Archive - July, 2014

“Jesus is in there.”

Jesus with children from JWS

A while back, our grandson was over our house and noticed a Bible (The ESV Children’s Bible) on our coffee table. So I picked it up and asked him, “David, what is this?” “The Bible,” he quickly replied. And then he added, “Jesus is in there.”

A 2-year-old mind…The Bible = Jesus is in there.

Now there are many ways that I could have clarified his statement—adding all sorts of nuances and such. And I think that I did respond by saying something like, “Yes, David. The Bible is God’s Word, and it tells us about Jesus.” But, for now, I’m happy that when he sees a Bible he knows that, “Jesus is in there.”

(Visual from Jesus, What a Savior!, copyright 2013)

 

Helping Children Understand that God is Eternal

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Sometimes when I sit and really ponder what it means that God is eternal, it simply blows my mind! Yet it is such as essential truth and the implications for our lives are far-reaching. Here is a sample of how parents and teachers could help their children understand this important concept.

Read together:

Psalm 90:2—Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Show your child a rock then make comments such as: (more…)

Sowing and Reaping

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Have you ever used this verse in your parenting in order to warn your child?

 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7 ESV)

Here are some helpful words from Tedd and Margy Tripp that I wish I had read and thought about years ago BEFORE I simply “dished out” Galatians 6:7 to my children. (more…)

A Blessing from Psalm 112

Blessing Booklet

This is one of my favorite blessings that my children heard literally hundreds of times as my husband blessed them every night at bedtime. Are there children in your life who would benefit from this blessing prayed over them this week, or even hundreds of times in the coming year?

May you be a man/woman who fears the Lord;

May you find great delight in the Lord’s commands.

May your children be mighty in the land.

Even to the next generation,

may you and your children be blessed.

May you find your wealth and your riches in God.

May you endure in righteousness forever.

Even in darkness may the light dawn for you.

May you be a gracious, compassionate

and righteous man/woman.

May you never be shaken. And may your name, [full name],

be remembered by the Lord forever. Amen!

 

 (From A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children by David Michael)

 

Entertainment Aliens

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The older I get and the more I have seen and experienced, the more I appreciate the wisdom of these words:

…I want to invite all Christians to join me in this pursuit of greater purity of heart and mind. In our day, when entertainment media is virtually the lingua franca [common language] of the world, this is an invitation to be an alien. And I believe with all my heart that what the world needs is radically bold, sacrificially loving, God-besotted, “freaks” and aliens. In other words, I am inviting you to say no to the world for the sake of the world. (more…)

Play Dates and Bible Lesson Dates

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Every mother knows about scheduling “play dates” for young children. My 3-year-old grandson, David, always looks forward to his play dates with his favorite neighborhood friend, Ava. But this summer my daughter Sarah and Ava’s mom decided to go beyond simply planning play dates for their children. Now they also schedule weekly Bible lesson dates. What a great idea—spending time with your neighborhood friends learning about God together! It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, formal event. It can be as simple as reading and acting out a Bible story together, singing a simple worship song, memorizing a verse together, etc.

My daughter and her friend chose to use our preschool curriculum He Established a Testimony. My hope and pray for them is that, over time, these “Bible lesson dates” will yield a treasure far beyond the joy of their play dates.

A Profession by Pressure?

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Here are some sobering words from John Leuzarder and, unfortunately, we have probably all seen examples of the “sorrow to everyone involved.”

Having our children embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior based on a clear knowledge of the Gospel is the most important concern of a Christian parent. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt. 19:14). But, we must at the same time recognize that in our zealousness to see our children saved we can subtly pressure them into making a decision to follow Christ in order to please us, rather than God who knows the heart. The consequences of a profession of faith made under pressure, and not from a sincere heart can be serious and in time can bring confusion and sorrow to everyone involved.

(The Gospel for Children: A Simple, Yet Complete Guide to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Gospel of Jesus Christ, copyright©2002, page 37)

(Image courtesy of Arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Head, Heart, Hands, and Habitat

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At our 2013 National Conference, Dr. Bruce Ware presented an excellent seminar titled “Teaching Children to Know and Love God by Knowing and Loving Theology.” In that seminar, he emphasized teaching biblical truth in a manner that focuses on a progression of head, heart, hands, and habitat. Here is a summary of what he means by that: (more…)

How to Talk about So-Called Same-Sex Marriage with Your Children

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I ran across an article by Dr. Russell Moore recently. He writes about a topic many of us would have never imagined needing to address in our lifetime. But now, as more and more states have legalized same-sex “marriage,” it has become unavoidable. Dr. Moore gives this thoughtful advice to parents: (more…)

Teaching with Eternity in Mind

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As a Sunday school teacher of young children, it’s often easy to fall into the “insignificant” trap where you’re tempted to see your time spent teaching 6- and 7-year-olds as something less than spectacular. Something merely ordinary and insignificant. But consider these words from William Farley. Although written specifically for parents, I have taken the privilege of personalizing his words for teachers in brackets:

Christians parent [teach] with one eye on eternity. Their children [students] will live forever. This is a staggering thought. We cannot imagine “forever.” Nevertheless, the destiny of our children [students] either will be love that surpasses knowledge, joy inexpressible and full of glory, coupled with peace that passes understanding, or it will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There is no middle ground. Therefore, the Christian does not parent [teach] for this life only. The believing parent [teacher] labors to prepare each child for the day of judgment. The stakes are inexpressibly high.

 (Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting. Copyright©2009, page 41.)

(Image courtesy of Chaiwat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

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