Saturday, November 5, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 14

Have you ever heard someone say, "do as I say not as I do"?
Perhaps you have used that phrase yourself...
How well has it worked out?

Train Up A Child Day Fourteen

14.  Train them remembering continually the influence; of your own example.
Instruction, and advice, and commands will profit little, unless they are backed up by the pattern of your own life.  Your children will never believe you are in earnest, and really wish them to obey you, so long as your actions contradict your counsel.

Archbishop Tillotson made a wise remark when he said, "To give children good instruction, and a bad example, is but beckoning to them with the head to show them the way to heaven, while we take them by the hand and lead them in the way to hell."
We little know the force and power of example.  No one of us can live to himself in this world; we are always influencing those around us, in one way or another, either for good or for evil, either for God or for sin. — They see our ways, they mark our conduct, they observe our behaviour, and what they see us practise, that they may fairly suppose we think right.  And never, I believe, does example tell so powerfully as it does in the case of parents and children.
Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear.  No school will make such deep marks on character as home.  The best of schoolmasters will not imprint on their minds as much as they will pick up at your fireside.  Imitation is a far stronger principle with children than memory.  What they see has a much stronger effect on their minds than what they are told.
Take care, then, what you do before a child.  It is a true proverb, "Who sins before a child, sins double." Strive rather to be a living epistle of Christ, such as your families can read, and that plainly too.  Be an example of reverence for the Word of God, reverence in prayer, reverence for means of grace, reverence for the Lord’s day. — Be an example in words, in temper, in diligence, in temperance, in faith, in charity, in kindness, in humility. 

Think not your children will practise what they do not see you do.  You are their model picture, and they will copy what you are.  Your reasoning and your lecturing, your wise commands and your good advice; all this they may not understand, but they can understand your life.
Children are very quick observers; very quick in seeing through some kinds of hypocrisy, very quick in finding out what you really think and feel, very quick in adopting all your ways and opinions.  You will often find as the father is, so is the son.
Remember the word that the conqueror Caesar always used to his soldiers in a battle.  He did not say "Go forward," but "Come." So it must be with you in training your children.  They will seldom learn habits which they see you despise, or walk in paths in which you do not walk yourself. 

He that preaches to his children what he does not practise, is working a work that never goes forward.  It is like the fabled web of Penelope of old, who wove all day, and unwove all night.  Even so, the parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand, and pulling down with the other.


The simple fact is our children will do as we do... this is what they remember...
Our children and all others will always measure our words by our actions.

Do we honor with our lips while our hearts are far away?
True belief always results in matched behaviour.
We show we really believe when our lives line up with what we believe.

I am teaching a class on Spiritual Gifts... this weeks lesson is on leadership. As I have studied the Scriptures the Word of God is quite clear that leadership begins with being an example first. 

 Philip said to Him,
“Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 
Jesus said to him,
“Have I been so long with you,
and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?
He who has seen Me has seen the Father;
how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 
Do you not believe that I am in the Father,
and the Father is in Me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative,
but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 
Believe Me that I am in the Father
and the Father is in Me;
otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
John 14:8-11

Here, when Philip questions Jesus' words, Jesus calls him to look at His works. He reminds Him that he has been with Him, watching Him, observing Him, all this time. He tells him, if you are unsure about the reality and truth of My words look at My life... see that My actions testify that My words are true.

Do your actions testify to your children that your words are true?

Are you leading them by example?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another View

I am typing this right now as someone who is totally spent... yet filled up and overflowing with a joy that brings tears to my eyes even now as I type...

God is good.

Having read many of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ blog posts over the past few weeks about the dangers of "celebrating" the Halloween thing and that we should just stay home and not acknowledge the day in any way... some even under the conviction that a simple fall festival should not even be put on by a church due to the fact that it was just a twisting for us as believers to be able to celebrate the season and not feel guilty about it just to get what we want...

