En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Train the children to be virtuous citizens!

Posted by Scott on September 7, 2009

In reading from the 1599 Geneva Bible that I love to refer to, Proverbs 22:6 reads like this “Teach a child in the trade of his way and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Then I look to John Calvin’s commentary on that verse and he states “Bring him up virtuously and he shall so continue.” That is profound to this verse. Bringing up a child virtuously so he continues in the ways of his training is terrific.

What does virtuous training mean though. I looked deeper into this training to see what the possibilities are and this is what I found. Virtuous is to be morally excellent and righteous in the sense of this passage. It also relates to raising our children to be effectuous. Effectuous is to have the power produce a desired effect or remedies. I like this as well…we should be training our children to be effectual in their lives towards Christ. We want them to have great effect over others and situations to the point they desire to have a Believer around because of the great effect they have in their lives.

Then I dug deeper into this virtuous training of our kids and discovered they are to be trained to be potent which to have great authority or influence. How great is that? By training our children in a virtuous life in the ways they go we want them to have a godly influence over the people they encounter. Our children will be good honorable citizens by way of virtue in the ways of Christ. This is why God instructs us parents to train them while we have them under our roof.

However, another category under the virtuous topic stunned my thinking on training. It is a reference to training them to be chaste. This is an old word, but still applies today. Training our young men, especially, to be chaste is training them to be pure in thoughts and actions (modesty). Further commentary on this for them to be “innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse”. Now, that puts it pretty point blank to me. We are to be instructing our kids from very young to they leave the home in many righteous ways, but surfacing to the top would be training them in sexual purity both in mind and action. Now, training this way is not what stunned me, but what stunned me was that it so specifically surfaced as a very important training for our kids. When you look at our culture, even within some church circles, sex is taken so lightly that our kids do not take it seriously either. Yet, from the very research I have done, this specifically was pointed out in the training. We have much to train our kids, but along with biblical truths, we need to be specific to the kids on each virtue especially sexual morality. Kids can find this battle difficult as the internet has brought every sexual perversion ever thought of right into our homes many times undetected, but we as parents are to do battle with this if we are to give our kids the proper training. Warning: DO NOT expect your public school to give this kind of training to our kids…please, DO NOT think they are going to be trained to be pure in thought and action at school.

Parents’, training our kids is not easy, but it is an area we need to take serious. Food to ponder on isn’t it?

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Who do you want in your army? (From the Train up our children series)

Posted by Scott on September 7, 2009

My studies and research into Training our children is an eye opening experience.  We as parents too often have regarded this training too lightly and without any personal sacrifice.  We have expected other institutions and someone else to do most of the scholastic training, the church to do much of the spiritual training, and that has left us parents with too little time to train our children properly in the way the Lord intends that we train them.

 

In Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) To “Train…” could also be translated “Start a child in the way he should go…”  It is our job to start our kids from birth to the time they are out of the house in the way they go.  We are to point them in the right direction based on their inclinations, their bents, their personalities, their characteristics that God has planted in them from birth.  The instruction we give them in order to accomplish this endeavor for some 18 years or so cannot be done in one thirty minute interval each day throughout the week.  It requires that we spend time understanding how they are made and build this training around what God has wired them to do.

 

The daily 30 minutes (30 minutes may be too generous) each parent gets with a child to possibly inject something serious, something educational, something spiritual becomes impossible.  The first task a parent has to do each day is deprogram the humanistic worldliness that has been injected into them for 8 hours each day to start with.  Then deprogram the extra-curricular hours spent with others daily.  By the end of each day a parent may have 15 to 30 minutes to give the child something meaningful to remember.  My question is, can that short period of time overcome the barrage of hours they are being fed something contrary to what us parents should be teaching them?  The government run institutions by law cannot inject Christianity into our kid’s lives.  By virtue of the laws it has passed these institutions must teach secular humanism as the religion of the land which leads to socialistic attitude which will soon embrace socialism as the better way…all this will come from our kid’s public education.  While the church slept our country moved away from God into secular humanism decades ago.  Now, you are not allowed to pray in the schools without trouble.  You cannot bring a Bible to school without trouble.  You cannot inject any kind of bold Christian verbiage without possibly being disciplined, expelled, or fired from the school system.  You must teach evolution as proven fact while not even mentioning creationism as a possibility.  This is because the schools no longer hold to any kind of godliness at all even with Christian’s within its walls which is having no real measurable impact for the kingdom of God and will not as our time here draws to a close.

 

If we were to go into battle as families based on a holy war…in other words Christians vs. Secular Humanism or socialism, who would you want in your army?  Would you want someone on your team that has been trained 75% of their early life from say 6 yrs old to 18 yrs old in socialism, worldliness, humanism, and anti-Christianity?  In Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  This type of training is first and foremost in the ways of the Lord, not how to get a good college education, how to become a good little employee or how to be model prisoners (another subject in and of itself).  I will not get into the other trainings that are coming from government education, but most of all, we as parents must make every effort and time to inject as much biblical training as we can on a daily basis if our kids must remain in a public school.  This may mean that we men stop playing golf as much or at all, stop fishing or as much, stop hunting or as much, stop spending so much time at the bars with the buddies having a beer (another subject all by itself), etc.  It may require we make tremendous sacrifices during our children’s adolescent years and teen years in order to be sure we have exhausted every chance to inject the proper training in the ways of the Lord, even if the kids must remain in the public school system, which I pray that many will reconsider.

