Tag Archives: Christianity

Turning Away from the Former Days

Today, I want to bring you a glimpse into the blog, Happy, Healthy, Holy Home. A blog written by our dear sister in the Lord, and young mother. I want to give you an idea of how she tackles our preconceptions to the ground and reminds us that God’s word is right, good and just.

Why the Former Days are Not Where we need to Focus our Sights

Turning away from former days | #R1616

In this article she is bringing to light our tendency to rely on “the good old days” as if they serve as a banner for what was right and good. But, we must be careful when doing such, because the former days may not be what we hype them up to be. When we, in the church, seek to rely on the old things, we miss that we live in the here and now. We may be missing that we are the church, not that we were the church. Jesus IS, today! We must work for today, because tomorrow isn’t promised, but yesterday is gone.

When we seek to rely on what the church was, how things were in the “good old days” we may tend to belittle, exclude, or push aside those who are young. If we do this, we may be pushing them aside, quenching their desire to work for the Lord. We should rather, seek to encourage, uplift, and work alongside them both as teachers and servants, turning aside from the former days and turning to the here and now, embracing the church of today, bringing praise to God today.

Turning away from former days | #R1616

They Weren’t the Good Old Days [Lessons from Haggai]

Below is a preview of Chantelle’s article posted at Happy, Healthy, Holy Home. To read the post in its entirety please click over to read all that this beautiful sister in the Lord is bringing to light on His behalf.

Ah, the “good ol‘ days,” when tea was cheaper, people were nicer, and nothing bad ever happened. I think every young person has had to sit and listen while those older than them tell them how terrible things are now, how wonderful things were in the past, and how they will never be that good ever again. Everything was better then.

There is no point in arguing. Those days were the best, and they will never be that way ever, ever again… or so we are told.

In my youthful naivety, I used to believe what they said. I believed that the youth today just didn’t care as much anymore. I believed that the church was dying. I believed in the depravity of the present. I believed that the past growth was unable to be replicated.

But I don’t believe that anymore. In fact, I have come to believe that this attitude of pining for the past and putting down the future is one of the very problems we have with moving forward and experiencing church growth today, and I believe I have the Bible’s backing for my beliefs.

There is a verse that every person needs to hear, young and old:

“Say not, “What is the cause that the former days were better than these?” for you do not ask wisely concerning this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

Solomon was an old man full of regret. If he were to look back, he could definitely say that the past was better for him, yet he said that this was an unwise thing to do. To paraphrase, he says, “It’s foolishness to talk about the “good old days.”

But why is it so unwise to dwell upon the “good old days? Well, when you look back and wish for the good old days, you have a number of problems that you face (as outlined by my amazing husband):

It wasn’t as good as you remember. You remember one thing, but the reality is in fact that those days were far, far different from what you remember. It’s like when you live overseas and dream of the food back home, then when you get back and eagerly order your first dish, it just isn’t quite right. Hindsight is not completely 20/20. It’s seen through rose-coloured glasses.

Even if it was as good as you remember, it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t change your present situation. It can never be that way again. If you look backwards instead of forwards, you will never be able to grow as God has asked you to.

It is very likely the failings of the past that have led to the problems of the present. Okay, so those days may have been good, but there must have been something lacking for the next generation to be “so bad.” As small but important things get neglected over time, things change for the worse.

Dwelling on “the good old days” gets you nowhere. When you look back, you miss the beauty and opportunities that are right in front of you. As long as you are looking backwards, you will never see the opportunities you have today to further the Lord’s cause.

by Chantelle Swayne Read the rest it only gets better.

Have you met, either online or in real life, our dear sister Chantelle Swayne? She is a young mom to a gorgeous new baby boy. She is from Australia, married to an American, and together they are serving as missionaries in Singapore. I ask if you’ve met her online because that’s where I’ve been privileged to meet her, although I’m hoping that this summer I will be meeting her at PTP.

