Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Gospel Primer, my new Obsession

Shortly before Christmas,
 some dear friends gave us a copy of The Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent.
This is my new obsession. 
 It is perhaps the greatest resource I have ever come across. 
 In 41 prose, Vincent lays out the gospel clearly, completely, and concisely.

We just ordered our second boxful and are quickly emptying it,
 giving the primer out to nearly everyone we know or encounter. 
 It is that good. 

            CJ Mahaney said,
 "If there is anything we should be passionate about, 
it is the gospel...
 passionate about thinking on it, 
dwelling on it, 
rejoicing in it, 
allowing it to color the way we look at the world."

We need the gospel every day
 to keep us from falling into a performance relationship with God.
 This little book has not only helped us to know the gospel,
but also to love the gospel and see how it applies to every area of our lives. 
We have been reading it aloud to our family nearly every morning after breakfast,
thereby preaching the gospel to ourselves daily.
 This means that daily we are reminded of essential things that are easy for us to forget, like:

25.  In saving me, God has also freed me from slavery to any and all sins. (Romans 6 ;6,7,14)
35.  When I sin, God feels no wrath in his heart against me. (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10) (1 John 2:2)
36.  His heart is filled with nothing but love for me, and He longs for me to repent and confess my sins to Him, so that He might show me the gracious and forgiving love that has been in His heart all along. (1 John 1:9)
37.  God does not require my confession before He desires to forgive me. (Luke 15:20-24)
38.  In His heart He already has forgiven me; and when I come to Him to confess my sins to Him, He runs to me and is repeatedly embracing and dissing me even before I get the words of confession out of my mouth! ((Luke 15:20-24)

 No one asked  me to do a review on it, instead,
 my husband asked the publisher if we could blog about it, and they  gave us a hearty yes. 
It takes about 4 minutes to read it through. 
 The children are learning it by heart.  
 I wish I could convey to you how excited I am about this,
and how essential this material is. 
 It is not readily available anywhere that I know of,
except the publisher..
and soon, our church bookstore. 
 I will warn you to order more than one, though, because as you begin to read it,
 hopefully everyday,
 and  you see how it is changing, transforming your mind,
 you will  probably want to give one to someone, and then, another, and another,
 and we could start an epidemic, 
which would be most wonderful.
An epidemic of people who understand the Truth of the gospel.
How awesome would that be!

"The more I embrace and experience the gospel, 
the more I delight in the worship of God, 
the more expressive my joy in Him becomes,
 and the more I yearn to glorify Him in all I say and do."
-Milton Vincent

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Favorite Quotes for Parenting

 "Children's minds are like gelatin;
 you've got to put in all the good stuff before it sets"

"I like to think of my children's souls like a treasure chest 
and have sought to fill their souls with substance of excellence,
 beauty, life changing thoughts and ideas, the best books, 
the most beautiful stores and literature, fine music and concerts,
 science and creation, loving, sacrifice, serving, 
great people and ministry opportunities."  
-Sally Clarkston

"A true home is set up so that all its life is ordered for definite purpose of training, building up
and sending out human lives fashioned into symmetry,
filled with lofty aspirations, governed by principles of rectitude and honor
 and fitted to enter upon the duties and struggles of life with wisdom and strength."
-JR. Miller

 These are some of  the thoughts that inspire me and fill me with motivation to keep on keeping on,
to do the hard things when I feel like giving up or giving in.
I hope they are of encouragement to you too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Day Journal

These past days  have been normal, full, lovely days, 
so much like each other that it is hard to remember which day was what. 
 Snow has been softly falling most everyday. 
 The wood cook stove is a charming and useful addition, 
we are so thankful to have it up and running on these cold, single digit mornings.
 So far, I have baked bread and cooked chicken in the oven, 
and several things on the stove top. 

 Brian fixed my rocker and it now sits next to the wood cook stove, a nice warm place to read aloud to the children from our current history book, 
"The Light and The Glory", by Peter Marshall and David Manuel,
 as my students take notes and listen at the table.
  We are reading about the Puritans, which I find fascinating and inspiring. 
 Cotton Mather and John Winthrop's lives are some of the most extraordinary examples of godly men I have ever read. Every day I look forward to our history reading, 
and in between times I may read the chapter a second time.
  I do hope that a by product of my enthusiasm 
will be that the love of history become contagious to the children. 
 That would be most wonderful.

I recently picked up some modeling clay for the boys, 
and they will create with that, or help Rose make beads while we are listening to
 the "Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy", from Vision Forum.
(although it looks as though it is currently unavailable there)
 We have both sets of lectures, which we like equally well.  
  This week, we have been listening, and re listening,
 to Howard Philips talk on  Constitutional Presidency
 as well as Paul Jehle on a Christian Constitution, 
and Larry Pratt on the Second Amendment.
 If law and public policy sound boring, perhaps a more enticing title would be 
"How to wear your freedom, liberty and gun in the 21st century."  
Truly, these lectures are invaluable.

Our days are not all study and no fun, 
for where there are preschoolers, there is bound to be much entertainment, 
and our dinner table is always a gathering of much merriment.
We were talking at  dinner the other night about what we wanted to be when we grow up. 
 Ben said he wants to be a farmer. 
 This is quite understandable, since we just finished reading Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  Ben and Almanzo have something in common: 
 they are both endless pits when it comes to eating!
  Bethany chimed in that she plans on being a princess when she grows up,
 then Gabe excitedly announced that when he grows up, 
he is going to be a dinosaur! 
Just one more reason in my little book of why I love toddlers. 
I have just begun keeping a notebook of all the hilarious things they do and say. 
 Better late than never, I reason.
 I was recently musing that one day they will all be grown up,
 and there will be no more plastic soldiers sniping from the centerpiece on the table.
  No more legos embedded in my candles, 
and a lack of dinosaurs in the bathtub.  
These are the things that I cherish in our home now, 
causing a smile to spread across my face every time I see them. 
 Truly, the older I get the more I appreciate the marks of having little ones present,
 the more I enjoy the little years, finding thier cuteness simply irresistible.

Today, we have sunshine, although it is quite cold.  
The fire is crackling right now, warming up the soup saved over for lunch.
In a bit, our studies will be done and we will get on with our spring cleaning, 
which has been going on all week.
It is a little early, but one must jump on it when the mood strikes! 
Then all the olders will be gone to church,
 and the little ones and myself will have an evening by ourselves, 
 which will likely consist of racing around and around the house in a convoy of strollers, little cars and tricycles, our usual game of charades, in which Gabe is ALWAYS a dinosaur (smile),
 then a story and early to bed,
 just the way I like it, for by 7:30 I start looking at the clock wondering that it is not midnight.

My prayer today, besides the usual, "O,GOD HELP ME!" is this: 
"May the Lord fill me with His grace, wisdom and patience, 
that I may endeavor to teach and disciple these children he has given us care of,
 for His glory and His kingdom."

Grace and peace be to you this day, 

from our neck of the woods to you.

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