Parental advice about FACEBOOK

Dr David Murray has made a 6 minute video packed with Christian counsel to parents on the use of social media (particularly FACEBOOK) entitled, “TRAINING OUR KIDS TO USE FACEBOOK FOR GOD’S GLORY.” I encourage you to view it, and glean lots of good advice (as I have). We must be intentional with our parenting and do better at overseeing the role social media plays in the lives of our kids.

~ pdb

Facebook Training for Kids from Puritan Reformed on Vimeo.

*If this video does not appear or run, try this direct link for Dr Murray’s blog.

Prayer of a godly mother…

The OT woman, Hannah (from 1st Samuel 1-2) is worth your consideration on this Mother’s Day. Her prayer reveals her deep trust in the Lord, the anchor of her faith…

2:1 And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

2 “There is none holy like the Lord;
there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

…For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world….
(see the whole prayer here)

Is God your Father?

“If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means the he does not understand Christianity very well.”
— J. I. Packer

Never orphans

“Do you have a father?” Genesis 44:19
by James Smith (“Bread from Heaven!” 1857)
(distributed by Grace Gems)

Standing at my window one day, while the cholera was raging in London, I saw two corpses carried by, followed by one little child, walking alone next the coffins, with a few neighbors behind. That child was now an orphan. Both parents had been carried off by the pestilence. The sight of that child produced deep emotions, and awakened painful sympathy in my heart.

I was led to think of the sorrows and privations of orphanhood, and then of the happiness of the Lord’s people to whom Jesus has said, I will not leave you as orphans.” A believer can never be an orphan! He has an ever-living, ever-loving, ever-present Father! But many of the Lord’s people do not realize this, therefore they do not live and act under its influence.

There are believers who are always complaining of their circumstances:
They are worked too hard.
They are tried more than others.
They have such a vexing family.
They have such a demanding job.
They have such financial losses.
They have no end of things to vex, harass, and distress them!

Complaining Christian, “Do you have a father?”
If so, had your Father anything to do with fixing your lot?
Did He place you where you are?
Is He wise?
Is He good?
Has He ever told you, that all things shall work together for your good?
Does He know what is best for you?
Has He left things to ‘chance’–or has He arranged all in His own infinite mind, and does He work all by His unerring providence? If He does–then are you justified in complaining?

Have you any real cause to complain?
Will it better your circumstances?
Will it please your Father?
Will it any way help you?
If not, leave off complaining, and “having food and clothing, let us be content with these!”

Seek grace from God, your Father, that you may . . .
do all that is required,
bear all that is sent, and
endure all that is to be suffered–to His glory!

Memorial Day through younger eyes…

Yesterday I took my family to the American Legion Memorial Day observance in Halfmoon, NY. I was privileged to pray an invocation for this event. My oldest daughter Kathryn, home from her first year in college, snapped a phone-camera picture, and posted some wonderful thought here at her blog, Bloom and Grow. Her observations are sweet — and encouraging to this patriotic dad.


Are you due some discipline?

“If you are a child of God then you are certainly going to be disciplined, because God is preparing you for holiness. He is not an indulgent father who hands out sweets indiscriminately and does not care what happens to us. God is holy, and He is preparing us for Himself and for glory; and because we are what we are, and because sin is in us, and because the world is what it is, we must needs be disciplined. So He sends us trials and tribulations in order to pull us up, and to conform us to ‘the image of His Son’.”
-Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Tattoos and biblical counsel

I love this response by Dr Moore to a young man who writes for advice on: Should I Get a Christian Tattoo (Even If My Parents Don’t Like It)?

First the letter….

Dear Dr. Moore,

I want to get a tattoo. I’d like it on my stomach, with a cross, with the words, “Flee Immorality: You Were Bought with a Price.” I’d like this as a measure of accountability for myself as the years go by, in case the zeal I have for the gospel ever wanes and I’m ever in a place of temptation this will be an ever-present reminder of what I know to be true.

I am really convicted that this is what the Lord would have me to do. Here’s my problem.

I am 19 years old and a college student. I live at home with my parents. I work and pay for my own school, but I live with them. I love my parents and truly believe I honor them, but where does “honor your father and mother” end? I really believe this is an issue of obedience in doing what the Lord seems to be directing me to do.

You probably agree with my parents that I shouldn’t get the tattoo and I can respect that. I’ve thought it all through. My question isn’t whether I should get the tattoo; it’s whether I’d be sinning against God and my parents if I did it.

