Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas to all the Single Moms and Dads out there

As a writer, often I wonder where to start. Should I start at the climax of the story and blast my reader smack dab into the middle of chaos, tragedy, love or whatever God has in store for my story that day? Or should I work my way backwards leaving my readers in suspense?

Today, I want to start at the chronological order. I was born and raised in a tiny Texas town where single motherhood was unheard of and "happily" married couples were the norm.

My how times have changed.

It is no surprise to tell you that the national divorce rate was 45% in 2002. Is it growing? It seems like it, but I saw an article today that the nation's divorce rate has steadily decreased since 1979. Praise Jesus! But, as it is based per capita, I wonder if this coincides with an increasing population or the fact that many people are choosing to live together instead of making it official under God. hrmmmmmmmmmmm

What I do know is: God loves the widows and the orphans (James 1:27; Deuteronomy 10:18). He mentions over and over again in His word that Jesus came that we may have life and have it IN FULL (John 10:10), which in other translations is with ABUNDANCE. Abundance in the Lord. Wow. What a blessing. He also said in John 6:63 that His words are life.

In this human-ness we live in divorce happens. Life happens. Husbands and wives go to war in far off lands. Husbands and wives just leave. They even die. But God loves us and lifts us up and holds us in His mighty and comforting hands...even when we don't feel it or believe it. He is there. And He brings life. He brings life whether you are married, divorced, a widow or a single person who has a child. He does not discriminate and is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:33). He placed you here to raise His children on earth. He knew what He was doing all along. Our Father is good like that. ;o)

Allow His abundance and love to wash over you this Christmas season. Allow Him to show you His miracles for you that are bigger and better than you could ever ask or think. He is good. And His promises are true. Believe it. He believes in you. :o)

And always remember, Jesus is the reason for season. Whether you accept Him as your savior or not. He came here for you. He was born and made man, took on all your sins and died on the cross for you so you may have eternal life. Accept Him into your heart. Proclaim His name to the nations. Or to the people next door. God is good, and His mercy endures forever.

Merry Christmas and much love,

Chelle :O)

The Challenges of Single Parenting

Each week, I receive a single-parenting article from the wonderful people at I wanted to share this one with all of you.

If you would like to sign up for this service, visit and click the box next to Crosswalk Single Moms Connection.

I love its description:

Articles of encouragement and support for single moms

Which is totally what we are about at Be a Barnabas! I know it says "single moms" in the title, but I know you single dads out there will get a lot out of the weekly articles, too.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. May God bless you and your children richly this new year.

Chelle and Be a Barnabas

Facing the Challenges of Single Parenting
Robert D. Jones, M.Div., D.Min.

Single parenting is a very hard job, so you certainly need clear guidance. And the Bible does speak to you from cover to cover. "Good," you reply. "I've been looking for some help. Give me some verses aimed at single parents that tell us what to do with our kids."

Sorry. The Bible doesn't always answer questions in the way we ask them, or give us truth in the categories or format we want. There are no "ten commandments" in Scripture that exclusively address single parents.

What should we make of the absence of biblical commands specifically for single parents? Let's begin with a more fundamental question: Were there any single parents in the Old and New Testament faith communities? Surely, yes. Then why were they excluded from biblical counsel on how to parent? The answer: They were not excluded. When God spoke to his people, he spoke to married parents and single parents without distinction. In other words, the general commands given to all parents pertain to you. Single parents are not a special subcategory.

What are God's directives to parents? Christian authors summarize biblical parenting duties in various ways, but most include the following:

• Provide physical and emotional care

• Provide verbal instruction

• Provide physical discipline

• Model dependency on Christ that grows into his likeness

• Pray for and with your children

You will not be able to give as much time, energy, skill, and creativity to these five tasks as two parents could. But God does not expect double effort from you. You cannot do, and must not try to do, the work of two adults. But what you should do, in dependence on God, should include these five ministries toward your kids.

Further, while you may receive help from others--your parents, friends, church family, and so forth--you remain the God-appointed parent of your children. Do not concede to others this authority, responsibility, and opportunity. There is no biblical doctrine of "grandmother's rights." In God's providence you, not your mother, are parenting the children God has entrusted to you.

Pay Attention to Your Children's Response to Your Single Parenthood

It is wise to monitor how single parenting affects not just you, but your children as well. In whatever way you became a single parent, in the same way your children have lost a parent. You are not the only one needing help to respond and adjust wisely. Your child's other parent has died (if you were widowed), or has left the home (if you were divorced), or may be unknown to your child (if you have not revealed the biological parent's identity). Do you know how your children are handling the event that left them with just one residential parent?

Here you must reject a pair of lies. First, do not lose sight of your child's responsibility to love, trust, and obey God despite unpleasant circumstances. A broken home does not excuse unbelief, rebellion, ingratitude, or idolatry. Teenage rebellion is, at the end of the day, rebellion. And rebellion is sin, to be compassionately but wisely confronted.

Second, reject hopeless notions that "doom" your children to future problems simply because they lack two married parents, or because of the negative influence their other parent may exert. Your children are not "victims" or "products of broken homes." They are people--people in God's image--who can know Jesus, follow Jesus, and live meaningful lives that please him. Along with my own testimony, I can name several other godly men and women who grew up with only one parent.

