Archives For February 2013

89933057Today is the last post in our series on how to pray.  We’ve learned to pray for our children, our spouse, and ourselves.  Today, we turn our attention to people outside our family.

The following are suggestions to pray for our church leaders, co-workers, friends, and others:

Church Leaders

Lord, I lift up the leaders of our church and pray:

  • More leaders will be developed.
  • You will be first in each of their relationships, priorities, decisions, and personal lives.
  • Help our leaders to cultivate a clear conscience.  Help them to lead a life that is honorable in every way and help them to exhibit a faith worth imitating.
  • Protect them from lies and bad attitudes.  Give them wisdom when dealing with conflict and problems.  Strengthen them during those times.
  • Give them peace about the financial situation of the church.
  • Help them to manage their time wisely.
  • Give them wisdom and discernment in all decision-making.
  • Help me to know how I can encourage each of them.

Co-Workers (paid or volunteer)

Thank you for my job or volunteer position.  I lift my co-workers and self up to You:

  • Give us unity and harmony.                                               
  • Help each person to see You in my life.
  • Give us wisdom in any decisions needing to be made. 
  • Help everyone to be accepting of new ideas and changes.
  • Give each of us a clear understanding and clarity when communicating.
  • Help us to have wholesome, helpful, and beneficial conversation.
  • I pray that You will make it clear to me when I need to change jobs.  Help me to be content until You call me to a different area and to continue working hard as if I’m working for You and not for people.
  • Give me discernment to know when someone is having a problem and needs a listening ear.  Give me wisdom during those times and the words to say.
  • Give our leaders wisdom as they go about the day’s business.
  • Help me to deal with frustrations in a godly manner.
  • Help the relationship between my boss (leader) and me to be a close and trusting one.

Friends and Others

Lord I think You for the friends You have brought into my life:

  • You value friendships, and I pray that You will open the door for me to develop more friendships.
  • Please bless my friends and help them today in whatever they may be doing.
  • Help them to manage their time wisely.
  • Give me discernment to know when and how to come alongside to support them in whatever they may be going through.

You may also like:

Physician Soldier Fights More Than One Enemy

Don’t Shut the Shades on Life

Shopping Cart Joyride

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

 

Advertisements

Being True

February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

Being self love quote

You may also like:

Can Anger Be Controlled?

Discouraged?  A Way Out!

I Can’t Change the World but I Can Change Me

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Sexting, vibrator commercials, male enhancement ads, billboards with women in seductive lingerie, inappropriate pictures on cell phones, shopping bags displaying half-naked men, Facebook friends sharing steamy sections of erotic books or pornography.  Our kids our inundated with sex.  All the time.  Everywhere.  Culture is all too willing to educate where we parents may fear to tread.

161728014Our kids have questions.  They have feelings they may not quite understand when presented with the above scenarios.  They may be confused about what it means for them and if there are any lines drawn in the sand when it comes to sex.

My husband and I decided to begin having in-depth conversations about this subject when our kids turned 11 or 12 years of age, depending on their maturity level.  However, our determination didn’t smother our fear.  We knew we needed help in this area.

Our desires included explaining God’s design for sex, helping our children set their own boundaries, and making escape plans when those boundaries are pushed.

Fortunately, before it was time to talk to our first-born daughter, I heard about “Passport2Purity.”  A kit with CD’s, parent guide, and journal for the child, it aids the parent in explaining these difficult subjects and guides discussions between parent and child.

A weekend alone is set aside where time can be spent away from home for just mom and daughter or father and son.  We pack snacks, supplies for the projects that go along with the lessons on the CD’s, and plan some fun down time.  Although our children have an idea of what the weekend is about, they look forward to that one-on-one time with Mom or Dad.

stk131580rkeThe program is very easy to follow.  We listened to the first part of the CD on the way to our destination introducing what the weekend is about.  Once we check-in to the hotel and have a leisurely dinner, we finish the first lesson and project concerning challenges, traps, and choices she will be facing now and in the coming years.  I appreciate the conversation guide as it opens the door for honest, heartfelt, and safe discussions.

After a short break, we begin lesson 2 regarding friendships and peer pressure.  These conversations help in understanding the challenges she faces with her friends and enemies.  She is challenged to consider the influence her peers are having on her and the influence she is having in return.

These conversations are lively and prove to be exhausting so sleep comes easy.

The next morning, it’s time for lesson 3 on the physical changes she will be seeing in herself and in boys her age (there is one specific CD for girls and one for boys).   The importance of modesty is discussed along with the BIG talk which is sex.  Although she is a bit disgusted thinking about the mechanics of sex and coming to the realization her own parents do something so scandalous, she has a lot of questions and wants to discuss it further.

Horrified looks are pure entertainment during this particular discussion.

Pardon the ExpressionA much-needed break is taken following this talk but then it’s soon time for lesson 4 regarding setting boundaries and deciding just how far she plans to go.  Discussion enables me to set the boundary I would like to see her place but allows her time to set her own.  We then discuss escape plans for when those boundaries are tested.

