Five Minute Family

Clear View Retreat

Your family matters. And, it is in the random minutes throughout the day when you can show just how much you love them. Five Minute Family is a quick five-minute podcast to give you encouragement, ideas, and biblical wisdom to get you motivated to begin investing five minutes a day (that snowball into more and more minutes) to transform your family life. read less

Becoming a Five Minute Family
28-01-2020
Becoming a Five Minute Family
www.clearviewretreat.orgTRANSCRIPT:Welcome to the ‘Five Minute Family’ brought to you by Clear View Retreat, a family retreat ministry enlightening God’s relationship principles to families in both the ‘norms’ and ‘storms’ of life. Join us as we explore various aspects of family life. Today, we would like to introduce our concept of the ‘Five Minute Family.’Do you sometimes feel your family is a chaotic mess? We all mess up, often and every day, but a “Five Minute Family” can commit to intentionally investing five minutes a day to change their family patterns and pour love, life, and affirmation into each other. New patterns of relating will lead to more sweet interactions and a loving, Godly family unit.What five minutes will you give to your family?Here are our recommendations for the big three and why:1) the first minute of the day. Taking 60 seconds to give a hug and ask, “how’d ya sleep?” means that you are willing to invest in that person for the moment, letting them know that you value their being in your life. And, yes, that may mean stopping on a hectic school morning to take a minute to express your love2) the first minute you reunite. When we come back together, we are often ready to unload all the emotional baggage we have been accumulating throughout the day. Stop. Take the first minute to acknowledge that your loved one has also had emotional, intellectual, and physical experiences that are affecting how he or she feels right now, too.3) the last minute of the day. No matter how bad the day might have been, science shows that proper, adequate sleep is vital to physical AND emotional intelligence. By giving your loved one that final minute in peace and security in love, you offer them the ability to face each and every day.Other ideas for your next two minutes:• the last minute before you separate for the day. Take a moment to calm your hearts (even if you have been bickering, rushing, or fussing). Pray a quick prayer: “God, please stay with him/her.” You can add in a specific need for that day. Keep it short.• the first minute of dinner. Many families pray at the beginning of their meals. That’s great. Before or after that prayer, take a minute (per family member preferably) to ask open-ended questions and listen to what is on one another’s minds.• the first minute of errands or chores. Now, admit it. When tasks must be completed, we often get frustrated much more easily, especially if we are working with our children. Take the first minute to lovingly reaffirm why you are doing this (no lectures please!) or listen to why your children may be upset about doing so, etc. Being intentional to show love and acceptance is the point for the first minute.• the first minute together after a ball game or event… build up your son or daughter or spouse. Don’t mention the missed shots, dropped balls, and the like. Do mention something you like about watching them play or something they did well (even if it was how they listened to the coach, even if they didn’t hit the ball)Choose your five minutes and begin today making an impact that will last a lifetime!Thank you for joining us today. Please visit us online at clearviewretreat.org for more information. We pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, the richness of His glory, and the infinite greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Digital Connection
04-02-2020
Digital Connection
TRANSCRIPT:Are you ready to transform your family? Please join us today for Clear View Retreat’s family radio devotion that we call the ‘Five Minute Family.’ Families need to invest time, thought, and initiative into one another, and we spend five minutes here each week looking at different topics and how a ‘Five Minute Family’ can maximize time throughout their day to live out God’s relating principles.Thank you for joining us again. We are Jim and Kim Nestle, founders and directors of Clear View Retreat. Please remember that though the suggestions we talk about are five-minute time frames; these are just the starters. We are not striving to check off our five minutes of intentional relating and then drawing back into ourselves. As we intentionally choose nuggets of time scattered throughout the day to invest in one another, we honor our loving and intentional God.You are absolutely right, Jim. So, Five Minute Family, if you heard us last week, how did you do choosing your five one-minute moments to invest in each other? Have you been intentional to complete those five minutes (and possibly more)?We would love to hear how your week went, connect with us at: clearviewretreat.org and email us your thoughts and questions. Today, we will be discussing digital connections.The biggest elephant in any room today is either the smallest computer (our phones) or the largest wall ‘decoration’ (our TVs). Let’s explore how a ‘Five Minute Family’ can traverse this digital age. We parents and spouses cannot simply demonize screens and expect our loved ones to follow suit, especially our children. For example, my fifteen-year-old son has asked me multiple times to play a new video game with him. I keep saying no. One, I am awful at video games, and, two, I really can’t stand them. However, it hit me that he is not asking me to play a game; he is inviting me into his world. If I continue to push him away, I will deal with those consequences for many years to come. At some point, he will believe that I do not value him because I do not value what is important to him. That is NOT the message I want to send. So, I am going to find five minutes (or, more likely, five one-minute segments because I am not sure I can handle the video games for a full five-minute chunk), and I am going to intentionally engage with my son. Hopefully, as I learn more about his world small amounts of time will snowball into more.You see, we need to choose connection WITHIN our kids’ worlds, including the digital part. We can ask open-ended questions such as ‘how does this game make you feel?’ Cheesy? Maybe, but, still, we need our children (and ourselves) thinking about the impact of the screen time we have. Other questions you can ask include: how does this help you connect to others? how will these skills help you in the future? and what do you think the creators were trying to accomplish with [this] aspect of the game?Mom, dad? Husband, wife? Do you need to stop vilifying your loved one’s screen time and not wondering about your own (don’t worry, we’ll get into the more in a few weeks)? Is there a minute that you can take to share your digital world with your spouse or your child so that they know that they matter in all areas of your life? Researchers share that this is the only time in history when those who had no digital exposure as children and those who have had digital exposure before birth will live together. Digital is here to stay, so what do we do?When we enter into our loved one’s digital world, we have more influence and understanding of who they are. As we expose them to other aspects of life, we can hook into what is happening in their digital world because we have had glimpses of it. Make the digital world your ally instead of your enemy, and you will better reach your children’s hearts.For further reading, we recommend a few good books out there: Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating...
