Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my dear blog readers! May your new year be filled with new and exciting challenges and adventures, and amazing growth in Christ!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Dear Everybody...

I just got thinking about this little town in England called Burford, and wanted to post some pictures.  It's the quaintest little town you ever saw, and at the bottom of the hill a stream runs under a bridge, and past the bridge, you are suddenly on the green countryside.

Burford... Isn't it a lovely name for a town?

The little round thing on that building is a clock... Unfortunately the lighting was right for a silhouette, so you cant see the really cool face and hands of it.

Okay, this picture made me think about crossroads, and all the different signs pointing in different directions.  A few stories come to mind.  The first one is in a Beatrix Potter movie I used to watch when I was younger, and it was about the two pigs who wanted to go to the market.  When the one little pig loses his brother to a policeman because he didn't have papers, he comes to a crossroad with signs much like this one, and tries to find the one that leads to the market.  I THINK, but I can't remember for sure, but I think he ends up getting lost, because he took the wrong road.  (But I am probably wrong.)

The second one is this... In a book we have called The Squire and the Scroll, the young squire comes to a fork in the road.  Beside the fork are a pair of huge thigh-high boots.  He looked at the roads, and perceived that one road seemed like a slough, and that one would sink as soon as he stepped foot on it.  The other appeared dry and firm.  He consulted his scroll, and then asked himself why the boots would be there if the one road was dry... So he determined to take the slough type road wearing the boots.  Immediately as he made this decision, a rabbit hopped on to the dry road, and sunk beneath its deceiving surface.  The boy stepped onto the miry road and found it firm beneath his feet.

The third (and last one) is this.  In Pilgrim's Progress, Christian arrives at the foot of a mountain.  The road going straight also leads straight up the mountain, and looks treacherous and tedious.  There are two other roads branching off from the first, looking very easy and good to travel by.  Christian knew that the right way was straight, and as he was about to continue, two men come up and are discussing which way to take.  Christian attempts to dissuade them from taking the paths... I they were named treacherous names, but I cannot remember them.  The two men only said that they were named such to try and deceive the person.  So, one took the right, the other the left, and Christian went straight up the mountain.  The man who took the right hand way became lost in a forest, and fell into a pit.  The man who took the left path had a similar fate, and neither were ever heard of again. 

The road to righteousness is not wide, and it's not easy... it's filled with toil, and tribulation, and temptations... thousands of stumbling blocks.  It's an uphill climb, not a downhill run.  "There is a way that seems right to the end, but in the end it will only lead to death." Proverbs 14:12.  The counsel of God is the only one that we should abide by, and yet, so frequently, we turn and "go our own way" so to speak, and end up getting into tons of trouble.  So, though man may point to many ways that we should go, we should not follow any path unless it abides by God's word.  Christian knew that the right way was up the mountain, because he had been given directions.  The other men also knew, but they loved luxury more than toil for Christ, and it ended in their death.  Anyways, just some thoughts. :)

What the countryside looks like....

And more countryside.  I loved the image portrayed here... The wide open space, the golden against the green, and the cloudy sky... and the field dotted with orange lights with smoke streaming from them. I just hope that the fire wasn't accidental. ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

What A Day?!

Dear Friends...

My father and sister, Chloe, are in Indianapolis at the present moment.... Daddy had some concerts and a gig over there.  As a result of this, I was going to be left in the big, cold, attic room for the weekend... So last night, we made sleeping arrangements: Olivia slept with mommy, and I slept with Tirzah.  I studied late into the night, because I want so very much to get everything done on time.  I finally fell asleep very very late... I first woke up about 6:30, and thought: "oh! What a day! I can get up early... get stuff done... It will be so productive." But, of course, I fell asleep. Around seven I woke up to the sound of little pattering feet in the room.  The heaters had just come on and there was a delicious warmth that spread through the room.  Through my half open eyes I saw Olivia, standing with her eyes half closed (there is a big difference between the two... as one is partially awake, the other partially asleep) and she saw there was no room for her, so whimpering she left the room.  I felt a sort of inertia around my mouth, so I couldn't talk, and I snapped my fingers till she turned around.  I opened up my arms to her and the little blond-haired angel came straight to me.  We snuggled down together and I prepared to go to sleep again.  But Olivia is a restless sleeper... her arms and legs and head were constantly squirming.  So after awhile, when I became unbearably hot, I thought that I would go upstairs to my cold bed for a little bit.  So I stuck Olivia next to Tirzah, covered her up, and went upstairs, feeling the delicious cold air in my hot face... and my bed was so cool, and felt so refreshing that in no time, I was asleep.  I was aware of several little people scampering around my room during the course of the morning, but was never more than half awake to have the sense to wake up entirely. 

