Category Archives: General

Are You The Problem?

Homeschooling is alive, well, and quite popular. Homeschoolers I have spoken with over the years want a better outcome for their children than other educational options offer. Not only is a better education desired (and generally achieved), but children, who upon completing their education, still have a strong faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Moms are usually the ones doing the majority of the planning, teaching, and grading, day-in-and-day-out. However, are you aware that you can be the one who effectively shipwrecks her investment with little effort on your part?  

Dads with poor and unsupportive attitudes can torpedo their children’s future. “How?” you ask. It is because Dad’s heart is generally impressed on the children’s hearts. What Dad loves, the children love, and what he dislikes, the children dislike. If Dad doesn’t care how well the children do in school, they aren’t going to apply themselves and will make it difficult for Mom. If Dad doesn’t have a heart for the Lord Jesus and isn’t serious about obeying Him, the children will be drawn to the world just like their father (you). 

I plead with you. Your income job is wood, hay, and stubble. Leading and discipling your family in the Lord Jesus is “gold, silver, and precious stones.” So many dads have it backwards. Brother, be dedicated to the work God has called you to do. 

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood have, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Politics to Jesus

I like pumping gas and going to the grocery store because I love meeting people. For example, last week while getting gas I greeted the person pumping next to our car. For some reason, she started railing about politics. I soon shared how thankful I was that regardless of the political climate, the Lord Jesus was ultimately in control, and I had total peace with that. Summarizing here, I encouraged her to read her Bible and come to know Jesus personally as well. 

She wasn’t offended with the discussion. Just the opposite, she was very happy. I love sharing Christ with people.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). 

Steve

Your Answer

“Joey, I confess that your Grandpa was saddened about abortions, but that was a little like saying, ‘be warm and filled’ because I was doing nothing. We knew abortion was wrong, but like others, I used the excuse of ‘too busy,’ and besides I didn’t know what to do about it. Then one morning I was convicted while reading the passage “the land was polluted with blood” (Psalm 106:38). So I purposed that every time I prayed, I would pray that God would protect the unborn and unloved.”

“Then over time God moved in our hearts. We heard about Life Chain Sunday (1st Sunday in October, it’s the 6th this year) that promotes awareness of abortion across the nation. For one hour we joined others who stood along a designated road in our town and held pro-life signs and prayed. It was a start. We subscribed to pro-life newsletters so we were informed as to how to pray. We donated to pregnancy centers that helped pregnant women who had needs and chose to give their babies life. Over time we became even more involved.” 

“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:14-17). 

Grandpa What Did You Do?

Fast forward forty years, and you are having dinner with your grandson’s young family. It is a special time with many memories being shared and enjoyed. Then the topic turns to a more somber note.

Joey, your great-grandson, full of life and wisdom beyond his eight years, shares that his history lesson was about the Jewish holocaust and how the Nazis killed the Jews. He shared how horrible that was and that if he had been alive then, he would have helped the Jews. He went on to say that when slavery was legal in our country, he would have helped the slaves escape to freedom in the north.

His ten-year-old sister, not to be outdone, pipes up with what she learned. She says that the Jews were killed in Germany, and slaves owned as property in the U.S. because neither Jews nor slaves were considered human. She learned that was also why abortion was legal years earlier too. Babies in the womb were not considered people.

Then Joey turns to you and asks, “Grandpa, what did you do to protect the babies?” Brothers, what would your answer be?

“And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood” (Psalm 106:38).

No Comparison

In front of you are three desserts to choose from, but one is your “absolute-crazy-over-the-top” favorite. You wouldn’t consider picking one of the other two choices even though each is beautiful, rich, sweet, and very popular. Why are you not tempted by the other choices? It is because your favorite dessert has preeminence.

Are you frustrated in your walk with the Lord because of your struggle with the pull of the world on your life? Do you have the head knowledge that Jesus is to be preeminent/first-place, but you are drawn to things of the world? Are they your “favorite,” rather than Jesus? (Sadly many more should be frustrated, but by repeatedly quenching the Spirit and lack of feeding on the Word, their consciences are seared, and there is no desire for more of Jesus.) 

My brothers, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4). That verse doesn’t mean God will give us anything (the world) we want if we delight in the Lord. The reality is that when we delight in the Lord we don’t want the things of the world. Instead, this verse means that as the preeminent Lord Jesus is our joy and delight, He gives us more of Himself and what we need to obey Him. “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” (From hymn: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.)

What Ya Sowing?

The white, Limited SUV pulls up in the home daycare’s driveway and parks. A professionally dressed woman steps out of the driver’s side, and two school-age girls pile out of the back seat. The girls race toward the front door. The winner grabs a short rope attached to a large antique “dinner bell” beside the door. Simultaneous to the loud clanging, the mother’s voice scolds,”I told you not to touch that bell.” The ringing continues along with childish laughter until the stronger, but slower girl successfully pushes the race winner aside. She now begins her turn ringing that bell loudly providing a tune accompanied to lyrics of: “Stop. I told you not to ring that bell. You are in trouble now.” Could this mom be harvesting the fruit in her children’s lives of others raising her children while she is otherwise occupied?

