Click here to read the featured article in the April 2012 issue of Parent Life magazine from Lifeway.
My daughter is about to have her first birthday. And I can’t believe it. Before I was a parent, I inwardly mocked those parents who wanted their kids to slow down and not grow up so fast. But I get it now. There is a growing list of things that she can do on her own. She no longer needs me to hold her arms as she takes steps. She no longer needs me to hold her bottle. She can play by herself, she can feed herself, and yet I know that in the scheme of things she is still relatively dependent on me. Her independence is only going to increase. And I’m not sure I’m ok with that.
But when I’m honest with myself, when I’m clear-headed, I realize it’s not about me. It is about my daughter, and what’s best for her. And it is good for her to grow. It is good for her to learn how to do things. If I truly lover her, not as my possession, but as a child of God who was put into my care, I will root for her growth because it’s for her good. And as she grows, I know that she is going to become more and more independent and less dependent on me. There will come a day when my wife and I will not be the center of her universe. I wonder if this is how John the Baptist felt. In the book of John, we’re told that John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for the coming Christ. And he does it very well. He has a dynamic ministry; he is baptizing people left and right, he is doing so well that the pharisees ask him if he is the Christ, Elijah or The Prophet. But as Christ’s ministry begins, John starts losing followers to Him. What’s his response? “He must increase and I must decrease”. He might have responded by trying to regain control. “No! Follow me!” But he knew that it was better for him to be cast aside and for Christ to become the central figure in his followers lives.
I am a good thing for my daughter. Out of all the men in the world, God chose to make me her father. But I’m not the best thing for her. Jesus is. I pray everyday that as she grows up she would place her faith in Jesus Christ and then desire to follow Him all the days of her life. I know though, that means I will not be the central figure in her life. He will. “He must increase and I must decrease”. And that is the best thing for her.
“Justification? Forgiveness? Redemption? How can these great doctrines of the Christian faith – as well as others – be presented to children? Whitestone Media has found a way with their new animated series Theo. He’s an endearing (albeit animated) theologian who climbs down from the dusty ladder of his theological library to lead boys and girls on an adventure of discovery about Christian doctrine. And I recommend the series to the young ones in your care!”
– Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
Christians have been trying to teach the Bible and theology to their children for two thousand years—with varying degrees of success. Whitestone Media's series Theo Presents makes it look easy. They combine first rate production quality, brilliant animation, and solid biblical content. Rather than dumbing down the faith and the Bible, they make both accessible, compelling, and entertaining to kids. Theo Presents has blessed our family.
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D.
Executive Producer, The Call of the Entrepreneur, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Indivisible.
I am not a Saint Patrick scholar, nor do I agree with every thing his sect of Christianity claims. But as one raised in an Irish-American family that had corned-beef and cabbage every Saint Patrick’s Day, the holiday has a special place in my heart. There is plenty of myth surrounding Saint Patrick, but here are a few things we do know about him. He was kidnapped by a group of Irish Marauders at the age of sixteen, and taken to Ireland where he became a slave. After several years he escaped and returned to Britain. In Britain he studied to be a priest and became a bishop. Eventually, he felt God’s call to return to Ireland and spread the gospel among the Irish. He says of his return to Ireland:
In his autobiography (Confession), Saint Patrick writes:
I testify in truthfulness and gladness of heart before God and His holy angels that I never had any reason, except the Gospel and His promises, ever to have returned to that nation from which I had previously escaped with difficulty.
He spent almost thirty years sharing Christ on the island until he died.
. . . Without any doubt, in that day we shall arise in the brightness of the Son, that is, in the glory of Jesus Christ, and, all redeemed, we shall be, as it were, the sons of God and co-heirs of Christ, and made like to His image in the future. For from Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen.
It is difficult to read a passage like this without thinking of the many Irish who are “sons of God and co-heirs of Christ” because of the works God accomplished through Saint Patrick. Any choir director will tell you every good choir needs a diversity of voices. Thanks be to God for the many Irish voices which will be singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.”
No one knows what happens to a man’s soul in his last days here on earth. I am reminded of the thief on the cross to whom Christ promised paradise and I believe it is entirely possible that Steve Jobs could have come to a saving faith in his last days. As Steve Jobs’ biography is coming out, we learn more of his religious beliefs and they do not seem to be consistent with the core beliefs of Christianity. However, as a result of the fruits of his labor, God’s Word is able to go out into the world in new and exciting ways. In our case, Apple technology has allowed Theo to share Biblical truths to homes all around the world. For this reason, we are grateful for the work that Steve Jobs accomplished and grateful to a God who uses the labors, of even those who may not be His followers, to further His Kingdom.