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Teen spirituality on a tightrope walk

The tightrope walk may be an apt analogy for one's teen years. Exhilarating and risky, these years are better navigated following some serious practice time/strength training and a safety net. "Researchers are beginning to discover the importance of being a spiritual...

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The blessing of undivided attention

I’ve never been good at multi-tasking. It’s not that I didn’t try. I tried for years.  I just can’t hold my thoughts together when I’m working on multiple projects at once. It’s always been this way, so it’s not just because I’m getting older. I admit being jealous of...

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Predicting a hopeful future blesses children

Their future brightens when we bless children with a sense of assurance that they have what it takes to accomplish their goals, to push through challenges and heartaches. We do this through acknowledgement of the child’s worth. We back it up with our own investment of...

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A child’s must-have: a hope-filled future

I remember playing the fortune teller game as a kid. We would take a piece of paper, write dreamy messages and fortunes on it, then fold it origami-style to predict our future—you will be rich, you will be famous. Now I try to bless the children in my life with words...

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More than compliments communicate a child’s value

Adults do three things all the time to express how we value the children in our lives. I'm working at these things. I want to be are good at them because, more than compliments, these actions form a foundation of trust. 1. We keep our mouths shut and let the kid...

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Blessings that make a difference

Regardless of our differences in religion, language or ideas, there is no heart that is without an inner divine reference. And each family seems to have a unique impression about when, how and if God makes known his thoughts and feelings toward them, often referred to...

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Bless a child with the healing power of words

One of my family’s weirder slogans or expressions  -- Self-Praise Stinketh – came into being on account of me. As the story goes, I said so many nice things about myself that they shortened it to SPS to save their breath.  Later in life, I had to ask myself, “Why did...

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The gift of appropriate, meaningful touch

A dreaded part of my childhood piano lessons came on the days I got excused from school to go before an adjudicator for grading on my skills. I was very nervous, but I did well enough to receive small silver and gold pins signifying my competency. At times I felt...

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5 elements to help you bless others

The 4th Annual Backpack Blessing took place in a Georgia church at the start of this school year.  The event involves taking your backpack into church, suggesting that God’s presence moves into all spheres of life.  A staff member told The Huffington Post that the...

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5 actions to do right now that bless a child

I was an English major in college so I appreciate good, strong words. Blessing is such a word: "Landing a job allowing me to work at home has been a mixed blessing [has advantages and disadvantages]. Or "I live in a country where I enjoy the blessings of liberty"...

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A clear challenge to bless

Popular culture is full of tunes about blessing. From rapper Big Sean to Rascal Flatts, Celine Dion, Martha and the Vandellas, Irving Berlin and back again, we’ve got the topic covered. Basically, blessing means to wish well. Sometimes a young person will approach the...

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Routines build security in the human spirit

Young children are creatures of routine. As much as they may love the occasional adventure, they feel safer knowing they can fall back into their familiar patterns. See how this father creates a sense of security by making predictable routines for his son's life: “I...

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Teach kids a spiritual vocabulary

After five years of interviewing adults about their childhood spiritual experiences, I've seen common threads. Here's one: As children, they didn't have the vocabulary to express how they were processing spirituality and God. Can't you see it in what this man told me?...

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