Monthly Archives: January 2014

Children Learn What They Live

bikeAs I was cleaning out my desk draw, I came across a poem written by an anonymous writer. I like this poem because it speaks about how children should be raised in order to develop a character that is acceptable to our society.

Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight. 
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilt.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
They learn justice. 
If children live with security,
They learn faith. 
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship
They learn to find love in the world. 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in #caring, #child, #counselling, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #parents, Parenting, pastoral caring, PRAYER, Uncategorized


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Someone asked me a question as soon as I finished teaching about attachment to parents in a church service. She said, “Is it practical to maintain and increase attachment?” I said to her, “When it comes to child development in the four areas they must grow, attachment is the great and powerful tool that every parent MUST HAVE. There are four areas of growth to be developed which I call PSPS meaning: Spiritually, Psychologically, Physically and Socially. To have the best results in child development, from school work performance to home relationship with your child, always take time to increase the bond of attachment. It is simple, just love your child. Love is a result of your decision to love your child regardless of whatever and your commitment to keep on loving even in very poor relationship with your child. Attachment starts naturally but needs someone like a parent to maintain and increase the bond. It grows as the child grows in a positive or negative way. Don’t be fooled by some who say it comes and grows naturally. Yes, it comes naturally but don’t grow naturally.”

That is why Robert Shaw, M.D said, “The more the child feels attached to the mother (parents), the more secure he is in his acceptance of himself and the rest of the world. The more love he gets, the more he is capable of giving. Attachment breeds self-control, self-esteem, empathy, and affection, all of which lead to an increasing ability to develop literacy. We don’t know why, but it seems to be true. Attachment is as central to the developing child as eating and breathing.”


Posted by on January 18, 2014 in #caring, #child, #counselling, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #parents, #pastoring, #psychoanalysis, #psychology, #psychotherapy, Parenting, pastoral caring, PRAYER, Uncategorized



#Parenting is one of the challenging things in the world of today. Our children have totally changed from the children born ten years ago. It’s another world with another type of people which are brought up by the media. They are well known by the name, “generation x.” This is the time which many of the parents have moved from their position of parents to the position of watchers. Some blame the government for the problems they are facing and others, say their children have been taken away from them. The government is blaming the parents for not parenting enough. This has caused some parents to feel so inferior, so much that they no longer know what to do.
Who can be blamed then? I believe that parents should not be blamed, but be encouraged and educated to do better. I believe that it is possible to parent the best way in which every generation we live in.

This is one of the series which has helped many parents to gain confidence and knowledge to parent the modern professional way. You can get these teachings recorded as live DVDs or CDs. Be informed and be confident as you parent your children to the better future.


Posted by on January 16, 2014 in #caring, #child, #counselling, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #parents, #pastoring, #psychoanalysis, #psychology, #psychotherapy, Parenting, pastoral caring, PRAYER, Uncategorized



By Pastor Elasto Marume
Attachment with your children is something that needs maintenance. It comes naturally in the first place, but there is a great need to attend and maintain it. Our homes do need maintenance. If no one is maintaining and putting them to use, they will be affected by the law of degeneration. All things and creatures have the potential to degenerate as long as they are left to themselves to live by their own standards. There will never be educated people in the world if we leave our children to their own standards and wishes. Companies which are growing are not just left to themselves, but someone, somewhere within the company is busy checking and reviewing the movements within the company. A lot of some money is spent on salaries, advertising, consultations, re-branding and so on in order to keep the standards and give worth to the company for its survival. Women do make up everyday in order to look good even if they are not going anywhere or seeing someone. That is maintaining the beauty. So is the attachment between parents and children.

Attachment works wonders when it comes to behaviour. It deals effectively with delinquent, criminal, antisocial, offending, felonious and wrong doings which are more common to children of this century, so called “GEN X.” Attachment irons out unnecessarily carelessness, inattentiveness, sloppiness, recklessness, lack of care, lack of attention and negligence which happens in every home as they play what I call “WHO IS THE HERO” games with parents.
The affectional bonding between infants and parents is both psychological, physical, social and spiritual. Jesus also grew in the same manner even though he was God. We understand this concept from the book of Luke, “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and in favour with God.” From this scripture insight, I understood what Bowlby was saying in the quotation below.

