Encouragement

  1. Tips for Getting Children to Read the Bible

    Tips for Getting Children to Read the Bible

    As a Christian parent, do you affirm the statement once made by Theodore Roosevelt: "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education"? Does this show in the priority you give to biblical instruction in your home? ... More

  2. A Year of Weeds or Fruitfulness? An Invitation to Diligently Pursue Children’s Discipleship this Year

    A Year of Weeds or Fruitfulness? An Invitation to Diligently Pursue Children’s Discipleship this Year

    I am an avid gardener. But last summer I was laid low by knee surgery, so I simply planted my garden in late spring and then “let it go” for the rest of the summer, thinking that a couple of months of neglect wouldn’t matter too much. It’s amazing how many weeds can take root and take over a garden in a short period of time! How about the “garden” of children’s discipleship? Will it be okay to take a few months off from doing any kind of formal biblical instruction due to the seemingly overwhelming obstacles related to our current circumstances? Should we just let children’s ministry “go” this fall until we can all get back on track as a church and in our families? ... More

  3. More Trouble May Come, but Take Heart

    More Trouble May Come, but Take Heart

    We should not be surprised if trouble comes for us this year. I have been personally involved in 17 September launches. To be sure, the months that followed each launch brought precious fruit, many encouragements, great progress, and much joy in our labors. But never was there a year without troubles, disappointments, discouragements, problems, and difficulties of various kinds.... More

  4. Guiding Children to Walk in Wisdom

    Guiding Children to Walk in Wisdom

    “Wisdom” is a term that is not used much in contemporary culture. And, looking around at what is happening in our world, its practice is even more scarce. However, this must not be the case in our homes and churches. Our homes and churches, by God’s grace, should be “wisdom factories” for the glory of God and the joy of our children. But what exactly is wisdom, and why is it important for their lives? How does wisdom take root and grow? Shouldn’t we just keep focusing children on the gospel? 
    ... More

  5. Meditating on God's Wonderful Works this Summer

    Meditating on God's Wonderful Works this Summer

    When I was a child, and even into my teens, I spent most of my free time outdoors. Whether playing active games with friends, exploring the neighborhood woods, or simply lying in the grass trying to identify different shapes or figures in the clouds, we spent much of our summer disconnected from media or other electronics.... More

  6. A hopeful and timely message in Habakkuk

    A hopeful and timely message in Habakkuk

    Amid such troubling circumstances in Habakkuk’s day and ours, God speaks through the prophet. Here are three insights that are particularly helpful and applicable to our present circumstances.... More

  7. Don’t Lose Heart!

    Don’t Lose Heart!

    Last week, I was tempted to lose heart. So much injustice, despair, hatred, lawlessness, and senseless violence on display. Our old Minneapolis neighborhood—the one in which we raised our children—was the scene of massive looting and destruction. Friends reported to us that it now looked like a war zone. It’s enough to lose heart, especially in light of my hopes and prayers for the next generation of children in that neighborhood.... More

  8. Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Teachers: Do you ever find yourself “bursting at the seams” before you enter the classroom? Are you bursting because your mind and heart have been so excited, moved, and transformed by what you have feasted on through the Word during the week that you just can’t wait to share it with the children? One of my great joys in teaching children biblical truth is how the Lord uses the time spent in lesson preparation to feed my own soul. ... More

  9. No Greater Joy in 2020

    No Greater Joy in 2020

    As a parent and grandparent, there is a special joy that comes from watching your family grow and mature. But amidst all the fun, and the giggles and smiling faces of my grandchildren, there is a verse that comes to mind that reorients my joy and makes me long and pray for something much deeper for their lives as they grow up… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children [and grandchildren] are walking in the truth.
    (3 John 4)
    ... More

  10. Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    We rejoice today because Jesus visited us!
    Heaven’s door has been opened.
    A child has been born.
    A son has been given.
    The eternal King of Israel is here!... More

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