Archives For Family

loving-our-sonJill Marlette has a good post about being a mom with their son Tommy, who has Down syndrome. Both Jill and her husband Kyle were friends of mine in college and she shares not only her struggles, but how other families can be supportive. She writes:

I have found that there are a few practical ways friends and family can help parents who have children with special needs.

Congratulate parents on the birth of their child. So many friends and family came to visit us and weren’t sure how to respond to our new little baby. Some even cried in sadness when they saw Tommy. The birth of a child is a joyful occasion, not a time to be solemn and offer condolences. Every family is different and will respond to such a diagnosis in a different way, but remember a birth is a time to be happy. Be sincere when you congratulate them.

Offer to babysit siblings for doctor appointments or therapy sessions. After having our second child, Tommy’s therapy sessions became exhausting. Trying to participate and learn how to help Tommy, while keeping an infant occupied was very difficult. I can only imagine how much more stressful all of Tommy’s appointments would have been in the beginning if we had another child to bring along with us.

Schedule play dates. It is really helpful for me to be surrounded by Godly, encouraging women, and also for Tommy to be around other children to push him to be more active.

Ignore that the child is “different.” It is difficult when everybody notices Tommy has Down syndrome. People in the grocery store will constantly make over our “special angel.” While people are intending to be nice, as a parent it is a little daunting. Tommy is a wonderful, precious blessing to us, no doubt. He is also human and imperfect. Trust me on that. It is very difficult to know how to handle the responses of strangers, and even family and friends. Honestly, my favorite thing is when people completely ignore that Tommy has Down syndrome and just love on him for who he is.

Many people apologize to me and comment about how sad it is that Tommy has Down syndrome. There is no need to feel sorry for us. It was not an accident that Tommy was born with Down syndrome. God ordained it. There is no need to grieve over some kind of “loss” because having Tommy is an immeasurable gain to our lives. All children are a blessing – special needs or not.

raising-childrenFrom Kevin DeYoung:

Ten pithy sayings from John Witherspoon, Scottish Presbyterian pastor, President of Princeton (1768-1794), and signer of the Declaration of Independence, on parental authority and child rearing:

1. The best exercise in the world for children is to let them romp and jump about, as soon as they are able, according to their own fancy.

2. A parent that has once obtained and knows how to preserve authority will do more by a look of displeasure, than another by the most passionate words and even blows. It hold universally in families and schools, and even the greater bodies of men, the army and navy, that those who keep the strictest discipline give the fewest strokes.

3. There is not a more disgusting sight than the impotent rage of a parent who has no authority.

4. I have heard some parents often say that they cannot correct their children unless they are angry; to whom I have usually answered, then you ought not to correct them at all.

5. Nothing can be more weak and foolish, or more destructive of authority, than when children are noisy and in an ill humor, to give them or promise them something to appease them.

6. Let it always be seen that you are more displeased at sin than at folly.

7. Nothing is more destructive of authority than frequent disputes and chiding upon small matters. This is often more irksome to children than parents are aware of.

8. I am fully persuaded that the plainest and shortest road to real politeness of carriage, and the most amiable sort of hospitality is to think of others just as a Christian ought, and to express these thoughts with modesty and candor.

9. Many parents are much more ready to tell their children such or such a thing is mean, and not like a gentleman, than to warn them that they will incur the displeasure of their Maker.

10. It is a very nice thing in religion to know the real connection between, and the proper mixture of, spirit [i.e., matters of the heart] and form [i.e., disciplines like family worship and church attendance]. The form without the spirit is good for nothing; but on the other hand, the spirit without the form never yet existed.

All quotes are taken from Witherspoon’s Letters on the Education of Children, and On Marriage.

A skit we did in Africa to the song Along Came Jones, by Ray Stevens.



Jones:  Tom Schreiner

Sue:  Hannah Schreiner

Salty Sam:  Patrick Schreiner

Weird Bouncy Lady:  Diane Schreiner

Producer:  Jason French


My wife, the reader

February 3, 2010 — Leave a comment

My wife, Hannah, kept track of the books she read this past year.  I can’t decide if she reads this much because I am so boring, or because she desires to grow in godliness (and her knowledge of Harry Potter).  Probably all of the above.

Click HERE to see her list.

Family Christmas Letter

December 22, 2009 — Leave a comment

Here is the Schreiner’s 2009 Christmas Letter.

Dear Family and Friends,

The men working on the house reach down and pick up a stone.  It is crude, misshapen, and rough around the edges.  Not strong as they think of strong.  In fact the stone looks as if it is about to break, or strangely, even willing to break.  So they toss it aside.  But what they don’t understand is that when this stone breaks, there will be a new stone, a stone that will never break.  And this stone will become the cornerstone.

None of the Schreiners have become masons.  However we all are held and knit together by our common belief in the living stone.  At Christmas we celebrate the historical fact that God became man, to die for the sins of all who would believe in him.

