Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Habit of Obedience

IX. Train them to a habit of Obedience

"Parents, determine to make your children obey you, though it may cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. . .

"Parents, do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to,--to do as they are bid. Believe me, we are not made for entire independence,--we are not fit for it. Even Christ's freeman have a yoke to wear,--they 'serve the Lord Christ' (Col iii.24). Children cannot learn to soon that this is a world in which we are not all intended to rule, and that we are never in our right place until we know how to obey our betters. Teach them to obey while young, or else they will be fretting against God all their lives long, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control.

"Reader, this hint is only too much needed. You will see many in this day who allow their children to choose and think for themselves long before they are able, and even make excuses for their disobedience, as if it were a thing not to be blamed. To my eyes, a parent always yielding, and a child always having its own way, are a most painful sight;. . .

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)

[Well now, there is nothing new under the sun. We can see Mr. Ryle had the same problems in his day. I like his paragraph with the long list of examples from Scripture. Be sure to read that.  ~ mr]

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ozzie and Harriet

While browsing through my personal blog looking for something else, I ran across a post I made almost two and a half years ago. It was a rather short post about the death of David Nelson, older son of Ozzie and Harriet, who played themselves in the very popular sitcom that lasted for as long as any tv show I can remember. It ran for fourteen years, from 1952 to 1966. That fact alone is rather amazing to me, as is the fact that people actually watched and enjoyed a real life family going through the everyday experiences that real life families go through. Nothing outstanding at all, just a family being just that: a family. Actually, the everyday occurrences of life can be rather amusing when you think about it; we could get chuckles from things that come up with ordinary folks like us, and so it was with the Nelsons. David was the last of the four to pass away, so it really was the end of O and H.

Well, reading that post wet my appetite to watch a little bit of the show this evening. We have loads of episodes on dvd’s and often enjoy a particular one as much the fifth of sixth time watching it as the first. However, I ended up on Netflix and saw one that for some reason, I don’t remember at all. It’s title is “David’s Birthday” and it’s all about when he turned seventeen, at which time he wanted to appear older because of his crush on a girl who he heard was only interested in older guys. Well, there were the usual humorous moments, particularly with younger Ricky, but true to form with entertainment in past days, we had some good advice from a father (advice which was sought, btw) and a “trick” played by a wise mama. I found it totally enjoyable, but then it’s par for the course that I would.

Now, you know how I like to watch old tv shows and movies and talk about them. It’s one of my greatest pleasures, in fact. It’s refreshing and calming if that makes sense. Just watching is uplifting and writing about the experience makes it seem more than a relaxing passing of the time. How pleasant to watch a family, real or not, calmly and cheerfully engaging with their teenage son. Shows like these have teen guys  talking about being taken with this or that girl, about going on dates and all that went with it, and not once is there anything said or done that would cause you or I to hesitate letting our younger child or teen watch the whole thing with us. And that, of course, includes the commercials. There was a time it was actually like that, and it makes me feel a wee bit better to remember. And also, it’s a reminder to all of us that we can be thankful for dvd’s and even computer services like Netflix where we can take our children and grandchildren  back to a time when things were different.

Oh, for the return of some measure of that which was! No, it wasn’t perfect then. Yes, there was sin in the lives of these people and everyone else from that era. Agreed, there were some things they did which I wouldn’t do in my own family and with my own children. But, still, as someone quoted about the death of David Nelson: one more person from a “gentler, kinder past” has gone on. And I certainly do agree with that definition of that time period for television.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kids and Patriotism

It's that time of year again. Between Memorial Day and Independence Day many Americans get a little bit more of a touch of patriotism than at other times, except maybe September 11th. But are we really patriotic deep down within? And what exactly does that mean anyway? And the big question I have here is what do we teach our children about this? Are we biblical and patriotic at the same time? We had an article in our former newsletter back in 2008, but I think what it says is timeless, whether we're having an election or not. Please read it and perhaps there's something in it that you can use in your household and with your kids. Go here to read.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

They Need to Trust You

VIII. Train them to a habit of faith.

"I mean by this, you should train them up to believe what you say. You should try to make them feel confidence in your judgment, and respect your opinions, as better than their own. You should accustom them to think that, when you say a thing is bad for them, it must be bad, and when you say it is good for them, it must be good; that your knowledge, in short, is better than their own, and that they may rely implicitly on your word...

