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Posts tagged ‘Children’






WRITTEN BY PASTOR TERRY COOMER                                                                                                 Elwood Bible Baptist Church, Elwood, Indiana 46036


God says, worship is to be led by the father. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:9).

Most fathers I know could care less. This is a wicked thing. There is more to being a father than just producing children. The lack of leadership by the father today in every area is the most important factor in the breakdown of the American home. I pray the Lord will give us more men like Joshua.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

There has to be a consecration by dad. There is more to a marriage than just living together in a physical relationship.

Lack of godly male leadership brings about the disastrous consequences of rebellion, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity. Divorce is usually caused by a father not taking his Biblical responsibilities and is something God hates, (See Malachi 2:12-17. Matthew 19:5-6.)

The most important cause of divorce in America is the lack of proper, godly leadership by the father and husband. It is also the most frequent cause of children’s feelings of rejection, behavioral problems, and anxieties.  Ephesians 6:1-4. Notice in verse 4, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word “wrath” means a strong desire to avenge. How does a father provoke a child to wrath? By not bringing him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; Nurture means training with structure. Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father.

David Blankenhorn in his 1995 book, Fatherless America,” says “the culture change from a stable, two parent home to the father’s abandonment of his responsibilities of marriage and parenting is America’s most urgent social problem. The father’s absence is the main reason for unhappy homes, many current social problems, and is a national crisis of our time.”

According to the National Fatherhood Institute, 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year! In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million. 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes. Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership. This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates. One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate. It is more than a physical presence. There are many homes where a father is there, but that is all. They want all their needs fulfilled, but do not want to take the spiritual, godly, or normal leadership that God intended. Instead children grow up listening to their parents fight, cuss, yell, scream, spend money on all kinds of entertainment and material possessions trying to be happy.

The father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

The family is in trouble in America because men fail to be the leaders God wants them to be. We desperately need to pray for the men of this country to do as God has commanded. The results of the men not obeying God have been disastrous. The great need is for men to repent of their sins, to really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then to be obedient to the commands of God from His Word. Men must be the leaders God desires them to be. May God help us to pray for the men of America.

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CHILDREN OF GOD, let us understand and take serious these words I speak to you here today when ISTOP BULLY ING 01say, “CYBER BULLING IS A SERIOUS CRIME,” and indeed it is punishable by law.  However, there are too many people that are using the internet and other technology as though it is no big deal, and feel if though they are invisible and can suffer no punishment because they have done nothing wrong to harm anyone, yet our Children are taking their own lives because a bully is hiding in Cyber Space and committing Crimes against our Children as well as against us.

This is very serious and we must take it serious or in the end we all will suffer the consequences.  Cyber Bullying can seem so innocent because it can range from embarrassing to cruel online posts, to threats, harassment, negative comments, to stalking through emails and online websites.  Therefore, many of us are not taking it serious and the bully continues to use the internet as a bunker that is going to keep them safe and allow them to do anything they may desire.

In my oath as an Ordained Minister I am called upon to speak truth to power.  The truth is in these words as each one of you knows them, and the power is in each one of our hands to bring about a change.  Although bullying may not have happen to you are your child, it affects all of us in one way are another when the bully is usually hiding behind false identity, spreading lies, posting pictures, using your name and identity to create post and make threats, telling you to kill yourself because you don’t’ deserve to live in their space.  They do all of this to force the other person to do something totally against their will.

The greatest harm in our society however is to our Children.  When a 9, 10, 11 or 12 year old child is being bullied by some other child and even sometimes adults, then find themselves caught up in a position where the bully seems to be getting the best of them and the only avenue they have left is to kill themselves, that is a serious crime.

CYBER BULLYING 02More and more we are learning that this is happening to our Children and not enough of us are taking it serious enough, listening with a patient spirit to our Children, believing the truth of what our Children are saying, and not reporting it to the authorities.  In the past some of the people that were in authority and especially the school officials did not take it serious enough.  Our Children are our most precious resource, and if this situation is not brought under control and stopped we as a society will be the losers.   

I personally have been the victim of such a crime and it continues even today.  The difference between myself and a young child is that my mind is centered in the Lord and He orders my steps and directs my path providing me with self-control my mind and over the situation.  But that does not make it any less serious especially when it is been done by someone who claims to be a Christian themselves and then hides behind a false identity and uses your own identity to spread lies, smear your name, and try to destroy you anyway they can.  So I truly do understand just how a very young mind may feel and be completely venerable to these and so many other type of threats that are affecting their lives and ability to cope with this difficult situation that they did not create and had absolutely nothing to do with.

This is the first in a series of articles that I will be writing continuously on this subject, and I encourage many of you to do the same.  Knowledge is Power, and when we know the truth we can stand on it because it will never fail us.  God is truth and He knows our hearts, the devil is the evil one who is the bully because He has no power over God.  So he uses our Children to try and destroy God’s Kingdom.  Now let us all stand strong against the evil works of the devil and say, “devil get behind me,” enough is enough.

Now let me leave you with God’s word on this important subject, it says, “Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom.

But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.

This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).

 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. (James 3:13-16 AMP)

May the Peace and Blessings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with each one of you as you work to help change hearts and minds to show the love and live the love as Jesus has taught us.






In part one of this four part series we talked about the role parents play in raising loving and respectable children.  We asked you to share your thoughts on what you would do to raise your children up in the right way that would make them a more responsible and productive adult in this society.  Several of you responded and I will share a couple of your response here.

One of our own Ministers, Sister Shirley wrote, “What we as adults, leaders, and parents must understand is that children are a gift from God, one to be cherished. They are our future leaders, doctors, teachers, etc., therefore our responsibility should be to teach and guide them now or pay the price in the future. Life is about choice and chance.”  

When I was a youth living in a small town, everyone knew everyone and no one was ever afraid to correct us if they saw us doing something wrong.  Today, if you correct a child when you see them doing wrong, you will have the parents knocking at your door for chastising their child.  You might even have the police come calling on you, if you are lucky that the child has not shot and killed you.  There is something badly wrong with this picture, but it is a true one today.

I can recall a time when I was in a vacation bible school; my wife at the time was teaching a Bible Study class with one of our Associate Ministers.  I had been called outside to break up a disturbance.  When I came back into the church, this young man’s sister was standing in the middle of the church cursing my wife and the pastor out using all sorts of foul language.  I escorted her outside and attempted to talk with her to no avail.  She left and within a few minutes, just after things had gotten back to normal within the church class, the doors swung open with a loud bang and a loud voice began to roar from the rear of the church.  It was the mother of the two teenagers yelling and screaming at me with language worst than her children had used, telling me what she was going to do to me if I ever put my hands on her children again.

Now this mother was the chairman of the usher board within the church.  Not only were her children wrong, but she was wrong for the way she handled the situation.  Her children went home and lied to her about what had taken place at the church.  She was willing to believe the worst from them, and instead of coming to find out what was going on, she came in accusing me and others of striking her children when no such thing had taken place.  If this had happened when I was a youth, I would have gotten my butt whipped before I left the church, then I would have been taken home to my parents and they would have whipped my butt again.  But you see, in today’s political correctness society, there are too many parents who refuse to correct their own children and will not allow anyone in the churches, schools or the community to do so.  Therefore, the youth’s attitude is you are not my parents and you can’t tell me what to do.  This is a sad commentary for our youth and it is a factor that is contributing to the youth violence in America today.

Another part of this problem of correcting children is some of the abuse that some parents have perpetuated upon their children that has caused the government to get more involved in our daily lives.  We parents are responsible for our children and we must shoulder that responsibility with love, understanding and patience.  Children can be a problem.  There is much peer pressure on them.  They want to fit in with their friends, therefore as a parent, we must try to understand their changing life style, and the growth hormones as they experienced adulthood.  We must treat them with respect, try and understand that they too do have problems and they may not always share those problems with us.  But we must always be willing to put our arms around them and daily tell them that we love them, even though we may not be having the kind of conversation we would like to have with them.  But I tell you that there is power in love.  When our youth can feel within themselves that they are loved, it brings a much different kind of respect from them.

Another one of our readers wrote and shared her story with us as to how she as a single parent is raising her daughter and preparing her for adulthood and to become a creative and productive member of this society.  Here is what she had to say; “I am trying to be here during my daughter’s childhood and teen years. I have chosen to sacrifice a more materialistic living in favor of being a stay at home mom. I’m available to my child when she comes home from school and stay available until she’s in bed at night. I find this helps immensely in our communication and the trust being built between us. We still have immense challenges, as I’m a single mom, but I’m so glad I made the decision to put her before materialism in our lives.”  (The Warrioress  Life of a female Blogger)  We encourage you to go by and read her writings.  You can reach her by clicking on this link:  http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/

We also encourage you to share your story with us and we will include it in Part 3 of this series which we will post next week on Tuesday June 25, 2013.  Your story just might be the one that helps to encourage another parent to become a better parent or perhaps improve their parenting skills and even save a child’s life.









Just a few months ago, a deranged individual with an assault weapon walked into a school located in Newtown, Connecticut and took the lives of 26 young people.  Since then more than 3,900 Mothers’ have lost their children to gun violence and will not be able to hug their children this Mothers’ Day, nor receive a Mothers’ Day wish from their children.  This is truly a tragedy that none of us can comprehend unless we are one of those Mother’s that have lost a child to gun violence.

So many hearts have been broken; so many tears have been shed because the family chain has been broken. Gun violence has taken many young lives and those Mothers have come to know the meaning of shattered and broken.