Bowlby turned to a combination of scientific disciplines, including psychoanalysis, ethology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology, for an array of compatible concepts that could explain affectional bonding between infants and their caregivers and the long-term effects of early attachment experiences on personality development and psychopathology. He conceptualized human motivation in terms of behavioural systems, a concept borrowed from ethology, and noted that attachment related behaviour in infancy (e.g., clinging, crying, smiling, monitoring caregivers, and developing a preference for a few reliable caregivers, or attachment figures) is part of a functional biological system that increases the likelihood of protection from predation, comfort during times of stress, and social learning. Preference for a particular caregiver {Has. primary attachment figure) was thought to be based on the familiarity, availability, responsiveness, and reliability of the caregiver (Bowlby, 1969/1982) This article was taken from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1998, Vol. 74, No. 2, 407-419:[i]

For further understanding of the affectional bonding between infants and parents I would like to give you a few insights from the scriptures.

Parents should be careful of conflicts which creates hatred, animosity, dislike which creates to extreme dislike. Conflicts can never be avoided, but don’t be carried away with it because you break the attachment unaware. The bible says “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” [ii]

Parental love through the love of Christ is the only source of forgiving friendliness which overcomes offences. “Whoever would foster love covers over an offence, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” [iii] Offences cannot be avoided. Parents must always be forgiving and be willing to teach and help. 

Parents should live by their faith before their children in order to increase attachment. Loving our children can be very hard, problematic, strenuous, challenging and demanding sometimes. Parents must have sincere love for their children from their heart in order to show their faithfulness to God.The scripture says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” [iv]

 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” [v]


Attachments refer to the affective ties that youths form with significant others—especially parents. Positive parent-child attachments result in fewer delinquent behaviours because the child does not want to jeopardize the established relationships. Weak attachments minimize the child’s sensitivity to parental opinions, thereby “freeing” the child to deviate in response to situational demands and peer encouragements. Thus, attachment is essentially a social-psychological concept involving the motivational value of social approval (Rankin and Wells, 1994; Wells and Rankin, 1988). [vi]

There are areas which must be dealt with when it comes to attachment. I do agree with Hirschi (1969:85-94) on the way he points out three major dimensions of parent-child attachments: 

(1) Affectional identification—the love and respect that children have for their parents;
(2) Intimacy of communication—the child’s sharing of personal concerns and opinions with parents; and
(3) Supervision—the “psychological” presence of parents when opportunities for delinquency arise. [vii]

There is an old song which blesses me up to now with these words,  “Love is not love, until you give it away. For God so loved the world, the bible says, he gave his son. Never, never say you love, until you give it away.” This challenge Christians to live up to God’s word. In the same way, parental love must be felt, seen and experienced by children. There must be a difference between a friend and a parent’s loving attitude. Parents should love in all situations and under all conditions.
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.” [viii]

This scripture passage gives us a great definition of the character and attitudes of love which Apostle Paul is teaching parents. In sickness or health, in poverty or riches, in good times or bad times. Parental love should prevail in all situations of life. I am more impressed with the last part of this scripture potion which says, “But love keeps on going to the end” as well as “Love never dies.”  Some versions of the bible say “Love never fails.” No matter how difficult things may look at the moment in terms of your attachment and your child, “LOVE NEVER FAILS and IT KEEPS ON GOING TO THE END.” [ix]

Availability and attentiveness play a major role in parent-child attachment. Research shows that “The extent to which the mothers appeared attentive and available to the children and supportive to their efforts. A high score on supportive presence involved meeting two criteria: (a) Providing a secure base by  helping the child feel comfortable, and (b) being involved as manifested by the attentiveness to the child and to the task.” Affective Quality (Zaslow, Rabinovich, Suwalsky, & Klein, 1988) is an important construct in the cluster of Positive Attitude. Zaslow et  al. (1988, p. 290) defined this concept as “the mother’s expression of positive affect to the baby, the mother’s expression of negative affect to the baby, and the degree to which mother and infant engaged in reciprocal interactions.”

Some single parents do feel inferior, mediocre, of lower level in their performance when it comes to parental attachments. People are different, in some families, it’s the father who does not have the gift of bonding and in other families it’s the mother. This does not affect much as long as they are supporting and understanding  each other in their goals of maintaining and increasing the attachment. What is not good is tearing apart each other in the presence of your children.

