Parenting Note from Chapter 8

While reading through Chapter 8 of the Story (Judges), I have been reminded of how important your job is in sharing/showing the Gospel to your children.  Exposing them to who God is and the wonderful things that he has done is important and the consequences for not doing this are clear and plain in Judges.  Now obviously, we don’t expect to see raiders come and pillage your house but your children will not have a good understanding of God.  Today I read this article on http://www.desiringgod.org that speaks of this very well.  Check out the article below or by clicking here.

“The specific, nitty-gritty, sometimes disgusting, sometimes beautiful things that God has done really matter. We’re saved by faith alone, but faith needs facts. We need to believe in something particular and concrete.

After Joshua and all his contemporaries died, we are told that “there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 2:10-11).

They didn’t know God, and this led them into sin. They didn’t know God because they hadn’t learned about the things he had done for them in the past. Their parents neglected to tell them the stories.

They didn’t know that God chose Abraham to be the father of his chosen people, and he gave him Isaac. Isaac had two sons–Jacob and Esau. Esau was given the hill country, but Jacob and his family went down to Egypt. Later, they were enslaved, but God led them out of Egypt and saved them by drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea.

These are simple stories–nothing convoluted or arcane. But forgetting them was the downfall of Israel over and over again.

Why? What difference do the stories make?

The stories–the facts–give shape to the one we ought to worship. What God does shows who he is. So when these Israelites began to forget the details, God began to seem like all the other options that were out there to worship. And “they whored after other gods and bowed down to them” (Judges 2:22).

There are, of course, many other ways to protect ourselves and our kids from forsaking the truth, but this one is so simple and essential that it would be foolish to neglect it: tell your kids stories. Know the facts and then pass them on—it will help them be saved.

It matters that God created the heavens and the earth; that man sinned and now deserves hell; that Christ came and died; and that if we believe in him we will be saved.

It also matters that Enoch didn’t die, but was taken up by the Lord when he was 365 years old; that Jael hammered a tent peg through the skull of Sisera; that Elijah was fed by ravens next to a brook before he went to Zarephath and raised a widow’s son from the dead; that Isaiah had to walk naked for three years as a sign against Egypt and Cush; that Hosea married a prostitute named Gomer; that Peter cut Malchus’s ear off; and that Paul escaped from Damascus through a window down a wall in a basket.

Clearly some biblical facts matter less than others, but let’s not discard any of them. My two-year-old’s favorite stories right now are David killing Goliath, Jesus dying on the cross, and “King Saul pooping in dark cave” (1 Samuel 24:3)–his words, not mine. Obviously there is a hierarchy of importance here that he doesn’t understand, but that will work itself out over time. My job right now is to tell him the things the Lord has done. I don’t want my wife and me to be among the parents of a generation who forgets!

The stories in the Bible–from the least important to the most important–show us who God is. The less our kids know about this book, the easier it will be for them to ignore God, because they won’t recognize him. And the more they know about it, the more likely they will walk with him, because they will have seen the great things that a God like him can do.”

Thoughts on Chapter 6

There are many times in my life where I have wanted those around me to feel sorry for me and just have a pity party.  We all know those times and are quite familiar with them. Lets be honest, many times they aren’t even that bad when we look at things in perspective.  We can stop and think and see how God has been at work throughout the whole process.  As I read through the account of the Israelites I can’t help but get frustrated with their lack of faith in God. But there in lies the problem, I know the end, I know what happens.  I am reading the account of over 40 years of wilderness in the course of 12 pages (approx. 20 mins).

I think back in my own life and think of the small struggles that I have gone through, how did I handle them?  Was I like Caleb and Joshua, believing in God wholeheartedly; remembering the wonders that He worked in Egypt and everyday while in the desert? I mean here is the thing, the Israelites were a walking miracle, they were in the desert, a wasteland, living and full.  They had clothing that didn’t wear out and food that miraculously appeared every single morning!  So what happened?  Why did they complain? They got comfortable.

I am a big cardinals fan. I live in St. Louis I don’t really have a choice right? Any case, when you watch baseball for the first time you notice something, what these guys do is amazing! The pitchers can throw in the upper 90 and low 100 mph, while keeping it perfectly in this tiny and somewhat debatable strike zone.  Not only that but the batters can hit the ball over 400 feet in distance!  And on top of that these same guys can make some pretty amazing plays to catch the ball and throw a guy “out”.  But what happens with us while watching our teams?  Are we constantly amazed? No. (Unless your team makes a massive comeback from being down 6-0.) We get comfortable. We forget about the talent these guys possess. Now before I move on, I am not saying we should worship these guys and idolize but trying to make a point.

So in the same way, years go by eating the same old thing, walking in the same old dirt and watching the pillar of cloud and fire and the Israelites forget. They get comfortable with the amazing things God does. I do the same thing.  I get comfortable and miss out on the fact that God is doing incredible things in my life. This past month has been stressful and stretching for me working on the renovations in the Rafters. One thing I began to notice is that I already began growing comfortable with what has already happened upstairs. I was getting frustrated with how things weren’t finishing up. I was focused on what needed to be done instead of thanking God daily for the people that he brought around to do so much!

God has blessed us so much with the talent of people in our church. I am so thankful for this chapter in helping remind me of my own forgetfulness. I hope that this chapter has been eye opening for you as well. I pray that God will give you reminders of the great things he has done in your life.

Hoedown!

Making its second debut is our CSM Hoedown!  I am really excited for this event, there is something about fall, apple cider and square dancing, hehe!  This year we will having this on Wednesday, October 24th from 6-8:30pm.  We will start off with dinner together.  We are asking the Boys to bring Chili and the Girls to bring Pie or Dessert.  We will provide drinks and the rest.  We are also going to be having a western costume contest that evening so make sure to dress up!! We hope that you will be able to come out and join us!