Monday, May 26, 2014

It's the custom. . .

My kids and I are reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. (I know what you are going to say;  "But you said all we need is the Bible."  Bear with me for a moment for my illustration.)  In the first few chapters, Mary Lennox (the main character) repeats a phrase to justify her actions.   She says, "It was the custom."  Too often I think we use that to justify our beliefs.   "Just because", or "because I said so", or "because that makes Jesus happy", or "because the Bible says so."   In remembering Deuteronomy's challenge to teach continually it is important to remember to back up our instruction with age appropriate reasons from Scripture.  "Why should I obey my parents?" Ephesians 6:1. "Why should I confess my sins?" I John 1:9. "Why should I do my best?" I Corinthians 10:31.  I'm searching myself to find the wisdom that is from God, found in His letter to us.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Work in Progres. . .

I'm trying this week to seize opportunities to talk about spiritual things.  From Patch the Pirate Bible songs in the car to jumping on those teaching moments with not "just because I said so" but "because God said so" and here is the verse to back it up; it's been amazing to see how God has provided the moments.  Even my 3 year old is picking up verses and concepts and my 12 year old is starting to see how certain attitudes are really just pride and selfishness, otherwise known as S I N.  We're not perfect but I can see us growing and that's really encouraging.

Today, I started memorizing Proverbs.  I'm noticing in the first seven verses, Solomon's eager attitude toward learning.  I knew that its healthy to have a good attitude toward learning but I hadn't realized the Biblical principal in play.  I'm eager to share that with the kids in the days to come. 

God is teaching me so much through this study, and it really amazes me that I'm 37 before I realize the Bible was really everything I need to know. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

While meditating on what I KNOW to be TRUE, the next verse that came to mind was Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NKJV)

When you walk.
When you rest.
When you wake.
Wear them on your hands.
Hang them between your eyes.
Write them on your house.

Discuss God's Word and make practical applications with your children all day long.

hmmm. . . I need to memorize Scripture. . . where do I start?  Well I'm asking for wisdom in parenting, so I think I'll start in Proverbs.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dirty Rotten Sinner

One of my children desperately needs to learn to problem solve.  So I thought I would try the problem solving approach that I'm teaching her to my parenting dilemma.  You cannot attempt to solve a problem in panic mode so before you panic (or shortly after since we're still practicing) break the problem into small sections.  First, what do you KNOW? 

I started thinking "what does the Bible say about my child?"  The first thing that came to mind was "There is none righteousness, no, not one." (Romans 3:10)  It's easy to believe that teenager is a sinner;  BUT, WAIT, surely that precious newborn isn't a "dirty rotten sinner!!!" Yep.  We are all born with a sin nature.   So how does this apply to parenting?   Well, my first and most important goal as a parent should be to lead my child to a saving knowledge of Christ.  Does this mean I scare them with stories of hell and berate them until they come to know Him?  No, but I should be sharing my love for Christ and the wonderful story of His redemption plan for them.  As they ask questions, I should be ready with answers from the Scriptures (1 Peter 1:15) .  As they get older and mentally more mature, a more aggressive approach toward soul-winning should be used, until they come to know Christ. After all you cannot have successful parenting without this initial step.  A sinner can do nothing but sin.

What does this look like every day?  I share God's love and they start to pick up on that (songs like Jesus Loves Me, ABC verses from BMA or Billy Graham Association).  I understand they are sinners; they need and Savior; and they will make sinful choices.  I began to teach them to make those wise choices as they mature enough to make them.  I share my belief that the only TRUTH is found in the WORD OF GOD.  I don't give them any other option.  As they get older, they may come to me with a question, such as, "why not this religion?" or "why believe the Bible?" and I can be ready with an answer. 

In closing, I just want to share one of the ways I have shared Christ with my children.  It's called a wordless book.  You can make pages out of construction paper or felt.  Size is not important, but at a young age, they can learn the colors and what they mean.

Black - My heart is black with sin. Rom. 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (KJV)
Red - Jesus blood shed on the cross can take away my sin.  1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."(KJV)
White - Jesus will wash my heart clean from sin. Ps. 51:7 "wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (KJV)
Yellow - Believe on Jesus and receive eternal life.  John14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." (KJV)
Green - Grow in the knowledge of the LORD. 2 Peter 3:18" But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (KJV) (**)

(The child may not actually be ready to accept Christ.  Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things.  And a word of caution, if a young child makes a decision for Christ but then as an older child comes to you with doubts, don't make it trivial or be insistent that they are already saved.   They may not have understood as a child and are under conviction and truly need to be saved.  Pray for wisdom and discernment.  God will give it.  He has promised in James 1:5.)

**wordless book instructions borrowed with modifications from**

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Everything I Need to Know

Recently my family has begun studying the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I,6 says "The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life is either expressly set down in Scripture or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture. . ."  (Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes G.L.Williamson) I began meditating on this juicy thought.  I have a copy of the Scripture. God's exact words to mean with all the instruction I need for life.  WOW!  What a thought!'

So, I proceeded to live the next day exactly the same as before.  I continued struggling with different parenting situations and praying for God to please give me wisdom AND consulting all the parenting resources I could find.  It took a couple of days for me to realize - I already had EVERYTHING I NEED in the Scriptures.  EVERYTHING I need for salvation and EVERYTHING I need for life.

So I'm challenging myself to go to the source.  I believe God answered that prayer for wisdom by pointing my stubborn self back to the Bible.  So I thought, I'll get a notebook or open a file on my computer and began listing the things He teaches me.  Then I thought, I'll start a blog.  This way you can hold me accountable for studying His Word and perhaps share some tidbits also.  And I can share what God is teaching me and maybe encourage someone else as well. 

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 

Day 1 - Begin searching for knowledge in the only true source.