D is for Discipling Your Children

D is for Discipling

We are joining in with Kristi over at The Potter’s Hand Academy to “blog through the ABC’s.” I think this is a fantastic idea, especially as sometimes I struggle on what to write about. Join us each week and link up your own posts-the ideas are wide open!

Around here we purpose to take seriously the responsibility God has laid on us as parents to disciple our children. To teach them about Him and encourage their own walk with Him. Over the years we have used some resources to assist us in this journey, and today I would like to share with you a few favorites of ours!

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Each child has their own Bible from the youngest, age 5, to the oldest, age 16. Our preferred family translation is the New King James Version, however we have various ones around the house. For service, our church uses the NIV84. For his 8th grade graduation, my oldest son asked for, and received, the HCSB Apologetics edition. Last Christmas, I purchased my husband and the two teenage boys a Life Application NKJ version to encourage them in applying the verses in their own life. Recently, I have also been teaching them to look up words in their original languages, be it Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, using a special version of Strong’s. This version is MUCH easier to use and doesn’t require a specialty Bible–any will do. We also use various Bible dictionaries AFTER starting with Strong’s for more explanation and pictures.

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As our church is a very mission minded church, we like to teach our children about various needs around the world. Operation World has been a huge blessing, as it has led us to not only understand various parts of the world, but it has included the prayer needs of those areas as well as including interesting facts. We have an older edition that I am really hoping to replace with a more current one soon.

For our older teens (ages 16 & 14), we want them to understand “why Christianity? What’s the difference?” Amazing–there is a book by this same title, “So What’s the Difference?” It compares various religious groups around the world in a concise manner so as to not plunge them DEEP into the waters of other religions. It also talks about our differences. This book is well loved and even my mom has read some of it.

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Many times we also enjoy companion books to enrich our studies. Two absolute favorites are Do Hard Things and Start Here by the Harris twins. My oldest one went through those a few years ago and it really inspired him. The 14 year old is slowly reading through the first one now. My oldest also enjoyed I Kissed Dating Goodbye as part of his Health curriculum from My Father’s World-he had already set “dating standards” for himself long before this book, and I think it helped him to see that he wasn’t the only one out there thinking this way. It is also important for me, as evidenced by the other photos, for my boys to have a proper handling and right dividing of the Scriptures. Many times we find books along this line to help them develop proper Hermeneutics.

I am currently collecting books, and ideas, for my younger daughters, (ages 5 & 7), to take them through the turbulent adolescent years as well.

I have been blessed to review books and items for several companies and publishing houses. I look forward to continuing to “train up” my children “in the way they should go.”

What are some of your favorite resources for discipling your children?

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“Hearkening” to the Wrong Voice: Women In The Word Week 5

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Studying Genesis 16 last night really unsettled my soul. How often had I “hearkened,” (KJV rendering), to the wrong voice?

We know that in just the previous chapter, God had *promised* Abram an heir; one that would come from his own body. Not only that, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars! Yet, in the next chapter, we see Sarai, his wife–two flesh that had become one already in God’s eyes–go ahead of God and try to bring the promise to pass in her own strength; how she sees it should be done. Was she wrong? After all, God did say that the heir would come from Abram’s own flesh? Well…it appears she didn’t consult God on this decision.

How often do we see this same theme repeated in Scripture. I am a woman, I have no beef with women per say….but–how often do we take on the role of “spiritual leader” and get ourselves in a world of trouble? Or how we can “lure” our spouses, and/or others into a world of trouble. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 comes to mind here as well as Genesis 3:16. These examples ring out to me:

  1. Adam & Eve
  2. Samson & Delilah
  3. David & Bathsheba
  4. Solomon’s wives & concubines
  5. Jezebel/harlot in Revelation

Abram “hearkened” to Sarai. In Hebrew this is the word “shama.” The famous Shema–hear and obey. According to Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs, this means to “hear intelligently, often with implication of attention/obedience.

Spiritually immature husbands are easily led astray….even by their own wives and her ideas. That isn’t to say that God can’t or won’t speak to women, but it has to match His word and I truly believe He will speak it to the husband as well. If He hasn’t, even if you have prayed for Him to….well….confusion is NOT from God. Spiritually immature husbands also leave wives wide open…they are our “covering” so to speak per 1 Corinthians 11:-16.

Pray for God to reach out to the men of the faith to lead their families; to search out the Scriptures for themselves. Pray that He would give them not only time, but a strong desire as well. A strong yearning for the very presence of God Himself in the midst of their marriage, life and home.

How can you pray for your husband today?

 

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Women In The Word Week 5

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Wow! Have we REALLY been reading together this long?!? This week’s reading takes us back to Genesis and I cannot wait to hear and share, what we learn in our study! Blessings!