 

Going back to who would you bring to battle with you, I refer to this training that is cross referenced to Abram in Genesis 14:14 where a relative, Lot and his family, was captured and Abram (future Abraham) called out for the 318 trained men born in his household and pursued the enemy with them.  These 318 men had been born under his roof and trained by him, not someone else.  He entrusted a serious situation with those whom he could trust, those trained and born under his roof.  This was an important mission for Abram and he could not depend on just anyone, but relied on those he could depend on and that was those men trained by him.  It was a long and difficult journey that required men that Abram knew their character, their bents, their personalities, their inclinations, their trainings, and most importantly, Abram could depend on who their allegiance was too, the Sovereign God.  Abram knew these men would perform, he did not worry for a moment that something a government school had taught them could come back to compromise this mission…Abram took this mission serious and Abram had taken these 318 men’s training serious years before.  Abram had not sent them off for someone else to raise, to train, to inject ungodly thoughts into…Abram sacrificed his time to train them or someone within his household he trusted to train.  This is why it is even more important that we as parents do the training of our children now and take the majority of every available moment with them to train them in the ways of the Lord above anything else. 

 

The training referred to in Genesis 14:14 crosses over to Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”   The Word of God does not leave much for discussion when it comes to training and teaching the children.  We are commanded to train our children in the way should go.  Whatever direction we send them daily, whatever actions we take on a daily basis more so than what we say on a daily basis will influence the way they will go.  How important do we really see our children and the future of Christianity in the world?  Do we see our children as true blessing of God to be cherished, watched over, trained, and even guarded?  I am afraid the message most kids get from parents today is that they are burden, parents can’t wait until the kids go back to school to get out of their hair, the parent(s) are always travelling while someone else keeps the kids, time spent with them is secondary to the parents work, golf, hunting, fishing, workout at 24 hour fitness, ladies night out or men’s night out, etc.  I know this will smash some toes and I am not saying any of these activities are wrong in and of themselves, but the message sent by many that I have encountered over the years is not far off from what I am talking about…that “kids are a necessary evil God has put upon them as punishment for some sin in their past”.  I have heard this on more than one occasion or some variation of that.  I am sorry, but that is the message coming across.  The kids are reacting to the message from the actions of their parents far more than the message coming from their parent’s mouths.

 

We have an 88% failure rate in our future young people.  That is huge and if it is continued will result in catastrophic events in our country in the near future.  Parents will find themselves as the enemy of their own children when it comes to Christ vs. humanism or socialism.  It will put dads against their sons and mothers against their daughters.  Jesus said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  Jesus is the sword that will divide households, families, friendships, and even churches.  If we as parents do not take our job in the training of our children more serious, we are going to see more and more households divided by the very subject of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior vs. worldliness, secular humanism, socialism, entitlement, riches, self-glorification and gratification, etc.  Not all kids will turn out this way, but an alarming 88% of them have the potential and in my humble opinion it is because of the failure of us parents not training our children in the ways of the Lord while turning our heads away and allowing the world to have all the time it wanted in training them in the way it wanted them to go.  Satan’s world wants your children to love to be rich, to want more stuff, to more entitlements, to want more government security, to desire to be a pro athlete, super model, world scholar, to want to look good all the time, to be more educated socially, to be a social party person, to want to be healthy all the time, to want more and more of this world while pulling them seriously away from the ways taught in the Scriptures. 

 

While the world and its system train the kids to be good socialist, God’s Word has commanded a different training…training in the ways of God which are drastically different than the ways of the world.  Why are we considered as aliens in this world?  Does much of the church today look foreign to you?  Do we teach our children any differently than the world does?  It is hard to see much light in this world of darkness even in the church today.  As parents our job is far too important to leave to the world.  God is using us to train the kids away from the world…yes, we have to live in this world and He did not say that would be easy either, but while we are to obey the laws of the land, we also to obey God’s holy Word in training our kids.  Our kids are future missionaries no matter what they do for a living.  They need to be taught that their job first and foremost is serving God. For our young men, when they have a family their first mission field is their wife, then their children then they can minister to those outside their homes…not the reverse.  The same can be said for the young women.  Individually, their first goals should be in service to Christ…God will take care of their living if they will work honoring God in all they do and that requires they be a very good employee yet knowing making money is not their priority, but serving God is.

 

In conclusion,  does training those hours per day in the ways of the Lord guarantee our children will turn out godly, no!  Only God can guarantee anything.  However, this sacrificial training us as parents is commanded to do give the proper tools to work with.  It is this training that the Holy Spirit uses in order to take them deeper into a relationship with God, making it harder for Satan to take them away.  Chances are greater, even if they do move away for a short period of time from the ways of God, in returning to their faith someday to grow in godliness and serve their Lord from then on into eternity.  The old saying “you can pay me now or you can pay me later” can be translated in this situation “you can pay the price now in training your children or you will pay a hefty price later for not training your children”.  The challenge is this; will you consider a different way of educating your children by seeking the face of God on this matter?  Can we commit to giving up activities in our own lives that take time away from a deeper training of the children in the ways of the Lord?  Are we willing to admit that all the excuses we as parents use in order to not change anything we are doing in regards to the lack of training our children get is sin and needs to be repented of?  This challenge is strong I know, but the future results of us having a godless generation is at stake here.  True Christian parenting does not resemble the world, the public schools, the social institutes in our country or anything else…Christian parenting has specific instructions from Scripture and we will be all the better for being obedient to it.

 

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Americans have gone crazy over Christmas!

Posted by Scott on November 29, 2008

Alright, the title is strong, but after you read the story you will understand.  Of course not all of us are crazy over Christmas, but I would say the majority are.  For Christians, this time of year should hold a very special meaning for us, but does it really for all the right reasons?

I watched and listened to a news report this afternoon about a security guard being trampled to death in a Walmart in America this morning.  A group of about 2000 people rushed the store this morning wanting in and the most popular item was TVs.  I could not believe this actually happened. 

