Friday, November 24, 2006

Shepherd Press Newsletter

I appreciate the work of Shepherd Press, and their regular newsletter is a good resource for thoughts on paretnign and good books. Their best known book is probably Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child's Heart , which is a great book.

My point here though is their email newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it. Here is an excerpt, written by Tedd Tripp, from the most recent newsletter. Great exhortation and reminder.

Until your childrenhave seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, until theyhave come to see that he is the Lily of the Valley, that he is theBright and Morning Star, that he is the One who is altogether lovely;until they have seen and understood that it is worthwhile to divest of everything, that nothing in all the earth matters but knowing and loving Jesus, they will never know him and love him and serve him.They might play church. They might even be teen VBS helpers, or go on short-term mission’s trips, but until they are convinced that Christ is the treasure, they will never truly know him.

You cannot over-estimate the importance of showing your children the glory of God. If they do not know who God is, how God thinks,what God feels, and why he does what he does, they will have no grounds for finding joy in him, no reason to celebrate his abundant goodness and no basis for finding satisfaction in him. Delight in God cannot occur in an intellectual vacuum. Your careful display and demonstration of the wonders of God’s glorious being is crucial for your children. Joy in God is the fruit of what you know to be true ofhim. The spiritual heat of joy, delight, and wonder in the face of God cannot take place in a conceptual vacuum.

Wow! My purpose in this blog is to recommend books we find helpful in pursuing this goal, though this from Tripp reminds me of how far we are from meeting this goal.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Early Love of Reading

“My early and invincible love of reading, I would not exchange for the treasures of India.”

-Edward Gibbon (1734-1794)

From: Grant, George & Karen Grant. Shelf Life: How Books Have Changed the Destinies and Desires of Men and Nations. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House Publishing, 1999,

Monday, November 13, 2006

O Thou Dread Power

I have not read much of the poetry of Robert Burns because of the little know about his life. However, one need not condone the actons of another to recognize when he speaks truth. This poem, written after stayng over night with a pastor's famly is a wonderful famly prayer.

O Thou Dread Power

O Thou dread Power, who reign'st above,
I know thou wilt me hear,
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make this prayer sincere.

The hoary Sire-the mortal stroke,
Long, long be pleas'd to spare;
To bless this little filial flock,
And show what good men are.

She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,
O bless her with a mother's joys,
But spare a mother's tears!

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth.
In manhood's dawning blush,
Bless him, Thou God of love and truth,
Up to a parent's wish.

The beauteous, seraph sister-band-
With earnest tears I pray-
Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry hand,
Guide Thou their steps alway.

When, soon or late, they reach that coast,
O'er Life's rough ocean driven,
May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost,
A family in Heaven!

- Robert Burns

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hey, Daddy, I’m a Covenanter

Tonight as we were cleaning up, one of my boys picked up a replica long rifle, aimed it and called out, “Hey, Daddy, I’m a Covenanter!” He was taking aim at the dragoons. We are currently reading a book about the Covenanters and their courageous adherence to the faith in the midst of persecution (typically carried out by the dragoons). I plan to review the book once we are finished, but you know you are getting somewhere when your children’s play is guided by the reading you do with them. When the stories you give them shape the characters they assume and the things they do, this is a good sign for the shaping of their character and the implications for what they will do in the future.

Therefore, even though the scene was brief (we were in the midst of cleaning!), I was greatly encouraged when my son made that statement, “Hey, Daddy, I’m a Covenanter!” Externally I just went along with the game, but internally my heart swelled with encouragement. I found myself thinking, “May it be so, Son. May you live faithfully in covenant with God, and as those Covenanters of old may you be unrelenting in your loyalty to King Jesus and His Kirk.”

The stories we give them can shape their lives. Do not abdicate the privilege of being the primary source of their stories. Seize that place, and then give them wonderful stories to capture their imaginations (and thus their hearts), molding their consciences, and exercising discernment and courage vicariously in preparation for the future.