Celebrate BC Family Day with kindness
Celebrate BC Family Day with kindness
by Judi Vankevich
As we celebrate BC Family Day this month and begin to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, this is a great time to think about the strength of our nation’s families – the foundation of our nation.
Many families are struggling – problems with marriages, finances and with their children. Many parents are overwhelmed with their children’s defiance, disrespect, whining, rudeness and lack of gratitude. Bad behaviour is actually not a new problem. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle noted, “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”
Research has shown that as the family breaks down, crime increases. Our government spends millions of dollars on those who cannot control their behaviour – stealing, killing, drug and alcohol related crimes, bullying, disrespect for police and authority figures. This lack of self control and the “do your own thing” attitude has caused a myriad of social and economic problems.
Even simple courtesies both within our families and out in the community – such as a friendly nod as you pass someone, holding the door, saying “please” and “thank you” – manners that not too long ago were just givens in society are no longer evident and common courtesy doesn’t seem to be so common.
Social skills that were traditionally taught and modelled in the home are now often missing as children enter school and our young people enter the workforce. Employers bemoan the fact that they can’t find hardworking, ethical employees who have the social skills and that are critical in business. Our young people are neither being trained in vital life skills, nor the foundational principles of a civil society. Society is paying the price.
Many parents and youth don’t actually know the foundations of our civil and free society is something called common law from which naturally flow common sense and common courtesy. As our school curriculums have changed, our children aren’t learning certain key elements of our history, including information about common law and that it was based on the Decalogue, The 10 Commandments, God’s foundational principles for a civil society. I don’t know about your school, but when I was a kid, the 10 Commandments hung up above our classroom door, right beside the picture of the Queen and near the Canadian flag. Now as we celebrate BC’s Family Day and this 150th birthday year of our country, let’s get back to the basics of a civil society and strong families, and as parents and grandparents, be intentional in passing our faith, virtues and values on to the next generation.
Building character, civility and courtesy in our children’s lives won’t happen by accident. Let’s commit to teaching our kids the true Canadian values that our parents and grandparents passed on to us: to live with character, kindness and gratitude. To love our neighbour as ourselves and to treat others as we would like to be treated. To work hard and to go an “extra mile with a smile.” Plus when we’re not fighting and complaining our family life will be a whole lot more fun! Let’s ask God to shine His light, love and goodness through our lives and pray that our families will stay strong and be a blessing in our community and in our nation. And together, let’s celebrate Family Day all year long!
Judi Vankevich, B.A., M.A., aka “Judi The Manners Lady” is the President of The Manners Club and Life Skills Int’l and the Director of the non profit, Canadian and American Centres for Manners & Civility. Her Canadian Campaign for Kindness and Proud to Be Canadian campaigns are official Canada 150 projects, inspiring citizenship, character, and civility. Judi will lead the Children’s Program at the Family Matters Conference for BC Family Day Weekend. TheMannersLady.com
God shows up by Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson
Is there anything as devastating as the sheer pain of something going wrong in our families? I have seen a father cry who has left no stone unturned in trying to rescue his son from a cocaine addiction. My dear friend has faced the agony of her husband saying he didn’t love her anymore and walking out the door. That was six years ago. She waits for God to restore. Watching our daughter walk into an abusive relationship or face the overwhelming emotions of an unexpected pregnancy can give us sleepless nights and pangs of anxiety. How will God fix this?
I was leading my weekly Bible study in a women’s prison last month and they were preparing for yet another Christmas without family. Some of these beautiful women had learned to adjust to missing their husbands, kids and grandkids from behind the cold walls of jail, but without kinfolk to hug and hold; if something has really gone wrong in this area of our lives, it is an agonizing cup of despair.