That is... until Olivia said: "Ruby! Ruby! Wake up! The carpet cleaners are here and they're coming up here!"

Oh joy....

So I hear them on my stairs (and I don't know why they were because they didn't even clean my stairs) and I completely froze in front of the mirror, looking at my swollen eyes, tired face, and wild hair.  I heard the men retreat all the way downstairs, and I hurriedly threw on some clothes, gathered up my books and notebooks, and a toothbrush, and went downstairs.  The carpet cleaner looked puzzled when he saw my face, but I only tried to open my eyes as wide as I possibly could and smile.  My mother laughed when she saw me.  "We were imagining what you would do when you found out that they were cleaning the carpets and you had no way to get down here."  I looked at the clock... it was 10 AM.  Three and a half hours had been spent sleeping... and not that that's a bad thing... just when it ends at 10 in the morning.  I sighed, and turned to finish an essay on Alfred the Great.   I only finished some of it.  When the carpet men were finished, and commented on how everyone in our family had grown since they had come last, I wondered if they thought that Gabriel and I were just more of those rebellious teenagers.  I hoped not.  Maybe the fact that all the little kids were sitting around the table talking with us did something.

We planned on getting Christmas tree, and decorating it while eating Jo Froggers and Eggnog.  We invited Peter over.  Mother left the house to do some Christmas shopping and get the tree.  I made the Jo Frogger dough, and then made lentil soup for dinner.  But mother came home without a Christmas tree. She couldn't make a decision.  As the day wore on, we decided not to get one.  We talked to dad, Uncle John and Aunt Kathy, found out that my cousin's wife (as of August) is just now expecting their first baby.  Then Peter called.  After that, we somehow decided to get a tree.  I don't know what the result of this day will be.  I'm about to go roll out the Jo Frogger dough to make the cookies, and the Eggnog.  But mother and Gabriel are out searching for a tree, Peter will be here in about an hour, and the carpets look white compared to before.  What a clean feeling! 

As we decorate the Christmas Tree, we'll think of Martin Luther, the great reformer, walking through the pine forest and seeing the moon beams come through, reminding him of the beauty of God's creation...and then going home and recreating it with a baby tree and candles. As we put up the manger scene we'll think about why we celebrate Christmas... because the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and how without his incredible birth, born below his state in the humblest of conditions, we could not have his death, and without his death, there would be no remission for our sins and our guilt.  So for this reason we rejoice, and look forward to 25 December as the day that we celebrate the Incarnation of Christ.... but let us not celebrate it only once a year, but every day, and every hour, and every minute, and every second.

I still am thinking about the blond-haired angel who came to snuggle with me this morning.  Nobody ever feels more loving than when he/she is snuggling with one of these little angels.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Emma from Literature and Laughs tagged me in the following post. :)  Here goes...

What are six names you go by? Ruby, Rubert, Rubes, Rubix-Cube, Ruby Jean, Rubs.

What are three things you're wearing right now? A shirt, pajama pants, and blankets. :P

What are three things you want very badly right now?
Halfchaps, snow, and a willing spirit.

What are three things you did last night/ yesterday?
Wrote an essay on early Britain, folded laundry, and cooked meals.

What are two things that you ate today?
Black beans with chicken and rice, and chicken soup.

