How to Help Your Children Become Self Motivated

I am presenting a parenting seminar at Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church in Thomasville, NC this Sunday, Jan 25, 2015. Here are the notes. You can also download it as a pdf or view the prezi is used for the conference.


  • God has given parents the responsibility and authority to discipline and disciple their children (Eph 6:4).
  • Parenting should move from discipline to discipleship, from external motivation to internal motivation (Prov 13:24; Prov 23:26).
  • The ultimate goal for parents is to raise mature, Christ loving believers (Deut 6:4-9).


How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated

  1. Pray for your children to surrender their hearts to Christ (Eph 3:14-21).
  2. Teach your children truth from God’s Word (Psalm 19:7-11).
  3. Teach your children God’s purpose for life and how everything we do fits into it (Deut 6:4-9).
  4. Encourage and affirm your children (1 Thess 2:11-12).
  5. Offer new responsibility and freedom in response to obedience and respect (Matt 25:14-30).
  6. Correction can take the form of discipleship, instead of discipline, when there is respect and teachability (Psalm 25:8-15; 32:8-9).
  7. Give freedom to make their own choices so they can develop conviction (Heb 5:14).
  8. Help your children discover their gifts, talents, and interests and free and equip your children to purse them (Eph 4:7, 11-12).

How to Prepare Your Children for Greatness

I cannot play basketball like Michael Jordan or the violin like Itzhak Perlman. Neither can you. What did they have that I do not? Why could they perform the way they did while I am only skilled enough at their craft to watch? In the first place they had the gifts for it. Built into the genetic formula for these two very different men was a treasure of giftedness few people have.

Another difference between these two men and the rest of us is the time and effort they put into developing those gifts. While you and I were watching television as children, Michael Jordan at the same age was dribbling and shooting baskets. Itzhak Perlman was practicing his scales and double stops. They invested their freedom in disciplined practice of their skills while most of us were using up our freedom at something else. Ultimately they had the freedom to perform as one in a million can, while the rest of us are not free to do that.

My guess is that somebody, somewhere along the way, helped these two stars with their training. No matter what his gifts, everyone needs help. They were taught the basic principles of their craft, the technique for every skill they would need. And they practiced. They practiced hours. They practiced devotedly. They were driven to practice insatiably while other young people were making softer decisions about their time.

. . . You have to choose what you will be good at because you can be good at only a very few things.
— Wayne McDill, 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching

It is not too late.

It is not too late to devote your life to a great thing. Find what God built into you to do. Pick something that brings glory to God and changes peoples lives. I may not be something that earns you lots of money or fame. That doesn’t matter. Do it for God. Do it for love.

Aside from how personally challenging this is, I am also asking myself some questions as a parent.

  • Am I giving my children a vision for greatness and excellence?
  • Am I helping my children identify the gifts and talents God has given them?
  • Am I empowering them to develop these insatiably for God’s glory?
  • Am I expecting more from them than the average expectation of our culture?
  • Am I teaching them the fundamental truths of discipline and freedom?
  • Am I encouraging my children to invest their freedom instead of making softer decisions?
They invested their freedom in disciplined practice of their skills while most of us were using up our freedom at something else. Ultimately they had the freedom to perform as one in a million can.
— Wayne McDill

Freedom is not the absence of discipline;
Freedom is the fruit of discipline

The Eternal Covenant Maker and Almighty Creator [Yahweh Elohim]

This recording is the first in a series from Genesis 2, Our God Given Design. This teaching focuses on Genesis 2:4-6 and the name of God, Yahweh Elohim.

He is the Eternal Covenant Maker and Almighty Creator!

We also get a chance to answer the question of why the order of creation in Genesis 2 does not seem to be the same as the order in Genesis 1.

If you have any questions or want to add in, please leave a comment below.

Awesome Book Community and Tracking Tool!!

I recently rediscovered the website and its phone app.

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Want to connect with your friends so you can share your books and find out what they are reading and recommend? goodreads.

Want to read lots of book reviews and ratings? goodreads.

