Archive for the ‘General’ Category

20 Things I will not Regret Doing with my Kids

I just read this article and it is excellent! It was written by “Finding Joy” and I am just pasting it and linking it to their website so you can see it. If you are a parent, this information is very worthy advice.

1. Tucking them into bed at night. Someday they’ll be too big and I won’t get that moment back. Saying good night, pulling up the covers, and kissing their heads is a gift.

2. Telling them I love them. Start this when they’re young. I love you is a powerful three word phrase that matters.

3. Listening to their stories. Their stories teach me about them and their hearts and what they love. I think of the stories as a way to learn more about them. And this is the real listening. Not the distracted mom who wants to move onto the next thing on her never ending to-do list.

4. Looking them in their eyes. Nothing tells another person you matter more than looking at them in the eyes while they talk. It shows that what they are saying truly is important to you. I want my kids to remember that there were times when their mother looked them in the eye and smiled. And for me this often means shutting my laptop, putting down my phone, stopping my list, and just giving them time.

5. Saying yes when it’s easier to say no. Like those times when I just want to keep to my agenda and they want to join in. Or for those late night sleep overs. Or those times when I am simply tired and don’t want to walk up the stairs to say goodnight. Or for the extra story. Or to play a game. Yes simply matters.

6. Showing them new things. I can read to my kids about history or I can start to show them history. Last week, when Grace and I were in Mexico, it was such a cool experience to show Grace the Mayan ruins in Tulum. Now, I’m not saying go to Mexico, but there are things we can show them. Do science. Look at the stars. Go to the museum. Let them learn and see the world.

7. Teaching them to say please and thank you. No explanation needed. Politeness matters.

8. Letting them help even if it means it takes longer for me. Does it take longer to wash the windows if I’m teaching my children how to wash the windows? Yes. Same with laundry, cooking, cleaning, folding, and more. But they need to learn – these are life skills. I would be doing them a disservice by NOT teaching them and letting them help.

9. Saying no to things even when it would be easier to say yes. There are movies and television shows that I don’t let my kids watch. Books that I want them to wait to read. ipods and computers that are only allowed on the main level. Sometimes the answer needs to be no – even if everyone else’s answer seems to be yes.

10. Laughing with them.Or smiling with them. Or having fun with them. I simply want them to know I love being around them.  This is the aspect of liking my kids, not just loving them. I want them to know both.

11. Making them learn the value of work. I want my kids to know that work matters and that a good work ethic – where you go above and beyond and don’t complain – is an excellent skill. My kids know how to do laundry, to sweep the floor, to bring their dishes over, to clean their rooms, to make their beds, and so on. I will never regret teaching them the value of work.

12. Rocking them to sleep. Holding their hand. Giving them a kiss. I love them. Even after those days where they drive me a bit crazy and I wonder what in the world I’m doing. Those little acts of love are important life acts of love.

13. Saying I’m sorry. Because lets face it – I’m not perfect. I mess up. I make mistakes. So they need to hear me say I’m sorry and that I love them and that they’re important to me. So that means sometimes I will say I’m sorry.

14. Teaching them to be respectful of others. This. And this again. And this. I want my kids to respect others. To listen to them, to learn, and to not judge. This starts with me teaching them this skill and me being respectful of them. Often it is looking for the good first and giving grace.

15. Encouraging them to take risks. Sometimes the fear is the biggest obstacle. Kids need to learn to look at the fear and to push through the fear.

16. Not holding onto a record of wrongs. Each day is a new day. Learn from the past, but don’t hold onto the past. I want to see the good first and not all the negative – so often that means letting go of the record of wrongs.

17. Letting them see me thrive. I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking I was a good mom, but a not too happy and joyful mom. They need to see me thrive and be interested in things and to expand my creativity as well.

18. Teaching them compassion. I want them to see the world beyond me and ourselves. I want them to give back, to care about others, and to be a person of change.

19. Showing them that the stuff doesn’t matter. Nothing in Target really matters. Nor the stuff on the shelves. Or the clothes one wears. Or the fancy birthday parties. If the stuff clouds the vision then the relationships are lost. Relationships first. Stuff after that.

20. Letting them grow up. Sigh. This. It has to be done. So I look back with nostalgia, and embrace today, and look forward to tomorrow. They’ll grow. And I’ll savor the moments that we’re blessed to share.

Those are just twenty things I won’t regret doing with my kids. Simple, things really. They’re the living intentional type things that sometimes just need to be written down.