Valentine's Day
11-02-2020
Valentine's Day
TRANSCRIPT:Welcome to the ‘Five Minute Family’ brought to you by Clear View Retreat, a Christ-centered family retreat ministry. Please join us as we explore various facets of family life during this family-sized radio devotion. You can check out more information about CVR at clearviewretreat.org.Alright, let’s dive in.Ah, hello Five Minute Families! How are you doing today? This week is Valentine’s Day. Now, many of you are probably thinking, “oh, great, another ‘spend your money’ made-up greed day. History shows us that February has long been celebrated as the month of romance. The legend of St Valentine isn’t clear, but the truth of our Lord is. Never forget that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of love for us, and when we step up for those He has placed in our lives, we honor our very relational and loving God.Here we would like to offer five five-minute ideas for your Valentine’s Day celebration.1. Turn on your wedding song and dance in the living room. Yes, embarrass those teens. Yes, let the littles wait a few minutes for their treat. The goal here is to give each other undivided attention. Maybe you are not a dancer. You can sit and hold his or her hand for the length of the song. Take this time to think back on your wedding day or the first time you saw your spouse and share a great memory and how they made you feel. It’s okay to get a little cheesy here, get a little romantic – it’s about building up that other person, so speak to their heart.2. Ya gotta eat breakfast, right? Take two minutes to write your favorite thing about your spouse on a blank sheet of paper, draw a flower, and take a tray – a cookie tray if you have to – and put breakfast on the tray and carry it upstairs. Simply say, “I love you.” Five minutes of time on your part and hours of warmth in your spouse’s heart. If you are including the kids, make sure you take time to intentionally reach out to your spouse, express your love and appreciation for him or her, not as a parent but as a unique and wonderful individual in your life.3. Valentine’s is a Friday this year. Take an extra five minutes at the end of dinner, even if it has to be at home with all the kids around because money is tight. Take out a dessert of any type that you already have on hand (extra points if you stop by the store on the way home and grab her favorite candy bar – hint hint) Basically, anything that your spouse loves, and as you present it to him or her share five things that you are thankful for that he or she does.4. Maybe you guys are in the thick of the younger years which can be so physically exhausting. Or, maybe you are busy trying to keep up with the grandkids. Whatever stage of life and despite whatever routine patterns you have developed… Take five minutes to do a chore that your spouse typically does. A word of caution here, please do not choose the chore you argue the most about or do a chore that you think he or she doesn’t do fast enough to prove how little time it takes. In the overall scheme of life, five minutes does not seem like that much time. But, at different ages and stages in life, five minutes can be overwhelming. Have you ever left a toddler alone for five minutes? Well, then, you know that you may have just bought yourself 5 hours of clean up and repair work if you have done so. Five minutes is relative, and we know that five minutes of intentional relating is the difference between striving and thriving. So, prayerfully and LOVINGLY choose a chore that will bless your spouse, not make him or her feel belittled or inadequate.5. One final idea … maybe give your spouse a five-minute pass to use this weekend (it could be a five-hour or five-day pass – depending where you are in life). Give them the ability to invest in self-care so that he or she is better able to meet the needs of the family at times when they must.Remember, we love because God first loved us. We love because...
Digital Fasting
18-02-2020
Digital Fasting
TRANSCRIPT:Each family is unique and made for a purpose. At Clear View Retreat, we celebrate those distinct purposes and hope to illuminate God’s relationship principles to deepen family discipleship and biblical community. Thank you for joining us this week for our radio devotion the ‘Five Minute Family.’How has your week progressed as you have been intentional with your loved ones? Please jump onto our website clearviewretreat.org and share your thoughts with us in the comments.Two weeks ago we touched on making a digital connection with your family members. Still thinking along the lines of digital, this week we want to inspire you to think about the biblical concept of fasting… yes, that’s right, fasting from your digital devices. Now, why would we encourage digital connection one week and digital fasting so soon after? Simple… Balance.But, first, a quick glimpse at biblical fasting. As David Mathis at DesiringGod.org states, “Fasting is voluntarily going without food — or any other regularly enjoyed, good gift from God — for the sake of some spiritual purpose.” That is why, in this age of ‘all things digital’ we need to make sure that we are keeping our focus on God at all times. So, we balance digital connection with digital fasting in order to make sure that God is preeminent in our lives.At one point in our family’s past, we would fast from all things electronic for the whole month of February, with one family movie a week. One of our sons was so resistant to the concept one year that he sat on our big recliner chair every free moment. I would suggest he go play or work on a fun project or create a song or read a book or, well, you get the picture. No matter what I said, he would just sit there and say, “I want to play xbox.” For 28 days he sat on that chair.Now, it might seem like our digital fast failed because one of our children was so resistant to it, but it didn’t. As parents and spouses, setting the example for our loved ones and following God’s example is never a failure, even if we don’t see fruit for years or we learn lessons on how to do it better the next time. In the years prior, it had been easier to guide them away from the screens in the house. While many of us had spent more time in God’s Word and enjoyed games we hadn’t played in a while, we learned that we should have planned some strategic and intentional events that would have brought our family better focus on the Lord and His purpose of fasting rather than just ‘not being on screens.’In different examples of fasting in Scripture, we see different purposes for fasting. Acts 14:23 illustrates fasting to seek God’s wisdom. In Ezra, God’s people are seeking deliverance or protection. In Jonah, the people of Nineveh fasted to repent and ask God to save them. When the Israelites in Judges 20 needed help to gain victory over their enemies, they fasted first. Being devoted to God means putting into practice those disciplines He expects of us.Often, if fasting is not already a practice of ours, it can seem overwhelming at first. So, just as experts suggest folks start small with a food fast, we suggest you start small with a digital fast, especially if your family has a large digital footprint. Twenty-eight days at that time in our lives wasn’t a big deal because our children were younger, and we were not tied to things like smart phones. Now, twenty-eight days would seem isolating for our kids who keep in contact with some good friends via their online games and, honestly, quite difficult for us.So, how do we break down the concept of a digital fast for a ‘Five Minute Family’? Obviously, you will need to invest more than five minutes for the fast to actually be a fast. Maybe you can take five hours of your typically “prime time” digital footprint. The next time, maybe, you take five hours of prime digital time for five straight days. Perhaps, for your family’s...
Social Media
25-02-2020
Social Media
TRANSCRIPT:Take a moment to think about your biggest regret yesterday? Most likely, it involves a close relationship. Stick with us for the next five minutes for Clear View Retreat’s ‘Five Minute Family’ broadcast, and we will help you find new ways to make today, tomorrow, and everyday one without regrets.Good morning, five minute families! How did your digital fasting go? As we seek to find balance in this digital age, we must address social media. I heard recently about a “social media influencer” who had photographed and posted about her children for years. Her now-teenage daughter was upset and bought a number of clothing items that said things like, “No permission to use my image,” “Don’t take my picture.” Etc. The mom was angered because she had built her platform around sharing her family with the world. We could brush off the teen as being overly dramatic or rebellious, or further scorn her among family and friends, as we have all witnessed someone lambasting another friend or family member. We could also point fingers at the influencer mom and scorn her over her choices and lifestyle. But, let’s move beyond pointing fingers.Before the days of social media, our oldest son had bell’s palsy. He looked like Buddy Hackett, the old comedian, when Buddy would make his sideways ‘o’ face. Our son looked adorable to us, no matter what was happening with his face. We took family pictures for our upcoming Christmas cards, but our son quite sadly asked us to please not send out a picture of him that year. We respected his request, though somewhat disappointed ourselves. He was embarrassed and was going through a difficult trial for his young life. As parents, we must take pause and realize that our children are not here as our possessions to do so with however we see fit. They are individuals entrusted to us by a loving God with whom we get to navigate this time of life. Mutual respect and responsibility are important.Here are five suggestions to allow your family to lovingly and respectfully engage with social media:Take time to get the person’s permission before posting.Allow an extra five minutes if necessary to grab a picture your child will feel positive about.Before you post ANYTHING on social media, take five minutes to think and pray about what you are about to share.If your children have social media, be sure to take five minutes to review your child’s social media posts. Allow those to be teaching points or talking points in your relationship. The goal being helping them grown and learn, not feel defeated or shamed.Set limits on what can be posted about. Putting our worst moments onto social media or engaging in “bashing” text messages do not allow family members the space to realize their own mistakes or allow for hurts to be fully forgiven. How often have we heard of celebrities who get frustrated that folks keep bringing up their past when they have changed and grown? We all might not be celebrities, but what is put on social media is there for everyone to repeatedly bring up. If we do not set safe, loving, and proper boundaries for ourselves and our children, we are allowing the enemy a stronghold into replaying those hurts over and over again.Ok, so, let’s explore for a moment having already made a social media mistake…How many times have we “aired our dirty laundry” out with others instead of turning to Christ for direction? Way too often those posts, online conversations, and in-person conversations are not glorifying or edifying to anyone.If you have hurt someone with a social media post, take 5 minutes and pray about how to you will approach them. As a parent and friend, I have found that giving a genuine apology can be a great first step in reconciling a relationship, and a genuine apology shows that you are not afraid to be real and open to further conversation.When having...
