Fall Tradition

Every year we do something out of the ordinary in the world of Halloween and fall. If you celebrate Halloween by dressing up your children and moving them around the neighbor to collect candy, blessings to you.

We don’t.

I don’t want to go into a long debate about why we do not do this or why you do. We don’t. My boys dress up every other day but not this one. We are all okay with that so please no “hate mail” about being a Halloween Scrooge. 🙂 Thanks!

Instead, we use the day to think about a wonderful event that happened this day to draw the world once again closer to God’s truth. We celebrate Reformation Day on Oct 31. We have been doing this for several years and really enjoy this focused time as a family. We celebrate the coming back to the Truth of God’s word through the man of Martin Luther. While we don’t agree with all his published works, we do appreciate the doctrinal principals that came from his work. The 5 Solas or the five “onlys” of the Reformers’ writings and speeches point us back to the truth in God’s word.

On Oct 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses or corrections to the local Catholic church in Wittenburg, Germany. He did this the day before All Saints Day, November 1,  when he knew many would attend mass at the church. He did not plan to split the church, but he wanted the church to take a good look at where it was and change its actions to get back in line with God’s word.

At our home we spend the evening talking about the truths we find in the Reformation writings. They wrote that we live and learn by “Scripture Alone” apart from traditions of men, personal preferences, or anything else. We are saved by “Faith Alone” apart from works and ourselves. Salvation is by “Grace Alone,” not receiving what we deserve through no work of our own. We have eternal life through Christ’s blood on the cross and not our works which leads to salvation is by “Christ Alone.”  (If I may just interject: If God’s blood was not enough to pay for my sins, how could I EVER believe that anything I, a sinner, do possibly be enough? How could I add to the perfect sacrifice or be better than it?) There is no one else we should pray to or through except Christ. Christ is our mediator (I Tim 2:5), our Saviour, our Lord. He is the only way into Heaven. Finally, “Glory to God Alone” is the last Sola. Salvation is from Jesus Christ alone and He alone deserves the glory, no man. We review these ideas, looking into the Bible at scriptures that show these points clearly.

As you can see in the pictures, I set the table with the 5 Solas attached to construction paper and a blank sheet for the person who will pray for us. We take turns going around to read the portion of truth and the scriptures that go with it. We have a fun meal and enjoy our time.

If you are looking for a resource about Reformation Day or where I found the Solas to print, you can find that free resource here.

I encourage you to take a look at what you believe this time of year and why. Teach your children to love God’s word, know His word, love other people and share God’s word with them. It is not love to hold back truth from others. Love your boys. Teach them well.

Advertisements

Teach your Boys (or any child you love!)

Boys

Hi, I realized the other day that I am not typing in all the blogs I am writing in my head lately. I have reacted to the political hotbed, the gorilla, the attacks on US soil, the crocodiles and so many other topics. However, I have not been able to get responses completed and produced.

Okay, that is only partly true. Really, I also don’t know that I have the ability or the maturity to react to all that is going on around us with enough grace or wisdom to respond lovingly.

What I have been thinking about is teaching my boys. Yes, we home educate them and yes we are teaching them skills other than “school” skills like gardening, cooking, and taking care of animals. But, I have been thinking about teaching them what is even more important than that: the Lord. With things as they are and are moving toward, I am not sure how much longer I will be able to teach my children at home. I am not sure how much longer I will be able to openly train them in God’s ways.

So, I am feeling a real burden to teach them the things of God NOW. Not waiting. Right now. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I get stressed. Yes, I have a very long to-do list. But, isn’t one of Satan’s greatest tools a “too busy mom?” Think about it. She has to do so much work to keep her family moving in the right direction and then has outside pressures. She is busy, busy, busy. Sometimes she is just keeping up with the neighbor getting her son into another sport. Sometimes she is keeping up with a Facebook friend and adding a new item to her menu or exercise plan or reading list. Sometimes she is keeping up with Pinterest and adding new decorations to her home. Sometimes though it is just the laundry, dishes, and life of living with a family that keeps us so busy. None of these things are bad. They are just busy.

This past school year we started going through a study from Not Consumed  that is called Foundations of Faith. Find the link to the study here if you like. (I am not getting anything from your buying this item should you choose to do so.) It doesn’t give a lot of doctrine but it asks a lot of questions. It starts with ones like “Who is God?” and “Why am I here?” The author lists some verses you might want to check out and then there is space to add in lots of the verses you find yourself. She also brings up judging and discernment and how they are different.

She moves on later in the study to matters of “What we Believe,” and  purity, dress, media, alcohol, and money as well as other topics come up here. She doesn’t tell you what to teach your children. She just asks about what your family believes and gives you questions to think about and discuss with your children. This opens the door to talk to your children about your family’s beliefs from scripture. My favorite part is that it forces me to think about what my husband and I believe (Sometimes I even have to ask him!) and to see if those are Biblical beliefs or just a tradition that we grew up with in our homes.

Do you know what you believe about modesty, media, marriage, or money? Do your children know what you believe? Do you know why you believe those things? Do you know what scripture says about those topics and do your children? This is a wonderful study about the things that really matter. In a world where so many people are telling us what to believe and why, our children should know what we believe as Godly parents who are seeking the TRUTH and where we find that in scripture.

So, what do you do if you begin to study scripture and what you believe (or thought you believed) doesn’t line up with the Word of God? Well, this is where the toilet meets the floor. You know–that wet dirty ring around the bottom of your toilet? Come on, you know what I am talking about! I can just see some of you looking away like I can actually see you. Others are now thinking about the last time they gave that area a swipe with a disinfectant. If you have boys, that ring is often yellow and smelly! That is the gross place where reality lives. Stay with me here. (Okay, if you must go and clean, do so. I’ll wait for you. ) You have to get in the Word and find out if your thoughts, your beliefs, your reality is really God’s. If it isn’t, well, you’ll have to decide what to do then yourself. Do you really want to go against God? My suggestion is that when we find those things that don’t line up, that WE CHANGE (gasp!). Yes, we move our thinking to align with God’s.

And, if you don’t know where you stand on some of these topics, it might be a time to study a bit more yourself or with your spouse. If you don’t know what you believe, how will your children know? They are going to get their belief systems, ideas, morals, and reality from somewhere. Adults, media, friends, and teachers are all too happy to share their ideas, but your children need the Word of God. They need a sure grounding in the one place that never changes, that never moves away from what is right and good and pure. God’s Word is that place.

Teach your boys (and all your children!) God’s Word and your belief in it. Someone else will gladly teach them something else, if not.

Love your boys and teach them!