Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Feature 5.30.14 – 15 Ways to Exasperate Your Children

This week’s most clicked article from Monday’s post can be found here:

15 ways to exasperate your children.

Most people don’t wake up looking to exasperate their kids; conversely, the Bible commands against it.

So, if we unintentionally exasperate our children, how? The article featured today shows some things that are unintentional; some are intentional.  Here’s what I found most challenging:

1. Many of these are the result of communication breakdowns between parents.

It takes a lot of energy for parents to be on the same page with how they’re going to discipline. And yes, each child has some things about them that are unique and may require specific approaches.

The encouragement? Talk often and openly, and be sure to communicate to your children HOW they will be disciplined.

2. The Gospel is so important.

You could be a parenting expert, and without the Gospel it would all be about you. The goal is for the truth of Jesus Christ to be available, modeled, and taught to our children. If we parent in ways that show we rely on the same grace we’re trying to show them, then we’re on the right track.

3. Repent!

I can’t be the only parent who read this and felt like a failure. I love the author’s call to genuine repentance. I don’t think repentance is a one time event. I think it’s a journey where we continually come to Jesus and ask Him to help us become more like Him.

We must trust in the grace of Jesus in all areas of life, especially parenting.

Think. Which of these stood out to you?

Act. Ask God to lead you and give you grace. Communicate to your spouse and children what your expectations are. Let your kids know you love them.

“‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” – Amazing Grace

Think and Act 5.28.14 – Things I Learned On An Eight Day Break

It was good to have a break last week. As I looked at my vacation time recently, I saw that I would have enough to take an entire week leading up and including the Memorial Day weekend. It was a great experience to have eight days off.

Here are a few things I learned, as well as a few challenges.

1. Being a dad is very enjoyable.

I really enjoyed extra time with our kids last week. I do enjoy the kids – interacting with them, playing games with them and the like. It’s a priority that is at the top of the list for a Christian man and one I intend to continue to develop in my life. I want to find lots of ways to enjoy my children and the time I have with them.

2. Our two older children love their younger sister.

I praise God for the loving spirit our two oldest children have toward their (sometimes difficult) younger sister. They both gave of themselves sacrificially during the time I was off and I finally had the time to pause and reflect on all of it. We can only pray this will continue and grow.

3. Time off reduces stress. 

Throughout the time I had off, I was stressed very little. Even the things that did go wrong really didn’t seem to matter as much. Simply being freed from regular responsibilities made the time seem longer and more meaningful. My stress level really stayed low overall. Part of this was probably because I got to eat a lot of my favorite foods.

4. I enjoyed being available at home.

This is a big struggle for me throughout the average week. I get tired and I always feel like I want to do more than I do at home. So, for an extended stretch, I felt like I was able to keep up on helping in meaningful ways with the day to day stuff around the house.

5. I actually had time to watch movies. 

I watched two films. Twelve Years A Slave was a brutal account of American slavery; a truly sobering tale. 42 told a great story about an admirable man. I felt somehow that they didn’t detail as much as they could have. Seemed too rosy to me. That’s all for my movie reviews.

Think. Do you enjoy your time off? Do you have certain priorities as you approach time away from regular responsibilities?

Act. Be prepared to make the most of your time. Set priorities to use the time given to you and use it well!

Tuesday Rambling 5.27.14 – Truly Random Thoughts

Totally random today. Read these how you will. Rambling in the truest sense. Ready? Go!

  • Today was the first time I ran where it really felt hot outside. I’m sure somewhere someone has been complaining about the weather we are having.
  • I think some people put a lot of effort and thought into “how bad it is” to live in a certain place. Really, how helpful is this?
  • I think public school teachers have a very difficult job. On the subject of school, I think there is a LOT of time that’s wasted in the school day.
  • I really love baseball. I love it most because in baseball there are always a million (no, I didn’t count) strategic plans going on all at the same time. It’s a very complex game and I love the fact that there are so many ways teams try to outwit each other.
  • Sunday will be my 14th anniversary of ministry at Goss Memorial Church. After all this time, my burden for this local church and the community of Kenmore still pulse inside with great fervor.
  • I am super excited for a week of prayer coming up in our community next week. God move!
  • One issue I’m struggling with: the culture of youth and children’s sports.
  • Have a great week. Make the most of each day – God has given it to you. Rejoice!

Monday Challenge 5.26.14 – Parenting, Anger, Churches

A little bit later in the evening, but a quick challenge nonetheless.

Here are four articles to make you think.

Parenting

15 ways to exasperate your children (hint: you DON’T want to do these things)

Question: Of these 15, where are you most in need of God’s grace?

Here are some thoughts on exposing kids to culture vs. sheltering them from it.

Question: What percent offense do you play vs. defense, according to this article? What are the biggest challenges ?

Anger

Treating anger as sin and digging for its root can be very helpful. Good challenges here.

Question: When was the last time you analyzed your anger?

Churches

This author argues churches should drop the “us vs. them” mentality. Definitely worth the read as you think about your approach to living as a Christian.

Question: What did this article help you confront in your life as you approach church?

Friday Feature 5.23.14 – I Long for That Church

This isn’t meant to compare one church against another, so if you read this looking for reasons to boast (or complain) about your church, you’re about to be disappointed.  Today, I’m featuring a very simple quote about evangelism and it can be found here:

I long for that church.

This brief quote challenged me on two specific points: celebration and heroism.

In culture, and often the church, celebrations and heroes are defined loosely.  This quote defines a biblical church with the right kind of celebrations and heroes.

Celebrations are because people are learning that sharing their faith is so exciting. Other types of celebrations aren’t wrong. Churches celebrate births, birthdays, special praises, passing of seasons in people’s lives, etc. Those are great things and show much of what God has done.

But, they are by themselves NOT eternal. I love to celebrate when people catch the desire to share their faith with others.

Heroes: when you hear the word, you usually think of your favorite superhero, right? Sure. Heroes are bold, daring, courageous. Another common use is real life “heroes” who risk their lives to save others, such as rescuers and military personnel. But in this quote, heroes are people who are willing to risk their reputation for saying that Jesus is true. That’s eternally heroic because they’re willing to die to self out of love for their Savior.

I long for more and more of this in the church I lead. I, with the author, long for churches everywhere to experience these types of celebrations and heroes.

Think. Do these definitions of celebrations and heroes challenge you?

Act. Stop longing to be that kind of church. Start living it out for Jesus and strengthen the local church!