Folks, our materialistic society that has been produced over the past 100 years is now coming full circle.  People so obsessed with “things” killed a 34 year old man storming a Walmart for TVs!  Can you believe this?  People, we must return to our forefathers way of thinking and living.  Money is something you need in order to eat, keep a roof over your head, provide for your kids and grand-kids, and possibly help out a neighbor that has fallen on hard times.  Our grandparents put the money aside…you would have never experienced them storming a store for any item with the exception of food.  Our grandparents saved their money, paid their bills, and did not run up debt.  What is wrong with the TV you have?  What is wrong with going without a TV for a while?  If Christmas gifts was the purpose for the purchases these Walmarters were rushing for, what is wrong with everyone simply enjoying family for Christmas one year rather than buying a bunch useless, depreciating “things”?  I am not saying if you buy a TV you are wrong…you have missed my point if you think that.

Ok, stay with me folks for just a moment more.  Christmas has always been taught as a celebration for Jesus’ birthday, right?  Well, Christmas for the past 50 plus years has been very little about Jesus or His birthday.  Sure, He gets a token prayer here and there, or maybe a nativity scene put up in peoples traditions with little acknowledgment to what it really means.   As Christians we need to stop dead in our tracks today before we move forward in a pagan society acting as they do, going into debt as they do, buying things we really don’t need as they do, serving no one but ourselves and our family.  These thoughts have been floating around in my head for days, but the fact that a fellow human being was killed trying to do his job at Walmart because selfish ignorant people trampled him like sheep running into the slaughter pen, just boiled these comments and thoughts to the forefront this afternoon.

Here are some thoughts from John MacArthur about questioning our typical American Christmas:

“Questioning the typical Christmas celebration isn’t unreasonable.  After all, mistletoe, holly, Yule logs and ivy were all ancient, pagan symbols.  Even the date we celebrate Christmas does not originate from Scripture, but rather is tied to an ancient pagan Roman holiday honoring winter – not the person of Christ.

Then there’s the insane, commerce-driven, marketing machine that gets cranked up earlier and earlier every year.  It’s no secret that secular culture continues to use Christmas as a vehicle to drive a shameful celebration of the worst kinds of self-indulgences and materialism.  Even the more refined aspects of our culture’s Christmas traditions are often little more than sappy sentimentalism.  You’re not alone if you wonder if we’re doing the right thing in our celebrations with our families, friends and churches.

Over the next few months you’ll hear many attempts to justify all the indulgence, wtih much said about the “real meaning of Christmas.”  Unfortunately, almost none of it will focus on the birth of CHrist or the reason for His incarnation.  And what little does focus on Christ, is such a tiny part, that it’s overshadowed by the massive emphasis the rest of the time on decidedly un-Christ like behavior and practices!  At best, the “Christmas” emphasis becomes peace, sharing, family, togetherness, or some other humanistic value.  Those values aren’t wrong, of course, but considered apart from the incarnation of Christ, they have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.”

Now, here is the dilema.  We as Believers have an opportunity to show those around us who Christ is and what He is about.  Gorging ourselves on a steady diet of “things” especially at Christmas does not show anyone who Christ is…rather the opposite opinion occurs.  I am as guilty as anyone in years past for over spending on gifts to my kids and other family members….but, in the past few years we have been pulling back the reigns to get Christmas back into focus as Who the “Holy-Day” is suppose to be about.  The world needs to see that we as Believers are more about celebrating Christ coming to earth, dying for our sins, and defeating death to rise again.  We are to prove by our life actions that we serve an almighty sovereign God that is in full control of all that we do.  It is hard to put into words the disgust I have right now with this retail-Christmas.  This borders on blasphemy to the name of Christ in what this holiday has become, but I will not go that far…yet.

I want to share an eye opening short story by an unknown author concerning Christ birth:

Mary’s Dream

author unknown

“I had a dream, Joseph. I don’t understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought new clothes. They’d gone shopping many times and bought elaborate gifts.

It was peculiar, though, because the presents weren’t for our son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree, Joseph, right in their house. They’d decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on the top of the tree. It looked like an angel might look. Oh, it was beautiful.

Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our son. I don’t think they even knew him. They never mentioned his name. Doesn’t it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate someones birthday if they don’t know him? I had the strangest feeling that if our son had gone to this celebration he would have been intruding.

Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus – not to be wanted at his own birthday celebration. I’m glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real. “

So, I will leave us with the thought here out of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a Believer have in common with an unbeliever?  Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

 

Listen up closely now, I am not saying don’t celebrate Christmas, however, when or if you do this year, keep the focus on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…all of it.  Give something to Him first and foremost…take nothing away from Him.  Make each get-to-gether a celebration honoring the Lord above all others.  Keep Christ on every breath you take…in every prayer uttered.  This can be the most memorable Christmas your family has ever experienced if we would all cut down on the spending for ourselves and make a tremendous increase in the honor and celebration of Jesus as Lord.  If you want to spend, help someone that needs your help and cannot help themselves.  Invite someone over this year for a Christmas meal that you would not normally invite over.  Give someone some clothes that really needs clothes.  Serve at a homeless shelter, food line or something of this kind.  This is the real Christmas story if we get right down to it.  Being about the Fathers work has nothing to do with us and especially us getting “things”.  Take time out to explore the Scriptures thoroughly about who Christ is, who our God is, what is it that our heavenly Father really wants from us, what this life is really all about.  We need clothes, food, shelter, possibly medical attention, and transportation…everything else is really wants more than needs.  I encourage you to get out of a small section of the New Testament and explore the entire Bible…this is the only way you will understand just how BIG our God really is this Holy season.

Merry Christmas to all of you…may the Lord richly bless your efforts to know Him better this holiday season.

 

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

 

 

 

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John Piper: 20 Reasons I Don’t Take Shots At Fundamentalists!

Posted by Scott on June 3, 2008

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I’ve met).

2. They believe in truth.

3. They believe that truth really matters.

4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.

5. They know that the Bible calls for some kind of separation from the world.

6. They have backbone and are not prone to compromise principle.

7. They put obedience to Jesus above the approval of man (even though they fall short, like others).

8. They believe in hell and are loving enough to warn people about it.

9. They believe in heaven and sing about how good it will be to go there.

10. Their “social action” is helping the person next door (like Jesus), which doesn’t usually get written up in the newspaper.

