Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adoniram Judson, a Christian Hero

What do your children know about Adoniram Judson? Do they know that he could read books at the age of three and read and write Latin and Greek at age nine? He was often called “Virgil”, which was a nickname for “bookworm.” Let your sons and daughters read about this hero of our faith who rightfully considered education a good thing, but by and by found a better treasure, which became the impetus that sent him and his faithful wife to a country where they endured many hardships. Why do such a thing? Why go to such a place? For the love of Christ—what else? Go to Church History for Kids and encourage your children with a hero unlike those they will see on any TV show or movie. Let them hear or read how this man used his intellectual abilities and love of language for the kingdom of God.

I also just found a good biography you could read to your preschoolers at Wholesome Words.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sunday After Sunday

"Honoring the Lord, Sunday after Sunday, will help us to follow Him on our journey to Heaven. And when God's children someday reach Heaven, it will be like a Sabbath that has no end." ~ Day 31, Month 2 devotional, Bright Gems for His Crown by Maxine Randall.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Compassion Lasts Forever

Please dear ones, teach this to your children.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Redeeming the Time

XI. Train them to a habit of always redeeming the time.

"It is the still water which becomes stagnant and impure: the running, moving streams are always clear. If you have steam machinery, you must work it, or it soon gets out of order. If you have a horse, you must exercise him; he is never so well as when he has regular work. If you would have good bodily health yourself, you must take exercise. If you always sit still, your body is sure at length to complain. And just so it is with the soul. The active moving mind is a hard mark for the devil to shoot at. Try to be always full of useful employment, and thus your enemy will find it difficult to get room to sow tares.

"Reader, I ask you to set these things before the minds of your children. Teach them the value of time, and try to make them learn the habit of using it well. It pains me to see children idling over what they have in hand, whatever it may be. I love to see them active and industrious, and giving their whole heart to all they do; giving their whole heart to lessons, when they have to learn;--giving their whole heart even to their amusements, when they go to play."

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)  
[Mr. Ryle has a lot to say regarding idleness in this section . I highly recommend reading it all. After giving his reasons for our need to avoid it as adults, he then applies it all to children, which part I've quoted here. ~ mr]

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leading Little Ones to God Review and Giveaway.

So many copies of this book have passed through our hands in this family, I couldn't tell you how many. During the period of time when we were doing foster care of newborns, we would send a copy along with them, whether they went to an adoption home or with their birth families. We've given it to new parents time and again. But most of all, we've used it in our home with our two daughters.

All I can say is, this book is a gem. It's a gem of the most valuable kind. What can be more precious than a book that so thoroughly, sweetly, and simply points children to the God of the universe and to His Son who gave Himself for sinful people? What treasure is more priceless than one which can rescue sinners from the fire, even the very youngest ones? There are many good Bible story books out there I'm sure, but my guess is that you would be hard pressed to find one which can explain doctrine better than this one. I mean doctrine for "little ones" as the title implies.

This Protestant work was written by Marian M. Schoolland and published in 1962. It is written in a devotional manner in a way that can speak to the heart of the very young child. It is a classic in every sense of the word. It's perfect for family devotions with all ages gathered around. There are fourteen major sections, and each of them is divided into subsections, or chapters, each a perfect length for a family worship time. After the devotion for each chapter, there are discussion questions, a memory verse, a suggested Bible reading (which we would usually do first), words from a hymn, and a prayer. It's non-denominational, but thoroughly Biblical and evangelical.

One thing I've always appreciated about this book is how Mrs. Schoolland uses italics to help in the reading. They were always a help to me with respect to having the emphases on certain words in a way that is pleasing for children. One of my favorite chapters is "We Must Be Born Again." I love how she explains the new birth to these young ears. After starting out telling the children what a happy day it was for their parents when they were born, she says "But did you ever think that you must be born again? Jesus said so." Then she goes on to explain this wonderful truth lovingly and simply, but with good sound doctrine.

