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Michael “Hudson” Bradshaw
“Just as an artist who paints pictures and portraits exercises great care in his work, so each of you, mothers and fathers, must be attentive to these wonderful images [your children]. Each day, a painter adds what is necessary to the picture. Sculptors do the same, removing excess stone and adding what is lacking. You should do the same: as makers of images, devote all your time to the task of fashioning wonderful images for God. Remove the excess; add what is lacking. Each day, examine the images closely. Cultivate the natural excellence that each one has, removing what is by nature inferior….teach them to be sober, vigilant, watchful in prayer, and to place everything that is said and done under the sign of the cross.”
—John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), On Vainglory and the Education of Children, 22:
HT: Tony Reinke
“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near.” Psalm 75:1
“Never let us neglect thanksgiving…As the smiling flowers gratefully reflect in their lovely colours the various constituents of the solar ray, so should gratitude spring up in our hearts after the smiles of God’s providence….We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks. Faith promises redoubled praise for greatly needed and signal deliverances. For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. God is at hand to answer and do wonders—adore we then the present Deity. We sing not of a hidden God, who sleeps and leaves the church to her fate, but of one who ever in our darkest days is most near, a very present help in trouble. “Near is his name.” Glory be unto the Lord, whose perpetual deeds of grace and majesty are the sure tokens of his being with us always, even unto the ends of the world.” Charles Spurgoen, Treasury of David
Even though we’re all busy preparing for Thanksgiving in two days, December 1 is only a week away. Since so many of you have asked, I’m re-posting some advent calendar ideas from last year. Apparently both the links were broken, but they’ve been fixed below. Enjoy!
A few years ago, Mom bought each of our families a wooden advent calendar. My children love to open a new door each day to find a piece of candy and a Scripture about the Christmas story. Steve reads the verses aloud while the kids listen attentively, their mouths full of chocolate and nougat.
In the past, I’ve used this simple Christmas countdown and references. This year, now that Jack’s older, I’m adapting this schedule of longer readings that begin with the Old Testament prophecies. As the days march toward Christmas, I want my kids to connect, in some small way, to the centuries of longing for the Messiah.
I’ve also pulled Nancy Guthrie’s Come Thou Long Expected Jesus off the bookshelf and placed it in my basket of quiet time stuff. I didn’t mark it up, as I do most of my books, so I can enjoy the daily readings afresh each year.
For my children, and for myself, I don’t want “the busyness of [the Christmas season]…to crowd out a quiet anticipation of the wonder of incarnation.” I want the glories of God become man to illuminate and outshine all our Christmas joys.
After an incredibly easy labor and delivery, Michael Hudson Bradshaw was born at 2:14 this afternoon. He weighs 8lb, 2oz and is 20 inches long. We are thanking God that the little guy is very healthy and his mama is doing great. Janelle wanted me to thank each one of you who prayed for her and Hudson today. God graciously answered your prayers!
If you came to the blog today and it wasn’t there, we apologize! We had a technical glitch that kept us offline for most of the day. But thankfully we were able to get it back up this evening in time to update you on Hudson’s birth.
As far as a picture, we just have this one snapshot for you tonight because Janelle is the only photogropher around here! But I’m sure she will have more (and better!) pictures for you next week.
When fear for our children grips us, we often look for something “new” to help us deal with it. But instead, we must rely on the true and the tried strategies from God’s Word. They are:
Prayer: “...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Promises: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Saints throughout the centuries have leaned on God’s promises and called out to Him in prayer. And each and every time, they have found Him to be faithful. “I sought the Lord,” David tells us, “and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
So let’s follow the example of David and that “great cloud of witnesses.” Let’s seek God through constant prayer, and in the space of His promises, let’s park our souls.
With little Hudson arriving on Friday, we girls were busy making all our Thanksgiving plans today. We were back and forth on the phone talking pies and potatoes and fun activities for the kids.
Our purpose behind all this planning is well-expressed by Noel Piper:
“Although we can’t bequeath God to our children, we can help them know him and understand him in ways that prepare them to believe in his name. ‘Everyday’ and ‘especially’ traditions in a family are an important part of that teaching, of picturing who God is and what he’s done in our home and in the world. Traditions are a vital way of displaying our greatest treasure, of showing what—Who—is most important to us.”
For more on our simple family traditions, check out our Thanksgiving Countdown. This ten-part series includes thoughts on how to prepare your heart, your menu, and some memorable moments for your family.
May your efforts to show your family and friends WHO is most important to you, be truly blessed!