The Word before the words….

I must admit, perhaps Obama has a point. Change for change’s sake may be good.  Ever since I changed the look of the site, I’ve been much more inclined to write. Thoughts come and go throughout the day, and I try to catch the brightest ones like fireflies in a jar, hoping to maintain enough of them to light up a complete post.

Today my thoughts centered on the kids and I having our first Bible devotional in a while.  I had been feeling more and more convicted that I was relying on our church family to guide our faith life, and I could not continue simply having an individual morning time with the Lord without demonstrating its importance.  It’s not that the church is not doing its part – in fact, perhaps the reason I’ve been slow to initiate a family devotion is because the church does so well in training our children.  The children always look forward to their mid-week Bible studies, and they always have information to share about their lessons. So what do I have to share that hasn’t been covered, and what organizational tool, if any, should I use?

At least for today, the answer was to share what applies to their lives.  Several years ago I received The Parenting Bible, published by Zondervan, as a gift from my former pastor in Pensacola.  It contains several ideas and resources for games, devotions, and discussions. Previously, such ideas would have seemed too time consuming or involved to undertake, but now I welcomed any structure I could find.  In the index, a year-long guide to topics and passages is outlined in a weekly format.  This week’s topic was Friends and Advice – a perfect topic considering that Naomi is currently scheduled to spend a weekend at a friend’s house for a slumber party, and Marcus’ recent promotion to the Teen Bible Study. The passage focused on 1 Kings 12, where Solomon’s son Rehoboam is made king, then is asked by the people to lighten the civil burden on them (how apropos for today’s political climate as well – young leader, looking for the right advisers – the similarities abound.) If you know the story you know Rehoboam gets advice from his elders, who worked in Solomon’s administration, then gets rash advice from his colleagues in his age bracket.  Marcus and Naomi both seemed a little bored at first, then perked up when I began to ask them for specific examples where they got advice from others, and we were able to deduce that it is not the age of the person, but the motives, spiritual life, and reputation of the adviser that matters. A look at a Proverb closed off the 15 minute period, and we tromped off to my preschool music class.  Short but sweet.

I hope that my scatteredness doesn’t doom our devotionals to the back burner when I’m besieged by previous problems. C.S. Lewis spoke in Mere Christianity of the menagerie of issues that run into our minds in the morning like animals breaking out of cages. He advocated the morning devotion as a way to cage those runaway animals back in their respective pens, so that they would not overrun our day.  I think the bible study for our family learning will work in the same way… helping not just the kids, but me to place all the other priorities of the day in their proper place. Perhaps we’ll develop other strategies as we go, but I feel better knowing that we respected the principle today that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”

Looking unto the hills,

homeschooldaddy

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