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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Archive for the ‘Preserving a Christian Home’ Category

Holding Forth the Word of Life

Friday, October 24th, 2014

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Since Lily is 6 and has learned how to read I thought it a great time to further introduce her to Luther’s Small Catechism by getting her her very own beginners version. And what better time to gift it to her than on Reformation Sunday? I told her she’ll be getting a special surprise on that day and she’s so excited and yes, she knows it’s a BOOK. No delusions of a Katie Luther Barbie doll there so don’t worry!

Phil has made it a priority to teach the babies from our Catechism at an early age. We are currently working on the Ten Commandments and what they mean.

And their learning it greatly benefits me too. The Christian shouldn’t put the catechism aside after Confirmation. God’s Word and the teachings of our faith need to be something we continually put before us; hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest on a regular basis all our life. And to be honest that’s really hard most of the time isn’t it? Another reason this tired, busy, lazy, sinful mama is thankful for a church where I hear (even if it’s just in snippets) what I need to each week! And why I’m glad Phil recites the catechism with our babies so I can learn along with them.

I like what Martin Luther writes:

“I am often aware of temptation, and even today I cannot guard and cross myself against it too carefully. I confess this freely as an example to anyone; for here am I, an old doctor of theology and a preacher, and certainly as competent in Scripture as such smart alecks. At least I ought to be. Yet even I must become a child; and early each day I recite aloud whatever lovely psalms and verses I may choose, just as we teach and train children to do. Besides, I must seal with Scripture and fight with the devil every day. I dare not say in my heart, “The Lord’s Prayer is worn out; you know the Ten Commandments; you can recite the Creed.” I study daily and remain a pupil of the Catechism. I feel too, that this helps me a lot, and I am convinced by experience that God’s Word can never be entirely mastered, but that Psalm 147 speaks truly, “His understanding is beyond measure.”

Kelly at Fearfully and Wonderfully Made has started a series on her blog on learning the Large Catechism. I thought that was a great idea for her to commit to as a big grown up lady and a child of God. Reading through the Large Catechism has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Another resource I’d recommend that breaks down readings into daily small amounts is The Lord Will Answer A Daily Prayer Catechism.

The devil, our own flesh, our busy lives, our godless culture are always pulling us away from where God’s Word is taught and preached and tempting us with false doctrine. May God help us to always remain pupils of His Word.

 

 

 

 

Church Is For Babies

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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Going to church with littles is not easy. Yes, this is old news. For a lot of us, many Sundays look like this and this.

Likewise, Family Devotion time is yet one more firestorm of defeat.

But as I wrote about last week, for the Christian parent, life in the Church, prayer and teaching our babies the faith are serious matters. Priorities. These are greater than anything else our children will need in their lives.

So, we continue in dragging ourselves and our loud, fussy babies to church every week. We continue in etching out sometime in our day or our week to speak God’s Word into their ears, to pray for something, to sing a few lines of our faith.

We fail again and again. We yell again and again. We give up, we start over and we hope. We trust God to be faithful to His children despite how many times we forget, drop the ball, throw our hands or angrily send everyone off to bed in the middle of a hymn.

Our babies need to be in church as much as we mothers do. As a Mama who weekly considers whether or not this is “worth it,” I found these posts to be helpful and encouraging.

Steadfast Moms “The Divine Service is especially meant for mothers with young children! A mother with small children during a church service needs to teach by example about what is happening. Jesus is talking to us! The Sunday morning Church Service is the high point of the week for the Christian family. The Christian family goes to Church to be welcomed as God’s children through baptism, to repent of their sins, to receive forgiveness for their sins, for wisdom, comfort, encouragement, and strength so that they can face another week in the sinful world that threatens to destroy and tempt them away from Jesus. The Christian family is the sheep and lambs who learn and listen to their Good Shepherd. If the Christian family fail to listen and learn to their Good Shepherd they are likely to wander and lose their way from the pasture that feeds them with the marks of the Church.”

Getting Kids to Behave in Church “Basically the whole issue of getting kids to behave in church boils down to this:  From the very beginning, teach them why they are there in the first place.  Remove as many distractions as you can.  Model how to behave in church.  Expect them to do the same.  Children will live up or down to your expectations.” — I’ll tell you, I break most of her rules. The adults are heavily outnumbered in our pew on Sunday. She speaks the ideal, and I’d love to have that, but reality is a little different. I bring books, coloring and snacks for the 2 and under crowd but I’m trying to get away from so much of that with the bigger ones.

The Secret to Church Growth “If church isn’t a priority for you, it won’t be for them either. If you go to church casually and do little at home to pray, learn Bible stories, memorize Bible verses and the catechism, chances are they’ll follow suit. Like I said, this is serious business. So what’s a parent to do?  Teach your kids Bible stories from the time they are babies.  Read age appropriate devotions with them.  Ask them for prayer requests and pray with them often.  Teach the catechism so that when they get to confirmation class the memory portion is review. ”

Family Devotions: A Work in Progress “Remember, you’re not a terrible mother if your kids don’t know the entire catechism by heart. We (and our families) are all works in progress. Don’t compare your own family devotions to those of other families. Do what is manageable, and rest in the confidence that God works through His Word, however imperfect our efforts to read it.”

Nurturing our Children with the Language of Luther “Luther packed a lot of punch; he filled his catechism with rich teaching into relatively short statements.  Do we believe that even the youngest children should hear the richest expression of our faith as found in the catechism and creeds?  Yes.  Emphatically, yes.”

God help us in this great task!

 

Trusting in the Merits of Jesus

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

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“To have the righteousness of faith, and to teach that to the children God gives to us, that, my friends, is the greatest joy in life, and the most fervent prayer of every Christian parent, whether with one child or a dozen, is that God will keep our children trusting in the merits of Jesus until they die in peace.” Rolf Preus And God Blessed Them

It’s no secret around here, I really like ordering our days by the church calendar. But because my life is so full with just keeping everyone fed, clothed and clean I have been simplifying our commemorations and celebrations.

I still enjoy doing little crafts, making food appropriate to the day a couple years ago I was able to do much more, but I’m finding that these days sometimes all I can work in is telling my children that “Today is fill in the blank, this is why we remember this saint or why we celebrate this event, talk amongst yourselves.”

And that’s fine. Because we can have the most beautiful feasts but if we fail to teach our children, then we have truly failed.

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Teachable Moments

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Phil and the girls came upon this dead cardinal on the sidewalk while walking to school. Lily really wanted to bury it so Phil brought him home. I’m not sure why it’s was more upsetting to see such a beautiful bird laying dead on the ground when so many others die and we don’t think much about those.

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