Who are the last two people you talked to on the phone?
Mother, and Candice (my riding instructor.)

What are two things you're going to do today/tomorrow?
Finish school essays, and books. :D

What are your three favorite beverages? Water... ginger ale... and rootbeer. :D

And now I have to tag people! I tag Chloe at Life In My Strawberry Patch, Jordan at Ramblings of a Princess, and anyone else who wants to do this can say that I tagged them. :) Copy and paste this into a post, delete my answers and put in yours.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Perfect Day

Today when I was lying in bed, I felt so gratified that I was inspired to finish up a lot of my books, and wrap up some papers and essays that I needed to write.  But during the course of the day, I only accomplished two of my eight assignments.  This irritated me, and suddenly my perfect day turned to a bad day.  But I was encouraged by a new thought.

It is not the accomplishment of our plans that makes our day good, but our ability to cheerfully cope with anything that comes in our way, and be grateful for what work we did accomplish.

In my mind, a bad day is looking back at what you did and thinking: "What a lazy, lazy day. All I did was lay around and eat."  That is an awful day.  Sometimes there are days when we need rest, but what about the days where we can do something and won't do it because we don't feel like it?

The temptations of the mind are ever so powerful.  More powerful than anything else.  And our mind governs our actions, because the source of our actions are our thoughts.

We are so constantly assailed by overwhelming problems that prohibit us to exist in a state of perfect bliss.  If only we could be like Bob Wiley and "take a vacation from our problems."

I feel that when I am in our church, worshiping God, listening to godly teaching, and fellow-shipping with other Christians, I have left behind the cares of the world.  True, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath... but I believe that the Sabbath is an escape from our corrupt world that allows us to glimpse a very small view of heaven.  We go to church, and we forget about everything but God.  God is foremost in our minds.  Everything we do is centered around him.  He is the sweet haven that we run to, he is our Rock that defends us, and to be his child is to be in perfect bliss.

A perfect day doesn't exist.  Perfection doesn't exist, except in Christ.  And yet, all the little odds and ends that make our day awful are actually what makes them perfect.  Because all those little things bring about the will of God, and because his will is perfect, so is the day.  But from our selfish perspective, we're not willing to trust that He's got it all figured out, and maybe it wasn't his plan for us to do everything we wanted to.

Submitting to God is a bitter sweet thing.  It is bitter because we leave behind the desire of the flesh... The things that we selfishly yearn for... But it is sweet because we leave behind sin, and accept God's perfect and absolute will.  It is sweet because we find refuge and protection in his sovereignty, for if we denied it, what would we rely on?

I've just been thinking about a lot of things lately, and when my thoughts come together like this I like to write them down here... tell me what you all think, and please give me your thoughts. :)

As a parting thought, upon reading the first sentence again, I am reminded of a wonderful quote by G.K. Chesterton: "Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to color on the ceiling with." You have to love the great thinkers...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of All The Extraordinary Places....

Home is the best.  I've realized that home isn't where your house is built, but where your family and loved ones are.  The great traveler Richard Halliburton loved to go to countries, and experience everything there is to experience... like sleeping on top of the Kheops, or sneaking into the gardens at the Taj Mahal for the night, or climbing the Matterhorn in the dead of winter... and he almost always rode first class on the train with a third class ticket.  But even he said that traveling only makes one appreciate one's home all the more - it makes him eager to be back home.  As astounding as foreign places are, as wonderful as they seem, everything is nothing compared to the warmth that exists within the family.  I suppose I am talking from personal experience, so please keep that in mind as I continue.

Dorothy, in all her adventures in Oz, though it was all exciting and wonderful, yet said in the end: "There's no place like home."  As awful as "the witch" (I forget her name before the dream) seemed, Dorothy was more than happy to go home, and find everything the same.

"Home is where the heart is."  It's true that the people we've grown up with, the people who have seen us through everything and have been there through all our failures and mistakes... not just the bad times but also the best times we have.  These are the people we know the best, and love the best, and where they are is where we long to be.  When my older brother left home to go work down in TX, and later in FL, I felt like one of my limbs had been torn out.  And how happy we were when he came home! What joyous, happy times! I wish they would always come back, but the fact that they won't makes the memories all the sweeter.

