As the summer progresses, we have lots of opportunities to do things with kids, now that they are out of school for the year. Camps. Vacations. Short-term programs. Family times. And more.
These are some thoughts emailed to me by Shirley Choat and written by a pastor friend of hers:
"Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord."
~ Psalm 127:3
"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcome me,
and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but the one who sent me."
~ Mark 9:37
"Children can be so noisy, so messy, and so exhausting! They can be a lot of other things too, but chief among those other things is a blessing and a gift. Perhaps because our children were adopted, Sue and I have appreciated the blessing that they are, even more. True, there have been times when we could have 'killed' them and times when they caused a lot of stress. But, those times were all but forgotten in those brief moments when we saw the sparkle of God's love in their eyes.
"If ever you have considered that God lives in a person, check the eyes of a small child or the smile on his/her face. I have, and I know what Jesus means about welcoming HIM. If you are blessed with children, thank God for them, and ask God to show you the best way to guide them into a close relationship with their Lord. If you are not blessed with children, or your children are grown and on their own, why not choose a grandchild (or several) or a child in your child in your church or your neighborhood to secretly adopt? Make a point of smiling and calling him/her by name. Pray for them daily. Drop them encouraging notes. May the child-like faith of children around us inspire us to believe that we are all children of God, in God's eyes!"
"Thank you, Heavenly Father, for noisy, messy, and exhausting children. Thank you for the noises that they make during worship and that their parents love them enough to bring them to your house. Help me to see all children as You see them. I lift all of these children up in prayer. In Your Child's Name. Amen."