Monthly Archives: June 2014

Four Hugs a Day

Four Hugs a Day

About 20 years ago, I student taught in Southern California. I was placed in a very low income school, Magnolia Elementary School in Azusa, CA, in a kindergarten classroom with an excellent master teacher. She taught me so much about how to manage a classroom well so students could learn. However, the thing I remember the most about my experience in her classroom is a simple little song she had the students sing each day, “Four Hugs a Day”.  Click here for the Youtube link.

Since I grew up in a family where affection was the everyday norm, I didn’t realize that many homes are not that way. This wise teacher understood that hugs help develop emotionally healthy kids, and unfortunately, many kids were not getting enough hugs at home. The same is true for all people, regardless of their age, we all need hugs! I’ve heard it said that we need:

  • 4 hugs a day for survival
  • 8 hugs a day for maintenance
  • 12 hugs a day for growth

Ever since that silly little song got burned into my subconscious, I have been known as a hugger. I hug my kids, I hug my friends, I hug my church family (with appropriate side hugs for the men). In fact, I believe a hug to be one of the most powerful ministry tools at our disposal. By welcoming somebody into your personal space, a hug says, “I accept you”, “I love you”, “You are valuable”, “I care about you”, “You are important”, “Jesus loves you”.

You can tell, by the rigid feel of their bodies, those who are neither used to nor comfortable with hugs. This has seldom deterred me (*smile*). I have seen many people transformed from reluctant huggers to some of the most enthusiastic huggers I know. It’s amazing – the transformational power of something so simple. One reluctant hugger recently told me, “I have needed every single hug you have ever given me.”

There’s an added benefit to being a hugger . . . as many hugs as I give, is as many hugs as I get. Even if I am the one to initiate a hug, I still benefit from it. When you serve in ministry, you have to pay close attention to your own emotional health. Are you surviving (4 hugs)? Maintaining (8 hugs)? Or growing (12 hugs)? I have found that the more hugs I give in a day, the healthier of a person I become.

Consider embracing the hug (pun intended!). It will do wonders for both those you serve and yourself as well. How many hugs can you give today?

Your Friend in Ministry,

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1 Peter 1:24-25

In January I launched this blog for Women in Ministry. Those first posts had to do with the One Word concept, where you prayerfully choose a word that God wants you to focus on for that year. My word for 2014 is “blossom”. My prayer is that as I continue to abide in Christ, I will blossom and bear much fruit for His kingdom (John 15).

On my birthday, a couple of weeks ago, the verse of the day on my Bible app was 1 Peter 1:24-25.

For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Since, my word is “blossom” this verse about flowers caught my attention. As I read and re-read it, I realized something so simple, yet profound. No matter how much I may blossom this year, my “glory” is like that of a flower. The word translated “glory” is the Greek word “doxa” which means – good opinion of someone, resulting in praise, honor and glory.

Probably much like you, I want people to think well of me. However, I find it very interesting that the result of someone’s good opinion is honor or praise. This leads to a thought provoking question, do I want people to think well of me so that they will praise me and hold me in high esteem?

According to this verse, our “glory” as humans is like the flowers of the field. Flowers fall, they are beautiful only for a season.

single flower

One of my favorite flowers is peonies. I have a pink peony plant in my front garden and year after year it blooms just in time for my birthday. Instead of leaving all of the flowers outside, I cut some and place them on my bedside table so that I can smell their sweet fragrance first thing when I wake up each morning.

Peonies

This year, just like every other year, I was disappointed at how quickly my beautiful flowers faded. Then I read 1 Peter 1:24-25 and I made the connection between my peonies and my own life. Even if I should live well into my 80’s or 90’s, my life is but a brief season compared to all of time. I could blossom into something truly beautiful (and I pray I do), but whose “glory” am I after? Mine or God’s? My glory doesn’t last, but God’s lasts forever. I needed that reminder, how about you? If you want to outlive your life, make all of your life about God’s glory.  Let’s be people whose lives are so about Christ, that the good opinion others have of us results in honor and praise to God alone.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Summer Family Bible Study

When summer time rolls around, my husband and I take advantage of the extra time we have to disciple our kids in God’s Word. Each year, it looks differently. For two years in a row, we participated in the “Bible Bee”. The first summer we studied each and every verse of 1st Peter and the second summer it was 2nd Timothy. Click here to check out this wonderful ministry.

As springtime was giving way to summer, my husband shared with me that he wanted the kids to learn how to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice through interacting with the Bible.  So, this summer, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday he will choose a verse from the Bible and in our journals, we will interact with it in the following way:

  1. Write the reference
  2. Write the main theme
  3. Choose a key word & using Blueletterbible.org write the Hebrew or Greek Definition
  4. Consider what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me personally through the verse and write it down

Journals

Summer Bible Study

Then we will share with each other what we have written.  However, sharing #4 is optional.  It can keep it between you and the Lord.

On Wednesday, our verse was Romans 10:9. This is what I received from this verse.

  1. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
  2. Steps to Salvation
  3. Lord – to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding the owner, one who has control of a person, master.
  4. Jesus needs to be Lord of every area of my life – mind, emotions, attitude, etc… I have decided that I belong to Jesus and I willingly give Him control of my life.  As I keep Him as Lord of all of me, it leads to salvation of anything and everything that tries to come against me.  He is the Lord that initially saves me from my sin, but He is also the Lord who continually saves me from that which tries to defeat me.

We are praying that this simple Biblical exercise leads to great growth in our kiddos lives.  Feel free to adopt and/or adapt our Summer Bible Study for your family as well!

Your Friend in Ministry,Signature

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