Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spiritual Manna

In the busyness of daily living and raising a child, it's so easy to set aside the need for spiritual food.  This morning Abby was a fussy and in need of our weathered porch swing. I was able to take my Bible out and read a couple of chapters in Hebrews before she demanded 100% of my attention.  Hebrews 10:14 really caught my attention and I am feebly attempting to memorize it:  "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

In reading the book Feminine Threads I came across this quote by Dorothy Leigh, a Puritan who wrote a 1616 bestseller, The Mother's Blessing:

"For as the children of Israel must needs starve, except they gath'red every day in the wilderness and fed of it, so must your souls, except you gather the spiritual Manna out of the word every day, and feed of it continually:  for as they by this Manna comforted their lives; so by this heavenly Word of God, you shall comfort your souls, make them strong in Faith, and grow in true godliness, and finally preserve them with great joy, to everlasting life, through Faith in Christ; whereas, if you desire any food for your souls, that is not in the written Word of God, your soul die with it even in your hearts and mouths; even as they, that desired other food, died with it in their mouths [Num. 11:33] were it never so dainty:  so shall you, and there is no recovery for you."
Excerpt from Feminine Threads by Diana Lynn Severance and published by Christian Focus Publications.  Page 180.

May the Lord keep me from filling my belly with corn husks when I could be feasting daily at the King's table.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Feminine Threads

When I initially flipped through the book my first impression was that Feminine Threads was a bit dry, but upon beginning the first chapter, this was not at all correct. The author, Diana Severance, PhD, Rice University,  encapsulates the information in the “Women in Church History” courses she taught.  The book is easy-to-read, providing just enough detail to whet the appetite to learn more about church history and the ladies featured.  I found myself really wanting to learn additional details about some of the women highlighted in this book.  Diana provides ample resources for those wishing to study these stories in depth.  The bibliography is 22 pages in length. 

Feminine Threads has twelve chapters, each chapter covering a historical era beginning with the women in the Bible and ending with Christian women in the twentieth century, such as Ruth Bell Graham and Joni Eareckson Tada. The book weaves together the stories of women from all walks of life such as martyrs, mystics, homemakers, queens, and nuns.  As it ties their stories together it reveals who influenced whom.  I found the earlier chapters most fascinating as it was reading information I was not at all familiar with.  Unfortunately I'm quite ignorant when it comes to church history.   

I appreciated the disclaimer preceding the first chapter that reminded readers “Christian history includes admirable and questionable individuals.  The reader is encouraged to discerningly use the truths of Scripture to evaluate the lives of the numerous women in Feminine Threads.”  The flaws of the ladies featured are not glossed over by any means.  The only role model we can trust is our Savior.  Humans are fallible. I actually found the information about doctrinal errors and human weaknesses fascinating.  It confirmed there is “no new thing under the sun.”   

The book begins with how Jesus treated women: with honor, dignity and respect. Throughout the chapters this attitude of honor and respect for women and the importance of family and the sanctity of life are found in those who made the Bible their authority.  Diana presents a very biblical (howbeit presently unpopular) perspective in keeping with what the Bible’s teaches regarding the woman’s role in the church:  “Paul recognized women shared in the spiritual gifts of the Church,and could pray and prophesy in church, yet the women were not to have authority over a man or to teach authoritatively.”  (I Cor. 12:28, Eph. 2:20, 4:11, Acts 2:17-18, 21:9; I Cor. 11:5) She notes that “by grasping at authority and position for women in the Church, many fail to realize that in Christianity, the position of a humble servant - of washing the saints’ feet as Jesus did-is the highest position.”  

It’s amazing to see the roots of feminism several hundred years ago.  Feminine Threads confirms that women have always struggled with their role since Eve’s curse.  Submission to our husbands goes against human nature.  Submission to God’s Word also goes against human nature.   Spiritual disaster has always ensued when the church begins to veer away from the Bible’s authority.  From adjusting the age of widows accepted into the church from 60 to 50 to the more recent trend of ordaining female ministers, it’s amazing how quickly those who call themselves "Christians” can depart from the truth presented in God’s Word.  I suppose it should come as no surprise considering what Paul stated in Galatians 1:6: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.”

