Browsing Tag

Titus 2

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s K.I.S.S. #65– “You Cook” Night

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 57  of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

 

This one’s a real keepers-ar-home training night as, each time you do it, your daughter will become more proficient in the kitchen, and, pretty soon, you will be able to depend on her at any time, to step in and cook for the family. Start simply, the first time, even using a pre-packaged entree that just goes in and out of the oven. Show her how to add some mozzarella at the last minute to the freezer lasagna or how to add a half block of cream cheese to the Kraft macaroni and cheese to make it more like homemade. That’s how it starts, but next time you can teach her to boil her own noodles and add all the ingredients . The crock pot is you friend while you teach a young girl to cook. Easy layer desserts and dump cakes will seem like magic to a six-year-old!

Then, when it’s time for the family to come to the table, don’t forget what is, at first, the most important part. Make a big deal about how “Sis cooked the whole meal!” Brag about the taste of every dish you try and even have her take a bow when you’re all done.

Next go-around,  have her set the table while the food is cooking, teaching her the lost art of fork, knife, spoon and napkin placement. Maybe even have some yard flowers she can arrange for a centerpiece. Have her make the tea from scratch. And this time, brag even bigger.

I know this all seems intuitive, but I recently attended a retreat for women who aspire to be Biblical keepers at hime in the Titus 2 way. I was a little taken aback by how much of the intuitive-ness of keeping at home we have lost somewhere along the path of America’s journey of feminism. I was amazed that some sisters had never learned to sew on a replacement button or tack up a hem. This gathering showed me two things: (1) Titus 2 needs to be a “thing” again in our Bible classes and women’s workshops, and (2) Women are willing to bunk in cabins and get up early to strive to be what God has divinely called them to be in Titus 2. That realization instigated a little party in my heart!

Here’s a sampling of some first recipes from our house:

Hannah’s Signature Recipes:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dessert

1 pkg. Chips Ahoy Cookies

1 medium tub of Cool Whip

1 cup milk

Pour the milk in a bowl and dip enough of the cookies to cover the bottom of your serving dish. Cover this with a layer of cool whip. Repeat till all used up (ending with cool whip) except a couple of cookies. Crumble these cookies and sprinkle on top. YUM!

Hannah’s Macaroni and Cheese

4 c. cooked and drained macaroni noodles

½ c. milk

3 TBSP butter

½ c. cream cheese

1 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

3 TBSP sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all these ingredients in a big bowl while the cooked noodles are still piping hot. You can put it in the oven and bake for a few minutes if you want, BUT my favorite right from the bowl I mixed all this in!

Caleb’s Signature Recipes:

Monkey Bread

¾ c. sugar

2-3 tsp cinnamon

2 large cans biscuits

1 stick butter

Cut biscuits into quarters. Combine sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Add quartered biscuits and shake till well coated. Drop in grease round pan and add 1 stick of melted butter on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or till golden brown. (Caleb made this in a Bundt type pan and so it came out as a wreath. He then would sprinkle green sugar or red and green sprinkles on the top and make a wreath to take to people at Christmas time. Sometimes he would put red hots and a green sprig at the bottom for a bow. You could do this, of course, any time of year using candy corn for fall or jellybeans for spring, etc…)

Honey’s Peanut Butter Cookies

½  cup peanut butter

1 stick margarine

½ cup brown sugar

½ c. white sugar

1 beaten egg

1 cup flour

½ tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

 

Cream first four ingredients. Then add the rest. Chill this dough (or not, if you can’t wait!). Roll dough in marble sized balls. Mash with bottom of glass that has been dipped in sugar. (350 for 10-12 minutes)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s K.I.S.S. #64–Sleepovers with Titus 2 Widows

 

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 57  of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

 

Han’s kids several years later with Mrs. Dorothy

Before anyone goes all bonkers about sleep-overs with adults, let me just say that I do know the crazy world in which we live and let me preface by saying that we knew the widows very well and they were Titus two older women. But one of my teen daughter’s favorite things all through the teen years was having spend-the-night parties with great and faithful widows in the church.  She and Mrs. Jo Hicks loved to watch movies into the wee hours of the morning (think the Megan Follows “Anne of Green Gables” and the like). But Hannah also loved to host groups of older and widowed saints in our cabin. She will treasure the memory of Mrs. Dorothy, Mrs. Ruby and Mrs. Carol all bunked-out in the cabin. If you know these women, you know they experienced side-splitting laughter into the early hours. Hannah was in her element and no one in the group was within 50 years of her own age. 