For those Mothers who have experienced such tragedy and pain, let me encourage you as one Mother to another, please allow this Mothers’ Day to be a time of release and reflection. Take a moment and look around you and you will see your child in the elements of the world God has created.  Look at the flowers as they bloom and beacon you to come closer, see the beauty of the birds as they cross your path, excited and having fun with one another, see the brightness of the sun as the raise beams down upon your body, feel the gentle breeze of the wind as it sweeps across your face and you here in it a soft and sweet voice that says to you, “Hi Mommy, I love you, then you pause, look all around you, and say, I love you also baby!” Now embrace it as a memory of the child that once occupied your space.  Know that they are always there ready to wipe away the tear drop from your eyes and give you encouragement and strength to carry on and fight the good fight that will help others survive the tragedy that took their young, tender and precious lives.

Remember the words of Job: We are all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles. We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then we wilt transit in the shadow of a cloud (Job 14: 1-2, MGS).

Allow the memories of your loved one to linger as long as you like but rest assured your child was blessed to you for a season and within that season take the memories and cherish them.

Allow yourself time to mourn and then embrace life as it is given each day because it is a gift that cannot be replaced.  God bless each Mother who have lost a child to violence and may your journey be one traveled in the assurance that at any given moment you will greet your loved one in a unique way, that’s how God have designed it. May you be blessed abundantly this Mother’s Day, 2013?








I wanted to be a missionary when I was in my early twenties and was not interested even in dating at university. Suddenly, in a space of a few hours I knew God’s call was marriage;  His presence was so strong, I received an inner image of Jesus’s hand on Michael’s and my heads.I was disappointed but I said yes to becoming a mother even though I had never held a baby before my first child.MOTHERING 02 MOTHERING 03 MOTHERING 04 MOTHERING 05

My children literally saved, healed and set me free. They have shaped my whole spirituality . My life in Christ is simple and full of Joy.

With so much to do, I was forced to let go of control and let God take control. We are cash poor and He has provided for us, even performing a multiplication of heating oil. One tank of oil lasted for 4 months instead of refilling 6-7 times.


Living on a hobby farm helped us raise kids with a good work ethic, who learned how to work and play together. Today they  socialize with other regularly and help look after each other







Melanie Jean Juneau is a petite wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com. When the words “The Joy of Mothering on a Hobby Farm” popped into her head as a subtitle for her short stories it was like an epiphany for her because those few words verbalized her experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.

We thank our Dear Sister in Christ for sharing her beautiful story of The Joy of Mothering Nine with us.  We encourage all our readers to click on this link and visit her Website and get her complete story.  http://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/author/melaniejeanjuneau/


The five dimensions of meta-leadership as deve...



The most important thing that any leader can do is to lead by example. Jesus demonstrated by example in everything that He did that He was a true leader.  Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).  In today’s lesson, we will provide you with the two of the four example of Jesus true leadership abilities, and we will give you the last two in tomorrow’s lesson.

Now let us begin with this question, is there a need for godly leadership in the family? Whenever God‘s people have been without godly leadership, the result has been disastrous. For example, in the period of the judges, every man did what was right in his own eyes because there was no king in Israel. The result was the disastrous record of sin and rebellion, which we have recorded, in the biblical book of Judges. Today in those families where there is no strong godly leadership, families will predictably be torn apart by sin resulting in the suffering of family, church and society. Godly leadership requires more than just being able to quote scripture and telling our children the difference between right and wrong. Although knowing truth is essential, just knowing what is right does not prevent people from doing wrong.

Throughout scripture, God has given us various principles for godly leadership. These principles are interlocking and overlapping. It is difficult to speak of any one of them without describing to some extent at least some of the other principles also.

As we study this subject, we need to comprehend the basic truth that the godly principles for leading a family do not differ or contradict the general principles, which God has established for other areas of successful leadership. In others words, we should not expect God to teach his leaders within the congregation that they can achieve success by employing a particular set of leadership tools and objectives while expecting parents to achieve leadership success through an entirely different scheme which might even include contradictory principles and goals. Texts such as Titus 3:4-5 confirm that leadership principles in one area of life are applicable to others also. Therefore, when we speak of leading our family, we are pursuing a biblical study incorporating both how the great principles of leadership within the Bible find expression within the family setting as well as any additional biblical teachings which might be specifically applied to the family.

Unlike the world where only some people possess the necessary skills, knowledge and personality considered essential to be a successful leader, none of God’s principles for leadership are beyond the reach of any faithful Christian. I would like to suggest that scripture provides at least four basic principles for successful leadership, which can be applied to leading the family. These are:

  • Leaders need to base their security and identity upon God, not in false sources of security (idols).
  • Leaders need to be examples worthy of imitation.
  • Leaders need serve others instead of demanding to be served.
  • Leaders need to accept the responsibility, which God has given them.

1. God wants his leader to depend upon God, not upon other sources of strength or confidence.

The fact that God taught his people about what was required from the one who would lead his people ought to cause us to take notice. In Deuteronomy 17:15-20 God not only made provision for an Israelite king, he also laid out a number of rules that were to govern this king. This is a very interesting list especially when we realize what God did not include. God did not appear to be concerned about a king’s economic strategy, his managerial ability, his expertise or experience with proven techniques, his social status, etc. It appears that none of these characteristics were important to God for his ability to be a good leader.

Instead, through the rules listed in Deuteronomy 17:15-20 we discover that God was primarily concerned with one central tenet. God prohibited the king from acquiring those items which could tempt the king to confide in an alternative source of security. For example, God prohibited the king from increasing his horses. In modern language, this would be equivalent to prohibiting him from building up his supply of tanks, etc. Leaders must trust in something. Israel’s kings would face the strong temptation to trust in their own military or in the strength of another country. 2 Kings 16:7-9; Habakkuk 1:11; Hosea 5:13; (14:3) Having prohibited various sources of confidence, God then commanded that His law was to be continually with the king in order that he might learn to fear His God. Properly understood, such fear describes someone who in reverence worships God. And then finally, these rules in Deuteronomy stipulated that the heart of the king was not to be filled with self-centered arrogance. After all, the king was merely to be God’s prince (God’s son cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-15; Ps. 2:6-12) with both the kingdom and its king depending upon God as the King. God’s point was, “I want my king to depend only on me.”

When God chose Saul to be king, God did not make a mistake. When God selected Saul, he was someone who was “small in his own eyes” (1 Samuel 15:17; 10:16, 22) and who would therefore be required to depend upon God. In fact, Saul was immediately rejected by those who apparently measured leadership based upon worldly standards of personal power (1 Samuel 10:27). The problem with Saul’s leadership is that he changed as he falsely began to credit his successful leadership to himself instead of to God. This caused him to become proud (1 Samuel 15:12), to begin to take initiatives based upon himself and how he would appear to others, rather than upon God (I Samuel 15:30). Eventually, he disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15:11) and was rejected. Because of who Saul became, God was sorry that He had made Saul king.

Clearly, David did not possess the leadership qualities which the world demanded of a national leader. He was the youngest of eight brothers and merely a common youth taking care of some sheep when God chose him to be king over Israel. But David did possess the quality of heart which God valued, namely he utterly depended upon God (1 Samuel 16:7; 17:37).

Why is this such an important principle of leadership for God? Behind this principle of depending upon God, lies the contest between God and idols for the heart and the love of an individual. The love of a person’s life has always been and will always be devoted to what that person believes offers him the greatest source of security and meaning. Our beliefs create our values which we feel as powerful desires and objects of love that in turn empower our behavior and attitudes. If we believe that our own ability, our jobs, education, social connections, money, etc. is the bottom line of what will take care of us, then our primary devotion will be to something other than God. Whatever is our primary devotion will control how we make decisions and how time and resources will be spent. If our center for life is falsely built upon this world, then our leadership will be secular not godly. God demands that his leader be an individual whose heart relies upon him, not upon some other rock or shield. A godly leader’s identity and security needs to be founded upon his trust in God, not upon false sources of meaning and security (idols).

Any leader who fails to learn this lesson of leadership will find himself making many decisions, based upon values which are not rooted in God. The decisions he makes may reflect placing priority upon the status which his work may provide or which comes from owning the latest technology. Or perhaps he will be tempted to place too much value upon the power he has acquired, instead of upon God. There is nothing inherently wrong with technology, money, or possessions. The problem arises when these things become the sources of our security and identity. For reasons outlined elsewhere, the capacity for godly leadership becomes greatly crippled, if not fatally flawed, when someone fails to trust God first.

Although worldly status, wealth, position, power and influence may forever be beyond most of us, the principle of utterly depending upon God is within the reach of each one of us. Anyone can choose to apply this principle of leadership within his or her life.

2. A second principle of Godly leadership is that leadership comes from first being the type of person God wants me to be in order that I might become an example worthy of imitation.

One key requirement of pastoral leadership is for elders to be an example to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Being an example should not be understood as summarizing all of the means by which an elder leads. He also leads through teaching (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 5:17) and equipping the flock for good works (Ephesians 4:11-14). But unless the elder is “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7; 1 Timothy 3:2,7) and thus worthy of imitation, he has lost his capacity to be a godly leader within the church.

Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Although the answer is rather obvious, there is the need to ask the question, “an example of what?” Leadership involves knowing what is important and where the group ought to be headed. Fundamentally, there are two diametrically opposed goals which war for the heart of the leader. On the one hand, either we will seek to preserve Self or some human value which Self has embraced, or on the other hand we will seek the Lord. God’s primary goal for his people has been and will always be summarized by the command “to love the Lord your God will all of your heart, soul and strength.” The second priority is to love others as one loves himself. Accordingly, these should be the primary goals driving godly leadership.

Unfortunately, at times the religious shepherds of Israel failed to love God and others, as they ought. Instead, they fell into the idolatrousness of living to serve themselves (Ezekiel 34:1-3, 8; self-centered greed is idolatry Colossians 3:5). This predictably resulted in them abusing and failing in their leadership responsibilities toward the flock (Ezekiel 34:2-6).