We went to London in September, as all of you saw by the posts I did while there.  And we missed home very much.  It was exciting and adventurous being in a different place... a country with history hundreds of years older than ours.  (Meaning that Jamestown was founded in 1607 and everything... though Columbus visited there in 1400's, and Vikings before that... there was hardly anything going on before the English came.) It was thrilling.  And today, I found myself wanting to go back.  There was so much we hadn't seen... but then I thought, there is so much we saw for real that a lot of people haven't seen.  We were blessed by that trip.  When we saw the moist atmosphere above North Carolina on our way home, I thought: "Ah, America.  How lovely to be home!"  And then Philadelphia... And all the security people smiled and said: "Welcome home."  And I thought... No matter where I go, nobody from that country will say "Welcome home" to me... Nobody who works in the airport and is a complete stranger.  Because that's not where I belong.  It's here, in my country, with my family, and as long as my family is together, as sappy as it sounds, there will always be joy.  And being together will help us all to get through anything.   If we ever moved, we would still all be together, so who cares where we are?  This is a huge conviction for me, especially since I don't like Cleveland all that much.  But in spite of it all, I am happy, and I do have my siblings, and both my parents... what cause have I to complain?

I love being home.  I love visiting places, and I love coming home and sleeping in my own bed.  It's one of the most wonderful things in the world.  I love coming home and talking with my dear family for long, long hours. (Well, I love doing that anyways, but there's something especially special about it when you come home.)  I just absolutely love it....

Oh, do you know that the BEST is??!!


Monday, December 7, 2009


 This is a poem I wrote late one night by a dying fire when I was supposed to be studying Newton's Law.  Well, what can you do when inspiration hits?

 There it is! I see it now!
My doom is inevitable!
A dark, dark wave surges on
It reaches high to the heavens
It stretches to the corners of the earth.
It rises from the depths of the sea
Behold! Doomsday! All will know judgement!
Surely, surely, we will perish!
We are fixed—we cannot move
Some terror grinds our feet to the earth.
Our minds are captive to the wave—
Ever coming—close and closer!
A veil of darkness shrouds the air
We cannot see—our sight is dimmed.
Our wits confounded, we think not right
Only one thing we comprehend—
Death! Darkness! Despair!
Sound the horn, ye vigilant saints!
Our doom is plunging on and on!
The Wave of Woe climbs high and higher
Feasting on all that crosses its path.
Yet as the wave has nearly reached us,
Its yawning mouth op’ning wide
A ray of hope invades our minds
Driving all evil before it.
Behold! A star shines brightly!
And as its light grows brighter still
We must cover our eyes—‘tis too brilliant
We are stricken with a new terror—
The terror of our King’s face!

He gives us strength to bear the sight —
To see him swallow up Death forever.
Clothed in robes of white so pure
Even the Wave quavers at the sight!
In his strong right hand a mighty sword
Sharp and flamed with light.
And in his left he holds a scroll
Behold! The scroll of Prophecy!
He speaks—His voice is terrible to hear—
His words scarcely less so!
But lo! He hath dominion over His Enemy!
O vigilant Saints, rejoice, be glad!
For our Lord has come to claim his Bride
The beautiful one he has chosen and saved
From Death, from eternal despair and death!
O sound the horn, ye vigilant Saints!
Lift high a glad song in the celestial city!
Blessed be our God, who hath spared us!
Never again will we live in fear and anxiety.
Never again will tears stain our shining faces.
Never again will we feel sorrow or pain.
For the Lord has swallowed up Death forever—
Let us hasten to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb!

