Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (9/30/09)

Here is a link to a good article on Postmillennialism at Forerunner. This view of eschatology is a very misunderstood one and often maligned. This article will give you a good understanding and I hope food, or should I say scripture, for thought. Also a good book on this subject is Keith Mathison’s Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope.

My son Andrew has put up an explanation on “How to Make a Photo Widget” for your blog

Don’t forget the upcoming Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 Conference in December.

As a last reminder today is the last day to save $100 if you pre-buy the Venture Academy DVD set.

It just seemed this video needed to go last on this post. On Voddie Baucham's blog he posted the very sobering video below on abortion: Shocking Abortion Video. Abortion is murder and we should not play games with words so as to avoid the truth of the matter.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Do Parents Need Relief From Their Children?

This may not be a question you have asked but I have heard it said in passing a number of times. To make a confession I thought like this in a manner when we first started homeschooling many years ago. I would see my wife frazzled after a day with the children and seriously thought that the government school would be the answer. The truth is that I was more concerned about how my wife related to me than her well being. Instead of looking to see how I could help with the schooling I was seeking to, at least to my mind, eliminate the problem. What I should have done was seek out scripture and seek to help with the schooling and not try and find a way to avoid the issue by sending my children away.

This same mentality often permeates the church as I have heard many people speak of parents needing a break from their children during worship as a reason to send their children off to “children’s church” or some form of youth group. What is missed is the God given opportunity to train our children to worship as God calls them to by including them in the activities on the Lord’s Day alongside the adults. I mention this as the issue with children in the meeting of the church and the need to send children off to school to give mom a break often stem from the same misguided view of children.

Children are called a blessing (PS 127:3) in scripture but all too many Christians by their actions treat them as an inconvenience. I believe this results from not understanding why we as believers have children. If God’s purpose in everything is to glorify Himself, and it is, then children must be given to us so as to glorify Him. Thus the main purpose God gives us children is to raise them to glorify Him and to do this at all cost. If our mindset is to raise children to glorify God and that God will empower us to do so I think our mindset on needing relief from them would be less of a temptation.

We are a culture of relaxation and that mindset infiltrates every area of our lives and this includes the raising of our children. We do not see this drive for relaxation and relief when reading Scripture and in truth we do not see it from the great movements of God in history. What we do see is a pursuit to raise families that seek to honor God in all they do. Can children be difficult, can they being tiring, the answer is yes. The fact they can be all these things is not a reason however to seek to avoid our responsibility to raise them in any way we can.

Let me add here that the husband plays a great part in this. Where I failed to help as I should have I would encourage other fathers not to do the same. Seek ways to help in the raising of your children so that by mutual encouragement and support the temptation to seek relief from your children will not surface. Homeschooling is a family endeavor not simply a job for the wife. I would say, and I too failed here, the responsibility for the homeschooling lies with the husband. Scripture speaks of the father as the one that is to train the children (Eph 6:4) and while we as fathers may enlist our wives in this endeavor we are responsible to God and would add that responsibility is not just for the children but also for the welfare of our wives. If our wives are tired we need to care for the children not send them off to the government.

I started by asking if parents need relief from their children which often leads to the temptation to send ones children to the government schools. I hope you have seen that this is a question that should not be entered into as it stems from a wrong view of children and our responsibility to them. It is a question we need to repent of if we have asked it, and I have in the past, and ask God to give us the right mindset with regards to children.

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine

Be informed about the Swine Flu Vaccine the government wants us to take. In the video below the anchor cuts in while the doctor is about to mention squalene which is probably more dangerous than the thimersol the anchor focuses on. Also listen to the end when the doctor mentions the very high levels of mercury in the vaccine. Levels that are not allowed in other products but even so the government says we should inject these levels directly into our blood stream. If you like toxic chemicals injected into your body then I guess this vaccine is ok:)

Lets see I can have the flu or I can have toxicity levels that may cause much worse issues now and in the future – does not seem like a difficult choice.

Reminder about the Venture Academy DVD Set

As a reminder; the $100 ($395 instead of the final price of $495) discount on the Venture Academy DVD Set ends next week on September 30th. In October the set will go to $440 and then when released it goes to the final price of $495.