"I have heard it said by some, that you should require nothing of children which they cannot understand: that you should explain and give a reason for everything you desire them to do. I warn you solemnly against such a notion. . . No doubt it is absurd to make a mystery of everything you do, and there are many things which it is well to explain to children, in order that they may see that they are reasonable and wise. But to bring them up with the idea that they must take nothing on trust, that they, with their weak and imperfect understandings, must have the 'why' and the 'wherefore' made clear to them at every step they take,--this is indeed a fearful mistake, and likely to have the worst effect on their minds.

"Tell your children, too, that we must all be learners in our beginnings, --that there is an alphabet to be mastered in every kind of knowledge,--that the best horse in the world had need once to be broken,--that a day will come when they will see the wisdom in all your training. But in the meantime if you say a thing is right, it must be enough for them,--they must believe you, and be content."

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)   

 [This particular teaching, I think, is one which will go against the grain of the thought processes of the day in which we live as much as any. This is not  an "old-fashioned" mindset, in my opinion; it is good wisdom for any age, and I would even venture to say that in the dangerous times we find ourselves, especially considering the moral and spiritual dearth of our day and age, understanding and applying these truths is extremely critical. ~ mr]


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June Birthday

I daresay I agree since I just had one yesterday. :) Wishing a happy birthday to any fellow June birthdayites. Don't forget to check out the "homemade parties" label for ideas if you have a kids party coming up! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sharing Father Photos

I went through photos I'm free to use here which I have in my collection of click art and gathered a few I like of dads doing things with their children - things I particularly like to see dads doing with their children, that is. How blessed any child is that has a good father, one who loves the Lord and sees to it that he leads his children in right paths, by word and example. Here is a collage of dads and their kids. I don't know the people in the photos; all I know is they are showing in picture form, what I think we'd all agree is a good thing for their children. And spending time with your kids, even to fix something or help with something,  is valuable. Do you have a favorite photo from this group? I'm posting my favorite at the Facebook page (another was posted there previously and another one pinned). Click on each one to make it big!

Happy Father's Day to any dads who happen to come by!

Friday, June 14, 2013

To Touch Your Heart for Father's Day

Two days away from Father's Day, here's a photo I pinned. Posted here to touch your heart, if you have any heart at all. I'm pinning/posting it all over the place. It's Speakable Gifts' featured pin this week, btw. Also to give you a renewed appreciation for the various sacrifices of our military. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We're finally having a giveaway at Facebook. I've always been a bit afraid to do one, mainly because I got scared some time ago hearing about all the rules and regulations. I think I worried we'd be kicked off if something wasn't right. But lately I found out there are places that will do it for you and make a tab and all that. So, we're off! 

There are several ways to earn entry points, only one being required, and that is that you are a fan of the new HCG page. And you get TWO points for that! After that, take your pick from five other choices. Do them all and get seven points! And a couple of them you can do every day for a week! Do I sound excited? I am. :)

I'm most excited about the prizes. The primary prize is that we'll be sending the winner all the necessary elements to make one Child Training Bible. Now THIS is exciting. You can't imagine how many families have been blessed by using this resource. I wish it had been around when my children were younger. But it's my intention to bless my grandchildren with one very soon. They're getting to be just the right age for it. Want more information? Go to the website and read. I don't know them personally, but Mindy Dunn and her husband developed this system for their own family and are now passing it on to others. They seem to be a truly godly couple, who have the same desires and hopes for their children as many of us. God bless them. And Mindy has agreed to donate a set of the cards for our giveaway. So thankful to her for this. We're also giving the winner a choice of a Bible version out of four which we've selected for this purpose.

Also, we're including one copy of Bright Gems for His Crown, my devotional for children which has been around for a while and was written from the heart, so I hope as a gift from SG it will bless some young folks in some home somewhere.

Okay! Ready to enter? Here is the direct link. Then, follow the directions. Can't wait to see who wins.

Warm regards,
Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bring Them to Church

VII. Train them to habits of diligence, and regularity about public means of grace.

"Tell them [your children] of the duty and privilege of going to the house of God, and joining in the prayers of the congregation. Tell them that wherever the Lord's people are gathered together, there the Lord Jesus is present in an especial manner, and that those who absent themselves must expect, like the Apostle Thomas, to miss a blessing . . .

"See to it too, if it can be so arranged, that your children go with you to church, and sit near you when they are there. To go to church is one thing, but to behave well at church is quite another. And believe me, there is no security for good behavior like that of having them under your own eye. . . 

