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Want To Keep Your Kids From Getting Involved With The Wrong Crowd?

Recently I was speaking with a  subscriber to this blog and was inspired to write this post.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The McAfoose family is a family on a mission.

In the last year, they’ve raised over $100,000 to buy, repair, license and open an orphanage in the Philippines. Why? Because they believe God wants them to. And now, their children are seeing their parents trust and serve a God of the impossible. And, they aren’t done.

While spending time with them at a recent fundraiser for the Jesus Love Me Orphanage, the wife and mom of the family shared with me about two new adventures she is planning with her five children for the summer.

Her and her daughters are planning to have a spa and meal time for women in poverty.

Her sons have identified and asked a handful of widows if they could mow their yards and do other chores for them once a week during the summer.

The love for others of this family keeps coming to my mind. So, I thought I’d create a list of ideas that I can one day use with my own kids. So, in addition to the spa and mowing ideas, here’s more.  Maybe you and your kids can use some of them now.

When kids are in a home that is being bold for God, they won’t be drawn to the “wrong” crowd.  They’ll have all the adventure they want and need right at home.


A Family That Serves Together….Serves Together
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  1. First, pray that God would reveal his desire and will for you in this matter. If any of these ideas speak to you, awesome. If not, alter one and share what you think of.
  2. Identify and invite a single parent family over for dinner once a week.
  3. Sponsor a child through Compassion International. As a family, write letters to and pray about the child you sponsor once per week.
  4. If you have a skill such as automotive mechanic, baking, electrical, plumbing, data entry….ask God to bring someone into your life you can mentor and apprentice for free. Imagine, you are your kid teaching a young parent a skill they can turn around and use to get a job to provide for their family.
  5. Volunteer together as a family at church.
  6. Ask your kids school if they could use some volunteers over the summer to paint classrooms, clean desks, etc.
  7. Set up a lemonaid stand and give the proceeds to a charity.
  8. Plant and work a large garden. Donate the veggies to a food pantry. Teach canning and preserving for free and let them keep the canned goods.
  9. Ask your kids what they want to do. What are they passionate about? What bothers them the most that they want to make an effect on?


  • Plan a family dinner to talk about the topic of serving together as a family.
  • Make a list of ideas and ask your kids to vote on their favorite.
  • Check out more about the McAfoose Family and how you can support the Jesus Loves Me Children’s Orphanage when you purchase one of our shirts.




Question: What idea would you add?  What volunteer work have you done alongside your kids? 

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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Help Your Kids Build Character That Measures Up

“Come on boys, get cleaned up. I’m taking you for ice cream.”Helping With Character Development in Kids

My brother and I looked at each other in total disbelief. We ran down to the house faster than we ever had before. “Really? Why?” we asked our dad.

“Your mom just told me that the two of you have behaved all day. I’m proud of you.”

I don’t remember what I ordered, or what we even talked about while eating our ice cream. I don’t remember what clothes we had on or what vehicle we went in. I do remember vividly my dad saying, “I’m proud of you.” And, I remember the reason for the reward.

Parenting is a balancing act. And, it’s a tough job.

Let’s say you walk into the living room after hearing a large crash. You discover your two kids standing there unhurt with a broken lamp on the floor beside them. “What happened?” you ask. Now, your kids have a choice; lie or tell the truth.

“An alien came through the window and smashed the lamp.” or
“We knocked it over and it broke.”

Let’s say your kids tell the truth about knocking it over. So you ask, “How did it get knocked over?”

“We were tossing the ball back and forth.” they reply.

“You know you’re not suppose to be doing that, go to your room.”

Now, let’s fast forward a week. You discover your kids have done something else they knew they shouldn’t have. You ask…”what happened?” At some point, your kids are going to lie to you. Why? They don’t want to get in trouble. That’s just human nature.

But, let’s go back a week to the broken lamp. What if your reply had been something like this.

“How many times have I told you you aren’t suppose to be playing ball in the house? You are going to be punished for this. But, I also want you to know I’m proud of you for telling the truth. Telling the truth is what’s most important here. It doesn’t get you off the hock, but it does help it so your punishment won’t be as bad.”

Now, kids being kids and all…the next time they may still lie. But, they have a much greater chance of telling the truth. Especially if you repeatedly point out the times they tell the truth. After all, what gets repeated gets remembered. And, what get’s reward gets repeated.

But parenting is tough, it’s hard to always remember to highlight the positive. Especially when you are tired or upset that your kids did something they knew they shouldn’t have. What if you had a visual reminder…for you and for them.

