Archive for September, 2018

The Family Toolbox (September 2018)

Posted: September 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

Here are some helpful tools for the family for September 2018.

  1. The Insanity of God.
    A few week s ago my church had a special evening service where we were able to pray for the nations as a corporate body.  In 2017, there was a dramamentry produced called “The Insanity of God.”  This is a film that is based on “the true story of missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken. After the death of their son, this ordinary couple journeys into the depths of the persecuted church, asking the question- IS JESUS WORTH IT?”  This is not your typical cheesy low-budget Christian film.  It is extremely well done and I believe that it would do you well to pick a copy up so that you can better understand how to pray for the persecuted church as well as worship our marvelous God for his work there and all over the world.
  2.  “Is He Worthy?” – Andrew Peterson
    On Sunday, September 16th Pray’s Mill Baptist Church had the pleasure to take part in our annual “Revelation 5 Sunday” service.  What a blessed day it was.  This past Spring singer and songwriter, Andrew Peterson, released his latest album (Resurrections Letters) and one of the songs on it is entitled “Is He Worthy?”  It is a song based off of Revelation 5.  It is a beautiful song that I have personally worshiped through over the past several months.  It is one that I would commend to you as well if you haven’t heard it.  As you listen,  contemplate what it will be like to worship our Lord with people made up of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
  3.  “Raising Our Children to be in but not of the World” – Tim Challies
    In this quick 7 minute video (or you can read the transcript) Tim gives some helpful tips on how to raise our children to not be helplessly naïve of this world and yet not engrossed in the things of the world either.  Challies says, “So as parents we want to protect our children, yet we also try to raise them so they can exist and thrive in this messed up world.”  This is much needed and simple advice from a brilliant and straightforward teacher of God’s Word.
  4.   “Dads – Preparing Yourself for the Second Shift – Greg Gibson
    A few years back a friend of mine wrote this article for the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that I found to be very helpful when it comes to preparing yourself for your second job when you get home dads, as father/husband. “The second shift is no longer a time of rest, but a time of work.  Good work . . .hard work . . . God-honoring work . . . Warrior-like work. It is here that we work in faithfulness, then fruitfulness, but never idolatry.”  Dads, I hope that you will read this and consider the implications.
  5. ESV Student Study Bible
    Christianbook.com is a wonderful source to find Bibles for inexpensive prices.  It is my desire to get a solid Study Bible into the hands of all teens and pre-teens.  I believe having a hard copy of the Bible is one of the best ways to participate in Sunday school and the sermon each Lord’s Day.  If you child doesn’t already have one, I would suggest taking a look at these nicely designed and trustworthy ESV Student Study Bibles.  They would make a great Christmas present.
  6.  The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings us Back to the Garden” – Kevin DeYoung
    This is one of the best children’s books that I have ever read.  It has bright and colorful illustrations but the content is theologically rich.  Deyoung, “leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.”  It is one that you will want to put in your family library.
  7.  “5 Principles for Disciplining your Child.” – Melissa Kruger
    There are a lot of different ideas about what the most effective way of disciplining    children.  Here, Melissa Kruger, provides 5 helpful ways for us to correct and train    our children in righteousness.  She proved a helpful reminder when she writes,        “These discipline principles have helped my husband and me, but they are limited.        Only God can change our children’s hearts. All the parenting wisdom in the world        cannot save or transform our children; only Jesus can.”  While only God can fully        change the heart, we too have a responsibility of training and disciplining in a way  that points our children to the freedom found in Christ.  I believe this article may      provide some helpful tips when it comes to the issue of discipline.
    Soli Deo Gloria,Adam B. Burrell

A Prayer for Struggling Moms

Posted: September 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

One of the hardest things in the world as a husband and father is to watch your wife struggle with the day-in and day-out demands on her life when it comes to her children in the home.  Often we men are “fix-it” guys.  We see a problem and we want to drive at a solution to fix it.  There is certainly value in this, but we cannot always fix the difficulty of schedules that need to be kept, the needy children calling for help three times in a thirty second time span for 3 different things, and the hundred other needs that we may never know about.  Men are at work… and that is a good thing.   It is what God intended for us.  Do we men need to be prepared to work our second shift jobs at the family home?  Sure, but our wives need more than this.  They need our daily prayers as well.  This is part of our calling to wash her in the word (Ephesians 5:26), that Paul commanded the Ephesian church to do.

