James 3:17-18 (ESV) 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
THOUGHTS FROM THE BOARD by Karen Kurtz
At the risk of exposing my faults and being vulnerable, there are times that I haven’t felt very ‘peaceable’. I’d like to think that I’m not alone in this. It’s sobering to look at the list of synonyms for peaceable listed here, and even more convicting to ponder the antonyms. Many rationalizations come to mind as justification to these less than desirable times, not the least of which includes being a devoted wife, diligent mom, and a dependable Contact Mom! Isn’t it supposed to be that since we know Jesus as our Savior, Redeemer, Helper and Friend that we should be at peace every moment of everyday? Why then do some days, or at least moments in the day, seem distantly removed from anything familiar to peace-filled?
When these less tranquil moments or flustered days materialize, usually the pressures and concerns of this world have skewed my focus. Attending to my relationship with God is the first area of assessment. John 14:27 expresses the peace God gives is not as the world gives. In fact, His peace is unknown to those who do not know Him. This sensible reminder that true wisdom and peace do not operate according to the aggression of this world puts things in clearer perspective. Furthermore, true wisdom always brings me closer to God and other people. The only way to do as Col. 3:15 says and let the peace of God rule in my heart is to focus my thoughts and fix my eyes on Jesus. When it’s ‘me’ in charge, calling the shots and insisting on my own way, selfishness and discord dictate. At these times, fear is directing and faith is lacking.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to be anxious for nothing … but to pray! The way to true peace is found in God’s presence; His presence provides peace. Training our minds toward praise, adoration and thanksgiving to our Savior, as well as admitting, repenting, and seeking forgiveness for our sinful thoughts, actions and attitudes restores peacefulness of heart. Permitting the peace of God to rule in our hearts necessitates trusting God’s ways and His means for our daily, moment-by-moment endeavors. He delivers the strength to put self aside and allow His Spirit to satisfy our heart. His peace is a continual gift, one that’s at our beck and call. As we begin to distinguish those times when our focus is tainted, petitioning the ‘Prince of Peace’ ensures transformation that produces rest and a peaceable soul.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it. ~ I Thessalonians 5:23-24
Most Commonly Asked Questions of Contact Moms
Q. With multiple children involved in various activities, our family life is hectic, my children tend to be irritable and get on each other’s nerves, how can I make our home more peaceful?
A. First assess the basics, how’s your Couch Time? Are you consistent with reinforcing the headship in your home by having consistent CT? This may seem unrelated, but it is not a catch-all response! And though you may be wondering how you can fit CT in your already busy life, the more important question is how can you not fit it in?! CT communicates harmony in your marriage; provides stability for your children; and creates security in their hearts. Their security yields peace in your home.
Unfortunately, this simple place to begin evaluating one’s home life is often minimized by many parents. When parents are on the same page (agreeing about the standard of behavior in the home, paying attention to their children’s attitudes and actions, and holding them to a consistent standard) the tone of the home becomes harmonious. When both parents are aware of and working to build the strengths and re-shape the weaknesses of their children, discord will fade. Basically, when Mom & Dad are consistent in the priority relationship that is displayed through Couch Time the propensity for children to act out toward you and one another is minimized. During Couch Time, evaluate your family’s and children’s activities. Are all the present undertakings necessary or could some be eliminated, at least for a season? Removing activities to allow time for assessing the necessity, timing and the value of your child’s participation is wise.
Be sure to take the necessary time to establish a daily structure and routine for each child. Many of us find it’s helpful to write down a daily routine for all your children. Establish regular, consistent, non-negotiable bedtimes. Fill in the constants — meals and school, then evaluate if and what activities can be included while still preserving the most important things including family time. In order to preserve family cohesion, we have found it works to evaluate good, better, best as it relates to each activity, keeping in mind the ages and stages of your children. Most importantly, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for your family.
Schedule a daily ‘quiet time’, meaning there are times when the noise level in the home is quiet, as well as a time when the children do something quiet like read or rest. This is over and above a personal quiet time with the Lord. This discipline is essential for you as the parent and for each child regardless of his or her age. Training your children to have a quiet time with the Lord, will establish a pattern that will serve them well throughout their lives. God desires peace to rule in our hearts and that can only happen when we are at peace with Him through trust in His precious Son and continual growth in His Word.