This was one of my responses to just one of the post I read:

"The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it." (Psalm 24:1), "Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity ...of God who makes all things." (Eccles 11:5), "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything." (Col 1:16-18), "And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ" (Acts 5:42)

Every day belongs to God... even October 31st. I refuse to bow down and let Satan have any claim on anything that belongs to God. Satan takes what belonged to God and perverts it and twists it and makes it crooked... he created nothing.
We as the church are to make straight the way, clear the path in the wilderness... we can't clear the way or shine a light shut in and hunkered down in our homes.
We are to be a testimony and witness to Christ everyday and especially when and where darkness abounds. Those who celebrate this day of darkness as the Day of Darkness do so because they desperately need Christ.
Our church does a fall drama called The Judgment Seat
this week and we have had the opportunity to share Christ with over 35,000 people on this day, this season, just because we have refused to give this day over to the enemy...
I personally had the opportunity a couple of years ago at JS to spend over an hour sharing the gospel and the Word of God with two Wiccans who came through our drama... our theme that year was about witchcraft... I would have not had that opportunity if I had of been at home.
In the words of AW Tozer..."It's all about the motive"
October 31 at 8:23am" 

You see The Judgment Seat is my church's largest outreach project, financially and in every other way. It consumes our entire church body and we also must have help from our surrounding churches in the area. So it pulls the entire body of Christ together. We had Methodist serving with us, Assembly of God serving with us, and so on.... It was the entire body of Christ pulled together focused on one thing... the exaltation of Christ. 

We have chosen not to ignore this day, but to take it and use it for the Kingdom of God. Making the most of every opportunity (Eph 5:16, Col 4:5). This is what we do... and it is by no means to twist this day and use it for what we want. It is for us to be spent for Christ.

Each year our theme is prayed over and the theme for the next JS is usually chosen within weeks of the finished JS. This years theme was domestic violence and the God given responsibility of the father as the head of the household. I cannot begin to tell you the number of kids who came through who were counseled over their home life or lack of. We have a generation of orphans due to absent parents. Fathers who think they can abdicate their headship and mothers who have decided a boyfriend is more important than raising their children alone...

It is indeed heart wrenching.

This year at Judgment Seat we were able to present the gospel to 2088 souls. We know that 38 of those received Christ as their Savior this week. We know that 12 souls rededicated their lives to Christ this week. We know that 7 souls came forward to make sure they really did know Christ this week. Countless others just needed to talk...

These are who we know of because they were so moved they took the extra opportunity at the end to step out of their crowd and come and talk with one of of our counselors... however I don't know of one that came through untouched.

Here is a testimony of one of our visitors... and this is why we, at our church, do what we do...

First Time Visit At The Judgment Seat

Yes, my children dress up and go out to participate in truck or treat's.
No, we do not dress up in the gore, no witches, no vampires, no ghosts, ets.
However this year my ten year old chose to serve in Judgment Seat. She chose changing dirty diapers and helping take care of the workers kids over the candy, over the dressing up, because although we do not forbid the recognition of this day in our home, we don't build it up either.
When my kids hear Halloween, they think Judgment Seat and they can't wait for the day they are old enough to be a part of this amazing ministry to our community!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 13

I have often heard the saying, "Well these kids didn't come with an instructions manual on how to raise them..."
The truth is... well yes they did.
It's called the Holy Bible.
Within the pages of this book is all we will ever need to know about how to raise our children... I love all the Dobson books and other ministry helps in raising children... but all you need is God's book... the rest is just secondary and should never contradict God's instructions in how to raise children.

Train Up A Child Day Thirteen  

13.  Train them remembering continually how God trains His children.
The Bible tells us that God has an elect people, — a family in this world.  All poor sinners who have been convinced of sin, and fled to Jesus for peace, make up that family.  All of us who really believe on Christ for salvation are its members. 

Now God the Father is ever training the members of this family for their everlasting abode with Him in heaven.  He acts as a husbandman pruning his vines, that they may bear more fruit.  He knows the character of each of us, — our besetting sins, — our weaknesses, — our peculiar infirmities, — our special wants. 

He knows our works and where we dwell, who are our companions in life, and what are our trials, what our temptations, and what are our privileges.  He knows all these things, and is ever ordering all for our good.  He allots to each of us, in His providence, the very things we need, in order to bear the most fruit, — as much of sunshine as we can stand, and as much of rain, — as much of bitter things as we can bear, and as much of sweet. 