If I am under their authority right now, when does that end? When I’m 21? When I’m out of the house? Or does it ever end, when it comes to making decisions like this?

Bought with a Price

Then this response….

Dear Bought,

First of all, I hope my sons grow up to be like you, in all sorts of ways seen in this question. Your letter evidences a lot of commendable qualities: a desire to identify yourself radically with Christ, the recognition that you must protect yourself from your own potential future rebellion, concern for honoring your father and mother.

The command to honor father and mother never ends. Continue reading

New post at “Bloom and Grow”

In case you didn’t know, my college-student daughter Kathryn writes (once and a while) at her own blog, called Bloom & Grow. I love reading her insights and reflections, and thought you might too. Her latest post was inspired by Sunday’s worship at her church in Grove City, PA.

Amen, Kathryn!
Dad (pdb)

Australia against watching TV

In an article posted at the Banner of Truth website (originally in The Times ), comes news from the Australian Government that watching TV is detrimental to very young children (and, thus, to society).

Hmm. How long did it take them to figure this one out?!

The article is worth a look. Here is an excerpt….

Like every medium of communication, television has its uses. There are important educational programmes, in which visual images communicate what can be conveyed in no other way. There are TV classics, and forms of innocent entertainment ideally suited to the screen. A serious TV programme should be treated like a book, or a visit to the theatre — to be absorbed in a critical frame of mind.

1187553_old_polish_tvBut that is not how television is used. It is a constant flickering presence that competes for attention with all the necessary goings-on of everyday life. Over the years, as its impact has stalled, it has had recourse to ever more vulgar colours, ever grosser language and ever more mesmerising facial close-ups. When the telly is on, and in a third of Australian households, apparently, it is never off, conversation is impossible, and conversational skills cannot develop. Moreover, even the wisest and most affectionate remark will lose its flavour when heard against the clamorous vulgarities that issue from the screen.

So, let me ask you: what are your TV habits? What percentage of your free time is spent watching the tube? (or, for that matter, the mindless videos on YouTube)? Hours? Whole evenings?

Let us redeem the time, for the days are evil….

30 years ago today…

John Piper accepted God’s call to be a pastor in a local church (he was a professor at a Christian college). Being a pastor is a unique job, and a very special vocation. The way the Lord called John Piper is nicely summarized by blogger Justin Taylor (a

John Piper January 1979

John Piper January 1979

former Piper student). I first met John in those early years, while visiting Bethlehem Baptist Church in 1982 (and later was privileged to serve as an intern there while in seminary in 1987-89).

As Piper contemplated the call to the pastorate, his father Bill Piper (a very active and effective baptist evangelist) wrote to him, and included these words (below) on the nature of the pastor’s job. After my 20 years as a pastor I find them right on target…

Now I want you to remember a few things about the pastorate. Being a pastor today involves more than merely teaching and preaching. You’ll be the comforter of the fatherless and the widow. You’ll counsel constantly with those whose homes and hearts are broken. You’ll have to handle divorce problems and a thousand marital situations. You’ll have to exhort and advise young people involved in sordid and illicit sex, with drugs and violence. You’ll have to visit the hospitals, the shut-ins, the elderly. A mountain of problems will be laid on your shoulders and at your doorstep.

And then there’s the heartache of ministering to a weak and carnal and worldly, apathetic group of professing Christians, very few of whom will be found trustworthy and dependable.

Then there a hundred administrative responsibilities as pastor. You’re the generator and sometimes the janitor. The church will look to you for guidance in building programs, church growth, youth activities, outreach, extra services, etc. You’ll be called upon to arbitrate all kinds of problems. At times you will feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Many pastors have broken under the strain.

If the Lord has called you, these things will not deter nor dismay you. But I wanted you to know the whole picture. As in all of our Lord’s work there will be a thousand compensations. You’ll see that people trust Christ as Savior and Lord. You’ll see these grow in the knowledge of Christ and his Word. You’ll witness saints enabled by your preaching to face all manner of tests. You’ll see God at work in human lives, and there is no joy comparable to this. Just ask yourself, son, if you are prepared not only to preach and teach, but also to weep over men’s souls, to care for the sick and dying, and to bear the burdens carried today by the saints of God.

No matter what, I’ll back you all the way with my encouragement and prayers.

Praise the Lord for His calling and encouraging pastors!