I really don’t know of a better way to put Titus two into action than this one. It took some hospitality prep work. Hannah learned a lot from older saints. But I think they were blessed, too. One of them asked Hannah to be her traveling companion to Paris. That took about .00003 seconds to decide. These friendships serve to pull kids out of peer-dependence and into service. I’d recommend! 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Dear Daughters,

Dear daughters, in the flesh and in the faith, 

I am very proud to call you daughters. I am unworthy in every way to call you daughters, as every single day I learn so much from your dedication to the large tasks that lie before us and from your intense desire to place children around the throne. Still, you ask me sometimes, and you ask other older sisters, things. In the way of Titus 2, you seek simple advice, even though you often have far more “on-point” intuition than do I about many things domestic and spiritual. There are some of you who are even extremely patient about my ignorance of this culture’s nuances for millennials and those women of generation z. 

Your job is increasing in difficulty and intensity every day. It’s really sort of breathtaking— the way the devil has stepped up his game through cultural shifts even in the past decade. Drag queens are influential in community library story hours, in middle and even elementary schools. Media outlets that were historically child-friendly are now bent on anesthetizing children to any dangers of behavior that we used to call “sin.” Our United States legal system is often unfriendly to anyone who has a firm adherence to Biblical truth and morality, while accommodating those “victims” who commit crimes of negligence—even abuse— to family and to those who inflict the consequences of harmful behavior on society. Your children and my grandchildren are growing up in a world that’s very different in some key and harmful ways than was the world of our childhoods. Lots of sleepy Christians of the past half-dozen decades have paved a smooth road for the takeover of  relativism and apathy in the young adults of our churches. Sometimes, especially when I travel through our nation’s airports and metropolitan areas, the effects of the devil in this undressed, ungrateful, and uncaring world are shocking. To top it off, those talking loudest about loving Jesus, are often averse to his commandments and are mocking the New Testament church as it works in the world today.   

But yet you are still in your homes putting your arms and shields of love around the innocents. You are offering prayers multiple times a day in your homes and your children are hearing you say their names as you petition our almighty God for their spiritual safety. You are there placing limits of time and content on the media of the world, when your neighbors and, sometimes those who share your pews, are chuckling at your extremism.  You are more concerned about the spiritual feeding of your children than you are about what’s on their plates for dinner, in a culture that truly has that all backwards. You’re more careful about stopping the recycling of moral trash than you are about getting the plastic in the right bin. You are disciplining in the gentle, but firm, Biblical way that includes both corporal punishment and the withholding of instant gratification, rather than buying into the culture’s idea of “gentle parenting” that puts children in premature and dangerous positions of reign in the home. You are having daily Bible times in your homes and you’re diligent in memorization  and role-play and ethical direction and singing and having heart-to-hearts in those Bible times. You are determined to seek first the kingdom in your attendance patterns and in your entertainment choices. You are consistently showing your children the numerous opportunities to evangelize that are in their interactions with those outside of Jesus. You are teaching them boldness as you voice your concerns about the safety of the unborn in our country and, in the process, you are transferring respect for God, who breathes into every human, the breath of life and transfers His very image into men. They watch as you reach to those who are in need at every opportunity.  You dry tears that are cleansing little hearts of despair and discouragement. Your shoulder is the safe place for little people who cannot help but be afraid because the devil deals in fear and uncertainty. He wants your family to be stifled by fear. 

