Posted in Ministry, Parenting, The Word

MY NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST

Taken from p.17 Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course Book by Neil T. Anderson and Steve Goss.

 I Am Significant: I am no longer worthless, inadequate, helpless or hopeless. In Christ I am deeply significant and special. God says:

Matthew 5:13,14 I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world

John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 I am a personal, Spirit-empowered witness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Corinthians 6:1 I am God’s fellow worker

Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I Am Secure: I am no longer guilty, unprotected, all alone or abandoned. In Christ I am totally secure. God says:

Romans 8:1-2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31-34 I am free from any condemnation brought against me.
Romans 8:35-39  I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established anointed and sealed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.

2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need.

1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I Am Accepted: I am no longer rejected, unloved or dirty. In Christ I am completely accepted. God says:

John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am Christ’s Friend
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint, a holy one.
Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as His child.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access through God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.

Posted in Books, Family, Kids, Parenting, Prayer, The Word

Family Devotions: Sort Of

While my wife takes on the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to educating our kids, one role that can’t be abdicated by me as a Dad is in the area of Family Devotion. While having a family devotion is not the only way we are to Disciple our kids in Christ, it is one of the main places we can grow our family together.

This does not have to be complicated. It’s best for it to be simple and consistent than to be complex and occasional. You don’t have to have smoke, lights, and musical talent. Neither do you have to have a PHD in hermeneutics.

This is not something I had ever seen modeled before I had a family of my own. I had only read about in a few books (Like Faith Driven Family). I’ve been around Christian families my entire life, but apparently not at the time they were having a devotion. Unfortunately many assume this is what “church” is for. About six years ago, when my kids were between two and eight I started “trying” to have family devotions. The kids would have a hard time paying attention, I would lose my spot reading, and the time seemed more like a wrestling match than a devotion time. The problem was not with the kids, but with my expectations. I was expecting too much. All I had ever seen was the “Church” example. So instead of trying to make it a chore, we tried to make it fun. So here three quick pointers to get you going

When:

Set a time. Nothing happens unless you plan it. For us it’s the first thing in the morning, for you it maybe at night. Develop a family routine so that after several weeks there is an expectation that we are going to do a family devotion. It usually takes us around 10 to 15 minutes for us to do this. Sometimes its longer (because we are enjoying it) and sometimes its 5 minutes in the car on the go (but these are exceptions).

Who:

Everyone should be a part. This is not just Dad’s time with the kids. Have mom, dad, dogs and all the babies sitting under the Bible for a few minutes can do wonders for your family. I know this could be more difficult with teenagers, but if you start them young, they won’t know any different.

How:

Keep it simple. We typical Read (the Bible or Devotion), pray and occasionally sing.

When my kids were younger we used the “One Year Devotions for Kids“. (You can download these as Kindle Books and keep them on your phone). These devotions are built around story situations where the kids may learn a virtue or a value. To me it’s important to always to connect these to Jesus and make sure he is the hero.

More recently we use Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade (Not on Kindle). It uses the catechisms to teach kids how to respond to spiritual questions. It is broken down into a Monday through Saturday readings that are very short. By teaching the Kids these catechisms, you will give them something to carry with them. We should always encourage participation by asking kids what they think. Never shut them off even when they are wrong. Let them finish their though and gently point out the truth. If you are always correcting their efforts to learn they may become discouraged and not participate in the future (Ephesians 6:4).

Often we will sing. I wish I could play an instrument. But thanks to YouTube we can waste our life, or find worship songs and hymns with lyrics and music all together. We will let one child pick a song and we will watch and sing along.

Here are a few of our favorites (click the links)

Amazing Grace

Cornerstone

Redeemed

Finally, I will also often ask if the kids if anyone would like to volunteer to pray for us as a family. Sometimes I pray or mom prays. Other times we ask for prayer request before praying. If one of our kids shares something, we may ask another one of our kids to pray for that request. We want to them pray for each other not just themselves.

I really hope this helps. You will NEVER regret any time spent leading your family this way. It is very rewarding in and of itself.

If you have found other resources of things that work for your family, feel free to comment and share for others.

Posted in Kids, Parenting

Setting Goals for Kids

Steve Armour is a man that I really look up to. Steve and his wife Debbie have 12 children, most of which are now young adults. Seeing such responsible and godly kids, should really quite any of the naysayers who would have objected to them having such a large family. Earlier this summer I asked to Steve to share his thoughts about what to plan for kids during the summer. I believe his response could apply to helping children at any season of the year, not just summer. With his permission I’m posting his reply below.

