Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, December 29, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    I is for Intimacy
    Through the Gospel we are invited into a living relationship with the living God.  In the love proclaimed at the heart of the Gospel God has adopted us into his family.  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” (1 John 3:1).  The Holy Spirit empowers us to believe the Good News and is sent into our hearts, enabling us to cry, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).  Rehearsing the Gospel in our worship, teaching, preaching, fellowship, and service helps us to nurture and celebrate this unfathomably intimate relationship.


    No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
    If your brother hits you, don't hit him back. They always catch the second person.
    Never ask your 4-year old brother to hold a tomato.
    You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
    Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a Tic-Tac.
    Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the same time.
    You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
    If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
    Baseballs make marks on ceilings
    You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on
    When using the ceiling fan as a bat you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit
    A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
    The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan
    When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh," it's already too late
    Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it
    A six year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 38 year old man says they can only do it in the movies
    A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day
    Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four year old
    Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence
    Super glue is forever
    Garbage bags do not make good parachutes
    Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving
    You probably do not want to know what that odor is
    Always look in the oven before you turn it on
    Plastic toys do not like ovens
    The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy
    It will however make cats dizzy
    Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy
    The best place to be when you are sad is in Grandpa's lap.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, December 22, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    H is for Hope

    We focus on the Gospel also because it is the source of our hope. In face of the brokenness that fills the world around us and rises up within our hearts, what hope do we have? Apart from the Gospel we have none. But in the Gospel is a great and steadfast hope, and from this hopes springs forth faith and love sufficient for each day (Col. 1:5). Diminished “Gospels” may promote, on the one hand, easy believism or, on the other hand, may put the burden of salvation back on human shoulders rather than locating and leaving it in the hand of God. These deviations can offer no certain hope. The glorious Gospel is a blessed hope indeed (Titus 2:13), an anchor for the soul (Heb. 6:19). Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). This is the hope held out in the Gospel (Col. 1:23). With such a hope fixed within our hearts– based upon the certainty that God has made us his children and the confidence that we will be with Christ and like him forever– we long for and labor toward becoming more like him even now (1 John 3:1-3).


    ’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
    I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
    Instructions were studied and we were inspired,
    In hopes we could manage “Some Assembly Required.”

    The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,
    While Deb and I faced the evening with dread:
    A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie’s town house to boot!
    And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

    We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat....
    Let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
    Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
    If we can’t get it right, it goes in the basement!

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, December 15, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    G is for Grace
    We need to continually learn and teach the Gospel because Gospel-centricity assures and propels us toward grace-centricity. When we swerve from the Gospel we lapse into either antinomianism (the moral law is of no use) or legalism (the moral law is necessary for salvation). Neither can offer the true beauty or savor of Christ. To be in the presence of individuals or congregations who are not grace-centered is enervating and exasperating. Let us then learn and relearn the glorious Gospel that we may ever stand fast in the true grace of God (1 Peter 5:12) and may indeed “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forevermore. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

    (Maybe this really happened)

    This past week I thought I would get a jump on my Christmas shopping and headed to one of the large department stores in town. As I was walking through the store and picking up a few items to get the grandboys, I noticed an old lady following me around. Thinking nothing of it, I ignored her and continued on.

    Finally I went to the checkout line, but she got in front of me. "Pardon me," she said, "I'm sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It's just that you look just like my son, who just died recently."

    "I'm very sorry," I replied "is there anything I can do for you?"

    "Yes," she said, "As I'm leaving, can you say 'Good bye, Mother'? It would make me feel so much better."

    "Sure," I answered.

    As the old woman was leaving, I called out, "Goodbye, Mother!"

    Then, as I stepped up to the checkout counter, I saw that my total was $227.50.

    "How can that be?" I asked, "I only purchased a few things!"

    "Your mother said that you would pay for her," said the clerk.