She is bravely, boldly even, serving the Lord both in Singapore and online. She writes on her blog Happy, Healthy, Holy Home, tackling the roles of womanhood, motherhood, wife-hood, and most especially Christianity. She is sharing the truth from God’s word in every aspect of her life. She inspires me, and spurs me on with her joy, and dedication to her work.

That’s why I wanted to be sure you knew about her. If you are a sister in the Lord, I urge you to pop over and be encouraged by her yourself. You might find yourself challenged. You might find yourself looking within and asking yourself some hard questions. But, you will soon discover that it’s right and good to reflect on your heart and learn, grow and draw closer to the Lord as Chantelle encourages you to do so.

Follow Chantelle on Facebook: Happy, Healthy, Holy HomeHappy Healthy Holy Home

Team Member – Renée


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Undeserved Service

When Service Looks Unimaginable

unimaginable Service

Our roles in the body are complex. We have many parts to play. Learning to prioritize our roles can sometimes be a daunting task. But, perhaps, only because we make it so.

1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints”.

If we simply obey His word, put first things first and follow where He leads, we can’t go wrong.

We are called to be obedient to Christ, to worship our Father through Christ, to honor our roles in our families. Husbands are to be the head of the wife in love, wives as submissive to husbands, loving our children and being keepers of the home. Within the church we are to be submissive to our elders, working with our deacons, hospitable, loving and kind in fellowship within the body. In the world we are called to be lights of Christs love to others speaking truth in love.

For some the call to serve is in the mission field, for others it is in the local congregation and still for others it remains in the home training up children for their future service of the King. But, what if the place you are called to doesn’t at all look like what you imagined it would look like?

Lisa Smith from the blog Quirks and Chaos shares her thoughts on service when it doesn’t look like what you may have thought it would. Be sure to click See More to read through the entire post. It is a beautifully written post from the heart of a mother.

What did I do to deserve this?

Originally posted on Quirks and Chaos, Thursday, January 9, 2014 by Lisa Smith

What did I do to deserve a kid with special needs?
What did I do to deserve a kid that cannot express himself well enough to have a conversation?
What did I do to deserve a kid who cannot reciprocate my feelings of love?
What did I do to deserve a kid who can only think literally, a kid who never “gets” a joke, a kid who can never think “outside the box” or understand an idiom unless it is explained to him?
What did I do to deserve a kid that cannot empathize or sympathize with others, a kid who will never be able to see someone else’s perspective?

 See More…

Undeserved Blesssings

The Lord knows our hearts, after all He created it. He knows what we are capable of and where we can best serve within the body. He knows how we can best be of service to others and in what ways we can be glorify Him more than we know ourselves. He places us in just the right place and circumstances at just the right time. All He asks of us is a willing heart to be obedient to His will in our lives. Lisa understands this and chooses to see joy in the service of her King, even when it isn’t what she deserves.

Lisa SmithLisa Smith is a minister’s wife and the mother of seven children ranging in ages nine to twenty-five.  Lisa is a graduate of Harding University and writes Bible class material for Hanna Publications.   Her blog called “Quirks and Chaos” allows Lisa to share her experiences in parenting her two youngest children who have special needs.  Her readers are both entertained and educated as they discover what it means for a family to live with autism and ADHD.

~This Post Written by Team Member: Renee Brown


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Fixing our Eyes upon God

Encouragement for Times of Reflection and Prayer

Times of Struggle

As we seek to dedicate our lives in service to the LORD, we often find ourselves dwelling in the here and now. We get caught up in the struggles of this life and can lose sight of our goal.

Maybe you have been reading these articles of encouragement for service and thinking that right now is just not the right time, or that you are struggling just to make it through one day with your current responsibilities, so how can you add additional ones of service to others.

We at R16:16 want to say, it’s o.k. and we understand. We all go through periods of struggles, these are times when we are called to lean upon the Lord. In Christ’s ministry there were times when he was among the people serving as well as times when He was prayerful. Perhaps this is your time to be prayerful.

