Christmas Decorations

This was a recent blog comment. “In this same vein (Scripture against TV) would you post scriptures that helped you decide how to celebrate Christmas? I’ve read elsewhere that you have Christ centered decorations only and I’d love to see pictures of your choices. I’ve been trying to incorporate your ideas, but would love further guidance. Have you got your Christmas decorations up yet?”

I reread Teri’s Corner and would add a reference that she did not include that has had an impact on how we decorate. “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not,” (Jeremiah 10:2-4).

So, here is the Corner link and a few pictures! Mom’s Corner on Christmas Decorating

Steve

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The ceramic plaques with the names of Jesus were originally bought at a Christian book store. We no longer are able to find them.

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I designed this cross one year.

Per Request, Page 2 of Scriptural Reasons Why No TV

Erika said she wanted to see the second page of Scriptural reasons that a brother sent to me. Since she asked I figured others would like to see them as well.

Additional Reasons Why We Do Not Have a TV

Isaiah 33:15-16 – He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks:bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Psalm 26:4-6 – I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD.

Ephesians 5:11 – And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Psalm 101:7 – He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

Matthew 5:28 – But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Romans 13:14 – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Ephesians 2:3 – Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Titus 2:11-12 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

1 Peter 4:2 – That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

2 Pet. 2:18 – For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

Proverbs 13:20 – He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Jeremiah 15:17 – I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand.

2 Corinthians 6:17 – Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Ephesians 5:6-7 – Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Proverbs 4:14-15 – Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

2 Timothy 2:19 – Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2 Timothy 2:22 – Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 16:17 – The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

“Earthly entertainment is for a moment, eternity is forever.”

Courage in Action

This email is shared with permission from the courageous dad who threw out the beast from his home as pictured previously. He is already starting to see the good fruit such a decision produces.

What we’ve done:

Removed the TV from the Living Room and placed it in the garage. It’s rather large (as you could see from the picture) so it’s not something the trash people will take without prior arrangements. It sat in our living room until Thursday night, when I had a friend over who could help me move it. It felt like a weight was lifted. Since the TV weighs 220 lbs, a weight was lifted down 2 flights of stairs, much easier than UP I can tell you. It was a constant source of temptation in the house (I can fix a cut cord easily, and I can remove/replace a simple plexiglass clear screen that was written on as well). Now that it’s in the garage, we get no more questions from the kids about wanting to watch TV.

Started daily devotions. We’re starting in John and finished Chapter 3 tonight (8th day of devotions). I’ve also started reading a Psalm at the end of the devotions. Some have been very difficult as we’ve been on the go a lot lately due to pre-existing commitments and we were doing them without naps on occasion, but they have been done each day without exception.

Removed all video games (ouch €¦ from someone who has been playing them for 30 years) from the house except the Game Boy because it was given to me by a friend and he may want it back. It hasn’t been touched however except to move it out of the way. Cancelled Cable, ESPN Insider, Blockbuster online, File Planet (Video Game demo and patch download service), GameTap and XM radio. Rough cost savings per month = $150.00.

Started removing non-edifying media. Edifying is defined as Christian media and secular non-fiction (biographies, textbooks, etc). More to do here, but it’s happening in time.

Dismantled the entertainment center and reconfigured for stereo/cd use only.

Started Bible memorization with the boys. My three year old son has memorized 3 scripture verses and my two year old son has memorized one. Joshua 24:15 (both), Deut. 6:4 and Matt. 22:39
 
Challenges

It’s tough not even paying attention to things you did before. I am finding it difficult to not check football scores on Sunday (and failing today) and not to get caught up in things that had my attention before.

It is a lot tougher to supervise a 2 and 3.5 year old when you have no other help and no TV to pawn them off on. We have started integrating them into getting some chores done, but that has its own set of challenges. Right now, trying to clean up the mess we’ve made has prevented getting a new schedule really worked on (nights and such are spent cleaning up all the stuff that was around before) and the chore pack definitely comes after the schedule.

Effects

For the first time since our oldest was 3 months old (or thereabouts) we were able to sit through a singing worship service at our church AND ENJOY IT! Praise the Lord. We took our boys out for pizza as a reward.

Devotions are rough, but getting better.

I’m actually trying to put God first in what I do. We have a morning schedule where we both get a half hour with the Lord before breakfast each day. We have not faltered from this since the conference.
 
To Do’s

Work on the vision statement and goals. The vision statement is pretty much done but I’m scrapping my work with goals so far as I don’t like it. Praying for some insight as I feel stalled. I might resort to using your goals list in Keeping Our Children’s Hearts as a template and customizing it for our family.

Hammer out a schedule. My wife is handling this and we have a temporary one in place but it needs more refining. Finish clearing out the trash and reconfiguring the house. The garage is packed as well and needs to be cleared out.
 
Thanks for listening and holding parents everywhere accountable for their actions!

To Him be the Glory!
 
What a guy! I hope that encourages you as well.

Steve

The Joy of Working Together

Steve and I have a goal of helping our children learn to enjoy working. Therefore, we often use Saturdays for projects that can be done together. From the time the children are very young, and no help at all, Steve finds ways to include them in the project at hand. As a result, we now have a powerful work team such that Steve and my time for a project is multiplied many times over. The family goes to bed exhausted that night, but we sleep the sleep of a “team” that has expended themselves for what needs to be accomplished. We want the children to take this working mindset into their daily service for the Lord Jesus.

This Saturday’s project was beginning of the removal of diseased elm trees in our yard. Steve hired out the job of topping off some of the trees because of their proximity to the power lines. Then the team went to work cutting up and then cleaning up the felled trees.

Teri

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Joseph and Christopher

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John on the tractor

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Mary was thrilled to drive the tractor!

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John was next to Mary as she drove, helping her if she needed it.

One Courageous Dad

Uriah is one of my favorite men of the Bible. He lived in such faithful service to his king. He was willing to for-go the pleasures others thought were acceptable because he was called to serve. That is the desire of my heart. Oh Lord Jesus, may I be busy about Your work. Those God has given us are our first responsibility to disciple. As this month’s Dad’s Corner encouraged, being entertained by the TV will win out over feeding our families the Word of God EVERY night. Dads will occasionally write, sharing, that they are taking that responsibility seriously and taking bold action.

This brother was willing to throw out $10,000 worth of “trash” to put his family on the right course. The Lord will pour out blessings into the lives of his children such that even if what he discarded had been valued at $100,000, it would still be worth it. When we eliminated TV, I didn’t throw out that much “trash” but the dividends in my children’s lives are priceless to me. I praise God for this brother, and I’m confident his wife does also.

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One “beast” bites the dust

One Dad Responds as Why They Don’t Have a TV

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. (Psalm 119:37)

Rid me and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. (Psalm 144:11-12)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)

I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Romans 16:19)

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. (Psalm 119:101)

Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:26)

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker. (2 Timothy 2:16-17)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. (2 John 1:10-11)

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psalm 101:3)

… one sinner destroyeth much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)

For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:2-3)

They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. (Psalm 106: 34-36)

I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid. (Job 31:1)

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:34-36)

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (2 Corinthians 15:33)

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:6-7)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:33)

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. (Matthew 6:22-23)

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Earthly entertainment is for a moment, eternity is forever.

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.