    As was announced this past week, starting January 8 we will be offering The Praise Factory as a children’s church program for children in Kindergarten through second grade during the 10:15-11:30 worship service time. I want to explain what this means to families of Faith Bible Church.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, December 9, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    F is for Fidelity
    Faithfulness to the true Gospel calls for ongoing study and obedience. It calls as well for watchfulness, lest false Gospels be introduced. The battle against counterfeit gospels has always been part of church life. Even in the first century Paul battled against such, as did Peter and Jude and John. Like Paul we must be resolved that we will tolerate no other “Gospel,” even if it comes from a heavenly angel or springs from our own imperfectly sanctified hearts, and we should expect the same fidelity from those with whom and to whom we minister (Gal. 1:6-9). Only a constant learning and reviewing of the Gospel can ensure that we will be astute to separate the chaff from the wheat.


    Dear Santa,
    I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned, and cuddled my two children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground, and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my daughter's girl scout sash with staples and a glue gun.

    I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

    Here are my Christmas wishes:

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, December 1, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    E is for Evangelism
    The Gospel is food for believers. But it is also the only saving medicine for those who have not yet believed. And we are compelled by the love of Christ to declare this Good News to all people. St. Francis of Assissi told his friars not to preach unless they had permission to do so. But, he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.” Francis’s words have often been paraphrased along these lines: “Preach the Gospel always; use words when necessary.” The fact is that words are necessary, every time. We are always witnesses to the Gospel (Acts 1:8) and, as witnesses, we shall be called upon to testify. When we are, we must be sure to get the message of the Gospel right for there are many counterfeit “Gospels” in the world.


    Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

    Rule #1:
    When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I own 17 and have yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

    Rule #2:
    If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By-the way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

    Rule #3:
    If you are really broke, buy him anything for his car, a 99 cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

    Rule #4:
    Never buy men bathrobes. Once I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Wednesday, November 23, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    D is for Depth
    We do not move from the milk of the Gospel to the meat of something else, but from the milk of the Gospel to the meat of the Gospel. Even Paul, concluding his exposition of the Gospel and preparing to move on to its implications for life, closes his argument in awe and wonder: “Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom. 11:33).

    The wonder of how deep and powerful the Gospel is– especially as it works its way into believing hearts– is well articulated in this Puritan prayer:

    Blessed Lord Jesus,
    No human mind could conceive or invent the Gospel.
    Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,
    lived out on earth through infinite compassion,
    applying thy life to insult, injury, death,
    that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.
    Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,
    Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way,
    Praise to thee, O Holy Spirit,
    for applying this way to my heart.
    Glorious Trinity, impress the Gospel on my soul,
    until its virtue diffuses through every faculty;
    Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    My wife, Deb, was not feeling well last week and to help her out, I volunteered to go to the supermarket for her. She sent me off with a carefully numbered list of seven items to buy.

    Returning shortly and being very proud of myself, I unpacked the grocery bags. I had one bag of sugar, two cartons of eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.

    She is making sure I stay away from shopping without her this season.

    Some Suggestions and Deals for the Family This Holiday Season

    My favorite advent readings are from a book titled, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas” edited by Nancy Guthrie. These are 22 articles that express the focus of the gift of Jesus Christ by a variety of classic theologians and contemporary communicators of the Word. This can be purchased at Westminster Bookstore along with the Bibles mentioned below.

    Through Tuesday, November 29, Westminster Bookstore has its children’s Bibles on sale for 45% off. This is a great opportunity to get some of my top picks for kids:

    For a small child – “The Big Picture Story Bible” by David Helm
    For 4 years old and up – “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones
    For readers (First grade on up) – “The ESV Children’s Bible”

    By Ed Welch, Christian Counseling Education Foundation

    Everyone who has children thinks about the question: How can I be an effective or even successful parent? I have yet to meet a parent who simply wanted to pass children off into the next stage of life with basic physical health intact but nothing more. (Reminds me of the time I babysat a friend’s goldfish while he was on vacation– simple survival- that was my only goal.)

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, November 17, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    C is for Contextualization
    Paul was determined to “become all things to all people” for the sake of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23). He knew that the Gospel could and should take on different cultural forms in different cultural settings. Yet when we export the Gospel to others, we may be guilty of confusing it with our own cultural trappings. For example, we know that some missionaries have been guilty of imposing their Western cultural forms on those to whom they carried the Gospel. Though this error could be conscious and express cultural imperialism, it is more often unconscious and reflects a lack of discernment about which aspects of our own Christianity are truly Gospel-driven and transcultural, and which are culturally driven and therefore variable. To help us avoid such an error, it is critical that we continually study the heart of the Gospel so that we may better distinguish the treasure we bear from the jars of clay in which we bear it (2 Cor. 4:7).