Today I want to offer a prayer that I believe we husbands should be praying over our wives frequently.  Today, you ladies might pray this prayer as well to help you with those little vipers in diapers that we all love so much, yet can put so much stress on our lives.

A Prayer for Patience

It has been said that patience is a virtue.  It is indeed a virtue, but it is not often one that we come by naturally.  Just as it takes a lot of heat and pressure to fuse atoms and carbon together to make a diamond, it often takes heat and pressure time and time again for patience to be produced.  Paul tells the church at Ephesus to walk properly as a Christian when he wrote, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”  Dealing with the fourth spill of the day, and that sinful sassy attitude from your nine year old can be very trying.  The flesh can often fall into a place of weakness.  Yet, scripture encourages us to be patient and long-suffering.  Today, pray for patience.  Pray that the Lord will calm your anxiety and trust that He is doing something through these momentary situations for both you and your children.

A Prayer for Peace

Jeremiah instructed the exiles to pray for peace and prosperity for the city of Babylon in Jeremiah 29.  He said, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”  The people of God had just been taken captive by a pagan people.  They were the captives of a war. They were going to be in a foreign land for 70 years, but Jeremiah reminds them to pray for the peace of Babylon.  Now, a young and tired mom may think that a 70 year exile sounds like a better alternative than her daily routine of dealing with a bunch of four and six year olds.  The fact is, this mother is at war.  She is often at war spiritually with her old self, the flesh, who wants her to give into a sinful tirade.  Yet, her new man who is “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24) is to be the victor in this battle.  The end result of war is peace for the victor.  We know that for all those who are in Christ that the victory has already been won.  Thus, today we pray to live within that victory.  Even if your homes may feel like a warzone and you are constantly having to put out small skirmishes, rest in the fact that the Prince of Peace is with you.  Pray that you will respond peacefully, and rest in the work that the Lord is doing.  Flood your mind with the words of Jesus, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).  Let this bring calm and comfort on those days of trials.

A Prayer for Perseverance

I once heard a pastor remark that it is easier to die as a martyr than to live as one.  What a true statement.  The reason it is true is because of one word: perseverance.  Perseverance is hard work.  It can be soul pounding work.  When you are flush in the face and ready to scream… persevere.  When you cannot handle another midnight call from child number three that they need to eat… persevere.  When your child is in tears over not understanding their math, and you feel helpless to help them yourself… persevere.  Your children are watching how you react when faced with opposition.  What an opportunity to show them the gospel at work.  How you react in times of pressure is an expression of the gospel to them.  Paul writes these words of encouragement to a struggling church, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).  Stressed, sleep deprived, counselor mom, don’t give up and give in to the stresses of the day.  Go to the Lord in prayer.  Go to Him in His Word and be filled.  He alone can give us the rest that we all need.  Trust that He is doing something through the daily stresses and messes.  Respond the way that He wants us to respond. Persevere to the glory of God.

Being a mother is no joke.  It is a very high calling if the Lord calls you to it.  There is no way to get though it without constant and consistent prayer.  Mothers, pray these things today.  Husbands, pray these things over your wife today.  Go to the Lord on her behalf.  Ask the Lord to grant her a respite.  Ask the Lord to grant her an extra measure of patience to deal with your sons.  Ask Him to give her a day of peace, but if there is no peace to have, pray that she may find peace in the storm.  Ask him to give her endurance and perseverance.  Dads, be prepared yourself to get busy as a second-shift dad in helping her when you arrive home.  It is not only your duty, but your privilege as well.  Pray for patience, peace, and perseverance.  And may the Lord be honored in you, struggling mom.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell