What are you teaching your children?

As Father’s Day approaches, memories of my Dad, Ray Crowder, flood my mind. Someone asked me, “What two things did your Dad teach you?” Hmmmnnn… only two? I quickly tried to “categorize” all the things that came to mind. My response follows…

The first, and most important thing my Dad taught me was to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind…and, to love my neighbor as myself.
Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37, 39

Dad taught me the urgent need we all have for the Gospel—for justification and sanctification—by preaching and teaching the Word of God with a passion and sense of urgency for the Gospel to be heard, understood and obeyed.
-Acts 3:19; I Corinthians 9:16

Dad taught me to use music as an expression of worship as he taught me that music is much more than correctly played notes. He taught me that when I sit at the piano, the notes I play are my expressions of awe, love and gratitude to the Sovereign God of the Universe. He taught me to pour out my heart, in prayer and praise to the Lord, through my music.
-Psalm 33:3; John 4:24

Dad demonstrated how to minister to those who were hurting spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. I had myriad occasions to watch him with those whose loved one had died, child had overdosed on a drug, or who were suffering from some illness or loss of job…he was always bringing them the comfort of THE Comforter.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Ephesians 4:32

Dad taught me that if I pointed out a problem to a person, that I must be willing to hang around and help them work towards a biblical        solution to the problem and/or situation. He taught me that the Bible has the answers for all the issues of life.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3

Dad taught me to be generous with my time, talents, possessions and monetary resources. Numerous times a week someone would show up at our doorstep, saying, “(someone) told me if I needed help that Ray;  would help me.”
-Matthew 25:35-40, I Peter 4:10

Dad taught me to laugh, and maybe more importantly, to laugh at myself!! Ask me about the “flowers” we planted, nurtured and fertilized for weeks…turns out we had the healthiest weeds in the world!! Did you ever see his rendition of “Old Mother Hubbard?”

Dad taught me to dance. He loved to Jitterbug, Swing and do the Charleston.

“WAIT!” my friend said, “That’s six or seven things.”

My reply, “No, it’s really only one. My Dad taught me that a personal relationship with God is the most important relationship I can have. Through that relationship all of life is worship for we were created to glorify God in and through everything! And, in grateful response to Him, we are to share the Gospel with unbelievers and Christ-followers alike!

What are you teaching your children?

Praising God for being my Abba Father, and for the gift of my earthly Dad!

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV)


Are you shining?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 4:16 NKJV)

Today would have been my mom’s 90th birthday. Mom lived an amazing life in Africa and America, yet she also faced many extremely difficult things throughout her life, including the deaths of two sons and a grandson.

In spite of the difficulties, she exuded Christ as she walked through those difficult days and circumstances. Following the death of my brother Tim, a friend asked mom how it was possible for her to walk through such difficult things and be so strong and confident of God’s presence.

How was it possible for mom to walk through difficult situations with strength and confidence?

It was possible because…

…God is the Author of Light (Genesis 1:4)

…God is Light (1 John 1:5)

…God is the Light that drove away the darkness of her sin (John 1:5)

…mom knew the Light of the World (John 8:12)

…the Light of the Holy Spirit taught mom as she read, memorized, and learned the Word of God (John 14:26)

…mom understood what it meant to be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God (Romans 12:1)

…mom practiced being transformed by the continual renewing of her mind through the Word (Romans 12:2)

Mom was able to shine forth because Christ gave her Light that illuminated her with the WORD, that brought repentance, and freedom from the bondage of sin, and the HOPE for eternity.

And, because she had a close relationship with the Light of the World, she KNEW Him.

And, because she KNEW Him, she had an unwavering, deep, abiding faith that was visible as she reflected the Light and HOPE of Jesus in the desperation, chaos, and darkness of difficult situations.

If you are a Christ-follower, you WILL shine with the Light of Christ.

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining–they just shine.  Dwight L. Moody

Mom simply shined for Jesus! Do you?