Challenge Your Siblings to Seek the Lord (April Challenge)

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by Sarah L. Bryant

“I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
{Psalm 119:15-16}

The Word of the Lord never returns void. It is sharper than any two-edged sword.

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It pierces our soul and spirit, discerning the thoughts and intents of our heart. God’s Word is a light to our feet. It shows us the way to salvation in Christ and it reveals to us His very nature.

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It gives us hope for the future, and wisdom for how to live in a way that honors the Lord.

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Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? “By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.”

In light of the power of God’s Word in our lives as Christians, I am convinced that one of the most important things we can do in our youth is to study and memorize the Scriptures. This will establish a Rock-solid foundation in our lives that will never be taken away from us throughout the coming decades of our lives.

Sisters, it is so important that we not only seek God’s Word ourselves, but also encourage and challenge our brothers and sisters to love the Word – in their youth. We can set an example for them of putting our personal time with the Lord first in our daily lives, and encourage them to develop a solid habit of Scripture memory and Bible reading as well.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
{Psalm 119:11}

For the past few years, I have created a Bible reading challenge for my younger siblings: to read the Bible EVERY single day in the year – and not miss one day. They will receive a prize or treat if they complete the goal. They all have diligently and eagerly embraced this challenge successfully! What a blessing to see their perseverance! The Lord is blessing them as they seek the Lord and make personal Bible study a priority and habit. It is so exciting to see the spiritual fruit of this diligence in their lives, because God’s Word never returns void.

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My siblings all completed the 2013 Bible Read Challenge, so I took them all out for a fun breakfast together

What a blessing it is to seek the Lord with my brothers and sister, and to see the blessing and fruit of this in their lives. This is my fervent hope for my siblings:

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily:
and thy
righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.”
{Isaiah 58:8}

Love you, little bro!

Sisters, continue to encourage and challenge your sisters and brothers to seek the Lord TODAY – while He may be found! Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season the fruit will be reaped!

Wednesday is the last day of April – but not the end of our “Encourage Your Siblings” challenge! The goal of encouraging, exhorting, and praying for our brothers and sisters is one that should last a lifetime, and we pray that this past month you have firmly established that foundation to continue to build upon.

Do not forget to host a special party dinner for your siblings this week! Make this a fun project to work on together—plan the menu, decorations, special touches—make it unique and a very special time for your family. At dinner, together recite the verses that you memorized with your siblings this month.

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We would LOVE to hear about your sibling challenge this month, and your special dinner! Share your testimony (challenges@kingsbloomingrose.com), and if you’d like, send along pictures of you with your siblings, your special party dinner, or projects you did together.

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We are so thrilled that you took the challenge to invest in your siblings this past month. It is a joy to see you pour love and encouragement out into their lives. Continue to work along side them, encourage them in the Lord, and seek His Word together. As you sow, the Lord will bring the increase. “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). ♥

Grateful for the journey we share of learning together with our siblings,
Sarah Lee

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,
while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”
{Ecclesiastes 12:1}

 

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The Sister He Wants Me to Be (April Challenge)

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by Sarah Wiens

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,
kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
{Colossians 3:12-13}

It’s interesting being the middle child in a family with very large age gaps. Growing up, I was the youngest, and I longed for younger siblings. My older brother made it look very easy to be the oldest. He always had time to spend with me, even playing games with me that he did not particularly enjoy. I was sure that, if I had younger siblings, I would do just as well as he did as an older sibling – maybe even better!

Things changed when I was twelve years old . . . because that’s when I got younger siblings.

My two younger brothers and younger sister were adopted in May of 2008. I quickly realized that, rather than this being the end of the story, this was only the beginning! And, in all honesty, it looked like a rather scary beginning to me! My three younger siblings were not the sweet little angels I had imagined them to be . . . and, even more shocking to myself, I was not the sweet angelic older sister I had imagined myself to be, either.

There’s a lot I could say about my journey as a big sister. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve really been able to see the Lord’s hand at work. God brought them to us so they could hear the truth. It’s a mission field in our own home! That seems to be something I have to remind myself constantly, because it’s easy to write on the importance of being a good big sister – but it’s much harder to live out. It’s very difficult to give them my time when there are so many things that need to be checked off my checklist. It’s difficult to respond sweetly when my day is going chaotically. I know that Christ will give me strength to do what is right if I allow Him to control me, yet it is easy to give in to my flesh and just do what is natural. Being a big sister is hard.