11. They tend to raise law-abiding, chaste children, in spite of the fact that Barna says evangelical kids in general don’t have any better track record than non-Christians.

12. They resist trendiness.

13. They don’t think too much is gained by sounding hip.

14. They may not be hip, but they don’t go so far as to drive buggies or insist on typewriters.

15. They still sing hymns.

16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild.

17. They give some contemporary plausibility to New Testament claim that the church is the “pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

18. They are good for the rest of evangelicals because of all this.

19. My dad was one.

20. Everybody to my left thinks I am one. And there are a lot of people to my left.

By John Piper

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Parents Acting Like Teenagers!

Posted by Scott on November 21, 2007

Dr. Mohler’s Blog

“Freak Dancing” — When Parents Advocate Misbehavior

The Wall Street Journal is out with one of the those eye-opening stories that defies common moral sense. It seems that Jason Ceyanes, the 35-year-old superintendent of schools in Argyle, Texas, decided to crack down on sexually-suggestive dancing at the local high school. But, when the superintendent banned “freak dancing,” he got into trouble with some of Argyle’s parents.

Here is how The Wall Street Journal introduced its account of the controversy:

A new resolve by school officials in this booming Dallas suburb to crack down on sexually suggestive dancing — and skimpy clothing — has sparked a rancorous debate over what boundaries should be set for teenagers’ self-expression. Argyle joins a long list of other schools around the country that have banned the hip-hop inspired dancing known as “grinding” or “freak dancing.”

But in Argyle, a once-sleepy farming community strained by explosive growth from an influx of well-to-do suburbanites, the controversy has gotten vicious. Some parents blame the newly installed school superintendent, Jason Ceyanes, 35, for ruining their children’s October homecoming dance by enforcing a strict dress code and making provocative dancing off-limits. Disgusted, a lot of kids left, and the dance ended early.

Mr. Ceyanes says he fears current cleavage-baring dress styles combined with sexually charged dancing could lead to an unsafe environment for students.

“This is not just shaking your booty,” he said. “This is pelvis-to-pelvis physical contact in the private areas…and then moving around.”

“Freak dancing” is well known throughout the nation, and it involves what can only be described as “sexually charged” physical contact and movement. But many of the kids in Argyle were “disgusted” that freak dancing was banned at the homecoming dance, so they left. That might be fairly easy to understand. After all, adolescents are expected to exhibit adolescent patterns of misbehavior. What makes this story so interesting is that so many parents responded by joining their adolescents in immature response. In fact, their protest of the superintendent’s policy is shocking.

As the paper explained, “Many parents support Mr. Ceyanes’s actions. But another vocal faction has been harshly critical of the new superintendent, creating a deep rift in the community. These parents defend the children of Argyle as ‘good kids,’ and say they should be trusted to dance and dress the way they want.”

Here is one of the moral hallmarks of our confused age. Parents defy authority and propriety and justify the misbehavior of their own children while calling them “good kids.” In this case, they argue that these “good kids” should be allowed “to dance and dress the way they want” — even if that means sexually suggestive dress and sexually charged dancing.

Mr. Ceyanes held a public meeting for parents and played a video of freak dancing. “I cannot imagine that there is a father in this room who could watch this video and be all right with a young man dancing with his daughter in that fashion,” he told the parents.

This is further evidence of a trend long in coming. Fashion styles for adult women now mimic those of adolescent girls. Why? So many moms want to act like teenagers and dress as provocatively as their offspring. Far too many parents want to act like their teenagers’ friends and peers, not like parents. Parents, after all, are expected to act like adults, and this is a society that depreciates adulthood and valorizes adolescence.

When a story like this makes the front page of The Wall Street Journal, something significant has shifted on the moral landscape. When parents demand that their “good kids” be allowed to freak dance at school events, the real story shifts from the kids to the parents.

___________________

The Wall Street Journal also features this video coverage of the story [go here].  We discussed this issue on Tuesday’s edition of The Albert Mohler Program [listen here].

-Scott Bailey 2007

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Older Kids Want to Learn About God, too!

Posted by Scott on November 19, 2007

And For Older Children . . . Respect Their Desire to Read and to Learn

Several readers of these articles and listeners to the radio program responded to the article on Bible story books for young children by asking about a book for older children as well. Thankfully, there is (as several readers pointed out) a wonderful resource in The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos.

The Child’s Story Bible goes far beyond the picture book format and will appeal to school-age children. The book is older than virtually all of the parents who will be reading it to their children. The enduring popularity of the book is at least partly due to the fact that Vos did not write in a childish manner, but instead assumed that children will want to learn and that they can handle a substantial story from the Bible — not just a story summary with pictures.

In other words, Vos had the ability to tell the story to children without writing in a condescending manner. The stories are wonderfully written and parents will enjoy reading them as much as children will enjoy hearing them.

Of course, many children will be able to read these stories for themselves — or at least to try. Let your children cut their teeth on this collection of stories from the Bible.

Most children will hear these stories for the first time as a parent or other adult reads to them. This is a truly special time for both parent and child.

Here are a few suggestions for maximizing the reading experience for school-age children.

1. Read at a specific time set as part of the ritual of the child’s life. Children thrive on structure and are motivated by anticipation. Make a special reading time part of the family’s day. The obvious time for this is bedtime, and for good reason. The child senses the end of the day is near, knows sleep is coming, and is more likely to be both calm and attentive.

Furthermore, the child is more likely to anticipate a special time of closeness with Mom or Dad (or both) at bedtime, dressed for bed and gathered with parents to end the day. There is nothing wrong with reading to the child at any hour of the day, but bedtime is undeniably special.