1 Timothy 2:5

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”

You are not alone. You have a mediator with the Father,here on earth, became a man, and experience all points of temptation just as we do. So He stands at the ready with God, mediating on our behalf. He knows there are times of prayer and reflection and times of service and teaching, and so do we. 

Amy blogs at “Why Amy Smiles.” She too knows what it’s like to be in a place of struggle. She wants to encourage you as well. The following is an excerpt from her blog. Be sure to link through to see more and read her entire article. It is an excellent reminder that when we are in the valley, we should look up to the Father for peace and comfort.

Out With the Old

Originally posted: Jan. 2 2013 at Why Amy Smiles
All Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible

2013 is done and gone. And frankly, I’m glad to see it go. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this past year has been one of the worst years of my life. But in addition to making one miserable, having a rotten year can also be an excellent and effective teacher. Here are three lessons I’ve learned:
First, I’ve learned to love the Psalms. They say misery loves company, and there is something very comforting about having someone else pour out his heart in words I can’t seem to find in mine. Just listen to a few of the many verses of the Psalms I’ve relied on this past year:
 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul. (94:19)
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them. (34:7)
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (73:2, 23-24, 26)
Use this time of reflection and pray for strength, knowledge and wisdom. Find comfort in God’s scriptures and allow Him to lead your heart to the place where once again you can find the call of service.
Amy AlbersAmy is a minister’s wife who lives in Texas and spends her days homeschooling her four kids. She believes there is always a reason to smile, but that sometimes you have to look really hard to find it. She usually has way too many irons in the fire, but thanks God daily for her full, busy life.
~ Article written by Team Member Renee Brown

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Virtuous Servant

Are you a Willing Participant in the Service of Our King

Willing Servant
Are you a virtuous servant? Do you lovingly, willingly set to the work of a servant? Or, do you grumble and complain each time the deacon comes to ask if you can help with____. Maybe you don’t actually grumble. But, in your heart/mind do you think, “Why doesn’t he get someone else, he always comes to me.”

We humans can get so caught up in our selves that we often forget that as Christians we are in communion with the Spirit of God. He knows our hearts, minds and attitudes. When we are asked to serve do we do it gladly as to the Lord?

This month, we encourage you to prayerfully consider how you are presenting your gifts of service to the Father. Listen truly to your heart and determine for yourself if you are a loving, willing participant in the service of our King.

10 Questions to Consider When Called to Service

  1. When asked to be of service do I grumble within my own heart?
  2. When acts of service are announced, do I willingly volunteer to fill any needed role?
  3. When I see something that needs to be done, do I wait to be asked, or do I jump in and serve the LORD?
  4. Do I look for someone else to pass the buck to, or do I receive the task gladly?
  5. Am I willing to receive instruction on how the task is to be performed, or do I only do it my own way?
  6. Do I think my way is better?
  7. Do I feel, even a little, superior because I get asked the most?
  8. How would I feel if a role I normally fulfill were suddenly given to someone else?
  9. Do I look at the service of others, elders, deacons, evangelists, teachers, etc., and think “I wish they would just… .” 
  10. Do I avoid certain people in the body for fear of being asked to do something that I may not want to do?

We talk often about the various roles that the virtuous woman played as found in Proverbs 31. We often overlook the foundational attitude with which she lived her life.

Today we are visiting with Ashlynfrom Consider the Lilies. She sought to look into the heart of the woman who Lemuel’s mother praised to see what led her to be so virtuous.

Serve Christ

Originally posted on Consider the Lilies by Ashlyn Bailey

(Pro 31:29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

The virtuous woman excelled. That is, after all, what she strived for. But what made her surpass others? Her attitude! She had the heart of a servant. In all that she did her main goal and desire was to please God! As a Christian we must become servants of Christ!

(John 12:27) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

How do we serve Him? By following Him, obeying his commands.

(John 14:15) If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Obey just the commandments that are convenient to us? Or just the ones that we think are a good idea? No, we must obey all His commands!

