Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Book of Beginnings

If you're following the Bible reading plan that was mentioned HERE, then in this last month you finished the book of Genesis.

What an amazing book!  The first events of human history... the foundational structures of human life... the slow realization of everything that humanity forfeited in the devastating fall into sin and death... the memorable men & women... the emergence of God's plan to save this wayward world from itself... the gradual unfolding of the covenant... judgment... grace... 50 chapters... 1,533 words.

But perhaps the most striking thing in Genesis is what we learn of the character of God himself.

"The characterization of God may indeed be said to be the central literary concern of the Bible, and it is pursued from beginning to end, for the principle character, or actor, or protagonist of the Bible is God.  Not even the most seemingly insignificant action in the Bible can be understood apart from the emerging characterization of the deity.  With this great protagonist and his designs, all other characters and events interact, as history becomes the great arena for God's characteristic and characterizing actions."
~Roland M. Frye~

Indeed, God is the only "character" that is present from the beginning of the book to the end.  What is he like?  How does he relate to his people?

Virtually every passage in the book more and more develops the answer to those questions.

Basically this book is, in fact, exactly what a thoughtful reader would expect the first book of the Bible to be -- a comprehensive introduction to the whole of Scripture.  This thing called "sin" is introduced as the problem, and God immediately sets out to overcome it.

"Genesis begins with a garden and ends with a coffin.  What a commentary on the results of sin in this world!"  ~Warren Wiersbe~
"Genesis, in fact, is in various ways almost nearer the New Testament than the Old, and some of its topics are barely heard again till their implications fully emerge in the gospel. ... The book of Genesis, like the Old Testament in microcosm, ends by pointing beyond its own story."  ~Derek Kidner~

Monday, January 28, 2013

Transitions in Peru: Pray for the DeMars

DPC members Sean & Amber DeMars are preparing for one of the big turning points in their work in Peru; let's pray for them.

Here's the latest update:

By Sean DeMars:

Alright, everyone. We are officially finished with language school. We have our plane tickets to Lima purchased, and we will be heading out Tuesday morning. Tuesday night, we will meet up with the Helms Family and help them get settled in. 
We will then spend a week in Lima. During that week, we're going to get Patience's Carnet, eat a lot of Dunkin Doughnuts, and try to relax as much as possible. 
Then we will head out to Iquitos where we will do all the final planning and preparation before we head into the jungle. Between now and then, expect at least two more newsletters. 
We love and miss everyone at home. We pray for all of our friends regularly, and we delight to know that many of you all remember us in your prayers as well.
Be encouraged, brothers and sisters, the Lord is with us. Not only that, but he is in complete control. He has a fierce hunger for the glory of his name, and he might just use weak vessels like us to proclaim it. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Hobby Lobby Update

If you're keeping up with the Hobby Lobby story (there are two previous posts on Ransom Road), here are two more entries:

1.  a letter from a man named Don Schanzenbach, from Mission to Restore America

2.  a letter from David Green, CEO & founder of Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby Heroes

In this first week of January, 2013, the Hobby Lobby legal fight is an opening salvo marking an historic moment for America and the American church. With the results of the presidential election in, and the direction seemingly set for our aggregate futures, it may be more than a bit surprising to the non-Christian (even anti-Christian) society at large to see the Hobby Lobby owners in a direct confrontation with the powers that be.

Steadfast Christians that they are, they cannot in good conscience, pay for government mandated health insurance that pays for birth control drugs, some of which they believe to be abortafacients. These, so called, morning after pills are often designed to stop a fertilized egg from implanting, which, is effectively, an abortion. Given the many Scripture references that universally declare children to be a blessing, there is a moral certitude about our duty to protect the nascent lives of our pre-born. While seemingly standing in only a tiny company, Hobby Lobby’s owners are defending high moral ground. They are Christian heroes, in a supposedly righteous nation, that rarely exhibits this kind of fortitude. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio…? Of greater consequence, where have you gone Christian business men? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

I suppose it will make some of my brethren nervous if I ask, “Where are all the other Christian business men who are being compelled to pay this godless insurance tax? Why are their voices silent?” Now that there is a David (literally, owner David Green- see his letter below) to lead the battle against the government Goliath, where are the little guys who could jump in, keep their consciences, and do the right thing? There are millions of Christians in the country. Surely there have to be thousands who ought to be courageous enough to resist tyranny along with these Hobby Lobby folks. Where are our people?