Click the banner below to go to the Franklin Springs Family Media site for more information and to order your copy of the DVD set:

The following are some videos to give you an idea of what the set includes:

Venture Analysis Part 1:

Venture Analysis Part 2:

Other Videos:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Be One - DVD Review

If you want to start a lively discussion in your church bring up the topic of courtship/betrothal as opposed to the current practice of dating. Our culture, including the church, is so ingrained with the idea that dating multiple people before marriage is the norm that to oppose it, even with scriptural support, creates animosity. While scripture gives no warrant for or commands to practice dating it does give us principles and practices that are meant to protect the hearts of singles until marriage and these are seen most clearly in what is known as courtship and betrothal. Keep in mind these words do not necessarily mean the same thing to everyone but what they do have in common is that singles do not seek to share their intimate and personal affections until they are led by God to the one they discern, or the parents discern as is often the case, He is leading them to marry.

We just watched a new documentary called “To Be One” that shows the process that three couples and their parents went though leading up to and after their weddings. Now if you are expecting this documentary to be an apologetic for courtship and betrothal it is not. Yes there is scripture shown and spoken of but in general the idea of courtship/betrothal is assumed as the biblical mandate. We do see some variation in how one views the courtship and betrothal process. Two of the couples start with a courtship phase with the intention of marriage if God leads then move to betrothal while a third couple moves straight to betrothal. Norm Wakefield, who speaks in the first part of this documentary, says it best when he shares that while there are biblical principles to follow if one is looking for a perfectly defined road map you will miss God’s hand working in the process (my paraphrase). I would add that this is much as we see in scripture as not everyone meets and marries their spouses in the exact same way but all have the similarity that there is no process such as we have today where one tries out, so to speak, a number of possible suitors before settling on the best of the lot.

Another important aspect that is shown in this documentary is the involvement of the parents in each couple’s marriage. This includes even as far as suggesting a future spouse with one couple moving into betrothal after having not known each other in more than a cursory manner. I am sure some would see this and think of this process as archaic and maybe even wrong but that would only be an opinion derived from enculturated instincts not biblical commands and principles. All too often parents are removed from the marriage process until the end but as is seen in this documentary all the parents are involved from the beginning, in varying manners but all were involved early on. What is not shown but seems alluded to is that that these parents did not just get involved in the lives of their children when marriage was coming around but this was simply an extension of their relationship with their children. The message to us as parents is to start now, not later when they are older, so that being involved later will not be an issue.

I also like the consistent stress on marriage being a picture of Christ and His bride, the church. It made me wonder if the idea we have of “trying Jesus” came from our cultural views on marriage or if our these views on marriage led to this attitude. Regardless, in our society today the professing church all too often marginalizes the marriage process and also tends to marginalize the relationship between Christ and His church. We need to take how we proceed into marriage with as much seriousness as we are called to with our relationship to Christ.

I think this documentary was well done as it did a great job of putting some meat to the idea of courtship and betrothal. It allows others to see, at least in a small way, what the process can look like. All courtship and betrothal will not be the same but the goal is the same: to protect the hearts of God’s children until they are ready to “leave and cleave.” I am sure for some, probably many, this documentary will be strange but to live by God’s standards will be strange. It was strange for Abraham to live as he did among the pagans. It was strange for Moses and Paul to live as they did as it was for the other saints of scripture. It will be strange for us to live by God’s all sufficient word but that is what we are called to do. We are to seek out God’s will realizing that things will not always be as you may have seen in the documentary but the principles that flowed through it do not change.

I would encourage you to watch this documentary and if it does not sit right with you do not brush it off but search out scripture to see if your discomfort is from your presuppositions. Even if the idea of courtship/betrothal is not new to you and that is your leaning I think this will give you some insight in various way this works. One thing I took away from this documentary, and I should have thought of this before, was the whole idea of Christ coming for His bride and how we usually make weddings all about the bride when it is to be focused on the groom. Not because he is the groom but because he represents Christ coming for His bride the church. Hmm, I think my daughter at her wedding will be the one waiting at the altar for her future husband to come get her.

Here is a link so you can see a trailer and purchase the DVD: To Be One

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Keeping Your Way Pure

It was a great day of worship as we looked at Psalm 119:9-16, sermon link here. What a great passage with so many seeking to find ways around God’s law the Psalmist in seeking how to have a pure walk lets us see it is by seeking out God’s commands, statutes, ordinances, testimonies and precepts.

The walk that most glorifies God is one that seeks to live by HIs all sufficient word. He is most glorified by this type of life because it is He who empowers His children to live as such. The Psalmist in V1-8 speaks of how we are to walk and then in V9-16 deals with how we accomplish the walk we are to have. It is about how we are to Keep Our Way Pure.

We see in V9 that we are to Guard our Life by His word and this is to be done in Whole Hearted Submission (V10) that will be used by God to help one not to wander from His commandments. In V11 the Psalmist reveals that the battle against sin is accomplished by Storing up His Word in our heart. Our heart is not to seek after avoiding His precepts and commands but is to be one that has A Desire to be Taught (V12) all God’s word contains. Our lives are to be so impacted by God’s law-word that we can do no other than Proclaim His Law (V13) and reveal that we Find Our Delight in His Word (V14).

Lastly in V15 and v16 we see the Psalmist move towards what he will do. All that has been proclaimed is not simply theoretical or what he has done but it will be part of his life to come. A life that will be Focused (V15) and fixed on God’s ways. The Psalmists life, as ours should be, will find delight in His law, in His statutes. This challenges us to ask if our True Joy is in Him and His word (V16) or is it in something else.

Let us seek to walk the blameless walk God calls us to by the path He sets forth for us in His word by His power.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Constitution Day - 2009

Today is Constitution Day in remembrance of the September 17th 1787 signing of the US Constitution. It is a sad state of affairs in our country when many if not most Americans have no idea what our Constitution is and what was intended by it.

When historical revisionists ignore its biblical moorings and move to have it interpreted by an humanistic epistemology rather than the Christian worldview that its signers lived under it begins to take on a meaning not originally intended. We need to take the time to read the Constitution as well as the writings of this countries founders so as to be able to hold our elected officials and appointed judges accountable for their blatant disregard for its original meaning. The Constitution is not a living document but has a meaning that was originally intended and one that was meant to continue on.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
Patrick Henry

The following are some sites that you can visit for more information on the Constitution:

The US Constitution (Hypertext Version)

The US Constitution (Archives Version)

You can download until the end of the day (9/17/09) an MP3 of the Constitution here.

The Institute on the Constitution

The Tenth Amendment Center

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kevin Swanson Interview of Wade Myers

Kevin Swanson had a good interview with Wade Myers of the Venture Academy and the New Venture Lab with regards to family entrepreneurship:

As an update/reminder; the pre-buy time for the Venture Academy DVD Set discount from Franklin Springs Family Media is ending September 30th. If bought before then there is $100 savings, $395 instead of $495 – Click here or below to Pre-Buy this great tool.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (9/14/09)

Kevin Swanson writes on slavery in his blog post Pick Your Slavery. He writes:

"The day we cease to look to big governments and petty lords for our security, and we learn to trust in God for our daily food and our salvation, and we repent of our sins of pride, slothfulness, idolatry, and addictions, then we will no longer need the chains of institutional slavery to form our social systems. That day we are more impelled by the motivation of love than the motive of power, is when we will spend more time preaching the Gospel than enslaving our fellow men by centralizing power and wealth in fifedoms large or small."

Charley at HomeDiscipling Dad writes in Childlike Joy….. on how we need to review how we relate to God and His word to see if we have allowed our walk with him to loose the joy we first had.

Lee Duigon writes and excellent article entitled: Public School Teacher ‘Professionalism’: A Myth Exposed. How many shy away from their call as Christian parents to school their children because of the myth Mr Duigon speaks of. The government schools perpetuate this myth so as to retain a hold on our children and Christians need to realize this. We as Christian parents need to realize when God says He will “equip you with everything good that you may do his will” (Heb 13:20-22) the training and raising of our children is one things He will equip us for.

