Parents of Teenagers…Listen Up

If you are a parent, or a grandparent of teenagers, Ryan Lochte just handed you the perfect example of the consequences of bad decisions. Decisions should never be made on a whim or under the influence, because the consequences that follow may destroy a career, cause death, or land you in jail.

Yet a lot of teens see themselves as invincible. And that they don’t have to worry about consequences until they are old in life, meaning over 40.

Kids need to learn early on in life, how important the everyday decisions can be in our lives. I am sure you have had a few looking back ward, 20/20 moments when you wished you had made a better decision. I know I do!

Ryan Lochte was someone who trained for the Olympics. Swimming was his life and livelihood. He had obtained sponsorships from some large corporations, which translates into a large paychecks. In one night of bad decisions, he wiped the slate clean of all of his accomplishments. Ryan no longer can compete in the Olympics and he is losing his sponsors.

He gave up a plush privileged life in one bad decision which followed another bad decision.  The details are insignificant now. Maybe if he had asked God for good discernment that day or if someone else had prayed over him, his spirit would have sent the warning signals to his brain.

Discernment is a very important word. It means the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure, according to the dictionary.  To me, discernment is good judgement. And God’s discernment over our lives is perfect. We have to learn to ask for it and then to listen to Him when we are told.

Teach your children to pray to God each day asking for discernment in all situations. And then to learn to listen to the spirit inside of them, guiding them through life. You should pray over your children each day too.  Ask God to guide them through their day with good decisions. I wish I would have had someone who had prayed over my life each day, when I was a teenager.  Don’t you?

Also talk to your teens about good judgement and decision-making. Show them what has happened to Ryan Lochte as an example.  And thankfully there are so many other Olympians who have made good decisions through out their lives, to use as the other example!


God Bless You!

God Bless America!






Music Soothes the Beast

Have you heard the saying that “music soothes the savage beast” before? I have and I utilized music as a single mom at dinnertime. Playing happy, relaxing music slows the day and creates a quality to dinner time and study time too.

Retail stores use music to keep you shopping and happy about spending your money. Why not use music to your advantage?

You can go online and look up all the studies of how different sounds and music affect the brain. Try it for yourself. All you need to do is to go to YouTube and type in “music for studying” or “music for eating.” Give your family a week of light background music for mealtimes and homework. Decide for yourself if this is something for your family to do on a regular basis.

The stress levels during these moments may become reduced and academic grades could improve! To me it is worth a try!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Pokemon Chasing. Are People Crazy?

I have heard it all from the populace because every one appears to have an opinion on the new craze of chasing Pokemon.  Some think it is a waste of time and ridiculous, and others think it is fun. At first I thought it was silly, but then I thought about some of the silly and stupid things we did for fun growing up.

So maybe, chasing Pokemon is not as bad as some people think.

Like any activity in our lives we do to relax our minds, for enjoyment, or to exercise our bodies; i.e. kayaking, running, dancing, Facebook, Twitter, etc, moderation is the key. Because too much of one thing, clouds our view of God and the world we are living. Focus and dedication are great attributes, unless they engulf every aspect of your life.

In the bible we are told…

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5

“And every man who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

Good words to remember.

I want to give you some statistics on “chasing Pokemon.”

  1. It was the highest grossing mobile app in the US, 13 hours after its release.
  2. 21,000,ooo average daily users of the app.
  3. The hashtag #GoPokemon was used 5,982,616,734 times the first week of its release.
  4. Businesses are finding ways to make those chasing Pokemon into new customers.  Giving a discount for customers who find a Pokemon in their establishment, or being a PokeStop.

Pretty popular wouldn’t you say?

Now, I know there have been some circumstances where crime or violence has taken place during these chases. With all adventures, there has to be certain precautions, for example… be aware of your surroundings, go in a group, and once again moderation! Evil can turn anything into something bad. Do not give evil an opportunity.

As a matter of fact, I see an opportunity for Christians to turn the tables. Think of all the ways you can embrace this activity into a family fun adventure.  Scavenger hunts can become Pokemon hunts with the losing team having to buy pizza for the winners.  Bible study groups can use Pokemon when finding bible verses for the younger generations. (You will have to print your own Pokemon and hide them throughout your youth room.)

It is all about opening your mind and finding new ways to shine God’s light onto something evil might use for its advantage. And moderation! Do it once or twice for youth groups or family night, then move onto something else. Kids get bored so easily these days anyway.

Pokemon Chasing like all the other fads that have come and gone,  will fade away one day. So, if they aren’t Satan worshipping, getting drunk, using drugs, and committing crimes; can Pokemon chasing be that bad?

Once again I come back to Jesus who says we are to love one another as He loves us. And loving is understanding we are all different and have our own interests as individuals.

Have you hugged your Pikachu today?

What is Joyful Parenting?


What does Joyful Parenting mean to you?

We know that the word joyful means full of joy.  And, the word “joy” according to the dictionary means…

1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation:

2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated:

3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.

So basically “joy” is an emotion that we feel and display to the world around us. And a pretty good one if you ask me.

Joy is also described as one of the fruits of the Spirit, listed in Galatians 5:22, in the bible.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
I bet you are asking what does fruit of the Spirit mean.  So, this is how I will explain it according to my understanding.
Joni’s definition…
When we invite God into our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit and as we work on our relationship with God, seeds are planted into our soul. These seeds are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. And you have to nurture this garden every day by reading His word and spending time with God. By doing so each of the fruits of the Spirit will grow and blossom.
Most of the people who know me, know that I have a prayer closet where I spend time reading God’s word, praying, and listening to spiritual music. One of my favorite songs is “In The Garden” by Joey and Rory.  I play it every morning as part of my playlist during my time with God.  And yes, I do feel like I am in a garden with God. And yes, He walks with me and He talks with me! And, one more yes, it is very similar to cultivating a  vegetable garden. Except the garden is my soul.
Many times I have entered my prayer closet and during our time together, I find myself crying. Which is God’s way of washing my soul free from the entanglements of this world.  But it is when I leave, He gives me the joy to face another day.
Another point I would like to make is that I have heard joy described as the giver of spiritual strength. My personal experience knows this to be true, because I feel stronger when I am joyful! Don’t you?
And if you don’t believe me that joy can make you strong, read what it says in Hebrews 12:2.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Wow, the joy set before Jesus helped him endure being crucified! It is no wonder joy is described as the giver of spiritual strength.  I am so grateful we do not have to endure the cross and put our joy to the strength test.
But, it is time to put the emotion joyful into play in our lives. Then we can all be joyful parents, grandparents, co-workers, and children of God!
Joni’s Guidelines for Finding and Using Joy.
1.  Read God’s word every day.  If you can find the time to be on social media sites, you can find the time to read God’s word.
2.  Speak God’s word into your life and into your children’s lives.
3.  Smile and speak positively even during times of trials and tribulations. These are only moments in our lives and God does not allow them to last forever.
4.  Get up every morning and decide that you are going to be joyful today.
5.  Pray for your family, friends, and others who need prayer.  Stepping out and helping others as a family can set your perspective straight.
6.  Make a grateful list and write each day the things that make you thankful.
7.  Love others the way Jesus loves you.
I know being joyful can be a hard task before you, especially if you are not a positive person.  But the reward for every effort you put into being joyful, spreading joy, and teaching your children joy; is greater than you can imagine. Joy can change the world. It sure changed ours’!
God Bless You!
God Bless America!

Telling Your Kids the Good & the Bad

Lately the media and discussions have focused on terrorism, violence, and fear. It is frightening enough to adults, but what about the children? How do you tell your child about the bad things in life?

Different parenting methods offer different opinions on this subject. I personally believe it is not one blueprint fits all situations. Each family has to decide what method is best suited for their children.

Some parents think their kids need to be totally informed and usually allow their children to consume a lot of media. Other parents believe their kids need to be shielded from media, and leave their children with blinders on.  I believe there is middle ground!

Your first consideration should be age. If a child is preschool age, there is very little they should be told other than the “Stranger Danger Rules.” A child’s safety should be a parent’s number one concern at this age. The evil in this world will enter their realm soon enough.

Now, when kids start elementary school, well… kids talk. And those who have been privy to the news and other questionable media, love to share.  Good communication between you and your children will allow your kids a comfort zone, to come talk to you about what they have heard. Then comes honesty with a buffer and your bible. God’s word gives us all of the instruction we should ever need in life on all subjects.

Remember, evil roams this earth from end to end, and children should have a safe place within their home and family structure.  Children also need to know there is good and bad in everything. How much they can be told depends on age and what you want them to know. Discuss with your spouse how to handle these questions as a team. Ask your friends with kids, how they handle the discussions about good and bad things in life.

Come up with a solid game plan to combat the evil of this world, from instilling a spirit of fear within our children.

The one thing a parent should not want to do is to bestow upon their children a spirit of fear.

Below are two great bible verses to remember when dealing with your children.

2 Timothy 1:7  “For the Spirit, God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

1 John 4:18    “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

God Bless You!

God Bless America!



Summer Fun Ideas

Have you heard the words “I’m bored” yet?

The internet has numerous great resources to keep your kids busy and stimulated, without the tv or the tablet.

Websites to know…

And you can always throw a bible story or two into your summer play!

Have fun and stay cool!

God Bless You!




Beaches and Bacteria Safety

Today I read of a man in Texas, who now has the flesh-eating bacteria destroying his body. He contracted the bacteria after swimming at a local beach in Texas.  The family was unaware there were problems in the water at this beach. And now he may pay the price with his life!

My home state of South Carolina, also had warnings earlier in the season of high bacteria levels at their beaches. They advised people not to get into the water.  It makes me wonder if one area of a state’s beaches are contaminated, would not the other beaches be contaminated also.  The ocean’s water does not stay in one location. With currents and tides, it migrates up, down, and around our coastal regions.

If my kids were juveniles, I would not let them in the ocean this year.  Anyway, most resort locations have pools and water parks to be enjoyed.  But if you are head strong and believe nothing will happen to your child or children, at least check this site out… You can find information concerning the status of the water in your area and bacteria levels. This goes for fresh water locations too.

Now, that I have informed you of the beach bacteria, I have to preach on the subject of cleanliness. Because our waters did not get this way on their own. It is from trash, pollution, and ports for ships. The main cause is people and their lack of respect for the environment!

When I was growing up it was known, that anywhere we traveled to, we were to leave it cleaner than when we arrived.  To this Southerner, it is common decency.

When you hear someone say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” they are talking about the book of Leviticus in the bible. There are chapters with God telling Moses what should be done in each situation. If cleanliness were not important in a Christian life, why would God make sure it was known at the very beginning?

Christians should lead the way as examples for others to follow!

Please teach your children that cleanliness is what Christians do. Because it is not only pleasing to God but it is being good stewards of the earth He gave us.

God Bless You!

God Bless America!