Monday, June 19, 2017

The "Why" Matters!

I hope you receive as much blessing from Paul's words in Colossians as my children and I did.  Each devotional is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  I left notes for the parents in italics.  Happy studying!

Why matters: 

To do: 

Read Colossians 3:1-4.  Say the first verse aloud a couple of times as a group to start working on the memorization.

Questions to ask: 

*What does it mean to be “raised up with Christ”? See Colossians 2:9-15.

*What are the things above?  My kids had great ideas here.  My little one imagined that Paul meant to think about the stars and the angels! 

*What are the things on the earth we aren’t supposed to be focusing on?  Does that mean its wrong to read a novel, play video games or other free time activities? This is a great place to identify something that distracts you from thinking about God and admit it to your kids!  Devotionals will be more productive if you respect your kids enough to be honest with them!


As we studied through this section, it struck me that the "why" matters.  We do all the things we are going to be studying about because we are “raised up.” 

I love the double entendre here.  Our baptism is a kind of death and resurrection in the likeness of Jesus (Colossians 2:9-15 and Romans 6). Also our humbled state as sinners in front of our holy God has been transformed. Now our status has been raised to beloved sons or daughters, pure and righteous.  Jesus has been exalted to Heaven, to the best place, God’s right hand.  That’s where we are headed.  That’s where our minds need to be focused!   

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Kid's Devotional Series

This summer began for us with the advent of two young guests.  They’ll stay a couple of weeks and then head off to their grandma’s.  I warned their dad before they arrived that they should be ready for morning devos!  

Morning devotionals are a summertime tradition at my house.  For my homeschooler, during the school year, Bible is an academic subject.  My public school teen and I talk about how to apply God’s principles to her school life all the time.  But when the rigors of school are over, when summer slows everything down, we take a few minutes everyday after breakfast and read the Bible together.  We memorize God’s Word and think His thoughts after Him.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Mean Friend

Do you have a mean friend?  That friend that will tell you the truth when everyone else politely lies? (“Hey Honey, your new deodorant isn’t doing the trick!”).  That friend who will ask you the hard questions, (“Yes, I understand she’s annoying, but are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit?”).  The friend who reminds you of your own responsibility, (“This is the just the kind of growth you were praying for!”) That friend who prays for you and cries with you, but she’ll also confess with you and call you to repent?

I have that friend.  Sometimes I am that friend.  And we all need a friend like that to love us enough to tell us the truth. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Baptism: An Appeal for Mercy

Baptism is one of many Bible topics that suffers from a particular kind of blindness. 

It happens most frequently to important topics.  Once long ago a teacher, an honest and dedicated person, summarized that important topic in one specific way.  He taught that to his followers.  It became a rallying cry, then a way of differentiating themselves from everyone else.  Was the teacher wrong? Not necessarily.  Perhaps not at all.  Yet these pithy ways of explaining complex topics are like a door-one that either opens up clarity into the text or one that closes the door to searching out the Word.     

I want open doors into the Word. I think you do too.  So the only thing is to lay aside what I think I know and go straight to the Bible and ask God some direct questions.  You may be as surprised by the answers as I was. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hannah's Hundred: A Review

Last year my mom brought my daughter a CD from a ladies day she attended.  It was entitled "Hannah's Hundred Vol IV".  We opened it up and popped it in to the CD player on the car.

My 8 year old daughter (who the CD was for) loves it.  Her older sister thinks it is corny. I am on the fence, on the one hand, a little corny, on the other hand, kids under 10 rarely have discriminating musical tastes!  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Does it work?

Is "Does it work" the right question to ask about God?  Marriage, faith, church, hope,
My marriage is in trouble. If we started coming to church, do you think it would work?

I’ve got a kid who is breaking my heart. If I prayed for him, do you think it would work?

I’ve got cancer and I’m really scared to die. If I asked God to heal me, do you think it would work?

Does it work?  

That is a question I have heard before.  It’s a question that hurts me because it so often comes from a  place of immense pain and fear.  But I’m sorry to say it’s the wrong question. Why? Because it implies that we are willing to serve God if it will work (IE if we will get what we want.) 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The end of a love story

The love story isn't over.

After 59 years and 11 months, after children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, after countless adventures and the quiet wasting years, she is gone. 

He was at church today.  Sitting alone.  He hasn't been there in months.  He has spent every Sunday morning at the nursing home with her.  Their pew sat empty awaiting a return that simply never happened. Seeing him today sitting by his son was bitter sweet.  We were all glad to have him but he was displaced.

Displaced is just the word.  He seems lost right now without her. It's no wonder.  He was married to her three times as long as he was alive without her.