2. Read in a clear voice and avoid both excessive drama and a lifeless reading. A listless and lazy reader will lose the child’s attention, but an excessively dramatic reader will make the child grow accustomed to drama — often at the expense of thoughtful content and retention. You want the child to be fully drawn into the story, but you also want the child to be thinking about the story and its meaning.

3. When reading a Bible story, help the child to find the actual text of the account in the pages of the Bible. The child needs to learn to read the Bible itself — not just Bible story books, and to know that the Bible is God’s perfect and sufficient Word.

4. Place the story in its context within God’s plan and within the Bible. Help children to understand how every word of the Bible is fulfilled in Christ and finds its meaning within God’s plan to redeem His people from sin.

5. Recognize that many of the stories of the Bible teach a clear moral lesson — a lesson that children clearly need to learn and take to heart. At the same time, recognize that these accounts are never merely morality tales. Point your child to the big picture.

6. Never read down to your children, treating them as dull. Instead, give them a substantial story, lay out the narrative, and then trust that they will want to learn and to push themselves toward understanding. Then, be the human agent of that understanding by explaining the story with patience, creativity, and insight based in the fact that you know both the story and the child or children hearing it.

7. Be as honest as the Bible in revealing the strengths and weaknesses of God’s people. Children need to know that God loves us in spite of who we are as sinners, not because of our supposed worth. Children need to learn moral honesty and to know that all (even you, dear parents) are sinners.

8. Ask your children questions about the story to measure understanding, and make sure to see if they have any questions. Ask questions the next morning, during the day, on the playground, in the car, and when the child is in the bathtub. Encourage conversation about the Bible and Bible stories.

9. Ask older children to help with the reading and to grow accustomed both to reading for themselves and to reading aloud.  There is much too little reading of the Bible aloud to the congregation in many churches.  Let the recovery of reading aloud the Word of God begin in your home. 

10. Finally, teach them to pray the Scriptures, talking about the story just read and its biblical text as you pray. Pray that God will apply His Word to their hearts, thank God for His Word and for His love, remind them of Christ and His promises, and entrust them to God for the night and for eternity.

No moment invested in teaching your child the Bible and reading Bible stories is ever wasted time. If your reading of a story is interrupted by circumstances (or by a child who has lost the fight against sleep), just pick it up the next time and move on. Enjoy every moment while your children are at this precious and promising stage of life.

By Dr Albert Mohler Jr.

-Scott Bailey 2007

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*Training Our Daughters in Purity!

Posted by Scott on November 13, 2007

Training Our Daughters in Purity

It is no secret that purity is not being taught enough to our young kids any more.  The pregnancy rate among young girls is only getting worse.  And the age of girls getting pregnant is getting younger & younger each year.  Can you imagine your 10 year old daughter pregnant?  I can’t, but they are out there.  Satan is out to steal our children’s purity.  As mothers we must teach our daughters the importance of remaining a virgin in all physical and emotional ways until they are married.  Today, it is to not just keep them pure for their future husband, it is too keep them healthy also.  There are diseases that can be caught just from kissing much less the obvious ones from being with multiple partners.  This is such an accepted way of life, a passage into adulthood, that to teach against premarital sex once again puts me on the outside of normal according to society.One approach we have taken with our children is to talk to them about what they are doing to their future mate if they chose to be in a physical relationship before they were married.  Saving their self emotionally and physically for their husband is like giving him a gift that no one else has opened.  Does he not deserve her whole heart?  When she stands before her friends and family on her wedding day and she says her vows she wants to bring only her whole self to her husband, not just what is left over after giving pieces of it away to other boys.  Saving her body for her husband is part of God’s plan for marriage.  Just like he wants our whole heart, our husbands deserve our whole heart also.

Click “Purity” for the rest of the story.  For more great articles go to Living Stones Ministry for Moms!

-Scott Bailey 2007

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Courageous Message for All Americans by Al Mohler Jr.

Posted by Scott on October 19, 2007

Dr. Mohler’s Blog

October 2007

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A Recovery Plan for Black America — And a Courageous Message for All Americans

Bill Cosby worked his way into American hearts through his great talent as a comedian and actor, but there has always been more to Bill Cosby than any laugh line can convey. He is also a man of ideas and a man who cares deeply about his country.

Cosby is also a man who cares deeply about the breakdown of the family and social cohesion among black Americans — especially among young black men and boys. In his new book, Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors [Thomas Nelson], Cosby teams up with Harvard University psychiatrist Alvin F. Poussaint to confront many of these issues head-on. The book is as courageous and it is timely.

“For the last generation or two, as our communities dissolved and our parenting skills broke down, no one has suffered more than our young black men,” Cosby and Poussaint lament. They face the issues honestly and do not mince words. At the same time, they place these challenges within the context of what they also see as continuing prejudice against black Americans. The essence of their argument is that while black America can blame others for many of the challenges they face, they hold the key to their own recovery through personal and group achievement and responsibility.

Consider a paragraph like this:

We are calling on men, all men, the successful and the unsuccessful, the affluent and the poor, the married and the unmarried, to come and claim their children. You can run the biggest drug cartel in America or win the Super Bowl, but if you haven’t claimed your children, you are not a man. You can make all the excuses you want, but no one can stop you from claiming your children. It’s not about you. It’s about them. If you have not come to claim your children, you have stolen their hope. You have stolen any kind of feeling that they are worth something. They will likely have no sense of the past, little pride, and even less faith in the future. They will see fathers at the mall or on TV and they will wonder how stupid or ugly they must be to have driven their fathers away.

The authors lament the breakdown of marriage and fatherhood most of all, tracing most of the pathologies they cite to that cause.  They also note that even under the worst oppression by others, black Americans had held their families together or had done their very best to do so.  These pathologies are now self-inflicted.