And I cannot tell you how precious you are to this grandmother’s psyche. I am, in short, surviving right now on your spiritual fumes. You emit courage, determination and the love of the cross through your daily grinds. What seems so hard every day is actually a testimony to your faith. When you’re so very tired and, really, wondering if you can put one foot in front of the other, remember the value of just one of the souls living in your house. Your job is one that culminates in the retention of value that’s larger than any other pursuit in this world. You are the vehicle of saving grace to your children. That value makes you willing to make any sacrifice to see those souls safely to the eternal arms of Jesus. Some of you are giving one hundred percent to three or four or five or more souls that are depending on your fortitude. Some of you are doing all of this without the help of a faithful spouse and a few of you are doing it in spite of the oppositional work of husbands who once were committed to heaven for your children. You are the bravest of all,  and you do not even know what your example may mean to someone in your circle who is complacent or fearful. Someone who is tired and is on the verge of throwing in the towel may glance over at you and think “If she can do it, with all of the obstacles she faces,  surely I can persevere a while longer.” Sometimes that tired person is me. 

May God render His mercies that are new with each sunrise, His providence that is just for His children, and His promise of your ultimate good through the seeking first of His kingdom. I’m in His debt for your presence through days that are long. You fill those days with hope!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #25: Proverbs 12:5–Seeking Wise Counsel

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

My Favorite Proverbs:  Seeking wise counsel when I don’t know what to do (Prov. 12:5, KJV). 

“The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

I love this proverb for its practicality.  Many have been the times of my life when I’ve reached out for the mature advice of faithful Christians in whose judgment I place trust.  It has always benefitted me to hear, not only the answer to my question, but the sound, Scripturally-anchored reasoning it took to reach the answer.  Just now, the faces of these people—my “great cloud of witnesses”—flood my mind.  Many of them have now gone to the other side.

To seek advice from a man or woman who has no Bible-based compass is a mistake. Many have listened to worldly counsel and made life-altering mistakes.

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge (Prov. 14:7).

I’ve occasionally encountered people who, in their hearts, knew the right decision at some crossroad, but foolishly chose someone who would say the opposite.  The person seeking the advice already knew he’d be told exactly what he wanted to hear and, on that very basis, chose the counselor.  This often happens in reference to marriage problems when people deliberately choose counselors who are not Christians.  I’ve heard people in such problems say it plainly to their spouses, “I’ll go to counseling with you so long as it isn’t  a member of the church.”  That’s a sad mistake.

Titus 2:3-5 has always seemed so practical for young women: “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish (other translations: train, teach, urge) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”  Imagine the foresight of a teenage woman knocking on the door (or even popping up in the email) of an older Christian woman and asking, “Can we talk about a decision I need to make?”

Are you struggling with some dilemma or some difficult question about life or marriage or child-rearing, or a relationship at work, and you need sound advice?  Choose someone you know will be objective, balanced, and above all, someone who knows the Bible. That’s the person who can see the future best. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

1. Read or paraphrase 2 Samuel 11: 18-24. Explain the tragic event to your children. Tell them, for now, that Joab had Uriah killed in the battle, just like David had asked him to do. Then Joab told a messenger to go back to David and let him know, for sure, that Uriah was dead. He told him to tell David in crafty terms, so that the servant would not realize, as he was telling David, that they had murdered Uriah. Joab wanted everyone to think it was just one of those things that happens in a war. 

Make some memorable points as you talk about this horrible decision and death of a good man. 

2. Joab found a crafty way to let David know that Uriah was dead. He even acted like he thought David would be mad because of the decision to fight close to the wall and because they had lost a valuable soldier like Uriah. There was a lot of pretending going on here. Joab knew that David would actually be very relieved (in a sick kind of way) that Uriah was dead. Explain this to all of your children. 

3. Have older kids turn to Judges 9:50-55 and read for themselves the account of Abimelech that Joab told the messenger to rehearse to David. Tell them that Joab was trying to both hide the sin of murder from the messenger and make David feel better about the “casualty” of war that Uriah was on that day of battle. “After all, sometimes it has been a great thing to fight up near the wall.”  All of this little speech of the messenger was a huge “code-speech” for “Your plan has worked. Uriah is dead and it all looks good. I believe you (we) can get away with this murder.” Tell them that Joab and David’s friendship had been ruined now by their joint commission of this horrible sin. Their days of innocent friendship were over. There would always be the memory of this terrible sin between them. Encourage them to always keep friendships pure and holy. Never have sinful secrets between friends. It forever ruins great relationships. 

