5 Calm Responses for When Your Child Digs Their Heels In

February 22, 2021 by Rachel Norman

I bet you’re no stranger to power struggles in your home. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tried and true responses for when your child doesn’t want to do what you say. 

Recently things started to get out of hand with my 3-year-old. You see, it seemed like every day was Opposite Day.

I wanted him to eat breakfast, but he wanted to play. 

And, I wanted him to go to bed, but he wanted to stay up. 

Let’s go for a walk, I say…but he wanted to run ahead.

I wanted him to pee in the potty, he wanted to pee on a bush. 

I’m okay with him peeing on a bush… no thanks, he’ll pee in his undies. 

I think you get the picture…

I knew something was going on with this defiant behavior. After that, he’d started feeling tender about every single thing, so I kept digging around to see which of his needs weren’t being met. 

Was he not feeling connected? Was he feeling powerless or being treated like he was younger than he was? 

All possibilities…

Obviously, I wanted to explore all this. But, in the meantime… we were having battles. 

From this experience, I have written FIVE secrets to avoiding power struggles. Read on to see how. 

5 Secrets To Avoiding Power Struggles

Note: With 1, 2, and even 3-year-olds OBVIOUSLY we can simply pick them up and make them do what we were requesting. 

This post is based on the idea that at a certain point, we can’t physically force our kids to do what we’ve asked, and we need some tools in our toolbox that lead to cooperation without sacrificinggreat nurturing family relationships. 

1) Intervene Early

A month or two ago I heard one of the best pieces of parenting advice ever. First of all, this is one of the obvious things that – after you hear it – you immediately recognize as true though you’ve never verbalized it.

Here it is: Intervene Early!

Without a doubt, if you know your child will not respond favorably to a rule or routine change in your home, don’t wait until you’ve got a full blown war on your hands to intervene. 

As moms, we usually know when something’s about to escalate, and waiting until someone (or multiple someones) are on the warpath will have less than successful results.

Intervene Early to Avoid Power Struggles

  • Discuss beforehand | If you know your child will not like what’s coming up the pipeline and they are old enough, have a direct talk. First, State the rule and ask if they have any ideas for making it happen. Kids will surprise us with their creativity and if they “own” their part there’s a lot smaller chance of power struggles.
  • Give ample warning | Some kids do not respond well to Out Of The Blue or All Of A Suddens. They just don’t. So… ease transitions with reminders and choices like, “We’re going to leave soon. Would you like to leave in 5 minutes or 10 or do you have a better idea?” Then, your child might, for example, say “after another 5 slides!“
  • Jump in before escalation | If two siblings are getting riled up, don’t wait until someone lands a punch. If it’s a toy they’re fighting over, jump in and ask for suggestions on how they can handle it. You’ll see, if the kids come to an agreement on their own (if they are preschoolers or up, of course, and able to do this) they will both honor it. Helping kids learn to navigate win/win scenarios is one of the most rewarding things.

Read: How to Avoid Parenting Battles the South African Way

2) “Push Them Back”

Recently Lauren and I did a Fresh Start Bootcamp with a bunch of moms and she gave this great advice to moms whose children are refusing to do something.

Push back to the real issue.

Obviously, there’s no point in telling our kids not to feel what they feel because that won’t work. 

Futhermore, telling them to just stop crying or be quiet or get over it also won’t work. Plus it erodes trust


So what can you do instead? Push back TO the real issue!

Let’s do an example:

Child who doesn’t want to start homework because it’s “too hard”

“You don’t want to even start because you don’t think you can do it. You are SURE you won’t be able to do it and you hate failing at things. You’d rather not do it than get it wrong! 

What you’ve done there is get to the actual issue. Not wanting to start homework, in this example, was a great way for that child to avoid feeling like a “failure” if they didn’t really know how to do it. But still… the homework doesn’t do itself. So then you state the rule…

“The homework must be done, and you don’t want to do it if you can’t get it perfect. Must be something you can do that would help you feel ready to start?”