Rethink and discuss with your children their goals God wants them to accomplish for the next year, 5 years, 10 years to help them set good short term and long term goals. Look at goals as an individual, spouse, parent, provider/domestic manager, servant leader of men/women

-Set schedule of your summer based upon these goals

-Set daily schedule too

-Some things we have done:

  • Continue math subjects year round
  • Sons do yard work—building projects, gardening, goals to support a wife and family and further Kingdom
  • Daughters consider domestic skills for being a single, married and being a mother—go shopping with budget plan to make meals for family, etc.
  • Assist our church with VBS and youth group in ministry outreach work
  • Reinforce time-line of how their life is progressing and will progress—read good books of great Christians who started businesses, ministries, etc.
  • Camping trips, canoe trips, fishing, hiking, biking—we all love outdoor activities
  • Child Evangelism outdoor classes held in neighborhoods

You may notice I did not mentioned the usual stuff people are heavily involved in such as baseball, etc. but with our family we gave them some choices of maybe one sport per year—with home educator basketball league that is one option. People can overcommit to activities and not have time for your direction. Not saying there is benefit with participation. It’s very important to impart direction with children’s ownership of goals. As they grow you want them to take ownership of their faith. Having people in home to share testimonies is great as well as having small group discipleship of young people.

God bless you these most important efforts to disciple your children. Let me know how I can assist further.

Steve


 

Posted in Family, Kids, Marriage, Parenting, Theology

Home Life Café Notes – Life Action Summit

These are my rough notes I took today at the Home Life Café’. The speakers were Steve and Steven Canfield.

These guys did a great job providing solid Biblical teaching around Marriage, Parenting, Dating, and Family in General.

 

 

Psalm 127:3-5

 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children[a] of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.[b

 

 

The Christian home is to bring glory to God.  It’s not that we don’t have dysfunction; it’s the way we deal with dysfunction (that is the witness that brings glory to God).

 

See your spouse as a precocious gift

See your kids as a precocious gift.

 

Invest your life and influence in other people’s children.

 

GIVING LOVE GOES A LONG WAY

 

A. Not Based on Performance

        Unconditional Love

 

B. Based on their placement

        Stewardship

 

C. Based on their preciousness as a unique person

        Sovereignty of God

 

How? With expressions of Love through

        Words “I’m proud of you”

        Attitudes

        Actions

 

Ask grown men what they wished their Dad’s would have said, most said they wish he would say “I love you”

 

FAMILY PRACTICE:

 

Teach Well 

(Intentionality – it takes great effort to get God into their mental grid)

        Bedroom first – Marriage First

        Dining Room – Family 2nd (Talk with Kids)

Spontaneously… take every opportunity to point your family to Christ.

Be an Example – Live IT!  Be an example

 

Counter-Culture AND Culturally Relevant

 

PSALM 78 *- Is a great passage to help the kids understand the generations past and to for them to put their hope in God.

 

THE FUTURE IS THE FOCUS FOR THE FAMILY

ETERNAL IMPACT AND FUTURE REWARD

 

KEEP TABS ON YOUR CHILD’S HEART

Do you know where your kids’ hearts are?

 

COUSELING POINTER***

An accusation hardens the will, a question convicts the conscience.

 

On their birthday I would ask if I had let them down, or hurt them, in any way.

Ask their kids to ask for it.

 

Story:  about daughter who was still holding anger toward month, because her teacher that she had meet with her mom and her mom told the teacher that the girls was a liar.  The mom never said that, but the girl grew up hurt and mad at her mom for something she never said.  The devil can be like the teacher and accuse us and confuse our grid.

 

 

QUALITY TIME

Waste Time with God (Without an agenda)

Waste Time with your Family (Without an agenda)

 

*Deal with the heart not just their Behavior.

 

The goal is to win and keep their hearts.  

To raise godly kids, not just good kids.

 

STAGES OF PARENTING (FOR THE FUTURE)

 

Training (High Control for Obedience) 0-5

Explaining (High content for Wisdom) 6-10

Sustaining (High Reiteration for Maturity) 11-18

        (Being sensitive to what God is telling them)

Remaining (High Encouragement for Godliness) 19- and on

 

 

IMPLEMENT GOSPEL-FOCUSED PARENTHING

 

In Conflict resolution (How did Jesus resolve Conflict? -Conflict)

In Entertainment (Give wisdom on what we choose-Choices)

In Hardship and unfair circumstances (Crisis)

In how they view other People and things (Culture)

 

 

TAKEAWAYS – Ask kids if they have something against me. Or some way I failed you?