Five Minutes Alone
03-03-2020
Five Minutes Alone
TRANSCRIPT:Clear View Retreat brings you this ‘Five Minute Family’ radio devotion to help in both the norms and storms of life. A Five Minute Family is one who is trying to choose God and His relationship principles, no matter what chaos is raging around them.We consider all family compositions when we write our devotions because we know that families come in all shapes and sizes – kids in the home, no kids, single parent families, blended families, and more. This particular ‘Five Minute Family’ is primarily for families with kids still in the home, although God’s relating principles are true for all of us and can be applied in many ways.With kids in the home, life has its own unique level of stress. Is the baby needing constant holding making you wish you hadn’t become a mom? Is the toddler damaging something else making you wish you could spend more time at the office – AWAY from home? How about that teenager whose hormones are making the teenager in you come out?Parents, we all need a timeout sometimes. Don’t feel guilty if you need to evaluate how you are handling family life and take a step back briefly.As a young mom, I loved spending time with my son. I had friends who within weeks of their kiddos’ births wanted a weekend away or a night to themselves. But, I truly did not understand their feelings. I enjoyed waking up with him in the night, playing games throughout the day, tending to all his needs, holding him all day long if needed. I didn’t doubt my love for him, and I didn’t doubt my willingness to do anything and everything he needed. Until… our second baby came along. Napping while the baby napped was no longer an option. Being pulled in two different directions for two different sets of needs developmentally became a challenge for me. I kept feeling that I needed desperately to get away. As an exclusively nursing mom, getting away for long was not an option. Once I was going to go to a movie so I could have some “not mommy” time, but Jim was concerned that our younger son (and possibly the older one, too) would cry for the hours I would be away. I had always responded to every cry, to every call, and that was taking me away.I could see that Kim needed a break, but as young parents living away from family without any help on a daily basis, I wasn’t sure what to do. So, after realizing that Kim was running on empty and giving less and less of herself without being refueled, one day, I took our sons into a separate area of the house. I got her her favorite snacks, set her up with a movie and a book, and finally realized that I needed to give her the space to refuel.After that afternoon, Jim and I both learned a lot. We learned that he could take care of the boys without my hovering over everything, and I learned that I could not continue to give 100% of myself 100% of the time. By truly entering a state of rest and relaxation, I was able to begin the parenting process again – and in a much healthier way.Here are five suggestions for DAILY refreshment in the world of childhood chaos, so that you can continue to give of yourself WHILE ALSO TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.Five minutes of Bible reading… google for verses for the topic that is most pressing in on you or just search for verses of encouragement. God has a message for you; you just have to be reading it to hear it.Five minutes of Christian music… Research shows that music is an amazing stress reliever. We personally love the MercyMe Lifer album, but any music style that you like that will bring your focus onto God and His purpose for you is what matters.Five minutes of extra shower time… now, environmentalists please don’t complain… we all need therapy at times, and if you can’t get into talk with a counselor or mentor, then taking a few minutes in a steamy bath or shower allowing your muscles to relax can bring you refreshment.A...
Grief and Loss
10-03-2020
Grief and Loss
TRANSCRIPT:Good morning, Five Minute Families. Join us for the next five minutes as we explore God’s grace in the midst of our pain and hurts. And, for more information about our grieving family retreats, please click on the “Grieving Families” link under the “retreats” tab at our website: clearviewretreat.orgA week ago many fellow Tennesseans suffered countless hurts and losses when tornados tore through numerous counties. The volunteer response has been astounding. From individuals who donated their time to clean up debris to companies giving their employees paid time off to help in the relief effort to the regional hospital not sending out bills from their ER work, so many folks are lovingly overwhelmed with hope and help in the midst of suffering. In some cases, they have had to turn volunteers away because there were so many who showed up.As the days, weeks, and months pass, the new reality of those affected will be vastly different than anything they could have planned for. Grief and loss will do that. We think that we prepare well and do all we can to mitigate the damage – both physical and emotional – but we were created to be relational beings, and when those relationships are impacted by death and destruction, we can never fully understand until we are in the midst of the pain.Here are five suggestions on how you can help others during their grief, which, by the way, may last much longer than you expect:1. Let them share… even if you have heard their story before. In times of crisis, we often forget who we have talked to, what we have said, or what we have even done. You may even have a friend or family member who wasn’t directly affected, but he or she is responding to this tragedy as if it is their own. Be sure to ask open-ended questions and allow them to work through their fears and concerns.2. Use their loved one’s name. A common misunderstanding for many folks is that if they use the name, then they will bring up sadness. Your friend or neighbor is already thinking of their loved one. By using his or her name, you open the doors to allow memories, thoughts, and emotions to be expressed in a healthy manner.3. Offer specific, practical help, not just a blanket statement such as “please let me know if you need anything.” It can be hard in loss to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and anticipate the needs. For the tornado victims, many others thought of practical needs such as basic hygiene products or doing laundry. If you are helping someone deal with the death of a loved one outside of a natural disaster, one idea, if you are willing to do so, is to offer to clean a part of their home such as the bathroom or kitchen. When our son Jedidiah died, one of the men of our small group who had lost a child of his own years earlier, went into the kitchen and cleaned it completely without our knowing. It was the next morning before we realized what he had done. That tangible service was a blessing we will never forget.4. Please be praying for them. If you don’t know their specific needs, a general prayer is fine, but if you have the chance to ask them specifically what you can be praying for, you may be surprised at what they need most in that moment. The ask will bring the two of you closer while allowing your prayers to be more practical for your friend.5. Lovingly normalize receiving counseling or therapy. Since some folks are sensitive about the subject and feel like the suggestion of quote “maybe you should get some counseling” unquote means there is something wrong with them, you can start by saying instead, “When I went to counseling…” or if you have never had counseling but had a great pastor, mentor, or confidante, “Talking through our losses is so important…”Here at Clear View Retreat, we offer families a place of respite and refreshment whether in the norms and storms of life. But, God offers respite and peace anywhere. Be His...
Quarantine
17-03-2020
Quarantine
TRANSCRIPT:Welcome to the ‘Five Minute Family’ brought to you by Clear View Retreat, a family retreat ministry enlightening God’s relationship principles to families in both the ‘norms’ and ‘storms’ of life. Join us each week as we explore various aspects of family life. Today, we are tackling the quarantine blues.For the quarantines to be truly protective of vulnerable populations, we must limit our public event interactions. That’s going to translate to A LOT of time to fill at home. Five Minute Families will possibly be better titled ‘five week families’ for the time being.While we need to be intentional about the added time that we will spend together, please remember that we do not need to fill every moment for our children or for ourselves. One of the reasons we promote the concept of ‘disconnect to reconnect‘ here at CVR is so that conversations can be “organic,” meaning that the conversations we have with one another are characterized by continuous or natural development, not forced attentions and exchanges. Likewise, we know that children who engage in unstructured play and make-believe are developing essential psychological and emotional capacities as well as learning to solve problems and create new possibilities.If you are a crafty person who feels thwarted during regular schedules, this should allow more flexibility for those creative ideas to flow. If you are a highly structured person who feels that you or your children will be missing out on quality academic options, then you will want to take advantage of the many educational opportunities online that are being opened for free, if only temporarily. Scholastic has a program opened to affected students, and there is a growing list of opportunities at the website amazingeducationalresources.com. If you do an internet search for ‘ideas during the quarantine,’ lots of great ideas will pop up.The best way to introduce whatever ideas you may have would be through structure and an expected routine. Now, please do not try to recreate school at home. While some families may be able to pull that off, usually it causes more frustration than it helps. Five areas we suggest a Five Minute Family builds into their daily routine are:1. Quiet time/Me time: Don’t neglect your Bible time and be sure to find segments of the day in which everyone is expected to do something quietly on their own for a specific period of time.2. Contact time: Use this age of technology to your advantage. Please video chat with your older family members who are more susceptible to the worst symptoms and outcomes of this virus. Call and text. Keep in touch with folks outside of your home on a daily basis to keep connections going despite the level of quarantine you or your loved ones may be experiencing.3. Intentional computer time: Again, those online resources come into play here, but also, actual video play time. Kids aren’t going to want to schedule their video game time, but encourage your child to be proactive to chat with online friends to set specific game times so that no one will feel left out and they get to have some fun together.4. Project time: Do you have projects around the house that have been waiting for a bigger chunk of time to complete? Well, here is a gift in disguise. Use your time wisely. Non-house projects may include starting new hobbies such as drawing, painting, cooking, playing a musical instrument, or practicing magic tricks.5. Outside or Physical time: Do not forget to include physical movement EVERY SINGLE DAY of your isolation. If it is raining or too cold, please make sure you have a fifteen to twenty minute “Inside Moves” plan. You can print off some stretches, pull up youtube videos of exercise sequences, or just make up your own.No matter how well you plan, being shut-in is difficult. Be mindful of each family member’s emotional health needs, and keep lines of communication open to...
Spiritual Connection
24-03-2020
Spiritual Connection
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. Thank you for taking the next few minutes to reflect on God’s plan for the believing family.We are truly living in unprecedented times. The US has not seen closures and shortages to this scale in over seventy years when the world powers were at war with each other. We are at war now but with a virus – together. Please note, fellow believers, that the battle is not fully ours to win. We must do our parts, of course, but God will be the champion of this battle and ultimately this war.During this time of social distancing, self-isolating, and quarantining requirements, let’s look at the ultimate connection we can make… our spiritual connection with God. We so often say we are too busy to spend time with God in a disciplined way, so, Five Minute Families, let’s explore five areas of spiritual disciplines you can begin now while doing your part in the battle by staying at home.Bible reading and meditation – One pastor always said, “The biggest transformer of your life is to be in God’s Word daily.”He was correct. Dr. Donald Whitney in his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life expanded this with his use of the analogy of a tea bag. He says, “… your mind is the cup of hot water and the tea bag represents your intake of scripture. Hearing God’s word is like one dip of the tea bag into the cup. Some of the tea’s flavor is absorbed by the water, but not as much as would occur with a more thorough soaking of the bag. Reading, studying, and memorizing God’s word are like additional plunges of the tea bag into the cup. The more frequently the tea enters the water, the more permeating its effect. Meditation, however, is like immersing the bag completely and letting it steep until all the rich tea flavor has been extracted and the hot water is thoroughly tinctured reddish brown.” By using these extra days to meditate on God’s Word, you are training yourself for godliness, just as Paul encourages in 1 Timothy 4:7Fasting and prayer – Without prayer, we are disconnected from the source of life; we must “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” as we read in Colossians. Fasting goes hand-in-hand with prayer. We don’t have time here to go into details, but we strongly encourage you to study Matthew 6:16-18 and Acts 13:2 about fasting. Right now, at home, we can easily get distracted from prayer and fasting by the streaming services and by being surrounded by food. Bring your focus back to God in these troubling times.Stewardship – God calls us to be disciplined in our use of money AND our use of time. Let’s not waste them, Five Minute Families. We do not yet know the full economic impact of this virus, but we already know that many will receive a devastating financial blow. If you are able, please do not forego your giving to the churches and ministries you support. Likewise, don’t use your time frivolously. Sew masks for medical professionals, video message shut-ins, write letters to nursing homes, make food deliveries, if allowed, to those who cannot get their own, and more. Proverbs 27:1 reminds us not to boast about tomorrow for we do not know what it will bring.Silence and solitude – We follow Jesus’s example when we enter into silence and solitude, and Jesus even arranged a rest for his disciples in Mark 6 when he said, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Often, when we enter into silence and solitude with an attitude of meeting God there, He brings discernment about our steps in His will. With the kids at home, it may be more difficult to achieve silence and solitude, but maybe you could awaken a few minutes early or hide in the pantry for a few extra minutes. We gotta do what we gotta do.Journaling and learning – As a unique time in history, what a godly gift you will be creating if you journal about the learning you engage in right now! Think...
