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Obedient Children – John Piper

Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children

A Tragedy in the Making

I witnessed such a scenario in the making on a plane last week. I watched a mother preparing her son to be shot.

I was sitting behind her and her son, who may have been seven years old. He was playing on his digital tablet. The flight attendant announced that all electronic devices should be turned off for take off. He didn’t turn it off. The mother didn’t require it. As the flight attendant walked by, she said he needed to turn it off and kept moving. He didn’t do it. The mother didn’t require it.

One last time, the flight attendant stood over them and said that the boy would need to give the device to his mother. He turned it off. When the flight attendant took her seat, the boy turned his device back on, and kept it on through the take off. The mother did nothing. I thought to myself, she is training him to be shot by police.

… Continue reading Here.


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Hearts Made Beautiful

In Beautiful Treasure or Deceitfully Wicked?, we looked at how the Bible describes our hearts.  Our hearts aren’t beautiful treasures to guard and protect.  Our hearts are deceitfully wicked and evil, inclining to sin in all our thoughts (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5).  We’ve also seen that Proverbs 4:23 is actually instructions for us to keep our hearts from sin.

However, there are a few verses that speak of beautiful hearts and good treasures of the heart.  How do we get our hearts from deceitfully wicked to good treasures?  The Lord doesn’t leave us without instructions.

Proverbs 2:1-5 (ESV)

1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,  

2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

 

Proverbs 7:1-3 (ESV)

1 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Treasuring God’s Word and writing it upon the tablets of our heart is how we are to turn our wicked, deceitful hearts into an abundance of good treasure.  God’s Word is ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5).  When we keep the Lord in our hearts He will turn our deceitfully wicked hearts into well springs of beautiful treasures (Matthew 12:33-37).

Matthew 6:21 (ESV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (see also Luke 12:34)

Matthew 12:33-37 (ESV)

33  “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

34  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”    (see also Luke 6:45)

We, as women, are to adorn our hearts with a gentle and quiet spirit which will be very precious in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV)

3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—
4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

So is your heart still deceitfully wicked or have you filled your heart with the Treasure from Christ, God’s Incarnate Word?

Ultimately the peace of Christ Jesus, Himself, guards our hearts.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Guard Your Heart series


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Beautiful Treasure or Deceitfully Wicked?

Beautiful Treasure or Deceitfully Wicked?

That is an interesting question concerning the heart. What have you been taught? What have you taught your children? Have you heard or read those who treat the heart like a beautiful treasure?  Like it is something that must be guarded and protected from the evil out in the world, protected from the evil of others?

But what does the Bible say about the heart? That is what is most important consideration even if it is contrary to whatever you’ve been told before.

So what is the heart?

Oh, we all know that physically it is the muscular organ that pumps our blood through our bodies.

But seriously when we speak of “Guarding or keeping our heart” surely we aren’t speaking of that physical bodily organ.

How about we start at the beginning. Always a good place to start don’t you think?

Genesis 6:5 (ESV)

5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Now that helps. The heart has thoughts, but not only that but man’s thoughts of the heart are continually evil. The Lord was grieved in His heart over the condition of man. So far then the heart has thoughts, sin and emotions.

Technically the word translated as heart in the Bible has multiple meanings but most often it is the inner man, the will, or the mind that is meant even when using the word heart.

If you jump ahead to Psalms we get to pondering in our heart.

Psalms 4:4 (ESV) Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah

Pondering is mulling over, considering before making a decision.

Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

Here we see that pride comes from the heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Now this verse is very important for understanding the heart. See our hearts are deceitful and sick.

Now those were all Old Testament. Let’s look at the New Testament.

Mark 7:20-23
20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.
21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Now see even in the NT the heart is the source for evil thoughts, sins, and wickedness. The things that come from the heart defile a person. Not what others do to you but what actually comes from your own heart.

Do you realize the importance of that? We are not defiled by the sins of others. We are defiled by the sins from our own hearts.

Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Notice something?

So far where is anything relating the heart to being a beautiful treasure?

 

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Guard Your Heart series

 

 


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Proverbs 4 – Path of the Wicked

Proverbs 4:14-19 concerns avoiding the path of the wicked.

Proverbs 4:14-19 (ESV)

14  Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15  Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
16  For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17  For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18  But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.

