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Your Happy Life

Superkid, as your commander, I’d like to show you how to have a happy life, regardless of your situation. People sometimes forget that happiness doesn’t depend on circumstances. They can be in a tough situation and still be happy. Or things can be going great, yet they are sad.

 

So, think about this question, Superkid: When things aren’t going your way, how can you stay happy?

 

Let’s talk about attitude, and the choices that lead to a HAPPY life. This HAPPY-ATTITUDE way of life makes it easy for the JOY of the Lord to flourish and grow. The key to happiness is: DON’T FOCUS ON YOU! That job belongs to Jesus! He is completely focused on you. You can trust Him to be with you in tough times, and to bring you through better off than you started! When you believe that, and choose this way of life, you can take your eyes off yourself and see things in the right order of importance.

 

None of us see ourselves as selfish, but we can easily miss the signs of self-centeredness. I believe there is a difference between these two self-focused attitudes: Selfish people are LOOKING for ways to put themselves first, while self-centered people are NOT LOOKING for ways to put others first.

 

Let that sink in so you understand the difference. Read it as many times as you need to before moving on. If you are reading this as a family, talk about the difference between selfish and self-centered before you continue.

 

{Insert thinking emoji or picture}

 

I know Jesus has made a difference in your life, and you’re not selfish anymore. (Anyone can be selfish at times and needs to repent, but I’m talking about a selfish LIFESTYLE.)

 

If, however, we examine ourselves for self-centeredness…OUCH! It’s often there, and it will absolutely drain the HAPPY right out of us! Remember this, Superkid: If everything in your life has to be perfect for you to be HAPPY, YOU NEVER WILL BE HAPPY!

 

Some might think that life with Jesus means things will never go wrong. That isn’t true. Even discipline when it comes may feel wrong, but it’s not! We will surely have challenges and stress, but we can remain happy or at least be at peace. When you can stay happy in everyday situations, joy will flow out of your spirit in the super-tough times.

 

Signs of Self-Centeredness

Here are a few signs that you may have some self on your mind. Do you complain a lot? Do you need to be first in line or first to play a game? Do you get upset when things don’t go your way? When your mind is on you, it’s easy to notice when things aren’t perfect. One thing I have learned about perfection is this: IT’S NOT REQUIRED! Your perfection is in Jesus. He makes your imperfection turn out great. When you let Him be in charge, you’ll look back on your life (or week) and think how awesome it was.

 

Signs of Jesus-Centeredness

This way might seem hard, but it is the easiest. When you focus on Jesus, you naturally put others first. He never thought of Himself first, and since He is living inside you, all you have to do is let Him show! Remember, you can love others because He first loved you, so be patient with others when they are annoying, and forgive them when they are mean. When you live like this, it’s easy to not be self-centered. You can be a blessing to others. You can take last place and enjoy it! Then Jesus will make sure YOU are blessed and get to go first. The best thing about this way of life is that you’ll stop noticing things to complain about, because you are no longer focused on you.

 

What It Isn’t

One last thing, Superkid. When I say, “focused on you,” I don’t mean to not take care of yourself. We all need to rest, play, recharge in our time with the Lord, and have healthy relationships with other people.

 

Putting others first does NOT mean you let others be mean to you or walk all over you. You put hurtful people first by praying for and loving them FROM A DISTANCE. The Lord does not require you to allow others to mistreat you. Let Jesus work on their hearts while you stay in peace with them. Remember, Superkid, you can do this BECAUSE you trust Jesus to focus on you. And since you are not focused on yourself, YOU can be free of offense and hurt feelings. He is the One who can help them, because HE is your Savior AND theirs. Aren’t you HAPPY that’s not YOUR job?

 

Your job is to follow Jesus. Now that’s a HAPPY life! ♥

 

Kellie Copeland

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FIRST Grade

Back to school? No. Homework assignment? Maybe. What are we talking about, Commander Kellie? Keep reading, Superkid.

 

Let’s talk about firsts. Dictionary.com defines FIRST:

 

  • Before all others or anything else in time, order or rank
  • Before some other thing, event
  • The first part; first member of a series
  • In baseball, first base

 

Superkid, I want you to grade yourself on how YOU are doing with your FIRSTS. Let’s look at the list above, one at a time. I’ll ask the questions and you answer. Be honest with yourself and with the Lord! Not only does He know EXACTLY what’s going on in your heart, He can help YOU see it, if you ask Him. So, if you don’t know, ask the TEACHER!

