Friday, May 18, 2012

Faith of a Child

For months, Bubba has prayed that God would change the heart of our President. He has also prayed that he would see one of his sermons. I used to laugh and pat him on the head like he was cute. His brother would say, "Bubba, the President is not going to see one of your sermons." But, then, I was convicted. Convicted of my lack of faith.
So, we all started praying with him. I sat down with him and we got his thoughts on paper. He is very picky about what he says so, usually, his sermon preparation takes a long time. This one didn't. He knew what he wanted to say and was ready to say it. I offered to buy him a new little sport coat but he didn't want one. He wants to wear the same one for each sermon. I was thankful for the one we have that I had bought for Reece 2 Christmas's ago.
Tuesday night, we headed outside to film it. We prayed the whole way. We have memorized John 15 so he knows that APART FROM GOD, WE CAN DO NOTHING.  I asked him if there was any power in the piece of paper he was holding. He said, "no". We talked about it is only through God's mighty power that we are able to do the supernatural things he is calling us to do. 


"be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."
Eph 6:10

The first recording we did was great but we both got attacked by little bugs that were biting us. I couldn't hold the camera because they were biting my wrist. Bubba couldn't talk because they were biting his face.
We decided to move to a different location. While we were walking, he said, "I won't give up". It made me want to cry seeing his passion for doing what God has created him to do.

The sermon that we posted includes mistakes and incorrect grammar. We could have done it again but I didn't want to. This is Bubba's ministry. I love that God uses us, mistakes and all. He just asks us to obey. It doesn't have to be perfect. I know my efforts never are but they are pleasing to God. He isn't nearly as concerned about correct grammar as he is our HEARTS.

So, Tim and the other children were at home praying for Bubba as he spoke. It is so cool to be a part of a big family because there is always someone cheering you on... whether it is in baseball or preaching.

Bubba is going to start doing sermons fairly regularly and I will post them on youtube. Hopefully, they will encourage you and your children in the Word of God. I used to think God was going to use our kids when they grew up. I was WRONG. He wants to use our/your kids RIGHT NOW. 


Encourage them in their giftings. Ask God to show you what your children's gifts are and how to fan them into flame.

I was upset (but not shocked) by a message I received last night.


"It really saddens me to see bigoted parents do this to their children, poor kid never had a chance of having his own opinions or ideas on life all because he had the bad luck of ending up with these parents. I just hope for his sake that when he grows up and his parents pass away he can learn to think for himself, then maybe he can break the viscous hate cycle and preach the real message of Jesus, love thy neighbor."

Wow.
Um, ok. 
What do you say to that?
That wasn't very nice. 
Not feelin' the love of the real message of Jesus he talks about.


Whenever I encounter things like this, my first response is shut everything down. No more facebook. No more blog. No more communication with the outside world. We will just stay in our safe little bubble.

I still struggle with this. 
Because, our culture is HOSTILE toward the things of God. I worry that because of all the twisted philosophies, my children will be taken from me.
 Why?
BECAUSE I TEACH THEM THE BIBLE.

Huh? Seriously? I feel like I am watching some kind of unrealistic end times video. None of this can be real. 

I know there will be an attack against homeschool. It is only a matter of time before we are forced by law to let the government teach our kids. How long will that be? I don't know. I guess it depends on how hard we pray and fight for our country. But, right now I have the freedom to teach my kids the Word of God in school. I praise God for that liberty.

I showed this comment from this person to Reece and he was saddened by it but you know what he said without skipping a beat?
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
Yesterday during Bible class, the boys and I talked about the Word for almost 2 hours. We have been memorizing God's Word together for 4 years now. I started when they started. Tim does "man time" with them every morning and they read and talk about the Proverb of the day before he goes to work. Our kids are wise... not because we are great teachers but because of the Word of God.
Our Bible class is RICH. They are able to bring their own thoughts and insights into the discussion now and it is beautiful. God has taught them how to think according to His Word.
They have more wisdom at 5, 7, and 8 than I had in my 20's.
I got so cracked up today in school when Reece said,
"Imagine how many A+'s Jesus must have gotten in school! Can you imagine him sitting in Science class as CREATOR! So, when the teacher would ask them to identify the parts of the ear or to classify a bird, He must of been raising His hand saying 'ooooh, ooooh, oooh, I know it!".
Ha! I laughed so much thinking about this.
Jesus in a science class. That's mind-boggling cool.