Listening
31-03-2020
Listening
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. While covid-19 concerns still abound, here at Clear View Retreat we are encouraged by hearing about the game nights, family dinners, puzzle times, and more. Families are spending less time arguing and more time building one another up.Instead of the attitude of “When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye,” families are choosing to make lemonade! We must CHOOSE to add the sweetness in our relationships, not just attack each other. One way to do this is to engage in active listening.Last week, one of our sons pointed out how we were all getting testy with each other. We discussed fears & frustrations and irritations & needs brought on by the massive changes in our society at this time. Once I started verbalizing all the pieces, I realized how overwhelming it all felt; though beforehand, I would have said that the pandemic wasn’t really affecting me much. Facing the challenges and verbalizing them to someone who was actively listening has been freeing. After the discussion I mentioned that he had learned the skill of listening well. My son was incredulous. He said it was not a skill. YOU. JUST. LISTEN.However, we never JUST listen. We can JUST hear, but we cannot JUST listen. Hearing is the physical act of receiving sound to your ear whereas listening is the act of paying attention to what someone is communicating to you. Even in American Sign Language, wherein hearing cannot occur, the person who is signing uses many physical signs as well as other nonverbal cues to convey their full meaning.Listening involves a sender and a receiver. Noises and nonverbal cues can interrupt, enhance, or even change the message being conveyed. Additionally, each person has many thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are running through their heads as they try to process the message. Listening can be complicated at times.Thus, Five Minute Families must choose to intentionally listen to one another to make sure relationships strengthen, especially during this potentially troubling time. Here are five suggestions to get you started.Be attentive. Make eye contact and lovingly ask your child or spouse to do the same. Press pause and put down your device. Parents, this starts with you. Set the example. If it has not been a habit to have each person look up from their devices when speaking to one another, remember to be gentle and offer kind reminders that each person needs to do this.Be aware of noises. Literal noises such as fans and music can cause your message to be interrupted. Figurative noises such as physical pain or distractions will interrupt your message, too.Be aware of your nonverbal cues. These include facial expressions and gestures. One of the biggest nonverbal cues is your tone of voice, including pitch and volume. “I love you” (said sweetly and sincerely) is much different than “I love you.” (said sarcastically and loudly)Practice “What I heard you say is…” Our oldest – who is home missing his senior year at university – helped me illustrate the point to our younger sons. I asked him to make a statement about anything that came to mind. He said, “Turkey Perky Jerky is the best jerky out there.” I responded, “Oh, so what I hear you saying is that you don’t like the jerky I make.” In a regular scenario, we each make statements of opinion all the time. Other people’s random statements impact us greatly at times. Without practicing “what I heard you say is…” statements, I could have responded, “Oh. Ok.” And then chosen to never make jerky again because “hey, why bother. He obviously doesn’t like the kind I make.” Active listening gives us insight into what we are thinking others are saying, and let’s them correct any mis-messaging.Finally, realize that you do not have to fully understand or...
COVID Chaos
07-04-2020
COVID Chaos
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. We come to you from Clear View Retreat – a non-profit organization that ministers to families in the norms and storms of life. The pandemic closures have caused numerous challenges for all of us, but we know that God will be glorified.Amid this COVID chaos, many people have experienced fears and financial difficulties to name a few. Y’all, as Steve Austin of 180degreesministries and the book “Getting Your Life on Target” would say, “EVERYTHING is always all about God.”“Everything is ALWAYS all about God.”“Everything is always all about GOD.”Now, Steve would have done it enough to stress each word, but you get the idea. Basically, we must choose this day whom we will serve. Five Minute Family, can you say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” even during a pandemic?Does your family still live life and life abundantly? I asked my facebook friends on Saturday to share one word to describe their family life right now. While it is true that these times can be described as stressful, heartbreaking, and divided, almost 90% of the descriptions were positive, despite the shortages and concerns. Intentional (our personal favorite), cozy, sacred, home, and blessed were a few of them.Most of them could be grouped into five categories. So, in the midst of the COVID CHAOS, we bring you the top five ways folks are “counting it all joy” as encouraged in James 1:2. We are using the word CHAOS for our top five categories acronym because all things – even covid chaos – work together for the good of those who love the Lord.First in our acronym is C. Many people labeled their time as calm and peaceful. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Five Minute Families, when we rest in God’s peace and allow the simplicity of the moment to bless us, we bring more to the world than we can with all our busy-ness.One of the top two categories falls under H for happy and joyful. Being content in all different kinds of circumstances can be a challenge, but it is wonderful to hear how many families are striving hard after John 15:11 – “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” During this time, we should seek to create sweet memories that will last a lifetime.Next is A. Some folks described their family life as adapting and adjusting. Being uncertain often brings out the worst in people, but most folks are allowing themselves to thrive in unusual spaces and places. Paul illustrated this in 1 Corinthians 9:19-20 – “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.”Most families are focused on the constructive elements of togetherness which brings us to the O in chaos – others. Romans 12:10 urges us to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Using this time to reconnect with your family members, even the ones you are isolated away from, is extremely important. Making those intentional calls and video chats is vital to bonding and having a united, cohesive family.Finally, we have S for supportive and protecting the needy. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Church, realize that people are watching. As so many memes are illustrating, this is our time to show the world that the Church is not a building. We are God’s
Family Camp #1
14-04-2020
Family Camp #1
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. Thank you for joining us this morning’s Five Minute Family. If you would like to know more about Clear View Retreat, the sponsor of our time with you, please check out more information at clearviewretreat.org.An article I read this morning referred to this period in history as “The Great Pause.” How apt a descriptor. The Great Pause. As we discussed last week, many families are seeing so many positives of this forced slow down. The Great Pause is giving us each a chance to reflect on what we really want out of life. Here is a quote from the article:“From one citizen to another, I beg of you: Take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity … to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud. … We care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive Facebook post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, in every Zoom birthday party. … we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in five, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get. We can do that on a personal scale in our homes, in how we choose to spend our family time on nights and weekends, what we watch, what we listen to, what we eat, and what we choose to spend our dollars on and where.”With that profound thought in mind, this week, and for the three weeks following, we would like to introduce you to each of the four sessions for a Clear View Retreat Family Camp weekend. We begin by encouraging families to take time to reflect on who they are. Each individual family member affects the others deeply. We are experiencing life together, which means we have a family identity.Think for a moment on what your family likes to do together most. Do you play basketball (and those who don’t play love to watch and cheer you on)? Do you enjoy play board games together? Maybe your family acts, gardens, blacksmiths, crafts, travels… well, you get the idea.How would you identify your family?Having a family identity that allows us to look at each other’s uniqueness and still weave a story of togetherness is important. We don’t want to just take up space together. Remember Ephesians 4:16 applies to families, too: “From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.”For example, our family… we are the Nestles. Our children are identified throughout our different communities as “the Nestle Boys.” We all love StarWars. But, maybe, like us, it will be hard at first to see what connects you together. The first time we had this discussion with our boys, they could not see a common thread. As they listed their own individual interests, we realized that we are each creative, though in different ways – AND supportive of each other’s creativity. So, we called ourselves The Creative Family. A couple we know call themselves geeks because they love movies and plays and reviewing those things together. They share a large portion of their family story by identifying as movie geeks.Here are five questions you can ask to start figuring out what your family identity is:What big family story we do we all like to tell?What do we like to do together?What do we all have in common?What traditions do we each enjoy?What do other people think of when they think of our family?Be sure as you have this family discussion time, you focus on making sure everyone gets to share their opinion without judgment. (Remember our communication model and listening...