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Sabbath Ponderings: Reminders

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It seems that I have found myself back in the same spot in my faith I was nearly 5 years ago. And today? I got the same reminder I got back then:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope

Wondering if I will ever figure it out. Will I ever get it right? I began my search last summer, then my thoughts came crashing down into a heap on my tear stained prayer bench. Wondering…things I probably shouldn’t be wondering. Going places I shouldn’t be going-only to come back full circle and more thankful than ever.

I woke up that morning full of fear and doubt. How could I ignore the faith walk I had seen out of my family? Then came another reminder:

 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Here Paul is speaking to Timothy about the genuine faith that is in his grandmother and mother. The same thing that kept running through my own mind–their faith, their life. It couldn’t be wrong. Not from all that I had seen. The Titus 2 mentor I had prayed so hard for…the one who has nearly adopted me and my family as her own, whose husband is a “retired pastor.” Her life, her love, speaks volumes to me. 

It wouldn’t be long before a stark reminder of how Jesus truly will bring a sword of division amongst us. Although we cannot always see another person’s point of view, or truly know their “experience” with God, we cannot, by the same token, cast judgement on an entire group of people based on a few bad apples. When the reminder of division came, in the form of some comments, my heart hurt. Hadn’t I seen, and shared for a bit, this other person’s point of view? How is it that now that I didn’t quite believe entirely the same, they became so upset? I have been BLESSED, and yes I mean blessed, to have friends of varying degrees within this walk of faith. I have Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, Messianic, Jewish and Torah Observant sisters. I even have a few “Nazarene” brothers.  I thank God for each and every one of them. Each one has taught me something about our Lord. Each one has enriched my life and my faith in some way. I leave their “walk” up to them and God, not me. And so, I leave you with a song echoing in my head.

Who has been the Eunice/Lois in your life?

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Faith Like Theirs

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And….sometimes we come full circle.

Life never got so complicated until I decided to “own my own” faith. Something I have heard spoken of many times. Not to “borrow” someone else’s….insert mother, father, grandmother, etc. here. So, I buckled down and began a LONG journey.

Sometimes God allows us to dabble into things…but He only allows us to go so far before turning us around. (my mom)

My grandmother has always been looked at as the “matriarch” of our family’s faith. I have never seen anyone so in love with God in my whole life and who desired to please Him above anyone else. Recently I described her as “Elijah,” but now that I am typing this, she has seems more like a certain lady from Luke’s Gospel named Anna. Anytime of day or night you could find Mamaw praying for someone…in her “prayer closet” (a bedroom) and praising Him through most of the prayer. “I love you Jesus” rings through my ears as my mind wanders back. Oh, how much she said those words. “Sweet Jesus” she would speak to Him in those prayers. Mamaw never prayed loud to be heard, but this curious girl has been known to put an ear to her door on occasions. It was beautiful to me. She sat with her Bible real close…some notebooks..and her prayer oil. It was not unusual for her to get up mid conversation…to go pray. We just accepted it and went on. We also knew that mamaw was the person who bought everyone their “first” Bible…King James of course! Due to a move, and some health issues with my mamaw, my sweet girls didn’t get to know that tradition.

My fondest memories of my own mom are those of her sitting at the kitchen table late at night studying her Bible. Surrounded with her Bible, notebook, commentary, and perhaps a dictionary. I still have the first commentary she ever bought me, complete with a note from her written on the first page. We had some rocky times when I was growing up-my dad nor I treated her the way that she should have been-but you never knew it looking at mama. I know she had to be upset. I’m sure she cried many of nights. I am sure Jesus was right there with her to catch those tears, hold her close and listen to her heart. I describe that phase of her life as “being in a bubble.” So much turmoil, yet so much joy from Jesus in front of us. She served tirelessly like my mamaw. We had family stay with us often, she helped anyone out in need, and she stood up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. All quietly. She has no clue what I observed from HER actions over the years.

My husband is a relatively quiet man. He doesn’t talk a lot if he doesn’t know you. He is my “quiet rock.” He’s not big on showcasing his faith for the world to see, but he is very steadfast in that faith. He is very serious about his role as the spiritual leader of the house-he seeks God often in prayer that He would teach him how to lead us. God has answered both of our prayers for iron sharpening friendships for him–including many at work! He loves our church and he loves Jesus. He loves to serve others. He steadies me in my own walk. For this somewhat broken girl, God has truly shown me the love of Christ through this amazing man. He is the steady influence I need in my life…always pointing me to Christ…always willing to “step on my toes” in the faith department. I thank God for that!

I truly understand the quest for “owning” your own faith. However, this girl has found that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a “faith like theirs.” This girl has come full circle after wandering the wilderness. I have my “own faith” but I learned that faith through actions more than words–priceless for this visual learner. Although we do live by faith and not by sight, I am so thankful that God allowed me to “see” what faith in action looks like. I’m thankful they trained me “in the way that I should go.”

Do you have a special spiritual mentor in your life? Someone whose words or actions showed you the walk?

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