Category Archives: General

Savory Sewage

Living in Florida I remember being fascinated any time I heard about a sinkhole event occurring, sort of like a modern Korah, Dathan, and Abiram moment (Numbers 16). Likely that single event of Numbers would hold the all-time, world record for sinkhole devastation. 

There is a costly, modern day sinkhole of another sort that impacts many (most?) men today. Sadly, few recognize the longterm consequences. However, I’m confident there is a horrific “cost” to God’s kingdom due to all the hours it sucks out of men’s lives and the negative impact to their souls. What is it? It is the news, and man’s insatiable “need” to be informed about every illegal, disastrous, scandalous, juicy, gory, and immoral event that the networks can find to keep their ratings up. 

Do I hear cries of “Heresy!” “Outrageous” “Insanity!”? Please extend me a bit of grace. Consider what the result of mentally “ingesting” the list from above? What profit is there? Does it build you up in Christ? Does it enrich your life or foster love, joy, or peace? Do you have a far greater hunger to read God’s Word as a family than you do to listen to or read the news? How many families are starved for the Bread of Life, while Dad is feasting on the sewage of the world?

Since it is a shame to speak of the works of darkness, it is certainly not good to listen or read them. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12). 

My Brothers, Scripture tells us what we are to feed on. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). 

Pedal to the Metal

There was an expression I heard and then used growing up when I was ready to be finished with a project or school report, “Good enough for government work.” However, once I was saved and began reading my Bible, I learned that God calls His children to a higher standard. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

May I challenge each of us to consider our walk with the Lord. I shared before about not being satisfied with being barely on the good side of the “line of sin.” That is a “good enough” mentality. There should be no “good enough” when seeking Him. “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore” (Psalm 105:4).

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15).

“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 12:2). 

My Brothers, may we give Him our all. 

Easy

The concept of “easy” made one man billions and billions of dollars because he played to the “flesh” of customers who wanted to buy online that way. Satan led the way by playing to the flesh of billions and billions of people, purchasing them and destining them to hell. 

Mankind likes easy. My flesh likes easy. However, Jesus’ command for us to follow Him isn’t easy. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

There is a young brother with a wife and two little girls serving as missionaries in the Ivory Coast. God graciously spared his two little girls when they were deathly sick the end of last year. In their December/January newsletter, when the girls were sick, there wasn’t a hint of self pity or blaming God. Seth is a church planter and also seeking to reach men in prison. I love their hearts. Their life isn’t easy. 

In their April/May newsletter (BTW the date at the top is wrong, November 2020), they mention the need of two computers. In all the years of sending out Seriously/Corners emails, I don’t think we have ever asked for your financial support, but now I am. Would you help them? 

Whatever you would give goes to them through their mission board, Baptist World Missions (baptistworldmission.org). You can give online. Scroll down to “Click to Donate Online,” then “Amount” and for “Designated to,” there is a drop down list where you can find his name: Seth Cuthbertson. Thank you so much. Note: that link doesn’t work in Chrome for me but it did for Teri. 

I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter as well. You can do that through the Subscribe link at the top left of their newsletter page. 

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

The Productive Summer Schedule for Homeschoolers

A productive summer schedule can help homeschoolers (or anyone) toward desires or goals you have for your summer months. Perhaps those would include doing some homeschooling, accomplishing activities that don’t fit into a homeschool year, or simply relationship building. Whatever the desire, purposefulness in making a schedule should give time to work on various aspects that lead to its achievement. Often moms get to the end of their summer dismayed with their lack of productivity and disappointed that they didn’t accomplish what they had envisioned. Your schedule is a tool that will let you look back on summer with satisfaction rather than regret.

If you haven’t scheduled before, summer is a perfect time to learn scheduling because usually summer has a more relaxed pace than the school months do.

