Monthly Archives: April 2014

Quiet Time with Kids-New Update

Several years ago I wrote about scheduling a “quiet time” for our children. At the time they were ages 6, 2, and 15 months. You can click here to read about that, and then an update here.

For now, here’s what works for us. Our two girls share a bedroom, so they take turns with one staying in their room and one going to the living room. Our oldest, 11 years old, reads her Bible, prays, journals, and if time allows, reads some of a missionary biography each day.

Our middle child, 7 years old, reads her Bible, prays, and sings songs from our church’s songbook.

Our youngest, 6 years old, is learning to read, so he sometimes looks in his Bible to find words he knows. Mostly he listens to praise music and looks through his Bible storybooks in his room. Though we may listen to other contemporary Christian music throughout the day (they like it especially when they are cleaning), only certain music is allowed for quiet time. This is a time for singing praises to God versus singing about our walk or various life situations.

Also, our younger ones sometimes color their picture in their Bible coloring book from their devotion with Dad the night before during this time.

I usually give them around 20 minutes. Sometimes more if they ask for more time.

We occasionally ask them how their time is going, what they are doing, and for those that can read, what they are learning. We don’t want this to be something we just do everyday without them knowing the purpose, which is to have a relationship with God.

As a result of this scheduled quiet time, one of our daughters repented and believed in Christ while reading the Word. As she read Ezekiel, the Lord opened her heart to see that the same sentence on Israel for their sin also rested on her. Therefore, she put her trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Looking back from when we first started this, I can see we have come a long way! I am thankful for God’s faithfulness to remind us and give us patience as we are training our children and much fruit already!


Piper Leading Others To Love Missions

An Excerpt from a sermon on January 22,1984

We Must Have Strategies to Pursue the Lost

These three truths lead to an inevitable conclusion about the priorities of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
1.Truth one: God sent his Son into the world to save sinners from every nation so that they would glorify him for his mercy (Romans 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:15).
2.Truth two: this purpose of God has not yet been completed.
3.Truth three: Christ has passed on to the church his mission to seek and save the lost. As long as this age lasts, our charge from Jesus is to tell of his salvation with our lips and show his love with our lives so that people from every tongue and tribe and nation (Revelation 5:9) will be saved by faith and give him glory for his mercy.

The conclusion that follows from these three truths is that strategies and actions to seek and save the lost (especially where they have least opportunity to hear the gospel) must have high priority in the life of our church.


Discipleship: The Forgotten Means

The Gospel According to Matthew has multiple purposes. We should see the Great Commission at the end as giving us one of these purposes (possibly the most important one). That purpose is “go and make disciples.” Making disciples consists of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that [Jesus] commanded and that he is with them always.”

It is in this Gospel (and the others) which gives us our understanding of baptism. It is here that we see more clearly the doctrine of the Trinity. The teachings of Jesus are abundant. However, not only do we read what Jesus taught but how he taught it. If we are to teach the disciple all that Jesus commanded we need to look back to what preceeded the Commission.

In discipleship, content and method are the essential elements. We see Jesus teaching and then showing the disciples how to do it by way of example. So, teaching the disciple to observe is not merely repeating facts. And this cannot happen if the teacher is not with the disciple. By this I think I mean two things: (1) The teacher with the disciple and (2) The Teacher (through the Holy Spirit) with the teacher and disciple.

Over the next few months, we will walk through the Gospels attempting to see various aspects of discipleship. Now let’s observe the content and methods used by Jesus. I hope to point out the big picture items and the methodology of Jesus beginning in Matthew.

Here are a couple observations from Matthew 1:1-17 (written by one of Christ’s disciples)

  1. This is not the beginning but the revealing of the Promised One. Therefore, we should work hard at teaching fulfillment in Christ.
  2. This is proof enough that disciples should read the whole counsel of God. Reading and hearing the word is vital in discipleship.

Acts 19:9-10 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

This is our hope and desire of discipleship.


Encouragement from The Horse and His Boy

More encouragement from Narnia! A little while back I shared my favorite quotes from The Silver ChairWe have now finished reading The Horse and His Boy and I’d like to share my favorites from it as well. (In case you are wondering why we read this one after The Silver Chair, we are reading them in originally published order instead of chronological story order. We listened to this when making this decision.)

“I have now lived a hundred and nine winters in this world and have never yet met any such thing as Luck. There is something about all this that I do not understand: but if ever we need to know it, you may be sure that we shall.”

-Just a good reminder of the sovereignty of God!

“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you would reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight to receive you.”

-This made me think how God is always with us. He gives guidance, comfort, and strength to name a few. And, as in this story, there are countless ways that God is at work that we never see.

“What luck that I hit it!– at least it wasn’t luck at all really, it was Him.”