This paragraph should haunt all Americans:

There is one statistic that captures the bleakness.  In 1950, five out of every six black children were born into a two-parent home.  Today, that number is less than two out of six.  In poor communities, that number is lower still.  There are whole blocks with scarcely a married couple, whole blocks without responsible males to watch out for wayward boys, whole neighborhoods in which little girls and boys come of age without seeing up close a committed partnership and perhaps never having attended a wedding.

Just think about that — whole blocks of children growing up without ever seeing a married couple up close or having attended a wedding.  The problem can be traced to the breakdown of marriage and the absence of fathers, they argue.  In their words, “Parenting works best when both a mother and father participate. Some mothers can do it on their own, but they need help. A house without a father is a challenge. A neighborhood without fathers is a catastrophe, and that’s just about what we have today.”

Bill Cosby has raised these issues before, but never with a presentation and articulation as forceful and comprehensive as Come On, People.  Christians will want to take many of the arguments beyond where Cosby and Poussaint leave them, but all will recognize the courage represented by this brave book.

Here, for example, is a passage in which the authors deal with the shift in young male sexual behavior and its consequences:

As we became older and grew more interested in girls, our hormones raged just as boys’ hormones rage today. The Internet may be new. Cell phones may be new. But sex, we don’t need to tell you, has been around since Adam and Eve. So has shame. We knew that if one of us got a girl pregnant, not only would she have to visit that famous “aunt in South Carolina,” but young Romeo would have to go too, not to South Carolina maybe, but somewhere. It would be too embarrassing for Romeo’s family for him to just sit around in the neighborhood with a fat Cheshire cat smile on his face.

 

 

And there was something else we understood: that girl likely had a daddy in the home. And he’d be prepared to wipe that grin off Romeo’s face permanently. This was what parenting was about. It wasn’t always pretty, but it could be pretty effective.

 

More:

 

For no good reason we can understand, society seems to be telling young black men that fatherhood is no big thing. Society tells young people in general to look after number one and to worry about everyone else later, if at all. Like the sixteen-year-old on the TV show—if you don’t like the outcome, walk away. Even if you get married and you’re not happy, walk away. With all the temptations to walk away, the black divorce and separation rate today is 50 percent higher than the white rate. And black women who divorce are considerably less likely to remarry than white divorcees, partly because of the shortage of black males.

 

 

Without being told and told often, young men simply do not know or understand what a father’s responsibilities are. Many of them have never seen a real father in action. Many do not appreciate that fathers are important to a child’s healthy development or that unemployed, separated, and unwed fathers can still interact with their children and contribute significantly to their well-being.

 

The issues Cosby and Poussaint address are important to all Americans, and every American has a personal stake in the recovery these authors hope to encourage.

 

___________________

 

Many people who enjoy and appreciate Bill Cosby do not know that he holds both Masters of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from the University of Massachusetts.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “The Integration of Visual Media via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids into the Elementary Schools Culminating as a Teacher Aid to Achieve Increased Learning” (1977).

 

Cosby has his critics within the African-American community, notably Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University.  In his book, Is Bill Cosby Right?, Dyson argues that Cosby blames black Americans for problems caused by others and rejects Cosby’s proposals for recovery. 

 

-Scott Bailey 2007

 

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-One Dads Encouragement to Single Moms!

Posted by Scott on October 15, 2007

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I have reflected on the single parenting issues and I am constantly reminded in the paper, news, email, Internet and our neighborhood about a third of our homes out there have children raised by brave single moms.  This is not an easy venture to undertake.  Different events have lead these moms to raise their kids while being single.  No matter what the cause of their “singleness” they are still undertaking the role of mom and dad to these children and have been appointed by God to do so.  I do not have to speak from experience to say this is a daunting task.

“The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow…”

-Psalm 146:9 NLT

I have been researching online, books on the fatherless, and the scriptures.  Everyone seems to come up with a cause, but only God’s word speaks of how to cope as a single mother.  In one story we don’t hear much about Jesus’ earthly dad, Joseph, beyond about the time Jesus was 12 years old.  He relied on His heavenly Father from that point on.  This is a great lesson for all of us parents.  It is only by the grace of our heavenly Father that any of our kids turn out good.  For the most part, as parents, we will fail in comparison over and over again.  As hard as we try we will fail as parents many times.  Yet in the end, God’s graciousness shines through and these kids make us proud parents. 

l1d64jcate2mjocajekc56ca7me1jucafrzrhkca5vq1h0calaasjycapm11pmcakw3wdqcae3s628cae4n9v0cafqx8i9cahh01iaca0t6lcnca54zm3xcaw47u0ucaj67vhbcad6yxszcaxl9oti.jpg  God has a plan for each of our kids.  These plans were created long before the earth was spoken into existence.  Our kids will be something when they grow up all for the glory of God.  We usually never have an idea until they are about 40 years old as to what that really is…I can say that since I am about to turn 40!  We do know that God has placed these kids with us to help mold and shape their future.  He put these kids into our homes so that we would give them everything we can from what God has created in us to be.  Our experiences are from God.  These experiences can be shared with our kids in order to instruct them.  Now, the plan that God has for our kids could mean that they are raised in a home with both the biological father and mother.  This could mean they are raised in a home with one step-parent and one biological parent.  This could also mean they are raised in a home with only a mom or a dad….otherwise known as the single parent.

