The Lord is constantly calling us to obey Him in connection with things that we don’t know what the next step is going to be. But He is saying to us, “Will you not trust me?”
Remember the conversation that Simon Peter had with Jesus on that day of the breakfast at the sea in John 21? They are walking along and Jesus actually says to him, “Now trust me Peter, you are going to die for my sake.” And Peter sees the apostle John hanging behind and he says, “Well, tell me about this man.”
And you see what he is saying. He’s saying, “That’s a huge challenge to my life. I want to know that I’m getting fair dues. And before I fully trust you for this, I need to know what’s happening. Are other people going to do this? Or is this just me?”
Isn’t it amazing, that in other respects if the Lord said to us, “I have an exclusive plan for you. I don’t have this plan for anybody else, you’re the only one that has this plan,” we say, “I want to have that plan if nobody else is getting it.”
But when it comes to trusting Him we’re inclined to say, “I might trust you if everybody else is on board.”
And we face that challenge constantly, don’t we? We find ourselves in situations where faith is challenged and because there are others on board we march on and we stand up. But there are situations where there is nobody else there. From the human point of view, people are challenging us.
But from the divine point of view, the Lord is saying now, “Trust me. Know me well enough to trust me.”
~from “The Old Couple” a sermon by Sinclair Ferguson, June 12, 2012
And no one cried the whole time we were out. Progress people!
For our family, and probably for yours, a ritual of summer is the weekly trip to the library for new books to fill the long hours. We are blessed to have, in addition to the public library system, a Christian library for children here in Louisville and we try to visit both often.
(On one recent trip to the public library my daughter, Tori, asked me who pays for all the books in the library. It was at that moment I realized—with with some small measure of civic pride—that I, in fact, am a regular contributor to my local library. Not only do my taxes fund my local library, I supplement the library’s revenue with my monthly overdue book fines. I like to think that I’m making a significant contribution to the furtherance of the education of children everywhere.)
My biggest challenge is finding new books for our kids to read or for us to read to them. I don’t want to miss out on a good book and I want to carefully monitor their reading diet. But as every parent knows, good recommendations can often be hard to come by.
That’s why I was excited when I recently I stumbled across this blog by theologian Ray Van Neste called The Children’s Hour. He reviews children’s books, shares what he is currently reading, and provides thoughts on Bible literature for children.
I don’t know how I missed seeing this blog before, but Dr. Van Neste has been posting there for some seven years now, so I have a lot of archives to mine and new books to read to my children.
As you peruse this blog you will not only discover wonderful resources for your family, you will be discipled by Dr. Van Neste in parenting your children to love words, and most of all God’s Word. That’s a worthy read.
The holiday weekend pushed the Friday Funnies to Monday. Enjoy this cute story from Laura:
One day my 4-year-old son and I were looking at a picture of myself from many years before he was born. We were talking about who was in the picture and he asked me, “Where am I?” I told him he wasn’t born yet. He thought for a second and asked, “So where was I, Mommy?” I didn’t answer right away as I was trying to figure out how to explain to a 4-year-old where he was before he was born! I guess he thought I was taking too long to answer so he said very matter-of-factly, “I was at Grandma’s.”
We watched this at our Independence Day get together today and cried. Thank you to all of the American soldiers who serve our country, and thank you to the families of active duty troops for your sacrifice. May God richly bless you all!
Each morning I make a list of the day’s chores and studies for my oldest son Jack. He’s like his momma. He loves lists, and he loves checking items off his list.
This summer, among other things, I am having him memorize several poems, including “Courage” by Edgar Guest and “If” by Rudyard Kipling. My parents had me memorize the poem “If” when I was about Jack’s age and I have always loved it.
Though it is not entirely Christian in its worldview, it celebrates the biblical qualities of integrity, courage, and perseverance—virtues my husband and I strongly desire to impress upon our young son.
I pray, by the grace of God and for the glory of God, he may grow up to be this kind of man.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—-which is more—-you’ll be a Man, my son!
Why is modesty important for the Christian woman? The reason is the gospel.
In both 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Peter 2, the context of the command to modesty is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter and Paul remind their readers and us that Jesus, “himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Pet 2.24) and “gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6).
The perfect God gave his perfect Son to redeem sinners like you and me. And it is his grace that causes us to “grow up into salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2), enables us to “die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Pet. 2:24), and compels us to wear clothing that reflects the gospel.
The gospel message is our motivation for modest dress. As my dad, CJ Mahaney explains: “The woman who loves the Savior avoids immodesty because she doesn’t want to distract from or reflect poorly upon the gospel.” The way Christian women dress should “not detract from but enhance their gospel mission” writes John Stott.
We have a gospel mission: not only to preach Christ, but to live in a way consistent with our profession of faith. As we preach the good news of the transforming work of our Savior, our dress should reflect His power at work in us.
May there be no contradiction between our gospel message and the clothes we wear. And may our modest dress be a witness to the One who gave Himself as a ransom for all.