On “boring” testimonies

From time to time I run across people who do something I find pretty strange – they apologize or seem in some way embarrassed or ashamed by their simple, boring, not exciting personal testimony. They were saved young, attended church their whole life, haven’t committed any really awful sins, and just live the Christian life in a quiet way. And they seem to think there is something wrong with that, that somehow a testimony isn’t worth much if it doesn’t include stories of deep pain, horrible darkness, and shameful sin.

If you are one of these people, please listen to me. I have an interesting, exciting – or, as I prefer to call it, harrowing – testimony. I am proof that Jesus can save anyone, no matter how far they’ve wandered or how hard they’ve warred with God.

And I love the “boring” testimonies. Can’t get enough of them.

You see, I have children. My greatest prayer as a mother is that all my children would someday come to Christ. However, my second greatest prayer for them is that God would keep them from the path that I have walked. Obviously, God’s will for them is better than what I want, but I regularly ask that he would see fit to allow them to walk with him from a young age and not get too deeply entangled in the kind of sin and depravity that I’ve seen.

That’s why I love to hear the so-called boring testimonies. I love to listen to people talk about how Jesus took their hand when they were young and has never allowed them to stumble too far away from him. I get excited to hear stories that don’t involve huge amounts of grievous sin and Damascus moments. Those testimonies are wonderful, too, and I rejoice whenever I hear someone talk about how Jesus rescued them, but they don’t give me the kind of hope for my children that the simpler ones do.

So please, keep telling your simple testimony and don’t apologize for it. You never know who may need to hear it.

Book Review: Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds

Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Heidelberg Catechism by 17688937Starr Meade is exactly what it sounds like – a devotional for families. It is arranged one week at a time. On Sunday you read one or more questions and answers from the Heidelberg Catechism, then every other day of the week there is a short devotional that ties into the questions from Sunday. Each day’s reading (except Sunday) also includes Bible verses for reference. There are 52 weeks of devotionals in the book.

We haven’t actually finished this book yet. We are reading it at the dinner table, and, as I noted above, it could be a year or more before we actually get through the whole thing. I wanted to write a review, though, so others could hear about this wonderful book.

The book is written at a low enough level that I think it could easily be used by families with very young children (older toddlers to young elementary), but it is also written in such a way that it doesn’t “talk down” to adults or older children. My children are a bit older (older elementary to middle school age), and the book works for them. They understand it but don’t feel like it is a “baby” book.

Here’s how we are using it: every night at dinner, either my husband or I read the night’s devotional with all the Bible verses (I keep the book with my Bible, as the verses are listed in the book but not written out). Then, we ask the children if they have any questions or comments related to what we read. We have had some really good discussion about theology and Bible interpretation.

I highly recommend this book to all Christian parents. While we can incorporate Bible reading into family like without using a book other than the Bible, it is so much easier to do so with a guide, and Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds is an excellent guide.