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I grew up in a very British home in New York, where we often had family guests from England and Ireland. One year at Thanksgiving we had several guests from England at our home for the celebration and, out of curiosity, I asked if Thanksgiving was celebrated back in England. “Yes,” replied my relative, “but we celebrate it on the 6th of September.” “Why?” I inquired. He answered, “It is the day the Mayflower launched from England and you chaps left.”

    by Dennis Rupert

    It seems that every year we are treated to articles attempting to disprove the "myth of Thanksgiving." In these articles we are told that:
    • the Pilgrims weren't the first people in America to hold a thanksgiving
    • the first thanksgiving had no religious significance at all, but was merely a harvest festival
    • our traditional Thanksgiving dinner has nothing in common with the Pilgrim's meal
    Some of these accusations are not a serious concern. After all, who cares if the Pilgrims served cranberries or not? But what seems to lie behind some of these articles is a desire to devalue the religious nature of our present Thanksgiving holiday. This is unfortunate since Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays on the America calendar that is not swept away with commercialism or mixed with pagan elements.

    So here is "The True Thanksgiving Story." We have included references to primary sources which you can read for yourself. After reading I believe that you will still be able to eat your turkey with a happy stomach and a grateful heart to God.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, November 10, 2011

  • NEW FEATURE: The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    B is for Belief
    We must continually teach and learn the Gospel because even Christians struggle to believe God’s Good News. The message of the cross is both countercultural and counterintuitive. To the world it is foolishness and weakness. To our flesh it is simply too good to be true. And Satan, the devil– that accuser of the brethren– continually speaks a contradictory word to our hearts. He accuses us before God as surely as he accused Joshua the high priest (Zech. 3:1). Hearing all this we, with full knowledge of our failings, struggle to believe the truth of the Gospel. To believe it at an appropriately deep level, with an appropriate appreciation of all that it presupposes and implies, is a lifelong task. We must hear it again and again and ask God to seal its truth in our hearts. ”I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

    by Mrs. Geraghty's Kindergarten Class

    NOTE: Mrs. Geraghty will not be responsible for medical bills resulting from use of her cookbook

    Ivette - Banana Pie
    You buy some bananas and crust. Then you mash them up and put them in the pie. Then you eat it.

    Russell - Turkey
    You cut the turkey up and put it in the oven for ten minutes and 300 degrees. You put gravy on it and eat it.

    Geremy - Turkey
    You buy the turkey and take the paper off. Then you put it in the refrigerator and take it back out and cut it with a knife and make sure all the wires are out and take out the neck and heart. Then you put it in a big pan and cook it for half an hour at 80 degrees. Then you invite people over and eat.

    Meghan H. - Turkey
    You cut it into 16 pieces and then you leave it in the oven for 15 minutes and 4 degrees. you take it out and let it cool and then after 5 minutes, then you eat it.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, October 27, 2011

  • NEW FEATURE: The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller
    After several years, we are done (for now) with the children’s catechism. For the next 26 issues of Parents and Kids of Faith, we will cover the Gospel Alphabet or the A through Z of the Christian Life.

    A is for Alignment
    We must continually teach and learn the Gospel because it is to be the “plumb line” for our doctrine and our living. We are to measure all our teaching to ensure that it is in line with– that is, conformed to– the glorious Gospel of God (1 Tim. 1:11). If our teaching about God, humanity, sin, salvation, the church, last things, and whatever other doctrines we may teach do not accord with the Gospel then they must be rejected. Likewise, our way of living must conform to the sound doctrines that flow from the Gospel. If, like Peter and Barnabas, we begin to act in ways that are “not in keeping with the truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14), may God raise up for us a Paul-like brother or sister to confront us and correct us.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Our small group (FLOCK) does a monthly ministry to a nursing home in the city, and we try to minister to the residents who attend on other occasions as well. It has been a particularly rewarding ministry to do with our grandsons as they learn outreach and compassion.

