Jul 25

The Promise Keeper. Thoughts on talking to kids about God keeping his Word

 

Landscape with country road and rainbow

A few weeks ago I was walking downtown Cincinnati the day before the Christian Retail Show started. I had never been to Cincy before and was excited to discover a new city. I found a little bookstore near fountain square and browsed for a few minutes. I was about to leave when a magazine cover caught my eye. It was the new Sports Illustrated issue. The cover photo was of LeBron James celebrating the NBA title. Now, understand, I am not a basketball fan, so the photo wasn’t what captured my attention. It was the words under the photo, “The Promise Keeper.” That was all it took, I bought the magazine and went to Panera Bread, bought a coffee and read the entire article. The gist of the article is James left the Miami Heat and promised the Cavalier Nation that he was going to bring a basketball title to the city. And the article was praising him as he delivered on that promise!

Promises. Nowadays, it seems like promises are made to be broken. We make promises and plan on keeping them, but only if it benefits us. And sometimes I wonder if we assume this is how God interacts with us too? We project our broken, human, understanding of people breaking promises onto God’s character.

That brings up the question that I have been thinking about, how do we clearly show our children that God never breaks His promises? I think we need to start

God is the Ultimate Promise Keeper!

Throughout the Bible, we are told that God keeps His promises. Numbers 23:19 says “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”

I need to be, and want to be more intentional about sharing with my girls Because God is faithful, I can know that He will always keeps His promises!

Here is how I am going to be more intentional.

  • During devotions when we read from the Bible and we read about God making a promise, I am going to point that out, and then show them how God kept that promise.
  • When one of their friends breaks a promise, after consoling them, make them aware that even though this is hurtful, we know that our God never breaks His promises.
  • When we see a rainbow, which is fairly common in Florida, point it out and remind my girls that God is a promise keeper.
  • How about you? How do you share that God keeps His promises to your children? Feel free to comment below or tell me on twitter!

Although we have devotions with our girls every night, we are being more intentional with a morning daily devotional time that our girls can do before going to school in the morning. If you would like to what that looks like, go here. You can get 31 free daily devos. In these devos, one of the themes that I stress often is that God is a promise keeper. You see it all throughout  Scripture! He keeps His Word.

Jul 23

God Is Good, Even In Uncertain Times

booth, william high school

William H. Booth high school photo

Thirty-four years ago today, William H. Booth, my dad, passed away. Days like today are when I miss him most. He passed away just a little over two weeks before my fifth birthday.

I have very few memories of him, but the ones that I do have, I treasure. I remember running to hide behind the chair when I heard his truck pulling up our driveway and waiting in anticipation for him to find me. He would search around the house, making sure that the chair where the giggling noise was coming from was the last place he looked.

I remember playing ball with him in our backyard and watching as he threw a plastic ball so high, that it got stuck in a tree.

I remember hearing the news during Clinton Camp Meeting that my dad had gone to the hospital. And it was at the hospital where he died. To this day, every time I walk into a hospital, I think of my dad.

I remember nearly every detail of his funeral. I remember pulling a chair up to the side of the casket and sobbing over his body. I still remember the smell of the funeral flowers, the crowded funeral home, the ride to the cemetery. These events are etched in my mind.

Over these past thirty-four years, I have discovered that God is good, even during traumatic times. I have discovered that God is faithful. My mom and I experienced some rough waters after his death, but when we reflect on those days, we see evidences of God everywhere. In the midst of uncertain times, God was and is always certain.

Jul 14

Hallelujahs Rolled Through The Forest Temple

IMG_1254On this date, July 14, 1868, 148 years ago today, the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness opened its camp meeting in Manheim Pennsylvania. The crowd grew to as many as 25,000 people including over 300 preachers. Those in attendance included John S. Inskip, Alfred Cookman, J.A. Wood, William McDonald, George Hughes, Phoebe Palmer and Matthew Simpson.

George Hughes remembered the conclusion of his friend, Matthew Simpson’s testimony this way: “His hands were uplifted. His voice in mighty tones swelled out upon the night air. Cries and groans of oppressed spirits were co-mingling. Standing thus… his faith grasping the promise, he was a conqueror: he literally pulled down the power. Hallelujahs, like the sound of many waters, rolled through the forest temple. How many plunged into the cleansing stream that night we shall never know until mortality is swallowed up of life.”

John Inskip’s biographer wrote that as Inskip was exhorting, “the quiet was rent as one simultaneous burst of agony, and of glory, was heard in all parts of the congregation; and for nearly an hour, the scene beggared all description.”

