Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, March 22, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    U is for Unity
    A clear
    Gospel focus in our preaching and teaching has the potential to contribute to the unity of the church. In the latter half of the twentieth century one frequently seen example of this was the evangelistic campaigns of Billy Graham, which typically featured the cooperation of a great diversity of congregations and denominations. At the  beginning of this century new movements are afoot for the sake of the Gospel that aim to be both evangelical and ecumenical. We never seem to achieve perfect consensus here because we need to constantly wrestle with variant details of conviction and, of course, with all kinds of intellectual spin-offs of our fallenness. But magnifying the Gospel as our central point of reference can help us keep a variety of lesser concerns in proper perspective (Phil. 1:18)

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Deb and I had a few of the boys over to our house last week and decided that with Easter coming soon, we would start a discussion about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. I thought a good way to get the discussion started was to ask the question, “What is Easter?”  Here were the replies:

    First the 4-year-old said, “That’s easy Grandpa, it’s a holiday when we all get together to eat turkey and be thankful.”
    The-5-year old answered, “It is when we put up a nice tree, give presents and celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”
    The 6-year-old jumped in and said, “They are all wrong Grandpa. Easter is close to the time of the Jewish Passover. Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal and then He was later turned over to the Jewish and Roman leaders by one of His disciples. The Romans then took Him to be crucified after giving Him a crown of thorns, and He died on a cross. He later was taken down and buried in a nearby cave that was sealed with a large boulder.”

    “Wow!” I cried out. “That is very good. Now let’s finish the story. What happened next?”
    My grandson continued, “Every year the boulder is moved aside so that Jesus can come out and if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter."

    (This really will happen – kind of)

    I don’t remember when I started the email of Parents and Kids of Faith but I think it was in 2003, so nearly every week for 9 years this has gone out to you. Thanks for your support of it over the years, even if 9 out of 10 comments were on the “maybe this really happened” jokes of my family and not the articles! With the advent of our communication going to “the City,” I will not be doing this format of Parents and Kids but I will be continuing and expanding articles and posts on this blog, Check the blog every few days for I will try to do at least 2 to 3 articles a week. Not all will be on the family, but the focus of most it will be there.

    By Paul Tripp

    It was eleven o'clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn't be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed like I had been given an impossible job to do; I had been chosen to be the dad of four children.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    T is for Theology
    Both our doctrine and our manner of living must be in alignment with the Gospel. While errant theological thinking on a variety of issues can lead us to a twisted Gospel it is more to the present point to state that an errant Gospel can unleash a host of heresies. It is worth noting that Satan is a competent theologian with great skill in confusing and misleading with regard to God’s truth.

    Patrick's Hymn - The Lorica, Breastplate or Deer's Cry
    Originally composed in the 5th Century. Later known as the "Old Irish Morning Prayer"

    With the upcoming celebration of St Patrick's Day, besides the fun of the day with the green, there is a lot of great Christian history with St. Patrick. He is often associated with the Roman Catholic Church, however there is much more to the story and what he did for the sake of the gospel. It is worth the time to research. An example of his gospel-centeredness is this translation of one of his writings. Enjoy and √Čirinn go br√°ch (Ireland till doomsday).

    I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three.

    I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation; his baptism in the Jordan river; his death on cross for my salvation; his bursting from the spiced tomb; his riding up the heavenly way; his coming at the day of doom: I bind unto myself today.

    I bind unto myself the power of the great love of cherubim; the sweet "Well done" in judgement hour; the service of the seraphim; confessors' faith, apostles' word, the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls; all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of virgin souls.

    I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven, the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks, the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old eternal rocks.

    I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken to my need; the wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.

    Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course; of few or many, far or nigh, in every place, and in all hours against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers.

    Against all Satan's spells and wiles, against false words of heresy, against the knowledge that defiles against the heart's idolatry, against the wizard's evil craft, against the death-wound and the burning the choking wave and poisoned shaft, protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

    Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

    I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three. Of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word: praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.

