Dark VS Light

One of my grandsons is greatly enthralled with Maglites. He loves to repair them and talk about them. Maglites were a front-runner utility flashlight that packed a lot of light while remaining rugged. 

Portable light when in darkness is a good thing. Hmmm, sounds like what believers are supposed to be. “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14a). We are in the midst of, and moving into even more, dark times. Christians are to be lights shining in the dark, pointing to our God, bringing Him glory. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:16).

In our country and locale, an evil wicked day is about to be celebrated. I understand that those who are lost, with no hope of life, will celebrate death and every wicked, evil thing imaginable. What breaks my heart is when I see professing “believers” decorate their homes in celebration of the wicked event. Oh readers, are we light? What do we shine on?

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil” (Psalms 97:10).

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8). 

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph 5:11). 

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7).

May we walk in the Light and be a light in a dark world. 

Could You Help?

We have been asked to have a weekend conference in Wood Leaf, North Carolina the weekend of March 8th, 2024. As we begin preparation, there is an area in which I would appreciate your help. 

I am both amazed and grieved at the host of powerful, negative influences that you, as conservative Christian families, are facing today. I would be VERY grateful and blessed if you would provide your feedback as to how you feel your children are faring against the onslaught. If you have benefited and been blessed by Seriously Dads, would you consider taking a few minutes to be a blessing to others by your feedback? I would be most grateful if you would. 

On the following questions, “10” is the best. If you want to break it out by child, that is fine. Frankly, if you would prefer a phone call, I’d love to talk with you, schedule permitting. Let me know your time zone and general windows of availability. Likely the following would be a good husband/wife discussion prior to your responding.

  • Do you believe your children are on track up to be strong, dynamic Christian adults living for the Lord and not for the world? 1-10 ______
    • If so, what do you attribute that to? ________________________
    • If not, what do you attribute that to? ________________________
    • Is your family consistently in the Word
    • As a family?  Yes.   No 
    • Individually?  Yes.   No
  • How would you rate the influence of your church on your children? 1 – 10 (10 positive)
  • How would you rate the influence of their church friends on them? 1 – 10
  • Estimate how many hours a day of media (movies, social, etc) they consume.  ____
  • Do your children read books such as Harry P? Yes?   No?
  • Do your children participate in organized sports? Yes?   No?
  • Anything else you would like to share on this topic that you feel is important?

May this be a good opportunity for evaluating how it’s going. Any changes you should make? Is this consistent with your goals? Do you have goals? 

We are grateful for you all. I tried to keep this brief, but if you want to give more detail, please do. Maybe share this email with your wife as well. Thank you for your feedback.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Who Me?

Have you noticed how easy we are on ourselves and blind to our faults, which we expertly justify and minimize? It is one thing to destroy our health, morals, or even our testimony for Christ, but as we impress on our children by our example, the world’s media and entertainment (i.e. our “liberty”), that is serious. Certainly, the Lord Jesus treats it seriously based on the consequences He says we deserve in that situation. 

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

The survival instinct under water is to try to get back to oxygen. In this case, as you descend deeper and deeper, your head is down due to the weight tied to your neck. You can’t turn to swim up, even if you could overcome the weight. It’s impossible. You are totally helpless. Every effort to get free only uses precious air while you continue the rocket-like descent. Your lungs in agony “scream” for air and feel like they will burst as you eventually lose consciousness. 

The One Who died for us gave this example to vividly demonstrate His love for the young and innocent and how serious He is about not causing them to stumble in their faith. My heart breaks for innocent children who are “taught” by dad’s example to love the world through his media and entertainment.  

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Wanted

There is a giant LED billboard in our area that will occasionally display a huge “WANTED” at the top with the name and photo of someone who has committed or suspected of a crime and for whom the authorities are looking. Think of how troubling it would be to see your name and photo appear there. 

