A Verse Hid in Our Hearts…F is for…
“Four things I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18,19
A Hymn to Impart…“Eternal Father”
A Sweet Little Prayer…“God’s Love”
A Poem to Share…“The Eagle”
How Our Week Was Spent
F is for Flight (by Joel, 8) We got to watch a movie on the computer. It was called Flight. It was about how birds could not have evolved. They had to be made.
F is for Frigate bird (by Titus, 9 1/2) Last week we saw a Frigate bird. At first we thought it was another Albatross but then I saw that it had 2 long tail feathers. So we looked it up and then we learned all about Frigate birds.
F is for Finches at our Feeder (by Nate, 6) Lots of birds come to our bird feeder now. We have seen Java sparrows, 2 kinds of doves, 2 kinds of cardinals, and now there are 2 kinds of finches there too. One is yellow and orange and the other is red and brown.
If you haven’t read this week’s little bird poems click here and make sure you do. They are a study in contrasts. This has been a big theme for me lately. The boys got a big kick out of comparing the soaring majesty of the eagle with the grounded comicality of the ostrich. At the same time as I’ve been reading through the Bible to the baby (what else is there to do when you’re nursing for hours a day?) I can’t help but notice how often the Lord is making distinctions between His people, the Israelites, and the foreigners whose land they were occupying.
The church we attend is well known for being the first Christian church in Hawaii founded by the original missionaries who came to these islands almost 200 years ago. The church is open everyday to tourists and I finally got the chance to attend the training sessions to be a docent and tell the amazing story of the arrival and spread of the Gospel throughout the islands to some of the tens of thousands of people from around the world who pass through it’s doors. It’s a story full of centuries of God’s sovereign hand preparing the way for the reception of His Word in the hearts of these people. The Hawaiians were a people enslaved to a cruel and violent religion that demanded much of them, often their lives. Punishment for crimes such as a woman eating a banana were punishable by death and human sacrifice was widely practiced (in the case of human sacrifice, women could be very glad that they were considered so worthless that not even the gods wanted them, so they were exempt). Imagine how the gospel of Jesus Christ would appear to them. What a contrast!
This week I had the luxury of some early morning quiet times which I spent in the crumbling stone ruins of another church founded a little later by the same missionaries. It sits just across the road from a popular snorkeling beach and directly on top of a former temple used for these human sacrifices. That’s where this lesson in contrasts came head-to-head for me. I opened to the Psalms and immediately my eyes fell upon these words from chapter 40 verses 6-8 “Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Wow! Think about what good news that must have been to them! A religion not practiced through demanding rituals but written on the heart. A loving God who Himself provided the necessary sacrifice and gave up His own son rather than requiring theirs!
That’s a radical difference!
As I thought about these contrasts I wondered how they might be played out in our own home. How is it radically different from the homes of our neighbors? And how is what I teach on a day to day basis radically different from what my kids could be learning in a public school? Because I think it should be radically different or what’s the point in spending my efforts? The focus of what I’m doing has to be far greater than better math, better spelling or better history. It has to be as significant as the difference between truth and fiction, wisdom and foolishness, the eternal and the temporal, the sacred and the profane.
Unlike the ancient Hawaiian gods, our God requires of us to be “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to [Him].” This is our “spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:2 continues by urging us not to be “conformed to this world” but to be “transformed by the renewal of your mind.” This has to be the key to my daily instruction, the radical difference between a Christ-centered education and a secular one. My goal isn’t the FILLING of my child’s mind, but the RENEWAL of it; not the CONFORMING to a set of humanist standards, but to daily immerse my child’s mind in the knowledge of the TRANSFORMING power of an awesome, real, and living God.