Reader, if you would train your children wisely, mark well how God the Father trains His.  He doeth all things well; the plan which He adopts must be right.
See, then, how many things there are which God withholds from His children.  Few could be found, I suspect, among them who have not had desires which He has never been pleased to fulfil.  There has often been some one thing they wanted to attain, and yet there has always been some barrier to prevent attainment.  It has been just as if God was placing it above our reach, and saying, "This is not good for you; this must not be." Moses desired exceedingly to cross over Jordan, and see the goodly land of promise; but you will remember his desire was never granted.
See, too, how often God leads His people by ways which seem dark and mysterious to our eyes.  We cannot see the meaning of all His dealings with us; we cannot see the reasonableness of the path in which our feet are treading. 

Sometimes so many trials have assailed us, — so many difficulties encompassed us, — that we have not been able to discover the needs-be of it all.  It has been just as if our Father was taking us by the hand into a dark place and saying, "Ask no questions, but follow Me." There was a direct road from Egypt to Canaan, yet Israel was not led into it; but round, through the wilderness.  And this seemed hard at the time.  "The soul of the people," we are told, "was much discouraged because of the way" (Exod. 13:17; Num. 21:4).
See, also, how often God chastens His people with trial and affliction.  He sends them crosses and disappointments; He lays them low with sickness; He strips them of property and friends; He changes them from one position to another; He visits them with things most hard to flesh and blood; and some of us have well- nigh fainted under the burdens laid upon us.  We have felt pressed beyond strength, and have been almost ready to murmur at the hand which chastened us.  Paul the Apostle had a thorn in the flesh appointed him, some bitter bodily trial, no doubt, though we know not exactly what it was.  But this we know, — he besought the Lord thrice that it might be removed; yet it was not taken away (2 Cor. 12:8,9).
Now, reader, notwithstanding all these things, did you ever hear of a single child of God who thought his Father did not treat him wisely? No, I am sure you never did.  God’s children would always tell you, in the long run, it was a blessed thing they did not have their own way, and that God had done far better for them than they could have done for themselves.  Yes! And they could tell you, too, that God’s dealings had provided more happiness for them than they ever would have obtained themselves, and that His way, however dark at times, was the way of pleasantness and the path of peace.
I ask you to lay to heart the lesson which God’s dealings with His people is meant to teach you.  Fear not to withhold from your child anything you think will do him harm, whatever his own wishes may be.  This is God’s plan.  Hesitate not to lay on him commands, of which he may not at present see the wisdom, and to guide him in ways which may not now seem reasonable to his mind.  This is God’s plan.
Shrink not from chastising and correcting him whenever you see his soul’s health requires it, however painful it may be to your feelings; and remember medicines for the mind must not be rejected because they are bitter.  This is God’s plan.
And be not afraid, above all, that such a plan of training will make your child unhappy.  I warn you against this delusion. Depend on it, there is no surer road to unhappiness than always having our own way.  To have our wills checked and denied is a blessed thing for us; it makes us value enjoyments when they come. To be indulged perpetually is the way to be made selfish; and selfish people and spoiled children, believe me, are seldom happy.
Reader, be not wiser than God; — train your children as He trains His.


Oh my we live in a day of a plethora of information. The bookshelves are lined with books written by men and women who have their own opinion on how you should raise your children. Now even in the public school systems we have teachers and principles telling you how you should raise your children. They want you to drug them if they cause too much trouble and yet they don't want you to bust their rear end. No don't discipline, just pop a pill. 

We have become a society that is so consumed with outward behavior and appearance that we have shut down the soul. We are living in a generation of adults who were raised by parents who thought they knew better than God... the Dr Spock generation. This was the beginning of millions of books telling you how to raise your children though they had never met you or your child...

Quite possibly there might be some good information in these child rearing books but all information needs to be weighed up against the plumb line of the Word of God. If it doesn't line up it needs cast down and cast out. 

Let God teach you how to raise your children. Raise them the way He raised His. Everything you will ever need to know, for any situation... it's all there if you will let Him show you. He can't wait to teach you and show you what to do. He wants to direct you in the truth. He wants you to be good, solid, wise, loving, patient, kind parents who raise strong healthy minded children. 

Study the proverbs.
Study the way the parents recorded in Scripture responded to their children. See what pleased God and what dishonored God. God doesn't hide the mistakes of His people. Learn from their mistakes. See what children succeeded and see who failed. Find out what each parent did, or didn't do, that made the difference. 

Lay all the other books aside, the ideas and interpretations of man, and pick up the Bible first, let all else be second. Trust God's instructions no matter how hard they may seem to carry out... His ways are best. He knows what He is doing. Trust Him and let Him do it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 12

This one is a good one...
This twelfth point is one that our entire nation is currently reaping the consequences...