Nagin and Paternoster (1991:175) said, “In constructing the measure of parental attachment, we assumed that as long as an emotional bond was forged with one parent it would serve as an effective inhibitor of delinquency. For this reason, the measure of attachment to parent employed here reflects either the father or mother parental attachment score, whichever evidenced the greater amount of emotional bonding.”[x]

I would like to securely say that most of the results of attachment which are experienced by children are mostly the outcome of the past attachment given by parents to the children from conception age. Agnew (1991) has suggested that most measures of attachment tacitly include past behaviours and feelings. Respondents are asked to summarize their past feelings rather than simply identify their present situation (e.g., “My mother/father and I do things together that we both enjoy doing”). Thus, the association between attachment and delinquency is “contemporaneous.” [xi]

Yes, keep on keeping on and you will enjoy the bonding from the attachment until the later years of your life.


[i] Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969)
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1998, Vol. 74, No. 2, 407-419:

[ii] Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)

[iii] Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

[iv] 1 Peter 1:22 (NIV)

[v]  1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

[vi] Rankin, Joseph H. and L. Edward Wells (1990) The effect of parental attachments and direct controls on delinquency.

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 27:140-165.

(1994) Social control, broken homes, and delinquency. In Gregg Barak (ed.).

Varieties of Criminology: Readings

[vii] Hirschi, Travis (1969) Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[viii] 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (MSG)

[ix]  1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (MSG)

[x] Nagin, Daniel S. and Raymond Paternoster (1991) On the relationship of past and future participation in delinquency.

Criminology 29:163-189.

[xi] Agnew, Robert (1991) A longitudinal test of social control theory and delinquency. Journal of  Research in Crime and Delinquency 28:126-156.






Can we be shaken or be moved by the same news over and over. We have heard about the Jesus or Jesus Christ re-incarnation for so many times since the ascension of the real Jesus Christ. This time he is in Brazil and what do you think about this kind of a manifestation?
I don’t mean to criticize or degrade, but I’m just concerned about the rising of such things which are reoccurring in our generation.

Could he be the REAL ONE or ONE OF THOSE who claimed to be Jesus? Let us just look at some of the examples of “ONE OF THOSE” who once claimed to be Jesus.
(The information below was taken from the Wikipedia website of people who claimed to be Jesus).

• John Nichols Thom (1799–1838), a Cornish tax rebel who claimed to be the “saviour of the world” and the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and his body temple of the Holy Ghost[citation needed] in 1834. He was killed by British soldiers at the Battle of Bossenden Wood, on May 31, 1838 in Kent, England.
• Arnold Potter (1804–1872), Schismatic Latter Day Saint leader; he claimed the spirit of Jesus Christ entered into his body and he became “Potter Christ” Son of the living God. He died in an attempt to “ascend into heaven” by jumping off a cliff. His body was later retrieved and buried by his followers.

• William W. Davies (1833–1906), leader of a Latter Day Saint schismatic group called the Kingdom of Heaven located in Walla Walla, Washington from 1867 to 1881. He taught his followers that he was the archangel Michael, who had previously lived as the biblical Adam, Abraham, and David. When his son Arthur was born on February 11, 1868, Davies declared that the infant was the reincarnated Jesus Christ. When Davies’s second son, David, was born in 1869, he was declared to be God the Father.

The are so many of “ONE OF THOSE” listed on the Wikipedia and other website. There is so much confusion in the universe especially these days about the re-incarnation of Christ.
Jesus himself gave a great warning to his disciples about such issues. The scriptures which Matthew wrote on the reports he witnessed and head from Jesus’ own words in Jerusalem before his crucifixion should help us understand what is going on now.
Matthew 24:4-6 (AMP)
Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [[a]appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray.
…….; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
He gave a strong warning on deception of this kind.
Matthew 24:11
And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.

He also made it clear that the end of the world or the church age is not marked by these things but these were to happen before his return.