Voddie has on his blog the always insightful “September 2009: Welcome to the Continuing Collapse!” by Bruce Shortt. The subtitle is very telling Exposing Government Schools: The Youth Ministry of the State Church of Secular Humanism.

Here is a good site that deals with the Tenth Amendment: Tenth Amendment Center

Monday, September 07, 2009

True Worship

Yesterday at our Lord’s Day gathering we looked at Gen 22:1-14. How often do we look at the Genesis 22 and look for what it says about our salvation? But the context ,while certainly being a picture of substitutionary atonement , has even more to offer. We see in the text that Abraham's test involved the worship of God. Would Abraham worship God as God called him to worship or would he devise his own plan. We know the answer but that answer is relevant to us as we are not only called by God to worship Him but are told in Heb 12:28 that we are not to simply offer any worship we desire but to offer worship that is acceptable to God.

So, unlike Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2 ) and Uzzah (2 Sam 6:6-7) who thought it best to do things the way they desired we need to see that acceptable worship is that which is defined by God. Also we need to see that worship is not about a particular day of the week,even though we are to set aside the Lord’s Day, it is about all of life. If we truly saw all of life as about worship and that God defines what acceptable worship is then we should see that God then defines how we are to live so as to be acceptable worship of Him.

In the text we need to see that it was not only the final act of being ready to offer up Isaac that reveled Abraham's faith it was also the act of going to a mountain in the “land of Moriah” to make his offering that was worship. Let us be as Abraham so that our life is that of an act of worship. A life that seeks to glorify God in all we do (1 Cor 10:31).

It has been such a great joy being able to preach though Genesis and seeing how relevant it is to us today. As Genesis was written to the Hebrews who would be soon crossing the Jordan to live in the pagan lands on the other side we too should gain the same hope Moses was seeking to instill as we journey in the pagan lands God has placed us in Let our life be the living sacrifice it is called to be in Hebrews 12:1-2, a living act of worship.

Past Genesis messages can be found here.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Quote From Francis Schaeffer

This is a very appropriate quote for the age we live in today from Francis Schaeffer that was posted at my sons blog: What They Said:

“No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions. The Christians had that absolute in God's revelation. Because the Christians had an absolute, universal standard by which to judge not only personal morals but the state, they were counted as enemies of totalitarian Rome and were thrown to the beasts.”
Francis A. Schaeffer
(from: How Should We Then Live?)
Does this not sound familiar today? The world hates those who live by the absolute standards of God’s word. We as believers need to realize the hatred the world has for God’s standards and the great lengths they will go to avoid them and not be detered. Sadly many “professing” believers appear to have this same disdain for God’s immutable standards. Let us not be changed by the world but worship God by being conformed to His word by His power (Rom 12:1-2).

P.S. By the way you may want to check out Andrew's blog as there are some very good quotes posted during the week.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Why Do We Follow Man’s Standards for Education?

When it comes to Christian homeschooling have you ever noticed how much we emulate the government school system? We say we want to be different and not be part of the governments indoctrination plan for our children but then we simply take their practices and implement them in our homes. The curriculum may be a little different, I say maybe, but we tend to do everything else the same. We follow the school systems schedule their grading system and even their age graded manner of placing our children. We end up doing “schooling at home” rather than “homeschooling.”

I realize that this comes from years of having the world’s standards for education hammered into our heads but it’s a cycle we need to consciously begin striving to get away from. We need to begin to see the goals for believing parents are much different than the world’s standards. Our standards are not to raise contributing members of society, even though that may be an outcome, but it is to raise children that have as their sole passion to glorify God and proclaim His name in all they do. The issue with raising children to be contributing members of society begs the question as to who defines what is a contributing member and since the standards of those who live in the city of God are vastly different than those who live in the city of man we need to realize we will not raise children that meet the government schools idea of “contributing” in most cases.

Many Christian homeschool parents at this time of year speak of the summer being over and time for school to start. The truth is if one is to follow the Deut 6:1-9 manner of discipleship, which is a usual text to support Christian home education, teaching is to happen at all times and is not restricted to any season or time of the year. It is to take place wherever teaching can happen. This does not negate planning and being purposeful in schooling and the truth is you may start a new area of teaching in the fall but my point is that we would be doing this because this is where things happen to work out not because of some tradition run internal clock that says it is time to school.