It ought to interest us that this government required insurance question is truly a tax question. In the case of a tax, everyone understands that if you do not pay, the civil authorities will force payment, at the point of a rifle if necessary. This newly required insurance payment is essentially a tax, though re-named insurance. Yes, the businesses have to write the checks to private insurance companies. However, if that check is not written the result will be the same as if you were caught not paying a tax. The government goons would arrive to seize your accounts and shove a rifle in your face if you resist. Call it a tax, call it insurance, it is merely semantics. Either way it is the government making you pay. The important issue here is not the terms, the words, it is the morality. We have to ask if the civil government has righteous authority to demand businesses pay this tax. From whence do they gain that right?

The founders of this country fought the British due to several issues. Two of the greatest importance were for the right to be taxed only under proper authority, and, to protect their families and homes from British abuse. The colonies had been granted in their original charters the right to rule themselves under their own representatives and their own law. When the British attempted to change that established order, they were breaking covenant with the American people. They were asserting authority to tax where they had no legal or moral right to do so. It was this imposition of tyrannical power that jarred our forefathers to arms. They understood that even a small, but unjust tax, had to be resisted or stronger tyranny would soon follow. They were not so much fighting for lower taxes as they were warring for right principle and righteous liberty. This is why they could fight even though their Bibles read in Romans 13, “Pay tax to whom tax is due.” Many Christian men understood that unlawfully laid taxes were not due. For this they resisted.

We live in an era when the broader American, evangelical church, has taught and believed that all resistance to civil authority is morally wrong. Particularly, in the area of taxation, our brethren have insisted that any and all taxes that are levied, are due. For the past 100 years and more, there have been diminishingly few sermons preached with any view that questioned total obedience to central government regarding taxation. Now, we find ourselves inexplicably cheering for this single company that has made headlines by refusing to pay insurance taxes. We sense that Hobby Lobby is righteous in its decision but our theology lags behind. This is not because our sense of right is wrong. It is because our theology on taxation, particularly Romans 13, is wrongly laid. We are to pay tax to whom tax is due. We have no cause to believe that every tax levied is due. In the case of this insurance tax, which directly supports abortion and birth control, we may be certain that the tax imposed is not a tax that is due. Taxes that are levied as a direct attack on Biblical core principles; ones that declare war on God’s law and His righteousness, are unlawfully laid (according to God’s law) and are therefore not due. Christian people have no duty to pay taxes of this variety. We may in fact, have a duty to refuse payment for evil taxes of this egregious nature. Hence, we may pray and cheer in good conscience for the Hobby Lobby owners. May they find victory in their legal battles.

This is a holy moment when we ought to be asking precisely, what is the value of a child’s life? The confrontation involved forces this question, literally, upon us. What is the value of a child’s life? Have we become so callous, so jaded, so fearful of our government god, that we will sell our souls in order to defend our businesses? I fear we have, but pray we haven’t. We are being demanded to directly finance the destruction of innocent life. We are told that the central government has a rightful power to force Christian men to pay for the killing of the next generation. Our government’s claim in this matter is one of great moment. This is no small thing. It breaches a barrier heretofore unprecedented. The murder of American babies is morally severe to begin with. Forcing faithful churchmen to directly pay for this abuse is unconscionable. This is ground upon which the church ought to stand. There should be thousands of Christian men behaving as bravely as David Green and his family. They ought not be alone in this fight. Christian people cannot in right conscience write out checks designated to finance the killing of children, tho they be unborn. This is not a choice, it is an imperative. How corrupted will we allow ourselves to become? When we gaze in our mirrors will we see enemies of Christ? There are things we should never do. This is one of them.

Proverbs 24:11 instructs, “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back.” Under this wicked insurance tax law Christian men are being ordered to participate in the destruction of the unborn. We have been unable to hold back, but are we willing to push this agenda forward? For many decades the church has been mostly silent in the face of multiplying government exercise of immoral power. By acquiescing to everything we have disarmed ourselves. Finally, we are brought to the brink. By yielding to injustice in smaller things we have allowed ourselves to be led calmly to this edge. We are being told to jump off. Our response should be no. There must be an end to moral compromise. We are at a point where God’s people must gain courage if we are to retain any hope for His blessings. Pray for the church.

For Christian Culture,
Don Schanzenbach  1-7-13
Mission to Restore America

Hobby Lobby CEO, David Green’s Letter
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are 1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and 2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve also raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions. Which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million per day in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right.

I know people will say we ought to follow the rules, that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief. So, Hobby Lobby — and my family — are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American — and no American business — should have to make.

David Green is the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

an e-mail to the men of the church...

