Joy Reschke Posts

Broken and Beautiful: Teach Your Kids to Embrace Differences

 

We live in a world where conflict is often celebrated, forgiveness comes with conditions, and love has sometimes lost its meaning. What can we do to counter the negative impact our culture has on future generations?

As parents and grandparents, we each have remarkable power and influence over the future of our children and grandchildren. Their ability to resolve conflict, forgive, and love depends on how we resolve conflict, how we forgive, and how we love. Most important of these is how we love. Because love forgives without condition and never celebrates conflict.

 

Our society is filled with messages that scream, “Be like him!” or “Dress like her!” Through news and politics that propagate fear and dissension, differences have become focal points for conflict and pain rather than something to embrace. But stepping into conversations about differences with love and grace is one of the most important and formative things we can do for the children we love. So where do we start?

We begin by acknowledging that we are all different and that our differences should be celebrated and embraced. We begin by acknowledging that we are all broken in our own way and that in our brokenness there is so much beauty. Beauty in overcoming challenges together, beauty in allowing others to do for us what we can’t do on our own, beauty in lifting others up knowing that they will one day do the same for someone else.

 

In Matthew 25, as Jesus tells the parable of the goats and the sheep, there are many lessons. But perhaps the most important is one that should influence how we lead our children.

Feed the hungry . . .

Give a drink to the thirsty . . .

Invite the stranger in . . .

Clothe the naked . . .

Care for the sick . . .

Visit the imprisoned . . .

Because we are all hungry and thirsty in some way, we will all be a stranger at some point, we will all be stripped naked by life’s circumstances, we will all experience sickness, and we are all prisoners to something. Fear, weakness, addiction, a diagnosis—we are all broken in our different ways. But when we come together to carry each other, we are beautiful. God created us in His own image, and that image shines brightly when we love as He loves.

The greatest beauty we can ever experience, the greatest beauty we will ever witness, can be known only through our brokenness.

What do we do to counter the impact our culture has on future generations? We embrace our differences through love and teach our children that we are all broken and beautiful.

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Written by Patrick Gray, author of The Push.

When Marcus moved next door to John, they knew instantly they’d be friends. Now John and Marcus do almost everything together. They go on lots of adventures, with Marcus pushing John’s wheelchair and John fueling their escapades with jokes. Through their friendship, the boys discover that their unique gifts make them stronger together.

Based on the friendship of real-life best friends Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, The Push teaches kids that people of all abilities have important roles to play and that we’re all better together than we are on our own.

Learn more about the book HERE>>

Enter to Win a Spring Book Bundle

Easter is coming soon, and it’s time to adorn your child’s bookshelf with new titles! The First Bible Memory Series by Kathryn O’Brien is perfect for early readers and is now available as board books! Learn more HERE>>

We are giving away a spring book bundle in March to one lucky winner. Enter to win this list of books below!

God Made the World by Sarah Jean Collins

God Made the World board book tells the story of creation in simple, easy to remember rhymes with art that is engaging and fun for young children. And it is sure to become a classic introductory creation storybook that will be used by countless families and teachers. Learn more HERE>>

 

 

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends by Rachel Anne Ridge

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends is the heartwarming story of a not-so-ordinary donkey who needs a special place to belong. Inspired by Rachel Anne Ridge’s memoir Flash, named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Books of 2015, kids will fall in love with this endearing donkey as they learn to appreciate the value of true friendship. Learn more HERE>>

 

Wow! The Good New in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall

For anyone looking for a fresh way to present the gospel to young children, Wow! The Good News in Four Words is a perfect resource. This whimsical and fun book outlines the gospel in a simple and memorable way (for both adults and kids!), using fun words to highlight the story. The book will present Creation/Genesis (Wow!), The Fall (Uh-oh . . .), Redemption/Jesus’ Life and Sacrifice (Yes!), Restoration/The New Heaven (Aaahhhh), ending with one last Wow because we get to go out and tell the Good News! Learn more HERE>>

 

Does God Take Naps? by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

Kids ask a lot of questions. Some silly and some innocent. Some deep and some serious. The books in the I’ve Got Questions series address many of those childlike questions and offer satisfying answers. The content is lively and fun, yet meaningful and respectful of a child’s inquisitive mind. While the books have a strong educational component, the deeper purpose is to show parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. Learn more HERE>>

