A Bible for a Child – Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Simon’s eyes lit up when he saw me at our regular table at Max Porter’s this week. He’s my five-year-old grand nephew, and he knows his auntie often brings interesting things to share at our weekly lunches.

This time I brought the new children’s NASB Adventure Bible.

Since I volunteered to be on the Bible Gateway blogger list as a #BibleGatewayPartner , I was offered a free copy to review. I accepted knowing Simon would probably agree to help me.

It turns out I was right

He was delighted to get his hands on it. A very discerning lad, he immediately asked, “where’s the table of contents?” This wasn’t at all what I expected his first question to be. I helped him find it and explained the meaning of chapter and verse numbers (until he was done listening to explanations).

We discovered a page that lists stories about children in the Bible. He skimmed and recognized quite a few of them, like the story of David and the giant.

He soon figured out how to locate the Genesis account of Cain and Abel, put his finger on the chapter number, and started reading it to me. Again this boy surprised me. I hadn’t expected one so young to be able to read the New American Standard Bible version.

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul . . . You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 ESV

Simon laughed when he read the interpretation of the second commandment – that we must not worship anyone or anything but God, not a sports hero and not a skateboard. That was on the The Ten Commandments for Kids page.

Sharing this Bible with Simon reminded me of the great blessing my Bible has been throughout my life. I received my first Bible at the age of nine, and its words are seeds that took root early and continue to comfort, instruct, and encourage me.

Thank you, Bible Gateway, for this opportunity to share my love of the Scriptures with one of my favorite little boys.

-Kathy Sheldon Davis

From Foster Child to Greatness – Exodus 2:6-10

When I began fostering children it didn’t occur to me that Moses, the great leader of Israel, was raised in a foster home. I only understood that his mother relinquished him to save his life.

Jochebed hid her baby as long as she dared, knowing her neighbors lost their infant sons to drowning whenever they were discovered. Finally, weaving a reed basket, she plotted her baby’s escape.

Her heart must have been breaking, yet she hoped God would protect his life. How did she manage to hold herself together as she wrapped her boy in his blanket one last time, placed his napping form in the basket, and launched him into the river?

When she (Pharaoh’s daughter) opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” 

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.”

So the woman took the child and nursed him.  When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:6-10 ESV

Her little one rescued from the river, Jochebed was given a few additional years to nurse him, sing to him, enjoy him–all while receiving wages as though she were merely a nursemaid. This boggles my mind.

Imagine how you would pray in Jochebed’s situation. Her son would be taught to serve the gods of Egypt, spurning her people and her God. He might even become an oppressor like the ones who tried to wipe out all her nephews.

As she mothered him a little longer, she prepared for the day she’d send him away again. Do you think she whispered in his ear to remind him she was his true mother? When she put her son into his foster mom’s arms, did she hear his new mother change her boy’s name–and maintain her peace anyway?

Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord.

Numbers 12:6-8 ESV

PRAYER:

Lord, I don’t know all your plans for my children and my foster children, but like Jochebed, I put them in your hands. I trust you. I pray you will teach them your ways and guide their paths in preparation for the tasks you have for them. May they surpass me in their knowledge of you, walk humbly before you, and serve you faithfully all their days. Thank you for hearing the prayers of a mother’s heart.

Kathy Sheldon Davis

Did I Teach my Son to Worship a Dog? – Psalm 25:4-5

Our new puppy Max was no god.

The shepherd mix was my 5-year-old’s favorite playmate when his brothers weren’t around. Seth’s early experiences with his friend, however, were painful. Max nipped at fingers, making Seth pull his hand back. My son soon came inside with a frown, sliding the glass door between him and his pet.

Dog Training 101

child-puppy-free-isakarakus-pixabay

I reminded Seth that Max was still a baby and didn’t understand that bites hurt. Then I gave him some pointers. “When he nips at you, stop playing, pat his nose and say no.”

It seemed to work for a while, then from my kitchen window I saw that repeated no’s only made Max more playful. Nose tapping became part of the game.

I called Seth in again, recognizing he needed a little more help with puppy training. “Sometimes you should tell him he’s doing a good job. You wouldn’t like to hear no all the time, right? When he does something right you should praise him.”

“OK, Mommy.”

A little later I checked up on them. I found Seth on his knees, bowing toward his attentive puppy, hands tightly clasped as if in prayer, saying “Praise you, praise you, praise you” —to the dog!

Max cocked his head, trying to figure out how to make this new game more fun, while I seriously questioned my ability to communicate.

A Better Teacher

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long . . . Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:4-5 and 8-9 ESV).

God patiently teaches us his ways, and for that I’m forever grateful. Where would we be if my kids had only experienced my not-always-great parenting skills?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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