March 2007


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Just a quick picture of my family as we walked down Main Street in downtown LaGrange, Kentucky.  Wish we were closer to see you all.  We would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and catch up.  May God bless you and your family today.

three1.jpgThe Greek word for discipline is gumnazo, from which we get the word gymnasium.  Gumnazo means to exercise or train.  Lou Priolo says that when we train our children for the purpose of godliness we should use the Gumnazo Principle which maintains the fact that you haven’t disciplined a child properly until you have brought him to the point of repentance by requiring him to practice the biblical alternative to the sinful behavior.  He says, “Biblical discipline involves correcting right behavior, with the right attitude, for the right reason, until the right behavior becomes habitual.”  In commenting on Priolo’s words, Ginger Plowman in her book “Don’t Make Me Count to Three!” goes on to say, “After rebuking the child for being disrespectful, have him go back to the scene of the crime and practice communicating the right way by using the appropriate words and tone of voice.”

What’s your reaction to this principle of child-rearing?  Do you practice this at home?  My wife and I fall short so often in this area but by God’s grace I’m brought back to the cross and I hope that’s where my children are brought to as well.  

“Jesus knows that the strength of the flesh will at times make us do what both He and we know is not in our hearts to do.  For that, there is forgiveness and a chance to start fresh every day.  I’m done beating myself up and I’m done letting the enemy beat me up.”  (Journal Entry- April 5, 1990 — Dave Busby)

istock_000000357240small_child_crying_11.jpgMost of you know my wife and I recently had a miscarriage.  We have experienced a great deal of pain as we mourn the loss of our little one.  In the midst of this pain we also have found peace as we look towards the promises of God in Scripture and know that the hope of heaven is certain and we will one day see our child there.

Last night God brought to my mind a sermon by J.C. Ryle called “No More Crying.”  He wrote this sermon especially for children who go through suffering with his main text being Rev. 21:4 which says, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”

These were his three main points:

I. There is a place where there is a great deal of crying.   (The world in which we live)
II. There is a place where there is nothing but crying.   (Hell)
III. There is a place where there is no crying at all.   (Heaven)

These three points are very helpful in sharing the gospel with children (as well as adults) in light of the pain and crying we experience in this world.  I would greatly recommend reading the sermon in its entirety.  You can find it (along with other addresses to children) in J.C. Ryle’s book called, “The Two Bears” published by Grace and Truth Books.  Order it here

thumb_wwbk1.jpgAre you on the lookout for a good tract for children?  For the past few years I have used a small booklet by Matthias Media called “Who Will Be King?”  It is very good tool as it shares the gospel beginning with a BIG God.  The folks at Matthias Media have given several ways you can use this booklet here.  I have also developed a PowerPoint presentation to use with this tract that you are welcome to use.  Just email me at dwolter@lagrangebaptist.com and I’ll send it to you.

growing1.jpgI believe that one of the main reasons why the church is so weak is a result of our ignorance and our lack of focus on discipling new believers.  Many of you who have read my blog have modeled for me the importance of this very thing.  For example, my twin brother Mark has a huge heart for discipling new believers as he ministers in Japan.  He understands the 2 Tim. 2:2 principle of entrusting the gospel to faithful men who can in turn teach others.

My question today is this:  Where do you start in discipling new believers?  What have you found to be good resources to aid in this all-important process?

Donald Whitney has some helpful comments here.  Matthias Media also produces a little booklet to go through with your new disciple here.  Feel free to pass along any other practical tools and/or words of insight on this issue. 

ca9aftpt.jpgLast week it was so nice outside that I went outside to play with my girls.  After running around with them for awhile and watching them ride on their bikes and trikes, I saw something that caught my attention.  One of the small trees in our front yard was beginning to grow little buds on its branches.  I called over to my oldest girl Emie and hoisted her up so she could see what had caught my eye.  I told her that it was almost spring because the branches were beginning to grow little buds that would soon grow into leaves.  Emie looked at the little buds and touched one.  I explained to her that these little buds grew as the sun shone down and the rain came down and the roots soaked up the water and then spread it all the way up to the highest branches.  I told her that God is the one who causes all this to happen. 

Then, all of a sudden, she decided to grab one of the buds in her hand and then throw it down on the ground.  She told me, “Daddy, now the bud is on the ground so it can grow better.”  I said to her, “Emie, now that bud won’t grow.  Do you know why?”  She looked at me with confusion on her face and I said, “It won’t grow because it’s not connected to the tree.  The only way these buds will grow is if they stay connected to the tree because that’s where they can live and grow.  On their own, they will die.”  I realized that God gave me a teachable moment so I simply told her that Jesus once talked about this in the Bible.  He told us that the only way we can live and grow spiritually is if we are connected to Jesus.  And the way we are connected to Jesus is by believing in Him and trusting in His love and in His Word. 

It didn’t take long for Emie to say, “Daddy, can we go ride bikes now?”  But nevertheless, God gave me a little picture to share with my daughter and to help me remember the importance of abiding in Christ.  As spring begins I pray that you and I would remember these words from Jesus and apply them.  John 15:5 says, “I am the Vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”    

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