Friday, September 29, 2006

God Knows We're Dust

The Myth: God knows that mothers of little ones don't have time to be alone with Him.

The Truth: God knows that we're dust. He knows we need Him more than we know. He knows we fail, and He knows when we don't spend time with Him just because we're not that interested.

He loves us anyway, but that doesn't mean it's His best for us.

Early in my Christian walk, I participated in a Navigator's discipleship program. Setting a standard of Bible reading four days out of seven acknowledged our humanity (weakness, imperfection), while encouraging intentional habit-building.

Over at my Riveting Questions blog, I posed the question "when do spend time with the Lord"? Several answered, often that they did it in the morning (more on that later), but the consensus is that it's essential.

We don't stop feeding ourselves physically, do we?

The Least You Can Do

Years ago on the radio, I heard the story of a young lady, committed to Christ, who was some sort of a servant with only a few brief moments to herself each morning. In that time, she would memorize a verse and that would be her meditation for the day, as she went about her duties.

Somehow that's always encouraged me. If she, with so little freedom, could do that much, I should be able to manage SOMETHING. If it's important.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Simple Devotional Program

Okay, how much frustration do we moms go through trying to find just the right devotional or teaching program, something that will work for the whole family? (Another source of "extra time"?)

Well, here's a fresh thought on that front:

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45

Fill your heart with the Word and that is just what will naturally come out ... when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

An Incomplete List of Things You Do Not Have To Do

Okay, besides bake cupbakes for Johnny's pre-school, what else could you choose not to do in order to have time to read your Bible?

  1. Watch TV?
  2. Read the newspaper?
  3. Read the latest novel, Christian or non-Christian.
  4. Read the latest Christian self-help book, or PARENTING book.
  5. Could you relax your standards a little regarding housecleaning or cooking from scratch?
  6. What about hobbies? Why not make Bible study your hobby?

Or how about this non-traditional answer? Quit going to ladies Bible study, especially one with homework.

The possibilities are endless. What would you add?

6 Things Parents Can Do to Build Their Spiritual Authority With Their Kids (and None of Them Are Homeschooling)

When I referenced Dr McGee , and because I myself homeschool, maybe you got the idea that I, or Dr McGee, think that homeschooling is the only alternative for producing godly Christian young people. Not so!

Parenthetically, nothing like homeschooling should ever cause division in the body, but it does sometimes, doesn't it? We feel awkward if we are the only one in the group who has made a different choice, whether public school, Christian school, or homeschool. But consider what Jesus said in John 17 would be the outcome of our unity:
that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me

Just to show you that I have given respectful consideration to the possibility that a public school family CAN be a Deuteronomy 6 family, here's a list of things I've thought of that parents can do to build their spiritual authority with their kids:

  1. Build a personal relationship with each one, noticing and valuing his or her uniqueness.
  2. Let them see you read your Bible.
  3. Discuss your decisions with them, including actually reading to them the verse(s) you are basing your decision on. As they get older, and especially by the end of elementary school when they know EVERYTHING about the Bible, ask their input.
  4. Be a leader in spiritual things. Teach Sunday School or serve in Awana.
  5. Arrange your life to include non-believers.
  6. Spend time together EVERY DAY.
In short, live your priorities. If you don't have time to read your Bible, do you have time to bake cupcakes for their pre-school?

What's a Parent to Do?

So what's a conscientious parent, who wants to raise godly children, supposed to do?

  • Pray:
    But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

  • Do. That is, do what you know to do:
    Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Matthew 7:26

And how are you going to know what His words are in order to act on them?

I rest my case.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Deuteronomy 6 Family

Most parents are very familiar with this passage, the Shema, the central statement of the Jewish faith:

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

NASB, via Bible Gateway

(Immediately followed by my favorite Thanksgiving verses:

Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. )

But sometimes I fear we gloss over the reasoning behind it. Back up two verses.

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

(Remind you of anything? Yep, the fifth commandment, to honor your father and mother, the first one with a promise: "that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you", which Moses had just repeated in Deuteronomy 5.)

God commanded Moses to teach the Israelites His words so that they would be passed on in such a way that future generations would understand the need to obey them. Because He wanted to bless them.

Back to Deuteronomy 6. What's the reason God wants us to teach our children about Him? The answer is in verse 24:
for our good always and for our survival, as it is today

Thursday, September 21, 2006

No Child Left Behind

In these days of reaction to the idea that Christian kids aren't growing up Christian, thoughtful parents of very young children are in a strategic position to change that for the next generation. The most influential thing you can do? Raise your own children to have a Biblical worldview.

Consider the words of Dr. J. Vernon McGee on this subject, probably spoken a generation ago:

"What do you expect, my friends, when you send your children to these worldly institutions and they come home thoroughly brain-washed? Why do you say, "My, how could he do that when he was brought up in a Christian home?" The problem is that he was not actually raised in a Christian home. The parents of many young people may be lovely Christian people but they did not really train their children in Christian precepts and values. They were so anxious and ambitious for them to get on in the world that they lost them."

And, yes:

Wanting the "best" of the world for their children is the most subtle temptation that can come to Christian parents.
Have any of you read pollster George Barna's Raising Spiritual Champions ?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not Getting Any Younger

Today I received confirmation that I will soon be giving a workshop for young moms; young moms who want to spend a daily time with the Lord Jesus Christ. How can they fit THAT into their schedules?

Since I'm already accustomed to composing in Blogger, having been blogging The Space Between My Peers for 281 posts now, this blog is just going to be my conference notes.

I'm not getting any younger, you know.