Real FamilyLife®

Dave and Ann Wilson

The Ball of Twine

August 11, 2017

Collecting can be a fun hobby.  In 1950, Francis Johnson, a farmer in Minnesota, started a unique collection.  He decided to make the biggest ball of twine in the world.  He worked on this project four hours a day, every day for twenty-nine years.  When he was finished, his ball weighed 8.7 tons.

Johnson's twisted monument is still proudly displayed in Darwin, MN.  And in case you wondered, residents there will celebrate their annual "Twine Ball Days" tomorrow.

But you know what?  That ball of twine won't last forever.  There's nothing wrong with having hobbies or maintaining collections, but I hope your greatest energy is being spent on the things of eternal value.

One final thought.   I Timothy 6:18 tells us to "be rich in good works."  Consider what kind of good works you could start collecting today.

I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.

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It is important for Moms and Dads to teach their children manners, and to be unified as they do it.  But there's something also to be said for occasionally doing something goofy at the dinner table.  One evening in our home, we threw marshmallows at one another and laughed so hard we had tears streaming down our faces.  Laughter needs to be a welcome member in our homes.  Martin Luther once said, "If the earth is fit for laughter then surely heaven is filled with it.  Heaven is the birthplace of laughter."  As moms and dads, we shouldn't get too busy to have fun, or become so goal - oriented that we think members of our family are simply "in the way."  One final thought.  What can you do tonight to let the laughter bounce off the walls?  What would your children do if you let a marshmallow fly or squeezed mashed potatoes between your teeth? I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 10, 2017
That IS a tough situation.  C.T. Studd was a missionary in Africa.  He faced a tough situation as well.  His family had run out of food.  They were facing starvation.  They had a night of prayer, pleading for help.  The next day they received a substantial check from a man they had never heard of.  In the note he said simply that God had told him to send the money. Does God always respond to our requests as dramatically as that?  No.  But what He does respond to is humility that expresses utter dependence on Him.  I've observed one of God's most prized prayers is one that cries out to Him in total desperation. One final thought.  If you find yourself in a hopeless situation,  express your needs to God in prayer.  Confess your helplessness in dealing with them and your total trust in God's power to bring you help. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 8, 2017
Every parent has a special opportunity to pass on the truths of God's Word to the next generation.  When we try to navigate life without following Biblical instructions, it reminds me of a time I visited a building that was being remodeled. I asked a custodian for directions, and he pointed across a mass of construction debris to a hallway.  With a confused look, he said, "That's where you need to go.  But you can't get there from here." If you aren't seeking God through his Word, life will be as confusing and muddled as trying to negotiate through that construction debris.  We simply won't know how to get there from here. One final thought.  Why don't you take some time tonight, pull your family close, and read from the scriptures together.  Make it a daily habit.  God will show you how to get from where you are, to where you need to be. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 7, 2017
A magazine editor named Gilbert Beers, once wrote about one of his ancestors and the legacy she left.  She was captured by a tribe of Indians in 1663, and was about to be burned at the stake, when she began to sing hymns to God.  Her husband heard her singing, was able to find her in the middle of the forrest and rescue her.  Had she not sung in the face of death, Gilbert's family would have never existed. That story illustrates a profound truth:  By honoring your parents and ancestors for their positive contributions in your life, you highlight the legacy of their lives.  In doing so, you pass on to succeeding generations stories of lessons learned and wisdom gathered.  One final thought.  How you relate to your parents and speak about them today, can demonstrate for your children a powerful statement of love.  It also allows the wisdom of one generation to pass to the next. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 4, 2017
Yeah, that's a great song.  The Bible is full of stories of God blessing people who trusted and obeyed His commandments.  The eleventh chapter of Hebrews reminds us of heroes like Noah, Abraham, and Moses.  They stand as examples of people who were blessed because of their faithful obedience. The formula of "trust and obey" works in families too.  When a man and a woman are married in a holy, lifelong commitment to God, they receive His blessing.  Does this mean that that marriage will never have problems?  Of course not.  Your family and mine will take hits.  But our setbacks are temporary when we do things God's way. One final thought.  As you read and study the Bible, determine if you and your family are trusting God, and obeying His commands.  If you're not, it's time to begin to trust and obey. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 3, 2017
Most parents have seen anger in their children.  Anger is a secondary emotion.  When I say that I mean that something else has caused the anger.  If your child comes home from school and blows up at you, or his brother or sister, or even the dog, it's possible that something happened at school to cause him to get angry.  So now, you've have an angry child, what do you do? The time to address anger in a child is not in the midst of the argument or in the midst of heated words.  You may need to give your child some time to cool off or to remind him to choose his words carefully.  After the anger has died down, try to understand what hurt him and work through that issue.  React to your child in love, not anger. One final thought.  A child who is angry, is like a mud wrestler.  You, as the parent must stay out of the mud, and remain as objective and loving as possible.  I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 2, 2017
Early in marriage, every couple needs to talk about when they want to have children.  As a new couple is getting to know one another and adjust, it's easy to put the conversation off. Many couples wait to have children because they aren't certain their marriage will go the distance.  Many feel inadequate to be a mom or a dad.  And it's a scary world out there.  It can be intimidating to bring a child into the world. Let me offer you some advice.  First of all, look at children through the eyes of God.  In the Bible, He's told us to be fruitful and multiply.  He refers to children as a blessing.  Children also are redemptive and teach us to be less selfish and more giving. One final thought.  Every couple needs to be in discussion about when to have children.  As you do, remember: children are a gift from God.  He will help you nurture and provide for them. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 1, 2017
You know, we hear a lot of negative things about children today.  But are they really so bad?
July 31, 2017
Do you ever feel as though the little irritations of life are about to overwhelm you?
July 28, 2017
I don't know if you've noticed, but the news headlines recently haven't exactly been promoting traditional family values.
July 27, 2017
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500 Hours Together: A Family Time Challenge
There are 8,760 hours in a year. You’ll spend roughly 2,080 of those hours at work. On average, almost 900 hours swiping on social media. How much family time are you getting in? 

About Real FamilyLife®

Real FamilyLife® is conversational in nature and provides practical, biblical tools to address the issues affecting your family. You'll receive motivation, encouragement, and help.

About Dave and Ann Wilson

Dave and Ann Wilson are co-hosts of FamilyLife Today©, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program.

Dave and Ann have been married for more than 40 years and have spent the last 35 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® since 1993, and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country.

Dave and Ann helped plant Kensington Community Church in Detroit, Michigan where they served together in ministry for more than three decades, wrapping up their time at Kensington in 2020.

The Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released books Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019) and No Perfect Parents (Zondervan, 2021).

Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame Quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as Chaplain for thirty-three years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active with Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small group leader, and mentor to countless women.

The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

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