Severance traces the threads of asceticism, Mariolotry, Antinomianism, feminism and the Social Gospel, in addition to many other doctrines.  She shows how celibacy was revered during the Middle Ages and the Reformation caused the pendulum to be swung to the other end of the spectrum.   The book is interspersed with direct quotes and bits of poetry and prose.  I learned new information about doctrinal errors, church history and the beginnings of most denominations. Some of these interesting facts include:
  • By the 3rd century there were penalties for breaking the vow of virginity since the Church “considered those who married after taking a vow guilty of bigamy.”     
  • That the parallel between the first and last Adam in Romans 5:12-21 was “expanded to a parallel between Eve and Mary” and led to the beginning of the veneration and eventually the worship of Mary
  • That at the Second Lateran Council in 1139 clerical celibacy was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church.  Priests were required to divorce their wives and their children became illegitimate.
  • The mystic Hildegard of Bingen suffered from migraines that were likely the source of her “visions of light.”  
  • That the First Great Awakening was more Calvinistic while the Second One was more Arminian.
  • Charles Finney was the creator of the “anxious bench” which led to the oft-used “altar call”
The lesson I took from Feminine Threads is how easily we add tradition and personal preference to our belief system.  Diana notes that "Jesus had told the Samaritan women (John 4) that worship was to be in spirit and in truth. Throughout the history of the Church the pendulum has often swung between one and the other.  Exclusive focus on the truth at times produced an intellectual dryness that quenched the spirit.  Exclusive focus on the spirit apart from the truth of the Scripture led to heresy." 

This book was an excellent reminder for me to re-examine what I consider doctrine and ensure it is indeed based on what is found in God’ Word.  “Sola scriptura” must be my motto.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and my one complaint is that I wish it had an index.  I read several sections to my husband, which is highly unusual.   I couldn’t read this book without a highlighter. Thank you, Diana, for an excellent read.  I plan to eventually teach through this book with my daughter. 

Disclaimer: Christian Focus Publications provided a complimentary copy of this book to me.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

In Need of a Sermon

We are once again searching for a local church to join.  When I say "local" I mean a church within 75 miles.  Yes, that's considered local here.  We learned this is the definition of local when we purchased a washer/dryer set from Lowe's and they offered free local delivery and it included us way out here in Beloit.  Of course I joked about trying to order a pizza to be delivered here from Salina.

I struggle at times with the feeling of an empty stomach spiritually speaking.  Today was one of those days.  It's so hard when you have a baby who doesn't like to be away from mom for any length of time.  I'm always grateful for those churches that have a speaker for video system for those in the nursery.  I like to listen to God's Word being preached even if I'm not up in the auditorium.  Abby enjoys the music and sometimes sings along in her own little way, but has not learned to be quiet during the preaching.  She thinks it's time for her to get a few words in too.  Where can I order a "cone of silence" for a baby?

Needless to say, I missed the teaching during Sunday School and the preaching in the morning worship.  Due to the miles and lunch and other logistics we were not able to attend an evening service.  So I turned on one of my favorite live webcasts of a church service and enjoyed good singing and testimonies, but no preaching!!! God had worked in the lives of many young people and they wanted to share what God had done so that was a blessing.  It's just that it feels like it's been so long since I've been able to enjoy one good sermon.  

You know a sermon delivery service wouldn't be too bad.  I would pay to have a good preacher show up at my house during the week and preach a couple of good sermons.   I would cover his mileage and maybe give him a big glass of sweet tea and a slice of pie or even a full meal.  All of this to take place out on the front porch so as to prevent any appearance of evil.   The neighbors could probably use a little preaching too.  I think a tip should be based on how good the sermon is and I expect doctrinally sound expository preaching that lasts well over 45 minutes.  None of the namby-pamby feel-good fluff with a sprinkling of humorous illustrations throughout.  So is there a Christian Craigslist out there where I can post my wanted ad?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project 64: Olive Green

I discovered this old truck parked across the street from our house.  I thought it was a fairly good olive green match.  To see more entries for the color of the week, visit Project 64.

