Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 other heroes of the faith

I can't wait to use it with the kids as part of their schooling!

And on the website, there are all sorts of activities for your children to do alongside the pin the beard on John Calvin....and a Martin Luther Maze!
Church History ABCs

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hooked on Phonics Master Reader Course for $23 (originally $199!)

The Hooked on Phonics Master Reader Course is originally $199.95, but it’s on clearance for $49.95 right now. Plus, when you use coupon code SLICK55 you’ll get an additional 55% off the clearance price making it less than $23 plus shipping!

You can use the coupon code SLICK55 to get 55% off almost anything else on their site as well.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Button shirt to toddler's dress

I've been wanting to do this for maybe if I post it here and promise that I WILL do this soon....then I will be motivated to do it :)

How to make a button shirt into a toddler's dress!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free Homeschooling Planner Pages!

Download free Homeschooling Planner Pages here. The site gives you a variety of options and there are enough different pages to put together a very comprehensive complete curriculum planner — for free (minus the printing costs!).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fight Phobic....What are Christians so scared of?

If the notion of truth is central to Christianity, and the ability to argue is central to the task of knowing the truth, why do some Christians get upset when you try to find the truth through argument and disagreement? Two things come to mind that are especially applicable to those in a Christian setting, usually a church environment.

First, some fear division. When peole are free to express strong differences of opinion, especially on theological issues, it threatens unity, they say. Consequently, the minute a disagreement surfaces, someone jumps in to shut down dissent in order to keep the peace. This is unfortunate.

True enough, Christians sometimes get distracted b useless disputes. Paul warns against wrangling about words, and quarreling about foolish speculations (2 Timothy 2:14, 23). But he also commands us to be diligent workmen, handling the word of truth accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). And, because some disputes are vitally important, Paul solemnly charges us to reprove, rebuke, and exhort when necessary (2 TImothy 4:1-2). This cannot be done without some confrontation, but disagreement need not threaten genuine unity.

To be of one mind biblically doesn't mean that all have to share the same opinion. It means a warm fellowship based on communion with Christ in the midst of differences. It does not mean abandoning all attempts at refining our knowledge by enforcing an artificial unanimity. True maturity means learning how to disagree in an aggressive fashion, yet still maintaining a peaceful harmony in the church.

There's a second reason why Christians resist arguments. Some believers unfortunately take any opposition as hostility, especially if their own view is being challenged. Ins some circles it's virtually impossible to take exception to a cherished view or a respected teacher without being labeled malicious.

This is a dangerous attitude for the church because the minute one is labeled mean-spirited simply for raising an opposing view, debate is silences. If we disqualify legitimate discussion, we compromise our ability to know the truth.

It is important not to deal with dissent in this way. Instead, we ought to learn how to argue in a principled way--fairly, reasonably, and graciously. We need to cultivate the ability to disagree with civility and not take opposition personally. We must also have the grace to allow our own views to be challenged with evidence, reasoning, and Scripture. Those who refuse to dispute have a poor chance of growing in their understanding of truth.

There is no reason to threaten our unity by frivolous debate. However, many debates are worthy of our best efforts. Paul told Timothy, "Retain the standard of sound words." and "Guard...the treasure which has been entrusted to you" (2 Timothy 1:13-14). He told Titus to choose elders who could exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict, false teachers, he said, who must be silenced (Titus 1:9,11). This kind of protection of trugh is not a passive enterprise. It's active and energetic.

Arguments are good, and dispute is healthy. They clarify the truth and protect us from error and religious despotism. When the church discourages principled debates and a free flow of ideas, the result is shallow Christianity and a false sense of unity. No one gets any practice learning how to field contrary views in a gracious and productive way. The oneness they share is contrived, not genuine. Worse, they lose the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. Simply put, when arguments are few, error abounds.

This is an excerpt from the book Tactics by Greg Koukl chapter 1, pages 33-35.

Here is a review by Tim Challies.

Staying married is not about staying in love...

Neither Boys nor Men....

Darrin Patrick writes:

We live in a world full of males who have prolonged their adolescence.

They are neither boys nor men. They live suspended between childhood and adulthood, between growing up and being a grown-up.