Train Up A Child Day Twelve

12.  Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence.
This is the one point of all on which you have most need to be on your guard.  It is natural to be tender and affectionate towards your own flesh and blood, and it is the excess of this very tenderness and affection which you have to fear.  Take heed that it does not make you blind to your children’s faults, and deaf to all advice about them.  Take heed lest it make you overlook bad conduct, rather than have the pain of inflicting punishment and correction.
I know well that punishment and correction are disagreeable things.  Nothing is more unpleasant than giving pain to those we love, and calling forth their tears.  But so long as hearts are what hearts are, it is vain to suppose, as a general rule, that children can ever be brought up without correction.
Spoiling is a very expressive word, and sadly full of meaning. Now it is the shortest way to spoil children to let them have their own way, — to allow them to do wrong and not to punish them for it.  Believe me, you must not do it, whatever pain it may cost you unless you wish to ruin your children’s souls.
You cannot say that Scripture does not speak expressly on this subject: "He that spareth his rod, hateth his son; but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes" (Prov. 13:24). "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Prov. 19:18).  "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it from him" (Prov. 22:15).  "Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die.  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell" (Prov. 23:13,14).  "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea, he shall give delight to thy soul" (Prov. 29:15,17).
How strong and forcible are these texts! How melancholy is the fact, that in many Christian families they seem almost unknown! Their children need reproof, but it is hardly ever given; they need correction, but it is hardly ever employed.  And yet this book of Proverbs is not obsolete and unfit for Christians.  It is given by inspiration of God, and profitable.  It is given for our learning, even as the Epistles to the Romans and Ephesians. Surely the believer who brings up his children without attention to its counsel is making himself wise above that which is written, and greatly errs.
Fathers and mothers, I tell you plainly, if you never punish your children when they are in fault, you are doing them a grievous wrong.  I warn you, this is the rock on which the saints of God, in every age, have only too frequently made shipwreck. 

I would fain persuade you to be wise in time, and keep clear of it. See it in Eli’s case.  His sons Hophni and Phinehas "made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." He gave them no more than a tame and lukewarm reproof, when he ought to have rebuked them sharply.  In one word, he honoured his sons above God. And what was the end of these things? He lived to hear of the death of both his sons in battle, and his own grey hairs were brought down with sorrow to the grave (1 Sam. 2:22-29, 3:13).
See, too, the case of David.  Who can read without pain the history of his children, and their sins? Amnon’s incest, — Absalom’s murder and proud rebellion, — Adonijah’s scheming ambition: truly these were grievous wounds for the man after God’s own heart to receive from his own house.  But was there no fault on his side? I fear there can be no doubt there was.  I find a clue to it all in the account of Adonijah in 1 Kings 1:6: "His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" There was the foundation of all the mischief.  David was an over-indulgent father, — a father who let his children have their own way, — and he reaped according as he had sown.
Parents, I beseech you, for your children’s sake, beware of over-indulgence.  I call on you to remember, it is your first duty to consult their real interests, and not their fancies and likings; — to train them, not to humour them — to profit, not merely to please.
You must not give way to every wish and caprice of your child’s mind, however much you may love him.  You must not let him suppose his will is to be everything, and that he has only to desire a thing and it will be done.  Do not, I pray you, make your children idols, lest God should take them away, and break your idol, just to convince you of your folly.
Learn to say "No" to your children.  Show them that you are able to refuse whatever you think is not fit for them. Show them that you are ready to punish disobedience, and that when you speak of punishment, you are not only ready to threaten, but also to perform.  Do not threaten too much.  Threatened folks, and threatened faults, live long.  Punish seldom, but really and in good earnest, — frequent and slight punishment is a wretched system indeed. 
Beware of letting small faults pass unnoticed under the idea "it is a little one." There are no little things in training children; all are important.  Little weeds need plucking up as much as any.  Leave them alone, and they will soon be great.

Reader, if there be any point which deserves your attention, believe me, it is this one.  It is one that will give you trouble, I know.  But if you do not take trouble with your children when they are young, they will give you trouble when they are old. Choose which you prefer.


I would love nothing more than to just give my children every thing that makes them smile at me and jump in my arms with elated excitement over their newest "yes" to whatever they have requested... but this is something that I just cannot do... no matter how much I want to.

