Friday, March 18, 2011

Notes from the Homeschool Conference

I had a great, refreshing weekend. It was similar to a retreat. I felt the Lord breathe new life into me and considering all the opposition that has occurred since I've been back, I thought it would be good to look back at my notes and get a reminder. These are just rough notes, thoughts, quotes, etc., things to meditate on and in my opinion, good for parenting in general.

 * Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 *  Don't place responsibility over relationship.

 * God's compassion/mercy is new every morning we want to demonstrate that to our children.

* We also want to be quick to demonstrate brokenness and humility if we mess up.

* We want our children to know that they are fully loved and fully known (that they know, that we know, that they are full of it).

* Teach them at an early age to confess they're sins to God, so a relationship with the Holy Spirit will be established.

* Raise them up don't crush them down.

* Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1

* We can't lead by pushing them forward-- Isaiah 40:11

* Children want to hear the beating of our heart not the beating of our voice.

* Our children need to see us serve them and be willing to get dirty for them, just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve.

* Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. The Old Testament ends with a curse (self effort, the law). The New Test ends with Grace -- Revelation 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Grace is attractive, carrying the idea of outstretched arms, free to receive-costly to give.
When we live our lives according to self effort/law it never works. Let us live according to grace,  outstretched and vulnerable, death to self.

 * When anyone stays within the boundaries of which God has established, there is happiness and contentment.

* Train up a child in the way he should go... Train = to stimulate, cultivate a taste, develop an appetite.

* "Many wishing to be great have failed to be good". -CH Spurgeon

* Want to change a kid's values? Let them work hard at something.

* "The Love you liberate in your work, is the love you keep".

* Difficulty in our lives is to grow us up.

* Our passions must be guided by worth or what is worthy.

* And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8  --Notice the sequence: Faith 1st, Virtue or Character 2nd, Knowledge 3rd.
Virtue = maniless/womanliness, valor, excellence, reasoning, passion/motivation etc.

* "Let God bring to each man: a will to obey, a work to do, and a woman to love."

* Discipline without direction is drudgery.

* The Sermon we preach everyday (our lives) is what will impact our children the most.

* God's concept of family is like looking at a diamond.

* We the parents, are the first example of a Christian our children will ever see.

* We shouldn't be teaching something we ourselves are not practicing:
1Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

* Let his word have free course in our lives. Continue to grow and change right along with our children.

* Teach children to search the scripture, think independently, have convictions but let convictions bow to the Word of God.

* 1Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

* Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy child's eye. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy child's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy child, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Matthew 7:3-5 (Italicized words changed)  So we should examine ourselves before correcting our children.

* Jesus is the great Redeemer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Wisdom of Solomon

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

After reading this, I asked my kids, "If you could have anything you ever wanted what would it be?" My oldest son said he'd like a thousand video games, My oldest daughter said, "a barn with chickens, ponies and horses", and My youngest daughter responded by saying she wanted 1000 flemish giant bunny rabbits.
I asked, "Those things would be nice... but, did you know that having wisdom is soooo much more important in our lives, ...more important than anything we could ever want?"

I was reminded of the man that once had the opportunity to have anything he could ever want, in fact God himself asked this man what he wanted, anything and he would give it to him. So we went to the account in 1 Kings 3:5-15:
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 
 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
1 Kings 3:5-15

The thing that stood out to me most in this story is Solomon's humility. When he says 'I am but a little child' he was under qualified and he knew it. As I feel most days with this responsibility of being this mom committed to raising these kids and teaching them. 

Even though he may have been lacking wisdom, he was very wise in acknowledge his inability before the Lord. In fact, it was the most wise thing he could have done.
So out of all the possible things he could have asked, He asked for an understanding heart. Israel would have a whole different history had Solomon asked for power, riches, etc. etc.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16time
of need.
 And is it any different with God today? When we just get real and acknowledge our need before him, will he not give us exactly what we need. Whether it be needing help to understand your math lesson a little better,... or you don't understand why your parents make the decisions they do, ...if you need wisdom for raising 4 completely different people,.... anything. The Lord Jesus is faithful to do abundantly above what we could ever ask or think. 
The blessing from God that followed Solomon's request is wonderful but what hit me most in reading this passage to the kids was, where he was before receiving this blessing, a place of humility with a need.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from God,
who gives to all freely and with no reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

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