 

Principle:

The Forces of Darkness will carry out a strategy toward the destruction of your family on three basic fronts:

OUR FAILURES (See below)

 

THEIR FOOLISHNESS (Discipline)

 

FALSEHOOD and FANTICY* The Soil of Parenting is the resource from which your children draw nourishment.

 


 

 

PRACTICE PERSONAL REPENTANCE BEFORE GOD

By Confession of your wrong to your family.

Mom’s sin is more on the outside because of her personality and Dad’s is more on the inside.

 

Note the Deeper the failure the more difficult the reconciliation will probably be.

 

 

TRAINING: CHANGING BEHAVIOR

 

THE ONLY FAIR WAY (To Lovingly Discipline)

1. Establish these

We say, “Obey first time, every time.”

One Time

Normal Voice

Expect Obedience

 

2. Loving Discipline: Combating their on sinfulness

GOAL: Biblical Obedience Eph 6:1-3

(Difference in Rebellion and Childishness aka Immaturity)

 

Creative consequence for immaturity and forgetfulness

AND

Spanking for Rebellion

 

LOVING REPROOF 101

 

  1. Confrontation (Don’t send them to their room; send them to your room) – Give them time to cool down

 

  1. Reflection (to cool time both them and you)) don’t spank in anger

 

  1. Verbal Correction

 

  1. Confession (What did you DO that was wrong? Don’t tell them) they need to verbalize their disobedient act.

 

  1. Confirmation (Eph 4:32 – be kind to one another) what does the bible say?
  2. Ask God to reveal lying and leave the Conviction to God.

 

  1. Physical Correction ((Spank in the Spirit)

 

  1. Restoration

 

  1. Care

 

  1. Repentance

 

Wise Protection from Fantasy and Falsehood

 

Word Based Filters  (Friend Filters – they will become like who they hang around)

 

Sleepovers – Nothing good 😉

 

Influences Filters (Teachers, Youth Workers, Coaches)

  Remember even bad filters are good.

 

Entertainment Filters

        Humanistic Lies

        Brutality

        Offensive Language

        Sexual Content & Humor

 

 

Dating Relationships Filters:

The Purpose of Dating should be to find a mate for the glory of God!

 

The Practices of Dating should be determined or approved by the parents not the children.

 

The Person for Dating should be filtered through biblical grid: (The person should be: Parental Blessing, Heart for God…. Submission to Authority…. Maturity)

 

The Purity of Dating should be initiated not assumed.

 

THE FIGHT

Remember we need to find from a spiritual vantage point

1. Expose you kids to people with a passion for God.

 

2. Provide resources for Spiritual enrichment

 

3. Encourage Spiritual Progress

 

SPIRIUTAL PREPARAATION

Pray together as couple

Pray as family

Pray together daily

Develop family prayer targets

 

“Train up the way a child will go and when he is old (Puberty) he will not depart from it.  Your only have 12 years to train.

 

There is freedom in Simple Living

“Junk expands to fill the space provided”

 

Hudson Taylor (If he haven’t used it in a year; he would throw it away)

 

 

TIME AROUND THE WORD (Family Devotions)

-sing

-sing truth

-Pray

-share

 

Lure them to righteousness (Give temporary reward toward spiritual pursuits)

Develop ruts of righteousness. Paying for Reading the Bible, etc

 

 

Biblical Masculinity

Biblical Femininity

 

1. Confirm their Masculinity or Femininity from a young Age.

2. Spend time with them in gender focused outings

3.  Give them good role models to imitate 4.  Encourage their gender maturity.

 

Search for 32 Series and watch for how to parent boys.

Posted in Family, Kids, LifeHacks, Marriage, Parenting, Technology

Web Filtering Available NOW on IPhone, iPad, and iPod (iOS 7)

iphoneIf you have updated your iphone, ipad or iPod in the last few months to iOS7, you now have the ability to have websites (and other content) filtered.  This is a HUGE weapon for families in the battle against pornography.  If you haven’t activated this on your child’s device or had your accountability partner activate it on your device, be sure to do this TODAY!

Here is a link to the steps for setting this up.

http://www.bewebsmart.com/ipod-ipad-iphone/two-ios-7-features-parents-will-love/

Its easy and effective.

Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website www.growingleaders.com.

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.

 

This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.