 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

-Joshua 1:9 NLT

For the single mom, in the beginning I am sure it will be overwhelming to think about raising these kids alone.  The range of emotions that will fill your life at the moment of realizing you are going to raise these kids alone can only be imagined by someone that has experienced the same range of emotions.  TO help cope with this reality would be to find any moment of quietness in your day to just be still…don’t read anything, say anything, don’t have a radio or tv on, just be quiet and clear your mind as best you can to prepare to listen for God’s hope, encouragement, and light.  In this quietness which may only be a minute or two, you may experience His breath upon your head, the fragrance of His spirit being near you, or simply just a calm, but reassuring  silence that He is near.  After a moment of stillness you can begin to meditate or read from the Bible whatever you are studying.  If you do not have a place to start, go to Psalm 1:1 and begin there…you will find peace and inspiration for the road ahead in Psalm.  Try not to move too quickly through the passages.  Chew on every word.  Smell each page as you read.  Imagine with your mind the words that are taking place in each verse.  Meditate on this for a long while.  Now, you are ready to pray to God.  Your prayer may not vocalize as you thought it would, but your heart will be in much better shape to go before your heavenly Father.  You will find a new strength about raising these kids by yourself.  Now, begin to introduce each child to their heavenly Father.  Involve them in reading about the attributes of God.  Help them along to experience and get to know their heavenly Father in a way that most kids do not know God.  I cannot stress enough the need for your kids to know God above all else. 

The kids strength will rely on their belief in God and what they believe about Him.  The kids character will be shaped by what they read about concerning God, what they observe in your life about Him,  what the Bible says about God, how the church you attend worships God, and how they pray to Him.  For kids being raised by single moms the pursuit of holiness is crucial to their purity and security in the future.  Place into their life a confidence in God’s strength not their own strength.  Remember, you do not have to involve them in every event that the schools and churches put on the calendar.  Do not bend to the kids pier’s pressure as to sports, birthday parties, and other events.  If you do not guard this area of your families life it will only further frustrate you in your quest to raise these kids as best you can.  You only do what you can do and not disrupt your family unit.

23114766.jpg  The boys will want to play organized football someday.  Please, moms, listen to what I am telling you on this.  LET THEM PLAY FOOTBALL!  Not until they are about 13 years old though….I believe this to be the best age to start a boy playing football.  Yes, they may get hurt.  It’s alright to let them get hurt.  I know that it is a mothers tendency to want to protect your kids and not let them get hurt, but this is a right of passage for a boy.  The scars on their arms and legs become trophies down the road with their friends.  Raise these boys as you would want them to be as young men.  A young man that has never experienced pain and hurt will not step up and protect his family.  They will not step in front of that on coming car to save their girl friend, wife and/or children.  They will not be willing to fight over seas or in the country to protect our freedoms.  They will not want to take any chances that might injure them in the future.  The decisions you make now on this subject will be huge in determining the kind of young man your son(s) will be in the future.  Since about one third of families today are single family homes, then we need moms to be tough in this area.  This is the role a father would take, but since you are the mom and dad, you must put aside the mothering instincts in this area and like a dad would do which is to embrace their yearning to play a rough sport and slap them on the back enthusiastically to say “YES” they can play.  Again, it is important how you tell them they can play as well.

1-boys-fishing.jpg  Another reality about boys is the fact that especially when they are smaller they like dirt, worms, snakes, mice, anything that creeps and crawls upon the ground.  They will fill their pockets with these varmints…please enjoy these moments with a grimly smile…they love to be “earthy”.  This is just how boys are.  Don’t forget that boys like to go fishing.  Either take them or find a man that you trust to take them fishing…this is important.  I refer you to read more on the things Dads want Moms to know about boys article.  Click on About Boys here to go directly to it.  This has some great short quips about boys.  You can also click on Encouragement and read from a mother of 10 children perspective on raising boys…my wife Dana!  

Finally, moms, I want you to know that you are up to this task with God’s strength upon your life.  You may need to pull in grandpa, uncles, brothers, men in the church, neighbors, or whomever you can trust as a man to assist in raising your son(s).  It is great to have a manly figure in your child’s life on occasion.  This can help reinforce your parenting as well.  You are the parent, but it does not hurt to ask for help as God prompts you to do so.  Point these boys to read and study on great men in history.  Point them to great men of today they can read on.  Use videos as well to help these boys establish a mentor role model male.  Some great men I would recommend your boys getting to know are Theodore Roosevelt, George Mueller s8oytgcav4tqhmcagi1i0eca2ga8cyca05kqsfcay73doicajqiof1caevznjrca3rpygxcaz4rzq4ca9f51boca0g9olicalrsadeca0xxlsmca7srkxycaehdq01cam5v1etcafspj8jcau7fzjz.jpg, Charles Spurgeon, Ronald Reagan 8ifg22caej91s5caarj4lzcad522vgcatemf76cac2uv0lca6a1i8mcarvwhbrcacxitr0cag50kvfcaxu500ucafndfdpcahaldymca7e00ahcapnjeatcasiihs5casfh51zcae4jfnwcabgpb3c.jpg, Sir Winston Churchill, Chuck Swindoll, John Piper, Steve Farrar, Tony Evans, Dr. E.V. Hill, and John Wayne 130-157john-wayne-posters.jpg.  Books and movies to see are End of the Spear, Tombstone, True Grit, Tucker, Miracle, Seabiscuit, Its A Wonderful Life, and many others that show true masculine heroes and sacrifice.  Your influence on these boys growing into young men will depend on you as a mother not “feminizing” your boys at all.  Treat them different than your girls.  Girls should be feminized, but boys need to be rough, dirty at times, tough, smelly, and anything else that separates them from the girls…the tender moments will come and those are good to.  Books (other than the Bible) for you to read that can give you ideas for your boys and their raising are Standing Tall by Steve Farrar, King Me by Steve Farrar 88om5rcaz3azfbcajpj6o1cacz0jf9ca2o5ynmcaowlw67cabud7nnca4vaio9caua3h8xcago51xwcaoxe753cat3d6grca0erzgicayaq2a9caznsun3ca772y0eca1zrndwca0hkv1mcas4395x.jpg, How to Ruin Your Life by 40 by Steve Farrar bo17rmcayeyszscaw79jscca65hx9pcajekrmmca3lbolrcaj88ctccazr4zizcadlb5u0cat3i544cag7kii8ca9ei4vqca0cgttjca9m9q8fcaa1okohca8ypnvmcala8ghdcaxx2nw8ca8jaeoa.jpg, Man to Man by Chuck Swindoll05y2g7cauiz91pcaj6vr25ca47tviacacwj3m4camy0yp8cac39iuvca2i28ecca5l79rbcakd0dn5caci8ytocahsf1krca3m7937caapgt1bcans2kapca8ncrv0camccp07ca2w2awpca2a39d9.jpg, Talking with My Father by Ray C. Stedman, The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt For His Sons, The Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams For His Son, What’s the Difference by John Piper, George Mueller on Answered Prayers, and many others.  A great book for you to read along with your younger boys is The Dangerous Book for Boys by Iggulden.  