List and Pray

To begin, write your desires for summer accomplishments onto a list. Having these desires in writing means you can visualize the ideas all together. You have a limited amount of time and energy so what you want to accomplish will be mitigated by that. The list and then the schedule is a reality check for what is reasonable to try to do.

Before you work on the actual schedule, you want to pray and seek the Lord’s direction for what He would have you and your children accomplish this summer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). You may grow or shrink the list as you spend praying over it and also evaluating your available time.

Then pray about the actual planning and working out of the schedule since you want God’s help through that process. He is the One Who gives you direction and creativity for how to put the pieces of your schedule together.

Add a Few Notes

Now look at your list of desires for the summer. What needs to be scheduled to accomplish those goals? Start by making notes on your list since a particular goal might mean multiple spots on the schedule.

For example, your list says: summer school. But your note would be more specific – keep math and reading going during the summer by doing it daily. Your list could have: relationship building. Your note with it might say: weekly outing with one child rotating every week through the summer, assign a kitchen helper for each meal, have a daily game time. 

Assign Times

The next step is to put times with what you have on your list. It simplifies the schedule and schedule production if you use the same schedule for summer that you do for the school year when it comes to your normal daily needs. Then you don’t have to relearn that routine for the summer. School time is freed up to assign for your summer accomplishments, but the rest of the schedule remains the same.

If, however, you want to change the whole thing up, your schedule can accommodate! Just be sure to write it down. Trying to keep it in your mind is a setup for failure!

Then you use your notes to help you put what is on your list into time slots on the schedule. What is on it that you will do every day? Plug those into your schedule first. That allows you to evaluate the time blocks you have available for activities that don’t happen every day. If you want to have larger chunks of time for outings, try to group your daily activities together, so that you have several hours that can be scheduled for outings and the activities that don’t happen every day.

Finally what is on the list that you can do a couple of times a week or once a week? Put those into the blocks that are still open after the daily pieces have been entered into the schedule.

Make the Summer Schedule a Reality

Sometimes putting together a schedule seems daunting. That’s usually the case when it is all floating around in your head. Committing the details to paper or the computer, generally flows nicely once you take that first step to begin.

The productive summer schedule for homeschoolers will help you end your summer with a smile as you look back over all that you achieved through those months. 

If you need more scheduling help, I recommend our book called Managers of Their Homes. That book is full of scheduling information plus it walks you step by step through putting a schedule together utilizing the included scheduling kit. 

Here are some other articles on summer scheduling.

Times Have Changed

Are you concerned about the state of the nation and your children’s future? In our lifetime we have had the “good life,” but things have changed. Have you thought much about why the change?

God blessed this nation with everything a country could hope for: incredible climate, bountiful natural resources, a paradise of cropland, freedom of religion, a government founded with the concept of trust in God, and laws that paralleled a Judaeo Christian mindset. We have been blessed beyond measure and imagination. 

It is my opinion that the United States is God’s answer to anyone on earth or in heaven (Hebrews 12:1), who might claim God unfairly blessed and favored Israel. He brought a microcosm of all the world together in the US to represent the world. 

God can point to the U.S. and say “I gave you everything, if not even more than I gave Israel.  Look what you did with the blessings and freedom (Galatians 5:13) I gave you. I made the US a melting pot of the nations, but you followed the same evil path that Israel did. I judged Israel, and I must judge the United States as well.” Brothers, if God doesn’t judge the U.S., He would have to apologize to Israel, and that isn’t going to happen. 

What if we Christians had pursued our God wholeheartedly, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30) and fervently shared Christ (Matthew 28:19), bearing fruit, instead of the pursuit of our own happiness (fun and pleasure), might this country still be the Christian nation that it was? I think not only was but better. 

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).

More Fishing in The Boat

This week, like last, we are still fishing in the boat, but looking for those with different needs.

