Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 24, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    Q is for Quickening
    Though by nature we were dead in our trespasses and sins and were objects of God’s wrath, God quickened us–made us alive with Christ–through his love and grace (Eph. 2:1-5). This God did, and still does, as we believe the Gospel, putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Lutheran theology especially emphasizes the notion that the Gospel is God’s quickening word, spoken to us in infinite mercy. We need to hear this word continually for our own sakes and to speak it faithfully to others.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I am finding that having 8 grandsons means life is never boring and always challenging. Last week my daughter, Brita, called about 11:30 A.M. and asked if I could pick up Thaddeus, our 12 year-old-grandson, from school as they were letting him go home early. Since my lunch break was coming up, I agreed.

    Upon arriving at the school, I was surprised to see that he was the only one being dismissed so, as he got into our car, I asked him, “Why are you going home from school so early?” Thadd replied, "They let me go early because I was the only one who could answer a tough question."

    "Oh, really? What was the question?" I asked.

    "Who threw the eraser at the teacher?"

    By Rick Thomas

    The following article is one of the important things that a parent needs to help their child understand (as well as parents understand for themselves). The difference between the two is a case of spiritual life or death. Please take this to heart and teach your children the difference. There is a critical difference between an apology and repentance… learn it!

    How do you discern the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? Though the question may seem to be your run-of-the-mill Bible question, how you answer it will determine the quality of your life and your relationships.Your thoughts on repentance will be the difference between life and death, restoration and dysfunction, and joy and sorrow.
    In order to truly discern your daily practice of repentance it may even be wise to talk to a friend about this life altering question. When God shows you that there is something wrong with you, what do you do? How do you respond to Him? When the Spirit is calling you out of a particular nonsense, what does change look like for you?

    The Bible says the proper response to these questions is repentance. Interestingly enough the very first point of the Ninety-Five Theses that Martin Luther nailed on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on the eve of All Saints Day in 1517 said the following: When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “repent,” He called the entire life of the believer to be one of repentance.[1] Though this can sound bleak or overly introspective to some, it is not. What it really means is victory. Because of the conquering Gospel, we have the victory through Christ. Christians are the only people in the world who can continually repent.[2]

    Luther understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knew that the only way a person could make progress in the Christian life was through daily, active repentance. How goes it with you? Do you do this? Just like the Gospel, repentance is an act of strength and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). The richest men and women in the world are repenting men and women. They have discovered and are regularly applying the Christian’s secret weapon of active repentance.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 17, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    P is for Passion
    Passion comes from the Latin passio, meaning “suffering.” We celebrate each year the passion of our Lord when we attend to the historic remembrance of Holy Week. Likewise, whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper together we “proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes.” It is given to us not only to believe in Christ the Suffering Servant but also to suffer for him ourselves (Phil. 1:29). Paul saw his own suffering for the Gospel and for the building up of the church as an active participation in the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10-11). We must be forthright in teaching our congregants, by word and by example, that this is part of our calling as well.


    (Maybe this happened)

    At Sunday School last week, my grandson, Isaac, was learning how God created everything, including human beings. Isaac was especially interested when Mrs. Marge told him that Eve was created by God taking a rib from Adam’s side.
    The other night, Deb and I were babysitting the boys and noticed Isaac was not feeling good. He stretched out on the couch and had a look on his face as if he was in pain.  I asked, “Isaac, what is the matter?” 

    Isaac responded, “I have a pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife!”


    Too many parents focus on changing a child's behavior. More important is what's going on in the child's heart.

    Article by Tedd Tripp

    The Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life. A person's life is a reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
    The word picture here is graphic. The heart is a well from which all the issues of life gush forth. This theme is restated elsewhere in the Bible. The behavior a person exhibits is an expression of the overflow of the heart.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 10, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    O is for Obedience
    The Gospel calls forth obedience (Rom. 1:5) in at least three ways. First, we must obey the Gospel by believing and receiving the Good News (John 6:29). Second, the faith that saves works itself out in obedient living by God’s empowering grace (Phil. 2:12-13). Third, we are to obey Jesus’ command to bring this Gospel to the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). In our ministries of teaching and formation these calls to obey the Gospel must be clear and unequivocal.


    1. Fine:
    This is the word Deb uses to end an argument when she is right and I need to stop talking. 

    2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if I have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

    3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and I need to be on my toes. Discussions that begin with "nothing" usually end in “fine.”  

    4. Go Ahead: This is a dare from her, not permission, so I don't do it!    

    5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by me. A loud sigh means she thinks I am an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing there and having a discussion with me about nothing.  (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

    6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements Deb makes. “That's okay” means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when I will pay for my mistake.  

    7. Thanks: When Deb says “thanks” I do not question it. I have learned to just say “you’re welcome.” Unless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking me at all. I do not say "you're welcome"... that will bring on a "whatever" – see #8).

    8. Whatever: It is Deb’s way to say “you’re toast!”  

    9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that Deb has told me to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in me asking her, "What's wrong?" For her response, refer to #3.

    By Pastor Erik Raymond, Emmaus Bible Church, Bellevue, Nebraska

    My kids are growing up. This is filled with all sorts of emotions. Life presents new challenges and circumstances. This is true for any parent. But things are a little different for Christian parents. We actually believe that our kids are not Christians just because we are. Heaven is not an unalienable right like voting at 18. Our children have to actually come to terms with the God of the gospel themselves.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 3, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    N is for Narrative
    We must ever study the Gospel because it is the apex and summary of the great narrative of God’s redemptive activity in the world.  It is into this Story that we have been called. In an age when many deny the existence of a single metanarrative that applies to all persons it is more crucial than ever that we know the biblical narrative and tell it faithfully to others, asking God to convince hearers as we do so that this is their Story as well.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot.

    Deb has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty.

    I immediately call the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all.

    "Honey," I stammered. (I always call her “honey” in times like these.) "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen."

    There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard Deb’s voice.

    "George" she barked, "I dropped you off!"

    Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, would you come and get me?"

    Deb retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car."



    When my son, Eric, was young, I asked God many times why he was born with autism. I wondered: why me? And why Eric?

    Why Did I Have to Suffer?
    I wanted to know why other mothers got to have wonderful moments with their infants, cooing and smiling, basking in all that glorious mother-child love, while my baby was as unresponsive as a sack of potatoes most of the time.