A danger is that our children may glean from this that life is about having a time for learning and a time for fun and two shall not meet. How many of us that were schooled in the government system looked forward to summer so as to get away from learning? But the goal of Christian homeschooling should be to raise children eager to learn all that God has for them at any time. The conforming of our mind (Heb 12:2) to God’s leading is to happen at all times not at certain seasons. This can translate later in life to create a dichotomy between, say, work and home, between work and church and in other areas. But the truth is that all we do is to be done for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31) so we need to be ready in season and out to learn and be led. There are no set times for any of this and we need to work to eliminate this mindset in our children. Again, there can be times of purposeful teaching but be very careful that this planning is led by God and not by man.

I pray you see that this is not a condemnation of those that have a school year that mimics the government system, we have done just the same in the past, but it is a call to step back and look at what we are doing and ask is it because of tradition, convenience or because it is what God calls us to do.

I am fairly certain that this mindset happens without us even thinking about it but that is the danger as what else do we do in our homeschooling that comes from ingrained tradition rather than from what God would have us be doing? How often do we think a child needs to read by a certain age, write by a certain age and if they do not meet the standards of the state or even our neighbors do we stress out? How many were thrilled to see that HSLDA showed statistics that homeschoolers have equal to or better test scores than government schooled children? It is great that there is empirical evidence for the benefits of homeschooling but we are not to build our foundation on those statistics but on the word of God and the goal of rearing godly seed to be used by God to further his kingdom in whatever manner He sees fit.

Let us seek to raise children by God’s standards and for His glory. Let us seek to use curriculum that has God at its center and not as an addendum so it can be called Christian. Let us break the grip the government school system has on our minds that is so ingrained in us and seek to raise a new generation that looks to God and not the state.

By the way I have struggled as a parent and as a father through all of these issues. I have failed miserably in the past and seek to, by God’s grace continue to change. I have had to shake off the concerns that my government schooling instilled in me such as: are my children going to be smart enough, whatever that means, are they far enough along in their various studies, do they have a grasp of the subjects Uncle Sam says they should be schooled in. But in all of this I came to realize that the goal of Christian parenting is to raise children to further His kingdom and thus need to be children that conform to His standards. Where they are in the educational process is secondary, at best, to raising children with Christian integrity and having a kingdom mindset. I claim no special revelation, except the special revelation of His word, just that God has convicted me over the last few years that I needed to change and thus so did my outlook on homeschooling. As we search out scriptures for our guidance we find there is little that mirrors the world's idea of education but much about discipleship in the ways of God. So let us seek to do things God’s ways and realize that from the beginning the worlds ways have always been at odds with God’s and it is no different in the education of our children.

By his grace and His mercy please consider your homeschooling and always be asking, as I ask myself, am I schooling by His standards or the worlds?

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Venture Academy DVD Set Pre-Buy

I was not able to attend the first Venture Academy but from those I know that went this was a great time of learning with regards to business. The DVD set is being produced by Franklin Springs Family Media and will be released in October. If you pre-buy between now and September 30 you can save $100 and get the series for $395 instead of the October price of $495 for the 35+ hours of training. Based on the information given and from talking to a friend that attended this is a great buy if you are looking to start a business or simply gain a better understanding of business, and all from a Christian perspective.

From the Franklin Springs Site:

The Venture Academy: Equipping Christian Entrepreneurs

The Venture Academy DVD Training Series, featuring Wade Myers, is a phenomenal new tool for aspiring entrepreneurs, students serious about increasing their business knowledge, families eager to start their own business, or anyone desirous of strengthening an existing business venture. Features 35+ hours of premium business training, 16 DVDs with over 38 valuable sessions, 6 workbooks, pre-loaded USB drive with helpful business documents, and much more!

Watch an introduction video by Venture Academy founder and president Wade Myers:

The Basic Entrepreneurship Series is divided into six primary areas of business fundamentals:
Sales and Marketing
Finance and Accounting
Technology & Service Management
Human Resources
Business Communications
& Legal Venture Analysis

Pre-buy here.