Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love to Read!

I love to read! What I read has changed through out the years, from romance novels when I didn't know any better to biographies of missionaries and the latest from Eric Ludy on being a bravehearted warrior for Christ, not just a side liner.

I pray that I am teaching my children to LOVE to read, but I cannot stop there. I must teach them what to read & how to read it. Unless it is the Word of God, everything must be read with a look at Scripture. Does this line up to the Bible? Does it contradict it? How? Is it worth reading?

Romance novels are obviously out of question. They are so obviously not from God. No brainer. How about books written to my preschooler? How about the "Llama Mama" series or Junie B Jones? How about the Twilight series or Harry Potter? Hold these popular titles up to the light of Scripture. What do we find? "Llama" is a spoiled little boy who, in the one book we had, threw a huge tantrum in the store and then got a big hug & because he helped pick up his mess, got to go out for ice cream. Yes, children throw tantrums, but why would I read a cute little story about it to "agree" with the story, to confirm to my little toddler that it's okay, everyone is doin' it.

We are very careful about which books I read to my children, especially any story that has been written in at least the last 10 years reflects secular humanistic thinking. The subtlety amazes me. And keeps me on my guard.

Read into the history of the vampire myth. Dracula means "the son of the devil" and it was first inspired by the life of Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian ruler in the 1400's who burned, skinned, roasted & boiled men, women & children. What would we do with a book that glorified the life of Hitler, forgot about his tortures and made him out to be a wonderfully, romantic, sometimes violent hero. Would it be okay? Would we tell all our friends on facebook how excited we were that the next one was coming out?

Our children are sponges. They believe what we tell them. They absorb everything around them. We are responsible for what they are absorbing.

But, according to Scripture, I am called to guard my heart as well. Just because I am an adult, does not mean I can & should read anything & everything, just because someone else recommended it.

Daniel & I have said to our children that one of most dangerous places for a Christian to go is the local Christian bookstore, specifically Family Christian Bookstore. Go in there with your guard up, looking for a particular book. Do not browse the latest and greatest best sellers. You may find "The Shack" or "Velvet Elvis" to be front & center as you walk in the door. Even the Christian romance books, if they cause me to be
discontent with my hubby, then I should not read it. It would be sin for me. Many modern day Christian books are full of the self-help gospel message that says "if you do this, this & that then you will be the most organized, most loving, best wife in the whole wide world all with the goal of getting your husband to do what you want." What's wrong with that, right? It goes against the gospel message.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Of course, if it was that blatant, we MAY see the folly in that message, but it usually is not. It is confusing. I Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace... If God is not the author of confusion, then Satan is.

In Noah Webster's book, The Blue Back Speller, he writes, "The basis of all excellence in writing and conversation, is truth - truth is intellectual gold, which is as durable as it is splendid & valuable."

All this reading... All this information... What is lacking? Am I reading the unadulterated, uncompromised Word of God, the Truth? I can read to my heart's content, soaking it up like a sponge and be fully and deeply satisfied.

And then, once I've read this Word, once I've gotten my Word for the day, am I going out and DOING it?

Kathryn and I were talking about that yesterday. As usual, as I was talking to her, God was speaking directly to my heart. The conversation went something like this... "Kathryn, reading all these inspiring stories about great missionaries & being excited about what they did is GREAT! But, if you don't put it into practice on your mission field today, it's just words & emotion." OUCH! So, where is my mission field? Where is Kathryn's? It is where ever God has us at that particular time. Right now, it's at home, in Walmart, in church. Where ever we are.

Two points... Think of the song "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see" and pray and seek God on everything you are reading and reading to your children.

My lesson... All this reading, if not followed up by action, is just Satan's way to keep me from being a "doer of the word".

James 1: 21-25
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted work, which is able to save your souls. 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.

This blog today is not my own, not my thoughts, but an outpouring of what God has laid on my heart. It's a message to me, really. I pray you will be blessed by reading it as much as God has blessed me by writing it.

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