As the Lancaster Daily Express noted, “the scene was beyond all description. It was one of the most powerful manifestations of divine power we have ever beheld. Several thousand people seemed to be prostrate under the mighty influence of supernatural power.”

As the encampment moved toward its close, William McDonald reminded those gathered that “home will not be Manheim.” He noted that “in the discharge of your religious duties, do not be governed by feeling, but by faith.”

Jul 01

Introducing Daily Devos for Kids!

slider9

Sometime ago, I was feeling a bit frustrated. I wanted to be intentional about having morning devotionals with my girls, but it seemed like mornings where when all of the craziness happened. Trying to get two little girls up and dressed and fed before school, with a toddler wanting to be held was challenging enough! Add to the chaos that I and my wife were trying to get around too!

Too many times morning devotions amounted to praying with my girls on the way to school.

But as my girls get older, I realized that my days with them were getting less and less. And I want my girls to engage daily with the Bible, even in the crazy mornings. So I came up with a plan.

Enter Daily Devos

I designed Daily Devos to have a Scripture verse, a “talk about it” point that helps parents talk about that Scripture verse, and an activity usually based on something about that verse. These devotionals can be finished in under 5 minutes.

Curious as to what Daily Devos looks like? I knew you would 🙂 Sign up for the Kids Bible Travels email newsletter here and receive 31 free daily devos from the book of Psalms. All 31 Daily Devos from Psalms include a verse, talk-about-it section, and a coloring page. Sign up here.

Here’s to being more intentional with your children in daily devotions!

Apr 14

Grace Is More Powerful Than Resentment, part 2

[part 1 can be read here]

Jacob of course was devastated. But the brothers stuck to their story, lied and deceived their dad for years.

The brother that they had resented, the brother that they had came to hate, was gone. He would never brother them again. Or at least that is what they thought.

We aren’t told this in Scripture, but you and I can imagine the guilt that these brothers carried. Guilt about selling their brother to slave traders. guilt about lying and deceiving their dad. Every time Joseph’s birthday came around, there was another reminder of what they had done. The guilt was overwhelming.

Perhaps you are thinking about an incident in your life right now that you wish you had never done. Maybe you lay awake in bed thinking about what you have done and wishing you could do over. wishing you had a second chance. Well, I am happy to tell you that you can have a second chance. Oh, you may not be able to redo the thing that you wish you could have undone, but you don’t have to carry the guilt anymore. The Bible tells us about Jesus. And that he came to take away the sin of the world. The guilt that you carry, you don’t have to continue to carry. the sin that you have done? You can be forgiven of that sin.

Years later, there was a famine in the land. People were starving and Joseph was no longer a slave. He became the second most powerful man in Egypt. It’s an incredible story! The brothers went to Egypt to get some food. They had no idea that their little brother that they had resented and hated and even sold into slavery was now the one in charge of who got to buy food. But there they were. Needing food. Needing substance to continue life or they would starve.

The story leads us to a scene of them standing before Joseph, and he took off his Egyptian fancy robes and showed them who he was. They fell to their knees and place their heads on the floor kneeling before him. Can you imagine the emotions of how they felt? Here was the one person they figured they would never see again. Everything that they had done to Joseph all of those years ago was now racing through their minds. How would he treat them? Did they deserve forgiveness? All of these thoughts were in their minds.

Joseph, the one they had sold into slavery, is now in the position of giving or not giving them the food they need to live.

Joseph says, “brothers, I forgive you. Stand up, erase that guilt from your memory. I forgive you.”

To me this is one of the most powerful scenes in Scripture! The brothers standing in front of someone who they had done evil to. And that person, Joseph saying, “I forgive you. I give you grace. I give you mercy.” Wow! Grace overpowers resentment. grace destroys guilt.

What about you? Do you need mercy? Do you need grace? Do you need forgiveness? Has the grip of guilt overwhelmed you? I offer you the forgiveness of Jesus Christ! He alone can forgive sin. he is the only one who can give us a true second chance. I encourage you, pray to God. Give your life over to him. You will never regret this decision!

Apr 02

Grace Is More Powerful Than Resentment, part 1

Have you ever had resentment towards someone? unresolved resentment always leads to trouble. Or maybe you have allowed resentment to build into hatred and you feel like you have reached a boiling point.

In the first part of the Bible we are given accounts of some famous men. Men such as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham and he had a lot of kids. He had twelve sons and one daughter. Now I am an only child. My dad died when I was young so there was never an opportunity for my parents to have any more children.

So I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like growing up with that many bothers and sisters. But maybe you do.

And this is where some problems start in this account. Although Jacob had all of these children, there was one that stood above the rest in his mind and he became the favorite child.

His name was Joseph.

