Archive for the ‘ Family Life ’ Category

When words are many…

Have you ever just been hit with a scripture that just knocked you out?

Last week The Resurgence sent out scripture verse as they often do but this one gave me more reason to pause and reflect than most. Because it struck a nerve.

When words are many transgressions are not lacking, but whomever retrains his lips is prudent. — Prov 10:19

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a big mouth. I love to talk, one of my favorite activities is to sit around and have a good conversation.  Most of my friends are story telling, entertaining personalities we are an outgoing group the often lets our mouths go for the sake of a good time.  Often I have gotten to the end of the night and thought “that went to far”

Recently, I have found my mouth getting me into trouble the more I talk. Honestly at time I think it is my pride and ego the causes me to talk because I want to be though of more highly than I deserve. In reality I should more often keep my mouth shut.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Everyone has heard of Mardi Gras but how many of us know that it is connected to Lent and the Christian Tradition?  I best most people don’t make the connection.

You know spending most of my walk with the Lord in modern Evagelical churches I was never really taught much about older traditions in the Church.  Having gone to a Lutheran church when I was first saved I have at least heard some of the titles.

Today is Ash Wednesday, it marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a traditional time of preparation, via repentance, prayer, alms giving and self-denial, for the Holy Week and celebration or Easter or Resurrection Sunday.  Mardi Gras literally “Fat Tuesday” was the last chance to eat the rich fatty foods before a period of fasting.  A sort of “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” kind of day.

Most people think of Lent as the 40 days before Easter but many denominations count these times differently. (See this article for more information)  No matter the duration you observe the purpose should be the same.

No matter which way you choose to observe the season it is a wonderful experience.   The years when I have taken is seriously it has been an enriching time of growth.   Take some prayerful time to consider what God would have you to do to observe Lent and prepare for the Holiest of day in the Christian year.

There are traditionally three types of Justice to be observed in the Lenten Season: Justice to God, yourself, and others.

(God)Dedicate more time to prayer by giving up: TV, Video Games, sleep or something else that takes up your time.

(Self)What can you do?  Many people give up a certain type of food: meat, red meat, caffeine, candy and sweets.

(Others)Dedicate the money you save in doing these thing to give away to others, your local church, homeless shelter or other ministry.

Repenting to my kids

There is nothing more humbling than having to repent to your two and four year old.

Not twenty four hours after I spent the day at a Conference dedicated to helping Men be more Godly I snapped at both of my little girls and my wife in major way.  I will be completely honest and let you know I have a temper.  It usually takes a lot to push me to the point where I snap but when I do it is embarrassing.

Sunday afternoon I snapped and startled both of my little girls.  They were crying and I was mortified.  I went downstairs and took them in my arms as I asked them to forgive me.  I explained, more to my oldest, that I had sinned in my anger and I was wrong.  She answered the way she always does, “It is OK daddy, I forgive you” I then asked her to pray for me that God would help me to control my temper.

I hope in this way my daughters can see that I am a sinful imperfect human being saved by the grace of God just as they are.  I hope to model repentance to them but maybe not about the same things all the time.

Thoughts?

Act Like Men

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

Act Like Men is a one-day conference in Columbus, Ohio that exists to rally and challenge men to live into Paul’s call for Gospel transformation in every aspect of their lives. This event features local and national speakers addressing what it means to Act Like Men. Key topics will include: personal responsibility and leadership in their homes, families, churches and culture; Godly use of time, finances and resources.

As any of my friends will tell you I have a certain passion for seeing males stop being boys and start acting like men.  I helped to start a site dedicated to looking at why men hate going to church and how we can more affectively minister to men in this way.

Act like Men will kick off tomorrow at 9.  I will be tweeting and doing some live blogging although I am a volunteer so I hope I can have the time to write as well.  If you are interested there is a live video stream being set up.  Just tune in early (9:00am EST) and you can hear 400 men worshiping the LORD in a serious way.

What a stange encounter

Heather and I had a very strange encounter last weekend.  We had decided to get my free birth day burger at a local restaurant and after asking to be moved away from the door and the negative wind chill we sat with the girls quietly waiting for our food to arrive.  It took a little longer than we though but nothing really unusual happened.

When suddenly the couple in the booth behind me got up and the gentleman turned to our table and said “I just want to commend you both on being such excellent parents.”

I was shocked, and humbled all at the same time.  I quickly thought through all that I had done with Alora since we sat down but couldn’t think of anything remarkable that would entice this man to walk up to two perfect strangers and remark on their child rearing.

We expressed our gratitude and talked about the couples three grand children before saying our good byes.  Heather and I stared at each other almost with tears in our eyes.  We try to be very deliberate in how we raise our children but never think we are doing well enough because we see all of our flaws.  But it is wonderful to hear from someone else that you are doing a good job.

Christmas stuff

I have written extensively on things about Christmas in the past, I have my issues with the holiday and I love it at the same time.

I have relaxed my view on Santa, I don’t tell my daughter about him because I have constantly told her that I don’t lie to her.  I don’t want her to be confused about what this Holiday is all about, it is about the Advent of Jesus.  Grandparents and friends may talk about Santa but she won’t here that out of my mouth.

The only thing I hold the line for is the idea that “If you aren’t good, you won’t get any presents.”

Christmas is about the single greatest undeserved gift in all of history, we give to one another not because we deserve it but to remind each other that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”  And he did it despite the fact that we don’t deserve it, and can’t behave well enough (which is kind of the point of the gift to begin with.)

For Christmas we have begun several traditions, this year we are going through doing something special on each night of advent.  Our family worship time is pointing to the coming of Christ.  Each night our we read a story of our redemptive history and decorate an ornament for out advent tree.  And each night the girls get to open a door on their advent calendar.

I hope that in these little ways we can honor God with this season instead of creating little consumer monsters.

One of my goals in relaunching this blog is to be more honest.  Honestly I haven’t read the entire Bible since my oldest daughter, who turns 4 in January.  Prior to that I had read through the Bible several times over two years.

A few weeks ago I posed a question to people on twitter and facebook “Is it more important to be culturally relevant or Biblically faithful.”  Overwhelmingly the responses were that it is more important to be biblically faithful.  The natural question that follows is how much time to we spend on it.

I am unable to find any definitive research on the matter but I would wager a guess that 50-90% of “lay” people don’t open the Bible from Sunday to Sunday.

I am one of those people in most cases, if you eliminate the scriptures I read for our community group then I have normally been one of those people.

My wife and I confessed to each other on a recent road trip that neither of us have a love for the Word of God like we feel we should.  Part of it is familiarity, part is laziness, part is lack of discipline, and part sin and the sum is I don’t read the Bible.

It is my desire to change that this year, I am returning to a yearly reading of God’s word no matter what I need to sacrifice to do it.  How can I learn more about God without his authoritative self-revelation?

How can I make the time in a busy life to honor God with my time?  Any suggestions?