It would have been better if they were giving themselves other names and claim to be other messiahs or other great prophets like Jesus Christ. If they want to be like him (Jesus Christ) the judgement bar will be raised so high to be level of the real Jesus and their performance will rock far below. The highest level of the judgement bar is resurrection. “ONE OF THESE” have always failed to reach the bar when it comes to resurrection. “THE REAL ONE” demonstrated by resurrection.
Matthew 27:51-54 (NIVUK)
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[a] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’

The reality was recorded by those who saw him dead, buried and resurrected.
Acts 2:29-36 (MSG)
“Dear friends, let me be completely frank with you. Our ancestor David is dead and buried—his tomb is in plain sight today. But being also a prophet and knowing that God had solemnly sworn that a descendant of his would rule his kingdom, seeing far ahead, he talked of the resurrection of the Messiah—‘no trip to Hades, no stench of death.’ This Jesus, God raised up. And every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out the Spirit he had just received. That is what you see and hear. For David himself did not ascend to heaven, but he did say,
God said to my Master, “Sit at my right hand. Until I make your enemies a stool for resting your feet.” “All Israel, then, know this: There’s no longer room for doubt—God made him Master and Messiah, this Jesus whom you killed on a cross.”
John 20:24-28 (MSG)
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”

Their writings are quiet clear that they even had time to talk to him and eat with him as well.
John 21:1-14 (MSG)
After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.” The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him. Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.” They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in. ….. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!” ……. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it. …….. Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master.
Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.

All those who claimed to be “THE REAL ONES” came and died but did not resurrect.
“ONE OF THOSE” are found wanting when it comes to this performance of resurrection. This is the reason why they will be “ONE OF THOSE” instead of “THE REAL ONE.”

“THE REAL ONE’s” remains of his body are not in the grave any more but rose up fully bodied from the dead.
Revelation 1:17-19 Complete Jewish Bible
When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand upon me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, but look! — I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol. So write down what you see, both what is now, and what will happen afterwards.

“THE REAL ONE” is yet to come to take his church as he promised. According to his promises, he rose from the dead so we are so sure that he will come and take his church because he is faithful when it comes to his promises.

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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #rapture, PRAYER, RAPTURE, Uncategorized


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By Pastor Elasto Marume

The importance of empathy and listening in the pastoral counselling is the missing jewel in every discussion. These are like the backbone of professional counselling for spiritual therapy. They are taken as the good mixture of ingredients in a well prepared meal which makes all the taste buds to respond naturally. These two are the first and most needed keys to the saint’s inner treasure box of life. Somewhere in the body of a person, is the invisible inner box where the feelings and emotions are hidden. Michael Lawson (1989, p.18) says, ”We all know that thoughts and feelings are available for immediate use and for future reference, carefully filed and sorted by our brain’s intricate storage and retrieval mechanism”.

These two (empathy and listening) are like the master key to one’s door of life which the pastor should use to be allowed to enter into and help from within. The most important thing to be understood is that there can never be better empathetic practiced without the listening aspect. Also listening will never be effective without empathy. They are interwoven. It is like a hand in the glove. I need to define the two first of all, in order for us to get along in the same level of understanding.Image

Empathy is the understanding of emotional feelings of others. It is the mirroring of feelings of someone’s suffering. Gill Hasson (2012: p.105) says, “Mirror neurons are distinctive brain cells that fire, not just when you perform an action, but also when you see or hear others carry out an action, too”.
It is the identifying as well as the experiencing of the emotional feelings of other people. Michael Jacobs (1988: p.29) defines it as; “The ability to empathize, or to identify with how others might be feeling…. Understanding intuitively how the others might be feeling. Empathy, or identification, means the ability to put oneself in someone’s shoes, to get into their skin, to experience what they might be experiencing”. Dennis Brown and Jonathan Pedder (1991: p.68) say, “It is known to be the capacity to empathize or putting oneself intuitively in another’s shoes and identifying with him in his predicament”.

It is believed that empathy and sensitivity come hand in hand. It’s not like you can be empathetic and insensitive to a person at the same time. It is a known fact that people who show empathy toward others as they tell their stories are known to be better parents, spouses, nurses, doctors, managers, community leaders, church leaders, and/or other leaders of any kind of institution or organization. Deeper levels of rapport and trust are created and maintained through the use of empathetic rhythms in all walks of life. Human kind cannot afford to live without it because of emotional turbulences caused by different things in life. There will be no joy, peace, harmony, as well emotional healing if there is no empathy in human lives. Like a pain killer to the sufferer when it’s properly applied, so is empathy for the one with emotional sickness. Without it, we can feel lonely within any relationship. Empathy builds and heals relationships.