Defined as – Relationally right with God and man. Inclined or disposed to avoid strife, dissention, argument or conflict; not contentious, argumentative or hostile; free from strife or disorder; quietly behaved.
Synonyms – peace-loving, non-confrontational, easy-going, even-tempered, good-natured, friendly, gentle, inoffensive, tranquil, calm
Antonyms – quarrelsome, self-seeking, confusing, agitated, clamorous, turbulent
ON A PRACTICAL NOTE by Patricia LentzWhat does walking in Godly wisdom look like? One example is how God carried me through one of the darkest times of my life, more than 10 years ago. I was sitting in church the Sunday after we found out that our son had died during his time in Thailand (he had gone with YWAM Youth With A Mission to a Discipleship Training School DTS) overwhelmed with the reality that my son was, at that moment, in a hospital morgue half way around the world and our family would see him for the last time, on Friday. The simple word upset does injustice to the emotions that engulfed our entire family. Quietly the Holy Spirit reminded me that His grace and peace was sufficient for today. Not tomorrow, not next Friday, but for ‘today’. There was a choice to be made right then and there. The choice was to ‘fuss and fret’ about all that needed to happen between Sunday and Friday, and begin the long walk through grief, or trust that daily God’s grace would lead, guide and sustain me all the way to Friday (although I am confident that no one would admonish me for being anxious about ‘tomorrow’ given what was happening today). Thankfully, my choice was to trust God and as a result, received a front row seat watching as He guided me though that week with an immeasurable amount of peace. Anytime thoughts crowded in about what my family was going to face on Friday, the words from Philippians 4:6-8 as well as 2 Corinthians 10:5 would guide my thinking. God faithfully brought the entire family through that week. However, during our layover in the Bangkok airport that Friday, my mind was once again tormented by a lack of peace, a peace necessary to face our final good-bye to Jonathan (1983-2002). We would be seeing him for the last time in less than an hour, and all of us were acutely aware of the business at hand. Prompted to check my email, there was a note from someone who does not normally write reminding me of God’s continued grace, love and peace in life. Somewhere in the air, during the one-hour flight from Bangkok to Chang Mai, the peace came. God even provided me the opportunity to share the gospel with a couple sitting to my left and by the time I got off the plane to face the final ‘good-bye’, “the peace that passes all understanding was present in my heart.”Walking in Godly wisdom; free from strife, disorder and contention requires obedience. To respond to a situation in a counter-intuitive fashion or in a way that just isn’t you … to respond in a way that proclaims God to a watching world … that is walking in Godly wisdom.
Meet the Board:
Anne Ratliff, President
HISTORY with CFH: My husband and I started teaching classes in 1994. We attended our first National Leadership Conference in 1997 in Louisville, KY. It was there that I found out about CFH and Contact Moms. Soon after, I became a contact mom and attended CM meetings in my local area of Tulsa, OK, becoming a coordinator in 2002. I joined the board in 2004 as Secretary for several years, then as Vice-President, and recently have stepped into the role of President. I absolutely love helping moms understand the importance of their role as a wife and mother. I especially enjoy helping parents get started on the right track from the start – so Preparation for Parenting and the Toddler series are frequent classes at our house. CFH is all about coming alongside mothers with teaching and encouragement and I am all about that!
Family – Stacy and I were married in 1990. We have 3 beautiful daughters: Courtney (20), Calley (18), and Caitlynn (16)
Occupation – I am a full time wife and mother and I Love it! I have home schooled our girls from the beginning. Recently we are back to being self-employed, so that gives me plenty of opportunity to help out with our new family business – Big Sky Family Foods.
Hometown / Where I Live Now – I grew up near Rockford, Illinois. I went to college at Oral Robert’s University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That is where I met Stacy. We lived in Tulsa until 2008 when we moved to Missoula, Montana where we currently reside. We love living in Montana!
Things I Enjoy – Honestly, the thing I enjoy most at this point is spending time with my family – they are loads of fun! We all enjoy the outdoors, which works well with a Montana lifestyle. I enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, and hunting. I also enjoy scrapbooking all the memories.
Training children in character comes through training their hearts. Sheryl Nickels, a Mom with a wide age-span of both biological and adopted children is the speaker for this presentation. Sheryl reminds all Moms that they set the tone in their homes and are called to apply Biblical principles in their own lives and in the lives of their children. She also shares ways that Moms can instill Godly truths in their children. Click here to order.