Saturday, June 25, 2011

Give Them What They Really Need


In this post, Michelle from At the Well reminds us to focus on the big picture, rather than major on the minors. I think it’s a good idea to step back and do this every now and then!

Thanks to Susan for the link :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

FREE Homeschool Tips Ebook!


Smockity Frocks is offering a free e-book with over 50 pages of tips from a homeschool veteran of more than 11 years. Topics include:

  • Homeschooling Preschoolers
  • Homeschooling Older Students With Preschoolers Present
  • Scheduling
  • Curriculum Choices
  • Socialization

Read about it here:

Advice On Family Prayer from Matthew Henry


From the NCIFC blog:

On April 16,1604, Matthew Henry preached an abundantly practical sermon to the families gathered in his congregation. One part of the sermon was for equipping them for prayer in their households. Here is what he said:

Five things especially you should have upon your heart in your family prayer, and should endeavour to bring something of each into every prayer with your families:

1. You ought to make family-Acknowledgements on your Dependence upon God and his Providences as you are a family.

give unto the Lord the Glory due unto his Name;

Give honor to God as the Founder of Families by his Ordinance, because it was not good for man to be alone; as the founder of your Families by his Providence, for he it is that buildeth the House, and setteth the Solitary in Families. Give Honor to him as the owner and Ruler of families…

2. You ought to make Family-Confessions of your Sins against God; those Sins you have contracted the Guilt of your Family…

How sad is the Condition of those Families that sin together, and never pray together, that by concurring in Frauds, Quarrels and Excesses, by Strengthening one another’s Hands in Impiety and Profaneness, fill the measure of Family-Guilt, and never agree together to do any thing to empty it.’

And even Religious Families, that are not polluted with gross and scandalous Sins, yet have need to join every Day in the Solemn Acts and Expressions of Repentance before God for their Sins of daily infirmity. Their vain words, and unprofitable conversation among themselves; their manifold defects in relative duties, provoking one another...

3. You ought to offer up Family Thanksgivings for the blessings which you, with our Families, receive from God.

Many are the mercies which you enjoy the Sweetness and Benefit of in common; which if wanting to one, all the Family would be sensible of it. Hath not God made a Hedge of Protection about you and your houses and all that you have…

4. You ought to present your Family-Petitions for the Mercy and Grace which your Families stand in need of.

Daily Bread is received by Families together, and we are taught not only to pray for it every day, but to pray together for it, saying ‘Our Father, give it us’. There are Affairs and Employments which the Family is jointly concerned in the Success of, and therefore should jointly ask of God Wisdom for the Management of them, and Prosperity therein. There are family cares to be cast upon God, by Prayer, Family Comforts to be fought for, and Family-Crosses which they should together beg for the Sanctification and Removal of.

5. You ought to make Family-Intercessions for others also.

There are Families you stand related to, or which by Neighborhood, Friendship or Acquaintance, …utmost Corners of the Earth, and to them that are afar off upon the Sea.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Her Hand in Marriage by Douglas Wilson


We were asked recently if there are any good resources on biblical courtship, specifically for young men. Hence the number of courtship books and sermons that we have been ploughing through recently…and thanks to the Twiss family for lending us some. I have to admit that at this point I am yet to find anything specific to young men: if you have any thoughts let me know…we also need something more general which works for our Aussie culture.

Anyway, that leads us onto this book, which is Doug Wilson’s Her Hand in Marriage. It is a short book though it hits all the essential points that you would expect it to, in Doug’s trademark style. If I had one beef to pick with it, I would say that a few real-life examples would not have gone astray. There is a reasonable amount of material around about the theory of biblical courtship, but not enough stories of how families have actually gone about it. Not that we want to precisely copy the example of others , but it would be helpful to reflect upon their successes and mistakes. Nevertheless, it is a straight-forward book which is easy to read.

BTW, thanks to my Mum buying me this dvd for my birthday, I can tell you that the cover of this book features Vermeer’s “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”. Maybe she is reading a letter from a suitor?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let them tend cows


In this post for the opinion pages of the New York Times, Meredith F. Small argues that instead of overloading small children with school work,  we should be giving them age appropriate tasks that contribute to the household economy and  help them to master life skills. I like it :)

Thanks to Althouse for the link.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Last hurrah at Borders


When I was a little boy we would sometimes meet my father in the CBD after work, and he would take us to Haddons Bookshop which specialised in children’s books. A couple of years ago we started our own family tradition which was very similar: every now and then on a Saturday morning we would head into town, go to Borders for a coffee and then a wander around. Each child would be allowed to choose a book.

Last Saturday was the last hurrah for this family tradition, which will (hopefully) be remembered by at least some of the older children. Borders is closing down. Yes, even the big bookstores in Australia are now closing. The  trend which was depicted in this terrible movie has now come to an end, as a decline in reading and the shift to e-books seems to be taking a toll.

By way of consolation, we had Yum Cha after visiting Borders for the last time, and then managed to find a few absolute bargains in the State Library’s bookstore:

The kids books are all 50c at this bookstore and a lot of them are in almost mint condition, apart from the library stickers, etc.


Speaking of parenting…

In this post, Kevin DeYoung provides a great defintion of parenting, from Andrew Ferguson:

You fulfill yourself by denying yourself, preparing the people you can’t live without to live without you.

Oh, and did I mention that there is a funny picture too?


Dealing with quarrels


Have you checked out the Doorposts blog yet? We are keen on their materials and this post about dealing with quarrels will give you a great excuse to head over there and have a look. This type of training is time-consuming but I feel that it will bear fruit in the long run.


Hospitality and small children


In the post below, Abigail speaks about the joys and challenges of being hospitable with small children at home, and provides 8 insights to keep in mind. I particularly liked the one about expecting everything to go wrong, because it will :)


Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: Before you meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally


This is a wonderful book written to encourage young women to live their lives with purity and integrity. Each chapter begins with an ongoing story of a fairytale princess and her longing to meet her own prince charming which makes it a particularly enjoyable book to read. I found it be a very thorough book covering the basics of guarding your heart, respecting parents, reserving yourself for one and more - but it maintains a lovely innocence, so I felt quite happy allowing our eldest daughter (almost 12) to read it all. I really appreciated the author’s detail in explaining how God expects a young lady to guard her mind and encourages her to consider a life purpose bigger than marriage.