Prospering Again

"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." III John 1:2
So often I take my health for granted.  Just under two days ago I suddenly came down with a nasty stomach virus.  Within a few hours I went from being strong and healthy to waking Jeff up so he could lift Abby out of the crib for me.   I was that weak.  I am so grateful that I recovered quickly and today feel normal once again.

It's simple enough for us to realize we are physically ill, but what about the state of our spiritual life?  How healthy is our soul?  Are we dehydrated from a lack of filling up on the Living Water and Word?  Have we exposed ourselves to a virus or parasite by not suiting up with the protection offered us? (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Spurgeon said "The great test of your soul's health is, What think you of Christ?"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Hymn for Sunday

What a lovely hymn by John Newton to end this Father's Day:
Ask what I shall give thee  
 (based on I Kings 3:5)
Behold the throne of grace,
The promise calls us near,
There Jesus shows a smiling face
And waits to answer prayer.

That rich atoning blood,
Which sprinkled round we see,
Provides for those who come to God
An all-prevailing plea.

My soul, ask what thou wilt,
Thou canst not be too bold:
Since his own blood for thee he spilt,
What else can he withhold?

Beyond our utmost wants
His love and pow'r can bless,
To praying souls He always grants
More than they can express.

Since 'tis the Lord's command,
My mouth I open wide;
Lord open thou thy bounteous hand,
That I may be supply'd.

Thine image, Lord, bestow,
Thy presence and Thy love,
I ask to serve Thee here below
And reign with Thee above.

Teach me to live by faith,
Confirm my will to thine;
Let me victorious be in death,
And then in glory shine.

If thou these blessings give,
And wilt my portion be,
Cheerful the world's poor toys I leave
To them who know not thee.

No Longer Anonymous

I enjoy anonymity.  Now don't get me wrong, I thoroughly love interacting and conversing with people, but I like to go about my business without knowing people are watching me.  I think this could be the result of growing up as a pastor's daughter.  A PK lives in a glass house and everyone takes note of what you're doing.

In the last two places I've lived, I was fairly anonymous.  Wausau was a small city where few people knew or cared what I was up to.  Spirit Lake was a much smaller town, but had so many transplants that there didn't seem to be the gossip you find in more rural areas.

We're no longer anonymous here.  I learned this when I made my first hospice visit.  I was chatting with the patient and a nurse came in to give her some meds.  I was in the middle of telling Louise that we weren't originally from Beloit when the nurse pipes up and asks, "So are you the ones who moved downtown?"  Her husband also works for AGCO so she knew all about us.

The next day one of Jeff's co-workers asked if I was much younger than he is.  I am. So of course Jeff wondered why he was asking and he mentioned he saw me at the railroad tracks the night before.  I had hopped in the car to try to get out of town to take some photos of a beautiful storm system, but a train came to a complete stop right in the middle of town.  Jeff's co-worker must have been in a vehicle ahead of me that turned around when this happened.  He recognized Jeff's car with out-of-state plates and a "young" woman driving it.

It's almost creepy.  People we don't know, know what we're up to.  It's a town where everyone knows everyone's business. Now of course that can be a positive thing when you want someone checking up on your child, but on the other hand it can lead to some unnecessary gossip (okay, all gossip is unnecessary).   This is just a bit of an adjustment for me.  I think I've been a bit too aloof in the past.  I just need to warm up to the idea that in a small town everyone can be spies friends. Or I could come up with a closet full of disguises so I can continue to live my life in anonymity.  Whatever happened to that blond wig I had . . . 