I don't hesitate to recommend this book to every and any family with children. I can't even give an age limit for it; I still enjoy reading it myself. For now, I'm going to make sure one family has one because we're giving away a copy in our second big giveaway. And then we're adding a $25 gift certificate for Grace and Truth Books so this same family can purchase even more God-glorifying books for their home. Enter now below and may God bless.

(Only can open this to USA continental entrants. )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

These Children Are Dear to Me

Last evening I posted this on the Facebook page, but I love it so much that I want to put it here too:

Card posted on the inside front cover of Amy Carmichael's Bible with these words:

"'These children are dear to Me. Be a mother to them, and more than a mother. Watch over them tenderly, be just and kind. If thy heart is not large enough to embrace them, I will enlarge it after a pattern of My own. If these young children are docile and obedient, bless Me for it; if they are froward, call upon Me for help; if they weary thee, I will be thy consolation; if thou sink under thy burden, I will be thy Reward.' (The words are followed by a picture of the Shepherd, reaching for a lamb while a vulture hovers overhead.)" ~ From A Chance to Die, the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, by Elisabeth Elliot

My comment on this is that we're all very touched by Amy's ministry to these precious children in India, and this little note card speaks to that, but it occurred to me that I find these words so appropriate for any mother to paste inside of her Bible. How powerful is this, dear mamas in your sweet and precious labors to your children? He is with you. He is helping you. He loves them more even than you do.

In His Love,
Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: My friend Joan

I have a friend from church who has written out many of her memories from her childhood up. It so happens Joan is just a few years older than I am, and she happens to come from the same hometown, even though we never knew each other until we became members of the same church in a different community. With her husband's help, Joan has had these memories printed and bound in a book. This is something so wonderful for her children and grandchildren, and the generations following. Imagine what this will mean to them when she's gone. She was kind enough to make enough copies for most of us in the congregation, and I have to say I treasure this book. I probably feel this way more than many of the others because I can really identify with her recollections of life in that small town we grew up in. I was only three years or so behind her.

However, there was one area where our experiences were quite different. You see, Joan and I are of different ethnicity and that, of course, affected many areas of our lives. This was especially true of life in the fifties, even in the northeast. Recent events in Florida have caused so much emotion, unfortunately some of it cutting to the core of race relations in our dear country. I don't need to go too far into this except to say that some things I've seen and heard brought to my mind an account by Joan in a chapter she wrote about the integration of her school when she was in the eighth grade. I love the way she closed that chapter, which I'll quote here with no further comment. 

"We look back at some of the great problems as our nation began its long struggle out of the unfortunate ways of racial segregation. We often remember only the worst times. I have experienced the quieter side of change. I see the quiet dignity of a beautiful girl who was denied access because of her color but persevered with her dream. [She had earlier discussed a black girl who wanted to be a model.] I remember something else we learned in eighth grade. When one of our new classmates hit his head on the sharp edge of a wooden goal post on the playground, he bled from the cut. His blood was the same color as mine." ~ Joan B.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: Henry O. Tanner

At the age of 13, after observing an artist at work at a neighborhood park, Henry O. Tanner decided he wanted to be an artist. 

So this young man made the decision at that age, with a lot of odds against him. You see, his father wanted him to follow him into the ministry and wasn't so high on his son following the arts. Another factor which made this decision difficult is that when he made it, the year was somewhere around 1872 and he lived in Pennsylvania in the USA. Oh, and did I forget to mention? He was an African-American. 

Well, he did become a very talented artist but unfortunately had to move to France to be accepted. Seems racial prejudices and their confines were not present there. However, what I like about this man was that it appears he never lost sight of the religious training of his childhood. Apparently his most famous painting is called "The Banjo Lesson" but he's also well known for "Nicodemus Visiting Jesus," "Daniel in the Lion's Den," and "The Raising of Lazarus." And there were quite a few others. In fact, a quote attributed to him is this: "I will preach with my brush."

More information here and here about this interesting man, worth our children knowing about, I would say. And the Lord gave him direction in a park when he was just beginning his teen years.

Henry Tanner

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Habit of Being Truthful

X. Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.