Family Camp #2
21-04-2020
Family Camp #2
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. How has your week been? We pray that God’s presence has been apparent in your family life as you intentionally invest the time it takes to build a strong family.Last week we began a multi-part introduction to Clear View Retreat’s Family Camp. We want to build families up, whether you are able to come visit us here or not, so we started with our session one in which we encouraged you to reflect on your family identity – to take time to find the common element that connects you to one another. We have had families at a CVR Family Camp say they are ‘The Football Family,’ ‘The Gaming Family,’ or ‘The Serving Family,’ to name a few. Now, we are going to assess where God is in the midst of our family identities.When no one is watching, do we Christ-following families relate to each other like the world relates to each other? Think for a moment about the influences of television, movies, and more. There is the sarcastic, too pushy, over-the-top behaviors — all for a laugh or some reaction from the audience. Now, with social media, we all have an audience, ALL THE TIME. We can also have anonymity but we still have an audience. Whether we are the audience or we have an audience, we are influenced more and more by outside appearances. Remember, the world’s standards are not the same as the Lord’s.Philippians 2:1-5 says, “If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.”Simply put, we are to be like Christ. God created us for relationship, and He desires we exemplify Him in those relationships. Five Minute Families, take some time this week to imagine out loud what you think the ideal Christian family living today would look like if they fully followed biblical standards. Now, we are not encouraging legalistic behavior here, simply grace-filled hearts and attitudes.As families take the time to assess their family life and attitudes, session 2 of CVR Family Camp dives first into a complete understanding of what intentional intimacy is. In fact, the key concept of everything we do in our family and in our ministry is intentional intimacy. So, what is that? Intentional is an adjective that describes something that is being “done on purpose” or something you deliberately choose to do. Intimacy means closeness or friendship. At Clear View Retreat we define the concept of intentional intimacy as “the desire to know and to be known by another for the glory of God.”When we choose to live a life in which we intentionally interact with our loved ones, choosing to deepen our understanding of who God created him or her to be, we are choosing intentional intimacy. God gave us the ultimate expression of intentional intimacy when Jesus came to earth in human form, fully man and fully God, and He built relationships with His disciples and taught us all to reach beyond our personal feelings. Jesus was the definitive manifestation of grace and mercy.Five Minute Families must understand that extending mercy, which is the act of withholding deserved punishment and showing grace, which is the act of endowing unmerited favor, are the best ways to move through day-to-day living.Ask yourself a few questions to begin your family assessment:Do you truly desire to be known by your family members?Do you desire to better know your loved ones for the glory of God?While those first two questions are technically yes or...
Family Camp #2 Conclusion
28-04-2020
Family Camp #2 Conclusion
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. It is wonderful to join you again this week as we dive into one of our curriculum here at Clear View Retreat. Last week, we began the discussion about session 2 of Family Camp. If you missed the last two weeks, please go to our blog at www.clearviewretreat.org/welcome/blog. We have the audio, transcript, and an image that you can use if you desire.Let’s jump into today. When we review in depth about intentional intimacy – which as you’ll remember is the desire to know and be known by another for the glory of God – we must understand that there are different aspects to intimacy.Experts divide the intimacies many different ways. We choose to classify simply them in four ways: spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual. – I know, I know, you thought we would say five, but we don’t work everything in fives, it just seems that way sometimes.Spiritual intimacy is not just about your relationship with God, though, of course, that is the most important relationship you will ever have. Spiritual intimacy is also about accepting your godly role in your family and fulfilling it to the best of your ability and about building your family members up in their relationships with God.Physical intimacy is not just the obvious between husband and wife. It is the simple things of hugs and back rubs, holding hands and reassuring pats on the shoulder. Physical intimacy includes smiles instead of frowns and even the tone of voice you use on a regular basis.Emotional intimacy begins with extending grace and mercy. Emotional intimacy involves controlling your temper when you are angry OR controlling your response when someone has an outburst in their anger. Emotional intimacy is more than just being able to share our deepest thoughts and feelings, it may also be understanding that sometimes our loved one only shares his or her deepest thoughts and feelings with the Lord.When you play games together or learn new skills together, you and your loved one are sharing intellectual intimacy. When you challenge each other in opinions and work to understand each other’s differing points of view, you are deepening your intellectual intimacy.Ephesians 4:2-3 encourages us “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” When we are intentional in the four areas of intimacy, we can be more united for the kingdom of Christ.As we explore the intimacies, you must understand that each member of your family will hold different beliefs about your actions, their actions, about the Lord, and about the world around them. Romans 12:2 challenges us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Renewing our minds is often much more difficult than we realize. Mostly because, many of us focus on behavior modification. We have all heard the adage “it takes 21 days to create a habit.” However, the reason many of us fail at behavior modification is that we are not getting to the heart of the issue. The beliefs we hold drive our thoughts, and our thoughts drive our actions. Without being intimate with the Lord and letting Him reveal our false beliefs, you can never experience the full depths of intimacy that the Lord allows in our earthly relationships. Self-evaluation is fundamental in a Five Minute Family. If you don’t know what is driving you, you will sabotage your own efforts to deepen your relationships.Think of Anakin from Star Wars for a moment. He believed that he had to do certain things in order to save his wife and child, yet because his actions came from false beliefs, he ultimately destroys his wife in the end. So often, folks want to succeed in a relationship, but they are blinded to their own very behavior...
Family Camp #3
05-05-2020
Family Camp #3
TRANSCRIPT: Thank you for joining us for Five Minute Families brought to you by Clear View Retreat, a family retreat ministry that exists to transform the way families and close communities relate with one another through our Family Camp program as well as marriage, ministry leader, & grief retreats.It is wonderful to be back with you this morning. With all the changing information and attitudes and behaviors, it is fitting that we come to our overview of Session 3 for Clear View Retreat’s weekend Family Camp program. Session 3 is all about adjustment. As we all know, adjustments can be hard; they can be overwhelming, and sometimes, they seem downright impossible.Let’s take some of the difficult parts of making adjustments and break them down into manageable snippets. Remember, we call this spot Five Minute Families for a reason. We want each and every family to know that we are all just five minutes away from making profound and lasting positive impacts on our family, on the community, and on generations to come.At Family Camp, after recognizing our family’s current identity and then assessing that identity in light of God’s word, we must begin to adjust our perspectives to better align with God’s. Let us give you an example… If I believe I can fly and I think that I can fly and then I act on that belief and thought, I will be harmed. No matter what I believe, no matter what I think… God’s truth supersedes it all. Which, in our example, means God’s ordained earthly forces will come into play and gravity will cause your flight pattern to be non-existent. Just because you believe something does not make it true.John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Know truth. Teach truth. Encourage truth. God’s truth never changes, but our understanding of it does. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to change our perspective to match God’s. How do we do that as a family? Our pastor Sunday morning said, “To have a Christian marriage, you must be pursuing Christ.” And, the same is true of the whole family… To have a Christian family, you must be pursuing Christ. Pursuing Christ requires us to adjust our false or limited perspectives.Here are five ways to begin to change your perspective:Read God’s word daily. Take it a step further and memorize one verse per week. At the end of one year, you would have 52 verses memorized. For those of you who haven’t had kiddos yet, what if you were to start when your child was born? By the time he or she was 18, you would have 963 verses in which to pour into your child, your family, and, of course, yourself.Discuss daily events together and challenge each other to see God’s hand in both the good and bad. Apply God’s Word to some of those discussions, and you can task one another to see what biblical character fits best with the current situation and how did they handle it.Keep a family journal of prayer requests. Have that journal available often – for additions and for tracking answers to prayer requests. Take time to reflect on those prayers and share your story of family faith. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”Play praise music when you are working together. Even if you aren’t a good singer, it is good for your family to see and hear you sing praises even in the daily tasks of life. And, if your singing is really that bad, turning up the radio can help you feel more comfortable and expressive. If your children are younger, learn those great kid worship songs and connect with your kids as they grow and have new and different tastes.Share daily at least one thing you are grateful for. Dinner times are a...
