Monday, April 19, 2010

Whole books of the Bible

In the last couple weeks I have had occasion to read a few books of the Bible completely out loud all in one sitting.  The other day (Saturday) I managed to read both I & II Thessalonians while we were finishing up lunch which helped to turn what started out being a raucous day into something quite a bit more palatable.  It was interesting to see how attentive both Ian and Nathaniel could be while I read two whole, albeit short, books of the Bible.

Earlier the previous week I took one evening and read through the whole book of I Corinthians aloud to my wife while she was trying to get the baby down to sleep.   That took quite a bit longer, of course, but she was unable to do anything else and appreciated being able to hear the word spoken even if the baby still wasn't asleep once I was through. 

There is great benefit to reading the Bible out loud.  Not only does it naturally slow us down, but it allows others to also hear at the same time.  We also increase our own comprehension by hearing as well as reading.  Add to this that the shorter books are quite easy to read, even out loud, in a single sitting.  Some books (Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, & Jude) are as short as a single chapter and over a dozen more are just four chapters or less.  It is indeed not burdensome then to expose both ourselves and those who can listen to much biblical content.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

John 3:16 & Acts 16:31

This past week both Ian and Nathaniel were able to recite their respective verses - John 3:16 (NKJV) & Acts 16:31 (NKJV).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Starting Matthew

Since Easter we have also started reading the book of Matthew in our family Bible reading time.  This allows us to read from both the Old Testament and New Testament each day.  Easter seemed to be a great time to make the transition since we were teaching the boys about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and reminding them at the same time about the birth of Christ which we covered back at Christmas time that made Easter itself all possible.  Since the New Testament begins with the gospels and the gospels begin with the birth of Christ it was a natural fit.  As a bonus, we now get to teach them firsthand about the life of Christ each day as we do our reading.

We plan to continue reading in both the Old Testament and New Testament each day.  The goal is one chapter from each every day.  This means, of course, that we'll finish the New Testament well before we complete the Old Testament, but that's just fine.  At that point, we'll simply start the New Testament over and continue through again.  No reason to get any more complicated than that - keeping it simple is still the plan.

Personally I'm excited about starting the gospels at the same time that we're still reading Deuteronomy.  Jesus frequently quoted from both the law and the prophets - and that's exactly what he came to fullfill!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Truth and Grace Memory Books

These books are great and really help to bring some much needed organization and structure to family worship time. They include wonderful suggestions for age appropriate memory verses and songs. In addition, each book also includes a useful catechism for helping to teach meaningful doctrinal truths. They may be small, but they are jam packed with a wealth of information.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Flannelgraph

Last week over Easter we cut out felt crosses, soldiers, a tomb, several bystanders, a couple thieves, and several other related items and read through the account of the Easter story while showing it all graphically up on the flannel board.  It was a nice way to help the young ones get a better idea of what we were reading about and why Easter is so important.  We did a similar exercise at Christmas time.

The flannelgraph opened up lots of questions!  We'll definitely be doing this again next year!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Blood of Sprinkling and the Children

One thing I am sure of, and that is, that if we teach the children the doctrine of the atonement in the most unmistakable terms, we shall be doing ourselves good. I sometimes hope that God will revive his church and restore her to her ancient faith by a gracious work among children. If he would bring into our churches a large influx of young people, how it would tend to quicken the sluggish blood of the supine and sleepy! Child Christians tend to keep the house alive. Oh, for more of them! If the Lord will but help us to teach the children we shall be teaching ourselves. There is no way of learning like teaching, and you do not know a thing till you can teach it to another. You do not thoroughly know any truth till you can put it before a child so that he can see it. In trying to make a little child understand the doctrine of the atonement you will get clearer views of it yourselves, and therefore I commend the holy exercise to you.

What a mercy it will be if our children are thoroughly grounded in the doctrine of redemption by Christ! If they are warned against the false gospels of this evil age, and if they are taught to rest on the eternal rock of Christ's finished work, we may hope to have a generation following us which will maintain the faith, and will be better than their fathers. Your Sunday-schools are admirable; but what is their purpose if you do not teach the gospel in them? You get children together and keep them quiet for an hour-and-a-half, and then send them home; but what is the good of it? It may bring some quiet to their fathers and mothers, and that is, perhaps, why they send them to the school; but all the real good lies in what is taught the children. The most fundamental truth should be made most prominent, and what is this but the cross? Some talk to children about being good boys and girls, and so on; that is to say, they preach the law to the children, though they would preach the gospel to grown-up people! Is this honest? Is this wise? Children need the gospel, the whole gospel, the unadulterated gospel; they ought to have it, and if they are taught of the Spirit of God they are as capable of receiving it as persons of ripe years. Teach the little ones that Jesus died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Very, very confidently do I leave this work in the hands of the teachers of this school. I never knew a nobler body of Christian men and women; for they are as earnest in their attachment to the old gospel as they are eager for the winning of souls. Be encouraged, my brothers and sisters: the God who has saved so many of your children is going to save very many more of them, and we shall have great joy in this Tabernacle as we see hundreds brought to Christ. God grant it, for his name's sake! Amen.

C. H. Spurgeon - The Blood of Sprinkling and the Children

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hymn of the Month: April 2010


Author: John H. Sammis, 1887

1. When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way!
Let us do His good will;
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

2. Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

3. But we never can prove
The delights of his love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows
And the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

4. Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at his feet
Or we'll walk by His side in the way;
What he says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.