world’s view on many Biblical issues and allow the enemy to blind their eyes to God’s view on issues such as sex before marriage, substance abuse, anger, violence, lack of forgiveness, thievery, and don’t follow the golden rule of doing to others what we would want them to do unto us.

How can we break these generational curses and have freedom in our family’s lives. Freedom in Christ is freedom that no man can steal from us. As Christians, we can make changes that will affect our family members’ lives forever. Stepping into the spiritual realm and praying for our families will open the windows of heaven. God will rain down blessings as we seek his will in our lives.

As we deal with the issues in our lives, we can make a difference by speaking positive things into place. Our words can bring healing and restoration. Helping those who are hurting find professional and spiritual assistance will allow them to get the counseling and advice they need. Many times, our family members won’t hear what we say, but will listen to someone else. Pray for God to bring that person of importance their way.

Schedule times to contact those who are astray. Pray for those who won’t respond. Speak positive words into their lives. Love and forgive. The first step for breaking those generational curses comes from our steps. Extend forgiveness, change an angry spirit, and forgive those who have been cruel, bury the anger that comes from the incident of theft, adultery. Forgive yourself. And finally, you should also ask forgiveness of anyone you’ve injured or offended.

 Forgiveness isn’t a feeling or emotion; it is something you do. To forgive is to release. Forgiveness brings change. Forgiveness releases them from bondage and allows them to walk away into a brand-new life.

Finally, walk as we are called to walk; as an Ambassador of Heaven. Represent the convictions we have as followers of Christ. Live as a person with values, positive attitude and the power of a higher call. Show others God’s way. Show kindness, grace and compassion. Leave a trace of healing wherever you go. Be the ultimate agent of forgiveness in an unforgiving world. Break those generational curses in Jesus’ name!

You have no idea what kind of blessings will flow. Families are set free, forgiveness and healing will come simply because you took the role of an ambassador of peace seriously. Our Lord – the One we represent will make “all things new.”

 

The Fairy Tale Gospel

tinaserrano:

As I write Dreams and Fantasies Untold, I experience the
many spiritual mysteries unveiling. Christian Fantasy is amazing!

Originally posted on :

T his is a guest post by Brent King.

Deeper than our deepest longings, fairy tales tell truths about our inner and outer world, truths that are either too obvious for modern men or too truthful. Take, for instance, Little Red Riding Hood. It affirms that the world is dangerous, that there is an evil wolf that will eat us up if given the chance. Yet there is also a huntsman who can slay the wolf and save us. The great themes of sin and redemption are encapsulated in such a story in a clever and deeply symbolic way.

It’s All About the Good News

GK Chesterton said that the deepest truth about fairy tales was not that dragons exist, but that they can be beaten. Who doesn’t see the bad news about dragons? They lurk all around us in our broken world. It’s the good news of their…

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In God we trust

tinaserrano:

We all have God given talents.God will always make it possible to do what he has gifted us to do if we really want his will in our lives.
We need to discover what our gifts and talents are and put them to work.God has given us the ability make choices. Choose to seek him first then all else will follow!

Originally posted on Chris Russo's Blog:

security

One of the deepest human needs is to have a sense of security. All of us want to feel like we’re on solid ground. The real issue however, is where we seek that security from. I’m working through Proverbs and Proverbs 10:15 says…

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

This proverb is very interesting. I’m not going to pretend that I fully understand the intent of the author, but I do have some ideas. In some ways, wealth can be a fortified city. There is no denying the fact that having significant financial resources provides a certain amount of buffer between you and the storms of life. That being said, monetary wealth does not equate to security in life. The reason for this is that wealth can go away. Now more so than ever people understand that the economy…

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The ‘Scavenger Boys are back! A PEEK INTO MY NEW ADVENTURE BOOK….

 

By Tina Serrano                                                                                                                  

 The Scavenger Boys

          The last day of school had finally arrived. The boys were excited about finishing up their first year in middle school. Middle school somehow caused them to grow up quicker than they wanted to. Just being a kid and having fun was what the scavenger boys wanted to do. All the hard work, and trying to be cool was too much for them!

Even with the pressures of fitting in, school had been fun, but they were ready for summer! Their plan was to meet at Chris’ house after school to discuss their scavenger hunt. Pedro was sitting on the cement steps of the school waiting for Eddie, when he saw Mike talking to a group of girls.

“Hey Mike, aren’t we supposed to meet at your house?” asked Junior.

“Yeah, I’ll be there. Tell Chris to start without me.”

Eddie appeared from around the corner on his prized possession. He paid to have his bike custom made with the gold coins discovered during their last scavenger hunt.

Eddie shook his head and said “Chris isn’t going to like this. Girls are already distracting Mike!”

Junior looked over at Marisol Ortiz and said “I wish she would distract me!”

Eddie laughed and said “Not you too, come on…we have better things to do.”

“Like ride that bike of yours?”

“Hey man-don’t talk about my baby, she’s one of a kind!”

“Ever since you bought that thing, you do nothing else except ride it, shine it or just sit on it!”

“Whatever- I’ll meet you there” Eddie said as he rode off to Chris’ house.

Chris had been planning an investigation for the boys.  They needed to get into the Police Station because he wanted to get more information on his long lost uncle. After doing much research, Chris decided to do more investigating once he was in Puerto-Rico.

 He had been talking to his father about his uncle’s disappearance. His father told him how it all started with the story of a two headed snake.

Chris’ father looked at him sternly and said, “That snake bit your uncle and caused a lot of trouble. I had just married your mother and her brother wanted to go up to the cave, but Abuelo told us not to go up there.

We didn’t listen and when William was bit by the snake, Abuelo was furious and went up there himself to find it.”

“Did Abuelo find the snake?”

“I don’t know if he found it at that time, because after the incident, Abuelo was mad at me for allowing William to talk me into going up there, and Abuelo didn’t talk to me for weeks. William was always doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, so he just laughed it off when I tried to talk to him about it. He liked adventure. You are a lot like him, so remember not to go up there. Do you understand?!”

Chris sat quietly thinking about what the two headed snake must look like and he answered his father saying “OK, I won’t go in the caves. I know it is too dangerous.

Chris thought about how important it was to solve this mystery. After hearing the story of a two headed snake being seen in the cave, Chris was determined to find out more information on the snake. He had pictures of different creatures that were living up in the caves of Puerto-Rico, but they had nothing about a two headed snake. 

 He told his friends, “We are going to put together a puzzle that has had missing pieces for a long time. My father told me about my uncle and how he went up to the cave in Puerto-Rico to look for a two headed snake, and he was bit by the snake. What I can’t figure out, is why Abuelo never told us anything about the snake or why he never mentioned to me anything about how my uncle disappeared.”

“Abuelo probably doesn’t want you going up to the cave to search for that snake. He knows how you are with mysteries. He probably doesn’t talk about it because it must be really hard on him not knowing where his son is” said Junior.

“Yeah, you’re probably right. My father really made it clear to me about not going near that cave, but since Mike and I are going to be in Puerto-Rico, I’ll be checking it out. I can probably go up the mountain, but not go in the caves. Who knows, maybe there are some clues around there.”

“Chris, you should listen to your father and stay away from that cave. You know if he said it’s dangerous, it is off – limits” said Benny.

“Why is it Benny- you are always quiet, except when you have to say something that I don’t want to hear?”

“Well I just don’t want to get a message that you disappeared too. Then what are we going to do about our scavenger hunts?”

“Very funny, Benny” Chris had an uneasy feeling because he knew that he shouldn’t be thinking about going up that mountain and he wasn’t even in Puerto-Rico yet. He had a feeling that he wouldn’t be able to listen this time. Any other time, he would respect his father’s wishes, but this seemed too tempting to him. Especially since Abuelo never told him about the snake.

“Let’s get this mystery solved! Pedro and Benny are going to be the investigators and I want you to find all the information that you can about my uncle’s life. Ask questions, talk to your parents, neighbors, everyone that knew him. Take notes.”

“Eddie and Junior, you go to the library and check out the computer for any articles.

Try to get the file from the Police Station that tells about my uncle’s disappearance.”

“I’ll have to take my bike home first, so no-one steals it” said Eddie.

“Junior can go with you and then just head over to the library.”

Junior grabbed his backpack and jumped on the back of Eddie’s bike. They rode down to Eddie’s house and put his bike in the basement. Then they started their walk to the library. Their minds were filled with ideas and neither one talked until they reached the library.

“You ready?” asked Junior.

“Yeah” said Eddie. The boys entered the library and noticed how crowded it was.

“I hope we can get a computer. Sure is crowded today.” Junior said as he looked around at the people sitting at the computer stations.

      The old card catalog was standing in the middle of the room. It looked like something from the transformers cartoon and alongside it were four round tables that looked like flying saucers-thought Junior as he walked towards the computer station. The round tables had the computers on them. Three of the computers were dark except for the bright green blinking cursors. There were all different kinds of people sitting there using the computers. A tall man looked like he had whiplash as he bent down and stared at the computer screen. A young girl sat smiling as she read what looked like the fashion challenge of the week. Two boys sat together reading about zombies coming alive on video games. Eddie just looked over at Junior and smirked as they continued on to the librarian’s desk.

     Eddie and Junior went to the librarian’s desk with their library cards and each signed themselves in for a 15 minute computer time.

    After logging in, Junior found a webpage that listed missing persons.

  “Eddie, look- here’s a list of legal cases that involved missing persons.”

   Looking over the list, the boys nervously read the reports of missing people and cases that involved mysterious animal sightings and bug invasions.

  One report caught Junior’s eye as he noticed a name that looked familiar.

   “Hey Eddie, isn’t that the name of Chris and Mike’s missing uncle?

  “Look at this article, it says that he was missing and a reward was offered,” Eddie pointed out as he continued reading the article, “We better print this up, Junior.”

Coming Soon- Another adventure for the scavenger boys. Puerto-Rico’s caves and urban streets bring the mystery to an end!

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