Believe In Spite of Your Feelings

 "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."  Psalm 42:5
Yesterday I heard Joni Erickson Tada speaking about the depression she struggled with for some time after her accident.  She came to the realization that she must in faith believe what God has said and act on it instead of waiting for her feelings to catch up.  Relying on her feelings led to doubt and depression. Such a simple statement, but so true.  Our feelings let us down.  People let us down.  We let ourselves down, but God is unchanging. What He has promised He will perform. 

In the absence of feelings, believe the Father is always present.  In the absence of feelings, believe God's sovereign hand is behind all that has occurred in your life.  In the absence of feelings, believe God has taken away what is good to give you something better. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Heat, Sun, Wheat

After supper we hopped in the truck and took a little drive through the countryside.  Here are some of the sights.   It's amazing how the limestone is/was utilized in so many ways.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Relax . . . You're In Kansas Now

Prior to our move we had major issues with our moving van.  I prepared a quote that Budget provided several weeks prior to our move as Jeff's company needed an estimate.  When we received the go-ahead and I went to make the reservation the price had significantly increased.  We made the reservation anyway and decided we would just cover the difference.  Then three days before our move Budget called to tell us they had cancelled our reservation as they didn't have a moving van for us.  The chastised Jeff for not reading the fine print when we made the reservation.  Silly us, we assumed they would have a truck for us when all we were actually doing was locking in the amount they would charge us IF they could find a truck for us.  Lesson learned:  never use Budget again. 

Our other option was U-Haul.  Jeff explained the situation to the kind reservation agent and we were able to make the reservation on short notice.  Jeff confirmed with them that they would indeed guarantee a truck for us.  Everything was in order.  We even received two confirmation emails and it provided all the necessary details.  All details were correct.  When U-Haul didn't call to confirm the reservation on Sunday evening, I encouraged Jeff to call them instead.  He did.  The agent stated we were all set to pick up our truck in Des Moines, not Spirit Lake.  Our confirmation emails had said pick-up in Spirit Lake and this is what Jeff had confirmed with the agent.  Des Moines was nearly a four hour drive one-way and too far for us to consider driving to.  I tried not to panic inside, but it was very disconcerting to learn of this the morning before our move.  Jeff was able to contact the local company in Spirit Lake and thank the Lord, they had received a cancellation the day before and had a 26' truck sitting in their lot.  God came through for us in nick of time. 

After unloading the U-Haul in Beloit, we cut it a little close when it came to returning the truck.  Our deadline was about 9:49 AM.  I had looked up the location on Google Maps and told Jeff where I thought the U-Haul drop-off was.  It appeared to be about five blocks from where we moved to.  Jeff got in the truck and I was behind him in the Tahoe with Abby.  We took off and drove the direction I thought was correct.  Soon the road ended.  We turned around and headed the opposite direction.  When that appeared to be residential and a dead-end I pulled the Tahoe over and made a call to U-Haul.  I explained we were unable to find the drop-off location and asked for the local number.    Unfortunately Jeff didn't have his phone with him.  When I pulled over he continued driving.  By the time I ended my phone call and had dialed the local number I had completely lost him.  He was wandering around Beloit somewhere in a 26' U-Haul truck. 

With about two minutes till our deadline I called the local U-Haul number.  I explained to the man that we were trying to return our U-Haul truck and that I had lost my husband in the midst of losing our way and that I was concerned we would be late.  I asked if there was any way he could waive the late fee since we had gotten lost.  I think I probably gulped all these words out in one breath as I was slightly stressed and I absolutely hate wasting money.  The kind local on the other line said, "Don't worry ma'am.  You're in God's country now.  I don't care if you return your truck tomorrow at noon.  I won't charge you any extra."  Whew.  What a relief.  And a reminder that I need to slow down just a bit now that I'm here in Kansas.  What's the rush?  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Thankful Heart

As Sunday draws to an end my heart is thankful for several blessings:

