Archive - January, 2014

Connecting Children to Their History

Some words for parents and teachers to carefully ponder from Tedd and Margy Tripp,

The Scripture teaches us much about the world we live in….Scripture is history that tells us about ourselves.

This revelation isn’t just about distant physical and spiritual relatives—it’s about each of us by name. Let that truth wash over you with all its implications and power. Bathe our children in that truth. Otherwise, the Bible’s prophecies, provisions, promises, and pronouncements will not motivate our speech and behavior. And our children will treat the Bible like a news story. (more…)

Why Should Children Be Taught the Ten Commandments?

RLF_Logo 72rgb

Consider these words by Sally Michael from the preface of the curriculum, The Righteous Shall Live By Faith: A Study for Children and Adults on the Ten Commandments:

…studying the Ten Commandments is not old fashioned and need not be legalistic or boring. The Ten Commandments have much to teach us about our great and glorious God. They reflect to us the perfections of God and His heart for His people. They are the foundation of God’s moral law. They show His children how to “walk in all His ways.”

The Ten Commandments have been part of the religious education of Western countries for hundreds of years and have often been part of the public school curriculum. It is only recently that they have been considered “outdated.”

We are in great need of moral absolutes in the 21st Century. The Ten Commandments stand as God’s great moral absolutes to a confused and troubled world. The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were when God gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

But the Ten Commandments are not only pertinent to our moral instruction, they can also be an instrument of conversion. For it is in God’s perfect law that we see our depravity. Understanding the requirements of God’s law serves as a mirror to show us our total inability to meet those standards.

A drowning man must first see that he is drowning before he can appreciate a life preserver. John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has said that you must see your plight before you can recognize the rescue. The Ten Commandments show us our plight. Faith in Jesus’ atoning death on the cross is our rescue.

“In days gone by, children learned the commandments before they learned John 3:16, because only then did John 3:16 have real meaning for them. Likewise, John Eliot’s first translation work among the Indians was not of John 3:16 but of the Ten Commandments, and he preached his first sermon on them. Did John Eliot think the Indians would be saved by the Ten Commandments? Of course not, but the commandments would show them why they needed to be saved—they were law-breakers, and they needed a law-keeper to be their substitute.” (Ernest C. Reisinger. “Whatever Happened to the Ten Commandments?”, copyright © 1999, page 5)

So rather than a study in legalism, the study of the Ten Commandments is refreshingly freeing from legalism. It shows us that we can never gain heaven through works of righteousness, and it points us to grace—the grace of God to undeserving, inadequate, depraved sinners! There is no greater news than this—and there is no greater freedom from legalism than the perfect righteousness of Jesus freely given to those who trust in Him.

The Ten Commandments become the mirror of our soul and then our expression of a redeemed heart. The redeemed heart—the heart of flesh that Ezekiel says replaces the heart of stone—overflows in its love of God and expresses itself in walking in the ways of His commandments.

“I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!”—Psalm 119:32

Did you know that along with a curriculum on the Ten Commandments, CDG also has a corresponding Family Devotional Guide which you can find here?

The Fruits of Blessing Your Children

It had been a tense and frustrating day. We had had it “up to here” with our son: his bad attitude and disobedience had made the day miserable for everyone. By bedtime, we didn’t even want to speak to him anymore. My husband was in no mood to follow the normal routine of praying with Jacob and giving him a blessing before bed. So everyone just went to bed, good and mad. Well, about 10 minutes later, into our room stomped Jacob (about six years old at the time). Placing his little clinched fists on his hips, he angrily demanded, “I won’t go to bed without my blessing!” Great request—but lousy attitude and delivery. What happened next? (more…)

3 Resources for Singing Scripture


This week, we have been discussing the importance and value of singing the Gospel with children on our Lullaby Theology blog series. The other day I was playing with a friend who is six, and several times she broke out into song. It was not the latest animated movie theme song she was belting though, it was her memory verse set to song and her favorite hymn. This was an encouragement and challenge to me to incorporate more content-rich music into my life.

For some of you reading this, music comes naturally, and it is easy for you to find hymns and worship songs to teach children, but some of you may be like me—I need help. Here are three Children Desiring God resources that will help you and your children start singing the Gospel.