    On one of our visits with 3 of my grandsons to the residents, there was a bowl of peanuts on the coffee table and we all started to snack on them. When we were ready to leave, I reminded the boys to thank the man for his kindness to let us have the peanuts. So each boy did so very politely and the man replied, “You’re welcome. Ever since I lost my dentures, all I can do is suck the chocolate off of them."

    Teach Your Children About the Reformation
    (Taken from The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World by Stephen J. Nichols)

    Historians like dates. And one of the dates that historians like best is October 31, 1517. On that day one monk with mallet in hand nailed a document to the church door in Wittenberg. It contained a list of Ninety-Five Theses for a debate. The immediate concern was an indulgence sale to finance St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Sistine Chapel—Michelangelo didn’t come cheap. Martin Luther, the mallet-wielding monk, could keep silent no longer. He got much more than a debate, however. He and his list of Ninety-Five Theses triggered a Reformation that would sweep across his native German lands, across Europe, and eventually across the entire world. The world would never be the same. Luther’s act gave birth to the Protestant church, now nearly 600 million members strong. Luther’s act also brought the world out of medieval times and into the modern age. Little wonder historians like the date of October 31, 1517.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, October 21, 2011

    Question: What does the conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
    Answer: The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen,” teaches us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him, and in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say Amen.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:13; Daniel 9:18; 19:1; 1 Chronicles 29:11-13; 1 Corinthians 14:16; Philippians 4:6; Revelatins 22:20.

    Why not buy 5 pumpkins and put this out front for potential trick-or-treaters.

    Christians and Halloween: HALLOWEEN – TRICK OR TREAT?

    Will you participate in Halloween this year?
    By Tim Challies, author of “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment”
    (with some editing and comments by Pastor George. The opinions of Tim are ones that I generally agree with and so I offer this article as an expression of what my answers would be like if asked the same questions about Halloween)

    Halloween is once again nearly upon us and articles about the occasion are beginning to make their way into the airways and writings of Christian pundits (Thought I would throw that term in since it is being so overused right now). Grace to You Ministries by John MacArthur has an article that deals well with the subject, seeking to answer these questions: "How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season--are they overreacting?"

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, October 14, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the sixth petition which is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:13; 26:41; Ps 19:13; 1 Cor 10:13; John 17:15

    (Maybe this really happened)

    In a friendly discussion a few weeks ago, I told Deb that housekeeping would be a snap if she would organize her time better. She challenged me to put my theory to the test by disappearing for a day and having me do the housekeeping.

    When she returned in the late evening she asked me how it went and I replied, “I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath."

    She was a bit shocked and perplexed and was about to concede that perhaps I was right when I had to add very sheepishly, "When I was making the chocolate frosting, I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl, so I had to do all the rest."

    If you are a long time reader of Parents and Kids of Faith, pardon my repeating myself every year with these articles (this week and next) on Halloween but the subject of what do we do with Halloween as Christians comes up every year. Here is an excellent article this week from Grace To You ministries written by Pastor John MacArthur.

    Halloween. It's a time of year when the air gets crisper, the day gets shorter, and for many young Americans the excitement grows in anticipation of the darkest, spookiest holiday of the year. Retailers rejoice too as they warm up their cash registers to receive an average of $41.77 per household in decorations, costumes, candy, and greeting cards. Halloween will bring in approximately 3.3 billion dollars this year.

    It's a good bet retailers won't entertain high expectations of getting $41.77 per household from the Christian market. Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children. But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church.

    The question is, How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season--are they overreacting?

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, October 7, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the fifth petition which is, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins which we are encouraged to ask because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:12; 18:35; Psalm 51:1,3, 7; Mark 11:25

    (maybe this really happened)

    One day Deb was out and she left our two toddler children with me. Brita, who was about 3 years old, had a little tea set that was her favorite playtime. I was engrossed in reading that evening, while she was playing and brought to me a little cup of “tea” which was just water.