For more inspiration read The Real Mom Manual and The Mom Confession.

What is on your list?

Book Review – Making Vision Stick

I recently read through the book “Making Vision Stick” by Andy Stanley. In his book he mentioned Five things you can do to significantly increase the adhesiveness of your vision – thought they were pretty good and here goes a short review of them.

1. State the vision Simply
“If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it’s a fog in the pew.” Howard Hendricks

2. Cast the vision Convincingly
Communicate it in a way that moves people to action

3. Repeat the vision Regularly
Casting a convincing vision once is not enough to make it stick. Twice isn’t either. Vision needs to be repeated regularly.

4. Celebrate the vision Systematically
To make vision stick, a leader needs to pause long enough to celebrate the wins along the way.
What’s celebrated is repeated.

5. Embrace the vision Personally
If you say you believe in something, live it out. And live it in a way that the people around you can see it.
Sharp people will not embrace a vision that is merely a marketing scheme for someone’s personal agenda.

Marriage Advice after 63 ½ Yrs of Marriage

Recently I was able to have breakfast with a man who was married for over 63 ½ years and just recently lost his wife. It was a great privilege and very challenging hearing this man speak of his wife and how much he loved her – I hope these 10 principles can be a blessing to you as they were to me.

1. Love her
Maybe a general statement, but as Ephesians 5 says, love her as your own body – don’t neglect, forget or ever hurt her.
Love is patient, forgiving and gives multiple chances.
Love is never failing
As Christ loved the church, the husband is to love his wife – and we shouldn’t forget that we love Him because He first loved us – so we should love our spouse first.
I once heard someone say: greatest thing you can do for your children is to love their mother, your wife.

2. Love kids she gave you
Child bearing is a very painful and difficult thing – and when a father chooses not to love or spend time with the children your wife gave birth to, you are not only saying that you don’t love the children, but also that you don’t care about the pain she went through to give birth to them.
Spend time with the children, love them.

3. Don’t discuss problems and certain things in front of children
Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for – so be careful what you talk about in front of them.
It is wise to stop the conversation, go to the bedroom or another room in moments of disagreements.

4. Kiss her every day
It cost nothing and shows affection.
You don’t get to kiss just anybody, so take advantage of the one you can kiss ☺

5. Kiss her before going to bed at night
You never know when the last night might be with your spouse, so end the day with a kiss.

6. Be kind to her
I’ve heard some say, “I love you but I don’t like you”.
Being kind proves you’re not just with your spouse because you have no other option and don’t want to divorce, being kind proves that you really are happy that you are married to your spouse.
I Corinthians 13 says that charity is kind.

7. Show her you love her
Actions speak louder than words. Words are cheap – so show your spouse you love her.
Sometimes we forget manners and get too “comfortable”, but a little romance of keeping the manners – opening doors, saying kind words, complementing, hugs, etc show and prove love.
God loved so much that he showed it – we would be wise in proving our love, showing it so there is no doubt it is true.
Time is a great way to show your love.

8. Try and get her anything she wants
We don’t have to wait until Christmas, we can buy or do things that our spouse wants now.
The majority of things that our spouses want are not things of great value – with a little creativity, time and effort, we could do or get things our spouse would like – which is a great gesture of love.

9. Tell her you love her all the time
No one expects to leave and not return to see their spouse again, but there will be a time in life that will be our last to see our spouse – make sure the words “I love you” are constantly on your lips.
It cost no money or energy to say these words, yet many times they are not said enough in a marriage.

10. Hold her or put your hand on her shoulder and talk to her
Acts, gestures, and physical touch are super important in marriage. Simply giving a hug or putting your hand are very comforting and supportive to your spouse.
Holding hands in public tells everyone, “we’re still in love”.
Hugs and just holding someone to listen to them has a great power of showing you support them, back them up and are there for them – everyone needs a cheerleader to say, “I’m on your side, you’re doing great”.

Here to Serve,
Jeff Bush

Very good Book

I just recently read a small book called “Intimacy with the Almighty” by Charles Swindoll. It was a very, very good book on our walk with the Lord. I wanted to share a couple of thoughts from the book that are without a doubt true… but not so easy to fulfill. Although there were many great ideas, the 4 disciplines it shared, really caught my attention – check out these 4 disciplines we need in our life to have an intimate walk with the Almighty:

1. Simplicity – in a fast-paced, crazy, high-tech world, sometimes we need to unplug and return to simplicity.

2. Silence – the Lord talks about “being still”. Seems there is no silence with all we are busy doing, but this was very challenging to me and I know I need – just to get alone and talk with God and let Him talk to me.

