Our family--Christmas, 2008

Our family--Christmas, 2008

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thoughts from Talk at FPEA--"When Jesus Waits...What Can We Learn From His Silence?"

My secret desire in speaking at homeschool conventions is to be able to get up and share the secret of my "success", or give the talk that starts with "How to...". That certainly didn't happen this past weekend in Florida. Rather, I distinctly felt God tugging on my heart by His Spirit, to speak openly and honestly about some of our challenges, so great at times, it really does seem that Jesus is silent.

Luke 24 reminds us, though, that while Jesus' death prevailed in the minds of His followers and He was kept from being recognized by them on the road to Emmaus, it didn't change the reality that Jesus was right there with them. He had triumphed over the grave, and at just the right moment, He chose to reveal Himself to His followers as the risen, victorious Lord.

Over the years, the Lord has had a different plan for me when speaking to homeschoolers at the state conventions I've been at. Instead of showing homeschooling moms how to do it all, He's asked me to be a model of brokenness and dependency on Him.

This is a good place to be, mind you, for I firmly believe that God receives glory when we make much of Him, rather than much of ourselves. His trustworthiness is so great that I can't help but glory in Him. That doesn't mean, however, that the path He leads us on is going to be easy. Rather, He often chooses to build our trust in His trustworthiness by letting us feel our inadequacy, our need, our desperation for His help and sustaining power at times to show us just how much He truly can be depended upon.

I would rather be tossed about in a small boat in the midst of a storm if Jesus is with me there, than bask in the summer sunshine by the side of a refreshing pool on my recliner while sipping cold lemonade.

That takes courage for me to say, because there are days when I say, "O Lord, I sure would love the latter right about now." Help me not to believe for a single moment that there is any better place to be than with You--Your love, Your grace, Your presence mean more to me than ANY other place without You!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tracy to Speak at the FPEA Convention, May 22-23, 2009

In conjunction with doing two workshops on parenting teens, I put together a list of recommended reading for parents to assist them in this high calling from the Lord.

Our primary goal as parents of teens isn't to control outward behavior, but to draw out the hearts of our young people and help them see God's standards and where they may have strayed; to encourage them to follow His Word and ways, and to affirm expressions of genuine faith and trust in the Lord.

When we take the time to listen well, ask good questions, and pursue our children out of our love for them, they will be more inclined to hear what we have to say as we point them to God's Word.

There are some really excellent books that can help us with this task. Below are a few we highly recommend:

1. Age of Opportunity, Paul David Tripp
2. Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
3. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, Gary Chapman
4. Preparing for Adolescence, Dr. James Dobson
5. Discover Your Children's Gifts, Don and Katie Fortune
6. Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, Paul David Tripp
7. Not Even a Hint, Joshua Harris
8. The Ministry of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson
9. Speaking Truth in Love, David Powlison
10. I Kissed Dating Good-bye, Joshua Harris
11. Girl Talk--Mother/Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood, Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
12. Relationships, A Mess Worth Making, Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp
13. Idols of the Heart, Learning to Long for God Alone, Elyse Fitzpatrick
14. Worldliness, Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, edited by C.J. Mahaney
15. Don't Waste Your Life, John Piper

We believe all of the above books are not only relevant to raising teens, but offer sound biblical wisdom and insight into the power of the gospel to transform our hearts and sustain us as believers to run the race of faith in a way that brings glory to God! God bless you!