Thursday, August 29, 2013

C. S. Lewis, a Christian Hero

There are some things you may or may not know about Clive Staples Lewis, a/k/a "Jack" by his family and friends, a/k/a C. S. Lewis by the world at large. Did you know he lost both his mother and his wife from cancer? Did you know that as a result of his mother's death when he was still a boy, he became an atheist? Did you know he became good friends with J.R.R. Tolkein, author of The Lord of the Rings? Did you know he died on November 22, 1963, the same day President John Kennedy was assassinated? These and other details of Mr. Lewis' earthly journey would probably be of interest to your children!

And, of course, the most interesting part of his journey to tell them would be that which took him from atheism in his youth to salvation in his maturity, the man who continues to bless Christianity through his writings. This man, who as a young boy said there couldn't be a God when his mom died, has left a legacy of brilliance in such writings as The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and, of course, the Chronicles of Narnia.

What might the children in our lives learn from Mr. Lewis? Perhaps you'll agree with me that it would be quite worthwhile to delve into his life a little with them. I have in my possession little publications dated in 2005. They're called "Glimpses for Kids" ; they were colorful little worship bulletins put out by Christian History Institute. I'm not sure if they're still being published, but it would be worth looking into. The one about Mr. Lewis is Issue #27 and it's great. At the moment, I'm looking at a "Narnia Criss-Cross" puzzle on the back. Actually, all of these bulletins are really informative for kids, all giving interesting facts about Christian heroes from our past nicely laid out for young folks. I wanted to pass that on to you, but in the meantime in this cyber age, I have a link to Church History for Kids at which has an excerpt from that bulletin.

I'm really thankful for God's gift to us of people like this man and many others. While Lewis was by no means perfect, there is much to be gleaned from reading about him. I don't know anyone who's read the above book, but from the reviews it seems it's for young readers, and that the author doesn't tamper with his Christian faith. So you might want to look into that too.

Please enrich your children's minds by telling them about these people who accomplished much for our Christian faith. You can't go wrong.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Defiance of the Dragonfly

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions--Psalm 104:24

The above creature is a dragonfly. If you were to study the intricate and sophisticated system that is built into its design, you would agree with the video I saw a few years ago. This creature, and many others, defy evolution. The earth is full of them. The earthworm, the elephant, the beaver, the giraffe, the woodpecker, the hippo, the lowly sparrow, and on and on--they are all incredible. Their structures are just remarkable. And how could they live for one minute without all of the components being fully functional at the same time? How did these intricate designs come to be? By chance? Random process? Naah!!! You have to come up with something better than that! I choose to believe the only logical explanation. 

Back in 2007 I posted about this at my devotional blog. At that time, my oldest  granddaughter was learning the first question to the children's catechism. Who made you? it asks. I'm very thankful that she learned the only rational answer: God. What else could it be? Next she learned the second question: What else did God make? And the answer to that one is also the only reasonable one: God made all things. May she embrace this fully in her life is my prayer. 

 So, folks, I present to you the dragonfly. I suggest you and your kids read up on him and the way he is designed. He defies evolution. 

[Now I can't remember the name of that video and who made it, but if I find out I'll include it here as a postscript. For now, I did look up and find this series of videos here but I don't know much about them.]

Apparently we watched the same series, but it was Number III rather than the above link. I would imagine they're all good. The link to Number III is here then.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Young Shoulders

If you haven't figured it out by now, let me tell you that I love quotes. Always have and because of that, I have quite a library of them. The one liners that pack in a wealth of truth are priceless. So are the one liners that set us to thinking, like the one posted here yesterday.

Above is another goody. Basically, the truth certainly is that we can't expect adult thinking and behavior from children. That should and of necessity will come slowly over a long period of time. So your children are just that; they are young. Don't expect them to think and act like they are grown people.

This is what I like to see: Young heads upon old shoulders. In the right time and place, maybe more of us need to get down on their level and enjoy the kids in our lives. There are times when it would do us a world of good to be like children and not just have fun with them, but view the world with the awe and wonder they often do.

Have fun.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Ancestors to Come

"When I grow up, I want to be an ancestor." ~ Unknown

When I first saw this quote last week, its implications hit like a ton of bricks. Oh my. If you're a parent, grandparent, Sunday school teacher, or in some other ministry to children (even as an aunt, uncle, or friend), do you feel the "weight" of this quote? Actually, who said it is apparently not known. I guess we can suppose it was intended to be cute or clever; that's not for certain. But from my viewpoint, it's one of the most powerful statements ever about the importance of the younger generation.

You see, this is a statement any child could make. They could make it now in the twenty-first century, and they could have made it years ago in the first century. Not only could they say they want to be an ancestor when they grow up, but if God spares them, in all likelihood they will be one. And what does that say to us who are involved in their lives at the present? What responsibilities for the future does this lay on our shoulders as to what kind of "ancestor" any given child will be?

