Copy of “When You Lie Down” – How Night Time Routines Build Faith

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I. Love. Bedtime. I always have since I was a little girl. I cherished it when my children were small. I long for it many nights now that they are teenagers. Night time routines have probably witnessed the biggest evolution in our home from the time our children were born until now.

When kids are babies, we must do everything for them from bath time to putting on a fresh diaper, dressing them, nursing them or bottle feeding them, singing them a lullaby or reading them a short picture book until, Lord willing, they drift peacefully to sleep. (Or lay in their crib screaming for 30 minutes… you know… it could go either way!)

As our kids get older, they are more responsible for their night time routines. We may still sit with them while they take a bath, but they are sitting up and playing with their rubber ducky. They begin to dress themselves, pick out THE SAME BOOK to read every night, refuse to go to the bathroom when you know they will be up in the middle of the night if they don’t go right now, and wiggle in your lap instead of sitting still to pray. Ah, those were the days!

Now that I’m a mom of teens, I can tell you that late nights are the norm once again. Laying in a crib crying has morphed into laying in my bed telling me all of the drama of the day (which I’ll admit is WAY better than the crying). We aren’t doing read-alouds anymore. I’m not tucking them in and praying for them, they are now praying independently. They are reading their Bible or using a Bible study… this is the goal… that they would love the Lord and desire the things of the Lord without my prompting.

So if you are a parent of young children, I’d say 8 years old and younger, here are a few strategies to make the most of your bedtime routines:

1)     Read from an age-appropriate Bible.

2)     Pray for and with your child AND let them pray for you, others, and circumstances they care about.

3)     If your child has trouble falling asleep, consider allowing them to listen to character-building Bible stories such as Adventures In Odyssey as they doze off.

If your children are older than 8, they are probably ready for these ideas:

1)     Read a story out loud together such as the Chronicles of Narnia. (By 8 years old, most kids have required nightly reading goals and this is a great way to satisfy that while building in spiritual teaching.)

2)     Sing together. Pick out some worship music and either play it as everyone is brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, packing up school work, etc. OR musical families may enjoy using voices and instruments to praise God for a few minutes before lights out.

3)     Meditation. Teach your children how to calm their mind, body and spirit before the Lord. Sadly, many children in our culture struggle with stress, anxiety and depression from an early age. Teaching them that God is near and we can quiet ourselves before him and listen for his voice is a very critical tool that they can carry with them into adulthood.

If bedtime has been a struggle in your home, I hope that one or more of these suggestions is helpful. “When you lie down” as a family is a wonderful time to draw near to the Lord together.

 

“When You Walk Along the Way” – Travel Time as Discipleship

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We live in the age of the Fit Bit, so the idea of walking is not just for those that can’t run anymore… many of us are counting our steps and choosing to walk when we might otherwise have taken the elevator or hopped in the car for an ultrashort trip. So as I mentioned in this post {link}, the family walk is truly an excellent interpretation of this home discipleship mandate.

When our children were babies, my husband and I enjoyed walks after dinner when we could share with each other about what God was doing in our lives (and catch up on much needed connection time too) while enjoying fresh air and exercise. As your children get older, it’s a wonderful opportunity to give them your undivided attention as well and to pour God’s Truth into their hearts and minds. After all, they want your attention and most every child I know loves to go for a walk (or a ride in the wagon) while exploring the outdoors.

But I would be remiss to leave this statement to only this one application. Because the idea of “walk along the way” is really about traveling from places to place. In Biblical times, you walked. Period. Or rode a donkey, I suppose. But we travel in cars primarily. And in those cars we have sound systems. AND in those cars we have a captive audience! So here are ## ways to disciple your child’s heart as you travel:

1)     Listen to praise and worship music. It doesn’t get much easier than this. You can listen to the local Christian radio station, or if you or a child is so inclined, build a Spotify station that the whole family can contribute to and then as you play the songs allow family members to explain why they picked the song and how they hear God in it.

2)     Work on Scripture memory. There are more tools than I can name for this opportunity. Go old school and tape an index card with a verse onto your dashboard! Or choose a scripture memory tool that incorporates music. Or use an app that challenges your kids with individual scripture memory. But if you have even a 5-minute car ride, you can begin using that time to memorize scripture as a family.