Dad continues to work tirelessly.  He teaches (worldwide), preaches, and unceasingly writes books.  This year Run To Win The Prize, and Magnifying God In Christ: A Summary of New Testament Theology were published.  In January he and Mom will be traveling to Cameroon, West Africa to teach and help dear friends and missionaries, Philemon and Linda Yong.

Mom serves alongside Dad.  She leads a few women’s Bible studies and has the full time job of keeping Anna in line.  She is regularly out visiting people in the church and giving the elderly ladies pedicures.  She is also constantly having people over.

Daniel and Ashley are still in Washington D.C. working at a church.  They are expecting a boy in mid January.  Mom and Dad can’t wait to have their first grandchild.  For a Christmas present Dan and Ashley are flying Mom up to D.C. to see the secret nameless child.

Hannah and I are still living in Louisville, while working (Starbucks/Bank) and going to Seminary.  We have been married a little over a year now, got a dog (Kirby), and are buying our first home.  We will also be going to Cameroon in January with my parents for two weeks.

John changed his major to PE/Health.  This summer he helped the Western Kentucky football team work out and he is now working at the gym on campus.  He is involved in Campus Crusade for Christ and helps lead a Bible study.  Every time we see him he has new facial hair.  Sometimes a beard, other times just a mustache.

Anna is in her senior year at Eastern High School.  She is following in the line of her siblings and going to Western Kentucky.  Her 4×8 team in track won state in the half-mile race this past year.  She is planning on majoring in dental hygiene.  She likes teeth and talking to a captive audience.

We pray that the Lord would bless you in the coming year.  We thank God that he has provided the ultimate blessing.  We pray that you would not reject this stone but come to him, Jesus Christ, who was broken for our sake, but God raised him.

He has become the cornerstone.

With all our love,

Patrick for the Schreiners

0369-copyA Tribute to My Dad on His Birthday:

Some of you know him as a friend, some as a theologian, others as a pastor.  But I know him as a father.

It is his birthday today, and I want you to know the man who goes home, and immediately puts windbreaker pants on.  I want you to know the man who endlessly works, yet endlessly has time for his family.  I want you to know the man behind the books, behind the lectern, behind the pulpit. I want you to know him because I pray that someday I will be half the man he is.

Os Guinness wrote, “If asked what is the deepest relationship imaginable, many people would say it is between lovers, or between husbands and wives. The case can be made, however, that from a Christian perspective, no relationship is more mysterious and more wonderful, yet sometimes more troubling, than that of fathers and sons.”

I imagine when you are a father no one (besides your wife) knows you better than your kids.  Your kids see behind the closed doors.  Paul says in Philippians 3:17 , “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

Paul wants us to look to those who walk in accord with the Scriptures.  Paul must think that watching, monitoring, inspecting, examining someone’s life shapes us.  He believes that our sight affects our faith.  We know this is true for we all “beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed.”

I want to encourage imitation of my Dad by telling three stories.  I could praise him for his knowledge of Greek, or his numerous books, or his pastoral heart, or his hospitality, but I want to focus on things that few people know.  I want to focus on the things that happened after he came home from work.  The things that are done at home, these things make men who they are.

1. Family Devotion

The game started at 7:30.  But I heard my Dad calling for everyone to pile in the car.  It was only 6:15.  I mumbled something about having to leave so early.  My dad looked at me and said, “I don’t like to miss warm ups.” John my younger brother was in his Senior year at Christian Academy of Louisville playing Varsity Basketball.  My dad did not miss a game.  And for that matter he never missed one of mine, or my older brothers.  He is on the same streak for my sister who is currently running track and cross-country.

2.  Humility

My dad is interviewed a lot in front of crowds.  Many want to know what he is like.  One time someone in the crowd stood up and asked him, “Tell us one unique thing about yourself?” He laughed and said, “I am a remarkably ordinary man.”

3.  Loving Wisdom

Knowing that he has written a couple of books that are 700 + pages some of you might think that I mean, “He loves wisdom.”  But what I mean is that he uses his knowledge in a loving way.  He communicates it to help others trust in Jesus.  Here is one example from his life.

Our dog Scamper was a beagle poodle mix.  My only and youngest sister Anna loved Scamper.  She would dress him up and take pictures of him.  When she hugged him she would curl her lips inside her mouth with all her might to let her emotion out physically.  Anna told me when she was home alone she would read the Bible to Scamper in order that he would be saved.  Anna had such a deep love for Scamper and trust in my Dad that she would continually ask him whether Scamper would be in Heaven.  Here was my dad’s response.  Full of wisdom and care for Anna, as she was truly concerned about Scamper’s eternal destiny.  He would say:

“Anna, heaven in the happiest place you can ever imagine.  If you cannot be happy without Scamper in heaven then he will be there.  But no matter what you will be happy.”

There are many more stories I could tell.  By the grace of God my Dad is a remarkable man.  I pray that just by living with him some of him would rub off on me.  I pray that I would be like my Father.