Someone called and asked me about this today; so I thought I post and share. It’s a combination of others that I found online. I print this out and discuss it with the kids a few times every year. Then I have them sign it and post it in the kitchen.
(Surfing,Texting Social Media, iPod, Gaming)
|1.||I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my home without my parents’ permission.|
|2.||I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information, photos, or videos that makes me feel uncomfortable.|
|3.||I will never agree to get together with someone I “meet” online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.|
|4.||I will never send (email or text) or post a picture of myself or anyone else without first checking with the person photo’d and my parents.|
|5.||I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they help me avoid future content.|
|6.||I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.|
|7.||I will not give out account passwords to anyone (even my best friends) other than my parents.|
|8.||I will check with my parents before downloading or installing apps or doing anything that could possibly hurt our computer/phones/iPods or jeopardize my family’s privacy.|
|9.||I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law. I would never write or post things that I would not want shown on the evening news.|
|10.||I understand that bad people can be VERY GOOD at pretending to be a friend of your age. I will NEVER talk to strangers even if they are my age.|
I understand that using Technology is a privilege and my parents have installed apps and software to keep evil out of our lives. I understand that if I break the rules my parents give me then I will lose my technology/media privileges.
Children sign here
Think about your children, what are all the needs they will have in their lifetime? Physical, Social, Emotional. In “The Sensation of Being Somebody”, Maurice Wagner suggests that all these needs could be grouped into three categories.
How do people go about trying to gain acceptance, security, significance?
All of these are really good things; things we consider blessings. But can we really depend on these to meet our primary needs?
What happens if a relationship fails? Or what if we lose our job or our savings? What if our children don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if the new pastor changes the church we love?
Only, in and through a personal relationship with Jesus can these greatest needs be permanently satisfied. Our faith relationship with Christ is brought into reality through His promises in the Scripture. 2 Peter 3:3-4 reads,
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Below are just a few of these promises. Memorize these and remind yourself and your children that Christ is the truth, not our feelings, and in him all of our needs have been and will be meet.
- 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
- Romans 8:35-39 “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”
- 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
My wife and I developed these questions to help parents think through homeschooling for their families. I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and give thought to each of these questions and write out your responses below. I believe God can use these question to bring clarity to anyone interest in homeschooling.
Why do we desire to homeschool?
What is our ultimate goal for our children through the process of homeschooling?
How well equipped do we feel to educate our children through the different stages of their development? How do we plan to educate ourselves about homeschooling?
What role does our faith play in our homeschool desire and design?
How much money will it cost us to homeschool? How much do we plan to spend on curriculum and programs?
What will our homeschooling schedule look like? Schedule Months, Days, and Specific Hours
For the past few years we’ve been teaching our kids the Shorter Catechism from the book “Training hearts Teaching Minds”. This week’s Catechism is about Justification. I can’t tell you how important it is that we understand Justification. I’m convinced that most Christians (me included) only get the “Jesus paid my debt part.” If only could fully understand that His righteousness is now ours- that changes everything!
From Page 111 on Justification.
How can God accept us as righteous in His sight when we are not righteous at all? “He does so only because He counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.” Imagine that you need a great deal of money from something important. However, not only do you not have a great deal of money you are deeply in dept. Along comes your friend who has worked hard for years to build a big savings account in the bank. He feels sorry for you and offers to pay your bills. Now you are no longer in debt. This is something like Jesus paying for our sin by His death on the cross. Now we no longer owe God anything for all our sings against Him.
However, just because your friend paid your debt does not mean that you have solved your problem. You still need a great deal of money and you have absolutely none. So now your friend does something else for you. He has your name added to his bank account so that now you can use all his money. This is something like Jesus living a life of perfect obedience to God in our place. He is the One who is righteous. He is the One who did the obeying, but all His righteousness is credit to us. God counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Sermon Notes from: Proverbs 12:12-27
INTRO: Spoken words paint a picture of a possible future. They are prophetic in guiding our lives and the lives of others. The goal of this message is one to help you understand just how important words are; how they ultimately determine the direction of our live. The goal is also to challenge you to use your words to encourage and build up others
• The God who speaks created creatures who speak.
• In the beginning how did God spoke the world into creation (Gen 1)
• Then sends Christ as the Word made flesh (John 1:1-3,14)
• Jesus demonstrated the power of words by using his words to build up the down cast, rebuke the self-righteous, heal the sick, open blind eyes, and raise others from the dead. He would speak over them and things would happen. When we are dealing with words; we often fail to understand the power of these words.
Proverbs Chapter 12:12-27 – Just Sayin’
The Power of Spoken Words
What you say will trap or save you. v 13
- What we say has a way of coming back to bite us.
Examples of being trapped by your words
- Parents threating kids, but no action taken
- Religions Teachers trying to trap Jesus
What you say will reward you. v 14
- What you say determines what you receive.
- Spoken words paint a picture of a possible future. They are prophetic in guiding our lives and the lives of others.