3)     God-focused discussion. Especially with older kids, car time is a great time to talk. Ask them to put their phone away and tell you about their day. Be ready to ask good questions and even pray with them. Younger kids benefit from travel time discussion too. Have you ever noticed how they are really thinking in that back seat? They are observing things happening out the window and their gears in their little brains seem to be working overtime to process all of the information they’ve taken in since they woke up that morning (a book they read, a commercial they heard, a comment you made or the sound of a siren passing by). Be patient with your kids in the car whether they are toddlers or teens and God will guide your discussions to point all of you back to him.

“When You Sit at Home” – Discipling Your Child’s Heart in Daily Moments

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The first opportunity for home discipleship is the command to teach your children “when you sit at home.” Although it seems incredibly obvious, I do want to take a moment to iterate that this is clearly a mandate for families. Not for a children’s or youth pastor. God’s design is for parents and grandparents to intentionally pass the faith to their children using everyday moments. Your children’s pastor is no doubt NOT sitting at home with your child (although I would encourage you to invite them to your home as an act of hospitality and thankfulness for their ministry to your children!).

When do you sit at home as a family? I have three guesses: dinner time, screen time, and family time.

Dinner time might be the easiest one of all to implement some discipleship opportunities. You are talking about your day, hopefully laughing and encouraging one another. Get our your Bibles and read together. Take a few minutes before you get up from the table to pray for specific prayer requests for family members or other people and situations.

Like it or not, we are usually gathered around screens, large or small, at the same time in the evening or maybe on a Saturday afternoon. This is a “when you sit at home time” for families to talk about the Lord and learn more about Him. You can actually use the screen to accomplish this by watching a Bible story or movie together (think Veggie Tales or I Can Only Imagine depending on the ages of your kids). Or turn that screen time into screen-free time and explore how you can learn and grow in the Lord together.

Lastly, you probably have family time even if that’s not what you call it. Maybe you call it family movie night or family game night. If you have already created space to just enjoy being together as a family, ask God how you can make the most of this time. It should shock you that Family Time is a big proponent of “family time!” I’d encourage you to check out our free activity archive and see how our family Bible activities can make your normal family time into something extraordinary.

Sitting at home sure sounds a lot more interesting now, doesn’t it? Let God guide your family and please share a comment on ideas you have for “when you sit at home.”

Making the Most of Every Opportunity (Deuteronomy 6 Moments)

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Are you ever just amazing by God’s Word? Deuteronomy 6 is one of those passages that blows me away. In just a few verses, our wise Heavenly Father gives us incredibly practical steps for passing our faith to the next generation.

Whether your child is still in diapers or you’ve launched them into adulthood (and perhaps even been blessed with grandbabies!) you can apply these Biblical principles to your relationship with your child. God desires for us to make the most of every opportunity for the sake of the Gospel. Deuteronomy 6 gives us four natural areas where we can even create opportunities for spiritual growth moments.

Over the next four days, I’m going to unpack each of these four key opportunities in more detail, but first I want to case the vision for why you should and why it makes so much sense to use these opportunities as part of God’s perfect design for passing the faith.

The Deuteronomy 6 command is to “talk about these things,” meaning the things of God: the Word of God, His promises, and the things He has done. The first opportunity to talk about is “when you sit at home.” Let’s translate this to: times when the family is at home together. (I don’t think the sitting part is required… which is good because young parents don’t tend to sit much!) When you are at home together, hopefully you’re talking already so make this a time to intentionally talk about the Lord.

The second opportunity is when you “walk along the way.” Modern translation? When you’re in the car. When you’re going from grovery store to soccer practice to grandma’s house to the school carpool lane. Being together during these times is a perfect opportunity to talk about that Lord. Of course there is nothing wrong with an actual family walk! These were some of our family’s favorite times to talk about the Lord.

“When you lie down” is the third opportunity to talk about the Lord. These are our night time routines. Bible reading, listening to audio Bible stories, singing songs about God, praying together… these are all wonderful ways to end your day together before going to bed.

Our morning routines are the fourth opportunity outlined in Deuteronomy 6. We’re instructed to talk about the Lord “when you get up.” If you’re able to have breakfast as a family, this is a great time for a devotional reading. Or consider using this time to pray together, practice memorizing scripture or sing a song together.