  • For a house that is beginning to resemble a home
  • For a front porch with a weathered porch swing
  • For church bells that toll every hour 
  • For a large yard with space to plant a garden
  • For the generosity of others
  • For cobblestone streets
  • For my Savior
". . . Be thankful unto Him and bless His name."  Psalm 100:4
Gratitude and thanksgiving forever stand opposed to all murmurings at God’s dealings with us, and all complainings at our lot. Gratitude and murmuring never abide in the same heart at the same time. An unappreciative spirit has no standing beside gratitude and praise. And true prayer corrects complaining and promotes gratitude and thanksgiving. Dissatisfaction at one’s lot, and a disposition to be discontented with things which come to us in the providence of God, are foes to gratitude and enemies to thanksgiving.
The murmurers are ungrateful people. Appreciative men and women have neither the time nor disposition to stop and complain. The bane of the wilderness-journey of the Israelites on their way to Canaan was their proneness to murmur and complain against God and Moses. For this, God was several times greatly grieved, and it took the strong praying of Moses to avert God’s wrath because of these murmurings. The absence of gratitude left no room nor disposition for praise and thanksgiving, just as it is so always. But when these same Israelites were brought through the Red Sea dry shod, while their enemies were destroyed, there was a song of praise led by Miriam, the sister of Moses. One of the leading sins of these Israelites was forgetfulness of God and His mercies, and ingratitude of soul. This brought forth murmurings and lack of praise, as it always does. E.M. Bounds (Essentials of Prayer)

Stroll Along the Solomon River

This afternoon Abby was unusually fussy.  We tried to rectify that problem by putting her in the stroller and going for a long walk.  It seemed to work wonders. Here are some of the photos from our walk.  The river is only about four blocks from our house and we passed through downtown Beloit to reach it. 

Upon adding these photos I realized I didn't have one of the river itself in here.  It's a bit swollen and muddy looking at this time.  A photo will be added at a later date. 

Project 64: Timberwolf

Having missed several of the Project 64 entries due to our recent move, I decided I would post my entry earlier than usual this time around.  I thought the bottom of this weathered building looks fairly close to the timberwolf color.  To view more entries visit Project 64.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spurgeon on Loving Your Neighbor

This dovetails nicely with my most recent post:

 A gross contradiction!
From Spurgeon's sermon, "Love Thy Neighbor"

Christ loved you before you loved him.
He loved you when there was nothing good in you.

He loved you though you insulted him,
though you despised him and rebelled against him.

He has loved you right on, and never ceased to love you.
He has loved you in your backslidings
and loved you out of them.
He has loved you in your sins, in your wickedness and folly.

His loving heart was still eternally the same,
and he shed his heart's blood to prove his love for you.

He has given you what you need on earth,
and provided for you an habitation in heaven.

Now Christian, your religion claims from you,
that you should love others, as your Master loved you.
How can you imitate him, unless you love too?

With you "un"kindness should be a strange anomaly.
It is a gross contradiction to the spirit of your religion,
and if you do not love your neighbor, I cannot see
how you can be a true follower of the Lord Jesus.

Loving Your Neighbor

"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5:14

On Tuesday afternoon we moved to Beloit, Kansas.  Any move is stressful, but moving with a seven-month-old baby was even more of a challenge.  It was difficult for me to help load the moving van and clean our apartment and it made me almost feel guilty.  I do realize caring for Abby is a priority at this time.  Thankfully family and some church friends came through and helped us out.  

We hit the road late in the afternoon and didn't arrive at our destination until 10:30 PM.  The house we moved to presented some unknown twists as we had only seen pictures of it.  It was all so overwhelming at certain moments. 

The following day was difficult again as I had to watch Abby and couldn't devote much time to assisting Jeff unload the truck.  Unexpectedly, a neighbor couple showed up.  He unloaded our big pieces of furniture and his wife brought over cookies and offered to watch Abby.  For two hours she pushed Abby around town in her stroller while I unloaded boxes.  It was wonderful.   The next day she dropped off fresh produce from their garden and washed our laundry when our machine broke down. Neighbors popped over and said hello.  One offered Jeff a beer (which he turned down).  His wife encouraged me to stop by and play the piano any time.   She separately invited both Jeff and I to attend church with them. 

