Monday, October 24, 2016

Today is the Last of the High Holy Days, The Days of Awe

Last night I attended the final official Shabbat of the High Holy Days on the Jewish Calendar. Called Simchat Torah, in English the Joy of the Torah. It is the eighth day of Feast of Tabernacles. Rabbi Kevin spoke of this celebration last night in a way I have never heard or thought about before. He said it is a looking forward to a time where the Messiah will once again live or Tabernacle among His People. I always thought of it as a looking back as a remembrance when in fact as I am learning the Hebrew culture often looks back, at the present, and in the future all at once.

In fact the Hebrew culture makes thing so much different in learning about the Bible. One such example is in Jewish culture the day starts and does not end at sundown. Which I had never thought about, but if your read in Genesis it always says it was the evening and the morning of the day. This is why I say today is the final day of the Feasts. Because the Day started last evening. The first thing I did in the day was to celebrate the Torah.

Another part of the festival is a joy to my heart. The children are brought to the front a prayshall is spread over them. The Rabbi speaks to them of the importance of the Torah in their lives and how important it is for them to recognize not only the importance, but the sweetness of God's Word. Then the Aaronic Benediction is said over them. Then the party sttarts as the children dance and sing as the Torah is carried around the sanctuary.This is Psalms 78:6 in action.

This Feast specifically the eighth day signifies also reaching the end of the Torah and rolling the scrolls back to the beginning to Genesis. This is one great Jewish party. People dance, sing, and celebrate the word of God. By the Word of God I mean the giving of the Ten Commandments, The coming of the Messiah, the writing of the new testament as well as the day of Pentecost where we received the Holy Spirit who writes the word on our hearts. This is one of the festivals the Torah commands be celebrated forever and in Revelations it speaks of us celebrating the festival in the Millennial Reign. Both the final of the 52 week reading of the Torah was read and the first reading of the Torah was read. This begun the reading of 5777. I am sharing this with you now. So, next year on October 13 the next day of Simchat Torah you will understand what all the partying is about. You will be able to tell your children to get ready because someday they will celebrate too the Joy of the Word.

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Parent Engagement Month November 2016

November is Parent Engagement Month it (PEM). PEM is a way for schools to ask parrents to become more engaged in the process of education. What educators know and too few parents know or even understand is the absolute importance adults play in education. Children, Teachers, School Principles, Parent Leaders, and districts need the parents of each child to be actively engaged. This blog will give you some ideas on how to engage on all of the various levels.


 When children understand your absolute seriousness about their education it becomes apparent to them you expect them to do well. Many parents ask question like what did you learn today. Or what did you do at school? These questions can be a little intimidating to children. Here are a few other things to ask:

  • What was the most favorite activity did you do in class today?
  • Is your teacher reading a book to the class? What is the most interesting thing which happend so far in the story?
  • If you had to name one thing today that bored or excited you today what would they be?

According to research teachers tend to pay more attention to children whose parents are actively engaged in education. Active engagement could be maximized by volunteering in the school on a weekly or monthly basis. It can be as minor as calling, texting, or emailing the teacher monthly to see how your child is doing in school and asking how you can support them at home. There are other Offer to ways to engage the teacher as well.

  • Share your child's Multiple Intelligence
  • Offer to talk to the class about your work or hobby.
  • Offer to head up the phone tree to reach out to other parents for volunteering opportunities.
  • Become a Room Parent

Schools often need volunteers in the office to do a variety of things. Speak with your School Secretary to see how you may best be of service. The principle may need help with security during the school day or some other kind of administrative task be sure to check in with them too.


Today's school has a lot more leeway for parent to engage. There could be everything from helping with bulletin boards, to organizing fund raisers, organizing after school activities, running the parent library, keeping the parent room organized and stocked. Working directly with the Parent Liaison or Association/Organization leader to plan meetings, invite speakers, or set-up/down meetings. Engaging your parent leaders is a great way of engaging in the school.


Running for office as a School Board Member is probably the most engaging way for a parent to get involved. I suggest before you get involved at that level you begin to attend or watch meeting sessions. Get to know the issues you care about and find out who is in charge.  You may find you are better utilized outside the political arena and have more leverage as a concerned parent.