Again, God is sovereign-no luck!

“‘Your majesty would have a perfect right to strike off his head,’ said Peridan. … ‘It is very true,’ said Edmund. ‘But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did.’ And he looked very thoughtful.”

-Reminds me of this Bible verse: Titus 3:3-7

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”


Resurrection Resources: Resurrection Tree

Part of decorating our house for Resurrection Sunday includes our Resurrection Tree. This is similar to what we do at Christmas with a tree; we put on ornaments that remind us of the biblical account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. This year we have a small artificial tree, about 2 feet tall. One year we attached small tree limbs to a board so that it resembled a cross. All our ornaments are homemade. The kids have drawn pictures and then attached yarn to them to hang up. You can write Bible verses on index cards, poke a hole in them with a hole punch and hang them up with yarn or ribbon.  We’ve used popsicle sticks, foam stickers, whatever we have on hand. My point is that you don’t have to go to the store and buy expensive items for this to be a special decoration. Be creative and really make it your own!


Resurrection Resources: Resurrection Rolls

Here is a recipe and devotion we have done with our children as part of our Resurrection Sunday celebration. I got the recipe and only slighted adapted it from here.

Resurrection Rolls

  • One can crescent rolls
  • 8 marshmallows (one for each roll or 2-3 minis)
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 3 parts sugar)
  • Bible


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Read John chapter 19.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls.
  3. Take a marshmallow, symbolizing Jesus: pure and without sin, and roll it in the butter. This represents the embalming oils.
  4. Then roll the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar, symbolizing the spices used in burial.
  5. Wrap the marshmallow in a crescent roll, securely covering it. This represents verse 40, “they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths.”
  6. Put the rolls in the oven. Bake according to the package directions. This symbolizes Jesus being laid in the tomb.
  7. While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.
  8. When the rolls are finished baking and have cooled enough to handle, break one open to discover what happened to “Jesus”! He is not there!



He is risen indeed!


A Seven Year Old’s BIG Answer

During family devotion last night, I intended to ask some hard questions about a familiar story–Daniel and the lions den. My first question was, “Who is the hero of this story?” Answer: “God.” (If any of you are familiar with Desiring God Curriculum for children, you know the emphasis is to regain a God-centered telling of the Bible. I highly recommend this curriculum to you.)

The next question I asked (a 6 & 7 year old) was, “If God was able to shut the lions’ mouths then why didn’t He just keep Daniel from going to the lions’ den?” Answer from my 7 year old: “Because it is impossible for a man to be thrown into a lions’ den and not be eaten and God wanted to reveal Himself to everybody by doing the impossible.” Of course, that answer made a dad very thankful to the Lord.

I then asked, “Why did God save Daniel and not the others thrown into the den?” Answer: “Because Daniel trusted the Lord.” I would encourage you not to withhold hard questions from your children. Certainly, this is not the first day we have had devotion. So that is where to start. Teach your children. Equip them to follow the Lord in this world. Don’t shelter them from everything. And don’t think they will figure out how they ought to do things (you even have to teach them how to PLAY with each other in a God-honoring way…they don’t know). Equip them.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Resurrection Resources: Scripture Reading & Candle Lighting

Last year we used this resource from Desiring God as we prepared for Resurrection Sunday. As you will read in the introduction, these can be done weekly beginning at Lent, or daily beginning on the Saturday of Palm Sunday weekend (the weekend before Easter). This article also gives instructions for lighting candles along with the reading if you choose to add that to your devotion time. I highly recommend using the candles because it is a helpful visual aid. As you get closer to Good Friday, there will be less and less candles lit. The last one gets blown out on Friday. None are to be lit on Saturday. Then on Sunday morning, all are relit!


Amazing Grace

Joseph (a type of Christ) was sold into slavery by his brothers to save them. Jesus was nailed to a cross by his brothers in order to save them. He  died to save. If he saved his life he could not save ours too. As Joseph’s brothers, unknowingly, bowed down to him and then his identity was revealed, so too everyone (even those who pierced him) will bow down to Jesus. A cross should have been reserved for us. We should have been thrown into a hole and sold into slavery. Yet amazing grace is that the Innocent One took the death we deserved and we the guilty go free. Amazing Grace!

Resurrection Sunday Resources

For years it seemed as though the holiday of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, was upon us without taking much time to prepare. Certainly nothing like we did for Christmas. So, a couple of years ago we tried to be more intentional about celebrating this important holiday. I’d like to share over the next few days some different ideas we have enjoyed and hope to continue as traditions in our home.

One resource that has been helpful is the book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, by Noel Piper. She includes not only activities for Resurrection Sunday, but also other holidays and ways to make any day special.