This passage gives us several methods of avoiding the wicked path.  We are to avoid it at all costs.  We aren’t to go up to the edge and peer over.  Nor are we to walk along just slightly off the beaten path.  Nor are we to take “shortcuts” utilizing the path of the wicked along our walk.

Avoiding the Path of the Wicked

  • Do not enter the path of the wicked – Proverbs 4:14
  • Do not walk in the way of evil – Proverbs 4:14
  • Avoid it – Proverbs 4:15
  • Do not go on it – Proverbs 4:15
  • Turn away from it – Proverbs 4:15
  • Pass on – Proverbs 4:15
  • Deep darkness – Proverbs 4:19
  • Do not know over what they stumble – Proverbs 4:19

Notice how similar Proverbs 4:14-19 is to Psalms 1:1 and Proverbs 1:15-16?

Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

Proverbs 1:15-16 (ESV)

15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

The Lord takes seriously our sinful human tendency to be persuaded to evil by those we associate with.  That is why we have the Bible full of warnings like this to avoid the path of the wicked.  We also need to not become complacent in thinking that we aren’t hanging around with wicked people so this doesn’t affect us.  Some companions that many forget about are the companions on TV, in the music industry (both secular and “Christian”), computers, the characters in books, and the characters in movies.  These companions have much more influence than many realize.  Often it amazes me how children are allowed to watch and read about circumstances that no one would allow them to participate in real life.

“The sins of others leave some kind of stain upon the conscience. I question whether you can read a newspaper and scan the story of a murder or a robbery, or survey with more distant glance in any book of history the sin of your fellow men, without being in a degree injured therewith.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Charles Spurgeon

 

As we get closer to Proverbs 4:23 concerning guarding or keeping your heart we see how avoiding the path of the wicked is important to the idea of guarding your heart.

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Guard Your Heart series

 


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Proverbs 4 – Wisdom

Let us look at an over view of Proverbs 4:5-13.

In Proverbs 4:5-13 the instructions are to “get wisdom”.

Proverbs 4:5  Get wisdom; get insight;

Proverbs 4:7 …Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Proverbs 4:11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; …

Wisdom is referred to in a feminine sense as something very desirable.

This is what Wisdom will do:

  • Keep you” – Proverbs 4:6
  • Guard you” – Proverbs 4:6
  • Exalt you” – Proverbs 4:8
  • Honor you” – Proverbs 4:8
  • Place on your head a graceful garland” – Proverbs 4:9
  • Bestow on you a beautiful crown.” – Proverbs 4:9
  • When you walk, your step will not be hampered” – Proverbs 4:12
  • If you run, you will not stumble.” – Proverbs 4:12
  • Is your life” – Proverbs 4:13

Now we can do a whole Bible Study on Wisdom but just a summary is I will do right now.  In this passage Wisdom is used as an analogy to a  female.  However, we are later told more about Wisdom. Who is Wisdom?

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (ESV)
30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
31 Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Wisdom is Christ.  Let’s read each of the above and see that Christ does all that the passage in Proverbs says Wisdom will do.

Christ will:

  • Keep you” – Proverbs 4:6 / Revelation 3:10
  • Guard you” – Proverbs 4:6 / 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  • Exalt you” – Proverbs 4:8 / 1 Peter 5:14
  • Honor you” – Proverbs 4:8 / Romans 2:6-8
  • Place on your head a graceful garland” – Proverbs 4:9 / 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
  • Bestow on you a beautiful crown.” – Proverbs 4:9 / Isaiah 28:5
  • When you walk, your step will not be hampered” – Proverbs 4:12 / Psalms 18:35-36
  • If you run, you will not stumble.” – Proverbs 4:12 / Jude 24
  • Is your life” – Proverbs 4:13 / Colossians 3:4

 

So our goal is to Get Wisdom, Get Christ.

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Guard Your Heart series

 


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Portraits of Integrity [Kindle Edition]

Portraits of Integrity: Real People Who Demonstrated Godly Character (Volume 1) [Kindle Edition]

One of the most powerful ways to inspire young people to greatness is through the stories of great people from the past. In Portraits of Integrity you and your children will be challenged to strive for excellence through the examples of 45 people in all three volumes who did just that. In Volume 1, they will meet:

–Jake DeShazer who was a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. He was tortured and kept in solitary confinement for many months, but when a Bible came into his hands he became a Christian and later went to Japan to share the gospel with his former enemies.