    (Taking a step in the right direction for yourself and your son)

    With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.
    All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. 
    Proverbs 7:21-23

    Wives can read this as well, but this week is mainly for men, especially husbands and fathers. This is to touch upon the uneasy subject of pornography and something you can do to take a step in the right direction.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, March 9, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    S is for Salvation
    Scripture is quite clear that the Gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). As we have already noted, this is not a truth pertaining only to evangelism. The Gospel saves those who believe, from first to last, through and through. It includes all the wondrous doctrines of our great salvation, including election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, and much more. For this reason alone, the Gospel must remain central in all the ministries of the church.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    The other week I dropped my wife, Deb, off at Westfield Shopping Center where she was going to pick up something “quickly.”  The parking lot was nearly full so I drove up and down several lanes waiting for her. While coming down one lane, a car with a young man driving stopped near an open space and I noticed that he gave me the "Are you going to park there?" look.

    I responded by gestures. First I shook my head. Next I pointed at him, then at the parking space and then at me, my watch and the mall. Finishing off, I frowned, raised my palms upward and shrugged. Once he had parked, he walked over to me to make sure I didn't want the space.

    "You must be single," I replied. "If you were married, you would've known that was the universal sign for 'Go ahead and take the spot. I'm waiting for my wife.'"

    By Justin Taylor

    (A few of Tom’s sermons lately have dealt with the topic of generosity. Another place we are to show generosity is through the resource of our homes where hospitality is seen as a virtue of the gospel.)

    When Martin Luther (the 42-year-old former monk) married Katharina von Bora (the 26-year-old former nun), perhaps it was appropriate that they moved into the dilapidated Black Cloister, which had once housed forty monks, including Luther—who had lived there for fourteen years.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, March 2, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    R is for Righteousness
    In the Gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” (Rom. 1:17). Paul’s argument in the letter to the Romans is deep and complex, but we submit that the Gospel reveals God’s righteousness in at least these two ways. First, it is a declaration that God himself is just and righteous, for the Gospel teaches that in Christ our sins have been fully propitiated as a basis for his forgiving of us (Rom. 3:24-26; 1 John 1:9, 2:2). Then, second, through the Gospel God declares us righteous as we put our faith in Christ Jesus. Thus in the Gospel God demonstrates “his own justice at the present time, so as to be just and the ones who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). It is truly vital beyond words that we faithfully preach and teach this Gospel.

    Though our calendar year is 365 days, it actually takes the earth a little longer than that to complete one full orbit around the sun. In fact it takes five hours, forty-eight minutes and forty-five seconds longer.

    In 45 B.C., Julius Caesar proposed the calendar be changed to accommodate this discrepancy by fixing the solar year at 365 ¼ days where every 6 years a day would be added.

    The calendar still did not match exactly to the astronomical year. For the calendar under this system would be 3 days off every 400 years. So in March 1582, Pope Gregory XIII abolished the old calendar system and established what is called the Gregorian Calendar for they were 10 days off by this time. Pope Gregory just cancelled the 10 days and they came up with a new formula which brought the solar year closer to the astronomical year and reduced the discrepancy to only 26 seconds per year. These will not add up to a full day until the year 4905. 
    Why is it called leap year when we have 29 days in February? One explanation is that the additional day of February 29 did not have any legal status in the old English courts. So February 29 was “leaped over” in the records and whatever happened that day was dated February 28.

    By C.J. Mahaney

    This Sunday Pastor Tom will be covering idolatry in his sermon. The following article addresses the issue for you as a parent to your child. Though the title points to video games, the counsel is fairly universal. Take it to your own heart first, before you address your child.

    Question: As kids get older, how do you deal with idols in their lives?...For example, my 12 year old son is generally obedient, but he loves to play video games. If that privilege is lifted he is like a different kid. How much do we restrict? Do we just say no more of this? What have you done in those situations?

    C.J. Mahaney: Great question. We are always reluctant to answer parenting questions because they are so child specific, and the more you know about the child the more, I think, wise and precise you can be.  But, in general, you want your child to be convinced that you can identify with them. So I want to find illustrations from my life that parallel an illustration in his life. So I could say, “Son, this is not a foreign topic to your dad. We are fellow sinners both in need of a savior.”