Brothers, many people are hurting who come to church (they came to the right place). Their pain may not be obvious, since they can put on a smile and make appear as if everything is fine. Your smile and caring conversation could be what communicates to them that they are loved, valued, and wanted. It is even possible that over time they will feel safe in your friendship and will let you see behind the smiles to the pain. Maybe it will be in the form of a prayer request, or it could be an invitation to meet for coffee. But it starts with looking around and reaching out to someone you don’t know rather than stoically sitting in your seat at church. 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Philippians 1:9). 

Children’s Summer Chores

When is the best time to work on chores? I believe summer is the time to put together a chore plan, assign children chores, teach them how to do their chores, and practice. Especially for homeschooling moms, the slower pace of summer affords valuable time for a chore emphasis that isn’t available during the school year. Plus with diligence and purpose for chores in the summer, your home maintenance should be as efficient as possible freeing time for other pursuits.

Put Together a Children’s Summer Chore Plan

I have heard about online plans and things you can sign up for to receive emails to tell you what to do and when to do it concerning chores. If you think about it, though, you are the only one who knows what needs to be done in your home, who makes up the chore team, who has time available, and who knows how to do particular jobs. I am convinced that you are the best one to design a summer chore plan for your children.

Commit the plan to paper. It has to be something you can look at and refer to, not something stored in your head! Think through the chores that need to be accomplished in your home and make a list of what comes to mind. You can add to it and refine it as you go. Start basic. Just get the critical chores written down. 

Be sure your children are accomplishing tasks that involve their self care such as making their beds, picking up their toys and clothes and putting them away, and helping in the kitchen. You will not only have chore help now, but you are preparing your children to handle responsibility throughout their lives.

Assign Children Chores

Next decide who can do the chore. If you have children helping with chores, plan for the youngest child who is capable to do the chore. Is it time for an older child to hand a chore over to a younger sibling? Perhaps the older child is ready to move into a higher skilled chore. When putting together your children’s summer chore plan, this information is necessary.

Teach Children Their Chores

Then work with your children to teach them to do their chores this summer. If you spend a few days teaching and then supervising bed making, your children will soon be proficient at it. The same goes for folding laundry or any other chore. First demonstrate, then work with the child, finally observe them doing it on their own. 

It is easier and quicker to do it ourselves when our children are just maturing to a capable age for a chore. In the long run, however, you are wise to invest in teaching your children to do chores. Remember you need help now, and they need to be able to function efficiently with chore work as adults. 

Schedule Chores

Finally remember that a great chore plan and children who know what to do doesn’t gain anticipated benefits unless you have a schedule in place. You want a summer schedule that allows time at the appropriate spot in the day for your children to do those chores. Usually chores fit naturally around meal times and before bed. On your written list be sure to put down the scheduled time for each chore. 

You will have to choose to be diligent to enforce that chore block on the schedule. Don’t expect your children to be enthusiastic about their work and rush to do it on their own. I think you can affect their attitudes by your own attitude toward your household chores. The more positive you are about your work, the more they will be about theirs. Dealing with their failures in a pleasant but firm manner, more quickly marches you forward with chore success. 

Redeeming Time this Summer

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). I can’t help but wonder if one way we can redeem time to invest in what is of eternal value to the kingdom of God is to have a home that functions efficiently and children who are being trained to be adults. The more chaos in a home, the more time it sucks from all the family members. We want to spend as little time as possible on household tasks so we have more time to serve the Lord in other ministry. Invest this summer in a children’s chore system and redeem the time.

If you need help with a chore plan, I recommend our book Managers of Their Chores. In that book, I take you step by step through putting together a chore system. 

Other Titus2 chore articles:

Children’s Chores

Summer Schedules and Chores

Benefiting from Summer Chores

Ambassador for Christ

Christian dads generally have “full plates” providing for their families, in addition to responding to family, home, and church responsibilities. My guess is most are not looking for more things to do. Yet, the Lord’s parting command was very clear that we are to be making disciples (Matthew 28:19). In addition to purposeful discipling of our children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), how can busy dads do that? 