 Ashlyn and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 5 years. She is currently an expectant mother. They worship with the Union church of Christ in Somerville, AL. Ashlyn enjoys writing and is a blogger at Consider the Lilies. She takes her title from Luke 12:27-40 She writes about biblical womanhood, stewardship & homemaking.
~ Article Written by R16:16 Team Member, Renee Brown

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A Servant of the Lord

Submitting to the Will of God

Servant of the Lord

A simple yet powerful statement is uttered in Luke 1:38* by Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is spoken after she has been told by the angel, Gabriel, that she will have a son – the Savior of the world! Mary responded,

Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

What does it mean to be a servant of the Lord? The word Mary actually used comes from the feminine form of the Greek word doule meaning “bondservant” or “slave” and is usually translated “handmaid” or “maidservant”. Mary was indicating that she was not performing some casual service for the Lord, or serving Him when and if she felt like it or when it was convenient or appealing to her. Rather, Mary’s choice of word indicated she was dedicating all of herself to the Lord; that His will would always trump her own and be carried out faithfully because she was in total submission to Him.

God calls us throughout the scriptures to be His servants.

Deuteronomy 10:12*

“…what does the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul”.

Joshua issued this challenge which resounds today

Joshua 24:15

choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

Jesus informs Satan in…

Matthew 4:10

“…It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve”.

And the apostle Paul appeals to the Roman brethren.

Romans 12:11

“not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”.

In so serving God, we are also called to serve others.

Galatians 5:13

“…through love serve one another”.

I Peter 4:8-10 tells us that,

Above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, (ESV says “use it to serve one another”) as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Reflecting Service

Mary’s statement reflects a heart dedicated to the Lord, a willing attitude and love for Him that rose above her own wants, needs, and even fears. What faith she displayed and what a fine example of godly womanhood she is to us today.

May each one of us exemplify that same faith and dedication to our Lord and boldly say like Mary,

“I am the servant of the Lord.”

(This article is adapted from “A Servant of the Lord” from the book, “Heart to Heart – Devotional Thoughts for Women” by Heather Pryor, Pryor Convictions Media.) 

* All Scripture taken from the New King James Version, except where indicated.

~ Guest Post by Heather Pryor

Heather Pryor

Heather Pryor is a minister’s wife and homeschooling mother of three. She and her husband, Paul started a family business in 2013 called Pryor Convictions Media. They sell a Bible curriculum series for families and churches called “Growing Up in God’s Word” which Heather authored as well as other books for women, teens and children and audio CD’s of Bible stories for children. Many more books, CD’s  and a DVD series are in development. The purpose of their books and media products is to help build faith in families and encourage all ages to dig deeper into the word of God and live a life of faith and service to Him. Heather has homeschooled for twenty years and will graduate her youngest in 2015. In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking, and sipping cups of Earl Grey tea. She resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.


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In the Sowers Spotlight: Maidservants of Christ

Sending forth Christ’s Message of Unity

In our current spotlight we are featuring Maidservants of Christ.

Blogging about God's Truth

This blog is a collaborative blog by two friends Helene and Melissa. They met when Melissa started dating the best friend of Helene’s husband, she eventually married him.

Melissa now lives in Tennessee and is the mother of 3 children. Helene lives with her husband and 2 children, whom she is homeschooling, in Asia where they teach English as a second language.

While these sisters in the Lord live on opposite sides of the planet they are working collaboratively, along with occasional input from another friend, Jane, to bring focus on unity in Christ. They seek to encourage women in the word. They seek to be examples to other women that God’s desire is for us to be one in Christ and not divided by petty differences. Their goal is to provide a safe place on the web where women can discuss the truth of the word regardless of spiritual backgrounds so that they can turn the focus to Christ and his word.

Philippians 4:2-3 (NKJV)

 “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And  I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

Just as the Apostle Paul encouraged these women from the congregation at Philippi, so too does Helene and Melissa seek to tell the truth with no sugar-coating, but in much love for souls.

