Monthly Archives: August 2014

28 posts

School and Gospel Grace

School has started.   Even though summer has another month on the calendar, it has already ended.  Schedules, grades, behavioral concerns, homework, and extra-curricular activities once again have center stage.  Of course, all of life’s regular challenges are still present: financial issues, home and car maintenance, issues at work, relational struggles, problems at church, appointments, etc. In the midst of all this day-to-day turmoil your children can begin to feel less like a blessing and more like a burden.   It is one thing to say that your children are a blessing to you and that you delight in them. It is another for them to actually believe this.  Don’t misunderstand, failing to discipline and teach your children is not […]

Instructing a Child’s Heart:

How to build a biblical worldview for your family. For the next several weeks I will be blogging through Instructing a Child’s Heart  by Tedd and Margy Tripp. This book is foundational in nature. It will provide you with a biblical perspective on how to view your children before God, in the world they inhabit, and how God wants you to instruct them in the paths of the gospel. About Instructing a Child’s Heart This book begins with concept that all of life is a classroom. Teaching is always taking place. So the important questions are: who is doing the teaching and what is it that being taught.  Teaching, in some form, never stops. To prepare for this cultural assault […]

Obedience: A biblical worldview

God wants your children to obey you because it pleases Him and blesses them. For example, here is the direction from a parent who has taught this concept to her child. “Joshua, take the garbage out now, please.” “Sure, Mom, no problem.” Joshua’s mom expects to be obeyed. She doesn’t ask Joshua a question, she gives him clear, pleasant direction. She doesn’t whine or plead or bargain or threaten. She speaks directly but pleasantly. Joshua knows exactly what she wants him to do and when. Joshua has been trained to understand that obeying his parents is doing exactly what he is told, right away, with a good attitude. Joshua’s response is not one that came naturally to him. He is […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

The Danger of Worship Words   God is the heart knower. In fact, he is the only one who knows the content of your heart. But, even with this knowledge, you and I can be foolish enough to come before God with words that mask the thoughts of our hearts. We can speak and sing words that make us acceptable, even pleasing to others, while we hide the reality of our troubled heart.   Israel had this same problem.  They honored God with his Psalms. They said Hallelujah when they heard his truth.  But their hearts were distant. Their hearts were busy with their own desires.   Too often we do these same things today. We sing hymns and Psalms […]

Trust: A biblical response to fear

The world is often a scary place. Life is full of things that you and I cannot control. We cannot will our children to safety. We cannot eliminate the things that bring fear from our lives. In response to these realities God calls us to trust him: In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:4 Trust is believing and doing what God tells me in the Bible,  even when it is hard to do. A prayer to trust God: Father in heaven, please help me to trust you. Thank you that you are in control of everything and you do everything for my good. You […]

Solomon’s guide to the internet

I realize that Solomon did not have a web page. He didn’t tweet. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help you to know how to navigate the seas of social media.   Parents, here are the three most important things to teach your children about using the internet:    Verify, Verify, Verify!    In the world of social media, little is as it seems. You and your children must verify that what you read and see is not just a half-truth or a flat-out deception. For example, Proverbs 18:17 says:   The first to present his case in a dispute seems right,       until his opponent comes and cross examines him.   This one biblical principle can keep […]

Do you know your limitations?

 Clint Eastwood may not be your first choice for understanding truth. But there is one quote of his that does resonate with biblical truth. Eastwood says “a man has got to know his limitations.” Proverbs 3:7 says “don’t be wise in your own eyes.” In other words if you think your own understanding is something you can rely on, you are headed for trouble.   The structure of Hebrew wisdom literature, of which Proverbs is a part, uses a literary device called parallelism to highlight important truths. In this case, being wise in your own eyes is contrasted exercising the fear of the Lord and turning from evil.  If you think you can trust yourself, you will not exhibit a […]

Be defensive first, ask questions later – not the best idea

“That’s a bad idea! How could you think of something that awful?” “That’s a pretty good job. But you know, if you just did this one part a little bit more carefully, it would be really great.” “That stinks!” “That is not what I told you to do.” “Well, maybe next time you’ll do better.”   The five examples of criticism listed above are painful to read and even more painful to hear. Hearing someone’s unkind and unfair criticism does indeed present a trial and a challenge.    From a gospel-centered perspective your first thought when you receive unfair criticism should focus on how you can return good for evil—because this is what God has done for you. God has […]

Build a Biblical Worldview for Your Family

Instructing a Child’s Heart DVD for $19.95! The material in Instructing a Child’s Heart provides the foundation for building a biblical worldview of parenting.  Now this DVD series is available for $19.95. There are fifteen 25 minute sessions led by Tedd Tripp. There is a printable study guide for this material included with the DVDs. You will learn how to interact with your culture from a biblical perspective. Tedd Tripp unpacks the basics of what he calls formative instruction. This will help equip you to raise your children to be prepared for the temptations and struggles of modern life. You will be learn the basics of biblical communication and the importance of relationships. There is additional material that will give […]

Discipline is about loving God, not being hurt

Parents, when your children sin and they are not respectful to you, how do you want to respond? If you make the matter primarily a personal offense against yourself and respond in anger and frustration, you will do what any ordinary parent might do. You might get angry at them. You might just let your children know how painful this is for you. You might yell. You might walk around in silent pain. You might tell your kids they have gone too far this time. All these responses would be ordinary and totally understandable and totally destructive. In this way you would associate God with the ordinary actions of ordinary people.   When you give in to anger, resentment or […]