Thursday, March 8, 2007

Building a Legacy

This evening after supper, as is our custom, I read a chapter from a book we've been reading as a family. We have a regular time of Family Worship each morning before I head off to work, so I use this time after supper for reading books about theology or Christian living.

We started several years ago with Catherine F. Vos' The Child's Story Bible, which is a great book for taking your family through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation in more than 200 stories. We've also gone half way thorugh G.I. Williamson's The Westminster Shorter Catechism, before we took a break. Currently, we are reading through Bob Schultz' Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man, which is a great book for fathers and sons to go through together.

After reading, I lead my family in singing the Apostles' Creed. It's a wonderful arrangement I received from Rick Saenz of Cumberland Books and Dry Creek Chronicles.

Traditionally, when the Apostles' Creed is used in a church service, the minister begins with, "Christian, what do you believe?" And then the congregation responds, "I believe in God the Father..." When we first started using the Creed in our after supper time, I wanted to make it more personal. I wanted to help impress upon our boys that they are part of our covenant family and as such are to be a follower of Christ. And so I wanted to begin with, "Carneses, what do we believe?"

That's where I had a problem. You see, although I was brought up in a "church-going" home, my father repudiated Christ, and to me being a Carnes did not mean being a Christian. In a sense, I wanted to build a legacy, but I had to begin from scratch. I was laying down the first course of the foundation. And so, even though it sounded so foreign to my ears, each night I asked, "Carneses, what do we believe?" I was surprised how hard it was for me to say those words each night.

Tonight, as I have countless nights in the past, I again asked the question, "Carneses, what do we believe?" And you know what? The words didn't sound so strange anymore. As I looked around at my wife and my sons singing the words that Christians have sung for centuries, I took heart. My sons are growing into godly young men and one day they will be reading to their children around the dinner table. And when they are done they'll ask their families, "Carneses, what do we believe?" And to them, it will sound perfectly normal. Like they had been saying it all their lives.

Praise be to God!



At March 10, 2007 7:11 AM , Blogger Carla Lynne said...

Dear Terry,

I found your blog through Herrick Kimball...

We live in Warminster, soon to move into our RV's, save and travel, and allow the Lord to show us where our Promised Land is. The path we are being led to... to buy debt free and leave a homesteading/agrarian inheritance for our six children.

Your blog is fascinating, and would love to talk more. Check out my blog and let's get in touch...

In grace,
Carla Lynne Klimuk

At March 10, 2007 1:11 PM , Blogger JFC said...

re: What do you believe?

Another way to look at the Creed is to ask the question, "In Whom do you believe?" It is true that there is a cognitive element to our faith, that there are intellectual propositions to which we assent. But at the heart of our faith is a trust and a reliance in Someone. When the question is asked this way (In Whom do you believe?), we are given a chance to affirm that it is not mere propositions that we are affirming, but it is a personal Being to Whom we are entrusting our very souls.

I look forward to reading your blog.

At March 10, 2007 2:12 PM , Blogger tc said...


Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate Herrick's graciousness in mentioning my blog and in helping with its visibility.

It sounds like you have quite a path ahead of you. May God bless you as you seek to follow Him.

At March 10, 2007 2:27 PM , Blogger tc said...

Well said, jfc. I was just listening to a sermon on my way home from work yesterday on 1 John that was reminding me of that very point.

On a side note, if anyone is interested in systematic, thorough, verse by verse expositional preaching, I'd recommend Pastor Scott Fleming of Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church ( I started with his sermons on Genesis (although he took 3-1/2 years, I was able to get through them in about six months commuting back and forth to work!)


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