Raising children who love the Lord Jesus with all their heart, are well-behaved, and academically prepared for life is more than a full-time job. It takes Mom wisely using structured/scheduled time all day in teamwork with you (Dad). I am saddened as I learn of moms who aren’t disciplined and scheduled in managing their time. Your child’s future is at stake.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Is It Possible?

We just finished a project that could be a huge blessing to you.  We made our book Buying a House Debt-Free an audiobook

Few families can afford to buy their children homes as wedding gifts, but you CAN give them what’s next best—motivation and direction toward a debt-free house they buy before marriage. I guarantee you in the years to come, they will appreciate that home, and bless you for starting them down that path. All five of our sons have purchased homes debt-free, and yours can too. 

Jim Bob Duggar said every family ought to read Buying a House Debt Free. With the book in audio format, even busy dads, with little time to read, will benefit. 

Owning a home debt-free before marriage is more attainable than after marriage when financial obligations increase. That is why being debt-free is only a dream for many families. I plead with you, even if you can’t personally attain a debt-free house, you can give the gift of that vision to your children. “Read” Buying a House Debt-Free in the car while you are driving, and make windshield time beneficial. 

I loved recording this book. I forgot how much great practical information was in it. It is like Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family, my first book, Part 2, 3, and 4. There is also solid information about college, managing finances, and gaining practical skills. Dads, if you are too busy, ask your wife to get it and listen to it. Whether your children are young or late teens, your children will bless you. 

“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).

Steve

Solid or Slack?

If your foot isn’t on the gas a millisecond after the traffic light has turned green, you are likely to hear horns behind you “encouraging” you to forward movement. Yet, we seem to be in a time of unprecedented, underwhelming forward movement of men for things that are worthwhile. Where are the Christ-led, responsible, diligent, dependable, hard working men?

Let there be travel for a football game, or early rise for deer hunting, and today’s man will be up at the crack of dawn. Yet, children are starving to death for men-of-God role models. These are men who are having their own Bible time to fellowship with their God early every day. They are men who couldn’t imagine not feeding their families the Word of God each evening. They are men who have a faith worth sharing and actually share it. 

Children need to see their dads as a solid example of life in Christ. Let us not be slack. Amen? “Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?”(Joshua 18:3). The “land” is before us. God has given us children and a faith to share. Forward. 

Steve

How to Do Bible Time for Preschoolers

During the first day of our visit in their home, four-year-old Alice excitedly shared with us where she was in her personal Bible time and what she was learning. The next day, she showed us her set up: sitting in Dad’s living room chair, computer on a table beside it with an audio Bible CD in it, headphones, and her Bible in her lap. Since Alice was learning to read, she could follow the audio in her actual Bible. 

How to Start Your Child in the Bible

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). As Christian moms, we want to see our children place their faith in Jesus and grow up with a love for God’s Word. We desire that they would hide Scripture in their hearts. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). We hope they will use the Bible to direct their thoughts and actions. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Did you know you can begin that process in your children’s preschool days? One way to do that is to schedule a daily, personal Bible time for them. 

What If She Can’t Read?

You might wonder how personal Bible time would be possible for preschoolers since generally they can’t read. One benefit of our modern technology is Scripture in audio form—no reading, just listening! Preschoolers can listen to Scripture via a computer, or other device such as a smart phone, iPad, or MP3 player. (Most know we encourage using technical devices as tools not toys for children, and this is a good example.) There are dramatized and undramatized audio Bibles available. The ones for devices are free. With ear phones, your child can listen while other things are going on that would be a distraction or to keep them from being a distraction.

There are many benefits that come from a preschooler’s personal Bible time. They begin to learn Scripture and are often quite enthusiastic about what they learn. Preschoolers also have that amazing ability to remember well what they hear. Our grandson, Joshua, memorized the book of Jonah when he was five years old in large measure from listening to it. 

Bible Time as a Child Creates a Good Habit

Preschool, personal Bible time is the beginning of a daily Bible time habit, something we would like to send our children into adulthood with. Whatever is habitual is easier to accomplish than something you have to decide each day if you will or will not do. How many of you yearn for daily Bible time but struggle to make it a reality? What if you had been given a daily Bible time habit when you were growing up?

During preschool Bible time, your child is productively occupied for the amount of time you designate for it, perhaps fifteen to thirty minutes. That allows you to accomplish something you couldn’t do when they need your more focused attention and oversight. 

Could I encourage you to begin your preschoolers on their own personal Bible time? It will take a bit of thinking on your part. When is that time best scheduled? On what will they listen to the Bible? Where will they have their Bible time? Do they need headphones? Once those questions are answered and implemented, you begin filling your children’s minds with God’s Word, perhaps the greatest gift you could possibly give them. Plus you develop a life long habit of personal Bible reading that continually grows and nurtures a real relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Church

Dads often share with me their struggles in finding a church that is compatible with God’s leading for their family in doctrine and life practice. I would be grateful to learn from you the following:

  • What Scriptures have guided you in finding a place to worship?
  • What were your decision criteria and did you compromise?
  • What was the process you followed?
  • What positive and/or negative experiences have you had in relation to your children and church? 
  • What have you learned and how has that influenced you?
  • How would you rate your current church? (On a scale of 1 to 10 (best)) Please include a comment as to why you rated it that way.

Feel free to answer as many or few points as you would like to. Thank you and I look forward to reading your emails. 

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Steve