It is a skill applied like playing a piano. (Gill Hasson 2012: p.103) says, “Strike the right emotional cord: develop empathy”. He continues to define its importance by saying, “The key skill that you need to be one of these emotional intelligent people is empathy. Having empathy simply means that you are willing to try and understand someone’s situation, their point of view, their thoughts and feelings. You interested in one’s situation and readiness to respond to their needs and feelings without dismissing them and judging them”. A skilled pastor uses this great tool (empathy) to draw the meanings of emotions and feelings from the Christian’s facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, changing of sitting positions eye contacts and so forth. “They can be described as part of human personalities” David Bick, 1997, p.49). The same tool (empathy) will open doors to the art of questioning. Good questions will clarify the facts and encourage rich dialogue. There are times when conversation just goes dead, the same tool (empathy) will help to restart the dialogue as well as to encourage reflection. “The good news is that research shows that empathy can be learned” (Quote by David F. Swink).

Misunderstanding of emotions and feelings can lead to unnecessary conflict situations in counselling sessions. It helps pastors to understand and treat Christians, according to their emotional state. Without it, there will be a problem of asking wrong questions because of not understanding the feelings of the Christian. This will interrupt the flow and causing the Christian to lose focus.

In some cases the pastor needs to have an understanding of some events which took place some time ago may be in the childhood age. The Christian doesn’t see them as important factors as they tell their story. In other cases he or she just doesn’t know how much the past has contributed to the situation. “The trouble is, the greater the trauma, the more difficult that becomes” Michael Lawson (1989, p.63). Empathy is the only thing which can pick up those hidden feelings which needs to be addressed. The story of Elizabeth illustrates more of some of the things which reflect life behind the walls of silence. In the book called Psychodynamic Perspectives Of Abuse (2000: p.165), we read; “Through attunement she began to trust therapeutic relationship. That was the time she was able to identify her own feelings”.

Attunement goes beyond empathy, (“Erskine, 1998: p.236” Class notes). When applied to one’s situation, it brings the sense of belonging. Gill Hasson, (2012: p.53) says, “It cause client to feel emotionally connected to others – to feel that you are acknowledged, accepted, included and that you belong. To feel that you are understood, valued and respected. To feel liked, loved, admired, appreciated, approved of, cared for and needed. To feel trusted, supported and, when appropriate forgiven”. Attunement will also help the pastor to know when to speak, when to ask a question, when to be quiet and allow the Christian to be quiet as well. Pauses and silence are also helpful to both the Christian and the pastor.   

Empathy is like a compass, it directs the pastor into the unknown world of the Christian. It helps the pastor to identify and understand feelings expressed through both vocal and body messages. Other Christians don’t know how to say out what they think or feel. This is the part which empathy plays a big role. Empathetically like a compass, the pastor will be able to read between the lines as the Christian gives the clues through the voice or actions. Richard Nelson-Jones (2003: p.58), says, sometimes clients say “I feel” when they mean “I think”.

Mark 1:41
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

Having poor empathy skills can lead to serious consequences. It can affect the economy of the nation. Companies, organizations and institutions can suffer from loss and lack of growth because of a lack of empathy. Daniel Goleman and other emotional intelligence and workplace competency researchers have consistently identified empathy as a core component of emotional intelligence and a powerful predictor of success in many professions. Lack of empathy can cause companies to make catastrophic blunders that alienate their customers or employees and it can even incite violence.   


Posted by on January 9, 2014 in #caring, #counselling, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #pastoring, #psychoanalysis, #psychology, #psychotherapy, Parenting, pastoral caring, Uncategorized


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i was so touched by this inspiration given to Bruce feiler in his book “The secrets of happy families. I RECOMMEND this book to those who want to improve or increase the happiness in their families.


By Bruce Feiler. Adapted from The Secrets of Happy Families.

I hit the breaking point as a parent a few years ago. It was the week of my extended family’s annual gathering in August. My parents were aging; my wife and I were straining under the chaos of young children; my sister was bracing to prepare her preteens for bullying, sex and cyberstalking.

Sure enough, one night all the tensions boiled over. At dinner, I noticed my nephew texting under the table. I knew I shouldn’t say anything, but I asked him to stop.

Ka-boom! My sister snapped at me to not discipline her child. My dad pointed out that my girls were the ones balancing spoons on their noses. My mom said none of the grandchildren had manners. Within minutes, everyone had fled to separate corners.

That night I began to wonder: What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?

I spent the last few years trying to answer that question, meeting families, scholars and experts ranging from peace negotiators to online game designers to Warren Buffett’s bankers. After a while, a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.

I first heard this idea from Marshall Duke, a colorful psychologist at Emory University. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Duke and colleague Robyn Fivush developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions. Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?

Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests. Their overwhelming conclusion: The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.

“We were blown away,” Dr. Duke said.

Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?

“The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said.

Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. …”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.

Religious traditions do a particularly good job at conveying this message. Many Bible stories including overcoming suffering and bouncing back from difficult times. One reason religious communities are so tight is that they understand one of their roles is to help people who are experiencing pain and hardship.

Dr. Duke recommends that parents convey similar messages to their children. Any number of occasions work to convey this feeling: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. “These traditions become part of your family,” he said.

The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.

This piece is adapted from The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, & Much More, by Bruce Feiler, which has just been published. Mr. Feiler writes a column on contemporary families for the New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers. For more information, please

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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in #child, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #parents, #rapture, Parenting, PRAYER, Uncategorized


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Posted by on January 5, 2014 in #child, #FOLLOWING-JESUS, #parents, #rapture, Parenting, PRAYER, Uncategorized


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One day I was trying to get my money from the pay point. I punched my password or pin number then I was told “wrong number.” Tried gain until my card was taken. I read the words on the screen telling me to see your bank manager. I can’t get my money that I did put in the bank. “Yes,” until the correct password is used, you won’t get your money. In the world today people are surviving on the passwords to secure their belongings. Their trust is in the password. In the same way, we depend on the spiritual password to get all our spiritual and natural belongings as well.  “14-13-14” Your password for everything you need in life. Be it in the spiritual realm for us to control, acquire, build, fight wars and much more.  

Do you have a problem with children? Yes we all do have problems with children. There is a proverb which says, “I slept like a baby.” Really, do children sleep all night? Think of when they are just born or when they are sick. Think of the times when they want something or just to get your attention when you so busy on something. Only those who have no children feel comfortable to use his proverb.

Sometimes life can be unbearable when it comes to child up-bringing. Taking with it the understanding that children come from God. They are a gift from God.
Psalm 127:3 (MSG)
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?

We have the responsibility to take care, provide, secure and love them. We bless and the blessing does stick onto their lives forever.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (The Message)
“Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.). That is a sign of authority to build or destroy them. Instead of destroying, let us build and bless. The password is on top of this message. Just pray it.” 

Like a builder, so are parents. Every building has to have a plan from the architecture. God is the architecture of families and child bring methods. We must build them daily using the architecture’s plan.
Psalms 127:1;
If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks.

As the watchman watches the city day and night, so are the parents. The watchmen do look for anything coming from any angle of the city. He advises the people in the city of any dangers, enemies or opportunities coming towards the city beforehand. The parents also do the same work in the lives of their children daily.      
Psalms 127:1;
If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.

It is not enough to work day and night for your children without best spiritual set up.
Mat 16:26 (EXB)
What good, profit or benefit is it to have or gain the whole world if they lose or forfeit their souls (It is worthless). They could never pay enough or what could they give to buy back in exchange for their souls.

The joy, peace and prosperity you are trying to give them comes from the Lord. The rich and the poor who have not been built on Christ and maintained their faithfulness to him will have their eternity away from the presence of God.
Psalms 127:2;
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?

Have you not heard of the rich or poor who are fools.
Psa 14:1
Fools say to themselves in their hearts, “There is no God …”

Like an old time hunter with his quiver full of the arrows. His trust, and security was in the quiver which carried the arrows. If he misses with the first one, he was confident that he will not miss with the second one. He will continue shooting with hope. So as a parent standing together with his children in front of his enemies. He will not be afraid of the enemy because they will fight back to back with his children. They watch each other’s back and stand until they win.
Psalm 127:4-5 (CJB)
The children born when one is young are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. How blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them; he will not have to be embarrassed when contending with foes at the city gate.
ImageDo you see the importance of not allowing the enemy to take your children. They are your strength, power and fellow fighters in times of trouble. The enemy wants to stand against you using your children. Every prayer you make is like a hammer, destroying the walls of the devil or like fire burning the chaff of the devil in your children. With the help of the password given to you by Jesus, you will be able to enter or log into the chamber of God’s great love and power to destroy the camp of the enemy. You will definitely pull down the stronghold of the enemy put into your children.
2 COR 10:3-6
For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way;
 because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah. And when you have become completely obedient, then we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience.

The password you have is the only key to whatever you want in this world and in the world to come. Use it wisely every day. Thank you Jesus for loving us and giving us this password: John 14:13-14


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