 

The Character Builder’s Bible by iCharacter Limited, Agnes de Bezenac, and Salem de Bezenac

Featuring 60 Bible stories with colorful illustrations, definitions, and memory verses, The Character Builder’s Bible will show your little ones that God’s Word is relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts. Learn more HERE>>

 

 

 

 

Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg

John Ortberg addresses the ability to choose in a whimsical way by inviting children to use their “magnificent chooser” that God gave them to make right choices daily. Parents will love reading this book to their kids, and kids will enjoy the content while learning lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives. Learn more HERE>>

 

5 Devotionals Your Family Will Love

Begin the new year with a devotional for your family! Browse the list below for the prefect gift for your family, or see the complete list on Tyndale.com. Save 30% through February 4, 2018. May the Lord bless the coming year for you and your loved ones!

Packaging

Kingdom Family Devotional: 52 Weeks of Growing Together by Tony Evans and Jonathan Evans

This new devotional from Dr. Tony Evans and his son Jonathan Evans will provide both single and married parents with a resource tool to maximize those family devotional times, such as the dinner hour or bedtime. The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic that will guide devotional times Monday through Friday. This is a wonderful way to build a spiritually strong family week by week, day after day—a perfect way to head into the weekend. Learn More HERE>>

 

 

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He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection by Carol Kent

When Carol Kent’s son was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Carol was consumed with grief, sadness, and despair. In the middle of her sorrow, Carol turned to the place where she had always gone for comfort—the Bible. She was desperate to hear God’s voice. She soon discovered that the best way for her to “listen” to His voice was to meditate on Scripture and then write out what she believed He was saying. She wrote it as if it was His prayer over her life, and it comforted her. It was as if He took her by the hand, as a father would guide a child, and He gently led her in the direction of unconditional love, renewed hope, and fresh faith. He Holds My Hand is a page-per-day 365-day devotional. Based on Scripture, this devotional is written as if God the Father is speaking His words of comfort and protection directly over you. Listen to God’s voice and put your hand in His. Learn More HERE>>

Written by the Adventures in Odyssey team, 90 Devotions for Kids provides fun, Bible-based devotions for families and will encourage children to spend time learning more about God. There are no better mentors than Whit and the folks from Odyssey to partner with parents as they teach their children about God’s Word and make the truths of the Bible accessible to their kids. Parents will find the tools they need to help start children on a path toward regular time alone with God, and families will be encouraged to spend time together as they share the daily readings. Learn More HERE>>

 

 

 

Packaging365 Pocket Prayers by Ronald A. Beers

Each year of life brings seasons of loneliness, doubt, joy, confusion, fear, reasons for celebration, and occasions for grieving. 365 Pocket Prayers lets you grow closer to God with each passing day. With this convenient, easy-to-carry, quick-access prayer guide you will be able to express your hopes and heartaches to the God who listens in times both good and bad. Look for other books in the Pocket Prayers series from Tyndale. Learn More HERE>>
 

 

 

PackagingLife Application Study Bible Devotional Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus by Tyndale, Livingstone, and David R. Veerman

Readers of the Life Application Study Bible—the #1 bestselling study Bible—will welcome the arrival of the new Life Application Study Bible Devotional. Let the life of Jesus sink into your mind and heart with 312 readings from the gospels—one for each weekday and one for the weekend. In the Life Application Study Bible Devotional: Daily Wisdom from Jesus, each week focuses on a different event in Jesus’ life—drawing out daily wisdom from his parables, teachings, conversations, miracles, and interactions with people. You’ll learn important biblical principles, become inspired to put God’s Word into practical action, and be forever changed by a year spent going deeper with your Savior. Learn More HERE>>

How to Keep Breathing When All Seems Lost

From the earliest days of our marriage, I longed for and prayed for a large family.

My dream of love-filled, chaotic Christmas mornings came true when my only son presented me with the six most precious grandchildren on earth. They lived hundreds of miles away, but miles can’t affect the love of a grandma.

Each phone call was a treasure and each visit a joy of epic proportions. Is there a treasure of more worth than a ringing phone followed by six little voices yelling in unison across the miles, “I love you, Mimi!”?

Fourteen years of ever-increasing grandparent bliss came to an abrupt end with a sudden and bitter divorce.