What’s hanging on your walls or fridge right now? Are they things you are proud of? Probably. What about your kids artwork, trophies or awards? I want to introduce you to a new tool to display your kid’s positive character decisions.

The Character Growth Chart.SONY DSC

Let’s return to the above broken lamp example for just a moment.

“How many times have I told you you aren’t suppose to be playing ball in the house? You are going to be punished for this. But, I also want you to know I’m proud of you for telling the truth. Telling the truth is what’s most important here. It doesn’t get you off the hock, but does help it so your punishment won’t be as bad. In fact, come here a second.” You and your kids go to the Character Growth Chart. You have them stand with their back against it, mark their height and write something like this…. “Rilee told the truth when she broke a lamp.”

WOW, what a powerful moment this could be for your kids. You can’t…and probably shouldn’t….give ice cream every time thy tell the truth. You probable won’t use the Character Growth Chart every time they display a character trait you want to reinforce. But the times you do use it, will be a big moment for your kids. Plus, when people come over to your place and see the accomplishments displayed, you and they can brag on your kids a bit. Another reinforcement of a positive choice.Character Growth Chart, Helping Parents Teach Character To Their Children

Why is this important for your family?  You are trying to instill character over anything else in your kids. After all, your kids character will determine the decisions they make when you aren’t with them. (tweet that)

If you want this powerful tool to use with your kids or grandkids, you can order one of the handmade Character Growth Charts for only $65 (includes shipping and tax). $65 for a tool to impact the lives of your kids forever.  Click Here for our secure order form, or ask questions in the comments.


  • What do you think about the idea of a Character Growth Chart?
  • What do you do to help build your kid’s character?

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

Did you enjoy, grow or learn from this? Please consider helping our community expand by sharing, commenting and subscribing.



The Best Time To Teach Your Kids The Most Important Life Lessons

Have you heard the myth “Kids don’t come with instruction manuals.”?

Image courtesy of digitalart at

Image courtesy of digitalart at

There are two dangers in believing this myth:

  1. The responsibility to be a “parent” can seem overwhelming.
  2. Many parents give raising their kids successfully over to chance.

Don’t believe this myth.

I actually have two instruction manuals for my kids.

Parenting without a plan is the fastest way to raise your kids without equipping them to have the best life they can.

If you’re a parent, you need to know about this one instruction manual we’ve all been given. In it, it says, “Teach this stuff to your kids. Talk about it with them before going to bed and as soon as you get up, while going about your day and while resting.

The author is telling us that every moment is a teaching moment with our kids.

There are at least two reasons this is true:

  1. We don’t have forever and a day to teach our kids what they need to know
  2. We are teaching most when we ain’t meaning to be teaching at all.  In other words, more is caught than is taught.

The first instruction manual I’m talking about is the Bible.  For this post, I’m specifically talking about Deuteronomy 6:7.

Make Your Parenting Count; 5,6,7; is one of the parenting workshops I facilitate. The 5 comes from Deuteronomy being the 5th book of the Bible, the 6th chapter at the 7th verse tells us; “Teach this stuff to your kids….all the time” (I‘m paraphrasing of course) The main point, more is caught than is taught.


Be a 5, 6, 7 Parent


  • Read Deuteronomy chapter 5 and Deuteronomy 6:4 for a list of the most important lessons we are to teach our children.  Then, read Chapter 6 verse 7 to see when we are to teach our kids these most important lessons. 
  • Explore and grasp the total concept of more is caught than is taught. For example; how you treat people teaches your kids more about how they are to treat people than how you tell them to treat people. (You might have to read that again, I had to type twice to get it right.)
  • If your married, you and your spouse must be on the same page. If you’ve never talked about this, plan a night away just the two of you, to talk about this. You need a plan of action for your parenting. (I’m blushing, but sure…you can click to tweet that)
  • Follow the 10 commandments…even the ones about not lying and not wanting what isn’t yours.
  • Get connected to a strong healthy church.
  • Begin writing letters to your kids in the future. (These by the way have become my second instruction manual for my kids.)
  • Be involved and be focused in the lives of your kids. Not more then you are in your relationship with God or your spouse. Like it or not, in the healthiest families, kids come third. (Actually they come first by making them third…I call this the Parenting Equation, it’s some crazy math)
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?


  • Identify what you need to do in your relationship with God and make that priority.
  • Right now, write your kids a letter for this date next year. Make them a promise of something you want to model better. Maybe it’s telling the truth, being nicer to strangers, not gossiping, etc. Work to make the change you just promised your kid.
  • Read Deuteronomy 5 and 6 (this will take you five minutes)



Add your thoughts to the comments or on my Facebook Page

  • What do you think about the idea of making your kids first by putting them third?
  • What tip or suggestion works for you to practice more is caught than is taught?

