Posts Tagged ‘kids’

bigstockphoto_kids_running_on_track_7819021

“THE RACE”

by Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg 

“Quit!” “Give up!”  “You’re beaten!” They sometimes shout and plead.

“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.

And as I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,

My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race,

And hope refills my weakened will as I recall the scene,

For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.

A children’s race – young boys, young men – how I remember well.

Excitement some, but also fear, it wasn’t heard to tell.

They all lined up, so full of hope, each thought to win the race,

Or tie for first, or if not that, at least get second place.

And fathers watch from all the sides, each cheering for his son.

And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hope afire.

To win, to be the hero that was each young boy’s desire.

And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,

Was running near the lead and thought “my dad will be so proud!”

But as he speeded down the field across a shallow dip,

The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,

And mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope, he couldn’t win it now;

Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,

Which to his boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done – behind a bit, that’s all,

And ran with all his might and sought to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,

His mind went faster than his legs, he slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.

“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face,

That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”

So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.

“If I’m to gain these yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast.”

Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,

But tried so hard to reach the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye,

“There’s no sense running any more, three strikes I’m out…why try?”

The will to rise has disappeared, all hope has fled away.

So far behind, so error prone, loser all the way.

“So what’s the use,” he thought, “I’ll live with the disgrace.”

But when he thought about his dad who soon he’d have to face,

“Get up” an echo sounded low. “Get up and take your place.

You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race.”

“Get up!” he said, “You haven’t lost at all.

For winning is no more than this – to rise each time you fall.”

So up he rose to win once more and with a new commit,

He resolved that win or lose, he would not ever quit.

So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,

Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.

Too far behind to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line first place.

Head high and proud and happy – no failing, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster crossed the line – last place,

The crowd gave him a great cheer for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,

You would have thought he’d won the race to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”

“To me you won” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,

The memory of the little boy helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like a race with ups and downs and all.

And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall!

“QUIT!” Give up!”  “You’re beaten!”  They’re shouting in my face.

But yet another voice within me says – “Get up and win the race!”

What’s in a name?  Several years ago, I remember reading an article about the oddities of names linked with people’s professions.

Goforth and Ketchem were police officers.  Will Deal was a car salesman.  Will Burn & Frizzle  were executed in Florida by the electric chair. Will Drop was a Montreal window washer died by accident.  Joe Bunt was a baseball player. Dan Druff was a barber. O’Neill & Pray sold church equipment.  Flick Ashe worked at a tobacco plant.  Dr. Cutright was a gifted surgeon. Beth Newhouse = real estate agent. P P Peters was a urologist.  And so on…

Names are significant.  In early history, a person was DEFINED by their name.  It carried deep meaning and stood for something, good or bad.

In some of the oldest parts of the Bible, we see names and their significance:

Genesis 21:5-7 (NIV) 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac (laughter) was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

1 Chronicles 4:9 (NIV) 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez (caused pain), saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us).

What does your name mean?   Have you researched your history? I was fortunate enough to have a namesake with a great story.  I was named after my dad’s best friend Dennis McKinney.  He was a missionary to the Philippines. He and his family started over 150 churches in the surrounding islands.  Unfortunately, Dennis was taken home to be with the Lord at the young age of 50, but his family continues their work there to this day.  That motivates me!

Because our first 3 kids were beautiful little girls, I decided let my wife name our daughters.  When we adopted our son, we agreed that I’d get to name him. I had several years to think about it, so I wanted to choose a name of Biblical significance.

We allowed his birthmom to choose his middle name and she selected “Josiah”. 

Here’s what the Bible says about him:

2 Kings 22:1-2 (NIV) 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

2 Kings 23:24-25 (NIV) 24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did–with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

I chose the name “Ezekiel”.  Here’s what the Bible says about him:

Ezekiel 2:3-8 (NIV) 3 He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen–for they are a rebellious house–they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Ezekiel Josiah Bloodworth.  Wow! That’s a pretty lofty calling!  Our hope is not our son Zeke will feel the weight of the pressure of his name, but that he’ll be inspired by it. I want him to know that he is part of a great story and a rich history. He belongs to an awesome “fraternity” of believers!

But wait… there’s more!  Did you know that if you are a Christian and you go to church, your “names” also hold great meaning?