Anger, hatred, and vengeance tore my world apart when my ex-daughter-in-law definitively declared my husband and I were no longer allowed any contact with our six little loves.

We had no rights or recourse.

The pain was beyond what words can convey. A good portion of our prayers were simply tears squeezed from broken hearts. “Why?” “What is the purpose?” “How can we I go on?”

It was six years before the first of our babies was old enough to re-establish contact. The sound of her voice on the phone bathed my shredded heart with a life-regenerating balm.

Over the next two years, two more of our precious ones came of age and chose to come back into our lives.

As I was in the process of directing the portrayal of Paul in Romans 8 of the NLT audio New Testament, Breathe, the fourth contacted us and came for a visit.

It was the first time we had even spoken to her in over ten years.

I listened in as the words of Paul, voiced by Kurt Naebig, sprang to life . . . and the words of God, penned by Paul, sprang to life within my heart:

God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

Three of our grandchildren have chosen to relocate to be close to us and one visits and calls on a regular basis. But there are still two who have grown up outside our world.

The twins were only five years old the last time we saw those sweet little faces. It has been twelve years since we held them close.

We do not know the purpose in our lives or the lives of our grandchildren for the years of separation and pain.

But as I heard Kurt Naebig read Romans 8:28, I was impacted again with the fact that God has a plan for my life and my grandchildren’s lives.

True faith stands through times that seem hopeless, secure in the knowledge that all things work together for good.

True faith stands through times that seem hopeless, secure in the knowledge that all things work together for good.

Even when traumatic loss rips all sense from life—the Holy Spirit strengthens us, prays the prayers that are too agonizing to voice on our own —and allows us to walk forward, ever closer to the glory revealed to us through Jesus.

There are days when success is remembering to just breathe.

Just breathe deep…. and inhale the grace and goodness of God. 

And then—exhale the stress and the strains of life. 

There is a way to breathe—that exhales worries and inhales the Word. 

It’s a strange grace—how in the spaces between the words of His Words — our soul finds the space it desperately needs to finally breathe.


The Breathe Bible Audio New Testament is a remarkably vivid listening experience that transports you into the world of the Bible. Performed in the New Living Translation by a cast of internationally acclaimed film, television and recording artists, this captivating multi-million dollar audio production features cinema-quality sound with an original music score. It’s an experience you will never forget. The Breathe Bible Audio New Testament—“It’s like being there.” Not only are 18 CDs are included in this premium audio product, it also includes a code to receive the user friendly mobile App for free! Listen however you like!

Learn more HERE.

This story was written by Brenda Noel and originally posted on Annvoskamp.com.

The Key to Courageous Conversations

 

They said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4

Most of us spend our lives trying to project an image of beauty and competence.

Certainly, we want others to think highly of us, but one of the things I respect most about people is their ruthless honesty—about themselves and their situations.

Nehemiah had a plum job.

He was working closely with the king, and he lived a life of luxury.

His heart, though, beat in unison with God’s heart.

He cared about the things God cares about, and when he heard that the people in Jerusalem were suffering, his heart broke.

He didn’t minimize the problem, and he didn’t fly into a panic of mindless activity.

Instead, he let the brutal truth sink in, and he responded appropriately: He sat down and wept.

Nehemiah had a courageous conversation with the messenger, then he had a courageous conversation with God.

Only courageous people are known for their honesty.

It’s a lot easier to look the other way when we see needs in our lives or in the lives of people around us.

We can give the excuse that we’ve tried as hard as we can or that we don’t have time to help a person in need.

But excuses don’t cut it.

Like Nehemiah, we need to let the truth sink into our hearts so we can respond with genuine compassion.

This is just the first part of Nehemiah’s story.

He then took bold action to gather resources, inspire the people, and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Successful action, though, starts with ruthless honesty about the need.

What are some needs in your own life and in the lives of those around you?

How would being honest about those needs become a springboard for change?

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth. But most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” Winston Churchill

*****

From The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar by Zig Ziglar and Dwight “Ike” Reighard

In The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar, Zig has gathered his insights on what the Bible says about success in life into the popular, bestselling One Year page-a-day format. Now, with this One Year devotional, it’s easy to create a positive, biblical, and achievement-oriented outlook on life. Perfect for starting your workday the right way.

Learn more HERE.