2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Homework, A Devotional Time?? – Part 2

Homework Yesterday, we began a series looking at a number of ways to redeem your children’s homework time. Today we will look at three more ways.

4. Show them God’s creativity in their homework.

It is very easy to let homework become a drain.  What is the Pythagorean theorem?  What is the formula for gravity?  There is a whole lot of information out there and more word problems that you can shake a stick at.  Help your child to see where it all comes from.  God precisely tuned the universe to work exactly the way it does.  Go decided the sum of two squares in a right triangle would be equal in length to third side.  God gave people the creativity to write the classics.  And, God gave us the ability to understand it all.  Sit back and ponder the enormous creative power of God in creating everything that you are studying.  Parents, rather than lamenting the lack of God in public school, help your child to understand how God fits into what they are learning.  After all, the Bible says that we as parents are ultimately responsible for the spiritual development of our kids, not Mr. Jones in 2nd period geometry.

5. Explain how they can use their homework as a means of mission to reach other kids.

The last thing Jesus said to his disciples before the ascension was to go and make disciples of all nations.  So often, we teach kids about missions to 3rd world countries and ignore the mission field that they are bussed to five days a week.  Encourage your child to do well in their studies so that they can help other students with their homework.  What better way to share the love of Jesus with a struggling student than to help them out in subjects where they are struggling.

6. Use tests as an example of how God sharpens our faith.

Ah, the dreaded test.  It has been the stumbling block for thousands upon thousands of students throughout the ages.  “I just don’t test well,” is a well tried refrain.  However, testing is part of life and not just the student life.  We are all tested in many ways.  We are tested in our spiritual walk as well.  Consider Psalm 17:3.

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. [Psalm 17:3 ESV]

A similar sentiment is expressed in Psalm 66:10:

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.  [Psalm 66:10 ESV]

In Zechariah 13:9, God says that he will test his people:

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”  [Zechariah 13:9 ESV]

Psalm 105:19 tells us that we are tested by God’s word:

…until what he had said came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him. [Psalm 105:19 ESV]

Such testing is not limited to the Old Testament.  Consider the following passage from 1 Peter:

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  [1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV]

The Bible prescribes testing for spiritual leaders:

And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.  [1 Timothy 3:10 ESV]

So, what is the point of all this?  How can you turn studying a forthcoming test into a devotional time? First, encourage your child to pray for God’s wisdom and help.  Secondly, explain that testing is part of life, and just like school tests which we have to prepare for, we should always be prepared for spiritual testing.

Come back tomorrow for the final four ideas.