Here are some other facts about the names we carry:

1. The name “Christian” is significant. Broken down, it literally means “Christ-In-You”. Carry that name proudly.  Be inspired by it.  I hope we can live up to our name.  Jesus went to great lengths to give us that name, in fact.  Here’s what the Bible says about it:

Ephesians 1:3-7 (NIV) 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”

Do you understand the gravity of this passage?  He “chose” us.  This says that before the world was even created, we were part of God’s redemptive plan through his Son Jesus Christ.  He “adopted” us. This means we “receive an inheritance (heaven) we didn’t deserve”.  He created us to “holy & blameless”.  Sin gets in the way, but God made a way for us to join him in heaven.  He has “freely given” us grace. We didn’t earn it. He gave it to us!  When you receive Jesus Christ into your life and unite with him in baptism, you are a Christian. Now let’s live like it!

2. Furthermore, even the name “church” is significant.  We get the name “church” from the greek word “ekklesia” which means “Called Out Ones”.  Wow!  Does that change your perception of the church? Our mission? What Jesus calls us to do?  People have a tendency to think that the church is a little group of huddled people meeting in a shelter trying to escape the bombardments of the world.  But Jesus had other ideas. Look at these passages:

Matthew 11:12 (NIV) 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Matthew 16:18 (NIV) 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Do you understand the magnitude of that message?  The gates of Hell.  These pictures show that the church is on the offensive. The church is on the attack. The church has Satan on the run!  He is holed up in his castle, huddled against our bombardment.  He is fighting a battle he cannot win, against an army he cannot repel, in a war he will ultimately lose.  His days are numbered and he knows it.

If you’re a Christian and you go to church. Carry your names proudly.  You are not weak. You are not timid. You belong to the fiercest fighting force in the world. You belong to a leader with limitless love. You belong to a name with no fear!

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV) 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What’s in your name?


Helping children understand finances.

 My wife and I have 4 kids ages 16,15,13, 5.  Like most families, we give our children an allowance. We give them a small amount of money on a regular basis that they manage using the “10-10-80” principle:  tithing 10%; saving 10%; and spending the 80%.  Recently, we’ve noticed that even though we’ve been diligent at helping them establish a Godly priority for their finances, we’ve never given them a healthy strategy to help them manage their spending.  Let’s face it…you can 10-10-80 yourself to debt if you’re still not disciplined in how you spend the 80%. Here are some of the things we’ve done throughout the years that have had positive results:

Allowance $.  We make sure to pay them the same amount every 2 weeks. This gets them in the habit of knowing their ‘rate of pay’, so they can begin saving for specific items and budgeting. However, we have also made it known that their allowance is NOT based only on their chores. Many of their chores are things they’re just expected to do around the house. Sometimes, we’ll even give them extra money for doing ‘extra’ things. But we didn’t want money to be the only motivating factor for doing stuff.

Eating out.  Give each child a set amount ($5) and tell them they can spend it however they want.  If they want fries, burger and a soda, that’s OK, but they may want to buy an ice cream instead of the soda. Giving them cash will help them learn how to shop on a budget and help them prioritize how they want to spend it.  Once, my daughter asked, “Dad, do we have to go out? I’d rather save this for something else”.  Hmmm…I think she’s getting it.

Clothes Shopping.  The typical kid wants it all (shoes, shirts, jeans, a watch or jewelry, toys, etc.) Normally, we just go and buy them the stuff. But the key is to involve them and give them ownership. So, if your kid needs clothes…First, tell them how much money they have to start with…let’s say $50. Next, pick a shopping day and have them watch for sales so they can plan out where they can go to get the stuff. The point is to get them to work within their means and make their money stretch as far as it can. Maybe they skip the bracelet to buy a belt. Or, they pass on the name-brand jeans to get 2 pairs of jeans somewhere else.

Family Trips.  When going to the movies, zoo, theme park, etc., as a family…again, start with a specific amount of money.  Decide as a family how the money will be spent and remember, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Eliminate gift cards.  The danger with gift cards is that kids never see any money changing hands.  When they’re young, kids need to begin by understanding the basics of money and the importance of “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.  If they grow up with the mindset of “wave this plastic card at the cashier and get stuff” mentality, they’ll be in trouble and in debt for the rest of their life.

As kids grow older, pre-paid Visa cards may be a good next step, so they can start to learn the principle of using ‘plastic’ as a money-in/money-out discipline.

Results.  We’ve seen all kinds of results:  They are saving more. They are wiser with their spending. We make it a habit of telling them “we can’t afford that right now”. And, they don’t complain when we say “no, we’re eating at home because it’s cheaper.” It’s also a great motivator for us, too. The other day, my daughter asked, “Dad, can we go to Disneyland when we get out of debt?” Gulp–That sure makes me want to get out of debt sooner. Oh, by the way, on her suggestion–our family started saving for the Disneyland trip that day…together!