Women's Blog for God's Truth

It isn’t always easy to reach out to others. It isn’t always easy to speak truth even when the truth leads souls to heaven. In a world where so many people deem that they have the right to seek their “own” truth opening the word in such a public was as a blog c

an be very uncomfortable. Yet that is the very goal of these sisters who are dedicated to honestly sharing the word, revealing Christs forgiveness of their own sin, and the promise the He has given through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.


How can you help?

  • Visit Melissa, Helene and Jane on their blog, Maidservants of Christ, and join in the conversation on their regular posts.
  • Pray for each of them in the work they are doing with their families and on each side of the world in the communities in which they live.
  • Pray for the work they are doing to seek and save the lost souls who may happen to land on their web page, or those who also are regular followers.
  • Pray for their courage to be strengthened and that they will speak with all boldness of spirit, knowing that they are seeking a greater good for the lives of their readers.

Acts 4:31

“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
~ This post written by Team Member Renee Brown
**Photos are not actual representation of the two bloggers mentioned in the article.

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Elevating Homemaking to its Rightful Place

Home is where Hearts are Shaped for Eternity

Homemaking is Holy

I washed the dishes with a huff and a sigh, feeling grumpy and anxious about all the other (more important) things I needed to do.

The look on my face must have given me away because my husband asked, “Do you even like being a homemaker?”

My heart sank.

I felt crushed. But it was obvious that my displeasure had been clearly visible for quite some time.

The sad part was, I did like being a homemaker, but had fallen into the trap of busy and piled so much on my plate that I no longer found much joy in anything, only stress and worry.

Preparing meals had become an after thought and inconvenience; why did people have to get hungry?!

Cleaning was something that also made me crazy. I had deadlines to meet!

If the kid’s bedtime dragged on too long I began to feel antsy.

There was just so much to do and not enough time to do it.

My husband’s question was a wake up call of sorts. I began to reflect on how I was spending my time, and more importantly, how I was thinking.

I’d forgotten that homemaking is holy and that home is a mission field.

Besides weeding out the things that were keeping me unnecessarily busy, I needed to renew the view I had of myself as a homemaker. The tasks at hand in this time of life were of no less value than those trekking across the world as missionaries.

Homemaking is holy.

Elevating Homemaking

Every dish washed is an act of service to God and to our family.

Our daily sacrifice of self is a fragrant aroma, pleasing to the Lord.

Home is where hearts are shaped for eternity and a dedicated mother can change the world.

The homemaker who focuses on cultivating a warm and loving place for her family, is not only raising future generations, but impacting those around her. The love and faithfulness she has for her family shines a light for Christ.

So, why am I telling you this embarrassing story?

I’m telling you because I want to remind you of the value of homemaking. If you’re finding that homemaking is merely a back seat project in your life and really more of an annoyance than anything, perhaps it’s time to rethink things a little.

I’m not suggesting you do everything yourself or that you can only cook and clean all day long, I just want to encourage you to make room for homemaking. View your position as a homemaker as the valuable role it is.

Elevate homemaking to it’s rightful place, a holy place, an act of worship and obedience. 

Give yourself to homemaking and it just might bring you the joy and satisfaction you’ve been seeking.

Stacy KThis guest post is written by Stacy. She is the wife of a preacher and homeschool mom of three kids. She blogs at A Delightful Home where she shares tips on natural living with God at the center.


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The Home and Family

Improving Family, One Video at a Time

Couple watching video

On the Truth For The World YouTube channel (TFTWTV), we have videos about the Holy Spirit, Calvinism, kings of the Bible, etc.  But the most-viewed video of 2013, so far, is Words To Live By: Home and Family – “Being  a Good Husband or Wife.”  In fact, 5 of the top 10 videos so far this year are from the “Home and Family” series of our TV program Words To Live By.  People are apparently interested in the home and family.