"Be not cast down because your childen see not the full value of the means of grace now. Only train them up to a habit of regular attendance. Set it before their minds as a high, holy, and solemn duty, and believe me, the day will very likely come when they will bless you for your deed." 

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)   

[Much of what Mr. Ryle says in this section can be applied to those who have small children and it's not too much of a struggle in these situations. But the applications to those who have teens are what struck me most. Hope you can all read this.]

Monday, June 10, 2013

Robert Raikes - A Christian Hero

Robert Raikes - Wiki photo {{PD-US}}

A little note: I used Grammarly ( to grammar check this post, because even we grandmoms have been affected by this texting generation. :)

Most folks who know me know that Sunday School is close to my heart. I love teaching and always develop a special affection for the children who are in my class. Do your children like to go to Sunday school? If you’re in a church which, for whatever reason, has decided not to have one that’s certainly not a sin. Nowhere in Scriptures are we commanded to do so. But many Christians feel it does bring a wealth of benefits to the young and so do I.

Many people don’t know how, where, or when the first Sunday school came into existence. It’s quite a story, born in the heart of a man named Robert Raikes who was concerned about poor ragged children in his native England. At first, these children were taught to read and write as well as given spiritual training because it was the only school these particular children attended. When others heard of the success of this school held on Sundays, many more such schools cropped up all over England and the movement's eventual spread throughout the world is history. 

Read more about Mr. Raikes at The Church History for Kids site. Incorporate this article into the history studies of your school at home. Tell your sons and daughters about this man who believed the world marches forth on the feet of little children. I agree with him.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Habit of Prayer

VI. Train them to a habit of prayer.

"Prayer is the very life-breath of true religion. It is one of the first evidences that a man is born again...

"Prayer is the turning-point in a man's soul.

"Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty, and the surest remedy in every trouble...

"Prayer is the simplest means that man can use in coming to God. It is within reach of all,...

"Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies in your power to train them up to a habit of prayer. Show them how to begin. Tell them what to say. Encourage them to persevere. Remind them if they become careless and slack about it. Let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord...

"Reader, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the seed-time of a prayerful habit pass away unimproved. If you train your children to anything, train them, at least, to a habit of prayer."

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)   

[Oh how I hope you can read this whole section of the book very soon; it is so beautiful. ~ mr]

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grandma Walton

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

I've been having a Waltons re-watching marathon, having recently seen all of Season 3, grabbing bits between household duties. It's been totally enjoyable. Something made me think about a favorite episode from Season 2, which I looked at last night. It's episode 12 of that season, about Grandma being bequeathed the "huge" sum of $250 through the will of a deceased old friend.

You know I always look for lessons from most of these old shows and movies and such is the case here. I'm not saying everything is perfectly sterling in these Walton stories. In fact, some of them are frankly accurate regarding human failings in the midst of otherwise wholesome family life. But all in all, I think the quote found on the back of the book we have here entitled Goodnight John-Boy is a true one:

"For nine years The Waltons entertained America and the world. But this television series was more than just entertainment. Each episode combined wonderful stories and 'teachable moments' in which adults and children alike learned the importance of honesty, hard work, respect, responsibility, and kindness."

Going back  to the episode mentioned above, we see the touching story of Grandma, who receiving this bequest, made a listing of how she intended to spend the money. I won't detail it all (please watch the episode), except to say the bulk of the money was to be applied to John-Boy's education. When news came shortly after that Grandma's friend had died indigent and therefore there actually would be no money coming, of course the dear old soul was devastated.

The lessons in the episode are multiple, but at this point I just want to focus a brief moment on that which touched me most. It was the love between this grandmother and her eldest grandson. First, I love how he responded to her when he first found out she wanted to give so much of the bequest to his college fund and her words that she wanted to give something to him. "But Grandma," he said, "You've been giving to me all my life." Oh my. What words. Then, in the aftermath of her bitter disappointment that she wouldn't be able to do this for him and her feelings that she had ruined things for him (because of the bequest, they had felt they could  use the money previously set aside for him for a needed hot water heater), he cared little about that. He cared about her. We see him going to her room and helping her smile again by voicing, among other things, something so poignant: "I always felt that this family was rich, and we never had any money." *sigh*

Now tell me, grandmothers. Do you, like me, want to follow in the tradition of Grandma Walton, who thought first of her family in hard times, but also first of her family in perceived good times? I know I do. In another story I remember John-Boy saying, "I cherish you, Grandma." Oh may we follow in this woman's footsteps in her care and generosity that made her deserving of those words.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna