Recently I had the opportunity to teach one of my children about substitutionary atonement. As is the case for any parent who loves their children, I found myself in the position of needing to hand out some discipline. On this particular occasion the sin was of the nature that not only required the withholding of blessings (no treats) but also needed to be preceded with a swat. The parties that were sinned against had been talked to and reconciliation had been achieved. It was time for the dreaded walk into the bedroom. As I explained what was about to happen I also explained that God punishes every sin. I explained that I had to do what was right and give a discipline in the form of a swat. With an understanding head nod, my child laid across my lap, eyes closed and teeth clinched, waiting for the pending punishment to be delivered. Swinging with more power and force than normal, I connected with my own hand that was covering my child’s bottom. “You hit your own hand!” Pleased but confused was the response. Putting my child on my lap we took a look at the welt that was now rising on my hand. I immediately thought of Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

With tears streaming down both of our faces I explained that Jesus takes our punishment upon Himself. The punishment that we should have received because of our sin.

I explained that I wouldn’t always take the punishment, but this time I wanted to show that God loves us so much that even when we were sinners Christ took our punishment on the cross. Kind of like Daddy taking the swat that you deserved.

As my child rubbed my welted hand in consolation, I knew that on some level the lesson made sense.

It was a good bonding time for us and turned into a wonderful time for me to worship at the foot of the cross once again as I thanked My God for taking upon His body the wages of my sin and the wonderful healing that comes from trusting in His shed blood for me.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Blessings,

Alvin

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After church services yesterday, I called Jonathan to come to the car so we could drive home.  He approached with a pensive look on his face.  He went on to clarify the “new terms” of our relationship. 

“Daddy, when you don’t tell me what to do, I’ll do it.  And, when you tell me what to do, I won’t do it.”

…Sigh…  Part of me wanted to crack up laughing.  Part of me wanted to weep. 

I love my little boy so much it hurts.  Jonathan, like all of us in our fallen nature, does not want to have an authority over his life.  He wants to be the captain of his own ship. 

I went on the explain to him that God made him.  God is his authority.  God has entrusted him to Kristy and I as authorities over his life as well.   And God has called  him to live in the circle of obedience to his parents. 

In Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp has identified objectives for parenting during three stages of a child’s life.  This book and these principles have been very helpful to Kristy and me as we lead them in God’s ways.  We recommend the book to you for further equipping and support.  

~Jeff

Here is a glimpse of these three stages and objectives for each stage: 

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had a chance to post anything. I have come across several good posts on-line though, and since I don’t know which to link to, here’s a smorgasboard of good stuff from around the web (as usual, I found most of this stuff thanks to Tim Challies and Justin Taylor!):

  • John Piper wrote a thought-provoking post entitled, “Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies” . This post also includes a wonderful example of humbly confessing sin. 
  • Keith and Kristen Getty have released a new album of modern, celtic-style hymns. Their lyrics are saturated with Scripture and their music is beautiful! You can listen to samples and/or order the CD here.
  • Sovereign Grace Music has released another children’s album entitled, To Be Like Jesus. Read about it here.
  • Tim Challies asked John Bell, pastor of New City Baptist Church in Toronto, to share about his experience sharing the gospel with the gay community in his city. It is well worth reading – to help us think biblically about homosexuality, and to help us in God-honoring evangelism and church life. There is also some very interesting discussion in the comments, especially involving a number of men who struggle with homosexuality but turn from it because of their commitment to Christ. Read this post here
  • If you’re compiling a summer reading list, you might find these 2 posts from David Powlison to be of interest. Powlison is a bilical counselor, professor, and author, and he spent some time this week discussing some of his favorite literature with CJ Mahaney. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.  
  • What does Kurt Warner, a Christian who plays quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, like most about being a professional football player? His very encouraging answer is here.   

Blessings…

~Donovan

NPFNoel Piper has written a new book for children entitled, “Do you want a friend?”

Justin Taylor:

“Written for kids ages 3-7, it shows that there are potential friends all around us, but leads to the truth that Jesus is the best friend we could ever have…

You can browse the book online for free.”

Thabiti Anyabwile recently blogged about few things he really appreciates about this book. Read them here.

~Donovan

HT: Justin Taylor

Jelly Telly

April 28, 2009

Ministry-To-Children.com:

“Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, has a new web-based ministry for children. It is called Jelly Telly. The essence of the website is to provide a safe-haven for children to “surf” the web. There is a daily “television” show with puppets, computer animated characters, and live actors teaching a God-centered lesson… Ultimately, this is a resource worth checking into for your children in your home as well as an aid in your children’s ministry.”

You can read their whole post about Jelly Telly here

The video below will give you a glimpse into what is offered by the Jelly Telly website:

~Donovan

Seeds Family Worship

April 26, 2009

Seeds Family Worship:

“Seeds Family Worship was planted when worship leader, Jason Houser, was asked to write some songs to help kids remember the verses from his church’s summer Bible school. Jason began writing songs and singing them for the kids and families at church. The songs were well-crafted, catchy, and taken straight from scripture. Families liked them… a lot. From just a handful of songs, Seeds Family Worship was planted – providing God’s Word set to music for thousands of families all over the world. We are gladdened by stories of worship times at home, scripture memorized, and object lessons taught using Seeds songs. The fifth Seeds Family Worship album – The Power of Encouragement – has just released. In total, Seeds has grown to 58 portions of scripture set to music!”

A Seeds song, from Psalm 55:22:

~Donovan

HT: Tim Challies

Justin Taylor recently interviewed Bruce Ware about his new book, “Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God“. It looks excellent! Read the interview here.

~Donovan

Ministry-to-Children.com lists 68 Reasons Why Children’s Ministry Matters (click to see the full list). Click on the links below to see the reasons given in specific categories: 

Of course, some points are better than others, but it’s a list well worth reading through. Let’s be faithful in nurturing the next generation, that they may know the supremacy of Christ and walk in the truth.

~Donovan

Ted Tripp is the author of the widley praised book, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”. I’ve been reading another of his books, “Instructing a Child’s Heart”, and highly recommend it.

The audio/video of Ted Tripp teaching a parenting conference at Mars Hill Church in Seattle is available for free here

~Donovan

Matthew’s Begats

December 24, 2008

I think this song is pretty clever. And I think a book that can make it’s theme understandable and enjoyable for kids is well worth checking out! Heather and I will take a look at the book (see it here) and let you know… unfortunately not in time for this Christmas, but well in advance for next. See the song performed live (from a concert in 2004) below:

~ Donovan