Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation

 

Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation - HomeWithPurpose.net

If you’ve read Home With Purpose for very long, you know that I’m always on the lookout for great discipleship resources for our family.

Resources that communicate the concept that the Bible is one cohesive story of God’s plan of redemption, the reasonableness of our faith, or how God works in the world, among other things, are all worth a look for me.

Well, a few weeks, ago, I received a very unique book to review with my family. Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation by Jay Schabacker is different than anything else I’ve seen. It’s a gorgeous hardbound book that explores the days of creation from both a scientific and devotional standpoint. The premise of the book is that creation had not only an intelligent designer, but also a purposeful one. [Read more…]

Jonathan Edwards: Christian Biographies for Young Readers

Jonathan Edwards: Christian Biographies for Young Readers

I’ve written often about the importance of teaching our kids about their spiritual heritage.

Being familiar with the major historical events and important figures in the history of the church helps them understand how we got where we are now, and feel that sense of heritage and connection with fellow believers in the past. This, along with communicating the concept that the Bible is one cohesive story of God’s plan of redemption, are things I consider absolutely crucial.

Simonetta Carr’s Christian Biographies for Young Readers are a valuable tool in this task. The publisher describes the series this way:

The Christian Biographies for Young Readers introduces children to important people in the Christian tradition. Parents and school teachers alike will welcome the excellent educational value it provides for students, while the quality of the publication and the artwork make each volume a keepsake for generations to come. Furthermore, the books in the series go beyond the simple story of someone’s life by teaching young readers the historical and theological relevance of each character.

[Read more…]

Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family

Exploring Grace Together

A few years ago I shared what is probably my very favorite parenting book of all time with you.

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With the Love of Jesus is a primer on how the gospel should transform our parenting, and it’s a must-read in my book! Now, co-author Jessica Thompson has given us Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family.

Exploring Grace Together puts the principles discussed in Give Them Grace into action through a series of simple family devotions. Our family has been going through the book this summer, though we haven’t managed to read every single day, so it’s taking us a bit longer to get through the entire book.

A short introduction to read to your children portrays the devotions as a “treasure hunt” to find Jesus in everything we do, in every circumstance. The first several readings work through a basic explanation of the gospel using Romans 3:11-12, 23, 6:23, 8:38-39, and Ephesians 2:8. The rest of the readings build on that foundation, covering such topics as feeling misunderstood, feeling alone, family discord, blame shifting, lying, materialism, grief, and more. Each reading ends with several discussion questions to provoke more thought and conversation.  [Read more…]

The Eternal Argument: A framework for understanding Western Literature and Culture

The Eternal Argument: A framework for understanding Western Literature and Culture

I consider cultural literacy and an understanding of the various world views that underlie our culture essentials of my kids’ educations.

I don’t just want them memorizing names, dates, and facts. I want them to be familiar with the ideas and writings that have shaped the very fabric of our culture, and to understand how and why it all happened. So, when I had the opportunity to review The Eternal Argument, I was intrigued. It looked like it might be a great resource to help us toward that goal.

The Eternal Argument: A framework for understanding Western Literature and Culturepublished by Analytical Grammar, frames the entire history of Western culture as one long argument between two opposing world views:

  • Theistic: “There is a God and He rules over a flawed mankind by giving us rules by which to live.”
  • Humanistic: “There is no God, so people decide whats good and what’s evil, and human nature can arrive at the rules.”

Or, to put it more simply, either man is flawed or man is perfectible. Author R. Robin Finley admits that these two terms are a bit simplistic and are often used in other contexts with a broader meaning, but for the purposes of the book, she chose them to represent the two extremes. She also makes it clear that most people fall somewhere along the continuum between the two and don’t fit neatly into a box. Often, you’ll see some elements influenced by each in the same work of literature.

Her premise is that this “argument” between the two opposing world views reflects and sometimes instigates historical events (even wars!), and that it’s best traced through literature, and what she refers to as the “chattering classes”: the philosophers, writers, and thinkers of the times. Throughout history, the “pendulum” swings back and forth between the two views. [Read more…]

God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History

God's Story: A Student's Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby

I’ve said before that I think familiarizing our kids with church history is important.

I was taught little to no church history growing up, beyond a cursory mention of major events like the Reformation in my history textbooks. I want my kids to have more than just this passing knowledge. I think familiarity with the major figures and events in the history of the church is essential to seeing and understanding God’s “one story” for all of history. It’s also incredibly valuable to help them establish a stable faith that isn’t blown to and fro by every new whim that comes along. And, it’s essential to understanding how we got where we are now. So, since they were very young, I’ve spent time searching out and collecting resources to make sure they’re aware of the rich heritage of our beliefs.

God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby is one such resource that recently came my way. This little book is part of the “A Student’s Guide” series published by Christian Focus Publications and covers the span of church history from its Old Testament roots to the present day. [Read more…]

Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree: Instilling Meaning in a Familiar Tradition

Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree

Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to develop meaningful family traditions.

Christ’s birth, the events surrounding it, the history of the holiday’s celebration, and all the symbols and cultural background offer a wealth of teaching material for parents who want to teach their children about why Christ came and how to view the world from a Christian perspective.

Really, there are TOO many options! There are so many devotionals, crafts, activity guides, unit studies, and more that it can be overwhelming! I know that there have been times I’ve tried to do too much because the sheer volume of good material out there is crazy! [Read more…]