Entries by Nicole Balza

Advent devotions keep family’s eyes on Jesus

During most of the year, our family gathers each evening for a Bible story and song. But we take a break from our regular devotions for the month of Advent. Instead, we sit at the dining room table around a lovely handcrafted Advent tree, a gift from my father-in-law. Simple Advent devotions First, my husband […]

Seeing the Lord this Christmas

I can see the candlelight in her eyes. It flickers there in the dark sanctuary. It lights up her small face in constantly new ways as the flame dances pushing shadows off her face. It was Christmas Eve 2014. She was singing “Silent Night.” I almost lost it. I hope it wasn’t just sentimentality. I […]

A simple Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. Time stops for no one. So we dash through the snow to pick up kids. Buy the latest toy. Find dresses for the girls and suits for the boys. Bake Christmas cookies. Help the kids memorize their Christmas services. Set up Christmas get-togethers with our family and friends. Bake more Christmas cookies. […]

How can I help my son grow into a godly man?

“What does it mean to be a man?” That question ran through my mind as I considered that this might be my last year to have much influence on my oldest son, Josiah. Living in Alaska, my wife and I planned to send Josiah to Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wis., for high school. And […]

More is caught than taught

My oldest daughter recently took her driving test for the state of Arizona. She passed the written test without breaking a sweat, but it took nearly a year of behind-the-wheel practice for her to get comfortable driving in Phoenix traffic. In that time, she observed my driving with new interest, noting my safe driving methods […]

Raising strong, godly women

Honestly, I think we do a pretty good job raising strong, godly women. When I look at the young women my kids bring home and the young women where I work, I’m impressed. First, by their fearless faith. These young women aren’t afraid to say the name of Jesus in the grocery store. They form […]

Back to school: Tips for a smooth transition

Are you ready for school to start? Some parents love the freedom and fun of the summer schedule. Some are like my husband and have a countdown on the calendar with a smiley face on the first day of school. No matter how you feel about it, the school year is beginning. Here are some […]

A successful school year starts in summer?

I personally believe setting the stage for a successful school year starts in summer. My wife and I try to get our children on a typical, healthy routine a few weeks prior to the school year. That includes trying to get them to settle in to sleep at a reasonable time and helping them adapt […]