Podcast #19: Restoring the Family Altar

The day I stumbled across a thin volume of family devotions dated 1919, my heart leapt as I surveyed the introduction, knowing I’d struck gold, once again in a book titled, Day After Day: A Manual of Devotions for Individual and Family Use, by John Wilbur Chapman. This compiled collection of weekly Scripture readings and related commentary by a host of 19th century pastors and Doctors of Divinity, plus excerpts from a work noted as Guidance in Prayer, is drawn from a time when men and fathers were honored in the home, and sought out for their leadership in all spheres of living.

In the introduction to this little gem he states:

A home is never quite complete until the father takes his place before his household as a priest. I do not mean as an ordained minister, but rather as one who realizes that he is responsible for the spiritual interests of his household. It is not enough that we should provide for the material comforts of our children. It is by no means enough that we should be concerned for their intellectual development. The spiritual nature must be cultivated, and the moral atmosphere surrounding our children carefully considered and properly developed. I know of no one thing that can so aid in doing this as that the day should begin with family prayer.

Discovering this redeeming little volume, I thumbed through the pages of a 100-year-old book, published at the close of a destructive war. Homes and families lost their men, husbands, fathers, and sons, sifted out of society over ten decades, it is no wonder the trauma of such loss weakened the mortar and knocked out some of the stones that had built us as a culture. A Christian culture. 

So here, in my hands, I held words compiled at the close of the first major upheaval in a destructive century—words designed to restore order in the aftermath of disorder. The words of John Wilbur Chapman, evangelist and preacher “building up, nourishing towards growth, and holding all things together,” in relation to discipling the Church, burst upon my heart like a breath of fresh air to the pollution of the age. A cup of clean, cool water to parched, dry lips. A cleansing rain to wash away the muddy confusion of a rebellious season. A compass pointing me home . . .

Click the PLAY button above to hear the full article PLUS BONUS material not in the print version!

Click below to read the full article in the August 2017 issue of RUBY Magazine:

Sharing Restoring the Family Altar this week with:
Homemaking Party
Vintage Mama’s Cottage
Katherine’s Corner
Booknificient Thursday
Faith Filled Fridays
Pink Saturday
Spiritual Sundays

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About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.


  1. Thanks for linking up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week! I tweeted your post!

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