While we can’t read people’s minds about why they are viewing the videos, we would like to think that they are looking to improve their own family, and they are turning to God’s word to learn how to do it.

We all want a good family life and we already know that we need to follow God’s word in order to have it.  But carelessness, apathy, or a false sense of security will allow us to make mistakes, neglect the home or not defend it against attacks.  Any one of these may have devastating effects on the home and family.

We need to define our family as God’s word defines it.  We need to constantly be evaluating ourselves within a marriage to see if we are fulfilling our roles properly.  We need to be watchful for attacks against our home and family.  In fact, we need to be holding God’s word up to ourselves constantly as a father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, or whatever to see how we are measuring up and how we need to improve.

James 1:22-25 states,

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Would this not also apply to us as we fulfill our roles in the home and family?

As mentioned before, our TV program Words To Live By produced a series on the “Home and Family.”  In doing so, we grouped our programs under three main subcategories.

  1. Plan – What was the original plan for the home and family?  What did God intend it to be like?  What is God’s definition for a family?  The programs in this category were:
    1. “In The Beginning”
    2. “Marriage”
    3. “The Marriage Vow”
    4. “Marriage and the Song of Solomon”
    5. “Blessings of a Christian Home”
    6. “The Value of a Great Family”
  2. Roles – What are the different roles we are to have within the home?  What are the responsibilities we have to God and to other members of our family?  The programs in this section were:
    1. “God’s Need for Men”
    2. “A Worthy Woman”
    3. “Being a Good Husband or Wife”
    4. “Husbands, Love Your Wives”
    5. “Wives, Love Your Husbands”
    6. “Children’s Responsibilities to Parents/Parents’ Responsibilities to Children”
    7. “What Have They Seen in Thy Home?”
  3. Threats – What are the different attacks against the home and family?  What should we do about them?  How can we avoid the breakdown of the home?  The programs in this category were:
    1. “Threat of Worldliness on the Home”
    2. “Movements That Affect the Home”
    3. “Attacks Against the Home”
    4. “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage”
    5. “1 Corinthians 7”
    6. “What Broken Homes Do to Children”
    7. “Reasons for Unfaithfulness”
    8. “What David Did Not See From His Rooftop”
    9. “How to Avoid the Breakdown of the Home”
    10. “Will the Home as God Would Have it Survive?”

Surely our programs would not address every scenario that might be experienced in a home or family.  But the idea was to use the Bible to offer Words To Live By.  Those words would then be able to guide people as they addressed their own situation.

In reality, many of the problems that we face today regarding the home and family would probably disappear if we would simply go to God’s word on these three areas and obey it.

Think about the plan God had for the home and family.  If we would follow God’s word, would there even be such a debate in the United States today about what really constitutes a family?  Would we have those dictating to us to accept homosexuality under the false illusion of “tolerance”?

What if we each filled our roles in the family and carried out our responsibilities?  If wives submitted themselves to their husbands and showed them respect and care how much adultery would there be in marriages?  If husbands loved their wives just as much as Christ loved the church, would women rebel against their leadership or try to run the home?

Roles in Family

What if we prepared against the inevitable attacks of the world and Satan against the home and defended our families?  What worldly influences would be eliminated from our family?  What evil trends in society would not even make it into our home?  What sins would not be allowed to destroy or even disrupt our family?  What falsehoods would not pull our children away from God and the church?

We all think about how to live the Christian life, but how much of living that Christian life involves how we act and interact within our family?  In other words, if we will turn to God’s word and improve our obedience of its commands regarding the home and family, would we not also greatly improve a significant portion of our Christian walk?  And would not stronger, more Christian families also improve the church which we attend?  And would not generations to come be blessed by our faithfulness?  The reminder that we are only one generation away from apostasy might be appropriate here.

Judges 2:10

“And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”

Let us not seek out our own design for the family, but rather follow God’s plan.  Let us not decide how we wish the family to function but have the courage and sacrificial love to follow God’s appointed roles and responsibilities.  Let us not be lethargic or careless but instead prepare for attacks against the home and defend our family with every ounce of strength we have.

