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Faith Seekers
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Heaven Bound
Take it to Heart
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From the Editor -
Jamie Dale
Parents' Survival Guide
Featured Article
ParentsSummerís Coming Ė Are You Prepared?
By Jamie Dale

Summer is fast approaching and all of our kids, whether theyíre in kindergarten or in high school, are looking forward to the same thing Ė the last day of school and the summer vacation that follows it. And while your son or daughter may have dreams of lazy summer days and fun in the sun, many of us parents are having nightmares about how we are going to keep our kids occupied for three long months. Almost all of us have heard the saying "idle minds are the devilís playground" and we all know that those words can be all too true. So whatís a parent to do?

Whether you work full time or youíre a stay-at-home mom, keeping your kids out of trouble when schoolís out can be challenging, to say the least. Letís face it; this isnít the same world that we grew up in. Disrespect isnít only tolerated, itís commonplace; and unruly behavior has become the norm in many societies. As Christian parents we canít worry about whatís accepted in society and whatís currently accepted as the status quo. We need to worry about what God wants for our children and whatís right; and that means taking a proactive approach to keeping our kids busy in the coming months. Thankfully, there are a number of resources that we can utilize when planning summer activities for our kids.

The Church

When planning your childís summer schedule, your church is the first place you should turn to. Many churches with youth programs are now holding summer camps and summer activities. If your church has a program that your child would be interested in, it could be the perfect way to keep your child entertained during the months ahead.

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Wading Towards Acceptance
By Kay Brown

Last month, I suddenly found something interesting at the bottom of a local creek bed Ė myself! The doctor had just diagnosed me with pre-pneumonia (whatever that is) and I was groggily driving home to my children that early spring evening. As I rounded the top of the ridge that drops into our little rural valley, several inches of hail and slush unexpectedly and inexplicably coated the previously clear pavement. Yipes!

My heavy vehicle began an uncontrollable skid, weaved all over the highway and narrowly missed an oncoming pickup. Finally, I left the road, crossed an embankment and quite literally sailed, nose first, into the bottom of a deep stream that serves as an irrigation canal about 75 feet from the street. I slammed into the water. Interestingly, there were no tire tracks into the stream.

I caught air.

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This Monthís Parenting Resource

Looking for inspiring ideas that will keep your kids busy this summer?

Danielleís Place http://www.daniellesplace.com/ has a wealth of craft and activity ideas for Christian children. From marshmallow crafts to bible lessons, youíll find numerous entertaining activities for the summer months.

Featured Article

Hearing God SpeakKeep Me and Love Me
By Pamela Bridgeman

Young children can be so cute when theyíre just beginning to talk. Typically adults just pinch their faces and say, "aw" when they say something unusual. But I found wisdom and godly instruction in my sonís words when he was just three years old.

Michael wasnít a particularly mischievous child. To tell the truth, he has always been sober beyond his years but like every boy, he did his share of devilment. If you asked me what he was doing on the day that he uttered his profound words, Iíd be fabricating if I told you details. All I know is he had done something that made me shake my head and ask him, "Michael Lamar Bridgeman, what am I going to do with you?"

With no hesitation or thought that there was any other choice, he looked at me with the same grin he flashes even now as an adult, then stated matter-of-factly, "Keep me and love me."

I didnít scold him any further because his answer disarmed me. As a young social worker with a caseload of neglected and abused children, I knew there were parents in American society who neither kept nor loved their children. Some of them, like me, called themselves Christian. Because of the circumstances of Mikeís conception and my fear of being a single parent, Iíd even thought briefly about placing him for adoption.

Oh, how his words pierced me. The piercing didnít cause me to feel sadness or grief; rather I felt joy because God had extended his hand of love both to me and my little one looking into his motherís face with trust.

I laughedÖ then picked him up and held him close and said, "Youíre right. Thatís just what Iíll do." And I did.
Pamela Bridgeman finds joy in helping others to know the love of Christ and experience the power of forgiveness. She is a member of the Drama Team at Life Center Ministries in Dunwoody, Georgia. You can visit Pamela on the Internet at http://www.ahealingjourneyseminars.com or write to her care of the Letters page of this magazine.