Want to do it all on your phone? goodreads app

Want to be able to scan a book and then add it to your lists? goodreads app.

Love Gives Everything . . . and Never Runs Out

Love does not get. Love gives.
     Love gives everything . . . and never runs out.
     Love doesn't need anything because it is already full of Jesus.
     Love is joyfully consumed only with the good of another person.

Love is free.
     Love has no conditions and requires no payment.
     Love is not disturbed by circumstances.

Love risks rejection and get's rejected.
     Love doesn't seek acceptance.

"Love does not rejoice with evil, but rejoices with the truth."
     Love never has to compromise
     Love never has to compromise truth.
     Love tells the truth.
     Love does not have to agree with lies or
                 put up with wickedness to be love.

Love is patient and kind.
     Love smiles.
     Love affirms.
     Love encourages.
     Love is not irritable.

Love is not offended.
     Love does not get run off.
     Love does not get offended when falsely accused.
     Love keeps trying, keeps reaching.

Love wants you to be happy, but doesn't always try to make you happy.
     Love weeps with those who weep.
     Love does not satisfy wrong desires in order to make you happy.
     Love does not enable wrongdoing.
     Love doesn't agree with you to make you happy.
     Love is not controlled by you. You can't get it to do what you want.
     Love says "no" sometimes.

Love does not love in order to "get results."
     Love wants you to change and have peace and joy and trust God. But love can't do
              it for  you and doesn't try.
     Love doesn't try to fix you.
     Love does not calculate outcomes.
     Love prays for you. Love hopes.

God is love.
     Love is full of Jesus.
     Jesus is love and shows us what love is.
     Love begins with and flows from love for Jesus.
     Love for Jesus begins with the love of Jesus.

Love is not prideful.
     Love is teachable.
     Love admits when it is wrong.

Love has an eternal perspective.

My Christmas Present to Jesus

Are you frustrated (again) that you have spent your Christmas time busy, stressed, and somehow still missing the point!?! If so, look no further for a simple, personal, totally achievable way to redeem it all!

Here is my idea: give a Christmas present to Jesus. (I guess in this case it would also be a birthday present.) “How can I give him a present? What does he want?”

Well, if you dare, ask him. Don’t we ask others what they want for Christmas? Ask Jesus to make a wish list of gifts he would like to receive from you. Of course, his first answer is this: “Everything!” Our goal is to give all that we are to our Lord Jesus. “Love the Lord your God with ALL” (Mark 12:30).

But let’s be more specific. Is there any part of your life that you have not surrendered to Jesus? Is there a sin of which you are not free? Is there a character quality God wants to build into your life? I have a feeling these will be on his Christmas list.

“Whoa, this is too deep. I think I’ll return to the mind-numbing busyness and stress of Christmas.” Well, OK, but that is your loss . . . big time! He came to bring us “peace and joy.” Don’t settle for the temporary and empty offerings of this world when you can have deep, untouchable, everlasting peace and joy from God.

Set aside a few minutes this Christmas and ask Jesus what gift he would like to receive from you. While I don’t think many of us will have to wait long for an answer, be patient. Wait on him and listen. Don’t move on until you know what he wants. If you think you don’t have time during Christmas week, don’t worry about it. You’ll have time after, and I have a feeling Jesus will still be taking presents after the holidays are over.

The Lord might put on your heart a sin of which you are not free. Here is what to do: confess your sin to God and receive his forgiveness, repent of your sin and take action on ways to remove it from your life. Confess your sin to a trusted friend and submit to accountability. (These end up being great material for New Year’s resolutions and goals!)

I have a little New Year’s tradition of selecting one or two words that represent my focus for the year. This is one way of giving your gift to Jesus. Set your heart and mind on what God is trying to build into your life.

So, what are my gifts to Jesus this year? Here are my two words for 2015: Self-control and Evangelism. (By the way, my words for 2014 were Intimacy (with Christ) and Finish.) Will you consider giving Jesus a gift this year? What will you give to him?

[PS: Here is another idea: Share this with your family and establish a Christmas tradition of having each person share what he or she is going to give to Jesus.]