Category Archives: Seriously

What’s Your Attitude?

Your attitude is vitally important. Your thoughts regarding your God-given responsibilities are powerful factors in determining the results ahead. Nehemiah was steadfast in his determination to build Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:11, 2:11, 2:17) and you, my brothers, must be determined to build your families spiritually (Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6:4).  

Nehemiah had enemies around him who did not want him to succeed in the work God called him to (Nehemiah 2:19). You will face resistance (John 16:33) to building the godly family God has called you to build. The more godly your desires for your family, the more resistance you might expect. It may come from extended family, neighbors, “friends” or sadly, even people at church who don’t like your particular direction. Initially, they might use disparaging/discouraging words (Nehemiah 2:19) to you or your family, and if that doesn’t derail you, they will likely try additional tactics. 

Those against Nehemiah devised cunning ways and even intimidation to try to stop the building. Oh, my brothers, don’t underestimate the will of those who do not want you to succeed in raising children who love and serve the Lord Jesus. “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” (Mark 12:30). 

Taken Out of Context

Sadly, it seems like some women in church have taken Isaiah 20:3 out of context. “And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia” (Isaiah 20:3). It is not a clothing recommendation.

Obvious

The first Passover required every family to take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood of the slain lamb, and then apply it to the lintel and side posts of the door to their home (Exodus 12:21-22). The blood on the doorframe would certainly have been obvious to anyone passing by. 

Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb. He was the perfect Lamb of God sacrificed for us, and His blood has been applied to the souls of every believer. “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us…” (1 Corinthians 5:7). 

Scripture gives us the picture that anyone who is a true follower of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24) will be as obvious to others as that door frame with the blood splashed on it was. Jesus gave us the mental image of a follower carrying his cross in this life. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). May we live for the One Who died for us. 

Deep Sorrow

It’s Wednesday morning and you grab your phone to see if anything important has come in overnight. There is an email from the church with important news, “Next Wednesday the Lord is returning for His people.” You can hardly believe it. How exciting, but how difficult to wait a whole week. 

After your wave of joy, a wave of grief hits you. What about all the lost people you know? After you are gone is there any hope of them coming to Christ? The next wave is of greater sadness. You think of all the time that you squandered doing selfish, unimportant, fun things that seemed important yesterday. Now you wonder: What if my fun will cost these people eternity in hell? 

Suddenly you realized football, baseball, basketball, movies (good wholesome ones of course) TV, video games/gaming, news, social media and so much more all represent countless wasted hours. Then the thought comes: Hey, it’s Satan’s fault, not mine. He’s the one who tricked me into wasting my time on what I thought was harmless fun things. Oh, you realize, that excuse didn’t work for Adam and Eve, and it won’t work for me when I stand before the Lord at judgement. 

Since the Lord isn’t going to tell us when He’s coming back, maybe we ought to live as if it is tomorrow. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). 

Strong and Courageous

Please consider. If the decisions you make while leading your family don’t require strength and courage, is it possible you aren’t following God’s Word, or you are leading a family of “angels”? Here’s why the question. 

When Joshua took over leadership of Israel, Moses told him to be strong and of good courage (Deuteronomy 31:7). God, Himself, told Joshua two times to be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6, 1:9). One time God told Joshua to be strong and very courageous (Joshua 1:7). Do you get the feeling that leading consistent with God’s Word is a difficult challenge? Joshua was taking God’s children into the promised land. The obstacles had been huge under Moses’ direction and would continue to be so. Previously, the problems were more from within than from the enemies without. 

Do you see the similarities to what a Christian father faces in raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Then Paul encouraged the Ephesians: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). Next they were to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). 

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). That takes strength and courage my Brothers. It is a marvel of God’s grace that He will supply it (Philippians 4:19).

What Seeds are You Planting?

We live within three hundred feet of 12 of our grandchildren. I have a ram’s horn that I use to signal the grandchildren between houses. Christopher’s children use a cow horn, and Andrew (across the street) has a trumpet. It is sort of a grandpa and grandson thing. 