Tomorrow DPC holds a Prayer for Reformation & Revival service.  And all Christians are invited, male & female.  But here's an e-mail I sent out to the men of the church especially...

Iron Men,

It would be a great thing if every man in the church could devote at least one hour (or even half an hour) on Saturday to our time of prayer for reformation & revival.  Anytime 8:00 - 4:30.  Just come and go as you have need.

"Despite their overthrow, the powers of darkness have not yet conceded their defeat; they continue to contest every inch of their territory. The kingdom of Satan retreats only as the kingdom of God advances."
~John Stott

"The man who is content to sit ignorantly by his own fireside, wrapped up in his own private affairs, and has no public eye for what is going on in the church and the world, is a miserable patriot, and a poor style Christian."
~J.C. Ryle

Let's pray for the Kingdom to come.

Iron Men of DPC
Forged by God; Sharpened by Brothers
Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another. ~ Proverbs 27.17

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seriously... what are we to do about that?

Yes, the culture in which our children are growing up seems to be turning more and more away from the God who created this world & then revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  

What are Christians to do about that?  Worry?  Rage?  Complain?  Whine?  Cry?  Ignore?  Pretend?  Fret?

Psalm 37.8 - "Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."  

So then... what?   There is much to do... but let's start with prayer.  

Prayer for Reformation & Revival.  

Saturday 8am - 4:30pm
Pastor Al Baker will be leading us
feel free to come & go as needed... or stay all day
coffee & light snacks available
RSVP to Bill by Friday if you'd like a subway sandwich for lunch

Pastor Baker will also be speaking at a Joint CE Class on Sunday morning at 9:30am.  Please join us for that.  

And if you need to remind yourself of the power that resides in Christian prayer, please ponder this quote from Paul E. Miller...  

“Deep down, we just don’t believe God is as generous as He keeps saying He is. That’s why Jesus added the fine print– ‘ask in My name.’ Let me explain what that means.  

Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen.

Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: ‘I want to see the king.’ Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, ‘Jesus, I come in the name of Jesus.’

At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.

The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus.

‘Asking in Jesus’ name’ isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. Is it one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.”

Friday, January 18, 2013


Man Night.
6:30 pm.
Dale's House.
2525 Poovey Rd, SE
Bring Something to Grill.
Drinks & Sides Provided.
All Men 18 Years of Age & Up.
Bring a Friend.

After feasting with all of our might, we'll begin a conversation.  Come join us!

"The word of God will stand a thousand readings; and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there."
~ James Hamilton

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Modern Parables

Click HERE to see a trailer for the Modern Parable that we'll be studying tonight at DPC.  

Come Join Us!

Meal ~ 5:30 pm
Study ~ 6:15 pm

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Schizophrenia & The People of God

If you know and love someone who suffers from schizophrenia, you know what heartbreak is.

A dear child of God who lives in the epicenter of that heartbreak recently let me read this book, by Stephen Waterhouse:  Strength for his People: A Ministry for Families of the Mentally Ill.

I highly recommend it to anyone who may even remotely be in a position to offer ministry and encouragement to families who find themselves dealing with the unthinkable.

Chapter titles:

  1. The Trouble I've Seen: At Home and in the Church
  2. Schizophrenia: Causes and Theological Classifications
  3. Emotional Response in the Family
  4. "My God, My God, Why...?"
  5. The Source of Human Value
  6. Differentiation of Schizophrenia from Demon Influence
This book is also very useful in ministry to the homeless, by the way -- since one third of the entire homeless population suffers from schizophrenia.

By and large the Christian church has not responded to mental illness with anything like the full power of the gospel.  We just don't know what we're dealing with.  We don't understand it, so we fear it.  And fearing it, we don't bother with it much.  That must change.  

Schizophrenia is first of all a medical problem, not a moral problem.  There's a genetic predisposition involved -- a built-in weakness that responds poorly to stress, triggering schizophrenic symptoms.  We need to approach ministry to this human infirmity with the same compassion that leads us to minister to sufferers of any other chronic medical condition.  

As you can imagine, mental illness in the family causes great confusion.  There are spiritual questions, medical questions, practical questions... none of which have simple answers.  Families in the midst of this pain are tempted to be swallowed up by guilt, shame, anger, loneliness, stress, fear, depression, & denial.  Dr. Waterhouse's book is a faithful guide, pointing the way to life and light.  

There is also a chapter on suffering.  What are God's purposes in our suffering?  Dr. Waterhouse works through eight.  Very helpful.

