It is Christmas Eve! The eve of our celebration of the light of men, Jesus Christ. Of course, we Christians should celebrate, praise, and worship the Son of God every day of our lives, but this is a day that we can set aside to focus our attention and our hearts on our Lord and Savior. The prophet, Isaiah, tells of a great light that has been seen by… that has dawned on… people who are dwelling in darkness.
What is a catechism? What does it mean to catechize? Does the mere mention of these words mean that one is Roman Catholic? Does catechizing one’s children save them? Is this an unbiblical practice? The word catechism isn’t in the Bible! Are we brainwashing our children? Inquiring minds want to know!
Misconceptions and misunderstandings about this time-honored tradition abound. I have been asked many of the questions posed above or heard similar doubts about the practice in various contexts and conversations. I would like to address some of these misconceptions.
I consider myself to be an avid reader and I like to have a reading plan. This past year (2018) I had a few books planned, but I mostly just rambled through a bunch of books at random. This year I want to be more thoughtful and plan out what I will be reading. I generally read more than 10 books per year, but this will be a good basis to start from. This list is heavy on the Family & Parenting side (you know, since it’s a family blog and all).
Happy New Year! This is the first day of 2019, which means there is only one year remaining before we find ourselves in the year 2020 (twenty-twenty). Wow! That sounds like science fiction for those of us who grew up in the previous millennium. 2018 was quite an extreme year for our family, and may be one of the toughest we’ve encountered. It was full of many, many blessings but also many trials and opportunities for God to stretch us and turn us into the people that He wants us to be. I may write about some of the things that happened this past year in the coming weeks… but then I may not. You’ll just have to wait and see.
For this year’s resolutions I wanted to change it up a bit. My resolutions this year are all verbs. Actually, present participles if you want to get technical. These are really just areas that I want to improve upon. To be sure, there are specific steps and goals within each that may or may not be listed below, but the idea is that I just want to get better. They are in no particular order, except for the opening resolution which is really the foundation of them all, and the closing resolution which buttons things up quite nicely. Without further ado, here are my resolutions for the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen.
I usually try to pick a plan to read the Bible through during each year. I’ve used several different plans over the years, my favorite being the Tabletalk Bible Reading plan from Ligonier Ministries. However, this year I had some special requirements that I wanted to try out. I could not find a plan that matched what I wanted, so I created my own.
God Adopted Us
I am thankful for adoption, first and foremost, because it was really God’s idea. God first adopted us and showed us the blessing of adoption.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
– John 1:12-13 (ESV)
We are only able to love because God first loved us. I am thankful that God showed me His mercy, opened my eyes, and saved me. I am thankful that “in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
Just over two years ago, Aubrey and I embarked upon a journey to adopt. In March of this year, our first adoption was finalized, and we have had the privilege of being Mommy and Daddy to a beautiful little girl from her birth. Now, we are beginning the process all over again. That’s right. We’re adopting another child.
I’ve received a number of responses when I tell people this. Some encouraging, some comical, but thankfully, none too rude. I would like to address the reasons why we are adopting again and the things that are NOT reasons why we are adopting again.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, burned out, or just generally ill-equipped to balance parenting and homeschooling and the rest of regular life stuff, then the Homeschool Teaching Summit is designed for you. It will refresh your excitement for the homeschool journey, equip you with practical teaching tools, and transform your vision for Christian education and …
What exactly is “sanctification”? This is the process whereby God works in our lives to change us and to transform us in many degrees so that we are like our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. I know this on an intellectual level, but what does it mean in my life? I’ve known that this was a hard process, that sanctification can hurt. I also know that it is necessary. I thought I’d experienced the pain of this process. To be quite honest, I’d even glamorized this process somewhat, thinking that I was such a good Christian: “Look at me! I’m being sanctified… I’m suffering for Christ’s sake.” That was before this past week.
We live in the Northpointe neighborhood in Pensacola, FL… the one that got hammered with a tornado Tuesday night (February 24, 2016). Aubrey and Ragan were away from home, babysitting for some friends while I held down the fort with my younger two children. We knew that a fairly large stormfront was coming through, but I had no idea that we would be in the center of it.