Monday, March 28, 2011

The Successful Experiment

We do a lot of really bone-headed things when we are young. Take, for example, the “experiment” my brother and I conducted by the pool when we were seven and nine.

We were taking turns throwing each other into the pool (it didn’t take much to amuse us,) when I came up with the idea. Don’t ask me what made me think of it. Perhaps chlorine has a bewildering effect, or maybe the sun’s rays were making me reckless. Either way, what happened next forever changed the layout of my face.

“What would happen in you threw me into the pool, but didn’t let go?”

Ric looked at me blankly. “Uhhh… I dunno,” he sagely replied. “Let’s try it and see!”

I suppose you could call our experiment a success, if you consider the Emergency Room visit and stitches as proof. But, success or not, I gained a whole whale of experience.

We learn from our mistakes. But we don’t have the opportunity to back up and start over. In parenting, if we make a mistake, it is emblazoned in the memory of several people, including our child. That’s why we must listen to the voice of experience – those that have successfully trained their children to adulthood to be happy, productive, and godly grownups.

What are some insights we gain from listening to successful parents?

  • Their experience provides solid evidence that the Bible way is the best way.

  • Of course, the Bible is true, no matter what our experience is, but I submit to you that those who have followed the Bible way have proven God’s Word for themselves, leaving a blazoned path for the rest of us to follow.
  • Their experience, coupled with the testimony of their adult children who are living for God, provides solid evidence that we can raise godly children in our current culture.
  • Their experience gives us ideas that we can implement with confidence, knowing that it WORKS!

Not listening to the voice of experience is almost as bone-headed as throwing someone into the pool without letting go!

We all make bone-headed mistakes when we are young, but don’t let parenting be one of them. We can’t fix a life with a few stitches.

It reminds me of the time I “experimented” with going down steps on crutches…................but that’s another story!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Resource for Parenting

When we were young-er raising our children, one of the most useful resources I purchased was the book, Proverbs for Parenting.  This volume effectively groups the various proverbs into headings that are useful for study, for instruction of the children, and for help in sorting out fights, etc.  Now, I know your kids never fight, and neither do mine - well, I guess they do sometimes - but if they did (or when they do!), it’s always helpful to have a ready reference in dealing with the issues in a Scriptural manner.

Parenting from a Biblical perspective is much different than parenting from the seat of your pants.  God says, "My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts." (paraphrase) [Isaiah 55:9]

Jesus said that the least is truly the greatest, and the leader is to be the servant of all.

The way up is downon our knees.  And the way down (destruction) is through lifting ourselves up (a haughty spirit).

Worldly philosophies and ideals cannot raise godly children.  If we are to change this world for Christ, we must do it through His Word, His Spirit, and His power.  It can be no other way.

My hats are off to those of you struggling with little runny noses, soggy Pampers, and endless loads of laundry.  I’ve been there.  I know how hard it is.  You have chosen to sacrifice yourself, your time, your freedom, your energy, and your life to pour out into vessels of moldable clay.  As you do your duty as unto the Lord, He will fill your cup, lighten your step, and give that sweet peace of knowing that you are not throwing your energy to the wind – you are sowing foreternity.  Inasmuch as you follow God and do things His Way, you can be assured of His blessings.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking Time for Tea

For just a few moments, time stands still. I am no longer the busy mother – I become Lady Elizabeth, and my tea companions are no longer my little girls – they become the loveliest acquaintances to converse with: Lady Pricilla, Princess Mae, and Lady Esther.

For just a few moments, we have the most elegant tea, surrounded by the finest things to be seen. We exchange news of our travels; one has traveled to Washington and England, another across the Great Sea to a new, strange land, and another to Michigan, to visit a Queen and her friends. We discuss the wonders of this modern era: the new steam engine and the telephone.

For just a few moments, we use the best of manners, and give each other the most lavish gifts – hand-woven silk handkerchiefs from India, the most exquisite hand-painted miniature tea cups, and the finest Egyptian parchment. We have the grandest of times. We tell stories, laugh at old jokes, and revel in each other’s captivating company.

image source
For just a few moments, I lay aside my responsibilities, and become my girls’ best friend.

Because I know that childhood is onlyfor just a few moments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Due to a crazy amount of busyness this week (we're in the process of moving our things out of our house in Texas - a huge job!), I'm posting this article which I wrote a few weeks ago.  Enjoy!

