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.”
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
I love this Kid!
I’ve heard this before coming from well-meaning people, but a closer look at this question reveals an understanding about life and government that is very disturbing. If you think about it, for someone to even ask this question they are under the impression that the education of children is something that can ONLY be done by the government. That only “they” know what a child should be taught and that a person’s children are best educated by “The Government.”
So let’s ask another question, why do many parents feel inadequate to education their own children? Could it be, because they were “taught” in the same educational system that they are now told they should send their kids into? Thankfully, we live in a country that grants us the right and freedom to teach our own children!
The great news is that even though America has move toward a more socialist society; children, at this point, still legally belong to their parents, not the government. I once heard Pastor Voddie Baucham tell an audience that when asked this question, about the legality of homeschooling, he would simply reply, “My children are not the property of the State of Texas.” (The State where he lives.)
BUT THERE ARE LAWS! Yes, thankfully we can home educate our children, but there are laws in each state that allow for this. This right is being challenged daily in our country by those who believe the government knows best. You can/should visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s website and learn about the laws of your particular state if you are considering homeschooling your children. We joined HSLDA earlier this year to help fund the fight to keep homeschooling legal and to provide for some legal protection in this area if we ever need it.
I’ll end by saying that I don’t think ALL public education is bad. We live in an area where that has great schools and great teachers in the system. However, I do believe that if a family wants to teach their children, instead of sending this into the system, they should legally have that right.
What are your thoughts on the legality of homeschooling?
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.
A friend recently let me borrow book “In Search of Balance” by Richard A. Swenson. Dr. Swenson,who is a M.D. and a Christian, brings his perspective and research to bear on our current pace of life in our western culture. In short, the pace at which many of us are living is “unsustainable”. This word seems to be coming up a lot lately in relationship to the economy, relationships, and health. To gain insight into our lives we need to ask ourselves (family and friends), “Are we living life at a pace which we will be able to maintain?” Wisdom tells us to look ahead at where we are going, not simply where we are currently. The message of the book is; life is short and we need to make efforts to rest /Sabbath from the demands of our daily life. I’ve found personally when I feel like I “MUST” keep going, it’s a signal for me that I need to STOP. We are not God; therefore he has created us to need rest. To me this is a matter of humility; so let’s humble ourselves and rest.
We’ve really enjoyed our Wii since we got it Christmas 2007. Its the perfect tool to get the kids up and active when its freezing outside. Here is a short clip of TJ boxing with his cousin Jedd this past Christmas.
Well I’m officially in the Christmas Spirit and here is why:
- Finally got our tree up. We had to replace all of the lights this year so we went with color LED lights. Our tree could be described now as “retro” or “blingish”. (Notice Santa’s little helper on the stool.)
- Started seeing frost on the ground in the mornings
- We’ve done most of our Christmas shopping already.
- Decorations are up all over town.
- The kids are going crazy.
- Have a few Christmas parties on the calendar.
- The Jesus in me is being attack by the “Herod’s” in this world.
- Football Bowl Season is right around the corner.
- Going to a Christmas parade tonight.
- Last night I heard the song “Christmas in Dixie” for the first time this season and that did it!
Our family had an eventful weekend. We drove to Meridian on Friday and while TJ went to work with me (Thanks to everyone at work who assisted me!), JJ and the girls attended a Flat Stanley musical at the Riley Center.
We traveled from there to Tuscaloosa and stayed the night in Candlewood Suites. Their suites were really nice, maybe because it had only been opened for two weeks. Earlier this year I joined this Priority Club that allows you accumulate points when you stay in one of their selected Hotels. Even if you travel only a few times each year I would recommend joining. You will eventually earn a free night stay.
Since Alabama didn’t have a football game on Saturday, we drove to campus first thing to show the kids around and to visit the Paul W. Bryant Museum. We had a great time watching videos and viewing memorabilia of the “Bear”. The museum is well done and I would recommend it to all football fans, even if you don’t yell “Roll Tide” after every prayer.
We left from there and attended the family reunion. The kids had a great time chasing the family dog and ridding a golf cart, while JJ and I enjoyed visiting with her family. On our way back we decided to stop off at Dunn’s Falls just South of Meridian. I had always wanted to stop, but had never taken the time. We got there with only about 20 minutes of sunlight. While the grist mill only turns if/when they open the gates, there is a steady water fall at the base of this bluff. It is really beautiful! It reminds me of areas I’ve seen at the base of the Smoky Mountains. All in all we had a great trip.
Thanks to my friend James Cochran, TJ got a chance yesterday to practice with the Southern Miss Kickers and Punters. For some reason he’s developed an interest in kicking the old pigskin and when I mentioned it to James (the Team Chaplin) last week he invited us out. All I can say is the little guy had the time of his life. It took him a little while to warm up, but before it was over he was booming some punts for over 12 yards with a .83 second hang time. Britt Barefoot came over and gave TJ a few lessons and had his picture take with him. The coaches wanted to sign him on the spot, but we didn’t want to rush to commit. So for all you recruiters out there, you’ll have to wait in line.