Message from Pastor Jonathan July 2024

Children Learn What They Live
Why is that music and poems can often-times speak into our hearts where words alone fail? Think of your favorite songs that have the kinds of lyrics that cause a tear to flow and your heart sings along… Maybe something in the lyrics reminded you of someone you once loved, or it put before you greater and higher goals, or deeper aspirations, or a more beautiful vision of what life could become…

To illustrate this, here’s a well loved poem by the author, Dorothy Law Nolte, “Children Learn What They Live.” She started writing newspaper articles in her early 20’s and 30’s that touched hearts, and she wrote this piece at the age of 30, which was published in 1982. She became a master teacher and prolific writer on children and family life education and was still going strong into her late 70’s. She wrote and published two books that were translated into over 25 languages. Dorothy passed away, but her wisdom lives on.

This is my favorite one of hers, and it’s on the website created in her honor, which also has many updated resources to help young parents effectively navigate the difficult and critical issues of family relationships. I recommend the website:

“If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
“If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
“If Children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.”

As I grow older, I am more aware that I am still becoming a child of God. And so many poems and lyrics continue to touch my heart with the lessons of childhood. They still remind me of how to become better prepared for the Heavenly Home. And someday, when all words fail, may we still hear the One voice who speaks the Word of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is still speaking and calls to us to become the children of God. May our hearts be open to hear His Word of eternal life calling softly to have faith in His name, so that we may also receive the power to become the children of God, with this divine promise: “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

In the Grace and Peace of Christ,
Pastor Jonathan Singleton

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