Monday, July 30, 2007

Teaching our Children

"and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
-2 Timothy 3:15

In case you haven't noticed, I have been absent for about a week. Last week we had Vacation Bible School at our church. I was asked to give a 15 minute lesson at the end of each day. This brought up a dilemma for me. You see, I've never really preached the gospel message to a child. I wasn't sure how to do it. But that brought up an even bigger question in my mind:

Are we teaching our children that the bible is a book of rules, or are we teaching them that the bible is a book that points us to salvation through the sanctifying work of Jesus Christ?

When Timothy was a child, his mother and Grandmother taught him the holy scriptures. It seems to me that they were probably drilled into his head much like we drilled memory verses into the heads of the children at VBS. But they did not teach Timothy t scriptures so that he would obey them, ("clean your room because that's what God wants you to do.") They taught him that he could never live up to God's standards. They taught him that he was sinner who needed a savior. They taught him to be mindful because the Lamb of God was coming. Timothy knew what he was looking for and because he had known the holy scriptures from infancy, he recognized the lamb when he heard about it. He was made wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

I did decide to deliver the full salvation message to those children on the last night of VBS. I told them about sin. I took them through the law of Moses. I pointed out that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I explained that "the wages of sin is death." And then I told them that this Christ that we had talked about all week had taken that payment. I told them that if they wanted to live with God in heaven, they needed to ask God for forgiveness of their sins and pray that he might grant them a repentant heart. I pleaded with them to trust Jesus as their savior.

15 children told me that the received the gift of eternal life that night. I don't know if they really did. That's for God to know. All I know is that I'm glad I didn't "dumb down" the message. I truly believe that kids understand more than we give them credit for. The curriculum given to us could have gone either way. We could have used it to present a bunch of rules that these children could never really live by, or we could have used it to present a Godly standard to show them that they need a savior just like any boring old adult does. I believe we took the right approach, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bible Literacy

Here is the "Kroll Scale of Bible Literacy," by Woodrow Kroll:

-3 No knowledge of the Bible at all.
A Bible? What’s a Bible? I have never seen a Bible before and I
don’t know what you’re talking about.

-2 Familiarity with the Bible but no trust in its claims or authority.
A Bible? Yes, I have one someplace, but it’s just for people ike my grandmother. I don’t read the Bible because I don’t think it’s what some people claim it to be. It has no impact on my life.

-1 Familiarity with the Bible but minimal trust in it’s claims orxauthority and never read it or hear its truth so the Bible has little or no personal impact on your life.
A Bible? Yes, I have one but there’s not much in it that appeals to me. I don’t know if it’s what it claims to be or not. Who’s to say? It has little influence on me because I don’t read it.

+1 Trust in the Bible and its claims and authority but only occasionally read it or hear its truth so the Bible has only occasional personal impact on your life.
A Bible? Yes, it’s God’s Word. I believe it’s inspired by God and should be read and obeyed, but I only occasionally get around to reading it myself. In fact, I have three copies, but I don’t read any of them more than once a week.

+2 Trust in the Bible and its claims and authority and regularly read it or hear its truth with understanding so the Bible has regular personal impact on your life.
A Bible? Yes, I have one and read it regularly. I believe it’s inspired by God. I’m in a Bible reading program at church. I also read a verse or two along with my devotional book on a fairly regular basis.

+3 Trust in the Bible and its claims and authority and daily read it or hear its truth so the Bible produces a passion to connect personally with the Author and induces the reader to share Him with others.
A Bible? Read it? Are you kidding? I want to know God so badly that I devour the Bible daily. I used to read a couple of verses along with my devotional but now that’s not enough for me. Through reading God’s Word I get to know Him intimately and, as a result, I am energized to share God’s story with my friends and family.

Where do you fall on the scale?

Questions? Comments?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Sermon

If anyone has some time to spare, here is a link to the sermon that I was speaking of. When you get there, click on the link "Transformers - Part 3."

Otherwise, here is an overview that I have comprised:

Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
We can not speak as the world speaks because the way the world speaks leads to death.

Romans 8:6 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace"
To speak as the world speaks is to separate us from the will of God.

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Our tongues can save us or kill us. This is why we must watch what we say.

Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."
We have to say the right things if we want God to bless us. "You can't speak words of death and expect to receive life."

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."
Both what I believe AND what I say MUST be acceptable to God. If I believe, but do not speak, I can not be saved.

Matthew 12:47 "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Your words have the power to save you or kill you.

Proverbs 6:2 "you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth"
You can be trapped by your own words. (Timm's side note:PLEASE GO AND READ THIS ONE IN CONTEXT.)

Proverbs 12:14 "From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things.."
We can receive more good things than we can handle if we keep speaking words of life.