Family Camp #4
12-05-2020
Family Camp #4
TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families! It is so wonderful to hear what God is doing through families who choose to put Him foremost in their lives through this five minutes of radio. We would love to hear from you, too! Please comment on our blog at clearviewretreat.org or drop us a comment on our facebook page for Clear View Retreat.As the hustle and bustle of our previous lives … oh, so slowly returns, wise families have taken time to reflect on what they really want to allow back in. But, hey, let’s be honest. We are all gonna be like kids in a candy-store. We will try to do “all the things we couldn’t do.” Some of those things can and should be added back in – visits with loved ones and work, which IS essential to us all. Some of those events and outings will be exciting. But, remember to be careful of the distractions. We will begin again to spend time with missed friends and organize playdates, but we should not forget the peace and calm that came from the Great Pause. Take your time to choose activities that will truly continue to enhance your family’s identity in Christ.And that brings us to our main topic for today. For the past four weeks, we have tried to give you an overview of what we do out here at a Clear View Retreat Weekend Family Camp with those who choose to step away from the commotion of everyday life, disconnecting from all the distractions to reconnect with one another in meaningful and lasting ways. Hopefully, you have followed along with us as we explored the family identity, assessing that identity in light of God’s Truth, and adjusting those perspectives to better match God’s plan and purpose. Now, we would like to encourage our Five Minute Family listeners to take the time to chat with your family about what new things God is revealing to each of them.Read together. Colossians 3:14, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” and Romans 12:10, “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.”Take a moment after reading and ask how those verses apply to your family?Jesus told stories, and he used those stories to guide his message. We use individual identifiers to label those stories… the Samaritan, the Son, the servant… wait. We actually call those stories something else, don’t we? They are the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Faithful Servant. Those describing words mean a lot. They convey to the world a message about this person. As a family, look at some adjectives, in this case, actually, they are core values, but see what your family is being called to focus on. This qualifier you choose could be something you are hoping to work on as a family, or it could be something from the past that binds you in a unique way.We will have a chart with over three dozen words online at the blog that you can check out, and here are five different categories of adjectives you could use:You can choose a simple descriptive word which describes or classifies your family in an objective and nonjudgmental way. Words here such as trustworthy, forgiving, or honestYour family might want a demonstrative word; one that serves as conclusive evidence of something that matters to you. One example is hopeful because of the difficult events you have survived together as a family. Another word would be mission-minded.Maybe as a family you want a possessive descriptor denoting ownership of each other no matter what happens… a word such as united or committed would work best for you.Some families challenge one another often bringing up interrogative-type words. Words such as inquisitive, curious, or even teachable.The final category you might want to explore is distributive. In law, this term refers to being concerned with the way in which things are shared...
When Someone Is Sick
19-05-2020
When Someone Is Sick
Good morning, Five Minute Families! It is wonderful to be back with you today. We are thankful for each of you and want to share with you how to connect further with us. We are Jim and Kim from Clear View Retreat. Just as Paul shared his life with his readers, so we too want to share life and Jesus with you all. May God richly bless you in your pursuit of Him.Let’s dive into today’s topic. How do you help one another when someone in your household is sick? There are great suggestions online about how your family could serve another family in their time of need, but what do you do when the need is within your own home? We’ve all heard the jokes comparing when mom gets sick versus anyone else in the household. But, the reality is that we each have unique roles to play in our homes – kids included, and when one person is sick, it impacts us all. And, as a Five Minute Family, working toward finding those nuggets of time to demonstrate God’s love to the family He placed you in, is important. Let’s look at how you can minister to your sick loved one, even in the busy-ness of your own requirements and expectations.Here at Clear View Retreat we speak often of one-anothering. The Bible is full of verses that inspire us to act in relation to one another. Instead of feeling inconvenienced when someone in the family is sick, we need to remember five of God’s one anothering statements.John 13:14 Serve one another. When one family member serves another, it reminds each of us that Jesus served. When someone is sick, taking the time to think of what he or she might want to drink or eat, says that you were willing to set aside your own desires for the moment. It doesn’t take five minutes to make your sick family member a plate of food and bring it to them.1 Corinthians 12:26 Suffer with one another. Recently, I had a yet another reaction to another medication that was supposed to help me. I felt defeated and like this health trial would never end. I started crying in front of my entire household. One of my sons sat next to me, put his arm around me, and let me cry. He didn’t try to fix it or cheer me up. He just sat with me. It took about two minutes of his time, but his gesture continues to minister to me today. I felt seen and heard and validated in my pain.Acts 6:1-7 Care for one another. Sometimes, a sick family member takes more than just bringing them fluids and food. Extra trips to the store or the doctor’s office may be necessary. For kiddos, that may mean extra time away from your mom or dad. One of the best things kids can do for their parents if one is sick, is to be kind to their other siblings. If one of the other kiddos are sick, mom or dad must remember to cuddle up to the healthy child and remind him or her that they are important too.Galatians 6:1-3 Carry each other’s burdens. We had a big celebration party planned, and I was too sick to do the edging of our walk and driveway. I really like the finished look of an edged lawn. But, I just couldn’t do it. My sweet husband could not have cared less if the lawn is edged or not. Mowed and weedeated, yes, but edging was my thing. However, because I could not do it, and he knew it mattered to me, he took the extra time to edge, not because I asked him but because he wanted to ease my burden.Hebrews 10:25 Encourage one another. Five Minute Family, maybe there isn’t anything you can DO in the moment. Your loved one is going to have to go through the pain and process of whatever is ailing them. But, you can always choose to encourage each other. Maybe you write some of the sick family member’s favorite verses on notes and leave them for him or her to find. Maybe you choose to take an extra moment to smile when you are concerned, to hug when you are scared, or to laugh when you know you might cry. Bringing encouragement makes even the heaviest of days lighter.May God bless your family with health and...
