Our family is beginning to prepare for a 2 week trip which includes 6 conferences. It is always amazing how pressures seem to come the week of a trip. Please pray for us as we work through the details that must be completed before Sunday. We will be doing our normal Sunday morning worship service at the nursing home, and then weâ€™ll be â€œtaking offâ€ (akaâ€”in our van!) for the trip.
For those who might be interested, hereâ€™s a brief look at the schedule:
Weâ€™ll be posting â€œon the roadâ€ updates, too. We are greatly appreciative of your prayers as we prepare our hearts and then as we embark on our journey, for safety and for those attending the conferences.
We hope to meet many of you!! Blessings from all of us.
We have just completed a couple of trips where we spoke at a total of fourteen cities. What a blessing it was for our family. My heart is encouraged and discouraged at the same time during these trips. One of my greatest joys in all the world is encouraging dads who have a heart to follow Jesus. At the same time my heart is broken as I see dads who are cold and hard-hearted. It is obvious that the world has their heart and as a result their family is suffering.
As in other trips though, to talk to dads that want to grow in Jesus and lead their family in following Christ thrills me to no end. What a joy to speak to a dad who has a clear hunger for and commitment to following Jesus down whatever path He leads. One thing is clear, He will always lead down a path that is away from the world and towards holiness.
We have received many emails following these trips confirming fruit in homes. The Lord led me to ask this dad if I could change the names and include it in the blog. He agreed and with the names changed here is what he wrote.
_______________ Steve, Just wanted to give you an update on how our family devotions have been going. We met at your Family Conference. I had stayed after the conference to talk to you regarding my younger children not getting much out of devotion time. The names and ages of the children are girl (10), boy (6), girl (4), boy (2), and baby girl. We took the suggestions that you made to me, mixed them with some tips we picked up from the conference and from your books, bathed them in prayer and ended up with the following:
Devotions start at 7:45pm in the living room. Everyone has an assigned seat. I hold the 2 year old and my wife has the newborn. The 10 and 6 year old sit together and the 4 year old sits next to my wife. This allows those that don’t read or don’t read well to sit next to someone who can.
I open with a short prayer asking for blessing upon the devotion time.
We started reading from Matthew (skipping the genealogies) and everyone reads two verses until we get to a good stopping point. If they can’t read then I will read part of the verse while the person next to them points to the words and then they repeat it.
If the wording was hard for them to understand then I’ll explain the passage. If it is something they are familiar with or simple enough for them to understand then I’ll ask some questions and try to get them to draw application from it. Then I’ll draw some application from it.
If we have any updates from missionary families that we keep up with then we will share them.
New prayer requests.
For prayer time my wife and I came up with a list of people/things that we need to pray for. We organized the list into 3 categories (Spiritual/General/Health). Prayer order is from youngest to oldest. I give the person who is about to pray two or more things from the list to pray for and then they pray. We encourage the person praying to pray for whatever they are led to but they have to at least pray for what I give them from the list. After that person finishes then I’ll give the next one their prayer items and they pray and so on until I pray last.
We will soon be finishing our first month using the new format and so far my wife and I have definitely seen improvement. Our ten year old daughter has always done pretty well with paying attention but seems to be getting more out of it now. Our six year old son had always been a struggle in the past but is now paying better attention and getting more involved. Our four year old daughter and two year old son still need some work but with more prayer, time, and consistency they will start to catch on. Thank you again for sharing your time with us. A Brother ________________
After one month he is seeing encouraging growth in his children. Can you imagine what he will see in one, two, five or ten years? May we all be busy about following Jesus. If we love Him we will feed the sheep. It’s dads like these that make it all worth while.
I believe one reason children lose interest in their parent’s faith is that they see a life that is simply religious. There is no deep love and excitement for Jesus, but simply going through the outward motions and with the flow of those around them. Difficulties, persecutions and trials of life that come into our lives provide excellent opportunities for our children to see Who Jesus is in our life.
Certainly, they are not what we prefer, but they bring with them the blessed grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our children have had those blessings and the most recent was this weekend. As we were packing up after our Charleston conference, Sarah was sitting on the floor amidst some boxes. She said she was feeling terrible and really didn’t know if she could do much more. With others pitching in to finish what Sarah normally does, we were soon packed up and heading for the hotel.
Such was the beginning of some of our family’s most memorable days because by Sunday morning six of us were terribly ill and since then only one has "escaped". Still very sick, that afternoon the Lord enabled us to begin the 900 mile drive to Shreveport, LA for a conference on Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday with some better and some worse we drove 600 miles home.
It is easy to praise the Lord Jesus when all is well, but the real growth opportunity is to rely on Jesus and be at peace when things are terribly bad. The children saw that if Jesus doesn’t remove the problem, then He will enable us to go through it.
It made no sense for us to begin homeschooling when Teri was in the midst of depression. She shares that she was hopeful that if she was obedient in homeschooling God would remove the depression. However, we found that God is faithful and He gives grace to do what He calls us to do. We want the difficulties removed, but most often, His way is to enable us through them.
After thirty days on the road and thirteen cities, we are home in our own beds again. We met many special and courageous brothers and sisters in Christ and were shown much love and kindness. I think we would all agree it was our most memorable trip, in more ways than one, and we praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His love, mercy, and sustaining grace.
We love to hike! We had some time Monday morning in the Asheville area for a family walk.
When we headed to Franklin from Asheville Wednesday, we saw a little music shop and stopped there. We enjoyed our visit!
Dad and Mom
My mom’s sister came from Alabama to visit us in Franklin. She came to the Tuesday evening conference. Wednesday we had a “free” day, so we decided to hike. One of my mom’s favorite things to do is hike in the woods, which doesn’t happen very often! Of course, our whole family enjoys hiking.
The sunset was gorgeous last night over the mountains!
Dusk is falling, and we are settled in at a hotel in the mountains of Asheville! It’s hard to believe we only have a week and a half left on the road. We have a one-evening conference in the Asheville area tomorrow evening.
Our weekend in Winston-Salem was wonderful. We started out Friday evening with our music session. I’m very grateful that Jesus has given us opportunities to play together. As Dad shares, only a few have natural musical talents (meaning they could literally pick up an instrument and play it with hardly any practice!), the rest of us have to work hard to learn. On our FamiliesforJesus site, we list some resources we’ve used to self-teach ourselves without instructors, http://www.familiesforjesus.com/music/ When the session was over, we had a little "Visit with other Moody readers&qout; time. A mom had requested this, so it was a delight to be able to talk to children who have enjoyed the Moodys. They motivate me to continue working on Spring!
Saturday, I briefly chatted with a couple who had come from the Kingsport, Tennessee area, several hours away! A number of other families had driven two or more hours as well. We are blessed beyond measure to have these dear families come. The coordinators for the conference even provided meals for us throughout the weekend. Thank you!
This morning, as we headed to Asheville, we listened to a message by Dr. S. M. Davis, How to Humble Yourself. It was incredibly convicting to me personally. It’s a CD that would be good to listen to several times!
We are deeply grateful to those of you who have been praying for us. May Jesus richly bless you and your family.
Only for my Savior, Sarah
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.