Our TV programs, Words To Live By: Home and Family are at your disposal to aid you in improving your Christian walk and strengthening your home and family.  They may be found on our YouTube channel by going here or searching for “TFTWTV” on .  They may also be viewed on our “Truth For The World” channel on Roku devices, or on our own website here:

 (All verses used are from the King James Version)

Submitted by: Truth For The World

Truth for the World is a global evangelism effort of the church of Christ using media and personal ministries. The work is overseen by the church of Christ at Duluth, Georgia.


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Training Up A Servants Heart

Into the Love of ChristGirl and mother

In our world, not too many people want to be servants. Somehow most people think they are above that. Even those who work in the service industry often talk about getting out and doing better. So it should come as no surprise when our children balk at the role of servitude.

Being a servant requires giving up self. From the earliest of ages self is our main focus in life. To overcome self, takes training, practice and a willing heart. That is true of our children also. We can’t simply expect them to wake up one day and decide to be servants. Rather, we must set the example, the teaching and the love for them to follow into their adulthood.

Helene, one of our sisters at Maid Servants of Christ, recently met this challenge head on with her little girl. Often it’s in the moment of sheer rebellion that we make our biggest mistakes in training up. Helene however used the opportunity to lovingly and tenderly teach her daughter, setting memories and training at the forefront of her daughters heart. See how by reading the snippet of her article here then clicking over at the See More prompt to read the entire article.

A Servant In My House

by Helene at Maid Servants of Christ

“I am not a servant in this house!”  That is what my five-year old emphatically declared when I asked her to take out the trash.  She hates that job above all others.  Have you ever seen someone under 4 feet tall try to put on her shoes, hold the trash bag and never let go of her nose?  It’s a sight.
 Garbage bag
I took the trash from her hand, snagged a nearby stool with my foot and sat down with her on my lap.

See more

Featured Post Author: Helene 
Helene is one of the maids at  A blog written by 3 friends, Helene, Melissa and Jane. Helene lives abroad with her husband and two young daughters.  A graduate from Harding University, she’s a college-level ESL teacher.
~~ R16:16 Article written by team member Renee

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Gimme Shelter

Biblical Sheltering of Homeschool Children


Our family began homeschooling for purely academic reasons. Our local school district is consistently the worst in the county, and I knew that I wanted more for my children than that so we chose to homeschool. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, the religious aspects of homeschooling never entered into the decision. Like all choices, though, there were unexpected benefits besides personalized, academic rigor. Obviously being able to add in our Christian beliefs was a huge one, but being able to shelter our children has proven to be a blessing I never imagined.

In our culture the context of sheltering someone is almost always viewed negatively. Saying that someone is sheltered brings to mind a person with no common sense, no idea of how the real world works, and they are stunted in their growth into adulthood because of it. However the Biblical view of sheltering is totally different. As homeschoolers we have the unique opportunity to prevent the cultural view of sheltering and provide the Biblical view.

Providing Biblical Sheltering

In the Bible, sheltering is almost always used in the context of protection or safety, and it is something to be sought and desired.

“For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock”. (Psalm 27:5, ESV)

There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” (Isaiah 4:6, ESV)

When you are a homeschooler you are in the blessed position of being able to shelter your children from worldly forces. To give them a place of safety and protection from the evil that is around them. You are able to provide a place for them to learn without hearing teaching that is contrary to your faith. You are able to associate with other children whose family values are aligned with yours. You are able to build up their defenses where they are weak and encourage their strengths without outside influences that might be contrary to those goals.

Soldiers with American Flag in Parade

When a young man or young woman decides to join the Army, they are immediately “sheltered” by them. They are given clothing, food, housing, and training. All of this is done for one end goal: to prepare them for battle. They are removed from the general population and given focused, intense training so that if they are ever faced with combat they know how to react instinctively. When you homeschool, you are pulling your child out of the general population to train them spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and academically for life. You are sheltering them and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you…

Prevent Cultural Sheltering

If you homeschool, you’ve probably been asked if your children will turn into one them. What are they? Socially awkward children, or what some in society calls “Weird kids”  You know, a child that may be a little different than all the other kids. On one hand I fervently hope that my children will be weird and different than other kids their age, especially when it comes to their morality and Christian walk. On the other hand, I want them to be prepared for life on their own and a faith of their own. I don’t want them to be crippled because I homeschooled them. An interesting phenomenon about these supposed “weird kids” though, is that they can be found anywhere, even in the public or private school systems. Homeschoolers do not have the monopoly on different!

I am determined to make sure that my children are prepared for life. I want them trained in how to defend their faith (1 Peter 3:15). I want them to learn how to be a godly husband or wife, how to take care of the home and their children, how to be a leader in the home, how to submit, how to respect. I want them to have the practical skills of being able to fill out a job application and go on job interviews. I want them to know how to budget, how to grocery shop for healthy, filling foods, how to figure interest, how to do basic home and automotive repairs, how to garden, etc. I want them to have the skills to find information that they need, to read a map, to carry on conversations eloquently and knowledge-ably, and to deal with bullies and mean girls (these groups exist into adulthood as well!). Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Notice that idolizing entertainers, watching ungodly television shows and movies, listening to demeaning and demoralizing music, or reading inappropriate and trashy novels doesn’t even make the list. I don’t consider the fact that my daughter knows nothing about Miley Cyrus’ recent dance move debacle to be a “sheltering” problem, but a benefit.

Unfortunately the ability to do all of these things is not necessarily learned based on where your child is educated. I have met far too many teenagers and young adults that cannot do most of the things on this list and most of them were not homeschooled. These things are expected to be taught by parents not schools.

The Marriage of Providing and Preventing

            When you homeschool you are able to marry the concepts of Biblical sheltering and cultural sheltering in a beautiful relationship. You provide a safe, protected environment to learn how to manage life, faith, and family. We’ve already had to deal with bullies and mean girls, but we were able to hold off on dealing with it until third grade when my oldest was able to understand what was happening and what her response should be. We’ve dealt with science and history books whose viewpoints we don’t agree with, but I was able to present those things to my children when I chose to do so because I knew that they were ready to handle it without compromising their growing faith in God. There are still some topics that I’ve not presented to my children because I know they are not ready for them.

The beauty of the homeschooling lifestyle is that for the most part my husband and I get to make those choices. We get to make those decisions. We get to decide when to open the shelter of our family and deal with ugly, sinful things. The blessing of homeschooling is that my children are protected from having to deal with bullies until they have the tools to do so. They are protected from having to hear false academic teachings until they are grounded in the truth. They are safe from sinful social issues until we decide to explain those things to them.

However, that is not to say that parents whose children are in the public or private school setting cannot raise children who are able to do all of the things I have outlined above, but it will be more difficult. You have very little control over what your children will hear from classmates or what will happen in a school setting. Your children are enlisted in the army and immediately sent into battle. Your children are involved in on-the-job training! I pray that all Christian parents work diligently with their children when it comes to raising them in the Lord. Parenting is such a hard job.

I feel blessed that for our family homeschooling gives us the opportunity to shelter them in the Lord until they are ready to be unleashed on the world and ready for battle. So the next time someone tells you that your children will be sheltered because you homeschool them, smile really broadly, and give them a genuine, “We hope so!

Today’s post is written by Chelli Guthrie from The Planted Trees.

Chelli is wife to her “preacher man” they live and work in Texas. She has a degree in secondary history education but has chosen to homeschool their 3 children. She writes regularly on her blog The Planted Trees, and shares about their life, family recipes and their homeschooling journey,  You can follow Chelli on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Encouragement, Faithfulness, Family, Guest Post, Homeschool


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