Archive for February, 2009

A Good Home is the Best School!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

I am an avid bookworm and find wonderful admonitions in the books that I am reading. Accordingly I have started a new section on my web site where I share some of the quotations that I have read on a particular day. Today I was reading Legh Richmond’s take on raising Christian families. Along the way he also comments on music. His words are simple, come from a father’s heart and are profound.

Legh Richmond:

Richmond was very concerned about the way he raised his family. He strongly believed that many so called “innocent” pleasures were anything but innocent.

Richmond’s first object was to make home the happiest place to his children; to render them independent of foreign alliances in their pursuits and friendships; and so to interest them in domestic enjoyments, as to preclude the feeling, too common in young people, of restlessness and longing to leave their own fire-sides, and wander abroad in search of pleasure and employment. In this attempt to satisfy his family, and engage their compliance with his wishes, he so completely succeeded, that every member of it left home with regret, even for an occasional visit, and returned to Turvey with fond anticipation—as to the place of their treasures.

“I have long thought that though a good school is better than a bad home, a good home is the best of schools. Children are for the most part educated in temper and habits of all kinds, not by schools-but by companions, and here, all is contingency.”

“Some may think I am too fond of seeing my children around me; if it be a weakness, I must plead guilty to it-from their infancy I have looked forward, as far as providential circumstances would permit, to find comfort, support, and companionship in my children. My middle, and if spared, my old age, may much require it; and if my life be short, can anyone wonder that I should like to see and know much of them while I remain in this world. It has ever been my heart’s desire and prayer, to give them a useful, happy, exemplary home-were I to fail here, life would indeed become a blank to me. I would strive “to roll the troublous trial on God,” but I would deeply mourn in secret.”

A happy home greatly depends on the recreations and amusements which are provided for young people…. Mr. Richmond was aware to these issues and endeavored, by a succession and variety of recreations, to employ the leisure hours to advantage. He had recourse to what was beautiful in nature or ingenious in art or science-and when abroad he collected materials to gratify the curiosity of his children.

Music was another source of domestic amusement in which Mr. Richmond excelled, being both a good composer, and no mean performer. Many of his children played on some instrument, and occasionally joined their father in a “concert of sweet sounds.”

He encouraged the use of the pencil, and was very anxious that his daughters should cultivate their taste for drawing.

“Mere innocent pleasure is not a sufficient motive-the glory of God must be the end and aim of every attainment, or else it is a waste of time, and an abuse of talent. Pencils, paint, Indian ink, and Indian-rubber, may be devoted to the honor of him who bestows the power of combining their respective properties, so as to produce the similitudes of his works.”

“I am no less anxious about the cultivation of musical talents; there is, however, more danger of music being abused than drawing-the inundation of frivolity, and the sometimes unsuspected associations of a carnal and worldly nature, which mingle with musical compositions of a modern and fashionable cast, often distress and hurt me. The fascinations of the ballroom, the corruptions of the theater and opera-house, too often creep into the quiet piano-forte corner of young people. Even instrumental music, with its appendages of waltzes, dances, and love-sick airs, has often a tendency to familiarize the young mind with subjects injurious to its welfare. The sober dignity of genuine instrumental music is nearly lost in the substitution of modern trick and blandishment-but if instrumental music be thus abused, how much more so vocal music-here the art and science of music opens its richest stores of opportunity for glorifying God and edifying man.”

“I am persuaded that music is designed to prepare for heaven; to educate for the choral enjoyment of paradise; to form the mind to virtue and devotion, and to charm away evil, and sanctify the heart to God. A Christian musician is one who has a harp in his affections, which he daily tunes to the notes of the angelic host, and with which he makes melody in his heart to the Lord. Does he strike the chord with his hands? it is to bid lute and harp to awake to the glory of God. The hand, the tongue, and the ear, form a kind of triple chord, not to be broken…. Bring music, my beloved child, to this test, and your vocal hours will not be spent in vain.”

You can find my reading notes at this link: I also have notes on Huegel’s Bone of His Bone, and Brainerd’s Prayer Journal. There is much more at on practical Christianity.

The Terminal “Self-Life” Disease

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Gal. 6:14 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

1 Cor. 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

The following sobering words are worth pondering!

“Satan has no great controversy, no real quarrel with those who are content to go along professing to be Christ’s, while ‘self’ in one form another sits, so to speak, upon the throne. So long as the ‘old life’ is not displaced, so long as the cross is simply looked upon as a distant symbol, so long as no inner crucifixion takes place releasing the spiritual faculties and entailing a vital union with Christ in the power of His ascension-life, the Enemy is not greatly alarmed.”

“The ‘self-life’ and the Satanic spirit are in unconscious affinity. However polished the former—it may shine with the culture of the ages and bear the religious glow of the best in natural religions—-it is still ‘self,’ it is still ‘flesh-life.’ It has the curse of God upon it. It has the smell of infernal associations about it. It stinks. ‘The carnal mind is enmity with God’ (Rom.8). It hates Him while it pretends to love Him. Where ‘self-life’ dominates, be the religous professions what they may, Satan finds plenty of ground on which to work.”

“If the ‘self-life’ is supreme, Satan does not have to be invited in. The lines are already set for the ‘electric’ current to flow. Satan is master of ceremonies, though he be apparently non-existent.” F. J. Huegel, Bone of His Bone, pp. 76,77,80.

Learn more about dethroning self at this link: Overcoming Self

Learn more about about the overcoming life at