My children aren't perfect. They still get in trouble. Most days I feel defeated.  My kitchen is a wreck. I am tired with flabby arms. Just like all of you moms!
 BUT, I am watching God's Word PRODUCE LIFE in my children. 
And I have to keep marching forward believing God to use His Word in their lives to raise them up to be men after God's own heart.
I tell them, "I can NOT change your heart. I can teach you the Word and teach you about God but only you can get to know him."
I pray that God would "kaleo" call them each BY NAME to follow him and become fishers of men.
I can't do that. God hasn't asked me to do that. He has asked me to teach them His Word and prepare them for the good works He has already prepared for them to walk into.

I had a mom say to me recently, "I want to teach my kids the Word but I don't know it like you do."
Let me let you in on a big secret. I didn't know it either until I started teaching it to them! Just start memorizing together. You will GROW. You don't need a book other than the Bible to teach them the Word.
Our culture is much too dependent on teachers. Just go straight to the Teacher with a capital "T".

"And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ."

Matt 23:10


"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, notcounterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him." 1 John 2:27

Skip the "Christian" books and downloaded sermons. Get into the PURE Word of God. That is how you grow.
"as newborn babes, desire the PURE MILK OF THE WORD, that you may GROW" 1 Peter 2:2

The Bible refers to us as sheep. I taught a Bible Study on this recently and in my research found this on Wikipedia...


Characteristics of Sheep

1. timid, fearful, easily panicked

2. dumb stupid, gullible

3. very vulnerable to fear, frustration, pests, hunger

4. easily influenced by a leader, by the shepherd

5. stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology

6. little or no means of self-defense; can only run

7. easily killed by enemies

8. the shepherd is most effective, calming influence

9. jealous, competitive for dominance

10. constantly need fresh water, fresh pasture

11. have very little discernment in choosing food or water

12. best water source is early morning dew

13. perverse, stubborn - will insist on their own way , even eating poisonous
plants or drinking dirty water
14. easily "cast" - flipped over on their back, unable to right themselves
will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd; helpless
15. frequently look for easy places to rest
16. don't like to be sheared, cleaned
17. too much wool can cause sheep to be easily "cast"
18. creatures of habit; get into "ruts"
19. need the most care of all livestock
20. need to be "on the move"; need a pre-determined plan, pattern of grazing
21. totally dependent of shepherd for every need
22. need "rod and staff" guidance



I couldn't believe how this list perfectly describes ME! (us!)

#11, 12 &13 especially spoke to me. We need FRESH, CLEAN water. God's Word. Not piles 

and piles of books. I am so burdened as I watch ministries pumping out more and more 

and more books. So many books that we aren't reading our Bibles anymore. We

read books by John Piper instead. How many books can be written about "the gospel". 

 Is it really that complicated? 

NO. It isn't.  


Paul said, 
"Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel" 2 Tim 2:8

And, what is it with this new teaching that we should preach the gospel to ourselves everyday? Is that what the Bible teaches?

"It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known," Romans 15:20
"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Matt 16:15
"Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" 1 Cor 9:16

I believe there is an undercurrent in the latest books and sermons about the gospel to silence the gospel by redefining it. "Gospel" is like the new hip word in Christian circles. Everybody is talking about it and writing books about it but are they sharing it? Are they seeing others come to Christ?  
It isn't complicated. The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. The Word "gospel" originally came from when a herald would go out into the town square and announce the words of the king to the people. The sound of a trumpet followed by the EXACT words of the King.
If you want to know what the gospel is, look at the exact Words of the King.
The more time we waste trying to read books about it, the less we are sharing it. The goal isn't to preserve the gospel... it is to PROCLAIM the gospel. It isn't rocket science. Don't allow a guy who uses big words confuse you. Keep it simple. Stick with the Word of God. Beware of ministries that try to sell you books and books and more books. 
 DRINK CLEAN WATER. 