In instructing parents what to teach their children, God focused parents upon the primary lesson and value within life, namely to love God with all of our being (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Success in raising children is not measured by their eventual economic security, societal status, power, prestige, ability to acquire material goods, how much leisure time they can afford, etc. Success is determined by whether they grow up to love God. The parent who through actions, words, time and financial means places the greatest emphasis upon his child’s development toward being a doctor or a sports hero, should not later wonder why his child left the church. The child learned and obeyed exactly the values of the parent.

Our goal should be to first love God and then to love our fellow human being. In this way, we will be an example worthy of imitation. The husband and father who selfishly demands that the TV be always tuned to his favorite programs or who insists on being with his friends and doing what he wants to do, will be virtually inept at teaching his family to love and to seek the well-being of other people. The parent who is easily angered when something breaks will reveal through his or her temper just how much he or she values the things of this world. Accordingly, the children will perceive any words about loving God and not the things of this world to be hypocritical and empty. Although the parent might fool himself, others will clearly see what matters most within his life. A parent should not expect his household to respond to him with love, patience, kindness and mercy unless he has first demonstrated these qualities to them. Do not expect your children to listen to you, to forgive you, to make decisions to serve God instead of pleasure and the hectic demands of life, etc. if you have not first modeled these values and behaviors through how you chose to act. This principle of leadership is not beyond the reach of anyone who has first died to self in order to live for God.



WILL FATHERS STAND UP AND BECOME GODLY LEADERS?                               

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 AMP)

Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father as I see it today.

We know that sometimes fathers fail to accept the responsibility God has given them toward their wives and children. Many fathers pursue their own selfish interests thus abandoning the role God has given them.

Whenever parents fails to fulfill their role of godly leadership, the responsibility for leading their children will wrongly pass to a child’s peer group, a school or even the television. When an absent parent’s egoistic barked orders are met with resistance and rebellion, out of frustration and impatience a worldly parent might then even further discourage his or her children by cursing them. Instead, every parent needs to accept the leadership roles God has given us. This will require us to possess a heart devoted to God, to show our children how to live and to model serving others through love.

The principle of accepting our God given responsibility is within the grasp of each person. It is a decision. It does require work as well as death to Self.

God has provided a number of biblical principles for effective leadership. Any parent who abandons these principles will find their leadership ability in God’s service severely damaged. As parents seeking to serve God, let’s focus on being those whom God wants us to be. Let’s provide the godly leadership that our families need and which God has described for us. May our families be shining beacons of godly love, hope, values and all sorts of godly behavior in a world torn apart by the fruits of idolatry. And when we have finished the course, may we hear “well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in a few things. Enter into your Master’s   glory.”

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE PARTERING, HERE ARE THE FACTS                                                                            

Involved fathers provide practical support in raising children and serve as models for their development. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.  Committed and responsible fathering during infancy and early childhood contributes emotional security, curiosity, and math and verbal skills.


The Department of Justice has estimated that over 7.3 million children under age 18 have a parent who is in prison, jail, on probation, or on parole. Given these numbers, it is important to understand how children and their caregivers are affected by the criminal activity of a parent and their subsequent arrest, incarceration, and release.  Additionally, it is important to know which services and assistance might be available to those under criminal justice supervision to help them be better parents and to return successfully to the community.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of three — live in biological father-absent homes. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the social issues facing America today.

Father Factor in Poverty

Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P200-547, Table C8. Washington D.C.: GPO, 2003.

During the year before their babies were born, 43% of unmarried mothers received welfare or food stamps, 21% received some type of housing subsidy, and 9% received another type of government transfer (unemployment insurance etc.). For women who have another child, the proportion who receive welfare or food stamps rises to 54%.

Source: McLanahan, Sara. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study: Baseline National Report. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2003: 13.

A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father.

Source: Sorenson, Elaine and Chava Zibman. “Getting to Know Poor Fathers Who Do Not Pay Child Support.” Social Service Review 75 (September 2001): 420-434.

When compared by family structure, 45.9% of poor single-parent families reported material hardship compared to 38.6% of poor two parent families. For unpoor families who did not experience material hardship, 23.3% were single-parent families compared to 41.2% of two-parent families.

Source: Beverly, Sondra G., “Material hardship in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.” Social Work Research 25 (September 2001): 143-151.3

Father Factor in Maternal and Infant Health

Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.

Source: Matthews, T.J., Sally C. Curtin, and Marian F. MacDorman. Infant Mortality Statistics from the 1998 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Based on birth and death data for 217,798 children born in Georgia in 1989 and 1990, infants without a father’s name on their birth certificate (17.9 percent of the total) were 2.3 times more likely to die in the first year of life compared to infants with a father’s name on their birth certificate.

Source: Gaudino, Jr., James A., Bill Jenkins, and Foger W. Rochat. “No Fathers’ Names: A Risk Factor for Infant Mortality in the State of Georgia, USA.” Social Science and Medicine 48 (1999): 253-265.

Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birth-weight baby. Researchers find that these negative effects persist even when they take into account factors, such as parental education, that often distinguish single-parent from two-parent families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD (Sept. 1995): 12.

Expectant fathers can play a powerful role as advocates of breastfeeding to their wives. Three-fourths of women whose partners attended a breastfeeding promotion class initiated breastfeeding.

Source: Wolfberg, Adam J., et al. “Dads as breastfeeding advocates: results from a randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 191 (September 2004): 708-712.

Fathers’ knowledge about breastfeeding increases the likelihood that a child will be breastfed. Children who fathers knew more had a 1.76 higher chance of being breastfed at the end of the first month and 1.91 higher chance of receiving maternal milk at the end of the third month.

Source: Susin, Lurie R.O. “Does Parental Breastfeeding Knowledge Increase Breastfeeding Rates?” BIRTH 26 (September 1999): 149-155.

Twenty-three percent of unmarried mothers in large U.S. cities reported cigarette use during their pregnancy. Seventy-one percent were on Medicare.

Source: McLanahan, Sara. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study: Baseline National Report. Table 7. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2003: 16.

A study of 2,921 mothers revealed that single mothers were twice as likely as married mothers to experience a bout of depression in the prior year. Single mothers also reported higher levels of stress, fewer contacts with family and friends, less involvement with church or social groups and less overall social support.

Source: Cairney, John and Michael Boyle et al. “Stress, Social Support and Depression in Single and Married Mothers.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 38 (August 2003): 442-449.

In a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 families, researchers found that toddlers living in stepfamilies and single-parent families were more likely to suffer a burn, have a bad fall, or be scarred from an accident compared to kids living with both of their biological parents.

Source: O’Connor, T., L. Davies, J. Dunn, J. Golding, ALSPAC Study Team. “Differential Distribution of Children’s Accidents, Injuries and Illnesses across Family Type.” Pediatrics 106 (November 2000): e68.

A study of 3,400 middle schoolers indicated that not living with both biological parents quadruples the risk of having an affective disorder.

Source: Cuffe, Steven P., Robert E. McKeown, Cheryl L. Addy, and Carol Z. Garrison. “Family Psychosocial Risk Factors in a Longitudinal Epidemiological Study of Adolescents.” Journal of American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry 44 (February 2005): 121-129.

Children who live apart from their fathers are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and experience an asthma-related emergency even after taking into account demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Unmarried, cohabiting parents and unmarried parents living apart are 1.76 and 2.61 times, respectively, more likely to have their child diagnosed with asthma. Marital disruption after birth is associated with a 6-fold increase in the likelihood a children will require an emergency room visit and 5-fold increase of an asthma-related emergency.

Source: Harknett, Kristin. Children’s Elevated Risk of Asthma in Unmarried Families: Underlying Structural and Behavioral Mechanisms. Working Paper #2005-01-FF. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2005: 19-27.

Father Factor in Incarceration

Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds.

Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.

A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail.

Source: James, Doris J. Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002. (NCJ 201932). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, July 2004.

Father Factor in Crime

A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.

Source: Bush, Connee, Ronald L. Mullis, and Ann K. Mullis. “Differences in Empathy Between Offender and Non-offender Youth.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29 (August 2000): 467-478.

Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-parent families were at higher risk of status, property and person delinquencies. Moreover, students attending schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk.

Source: Anderson, Amy L. “Individual and contextual influences on delinquency: the role of the single-parent family.” Journal of Criminal Justice 30 (November 2002): 575-587.

A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household and sixteen percent lived with neither parent. (Fathers and Daughters)

Source: Snell, Tracy L and Danielle C. Morton. Women in Prison: Survey of Prison Inmates, 1991. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, 1994: 4.

Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.

Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

Youths are more at risk of first substance use without a highly involved father. Each unit increase in father involvement is associated with 1% reduction in substance use. Living in an intact family also decreases the risk of first substance use.

Source: Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta, Kristin A. Moore, Randolph C. Capps, and Jonathan Zaff. “The influence of father involvement on youth risk behaviors among adolescents: A comparison of native-born and immigrant families.” Article in Press. Social Science Research December 2004.

Of the 228 students studied, those from single-parent families reported higher rates of drinking and smoking as well as higher scores on delinquency and aggression tests when compared to boys from two-parent households.

Source: Griffin, Kenneth W., Gilbert J. Botvin, Lawrence M. Scheier, Tracy Diaz and Nicole L. Miller. “Parenting Practices as Predictors of Substance Use, Delinquency, and Aggression Among Urban Minority Youth: Moderating Effects of Family Structure and Gender.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 14 (June 2000): 174-184.

In a study of INTERPOL crime statistics of 39 countries, it was found that single parenthood ratios were strongly correlated with violent crimes. This was not true 18 years ago.