If you have children at home (or have your grandchildren in your home from time to time), I hope you can see how these specific times are wonderful opportunities for talking about God as a family. But you may be wondering what I mean for those who have adult children. I want to highlight a few ideas:

1)     Invite them for dinner and talk with them about what God is doing in your life and theirs

2)     Consider taking a short trip or vacation once a year with your adult child(ren) and use it as an opportunity to talk about the Lord

3)     Pray for your adult children at night

4)     Call or text your adult child at least one morning each week

I hope you’ll join us for the next few days to explore each of these opportunities and that God would use it to help you to make the most of each moment with your children!

The Eternal Value of Family Time

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I like to laugh. I like to be silly and joke around… life is hard, so I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman who “laughs at the days to come.” But I’ve lived long enough to know that there are times to be serious. Take a moment to consider this: What if you don’t teach your children about Jesus at home? What if you don’t learn the Bible together? What if you neglect praying as a family or never memorize scripture?

Well, to be frank, you’re being disobedient to God. That should be reason enough to shift our focus to these important spiritual disciplines. But what does it mean to your children? With out these Biblical values, they will grow up in a home that perhaps looks a lot like the nice, moral family down the street who is far from the Lord. Are you banking on the one hour out of 168 each week they spend in Sunday School? Are you waiting for them to have a conversion experience at a Christian camp or a mission trip when they (finally) hear the Gospel message clearly preached?

Eternity is at stake.

Our kids must hear Biblical Truth and hear it often from us because the lies of the world are coming at them from every angle. The world’s message and the anthem of pop culture is not passive. I’ve heard parents say “my kids will figure things out when they are ready.” Well guess what? By then, it may be too late. They’ll likely be indoctrinated with the “me” centered cultural norms, attempting to instill Biblical Truth when your son or daughter is 17, 20 years old or even older is much harder.

Eternity starts now. Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we have the treasure and promise of an eternal heaven with him. The sooner our children can learn and accept this beautiful truth, the better. It will save them heartache, consequences, and frustration now and give them hope for eternity in their hearts.

Remember that salvation is a one time event – believe in the Lord and be saved. But the process of sanctification is a lifetime pursuit – we learn and grow until we enter into eternity. Take this journey together as a family and trust God that your work and faith is not in vain.

He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.

Overcoming Hurdles to Getting Started with Family Worship at Home

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Whether a family has one, three, or seven kids… If they have a two year old or a 12 year old… If they home school or public school… live in the city or the country, EVERY family has hurdles to overcome if they are serious about starting a regular family worship time.

At Family Time Training, we always encourage families to set aside 20 minutes once a week. Our family Bible activities are designed to take about that much time. But whatever method you decide to use, there are four main components: read the Scripture, discuss, pray and sing. It’s very similar to a regular corporate worship service (hear the Word preached, pray, sign, and take the Lord’s Supper) and you should feel free to adapt to your family while keeping to the key components of worshipping the Lord.

I want to address two primary areas that keep us from getting started: the planning and the doing. You need a plan and then you need to implement that plan. It would be impossible to create an all-inclusive list of potential hurdles and their solutions, so I’m suggesting 9 ways to overcome your hurdles and praying that God uses them to help you get started.

1)     Make the decision. The rest of this list is a waste of time if you haven’t decided that this is God’s Plan and therefore the most important part of your family’s routines. Once you make the decision, ideally both spouses together, tell the kids and even tell some friends. Ask them to hold you accountable to having family worship every week.

2)     Put it on the calendar. Be certain that you have a day and time that works for you family each week. Maybe it’s Tuesday nights or Friday afternoons. It could literally be any time that works for your family’s schedule. Use your smartphone to create a recurring event on your calendar so the time is blocked out before you schedule other things. Then, use a paper calendar to hang in a prominent place in your home some everyone can see this is a priority and be reminded.

3)     Plan in advance. I highly recommend taking time once a month to plan your family worship time. Decide what topics or activities you want to do.

4)     Gather your supplies. The last thing you want to do is make the commitment, put it on the calendar, and then not have everything you need when it’s time for family worship!

5)     Limit distractions. Your kids are easily distracted. YOU are easily distracted (Surely you realize how the simple act of searching on your phone for that book you’ve heard so much about takes you down an endless rabbit trail.) Put phones away. Clear away clutter.

