Sunday, June 15, 2014

PARENTING RESOURCE: Raising Godly Tomatoes

Raising Godly Tomatoes:  Loving parenting with only occasional trips to the woodshed

Raising Godly Tomatoes by L. Elizabeth Krueger

"I breathed a sigh of relief when I found this book.  Before a friend recommended it to me, I’d been introduced to a very black and white approach to discipline, but I had a gut feeling that something was missing.  In Raising Godly Tomatoes, Mrs. Krueger is honest about her own struggles as a mother and also highlights the joys of well-staked-up children.   She gives very practical and specific help for issues we face daily with our families.  This has become my favorite parenting resource to recommend.  I know you’ll be blessed by the insights you find."

Liz Stetler

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Raising Great Commission Kids

                                         Raising Great Commission Kids
                                                                                                           - Isabel Rundell

You may ask, “What is a Great Commission kid?” A Great Commission kid is a
child who has accepted Christ as their Savior. Bible stories are engraved on their
hearts from the lips of the parents. They see Mom and Dad following Christ and
sharing their faith with others and they are taught from the earliest age that God
gave them an important purpose in the world. Their families make it a priority to
connect to all kinds of people from every place in the world for the purpose of loving
and sharing the love of Jesus. They have the joy of imitating their parents’
compassion and love for others. 

Great Commission kids imitate what they learn from their parents, their
teachers, and their church. They develop behaviors that can become lifelong habits.

Here are a few ways that parents can develop a love for missions in their children:

1. Make sure your children hear about missions through special missionary
speakers and mission services at your church. Make attendance a priority!
2. Make missionaries personal to your children by:
    a. Having missionaries spend the night in your home. Teach your children to be
    b. Having missionaries in your home for a meal. Prepare questions for your
        children to ask, making it a learning experience.
    c. Keeping up to date on specific missionary needs. Talk about and pray
        specifically for the missionaries as a family.
    d. Keeping a prayer basket near the dinner table. Pull out a missionary prayer
        card (or picture of friends and family) and pray for them before each meal.
    e. Saving money as a family for a specific missionary project. Make a special
        bank for the short-term project and save for several months or a year.
    f. Adopting a missionary family. Write to them; remember their birthdays;
        share prayer requests; carefully read their prayer letters.
    g. Finding your child a missionary-kid pen pal. Many MKs around the world
        would be delighted to get mail from a child their age in their parent’s culture.
        You and your child will learn valuable insights about living abroad through
        the eyes of a child. Additionally, when the missionaries visit your church,
        your child will already have a relationship with the MK and will be able to
        include them more easily.
    h. Have a mission’s bulletin board in your home on which you place missionary
        prayer cards and pictures of the missionaries. (Some use the refrigerator)
3. Help your church become more “missions minded” by supporting missions with
your finances and prayers. Take the time to really “know” the missionaries of
your church.
    a. Send out church members on “short-term” mission’s trips. Consider taking
        your family vacation to serve the Lord with a missionary somewhere.
    b. Be a missionary yourself daily in your normal routine. Be a witness
        wherever you go. Give out tracts and live a life that pleases God.
    c. Trust God for all of your needs and teach your children to cheerfully trust
        Him unreservedly. We must trust God because of Who HE IS and not because
        of our circumstances.

    d. Show your children by your attitude that it is a privilege, never a drudgery, to
        serve God.
    e. Dedicate your children to the Lord. Pray daily for them. Let them hear you
        praying for them specifically.
    f. Be willing to go as a missionary yourself. Don’t hold your children back from
       doing what the Lord desires. Be the example first.
    g. Encourage your children to look at people from other ethnic groups through
        the eyes of Christ. Never allow prejudicial attitudes, but encourage Christ’s
        compassion for all people.
4. Read missionary biographies to your children. Missionaries and spiritual
leaders should be their heroes.
5. Encourage your children to find a variety of ways to serve the Lord faithfully
    a. Have daily devotions. Provide a Bible, Bible study materials, journals,
        rewards for reading missionary biographies, etc.
    b. Take notes in church and then study them in personal devotional time.
    c. Memorize and practice God’s Word daily.
    d. Pray with them for opportunities to serve the Lord.
    e. Look for ways to minister. Become aware of needs around you.
        i. Pass out bulletins and papers, take offerings, clean up rooms, help
           people with coats and packages, etc,. while at church.
       ii. Invite people to VBS, Sunday School, and special events.
      iii. Give out tracts to friends and any unsaved acquaintances.
      iv. Live a “real” life in front of those needing Christ.
    f. Develop talents and abilities.
       i. Play a musical instrument (even in junior church).
      ii. Learn to tell a story, lead singing, draw Bible pictures.
     iii. Be willing to do ANY job for the Lord – no job is too small.
6. Prepare your children to have a servant’s heart. By example and in other ways,
nurture qualities in the children which could serve them on a mission field.
    a. Teach them to immediately obey. Learning obedience to earthly parents will
        help them in responding to their Heavenly Father later on.
    b. Teach them to wait. Encourage them not to buy whatever they see, cause
        them to wait for special events and don’t let them develop an impatient
    c. Teach them to handle money wisely. Save, check prices, be sure of
        investment, pray about it and then spend. Teach them to tithe their money
        from a very young age.
    d. Teach them not to procrastinate. Get started and finish the job!
    e. Teach them to be respectful of older, more experienced people. They can
        learn so much from them.
    f. Teach them to get along with others. Teach principles of Biblical forgiveness,
       esteeming others before themselves and Biblical communication.
    g. Learn to be flexible. Help them learn to adjust calmly to schedule changes,
        inconveniences and problems. They will learn this mainly by watching how
        you react as the parent or spiritual leader.

    h. Teach them the negative effect of an improper lifestyle. Stress the importance
        of taking care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
    i. Teach them to care for their property and the property of others. Remind
       them that they are stewards of all that God has given them.
    j. Teach them to tell the Lord often of their love for Him.
    k.Teach them by example to be satisfied with the Lord! Don’t complain about
       the circumstances of life.

The task of training Great Commission kids was given by God to the parents.
Yes, the church and Christian day school both play a part, but the ultimate
responsibility lies with the parents. It is a measureless privilege that the Lord has
given us. May God help us to do it well and so fulfill the command of Christ to “go
into all the world and preach the gospel.”

Resources: by Wanda Taylor by Tia
Thomas, Donna S., Becoming a World Changing Family. YWAM, Seattle, WA, 2008.

Isabel received a BA in Missionary Nursing from Hobe Sound Bible College.  After graduation, she and her husband, Merton Rundell III (Rusty), immediately went to Honduras where they labored for almost 20 years.  In 1998 they returned to the US to put their older children through college at Union Bible College in Westfield, IN.  Isabel and Rusty have been working at UBC since 1998 as Director of Finances and Registrar, School Nurse, and Director of Institutional Research respectively.  They have four children and four grandchildren.  All of their children are very active in the church and are serving the Lord in various ministries.