No amount of success at the office can compensate for failure at home.

Mother’s day: “The most influential position in our nation today is held by a woman. She enforces law, practices medicine, and teaches without a degree, certificate of competence or required training. She handles the nation’s food, administers its drugs, and practices emergency first aid. She cares for all the physical and mental ills of the family; a man literally places his life and the lives of his children in the hands of this woman – his wife.”

attributed to Ruth Hampton

Does your family look forward to you coming home each night? If not, why not? – Lord, heal us from that debilitating disease called grumpy-itis!

I grew up without a father and so when I became one myself I was, and still am, determined to be a dedicated father to my children and to spend as much time as I can with them. I remember a few years ago, however, when things started to slip. I was busy at work with more than my fair share of problems and I felt bad that I wasn’t spending as much time with my children as I would have liked. I remember it was January time, and as a new year’s resolution I decided that I would spend at least an hour a day, every day, with my children. Now I am the stubborn, strong-willed type and so when I set the target of a minimum hour a day, I was determined to stick with it, come what may. And stick with it I did, although, I am ashamed to say, it was often with reluctance and with me clock-watching and calculating how many of the sixty minutes were left because I had other things I needed to do. For a little while I fell into the trap of thinking that being in my children’s company or in the same room as them, was the same as spending time with them.

Then one night – I remember it as though it was yesterday – I sat in the bathroom, clock watching, while the children played happily in the bath together. I was in a quiet, sullen mood and I was giving my hour reluctantly, and fighting my conscience by telling myself that I had spent most of the previous day with my children and I could always make up for it tomorrow or the day after that. After a little while my, then, five year old daughter, Kimberley, looked up at me with her big blue eyes that were sad, and then her words pierced my heart when she said in a mimicking voice, “Daddy, if you can’t spend quality time with us it would be better if you didn’t spend any time at all.”

I learnt two very important lessons that day. (1) That children, even as young as five, really do pick up the values of their parents. – Wherever had a five year old picked up the concept of quality time, if not from myself? (2) Being in the same place as our children is not the same as actually spending time with them.

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential

Inspirational Olympic Family love

Mother’s Day; Mothering Sunday: Max Lucado writes: ‘Some things only a mum can do… like powdering a baby’s bottom with one hand while holding the phone with the other… Spending the day wiping noses, laundering socks, balancing a cheque book, and still mean it when she thanks God for her kids. Some things only a mum can fix… like the cabinet doors her husband couldn’t, and his bruised ego when he found out she could! Broken shoelaces… broken hearts… breaking up with your sweetheart. Some things only a mum can know… like how long it takes to drive from piano lessons to football practice… how many pizzas you need for a sleepover… the number of days left in a term. The rest of us can only wonder… “Mum, what was it like when that infant’s cry first filled the room? Or the day the school bus pulled to a stop, you placed a kiss on a five-year-old’s cheek, waved goodbye and then saw the tricycle – silent and still? How did you feel? Did you cry? Did you smile? Were you like Mary who “quietly treasured all these things in her heart?” A mother who loves and prays for her children is a force to be reckoned with. When a preacher stopped by a house and asked to speak to the mother, her little boy said, ‘You can’t see her right now, she’s praying.’ That’s because Susanna Wesley spent one hour every day praying for each of her seventeen children. Eventually, two of them, John and Charles, were used by God to bring a spiritual awakening to Britain and America and established the Methodist Church. Such is the influence of a praying mother.

Source: The UCB Word For Today, 26/3/2017 Mothering Sunday

One beautiful summers day a new father was walking through the park, pushing his infant son in his pram. The child was screaming loudly but the father, with a determined look on his face, kept murmuring in a reassuring voice, “Easy now, Donald. Everything is going to be alright, you’ll see. Just keep calm. It’s okay, were nearly home, Donald. Come on now… that’s it, calm down, relax… that’s it, you’re doing fine.”