This neighborliness has caught us off guard.  We're not used to such friendly individuals.  It has been such a pleasant surprise and made me more aware of my shortcomings as a neighbor.  Have I taken note of what is happening in their lives?  Have I shared my resources when they have been in need?  How can I better fulfill God's command to love my neighbor as myself?  My neighbors have been wonderful examples.  I'm so thankful God has placed them in our lives.  I pray I will have the courage to share God's love with them in return.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Offline for a Move

Our move to Kansas occurs this week. I'll be offline for a few days while we transition to our new home. 

Today I'm grateful for a God who is ever present and never sleeps.  His presence is constant. 

Psalm 121

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
         From whence comes my help?
 2 My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth.
 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.
 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
 6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
         He shall preserve your soul.
 8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Be Still My Soul

In the midst of packing, cleaning and planning I'm tempted to spend too little time in refreshing my soul through God's Word and prayer.  It seems as if there are always other "priorities" attempting to pull me away from His feet.  I love this hymn and verse two is especially relevant at this time. 

"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Be Ready with An Answer (Part 2)

Since my post regarding the JWs coming to my door, I've been pondering how I should prepare if placed in a similar situation.  Today I watched a short clip by Paul Washer (an itinerant preacher I greatly admire) that provided one of his approaches to this group:

  • He asks them "What is the gospel?" and allows them to explain their definition.  
  • He then asks them to provide the description a second time and repeats their definition back to them to confirm he heard it correctly.
  •  He then opens up his Bible to I Corinthians 15:1-4  "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
  • He then turns to Galatians 1:8 "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
  • They typically try to say they also believe this Gospel, but he reminds them that he gave them multiple opportunities to state what they believed to be the Gospel and they left Christ's death, burial, and resurrection out of it.
Initially upon hearing this approach I thought it seemed a bit too harsh (okay, perhaps I struggle with the fear of man), but I began to think about how Jesus approached individuals during His time here on earth.  It was the devout Pharisees He condemned and called liars, brood of vipers and hypocrites.  It tended to be the outcasts and those with physical handicaps that He had compassion on.  They were the individuals who recognized their need for a Messiah and whose hearts He softened. 

No one is able to comprehend and be convinced of the truth of the Gospel of their own accord.  "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  I Cor. 2:14  May I be bold enough to speak the truth in love and allow God's Holy Spirit to accomplish it's work.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grace-Based Parenting

This morning I watched Elyse Fitzpatrick's interview regarding the process of creating her new release, Give Them Grace; Dazzle Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.  I haven't read her book, but after watching her interview I'm convinced I need to read it.   I've been so saturated with legalism that I don't always recognize it's grasp.  I naturally have the tendency to want to force my child to conform without addressing her heart issues.  Yes, I recognize this about myself even though she's only seven months old.  I've had to struggle with the mindset of Sunday School and Church + Homeschooling + Daily Devotions = a Godly child.  Only God can alter the course of a young rebellious heart. I must be more intentional in my parenting and teach the Gospel to her through my words, actions and even discipline.

If you teach the child wrongly, he believes you; if you teach him heresies, he will receive them; what you teach him now, he will never forget. You are not sowing, as some say, on virgin soil, for it has long been occupied by the devil; but you are sowing on a soil more fertile now than it ever will be again,—soil that will produce fruit now, far better than it will do in after days; you are sowing on a young heart, and what you sow will be pretty sure to abide there, especially if you teach evil, for that will never be forgotten.  .  . Have a care, it is a child's soul you are tampering with, if you are tampering at all; it is a child's soul you are preparing for eternity, if God is with you. I give you a solemn admonition on every child's behalf. Surely, if it be murder to administer poison to the dying, it must be far more criminal to give poison to the young life. If it be evil to mislead grey—headed age, it must be far more so to turn aside the feet of the young into the road of error, in which they may for ever walk. - Spurgeon
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