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  1. God always does the unthinkable. Praise him for that.

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    Comment by Sithulisiwe ncube — April 4, 2013 @ 12:55 am

  2. This writer is opening our minds to see the love of God for the whole universe.

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    Comment by alex mwesigye — April 4, 2013 @ 1:25 am

  3. Thanks for this sound article.
    I think E.W. also said that is ok to rather be to much tender than severe.

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    Comment by Goran Bosanac — April 4, 2013 @ 4:55 am

  4. William, a wonderful presentation. I seek your prayers as I teach in a public school in Jamaica where tenderness is regarded as weakness. A loving, tender but firm reprimand does not win respect but that the teacher is weak. I continue to pray and ask God to help me represent His character aright.

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    Comment by Dolice Castro — April 4, 2013 @ 5:20 am

  5. Thanks for the illustration. I love it.

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    Comment by Lynden Williams — April 4, 2013 @ 5:43 am

  6. Thank you for a rich illustration and l know it is coming straight from God. Thank you once again Jesus

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    Comment by Leslie Mfumu-Fumo — April 4, 2013 @ 8:37 am

  7. This is just a replica of Jesus teachings.... Ride on, God will use your ministry as tool to heal broken homes....

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    Comment by C Ibeh Nwachukwu — April 4, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  8. Thanks William for the thought I am blessed

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    Comment by ezra osoro — April 4, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  9. Hi William,

    Your approach for using the verses in Hosea surprised me. I hadn't thought of applying them to parenting. Your illustration of the cookie, the boy and the father just about makes me cry. I didn't know how to raise my son in so many aspects. I may have acted like that father, but I may have said, " You can't eat the cookie because we don't eat between meals." I sure wish someone like you was around when we were raising our son because we could have used your counsel. By the time our son was 13 and in Boy Scouts, I had changed and was much more loving and supportive in the area of food and activities.

    Now we have grandchildren which means I have an opportunity to be everything I wanted to be as a parent but couldn't. What a joy to bring happiness and tenderness to these children.

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    Comment by Jane Sirignano — April 4, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  10. You are exactly right Goran. Ellen White says in the book Education, page 293-4 "Every true teacher will feel that should he err at all, it is better to err on the side of mercy than on the side of severity."

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 4, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  11. I am praying for you now Dolice, and will continue to do so. You are in a real mission field. You are on the frontlines.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 4, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

  12. Jane, as I commented in the post, parenting is a sacred calling and is not easy. We all do the best we can, and I trust by now your son realizes he is not perfect. We all have the truest aims but still make mistakes. Therefore we should be forgiving of our parents, teachers and mentors. God is still by your side, helping you make the most of being a parent and a grandparent.

    Thanks to everyone for participating in the discussion and for your encouragement and prayers for my ministry online and in the Tampa Bay area. God bless you all!

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 4, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  13. The beauty of God's word is that, every time you look at it, you learn something new. What an application. Does the author mean that it's okay to eat in church? Why were cookies being given out in the church? I understand however, the point he is trying to make with the relationship of the father and his son and how we should all treat each other.

    That takes me to Dolice, it's not that Jamaicans view tenderness as weakness, we gravitate towards love, kindness and tenderness like anyone else. Try not to patronise those kids, try not to make them lose face in front of their friends. They are like any other children of the world. They will try to get away with what they can. They will love and respect you and so will their parents if they see you are genuine. Get to really know them, on a one to one basis, talk to their parents, develop a relationship with them. Our teachers were stern, they took no mess, but we all knew the kind ones and they were loved and respected. Work within the culture you are in, you will find it easier that way. You may even find that they talk about you as a great person behind your back. How do I know this? I was born and raised in the Jamaican culture and educated in the public school system. On behalf of all Jamaicans I thank you for the wonderful work you, and all teachers do on a daily basis. It is not an easy job, God bless you and you are in my prayers.

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    Comment by Paulette Cogle — April 5, 2013 @ 2:13 am

  14. How easy is to correct kids harshly and berate them when we see them doing something wrong. And then we wonder where they get their attitude, from us! I have to undo the damage I have done with my son, how different he acts when I ask in a polite voice for him to do something instead of telling him in a bossy voice what to do.

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    Comment by LJ — April 5, 2013 @ 3:44 am

  15. I am so thankful to you for such an educative piece. I have three sons and I have always opted treating them by the very strict way. I thought they will go way-ward if I treated them so softly. I once shouted on my second son, who is only four, right in church that God will not bless him when he passed a comment about a girl being too fat. I should have explained to him why he shouldn't have said that rather than passing that comment.Thank God for such a timely intervention.

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    Comment by Ellen Ntim — April 5, 2013 @ 6:14 am

  16. Sir thats a well thought, inspired approach to handle our families. God bless you.

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    Comment by Bernard Oloo — April 5, 2013 @ 6:25 am

  17. I look forward to each morning to study and read all the coments from all of you.
    Blessings are over flowing with love from all. Thank you
    I need to request prayer for me as grandparent, for I live with my children; I need to be like Jesus in everything! My son tends to be harsh with his children. Please lift us in prayer for strength is continued rearing of our children for now they are 16 and 12 what a beautiful age of learning and growing in Christ.
    Again, thank you so much for all you do in sharing bible verses and comments from E. White.

    Blessings from Heaven to all.

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    Comment by zsuzsi woodward — April 5, 2013 @ 11:19 am

  18. Thank you for your thoughts Paulette.The cookies were given out in Sabbath school as a special treat which was right after the first worship service where the tribute was read. In North America many churches have fellowship lunches in the church.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 5, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  19. Thanks again everyone for sharing. Ellen you are right for correcting your son. Nobody wants to be called fat. But you are right. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. We are all learning together.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 5, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  20. [Moderator Note: Please use full name when commenting]

    We are his beloved children

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    Comment by Sithekile — April 5, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  21. Praying for you and your family Zsuzsi.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 5, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  22. This week has been very inspirational and to read about real time application of the book of Hosea had to be God breathed. Thanks for the lesson today and I will be encouraging others to show that tender loving care to all children. This has been a most enjoyable presentation and a timely one for me to apply now while I raise my toddler. Thanks again.

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    Comment by Serkeitha Meadows — April 5, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

  23. Hi William,
    I have been living in N America for greater than twenty years now so I do understand the concept of eating in the fellowship hall. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong to eat in the sanctuary, I am not here to judge. I loved your application.

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    Comment by Paulette Cogle — April 5, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

  24. This is so powerful I am very grateful to the writer. As a special education teacher this just hit home.It's not easy being in the classroom in today's world. However, these words would be kept close to my heart and by the grace of God every time I have to open my mouth to speak to a student I trust that God will speak through me. Thanks William.

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    Comment by Cheryl Billingy Jarbo — April 5, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

  25. Thank you for this story it serves as a reminder to parents and teachers.

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    Comment by Annmarie Tucker — April 5, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  26. Thank you so much for the comments from all of you. A true blessing to me. It opened my eyes on how i must rebuke my daughter.

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    Comment by wellington rugube — April 5, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

  27. Thank you for the wonderful lesson and illustration and the comments. i am blessed with it. but i want some more light on wheather it is wrong to eat in church and why it would be. otherwise, during the holy communion we eat and drink right in church. in my opinion an organised eating can happen in church because it would have good intetions just like the holy communion. thank you.

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    Comment by McDonald Saka — April 5, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  28. dear friends indeed thats the love of God but remember this does not substitute the need for our commitment in giving Him back all that He requires from us especially to inherit His kingdom.salvation was already won by the Savior at the cross and He won us back but as Hoseas wife she needed to learn and live at home not back to her mad similarly we need to stay at the Saviors feet like that woman who annointed Christ with oil......the boundaries of forbearance in heaven will soon close and probation will close what shall become of me should be our question to answer....thanks

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    Comment by mike chisema — April 5, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

  29. Thank God for what He is doing to me and family.

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    Comment by gerald.moonga — April 6, 2013 @ 1:58 am

  30. The writer reveals how true the song is that says, "With arms wide open He'll pardon you, what He's done for other's He'll do for you. It is no secret that God loves you" My friend in Hosea we find that not only does He woo you to Him, He'll go the extra mile to keep you in His good graces. So I am having a hard time understanding why it is so easy to seek human aid in our trials of life rather than seeking God who has wisdom, guidance, advice and comfort that far surpasses any human advice.

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    Comment by John Herscher — April 6, 2013 @ 4:50 am

  31. Hi Paulette, I may have confused you. In the story the boy was eating in Sabbath school not the sanctuary.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 6, 2013 @ 5:13 am

  32. Now on the topic of parenting there is a lot of meat in two sentences found in chapter 7 of Patriarchs and Prophets on the flood. " As a reward for his faithfulness and integrity, God saved all the members of his family with him. What encouragement to parental fidelity! "

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    Comment by John Herscher — April 6, 2013 @ 5:15 am

  33. Thank you William for once again touching hearts and lives with a timely message.
    Parenting is very challenging. The times I regret most as I look back over the years of parenting my boys (now young men) are those when out of frustration or anger I lashed out with unkind, impatient, and hurtful words.
    I pray for forgiveness for those times and hope that my boys don't recall those times as vividly as I do!

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    Comment by Bobbie Blass — April 6, 2013 @ 11:00 am

  34. William !
    Thank God for you, You open the eyes, which never was open! It makes me very guilty!I wish I could have that child now! How nicely I could have taken care of her. Just pray for me. God will wipe away my sin.

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    Comment by usha Rai — April 10, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

  35. Usha, I am praying God has a wonderful next chapter in your story.

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    Comment by William Earnhardt — April 11, 2013 @ 6:35 am

  36. Usha,

    I feel for you because I have felt the same way many times. I find being honest with God about raising my children and grandchildren means that God can help us to make the necessary improvements in our parenting. Keep going one day at a time. That's all God expects of us.

    William, can you create a huge prayer list? Many of us need a wonderful, next chapter in our lives, in some way! Thanks for caring William!

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    Comment by Jane Sirignano — April 11, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

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