Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cell phones, Texting and Patience or Raising Biblical Children in a Techie World

Ah, the wonder of technology! My mother-in-law had to wait several weeks to hear from her fiancee' overseas during WWII. I had to wait several days to hear from acquaintances in other states, and my children have to wait several...well...seconds to hear from a friend anywhere. Amazing! The ability to text a message quickly and receive an answer immediately is nothing short of astonishing and I thank God for this incredible gift. Nevertheless, in this second part of a series on cell phones and texting (face-booking) I would like to step back, slow down and reflect on the idea of patience. I am in no way suggesting that going back to snail mail is my heart's desire. This capability to reach anyone anywhere quickly is wonderful; however, let's understand that with the good sometimes also comes the bad.

On the material level, upgrades to cell phones, texting, Internet accessibility, and photo capabilities happen, it seems, almost daily. Getting the newest and the best is rampant among consumers today. What used to take years to get "old" now takes weeks. It's hard to keep up! It isn't easy to teach our children the concept of contentment in this fast paced world in which we live. The spiritual command to be content has always been a difficult battle to fight, and today, ironically, the same technology that affords us so much convenience is a huge
catalyst in making us very discontented. And impatience is a large part of discontentment.

We have become a very impatient people. I can see it in myself when I travel to an area that runs a bit slower than I am used to. I get agitated, angry, and irritated so quickly. I want my desires fulfilled immediately. I believe this is due in part to the "instant" society in which we live. All these things that make our lives easier haven't really seemed to make us more content. In fact, there are probably more discontented people now than ever.

The ability to quickly communicate with people also has its downside. I can remember as a young adult writing a letter to a friend in the morning and by nighttime coming to the conclusion that it was best not to send it...or at least to change some of the things I wanted to say. When I had time to think about it, most of what I had written, in anger or in gossip, I had decided was best left unsaid. We often send messages without giving the proper amount of thought that is required. It is much easier to quickly call somebody about something that we should probably think through first.

Patience is a virtue my mother always said. Indeed it is an important part of our spiritual walk with the Lord. Raising beautiful Biblical daughters and Biblically discerning sons does not mean that we may not use the advantages of technology, but as usual it requires diligent training and maturity. Texting and cell phones can and are used for great good (Hey Mom, just wanted to say I love you and have a great day), wonderful conveniences (I'll be home in ten minutes) or sinful exchanges (Did you hear what she said....?) Let us work at being content with what we have even if it isn't the latest and the best, and let us think before we send a message to anyone that isn't God honoring.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cell phones, Texting and Immaturity or Raising Biblically Discerning Children in a Teckie World

My kids think I hate technology. (Rather an interesting statement considering I have a web page and my own blog.) However, in all fairness to them, I am rather quick to point out the problems with technology, focusing on the negatives rather than the positives.

We were discussing the possibility of getting unlimited texting on our recent phone upgrade. Up until this time only one of my children really uses texting in a way that would necessitate an "unlimited" status. So, we discussed the cost, the need, and the problems associated with texting. As usual, our discussion turned into a rather intense discourse eventually leading to the statement I began with. "Mom, why do you hate technology?"

Technology, a gift from God, is a wonderful thing. Amongst the thousands of things I could list, I will say that I love my washing machine, dryer, microwave, oven, and vacuum cleaner. I love the television, radio, I-pod, computer, yes, and even my cell phone. Yet, amidst all the technological advances, we seem to have lost something as well. Raising Biblical sons and daughters takes a lot of work and discernment; however, it seems that with all of the advancements, happening at a dizzying pace, discernment has fallen by the wayside.

Since the benefits of technology are obvious to all, I need not spend time listing them: they are numerous. However, I would like to point out some of the disadvantages that seem to be disregarded and all but forgotten. In order to limit my discussion, I would like to address my concerns primarily to cell phones and texting (facebooking could also be included).
1. Cell phones, texting (facebooking) and immaturity. As parents, the convenience of our children having their own cell phones and the capabilities of texting is very advantageous, for us and for them. But should convenience override the fact that many immature and undiscerning children are carrying around phones and having conversations we know nothing about.

The family phone used to be in the kitchen and many times my mom would be privy to my conversations, which were comparably few to the phone calling and/or texting kids do today. As an immature child I needed correction and she would instruct me on my unkind language, gossip, and sharing of inappropriate confidences. She knew who I talked to and why. She was able to guide me in a way that taught me to watch my mouth for it is very important to God how we use our tongues. When I reached a level of maturity in which my parents were more confident, I was allowed more privileges. I had a good background in Biblical understanding and had memorized and applied verses such as Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" or Proverbs 15:2 "The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly."

I have unintentionally (another point to can't be anywhere with out hearing somebody talking on their cell phone) overheard many conversations by immature children (and adults) having conversations that make me blush. Many of these conversations are in Christian churches and youth groups. It is commonplace and natural in the way they talk revealing many years of unsupervised and undisciplined training in the area of conversation. It is a by-product of allowing immature children access to a medium that they are not ready to handle.