3. Solitude – being alone with my Savior so He can talk and deal with me.

4. Surrender – a quote I loved in the book was this: “Surrender is the key that unlocks the vault of God’s best and deepest treasures”

May we as Christians return to the One who saved us and walk intimately with Him every day.

Here to Serve,
Jeff Bush

Make a Missions Trip in 2013

Some might be thinking, “why in the world would I think about 2013… we just now started 2012”. Although 2013 might be far out, the time will pass by quickly. My family and I would like to propose the idea of you making a trip to Argentina in 2013. You can come as a group, come with just a few from your church or make a visit by yourself. If you are interested, we would love to have you. Begin to pray about it, talk to your pastor about it and write us (bush@reachingall.com) for details of the trip and funds you would need to raise.

Here to Serve,
Jeff Bush
http://www.reachingall.com

Short-term Opportunity

The Lord has blessed us in two really big areas – our family and the ministry in Argentina. Our family has been blessed because my wife and I have 4 girls and one boy on the way. The ministry in Argentina has been blessed with churches, radio, Bible institute and a great group of guys we work with. The Lord has been very good to us, but with our plate full in ministry and family we have a need for some help in the schooling of our children. We want to let you know there is a open opportunity for a godly young lady to help my wife schooling our daughters for 9 months. The commitment will not only be a help to my family, but also a wonderful opportunity to learn a language, invest in people’s lives and learn from the Argentine people. Here are some key areas to see if you or someone you know could be a candidate for this opportunity:

1. Your pastor’s and parent’s consent
2. A heart to work with children and apt to teach them
3. A 9-month commitment

Each of our children will have their own daily worksheets that thy need to complete, along with working on the computer using the Switched on Schoolhouse program. When we arrive back to the field in August 2012, they will be in 5th, 4th and 3rd grade. Your responsibility would be to follow lesson plans, organize materials, grade papers, teach new material, and carry out other administrative duties. Your investment in our children will create much needed time for my wife in the home and ministry duties.

We also need help in another very important part of our ministry: Evangelistic English classes. God has blessed us with several church plants in Argentina and we frequently organize semesters of English classes to reach out to the community. This simple fruit bearing ministry is very easy to carry out. And best of all, requires little or no Spanish speaking.

Also this would be up to you, but we wouldn’t want you to live in Argentina for nine months without learning how to speak Spanish! Immersion in a language on the field is the best way to learn and once you learn one language, it is easier to learn a second. We can arrange for a private tutor to teach you conversational Spanish 5 days a week. We also have a wonderful group of Argentine young people who will do their best to get you speaking quickly.

If these three activities aren’t enough to keep you busy, there are always plenty of other exciting things going on in the ministry in Argentina. So you can jump in wherever you want and help even more. We believe you will finish your trip with a sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of mission work and the Argentine culture.

When you arrive in Argentina, you will have no set-up expenses like a long-term missionary. We will arrange for you to live in a nice home/apartment along with another Argentine single lady in whom we have total confidence.

So contact us very soon if you’re interested. We’d love to find out if our ministry would be a good fit for you.

Dates: October 1, 2012 – June 1, 2013 approximately (dates can be flexible)
Cost: $900 a month plus the cost of your plane tickets*
*This monthly amount includes housing, utilities, food, transportation, and Spanish classes.

The Gospel Commandments of Leadership

“The Gospel Commandments of Leadership” is a great list of qualities that we all must have. I read it recently, but the author is unknown. Whoever wrote it was right on. I hope this list will be a big encouragement to you as it was to me.

1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love and trust them anyway. (Luke 23:34)

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. (Matthew 11:16, 19)

3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. (Luke 19:36-38; John 19:15)

4. The service you render today will be forgotten tomorrow. Serve people anyway. (Luke 17:17)

5. Honestly and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. (Luke 12:51; Luke 13:5)

6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway. (Luke 22:22, 24)

7. People pretend to love the “little” people but sell their souls to the “big” people. Fight for the “little” people anyway. (Matthew 19:14)

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. (Matthew 26:48, 49, 56)

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help. Help people anyway. (Luke 4:18, 19, 28, 29)

10. Give the world the best you have, and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. (Matthew 27:17, 21)

Here to Serve,
Jeff Bush
http://www.reachingall.com