Memory Verse- John 3:16

I felt challenged by a friend who is a missionary to teach Joshua some memory verse. She gave me a lesson plan they use in Vacation Bible school or Sunday School. The first on the list is John 3:16.

For God so loved the world He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I thought, wow that’s going to be a long one. I read the different styles. Some use gestures like sign language, other methods are using color book to describe key words. I thought, il do the color one because the hand movement was more challenging.

So that morning, I got gold paper, red paper, blue paper, and white paper. Then, I got glue and several round cylinders used for creams. Fortunate for me I had about 5 of those.  So I cut the colored paper and asked Joshua to help me paste them on the cylinder tops.  And here we got the following:

1. GOLD – this represents GOD. Joshua placed eyes because God sees everything. Gold is glory and also reminds us that Heaven’s streets are gold.  

  

2. RED – This represents LOVE. It also reminds us of what Jesus has done was shed his blood on the cross because of His great love for us.

 

3. BLUE – This represents “the world”

 
4. CROSS – This represents Jesus and to tell us God gave Jesus. This part is “He gave Jesus”

 

5. Happy face – This represents the person who believes. Joshua says this is him.  The key word is BELIEVE. 

So I say: “so whoever …”
Then Joshua says: “Believes” 
I say: “in Jesus will not…”
then Joshua says: “die”
I say “but have eternal…”
Joshua says: “life”.
 

So we did this again and again… Soon to my surprise, Joshua can say the memory verse by using the illustration. I am amazed that my two year old can memorize this verse!  When verses like these are remembered, these become foundations to my little one’s mind and heart. He will remember that God loves him and his faith in Jesus gives him eternal life! That is a fundamental truth that will guard his heart from many lies. God is love and He loves us! 
  

  
  
  

I want to go to heaven

One of my heart’s desire and prayer is for my children to believe in Jesus in their youth. I take seriously the command of the bible in Deuteronomy 6:5-7

  
Joshua and I have conversations about God and Jesus because we get to read the toddler’s bible. We get to explore who God is through the stories in the Old and New Testaments. His favorite stories are Moses who prayed to God and the Red Sea opened, David and Goliath, the birth of Jesus, the Cross and Jesus’ Resurrection.

At night he sleeps to this song which his nanny has taught him -“Kay Buti Buti mo Panginoon” (God, you are sooo good). He can sing it too. 

But as of recent, our conversations have become more interesting. I explained to Joshua that heaven is a beautiful place and Jesus is in Heaven. He has prepared heaven for those who believe In Jesus and ask Jesus to come into their hearts. So I told him to ask Jesus to come in his heart and he said it… “Jesus, come in my heart”.  Then for how many days since our conversation… He has been asking about Jesus and he has been saying, “I want to go to Jesus. I want to go to heaven.” My response is, “me too, I want to go to heaven and to Jesus”.

 
The bible tells us that heaven is not only beautiful and perfect… It is also a place where we are in complete fellowship with God.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭3-4‬ NASB)

Joshua seems really excited to go to heaven because he was asking if we can ride the car and go there. I told him, we have to wait for Jesus to come and to take us to heaven. 

I know many probably freak out with this kind of conversation. But, if you believe in God and His Word, then heaven is where we all should desire to go. Even as young as 2 years old, my little boy is beginning to desire that too! (Who desires to go hell?  Not many I hope!)

In my quiet hours, I am thanking God for the opportunity of being able to share these moments with Joshua. It made me think, if parents do not teach God and their faith with their kids, then the world will teach them many confusing and (often) cruel things. 

I pray by God’s grace, I can raise my children in the fear and love of the Lord. My other prayer is that they grow up committed to love and serve the Lord, and influence others to do the same. 

Good Example

Joshua does not fail to amuse me… He is one smart little ranger (this is what his uncle Ken would call him). He was only 2 months when he started to to do tummy crawl. At 3 months he can open and close his hand when we would show him our fist opening and closing. He also got the gist of the “animal sound” game on my iphone, where he had to touch the screen in order for the animal to make its sound. He watches what we do, and imitates us.

Just the other night, Joshua woke up in the middle of the night. He was wide awake and did not want to go back to bed. Instead I decided for him to hang out with us in the room. He was resting on a pillow and watching tv just like his daddy. He just kept looking back and forth between the tv and his dad. Later, his eyes was just glued on his dad who was eating pakwan (Squash seeds). A little later, I found him on his tummy exerting effort to crawl. So I placed my hands at the sole of his feet to help him with his crawl. He pushed hard to get his way to guess where? He crawled from his side of the bed to his dad’s side!20130429-212434.jpg

A little later he stood by his dad and kept looking at what he was doing. He was observing his daddy cracking and peeling the seeds and chewing it. Later, Joshua understood that daddy seemed to enjoy it, and was constantly eating it. He became interested that he grabbed the bag and tried to give himself some…

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I was taking these photos and giggling while watching how Joshua was trying to imitate his dad. What dada does, he wants to do. He also does this when Steve works on his laptop, Joshua would come near and push himself downwards so his fingers could touch the keyboard. He has a fondness of his Dad, that he wants to try what his dada is doing.

What I saw just stuck in my head like God was showing me a life lesson. Parents have a great influence over their children. Joshua observed what his Dad was doing and followed it. It was not his dad’s words that he was imitating, but his dad’s actions. This reminded me, we as parents have to be good examples to Josh. “Actions speak louder than words” suddenly meant very real to me. Parenting should be intentional not a “que sera sera – whatever will be will be” kind.

God is showing me that our child will follow us… Our good traits and including our bad traits. So, we need God’s power to model righteousness so he would grow up to live in righteousness. We can’t teach this to our son, apart from God.

I realize as parents, we need to stay connected with The Lord. How else will we be able to raise our kids in the knowledge and love of God, if we starve ourselves from reading the bible and exercising love? I admit that with the demands of a young infant, I can find very little time for quiet time. But when I do, I feel empowered and energized. I can have more quiet time if I look at my Facebook less. Hahaha. It’s true though, God wants me to grow as a parent. He is teaching me many valuable lessons through his Word. So, I am writing this as a declaration that I will continue to have quiet time so I can grow in knowledge and love and that will make me the best mom I can be for my son. So help us God become good examples of your grace and love!