6)     Let older kids help. Younger kids are eager to have your undivided attention. They love to be with and spend time with you. Sometimes older kids need a bit more persuading. Let them take the lead! They can pick out the theme, the music, or supplies. If older kids feel like they are needed, they are more likely to desire to participate.

7)     Keep it short… or long. Follow the lead of your kids! I told you that our Family Time activities are designed to be done in about 20 minutes once a week. We really mean that. There’s no special amount of time that is the “right” amount of time. If at 10 minutes someone is crying or the kids are arguing over who gets to read, it’s probably going to be a shorter family worship. If kids are asking great questions or want to do the activity more than once, you may have a 45 minute family worship on your hands. It’s okay.

8)     Be flexible. It’s okay to change the format, the day and time, or even where you do your family worship! As #7 illustrates, your family worship won’t look the same every week and that is actually a good thing! Fight the urge, if you’re like me, to be legalistic. You want your kids to remember that family worship was fun and that you made time just for them to learn God’s Word together.

9)     Don’t expect to be perfect. You won’t know all the answers to your kids questions (But spoiler alert: You can find the answers!). You’ll miss a week… or three. Don’t give up! Remember that Jesus is the only one who is perfect. He gives us grace. And this is his plan.

Any hurdle can be overcome by our powerful God – trust him to help you to get started leading family worship in your home.

Parents and Leaders as Partners

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I hope you were inspired by yesterday’s post. What God has called us to as parents matters so, so much. Our kids are counting on us to love them and educate them. What could be more important than loving them and pointing them to Jesus?

And it is a joy and privilege to bring any soul to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, but allow me to shine the spotlight on what is already a glaring problem in many churches.

Last year, I was with a group of children’s and youth pastors. As I was sharing my heart for families and helping churches to see a vision for equipping and supporting home discipleship, one children’s pastor said with a quiver in her voice, “That is exactly what we need! For years I’ve felt the pressure of bringing kids to salvation. I’ve been treated by parents as if this is part of my job description – they bring their kids to me and expect me to make sure they are saved.”

Wow. I hope you know this is not the job of your children’s or youth pastor… or any pastor. Yes, we are blessed to be in churches where the Gospel is proclaimed and discipleship is taken seriously. But we cannot and should not expect these leaders to bring our children to salvation. In fact, we should desire as parents to have this awesome opportunity!

So how do we work together? I don’t have all the answers. And I don’t know your church context or family situation, but here are 3 simple ways I believe the church and the family can work as partners to raise up the next generation in Christ.

#1 – Committed relationship. Parents, it’s hard for your pastor when you aren’t at church every week. It’s hard for them to know you and your family. (Not to mention, corporate worship is a huge part of our individual spiritual development.) You can negatively multiply this impact for kids. They are missing out on making Christian friends and engaging in Biblical teaching with their peers during critical years of development. Be committed to your local church. No church is perfect, but neither are you so it kind of works out. 😊

A word to children’s and youth pastors… you probably know the sad statistics around how long you stay at one church. It’s dismal. Be committed to your church and the families you are serving even when things get hard. You won’t ever get to see the fruit if you don’t stay around long enough.

Parents and pastors, encourage one another! Partners make the load lighter and we know that “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” God desires us to work together in a committed relationship for the sake of our children.

#2 – Two-way communication. I’m going to brag on our family pastor for just a minute. Each and every week he sends a thoughtful, educational, and encouraging email to all of the families of teenagers in our church. Sometimes he’s sharing a resource for home discipleship, other times he’s informing parents on a topic they need a deeper understanding about, or he is simply sharing the upcoming teaching schedule or activity calendar. At the end of each email, he offers parents to respond in some way, “Tell me how the discussion goes!” or “Let me know how I can be praying for your family.” Or “If there’s a topic you want me to cover, give me a call.”

It would be easy to write this off as being part of his job. But I’m guessing if you have a teen you aren’t getting an email like this. If you’re a pastor, consider how this sets your families up for success just by communicating with them.

Now parents, shame on us if we aren’t responding to these kinds of messages! Your children’s, youth, or family pastor can only know you as well as you let them. Do you ask your pastor to pray with you about what’s going on in your family? Do you encourage them when your kids come home talking about how much fun they had in one of their programs? Do you invite them over for a meal to get to know them better? Do you pray for them… and tell them you are praying for them?