And the final two chapters speak of the inescapable dignity of the human being -- a dignity not based on "achievement" in any way -- and a fascinating explanation of the differences between schizophrenia and demonic influence.  

If the church does learn how to minister to these hurting people and their hurting families with greater sensitivity and wisdom, it will be thanks to teachers of the faith like Dr. Waterhouse.  

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34.18 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Colca Canyon... Peru.

Please take a moment to read this latest update from the DeMars -- DPC members who are serving Christ & his mission in Peru.  Let's stop & pray for them.  Now.

By Sean & Amber DeMars:

Hey everyone, sorry for such a long break between newsletters. Things have been crazy here, but crazy in a good way. Let’s jump into it.

We took a trip to Colca Canyon and were absolutely blown away by the beauty of it. Peru is truly an amazing country. Most missionaries take vacations before leaving the states, but we felt like that might make our departure more difficult. So, during our school break, we decided to take advantage of the economical vacation opportunities Peru has to offer, and our whole family was squared away for 100 dollars even. It was a good time for our souls. We needed to rest and relax. 

Now we’re back at it again with school and studying. We only have two weeks left. Please pray that we will use these two weeks well. Whatever we don’t learn here will have to be caught rather than taught. 

Sean is still battling his stomach problems. If you’re ever wondering what to pray for, you can always start there. 

Sean will be preaching his first sermon, to a church, in spanish, Sunday the 27th. Please pray that the Lord would bless the proclamation of his Word. 

We won’t be having internet access for much longer, so email and call while you can. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

infinitely more interesting than any romance

"Like everything which is not the 
involuntary result of fleeting emotion
but the creation of time and will,
any marriage,
happy or unhappy, 
is infinitely more interesting 
than any romance, 
however passionate."

~W.H. Auden~

Come Join Us at DPC for 

Building Stronger Marriages

Sunday Night
6:00 pm

free nursery & childcare provided

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christian Americans or American Christians?

Clicking HERE will take you to the first Ransom Road post regarding what's going on with Hobby Lobby in these United States of America right now.

Here's an update:

Has the Time Come?
Hobby Lobby and the HHS Mandate

by John Stonestreet
January 11, 2013

Earlier this month, Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned arts-and-crafts retailer with 500 stores and 13,000 employees nationwide, announced that it would not comply with the HHS mandate.

By doing so, the company has subjected itself to fines that could amount to a staggering $1.3 million a day.

Chuck Colson warned that the day would come when Christians would have to choose between the dictates of their faith and obeying the government.

And he was right.

As we’ve previously described on Breakpoint, the HHS mandate forces employers to fully subsidize services for their employees that, for many, violate deeply held convictions. Although the media has chosen to focus exclusively on the contraception side of the mandate, under the regulations, employers must also provide coverage for sterilization and abortifacients, such as Plan B, the “morning-after pill,” and Ella, the so-called “week after pill.”

Paying for these abortion-inducing drugs is what Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, object to. They’ve endeavored to run their business on Christian principles, including Sunday closures, treating employees fairly, and honoring the sanctity of life. Paying for abortifacients definitely violates those principles.

So they filed a lawsuit against HHS but, unlike plaintiffs in ten other cases, including other businesses, they were denied an injunction. While appealing the denial, they had to choose between complying with the law or refusing to comply and accepting the consequences.  To their credit, they’ve chosen the latter.

But what do we need to know in light of this? Well, given the trajectory of our culture, the kind of choice the Green family was forced to make is inevitable for the rest of us too, regardless of who occupies the White House or controls Congress. This was spelled out in the Manhattan Declaration. When it spoke of the “decline in respect for religious values” in the law, it anticipated that non-compliance may be required of those of us who claim Christ.

For Hobby Lobby, that time has come. It may be the first Christian-run institution to choose non-compliance with the HHS mandate, but barring a change in the law, it won’t be the last. This weekend, we’re offering a full update on the issue on BreakPoint this Week. The show features Matt Bowman from the Alliance Defending Freedom and Emily Hardman of the Beckett Fund. Listen on radio, or by coming to and clicking on this commentary.

But let’s be clear: non-compliance won’t be limited to the HHS mandate. This is the post-Christian America that Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson and many others predicted. For many—not all, but many American Christians, this is new and unsettling territory. We’ve become used to a society that, while officially non-sectarian, paid homage to most of their beliefs and values, even if it didn’t always live by them.

As Alexis de Tocqueville put it, “Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

This has made choosing between God and Caesar unnecessary, unless, as the struggles of the Civil Rights movement showed, you were African-American.