My Bekah wants an email account... the answer is no.
My Shelby wants a facebook page and a cell phone... the answer is no.

The cell phone would make my life much easier... because I share my phone with them... which means I get text messages and phone calls from 7 to 11 year old girls all the time... but my Shelby just does not need a phone yet and my Bekah is not ready for an email account and they are not getting one just because it will make my life easier or make them happy.

One thing I learned as a parent early on was that when I punished my children I was also punishing me. It affected my life, my plans, my day, my schedule to discipline them accordingly. And yes I learned this parental punishment increases as they get older. But it must be done. My children's life and their future literally do depend on it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Obey All The Way

God never ceases to fail to teach me right along with my girls during their Bible study time.

My girls are studying in the book of Esther still. Today during the lesson we were digging further into the life of Haman and his ancestry... we began with the review of 1 Samuel 15 which covers Saul's disobedience to God's command.

 Then Samuel said to Saul,
The LORD sent me to anoint you
as king over His people, over Israel;
now therefore,
listen to the words of the LORD.
Thus says the LORD of hosts,
‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel,
how he set himself against him on the way
while he was coming up from Egypt. 
Now go and strike Amalek
and utterly destroy all that he has,
and do not spare him;
but put to death
both man and woman,
child and infant,
ox and sheep,
camel and donkey.’”  
1 Samuel 15:1-3

This was the Lord's command to King Saul.
It was rooted in Exodus 17:8-16.

Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim
Exodus 17:8

Now how did Saul follow this command,
this instruction,
this open door
given to him by the Lord?

But Saul and the people spared Agag
and the best of the sheep,
the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs,
and all that was good,
and were not willing to destroy them utterly;
but everything despised and worthless,
that they utterly destroyed.
1 Samuel 15:9

Yeh... Saul did not fully obey the word of the Lord.
Here God had opened the door for the people of Israel to take out this enemy. He had made the way for them to utterly destroy this evil among them... yet they decided to do what seemed right in their own eyes and despised the word of the Lord. They had blew their opportunity to utterly remove this enemy from their lives... because they saw profit and wealth in the possessions and power over the capture of the king.

So what were the consequences of this moment of disobedience?

"For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:23 

Saul then went after his rebuke to do the right thing... but the blessing was gone. The opportunity had passed, the right now would not fix the wrong back then.
The damage had been done.
The choice had been made.
The consequences for the actions would come.
Partial obedience is whole disobedience.

How long and how far would these consequences reach?

  Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus,
“There is a certain people scattered
and dispersed among the peoples
in all the provinces of your kingdom;
 their laws are different from those of all other people
and they do not observe the king’s laws,
so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. 
If it is pleasing to the king,
let it be decreed that they be destroyed,
and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver
into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,
to put into the king’s treasuries.” 
Then the king took his signet ring from his hand
and gave it to Haman,
the son of Hammedatha
the Agagite,
the enemy of the Jews. 
The king said to Haman,
“The silver is yours,
and the people also,
to do with them as you please.” 
Esther 3:8-11 

600 years is how far in this case...

So let's bring this home.
As I was studying through all this with my girls what hit me was this...

How many of my current struggles are the result of my very own Saul moments?
Moments when God had opened the door...
made the way...
went before me...
and said now go and utterly destroy all of it.
Don't save any of it. 
Spare nothing.
I don't care how cute and harmless it appears or how valuable it appears to you.
Destroy it!
It will mean death and destruction and turmoil to you from now on if you do not do this complete now. This is your chance. Seize it. Go! I am with you. I will fight for you. You will have victory if you do it now and you do it My way...

I wish I could sit back and criticize Saul and shake my head at his rebellion and foolishness with a feeling of superiority because I would have never been so stupid and arrogant and rebellious... but I can't.

I shake my head, but I shake it because I can see myself in him...     

One of the reasons I rejoice so much in the words grace and mercy and forgiveness and redemption and hope and new...

And He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
And He said,
“Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Revelation 21:5


Train Up A Child Day 11

Well we have made it over half-way through our Train Up A Child journey with Mr JC Ryle. I have learned that as a parent we have been on the right track in alot of areas and this study has encouraged me to remain diligent and determined to stay on the right track. I have also learned that there are some areas that I need to work on...