Let the Little Children Sing

Scripture SonglistThis Scripture Songbook helps children hide God’s Word in their hearts through song. Let the Little Children Sing contains 90 Scripture songs for use in Sunday School classes, children’s choirs and at home. Lyrics, sheet music and a piano accompaniment CD are included. Click here for song samples and to order the book.

Fighter Verses Songs 

FESE5-front-webFighter Verses Songs CDs coordinate with our Bible memory program. The song lyrics are word-for-word Bible passages, and the musical styles vary between folk, jazz, pop, doo-wop, choral and more. Sets 1 and 3 feature verses about fixing our hearts on the character and worth of God, battling the desires of our flesh and rejoicing in the work of Christ in the Gospel. The Extended Set 5 goes through the entire Sermon on the Mount. CDs can be ordered here or the songs can be downloaded from iTunes.

Leading Children in God-Centered Worship

Pam Grano, who has been leading worship in Sunday school classes for years, led a seminar on worship at our national conference last year. She reviews what Scripture says about worshipping “in spirit and in truth,” involving both a child’s heart and head in worship, structuring and planning age-appropriate worship times, using instruments and movement, selecting songs and more. You can listen to the audio and download the notes here.



Lullaby Theology 102: Singing the Whole Gospel of God—Part 2

Our lullabies of truth shouldn’t be songs of horror, but they should tell of the whole Gospel, not just the nice parts of the story. Children see and live out the bad news every day of their lives, so we might as well put labels to it. Even toddlers must know they are sinners acting in rebellion against a holy and righteous God, and thus justly deserving of His wrath. When David storms and stomps and bites his mommy, his offense isn’t mainly against his mother, but the God who created him and his mother. And the consequence for that sin is much worse than he can imagine or mommy can implement. This isn’t good news, but it is reality. (more…)

Lullaby Theology 102: Singing the Whole Gospel of God, Part 1

I’m one of those people who don’t believe in playing Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, so while As with Gladness, Men of Old may sneak into sleepy time repertoire a couple of times in the warmer months, we don’t sing Christmas music until Advent begins. Once Advent begins, Christmas music is almost the only music we sing, because it would be hard to top Infant Holy, Infant Lowly or Silent Night at the close of a winter day with a bundle of baby in your arms. The soft and sweet melodies that roll with such gentle adoration for a newborn King speak tender benedictions over the littlest heads with assurances of God’s nearness, mercy, and grace. (more…)

Why Did I Sign Up for This?

For me, this question and related comments come every winter, and sound something like….

“Why do I live here? It’s -12°F outside. I’m freezing to death. Why don’t we just pick up and move!”

When times get hard or we feel out of our comfort zone, it’s easy to question why we put ourselves in the situation in the first place. (more…)

Encouragement from Sudan

DSC_7234.-sized for blog

As a team, we are always encouraged and uplifted when we receive news of how the Lord is spreading the fame of His name throughout the nations. Recently, we received an update from one of the most pain-stricken, war-torn regions in the world: South Sudan. Since 1955, the region has experienced two civil wars and casualties of more than 2.5 million people. In this seemingly hopeless land, Emilie Gonzalez and her team are being used to share the truth of the Gospel and the beauty of God’s character to children using Sally Michael’s book God’s Names. In her message to us, Emilie writes, (more…)

Teaching the Seven “A”s of Confession

In yesterday’s post we highlighted the importance of modeling redemption in our homes, which included the necessity of admitting to and confessing sin. Peacemaker Ministries has a guide called the “Seven A’s of Confession” that can help both parents and children alike to better understand and practice biblical confession with one another. From their website: (more…)

Modeling Redemption in the Home

Have your children ever played the “blame game” when confronted with some kind of wrong attitude? Have they ever tried to deny the obvious, even when caught in the act? Have they ever come up with some “whopper stories” to explain away why they didn’t do what you told them to do? Did they learn any of those creative evasion tactics from us? Here are some good thoughts from Paul Tripp about the importance of creating a “redemptive community” in the home, (more…)

Page 1 of 212»