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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge
Two great sights in Lancaster County; covered bridges with horse and buggy traffic!

"God's Pattern"
Parents Raising And Teaching Children

Message summary:  The primary responsibility for raising and teaching children belongs to their mother and father. For many this may seem elemental and non-controversial. But in more and more ways the state is interfering with this solemn responsibility.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him" (Psalm 127:3). "Train up a child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6). "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

I read an article about a current conflict in California due to a new bill that provides a framework for teachers to teach material that parents holding godly, traditional values find extremely objectionable. It's an ongoing debate of whose responsibility it is to raise and teach children.

The fundamental Biblical responsibility in raising and teaching children clearly rests with the parents of the child. The phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child" has some merit if understood correctly. We are indeed thankful for the blessings that others have been involved in the spiritual development of children such as Sunday School teachers, Bible Club workers, youth leaders, etc.  Ester also had some very fine public school teachers and we know there are good and caring public school teachers all across America.
But sadly, "It takes a village" includes messaging and materials that are often contrary to Biblical teaching and example. The "village" is made up of the professional educators, social workers, childcare providers and others who claim to know what is best for our children. And this becomes a serious issue if their perception of what is best is contrary to that of the parents, which it increasingly is.

Recess at one room Mennonite School, Lebanon County, PA 10/10/17

Thus far the school choice issue has mostly involved financing and parents have been free to educate their children as they believe best. Here in rural Pennsylvania we have many children still schooled in a one room schoolhouse, grades 1 through 8. There are various types of private schools and home schools, but I earnestly believe that there are now those in authority who want to limit even these fundamental choices parents now have as to who will educate their children (essentially public, private, or home school).

As one conservative commentator expressed concerning the forceful agenda of the far left, "You will be made to believe"
(not in God and moral values but the agenda of the progressives). One of the most frightening forms of persecution that is closer than many think is over the control of our children. I cringe at the thought that children of Godly parents may be required by the state to attend what are increasingly indoctrination centers where Biblical values taught in the home and church are repressed, undermined, and mocked. Not all public education falls in that category but far too much of it does, both primary and secondary education and certainly the moral wasteland of much post-secondary education.

So, amidst the troubling world in which we live, here's our challenge for you today. Teach your children the ways of the Lord which will increasingly be contrary to the ways of the world. It's your fundamental responsibility to provide for their needs. It is one of our most precious freedoms and certainly one of our gravest responsibilities that we shouldn't neglect or take for granted.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have blessed us in various ways, and for the vast majority of couples You have blessed them with children whom they will raise from birth to adulthood. As believers they not only oversee their children's welfare, nutrition, schooling, and discipline, but they also have responsibility to spiritually nurture them in the ways of the Lord. We are increasingly dealing with opposition from public institutions that undermine the Biblical worldview and seek to force their outlook and behavior on believers. Fortify our young parents who model Christianity and teach Biblical truths in the home. Protect them from the evil one who goes about like a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us; through Christ who enables us to take a stand against popular culture that is not aligned with Scripture, for where sin abounds grace doth much more abound. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Save My Family"   Video  Tribute Quartet

Article referred to in today's message concerning the California bill  Video clip

Finally today:
Three cousins
Our Ericaceae cousins are all blooming in our backyard
Left to right - Mountain Laurel, Azalea, Rhododendron

Mountain Laurel blooms are smaller so here's a close-up from a previous year.
Mountain Laurel blooms

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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