Mathew 12:33-34 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."
We cannot speak of death if we believe.

Romans 10:8-10 "But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
We have to physically "confess" with our mouths. If you believe the entire gospel and believe in your heart, but never say the words, you will not be saved.

2 Corinthians 4:13 "t is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken."With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak"
We need to get our thinking, believing AND our words right to be saved.

The pastor then lead us in some "confessions." If we were to speak these confessions and truly believe them, it would then force God's hand in our favor. WHAT A DEAL!

There it is. Please, someone tell me if I'm way off base in disagreeing with this guy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Not "I Will," but "Thy Will"

A few weeks ago, I visited a church were the pastor opened up his sermon by telling us that by the time we left that day, we would know exactly what God's will for our lives was. That's about the time he lost me. The rest of the message was about how we are saved by what we say rather than what we believe, (or more importantly, who we trust.) I left that church in a dazed and confused state, which was better than probably half of the congregation who left that church in a completely mis-informed state. He never did tell us exacly what God's will for our lives was, (at least not to my knowlege.) So I thought I would look into what the Bible says God's will for our lives is. Here are a few verses I found that clearly define exactly what God's wil is:

1 Thessolonians 4:2-3
"For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God.."
It is the will of God that we keep the commandments given to us by Jesus.

1 Thessolonians 5:18
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"
Give thanks to God in ALL things.

1 Peter 4:19
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
It is God's will that we suffer for him, even to the point of persecution. Our praises to God. even through our trials, brings greater glory to his name.

1 John 2:16-17
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
It is God's will that we should live forever with him.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'll spare you the details...

..but yesterday I was reminded that I fall painfully short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23,) my heart is Deceitful (Jeramiah 17:9,) and that I don't deserve the justification that God has granted me.

Please pray for me and my family.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No Toys!?

Two days ago, I took away all of the toys my two girls (ages 5 and 2 1/2) had in their room. It was meant to teach them to respect the things that they had. I was fed up with the on going battle to get them to clean their room. The result took me back.

The next day, they spent an entire day entertaining themselves with their imaginations. No toys, just each other. Not only that, but they behaved all day long. They didn't get bored. Maybe they really DO have too many toys.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

On Roles in Marriage

Rachel posted this in one of the comments sections of Code Monkey Ramblings. I thought it was so well put that it deserves repeating.

"I find this whole subject to be very interesting. Being homeschooled, I watched men and women take the extreme of the husband being the head of the household to the point where the women were literally slaves, always being completely burned out, taking crap constantly from her husband, and living in misery because she was the wife and therefore was not important. Then I look at how I grew up. My dad was very much the head of the household, and for those who know my dad they will tell you that he is a very strong but loving head of the household. Being homeschooled for reasons other than being a right-wing nut job family who were homeschooling for the sole purpose of brain washing children, my mom worked with my sister an I for long hours during the day so that we would have the best education possible. My mother, being a very bright engineer, gave us an incredible education, but this meant that my dad and my sister and I, had to pitch in double time with the chores and other household duties. My mom was always the first one working during the day and the last one up finishing up what needed to be done - but without my dad and our help, she would have never managed. My dad often described us as a team, yes, he was the team captain and we were the team players. It is like a machine, if there is a gear, belt or a bolt not doing its job, the machine won't function properly, each part is important, and to simply throw away a part because it doesn't seem as important as the rest of the parts will leave the whole not functioning at its best. My dad was one of the most loving people I know. He listened to his family, and very often took the advice of my mother. There have been times where he did what he wanted without thinking of anyone else and the entire family paid the consequences for his decision. My dad was incredibly blessed by God, because my father was a faithful servant. A husband is supposed to love and sacrifice for his wife, as Christ did for the church, the church is a body. The brain/brain stem seems like the most important part, but without the heart or the lungs, or even the big toe, you have a body that is not functioning or not functioning at its best. Each member is important and should be valued as such. To me, a partnership in marriage, much as my parents had, meant that two people we working for the greater good of their family. A house divided cannot stand, when all are working together, the house will have a strong foundation and will hold up in the worst of storms. But I am not saying that everyone in the family should feel the equal right to having their turn as "head" of the household, that is the husband's job. I am willing to submit to my husband, Mike, (here soon) but I do expect to be treated better than the dirt of the ground. There are things I know alot about, that he does not. For example, I grew up working on cars with my dad. I know a decent bit when it comes to cars and their problems. Mike listens to me on these things, generally. It is the two of us working together, it is not that I feel like he shouldn't be the head of the household, but we are working together to achieve the best with what we have. You all may think I am nuts, but my parents have one of the strongest marriages, that have survived some horrific times that seemed like things should have fallen apart. My parents leaned on each other and helped the other with whatever was needed. My dad was always the leader, but he will tell you that my mom was a very important part of his role as head of the family. She was always backing him up and supporting him, without that, my family would not be as strong as it is today."