Now, can you imagine a dad having a favorite child? Perhaps you have seen this happen in families that you know or maybe it even happened in your own family. If it did, you can already identify problems that this presents. Not only did Jacob like Joseph better, he made sure that everyone knew it. He had a fancy coat made out of many different colors designed just for Joseph. This coat was a status symbol. When people saw this expensive fancy coat, they knew that this meant that Joseph was the favorite. Can you imagine the hurt that this created? Can you imagine the resentment that began to build among the other children? And to make matters worse, Joseph began to have dreams. One of his dreams was of stars and the sun and moon. In this dream there were twelve stars and eleven of them bowed down to the other star. Then the sun and the moon bowed down to that star. He told this to his brothers and said that he was the star that everyone bowed down to. His brothers laughed at him and said, we will never bow down to you! And the resentment among his brothers continued to build. It turned to pure hatred.

Add to that that Jacob often had Joseph check up on his brothers. He wanted to see where they were and what they were doing. These other brothers hated Joseph and began to plot revenge. Now, lets press pause on this Bible account for just a moment and ask ourselves a few questions? Does any of this sound familiar to us in our own personal lives? Is there someone that rubs us the wrong way? Is there someone that we resent? Maybe that resentment has been building for years and is developing into pure hatred. Have we began to plot ways to get back at them?

Well, Joseph’s brothers did. The Bible tells us that one day, Joseph’s brothers were in a little village, watching over their flocks of sheep. And once again, here comes Joseph. Doing what dad wanted him to and check up on his brothers. As he walked into that little village wearing that fancy coat, all of the resentment and hatred bold over and the brothers grabbed him and plotted to kill him. Resentment had turned to hatred and hatred was turning into murder. They grabbed Joseph and threw him into an abandoned water hole and the Bible says that they began to eat lunch. Imagine that! Imagine Joseph hollering up to them while they were eating! “Guys, come on, this isn’t a great idea! brothers. why are you doing this?”

About that time, one of brothers spotted a caravan of travelers and had this idea. “Bothers! instead of killing our brother, lets sell him to these slave traders.”Well they talked about it for awhile and decided, yes, that was a good idea. They ripped his colorful coat off of him and sold him to the slave traders who were headed to Egypt. They assumed that was the last they would ever see of Joseph. Then they had to figure out how to tell their dad. So the made up a story of Joseph being killed by wild animals. They tore his coat up and dipped it in blood and headed off to tell their dad with the coins they had made off of selling Joseph jingling in their pockets.

[To be continued]

Feb 27

Put it in the Basket

lightstock_208664_xsmall_robert_booth_

Can you imagine parents being told that they had to throw their newborn baby into the river to die? In the Bible there is a book called Exodus which gives the account of slaves who are seeking freedom from oppression. The ruler of  this enemy nation is worried that the slaves they have are getting too powerful. So he issues a command to destroy all of the baby boys born to the hebrew slaves. 

When Moses was born, his mother did everything she could to hide him until he was three months old, Then she obeyed the evil command that the ruler issued and placed her child into the river. But she didn’t just put baby Moses into the river, she made a basket out of reeds, sealed it, made it water proof and designed it so that it would float. Then she placed it among the reeds in shallow water.

Now, can you imagine placing your 3 month old child into a basket and putting it in the river? I know I can’t! I have three little girls and I can’t ever imagine placing one of them in a basket, putting it in the water and hoping everything goes fine. As a dad of my girls, I would try everything else possible before doing that. And I am sure that Jochabed must have thought and prayed “God is there anything better that I can do?

I have come to believe that the Bible doesn’t say that the mother of Moses was giving up hope. No. Rather she was giving up her control of the situation. So here is another question that you and I need to ask ourselves. Is there something in our life that we need to give over to God? God is saying, give it to me. Put it in the basket and let it go. Let me have control.

Jan 31

Birth of Hester Ann Rogers

On this date, January 31, 1756, Hester Ann (Roe) Rogers was born. Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire England, she met and married James Hester. They ministered then in Ireland at Dublin and Cork, and then in London England. Hester eventually was John Wesley’s housekeeper and was present when he died in 1791.

Jan 30

Death of James Caughey

On this date, January 30, 1891, James Caughey died. Caughey was a Methodist preacher who emphasized revival and holiness.  Many were converted in Canada under his preaching.

Jan 29

Death of Evan Roberts

On this date, January 29, 1951, Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts died. His obituary in The Western Mail said this about him:

“He was a man who had experienced strange things. In his youth, he had seemed to hold the nation in the palms of his hands. He endured strains and underwent great changes of opinion and outlook, but his religious convictions remained firm to the end.”

Older posts «