Friday Funnies – 27 Jan 2012

Remembering our children’s cute and funny moments! Our children love to look back and laugh at the cute things they said.

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Faith (age 2) during bible time with her Bible on her lap: I’m turnin’ to chapter Luke!

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What good it does a mother’s heart when her 3 year old shouts delightedly:
Wow! Fish for supper! Yay!!! Such a surprise!! (even though we have it quite regularly – its obviously a huge hit 🙂

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Mom: How does a beaver chop down trees, does he use an axe?
David Strength (age 3): I think he eats them down! (he’s been paying attention)

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Conversation between the boys:
Richard Courage (age 5): We are going to the biggest Amazon in the world! I’m putting up no-entry signs to some of the places!
David Strength (age 3): I’m putting up no-entry signs too. There’s no-entry signs because you can’t go there because you’ll crash into them!

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All of us were singing Pop Goes the Weasel together: “All around the cobbler’s bench, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought was all in fun – POP goes the weasel.”
David Strength (age 3): maybe the weasel was actually a balloon!

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During Bible time we were reading and discussing EXODUS and we read: “THEIR flight out of Egypt (after the passover meal the israelites fleeing from egypt)

Grace (age 7): But Daddy, they didn’t have aeroplanes then!

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Mom: I am so proud of you guys learning to drink so much water. Its so good for you, it cleans out all the bad stuff inside.

David Strength (age 3) looking intently at his water bottle: This cleans the sin out?

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What are some of your children’s funnies?

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126 v 2

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2nd Generation

I was thinking – of all the wonderful encouraging blogs that I read, do you know which I love the most…

…the second generation Christian homeschooling moms!!

I love seeing these families – the closeness and togetherness, the family vision and love for God’s word that is demonstrated through these amazing woman and by their parents before them.

Many of the first generation homeschooling Moms are doing wonderful jobs too – but there is just something so inspiring about seeing it work for a generation and be passed on to the next.

These are three that strike me right away.

Raising Olives

Life in a Shoe

A Mothers Heritage

What does that say for homeschooling? – a lot!!

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” Ephesians 6 v 4

The Glory to Come – Finding Satisfaction in Him

In our self-absorbed culture, we need to see the grandeur of God’s kingdom. We cannot shrink it to the size of our needs and desires. It takes us far beyond our personal situations and relationships. The King came not to make our agenda possible, but to draw us into something more amazing, glorious, and wonderful than we could ever imagine. Perhaps the best way to understand these grand purposes is to eavesdrop on eternity. In Revelation 19:6-8, the great multitude of the redeemed stands before the throne and, like the roar of rapids, exclaims:

“Hallelujah!

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad

and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean,

was given her to wear.”

Think about what they are singing. It is not, “I got that job! My marriage was fantastic! I was surrounded by great friends and my kids turned out well.” It is not, “I defeated depression and mastered my fears.” Two things capture the hearts of the assembled throng. The first is that Christ has won the final victory. His will has been done, his plan accomplished, and he reigns without challenge forever. God has gathered a people who have a passion for his glory and find ultimate comfort in his rule. They are people who followed by faith and obeyed at great cost, who sacrificed and suffered, but with no hint of regret. They have found lasting satisfaction in the person and rule of the Redeemer.

The second glorious thing is that the ultimate celebration has finally come, the wedding of the Lamb. A thunderous shout goes out as the multitude realizes that they haven’t just been invited to the wedding – they are the bride! They stand clothed in the finest of linen. All the scars and blemishes of sin are gone. All the rags of iniquity have disappeared. They are finally and forever clean. They stand before the Groom, pure and holy.

As we listen to eternity, we realise that the kingdom is about God radically changing people, but not in the self-absorbed sense our culture assumes. Christ came to break our allegiance to such an atrophied agenda and call us to the one goal worth living for. His kingdom is about the display of his glory and people who are hole. This is the change he came, lived, died, and rose to produce. This is the life and work he offers us in exchange for the temporary glories we would otherwise pursue. This kingdom agenda is intended to control our hearts and transform our lives.

Quoted from:

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – People in need of change helping people in need of change by Paul David Tripp.

I have so been enjoying this book and am learning so much about relationships within the body of Christ.

P.S. Paul David Tripp is the brother of Tedd Tripp, author of the well known child training book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.”

I didn’t know about Paul David Tripp’s book’s and we were introduced to them by the pastor of our new church. (Yay! we finally have a church we can call home after 2 years of church floating and churchlessness!!) Paul Tripp’s books and seminars look very good – his marriage series “What did you expect?” and parenting  series “Getting to the heart of parenting” have reviews on his website.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2 v 15

The Very Last Time

The years with little ones are probably the busiest, the craziest, the fullest and the most demanding for a mother. The days can rush by, some feeling like we are merely coping rather than living life to the full.

But I’ve come to believe that the ‘little’ years are also the richest and the most rewarding! The ‘little’ years are the time when new little soldiers for Christ are being shaped in our homes. We have a unique but brief opportunity to impact their lives, to sew into their hearts, to add to their characters, to love as Christ loves, to build precious memories and to put aside our own agenda’s to be available to our little ones.

I want to savour and enjoy every moment of dirty floors, messy rooms, boisterous noise and general chaos!

Who knows when it will be the very last time my child picks me a flower from the garden or delightedly slips a little note under my pillow. They grow up so fast and I will never know till its over that it was the last time – the last time they would excitedly bring me a picture they had drawn or a story they had written, excitedly ask me to come and see what they have built or invite me into their tent with them. The very last time!

We celebrate the firsts – the first smile, the first tooth, the first step, the first word – but we often miss the lasts. The lasts don’t come with a warning – they are here and then gone forever, only to be looked back on with fond memories.

I want to remember this every day when I am busy or feeling overwhelmed or tired. I want to enjoy my children! I want the Lord to draw my heart towards my family and my children so that I might cherish the gifts He has blessed me with.

“And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” Hebrews 2 v 13

Keeping Up With The Dishes

About 3 years ago we decided to stop using a dishwasher and instead to do the dishes by hand. Its taken me a loooo-ng time to get into the habit and not get wayyyy behind with the dishes. I have a separate counter space for the dirty dishes which is good and bad as it can be a temptation to leave them there.

What works great is if I do dishes 3 times per day  – quick and easy, after each meal, children helping – quick and its done.

It also helps if I rinse out dirty pots and pans immediately away so that they are easy to wash. If I leave them for “later”, they can easily stay dirty for a day or two. I still struggle with big items that I have rinsed but not given the final wash – sometimes easy to forget those till tomorrow.

We have two drainable drying racks and like to leave the dishes to air-dry so there is a limit to how much we can wash at once. Again 3 times away works great – smaller loads.

We want our children to grow up knowing that cleanliness and good food takes hard work- and its a blessing if we work as a team. We want them to enjoy the fellowship and fullfilment of it all. I want my girls to love their roles as homemakers and be equipped to stay on top of things. My older son’s job is to clear the table after each meal – quick transfer to the kitchen counter where I scrape, stack and rinse, then wash. My two daughters sweep under the table (our 2 year loves this and our 7 year old happily sweeps up after her 🙂 Our 3yo boy pushes the chairs back in and then entertains everyone. My older daughter also empties the drying rack in the mornings. Dad fills in all the gaps – we make a great team!

I love washing the dishes – it makes me reflective and is even a bit therapeutic – calms my thoughts. I think and pray about the children and my attitude and even though its usually a rush to do the dishes – its wonderful when they are done! I am very thankful that we do not have a dishwasher (or even place for one if we wanted to change our minds 🙂

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” Deuteronomy 7 v 9

A Different Christmas

We are so blessed to live in a country where we are free to worship God and to celebrate Christmas. We recognise the privilege of living in a country where Christmas is recognised as a Christian celebration…

but this year we have struggled more with the issues surrounding Christmas than ever before.

The challenge for us at Christmas has been – how to glorify God in all we do and teach our children to do the same – while not falling for the “spiritualised worldliness” of Christmas but also not offending those He loves and wanting to be a witness and blessing to others. Here is a list of some of the changes we have made and thoughts on the matter – in no particular order.

This year at Christmas time we:

* find many of the Christmas “traditions” unacceptable for us – most of all the focus on “lots of presents for us all”. This year we all found such joy in carefully preparing gifts to give away to some in need, carefully making or buying something simple for each other, staying away from shops and building special traditions that mostly revolved around discovering from God’s Word together and from history more about God’s awesome plan unfolding on the earth.

* threw out most Christmas carols but kept and taught the children the special ones – Hark the Herald Angels, Joy to the World, While Shepherds watched their flocks – songs that tell the story Biblically – nothing that made Jesus seem like a weak  little baby but those that spoke of victory and of God’s providence. We told the children stories of the skies filled with angels – not sweet little girl angels, but powerful warrior angels from the throne of the Almighty, maybe Michael, Gabriel, the same angels that later rolled that huge stone away from the tomb of Christ – celebrating his birth, the glory the majesty, the chorus filling the sky with light and music, voices raised in triumph, delight and excitement at seeing God’s awesome plan unfolding!

* didn’t do a Christmas tree but we did do the Jesse tree for the first time. We printed the pictures representing prophesies or lineage of Christ, each child cut and coloured their own and decorated them. Hubby and sons made a wooden “tree” thing and we hung them up  each day as we read the scriptures that go with the pictures.

* didn’t do Christmas stockings. The children each saved up to buy a small gift for one of their siblings and they each made a little gift for another sibling – felt food, dolls house accessories, folder of pictures to colour – were on the list. These were so special and so meaningful.

* each week we read the scriptures and lit the advent candles (prophecy candle, Bethlehem candle, shepherds candle, angels candle and Christ’s candle)

* had a special thanksgiving meal and service on the eve of the 23rd where we sang carols and read scriptures that told the story. We also learnt some of the Bible prophecies as our memory verses during December.

