A Sincere Response to No

BY: Starr Cliff

Ever seen a stubborn kid throw a fit about not getting his way?  Quite a scene, right?

I can’t quote him exactly, but a few Sundays ago our pastor said something along the lines of “Our response to ‘No’ is a measure of our maturity. How we feel and act when our expectations are not met reveals our self-righteousness.”


I love when a truth about my relationship with Father God parallels so well with the relationship I have with my own children. Seeing a spiritual truth play out in my parenting helps me better grasp the truth of it in my own personal responses to God.

One of the greatest joys I experience as a mom is when my kids obey joyfully. It communicates so much about trust, and right relationship,  and contentment.

When my child can handle “no” without throwing a fit,  it makes me more likely to trust him with a “yes” down the road. I know he can be trusted in more mature situations (sleep-overs,  parties,  technology) when being told “no” to those things doesn’t leave him undone. He is viewing things with the proper, healthy perspective when not being able to have whatever that “thing” may be doesn’t leave him flailing. If I tell a kid to turn off a video game and he does it happily, great! If I tell him to turn off a video game and he pouts and panics, or even just quietly ignores me,  he’s probably on the road to giving that game an unhealthy place in his life (or in stronger terms, making that game an idol).

Likewise,  what is my response when feeling like I need to put down something in my own life? Do I sometimes quietly ignore prompts from the Father to quit doing something? To start doing something? You bet I do. Because just like my children, I don’t like no.  I think I know best.  And ignoring prompts from the Father messes with the relationship.  It’s not a severed relationship; God doesn’t stop loving me just like I don’t stop loving my children. But in both cases it makes for a petulant, unhappy child.  In my experience as a mom, unhappy petulant children can’t do much other than just be unhappy and petulant.  They miss out.  There is joy to be had, but they miss it.

There’s also a trust issue at hand, right? If my child is mature and accepts my love and care for him,  he can more readily accept my “no”. He wants what he wants,  sure,  but our relationship doesn’t become undone when he hears my “no” because he trusts that I must have a reason. He can experience disappointment while simultaneously trusting that I’m doing what’s best for him.  (Well, at least what I think best within my my limited,  human frailty and understanding. When God says “No”, I can trust in His perfection.)

I have been told “no” by God, and it’s hard.  Painful stuff.  Trust, contentment, maturity — the absence or presence of all those things are on grand display and it’s not always pretty.  The “no” that I received wasn’t a command or a nudging in a certain direction, or a decision I got to make for myself; but instead it was out of my hands and in the form of friendships that didn’t play out how I wanted, jobs I didn’t get to keep, and places I didn’t get to live.  When I see those circumstances in my life as directed by the hand of a loving, caring, perfect Father, they are still painful but not nearly as much so.  I trust him.  His plan is better than mine.

The more I seek relationship with God, the more I believe that He is the author of the story of my life, and the more I experience of His faithfulness, the more I can accept that “no” is always for my good and His glory.

Look for a purpose in the pain that “no” can bring.  It’s there.  He doesn’t waste anything.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4


And What Remains

An ordinary father wants to leave an extraordinary legacy and sets out to revisit his father s past in hopes of helping his son face the future. Set in Eastern Kansas, it s a story of regret, of reconciliation and of hope, exploring the complex relationship between a father and son.

And What Remains from Resonate Pictures on Vimeo.


If you liked this video, then you may be interested in many of these related resources. There are study guides, and many other suggested uses for this video.  

Yancy Music: Roots for the Journey


Roots for the Journey  is available TODAY!

What started as a lullaby CD for Yancy s son with songs all based on scripture, soon became a really nice, relaxed worship experience. The music, organic, unplugged and simple featuring upright bass, glockenspiels and cello in addition to acoustic guitars  and piano, nicely accompaniments the eternal Word of God.  These songs have the power to strengthen the faith of all Christians, young  and old.

Taking key scriptures and truths that I wanted to pass  on to my son and make sure he knew and understood the direction and answers these scriptures provide us was important. As I  worked in the studio, I realized that with how the music was shaping up and the fact that the Bible is true whether  you re an infant or a grown up these songs had more potential. Already when I meet  people in my life that are facing big mountains, fears or need answers, I ve been able to use these songs as a  way to help strengthen their faith and help them meditate on what God s Word says. Yancy

Any adult will love this music! Anyone who needs a little peace and comfort added to their crazy day will benefit from not only the music but God s promises from His Word in this music. Plus, Yancy covers her own song she wrote for Avalon 12 years ago I Don t Want to Go .

  • Order the CD today!  We are offering a great deal on a pack of 5 CD s too. Get some to give to others who are needing encouragement or use in classrooms, etc. Or you can  download  from iTunes and other digital outlets.
  • Watch  and listen as Yancy shares first hand why she made the album and what “Roots for the Journey” is all about!
  • Here is a music video for the song  “Safe”from “Roots for the Journey”. Share this new music with your friends and co-workers!

4 Ways to Make Your Environments Attractive


Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

The most important thing we can do to create a place people want to come back to is make sure our environment are amazing. It’s numero uno, there isn’t anything bigger, and it’s never 2nd place to anything! The environment is the place people are going. It’s the smells the smell, the sounds they hear, the things they see, and the people they interact with. It’s the parking lot, the front doors, the hallway and the classrooms.

Simply put, the environment is EVERYTHING someone experiences when they visit you. Everything. This isn’t a Children’s Ministry truth, this is a church-wide element. Here are 4 ways to make your environments better!

1. Make it Noisy. Music matters. It’s only bad if it’s missing, too loud, or too quiet. Think of grocery stores, doctors offices, and being on hold with an operator. Music calms, it’s setups something important, and it paints the walls of the mind.

2. Make it Easy.  Do we make it easy for parents to get into our spaces, and do we make it quick? I’ve been in some amazingly beautiful hallways that had such an unorganized check-in process that you’d never notice how pretty those walls were. If parents can’t find where to go, and how to get there quickly, then they won’t be happy. Just think of your first time somewhere new. You want in and you want out, and you want to do both of them as fast as possible!

3. Make it Fun. A great environment should include the sound of someone laughing, and I’m not talking the evil Disney movie  villain  laughing. It should be a fun place to be. For you it may be a play structure, or maybe a fun bus stop bench at check-in, or video games setup somewhere. Fun alone won’t do much good, but fun can be the entry door to get kids to keep dragging their parents back to church.

4. Make it Safe. Would you like every parent to know that you love their child? Then work hard to create a safe and secure environment. Background checks, pick-up receipts, locked doors during service time, and security at every exit are just the basics. If you’re not doing these things, and more, then you’re not speaking a parents love language.


I Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all people, that  by all means I might save some.