Just then a woman passed by and smiling warmly she said to the young father, “Well, you certainly know how to talk to an upset child – calmly and reassuringly.” The woman then poked her head into the pram and said, “There, there Donald, what’s the matter then?”

“Oh, no!” said the father: “His name is George. I’m Donald!”

Family Togetherness: The Giant Sequoia – the big redwood tree – is the largest tree in the world and one of the oldest trees in the forest. It may live for 3000 years and grow to a height of more than 75 metres (250 feet) with a trunk diameter at the base of around 8 metres (25 feet). It is commonly thought that a tree of such magnitude must have a root system stretching hundreds of feet down into the earth but, in actual fact, the ‘redwood’ has a relatively shallow root system.

The sequoia or ‘redwood’ trees grow in close proximity to each other and although the individual root systems are rather shallow, the roots of each tree entwine and lock together for support and stability. When the storms come – some of them ferocious – the trees stand fast: They support and protect each other because they are rooted together. What a great definition of teamwork and how a loving family should be.

Adapted from a story told by Robert J. Morgan, church pastor, seminar leader and author

In an old “Peanuts” comic strip, the ill-tempered Lucy walks into the room where her little brother, Linus, is watching TV. “I was here first,” says Linus, “so I get to watch what I want.” Without acknowledging him Lucy just walks over to the TV and switches over to another channel. “HEY!” shouts Linus. Finally, Lucy looks over at him and then comments, “In the 19th chapter of the book of Matthew it says, ‘Many that are first will be last, and the last first.’” Linus loses out and in the final caption he murmurs, “I’ll bet Matthew didn’t have an older sister!”

Have you ever noticed how messed-up families are in Genesis? Here a quick summary:

Cain is jealous of Abel and kills him. Lamech, he introduces polygamy to the world. Noah – the most righteous man of his generation – gets drunk and curses his own grandson.

Lot, when his home is surrounded by residents of Sodom who want to violate his visitors, offers instead that they can have sex with his daughters. Later on, his daughters get him drunk and get impregnated by him – and Lot is the most righteous man in Sodom!

Abraham plays favourites between his sons Isaac and Ishmael; they’re estranged.

Isaac plays favourites between his sons Jacob and Esau; they’re bitter enemies for twenty years. Jacob plays favourites between Joseph and his other eleven sons; the brothers want to kill Joseph and end up selling him into slavery.

Their marriages are disasters:

Abraham had sex with his wife’s servant, then sends her and their son off to the wilderness at his wife’s request. Isaac and Rebekah fight over which boy gets the blessing. Jacob marries two wives and ends up with both of their maids as his concubines as well when they get into a fertility contest.

Jacob’s first born son, Reuben, sleeps with his father’s concubine.

Another son, Judah, sleeps with his daughter-in-law when she disguises herself as a prostitute. She does this because she is childless since her first two husbands – both sons of Judah – were so wicked that God killed them both; and Judah reneged on his obligations to her.

These people need a therapist.

They are not the Waltons. (Feel any better about your family?)

Why does the writer of Genesis include all this stuff?

There’s a very important reason. The writer of Scripture is trying to establish a deep theological truth: Everybody’s weird [broken]. Every one of us – all we like sheep – have habits we can’t control, past deeds we can’t undo, flaws we can’t correct. This is the cast of characters God has to work with.

John Ortberg

John Ortberg, 2003, Everyone’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them, Zondervan : Grand Rapids, Michigan, p.15-16

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 44:3 NIV

“The family that plays together stays together.” (Motto on the box of Trivial Pursuits board game.)

“It’s quantity of time at home and quality of time at work that counts; don’t get the two mixed up!”

Brian Tracy

A happy family is an advance on heaven.

A father said to his teenage daughter, “For the whole of your life we have either had to bribe you or else practically force-feed you to eat fruit and vegetables, and now you tell us you’ve become a vegetarian!”

Funny Mother’s Day; Mom Song