You may have been in a painful family trial for a while now. A crisis has hit your life that has rocked your world. You feel like it is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. You may have started out clinging to anything that seemed familiar for support; family, friends, accomplishments, assets, or even your addictions and yet you soon found that none of it could take away your pain. You feel like you’re alone. You may call a friend or two, but you’re still isolated when you get off the phone. That’s when you remember something you heard long ago “There is a Friend, Who stays closer than a brother…” Even closer than, like my brother, who came marching across the school playground when we were kids in Tuktoyaktuk, to save me from being beaten up by some bullies. He was shorter than all of us, but when he yelled at them with a fierceness in his eyes that told them he would die fighting to save me… they actually backed off. Will God defend my situation like that? Will He march across the circumstances of life to rescue me? Will He show up with a vengeance on my behalf?
I want to assure you today that God is coming to save you from the storm you face today! For those of you who fear that God has forgotten you; for those who wonder where God is when all unholy hell is breaking out in your life…for those who need to be reminded that He is the most powerful advocate and ally in the universe…remember who you serve. There are times when we need a divine miracle from heaven or it just won’t change. That’s God’s specialty. He is closer and definitely more powerful than a brother. Isaiah 35:3-5 (NIV) says, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’ Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.”
Wow. “He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Our God is not a powerless God. He is not weak or out of ideas. He knows precisely, intimately and with great attention to every detail, exactly what you are going through and He is coming to save you. He has designed the solution for your family problem.
I went through a family crisis that brought me to the end of me. I was undone with pain. Isaiah 35 became my anchor. God promised to show up when my knees were failing for fear; and He did! In a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing way! I was undone at His power! I’ve never doubted His ability since. That’s what the family crisis taught me. Unwavering faith in God.
There may be times when adversity is testing our faith and sometimes the stretching might even feel like it is too much to bear. You might be tempted right now to just give up, throw your hands in the air in despair and question if God even cares about what you are going through. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Crushed in spirit. That’s a whole new level of pain.
There is great news today for you. The greatest power in the universe has been by your side the whole time. You can trust Him. If your heart is fearful today, and you cannot see how your trial will end, be comforted in this, God is at work to bring it to an incredible ending at the appointed and set time, “with a vengeance”.
Family Matters 2017 Conference
Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson will host and speak at the Family Matters conference at Christ Worship Centre in Surrey, Feb. 10-11, 2017. Other keynote speakers will include: Dr. Dave Currie, founder and president of Doing Family Right ministries, a frequent contributor to the Light Magazine; Pastor Darin Latham, lead pastor of Broadway Church, known for his humorous yet thought-provoking, dynamic teaching style; and many other pastors and presenters teaching breakout sessions, targeting various members of the family unit with tracks for men, women, couples, singles, youth and children.
With the family unit going through transformations and undergoing major changes in recent years (single parent homes, blended families for example ) now more than ever families need solid teaching, support and encouragement to help see them through challenging and perhaps even desperate times. Yet, we know that whether a natural family, a newly formed coming-together family or a spiritual family, God loves families and builds His church on the principle of a strong and loving family unit. To Him, and for all of us who care for others – FAMILY MATTERS!
In a collaborative effort with host church Christ Worship Centre in Surrey, BC, In His Presence ministry, Beracah Productions, The Light Magazine, and a community of leaders, pastors, and sponsors who love and believe in family and the strength it brings to our society and churches, the Family Matters conference is designed to educate, inspire, bless and promote the family unit and jump-start your 2017 year!
Plans are also being explored for a possible family retreat getaway just after schools break up for the summer.
Guest speakers, teachers and presenters of the conference in February will provide practical, uplifting, biblically sound information that will not only illuminate God’s divine purpose for the family but also allow attendees to examine their own family matters and take steps to correct, rebuild, strengthen and maintain strong families in their homes and in their spiritual family at church.
So bring your family or church family, or sponsor a family to the event, and start 2017 off on a positive, inspiring “familiar” note!
Registration and full details at www.worshipvancouver.com
Full children’s program running also during the day! (for 5-12 year olds; Under 5 free registration)
Share our event invite page with your friends and church family at https://www.facebook.com/events/1240329679382154
Call for details or questions @ (604) 879-1124 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org