Therefore, my conclusion is this.....Cell phones, texting, and facebooking are great tools if your son or daughter has reached a level of Spiritual maturity to be discerning. It needs to be clearly evident in their walk with the Lord that they can handle this kind of responsibility and be an example to their peers. Unless that is true have them wait for this kind of privilege afforded by technology.

I will continue this discussion in a future blog. Until then, let us use technology in a way that is wise and discerning and glorifies God.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Keep A Quiet Heart

One of my favorite devotionals is a book by Elisabeth Elliot entitled Keep A Quiet Heart. Though I never met her personally, I would consider her one of my mentors for she is a woman of great wisdom and godliness. In the introduction to Keep a Quiet Heart she writes, "This book is a compilation of lead articles...Mostly they are about learning to know God. Nothing else, I believe, comes close to being as important in life as that. It's what we are here for. We are created to glorify Him as long as we live on this planet, and to enjoy Him for the rest of eternity. Our task is simply to trust and obey."

The wisdom found in her book which she has gleaned from THE BOOK has given me guidance, encouragement, and instruction. To be a busy wife, mother, teacher, etc... only works well if you function with a quiet heart. The mother in the home acts as a barometer. If she is stressed, crabby, agitated, argumentative, complaining, and a whole host of other unwholesome attitudes, the home will reflect that. Conversely, if she has a quiet heart, trusting in God, and resting on his promises the home will likewise reflect that. Thus, in order to raise godly sons and daughters and be a blessing to our husbands, we need to model a quiet heart.

Annie Keary, 1825-1879, once wrote, "I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work - one's work for God - consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day - the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it (Keep A Quiet Heart, page 9).

Are we willing to accept all that God assigns for us during the day? Can we be happy and surrender ourselves to His agenda? It isn't easy, but the days go so much better when we let God be God and trust Him for the portion He gives us. When things don't go the way I want them to, or I begin to fear the future, I need to refocus my thoughts on Christ and trust that His way is the best. Then and only then can I learn to keep a quiet heart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Biblical Daughters and Biblically Defined Sons

The traditional Judeo-Christian worldview is a thing of the past; moreover, the post-modern world in which we currently live is anything but relevant because there is no basis for truth. In fact, the contemporary idea that truth is relative, though not a new concept, is an amazingly destructive lie. Indeed, raising Biblical sons and daughters in today's culture is a rather daunting task! Yet this calling from God isn't an objective but a command. It says in Deuteronomy 6:6-8:

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hand and bind them
on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your
houses on on your gates" (NIV).

These words written thousands of years ago are just as relevant now as they were then. They are clear and instructive, and they are profoundly convicting!

Today's youth are woefully unprepared to enter into marriage, establish their own homes, or raise a godly generation of children. A lack of Biblical knowledge and discernment has certainly added to this, along with a culture replete with selfishness, an over abundance of entertainment and visual stimulation, and an early participation in sexual activity. Our children are being fed the lie that they can be and do anything that they want to be or do; that the Bible is silent on these matters.

Our daughters are led to believe that God has nothing to say on issues such as women enlisting in the military or mothers putting their children in daycare in order to pursue a more "fulfilling" career; moreover, our sons are ridiculed for recognizing the value of their roles as protectors.

Equally upsetting is the portrayal of men and women in today's movie culture. Masculine women, kicking and fighting their way into what once were traditionally male roles, and feminized men who let women lead them pervade our television sets and our minds each day.

Men and women are regarded as having no differences between them or their roles. However, the Bible very clearly distinguishes between the roles of men and women. Though equal in their image bearing and importance, they are not equal in their functions or responsibilities; instead they complement each other. In addition to these differences and roles the Bible instructs us and our children in areas of modesty, righteousness, and integrity. In short, it calls us to be Biblical men and women.

As we get caught up in the busyness of the world around us, we have to be very deliberate in our approach to training our children; it takes more than modeling. It takes time, hard work, prayer, and diligent instruction. It doesn't just happen! Let's help our children have a true knowledge and a firm conviction of what the Bible has to say about being men and women of God. Let's help our daughters embrace Biblical femininity and take pleasure in being godly wives and mothers. Let's create in our sons a desire to lead, protect, and restore godly masculinity to a world that has rejected the God-given differences between men and women. Finally, let's teach our children how to walk with the wise and gain instruction from them.

For resources to help you achieve these goals, visit and

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Delighting in the Law of God

Training sons and daughters to be Biblical young men and women is a daunting task and requires patience, diligence, perseverance, and much prayer. However, we are not left helpless in this task for God has given us much instruction about it in His word. The books of Psalms and Proverbs provide us with much material and the Holy Spirit guides us as we apply these truths in the upbringing of our children.

A huge lesson my husband and I learned as we raised our children was that the only way to get our children to delight in the laws of God was for us to truly delight in them ourselves and then to share that delight with them. As obvious as that may seem, it requires careful consideration of how we communicate with our children. For example, our delight in Sunday worship reflects to our children the love we have for the Lord and His people. The complaint, "Why do we have to go to church?" is replied with "Why are we so privileged and so honored to be able to go to church. What a blessing that we don't deserve!" If this is followed by genuine joy and our children see the love we have for worship, we have communicated much.