- The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21 (NIV)
- We all have thought coursing through our minds. We’ve learn this summer that not all our thoughts originate in our own minds. Thoughts can come into the mind from the dark side, the spirit world, Satan and his forces. However once we start to speak those words we take a step toward making those e words a reality.
- Our words guide our lives “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boast.” James 3:3-5 (NIV)
What you say will build-up or tear-down others. v17-18
FBV 18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov 12:18 (NIV)
You may not beat your wife, you may not beat your children physically, but reckless words pierce like a sword?
- You are stupid
- You are good for nothing.
- You are just like (insert losers name).
You are BAD.
But we dress up our tear downs with Just Sayin or Bless their Hearts.
But the tong of the wise brings healing.
Now this passage turns toward some things that we need to ask ourselves about our words. We want our words to paint a promising future for ourselves and for others around us. There for we must ask ourselves these questions.
3 Questions to ask yourself in order to speak wise words that heal.
Is what I’m saying true? v19,v22
- Women: Lie most about their weight and their age
- Men: Lie most about their age and their income
- Many People lie about church Membership.
God would rather have you truthful about your faults, than lying about your strengths.
If we were all honest there are times when we lie. Now we have “great reasons”, we don’t’ want to hurt someone. Or we don’t’ want others to think badly of us so we lie. Unfortunately from some of us this has become such a habit that we no longer see this. God character is true. He stands against thoughts that lie. But I’m a Christian. IF you are a Christian you will be convicted about your lying. Allow God to change that it you. When you speak, speak the truth in love.(Eph 4:15)
Is what I’m saying few? v23
The average American opens his mouth 700 every day and utters around 3500 each day. Some of you more, some of you much more, and some of us less. But we are a verbal culture. Before the development of writing as a technology people learning verbally. History, Culture, trade was taught not using books , buy passed on from one generation to the next by speaking.
Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. As good as you are you can’t talk and listen as the same time. Using few words allows you to be a better listener, and practice the ministry of presence (Just Being There). Being in someone’s life. I’ve visited with families who have lost children, who have lost parents, who have lost jobs, who are dying and the best thing to say is very little. Just be there.
Eccl 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
- Is what I’m saying due? v25
There are people in your life waiting for your words. Words of encouragement. Word to build them up. Words of the wise that bring healing.
- The Bible tells us at the culmination of history “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:10-11 (NIV)
- “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:8-10
- Spouses are waiting for words.
- Kids are waiting for words.
- Coworkers are waiting for words.
- Parents are waiting for words.
- Brothers and Sisters are waiting for words
The difficult ard part about these messages is not being a hypocrite. The power of message is not in hearing, but in doing. So in prep for this part I had to make some phone calls this week. And as I stepped out in obedience. I started calling some of the people in my life for whom words were due.
Who do you to need to call or sit down and talk with this week?
What word do they need to hear and you need to say?
Allow God to use this!
Let your words be true, let them be few, and let them be due.
“There is no one else. I just don’t love you anymore.” Over the last several years I’ve heard this from friends whose spouses were giving up on their marriage. IN EVERY CASE, it was discovered later that there WAS “someone else”; even though it was being denied at the time. If you are married you have to be off the market, if you expect your relationship to last. I thought I would repost this blog from August 2008 titled, “Marriage and Divorce: What’s love got to do with it?”
Let’s say the in a world of 6 billion humans, there are 50,000 people you could have met and fallen in love with. Then, let’s say that out of that 50,000, there is an inner group of 500 you could have a far superior marriage with. And a still smaller group of, say, 50 that would be the cream of the crop. And then, there is one of that number with whom you could have the best marriage imaginable. Okay, you’ve got the picture – a lot of concentric circles.
Now, just for the sake of making a point, let’s say here is Fred who gets out of school, takes a job, and one day meets Edna. They are attracted to each other, fall in love, and begin to make wedding plans. They visit the pastor and announce to him, “We want to get married.” And the pastor, being a pretty sharp fellow says, “Why? And they naturally answer (what else?) “We love each other.” To their surprise, the pastor says, “What’s that got to do with it?” “Uh, how’s that?” asks Fred. “Fred and Edna,” the minster says, “There are 49,999 others out there you might have fallen in love with. Just because you love someone does not mean you marry them.” But his point passes right over them and they become Husband Fred and Wife Edna
Then, let’s say within 3-7 years, Fed and Edna have moved to another city and in their neighborhood, Fred meets Louise. Well, spars fly. Fred has just encountered one of his inner circles of 50. (Are you with me now?) He is hooked. Boy, is Louise special. He thinks about her day and night, and soon becomes aware that she feels the same way. Psychologists tell us there is something called ‘the expulsive power of a new affection.’ What that means is that a new love blows the old one out of the water. Compared to the way Fred now swoons over Louise, he is convinced he never did actually love Edna. “At least,” he says to himself, “not in the way a man out to love a woman.” (Remember the roles could be reversed it could be Edna infatuated with another man.”
So eventual, Fred drops in on the pastor and says, “I want to get a divorce.” The minister asks, “Why?” Fred says, “Because I don’t love Edna anymore.” (No one ever admits to the pastor they’ve fallen in love with someone else. No one, ever.) And the pastor still on the ball and to the point, asks, “What’s that got to do with it?” Fred sits there bumfuzzled, wondering why this preacher doesn’t understand simple logic. Doesn’t everybody know you get married when you fall in love and get divorced when you fall out?
“Fred” the pastor continues “You don’t get divorced because you don’t love each other anymore.” “If the two of you are genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, then the only question is, “What is the will of God? That’s it. If you decided that it is God’s will for you to get married, then that takes care of all the people you will be meeting and feeling attracted to in the future. They are not God’s will for you and therefore are ‘off limits’ to you, and you can get on with your life.
The story goes on to point out that marriage is a covenant between God and a Husband and a Wife. It is not based on feelings but on commitment. Love is an act of the will that flows out of the commitment, not the determining factor of the commitment. So remember the vows you’ve spoken before the Lord and do not break the covenant you establish with the spouse of your youth.
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
Two weeks ago, I heard Dr. David O’Dell urge parents to not fail in passing along their faith to their children. More specifically David challenged us to tell our children the stories of God’s faithfulness to us. This passage in Judges warns us of what can happen when parents fail to accept their responsibility to pass along the narratives of scripture (and the narratives from their own lives) that magnify the faithfulness of God to us through the generations. When we fail to tell these stories we will inadvertently raise up a generation who will not know the Lord nor what he has done.
Last week I was on a conference call at work, using my personal cell phone, when someone I know very well called on the other line. Now I was preparing to speak to 50 people or more on this call, so I let the call transfer to voice mail. After the call I went to listen to the message, not knowing I was in for a treatJ. You see, after the call rolled to voice mail, the caller didn’t hang up their phone. So I got to hear the rest of the conversations they were having (I love it when this happens). It turns out they were frustrated with me for not answering their call. “They had things to do” and the fact that I was unavailable at that moment was unacceptable to them. So today I thought I’d blog about three legitimate reasons why others may not answer our calls.
- The person we are calling is either on the phone or in a face-to-face conversation with another person. I believe that as default, our current on-going communications SHOULD trump all others. If we are talking to another human it is respectful to give that person our undivided attention. I’m not perfect at this but I trying to get better.
- The person is busy with a task that requires their full attention. This is not just for Doctors in the middle of surgery. If I’m in the middle of a tedious task at work I will silence my phone. This helps me concentrate in order to get things correct the first time and this requires forgoing phone calls.
- The person we are trying to contact is taking a break, “de-teching”. In an effort to try to balance all of life it is good to step away from our phones for a short period each day. Sometimes I leave my phone at my desk and walk around the office to clear my mind. This helps me break the false impulse I feel to always be available.
When we make ourselves available to everyone all the time the demands of our time will be so great, that we will feel stressed and unable to really focus on anyone. So, if you call me and I don’t answer, it’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s that I’m trying to care about someone else at the time. “Leave a message I WILL return your call later.”
Have you ever seen angry, frustrated, or confused kids? In God’s wisdom he inspired Paul to remind parents, particularly Fathers, not to exasperate (frustrate) our children as we “bring them up.”
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Children become frustrated when we as parents are inconsistent in our parenting. Insecurity and confusion settle into their minds when we under-react to their misbehavior one moment and then over-react the next. If you are like me, you are guilty of this.
The most effect way to overcome inconsistent parenting is to establish a list of rules along with the consequences for your children when they disobey. It’s appropriate to sit down and discuss with your kids the list; which will give them clear expectations of what will happen if they disobey and it will also serve as a reminder for us as to what is needed for us to remain consistent.
It’s important that as parents we approach this with an attitude of humility and grace, not anger. They need to see us calmly and diligently apply these rules we have establish for our homes; in our effort to train them.
Click here (Rules for Training in Obediance) to view a sample chart. You may not feel the punishments I’ve listed are appropriate for each rule, but my purpose is to give you a variety of ideas as you create a chart for your own family. Post your chart, discuss it with your kids, and consistently enforce it. Both you and your kids will discover the joy of obeying God and His Word.
Dear (insert persons name),
I wanted to write and let you know that I’ve given up trying to make you into who I want you to be. Before all creation God created you with a purpose in mind. I’ve justified some of my efforts to direct you by trying to connect my plans for you with what God wants. I still believe that God’s plan for you is revealed in the scriptures. I know he wants you to be saved, be holy, be filled with his Spirit, and to be a transformational person in this world; however, I’m going to stop my efforts to bring about these changes in you. I will be tempted in the future to tell you what you should do, but I will remind you and myself that you are ultimately responsible to Jesus himself. I’ll still be here for you, but Christ alone is your Master, not me. I’ve given up on you, but I know Jesus has not.