Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Barber Who Wanted To Pray

This is the perfect time of the year to introduce our little ones to great reformers in history. Recently, I discovered a sweet story based on the life of Martin Luther. The Barber Who Wanted To Pray by R.C. Sproul is a delightful fictional story that is based on the true story about an ordinary barber and one extraordinary man in history.

One night a young girl asks her father how to pray, and he tells her a story of a time when the great reformer, Martin Luther, gets his hair cut and strikes up an interesting conversation with his barber. The barber also asks advice how to pray, and Martin Luther shares a simple model for prayer that changes the barber's life.

I love how people of all ages--especially children--can relate to Martin Luther doing something as ordinary as getting his hair cut. Sproul's book is also a helpful tool to teach our children the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, and the Lord's Prayer. More importantly, it's a wonderful lesson on heartfelt prayer. When we don't know what or how to pray, Luther's lesson of using a model to personalize our prayers can help us grow in our relationship with God.

The illustrations are delightful; people of all ages will be captured by this sweet story and the simple lesson of this great man in history.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this awesome book from Crossway for my honest review, and I honestly love it! Add it to your book list--it's a keeper!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song.

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life--even though invisible to spectators--is with Christ in God. He is your life."
{Colossians 3:1-3, The Message}

204. Counting gifts with my boy...."But Mom, I'm already thankful..." {sigh}
205. Reconciliation with my preteen....oh, Lord, help me!
206. Finding a deal on Craigslist
207. Pumpkin latte, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin cheesecake
208. Carving pumpkins-a glorious picture of a new identity in Christ
209. Air soft wars with boys
210. A walk with the hubby
211. Soft, humble hearts
212. Fall in St. Louis

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kiddy Catechism

Years ago my oldest learned the children's catechism. If you're not familiar with the children's catechism, it's a series of questions and answers about the truths of God. Kind of like theology for kids! Now, for those who did not grow up in a traditional church setting or who get a little freaked out by the word "catechism," it really is just a simple way to learn about who God is, who Jesus is, who we are in relation to him, and the basics of the Christian faith. It's not weird, I promise.

Now, just like we were on top of so many other things in raising our first-born, we've been sort of flying by the seat of our pants ever since, and as all experienced parents know, it all kind of goes downhill from there. I mean, you just don't do things the same way with your younger children. You know what I mean.

I've realized for a few years that my middle child learned about half of the kiddy catechism and that my youngest has mastered only about three or four questions. Maybe.

So, this fall we're dusting off our little question and answer booklets, we're adding in the catechism to our handwriting assignments, and we're singing it, as well.


I've been convinced for a long time that the more information you put to a tune the more you can remember. At least that's how my brain work.

So when I found the Ask Me WhoOo series by Diana Beach Batarseh, I was thrilled! These are sweet, catchy tunes for each of the questions and answers in the children's catechism...PLUS wonderful scripture verses to go along with each one. It's all lovely--especially the sweet owl graphics to boot!

This is a three-volume series. We have the first in the series, and we'll see how much we like singing it before we buy the other volumes.

There's a lot to like about her music, but besides the corresponding Bible verses after each set of question and answers, I also love to hear the children's voices sing along with Diana as well as read the scripture. Super sweet.

So...What are you waiting for? Or rather, WhoOo are you waiting for? Check it out now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Check out these spy kids...

How have I forgotten thankfulness? Forgotten that all around me whispers beauty and hope. Yes, even grace.

And then there are days that God screams JOY to me...and I am learning to trust that all is well and all will be well.

I woke up to a Monday morning of temptations...mostly to be overwhelmed and failing to trust that God will take care of my cares. Oh me of little faith.

So we started off with recess this morning...and look what my sweet things turned into?!? Spies!I seriously had to laugh out loud...and that was good medicine for my melancholy Monday morning. Not sure if they are getting ready for Halloween or what?!? {I personally like how my girly girl accessorized her spy outfit with a purple belt and purse.}

So today, I'm mostly thankful for children who remind me the importance of being playful and having a child-like faith. A lesson I need each day.

Jesus, Make it well with my soul today. And teach me thankfulness again and again.

191. a new neighbor and friend
192. glorious fall colors shouting endless words of thankfulness
193. Trader Joe's Pear Cinnamon cider
194. hearing my son laugh and enjoy his youth group
195. worshiping all together as a family
196. fall break--even if it's only a day!
197. trying on high heels with my girly girl
198. shopping with my girl and hearing her talk me into buying something for me!
199. an Indian summer
200. my helpful husband
201. a great dentist and a fixed tooth
202. watching my boys play flag football together
203. learning to laugh

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In a Nutshell...

"The Bible is God's story of what he is doing in his world. It is the story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. We learn from this story that God created us to have fellowship with him, to serve him, and to glorify him. We learn that Adam, our predecessor, failed in carrying out his role, plunging himself and us into a new world order of sin and death. We learn that God, even in his giving of the curse for Adam's disobedience, offers the hope of redemption through the seed. That seed, as the story unfolds, turns out to be his Son, Jesus Christ, the God-man.

Through Christ's work on the cross, he undoes what Adam did. Through his perfect obedience he makes a way for us who were cut off from God, alienated from him, to be brought near, to be reconciled. We also learn that Christ's work set in motion not only the redemption of sinful humanity, but also the restoration of all things, that someday the new heavens and the new earth will come to pass and the curse and night will be no longer.

This comprises God's grand story that pulses through the pages of God's Word to us, the Bible. It is also the story that God invite us to participate in. He created us in his image and gave us a mandate to subdue and have dominion over his creation. He has called us to work, to cultivate, his world. He also calls us into fellowship with him by taking us from being "in Adam" and placing us "in Christ."

And we are called to a life of transformation into the image of the Son. We bear Christ's image as we proclaim, both through our words and our actions, the gospel, the story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.

This is the greatest story of all time."

excerpt from Welcome to the Story, by Stephen J. Nichols