The other day on an errand with ten-year-old Joshua, we were discussing horns, and he told me he would like a ram’s horn like mine. (BTW, if you know anyone who raises and butchers rams, email me please.) He was looking online but didn’t want to spend as much as they were priced. I asked him, “Joshua, why don’t you use your gift money for that?” He replied, “I don’t want to spend over $20 as I’m saving to buy my house debt free.” I sure couldn’t argue with that. I thought, “Great job, Christopher, in planting that seed. It is firmly rooted.” 

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Teaching children wise financial stewardship would rank high as a good thing.

Our Complaints

Is God really good? Wasn’t that the serpent’s (satan’s) agenda in the Garden to get Adam and Eve to question if God was good? Sadly, they believed the serpent, and death and misery have followed. 

The question seems to persist today. Do we believe God is good? Is He really? Do we ever grumble and complain? If not verbally, do we have complaining thoughts? We must realize that our complaints are ultimately against God. They are against the God Who allows all things for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). All, really means all.

Your wife: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22).

Government officials: “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people” (Exodus 22:28).

The weather, God gave both hot summers and cold winters: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22). 

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). 

“And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD” (Exodus 16:8).

Brothers, God is always good, always. May worship be in our hearts and praise on our lips. 

Encouraging or Dampening

Walking around the convention hall one couldn’t miss the sparkle of sheer delight in many mom’s eyes. They were thrilled to be at a homeschool conference hearing about and seeing the tools of their trade. WIth all the things an average mother does in managing her home, these moms were special because they added homeschooling to an already full mommy’s plate of daily tasks. These were the elite of the elite, the “Navy Seals.” the “Green Berets” of moms in the trenches of raising children. They had not chosen the easy way of sending their children off to school. They were not just doing a job, but were delighting in it. The time Teri and I dialoged with them was energizing. 

There was another aspect that was so good for Teri and me, yet, heart-rending. Those were the stories that tore your heart in two – stories of hardship, struggles with children (with no easy answers), and of the tragedies of life. 

What broke my heart most were the dads who stood lifeless or like a wet blanket in response to their wife’s excitement. She turns to him with an excited, hopeful voice, “Honey look at this.” He replies with a flat, dull, indifferent tone, “Ya, I see it” or something negative. 

Dads, we are the blessed of the blessed of the blessed to have wives who will invest their lives to school our children. May we love them in word and deed, honor them, and thank them. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Please don’t forget that it takes a mother to be a father.

Please

When was the last time you felt compelled to tell a friend he needed to listen to a message you just heard? That is what I’m doing right now! In preparation for the Colorado homeschool convention this week, Teri and I listened to our download of a past Keeping Our Children’s Hearts session. (It’s much longer than what we have time for at CHEC.) Each time I listen to that session, I come away with the heavy desire that every Christian parent should listen to it. The message becomes more relevant every year.  

If you appreciate these articles, please get the Keeping Our Children’s Hearts download, or if you have it, listen to it again (and again).   

What a Strategy

Have you ever wondered how the enemy could have been so successful in hindering the church from reaching our country for Christ? We have had over 200 years to evangelize this country and sadly we now have a pagan nation. If Satan would have used persecution to hinder the evangelization of the United States, he knew it would have strengthened believer’s resolve. 

Instead, he used the “good life” and all the fun and exciting things of the world, that weren’t overtly sinful, to pull the hearts of God’s people away from our Lord and His command. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20a).

My brothers that is why we are to guard our hearts and set them on things above. Just because Christians approve of all sorts of things it doesn’t mean our Lord does. “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” (Mark 12:30).  

I remember a Christian teenage boy who told me that he couldn’t imagine life without movies. For many, just fill in the blank instead of movies – TV, video games, sports, skate boards, hunting, fishing, and … For me it was flying small private planes, but I praise God He enabled me to put that away over 40 years ago. Brothers, what do you live for? Examine your time usage and thoughts.