Vision

vision

The battle for truth is a serious battle. It’s not a pillow fight, or a name calling contest. It’s the kind of battle where people live and die. It’s estimated that every day over 150,000 people die. Most of them die unexpectedly.

Some saw it coming, but the one thing they all have in common is that it ended too soon. We get on average 75 years or so on this earth. That’s not very long. In fact it’s described as a vapor, here for a little while and then gone. Case in point, how well do you remember your grandfather? How about your great grandfather? Mine died in the early 1970’s and I scarcely remember him.

Most people will leave very little legacy and therefore how important is it for you father’s to have a multi-generational vision for your families?

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

This commandment will tell you a lot about your view of God and your view of yourself. Does God really give multi-generational curses and multi-generational blessings? The answer is a clear yes.

For unbeliever’s this causes them to hate God even more. It’s unfair they say, yet they are unwilling to turn from their evil ways. They won’t believe God, but judge Him as unjust and unloving, yet continue to live in willful disobedience, thumbing their noses at Him as though their opinion is all that matters, even though God has been crystal clear. Obey, be blessed. Disobey, be cursed.

For Believers this is a delight. We desire to walk in truth and we desire to seek to obey God’s laws. If not we should examine ourselves.

Today, I’m thinking about something that 90% of professing Christians willingly disobey. They send their children off to government schools to be educated. Is this something that is going to send them to hell? That’s really a big question isn’t it, and may seem somewhat judgmental on my part?

And when I ask that question who am I talking about? Will the parents be condemned, or will the children be condemned? You will object that I’m probably being a little extreme. I want you to consider today, where is the line? How far and how deep will you decide to expose your children to the world and all the diseases that can be caught and still hope everything will be okay? Is this something you are willing to risk?  I use disease here metaphorically for sin.

Can your children stand against the world? Are they strong enough? Are you sure they are even in the faith, and how do you know?

I want to grow and nurture my children in my own home, where I know the exhortation and teaching they are getting is gospel saturated. I’m so intensely convinced of this that I will go so far as to say if the only thing my children know how to do is read the word of God that is good enough.

If they can’t perform high level math, or even low level algebra I’m convinced God will reward my diligence to teach them about Him, beyond my desire to have what most consider a “superior” education. Although the facts bear out that home educated children perform far better on average in all standardized testing. That does not matter to me.

When I consider a multi-generational vision for my family that begins at the house of the Lord. It begins with the salvation of my children. It begins with me educating them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. It begins with me teaching them when they lie down, when they rise up, when we walk by the way. In short it means all the time. How can I do that if I commit them to 15,000 hours of time with others that are most likely unregenerate? Will not a student be like his teacher?

If you are objecting to this and you are a Believer I’ll encourage you to search the scriptures for the book, chapter or verse that tells you to turn your children over to others to be educated, you will not find it. You will however find the scripture has plenty to say about how you will educate your children.

Alas, if our children lose the crown of life, it will be but a small consolation that they have won the laurels of literature or art. —Charles Spurgeon

Here is a sermon you may wish to consider from Pastor Voddie Baucham called Whoever Controls the Schools Controls the World.

Kevin

Time well spent…

Kevin & Grace SF 2

This past week I traveled with my oldest daughter Grace on a business trip to San Francisco.  This provided many opportunities for her to understand the world on a much broader sense than she typically experiences.  I’m very thankful for this, as home educators we are often accused of wanting to protect and keep our kids in a bubble.  I certainly want to protect them, but I think allowing them not to see the sinfulness of the world would be a mistake and one of the biggest advantages to home-schooling is the opportunity for our kids to travel.

Certainly San Francisco provides many favorable circumstances to see man’s sinfulness on full display.  The sheer number of people is overwhelming for one.  When you spend time in a bigger city it challenges the mind with the incredible amount of activity; the noises, the traffic, the chaos and cacophony of different things swirling around you.

I had several things in mind as we prepared for our trip and one of them was to allow Grace to help us navigate the airports.  I remember the first time I flew on my own and how intimidating an airport can be.  We discussed lots of different ideas during this trip and having a focus on being attentive to her surroundings and getting a feel for human behavior were also key ideas that I wanted to help her understand.

Can she identify what different types of people she will encounter and are they a serious threat or not.  As we spent the majority of our time in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, this is bustling with activity, mostly tourists, but lots of people that make their living there in various different ways, including the lifestyle of living on the street.  What an eye-opening experience as Grace saw how sin leads to a life of rebellion and lack of a desire to belong in the norm of culture.  It’s a sub-culture all its own and I’m convinced many of them want it that way.   But let’s not think they are any worse or we are any better.  Without Christ we are all the worst of sinners and held captive to our own desires.

We experienced men digging through and eating from garbage cans, and a man urinating in public in the broad daylight tucked behind a small building.   These are some of the raw things we will not forget.  The other wonderful memories we formed together were seeing God’s beautiful creation.  The Bay Area is stunning in its natural beauty and as we looked over the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay from a high perch above its incredible to think how God spoke and it was so.

Deuteronomy 6 tells me as I father I’m to teach Grace and my other children diligently the law of God as we live life together.  There is not to be a time when we put God on the backburner and focus on more important things.  He is the focus.  He is the one that I need to constantly be showing and reminding my children that we are here to bring Him glory.  Just as the gigantic redwoods glorify and show His wisdom, we must also give glory to the Creator.

Grace Redwoods

My most satisfying moment on our trip came Saturday evening as we went to dinner.  We entered a restaurant that I’ve frequented often and two people from the event staff were already seated.  They invited us to join them and we had a nice conversation about various subjects.  As the food arrived I announced I’d like to pray and ask the Lord’s blessing on this meal.