–Lieutenant Adrian Marks, the brave young Navy pilot who set his seaplane down on a heaving, shark-infested ocean to pick up survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis at the risk of his own life

–Lydia Darrah, the Quaker woman who overheard British plans to attack George Washington’s unprepared army and cleverly took a secret warning to him, saving the army and the War of Independence.

And many others!

Sure to be an all-time family favorite, Portraits of Integrity will be treasured as a centerpiece of family devotions or as a part of Character Concepts Curriculum. Portraits of Integrity will inspire young people and their parents as well, with the examples of people who dared and did great deeds that have gone down in history.

Each of the 45 stories found in Volumes 1-3 illustrates a different character quality as demonstrated in inspiring true stories.

Free kindle book for a limited time.

Thanks Christy. 😉


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Courtship is Like Potty Training …

First the disclaimers …

No, I don’t have anyone courting anyone.

No, I don’t have anyone interested in courting anyone.

No, I’m not trying to push my kids into courting.

No, I don’t have any experience with courting.

So yes this is all in theory.

Now hopefully that will limit the rumors. 😉

Had to get that out of the way for my kids sake.

 

Anyway back to the topic.  Spring has sprung around here and with it came some weddings and wedding showers plus a multitude of other things.  And kittens …  (Anyone want kittens?)  Thus we have had lots of opportunity to discuss the matter and watch how others have proceeded.  Some have been the typical public school and dating process while others have been the homeschooling and courting method.  Guess what? They are equally just as married when everything is said and done.  It is the process that is the interesting part and this has been part of our discussions.

 

Courting Is Like Potty Training

1)      Everyone has an opinion on how it should be done and many are eager to share their opinion.

2)      Sometimes everyone is ready except those who should be.

3)      May involve tears.

4)      May take lots of time or be rather quick.

5)      Many things sound great in theory but do not actually work in practice.

6)      There is no magic age.

7)      Patience is a virtue.

8)      Watch for cues of interest.

9)      Requires physical (fiscal) and emotional readiness.

10)   Although the parent maybe ready, the child may not be ready or maybe the child is ready and not the parent.  Sometimes everyone else but the parent and child are ready.

11)   May be messy.

12)   Pressure from others “Isn’t it about time … ?

13)   You can have read all the books but that doesn’t necessarily help in your particular case.

14)   Sometimes observing others makes things easier.

15)   In the end you often look back and think “Why was that a big deal, it wasn’t that bad?

 

But like I said everything is in theory until you’ve put it into practice. 😉


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Irene Hunt – Across Five Aprils

Irene Hunt – Across Five Aprils
link to book review

Across Five Aprils is a very good book about a boy’s “coming of age” during the Civil War. It tells about how the war affected him, his family, and everyone around him.

Amazon source for Across Five Aprils

Review by Berean Daughter


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You, Your Family and the Internet

You, Your Family and the Internet – free kindle book

How may Christians better understand the dangers and opportunities offered by the Internet? This book resource, written by an expert in the field, explains and illustrates what the technologies are and guides readers to draw on biblical principles (such as self-control and accountability) to help them to apply these to the dangers at hand. It also encourages believers to make the best use of opportunities that arise from judicious use of the World Wide Web.

Today some two billion people around the world use the Internet. Almost 80% of North Americans are connected to the web. But even as we use it, few of us understand the dizzying array of its applications and implications. David Clark guides us through the complexities of the Internet with simple, clear explanations. Even better, he unveils the spiritual implications of the Internet, both positive and negative. Pastors, parents, and teachers will greatly appreciate this book, as will the everyday Christian who, like me, is struggling to keep up with the ever-expanding universe of cyber-space, desiring to use it to God’s glory and the welfare of our families and Christ’s church.

Dr. Joel Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Much has been written about living as Christians in this digital world; much more will be written in the days and years to come. The unique strength of David Clark’s contribution is in his application of key biblical principles that will guide our use of these technologies and inform our dedication to them.

Tim Challies, Author and Blogger, Ontario, Canada

Limited time free kindle book.


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