Similarly, those who are Christ’s and living for Him are “WANTED” by Satan and his demons to seek, devour, and destroy. However, we don’t have the “benefit” of the billboard-sized reminder that we are WANTED and being targeted by Satan. Scripture, however, should be our reminder! 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). I observe many believers who seem to live without a hint of caution concerning being ensnared or devoured by Satan. Is it their pride that gives them a false sense of security so they live carelessly thinking they and their children are untouchable by the enemy?

Yet, all of a sudden, they wake up to a bad dream. Life is shipwrecking and everything they held as precious, including their children, are going down with the ship. 

“Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-10).

Are you alert, or sleeping? “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:14-16). 

SIMPLIFIED MEAL STRATEGIES

For those who followed our blog when it was active and prayed for our daughter-in-law, Anna Marie, when she had breast cancer three years ago, they wanted you to know they just had baby #7 – a little girl, Esther Marie. Anna Marie has been 2 years cancer free now. We praise the Lord for His merciful goodness to them.

Busy moms, those with babies and large families like Anna Marie, and especially homeschooling moms need strategies to streamline kitchen work (see the link below for some additional ideas on this topic from Anna Marie). Proverbs 31:27 talks about this: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

One of the most frustrating situations for Mom is when she doesn’t know what to prepare for a meal and spends time wracking her brain for ideas with nothing coming together. Schedule for the following suggestions, and you will eliminate the emotional drain of indecision and also gain valuable time for other endeavors.

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens” (Proverbs 31:15). I imagine that a woman who gets up while it is still dark to prepare food for the day knew what she was going to make. Her plan allowed her to get to her work early.

Schedule time each week for meal planning and populating a grocery list. You could start with 1 hour a week and back down to 1/2 hour with experience and speed. Plan to grocery shop weekly and have your planning time the day of shopping or the day before.

Begin with three master meal lists: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The easiest way to do this is to simply write down—track—each unique meal you eat as you eat it. Your master list will grow itself. You can also write from memory meals your family eats and enjoys. From the master meal list, you can quickly choose meals without dealing with empty brain and without eating the same meal every other night.

STANDARDIZED WEEKLY MENUS

I suggest a standardized weekly breakfast and lunch menu. That doesn’t require any decisions after the initial plan is developed, and all you have to do is check the food supply to see what you need to purchase to have enough for those meals that week. Pick favorites from your master breakfast and lunch meals that are simple and nutritious. Change the standardized menu up every couple of months or stick to it, if everyone is satisfied with it.

For example:

Breakfast
S – Egg casserole
M – Yogurt, granola, fruit
T – Oatmeal, fruit
W – Pancakes, fruit
Th – Muffins and eggs
F – Yogurt, granola, fruit
S – Oatmeal, fruit

Lunch
S – Quesadillas
M – Sandwiches
T – Soup
W – Leftovers
Th – Sandwiches
F – Soup
S – Leftovers

THEMED WEEKLY MENUS

For dinners, you could have a theme or a meal for some nights plus nights left open to be determined from your master dinner meal list when you meal plan. For example:

Dinner
S –
M – Beef
T – Chicken
W – Meatless
Th – Mexican
F – Homemade Pizza
S –

If you want to take the planning further, add your side dishes on the menu.

There is nothing binding about the menu. You always have the flexibility and choice to do something different. Having the plan, however, directs meals and allows you to be efficient in the kitchen. You don’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every lunch because you can’t think of anything else to eat or don’t have what you need for anything else. You don’t spend the morning trying to decide what to have for dinner. You don’t run to the store because you decide to have something you are missing ingredients for. If you post your menu for the family and stick to it, you won’t have to tell every family member what’s for dinner since you forestall their questions.

I loved the ease my master meal lists, standardized and themed meal plans, plus weekly meal planning and grocery shopping brought to my full homeschooling lifestyle. I think you will benefit from it as well.

If you need scheduling help, Managers of Their Homes is an excellent resource. If you need help with a family chore plan, Managers of Their Chores is the resource for you.

For our downloadable shopping lists, see this link.

For meal planning ideas, see this popular blog post Simple Ideas for Homeschool Moms, and make sure to read the comments too!

Posted in: Mom's Corner