    After several cups of tea and lots of praise from me for such yummy tea, Deb came home from her event. I had her wait in our living room to watch Brita bring me the next cup of tea because I thought it was just the cutest thing. Deb waited and, sure enough, here came Brita down the hall with a cup of tea for her dad, which she watched me drink all up. Deb then looked at me with kind of a strange look, as only a mother can have, and said to me, “Did it ever occur to you that there’s only one place where she can reach to get water?”

    By Elyse Fitzpatrick

    The following is an article that Deb and I definitely relate to. Even to the point that two weeks ago we missed one of our grandson’s birthday by a couple of days. But where we associate with this story is that much of the way we teach and talk about parenting now is not exactly or even close to what we did. But we experienced a particular grace from God in our children and they survived our ignorance and foolishness. Hope this article encourages you as well and I very highly recommend the book mentioned, “Give Them Grace.”

    Regrets. As a mom of three and grandmother of six, I know all about regrets. Just this week I missed one of my granddaughters birthdays, thinking it was a day later than it was. That’s not unusual for me either—even though I have taken to writing down everyone’s birthdays in my phone—I never seem to be able to remember everything when I’m supposed to remember it.

    SHAMELESS APPEAL: An Invitation for a Study for Men - ROBUST

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2011
  • Starting this Friday, Oct 7, I will be starting a study-discipleship group that is open to all men, high school on up. We will meet the first 3 Fridays of the month (unless there is a holiday) at downtown NuVibe on 14th Street (just north of O Street) starting at 0630 and you can leave when you need to. (You will see that they are normally closed at that time but I got a special deal from the kind owner ..) 

    The title of the study is "Robust", meaning we will quaf down a robust cup of coffee or the beverage of your choice in the morning and through a study of God's Word, we will tackle robust topics of theology.

    Michael Horton writes this about studying theology: "Theology is the wisdom we need for calling the Father, in the Son, and by the Holy Spirit for salvation and life. If we are saved by no other name than the name of Jesus - we better get his name right and calling upon him by the terms that he prescribed.  Theology exists for this purpose: to appeal to the God who has revealed himself and his redemptive purposes in Christ so that he be invoked in times of trouble, praised in deliverance, and obeyed in gratitude."

    I will post assignments on this blog and any updates. My hope is that a few men will join me in a robust time of discussion, challenge and discovery.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, September 30, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray that of God’s free gift, we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life and enjoy his blessing with them.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:11, Proverbs 30:8-9; 1 Timothy 6:6-8, 4:4-5.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    One of the things I enjoy doing for Deb on occasion is to make a special meal for her. Over the years I have put together magnificent dishes, and some have been absolute culinary disasters. On one of the occasions recently, I asked Deb what she would like to have as a side dish to the special meat dish I was preparing on the grill. She informed me that she would really enjoy having a sweet potato. After struggling with preparing the potato for several hours and how late it was getting, I finally picked up the phone and called Linda Rempel, knowing that she was a culinary expert. I explained to Linda, “I finally figured out how to make the potato taste sweet, but I cannot figure out how to make it orange!” I only heard a sigh.

    Coming in October will be CrossTalk and CrossWalk. Both will be held on Thursday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30 PM at the church. The topic for CrossTalk which will be the first and third Thursdays of the month, will be addressing the issue of sexual assault and how to minister to yourself or others who have or are struggling with the impact of it with the power of the gospel.

    The topic for CrossWalk, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, will be parenting and establishing a gospel-centered approach to raising children. Check out the church webpage in the next few weeks for a more detailed description of these classes. Both are open to the public.

    by Brian Nelson with Timothy Paul Jones

    Your family lives in a war zone. With every exploding shell, the house shakes. Your physical body may never feel the shell shocks, and the plaster on your walls may remain intact- but the impacts are present all around you. Long after your children fall asleep and the chaos of the day fades into the quietness of evening, the shelling continues.