Psalm 119 reflects much on the blessings that are received to those who "walk according to the law of the Lord" and whose "statutes are my delight; they are my counselors"(Psalm 119: 1b,24). It would do our families and are children well to memorize scripture
and delight in it. Psalm 119:9-16 sums it up very well.

"How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word."

Delighting in the Law of God is the most important communication we can give our children as we train our daughters to be beautiful Biblical women and our sons to be Biblically defined men.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do The Next Thing!

Biblical daughters and Biblically defined sons would richly benefit from reading great poetry. The beautiful book of Psalms in the Bible is a good place to start. Additionally, people throughout the ages have inspired us, both emotionally and spiritually, with timeless advice and wisdom through verse and song.

Elisabeth Elliot, speaker, author, and wife of the murdered missionary Jim Elliot, had an old English poem that she often shared in her writings and on her radio program Gateway to Joy. The poem which was entitled "Do The Next Thing" had a huge impact on my life. The memory of this poem has often encouraged me to keep on going when I have been discouraged, worried, or afraid.

Do The Next Thing

At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me,
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
That, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration, Do The Next Thing.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, Do The Next Thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer:
Do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all results, Do The Next Thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering be thy demeanor;
In his dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance, be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons, Do The Next Thing.

Author Unknown

This poem has often come to my mind when I thought I couldn't go on. However, I would be reminded to first talk to God about it, worship Him with thankfulness, and then go and Do The Next Thing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Surviving Tough Economic Times

Is your Biblical homeschool curriculum teaching your sons and daughters how to survive tough economic times? If you want to prepare them for the future, their studies must include the following truths: first, it must teach the Sovereignty of God. Sons who embrace Biblical manhood and daughters who value Biblical womanhood must understand the Sovereignty of God. He is in control of all things. Prosperity and/or famine are not new nor do they leave Him wondering what to do. He has ordained all things and works them out for their spiritual good.

Second, a godly curriculum must teach them not to fear the future. Hard times are opportunities for us to bring the gospel to a culture disintegrating and frightened. Instead of fearing the future we need to train our children to fear the living God. We are to worship God in all things and at all times. As Paul said in Philippians 4:12-13, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. NIV" If we are to survive tough economic times we must show our children how to worship God.

Third, a Biblical curriculum must teach our sons and daughters how to use their gifts to do the work God has called them to do. This must be done in accordance with what the Scripture says about the roles and responsibilities of men and women. As Kevin Swanson of Generations With Vision says in an audio message entitled How Families Can Thrive in Tough Economic Times, "Start now....start've got to build your own family systems (in preparation for the tough times)....I hope you're raising your daughters to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I hope you're raising your sons to be men of God, deacons in the Church of Jesus Christ. Because our families, our churches, our culture will be crying out for it (charity and love) twenty years from now."

Finally, a godly curriculum must teach character and integrity. Be deliberate and intentional in your instruction. Make sure you are creating for your children a Biblical homeschool curriculum. Tough times require strong men and women of God. The Church of Jesus Christ must be ready to show the world that the Sovereign Lord blesses the nations that fear Him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Deliberate and Intentional Training

As a homeschool mother of two daughters and three sons, I have been very busy with the "everyday" aspect of education. We put a lot of effort into teaching math, history, grammar, literature, etc., and although it is vitally important for our children to know these things it is only a part of their life. How they "live out" that life is far more important and the Word of God is our blueprint.

I have often been saddened by the fact that the beautiful picture of womanhood and manhood presented in the Scriptures has been so trampled on in the society in which we live. Terms like headship and submission have been stripped of their godly intent and turned into something ugly and unenlightened. As Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. writes in the introduction to his book What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, "Our current understanding of manhood (and womanhood) is in many ways ineffective and unjust. It is ineffective in that the current state of the family is confusion and disorder. It is unjust in that it is in direct violation of the Word of God (pages 10-11)" (parenthesis added).

As previously stated, the dissimilarity between the culture's understanding of femininity and masculinity, and the Bible's instruction on these things stand in stark contrast with each other. We at Keepsake Homeschool Curriculum are persuaded that the only way to return to what the Bible describes as true Biblical womanhood and manhood is to turn back to the Word of God as our source and be deliberate in the way we raise our sons and daughters.

This means that we as parents have to do more than just model these things. We must intentionally train our children in what the Word of God says about these things. It takes time, hard work, lots of prayer, and much instruction. Thankfully with the technology we have today it is much easier to find the resources available to create a curriculum unique to each family and each individual child.

It is my prayer that the resources you might find here will inspire you to intentionally take the time to raise up for this generation and generations to come godly sons and daughters........lights in a dark and confused world.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome to Keepsake Homeschool Curriculum Blog

Welcome to Keepsake Homeschool Curriculum Blog

We are here to help parents return to the vision of raising beautiful Biblical daughters and Biblically defined sons. Our culture has lost a vision for true Biblical womanhood and manhood. It is our desire to help equip parents with not only the resources but the desire to intentionally train their children with a Biblical vision.

Come back soon for encouragement, resources, and helpful information.

Check out our web site at Keepsake Curriculum.