Thanks Rachel!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Jihadist Mouse?

From Barry Rubens, The Case of the Murdered Mouse:

"The Hamas satellite TV channel produced a children's show, Tomorrow's Pioneers, which should have been called Tomorrow's Suicide Bombers, designed to get children to kill Israelis, or Jews in general, and participate in a radical Islamist attempt at world conquest. We know this because that is what the show's hosts and their mascot, the high-voiced Farfur the mouse (based on Mickey) said. International media often reported that the show only asked the children to "fight" or "resist" Israel but this was a clear misrepresentation of the program's incitement to terrorism, antisemitism, and even--in a departure from past Hamas propaganda--calls for an Islamist-dominated planet.

Given the controversy around Farfur, however, Hamas decided to make him a true example for the children to emulate, by becoming a martyr. Thus, Al-Aqsa television claimed that Farfur was murdered by an Israeli official wanting to grab his land."

The article later proceeds with the script from the show:

"[Text:] "Farfur in Interrogation"

Israeli interrogator: "Sit down, Farfur. Farfur, we want to buy the land, we will give you a lot of money. You will get a lot of money, and we will take the documents."
Farfur: "No!! We will not sell our lands to terrorists!"
Interrogator: "Farfur!!! I want you to give me the documents, give me the documents!"
Farfur: "I'm not giving the documents! Not giving! Not giving!"
Interrogator: "Farfur!!! [Visual: interrogator beats Farfur] Farfur! Hand me the documents. Farfur! Hand me the documents, Farfur!"
Farfur: "I am not handing them to criminals, to terrorists!"
Interrogator: "You call us terrorists, Farfur?!
[Visual: interrogator beats Farfur again]
Take this! Take this! Take this! Take this!"
Farfur: "Stop! Stop!"

Saraa (Host of the show): "Yes, our children friends, we lost our dearest friend, Farfur. Farfur turned to a Martyr while protecting his land. He turned into a Martyr at the hands of the criminals, and murderers. The murderers of the innocent children. [Talking to a child caller] You saw that the Jews let Farfur die as a Martyr. What do you want to say to the Jews?"

Shaimaa, 3 years old, on the phone: "We don't like the Jews because they are dogs! We will fight them!"
Saraa [sarcastically]: "No, the Jews are good, oh Shaimaa. The Jews are our friends, and we play with them, isn't it so?"

Shaimaa: "They killed Farfur!"
Saraa: "That's right, oh Shaimaa. The Jews are criminals and enemies, we must expel them from our land."

[Hamas, Al-Aqsa TV June 27, 2007]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More on Evan Almighty

Update: For some reason, I did end up going to see this movie. So for all of you who told me "You need to see the movie before you can comment on it," I still feel the same. In fact, I'm more firm in my stance now.

Many people are getting on my case for my stance on Evan Almighty. (No it's not just Wonder Woman, friends and acquaintances outside the blogging world are ripping me apart for this one.) I've been called everything from legalistic, to a zealot, to a "neo-Christian." But Wonder Woman did put into typing form the essence of every argument I've gotten. "It's just a movie."

To these people I always ask, when does a movie become "just a movie?" Should I think of Showgirls as "just a movie?" Should i think of any porno movie as "just a movie?" The point is that there is a hypothetical line drawn somewhere for everyone where a movie becomes "something I shouldn't watch." It seems that my line is drawn a little closer than others, and I will not hold that against anyone. (Not on Evan Almighty anyway.)

But what if we took the argument a little further. Is a Pastor who is not preaching the true word of God, "just a false teacher?" Is a cancer cell "just a cancer cell?" Apathy within the church is a disease. I believe that the churches ever growing apathy is the very disease that will lead to the eventual falling away that ushers in the antichrist. (1 Thessolonians 2:2-4)

The point is this: The line has to be drawn where we stop saying, "it's just a _____." I try to let the Bible define where that line is for my life. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." That is where I draw the line.

I cannot think of a way for me to go watch Evan Almighty to the glory of God. This is a movie that advertises its self as "a family movie" that is "of biblical proportions." It then proceeds to take shots at the character of God, make crude jokes about animal reproductive organs, and blaspheme the Lord's name at least 8 times. If I could think of any way to watch this movie to the glory of God, I would love to watch it. It does look very funny after all.

*nothing personal, Wonder Woman. You were just the first one to post it on the blog.*

Questions? Comments?

Monday, July 2, 2007

There is More Studying to be Done.

Thanks to Code Monkey Ramblings for the link.

You know the Bible 96%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

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