Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More Than a Song

We were on our way home from a family camping trip.  The windows were down and we were all singing along, as joyfully noisy as possible, with Casting Crowns' Jesus, Friend of Sinners.  And as I let the line "A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided" roll from my lips, I stopped in my tracks.  Had I noticed that specific reference before...about the plank-eyed saint?  I immediately tied it to Jesus's teaching from Matthew 7:3-5 about judging others about the speck in their eye while we carry around planks in our own.  Then I my kids process it the same?  Are they aware of that teaching from God Himself?  If so, do they make the connection to the song lyrics?  When we are singing Christian music, do they hear the lines pulled from King David's Psalms?

The world will throw plenty of music about its loves and treasures at them throughout their I need to make sure that I fill up as much of that mental real estate as possible with the Truth...with songs that they can sing in thanksgiving and praise...with songs that they can find solace in when heartbreak comes.  We have often talked about some of the classic hymns that we sing in church...but I had not spent much time on the tunes we drive around to or turn on loud while we clean house together.  So, for the summer, I decided to shift gears a little with our regular Bible study time.  Each week, one of the girls will propose one of our favorite contemporary Christian songs and we will take the song apart...looking for Biblical it is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And my hope, as we tackle some of these songs, our discoveries will firm up the foundation of their faith and they will develop the skills of considering the lyrics of songs as they sing them, weighing their message and whether they are worthy of their time and personal hard drive space.

Today, we started with the 7-year-old's choice...Matthew West's Hello, My Name is.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Psalm 23...A Psalm for the Living

My three girls and I begin our school day together, reading from the Bible.  We read a chapter discussing the history, timeless principles evidenced, how it applies to us and our modern lives and how that particular selection is important to the overall purpose of the Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We will also read a verse from the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the current date (e.g. we read from Proverb 18 today because it is January 18) and discuss what we can learn from these verses of wisdom.  Finally, we read a Psalm as an act of praise, thanks and worship of the Creator...our Creator.  Today, we read Psalm 23.

As we read through the verses, we noticed that the verbs were present tense..."The Lord IS my shepherd...he LEADS me beside quiet waters...he RESTORES my soul...He GUIDES me in paths of ARE with me...your rod and your staff, they COMFORT me."  Now, this portion of Scripture is often read during funerals, providing comfort for those left behind,  because the focus is usually about walking through the valley of death.  But, as we studied these words, it became obvious to us that this a Psalm for the living.  It can provide comfort throughout life if you rely on the Good Shepherd...if you let him lead you...restore your you in paths of righteousness.

As we wrapped up our discussion, my 15-year-old remarked, "It seems that it would be more appropriate to read that when a child is born than when someone dies...I think I'll do that when my children are born." What a wonderful tradition using this beautiful piece of Scripture that will be! assured...I can wait to experience it.  :)