Moms you have been singled out (no pun intended) by God for a wonderful task.  Your singleness is not by chance or for your destruction.  It is by design that you are single raising these boys.  God has a special adventure for you with these boys.  This adventure called life will be one of the most rewarding times in your life if you will embrace this challenge head on.  God is now in the role as the true Father of these kids…make sure they are brought up understanding this.  Point them to His sacrifices, His plan for them, His fresh mercies each day, His unfailing love for them, His creation in everything they can see and hear, and point them to His word in the Bible.  Keep plugging on…it will not be easy, but you can raise godly sons that will glorify God.

Look for resources online to help you through these years as a single parent.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-Waiting Instruction…Boys!

Posted by Scott on October 15, 2007

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“In 1800, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned a national survey conducted by Dupont de Numours to determine the status of literacy in America.  The results were phenomenal.  Better than ninety-seven percent of American citizens could read and write.  The stated reason for this success was  that, from Boston to Atlanta, American fathers practiced daily Bible reading with their children around the breakfast table.  Long before the creation of government schools (public schools) or the National Education Association, faithful fathers proved that the simple act of teaching the Holy Scriptures to their children at home would lead our nation to become the most literate in the world.”   

-Quote by Doug Phillips, Esq. publisher taken from the book

“The Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams for His Sons”

The title “Awaiting Instruction…Boys!” is not a story with a twist.  Guys, it is reality.  Our boys are waiting for their dads instruction on life.  They want to know how to be a real man.  They really want to know our imput on dating,  girls, bullies, sports, God, the Bible, making money, working, pain, family, friends, our boyhood, family history, who we admire, our heroes, places we have been, and so on.  The boys are starving to have the proper instructions on what we call “life”.  Of course they may not react as though they care, but inside they are spell bound to every word.  For one, it is a conversation with dad which in most homes that is rare these days.  Most importantly, we need to help fill their minds and hearts with God’s truth.  If we can do nothing more, speak God’s word into their ears whether they seem to be listening or not will be enough.

 

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Something I struggle with and sense that many other dads struggle with as well is finding that time during our day to spend with each child.  It is tough, but something we must work hard to do.  I am still trying to work through that issue.  What I have found is taking the time whenever possible to ask them questions and listen to their answers.  This usually occurs in the strangest places.  In the car, working in the flower beds, mowing the yard, setting on our bed “shooting the breeze “, at my office on the days I take one of the kids with me and many other opportunities.  Sometimes you have several minutes to an hour of opportunity for a healthy discussion and other times is may only be a few minutes….in either case the time is invaluable.  As I now have four teenagers, one preteen, two nearly to the preteen stage, two toddlers, and a baby, I find each moment I can get with them is precious time.  It seems like only yesterday my oldest was trying to walk and now she has her driving permit and I am sweating this driving thing out with her.  With her I have interesting conversation while I am driving with her.  My others we catch a moment anytime we can.  If I am going to the store I will select one of the kids to take with me alone.  This way they have my undivided attention.  I will ask them what they have been doing, thinking about, books they are reading, their friends, etc.  You might ask what the  kids think about only one getting to go with dad?  Well, they each have to understand that I am only one daddy and each of the kids must wait their turn.  This works well with them because each of them know their turn is coming.  I did not say it was a perfect system, but for now it is an efficient one.

For sometime now I have also been trying to figure a way to slow down our lives enough to actually eat one meal a day as a family….altogether.  To this day it is still in the works, but as long as we keep working on it we will figure it out…we might have to make it one time per week to start with, but we are going to work it out.

Guys, these are just a few suggestions from my experiences.  Each day my goal is to improve on what I can and try not to stress out over what I cannot improve on today.  You have different schedules and different jobs from me possibly, but God wants our attention and He wants us to give our boys the attention they deserve.  These sons of ours are waiting for our instructions.  Read the bible to them daily…quote scripture to them as much as possible.  This is the type of instructions our boys need.  Tell them how your God is a providential God with a plan for their lives.  Teach them that His plan for them is the greatest plan they could ever imagine.  Express to them that God is all knowing, all powerful, all loving merciful, judging, forgiving, and gracious.  You might tell them stories about how the Israelites left Egypt for the promised land and found themselves facing the Red Sea to the front, Pharaoh’s army behind and desert mountains on the sides.  With their backs to wall so to speak God provided the way out and it was the most unlikely answer to their prayers.  You can tell them stories of God’s providential power in your own lives or the lives of family or people you know.  Contrary to popular belief these kids do not have to rebel if we will instruct them properly now.  Stories about how God provided for George Mueller’s orphanages in England…he never ask a person for anything.  George Mueller always asked God for the provision as He willed and God always without fail provided.  These are the kinds of stories and instruction these guys are looking for.  As my wife and I strive to instruct our children I hope you will pray for success in that and our prayer will be that your family is blessed with success as you strive to instruct your children, especially those boys.  Think of that young lady that God has planned for your son…she would like a young man that has been properly instructed rather than someone with no direction and no way to get direction.

“I advise you. my son, in whatever you read, and most of all in reading the Bible, to remember that it is for the purpose of making you wiser and more virtuus.”

-John Quincy Adams

Awaiting Instruction is our opportunity as dads to give it to our boys straight in the truth of God’s Holy Word.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

 

 

 

 

 

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