4. Try to make a list, at this point, of all the people that David has involved in his sin. He is hurting people all around while trying to protect himself. The list will be something like this:

Himself

Bathsheba

Uriah

Messenger who got Bathsheba

Servants when Uriah came to place

Joab

The other soldiers who were fighting alongside Uriah and retreated

The other soldiers who died beside Uriah

The messenger sent by Joab back to David

5. Make a strong point to your children that sin hurts good people and bad people. It does not discriminate. Ask them if they can think of good people who are hurting because of bad things that other people have done. Older kids may think of friends who are hurting because parents are alcoholics or unfaithful or abusive. They may think of people in the youth group who have hurt others by saying unkind things or by being disloyal to each other in relationships. Help younger kids think of how families might be hurt when one of the members of the family has to go to jail or even of innocent people who are hurt by wicked people in fairy tales. Examples are Geppetto being hurt in the story of Pinocchio or how Cinderella is hurt by the wicked stepmother and by the stepsisters or how Snow White is hurt by the wicked Queen. (It’s interesting to tell older kids that the name Geppetto means “Jehovah has added.” It’s a Hebrew name.) Choose one of these stories to read tonight and have the kids listen for someone who’s innocent being hurt by someone wicked. Sin hurts other people. (If you have both teens and younger ones, have the older ones read to the younger ones. But stick around for helping with applications.)

Quote God’s ideal for marriage: One man, for one woman, for life.

Quote the KidSing rule: Do the right thing.

Pray with your kids. 

(Next time we’ll make some observations about David’s answer back to Joab. Their correspondence both ways was full of deceit.)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Moms Should Know about Keepers and Providers…

Because several are asking about a couple of programs that help prepare our children to be home-and-parent ready, when the time comes, today I’d like to share the introductory videos about Keepers and Providers. While these are Lads to Leaders programs (and I highly recommend that powerful tool for your family and/or church–www.lads2leaders.com), you can certainly use the templates for these programs in your family even if you are not officially participating in Lads.

This year our Keepers participants did two projects within the sewing category. They completed quilting and embroidery. Can I just say that the preservation of such “lost arts” is a personal blessing of encouragement to me? More than that, though, the lessons of goal-setting, diligence, cooperation and generosity that accompany the completion of projects within these programs is foundational for future homes that model the Biblical format.

Here are the videos.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Keepers!…Sew Much Fun!…Excitement is Cooking!…These Girls Are Keepers!…

(Don’t miss the video at the end!)

You get the point. While the puns are pretty plentiful, this program in the Lads to Leaders organization for mentoring youth in churches is my favorite of all the Lads events. I  believe, for our girls, it is the most practical thing I’ve seen, other than direct mother-daughter mentoring, for helping our girls do what Titus 2 commands in that list of imperatives–things that older women in our congregations are to teach younger women. Today, I’m just going to give the definition of the Greek word oikouros, translated keepers at home or workers at home in Titus 2:5.

Ouikouros means:

caring for the house, working at home, the (watch or) keeper of the house, keeping at home and taking care of household affairs, a domestic

It’s an exciting concept in 2019, that God’s women are the keepers, the watches, the sentinels of this basic God-formed structure of society; that we get to take care of the “factory” if you will, for the future proclaimers of the Word,  and for the future elders and their wives for the eternal kingdom. It’s a privilege, the significance of which we dare not lose on our daughters.

Thus, the inception a few years ago of a program that helped complete an already thriving training ground for the youth of our churches. I hope you can take the time to watch a short video about this program. Special thanks to some of the girls at the West Huntsville church in Huntsville, Alabama and also some from the Centerville Road church in Garland, Texas.

You can see them here: https://youtu.be/VnBF2-s3VG0