Faith

How My Father Cultivated my Faith: Cultivating a Love of God’s Word

By on June 14, 2015

With Father's day around the corner, I thought I'd take this week to honor my father by sharing some of the ways that he strengthened my faith.

As a young man, my father cultivated the skills of lying, cheating, and stealing. I know this because I heard him share his testimony over and over to anyone that would listen. By the time I came into his life, my father was a redeemed man who had spent years walking with the Lord. While he was not perfect, his passion for God's Word strengthened my faith.father's faith love of God's word

When I was growing up, my father would spend the evenings laying on the living room floor on a big pillow and read his Bible.   I always wanted to spend time with him, so I'd get my little Bible and go lay down by him.  Tenderly, he encouraged me to find the book of John, and underline every time I saw the word "God."

Father daughter time

Not long after that, my father's dad passed away. Surprisingly, his most prized inheritance was his dad's Bible. Encouraged by his dad's notes, my father was strengthened in his own faith. After hearing my father share about the treasure of receiving his dad's Bible, I promptly requested to inherit his Bible. From that point on, my father would rotate three Bibles in his study, one for each of his daughters.  As he made notes in the margin, he would write the notes to each of us personally.Writing in your bible legacy

writing in your bible fatherWriting in your bibleNext Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the first Father's day after my dad passed away. I can attest to the treasure of owning my father's Bible. Not only did he model a passionate love of dwelling in God's Word, he also spent his life urging others to mine the depths along with him. He left me a note in the front of my Bible encouraging me to never stop reading my Bible.

When my middle sister entered the sixth grade, my father started teaching her Sunday school class.  At this point he began a ministry of shepherding young people into "Quiet Times" in which he hoped to foster a habit that would last a lifetime.  He continued this ministry with my mom for sixteen more years.

Every year he would start with the same story about a busy man.  He'd draw the layout of a simple family home on a white board and then proceed to demonstrate the fast paced lifestyle of a working father. Every room save one would have squiggles representing comings and goings. Then he'd draw the doorway to the forgotten room. Two knees would show through the arched opening, representing someone sitting and waiting alone in the room.

Quiet time

Finally noticing the stranger, the man would walk into the room to question him. Jesus had been patiently waiting for the man to come and spend time with him.

The simple illustration would spark a realization about the way we go about our lives and omit time with the Lord. My father always wanted to keep God's word accessible to anybody and everybody. He made his own "Quiet Time" sheet and asked people to spend fifteen minutes a day reading and responding. If they turned in twelve weeks worth of the sheets, he would pay them $25. The same man who grew up stealing fishing lures because he didn't want to pay for them, spent his adult life paying for something that he would never keep.

I would do well to learn from my father:

  1. Inspire my children with a love of reading God's word myself.
  2. Teach my children to study God's word.
  3. Sacrifice my assets to encourage others to study God's word.

Here are the simple sheets I grew up using for my Bible study.  Click on the images below to download the PDF.

Quiet time bible studyDaily 7up Refreshment Bible Study

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Bookish Life | Faith | Reviews

Strengthening the Faith of my Children with The Jesus Storybook Bible

By on May 24, 2015

 

Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me;

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

All of my children have accepted Jesus as their Savior at a young age.  Their tender hearts have responded to the sweetness of Jesus' sacrifice and they've seen their need for His free gift of salvation.

So is that it?  We can just coast through the rest of their lives with the "get out of jail free" card in their pocket?  The gospel is for the believer just as much as it is for the non-believer.  My goal as a mother is to continue to share the sweetest story with my children, not so it can grow cold and stale, but so that it can grow roots and bear fruit.

I love tools like the Jesus Storybook Bible because they act as root strengtheners and work along side me to fortify the faith of my children.

My youngest has listened to the Jesus Storybook Bible so many times that she can quote the first story.  It is precious to me.  I love this book for several reasons:

1.  Every story points to Christ.  The stories are beautifully written, but each story ends with a simple connection of how the main character of the story is a "type" of Christ.  The depths Sally Lloyd Jones draws out in such a simple way touches readers of all ages.

2.  The illustrations are beautiful. It is so difficult to capture Bible time characters in a children's book, however, the illustrations here are a perfect balance of whimsy and realistic.

3.  The narration is well done. I could listen to this narrator all day.  He brings life to the stories.

They have also developed videos to go along with the stories that are just as engaging and entertaining.

Due to the popularity of this title, the author has compiled a curriculum to use in a church setting.

Additionally, many bloggers have put together wonderful resources and activities to be used at home.

40 Interactive Activities (one for every story)

Memory verses that relate to all of the stories

Reading plan for Easter

Reading schedule for Advent

Our family has been so blessed by this resource that I couldn't help sharing it with you!

 

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Faith | Family Life

Learning the Grammar of the Bible

By on May 17, 2015

As a classically educating family, we are always looking for the grammar of a subject - you know the basic information that enables one to have a foundation to build upon as they continue to learn more in that area.

Often with the Bible, we assume people know the grammar because of their age.  Why is that?  Even though I was raised in Church Sunday school, there is still a vast body of basic knowledge that I could learn that would open new doors in my study of the Bible.

I was introduced to the Walk Thru the Bible seminars in high school, and it gave me a framework of the Old Testament that amazed and invigorated my study.  A couple of years ago I attended another seminar and enjoyed the refreshing of the grammar.  I also found a great tool that I have enjoyed sharing with my kids:  The Keyword Learning System.

walk thru the bible

This flashcard system takes you through the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.  They have clever illustrations on the front that aid in memorizing both the book's title, and the main theme of the book.

walk thru the bible cards

Then on the back side of the cards, there is an explanation of the illustration as well as a short discussion on the theme of the book.

walk thru the bible cards back

It is amazing what can be memorized in just a couple of minutes a day.  We have used this as part of our morning family time in the past and it has always been a blessing.

The cards I am showing above are the old version.  They have been redesigned and the graphics have been updated.

Walk thru app

They have also created an app for the iPhone as a portable solution for the cards.  You can purchase the Old Testament and New Testament separately.


I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

3 John 1:4

 

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