Parent Engagement is about each adult becoming actively involved in the educational process in whatever way is comfortable to them. I urge you to become as fully committed to engaging in your child's educational life as possible. The more you know about what is going on, the more effective you will be in ensuring your child is properly educated.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, October 10, 2016

Teach them to love HIm

When I was 12 years old I went forward at New Missionary Baptist Church to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. I was baptized and over the years I had been watching my Mom and Dad read the Bible, sit at dinner and talk about Him, and how He was leading them, and we read the Bible together. It was at this age I began to seek the Lord to use me. I began to talk with God and develop a relationship with Him on my own.

I have been observing parental influence on children and their faith since my years at Oral Roberts University in 1992. What I have noticed is what has become a crisis of faith. We have been so focused on giving our children a "biblical world view" we have failed to help them to develop a relationship with Messiah. So here are some tips to help your children develop a true relationship with our God.

1. Start talking about God to your children when they are young. Children are very susceptible to spiritual things. Teach them about how Messiah cares and listens to them when they talk to Him.

On of my favorite stories about teaching your children about faith was told some time ago by Pastor Bayless Connolly. Pastor Bayless told of how he was teaching the congregation once you ask God for something, we must believe when we pray we receive it. After the prayer we are to then move on and thank God for answering our prayer. Pastor's son  had been wanting a dog. After hearing the sermon he began thanking God for his dog. Over the course of several weeks Pastor heard his son thanking God for his dog. He finally told him to stop it, because he was not getting a dog. Very soon there after the Holy Spirit said to Pastor Bayless he taught his son God answers prayer and to thank God for the answer. Therefore, he needed to take his son out to get a dog. Of course he got up the next morning and took his son to get a dog. Teaching our children about faith is not always easy or convenient, but teaching our children about His willingness to listen and care is invaluable.

2. Teach your children about God's word and how God uses it to speak to you and others.

Many years ago as I was working with two and three year olds. We were working with parents to teach their children the word by sharing scripture verses for them to share at home. We talked with them in children's church and encouraged parents to talk about the scriptures and go over them at home. One Tuesday evening a Mom came and told us this story to illustrate how our collaboration was paying off.

She shared how she had been spending hours trying to wallpaper a room in their house. Her daughter was sitting obn the floor of the room playing. Mom got so fed up and frustrated she let out a cry and through the wallpaper on the floor and said, "I can't do this!" Her daughter looked up at her and said, "yes you can Mommy, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." Needless to say we all had tears in our eyes, even as I write this my eyes are welling up. When we put the scriptures into the minds and hearts of our children we give them a foundation based on truth and they will not depart from its truths.

3. Tell your children to reach out for God when they need Him and He will be there.

When I was at Oral Roberts studying for my MA in Early Childhood a Mom told me this story.

Her son was going through a period of having nightmares. She had not had a full nights sleep in over a week. She prayed about the situation and the Holy Spirit instructed her to tell her five year old to ask Jesus to come be with him if he woke up with another nightmare. Because Mommy was so tired and needed to sleep. Several days later as she was fixing breakfast for the family he asked her a question. "Mommy, why is Jesus' face so shiny?" She turned and looked at him with a puzzled look on her face and asked "what?" He answered, "Last night when I wok up I asked Jesus to come sit with me when I woke up from my nightmare and He did, he told me some stories. Why is his face so shiny? It looks like the bowl on the table in the living room." Curious, she asked her son to tell her what else he remember Jesus looking like. Her son described Jesus exactly how John did in the book of Revelations as He stood among the lamp stands. She was stunned. Her five  year old knew nothing of the book of Revelations yet he described very succinctly almost the exactly what John saw in his account. This mother knew she had heard from the Holy Spirit what to say to her son, yet had no idea Jesus would actually come and tell her son stories as she slept.

Our God is passionate about building a relationship with us, especially, the children. He said, "Do not make it difficult for the children to come to me, because the Kingdom of Heaven is made up as such as these." Do what you can to encourage your children to seek God and build a relationship with Him. Our children do not really need a "biblical world view"; they need a relationship with the Lord, Sovereign God, King of the Universe whom you know, love, and serve.

Believe in Parenting