Consider Timothy in the New Testament. We meet him in Acts 16:1 where we learn that his mother was a believer in Christ, but his father apparently was not. What future did this hold for this young man? Listen to his spiritual "father," the apostle Paul, describe what God brought about despite a non-Christian dad:

• "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also" (2 Timothy 1:5).

• "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14--15).

God used a godly mother, a godly grandmother, and a godly mentor to teach and model the gospel for Timothy. He can use similar influences in your child's life, confirming the apostle's encouraging promise in 1 Corinthians 7:14: "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."

What steps might you take as a single parent when your ex-spouse exerts a negative influence on your kids?

• Entrust your child to God. Remember that God owns your child. You are a steward, not the owner. Humbly ask God to work directly in your son or daughter's life, and to use other means of grace to save, protect, and strengthen him.

• Appeal directly to your ex-spouse to change, restrain, or curb offensive behavior, out of love for your children. If that fails, pursue other recourses of appeal or accountability. This might include provisions in your shared parenting agreements for counseling or mediation, or enlisting the help of friends or extended family. In severe cases you may need to contact the police or child protective services.

• Continue to model and teach the gospel to your children, reflecting Christ-likeness that will contrast and counteract in refreshing ways the unbeliever's lifestyle. Ask God to help you walk according to the Holy Spirit--to demonstrate the Spirit's fruit and make Jesus attractive to your children as they face their own forks in the road. In some cases you may need to caution and advise your children before or after they spend time with their other parent: "Daddy may do some things differently than I do. I do what I do because I am trying to follow Jesus. Your dad at this point is not seeking to follow Jesus. Respect your dad, love your dad, and pray for your dad. This is how you should handle it if he..."

• Remind your children that each of them must also decide if they will follow Jesus. They cannot blame any parent, or anyone else, for unbiblical modeling.

• Invite one of your pastors or elders to sit down with you and your children to give them a biblical perspective on what happened in your marriage, how God looks at you and your ex, and how God wants the children to treat each parent as they shuttle between two houses. This is especially vital if your children are being given a sinfully biased perspective on these matters.

In the midst of this, God has given you a practical opportunity to teach your children about his sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness. You cannot resolve all the problems your children might face, but you can convey a rich, big picture of God and his ways. Connect them to the God of all hope, the Romans 8:28--29 God who brings hope and purpose to your life and theirs.

Excerpted from the booklet Single Parents © 2008 by Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Used by permission of New Growth Press. Excerpt may not be reproduced or downloaded without prior written consent.

Robert D. Jones, M.Div., D.Min., is an assistant professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and an adjunct professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was written counseling articles, the booklets, Angry at God?, Forgiveness, Bad Memories, and After Adultery, and the book Uprooting Anger.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun, Food and Fellowship with a lot of Chicken Spaghetti


Today was our Christmas luncheon. What a blessing it is to get everyone together and relax even if only for two hours. I was so blessed by everyone who attended, and we met some new faces and made some new friends in the process.

The food was as always FANTASTIC!! Thank you to all my volunteers who slave away in the kitchen and make sure it is ready for Sunday lunch. THANK YOU!! We could not have our luncheons without you.

Mark your calendars now for our first lunch in 2009! I can't believe it is already here! I hope to see you on January 18th! If you have any questions, please e-mail me anytime at

May God bless you and your family richly this Christmas and may 2009 be bright and beautiful!

To be used by Him,

Chelle and Be a Barnabas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BaB Lunch THIS Sunday, 12/21


Just a reminder that our next Be a Barnabas Single Parent Lunch and Fellowship is this Sunday. December 21, at VLC Waco. Our free food and fellowship fun time will follow the 10 a.m. church service. We will meet in the gym.

I can't wait to see y'all!

Chelle and Be a Barnabas

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Cross - Arthur Blessitt Brings Christ's Love to the World

Arthur Blessitt is a blessing from God. On Christmas Day in 1969, he woke at 5 a.m. with a message from the Lord to take the 12-foot-tall, 45-pound cross off the wall of his coffee shop and carry the cross on foot to God's children throughout the world.

On March 27, 2009, Mr. Blessitt's miraculous story of Jesus' love will be in theaters. (View the trailer here.) I would love to get a group together to see this, so if your interested, please e-mail me at I'll cry. Just a warning. LOL

God is so good. Let's glorify His name and support Christian film making.

Here are some interesting facts I learned about the cross at

Carried in 52 countries at war

Number of different countries cross carried - 315
Times arrested or in jail for carrying the cross - 24
Most apt country to be arrested in - USA
Most apt city to be arrested in - Hollywood, CA

The cross has been turned away from being left overnight at more than half the churches requested, but has never been turned away from spending the night at a bar or nightclub in 38 years around the world.

I will pray at the foot of this cross while you sleep anytime, Arthur Blessitt!

Let's rejoice and praise the Lord for the Good News He is spreading by using His servant Arthur Blessitt.

To be used by Him,

Chelle and Be a Barnabas

"I want to clearly declare, Jesus is my Savior and Lord. I totally seek to follow Him, love God with all my heart and love others as myself. The Holy Spirit of God dwells in my heart and I know the constant, never changing presence of God. Jesus promised in Matthew. 28:20:'I will be with you always.' How wonderful!"

~Arthur Blessitt, Follower of Jesus Christ