"They're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time."

These famous words were spoken by the mighty Marine, “Chesty” Puller, as they were surrounded by the Chinese/Korean army on the frozen Chosen Reservoir during the Korean War.  It seemed an impossible task, but they grimly fought their way out of the incredible situation.

That’s sort of the way I feel here in the Pensacola, Florida area.  We are helping a new church in a town on the outskirts of Eglin AFB.  There are a lot of other military bases around here: Hurlbert Field, Pensecola Naval Air Station, Tyndal AFB and Whiting Field.  In other words, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time!

Last week, we were blessed to be able to help a godly man start a Bible study on Moody AFB in Georgia, and tonight My Beloved is leading a Bible study here on Pensacola NAS.  We’ve also been given a name for a young Marine to visit while we are here, so we pray that will open up more doors of ministry.  A few days ago, the whole family went door-to-door in a military community, and we were able to put a John/Romans at every door.  Sometimes we plant, sometimes we water, but we always look to God for the increase.

These steps into enemy territory are not without their difficulty.  Please continue to pray for us, as we do what we can to get the gospel to the military.

With God’s help and your prayers, we can do it!  After all, they can’t get away this time!  J


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Do I Like Better Than My Favorite Cholesterol Burger?

Sitting at the restaurant recently, while my family and I were enjoying the fellowship of an older preacher and his wife, I was also enjoying the fellowship of a nice, greasy burger.  

This particular restaurant makes great heart-attack burgers, rich in fat and cholesterol – a favorite of cardiologists everywhere, and one of my favorites, as well.

Having been a preacher for forty years, Rich knew how to get even the most stoic of our reserved children to giggle.  He leaned forward and asked my ten-year-old, "Did you hear about the snake who had eye trouble?"

Her eyes brightened and she wiggled in her seat, eager to hear his story.  Even though the restaurant was raucous, all my children began listening intently.

“He went to the eye doctor and got a pair of glasses; but a few days later, his friend found him crying his heart out. 

‘What’s the matter?’ his friend asked. 

‘I got new glasses!’ wailed the snake.

‘But you look great in your new glasses!  What are you crying for?’

‘I just found out that for two years I’ve been married to a garden hose!’”

All of us howled with laughter, and the kids set about to intervals of giggling and whispering amongst themselves. 

Though the meal was punctuated with laughter and a general giddiness, there were many serious moments.  It was during one of those lulls in the guffaws that I broached my favorite subject: passing on values to the next generation.

When Rich and Jean got married in the early ‘70’s, they would have never guessed that thirty years later, they would enjoy the rich heritage of having four children who love and serve the Lord.  Now adults with families of their own, their children are all actively involved in church – one teaches Sunday School, another plays piano for her church, while one of their sons preaches in the prisons and nursing homes, and another child is also raising his own children to live for God.  Rich and Jean are successful parents who have raised spiritually-minded children.

They are poster parents for godly parenting.  So I asked them, “In your opinion, what do you think has been the most important thing you have done to help you raise your children right?”

Rich drew a breath and replied thoughtfully, “I would say that for us, it was a matter of being REAL.  To be the same in church as we are at home is one of the most powerful tools in the parents’ toolbox.  I don’t mean just a rigid consistency, but a real, true love for God. 

“I would also say that the second thing is very closely related, and that’s JOY.  Love joyfully.  Be happy.  If God is going to meet your needs, just trust Him and be joyful.  Think of all the good things He has done!   As Christians, we shouldn’t get the ‘mullygrubs’.  It’s not a drudgery to serve God, it’s a Joy!”

Jean’s head quietly bobbed in agreement as her husband spoke.  Rich continued, “Also, I know I disciplined attitude quicker than action.  In other words, if they still did what I told them to do but had a bad attitude, I still disciplined them.  Their attitude was way more important to me than just the outward actions.”

Though many people never get the opportunity to talk to successful parents, to ask them some important questions, I am thankful I’ve had that opportunity.  And, much as I love a good ol’ heart-stopping grease burger, I much more enjoy gleaning from the wisdom of others and their many years’ experience.

And his final word of wisdom?  “When we homeschooled our kids, we would not let them graduate until they could count from one to a hundred forwards and backwards in less than ten minutes!”

And this set the kids back to giggling again.