Once Upon A Time, There Was The End

So I got thinking today... in some movies you might hear a line badly said that goes something like... Girl: "This is the end." Guy: "No, this is just the beginning." [End of movie.]  Okay, so maybe I haven't actually ever seen a movie like that, but I know that I've read it somewhere... People say: "The end... or rather, the beginning." But can the beginning of something have an end before it has begun to begin?  I found something comical in the whole idea... What if stories were written backwards?  "The End.  They got married. He visited her. Bobby met Sally.  Bobby was lonely.  Sally was lonely.  Once upon a time."

What if time was backwards?  For instance, what if, instead of growing older, we were growing younger?  If a building once built was old, but got younger just because it happened to be there when we were born? It's confusing, isn't it?  Wouldn't it be strange if there was no time at all?  If people ate when they were hungry, slept when they were tired, and worked when they were not doing the other two?  That would be an odd world.

"This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down."

[Gollum's riddle to Bilbo, from The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien] --if you don't know the answer to this, try and guess! leave your comments. :)

If there was no time, would we all live forever?  In heaven there is no time, but in Earth, we are bound by time. We must awake at a certain hour, be off to work at another, eat lunch between such and such a time, make sure dinner is on the table at this hour, you must get so many hours of sleep... and it all starts over.  And yet, this time during which we do pretty much the same things over and over again, is so filled with interesting things that we never truly experience something awful called monotony. The poor person who does encounter monotony during his journey through Life (or Time) must have so much taken out of his life in order to make it monotonous.  This is what his schedule would look:

[repeat]  He eats the same thing for Breakfast, the same thing for Lunch, and the same thing for Dinner.  At work he does the same thing.  When he sleeps he never dreams.  His imagination is dead, and a reality colder than real reality has seemed to grip his mind.  What a sad life!

There is no monotony (or there should not be) for a Christian.  Every day we are challenged in different and sometimes interesting ways.  We are every day seeking new ways to serve our King, and every day we wake and exclaim: "This is the day that the Lord has made - Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"  If an Intelligent Designer made the Earth with so much beauty and so many happenings in nature, how can a human, who is so much more beloved than the sparrow [Matthew 10:29-31], experience of a life of monotony while serving Him? It's really impossible.  Monotony implies boredom; dullness.  If we really find the Christian life so bored and dull, then something is seriously wrong with our relationship with Christ.

In case you were wondering, I didn't have anywhere I was going with this.  I was just writing down my train of thought as it came. :-)  Comment with any further ideas or comments or anything.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Family Vision

My Dear Friends and Blog Readers....

I was recently perusing a book William Wilberforce, A Hero For Humanity by Kevin Belmonte.  A few ideas struck me while reading this which coincide with something my daddy and I were discussing late last night.

William Wilberforce was a single man until 38.  He had always thought to remain a bachelor; however, when his cousin Henry Thornton got married, his "evident happiness" gave Wilberforce an excuse to think, and in a letter to a friend he quoted William Cowper (poet) saying that he 'began to wish "not to finish his life alone."'  He stated his thoughts to a good friend Thomas Babington, who knew of a beautiful young woman named Barbara Spooner.  He encouraged her to write to Wilberforce, and when Wilberforce "received her letter, he was charmed."  They met on April 15th, and were engaged by April 23rd of the same year (1797).  They were married by May 30th, he being 38, and she 20.  Within ten years they had six children.  Wilberforce, being a MP (Member of Parliament) for a seat in Yorkshire, was required to travel a great deal.  Making speeches in the House of Commons and his "Great Object" namely the "abolition of the slave trade" took up much of his time.  Being deeply involved in politics did not involve having leisure to sit at home by the fire reading a favorite book every evening.  But Wilberforce found time to write above 20 letters per day, and have at least 6 hours a day devoted to studying the works of great philosophers, historians, poets, and literary artists.  But he was often away from home....

One evening, when returning from one of his journeys, his youngest son was set on his lap.  The child was quite young, and began crying when his father held him.  Wilberforce, having the most tender heart, was anxious as to the cause of the child's distress, and the nursemaid informed him: "Oh, he has always been afraid of strangers."  Wilberforce was a passionate man... he loved his children and his wife tenderly.  His humane spirit is exhibited through the years of hard work that he put into the abolition of the slave trade, though obstacles like serious illness, weakness, poor eyesight etc constantly assailed him.  He always thought the best of people, and was determined, even when they hated him, to find something good about his worst enemies.  And so, we might imagine how hurt Wilberforce was when he perceived that he was as a stranger to his child.  His elder sons noted a determined change come over his face as if to say: "I shall not suffer this to continue." And he didn't.  He wrote to his friends telling them that he was resigning his seat for Yorkshire in order to "take a more active role in educating and rearing his children."

The Parliamentary seat for Yorkshire was a powerful one, and Wilberforce was a man of eloquence and persuasion... and yet, he gave all this up.  Why would he sacrifice this great opportunity, just because his small child regarded him as a stranger? Soon the young one would grow up to realize, like his elder brothers, that this is part of papa's life... it was part of the his life.  He must grow used to it.  Soon Wilberforce would not be a stranger anymore.  But the wise father saw that in order to develop a strong and firm Christian character in his children, and further to develop his own relationships with them, it was necessary to resign.  But this did not mean he was done politically... His brother in law offered him a "so-called safe seat in Parliament as MP for Bramber in Sussex."  This position was much less demanding, and so he could be involved in politics and yet spend all the time he wished with his family.

Wilberforce not only resigned from his seat in Yorkshire but he took upon himself the educating of his children.  In the evenings they would read together, and often they would go for walks in the morning during which he would discuss what his children had learned in their reading.  He developed firm relationships with his sons and daughters.  Wilberforce wrote over two hundred letters to one of his sons.  This was towards the end of his life, and only one child.  He was no less reserved in writing to his daughters and other sons.  Amid his social and political life, he yet found time to continue corresponding with his children on a daily basis!  Once he pleaded with his daughter to "let him be her best friend.... to not be afraid to open her heart to him."  She confessed in a reply that she sometimes felt a loneliness in her heart... a sort of emptiness.  Wilberforce was not ashamed to tell his daughter that upon reading this he wept for her.  This is the tender character of Wilberforce....

I realize that I've made y'all read all of this in order to get to the point.... :P

Over the years the family vision has decreased and changed, and now in our day and age, it has almost vanished, except for the precious few families who seek to live up to God's standards.  The family vision used to be that fathers would teach their children the law of God, and teach them to teach their children, who would teach their children, who would likewise teach their children.  Then you have this multi-generational vision of families faithfully serving the Lord.  But modern parents have been deficient in this respect.  Something called popular culture has taken the place of this vision.  Children rebel against their parents by listening to music, reading books and watching movies that do not honor God or the things their parents have taught them.  This distracts them from the vision that should be implanted in their minds, and their disobedience is not punished, which encourages them in the way their rebelliousness.

Most times it seems as though technology has taken the place of studying.  A pastor remarked that the reason there are not many well learned preachers is because when they come to seminary, they have hardly read a single thing beforehand.  Our current society is so caught up in popular culture and "what's hot" that it's become nearly impossible to see the family dream.

Fathers come home from a long day at work, but do they take the time they have to actively spend time with their children to teach them and develop relationships with them?  When a lot of fathers in our modern world come home, their children are in their rooms doing loads of homework, or messing around with their technology.  The father has things to do.  The mothers have their own things to go to or work on.  The kids are engaged in sports and activities with their friends that hardly any time is spent with their family. If such a life is continued down through the ages, how many generations do you think the family vision will last?

My point is, nothing will be implanted in childrens minds unless parents purpose to make time for their children.  Wilberforce did.  He was probably one of the busiest men his day, and yet look at the impact he had on his children!  I am not saying that just because you do this all your children will be Christians... It is true that each and every person must experience what Wilberforce called his "great change."  Each must acknowledge their state of depravity, and the fact that they're sinners, and that they need a Redeemer, and that God in his infinite grace sent one to atone for his people's sins. For "without blood there is no remission of sins."  But it is the parents job to teach their children, and when their children grow up and have families it will be their job to teach their children what their parents taught them.

John Piper said an interesting thing about Facebook.  It went something like this: "When we go to heaven, Facebook will be an excellent proof that there was time to read our Bibles and pray."  I am not against the idea of Facebook (seeing as I have one) but this quote made me think.  Every time I find myself heading to the computer, I try to stop and make myself think: "Is there something else that I should be doing? Something I haven't done yet?" Most times there is.   I think that getting into the habit of reading in place of being on the computer during free time is a good rule.  This will cut down on the time I waste on the computer, and it will also broaden my reading horizon.  I will be learning and gaining intelligence, and these things will cause my mind to think.  It will also free up more time to read my Bible and pray, which is by far the most important of all.

Technology and popular culture—and even the idea of age segregation—have all become preventives for children to learn the accurate law of God and His character.  Not just some sugared up version that most of the modern day churches preach about.  Our God is a God to be feared, a God to be worshiped, a God to be loved and honored and obeyed in every thing!  He is NOT something that passively sits in the heavens and watches what everybody's doin' down there.  God is also something else.  He is El Qanna.  This is the zeal that arises when sin threatens our relationship with God.  He is a jealous God, and he will not let sin reign over us.  Whenever we run from Him, he is faithful in chasing us down and returning us to Himself.

Apathy has replaced the zeal that fathers should feel for their children.  When their children are heading off in the wrong direction, how far do you think most father's go to try and bring them back?  How hard do you think they work before they give up?  Or do some not even try at all?  Is there such an apathy in their hearts that they don't even care where they child goes or what they do, how they spend their time and money?  Think, O think of Wilberforce: "I am not ashamed to say that I wept when I received this news [of his daughter feeling a loneliness in her soul at times.]"  There is such an absence of apathy there, there is such a presence of feeling and emotion that he felt for his daughter.  In modern day world, there is such an absence of feeling and emotion, replaced by apathy and ignorance.  The family vision has digressed radically.   It is next to meaningless to most families.  "Why should we care?" they ask.

Why should we?  How do we answer these people?  Because to us, the reason we care is because we have been faithfully taught by our fathers the law of God, and the importance therein.  We know and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and from there we find our life.  We desire to live our lives according to the law of God, and not the laws of a fallen and corrupt world.  We desire to shine like stars in the universe, and to be a credible witness to the gospel of our Lord.  This is why we care.  We care because we want to honor God, and this is honoring God, because it is obeying his commandments.  And how can they understand this if they have never been taught it?

Deuteronomy 6:1-9  says this:
"Now this is the commandment, the statues and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
 "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." [Emphasis added.]

I think we have a pretty clear picture of the Family Vision in this passage.  How accurately do you think families today follow this commandment?  How important do you think it is to them?  Perhaps children do matter to their parents, but maybe the parents' personal lives matter more.  This is self-centered.  But no one ever said raising a family would be easy.  It requires self-sacrifice, diligence, work, and sometimes even pain.  But the reward is satisfying.  Can you think of a greater reward than the pleasure of God?  Can you think of a worse punishment than his anger? 

My proposal is to reawaken the family vision... to thwart the ideas of popular culture, to defy the world, and return to honoring God by obeying the principles he sets down in the Bible.  To begin studying the Scriptures for a new way of living that honors and glorifies God.  For fathers to begin teaching their children in a God-glorifying manner, and for us children of the younger generation to not despise this teaching, but to treasure it... "Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head, and pendents for your neck." (Proverbs 1:8-9)

I pray that the passion in Christians to serve God, honor his commandments, and establish a firm family vision that will be passed down through the generations will be reawakened.

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart." (Proverbs 7:1-3)

Let us follow the example of William Wilberforce.  He went against the social standards of his day in raising his children.  Let us be passionate about truth, faithful in teaching our children, replacing apathy with enthusiasm, ignorance with knowledge, and folly with wisdom.

"...for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you desire cannot compare with her."  Let us seek to be wise, not in the the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God, following his standards, his rules, and his commandments only.  We will only be faithful to one God.