Train Up A Child Day Eleven

11.  Train them to a habit of always redeeming the time.
Idleness is the devil’s best friend.  It is the surest way to give him an opportunity of doing us harm.  An idle mind is like an open door, and if Satan does not enter in himself by it, it is certain he will throw in something to raise bad thoughts in our souls.
No created being was ever meant to be idle.  Service and work is the appointed portion of every creature of God.  The angels in heaven work, — they are the Lord’s ministering servants, ever doing His will.  Adam, in Paradise, had work, — he was appointed to dress the garden of Eden, and to keep it.  The redeemed saints in glory will have work, "They rest not day and night singing praise and glory to Him who bought them." And man, weak, sinful man, must have something to do, or else his soul will soon get into an unhealthy state.  We must have our hands filled, and our minds occupied with something, or else our imaginations will soon ferment and breed mischief.
And what is true of us, is true of our children too.  Alas, indeed, for the man that has nothing to do! The Jews thought idleness a positive sin: it was a law of theirs that every man should bring up his son to some useful trade, — and they were right.  They knew the heart of man better than some of us appear to do.
Idleness made Sodom what she was.  "This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her" (Ezek. 16:49).  Idleness had much to do with David’s awful sin with the wife of Uriah. — I see in 2 Sam. 11 that Joab went out to war against Ammon, "but David tarried still at Jerusalem." Was not that idle? And then it was that he saw Bathsheba, — and the next step we read of is his tremendous and miserable fall.
Verily, I believe that idleness has led to more sin than almost any other habit that could be named.  I suspect it is the mother of many a work of the flesh, — the mother of adultery, fornication, drunkenness, and many other deeds of darkness that I have not time to name.  Let your own conscience say whether I do not speak the truth.  You were idle, and at once the devil knocked at the door and came in.
And indeed I do not wonder; — everything in the world around us seems to teach the same lesson.  It is the still water which becomes stagnant and impure: the running, moving streams are always clear.  If you have steam machinery, you must work it, or it soon gets out of order.  If you have a horse, you must exercise him; he is never so well as when he has regular work.  If you would have good bodily health yourself, you must take exercise. 

If you always sit still, your body is sure at length to complain.  And just so is it with the soul.  The active moving mind is a hard mark for the devil to shoot at.  Try to be always full of useful employment, and thus your enemy will find it difficult to get room to sow tares. 

Reader, I ask you to set these things before the minds of your children.  Teach them the value of time, and try to make them learn the habit of using it well.  It pains me to see children idling over what they have in hand, whatever it may be.  I love to see them active and industrious, and giving their whole heart to all they do; giving their whole heart to lessons, when they have to learn; — giving their whole heart even to their amusements, when they go to play.
But if you love them well, let idleness be counted a sin in your family.


When I was growing up there were two words we knew never to say...
"I'm bored"

I grew up with two of my male cousins and my Aunt, when I remember my childhood my Aunt and cousins are always there in my mind's memory. You see my Aunt was my Mom's sister and she was married to my Dad's brother. My Dad and Uncle both drove a diesel truck around the country so my Mom and Aunt helped each other out greatly. 

Now both of them hated this phrase "I'm bored". Usually this phrase was uttered because we five kids had come up with a plan of what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go and we had offered said suggestion to this plan and was told "no".

So then we thought if we sat around moping, looking absolutely pitiful, with nothing to do... they would look over at us in our pitiful state and choose to do our will. When we were ignored for a matter of time in our purposeful pitiful state we would say "I'm bored" 

To this both my Mom and Aunt (who had no doubt been busting their butts doing the needed things to care of two homes and five kids while Dads and Husbands were working away from homewould turn to us and fire would shoot out of their eyes and their heads would lift up and spin around at least three times and then out of their mouths like a sonic boom would come... "BORED! Did you really just say, 'I'm bored."???  Well let's see if you're so bored then....."

This would lead to a list of chores of cleaning and working that would take us until bed time to accomplish... oh my talk about a backfire, lol. 

And guess what...
true to my raising, if my girls ever make the mistake of uttering this phrase themselves...
and they do...
and yes, they do so with the very same motive that I uttered it when their age...
fire also shoots out of my eyes and my head lifts up and spins around and the sonic boom reply now comes out of my mouth :-) 

I can also still concur with Mr Ryle, busy is better for me. There is an acronym floating around Christendom attached to this word...
I have even used it myself.

