Friday, June 25, 2010

Notes: The Christian Family Conference 2010 (Part 1)

My wife, oldest daughter and I attended the Christian Family Conference in Denver this past week. It was an amazing time of encouragement with other Christian parents – most of whom are devoted to homeschooling and home-training their children to be godly men and women, prepared to take on the world with a multi-generational vision.

Some observations from the first 15 minutes of the conference:

· We started off in prayer – for our families, children and our world

· 1,200 of us sang hymns together

· A homeschool family got up on stage to sing America The Beautiful, with the youngest getting a solo or two (she was probably about four-years old, and she was good)

· Two prominent men running for public office got up to speak of their dedication to homeschooling and Christian principles – Dan Maes (running for Colorado governor) and Ken Buck (running for U.S. Senate)

· My local State Senator, Kevin Lundberg, was behind the soundboard, serving as he always does in one form or another(he has the best servant’s heart and attitude of any politician I’ve ever encountered – I talked to him later, and he said he was doing it because they were short-handed and needed some help)

I feel so very comfortable in and among this group of people. And I saw a tremendous number of families who were obviously being blessed in their daily walk. They are not afraid to speak to others about it, either.

I’m going to post some of the notes I took from the conference sessions. Some are sure to fly in the face of the traditions and cultures which most people would consider normal in today’s culture. But these men who spoke to us used the Scriptures, and their lives and the lives of their children are a testament to their integrity and boldness on these topics. Their words motivate me to continue to raise my children in a radical, counter-culture, God-fearing way.

“Getting Your House In Order” by Dr. Voddie Baucham

· The text is Deuteronomy 6, where we learn that the Israelites received a promise that if they obey God and fear God, they would 1) live long, 2) it will go well with them, and 3) they would multiply greatly

· Today, can we say in our American culture that “it is well” with us? We know that God will always prevail, but it is not going well in our land. And children in our land are often seen as a burden, not a blessing (the legality of abortion is one reason, but also because we see some people look oddly at families who have five or six or ten kids)

· The phenomenon of the mega-church – it’s the Wal-Mart effect when they come to town, many of the “mom and pop” churches close – hum the Star Wars Death Star theme – and many of these churches are filled with people who are being coddled in their sin

· From verses 4 through 15 – Why aren’t things going well? Why are we not multiplying? As the passage in Deuteronomy 6 tells us, we need to 1) Worship God without rivals, 2) Love without compromise, 3) Don’t forget God as we prosper

· “Worship God without rivals” – If God were not a jealous God, if He allowed others to share His glory, then He would not be God

· “God is not running for God” – He already has the job

· Don’t worship at the altar of education, worship at the altar of God – What is the goal? To get into a good college, or to serve God for life?

· As a homeschooler, evaluate your priority with this scenario – if your child’s test scores fall, would you consider sending them back to public school? On what do you judge success or failure? If it is test scores alone, then that is a form of idolatry! What test are you preparing them for – the SAT or Iowa Basic? Or a bigger test?

· (in jest) “You should start your homeschool a week later then public school just on general principle!”

· Voddie has talked with people who believe Deuteronomy 6 applies only to “non-school” hours. But if we mark our houses as God’s territory, how can we not be motivated to homeschool? Should we continue to send our kids to Caesar?

· Has our culture eroded our need for God? Example – when sickness comes to our family, are we on our knees before God asking for his help? No, because now we can drive down to the pharmacy to get a cure – and we forget God because we don’t have a need for Him!

· Teach your children to be satisfied with God – not to chase after anything else! Remember – homeschooling is not about education, it’s about discipleship.
For more on the application of Deuteronomy 6 to family life, I strongly recommend that you read Voddie Baucham’s book – Family-Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God

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