Education does not always = wisdom.
And, the Bible tells us that the secret things belong to God... that men will never figure them out. Not with all the books in the world. So, when men claim to have figured out the "secret things" of God, that is simply not true.
"The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he HAS revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions." Deut 29:29
We are responsible for the PLAIN truths of Scripture. To obey them.
Some things are TOO WONDERFUL for us to attain...
 "I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me."
Ps 131:1
"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain."
Ps 139:6

I love this verse...
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13

They realized they had been with Jesus. That is what I want... to spend time with Jesus. 
And, that is what I want for my children.  
Our children need God's Word.
Now, more than ever. They schemes of the enemy are getting harder to recognize. Their generation will be in a fiercer battle than ours has been.
They have to have their swords sharp and ready.

I am so proud of my boys. They just took their standardized tests.  Evan is supposed to be finishing 1st grade and he is half way through 4th. Reece is suppose to be in 3rd and he is in 4th also. God's Word will not return void. I have watched IT teach and grow my children. 

1 John 5:20 makes it clear why we have been given our minds...


"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."


The purpose for our reasoning, our minds, our intellect is TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST.
Everything else is of lesser value.


So, am I brainwashing my children? YOU BET! 
Tim and I are being brainwashed too! That is what Romans 12 commands us to do.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." 
 (RENEWING- anakainĊsis- a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.)
   
We ALL need to be "brain washed" by the Word.
I know I do.

  "that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word," Eph 5:26
We need to teach our kids with God's Word. You don't have to homeschool to do that. You just have more time if you do.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for TEACHING,"  2 Tim 3:16
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach" Col 3:16

When we go to bed at night, I say, "honey, please wash me with the Word. I need it so desperately". And, when Tim reads over me, I can feel myself being "brainwashed". 
Thank you, Lord!
So, be encouraged if you are brainwashing your children. That is what you are commanded to do. BE DILIGENT. Don't give up. If you don't give up, there will be a great harvest of righteousness.


""You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Deut 6:7

""Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

And, one of my favorite raising children verses...

""I am engaged in a great work, so I can't come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?"
Nehemiah 6:3

Mothers, you are doing a GREAT WORK. Whether you homeschool or not. Follow God and seek His best for your children. 
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Be Blessed~
Steph 

ps. If you do not believe that the Word of God is an infallible Book written by Almighty God Himself, this post will make absolutely no sense. I can only imagine what I would have thought if I had read this before I gave my life to Christ. I would have mocked it and thought the person writing it was a NUTCASE. But then I encountered Jesus Christ and He  changed my mind. :)










7 comments:

Taylor said...

Amen, mama! Keep teaching those sweet kids TRUTH and they will rise up and call you blessed. :)

Erin said...

AMEN.

Anonymous said...

You are doing an amazing job and so many of us learn from you! I've never really thought about reading christian books - you are sooo right, we don't need them - all we need is our bible! Thank you sweet girl!

- Teresa

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!

Anonymous said...

I just finished jury duty this week and am so inspired by seeing first hand through this experience of the evil and darkness in this world, and feeling the pressure to conform to this world, to make easy decisions. I feel more inspired than ever that we must teach our children to be strong and mighty warriors for Christ! To stand for the right, pure and good, to run to the Light. Your blog is such an encouragement. Please don't let the twisted thoughts of todays "Christian" culture of not judging affect your writing. I think that the verses in Matthew are so misused. Read John 7:24, girl. Thank you again!!! Erin Lynn

Anonymous said...

thank you, steph ~ may you never stop sharing! oh, what you're teaching me!

I have been spending tremendous amounts of time immersed in the books and sermons of piper and keller -- solid and true, but yes, it has been to the neglect of time spent drinking pure spiritual MILK -- AMEN!

sending my love and thanks, yet again and ever,

b in va

Anonymous said...

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