BUSY- Being Under Satan's Yoke.  

If you are too "busy" to be about the things of God, then yes you are under Satan's yoke...
But if your "busy" is about the Father's business... then I believe this acronym is a lie.

A very dear sister in Christ and I were talking a few days ago about how we do better when we are busy. I have often had people comment on my amount of activity and the truth is I am better in my walk with Christ when I am busy about His business. 

Therefore be careful how you walk,
not as unwise men but as wise, 
making the most of your time,
because the days are evil. 
So then do not be foolish,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17


Monday, October 31, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 10

How important is the truth in your home?

Train Up A Child Day Ten

10.  Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.
Truth-speaking is far less common in the world than at first sight we are disposed to think.  The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is a golden rule which many would do well to bear in mind.  Lying and prevarication are old sins.  The devil was the father of them, — he deceived Eve by a bold lie, and ever since the fall it is a sin against which all the children of Eve have need to be on their guard.
Only think how much falsehood and deceit there is in the world! How much exaggeration! How many additions are made to a simple story! How many things left out, if it does not serve the speaker’s interest to tell them! How few there are about us of whom we can say, we put unhesitating trust in their word! Verily the ancient Persians were wise in their generation: it was a leading point with them in educating their children, that they should learn to speak the truth.  What an awful proof it is of man’s natural sinfulness, that it should be needful to name such a point at all!
Reader, I would have you remark how often God is spoken of in the Old Testament as the God of truth.  Truth seems to be especially set before us as a leading feature in the character of Him with whom we have to do.  He never swerves from the straight line.  He abhors lying and hypocrisy.  Try to keep this continually before your children’s minds.  Press upon them at all times, that less than the truth is a lie; that evasion, excuse-making, and exaggeration are all halfway houses towards what is false, and ought to be avoided.  Encourage them in any circumstances to be straightforward, and, whatever it may cost them, to speak the truth.
I press this subject on your attention, not merely for the sake of your children’s character in the world, — though I might dwell much on this, — I urge it rather for your own comfort and assistance in all your dealings with them.  You will find it a mighty help indeed, to be able always to trust their word.  It will go far to prevent that habit of concealment, which so unhappily prevails sometimes among children.  Openness and straightforwardness depend much upon a parent’s treatment of this matter in the days of our infancy.


God is very clear on the importance of speaking truth. I would have to say that in all honesty this is probably the biggest struggle of all mankind. This is why it's importance MUST be taught and practiced in our homes.

We can find all kind of reasons why we think we need to lie about something. We will lie to not hurt someone's feelings, or to not get ourselves in trouble. We will lie because we simply fear speaking the truth.

We will lie to keep a business deal in place or to get a job or keep a job or too simply stretch the truth or omit information to make more money.

 What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
Proverbs 19:22

In all honesty I have had a lie come out of my mouth and immediately once it passes through my lips I think "where in the world did that come from and why on earth did I say that?" Usually this happens when I fear that I am going to make someone angry at me or someone is already angry with me and I do not want to make it worse...

I have learned that fear is the root of the lies that have always come out of my mouth... it might not be every one's root, but it was/is mine.

As I am learning not to fear anyone more than I fear God speaking the truth at all times is becoming much easier and more my nature, because in Christ I received a new nature and I am being transformed more and more into the image of Christ.

As I have learned this about myself through the Holy Spirit and through the study of His Word I am also learning to ask my children the "why" behind their lies. I want them to look at their hearts, to examine themselves, to discover what thing in their flesh led them to speak the lie.

You are of your father the devil,
and you want to do the desires of your father.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and does not stand in the truth
because there is no truth in him.
Whenever he speaks a lie,
 he speaks from his own nature,
for he is a liar
and the father of lies.
John 8:44

This passage of Scripture is a sobering truth. It was this passage of Scripture that I sat down and shared with my children the first time I caught them in a spoken lie. I believe they were both around the age of 2 yrs old. I sat down with them in my lap and I shared this with them in love and with kindness.

I explained to them that in the future lying to us will bring grave consequences. There are two things in our home that we dealt with using spanking as the discipline... blatant disobedience to something we knew they understood fully and lying. We explained to them how important it was that we could take them at their word and we also shared with them how once trust is lost... it is a long time regaining. 