 

Where have I positioned God in my life; first, before all others?

In Matthew 19:20-21 (The Passion Translation) a rich young man came to Jesus asking what he must do to have eternal life. He told Jesus, “I always keep God’s rules” but Jesus gave him an instruction that showed the man’s true heart and priorities. Jesus said, “Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor. Then you’ll have your treasure in heaven.” He thought Jesus didn’t want him to be rich, but Jesus was just answering his question. If he wanted eternal life, he needed to refocus his love on the Father, to treasure the things of God instead of money and possessions. But he loved money so much he went away angry, not realizing Jesus had offered him the best! “Come follow Me,” Jesus said. The rich young leader should have said, “Really, Jesus? That’s awesome, thank You!” Matthew 6:33 puts it perfectly: “But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you” (TPT).

 

Jesus told the disciples that those who put Him first will be repaid a hundred times over AND have eternal life. If you put yourself first, you’ll end up last. Those who put Jesus first and leave themselves last, will end up FIRST! In Acts 5:29, Peter and the other apostles were arrested and told to stop speaking about Jesus but they replied, “We must listen and obey God more than pleasing religious leaders” (TPT). The rich young ruler missed it, but not Peter! He gets an A+! So, how about it, Superkid? Are you putting God first?

 

Is Jesus the first One you think about before you get up?

Psalm 119:147 (New Living Translation) says, “I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.”

 

When I wake up, I talk to Jesus out loud. He wants to be your first thought every day. Why? Because He loves you! He already has your day planned out. When you set your love and attention on Him first, it’s easier to trust and listen to Him all day! That would have helped the rich young ruler. He was thinking about living forever when he could have been REALLY living by following Jesus! Not to keep picking on this guy, but he really missed it! When you make Jesus your first thought every day, you won’t miss it! He will make you the best at what He’s called you to be. We can all do better at this, Superkid. I challenge you to put Jesus first in your day. If you already do, go deeper! I’m going to do the same!

 

How do you handle FIRSTS?

The first time you go off the high dive, the first day of school, the first time you speak in front of people, the first time the Lord prompts you to tell someone about Jesus. This is important. Your answer lets you know where your trust level is with God. The Lord is always leading us into new and exciting adventures. When you do what He tells you to do, there is always something great ahead. You may feel fear when these firsts come up (OK, the high dive fear was a real thing for me when I was a kid.) and you may want to back away from it, but stop! Take authority over fear, Superkid. Second Timothy 1:7 (TPT) gives us an important truth to stand on: “For God will never give you the spirit of cowardly fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and sound judgment!”

 

Say this, “Firsts don’t bother me! I am filled with Jesus, not fear!”

 

Focusing on God in us FIRST will keep us from fearing people, situations and the things that lie ahead. It all comes down to His love. We can put Him first because He put us FIRST! We love Him because He loved us FIRST!

 

So how did you do? The most amazing thing about these firsts is that you get seconds—second tries! As you begin to put Him first, you can even ask Him to remind you and He will. He will help and correct you until you can say, “I’ve passed first grade!” And the Father ALWAYS gives an A+. He looks at you and He sees Jesus. Whew! Great job, Superkid. You passed!

 

Wait! What about baseball and what does that have to do with this anyway?

 

Stay Tuned…

 

Commander Kellie

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Who Do You Look Like?

 

Funny thing, Superkids. A few months ago I showed you a picture of me digging for diamonds. Guess what everyone thought; they thought it was my 6-year-old daughter, Emily! How can I look like a 6-year-old? What’s funny is that people usually think kids look like their parents, not the other way around. Have you ever been told you look like your mom or dad, brother or sister? My kids do all look like me and I look like my parents. How does that happen? You have your parents’ DNA, which is the material that transfers their genetic characteristics to you (dictionary.com).

 

Superkids, Jesus gave us HIS DNA! When you asked Jesus into your heart you became a new person on the inside! Things like fear, anxiety, rage, pain, sorrow, disobedience, hate—those don’t belong to you. You’ve been freed from the control of those things—made new and reborn as His children, the Bible says. In 2 Corinthians 6:16, 18, New Living Translation, it says that we are the temple of the living God. He said, “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” In John 14:23 Jesus says, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”

 

That’s some BIG NEWS, Superkids! We have a heavenly Father who makes His home in us! Galatians 3 tells us that by believing this we receive the promise of the Holy Spirit! We are God’s children, and He lives in us. Wow, that makes us EXTRAORDINARY, but the most amazing thing of all is that when we contain God’s DNA, we begin to look like Him! Superkids, the Bible calls it FRUIT or evidence. Look at Galatians 5:22-23, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

 

Those are the traits of God and as His children they are in us. All we have to do is what verse 16 says, and let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. I talked to you recently about looking for treasure and about having a treasure buddy. But Superkids, I want you to realize that the big treasure in you is Jesus. The more you LOOK to Him and LISTEN to Him, the more He begins to be SEEN and HEARD. Of course you know what happens next, YOU begin to LOOK like HIM! That was God’s plan all along—for you and me, His kids, to look and act just like our Father. Jesus lived that way. He said in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!”

