Friday, March 30, 2007


Lily walked with me to get the mail this afternoon, and we found a package for her in the mailbox. She had won a coloring contest through KC Parent Magazine. Her prize was a Jim Cosgrove, a.k.a. Mr. Stinky Feet, DVD. When we opened the package she said, "All for coloring a silly ol' dinosaur!"

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Joseph Gets Civilized

This morning I gave Joseph a spoon to eat with for the first time. He did pretty well and got quite a bit of oatmeal down the hatch.

For the Grandparents

*Last night on the way home from church, I was talking to Rowan when she paid me a compliment. I told her, "Rowan, that's so nice of you to say." She replied, "Jesus likes nice."

**Lily was watching me get ready this morning when she noticed my mouth guard. She said, "That's the thing that keeps you from growling your teeth at night."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Internet Filter

Are you concerned with what your kids might be exposed to on the Internet? Are you worried about the dangers of Calvinism in all its forms? Not any more! There's a new product that will protect you and your kids from the scourge of Reformed Theology. It's called Net Finney. Click here for more information!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Heavens!

Who says that you really know everything about your husband after 11 years of marriage? Or, that we women don't influence our men for good? I have forced/cajoled/bribed Kevin to watch movie adaptations of my all-time favorite author's works for our entire relationship. I am referring to Jane Austen, the queen of the romantic comedy-of-manners genre, in my humble but accurate opinion. (Okay, maybe Kevin is rubbing off on me, too...) Anyway, I have suspected for a couple of years that Kevin has, really, deep down in his macho-manly heart, developed an appreciation for Sense and Sensibility too. I was checking out his blog profile tonight, and, lo and behold! He has gone public! Good for you, honey. It takes a secure man.

Lily's Thoughts

Yesterday the kids and I were outside enjoying the beautiful weather when Lily brought an empty snail shell to me. She was very excited, and declared, "Nobody's home. I think he went to Texas." Mind you, she was completely serious. (Texas is a favorite destination for pretend travels around our house.) Ahhh... if she could just stay four a little longer...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Little Glimpse of Success

I was going upstairs for something a minute ago, and I noticed that it was very quiet up there...hmmm. That can be good or very bad. I found Keely on Rowan's bed reading to Rowan and Lily in her most animated read-aloud voice. Then I spotted Noah playing sweetly with Joseph; alternately rolling a car for Joe to chase and throwing a stuffed monkey in the air to make him laugh. This is my favorite thing about homeschooling, and it has nothing to do with 'school', as we tend to think of it. It is about relationships. Yes, my kids bicker and argue as normal children. But they also have a shared 'world' that allows them to have close relationships with each other. And real-world biblical relationships are about overlooking offenses and 'doing unto others'. warms a mother's heart.....Uh-oh. I'd better go. I think the 'glimpse' is over...

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Genesis of Faith

I've been talking with a friend of mine recently about faith. What is faith and where does it come from? The bible describes faith as an assurance and conviction of things not seen (cf. Heb. 11:1). The word assurance comes from the Greek word Upostasi which means, 'a firm foundation or actual existence'. The word conviction is the Greek word Elegco which means 'a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested'. This is a far cry from what the world believes about the Christian 'faith'. We, the church, have allowed our enemies to redefine faith as unscientific and irrational. God doesn't ask us to believe because of a lack of empirical evidence (blind leap in the dark), but because of the overwhelming evidence that demands it.

If faith is based on knowledge, that which we can know with our minds, and the bible tells us we must believe in order to be saved, then aren't we in some way responsible for our salvation?

Martin Luther was one of the reformers from the 16th century who rediscovered the foundational truth of the gospel: justification by faith alone. He described faith as having three parts:
1. Knowledge (Lat. notitia)
2. Assent (Lat. assensus)
3. Trust (Lat. fiducia)
The third part, trust, is what differentiates our faith from non-Christians or even the demons (cf. Jas. 2:19). We may possess knowledge because of what we've heard or read, and we may acknowledge that information as true, but apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts it remains just that: knowledge/data.
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me" (Jn. 5:39).

I know from my own experience that I knew the truth intellectually (my Dad was a Southern Baptist pastor), but I was unwilling to submit to God's lordship over my life. I wanted 'fire-insurance' from eternal damnation, but I didn't want to give up absolute control of my life (trust). It wasn't until I was 18 years old, when God saved me, that I finally understood the verse that I had heard countless times before, "...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom 10:9, emphasis mine). Ironically, I wasn't praying the 'sinner's' prayer. I wasn't asking God to save me. I simply said, 'I give up!' I listed off all of the areas of my life that I had been keeping from Him and said, 'they're yours'. There was no alter call, no fireworks, no pomp and circumstance. Just me and a still, small voice (cf. 1 Ki. 19:11-12).

There was nothing I said or did that caused God to favor me. I knew who I was: a rotten, wretched sinner who didn't deserve God's forgiveness. I was dead in my trespasses and sins (cf. Eph. 2:1). God breathed life into my spiritual lungs and as a result, I professed Christ, I exhaled. I had been made alive together with Christ (cf. 1 Co. 15:22; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13).

Faith is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that brings about new life in Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). Your faith, saving faith, is a gift from God (cf. Acts 18:27; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thes. 2:13; Heb. 12:2; 2 Pet. 1:1).
The words 'this' and 'it' in v. 8 refer to the whole process of salvation, including faith. Paul, in the very next verse emphasizes the nature of a gift, "not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:9). We don't contribute anything to our salvation nor do we even participate. If we did, if we somehow cooperated with the Holy Spirit in the process, then we nullify grace (cf. Rom. 11:6).

Because we believe, intellectually, and because we possess saving faith, as Christians, we tend to think that somehow we are responsible for our faith. The bible commands us to believe in order to be saved, so we think, logically, that we have the ability to do so. We assume, incorrectly, that God would never command something that is impossible. Really?

"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect" (Mt. 5:48).

And he answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself" (Lk. 10:27).

"Then he said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord" (Eze. 37:4).

Then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him. When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out" (Jn. 11:14-15, 43).
"With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God" (Mr. 10:27).

Jesus analogizes our human birth with our spiritual one (cf. Jn. 3:3). To continue that analogy we could say, 'You must have life in order to live'. Do you possess physical life? Isn't your life a gift from God? The fact that you possess a gift doesn't mean you had anything to do with it. So it is with salvation. "That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn. 3:6).

We don't have faith because we believe. We have faith, saving faith, because we have been given life in His name: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn 1:12-13). Sola Dei Gloria (To God be all the glory)!