Instead of adding one more thing “to” your life, make this the very essence “of” your life.Have the mindset of being an ambassador for Christ all day, everyday, everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Deep genuine love for our Lord and our neighbor is our motive. Daily prayer prepares our hearts and seeks God’s grace. Be salty due to your time in the Word and your walk with the Lord Jesus so when you engage someone they will thirst for more (Matthew 5:13). “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). May we make the most of every opportunity.

Posted in: General

Busy Moms Can Read the Bible

We regularly discuss in Mom’s Corners the necessity and value of busy moms reading their Bibles. Sadly, it is easy for anyone, and the busier, perhaps the easier, to declare she is just too busy to be in the Word. The excuse is that God understands. But I wonder. The God of the Universe says our desire for the sincere milk of the Word was to be as if we were newborn babies. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). That means we crave the Word if we want to grow, and time is not even to be a consideration (babies have lots of time).

An Example of a Busy Mom Who Reads Her Bible

I had lunch the other day with a friend, who recently moved from across the country and now lives just 45 minutes from me. She’s a busy, homeschool mom, like many of you are or were. In 2007, she started reading her Bible daily. At that time, she only had two children. Now she has five. Her life has only gotten busier since she started daily, Bible reading. She has had every reason to say she didn’t have time, but she wanted to grow spiritually.

Fourteen years after that decision to daily spend time reading her Bible, she now has a beautiful, spiritual life along with thirteen lovely journals that document her faithful meetings each morning with her Savior, Jesus Christ. Back then, she grabbed hold of a simple, yet powerful, way to spend time in the Word. She reads, finds a verse that speaks to her heart from her reading, copies that verse into a notebook, and then journals about what that verse said or meant to her. She told me what an amazing blessing that time in the Word has been to her.

The Busy Mom’s Outcome When She Reads Her Bible

Her life shines with the spiritual fruit that comes from Bible reading. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

I observed that fruit in her life as we talked. Her life was not pressure-free. She had struggles and difficulties, but she radiated faith through them. She sparkled with joy in what God was doing in her life and her family’s life. She was filled with love for those she served. She demonstrated peace as she talked about the trials she faced. She lived out long-suffering as she told about physical problems that were ongoing. 

Jesus Says Not By Bread Alone

When Jesus faced Satan’s temptations in the desert, one of them was to command the stones to be turned to bread. After all, with forty days of fasting, Jesus was hungry. He did have a physical need. “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Do we consider time in the Word to be even more important than our daily physical needs and duties? Or could it be that a little more sleep or the pressures of responsibilities push out time for the words God gave us in the Bible?

Mary Sits at Jesus’ Feet

We have another example in the New Testament that I believe we can relate to—the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. 

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Nothing in my life compares with serving Jesus like Martha was serving Him by preparing food for Him and the disciples. Yet, Martha was rebuked for being burdened with her service, and Mary was commended for hearing Jesus’ words. Jesus said that Mary learning from Him was what was needed. 

Is It Worth Being Too Busy?

May I again implore you to set aside any “too busy” excuses for not spending time reading your Bible? Would you choose today to find a place in your busy life for God’s Word and then be faithful to meet Him there every day?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word” (Psalms 119:114).

For more encouragement on this topic of our walk with the Lord and Bible time, check out Sweet Journey.

Fearful or Bold

Many believers have recently been focused on the events prior to and including Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Then attention typically turns to the disciples, hiding in fear for their lives. Their hopes and dreams of reigning with Jesus were likely exchanged for mental images of being crucified themselves. Have you ever imagined yourself in that position? What a blessing that most of us have not experienced persecution for our faith. 

I wonder how many of you are fearful to share your faith. Are you actively sharing your faith? “… as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). The question isn’t how many you have led to Christ, but are you sowing seeds? If we truly love the Lord Jesus and others, may we not miss any opportunity.

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

(To be continued.)