One of the consequences of this close identification was that, for many American Christians, our sense of identity was more shaped by our nation than by our place in the body of Christ. We conceived of ourselves as Christian Americans instead of American Christians.

Now this is in the process of changing. It’s challenging, even painful. And let me be clear: We’re not to give up on America by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve heard far too much despair from Christians since November, as if the Kingdom of God was dependent on the American ballot box.

We’re called to live faithfully and courageously today; to love our neighbor and our country. And the best way to do that is to remember that we first and foremost belong to Christ. And therein, and only therein, lies the hope that gives us the courage for the tough decisions ahead.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reading the Bible to your Kids

Good words by this lady...

A Cartoon Jesus
by Mrs. Kara Murphy

In the sunday school classrooms in which I taught years ago, each weekly lesson had a main idea that we repeated over and over. Platitudes such as “God loves me,” “I am special to God,” and “We are kind to one another” filled the teacher’s manual. Curiously, we did not see “God is angry at the wicked every day.” Unfortunately, twentieth century American Christians more often take our cues from Frobel and Montessori than from the Word of God. If we are to train up a generation of God-fearing Christians, we must change both the methods and content of what we teach our children. Yet, how can we communicate the immensity of the Word of God without overwhelming our little people? There is a tension between simplifying complex concepts and trivializing life-changing doctrines of the faith.

We must begin by choosing our Bible story books carefully. As a former editor, I have had the opportunity to evaluate dozens of new Bible story books. Frankly, most are abysmal. Before choosing a Bible story book, look to see if the writer uses words like “sin” and “judgment.” If the illustrations pass your family standards, be sure to emphasize that they are an artist’s representation of a real story.

We must fight against the “cartoon-ization” of the Bible and its message. Although there is nothing wrong with the medium of animation per se, if our children do not understand the difference between the account of Jonah and the story of Nemo, we will continue to see the generational breakdown that has characterized the last few generations of American Christianity.

Recently, our five-year-old, when questioned about hearing the biblical account of the annunciation, was asked, “Did you hear your name, Gabriel, in the story?” “Yes,” he answered, “but that wasn’t about me. That was about the real Gabriel. You know, like on Charlie Brown?” Oops. We have obviously failed to communicate well with our son.

When my second son was only four, his favorite Bible picture book included what I thought was a gruesome picture of David grasping Goliath’s severed head in one hand and enormous sword in the other. In my sentimentality, I prefered to present David as a little asparagus fighting a big pickle. But did that give an accurate picture of God’s people and the end of his enemies? (Admittedly, not all four-year-olds find consolation in pictures of decapitated giants, but it appealed to Luke’s highly developed sense of justice coupled with a perverse masculine gruesomeness he retains to this day.)

How much better is Jamie Soles’s “Bad Guys” songs in which the refrain is: “So may all your enemies perish, but let the righteous shine like the sun. We are the friends of God and He will save us because we worship his Son.” Certainly it is a much more accurate representation than the Noah’s floating zoo found in most children’s Bibles.

Think about the language we use with our children. Biblical language is always the best choice. Don’t shy from big words—justification, omnipotence (the boys love this one)—but give careful explanation for each.

While good story Bibles have a place, don’t forget to go straight to the source, even with young children. Often the content is not difficult for young children. Rather it is the length of the reading that poses a problem. Take that reading in smaller chunks. Focus on the narrative portions, but don’t turn every narrative into an opportunity to apply a moral lesson. And don’t shy away from the “small print.” By that, I mean don’t skip over the minor biblical accounts because you don’t know how to turn them into mini sermons. All Scripture is profitable, even the puzzling account of the visit from the woman of Tekoa to David.

One of the problems with sermonizing small selections of God’s Word is that we fail to communicate the true meaning of the text. What child doesn’t thrill to think of God’s voice calling: “Samuel!” into the darkness of the night? We forget to mention that the message God gave Samuel was a horrible prophecy against the household of the very man Samuel had mistaken for the Lord. I never heard “the rest of the story” told with the flannelgraph, did you?

We must trust the medium God gave us—the written word. With printed words, we must form pictures in our heads based on what we understand. When a child hears “Adam knew his wife, and she conceived” the picture in a child’s mind is very different from the picture in that of a married adult (I Corinthians 13:11). This is a blessing that both protects a child’s innocence while allowing the best teaching to happen.

The Bible is an amazing book that we should eagerly and accurately share with our children in Deuteronomy 6 style.

By Mrs. Kara Murphy