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4 Big Takeaways from Dr. Rob Rienow’s Book, Visionary Parenting

I highly recommend this book, and hope that many parents I know will buy it and read it. I want to offer some reflection that I hope will either provoke others to read the book for themselves, or at least share some of the more practical takeaways for us. So, this will not be a ‘book review,’ but rather a brief summary of the 4 most practical points of application that Erin and I have already begun to put into practice in our home.

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Are we teaching our children grace or moralism at Christmas time?

There may be no greater time for parents to both teach and illustrate grace to their children than at Christmas time. Grace is the very reason for the holiday in the first place. We set aside a special time each year to celebrate the coming of Jesus as a baby in a manger. John writes that, “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Even this is an understatement of the amount of grace given through the arrival and subsequent work of Jesus in his incarnation. Because of its sin, humanity finds itself at enmity with God and rightfully under his judgment and wrath. But this baby born 2,000 years ago came on a rescue mission so that this position could change. Christmas serves as a reminder of the greatest gift ever given to the most undeserving of recipients. It recalls the commencement of the way that God would demonstrate his love for us, in that

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Should my child participate?

How should believers go about deciding what extra-curricular activities their children should participate in? How relevant is this question to every believing parent!? I have heard this debated and heard so many very strong opinions on the matter. Basically, I have encountered two extremes, though, in which almost everyone seems to belong. First, there are those who involve their children in very little or no such activities at all, fearing that the sheer amount of commitment that is demanded today will keep them from being involved in church or family events. Second, there are those who involve their children in any and every activity their hearts desire, with little or no regard to sanctification or the cost the family must pay. In many ways, this area of life mimics the holistic view of how Christian should involve themselves in the culture, with most falling in one of two extreme camps: cultural withdrawal or non-critical assimilation. Both extremes can be dangerous,

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Some thoughts on the Public/Home/Christian School Debate

My good friend and partner in the gospel, Ron Young (Church planter in Quebec), posted an article on Facebook this past week by Dr. Albert Mohler.  The article is linked below, but offers an overview of the evolution of public education.  This evolution has not been a good one, and Dr. Mohler clearly offers a solemn warning to parents whose children roam the halls of public schools in the present day.  I very much appreciated Ron posting the article, and even more the brief discussion that followed.  As I continued to think through that conversation and this issue, I sat down and began typing some of my thoughts out.  I understand this can be a touchy subject for many, but I also believe that just because an issue is touchy shouldn’t mean that we as believers have to avoid it.  I hope that you will see in my thoughts below that I am not using this post to advocate a

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Rethinking Common Advice/Encouragement

There are some sayings that have just become second nature. I have heard them all of my life. I find myself sometimes blurting these sayings out, especially to my kids, without thinking twice. Sometimes I am struck just after such an outburst by the fact that I have never really thought about what that saying actually says. Sometimes I quickly realize that although what I just said reveals the common ideals adopted by my culture, it doesn’t quite convey the ideals that should comprise a properly and biblically-shaped Christian worldview. Let me give you one such example. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything or be anything you want to be! How many of us have parroted this line to a young person? Emma asked me several weeks ago if she could be some sort of profession when she grows up. I can’t remember exactly what profession since she seems to change her mind about what

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Are we teaching grace or moralism at Christmas?

There may be no greater time for parents to both teach and illustrate grace to their children than at Christmas time. Grace is the very reason for the holiday in the first place. We set aside a special time each year to celebrate the coming of Jesus as a baby in a manger. John writes that, “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Even this is an understatement of the amount of grace given through the arrival and subsequent work of Jesus in his incarnation. Because of its sin, humanity finds itself at enmity with God and rightfully under his judgment and wrath. But this baby born 2,000 years ago came on a rescue mission so that this position could change. Christmas serves as a reminder of the greatest gift ever given to the most undeserving of recipients. It recalls the commencement of the way that God would demonstrate his love for us, in that

read more Are we teaching grace or moralism at Christmas?