Raising A 21st Century Child

July 9th, 2017




Several years ago, I had the privilege of preaching in a chapel service for New England Baptist College in Southington.  Afterward I was to host a question and answer session attended by young preacher boys.  Once the introduction was completed and Dr. Barry Brown turned the podium over to me and the floor was open for questions, a brief period of awkward silence was broken by one young man’s very interesting question.

He was contemplating the incredible task of leading a church full of different passions, backgrounds, and opinions.  I will never forget his question.

“Pastor Carpenter, how do you make people do things that they do not want to do?”

This simple question helped me think through some life changing truths.  We will spend the rest of our time together exploring and answering this question.

When you break down the job of parenting, does it not seem that this question strikes at the heart of a parent’s job… to get little Johnny or Jane to OBEY!  To do what we want them to do, and to ben their rebellious wills to our protective and benevolent wills for them.

Raising Children in the 21st century brings new twists to an old challenge.  How do I shape the will and behavior of my child, or grandchild, niece, or nephew, or Sunday school student?

Our text verse is often quoted and often misunderstood by believing parents.

Proverbs 22:6 KJV 1900

Train up a child in the way he should go:

And when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Many parents feel or and have been taught to feel that they must MAKE their children comply!  If they wander off from what their parents have taught, the parents believe that they have failed.  Parents teach and teach and teach, yet the willful children still do not learn… what is wrong?  The Bible PROMISES that if we but teach them, they will not depart right?

Every word of God is inspired, not just the thoughts.  Our text verse does not command us to teach only.  We are commanded to TRAIN.


  • to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
  • to form by instruction, discipline, or drill
  • to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient

Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.


You can TEACH all day long, but that does not always get the heart of the matter.  How do I get someone to do something that they do not want to do?  The short answer is that you can’t!  If God has chosen not to override one’s free will, you certainly will not be able to.  So the key then in not how to force someone to comply, but how to motivate our kids to choose to do right.  Today we will discover three life changing principles that will help us to motivate children to choose to change their behavior.  These will be key to raising a 21st century child.

I.  God Has Given Children Free Will.

God does not force us to believe or comply against our will.

Jeremiah 6:16–17 KJV 1900

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

Proverbs 1:24–26 KJV 1900

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;


Matthew 23:37 KJV 1900

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Yet God the Father seeks to influence our choices.

John 6:44 KJV 1900

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Yet God’s word seeks to influence our choices

John 8:32 KJV 1900

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Romans 10:17 KJV 1900

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The story of the prodigal son shows us that God is always ready for us to choose to come to him, to choose to repent and do right, no matter how long we have chosen to ignore his teaching and pleading…. no matter how low our rock bottom is.  Luke 15:15-20

Zechariah 1:3 KJV 1900

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, And I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.

1 John 1:9 KJV 1900

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

II. Children Can Be Motivated to Choose Right When they Learn and Live.

  • This is the beginning of training, but not all of training.
  • Learn the truth then pass it down

Deuteronomy 4:9 KJV 1900

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Psalm 78:2–4 KJV 1900

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Shewing to the generation to come The praises of the Lord, and his strength, And his wonderful works that he hath done.


  • Train a Child… while they still can be taught, guided, and motivated.  While there is hope of change.

2 Timothy 3:15 KJV 1900

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


  • Make it part of your every day, every moment routine.

Deuteronomy 6:7 KJV 1900

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

III.  Children Can Be Motivated To Choose Right When They Live and Learn.

  • God has set a universal law of consequences to help children choose their actions.

Galatians 6:7 KJV 1900

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

  • Consequences must be tied to actions early, while there is hope of change.,

Proverbs 19:18 KJV 1900

Chasten thy son while there is hope, And let not thy soul spare for his crying.

  • Corporal punishment is a tool to help tie consequences to actions.
  • The consequences must not fluctuate on mood or anger, but on the actions themselves.

Proverbs 29:15 KJV 1900

The rod and reproof give wisdom: But a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

  • When consequences are tied to actions, we demonstrate our love for that child.

Proverbs 13:24 KJV 1900

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 22:15 KJV 1900

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13 KJV 1900

Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Proverbs 23:14 KJV 1900

Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from hell.

  • Consequences can be tied to actions even when corporal punishment is no longer the best choice.
  • God uses consequences to motivate behavioral change in His children.

Hebrews 12:5–8 KJV 1900

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

  • When our children become adolescent or even adults still living in our household, the training has not stopped… only modified. We must still allow consequences to be tied to actions.  We must not get in the way of God’s hand of chastening that may be leveled at our children.

We must realize that:

  • God has given our children free will
  • That will can be modified when they LEARN AND LIVE
  • That will can be modified when they LIVE AND LEARN
  • Therefore we must use these tools to raise children in the 21st Century.

Father’s Day

June 14th, 2017

Join us this Sunday Morning June 18 as we celebrate dads!  There will be no evening service so that families can celebrate together on this special day.

Check the church calendar

June 14th, 2017

Many new events have been added for this summer and fall. Check the church calendar so you don’t miss any exciting activities.

S’more Fellowship Sunday Evening May 28 after the evening service.

May 27th, 2017

The weather is warm and the fellowship is warmer and the fire will be hot enough to roast marshmallows and cook hot dogs.  Join us after the 6:30 evening service as we gather around the campfire, eat treats and sing songs.  Bring your instruments!

Trouble At Midnight

May 27th, 2017


Job 34:20 KJV 1900

20 In a moment shall they die, And the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: And the mighty shall be taken away without hand.



This weekend we take time out of our busy lives to focus on Memorial Day.  We remember, honour, and give thanks for those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.  Flags wave, parades are held, speeches are made, and taps are played to remind us of the brave soldiers who willingly laid their lives down in order to preserve the freedom that we hold dear.  As we think through the stories we have heard from WWII veterans, Vietnam Soldiers, and Middle East Heroes, we are moved at their tenacity, grit, and love for country that they displayed in their darkest hours, in their midnight hours.

All through out history, man has viewed midnight to be the time of fear, uncertainty and death.  It is a time when the normal pattern of sweet sleep can be disturbed with unexpected and unwelcome trouble.  In our passage this morning we read the words of Elihu, one of Job’s “friends”.  He is waxing eloquent about the way God judges folks who deserve it.  Job’s well meaning, but ill-advised advisor uses a very powerful word picture.  He tells about the terror that comes to those under the mighty hand of God when they face trouble at midnight.

Are you facing a dark hour in your life?  Are you, like the soldiers that we honor this weekend, facing trouble at midnight?  Brothers and sisters, I have good news based on God’s word and what it says about the midnight hour.  God is always in control!   The light of God’s love is not dimmed by the blackness of the midnight hour or the trouble it contains.

God uses the dark and foreboding hour of midnight to reach us when we need Him the most and call us to take action in order to benefit from Trouble at Midnight.


Heed the Warning of Trouble at Midnight

Judges 16:1–3 KJV 1900

1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.


  1. Samson had been given marks of distinction as God’s chosen deliverer.
  2. He kept surrendering these marks of distinction one by one.
  3. His lust would eventually be his downfall.
  4. This was a warning from God to try to wake him up and get him to change his ways before it was too late.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV 1900

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  1. His last mark of distinction to surrender was his hair.
  2. Once he surrendered his distinction, God took his power away.

It could be that your trouble at midnight is designed to get you to rethink your choices, repent, and go in a different direction before it is too late.

Escape the Trouble at Midnight

Exodus 11:4–6 KJV 1900

4 And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

  1. The firstborn of every household was condemned to die, regardless of race or background.
  2. The only way to escape the trouble at midnight was to apply the innocent blood of the lamb to the doorpost.

Exodus 12:12–13 KJV 1900

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

  1. Jesus is coming back like a thief in the night and only those who are covered in His blood will go with Him to escape trouble at midnight.

Matthew 25:6–12 KJV 1900

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

  1. Death comes to us all, after that the midnight hour of judgement. Only those covered in the blood of Jesus will escape.

Hebrews 9:22 KJV 1900

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

There is coming a time of reckoning., whether it be the rapture or death, there will come a time that we will all be judged.  Only those who have transferred their trust from their works to Christ’s finished work on the cross alone will be able to escape that kind of trouble at midnight.

Sing Praises During the Trouble at Midnight.

Acts 16:25–31 KJV 1900

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

  1. Paul and Silas sang praises during their darkest hour of persecution.
  2. Every condemned and suffering soul heard the power of their praise.
  3. When the jail doors opened, the prisoners did not dare leave, because they were spell bound by this kind of powerful praise.
  4. It is because of this singing during the trouble at midnight, the jailer wanted to know how to be saved.

Psalm 40:3 KJV 1900

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

It may be that God has brought you to this trial in order for you to give thanks in spite of your situation.  Perhaps you are commissioned to sing praises through your trouble at midnight.

Find Hope in the Midst of Trouble At Midnight

  1. There comes a time when all human hope is lost.

Acts 27:14–20 KJV 1900

14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:

17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;

19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

  1. This hopelessness should drive us to seek God

Acts 27:21–24 KJV 1900

21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.

23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

  1. God gives grace to endure the storm.

Acts 27:25–27 KJV 1900

25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 6908 Roses Gathered at Midnight

It is said that the world’s best supply of perfume comes from roses on the Balkan Mountains. The flowers from which the lovely fragrance is distilled must be gathered in the darkest part of the night! The laborers therefore start shortly after 12 o’clock and conclude their picking within two hours. The brevity of the work period is based on scientific tests which have proved that during this gloomy interval the blossoms give their most pleasing scent, while 40 percent of their aroma disappear in the light of day.

Are you, like the folks we remember on Memorial Day, going through a dark and terrifying Midnight experience?  This did not happen randomly.  God has a purpose for your travel through this valley.  Perhaps there is a warning you must heed.  Perhaps it is escape through the Blood of Jesus you need.Perhaps you have a song to sing.  Perhaps it is the light of hope that you are meant to see.  Whatever the design, there is  something you can learn from your trouble at midnight.


Services Cancelled for Sunday February 12

February 12th, 2017

Services are cancelled for Sunday February 12 due to snow.  Stay warm and safe.  See you all soon.

Evening service time changed for today.

February 5th, 2017

February 5, 2017

Tonights service is moved from 6:30 to 5:00 pm.  We will be on regular time next week.

Youth group Cancelled December 17 2016

December 17th, 2016


Kid’s Bible Club 2016 Begins October 28 @ 6:30

October 28th, 2016

Children ages 4-11 are invited to come for a time of singing, stories, crafts and games.  KBC will be held every Friday through the school year finishing on April 7, 2017.  This year we will be starting a half hour earlier and running from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  This club is free and open to the public.

Fall Revival with Dr Bruce Miller

September 30th, 2016

October 5-9

Join us for soul stirring music and life changing preaching with Evangelist Dr. Bruce Miller of Atlantic Coast Baptist College.

Wednesday October 5 –  7:00 pm

Thursday October 6-  7:00 pm

Friday  October 7 –  7:00 pm

Sunday October 9 – 11:00 am & 6:30 pm