Let’s call this kind of male Ban, a hybrid of both man and boy. This kind of male is everywhere, including the church and even vocational ministry.

Neither Boys Nor Men

Ban is a frightening reality in the church, but he is the best thing that ever happened to the video game and porn industries.

* Half of American males between the ages of 18 to 34 play video games every day—for almost 3 hours.
* The average video game buyer is 35 years old.
* Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, 28,258 Internet users view pornography, and 372 Internet users type adult search terms into search engines.
* To no one’s surprise, men make up nearly 75% of Internet pornography traffic.

Our society is overrun with males who aren’t men. Assuming the responsibilities of husband and father makes a boy into a man, but Ban doesn’t like responsibility so he extends his adolescence and sets his focus squarely and supremely on himself.

Raising Up Real Men

These “man-wannabes” must learn how to progress toward manhood and become what David Gilmore calls “real men.” Real men “give more than they take... are generous, even to the point of sacrifice.” Being a man is about being tough and tender.

I have a son, Drew, and because of my keen awareness of and pastoral interaction with Bans, I know that my work is cut out for me when it comes to raising a godly man. I recently wrote a little prayer that reflects the kind of men we need. Drew and I pray this prayer together almost every night, for him and for me.

“God, make me a man with thick skin and a soft heart. Make me a man who is tough and tender. Make me tough so I can handle life. Make me tender so I can love people. God, make me a man.”

The Man, the Message, the Mission

The lack of godly men in our world is now a cultural crisis. We are not going to solve the problem by ignoring Ban and hoping that he eventually grows up. We are not going to solve the problem by encouraging women to take up the slack.

We might solve the problem by modeling biblical manhood and calling adult boys to forsake their youthful lusts and become the men that God is calling them to be.

We have Bans in our city, our neighborhoods, our churches, and our families. Ban needs godly men and women to show him that there is more to life than what he is currently experiencing. Ban needs to be more than just a male. He needs to be becoming God’s man who is being transformed by God’s gospel message and is wholeheartedly pursuing God’s mission.

Connecting Church and Home

Doug Wolter:

Al Mohler recently spoke at the Connecting Church and Home Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. In his message, “Christian Parenting is Combat,” he gives 4 things Christian leaders must do to connect the church and home.

#1 The church must present faithful vision of the family, marriage, and parenting – and equip believers to transfer that vision to the next generation.

#2 The church must overcome the zone of privacy and autonomy that keeps individuals from being accountable to the church community. We need to get into each others face. Our parenting and marriage are not properly ours – but belong to Christ and are the affairs of the whole church. Someone needs to get involved when people struggle in these areas.

#3 The church has got to be a place where brokenness is overcome by the Gospel. We slander the good news when we act like the only people who can glorify God are those who have never experienced brokenness.

#4 The church has to got to be the place where families are rescued and armed for the combat to which we are called. Discipleship is a battle. We come to church because we can’t afford not to come. We need to get together because we need to be equipped by the preaching of the Word of God and the fellowship of the Saints.

Musical Unity in the church

Pastor Tullian:

So, we miss out on some great things God intends for us to enjoy when we separate in worship according to musical tastes. The idea to do this comes, not from the Bible, but from American consumerism and we adopt this practice to our own peril.

As my friend Steven Phillips rightly says, we ought to use the best music, prayers, and traditions of our Christian past, so that our worship is guided and enriched by our fathers in the faith. In doing this we demonstrate that our Christian faith reaches back thousands of years. And we ought also to use the best new songs and styles – to “sing a new song to the Lord” as the Psalms say – so that we can demonstrate that the grace of God is ever new. God’s saving power is available now, in the present day, to all who call on Him in faith.

By musically blending things in this way we exercise love toward those who resonate with different musical tastes than us. We recognize that our worship service is a shared time and a shared space, so that if a particular song or style doesn’t inspire us, we can still look across the sanctuary and give thanks from our hearts for the diversity of people who are here. The gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to look across the aisle and say, “Though this song or style may not appeal to me, I see that God is using it to move you. I love you in Christ and I’m glad you’re here.”
Read the whole thing.