These are critical components of two-way communication that benefit your family and your church. Not only that, but they truly honor the Lord.

#3 – Shared tools and strategies. Parents, please hear me out. You may be relying too heavily on church programs to teach your children. What is instead of heading off to a mid-week program at church that divides up your family, you were willing to carve out that same time at home to spend in family worship? Or what if instead of dropping of your teen to participate in a service project, your youth pastor coordinated a service opportunity for families to do together? It is possible and the results have a fantastic impact.

Similarly, your church probably has a wonderful curriculum for kids and teens. It may even have a curriculum that allows all ages to be studying the same scripture at an age-appropriate level. Fantastic! It’s time to make the connection between what’s happening in the church and what is happening at home. Many curriculum developers are already including a take-home piece that parents can use for activity, discussion, and deeper learning at home during the week. Please take advantage of these resources.

Working together in partnership, the church and the family, gives our kids the best of discipleship both in our homes and in our churches. Not only will our children benefit, but I truly believe our churches will be more harmonious places that bring glory to God.

**This blog was written by Famtime.com. For more information, visit their website!

Parents, Let’s Build Faith and Truth at Home

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How did you learn to ride a bike? Brush your teeth? Play the piano? Read a book? Someone taught you, of course. Or maybe several “someones” taught you in these areas. “It takes a village” as the African proverb says. But as a parent, you were probably the first one to teach these things and brought other trusted individuals into your child’s life to help cultivate them as they grew.

Now consider this: how did you learn about Truth? Right and wrong? A Biblical worldview? Sin and forgiveness? Salvation and heaven? Surely someone taught you these things as well. If you grew up in a Christian home, you can probably remember learning these things from a Sunday School teacher, at a Bible camp, at Vacation Bible School, during a sermon, or from a Christian mentor.

If you weren’t born into a Christian family and God used a faithful disciple to share the faith with you, what an awesome testimony you have as well!

Sadly, those who grew up in Christian homes rarely have a testimony of learning the faith in their homes… from their own parents and grandparents as the Bible instructs. They, like me, grew up with an example of what a Christian does and doesn’t do (you do go to church, you don’t do drugs; you do say prayers at the dinner table, you don’t steal or cheat).

Now you are reading this today because we serve a sovereign God of grace and mercy. He loves us and calls to us even in our sin and rebellion. He draws individuals to himself even when we are running the opposite direction. God’s plan never fails.

Once we are saved, don’t we want to be obedient? Don’t we desire more and more of God and less and less of this world? So when we learn God’s heart, his intention, his plan, we should want to get on board, follow his lead and trust his goodness!

This is why building faith and knowledge in Truth in our homes is so critical. We make investments into our child’s learning in areas such as sports, academics, the arts, physical health and wellbeing. So we must ask ourselves the hard question: Am I putting the same effort (or any effort) into building their spiritual health and development?

As Christians, one #1 goal is not for our children to be happy, popular or wealthy. Our first priority, Biblically, is that they know God, know the Bible, and ultimately, by God’s grace, come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Are you in? I hope so. I’m so excited for the next 2 weeks together. On our last day, I’ll be answering some of the most common questions about home discipleship. If you have something you want me to talk about, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to compile a complete list for us.

**This blog was written by Famtime.com. For more information, visit their website!

Riley & Jesus

By: Phoebe Leggett

Riley kicked her shoes off, and pushed them away. “Mommy, I don’t like being blind,” she said, “I

can’t see where my shoes go.” Feeling cranky, Riley stumbled into the kitchen, reached for a chair,

and plopped down. “I’m hungry,” she said.

“Just because you’re blind doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself,” Mommy sighed. “Your doctor

said you need to learn to do things for yourself.”

“I don’t care,” Riley said. “It’s not my fault I can’t see. So why should I help myself?”

The following day, Riley and Mama drove to Riley’s new day care. Mama handed Riley her walking stick.

“I hate walking with this thing,” Riley said, frowning.

“I know,” Mama said. “But at least it keeps you from falling.”

“I’m the only one I know who can’t see,” Riley said, whining. “It’s just not fair.”

“It may not be fair,” Mama said, “but maybe you can learn to help others who are blind. I think Jesus would like that.”

“I don’t care,” Riley said. “It’s still not fair.”

“Please try to enjoy your new day care today,” Mama said as she hugged Riley goodbye.