"Lying and prevarication are old sins. The devil was the father of them,--"
"Reader, I would have you remark how often God is spoken of in the Old Testament as the God of truth. Truth seems to be especially set before us as a leading feature in the character of Him with whom we have to do. He never swerves from the straight line. He abhors lying and hypocrisy. Try to keep this continually before your children's minds. Press upon them at all times, that less than truth is a lie; that evasion, excuse-making, and exaggeration are all halfway houses towards what is false, and ought to be avoided. Encourage them in any circumstances to be straightforward, and, whatever it may cost them, to speak the truth.

"I press this subject on your attention, not merely the sake of your children's character in the world,--though I might dwell much on this,--I urge it rather for your own comfort and assistance in all your dealings with them. You will find it a mighty help indeed, to be able always to trust their word. . ."

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

 [This, in my opinion, is one of the most crucial issues of childhood. I do believe lying is a sin that comes naturally for children from the day they are born. (Note Psalm 58:3) If there is any place for strict discipline, I'd humbly say that this should be dealt with early and consistently, and most of all, doing so out of love for their souls and future. God help you with this, dear parents. I don't speak as one who had it all together or had overwhelming success, but one who knows how difficult and important it is. Read asap what Mr. Ryle had to say about the degree of falsehood and deceit there is in the world. How easily our children can be caught up in this. ~ mr]

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: Mother Teresa

Speaking of a glimpse of a childhood, this sweet looking little girl was named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born August 26, 1910. She grew up to become the woman we know as Mother Teresa. Isn't that quite interesting? No date for when this picture was taken, so I'm not sure of her age at this time. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

America's Most Valuable Resource

"Children are our most valuable natural resource." ~ President Herbert Hoover

As we celebrate yet another birthday for our beloved country, my thoughts went to this quote which I discovered quite a few years ago. We even had it as one of our "Speakables" back in the early days. I believe it's one of the most powerful statements I've heard about the value of children. I have other quotes to share, many having to do with their value with regard to  the Kingdom of God, but this particular quotation is focused on the political  realm, which is, of course, most appropriate for today.

Let's think about this for a moment. When something is "natural" it means it's not made by people, it's a part of nature, or in other words, a creation by God apart from human workmanship. "Resources" are items that are useful or have benefit to people. When a country has natural resources, obviously these are things it has by nature; things which are not only useful, but valuable. Geography was never a favorite subject when I was a student or a home teacher, but learning about the natural resources possessed by this or that country was somewhat enjoyable. It somehow seemed to be a way of discovering how God distributed His blessings here and there about the earth.

So you can understand why these words by President Hoover were so profound. As true as they were then, they are no less true today. When we really apply this truth, our children are the requisite factor that will make the determination of what comes next. Wherein  does our hope lie for the future? Laws are being passed, many controversial. Farmers are planting. New inventions are being developed. New weapons and procedures are being formulated for warfare. Health care and insurance is ever changing. We could go on and on. But when it comes to the future of this nation, celebrating birthday number 237, the most valuable resource we have as to where this all will lead is in our children. And may I say further, as important as their education may be, and it is, there is nothing so crucial to the future of America as the spiritual and moral training we implement in the critical years of childhood.

Raise them properly, parents. Influence them well, grandparents. Guide them with sensitivity, teachers at home, school, and church. It's the best thing we can do for our country.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: Amy Carmichael

"The seven children--Amy, Norman, Ernest, Eva, Ethel, Walter, and Alfred--were called daily to family prayers by the sound of a bell. Probably the servants also were required to  attend. Amy remembered the sound of her father's voice reading the Scripture, a 'solemn sound, like the rise and fall of the waves on the shore.' Her ear was trained in this way, from those earliest years when a child's powers of memorization by hearing are nearly miraculous. For the rest of her life the majestic cadences of the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible shaped her thinking and every phrase she wrote. A child, even when apparently distracted, learns far more than adults dream he can. Amy did not by any means always attend perfectly to the reading. Once she found a mouse drowning in a pail of water just at the moment when the prayer bell rang. She fished it out, hid it in her pinafore, took her place at prayers, and hoped it would not squeak. It did."

~ From A Chance to Die (The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael), by Elisabeth Elliot