* focused on the majesty and divinity of Christ. We talked about how Christ is no longer a babe in a manger but the risen Christ come in power, conquerer of sin and death, Immanuel – God with us, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. We talked about which parts of the story are Biblical and which are not. I’m not so sure that God looks at the little nativity plays in the churches and thinks.. “Aw.. cute” I think he probably looks at them and thinks sadly “what are you teaching those children!” If we look at the verses in scripture:  a stable, an innkeeper saying “sorry we are full”, a cow… none of these things appear. We wanted the glorious reality of the story as the Bible tells it.

* wanted to bless those in our extended family so gifted them and celebrated with them.

* gave away our fake flashy Christmas tree and decorations as they didn’t seem to serve much purpose or add much. What we did was awesome and special and had real fruit in our children’s lives.

There was much wrestling in our hearts with the implications of a worldly Christmas (santa claus has been out for a couple of years but this year we questioned everything about Christmas). Scott Brown has a wonderful series on his blog The 12 days of Christmas where he references many articles from respected men past and present and their view on Christians “celebrating’ Christmas – there are articles for and against… under the following heading.

(What about Christmas? Ponder through the Twelve Days of Christmas series and test each of them by the Word of God.)

Day 1: Sermon by Charles Spurgeon

Day 2: Jonathan Edwards on Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s

Day 3: XMAS by A.W. Pink

Day 4: John Piper

Day 5: George Whitefield

Day 6: Brian Schwertly

Day 7: John MacArthur on the Christmas Tree

Day 8: A Scottish Covenanter – George Gillespie – on Christmas

Day 9: Two Sermons Commenting on Christmas Observance from Charles Spurgeon

Day 10: Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Day 11: The Puritans on Christmas

Day 12.1: Did We Celebrate Christmas in Early American History?

Day 12.2: More Quotes from the 17th to the 19th Centuries

Day 12.3: What Roman Catholics Say About Christmas

Day 12.4: Christmas And The Use of Time

I have included an excerpt that my husband wrote on the same topic as he has a way with words that I definitely don’t 🙂 – also gives a different perspective.

We have decided to do / not do the following:

Santa and anything relating to him is out (obviously) – while we believe this is a season to really bless others and give to those in need we may do that through soup kitchens, cards, blessings to widows and orphans, etc. not through Christmas stockings, St Nick, little red hats or even “snow” scenes – here in hot balmy Cape Town.

We will still celebrate Christmas. This may sound strange but before we were not aware of the origins of Christmas as clearly as we are now aware. We weren’t aware of the connection to Nimrod as the father of religion, the… In a way we would like to dissasociate ourselves with the “Christmas” of the world today which is not glorifying to God – but it is very hard to do that without perhaps pushing people further from God instead of drawing them closer to him – so instead we will try to honour God in what we do.

We will wholeheartedly celebrate the coming of our Saviour to the earth and the unfolding of God’s sovereign plan in history. We will focus on the coming of the Saviour more than the fact that the “baby” is born.

Christ is no longer a baby – he is a risen Saviour, he is God with us. The significance of the baby Jesus is the miraculous birth – the seed of God and we can learn from the obedience and submission of Mary to God’s will – but Christmas carols like “Away in a Manger” can tend to show Christ the baby in the wrong way. I keep thinking how do children see it. Why the little baby… We shouldn’t celebrate the birth of Christ in isolation but rather celebrate the life of Christ and the coming of our saviour – the significance of it in our lives.

We will do the Jesse tree because of the value of learning more about the lineage and prophecies of Christ. Each day the children colour in an shape, put it on a backing and we hang it on a little “tree” from our garden, then Daddy reads the scriptures and talks about it.

It was the first Christmas when I felt closer to God rather than further from Him afterwards.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9 v 6

Unbiblical Goals

Many parents who would never allow their children to attend public school will send them to dance classes. They will refuse to have them influenced by secular humanism in school, but will expose them to unbiblical ideas of beauty in dance class. When I ask parents why they put their children in these classes, they explain that it has helped their child’s sense of self-worth. Are there any passages that make the development of self-worth a biblically mandated goal? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with an accurate sense of self? Is it biblical to build self-worth on a child’s capacity to develop a physical skill? Are we not encouraging pride that comes from the capacity to perform? Most coaches do not teach the Little Leaguer who hits a home run to give thanks to God for the timing and coordination necessary to perform such a complex feat.

Many of these activities teach your children to trust in themselves, when the Scripture says that those who trust in themselves are fools whose hearts turn from God. The self-love and self-trust our culture proffers always turns the heart away from God.

What values do you teach by the sacrifices needed to practice each day? Many families who always have time for team practice are unable to organize family life around regular times of family Bible reading and prayer. What values are taught? What values are taught when the Lord’s Day worship plays second fiddle to baseball practice or a swim meet? All this because children need to build their self-esteem!

A biblical worldview dictates that you should teach your children to exercise and care for their bodies as an expression of stewardship for God’s gifts. Abilities should be developed because God has given the stewardship of talents and special capacities. Skills that would make your children more able to serve and open channels of ministry to other should be encouraged.

Excerpt from Chapter 6 “Redefining Unbiblical Goals” in Shepherding a Child’s heart by Tedd Tripp

What are your thoughts?

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” Psalm 8 v 4-6