Another sobering passage...
But for the cowardly
and unbelieving
and abominable
and murderers
and immoral persons
and sorcerers
and idolaters
and all liars,
their part will be in the lake
that burns with fire
and brimstone,
which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8

Only the truth shall last until all eternity...
If we want to share eternity with our children and with our Father we must be people of truth, for our God is the God of truth, our Jesus is the way and the truth and the light.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Train Up A Child Day 9

Jesus said quite plainly that if we love Him we will obey Him.

If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15

Here also is this flip side of this... because God so loved us and knew that true love obeys the one they love in faith He not only gave us written instructions on how to obey Him, He sent His own Son as example just to teach us how to obey in love. 

Our job as parents is too teach our children how to obey in love and we are too teach them with love, just as Jesus taught us, we are also to teach them by example through our own obedience in love to our own parents, just as Jesus taught us... 

Train Up A Child Day Nine

9.  Train them to a habit of obedience.
This is an object which it is worth any labour to attain.  No habit, I suspect, has such an influence over our lives as this. Parents, determine to make your children obey you, though it may cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears.  Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and disputing, and delaying, and answering again.  When you give them a command, let them see plainly that you will have it done.
Obedience is the only reality.  It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith incarnate.  It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord’s people.  "Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14).  It ought to be the mark of well- trained children, that they do whatsoever their parents command them.  Where, in deed, is the honour which the fifth commandment enjoins, if fathers and mothers are not obeyed cheerfully, willingly, and at once?
Early obedience has all Scripture on its side.  It is in Abraham’s praise, not merely he will train his family, but "he will command his children, and his household after him" (Gen. 18:19).  It is said of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that when "He was young He was subject to Mary and Joseph" (Luke 2:51).
Observe how implicitly Joseph obeyed the order of his father Jacob (Gen. 37:13).  See how Isaiah speaks of it as an evil thing, when "the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient" (Isa. 3:5).  Mark how the Apostle Paul names disobedience to parents as one of the bad signs of the latter days (2 Tim. 3:2).  Mark how he singles out this grace of requiring obedience as one that should adorn a Christian minister: "a bishop must be one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity." And again, "Let the deacons rule their children and their own houses well " (1 Tim. 3:4,12).  And again, an elder must be one "having faithful children, children not accused of riot, or unruly" (Tit. 1:6).
Parents, do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to, — to do as they are bid.  Believe me, we are not made for entire independence, — we are not fit for it.  Even Christ’s freemen have a yoke to wear, they "serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3:24). 

Children cannot learn too soon that this is a world in which we are not all intended to rule, and that we are never in our right place until we know how to obey our betters.  Teach them to obey while young, or else they will be fretting against God all their lives long, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control.
Reader, this hint is only too much needed.  You will see many in this day who allow their children to choose and think for themselves long before they are able, and even make excuses for their disobedience, as if it were a thing not to be blamed.  To my eyes, a parent always yielding, and a child always having its own way, are a most painful sight; — painful, because I see God’s appointed order of things inverted and turned upside down; — painful, because I feel sure the consequence to that child’s character in the end will be self-will, pride, and self-conceit. You must not wonder that men refuse to obey their Father which is in heaven, if you allow them, when children, to disobey their father who is upon earth.
Parents, if you love your children, let obedience be a motto and a watchword continually before their eyes.


Obedience is evidence of faith and love. We clearly see this from the example of our Savior. We must teach our children to obey us... and then we must expect it. Teaching them the importance of obeying us will teach them the importance of obeying God. And as we teach them to obey us we point them to God... our rules and expectations of our children should always line up with God's Word. If we teach them to obey God, then obeying us is just part of it.

Tonight at our church was friends and family night for our fall drama, The Judgment Seat. My Shelby is serving in the nursery for our JS actors' and volunteers' children and my Bekah is running cards for registration. She was getting ready for a break and so we were about to walk out the door for me to take her to the childcare area. On the way out one of our volunteers was explaining to her that when she got the ice scoop to get ice out of the ice maker she needed to put it up on top, not leave it in the ice maker.
All my Bekah seemed to catch was "this goes on top"  
To which she replied, "no, Jesus goes on top."
Then our volunteer laughed and said "well yes put this under Jesus then."
Then Bekah replied, "but parents go under Jesus."

Whew! Well we have made it the first seven years with stuff in the correct order...
I'll let you know how things look five to six years from now :-)