 

There are many places in the Bible where it talks about you and me being made into His image. Second Corinthians 3:18 says that “the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

 

Ephesians 4:22, 24 (The Passion Translation) tells us to let go of the old way of living, “and you will be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him!”

 

Keep looking at Jesus, Superkids, and it’s like looking into a mirror—pretty soon you start seeing Him more and more. Philippians 3:20-21 (TPT) says, “But our passions are set on the heavenly realm as we cling tightly to our Life-Giver, the Lord Jesus Christ. The transformation of his body took place at his resurrection so that our bodies would also share in the same power, transfiguring us into the identical likeness of his glorified body. And by his matchless power, he continually subdues all that is within us to himself.”

 

Superkids, stick with Jesus. Keep looking at Him. It’s not hard or a struggle when you realize He’s the One doing the work inside you. You are a child of God and you look just like your big brother, Jesus. How easy is that? It’s a done deal! ♥

 

Until next time,

Commander Kellie

 

Superkids, Jesus gave us HIS DNA!

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Growing Home

Last month, we looked at how we handle FIRSTS, and I left you with the mention of first base. I told you we would talk about baseball.

 

I’m no expert, but even without knowing much about the game, most people know you have to reach first base before you go to second. There’s no skipping bases! The umpire makes sure of that!

 

Life is like a baseball game.

 

To score, you have to make some home runs—you have to make it to first, second and third base. Apply that to the actions, successes, lessons and maturity of life. If you are going to do the BIG things God has for you, you have to do some smaller things first.

 

We may want to jump ahead of where we are and act bigger, smarter or stronger without taking the time to grow, study or exercise. At your age, when I was told I couldn’t do something, I sometimes thought, I’m old enough to do that! Why won’t they let me? From taking my bicycle training wheels off to wanting to drive a car, I believed I was able to do ANYTHING! The truth is, eventually you can reach any goal you and Jesus set for yourself, Superkid. But you cannot go from training wheels to driving a car overnight. Your body has to grow and develop, and you have to study the rules of the road and learn how to operate a car, and then you have to practice driving with a parent or teacher.

 

You can’t start at the top in any sport, class or lesson. You begin on the floor in gymnastics and eventually work up to the high beam. You start with a simple piano book before you play concert piano. So, the rules of baseball apply in life too. The growth process affects every area of life…forever.

 

It may not sound like a big deal, but shortcut thinking can keep you dissatisfied your whole life—always wanting more, never truly enjoying TODAY! If you stop and think about it, the Lord will show you where you have been impatient, wanting to race ahead of your growth in an area. We’ve all done it, but I have some good news for you! There is a secret weapon on the inside of you! PATIENCE will help you while you are growing. I have found that sometimes I wanted my FAITH to be ready to receive something huge when I hadn’t practiced on something small. Of course, you can have the huge thing you are believing for, but your faith has to develop. James 1:3 (New Living Translation) tells us that when our faith is tested, our endurance (patience) has a chance to grow. Verse 4 (NLT) says, “So let it grow, for when your [patience] is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

 

When we develop patience, we continue to grow, our faith continues to grow, and we WILL come to where we want to be. Living like this, we can enjoy every stage of growth instead of being dissatisfied or unthankful for where we are today.

 

I like the way Colossians 2:7 (NLT) says it, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.” Superkid, roots take time to grow deep, but if you keep walking by faith, it happens. The rest of that verse says, “Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with THANKFULNESS.” And thankfulness leads to God’s best. Hebrews 10:36 says, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised” (NLT).

