4 Reasons to Re-Evaluate Your Scheduled Devotion Time

alarm_clock

I vividly remember one of my childhood Sunday School teachers talking to my class about our time spent with God. “When is the best time of day to do your devotions?” she asked.

After quickly raising my hand, I replied, “Whatever time works best for you.”

“No, that is not correct,” she said. “The best time is the morning. You should start your day with God.” Read more

The Seminary Journey Continued: More Provisions

DTS_121009_06

God calls us all to different paths, and as we travel these paths he provides for us in different ways.

It so easy to say “I had a lot of friends when I did my undergrad degree, why don’t I have as many friends in seminary?” Or, “Why am I not as popular as my neighbor down the hall?” Or, “Why aren’t there more women in seminary classes?” Read more

Reinforcing the Gospel Message Using Questions

questionGuitar? Check.

Coloring Sheets? Check.

Gold Fish Crackers? Check.

I could go on, but needless to say, sometimes the list of items needed for a children’s Sunday School Class can be quite long. As I run out the door, I mentally check off the items in my head to make sure I have everything. It is easy to have a preparation checklist for tangible items, but what about intangible things?

There are two things young children love: asking questions and being asked questions. Many questions are made up on the spot, a very natural way to do it. However, when talking to children about the gospel it is essential also to have a list of important evangelistic questions we can fall back on.

Especially with young children, asking questions can be one of the best ways to get the gospel message across. Furthermore, when we begin encouraging children to answer questions about the gospel in front of their peers, we are beginning the process of training them to share Christ with each other. Read more

Four Topics for Conversation Starters

question_02I am amazed at the numerous amounts of conversation starters I’ve seen all over the web. If you look on Pinterest, there are even printable charts with questions to ask your children each year on their birthdays. Building relationships with people is an essential part of reaching them with the gospel, and showing our care. For those of us who are not naturally gifted in making conversation, this can be very helpful. But instead of thinking in terms of “specific questions,” I suggest thinking in terms of topics.

It might be helpful to look through a list of questions, but you don’t have to memorize a long list of them. Instead, consider a few important topics such as family, school, weekly activities, or spiritual things. Then try to ask questions from one of these areas. Read more

Tips for Developing the Art of Asking Questions

In keeping with this week’s theme of dialoguing with children via questions, I am also reposting some of my other fun posts for blogs.bible.org. The following originally appeared here:

Her glossy red hair matched the twinkle in her eyes, but she stood hesitantly at the classroom door gently tugging on her mother’s dress. Her eyes seemed to say, Do I have to stay here? “What a lovely bow on your dress! It matches your green eyes,” gushed the teacher. As the mother left and more parents came, more comments ensued. “What lovely braids!” “Awesome superhero shoes!” “I love your sparkly headband!”  Read more

Conversation Starters with Kids

Today I am blogging over at blogs.bible.org about conversation starters with kids. Here is what I shared:

Whether you have kids, or you teach kids, or you just simply know kids, questions come in handy.

If you’ve ever struggled with getting to know a child better, perhaps some of the following questions may work as great conversation starters.

Questions about Their Day or Week (depending on how long it has been since you saw them last):

  • What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?
  • Do you have any funny stories from school today?

Read more

The Adventures of Acquiring Furniture

DTS_121009_06

Getting ready for seminary was harder than getting there. We have a reputation for making great time on long road trips, and this proved true once again on our Southern trek.

We drove into the DTS campus at 5am and circled around uncertain where to park. Finally, we stopped across the street from the student mail services in a lot designated “staff and volunteers.” We fell asleep hoping that campus security wouldn’t come by and wake us up.

At 8am we met the Swiss Tower building manager. “This is all the stuff you brought?” He seemed surprised that we had no furniture considering we weren’t traveling from overseas.

“Yeah…” we replied sheepishly. Read more

The Journey to Seminary

DTS_121009_06About three years into our marriage we both started studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. I joke to myself that if I had known even a quarter of the things that would happen during seminary, I would have run from God’s calling like the prophet Jonah. I had been shaky enough about the “big move” as it was.

Right before we turned in our paperwork stating we would not renew our lease (October 2009), I was filled with sadness. “Are we doing the right thing?” I asked my husband. “We could still back out.”

I knew in my heart of hearts that God was calling us to DTS, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave an apartment I liked, a church I loved, a city I adored, and beloved friends.

Some suggested we postpone going to seminary for a few more months, but the words of one of our elders still stand out, “If God is calling you to DTS, you’d better not stay in Illinois.” Read more

Teaching Our Children the Importance of Attending Church

Author Shane Claiborne has said: “The church is like Noah’s ark. It stinks, but if you get out of it, you’ll drown.”

Simply put, church can get messy. And, that’s probably part of the reason why I’ve heard many of my fellow millennials make excuses for avoiding church—“I’m too busy,” “I’ve been hurt by other Christians,” “churches are full of judgmental people,” “people are hypocrites or insincere,” etc. Read more