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That’s when I have to think. When this season of life is over, how are my siblings going to remember me? With disdain, as they think about how selfish I was as I lived my own life and ignored them? Or with a smile, as they remember all the good times we had together? Most importantly, what are they going to think about Christianity from watching my life? These are sobering thoughts for me, as I think about my failures.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me…
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
{Romans 7}

Thank God that His mercies are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Each day is a new opportunity, yet I would still mess up if I had to do it on my own. I cannot be a good big sister on my own strength. But Christ is willing to make me the sister He wants me to be. He can use me as a tool for good in my siblings’ lives. Will I let Him work?

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
{1 John 3:18}

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This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” Throughout April, we are posting one article each week by big sisters, who will share encouragement and ideas for how to bless the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well – feel free to comment.

Feel free to tell your friends about this challenge and encourage them to join you as you “Encourage Your Siblings”!

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 Siblings Challenge April 2014

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Opportunities to Invest (April Challenge)

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by Rachel Crosswhite (16)
Oldest of Seven Children

As a big sister to five of the most wonderful brothers and one precious sister, I have plenty of opportunities to encourage my siblings. Each day the Lord gives me with my family is a priceless gift – and I thank him for both.

Here are some practical ways sisters can encourage their siblings. There are so many avenues you can travel down, but I hope these ideas and thoughts will only be a starting point for you.

-Memorize Scripture with your siblings. Encourage them in personal Bible reading. I know many of you are already doing that. One way my siblings and I like to get into God’s Word together is by participating in the National Bible Bee.

-Praise them! “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11). Words are so powerful – we can’t take them back after they have been spoken – why not say words that will build them up?!

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-For siblings of younger ages, tell them stories or read to them. My 2 year old brother, Micah, loves to cuddle in my lap have me read a story to him. Sometimes even my siblings that are older will gather round to hear also! You can also play with them. Micah loves for me to build him big train tracks or chase him in a game of tag. It’s also fun to sing together.

-Have a party, just because! Invite them to a special time together – it could be one-on-one or all together. Have a special snack and drink, maybe play a game they enjoy.

-Take an interest in their activities. A building project with the brothers, a little bread loaf your sister made or even a simple drawing your 2 or 3 year old sibling made are opportunities to praise them!

-Including them in your activities is another wonderful way to build relationships. They will be thrilled to be doing “big people things”. If you’re washing windows, get them a rag and let them help! Letting a little sibling help you with a baking project would make them so happy.

-Give them little letters and notes. I like to write little notes with scripture or a word of encouragement or praise to them. Put them somewhere where they’ll be surprised – like on their pillow.

-Do a special project or activity together. For brothers, this might mean playing baseball or Frisbee with them, building towers together with Popsicle sticks and hot glue, going with them on hikes or ATV rides in the woods… And for sisters, you could do a baking project together, card making or do her hair a special way. If you do not sleep in the same room, let her “camp out” on your floor once in a while.

-Give them hugs and tell them “I love you” often. You never know how much more time you have with them – treasure the moments! It’s so precious to have them return the smiles and hugs.

There are many, many more ways to encourage and bless our siblings. Branch out and find new ideas and activities and make lasting memories with them. May Jesus bless you abundantly – press on, sisters!  ♥

_________________________________________

This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” Throughout April, we are posting one article each week by big sisters, who will share encouragement and ideas for how to bless the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well – feel free to comment.

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 Siblings Challenge April 2014

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Memories that Will Last a Lifetime (April Challenge)

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By Amanda Silvey (20)
Second oldest of seven children 

The time we spend investing in the lives of our brothers and sisters is so important. Our younger siblings look up to us and, many times, we don’t realize how much they watch us. We can have a great impact through our example that we show them.

It’s very easy, especially with our younger siblings, to always be pointing out their faults. However this doesn’t help, but only hurts our relationship. We should rather seek to be building them up with words of encouragement and be patient with them (even after they’ve bothered us for the hundredth time). There’ve been many times that I have not been patient and I got frustrated and responded in anger. When I feel this way, I try to get alone and pray, asking the Lord to change my attitude. What we say and how we say it are so important. When we praise our siblings or tell them ‘great job!’ when they’ve completed a task, this will encourage them and brighten up their day.