 

Even Jesus had to learn this lesson. In Luke 2:41-51, Jesus had gone with His parents to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. A full day into their trip home, Jesus’ parents realized He was missing! They returned to Jerusalem and found him in the Temple asking questions and talking with the priests and leaders. He’d been gone for three days! He must have thought He was old enough to go to the Temple by Himself, but the Bible says His mother scolded Him. Verse 51 tells us that “he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them” (NLT). Imagine, the Son of God, yet He knew He needed to grow up. Luke 2:52 (The Passion Translation) says, “As Jesus GREW, so did his wisdom and maturity. The favor of men INCREASED upon his life, for he was loved greatly by God.”

 

Superkid, YOU, too, are greatly loved by God, as you are growing up! And, just about the time you think you’ve arrived, the Lord will lead you into something new and even more exciting. He has bigger plans than you can see, but one thing is certain: He plans for you to keep growing and keep reaching your goals. He plans for you to be like Jesus—growing up in wisdom, maturity and all good things! Jesus will make sure you make it to first base, second, third and into HOME. And, Superkid, I’ll be cheering all the way! ♥

 

Living like this, we can enjoy every stage of growth instead of being dissatisfied or unthankful for where we are today.

 

Kellie Copeland

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Treasure Buddies

Hey, Superkids, how is your treasure hunting going? The last few months we’ve talked about hunting for the greatest prize to be found, WISDOM! I let you in on my adventures in treasure hunting. I shared a picture of ME digging in the dirt for diamonds. What a great example of the lengths and effort we should be willing to go to for wisdom. Seashell hunting or diamond mining can’t compare to finding real life and real help in Jesus, especially since HE CAN ALWAYS BE FOUND!

 

When we find wisdom, the Bible says we’ve found the main thing. But how do we “keep the main thing, the main thing”? How do we stay focused on not only finding wisdom, but walking in the ways of wisdom that we discover? You’ll find a few great answers in God’s Word, but one of the most important treasure tools the Father gives us is godly friends. They make such a difference in our lives! I call them Treasure Buddies. I have some amazing treasure buddies in my life. Do you? And how do you know if your friends are treasure buddies or more like pirates? God’s Word describes both kinds of people.

 

Have you ever known kids who want to grow up too fast or think it’s cool to make their own choices—who want to do their own thing and go their own way regardless of what their teachers or parents say? They may think it’s the quickest way to have fun and impress others, by getting their own way or being a big shot. But the goals your friends consider to be great treasures may not be treasures at all. Being the best at sports, being popular, being the funniest or the cutest, pales in comparison to the life God has planned for them. When you choose to run with those friends, you’ll focus on the same things they do and you’ll be looking in the wrong places for treasure and end up in a pirate trap!

 

Proverbs 1:10-15 (New Living Translation) talks about some pretty bad characters—murderers, thieves and out and out pirates, but LOOK! The Bible considers people who sin and think it’s fun, in the same category.

 

My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.” My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.

 

You’re probably not tempted to hang out with people who are that bad, but how bad is OK to you? The verses above talk about people who think it’s funny to steal, and to be mean, selfish, sneaky and hurtful. Know anyone like that? Study the people you hang out with at school. What are they looking for? What is treasure to them? Do they help you follow God and help you respect wisdom and authority? I pray so! That would mean they are actually like treasure maps, giving you direction that flows along with God’s Word and the wisdom from your parents! Did you even realize friends could do that? Think about this: Did you ever think that YOU could be a treasure map for YOUR friends?

 

Having someone to run after God with, is like a diamond in many ways. One thing about a diamond that helps you find it, is that dirt won’t stick to it. It slides right off! Just like sin won’t stick to someone who loves Jesus! Even when they mess up or sin, Jesus helps them get rid of it. We all need friends like that! Another interesting diamond fact is what happens when light hits it. Actually, several things happen. Not only is light reflected, but when light hits the top, it swirls around inside before shooting back out the top. It can even create a rainbow effect!

 

You and a godly friend can bring out the Jesus treasure in each other, the same way a great relationship with your parents can make you shine like a well-cut and polished diamond!

 

Loads of wisdom can be found in 1 and 2 Timothy, including how we should live our lives. And one of my favorite jewels is found in 2 Timothy 2:22 where it says, “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (NLT).

 

In other words,

 

RUN FROM anything that stirs a desire to sin.

 

RUN TOWARD God and all His ways.

 

RUN WITH friends who love Him, too.

 

Those are your TREASURE BUDDIES! If you have friends like that, be thankful! If you don’t, then ask the Lord to bring you one! Either way, YOU be a treasure buddy and run after wisdom! You’ll find that treasure-hunting friend God is sending your way!

 

Happy Hunting, Superkids! ♥

 

 

Kellie Copeland

 

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