Family Story
02-06-2020
Family Story
Good morning, Five Minute Families. We broadcast weekly here on WECO radio out of Wartburg TN, and can be heard and read on clearviewtreat.org by clicking on our blog tab. Thank you for joining us this morning as we continue to explore how God is gracious, loving, and giving to families throughout history. At the beginning of May, we talked about family identity and how we can connect with God to help shape our family identity. A big part of that identity is our family story. As I was doing my daily reading, I came across Psalm 78:1-4. Listen to the words of God:My people, hear my instruction;listen to the words from my mouth.2 I will declare wise sayings;I will speak mysteries from the past—3 things we have heard and knownand that our ancestors have passed down to us.4 We will not hide them from their children,but will tell a future generationthe praiseworthy acts of the Lord,his might, and the wondrous workshe has performed.What can we learn from these verses? A lot, of course! We always have the opportunity to learn great things from God’s Word and can and should share that with our families. What is your family story? Where has God touched your lives and shaped who you are?Let’s follow how Psalm 78 directs us:As a family, do we hear? Is there a time as a family that we discuss the Word of God – discuss His instructions? Yes, we should be together in church as a family and learning there, but is that where things stop? Never. I do hope that Sunday mornings, some Sunday evenings, and possibly even Wednesdays evenings are not your only times of family hearing. With the schedules of life, we find that one of the best times to discuss something is together at the dinner table. Here is an important reminder: Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers to all the questions out there. It’s okay to write down questions, do research (be a berean – see Acts 17:10-11), and ask a mentor, pastor, or trusted spiritual friend. Hear together.As a family, do we declare? In a world of information overload, are we declaring God’s wisdom or the world’s? During family discussions we have the opportunity to speak God’s truths into our lives and families. Who we are in Christ and who we are to Christ – are two great examples of speaking the mysteries of God. Chew on that as a family, and be a family that is set free by the Truth.As a family, do we pass down? Do we talk about our spiritual heritage? Do we know our family spiritual heritage? I know without the faithful prayers of my mother, my life would not be the same. What has she gone through that has challenged, shaped, and increased her faith? Her parents were settlers on western land and had many challenges we can never imagine. Do we share those stories? Plan a time to call your parents and grandparents, and glean from them your spiritual heritage. Parents, remember to share those stories with your children.As a family, do we tell? Flowing from our family’s past, we should be motivated to write and tell about our family future. Maybe your past is fraught with failures and pains, but has God brought victory through the struggles? Can we see and tell of the mercy God has bestowed in our family story? We have seen where a lot of people hide from the past because of their pain and embarrassment, but we have also seen the beauty of God’s greater story in the midst of their family story. May you pass down the glory of God in your family story.As a family, do...
What a Marriage Needs
09-06-2020
What a Marriage Needs
Good morning, Five Minute Families! Our oldest is getting married this weekend, and we are seeing so many posts of June weddings! A strong marriage is the foundation of a strong family. At Clear View Retreat we enjoy supporting and mentoring marriages, watching husbands and wives grow in understanding of each other and God’s purpose for marriage.Marriage is more than who we like or who makes our hearts pitter-pat the most. Marriage is an opportunity to mirror God’s image. Genesis tells us, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Today, let’s discuss five aspects of building a strong marriage which will mirror the image of God.Marriage requires commitment.God is committed to us. The Bible demonstrates this in verse after verse. Philippians 1:6 reminds us, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When we adopt God’s commitment in our marriages, we see that when the warm fuzzies have faded and chaos of life invades, true love – rooted in God’s example of commitment – allows a couple to commit again to one another. Then, the couple has the endurance and patience to continue to weave a life of one flesh as Genesis says we must.Marriage needs compassion.We each have different experiences and perspectives. We must have compassion and choose to better understand one another and the different roles we have in a Christian marriage. 1 Peter 3:7 tells us, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”A good explanation of that verse is from Knowing-Jesus.com: “Weakness [in 1 Peter 3:7] does not imply inferiority and nowhere in the Bible is this concept ever implied, which is why Christian husbands just like Christian wives are to live together in an understanding way. A husband is to treat his wife as someone who is weaker, because she is a woman and to show her honor as a fellow heir.” Men and women are equal in God’s kingdom, but we are created differently.Marriage involves a third element: care through protection.While we are husband and wife, as Christians we are also fellow believers. We must remember the numerous verses of one-anothering as exampled in Matthew 23:23-26 wherein we must practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness with one another, and in John 13:14 where we are encouraged to serve one another, and in Acts 2:42-47 where we are to learn, share, and worship with one another. In marriage, one way in which we one-another is to care for and protect the heart of our spouse. We must choose to avoid offending one another and we must choose to protect the marriage vows by avoiding placing ourselves in tempting situations.Marriage needs consistency.What’s that old joke? I told ya I loved ya on our wedding day. If it ever changes, I’ll let you know. That doesn’t really work, does it? No, marriage needs consistency. “Inconsistency creates turmoil.” 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Being consist to share your heart and share Bible readings and studies, being consist to have some one-on-one time each week, being consist to be honest, open, and transparent with one another will create consistent results of a positive, God-honoring relationship.Finally, remember that marriage needs consideration.In Proverbs 21:9 we read that it is “better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.” None of us want to be nagging the other. Instead we must adopt the attitude of Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness,...
Marriage - Our Closest Neighbor
16-06-2020
Marriage - Our Closest Neighbor
Good morning, Five Minute Families! What five minutes a day are you intentionally investing into your family members to make an impact for the kingdom of God? We hold the power in our hands to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones. Five minutes. Five intentional minutes a day to make an impact that lasts a lifetime. Please join us as we expand on that concept today as we continue to chat about marriage.In a study conducted by Ed Diener the happiest 10 percent of the participants all had strong supportive relationships. A strong social network didn’t guarantee happiness, but it was a requirement to be in the happiest group. Happy people have strong social relationships. Likewise, in the Sainsbury’s Living Well Index study 73 percent of those who classify themselves as having a high quality of life report having strong support networks.Who is your strong supporter? Proverbs 16:20 reminds us, “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.” God should be our first and preeminent relationship. And, God encourages us to invest in relationships with his many one anothering statements and His establishment of marriage.We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. And, Five Minute Families, our closest neighbor is always going to be our spouse. We must choose to show love and respect to our spouses every day. While five minutes a day is a good start if you have been distant or you are in an excessively busy season of life (it happens, it’s ok.), but, in marriage, the five minutes we are talking about is the concept of five minutes MORE.Five minutes more. Five minutes more when he is frustrated with an issue from work. Five minutes more when she is feeling unheard. Five minutes more when he has been disrespected. Five minutes more when she has been left unloved.You see, we all fail each other. No matter how hard we try, we will fail our spouse, and no matter how hard our spouse tries, he or she will fail us. God’s grace covers a multitude of sins.How many times have you heard that marriage is 50/50? That is a faulty thought process. The problem is that a gap forms as soon as someone gives less than 50% – a gap that sometimes seems insurmountable. If, however, Christian spouses choose to have a goal of giving 100% of themselves, then, when one gives less than that due to stresses, health issues, or even just fatigue, then there is no gap. The other spouse is covering that area, and since they both have made great strides in effort, the spouse who needs a break for a little while, is able to come back later at 100%.But, wait, you say. How am I supposed to give 100%? 100% means you are LISTENING when your spouse is SPEAKING. 100% means you try to understand what fascinates your spouse about a subject even if it doesn’t interest you. 100% means you do your role in the marriage to the best of your ability, not being lazy or assuming your spouse will pick up your slack all the time. 100% means studying your spouse for the little things that make him or her smile and then wanting to do those things. And, when you don’t want to give 100%, well, 100% means turning to God again and again and again, knowing He will guide yours actions and show you what to do next.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” God is the third strand – our strength!Thank you for joining us this morning, and remember, sometimes,...