Dearest ones who read these words, I hope this impacts you, as it does me, regarding the effect our dealings with the young ones in our midst will have on the future of our family, the Church, our country, and so on. Whatever effect our forebears have had on us, and I contend that has been significant, that very well could be the level of effect today's generation will have on those to come. And our impact as adults in their lives should never be taken lightly.

You realize this is no small matter. You read the news. You see what's happening in our society and in the world. I pray we can have some future effect as a stumbling block and/or a blessing. May it be that might come about by us making a difference for good in the lives of the ancestors who are to come.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lady Jane Grey, a Christian Heroine

Have your children ever heard of Lady Jane Grey? Do they know anything about her? Do they know that this young girl, at the age of fifteen became queen for nine days? But more important than that, I wonder how many of our children today know that this young girl was later beheaded for her Christian faith. She was just sixteen.

I would encourage you to tell your children stories like this. It can't be stressed how important this is in the day we're living. It's so important that our kids have a happy childhood and that they have things to enjoy. It's good for them to have their times of play and enjoyable activities. But please, dear ones, don't allow them to go without knowing about people like Lady Jane. And there are many others who courageously faced death for what they believed about Jesus. May our daughters especially learn about young ladies such as this, as they see a much different kind of "heroine" dangled before their eyes by the entertainment world.

We don't know what lies ahead. We don't know what the next generation will face. Please prayerfully prepare them for whatever might come. This is a burden of my heart and I pray you'll take it as just that, and not a rebuke. For the love of Christ. For the love of His kingdom. And for the love of your children.

You can read her story and many others here.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Withhold Not Correction

XII. Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence.

"Spoiling is a very expressive word, and sadly full of meaning. Now it is the shortest way to spoil children to let them have their own way,--to allow them to do wrong and not to punish them for it. Believe me, you must not do it, whatever pain it may cost you unless you wish to ruin your children's souls...

"Fathers and mothers, I tell you plainly, if you never punish your children when they are in fault, you are doing them a grievous wrong. I warn you, this is the rock on which the saints of God, in ever age, have only too frequently made shipwreck...

"You must not give way to every wish and caprice of your child's mind, however much you may love him. You must not let him suppose his will is to be everything, and that he has only to desire a thing and it will be done. Do not, I pray you, make your children idols, lest God should take them away, and break your idol, just to convince you of your folly...

"Learn to say 'No' to your children. Show them you are able to refuse whatever you think is not fit for them. Show them you are ready to punish disobedience, and that when you speak of punishment, you are not only ready to threaten, but also to perform...

"Reader, if there be any point which deserves your attention, believe me, it is this one. It is one that will give you trouble, I know. But if you do not take trouble with your children when they are young, they will give you trouble when they are old. Choose which you prefer."

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

[Obviously, I have left out many points from this section. I encourage you dear parents to read them. Read the Scriptures on correction that Mr. Ryle lays out before us; read the woes of Eli and David he sets before us as warnings. Read his many words about taking our tenderness and affection for our children too far. In my opinion, this is the most important section in the book and as he said, it's the area of parenting that all too many have "made shipwreck. And may God help us all. ~ mr]

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Feeding the Lambs at VBS

We're having VBS at our church this week and the theme is "Walking With God." There is a different person each day who the children are studying for this theme. Monday was Enoch, Tuesday was Noah, today was Moses, tomorrow will be Hezekiah, and then it all wraps up with Jesus. Just wanted to show you the memory verses. We have feet and footprints all over the church at various places! And lots of decorated flip-flops!!

As we minister to these children from the neighborhood and nearby towns, I think of a quote I recently read by George Morrison:

". . . And then this ever-deepening impression is crowned when Christ is risen from the dead. "Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" "Yea, Lord"; then, "Feed my lambs." Then twice over Simon was bidden feed the sheep. That repetition has the note of urgency. But it is not the sheep that are first mentioned, mark you. First of all is "Feed my lambs." Still in the forefront of the love of Jesus, unchanged by Calvary and by the grave, still deep within His heart, there are the children. My brother and sister, there are many voices that say to us today, "Amuse the children." But this is the glory of the love of Christ that its command is "Feed the children." 

~ From Meditations on the Gospels (this on Matthew 18:2: "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them." )

May it be so, Lord.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Romp and Pray

"The Shell" byWilliam Adolphe Bouguereau, 1871

 "With my children I always aim for flexibility. I think a mother, especially, ought to learn to enter into the gayer moods of her children at the very moment when her own heart is sad. And it may be as religious an act for her to romp with them at one time as to pray with them at another." ~ Katy, from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tell it To Even a Little Child

I just pinned this on Pinterest and posted on Facebook. I think it's such a powerful quote. It's from Mr. Morrison's book Meditations on the Gospels. This was an excerpt from his section on Matthew 18: 2. Something for us all to remember.