Source: Barber, Nigel. “Single Parenthood As a Predictor of Cross-National Variation in Violent Crime.” Cross-Cultural Research 38 (November 2004): 343-358.

Father Factor in Teen Pregnancy

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Source: Teachman, Jay D. “The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages.” Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111.

Separation or frequent changes increase a woman’s risk of early menarche, sexual activity and pregnancy. Women whose parents separated between birth and six years old experienced twice the risk of early menstruation, more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, and two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. The longer a woman lived with both parents, the lower her risk of early reproductive development. Women who experienced three or more changes in her family environment exhibited similar risks but were five times more likely to have an early pregnancy.

Source: Quinlan, Robert J. “Father absence, parental care, and female reproductive development.” Evolution and Human Behavior 24 (November 2003): 376-390.

Researchers using a pool from both the U.S. and New Zealand found strong evidence that father absence has an effect on early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.

Source: Ellis, Bruce J., John E. Bates, Kenneth A. Dodge, David M. Ferguson, L. John Horwood, Gregory S. Pettit, and Lianne Woodward. “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy.” Child Development 74 (May/June 2003): 801-821.

Father Factor in Child Abuse

Compared to living with both parents, living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional, or educational neglect.

Source: America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Table SPECIAL1. Washington, D.C.: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 1997.

The overall rate of child abuse and neglect in single-parent households is 27.3 children per 1,000, whereas the rate of overall maltreatment in two-parent households is 15.5 per 1,000.

Source: America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Table SPECIAL1. Washington, D.C.: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 1997.

An analysis of child abuse cases in a nationally representative sample of 42 counties found that children from single-parent families are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than children who live with both biological parents. Compared to their peers living with both parents, children in single parent homes had:

a 77% greater risk of being physically abused

an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect

a 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect

a 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect

an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse

overall, a 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse.

Source: Sedlak, Andrea J. and Diane D. Broadhurst. The Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect: Final Report. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, D.C., September 1996.

Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households.

Source: “Survey Links Teen Drug Use, Relationship With Father.” Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly 6 September 1999: 5.

Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.

Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

In a study of 6,500 children from the ADDHEALTH database, father closeness was negatively correlated with the number of a child’s friends who smoke, drink, and smoke marijuana. Closeness was also correlated with a child’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs and was connected to family structure. Intact families ranked higher on father closeness than single-parent families.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative. “Family Structure, Father Closeness, & Drug Abuse.” Gaithersburg, MD: National Fatherhood Initiative, 2004: 20-22.

Of the 228 students studied, those from single-parent families reported higher rates of drinking and smoking as well as higher scores on delinquency and aggression tests when compared to boys from two-parent households.

Source: Griffin, Kenneth W., Gilbert J. Botvin, Lawrence M. Scheier, Tracy Diaz and Nicole L. Miller. “Parenting Practices as Predictors of Substance Use, Delinquency, and Aggression Among Urban Minority Youth: Moderating Effects of Family Structure and Gender.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 14 (June 2000): 174-184.

Father Factor in Childhood Obesity

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children.

Source: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Study that looked at family lifestyle and parent’s Body Mass Index (BMI) over a nine year period found:

Father’s Body Mass Index (BMI) predicts son’s and daughter’s BMI independent of offspring’s alcohol intake, smoking, physical fitness, and father’s education

Furthermore, BMI in sons and daughters consistently higher when fathers were overweight or obese

Physical fitness of daughters negatively related to their father’s obesity

Obesity of fathers associated with a four-fold increase in the risk of obesity of sons and daughters at age 18

Source: Burke V, Beilin LJ, Dunbar D. “Family lifestyle and parental body mass index as predictors of body mass index in Australian children: a longitudinal study.” Department of Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, University of Western Australia, and the Western Australian Heart Research Institute; Perth, Australia.

A fathers’ body mass index (a measurement of the relative composition of fat and muscle mass in the human body) is directly related to a child’s activity level. In a study of 259 toddlers, more active children were more likely to have a father with a lower BMI than less active children.

Source: Finn, Kevin, Neil Johannsen, and Bonny Specker. “Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children.” The Journal of Pediatrics 140 (January 2002): 81-85.

A study that looked at dietary intake and physical activity of parents and their daughters over a two year period found:

Daughter’s BMI predicted by father’s diets and father’s enjoyment of physical activity

As father’s BMI rose, so did their daughter’s BMI

Source: Davison KK, Birch LL. “Child and parent characteristics as predictors of change in girls’ body mass index.” Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.

Study that looked at the relationship between parent’s total and percentage body fat and daughter’s total body fat over a two and one-half year period found:

Father’s, not mother’s, total and percentage body fat the best predictor of changes in daughter’s total and percentage body fat.

Source: Figueroa-Colon R, Arani RB, Goran MI, Weinsier RL. “Paternal body fat is a longitudinal predictor of changes in body fat in premenarcheal girls.” Department of Pediatrics, General Clinical Research Center, Medical Statistics Unit, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

Two studies that have looked at the determinants of physical activity in obese and non-obese children found:

Obese children less likely to report that their father’s were physically active than were the children of non-obese children. This determinant not found for mothers.

Father’s inactivity strong predictor of children’s inactivity.

Source: Trost SG, Kerr LM, Ward DS, Pate RR. “Physical activity and determinants of physical activity in obese and non-obese children. School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Source: Fogelholm M, Nuutinen O, Pasanen M, Myohanen E, Saatela T. “Parent-child relationship of physical activity patterns and obesity.” University of Helsinki, Lahti Research and Training Centre, Finland.

Children who lived with single mothers were significantly more likely to become obese by a 6-year follow-up, as were black children, children with nonworking parents, children with nonprofessional parents, and children whose mothers did not complete high school.

Source: Strauss RS, Knight J. “Influence of the home environment on the development of obesity in children.” Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA.

Father Factor in Education


Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1993.

Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school; 10 percent of children living with both parents have ever repeated a grade, compared to 20 percent of children in stepfather families and 18 percent in mother-only families.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

Students in single-parent families or stepfamilies are significantly less likely than students living in intact families to have parents involved in their schools. About half of students living in single-parent families or stepfamilies have parents who are highly involved, while 62 percent of students living with both their parents have parents who are highly involved in their schools.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

In 2001, 61 percent of 3- to 5-year olds living with two parents were read aloud to everyday by a family member, compared to 48% of children living in single- or no-parent families.

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2002. Table ED1. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2003.

Kindergarteners who live with single-parents are over-represented in those lagging in health, social and emotional, and cognitive outcomes. Thirty-three percent of children who were behind in all three areas were living with single parents while only 22% were not lagging behind.

Source: Wertheimer, Richard and Tara Croan, et al. Attending Kindergarten and Already Behind: A Statistical Portrait of Vulnerable Young Children. Child Trends Research Brief. Publication #2003-20. Washington, DC: Child Trends, 2003.

In two-parent families, children under the age of 13 spend an average of 1.77 hours engaged in activities with their fathers and 2.35 hours doing so with their mothers on a daily basis in 1997. Children in single parent families spent on .42 hours with their fathers and 1.26 hours with their mothers on daily basis.

Source: Lippman, Laura, et al. Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2004.

A study of 1330 children from the PSID showed that fathers who are involved on a personal level with their child schooling increases the likelihood of their child’s achievement. When fathers assume a positive role in their child’s education, students feel a positive impact.

Source: McBride, Brent A., Sarah K. Schoppe-Sullivan, and Moon-Ho Ho. “The mediating role of fathers’ school involvement on student achievement.” Applied Developmental Psychology 26 (2005): 201-216.

Half of all children with highly involved fathers in two-parent families reported getting mostly A’s through 12th grade, compared to 35.2% of children of nonresident father families.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics. The Condition of Education. NCES 1999022. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, 1999: 76.

The Numbers

According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes.

In 1960, only 11% of children lived in father-absent homes.

The Consequences

Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents to:

Be poor

Use drugs

Experience educational problems

Experience health problems

Experience emotional problems

Experience behavioral problems

Be victims of child abuse

Engage in criminal behavior



An image of Psalm 23 (King James' Version), fr...




Why is there so much turmoil at the top of our families, our churches, and our government? It appears that we have lost our moral compasses. We no longer live by the values that Jesus taught us. Fathers, who are the head of our families, are failing at an alarming rate. The church leadership is leading God’s people astray. In addition, we have our government leaders that are in total flux, they do not know which way is up or which way is down.  It is almost like the blind leading the blind, and we all are going round and round.  Where will it all ends?

Jesus warned us against doing the right things for the wrong reasons, things such as trying to develop integrity only because it would advance our career or help us to close a deal. Jesus called people who practiced this kind of morality “hypocrites.” Notice that he used this word three times in (Matthew 6:2,5,16 verses). Three times people are cited for violating their integrity by doing something only for the appearance. How excited would you be about doing business with people like this? In today’s marketplace, it appears that some of our leaders believe, that when no one is looking, they can do anything they choose to do, and get away with it.  What they failed to understand, is that God sees all, and know all things. Our God is a God who sits high and looks low. Anything that a person may do in the dark will come into the light eventually.

Therefore, the essence of hypocrisy (lack of integrity) is public-dependent behavior.  It is acting one-way while people are watching and another when alone. Typically this is not the kind of person most parents would want their daughter to marry; nor is this the kind of leader who inspires dedicated followers.

Jesus key to integrity is that his followers will live their lives by the standard of their unchanging, present heavenly father. Resist the temptation to dance to every vendor’s tune; instead, march to the steady beat set by our Almighty God.

Integrity involves living by one standard and for the approval of one judge. People come and go, and their standards are fickle. Trying to please all of them will at best drive you nuts and at worst turn you into a hypocrite. Nevertheless, God is unchanging and always present. Living for Him is foundational to integrity, and it reaps an eternal reward.

