Family Worship Resources

Family Worship Resources

Family Worship is Necessary So, we’ve collected some excellent resources for you to help you not only make it a priority, but equip you to do it well! Don Whitney, author of the book Family Worship, recently developed a 5 day email course on how to lead your family in worship.  Please take advantage of this excellent, free resource called Family Worship 101. Here is what Crossway publishing has to say about it:  Join Donald S. Whitney for a free, 5-day email course designed to teach you how to lead your family in worship every day.  You’ll learn the 3 key components of family worship and practical tips designed to help you actually make it happen on a daily basis, taking the mystery out of leading your loved ones in worshiping God together. After the course is over, you’ll continue to receive encouraging, gospel-centered content delivered directly to your inbox once a week—helping you walk closely with God each and every day. Also, my friend, Jason Helopoulos, wrote a fantastic book on Family Worship entitled Neglected Grace: Family Worship Christian Home.  That book will convince you of the necessity of family worship, inspire you to do it, but also instruct you in the “how to” of it.  Both of the above mentioned books are well worth your time. But even if you don’t pick up either of them, please sign up and check out the FREE, 5 day Family Worship 101 email course! Lastly, remember to sign up for the Young Families Weekend! Registration begins February 1st at...
Pint-Sized Gospel

Pint-Sized Gospel

When He Was Around Two Years Old… …I decided to try to explain the meaning of Easter to my son. “So you see,” I concluded, “Jesus took all our discipline for us!” I was feeling quite proud of my pint-sized explanation when I realized I needed to add a follow-up comment: “Well… actually, you still have to get disciplined. Huh. Let’s try this again next year.” Obviously, my gospel presentation needed a little work! So after much thinking and reading and listening to sermons, here are some ways I’m trying to give pint-sized Gospel explanations to my kids: Here’s one example of a simple gospel presentation: An ordinary, poor maiden is taken captive by a horrible, hideous dragon. A valiant knight fights the dragon and frees the girl by telling the dragon “Take Me Instead.” He kills the dragon and rescues the maiden, then takes her as his beloved bride and bestows all his riches and his love on her. Obviously, the dragon is Satan, the knight is Jesus, and we as the church are the beloved bride! St George and the Dragon is a great follow-up book to read, especially to little boys. Another way to present the Gospel to children is by talking about clean hearts and dirty hearts. We are born with dirty hearts that can’t be cleaned. Only by getting new hearts can we have clean hearts. Jesus is the only person to ever have a clean heart, and he died so that he can wrap his clean heart around our dirty hearts. Though we still sin and need to repent and ask God to forgive...
Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism

Criticism has been around a long time.  Adam seemed to think sin wouldn’t have occurred had God not made Eve.  What an oversight on God’s part, huh?!  (For those just waking up, that was sarcasm).  Jesus was criticized early and often by the professional religious people of the day.  There isn’t a leader in human history who hasn’t experienced scathing critique.  CEO’s, coaches, politicians, doctors, teachers, and all sorts of other talented people are criticized at every turn by someone.  There is no escaping criticism.  I am convinced the most criticized person on the earth is a mother.  If her husband doesn’t do it, then other moms will.  Doctors, teachers, day care workers, high school baby sitters, grandparents, and neighbors will readily give their opinion on what she is, and is not, doing well.  Then there is the media.  Every day brings a new expert on a screen to point out THE way a child is to be reared.  If her ears somehow miss the other reviews, she will certainly hear it from her own children.  “Mom, why isn’t lunch ready…Why didn’t you wash my favorite shirt…Why are you not entertaining me…You’re doing it wrong…I don’t like that…I don’t like you.” And although she knows the 10, 7, or 4 year old is not mature enough to filter emotions, the words still sting.  But perhaps a mom’s worst critic is herself.  Mothers want to do everything within their power to provide a nurturing environment where each child of hers has a chance to be well adjusted, secure, stable, and godly.  That future is hard to see when her flaws...
Mama, Don’t Ever Give Up

Mama, Don’t Ever Give Up

i was standing in line at the grocery store when i heard the exchange. seems to me, that happens a lot. probably because … A. i am waiting and still and, therefore, listening. B. i am in the grocery store – a lot. i was in line behind a woman and her young son when the cashier brought out a lollipop for the little boy. a treat which the boy gladly and quickly accepted. in fact, he swiped that sucker right out of her hand and jammed it fast into his ready mouth without missing a beat and, sadly, without one word of thanks. i assure you, the boy was old enough to say, “thank you.” the mother, looking a bit embarrassed, but not too surprised, encouraged her son to use his manners. “say, thank you, evan.” but evan refused. and, instead, continued to chomp loudly on his lollipop, all the while completely ignoring both mother and cashier. stubborn. willful. defiant.  i wasn’t judging. really i wasn’t. i’ve been that mother. i felt for her. but what happened next is the thing which most captured my attention and caught hold of my heart. glancing from the cashier to me, the mother exclaimed,”well, i give up. i’ve tried to teach him his manners. it just isn’t working. i’m done. that’s it, i give up!” i give up! — really? the boy was about five. seemed to me there were a lot of years ahead for this kid and his mama. in my mind, it might be just a tiny bit early to throw in the towel. the woman taking hold of evan, her...
Sin Puppies and Spitting Princesses

Sin Puppies and Spitting Princesses

Stories are so important to tell children They are a way to get to their little hearts, down on their level. When trying to get to the hearts of my children in their disobedience, I try to use stories to capture their hearts. All analogies break down at some point, so obviously these can’t be pushed too far, but here are some examples of stories I’ve used with my own kids. My literary talents are obviously quite limited considering these are the best examples I can come up with, but hopefully they will give you ideas for (better) stories you can create for your own children: Sin Puppies My son loves puppies. He was also enjoying holding grudges against his sister. So one day, I told him this story: Pretend you find an adorable, little puppy. He’s cuddly and cute, and you spend all your time taking care of him. You have so much fun playing with your new puppy. But you don’t notice in your excitement that your puppy is growing up very quickly. He nips at you one day, but you think it was an accident because your precious little puppy would never hurt you. You still let him sleep in your bed as he gets bigger because, well, now he’s too big to move! Pretty soon, you’re sleeping on the floor, and the puppy has taken over your bed. One day, you wake up to your “puppy” growling at you, teeth bared, and you realize that your puppy has grown into a big, bad wolf-dog that wants to eat you! Sin is like that. Sin starts...
The Purpose of Parenting, Part 3

The Purpose of Parenting, Part 3

Biblical hope is not at all like our modern day understanding of hope.  Psalm 78:5-7 says, “He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”  The purpose of parenting is godly offspring.  And godly offspring set their hope in God.  They do not set their hope in talent, connections, education, hard work, money, opportunity, or any other good thing like that.  All those things are good, but they are not worthy of being the object of hope. What is Hope?  Biblical hope is not at all like our modern day understanding of hope.  It is not wishful thinking.  It is not a desire which may or may not be met.  Biblical hope is confident expectation.  Biblical hope is knowing the God of truth, resting on his promises, and acting accordingly.  It involves an unseen but certain future (Romans 8:24-25).  The bible tells us we have: hope that God will comfort us in suffering and ultimately deliver us from affliction (2 Cor 1:7, 11); hope of eternal life (Titus 1:1-2); hope of a resurrection of all people (Acts 24:14-15); and hope of the return of Jesus (Titus 2:13) just to name a few.  Hope is given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13) and received through the Word of God (Romans 15:4; Colossians 1:5).  Biblical hope - real hope - is knowing the God of truth, resting on his promises, and acting accordingly. Click To Tweet The Fruit of...