    To be sure, when you look out your window and survey a suburban backyard, a busy city block, or the rolling hills of a rural landscape, what you see probably doesn’t look like a war zone. But don’t let such serene scenery fool you! Beyond the doors of your household and mine, there is a battle raging. The battle is about glory, and who will receive it. The battle is about authority, and who will exercise it.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the third petition which is, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we pray that God, by his grace would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:10; Psalm 103:20, 21; 25:4; 119:26

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Deb and I recently attended a wedding and brought along our 7-year-old grandson, Isaac. Though he had attended weddings before, he was particularly curious as to many of the customs and asked several questions. One of them was, “Why does the girl wear white?” Deb jumped in and replied, “The bride is in white to represent joy and this is the happiest day of her life.” Isaac took time to think about this and then turned to me and asked, “Grandpa, why then does the boy wear black?"

    “The Art of Marriage” is a 6 session video series by Family Life Ministries and will be presented at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 6024 L St on September 30, 7-9:30 PM and October 1, 9-4 PM. If you are interested in this, you can get information on the series at and to register, go to

    Coming in October will be CrossTalk and CrossWalk. Both will be held on Thursday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30 PM at the church. The topic for CrossTalk, which will be the first and third Thursdays of the month, will be addressing the issue of sexual assault and how to minister to yourself or others who have or are struggling with the impact of it with the power of the gospel. The topic for CrossWalk, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, will be parenting and establishing a gospel-centered approach to raising children. Check out the church webpage for a more detailed description of these classes. Both are open to the public.

    By Soren Gordhamer

    “Dad, can I use your phone to play games?” asked my son recently as we drove through the southwest on a beautiful summer day. I was taken by his question. On one hand, it was a lovely day, and I had been greatly enjoying our conversation. On the other, why not let him play a game if he wants? I check my email continuously — why shouldn’t he also be able to play games continuously?


  • Tuesday, August 30, 2011
  • By Daniel Darling, Gages Lake Bible Church, Illinois

    “You have nothing to worry about with your kids,she told me one day, “because you’re doing everything right.” These words from a pastor’s wife were meant to encourage but actually provoked more questions than answers. The woman was well-meaning. She was saying there was no earthly way our kids could fail because my wife and I had been raised so well, we are grounded so deeply in our faith, and we subscribe to the “right” parenting techniques.

    It was a lot of pressure. Our first daughter, Grace, had just turned 1. By all accounts we were doing a credible job. She was a good kid. The parental prophecy from our friend was often repeated in that first year of parenting. Dan and Angela are such great parents, aren’t they?

    Fast forward two years and everything changed. Grace was in the throes of rebellion. Terrible 2s turned into terrible 3s. Even though our parenting paradigm had not changed, and we were subscribing to all of those same “right” methods, the same well-meaning woman pulled my wife aside and issued an apocalyptic warning about Grace. If we didn’t “get her under control,” she’d end up profligate child. Then she named some infamous rebels we both knew well. Others told us that Grace was “going to end up in jail if we didn’t do something, that she was “one of the worst kids we’ve seen.” So in a matter of a few years we moved from parenting savants to parenting dunces.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, August 26, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the second petition which is, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced; that ourselves and others be brought into it and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:10; 9:37, 38; Ps 68: 1-18; Rom 10: 1; 2 Thess 3:1; Rev 22:20

    Our language is in constant flux lately and the new addition of Webster’s has arrived with over 200 new words added such as “tweet.” After examination of the new edition, they did not include the following words:

    CARPERPETUATION (kar' pur pet u a shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

    DISCONFECT (dis kon fekt') v. To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, somehow assuming this will "remove" all the germs.

    ECNALUBMA (ek na lub' ma) n. A rescue vehicle which can only be seen in the rearview mirror.

    EIFFELITES (eye' ful eyetz) n. Gangly people sitting in front of you at the movies who, no matter what direction you lean, follow suit.

    ELBONICS (el bon' iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest at a movie theater.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Question: What do we pray in the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
    Answer: In the first petition, “Hallowed by thy name,” we pray that God would enable us and others to glorify him in all of life and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:9; Isa; 67:1-3; Rom 11:36; Rev 4:11; 1 Cor 10:31

    (It is really complicated talking to my wife)

    "Go ask your mother."
    Really means.... "I am incapable of making a decision."

