Wednesday, April 25, 2007


We have been studying the book of Genesis in our Bible study class at church. And we have just crossed over from Abram to Abraham. There have been several instances of "laughing" or "laughter" that have caught my attention. Most of it revolves around Sarah and her response to hearing that she will bear a child. Or it revolves around her joy at the birth of Isaac as she acknowledges that it was God who brought forth this laughter.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Genesis 21:1-7 NIV

I am not sure exactly what I think about this passage. But I think that God is amazing in that He turned what was a gentle rebuke at Sarah's (and probably Abraham's as well) disbelief into an occasion for joy for the present time and for years to come.

Isn't that just like our God?

Monday, April 09, 2007

So what are we to “teach” our children? And, why should they listen?

In my last post I made a brief mention of teaching our children. And that got me to thinking. Admittedly, that may be a dangerous thing.

If your kids are anything like mine, it is entirely possible that they might have some questions. Look at verse 20 in chapter 6 of Deuteronomy.

“In the future your children will ask you, `What is the meaning of these stipulations, laws, and regulations that the Lord our God has given us?”

Tell them this.

Everything that comes from God has a special meaning. And further, there is a specific purpose for it. Otherwise, God would not have told it to us.

Tell them that our job is to first of all obey. Then, if we have time, figure out the “Why?”.

I would also make this observation to parents. A good healthy (yet reverend) inquisitiveness is a good thing. If children are curious about such things then it is a good sign that they are concerned about the things of God. Capitalize on that teachable moment and recount some story from your own life about how you saw God's hand at work in your life or in an important situation.

Again, if your kids are like mine, there is still another “Why?” coming. Why should we even obey God's laws and commandments?

We teach them to obey them out of gratefulness to God for all that He has done for us. The people in the story in Deuteronomy were not all that far removed historically from the great exodus out of Egypt. They certainly had much to be grateful to God for. See verses 21 to 23 for more on that.

We teach them to obey so that God would sustain us and continue to grant us favor in His eyes. see verse 24. This verse seems to indicate that our very life may depend upon it.

We teach them to obey so that we may be righteous. See verse 25. Now hold on. Don't get nervous. Any of you who know me well know that I am in no way indicating a works based theology here. Far from it. But there are some things required of me by a Holy God. And obedience is just one of them.

I John 3:7 says,
“Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.”

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I am blessed

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 NLT

I am not a big fan of some of the more modern translations of the Bible. I am an old KJV kind of guy. But, the New Living Translation really expresses what my heart feels today better than any of the 13 other versions that I looked at.

Today is my birthday. That's no big deal. What is a big deal to me is that my son called me at 6:45 Am this morning as we were both in our cars on the way to our jobs. He just called to say "Happy Birthday" and to tell me that he loves me.

My daughter texted me as soon as she got up this morning and before she went off to class at college. She said that she loves me and that I am "fabulous!" Not just good or great. But, fabulous!

My kids are truly a blessing from the Lord. I see that more and more each day as they continue to mature and become the man and woman that God is calling them to become.

Another verse comes to mind...
Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.
Deut. 6:7 NLT

We are charged to instruct our children in the commands of God. Not just so that they might in their young and formative years they can join us in praise and worship, but that afterwards they might also, in their day, keep up “religion” (but more importantly, Relationship!), and convey it to their own children and those that should come after them.

On a day like today, I feel that I am blessed to be seeing that being lived out in my children's hearts and lives.

Thank you God.
Thank you JR and EH.