At this point your child feels totally understood. You pushed back the presenting behavior (refusal to start homework) to get to the real one: not wanting to mess up and feel bad. If your child feels heard and understood they’ll likely come up with some ideas on their own. Even silly ones like… “I’ll feel better if I can eat veggie sticks while I do homework.”

[This approach – validation of what is happening, plus stating the rule, then turning the problem solving over to the child with “there must be something you can do” – is part of the Language of Listening® approach.]

Read: Got A “Disobedient Child?” Start With These 4 Things

3) Use Choices Or Options That Make Sense

We are never out of choices. 

This is a true statement.

However, when it comes to kids, we need to be mindful we aren’t giving them ridiculous choices. Furthermore, a ridiculous choice is one that has a complete winner and loser. 

Examples of “Choices” that don’t make sense: 

  • “Do you want to come inside for dinner right now or spend the night outside?”
  • “Do you want to share that toy or have me take it away forever?”
  • “Would you rather eat this piece of broccoli or have no dinner?”

Look, we’ve all been there

It should be noted that these types of choices make kids frustrated and leave them feeling angry and exposed.

Of course you’d want your child to come in for dinner, share a toy, and eat a vegetable… but don’t make it a choice if it really isn’t a choice. 

Instead, you’d want to create a choice that actually helped your child feel they have a bit of power. 

Remember: when children feel powerless, they behave in ways that you will now like. Also, we each have God given free will, when we perceive that to be taken from us… things get ugly.

Examples of Appropriate Choices to Overcome Power Struggles

  •  “It’s time to come inside. What do you need to do before you come in?” My children surprise me with very creative weird answers. Yours will too.
  • “You want that toy and your brother wants that toy. What could you do to take turns?” Sometimes kids are even more strict than you are and may respond with something like, “Me for 5 minutes, then him for 5 minutes“
  • “In this house we eat some vegetables. Do you want to eat this broccoli or have a carrot? Or do you have a better way to eat veggies?” If they suggest something you are okay with, do it.

Read: What’s Really Happening When Your Child Is Defiant

4) Keep The Boundary/Rule and Let Them Do What They Need To Do

There is actually great freedom when you know your boundaries. An example from Boundaries with Strong-Willed Children is this:

I don’t want anyone to stain my couches. I am 0% okay with them getting jacked up.

Instead of creating a hard and fast catch all rule that would take a lot of enforcing (no eating on couches) I explained my boundary. Now, the kids know which foods they can or cannot eat on the couch. If we’re having pizza and movie night, they’ll eat the pizza on top of a sheet on the floor (cause I also don’t want my rug jacked up).

Within the boundary (not messing up the furniture) they are free to roam. Veggie sticks? Sure. Water? Fine. Blueberries? NO. If in doubt, they’ll ask. 

How to Find Your Boundaries

  • First, ask yourself this… where am I not consistently keeping rules in our home?
  • Then, Notice when you start to feel bitter and resentful… ask yourself WHY you are feeling that way. This will reveal a lot.
  • What situations cause you to yell? Why?
  • Lastly, Think on the things that seem to matter most to you in parenting, dig a little deeper.

Read: How To Be An Empathetic Mom Without Being Soft On Boundaries

5) Don’t Be Afraid To Start Again

If you find yourself in a big power struggle and wonder where it all went wrong… you are not alone.

One joy of children is that they’re forgiving, resilient, and ready to mend any relationship breaches.

Truly, families were wired to love one another.

So if you find yourself locked in a power struggle, back up. Sometimes it’s worth “losing” a power battle just to figure out what was behind it. Have a do over, if you will. 

Be willing to lose a battle or two to win the war.

Back to my runner…

Little by little, we got there.

I made my boundaries clear, but gave him freedom within them.

By intervening early, I avoided a lot of push back. 

I realized I wasn’t reallllly on his side… so I got on it. 

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“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

February is a special month with significance touching the secular, romantic, and spiritual realms. First, it is the shortest month of the year. This year’s span is only 28 days. Also, Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th of this month. Most of us will forget this romantic day until it is upon us a week or two before the the14th; remembering just in time to send candy, roses and cards filled with human expressions of love and devotion to our true loves.

However, the deepest expression of love is more than candy, roses, and cards; it is remembering what Jesus did for us by presenting Himself as a living sacrifice for our salvation. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16(KJV).

We commemorate this period of reflection on Ash Wednesday, the 13th, the 1st Day of Lent. It is commonplace to get caught up in the Lenten practice of giving up desserts or giving up something we like to eat; when virtually all we’re doing is using Lent to “lose weight.” The Lenten season should be viewed as a penitential period of prayer and fasting. Let us duplicate David’s exclamation in Psalm 51:10 where he beseeched the Lord on bended knees, with hands clasped, pounding his chest in all sincerity crying out, “create in me a clean heart”. Envision and claim his emotion this month

Let us pray: “Lord I love you, I am giving you my heart; I am submitting to you, I am yielding to you; here is my body as a living sacrifice. Make me more loving. Make me more forgiving. Make me kinder. Make me a better witness for you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Yours in Christ,

Dempsey S. Harrison, Jr.

Encourage One Another

July 23, 2020  by  

God tells us to "Encourage one another and build one another up"

Our words are powerful.

You idiot!” does not simply assess what is objectively true to the speaker. It also produces, in the one spoken to, death and darkness. Not only do our words reveal what is true of us, they also generate reality for another. Specifically, our words are either death-bringing or life-giving. Either depleting or nourishing, draining or filling.

The gospel is a message of life, of nourishing, of filling. Because of Christ’s work in our behalf, we are set free from sin, adopted into God’s family, welcomed in. The “word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Eph. 1:13) is a word that gives life. And the great privilege we have when we gather with other believers—other believers with faults, other theologically imprecise believers, other spiritually sleepy believers, other frustrating believers, other sinning believers—is of passing on horizontally a taste of what we’ve been given vertically. Amid all my sin and messiness, in Jesus, God has given me a word of welcome, a word of love—“the word of life” (Phil. 2:16; 1 John 1:1). Loved with this word of grace, I love others with words of grace.

After all, when Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,” what is the “therefore” referring to? What is fueling such encouragement? One of the greatest exultations in all the New Testament about the hope of the gospel:

God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him (1 Thess. 5:9–10).

Having been shown life through the word of the gospel, we give life through the words we use.

That’s easier said than done. All day long, words are flowing out of us. Passing another and saying hello in the hallway at work, chatting over lunch, greeting our spouse at the end of the day, tucking a child in with a good night story, speaking with a salesperson at Best Buy, talking on the phone. We also use words without employing the larynx: emails, tweets, Facebook comments, handwritten notes stuck on the fridge. Even in this article I am using words: Are they bringing life?

In the hurricane of words that make up any given day, how do we walk in wisdom such that our words inject sanity, calm, and life rather than destruction? In two ways.

First, by saying nothing.

One major way we give life to others with our words is by not using any. It feels awkward to sit with someone depressed or overwhelmed with life and to say nothing. But what comes out of our mouth as medicine can, in fact, sicken rather than strengthen another’s heart (Prov. 23:8). A sufferer, when the pain is raw, needs warm presence, not fixing words. Paul said, “Weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15), not “provide theological answers to those who weep.” That Romans 8:28 comes before Romans 12:15 in the canon does not mean it should in our counseling and friendships.

Second, by saying something.

All our words tumble out impelled by one of two motives. I am using words either for myself or for you. All my speech is either fueled by self (no matter how smiling it is) or by love (no matter how painful it is).

The question, then, is why do you speak the words you do? Why do you speak the way you do? What is the aroma of your words? Do you speak to others the way you wish to be spoken to? What kind of speech has given you life as you consider meaningful relationships in your past? Do you ever—ever—look another human being in the face and say to them the following words: “May I tell you something I admire about you?” (It is one of the great secrets to Christian community that speaking a word of grace to another builds up you as much as the other.)

In your short life, you have a million tiny opportunities, including a hundred today, to inject a small but potent dose of life and light into another. As you consider doing this, you will immediately find a good reason presenting itself that seems to clearly mitigate your impulse to build another up. Some weakness, some corresponding fault, will arise in your mind, cancelling out your reason to encourage that person. Indeed, with some people in our lives, we honestly have difficulty finding anything encouraging to say.

Once more we remember the gospel. God did not allow our own faults to mitigate His word of gospel life to us. We have given Him every reason to withhold that precious word from us. Instead He lavishes us with assurances of undeserved love. We come alive. We breathe again.

John Owen wrote that God “loves life into us.” Will you love life into another?

7 Practical Steps to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus in Hard Times

June 30, 2020  by Cindy Barnes

Staying focused on God in the middle of hard times can be daunting. When life seems to be quiet and peaceful, we are able to stay focused on God but wow, when the tide turns, it’s difficult to stay above water some times! How do you keep your eyes on Jesus through it all?

Whether you’re struggling with personal issues or relationship problems, or health issues, it’s important to learn to keep your eyes on Jesus. It’s the only way you’ll get through the hard times.


Fix Your Eyes on Jesus with Psalm 46

As I’ve been thinking about this situation, my thoughts turned to a particular Bible verse that gave me much to ponder on.

Let’s turn to Psalm 46 and begin there.

No matter what lies ahead of you or what is surrounding you right now, you need to keep your eyes on Jesus. One way to do that is outlined in this Psalm.

Psalm 46:1

Psalm 46:1 God is our protection [refuge] and our strength. He always helps [is an ever-present/timely help] in times of trouble [distress]. EXB (Expanded Bible)

Read this verse slowly out loud so you can hear what He is saying to you. No matter what kind of trouble you find yourself in, God is your protection. He is your strength as He fights your battles.

There isn’t anything that God doesn’t know about and He wants you to really know that. Let that sink in, that God is fully aware of the situation, and that you are not alone.

God is fully aware of your situation.

He never intended for you to carry the weight of this load by yourself. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all of you who are tired [weary] and have heavy loads [overburdened;  heavy-laden] and I will give you rest. EXB

Fix your eyes on Jesus and let Him carry the load, let Him deal with it on your behalf.

When the burden is heavy and you don’t know which way to go, remember that God is your protection and strength. He will carry you through as He fights for you.

Psalm 46:2-3; 10

What can get more serious than this? Psalm 46:2-3 speaks of the earth changing with earthquakes that cause the mountains to come tumbling down. Tsunamis’ will result and volcanoes will erupt.

We’re seeing this now in various parts of the world. God knows about it and sees what is happening. His eyes are looking everywhere seeing both the good and the evil (Proverbs 15:3) plus He sees everything you are doing (Proverbs 5:21). He knows what is going on. And He knows what you are going through.

Now, read Psalm 46:10 which reminds you to be still while He is working. Don’t try to tell God what to do or fret and worry about things. Remember, He is God and knows what He is doing.

Be still and know that I am God and that I will be exalted among the nations.


Fix Your Eyes on Jesus with Psalm 91

Let’s turn the pages to Psalm 91:10-11, to read these words:

The Lord is your protection.

Nothing bad [harmful] will happen to you; no disaster [or plague] will approach your home.

He has put his angels in charge of you to guard you wherever you go.

I know, we read these words and look around us to see so much pain and suffering and wonder if these are empty promises from God.

I can assure you, through His Word, that these promises are still valid. God does not lie, He does not rescind His promises and He is faithful to do what He says He will do.

Do you know that old hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God”? It tells that God’s promises are eternal and cannot fail. No matter what comes against you, God’s promises will see you through.

Did you know that there is a secret to God’s promises?

I’ll let you in on it: to keep your eyes on Jesus, you need to believe God’s promises and stand on them, and don’t let yourself be swayed with all the hoopla that is going on around you. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and to destroy but through Jesus, you already have all the promises of God.

How do I know that? Well, turn with me to 2 Corinthians 1:20 where we read, For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. NKJV

Did you notice that little word there?

ALL the promises of God are ours from the moment of Christ’s death on the cross.

This means that you no longer have to wonder if something that is in God’s Word is His will for you or not. 

If you are reading a promise in the Word, then it is yours! Jesus made it a done deal!

This means that Psalm 91:10-11 is yours. Stand it on, believe it, and please don’t be swayed to think otherwise.

Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that faith is the substance of things we hope for and it is the evidence of things we don’t yet see. That’s the promises of God. If you don’t see them yet, keep standing on the promises of God until you see them come into being.


How Do You Stand on the Promises of God?

To stand on the promises of God means: 

  • to believe His written Word.
  • to thank God often or daily, for His promise even when you can’t see it yet.
  • to keep your eyes on Jesus as He has already made that promise to be yours.
  • to stay in the Word, filling yourself up with the Word of God.
  • to ignore those thoughts that say it isn’t going to happen. Those are lies and not Truth.
  • to line yourself up with brethren who will support you in prayer and agree with you that the promises of God are yours already.
  • to declare, out loud, the promises of God are yours here and now.
  • to not let yourself be swayed by negative thoughts or negative words.

Practical Steps to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

It goes without saying that you should begin your day with God. When you do, you’ll find that your day goes much better than when you miss out on that time with Him. Besides, you have too much to do not to spend time with Him. You need Him!

Begin each day with an attitude of thanksgiving and prayer. This will help keep you focused on God.

Turn off your social media or limit your time there. Simply don’t browse through it as much as you used to.

Don’t feed on the news channels as they fill people with fear and trepidation. Besides, the news is usually one-sided as they favor one political party over the other.

Since you now have “found” more time, why not spend this time in the Word of God? Find the promises of God that speak of what He will do for you and stand on them. This will help you to keep your eyes on Jesus and stay focused on God.

Remember who you are in Christ. Your identity is who God says you and not what the world teaches.

Focus on being Christ-like rather than doing what everyone else is doing. In other words, don’t follow the crowd as you strive to keep your eyes on Jesus.


Keep Your Eyes on Jesus to See Around You

God wants you to fix your eyes on Jesus. When you do, here are some things you might see when you are focused on God:

You will see those who need a hug or a smile or a kind word. Giving them one of yours will brighten their day and may even restore their faith that someone cares.

Stay focused on God to see the needs of those around you. Reach out to them even if it is giving them a sandwich and a bottle of water. Who knows? You may find yourself sharing about Jesus in a non-pushy way.

When you keep your eyes on Jesus, you may very well see the next ministry God is leading you to. It could be leading a small group study or bringing over a fresh loaf of bread to that new neighbour.

To keep your eyes on Jesus means seeing through His eyes and when you do, you may find yourself spending more time in prayer as you pray for the needs that God reveals to you.

When you keep your eyes on Jesus, you see God for who He is. You see that He is faithful and just, loving and kind, extending mercy and forgiveness. And you see that Jesus expects you to do likewise when others hurt you.

As you study the Word of God in order to keep your eyes on Jesus, you know that God is near and will never leave you stranded. He is with you.

When you keep our eyes on Jesus, you will see as Jesus sees. Be ready for this!


Bible Verses to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

As we finish about keeping your eyes on Jesus, I’d like to leave you with a few more Scriptures that will help you stay focused on God. It might be a good idea to print out these cards to keep handy. So often when negativity abounds we tend to slide sideways…these verses will be helpful as you keep your eyes on Jesus.

Philippians 4:6 reminds you not to be anxious about anything but to trust God for everything.

You are blessed both coming in and going out, Deuteronomy 28:6.

You are the head and not the tail, you are above and not beneath, Deuteronomy 28:13.

Psalm 139:1-2 says that He knows all about you and nothing is hidden from Him. 

He is everywhere you are and you are not alone, Psalm 139:7-10.

Psalm 37:5, Hebrews 11:1 reminds you that as you commit your way to God and trust Him to lead you, the thing He promised you will come to pass.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is about trusting God with your whole heart rather than trying to figure things out yourself. When you do this, He will direct your paths.


That’s a Wrap

No matter what goes on around you in your neighbourhood, your city and province or the world, staying focused on Jesus is vital for believers. We need to know what His Word says so that we can act upon it in belief and trust.


God is for us (Romans 8:31) and wants us not to be worried or concerned about what is going on all around us. It’s important to fix your eyes on Jesus and trust that the promises of God are yours (2 Corinthians 1:20) which means you can believe God when He says that.


We’d love to hear from you. What helped you the most in this post? Will you be able to keep your eyes on Jesus more so now?

Jesus Desires to Be Near to Us

June 22, 2020

“Which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:7-10).

We know the master is Jesus and the servant here represents every believer. The servant works hard all day and when he is finished, he needs nourishment. He expects to hear his master commend him for his hard labor and offer him food to refresh him. But instead, the master commands, “Put on your apron and serve me first. Then you can eat.”

At first glance this command seems harsh and demanding, yet nothing could be further from the truth. What is actually being said is, “Put God’s kingdom first and then everything will be given to you.” He had already told his disciples, “I have called you friends” (John 15:15). And now he is saying, “You’re my servants, but I call you friends. And there’s a need in me that only your friendship can meet. Yes, I know you’ve been out in the fields all day working, but I want you to sit at my table — there’s so much on my heart I want to tell you.” This should change how you view communion and revolutionize your prayer life.

Clearly, this parable is about feeding Christ and, evidently, our Lord views this act as our highest calling. You may object, “I thought our highest calling was to go into the harvest fields to labor.” That is certainly a high calling, but Jesus says it is not the highest. “The high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” as Paul refers to it in Philippians 3:14, is to have communion and intimacy with Christ.

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). It should deeply humble us that Jesus would want to be near us and speak with us.

God Loves You So Much & Wants a Relationship with You

December 18, 2020 by David Wilkerson

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

As Christians, we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is resurrection love when God’s Spirit goes into the streets and reaches the destitute sinner, changing him. Today many people are living on the streets — some are homeless, some addicts, some prostitutes — and Jesus wants to touch them with new life — His resurrection life.

Throughout the world in congregations large and small that preach the gospel, new life in Christ is changing sinners. Spiritually dead people are changed, because in Christ all things become new: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Events arranged by the Holy Spirit are often referred to as “divine appointments.” What caused you to first go inside a church? What did you expect when you first attended a church service? Did you go with an open heart? Were you hoping something would penetrate your soul and speak peace to you? Were you hoping to be touched deep down and given comfort?

Wherever you were when you heard the message of salvation was not just happenstance. The merciful Spirit of Christ led you there. In fact, he had had you on his radar for some time. As God tells us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).

Our Lord is sovereign. He does not trifle with the lives of men. He can move heaven and earth to accomplish his purposes, and he put you right where you are, both to save you and to set in motion his plan for your life.

How wonderful to know He loves us so much that He would choose us to live with Him for eternity if we respond to His call.

Have you heard the Gospel? The Bible says that all of us have sinned (told a lie, stole something, used God's name as a curse word, thought lustful thoughts, and more). The Bible says the punishment for sin is death. But God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place, so we could be forgiven for our sins and receive eternal life if we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus' death on the cross as payment for our sins. Jesus died on the cross and came back to life on the 3rd day, proving that God accepted His life as payment for our sins. It is a free gift, but we have to accept it by belief and trust.

If you haven't received the free gift of salvation by trusting in Jesus' death as payment for your sins, what is stopping you?  Today is the day of salvation. We don't know what tomorrow, or even the next minute may bring. 

If you would like this free gift, just talk to God telling Him you are sorry for your sins and want Him to forgive you and you are thankful for and trusting that Jesus died for you.  God knows your heart. If you really mean what you are saying to God, He will hear your prayer and save you! He will fill you with His peace, love and joy and you will be part of His family forever! When you are God's child He promises to protect you, provide for you, comfort you and be with you forever.  There is nothing better than that!

Please let us know if you prayed by clicking here.

If you would like to learn more about a relationship with God, please click here

or reach out to one of our pastors, they would love to talk with you. 604-531-2344 or email office@whiterockbaptist.ca.

Seven Things to Pray for Your Children

December 18, 2020 by Jon Bloom

Some years back a good friend shared with me seven Scripture texts that he and his wife prayed for their two daughters from the time they were infants. The girls are now grown. And it’s beautiful to see how God has answered and still is answering the faithful, specific prayers of faith-filled parents in the lives of these young, godly women.

I have frequently used these prayers when praying for my own children. And I commend them to you.

But, of course, prayers are not magic spells. It’s not a matter of just saying the right things and our children will be blessed with success.

Some parents earnestly pray and their children become gifted leaders or scholars or musicians or athletes. Others earnestly pray and their children develop a serious disability or disease or wander through a prodigal wilderness or just struggle more than others socially or academically or athletically. And the truth is, God is answering all these parents’ prayers, but for very different purposes.

That’s why Scriptures like John 9:1–3 are in the Bible. We must not too quickly assess God’s purposes because they can be the opposite of our perceptions. God measures success differently than we do, which is why he often answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect.

So, pray for your children. Jesus promises us that if we ask, seek, and knock, the Father will give us good in return (Luke 11:9–13), even if the good isn’t apparent for forty years. And because Jesus regularly asked those who came to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), we know that he wants us to be specific with our requests.

So, here are seven helpful, specific things to pray for your children.

1. That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13–15)

2. That they will respond in faith to Jesus’s faithful, persistent call.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

3. That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39)

4. That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

5. That their thoughts will be pure.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

6. That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work.

All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)

7. That when the time is right, they will GO!

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)

If you would like us to join in prayer for your children, please click here.

Christ in Christmas

Dec 18, 2020 by Christie Thomas

After Christmas this year, my eldest announced, “Mom, Christmas really is about the presents...” I waited with bated breath for the rest of the sentence: “...because God gave us Jesus!” Phew!

I realize that Christmas is a confusing time for a lot of Christian parents. We want to join in all the fun with elves on shelves and the expectation of Santa and his mountain of gifts. Sometimes we feel that maybe the story about the baby in the stable isn’t extraordinary enough, not magical enough to give our kids the same kind of Christmas memories we have from childhood.

So what is a parent to do? How can we make the Christ part of Christmas exciting and relevant for our little ones?

Theses devotions (click here for a pdf) contain a few of many ways to help your children remember that it’s not just about the presents and Santa and elves on shelves. e Christ part of Christmas doesn’t have to be boring! We can make new Christmas traditions, ones full of joy and laughter, ones with extraordinary magic because of their eternal basis.

Traditions like lighting advent candles, having toy Wise Men chase a star around one’s house, choosing gifts for others out of charity catalogues, and making biblically themed crafts can make the season of advent and Christmas incredibly fun, and maybe even more marvelous than the ones you fondly remember from your own childhood.  

This Christmas, my three-year-old encountered the Christmas story for the rst time in his memory. When we visited my in-laws at the beginning of December, he paid no heed to the beautiful crèche they had displayed. During his next visit three weeks later, he very excitedly told me, “Grandma and Grandpa have a stable!” Somewhere in those intervening three weeks, something had clicked and the birth of Jesus had become extraordinary and magical to him.