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How To Begin Your Day

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Years ago I came across some writings by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) and Henry Scudder (1743-1822) that talked about how to begin and end our day with God. Here are a few quotes that have stuck with me over the years about beginning our day with our focus on God.

“Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labour, and not to slothful pleasure.” (Richard Baxter)

“In the instant of awaking let your heart be lifted up to God with a thankful acknowledgment of his mercy to you. For it is he that gives his beloved sleep, who kept you both in soul and body while you slept, who renews his mercies every morning. For, while you sleep, you are as it were out of actual possession of yourself, and all things else . Now, it was God that kept you, and all that you had, and restored them to you again, with many new mercies, when you awaked.” (Henry Scudder)

Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time and seek it without delay.”
(Richard Baxter)

“Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows.

Familiarize yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night’s rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonizing pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives.

“When you arise and dress yourself, lose not that precious time with impertinent and fruitless thoughts. This is a fit time to think upon the cause of why you need apparel … namely your sin. It will likewise be of good purpose to consider what the wise providence of God hath appointed to be the substance of your apparel, the rinds of plants, skins, hair, wool of brute beasts, and the bowels of the silkworm. It does magnify the wisdom, power and goodness of God in choosing and turning such mean things to such excellent use. So it should humble and suppress the pride of man. For what man in his senses would be proud of the badge of his shame.” (Henry Scudder)

I don’t know about you, but before I even open my eyes, my mind races ahead to all the things I need to accomplish that day, of the lists I need to make, errands I need to run. and what I am going to wear. I wish I could be so single minded first thing in the morning, realizing that without God I cannot accomplish even the smallest task. Definitely something I need to work on.

New Parenting Book

There is a brand new parenting book on the market and it looks like it is going to be a good one. It is by William Farley and while I have not yet read it, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

51av8RRmlRL._SL500_AA240_We talk a lot about the gospel, what it is, why we need it, and how it should change our lives.  The hardest part is applying its message to every day life like our conversations and worldviews, the choices we make, the things we do and teach and the attitudes we exhibit. I am looking forward to reading a book that will help me apply the gospel message and promises to the parenting of my children.

I highly recommend that you read the review of the book here. It will give you a good idea of what the book is about.

All I have is Christ

I came across this song a couple weeks ago and just love it. I like the music, but I especially love the lyrics. There is a video of the song attached below.

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

Toilet Paper Origami

If you ever have a few extra minutes before guests come, spruce up your bathroom with some toilet paper origami. This is sure to wow your friends.

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Click the picture to help you learn how to fold your toilet paper into a piece of art.

Pies on a Stick

Here is a fun way to eat pies. Make your favorite pie only make them much smaller and before you bake them stick a pop sickle stick in them. Then bake and enjoy.  I bet the kids (and husbands) would get a kick out of it. I wonder if this would work with something more healthy …. hmmm…. I will have to think about that.

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Resurgence has a great two part article called “Discipleship starts at home”. Check it out. It is always good to be reminded of the spiritual responsibilities we have towards our children. We have tried to do this at our home and here are some of the resources we have used.

Music

Seeds Family Worship CDs (personally I like the Seeds of Faith CD best)
To Be Like Jesus (Sovereign Grace)
Awesome God (Sovereign Grace)

Bible Teaching and Bibles

Truth and Grace Memory books (Children’s Catechism) by Tom Ascol
The Jesus Storybook Bible
by Sally Lloyd Jones
The Children’s Story Bible by Katherine Voss
Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schooland

Stories

Conduct for the Crayon World by Edna Gerstner
Take Care In The Bath by Jim Cromarty (This is a collection of short stories that teach Biblical truths)
How God Stopped the Pirates by Joel Beeke and Diana Kleyn (these are devotional stories – there are a number of these books)

A great web resource is Ray Van Neste’s blog called The Children’s Hour . Dr. Van Neste is Associate Professor of Christian Studies and Director of the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University. He has 6 kids of his own and in this blog he reviews books for children. Check it out, you may also come across the occasional book for parents. This is an excellent resource!!

We just got back from our vacation to beautiful Gatlingburg, TN. We drove down in 2 days and spent the night in Louisville, KY.  Before we got back on the road we made a stop at Southern Seminary and showed the kids where we spent the first few years of our marriage.  What great memories.

In Gatlinburg we stayed in a great little cabin and spent the week relaxing, sight seeing, and eating out (my favorite). All 3 of the kids were great and had a lot of fun hanging out in the hot tub, riding go carts with Joe, exploring the “up side down house”, going on an aerial tram ride over the Smokies,  and swimming in the pool.

We were sad when it as time to leave, but we were also glad to get back home and sleep in our own beds.  Here is a video Joe put together about our time in Tennessee.