This prayer opened a door for us to discuss the purpose of home-schooling from a Christian Worldview and not simply that we think it’s a better education.  I was able to discuss how Grace is learning about life and by spending time with her father she is learning wisdom as Proverbs 13:20 tells us.  Grace did a wonderful job of allowing her father to speak, but also interjecting at appropriate times.  She was able to beautifully articulate her education and engage two adults in a real conversation.  She was engaged with them and not an electronic device as I looked around to see most of the adults conversing with their I-Phones and not the ones across the table from them.

I told her that night that I was very pleased with the way she handled herself and this is the way we can show the world Christ.  Yes, we must speak and proclaim the good news but also the world will see a difference in our behavior and realize this is just not normal.

Monday morning the Lord opened a door for me to share my faith and really talk to a man I’ve known for quite a while.  He was very honest in his lack of belief.  As I told him that belief is a gift of God, but in no wise will this let him off the hook as he stands before God should he breathes his last breath.  He and he alone will be accountable for his sin.  I explained to him that he doesn’t believe because he likes his sin as we all did before God grants us repentance and I think he related to that on a certain level.

As I look back on these past days it will be a memory Grace and I will share as long as we live.  It will be a time that I will cherish as her father.    As she is growing so quickly into a woman I pray she will see how much her dad loves her and cares for her.  But most importantly she will know how much her Heavenly Father loves and cares for her.

 

Kevin

A New Baby…

Anna & Lydia

How should the Church interact in the lives of Believers in this modern day and age?  Most of my church experience up until four years ago was going to a place listening to a sermon and then going home.  When we became “really involved” we participated in a small group or would go to a more intensive Wednesday meeting designed to dig deeper into the Bible.  I remember the attendance being very anemic.  Seems most people had better things to do.

We knew people by name and enjoyed small talk with them while at church, but rarely did we really get involved in their lives or them in ours and since it was a larger congregation if you felt like coming and going without really knowing anyone that was pretty easy to do.

Acts 2:44-47 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

This is very strange sounding to modern day evangelical ears I would guess.  Most people just are not going to embrace this kind of involvement with others in their churches.  Most people don’t know them well enough to be involved.  We are autonomous beings desiring what we think is best.

Today I want to encourage the body of Christ with my testimony of the birth of our fourth child.  This past Friday Anna Joy was brought into the world and what a joyous and wonderful experience it was.  Thursday evening Jen and I had gathered with our church family for a webinar on home education and that night went to bed with much anticipation.

Friday was the due date and Jen typically goes right on time, or just a day or two over, so we expected it to happen soon.  When I become conscious of Jen being up and down a lot in the night I thought, I’ll bet this is it.

I got out of bed about 2:00 am and asked Jen how it was going?  She said “I think this is it”.  She had a good contraction before she went to bed and at 1:50 am experienced the first one that really confirmed labor had begun.  We embraced one another and prayed that the Lord would be glorified in this process, that Jen would have strength and endurance and seek Him for His grace in her time of need.  He poured out His mercy abundantly upon Jen that morning and she labored and gave birth in a beautifully calm and assuring fashion.  We are so grateful for all He is when we need Him most.

I guess it must have been a little before 3 am that I placed our first phone call to Andrea.  Andrea is a woman from our church that we had asked to assist in the birth process.  She has been a tremendous blessing in Jen’s life, as a Titus 2 woman, that has taught and counseled Jen for many years now and we were so honored Andrea accepted the invitation to be a part of this experience.

It seemed like Andrea arrived at the house 10 minutes later, although I know she lives at least 15 minutes away.

Next I called Dr. Wells and placed her on alert that we would be having a baby today.

My third call was to Greta, and she answered the call after about four rings.  Greta is a mother of four and an expert in the natural birthing process.  Greta and her husband Brad have been a tremendous blessing to our family and having her experience was invaluable.  She has a great calming influence and when she arrived it greatly assured Jen that everything was going to be alright.  Immediately Greta found a good position for Jen to have her hard contractions.

Our third support person, Brenda was providentially prevented from us being able to get a hold of for reasons only God knows, but God provided everything we needed.  Brenda was incredibly important when Lydia was born and continues to be a great resource in our lives.

Around 4:00 am Greta began seeing the transition into the final stages of labor and said it’s time for us to go to the hospital.  I called Dr. Wells and let her know we were heading to the hospital and by the time we arrived Dr. Wells was waiting.  From this point it was a very short and fast labor and at 5:01 am Anna arrived into the world, she weighed in at 9.03 lbs.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

As much as Believers need to be about the work of ministry of reconciliation and preaching the gospel to the lost, they must also be about ministering to the saints.  This is pretty uncommon today and I’m thankful that we are part of a body of Believers that gathers frequently and share in the simplicity of life, gathering from house to house, and breaking bread together often.  We enjoy doing life together.

The next couple weeks we will also experience the love of Christ as we are assisted in evening meals.  Saturday evening I received a call from our Pastor and he said we’d love to bring pizza and ice cream over if you are up for it.  We had a wonderful time of conversation and reflecting on the miracle of a new life.  When Lydia was born, we had many meals dropped off, but the last couple evenings we’ve had the families join us and that has been even a bigger blessing as we are able to share and spend time with them just as Acts 2:44-47 describes.

I think many miss the purpose of the church and too often get caught up in ministry to unbelievers.  I don’t want to be misunderstood, because the gospel must be preached, but the saints should be the primary recipient of God’s grace through His church.

I’m so thankful for God’s provision of the church and how Christ is the head and we are to serve Him by serving others.  What joy we feel when we serve the One that taught us how to serve.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Kevin