Posts Tagged "Grace"

Happy Birthday to Me!

BirthdayToday is my birthday (yesterday by the time you are reading this).  I turned 37 years old.  Now, I’m not much of a birthday person.  I don’t tend to make a big deal about my birthday, but I started to think about where I am in my life these days.  As I started to put two and two together, I realized that this year marks a couple of milestones:

  1. I will have been married 10 years this coming September.
  2. Next year will be my 20th High School reunion.
  3. I graduated from The Ohio University 15 years ago this past June – Go Bobcats!
  4. We are starting to experience the “lasts” in our family as my youngest son turned two this summer.
  5. My oldest son reaching the legal driving age this past June – pray for us.
  6. I have been part of God’s family for roughly 6 ½ years now and actively involved in a church for about five of those.

I don’t mind getting older – really!  I figure age is a sign of experience and maturity, and I have the grey hair to prove it these days.  I actually got a hair cut on my birthday, and I was struck by exactly how much gray hair fell to the ground during that process. Anyhow, when I started to look back on where I’ve come from and where I am these days, a couple of birthday observations came to mind which I thought I would share with you all:

  1. I am old enough now and know enough to know that I still have a lot to learn.
  2. Other than the Bible, I have found that God teaches me more about himself and my relationship with him through my children and the children I work with at church than in any other way.
  3. I used to focus on my kids to the detriment of my marriage.  Now I realize that focusing on my marriage in the greatest gift that I can give my kids.
  4. 37 Candles creates quite a light and a fire hazard!
  5. When I first started to investigate Christianity, God put me in a great Bible believing and teaching church which didn’t have all the trapping I associated with what I would have called “blind sheep” at the time.  There was no worship music (rarely anyhow), there was no formal membership, and the teachings were done more in the form of lectures than preaching.  It was exactly what I needed at the time.  I think anything else would have scared me away.  We have since left that church and are now part of another Bible believing and teaching church.  This one, however, is a little bit different.  There is worship music before every celebration, and it is one of the most edifying things I do every week.  We also recently became members of the church – the first time in my life I have ever been a member of a church.  As I look back, I am amazed at how God works in the little things and the details.  The things I now cherish as a maturing Christian probably would have scared me a way in the beginning, and God put me in exactly the right place at the right time!
  6. Now that I have four kids of my own, I have a deeper appreciation for what my Dad had to do to raise me and my three brothers by himself for years.
  7. Kids have a way of keeping you humble.  It’s hard to be proud when you’re wiping a poopy butt.
  8. When things don’t turn out the way we want them to, we should accept that God knows what is best for us and look forward to what he has planned.
  9. Loving our kids means that they will not always be happy with us.
  10. The saying “it is more blessed to give than receive” applies to a lot more than Christmastime and a lot more than presents.
  11. Time is precious, and we should be careful not to waste a second.
  12. I used to live by the mantra that “You can do anything you put your mind to.”  Now I live by Matthew 19:26 – “With God all things are possible.”  He has a lot better track record than I do!
  13. I don’t mind being 37, but I find that I don’t really think of myself as being that old.  Somehow, in my own mind, I’m still 26 or 27.
  14. I am still divesting myself of boxes full of stuff from back when I tried to find happiness in things rather than in God.
  15. As a parent, one of the most satisfying moments in life comes when your kids are getting along and helping one another.
  16. Every breath and every birthday is given to us by the grace of God!
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Do Not Hinder the Children (Synopsis of Come Ye’ Children – Chapter 2)

In the last chapter, we looked Jesus’ command to feed his sheep, a child’s profession of faith, what kids should be taught and the rewards of teach children.  Now we find ourselves at

Chapter 2 – Do Not Hinder the Children

Part 1 – The Christian Education of Children

In the first portion of the chapter, Spurgeon addresses the issue of the Christian education of children head on.  As regards the church, Spurgeon reminds his readers that preaching and teaching in such a way as to be understood by children is a badge which we should wear proudly.  He explains:

“I think nothing greater than to win the hearts of the lowly. So with regard to children. People occasionally say of such a one, “He is only fit to teach children: he is no preacher.” I tell you, in God’s sight he is no preacher who does not care for the children.”

Spurgeon contends that pastors should include something in every sermon for kids.  This is obviously not as big an issue today with the advent of Childrens’ Ministry.  However, the point is the same.  Churches should be sure that they focus on kids just as much as they focus on adults.

Likewise, parents who hold the ultimate responsibility for the spiritual development of their kids must pay close attention to where and how their kids are educated.  The spiritual education of our children should be a paramount concern, and they should be taught the things of God from a very early age.  Spurgeon explains,

“As we sow we reap. Let us expect our children to know the Lord. Let us from the beginning mingle the name of Jesus with their A B C. Let them read their first lessons from the Bible. It is a remarkable thing that there is no book from which children learn to read so quickly as from the New Testament: there is a charm about that book which draws forth the infant mind. But let us never be guilty, as parents, of forgetting the religious training of our children; for if we do we may be guilty of the blood of their souls.”

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