     

Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)

 

Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad

 

So, How should we lead them?

 

1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)

 

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Entertainment, Family, Parenting, Technology

Family Tech/Media Agreement

Someone called and asked me about this today; so I thought I post and share. It’s a combination of others that I found online.  I print this out and discuss it with the kids a few times every year.  Then I have them sign it and post it in the kitchen.

(Surfing,Texting Social Media, iPod, Gaming)

1. I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my home without my parents’ permission.
2. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information, photos, or videos that makes me feel uncomfortable.
3. I will never agree to get together with someone I “meet” online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
4. I will never send (email or text) or post a picture of myself or anyone else without first checking with the person photo’d and my parents.
5. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they help me avoid future content.
6. I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
7. I will not give out account passwords to anyone (even my best friends) other than my parents.
8. I will check with my parents before downloading or installing apps or doing anything that could possibly hurt our computer/phones/iPods or jeopardize my family’s privacy.
9. I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law. I would never write or post things that I would not want shown on the evening news.
10. I understand that bad people can be VERY GOOD at pretending to be a friend of your age. I will NEVER talk to strangers even if they are my age.

I understand that using Technology is a privilege and my parents have installed apps and software to keep evil out of our lives. I understand that if I break the rules my parents give me then I will lose my technology/media privileges.

 

__________________________________________________________________
Children sign here

Posted in Culture, Family, Kids, Money, Parenting, The Word

Who Are We?

Think about your children, what are all the needs they will have in their lifetime? Physical, Social, Emotional. In “The Sensation of Being Somebody”, Maurice Wagner suggests that all these needs could be grouped into three categories.

  • Acceptance
  • Security
  • Significance

How do people go about trying to gain acceptance, security, significance?

  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Jobs
  • Money
  • Kids
  • Church

All of these are really good things; things we consider blessings. But can we really depend on these to meet our primary needs?

What happens if a relationship fails? Or what if we lose our job or our savings? What if our children don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if the new pastor changes the church we love?

Only, in and through a personal relationship with Jesus can these greatest needs be permanently satisfied. Our faith relationship with Christ is brought into reality through His promises in the Scripture. 2 Peter 3:3-4 reads,

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Below are just a few of these promises. Memorize these and remind yourself and your children that Christ is the truth, not our feelings, and in him all of our needs have been and will be meet.

Acceptance

  • 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Security

  • Romans 8:35-39 ” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long;
         we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

     No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”

Significance

  • 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Posted in Education, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting

So You Are Considering Homeschooling?

My wife and I developed these questions to help parents think through homeschooling for their families. I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and give thought to each of these questions and write out your responses below. I believe God can use these question to bring clarity to anyone interest in homeschooling.

  1. Why do we desire to homeschool?

     

  2. What is our ultimate goal for our children through the process of homeschooling?

     

  3. How well equipped do we feel to educate our children through the different stages of their development? How do we plan to educate ourselves about homeschooling?

     

  4. What role does our faith play in our homeschool desire and design?

     

  5. How much money will it cost us to homeschool? How much do we plan to spend on curriculum and programs?

     

  6. What will our homeschooling schedule look like? Schedule Months, Days, and Specific Hours

     

     

Posted in Family, Kids, Parenting, The Word, Theology

If We Could Just Understand Justification

For the past few years we’ve been teaching our kids the Shorter Catechism from the book “Training hearts Teaching Minds”. This week’s Catechism is about Justification. I can’t tell you how important it is that we understand Justification. I’m convinced that most Christians (me included) only get the “Jesus paid my debt part.” If only could fully understand that His righteousness is now ours- that changes everything!

From Page 111 on Justification.

    How can God accept us as righteous in His sight when we are not righteous at all? “He does so only because He counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.” Imagine that you need a great deal of money from something important. However, not only do you not have a great deal of money you are deeply in dept. Along comes your friend who has worked hard for years to build a big savings account in the bank. He feels sorry for you and offers to pay your bills. Now you are no longer in debt. This is something like Jesus paying for our sin by His death on the cross. Now we no longer owe God anything for all our sings against Him.

    However, just because your friend paid your debt does not mean that you have solved your problem. You still need a great deal of money and you have absolutely none. So now your friend does something else for you. He has your name added to his bank account so that now you can use all his money. This is something like Jesus living a life of perfect obedience to God in our place. He is the One who is righteous. He is the One who did the obeying, but all His righteousness is credit to us. God counts the righteousness of Christ as ours.

 

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21