After 4 lessons we’ve earned some down time.  Each of my children has their own idea of fun so we make sure to do something they enjoy.  A few hours are spent just enjoying time together.

Upon returning, we do our last lesson of the weekend about dating.  Agreements are made about the proper time to begin dating and what that will look like.  We added an element of our own in making a list of non-negotiables their man must have in order for him to even be considered to date.

86524740Then it’s time for a celebration dinner.  I present her with her own passport that she signs agreeing to stay pure for her husband.  And then I present her with a gift.  A necklace with a heart and key.  Something she will wear to remind her of her commitment to guard her heart and purity just for her husband.  This can then be presented to her husband on their wedding night.

Will this one weekend keep my children from bad decisions?  Maybe not.  That requires constant conversation, teaching, discussion, questions, answers, and a lot of prayer!  It’s tough to maintain sexual purity in today’s culture.  However, I feel much better sending them out into the world knowing they have set their own boundaries through their own convictions and are armed with escape plans, if needed.

I highly recommend “Passport2Purity” if you are looking for a guide in speaking to your kids about the biblical view of sex.  Although, it’s a bit hokey at times and their (Family Life) convictions are a bit stronger than mine, it opened the door for laughter and conversation.

I will continue to pray for my own children as well as for the children of those who like or comment on this blog.  I’ll be praying for the strength and courage to maintain their sexual purity until marriage and for safe, open conversations between children and parents.

You may also like:

Perfect Mom?  Hardly!

A Marriage Beyond Hope

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Kids Daily

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

86543085

  1. Tell the manager when an employee offers good service.
  2. Pay for someone behind you in line.
  3. Allow another driver to merge in front of you.
  4. Share your snack with someone while waiting for an appointment.
  5. Offer a smile!
  6. Offer to take a picture for a couple or family so everyone can be in the picture.
  7. Leave a big tip.
  8. Give compliments generously.
  9. Hold the door for others.
  10. Say “please” and “thank you.”

You may also like:

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Friends

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Kids Daily

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Spouse Daily

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

How Should I Pray for Myself?

February 21, 2013 — 1 Comment

83217867This is the 3rd post in a series on prayer.  We discussed prayer for our kids and spouse.  Today, are some suggested ways to pray for self.  We must maintain our relationship with God in order for our prayers to be effective.  We must allow God to fill us in order to impact others.  That is done through prayer and reading the Bible.

The following are suggestions on praying for self daily:

Lord, I thank You for creating me and making me the person that I am today:

  • Help me to make my home a refuge and safe haven from the world for my husband, my children, myself, and anyone who walks through the door.
  • Help me to make my home a peaceful environment by not nagging or provoking anyone.
  • Help me to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger.
  • Turn me from a coward into a conqueror, turn my chaos into calm, and my cries to comfort.
  • Give me a heart to know You and love You more than anything in my life.
  • Protect me from trouble and deliver me from evil.
  • Help me to witness and teach by communicating in a non-argumentative, non-defensive, and non-threatening way, demonstrating gentleness and patience, staying teachable without compromising what the Bible says.
  • Help me to control angry feelings, never expressing anger in hurtful ways or allowing it to linger for long periods of time.  Help me to see Your beauty in my face and life.  Help me to see myself through Your eyes and to realize my self-worth.  Build my self-esteem.
  • Help me to stay strong in times of temptation.
  • Help me to keep my priorities straight by putting my relationship with You first, spouse second, and children third.
  • Help me to forgive myself when I’ve made a mistake.  Help me to turn from my own evil ways and desires and live according to Your ways and will.
  • Strengthen my faith to believe You’re always with me even when I don’t’ feel that You are.
  • Keep my mind focused on You.  Capture my thoughts.  I give You my whole heart and mind.
  • Help me to use my material blessings to be hospitable.
  • Help me to value the time I have with my husband and my children.
  • Give me wisdom regarding our finances.
  • “Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little since I do them with Your power, and little things as though they were great since I do them in Your name.”  Blaise Pascal

Please visit again next Thursday as we finish up our series on prayer.

You may also like:

Can Anger Be Controlled?

3 Surefire Ways to Ensure You Live Your Priorities

12 Character Traits to Ponder Pitching or Saving

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Love Always

February 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

Baby Love

You may also like:

Cherish Every Moment

Watching Someone Drown

Missing Extraordinary

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

86803386

  1. Call her simply to ask how she is doing.
  2. Send her a card telling her why you appreciate her friendship.
  3. Help her clean house.
  4. Hug her.
  5. Laugh with her as you share memories together.
  6. Make her favorite dessert.
  7. Celebrate with her when she has something to celebrate.
  8. Don’t allow distractions when spending time with her.
  9. Encourage and help her see her potential.
  10. Pray for and with her.