Another way to encourage your siblings is to let the younger ones help you in things that you do. I’ve come to realize the importance of this and have seen the impact it can give. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to baking in the kitchen, and it is sometimes hard for me to let my younger siblings help. I’d think ‘They’ll mess up everything’ or ‘she won’t know how to do it right…it’d just be easier if I did it myself.’ I’ve come to see that it’s okay if the pancake batter is a little lumpy or you have an extra mess to clean up – the memories you’ll make are worth far more than having everything ‘just so’.

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Here are some things that I enjoy doing with my siblings:

  • Teach them how to play an instrument. Last year I started to teach my three younger siblings how to play the piano. It has been such a rewarding experience and I’ve enjoyed watching how fast they learn! My youngest sister purchased a violin recently and she has picked up on it very quickly as well as the others. In the morning, we have a time where we practice our instruments and we enjoy getting together and playing duets and other songs together.
  • On a nice day, take a blanket outside and have a picnic or just enjoy relaxing together. My two younger sisters love doing this and sometimes we’ll take out a book to read or something we’re working on.
  • Make a dessert together. Some days when Dad and my brothers have been out working hard, we girls will surprise them by making a dessert for dinner that night. The boys especially like that.

Last of all, I want to encourage you to follow Jesus’ example that He patterned for us in how He humbled Himself in serving others:

“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many.”
{Matthew 20:28}

If we seek to do this we will be unified in our family and bring glory to God in our relationships. May the Lord richly bless you as you seek to invest in the lives of your siblings! ♥

“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded
one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God,
even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
{Romans 15:5,6}

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This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” Throughout April, we are posting one article each week by big sisters, who will share encouragement and ideas for how to bless the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well – feel free to comment.

Feel free to tell your friends about this challenge and encourage them to join you as you “Encourage Your Siblings”!

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 Siblings Challenge April 2014

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Redeeming the Time (April Challenge)

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By Hope Schmidt (19)

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time.
{Colossians 4:5}

I have eight younger siblings, from Joy, who is two years younger than myself and my closest confident, to five energetic brothers; sensitive, five-year-old Liberty; and the baby, Grace, who is almost two.

I love them all, and wouldn’t trade my place in my family for any other position, but I also enjoy writing lists of things to do and then getting everything done. Only with so many younger siblings it is rare to get even a straight half hour of quiet without someone wanting help, wanting to tell me something, wanting to show me a picture…. Sometimes I would help my younger siblings, trying to sound cheerful even as frustration at the interruption mounted internally. More often I would, in a kind voice, tell them I was working and couldn’t come right then.

I knew my attitude was selfish, and I tried to do better and not to get irritated at interruptions, but I felt I was missing something important; that I should be doing more when it came to my younger brothers and sisters…doing more of something.

Then one day we heard a story. In it, the main characters’ world is drastically altered, and one girl mentions the fact that everything she has worked for up until then has vanished into a future that could never come to pass.

That got me thinking. If I lost all earthly possessions, what would still matter? What could I spend time on that would never be lost or destroyed? One answer stood out bold in my mind. The time I invested in my siblings and family; my relationship with them. Those minutes and hours could have eternal value as few other things could.

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This is only one circumstance in a series of events which steadily rooted conviction into my soul. I began to realize my siblings were far too important to ignore in favor of my own activities. The time I invest and spend with them each day will build relationships and character that will last long after I forget how long it took me to finish me list or whether I got my book finished or not.

I am not perfect by a long stretch, but I’ve learn much in the past few months and am discovering new ways to spend time with my siblings. The four youngest siblings love to help me in the kitchen, so I make it a point of inviting one of them to help me bake. They dictate stories for me to write down or sometimes I look up pictures for them.

Then there is all of the little things. Looking at the picture my brother colored, listening to the excited but long description of a new game someone has discovered, or letting Liberty sit on my lap during Bible time instead of knitting.

Spending time with our siblings does take time, but it is time that will never be wasted. We only have twenty-four hours each day. Let’s make sure we invest our time in what really matters. ♥

_________________________________________

This month, KBR is hosting an “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge.” Throughout April, we are posting one article each week by big sisters, who will share encouragement and ideas for how to bless the younger siblings in our lives. We would love to hear your ideas as well – feel free to comment.

Feel free to tell your friends about this challenge and encourage them to join you as you “Encourage Your Siblings”!

_________________________________________

 Siblings Challenge April 2014
 

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