Setting Routines in Your Family

The adage you can't teach a dog new tricks is not entirely true. Old dogs can learn just fine, but pups are much more likely to pick up routines naturally.

This post is going to be short and to-the-point.

If we want to teach our children to do the right things, make the right choices, and think the right things, we have to start teaching them when they are young. Even babies can learn that the family prays before eating, for example. Keep baby's plate off her chair until you have finished the prayer. When we have our youngsters follow family routines, they grow up accepting them as part of life.

But as for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

That doesn't mean that you can never begin new routines with older children; it just might take a little longer for them to stick. But don't give up! Second Thessalonians 3:13 encourages us to not grow weary of doing good. If the new routine is something you feel led to incorporate, keep working at it, even if it seems hard for everyone to remember. Eventually, those routines will become part of your family's daily activities, and you will feel good that your goal was accomplished.


The Narrow Path

As I was doing my Bible reading this morning, I passed over a passage that I had highlighted AND underlined. Obviously, in previous readings I found it important enough to mark twice over, but today it really made me stop and think.

Jesus is the most misunderstood person mentioned in the Bible. He is the most known person, but often misinterpreted by the secular and Christian communities. Yes, he loved everyone, he was kind, and he lived a peaceful life (except for that time he flipped over a table and yelled in anger at the poor behavior and decisions of those in the temple). But in Matthew 10:34 he said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Jesus was not put on the earth to show us how to love one another no matter what; he was put on earth to fight for lost souls, so that they may see their sin and turn from it. Old Testament laws were not to be forgotten once Jesus arrived. Quite contrarily, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). The things that were immoral in the Old Testament were still immoral in the New.

Of course, it was always in the plan for Jesus to die on the cross. That death was foreshadowed repeatedly in the Old Testament. His death was the punishment for all the sins that had been, were being, and have yet to be committed. But (and this is a big but) his death on the cross is not a blank check with your name on it; it is not the chance for you to say that God knows you’re human and, therefore, forgives your sinning. Fortunately, he does forgive us, because none of us are perfect, but the death of Jesus did not give us freedom to continue sinning, to choose to sin. Those who purposely sin, believing that they are covered with the blank check of Jesus’s death every time they do wrong, need to rethink their actions.

We need to live our lives as best as we can, doing good and thinking righteously. “Enter through the narrow gate,” Jesus instructed in Matthew 7:13. “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” I’m trying to follow the narrow road, and I hope to see you there, too.

God Made You Special, and He Loves You Very Much!

You probably think I’m talking about Veggie Tales today. While I adore those little singing, dancing vegetables, this post is about another creation.

Being a cool day, we made a trip to the zoo, hoping that the lower temperature would bring out more animals. It did. Included was this gorgeous white peacock.

I’m saying white peacock, because it is not an albino. Like the Kermode (Spirit bear), this peacock has special genes that make it white, but its lack of color certainly does not diminish its beauty.

Aside from being a great homeschool trip that we’re going to write about using this field trip freebie, that spectacular peacock helped reinforce an important lesson. God created us — each of us — and made us unique.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).

The awesome thing about this passage is how it explains that we are all individuals, and we were all formed — wonderfully — by the Lord. God knew how each of us would look, sound, and act before we were even born. It’s really an incredible idea when you consider the power of God. He can do anything, from changing our bad qualities to removing a peacock’s vivid coloring.

So, remember during your homeschool day (and every day) that we are all very different. When it is difficult to deal with our “challenging” children, remember that God made each of them special, because that’s how He wanted them to be.