In order for today’s leaders to begin to lead in the right direction, they must go back to the core principles of Jesus teaching on integrity, and values. Now allow me the opportunity to define for our leaders, the first step of what their core values should be.  Until they understand, what it means to be equipped with core values, such as trying to steer their ship with no rudders. Vision, mission, strategy and outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, until values are clear. Jesus knew that; and in the process of developing His team off disciples, he forced them to confront this foundational issue.

Jesus urged his disciples to focus their values on things that would bear and eternal return. However, how, by making a living on Earth, while responsibly leading an enterprise on earth, while providing jobs, products, service and profit on Earth; do we build treasures in heaven? Whose nod of approval matters most? Who defines what really matters?

Jesus told his disciples that the core value, the driving value, that eternal value is this: “does what I am doing please God?”Every other value is second to that one. When that value is in place all other values line up.

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. Those are motivational, they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive, they placed boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.

King David demonstrated value driven behavior in Psalms 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart.” Because this person’s values truth and his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he does his neighbor no wrong. Because he values honesty, he keeps his oath even when it hurts. Because he values justice, he does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said, “They would never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.

As you reflect on the Psalms, considering what values drove the psalmist behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal; to more completely integrate God’s values into your professional and personal life.


Our children are the most important asset that we have in this world. Raising them properly is a lifetime labor of love. For many parents the proper way to discipline our children seems to be the most difficult thing to do. The Bible teaches corporal punishment, whether the modern experts agree or not. To withhold punishment from a child when it is deserved is to encourage the child in sin and thus to contribute to his eventual ruin. The parent who spares his rod might think he is manifesting love, but God says it is hatred. Here is how the Bible describes it, “He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.” (Proverbs 13:24 Amplified)

The parent who genuinely loves his child does not condone naughtiness, but discipline the child promptly. We all know children who have been properly discipline will always bring delight and rest to their parents instead of anxiety and heartache. Once again listen to how the Bible describes corporal punishment, “Correct your son and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.” (Proverbs 29:17 Amplified)

Are Your Children Spoiled?

By Katherine Kam WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

If you are spoiling your children, you’ll know it. They’re rude to you and other adults. They won’t share with other children. They will act bossy and demand to be first in line. They don’t answer your questions and ignore your instructions. If you deny them a new toy or treat, you’ll face a tempest of crying, howling, and little fists pounding the floor.

Feeling defeated? Nowadays, many parents do. But it’s not too late to curb spoiled behavior, child psychologists tell WebMD. In fact, they say, your child’s ultimate happiness depends on it.

“I think most parents know when their kids are spoiled, but they feel kind of helpless to do anything about it,” says Richard Bromfield, PhD, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of How to Unspoil Your Child Fast.

During more than 25 years in a private counseling practice in the Boston area, Bromfield has seen the gamut. A young boy who ordered his mother around and scolded her sharply for giving him yogurt when he wanted pretzels. An 8-year-old girl who cried and screamed when her mom and dad went to dinner or a movie without her, prompting frantic calls from the babysitter that sent her parents scurrying home. Or children who sass their parents for refusing them anything: “You stink.” “You’re a terrible mother.” “I hate you.”

When spoiled youngsters become teenagers, they’re more prone to excessive self-absorption, lack of self-control, anxiety, and depression, says Dan Kindlon, PhD, author of Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age.

“If you give kids so much early on, they get to a point where they can’t be satisfied with anything,” says Kindlon, who is also a clinical and research psychologist at Harvard University.

When mothers and fathers stop spoiling their children, Bromfield says, not only will they feel less frustrated as parents, they’ll also prepare their children to handle life’s curve balls — a tough task for kids who have always gotten their way.

So where do you start? Here are steps you can take to regain control.

1. Commit yourself wholeheartedly to stop spoiling your children.

“You have to commit. If you do it halfway, it’s better than not at all, but it’s not going to work until you really do it,” Bromfield says. For example, a parent who wants a child to start cleaning his room has to make sure that the job gets done right. “If they pick up one crayon and a piece of clothing and that’s it, it isn’t going to work,” he says.

In Bromfield’s experience, parents who take their new mission seriously see fairly quick improvements in their child’s behavior, he says. “A 10-year-old spoiled child does not need 10 years of reversal. Kids are smart and resilient and they want to grow right, so it’s generally not too late.”

2. Replace empty threats with clear, calm, concise instructions.

“Kids hear their parents say, ‘stop, no, it’s the last time.’ All the screaming and the counting to three and the threats — we have trained them to ignore us for 11 hours because they know that in the 12th hour, they’re going to get their way,” Bromfield says. “I tell parents to say what you mean. If you just say the words and say what’s going to happen and stick to it, that’s what has the power — the consequence. You don’t even have to yell.”

Also, avoid the trap of over-explaining or haggling endlessly over routine matters, such as tooth-brushing, turning off the video game, or bedtime. Your child will only argue with you like a pint-sized lawyer, Bromfield says. Think about it, he says: Does your 11-year-old son really need hundreds of nightly reminders about the benefits of dental hygiene if he’s smart enough to memorize 493 species of Pokemon?

3. Provide consistent discipline and consequences.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Bromfield says. Cut the chatter and provide concrete consequences, he suggests. “Is tooth-brushing a problem for your child? Try no treats for the entire next day. No warnings, no threats, just a total prohibition of sugar and sweets for the next 24 hours. Does he refuse to [pick] up his toys? Put them all away for a few days, period.” At first, your child may whine and cry, but don’t give in to tantrums. “Children need to grow used to handling reasonable limits without feeling devastated, rejected, and unloved.”

4. Avoid rescuing or overprotecting your child.

Is your daughter always late for school? Stop nagging and let her suffer the consequences of constant tardiness, Bromfield says. It sounds simple, but most parents are quick to rush in and rescue. His advice: “Unless the children are in danger, let them stew in the messes they make.”

Parents who repeatedly shield their children from consequences thwart their growth in character, experts say.

5. Ask yourself if you’re overindulging your child materially. 

Many parents shower their children with gifts and never require them to earn something on their own, experts say. But spoiling your children with all the toys, clothes, and electronic gadgets they want deprives them of important life lessons, such as saving up for a treasured possession, Bromfield says. “If you get everything, you don’t learn gratitude. If you never have to wait, you don’t learn patience.”

The psychologist says that he sees mothers who buy themselves $12 dresses at discount stores, but think nothing of spending $200 on their child’s shoes. Instead, try to cut back on excessive spending and shift some responsibility to your child to do chores or save allowance money for purchases.

In these hard economic times, more parents may simply be being forced to say no, Bromfield says. “The fact that people are struggling is not a good thing, but there might be a mixed blessing. Because of financial limits, people are probably giving their kids less. I see a lot of parents who are struggling with this because they’re feeling really badly. But I see this as an opportunity. In the way that the stock market and real estate prices are correcting, I think over-indulgent parenting is correcting, too.”

6. Stay on Track  

Despite a parent’s best intentions to stop spoiling a child, lots of things can derail the effort, experts say, including fatigue or being overwhelmed by work responsibilities or marital troubles. “Parents will backslide and undermine their progress,” Bromfield says.

What’s the secret to getting back on track?

“Parents can remind themselves that the reason they’re going to give in is a selfish reason — because it’s easier,” Kindlon says. “Remind yourself that you didn’t hesitate when the child, as a 2-year-old, wanted to drink the Chlorox. You had to take it away from them, right? Even if they said they hated you and they screamed, you didn’t feel bad about that. You have to develop the same mind-set and realize that this is best for them.”

Kindlon recently worked with a man who remembers how he chafed in his youth at his father’s steady discipline and refusal to spoil him. As the man recalls gratefully now, “My father told me, ‘I don’t care if you like me now. I want you to like me when you’re 40.’”

Why Do We Spoil Our Children?

Children don’t become spoiled because they’re innately bad, Bromfield says. Instead, a “spoiling” parent who doesn’t provide limits and structure can foster self-centered behavior in kids.

In more than two decades of counseling families, Bromfield has seen spoiled children become more prevalent, he says. Today, parents spoil their children for myriad reasons. They’re unsure about how to discipline children, they’re too tired and overworked to make an effort, they’re afraid of damaging their youngster’s self-esteem, or they fear that their children will become angry and dislike them. And, here’s a biggie: some parents spoil their children intentionally because it feels good, Bromfield says. “They find it gives them true pleasure to see their child happy, and they just always want that to happen.”

No one is advocating a return to a strict and distant child-rearing style from the past. But today’s parent-child relationships, marked by more emotional closeness, spontaneity, and friendship, pose both advantages and pitfalls.

“Today’s parents tend to be less comfortable with their authority,” Bromfield says. “Instead of telling their child what to do, they ask. Demands become questions. Questions become special elections.”

For example, “Look at what ‘Please hand me that stick’ can morph into at the playground,” he says: “‘Can you pretty please give Mommy the stick, and then we’ll go to the candy store?'”

But a child who controls parents is actually out of control, Bromfield says.

He recalls one couple who “walked on eggshells” around their preschooler to avoid triggering the boy’s rages. Why was he so angry? In part, Bromfield says, “he felt frightened of his own aggression because even his parents, rather than stand up to him, would give in to him.”

“Kids want their parents to be parents,” Bromfield adds. As he writes in his book, “A child needs boundaries and structure to grow and will seek them when they are absent. A child who perpetually pesters her parent may be searching for the limits she needs to grow straight. Her demanding and destructive behavior is meant, to a great degree, to test you, her parent, to find out what outrageous reaction will finally get you to react — constructively.”

Unchecked, a child’s sense of entitlement and spoiled behavior can spill over into the classroom, sports team, and play dates, causing rejection from other children. “Even brats hate being brats,” Bromfield says. “They will be the first ones to know that their selfishness is getting in the way. They will show you, even as they’re defending themselves, that they’re envious of kids who aren’t selfish.”