    "You know how bad my memory is."
    Really means.... "I remember the theme song to 'F Troop', the line-up for the 1963 Yankees and the Vehicle Identification Numbers of every car I've ever owned, but I forgot your birthday."

    "Oh, don't fuss. I just cut myself, it's no big deal."
    Really means.... "I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to death before I admit I'm hurt."

    "I do help around the house."
    Really means.... "I once put a dirty towel in the laundry basket."

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, August 12, 2011

    Question: What rule has God given for our direction in prayer?
    Answer: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that prayer, which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.
    Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17


    "I don't care what color you paint the kitchen."
    Really means.... "As long as it's not blue, green, pink, red, yellow,
    lavender, gray, mauve, black, turquoise or any other color besides white."

    "It's a guy thing."
    Really means.... "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it,
    and you have no chance at all of making it logical."

    "Can I help with dinner?"
    Really means.... "Why isn't it already on the table?"

    "Uh huh," "Sure, honey," or "Yes, dear."
    Really mean.... Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response like
    Pavlov's dog drooling.

    "Good idea."
    Really means.... "It'll never work. And I'll spend the rest of the day

    "Have you lost weight?"
    Really means.... "I've just spent our last $30 on a cordless drill."

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Question: What is prayer?
    Answer: Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies.
    Scripture: 1 John 5:14; 1:9; Phil 4:6; Psalm 10:17; 145:19; John 14:13, 14

    (Maybe this really happened)

    At the time our daughter Brita had married Bill, Deb and I had a very successful home business we were doing in addition to my duties at Lincoln Christian. After their marriage I had the following conversation and business proposal for Bill...

    "I welcome you into the family, Bill,” I said. "To show you how much we care for you, I am making you a 50-50 partner in my business. All you have to do is go each night and help me put together the packages of the products and prepare them for shipping and learn the whole operation."

    Bill interrupted. "I hate packing things and I can't stand figuring out who gets what and where it goes."

    "I see." I replied, "Well, then you'll work in the office and take orders and make sales calls."

    "I hate office work," said Bill. "I can’t stand being stuck behind a desk."

    "Wait a minute," I said. "I just made you half owner of a money-making company, but you don't like doing the shipping work and won't work in taking calls or sales. What am I going to do with you?"

    "Easy," said Bill. "Buy me out."

    By Tad Thompson, Harvard Ave Baptist Church, Siloam Springs, Arkansas

    It is amazing to me that a Christian has to ask this question, “What is the gospel?” This is the one item of truth that ought to become the most crystal clear in our homes and churches. This is why we must never take for granted that our children know the gospel. One of my personal goals for my kids is simply that they are able to articulate the gospel. I not only want them to articulate the gospel, but I want them to be able to articulate the gospel in all of its richness and beauty as presented in the Scripture.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, July 29, 2011

    Question: What is the invisible church?
    Answer: The invisible church is the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.
    Scripture: Eph 1:10; 1:22, 23; John 10:16; 11:52

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Last week I was having a particularly tough day and decided when I got home to stretch out on the couch and do what I thought to be some well-deserved complaining and self-pity.

    I moaned to Deb, “I don’t think any likes me… in fact I think the whole world hates me!”

    Deb, who was dusting the living room at the time, just looked at me in a matter of fact way and passed on this encouragement: “That’s not true, dear. There are a lot of people who don’t even know you.”

    By Rick Thomas, Counseling Solutions

    Let’s pretend you’re walking through a car salvage yard. You’re looking for an old beater to buy and restore. You find the perfect one, which is quite imperfect, but it is what you are looking for. You buy it, bring it home, and begin the restoration process.

    The story I just illustrated is not a true story, but an analogy.

    If you have a child, then it is an analogy about your child and your need for a biblical parenting model.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Question: What is the visible church?
    Answer: The visible church is the organized society of professing believers, in all ages and places, wherein the gospel is truly preached and the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are administered in true faith.
    Scripture: Acts 2:42; 20:7; 7:38; Eph 4:11, 12


    The First Parent by Bill Cosby

    Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His kids.

    After creating Heaven and Earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: "Don't."

    "Don't what?" Adam replied.

    "Don't eat the forbidden fruit."

    "Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?"