Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What do You Want Your Kids to Be Like?

From oldest to youngest our four children have almost nine years between them, so when they were at home we were always looking for creative ways to make the Bible come alive for them. We wanted our family devotions to be interesting to all of them. What a challenge!


As I was doing my own devotions the other day I thought of those memes that were making the rounds a few years ago about "Bob" who did whatever the person making the meme thought was good. I wrote one based on Joshua 1.

And I realized that this would be a great family activity that everyone could do to get an application. In fact it follows the basics of Bible study--observation, interpretation, application!

Observation: The who, what, where, and when. Joshua knows God is with him and he obeys God and fights against evil.
Interpretation: The how. Joshua is courageous because of what he knows.
Application: Be courageous like Joshua.

Another day I read Third John and learned about Gaius. And I drew my own picture to go along with it.

This is Gaius.

Gaius knows the truth.
Gaius uses the truth to guide how he lives.
Gaius meets new people and shows them love in his home because of the truth.
Be wise and generous like Gaius.

Whether you read from a children's Bible story book or you read a chapter of narrative from the Bible, you could all take a piece of paper and write something like during your family devotions. Not only will you have fun looking at each others "art" work (go ahead, laugh at mine, my feelings won't be hurt!), but you are actually teaching your children how to study the Bible!

Not all the people you meet in the pages of the Bible are ones you want to emulate. In Third John there is another person about whom John doesn't have nice things to say.




This is Diotrephes.
Diotrephes always wants to be 
the most important.
Diotrephes accuses everyone else
of bad things.
Diotrephes makes people who disagree with him go away.
Diotraphes is proud and bad.
Don't be like Diotraphes.



So whatever the people you read about are like, your kids can learn a lesson directly from them and begin to learn how to study the Bible on their own. Give it a try!



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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Are Your Food Choices in the Land of Plenty?

To whom much is given
much will be required.

I like to quote this verse about people who are bursting with energy, are multi-talented, and have wealth far above normal. But I was recently reminded of the "much" variety of food I can obtain, compared to so many people in the world, makes me responsible too. 
  • What would happen to the brain of a 2 year old in the Central African Republic, who goes to bed hungry every night, if I could give him a bowl of blueberries with yogurt each day?
  • How would a mother with dry breasts and a tiny infant in Haiti feel with four ounces of red meat laden with fat and four quarts of clean water to drink every day?
  • Where would the Yemeni 15 year old, pregnant with her second child, having dropped out of school at 10, married at 12, be if I could have given her a salad laden with a wide variety of vegetables and slathered with seasoned olive oil for her daily lunch when she was still in school?
  • What would the weary 45 year old man--emphasis on old--in the Chad be doing if, instead of eating ugali to feel full, he had the option of chicken, beef, or pork and vegetables, on a regular basis? 


I know that I can't do much to give these people the food they need to survive and thrive, but I realized that I do have much! I can have all of the foods I have mentioned above and more. I can buy them for myself, my family, and my guests without hardship to our lifestyle. And so, much is required of me, as a steward of what God had entrusted to me, to eat well and to eat right, to feed my family a healthy, well-balanced diet to give them the opportunity to do all they can and should do.

For me this has always meant lots of fruit and vegetables and cooking as low fat as possible. That doesn't mean we didn't eat pizza, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese from time to time. Carbs were a staple in our home because they were cost effective and everyone liked them. Sugared cereals were on our breakfast table and on Saturdays we had pancakes and sausage. And yes, I will admit that sugary powdered drink mixes kept my kids hydrated. But my overall plan was to help my family eat food that would keep them healthy, and teach them what was good for them on a regular basis. 

As adults now, we all have to work to keep our weight down (admittedly one of my objectives for myself with the way I cooked for my family). And that is part of the responsibility given to me by having many options for food. It gives us a greater motivation, but even if we weight were not an issue, we have responsibilities because we have so many choices about our diet in our land of plenty.


Much is required. 
What choices are you making for you family?



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