Where has eCsiLe been?

eCsiLe is working on his next full length studio album at Island of eCsiLe Studios. Are you ready for something new?

In mid to late 2014, disciple of Jesus Christ and Soul Anchor Music recording artist eCsiLe of AnchorMEN will be releasing a new album entitled Painful Inhabitance.

The album comes on the heels of a brief sabbatical from making music after an unexpected career change. This project explores the themes of pain, suffering, prosperity, false doctrines, and much more!

Check out his teasers…

 

Forgiveness #AnchorFAM

Asking Your Kids for Forgiveness
by Jen Price 

Meet Jen Price

Forgive ~ to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

My husband and I have worked hard to teach our kids the difference between saying, “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?”.  They are usually quick to say they are sorry for a wrong action, but to ask for forgiveness, well, those words don’t just roll off the tongue. Why is that?

Because it takes humility.

It takes admitting that the action you just did was out of the boundaries that God has for you. Asking forgiveness means you are asking another person to cancel the feelings of anger or hurt that your action just created in them. Learning to ask for forgiveness is a powerful life lesson that will help our kids far into adulthood.

Several years ago, my humble-yourself-and-ask-for-forgiveness thing was tested to the max.

On a particularly not-so-good day, my peace-and-calming-speak-in-love radar was way off. In a moment of breaking up sibling fights and diffusing arguments for what must have been the gazillionth time, I lost it. I raised my voice. I spoke in anger. I stepped outside of the boundary.

I was faced with a decision to make, one that I’d asked my kids to make many times before. Would I humble myself and ask my kids to forgive me, or would I let my pride take over and hope they forgot the whole thing?

Walking in Humility

The first option felt like the single most humbling thing I’d ever done in my life, but the second option would mean I would be missing out on a very important opportunity to model this forgiveness thing.

Did you know that walking in humility and asking for forgiveness tears down walls and builds bridges?

In one moment, anger and tears can be the emotions overwhelming the room, but once forgiveness enters in, that anger and those tears are replaced with joy and love (well, maybe there’s still a few tears). I explained to my kids that responding in anger and raising my voice was wrong and as I asked, “Will you forgive me?”, it was so clearly visible how the room softened.

I want my kids to learn to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. Merely telling them to do it won’t cut it. I have to model it for them. My imperfect self seems to get this opportunity to do this regularly. I hate it, but I love it.

I’ve never seen the words, “I’m sorry” in the Bible, but I’ve read plenty of passages talking about forgiveness.

It’s so powerful that Jesus says it’s only when we forgive others that He will forgive us. I’m pretty sure that indicates the importance of the daily practice of this powerful act.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15

Along this parenting journey, I’m always looking for resources to help teach my kids these life lessons I want them to learn. Besides the Bible, another great resource for teaching kids to walk in forgiveness is Mercer Mayer’s We All Need Forgiveness. The timeless classic tales of Little Critter draw kids in, and this particular book shows how forgiveness is a two-sided action. We must ask, and we must receive. 

* * *

Your Turn

How do you teach your kids forgiveness? Is there a time when you had to ask forgiveness from your children? 

31 ways for kids to show God’s love #AnchorFAM

20140801-101558-36958519.jpg

31 Ways For Kids to Show God’s Love
by Traci Little

There is a sweet elderly lady on our street that just had to send her husband to a nursing home. He has dementia and was wandering off.

You can see the sadness in her eyes.

A few nights ago, my children saw her out weeding her garden. They said, “Mommy, we feel so sorry for her; she looks so sad! Can we please go say hello and cheer her up?”

I love these teachable moments where the Holy Spirit grabs a hold of our little ones’ hearts and plants tiny seeds in their souls. It’s those tiny seeds that, over time, will grow mighty with roots that dig down deep into the soil of their hearts.

Psalm 1:1-3 says
Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on His law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

Our goal as parents is to raise our children with solid convictions, so that when the temptations come, they have a firm and solid foundation.

Here are 31 ways children can finish off the summer well and give back to others by showing God’s love:

1. Write a letter to a friend and put it in the mailbox.

2. Draw a picture and mail it to your teacher to tell them that you miss them and are thankful for them.

3. Bless the mailman/woman by leaving them a gift and thanking them for their hard work.

4. Do some yard work for a neighbor.

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen with your family.

6. Organize a toy drive for the children’s wing at your local hospital.

7. Participate in a 5K walk as a family to raise money for cancer or another important cause.

8. Bake cookies for a family at your church you want to encourage.

9. Paint a picture for your grandparents and mail it to them.

10. Help a sibling learn how to read.

11. Make a tutorial video about something you are gifted in.

12. Put together a box full of goodies for a person in the military and mail it to them.

13. Help out with a ministry at church.

14. Get together some neighborhood friends and clean up trash.

15. Make some crazy loom bracelets and raise money for a favorite charity.

16. Make a get well box for someone who is sick.

17. Write out special prayers for children in need.

18. Write thank you cards for your pastor/deacons.

19. Take turns cleaning your siblings’ rooms.

20. Offer to help your parents babysit for another family’s children.

21. Give up all electronics for one day and spend time doing things for others.

22. Go on a local missionary trip as a family.

23. Pay for someone behind you at a drive through. Leave a tract with the cashier to give to them.

24. Start a kindness jar. Place ideas of ways to be kind and take turns picking from the jar and exhibiting those acts of kindness.

25. Invite friends to Vacation Bible School.

26. Bring someone wild flowers to your teacher at church.

27. Listen without interrupting or arguing back.

28. Continue clipping box tops to bring back to school.

29. Write a sidewalk chalk message to a family member to express your love for them.

30. Teach your children to hold the door open for people and praise them when they do.

31. Help your parents make a meal for a family who just had a new baby.

These are just suggestions. Replace any with your own creative ideas that fit your own family dynamic.

One of the biggest struggles our children will face is learning to be content and thankful. If our children can grasp the spiritual discipline of contentment, they will be able to see beyond themselves, and reach out to others.

The book The Blessings Jar is an excellent book about this very topic. One day a little girl named Alexa Grace is having a grumpy day. Her grandmother introduces a blessing jar idea to her. The blessing jar is a way for Alexa Grace to count her blessings by placing them in a jar. Alexa Grace goes on an adventure, looking for all her many blessings. Soon, the jar is overflowing with goodies, and she realizes how truly blessed she is.

Here is our daughter reading The Blessings Jar to her brothers:

Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes we don’t realize how very blessed we are until we look around and count our blessings. Consider getting this book for your own family. Maybe you could create a blessings jar and go on a little adventure of your own? You could even use the above “31 Ways List” and when you do something on this list, write it down and place it in your very own blessings jar! Write a little note on the back of how God blessed you and your children by blessing others.

Your Turn

How do you teach your children to have a heart of compassion for others? Have you been able to witness the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of your kids through reaching out to others? How have you helped your kids to show God’s love?