It is the book of Malachi that today’s clergy uses as their main authority for promulgating the doctrine of Christian tithing.” Christian tithing means that everyone must give 10% of their gross income (which is in the form of MONEY, 99%+ of the time), or they will be “cursed with a curse.” It will be well worth your time to read the real meaning of Malachi’s prophecy.

Mostly one will hear only three verses of Malachi quoted by those attempting to wrest a doctrine of Christian tithing from this prophecy.

Here are the “cursing” verses:

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:8-9).

Here is the “blessing” verse:

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that thee shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

Their interpretation of these proof texts are as follows: Rob God of His ten percent of your salary and be CURSED, or pay God ten percent of your salary and be BLESSED.

Before we go any further, just who is cursing whom in this Malachi prophecy? Does God, indeed, say, “You are CURSED with a curse” (Mal. 3:9)? This definitely sounds as if it is GOD Who is doing the cursing, doesn’t it? But say, did you notice that the word “are” in your Bible is in italics? That means that the word was supplied by the translators and was not in the original manuscripts. Remove it, and the verse says: “You cursed…” rather than “You are cursed…”

Is it God, or Israel, who is doing the cursing in this verse?

The Sopherim (Jewish Scribes) understood this verse to say that it was Israel “cursing God” rather than “God cursing Israel.” I have a few translations that make this correction:

“With the curse YOU are cursing [me], and me YOU are robbing—the nation in its entirety.”


“With a curse you curse Me, and Me you are defrauding—the nation, all of it” (Mal. 3:9, Concordant Version of The Old Testament).

We must always keep in mind that when the Bible says “tithes” it means products from the land—as grains and cattle. But when the Priests of Christendom say “tithes,” it always means money. Because the clergy prefers to be paid in money, it therefore, became necessary to change the Biblical use of the word “tithes” to now include money. And if “money” can now be shown to be a tithable commodity, guess what? Abracadabra, hocus-pocus, open sesame—every believer, of every occupation in the whole world (not just the farmers as in the Law of Moses), now is required to pay ten percent of his income to the Church. They increased their base of productivity a hundred fold.

What then is the 21st Century application of this Malachi Prophecy? Are we now to tithe money? Let’s read Malachi 3:10 very carefully:

  1. WHAT were they robbing God of? “tithes AND offerings.” Tithes of what? Products from the land—grains and cattle.
  2. WHERE were they to bring the tithes? To the “storehouse” [Hebrew: ‘garner’-- a granary for grain].
  1. WHY did God want these tithes of the land brought to the “storehouse” (the granary)? “That there may be meat [bread] in Mine house [God’s house, Not the granary].”

If there is no spiritual application of these statements and we rather take them literally, there appears to be a contradiction here. Why should the people bring the tithes to the “storehouse” (a granary for storing grain) when what God wanted was “bread in His house,” (the tabernacle/Temple, and not the “storehouse”)? The only food in God’s house—the tabernacle, was a dozen loaves of bread. And that bread was for the Priests only, not for the tribe of Levi. Since there were only twelve loaves of bread in the Tabernacle/Temple of God, are we to believe that the whole nation of Israel did not bring enough grain to the storehouse to make even twelve loaves of bread?

God does not contradict Himself, there needs to be something other than a need for enough grain from the whole nation of Israel to make twelve loaves of bread! Just what does God mean, “that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house?” Is God really reprimanding Christians of the 21st Century through Malachi’s prophecy to bring our checkbooks to church, “that there may be money in Mine house?” Yet this is the teaching of the Church regarding Malachi’s message. What is the Truth?

Does God ask Israel to bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, or treasury, or granary, so that there will be “tithes and offerings in Mine house?” No. God says so, “that there may be meat in Mine house?” We know that they did not bring the tithes and offerings into the holy place of the tabernacle. Only bread was kept in the holy place. The “bread” in the holy place was a type of something future, just as everything that happened to Israel and all of their offerings and ceremonies were a type of something future (I Cor. 10:11). He must indeed be spiritual blind who cannot see that the “bread” in the holy place foreshadows “The True Bread of Life—Jesus Christ.”

If God wanted more money in His house, why did Jesus do what He did in the House of God?

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the MONEY changers… and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:12-13).


The Christian interpretation of Malachi 3:10 is this: “Bring ye all the tithe MONEY and extra offerings of money to the church bank, that there may be money in the Church.” Granted, they might not enunciate it that crudely, but that is what they teach. Ask virtually any pastor of any church, “How do I, starting today, actually obey this prophecy of Malachi to stop “robbing God of His tithes and offerings?” and he will tell you to write out a check in the name of his church, for 10% of your salary (plus an offering), and that check will then be deposited into the church bank account.

Then ask these same pastors what kind of blessings you will receive for obeying this procedure, and they will probably tell you stories where people received huge amounts of material goods and even huge amounts of more money. This is their interpretation of God “opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing.” And there are ministers by the tens of thousands at this very moment preparing more stories and more yarns on how blessed one will become in every imaginable physical, earthly, and material things for giving them (they would say, giving God) your money.

Is this really how God wants us of the 21st Century to apply Malachi’s prophecy to our lives? I speak as a fool.

This prophecy has absolutely nothing to do with tithing money to the Church.

Does God suggest somewhere in this prophecy that there isn’t enough “money in His house?” Is Jesus Christ coming back to this earth to judge these “priests” because the “people” failed to bring enough money to the storehouse so that there would be money in God’s house? Is it a lack of money that concerns God in this prophecy? No, it is both the people and the priests who have corrupted themselves according to this prophecy. But like always, God holds the priests to a much higher standard and therefore they receive the greater condemnation. There are two groups of judgments in this prophecy:

[1] “Behold I will send My Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall PURIFY the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Mal. 3:1-3).

[2] “And I will come near to you to judgment [not just the priests, but many of the people as well]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 3:5).

It is amazing how the clergy make most people think that the only thing of value in the book of Malachi are these three verses on “robbing God” and “receiving a blessing.” There are four whole chapters in this book, and maybe it should behoove us to see what the rest of this book has to say. Here are just a few more things contained in Malachi:

“You offer polluted bread upon My altar… if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil…” (1:7-8).

“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you… I will curse your blessings… Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your face…” (2:1-3).

“But you have departed out of the way… ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi… therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people…” (2:8-9).

“Behold, I will send my Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming… He is like a refiner’s fire [like the lake of fire] …And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi… that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (3:13—See Isa. 6:29).

“Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them… And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I made up my jewels; and I will spare them… Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves Him not [‘Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?’ I Cor. 6:2)](3:16-18).

“And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (4:6)



Hannah Pours Out Her Heart to God (1 Samuel 1:1-28 (The Message)

There once was a man who lived in Ramathaim. He was descended from the old Zuph family in the Ephraim hills. His name was Elkanah. (He was connected with the Zuphs from Ephraim through his father Jeroham, his grandfather Elihu, and his great-grandfather Tohu.) He had two wives. The first was Hannah; the second was Peninnah. Peninnah had children; Hannah did not.

Every year this man went from his hometown up to Shiloh to worship and offer a sacrifice to God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, served as the priests of God there. When Elkanah sacrificed, he passed helpings from the sacrificial meal around to his wife Peninnah and all her children, but he always gave an especially generous helping to Hannah because he loved her so much, and because God had not given her children. But her rival wife taunted her cruelly, rubbing it in and never letting her forget that God had not given her children. This went on year after year. Every time she went to the sanctuary of God she could expect to be taunted. Hannah was reduced to tears and had no appetite.

Her husband Elkanah said, “Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren’t you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?”

So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God’s Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably. Then she made a vow:
Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.

It so happened that as she continued in prayer before God, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, “You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!”

Hannah said, “Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.”

Eli answered her, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.”

“Think well of me—and pray for me!” she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant.

Up before dawn, they worshiped God and returned home to Ramah. Elkanah slept with Hannah his wife, and God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked.

Dedicating the Child to God

Before the year was out, Hannah had conceived and given birth to a son. She named him Samuel, explaining, “I asked God for him.”

When Elkanah next took his family on their annual trip to Shiloh to worship God, offering sacrifices and keeping his vow, Hannah didn’t go. She told her husband, “After the child is weaned, I’ll bring him myself and present him before God—and that’s where he’ll stay, for good.”

Elkanah said to his wife, “Do what you think is best. Stay home until you have weaned him. Yes! Let God complete what he has begun!”

So she did. She stayed home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. Then she took him up to Shiloh, bringing also the makings of a generous sacrificial meal—a prize bull, flour, and wine. The child was so young to be sent off!

They first butchered the bull, then brought the child to Eli. Hannah said, “Excuse me, sir. Would you believe that I’m the very woman who was standing before you at this very spot, praying to God? I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”

Then and there, they worshiped God.



13Then little children were brought to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

14But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.

15And He put His hands upon them, and then went on His way.

Jesus wanted little children to come to him because he loves them and because they have the kind of attitude needed to approach God.  He did not mean that heaven is only for children but that people need childlike attitudes of trust in God.  The receptiveness of little children was a great contrast to the stubbornness of the religious leaders who let their education and sophistication stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus.

It was customary for people to bring their children to a rabbi for a blessing.  Thus people were bringing children to Jesus so that he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.  The disciples thought the children were unworthy of the Master’s time.  In the first century, Jewish households were patriarchal; men came first, followed by women and children.  The disciples apparently viewed these parents and children as an intrusion and a drain of time and energy.  So they told the people not to bother Jesus with their children.

Jesus told his disciples to let the children come because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.  The disciples must have forgotten what Jesus had said about children earlier.