Free New eWorkbook Available; Write Your Life


Today I announce the release of my eWorkbook; Write Your Life, A Four-Step-Plan To Influence A Better Tomorrow For Those You Lead and Love.


Like many people, I tried to write goals. But truthfully, I just never felt like I was getting what God wanted for me, I didn’t feel like I was getting his dream for me. I would read other’s goals and think, “man, I wish I had wrote that.” Or, “wow, I wish I could think of goals that clear and creative for my life.” I would pray and reflect, but never felt like I was getting my goals just right.

In the introduction of Write Your Life I share the story of how that all changed for me the night before my daughters first birthday.

What I’ve discovered since has helped me get clear on my goals. I’ve discovered that one of the greatest challenges I had in my goals was that they weren’t goals at all. I had a list of desires with a goal here and there. Now, I have clear goals for my marriage, my parenting and my workplace leadership. I’ve never felt so confident that my goals were God inspired.

I created Write Your Life as an eWorkbook It’s more about you experiencing and writing letters then me telling you about writing letters. My prayer is that you find this resource inspiring and you use it to write letters to the people you care about the most. And, that by writing these letters:

  • you leave for them a written account of your hopes and dreams,
  • create a legacy worth living towards, and
  • discover the goals you need to work towards to make your life everything God wants it to be.

This free 70 page PDF workbook has both information and worksheets designed to guide and help you.

Write Your Life is divided into five sections:

* A short introduction in section 1 tells the story of how I discovered the power in writing letters for future dates and events to the people I care for most.
* In section 2 I unpack the process and pitfalls to be mindful of.
* Sections 3 and 4 will guide you through the four steps of reflecting, planning, clarifying and writing process.
* Section 5 includes links and resources.

You will discover what’s really important for you to teach and what to model for those most important in your life.

Write Your Life is for:

* Married Couples,
* Singles,
* Parents,
* Those Hoping to be Parents,
* Grandparents,
* Those Hoping to be Grandparents, and
* Workplace Leaders

This eWorkbook is provided free to those who subscribe to my blog’s email list to receive updates when I publish new content. Subscribers also receive exclusive offers and content not available on the blog.

Have you ever wrote a letter to someone for the future? Received a letter from someone wrote to you long ago? Comment below.  


How To Create Easy Scavenger Hunts, Plus A Free One to Download

Some of me and my cousins favorite stories from growing up are the scavenger hunts my grandfather would take us on.  For him, it was all about chasing Big Foot.  Or at least, getting us boys all excited about chasing Big Foot.  Turns out, our Big Foot sightings were him wearing a big fur coat.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at

My siblings and I’s favorite Christmas memories are the epic experiences of looking for our Christmas presents.  Thanks to my dad who created clues for each present.  We would start our Christmas morning with a clue we found in our stocking.  Each time we found a gift, it had a clue on it for the next gift.  Of course, we weren’t allowed to open a gift until each of us three siblings found one.  Then, we’d open each of our gifts one at time from youngest to oldest.  Being the oldest, once I opened and celebrated my gift.  The three of us were off to find our next Christmas present and clue.  I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to do this with them.


Scavenger Hunts are easy, fun, memory makers and can even be educational.


  • Start with the end in mind.  Hide something.  Write a clue to it’s location.  Hide that clue and write a clue to it’s location. Repeat as much as you want.
  • Go high-tech if you want.  Use text messages, Geo-caching, pictures of clues…etc.
  • Make the hunts multiple day by giving only one clue per day.
  • Don’t think just kids.  Do this with your spouse.  Your team at work.
  • Include neighbors and relatives. Give Grandma a clue the kids have to call or Skype with to get.
  • Use the Bible.
  • In the workplace do this with Christmas bonuses, copier paper, new staff shirts, etc.  If someone on your team has a great sense of humor, do this with their coffee mug.  But, put a package of their favorite flavored coffee or creamer with the mug.


  • Think of the next occasion you want to use a scavenger hunt, put in on your calendar.
  • Hide something right now and create a three clue scavenger hunt to see how easy it is.
  • I would be so grateful if you would share this FREE resource with another parent.
  • Download a free Bible Scavenger Hunt For Blog for home.



Questions: What additional ideas for scavenger hunts can you think of?  How about geocaching, is that something you and your family enjoy?

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

Did you enjoy, grow or learn from  this?  Please consider helping our community expand by sharing, commenting and subscribing.


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