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.