“With all these other blind kids?” Riley asked. “I don’t think so.” She dropped her stick to the floor and sat down on a cushion.

“Are you new?” a boy asked.

“What do you think?” she asked.

“I think you need a friend,” he said.

“Are you blind too?” she asked, somewhat interested.

“Of course,” he said.

“Why are you so happy?” Riley asked.

“Because I know Jesus loves me, and He has a reason for me to be here.” The boy smiled.

“What reason could thatbe?” Riley frowned.

“Maybe so I can tell you that you have a friend,” the boy replied

“What’s your name?” Riley asked.

“DJ”, he answered. “D stands for do it yourself, and J stands for Jesus will help me.”

“That’s sort of fun,” Riley admitted.

“Your name can mean something too,” DJ said.

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“Like what?” Riley asked.

“What letter does it begin with?” DJ asked

“R,” she said.

“R can stand for right now,” he said. “Jesus will help you right now,” DJ said.

“That’s cool!” Riley smiled.

“Now you have two new friends,” DJ said. “Me and Jesus.” He reached over, found Riley’s hand, and squeezed it.

Like A Fire

By: Jane Landreth

Erin and her dad sat in lawn chairs on the back patio. Dad was trying to read the evening

newspaper, but Erin kept interrupting. She enjoyed telling Dad what happened at school each day. Dad didn’t really mind— he enjoyed her enthusiasm for sharing the things that she did each day. Sometimes Dad even called Erin a chatterbox.

“I hit a home run when we played softball today,” Erin said. “I think I’ll be a softball player when I get out of school. Do you think I could make a career playing softball?”

Before Dad could answer, Erin began talking again. “I made a clay dog in art today.

Maybe I will be an artist. Of course, I’d have to finish school and go to college.”

“I think you can do anything you set your mind to,” Dad said when he finally had a chance to talk. “Just make sure you are doing what God wants you to do.”

“Dad, did you know that LeAnn’s older brother was suspended from school because he was caught cheating on a test? Joy told me that he didn’t study and that he spends all his study time with a group of older boys who are always in trouble. Joy said LeAnn’s dad had to go pick him up at the police station last week. He was with a group of boys who wrote on the brick fence at the park. He will never graduate if he doesn’t

”Dad held up his hand. “Hold on a minute, Erin,” he said. “How do you know that what Joy told you is true? And even if it is true, should you be repeating it? You could really hurt LeAnn’s brother and maybe even LeAnn by saying things like that about him.”

Erin felt guilty and couldn’t look Dad in the eye. She gazed off to one side. Suddenly she stood up and pointed. “Dad, look! Over there in Mr. Jordan’s backyard! Those leaves are on fire!”

“Grab the water hose,” Dad instructed as he raced over to the burning leaves. He grabbed a rake from the side of Mr. Jordan’s garage.

A spark had jumped out of the fire pit, and the dry leaves had caught on fire. Erin watered the leaves around the fire pit. Dad beat at the burning leaves and raked them into a pile so the leaves wouldn’t spread the fire. Soon the fire was out.

“Thank you, neighbors!” Mr. Jordan exclaimed, coming from the house. “I just went into the house for a drink of water. I thought the fire pit would be all right. Guess I stayed longer than I intended.”

“I’m glad Erin noticed the fire right away,” Dad said.

“I’m glad we still had our water hose hooked up.”

“Thanks again,” Mr. Jordan said. “It could have been bad.”

“Whew! That was a close one,” Dad exclaimed as he and Erin walked back to their patio.

“I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to handle it.

“You know, Erin, sometimes I call you a chatterbox,” Dad said, “but I enjoy having you

share what happened during your day. It’s normal that sometimes you are tempted to

share more information than necessary or even gossip. The Bible says the tongue is like a fire, and you just saw how fast a fire could get out of control. What you say can be exaggerated and spread rapidly too. That’s why you need to be careful about what you say.”

“Like what I said about LeAnn’s brother,” Erin said, looking down at her shoes. “I don’t know if Joy was telling me the truth or not.”

“And even if she was telling you the truth,” Dad explained, “sometimes it is best to not share it with others.”

Erin nodded, remembering the things she had been telling Dad.

Dad is right. I am a chatterbox, she thought.

I’m going to be more careful about what I say. I don’t want my tongue to be like a fire!

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