Now listen to Jesus speak truth to power, “4Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me.

6But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and [a]acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better ([b]more expedient and profitable or advantageous) for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:4-6) AMP.

Anyone of any age who exhibits such faith and trust is promised access to Jesus and to the Kingdom.



We live and work in a hostile world.  Everything seems to be against us, and the plans God has set down for all His children.  However, we must not fear because our God is the same today and will be the same tomorrow.  What He has for you is for you and no one can ever take that away.  Although, he clearly tells us that we must abide in Him and He will abide in us.  We must be obedient to the word and stand firm on it, know matter how difficult the situation in the world become.  God is the gardener, the cultivator of the vine and the branches.  In order for the branches to produce much fruit, the branches must remain connected to the vine.  In other words, you must always abide in the vine.

The fruitful branches are true believers.  They abide in the vine.  To abide means to stay where you are as a Christian, Christ has placed you in that position.  In your daily walk, you must stay in an intimate fellowship with the Lord.  A branch abides in a vine by drawing all its life and nourishment from the vine.  So we abide in Christ by spending time in prayer, reading and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and being continually conscious of our union with Him.  As we thus maintain constant contact with Him, we are conscious of His abiding in us and supplying us with spiritual strength and resources.  The branch can only bear fruit as it abides in the vine.  The only way believers can bear the fruit of a Christ-like character is by living in touch with Christ moment by moment.

Each branch that continues to remain in the vine will produce much fruit.  This fruit could be new converts, or the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit displayed in our lives should attract people to Jesus and thereby make them new members of God’s vine and branches.

When a believer remains in Christ and Christ’s words remain in him, that person may go to God and ask anything in the name of Jesus and their prayers will be answered.  An essential part of being a disciple requires bearing fruit for the Lord.  And in order to pray for results, a person must remain in Christ.  For when we remain in him, our thoughts and desires conform to his, and we can pray in his name, knowing that our requests please God.  We can then be assured that whatever we ask will be done.

A vine that produces much fruit glorifies God, for daily he sends the sunshine and rain to make the crops grow, and he constantly nurtures each plant and prepares it to blossom.  What a moment of glory for the Lord of the harvest when the harvest is brought into the barns, mature and ready for use.  He made it all happen!  This farming analogy shows how God is glorified when we come into a right relationship with him and begin to “bear much fruit” in our lives.

Abiding is the secret of a successful prayer life.  The closer we get to the Lord, the more we will learn to think His thoughts after Him.  The more we get to know Him through His Word, the more we will understand His will.  The more our will agrees with His, the more we can be sure of having our prayers answered.  When God answer our prayers, we know that we are in the right standing with God.  We become like the tree that is planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever we do, we shall prosper.  (Psalm 1:3), because God is Glorified.



As we begin our study of the epistle of 2 John 1:4-6, we are given to understand that John had only met some of the believers in the church and was glad to find them living in the truth.  John was probably speaking of those he met at some place other than the local church itself.  His joy at meeting them and then discovering that they were living in the truth prompted him to write this epistle.  In identifying only “some” of the children, he was not necessarily excluding the others.  Rather, he was speaking only of those he met.  In both cases, the apostle rejoiced in the believers who had not allowed the false teachers to lead them away from the truth.

Living in the truth refers to the Christians conducting their lives as they had been commanded by the Father.  The commandment to live in the truth came from the Father through the Son to the disciples, who passed it on to the believers.  As John had explained in another letter.  “And this is his commandment:  We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.”  (1 John 3:23).  To live in the truth, therefore, involves believing in Jesus Christ as God’s Son (faith) and loving others (action).

Now as we look at verse (1:5), we see that John urged the church to love one another.  This was not a new commandment: the believers had heard this from the beginning.  The Christians had been taught this commandment from the time they first heard the gospel preached.  The statement that Christians should love one another is a recurrent New Testament theme.  Yet love for one’s neighbor is an old command, first appearing in the third book of Moses (Leviticus 19:18).  Believers can show love in many ways: by avoiding prejudice and discrimination, by accepting people, by listening, helping, giving, serving, and by refusing to judge.  Knowing God’s command is not enough.  Those who claim to love God and believe in his Son must put their faith into practice by loving.  (Look at Matthew 22:37-39 and 1 John 2:7-10).

In verse (1:6) lest anyone wonder what John meant by the word “love,” he explained it here.  Love does not focus on emotions or feelings; instead, love means doing what God has commanded.  Love is expressed by obedience; obedience fulfills the command to love.  The one command to love one another sums up all of God’s commands, and obedience to God’s commands is the sure test of love.  John made the same proclamation in his first letter (see 1 John 3:11, 16-19).

Four times in verse 4-6 appears a form of the word”command.”  Yet the commands are obeyed through love.  John wanted his readers to know that he spoke as an Elder, as an apostle, and as a loving father to his children–with authority from God himself.  The false teachers had no such authority, and their lifestyles did not exemplify love.


The ENS did a great job reporting about the opening of the High-level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy. In my opinion, the most noteworthy part is when Dr. Jacques Diouf, the director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, pointed out the shameful contrast between what we waste and how relatively little it would take to eradicate world hunger. After pointing out the trillions spent yearly on militarism and the billions of dollars worth of food wasted, Dr. Diouf asked, “How can we explain to people of good sense and good faith that it was not possible to find US$30 billion a year to enable 862 million hungry people to enjoy the most fundamental of human rights: the right to food and thus the right to life?” Resources that could go towards feeding the hungry and eradicating poverty are spent on expensive and needlessly destructive endeavors such as the occupation of Iraq and the war on drugs like marijuana. I could never describe how intensely that upsets me.

Posted in Poverty News | Discuss at Hunger Forums • Poverty In Africa Sponsoring a Child Helps Provide Health Care, Education & Food.

www.ChristianChildrensFund.org • Global Food Crisis Surging prices worldwide causing families to suffer. You can help!

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www.SavetheChildren.org/sponsor • Feed Hungry Children Childcare Worldwide feeds children in third-world countries.

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www.worldhelp.net • Real solutions to poverty Turn goodwill into effective action

www.acton.org/impact/ • Feed The Children Helping poor, hungry and famine- stricken children worldwide.

www.FeedTheChildren.org • Living with Hunger Harrowing film about the reality of surviving with hunger in Ethiopia

www.insightnewstv.com/hunger • Help Us Save Lives Please, help us Change the World One Child at a Time. Thanks!

www.chrf.org By Erin Fitzgerald Four children of different backgrounds stand in a line clasping hands and smiling. In this carefree scene filled with lush green grass and blooming flowers, these children don’t have to worry about equal opportunities in life. Their futures are shining brightly, and their dreams are well within their grasp. But this perfect society is only an illusion. A dream that 16-year-old Wilda Vasquez Ibanez, a sponsored youth, portrays in her mural titled “Right to Equality.” The reality is much harsher for children in impoverished countries. Here in Guatemala, where Wilda lives, some families can’t even afford to buy nutritional food, let alone help their children pursue an education. Their children’s futures are dim, shadowed by a lack of knowledge and a society where the poor often can’t break free of poverty. Wilda completed her “Right to Equality” painting as part of a contest organized by social organizations. Painting has helped her overcome her shyness, and she hopes to attend college. In the meantime, she wants people to learn from and understand one another through her paintings. “Age, color, gender and race are not important,” Wilda said. “We are all human and should receive the same opportunities.”

Visual messages serve as an important tool of communication in Latin America, where reading isn’t stressed as much as it is in the United States, said Vickie Coromac, Children International’s regional director for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. “Some of the adolescents in our program in Latin America found that a good way to reach others was using visual art,” Coromac said. “You retain an image better. It stays in your brain.” While impoverished families may still struggle to find work and send their children to school, sponsorship – and paintings like Wilda’s – give them a reason to dream. Wellington Gonzalez and Astrid Salazar of United International’s Guatemala City project office contributed this report to Children International’s web site.

Help Fight World Poverty • According to UNICEF, 30000+ children die each day due to poverty, or over 9.8 million children a year. • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

• The death rate for children under the age of 5 is an unbelievable 210000 week, approx 11 million a year.

• 1 billion children, every 2nd child in the world is currently in poverty.

• 640 million children go without adequate shelter. • 400 million children do not have access to safe water.

• 270 million children have no access to health services.

• 1.4 million children die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

• 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. 15 million children are orphaned yearly due to HIV/AIDS.

• Half the world’s population nearly three billion people live on less than two dollars a day. [Numbers are according to the World Bank.]

• There is nearly a billion people in the world that are unable to read a book or sign their names. [The State of the World's Children, 1999, UNICEF]

• Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific. [World Resources Institute Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems, February 2001]

• 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day. [The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10]

• 3 billion live on under two dollars a day. [The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10]

• 1.3 billion have no access to clean water. [The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10]

• 3 billion have no access to sanitation. [The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10]

• 2 billion have no access to electricity. [The Reality of Aid 2000, (Earthscan Publications, 2000), p.10] Poverty In Africa Sponsoring a Child Helps Provide Health Care, Education & Food.

www.ChristianChildrensFund.org Global Food Crisis Surging prices worldwide causing families to suffer. You can help!

www.mercycorps.org/foodcrisis Food for the Hungry Making a difference in hard places to overcome all forms of poverty!

www.FH.org Sponsor a Child A struggling child needs help today Are you ready to change a life?

www.SavetheChildren.org/sponsor Feed Hungry Children Childcare Worldwide feeds children in third-world countries.

www.childcareworldwide.org World Help Children of the World Choir Help for Today Hope for Tomorrow

www.worldhelp.net Real solutions to poverty Turn goodwill into effective action

www.acton.org/impact/ Feed The Children Helping poor, hungry and famine- stricken children worldwide.

www.FeedTheChildren.org Living with Hunger Harrowing film about the reality of surviving with hunger in Ethiopia

www.insightnewstv.com/hunger Help Us Save Lives Please, help us Change the World One Child at a Time. Thanks! www.chrf.org

We at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES urge you to click on any one of the above links and see how you can help make a difference in the lives of one of God’s angels.  The Children are suffering, and these organizations need your help.   We all have a role to play in helping to eliminate poverty in America and through out the world.  You can help change the world by becoming a part of this great outreach world ministry and saying, “God here I am, send me.”

NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE A STAND! Just click on the CONTACT US link above and leave your email address and we will get back with you.  You are Divine, and as a Divine Servant of the Lord, you have been given talents that are needed in this Ministry to help take the gospel to the world as Jesus did and at the same time bring releif to those that are in the greatest need.

We at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES are taking the gospel to the world and changing the world one soul at a time.


Also, take a few more minutes and click on THE FIGHTING WORLD POVERTY link above and watch the video on Poverty in America and the one on World Poverty.

Now we wish each one of you who have read this message and act upon what God has led you to do in your hearts, peace, power, purpose and prosperity.

Your Servant in Christ

Pastor Davis Byars



I am bankrupt without love


If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere, So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up

Love cares more for others than for self

Love doesn’t strut

Doesn’t have a swelled head

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others

Doesn’t revel when others grovel

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth

Puts up with anything

Trusts God always

Always looks for the best

Never looks back

But keeps going to the end

Love never dies.

 Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.  We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.  But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant.  When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don’t yet see things clearly.  We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.  But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!  We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:  Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

My Father’s Secret Revealed


                      By Rev. Davis M. Byars, Jr.

Today I am going to reveal to you a very important secret that has been handed down through many generations of my family as farmers. It is a secret that has allowed me to generate wealth for my family and at the same time teach many others how to do the same. I can truly say that I am a blessed man this day to have benefited from the teachings of a very strong father and grandfather who believed in the Universal principals of the laws of nature.As a kid it was very hard for me to understand why I had to work so hard in the fields, why other kids could play and just loft off. It was hard for me to understand why we didn’t go to the grocery store to buy the things that every one else was spending their money on. It was hard for me to understand why my brothers and I had to work so hard in the fields producing great harvest of watermelons and so many other food items and my father would give so much of it away to the community, when these same folks were always laughing at us for working the fields and would not lift a hand to help. These were very difficult times.

As children we may not always understand the lessons our parents are trying to teach us, but we as parents must never give up on teaching our children the great lessons that we learned from our parents that can help them make a different in the lives of others that they will someday come in contact with.

My father’s secret is this, “God will provide for all our needs. What ever we ask God for, make sure you are ready to receive His blessings when you ask.” The secret was important to him because his father had given it to him. This secret is about planting a watermelon seed into the ground. My father grew watermelons, and he begins his watermelon farm from a few seeds his father had given to him.” You see, when God gives you a seed, you must take what God has given you and immediately thank God for it, then plant it and God will multiply it many times over. The watermelon seeds my father received from his father were given to his father by God. God had blessed him and taught him how to use the seeds he had given to him to feed his family and many other families many times over. My father took the seeds, thanked him for providing them and then he thanked God and immediately begin to apply the lessons his father had taught him about planting watermelon seeds. God can take a few seeds and turn them into millions and millions more seeds.

When you take one watermelon seed and plant it in the ground, it will sprout and bring forth several watermelons each one containing a hundred or more seeds. If you would save each seed from that watermelon, which we as kids had to do. When we ate a watermelon we were given ten plates to spit the seeds into. After which my father would wash the seeds and put them out into the sun to dry. Then the next season he always had plenty seeds to plant and there by enlarging his farm without having to spend his cash to purchased additional seeds. He would also give seeds to other farmers to help them grow watermelons that they would not have been able to grow had it not been for the seeds that my father provided to them.

Once we were finished eating the watermelons my mother had a very large bucket that we must place the watermelon rinds into. She would then cook them and make watermelon rind preserves which we would always have plenty to eat and share with the other farming community. Any rinds that would be left over would always be given to the hogs to help fatten them up. Nothing was ever thrown away or wasted. On the farm there was always a use for everything.

The next season my father would replant the seeds and they would produce several hundred more watermelons containing several hundred thousand seeds. This process can go on and on, pretty soon you will have enough seeds to grow a million or more watermelons. You see Gods says, “When you plant he will give the increase.” My father took what his father had given to him and immediately begins to plant. From that point on, everything was in the hands of God. I have taken the lesson that my father taught me and used it in the business world to build and grow many successful business enterprises.

Now when you understand my father’s secret and actively apply the laws of the universe, you too can build wealth in your family and your community. Although you might not be a farmer, that doesn’t matter, the process works the same, weather you are a farmer, business person or just a lay person. A farmer plants his seeds in the ground and waits for them to germinate. A business person uses a pen and paper to write down his ideas and then they too begin to germinate. Now I understand the lessons of my father.


Pray So You Don’t Give Into Temptation


Luke 22:39-46

By Rev. Davis M. Byars, Jr.


And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.


And when he was at the place, he said unto them, pray that ye enter not into temptation.


And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed.


Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.


And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.


And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,


And said unto them, why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.


 Today church satin is busy.


I tell you, He on a mission


Now let me show you just how busy he really is


He’s out trying to destroy the church, and he want to destroy God kingdom


He using every trick at his disposal to make this happen


Look around your community and see all the families that are in turmoil


Husband against wives and wives against husband


Our teenage children are having children of their own and are not capable of raising them on their own.


Our teenage children are forming gangs and others are joining gangs, creating mayhem in our communities.


Our teenage girls are standing on street corners selling their bodies.


Our teenage boys and girls are standing on street corners selling drugs.


Our high school drop out rate is the highest it has ever been.


Our children are not able to complete in a global economy because of their poor education levels.


Our prison systems are filled to maximum capacity.


Our public schools are closing because not enough kids to fill the class rooms


Our government is spending billions to build prisons and very little to build public housing.


We are locked in battle in a war which our President describes as good verses evil


Our young children are dying daily in a civil war, on foreign soil, while our political leaders argue about who right or who wrong.


Our health care system is non existence, and our senior citizens are having to chose drugs over food.


The cost of living is constantly rising while the wages we earn remain the same.


Some people are having to make the decision of weather to put gas in their automobile to go to work or to buy food for their children to eat.


Yes, this is the real world we live in today.


When things are bad and we look around us and see that everything seems to be getting worse, we question God by saying why me? 


Why me God?  What have I done that is so wrong?


Your faith is now shaken and before long satin will begin to set glamorous things of the world before you. 


He is now trying to temp you to do wrong.


He knows you have been weaken by the secular world.


And once weaken you will give in sooner or later to the temptations that he may set before you.


Satin has got his game face on, and he playing hard ball to beat you down and bring you back into his kingdom and away from God with his temptations of gold and silver.


Now allow me to park right here in this zone of temptation for just a moment.


Now let us examine how Jesus teaches us how to handle satin when he confronts us with temptation.


In verse 40 Jesus instructs us to pray so that we will not fall into temptation.


Look at your neighbor, and say, neighbor, Jesus said pray.


You see prayer has a way of protecting you from the evil that is trying to destroy you.


When you pray, you activate the power of the holy spirit that has been sent by God to give you power to over come all evil


No weapon that is formed against you can prosper when the power of prayer is activated.   


Jesus is called Master Teacher by his disciples


They did this for a very good reason and this was because of the manner in which he took the time to teach them how to do all things.


Now look what he did in verse 41. 


He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed.


Look at how Jesus does this thing. 


He didn’t just tell them to pray, he walked away from them fell down on his knees and begin to pray.


That is a mark of a great teacher, a great leader, teaching and leading by example.


Listen to how Jesus prayed:


“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”


Jesus placed the problem squarely on the shoulders of the Father, by saying not my will, but yours be done.


By doing this;


Jesus is showing us that we don’t have to sub cum to satin’s temptation.


We have an adversary that is just waiting for us to call on him.


Now look what happen when Jesus called on the father for help.


Look at verse 43.


Jesus went into prayer.


He fell down on his knees and He called on the father.


You see, Jesus knew that there is no army any where in the world that can defeat the army of God.


No matter how hard satin try to tear now or destroy God kingdom, God army will defeat him every time.


Jesus summons a might army and look how quickly it arrived.


Instantly the bible says,


An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.


If you want God to strengthen you, you have to pray.


If you want to keep satin away from you, you have to pray.


If you want to keep evil from your door steps, you have to pray.


If you want love, joy and happiness to be a part of your life, you have to pray.


If you want God to forgive you, you have to pray.


If you want your bank account to be replenished, you have to pray.


If you want to over come the world, you have to pray.


If you want the government to get of your back and leave you alone, you have to pray.


If you want our troops to stop dying in a civil war and come home, you have to pray.


If you want satin not to lead you into temptation, you have to pray.


Now look at your neighbor and say, neighbor, if you want God love, you have to pray.


Once the angel appeared at Jesus side and strengthen him,


The bible says, he prayed on all the harder.


Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.


He got up from prayer and went back to his disciples and found them asleep.


Drugged by grief, He said;


What business do you have sleeping?


Get up,


Get up,


Get up,


Now pray so you want give in to temptation.


Church, we need to begin to pray like we never prayed before.


We need to wake up from our sleep and begin to pray.


A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,


And poverty will come on you like a bandit


And scarcity likes an armed man.


Get up,


Now pray so you want give in to temptation.


Lazy hands make a man poor


But diligent hands bring wealth.


He who gathers his crops in summer is a wise son.


But he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.


What business do you have sleeping?


Get up,


Now pray so you want give in to temptation.







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