You may also like:

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Spouse

7 Ways to Keep Your Joy Daily

Don’t Shut the Shades on Life

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

A Marriage Beyond Hope

February 14, 2013 — 10 Comments

137930475The first three years of marriage to my husband were extremely difficult.  We didn’t know how to be married and the honeymoon ended within the first week.  Both of us were in a power struggle and failed to take each others needs into consideration as we fought for our own wants.  Work and school filled our schedules.  We rarely saw each other.  When we were together, we fought.  My best friend slowly became my worst enemy.  After three years, we hit rock-bottom and contemplated divorce.  Although our marriage seemed beyond hope, divorce was not something either of us wanted.

We decided to make some drastic changes to give our marriage every chance to survive.  I changed jobs since my current position was causing much unneeded stress in our marriage.  We cut back on school and even adjusted our schedules so we could take some classes together.  This allowed more time to spend together.  We learned to communicate and not hold grudges from one fight to another.  Punishing each other for mistakes or disagreements was now off-limits.  All of these things were wonderful and made a difference.  However, there was one thing and one thing only that truly saved our marriage.  Prayer.

My husband insisted we begin praying together each and every night.  He would always go first and pray for me.  He thanked God for me and would shower me with compliments in the process.  He expressed gratitude for making me his wife and would tell God all the reasons he loved me.  He acknowledged all the things I had done that day to take care of the house and him.  Much healing took place during those times of prayer.  However, the biggest impact for me was in what was not said.

My husband never pointed across the bed and asked God to change me.  He only asked God to make him a better husband.  He asked God to help him do all the things I nagged him about during the day.  I had no idea he was even listening to me but his prayers proved otherwise and communicated his hope to become the husband I desired.

After he would finish, it was my turn and I felt the pressure.  Although there were times I was tempted to pray for all the changes I wanted God to make in my husband, I just couldn’t.  Instead, I followed my husband’s lead and would thank God for him, acknowledge his hard work, and pray for the changes I knew God needed to make in my own life so I could become the wife my husband desired.

In the following months, an amazing thing began to happen.  God began changing us as individuals and helped us grow together with Him at the center.  I’ve now been married to the love of my life for almost 24 years.  There have been tough times in those 24 years but God has always been faithful to restore us as long as we keep Him and prayer a priority.

--

My husband, Craig and me.

The following are suggested ways to begin praying for your spouse and marriage:

Lord, I lift up my husband to You today:

  • Give him strength and wisdom throughout today.
  • Provide him with opportunities and the desire to spend quality time with our family.  Help him to manage his time wisely.
  • Give him wisdom with our finances and help us to remember that everything is Yours, entrusted to us for Your purposes.  Give him peace, assuring him that You will provide.  I pray he will love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  • Help him to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
  • Protect him physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Help him to be a godly example to our children.
  • Make the path clear You want him to follow.
  • Give him peace and keep him free from worry.
  • Give him wisdom in all decisions he must make today.
  • Give him the desire and time to spend with You reading the Bible and in prayer.
  • Bring godly men into his life who will keep him accountable. 
  • Help him to be content at work, remembering to work with all his heart as if working for You and not for men.
  • Help him to deal with the frustrations at work in a godly manner.
  • Help his relationship with his boss be one of integrity.
  • Help him to overcome temptation that may come his way today.  Give him strength during those times and give him a clear escape.
  • Lord, help me to support my husband and be his companion, encourager, and friend.  Give me wisdom to know how and when to come alongside him and help him.
  • I pray that our home will be a peaceful, restful, safe haven for him. 
  • Help me to be someone he is proud to say is his wife.  Help me to release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas that I should be lifting up to You.  Help me to accept him and not try to change him.  You made him the special man that he is and I thank you. 
  • I realize that neither of us is perfect and never will be.  Strengthen our marriage and help us to love one another even through our imperfections.  Only You, Lord, are perfect, and I look to You to perfect us. 

More suggestions on prayer are being shared on this blog each Thursday in February.

If you like what you’ve read, I invite you to follow this blog through email (by clicking “follow” in the left sidebar), Facebook, Twitter, or through your RSS feed.

Thanks for visiting!  Come again!

You may also like:

Watching Someone Drown

Finishing Last

Burned

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Real Love

February 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Real Love Quote 1

You may also like:

Does Prayer Work?

Motivation Need a Boost?

12 Character Traits to Ponder Pitching or Saving

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

101_5013Quick prep makes this perfect to put in Crockpot before work to return and find dinner ready afterwards.

Ingredients:

1 (2 – 2 1/2 pound) boneless pork loin roast

2 cups barbecue sauce

3/4 cup chunky style salsa

3 Tablespoons chili powder

3 teaspoons taco seasoning

9 (8-10″) flour soft shells

Directions:

1.  Place pork roast in Crockpot.

2.  In small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, except soft shells; mix well.

3.  Pour mixture over pork.

4.  Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours.

5.  Shred pork with 2 forks.

6.  Serve on soft shells.

Note:  We ran out of soft shells and discovered these are also wonderful on buns.

Tip:  Wrap burritos in foil and freeze.  To reheat, place wrapped burritos in oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes.  Or just freeze the pork, thaw in fridge when ready to use, and heat on stove top.

You may also like:

Quick Mushroom Swiss Burgers

Organizational Tip

If You’re Not Praying for Your Child, Who Is?

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson