Screens and Teens

Hello family and friends,

I know it has been a while since I wrote a blog post.  Honestly, I have wanted to but I would always get distracted from sitting down and doing it.    For those of you that know me, I am not a procrastinator.  However, I have been procrastinating with my writing.  Honestly, as I am typing this, I am realizing that Satan has been trying to distract me and keep me too busy to share.  Well, now that I am aware of his tactics, I will definitely put my writing a priority again.  In fact, I have recently felt like God asking me to take a bolder step in my writing!

I love to read Christian books that help me grow as a Christian woman, as a mother and it has truly become a passion of mine.  I have referred to some of these books in my previous blogs and shared with you their nuggets of truth.  However, it was not consistent and sometimes, there were months in between blog posts.  So, my step of faith is to consistently write one book recommendation a month with weekly truths from that book!  I am super excited about this new goal and want to get started with my first recommendation!

Since September will be here in 3 days, I will make this my September Book Recommendation:

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I just started this book a couple of days ago and I cannot put it down- I am over half way done with it!  It is called Teens and Screens: Connecting With Our Kids In A Wireless World by Kathy Koch.  Now, some of you may only have small children and think that this book would not apply to you.  Before you dismiss this, let me say that all kids are growing up in this very technological world and young preschool kids already have their own screens (ipads, ipad minis, chrome book, home computer…)  that they play games on regularly. So, I think this book has lots of truth for any parent whose child uses technology no matter what their age.

Today, I am just going to say one thing about the book and I will share more next week.   First of all, I love the premise of the book- Connecting With Our Kids In A Wireless World!  Connection is the key to any good relationship!!  Here is a quote from the book, “Screens are part of our lives, and they’re here to stay.  But we long for deep connection with the teens we love.  And that means making sure we give our relationships their rightful priority and connect face-to-face.”  I love this because it requires us to be intentional with our kids!

In this book, she does not paint technology to be all bad or all good; she shares both the positives and negatives.  She also shares our kids’ core needs and how they relate to technology.  She shares truths about today’s teens and she offers some great ideas and examples for connection with your child.  Lastly she ends the book sharing 5 lies that are influencing our kids and then 5 truths that we need to share with our kids!

I highly recommend this book!  I look forward to sharing more with you!

Love, Jodi

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God Never Wastes a Hurt

My oldest son and I are going on a missions trip to Rwanda this summer and we are so excited. We had a training on Sunday and had to come with our testimony to share. I had written mine 5-6 years ago when I was in women’s ministries but as I went to the computer to print it, I realized it needed a whole re-write to include my current circumstances. It was not easy adding in about my divorce but I realized as I was writing it, there was a much bigger common theme in my testimony, “God never wastes a hurt.” If we allow God to take our brokenness and use it to help and minister to others, then it gives our pain an even greater purpose.

Last time, I shared with you about Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Who Holds the Key to Your Heart” and today, I want to look at a different chapter. This one is called Loneliness is Satan’s trap, Kindness is God’s reply.   In life, we will have hard times. Lysa says, “During these times we have a choice to cling to Jesus’ promises and seek his companionship or to walk in the darkness. To walk in the darkness means to be trapped by our loneliness. “   Satan would love to see us get trapped by our loneliness, to see ourselves as isolated and alone.

But God has another plan for us if we will let him. Instead of us feeling lonely and trapped, He wants us to use our hurt and pain to help others. I love this quote from this Chapter, “If you are lonely, reach out to another in kindness. For when we touch the one who needs healing, we touch the heart of the Healer Himself. And when He pours His healing through you to another, God’s healing touches you first and as a result you are healed.” Wow- this is powerful!

Who do you need to reach out to today? God has given each of us a story, a powerful story and He wants you to share it.   I know Pastor Rick always says that our hurts and pains become our ministry. Who better to help someone who struggles with infertility than someone how has struggled with infertility. Who better to minister to someone who has lost a parent than someone who has lost a parent.   Again, who needs to hear your story today?

I would like to close with this last quote from the book, “To walk the path the Lord delights in, we must be willing to let God use the circumstances of our lives to reach out to others. Let’s compare our hurts to stones littering our paths. We have a choice to do one of three things with these stones. We can use them to beat ourselves up, making our scars run deeper than they should. We can throw our stones at others, wounding them and making them also feel pain. Or we can use these stones to build bridges for others to walk across from their own darkness and pain into His healing light.”

My prayer is that we will choose the third option!

Dear God, you know all of our hearts: our hurts and pains, our joys and delights. It is so easy for us to share our joy with others but there is so much healing when we share our hurts and pains. You want us to be vulnerable with others and I pray that today we can take our hurtful stones and build bridges with them.   Use us today to show Your kindness to others by being authentic and real with all the good and hard times in our life. We love you and thank you that we don’t ever have to feel alone for you are with us. Amen!