Joshua 24:15 "But if serving the Lord
seems undesirable to you, then
choose for yourselves this day whom
you will serve....But as for me and my
house we will serve the Lord."

I remember as a young man boldly proclaiming the sentiment that for me and my house "we will serve the Lord.” Serving the Lord seemed so desirable yet so hard. I wanted so much to raise children to know and fear the Lord and yet, as Joshua's cohort, I need to choose this day whom I would serve. It is a conscious decision, a daily choice. The things I love are easily shown by the time, energy and effort I put into things. It was easy to love the things around. It was easy to find other gods: the god of power, the love of money, the love of my wife and the love of my children. Loving God first is hard. It's captured so nicely in Joshua's declaration "BUT". It's a declaration that I am choosing to be different. Thankfully, I met and married a Christian woman. This is a choice. Thankfully I am surrounded by people that keep me accountable to put the best things first. This is what it is to choose. Some of these choices are the choices of intention and others are the choices of inattention.

One of our conscious choices was the education of our children. Sandy and I knew that we could not educate our children in the service of the Lord alone. We knew that we needed a community. Christian education is not an accident; it is a choice, one that we make daily. We have seen the wonderful fruit of these choices in the lives of our children. We currently have a daughter who is a graduate of Orillia Christian School (OCS) and two children that are active students. Sandy and I are grateful for the community of OCS and for its influence in our children's lives…. We knew that for our children to be all that they are created to be we needed a community of like-minded people, a tribe, to pour into them. We wanted that for all our children. We wanted our children to be salt (a preservative) and light (illumination) and in order to do that they needed to grow under the guidance of Christian instruction. They needed to develop in their hearts and minds a Christ-centered worldview. How blessed they are to receive instruction at school that values them as God's children and teaches them to be all that God has created them to be. Our children need to learn to love good things and choose to love the best things. We wanted Scripture to be written into their hearts and minds to inform their daily choices.

We see the fruit of these choices now. Proverbs 6:21 talks about remembering the teaching of one's parents and to bind them on our hearts. It talks about the guidance of good instruction in guiding and watching over us at all times. We see that pattern in the choices of our children. They have received from their parents and teachers guidance and instruction which influence their character and the way they see and interact with the world.

This Christmas we were driving in the car. I don't remember the exact reason but my son Ryan started quoting Isaiah 53, a passage that his class had been working on memorizing. He quoted the whole thing from start to finish. I don't expect that he knew exactly what it was about. I do know those words are being written onto his heart and that knowing those words will become for him a blessing. It's certainly a blessing to me to see our children love Scripture and love God.

Tim,