Tag Archives: Family

Thursday Picks ~ 5-11-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Revenge of Analog DiscipleshipTrevin Wax
Lightstock
Is digital on the way out? Is analog on the way in?

…the revenge of analog does not mean that ebooks will now go away. It means that print is not dead, nor will it die, and what is printed may matter more.

There is no such thing as digital-only discipleship. It’s all analog, because we are embodied people who long for real life community that goes beyond virtual hangouts…

Disciple-making is accomplished by modelers, not just messengers. We develop not merely through cognitive transfer, but also through witnessing the lives and choices of other disciples we encounter on our way. Perhaps this is the reason why the Old Testament emphasizes the meditation and memorization of Scripture alongside conversations about the Law that take place in the daily rhythms of life.

The teachers who make the biggest difference on our lives are those who not only give us knowledge but who know us well enough to speak truth into the specifics of our lives, to give counsel from their vast experience and biblical storehouse.


For your consideration…

The Case for Free-Range KidsLenore Skenazy
Basically, to be a good parent in America today you are expected to imagine the anguish and regret you’d feel if your child died and it was all your fault because you let him do something unsupervised.

My crime was that I hadn’t indulged in what I call “worst-first thinking”—imagining the worst-case scenario first and proceeding as if it were likely to happen. My old-fashioned belief in my son and my city earned me the title “America’s Worst Mom.” (Google it!)…

…So how can we give our kids back the freedom that gave us not only incredible childhood memories but a country bursting with innovation and entrepreneurship? After all, we can’t expect to raise the next generation of risk-takers if they are not allowed to take any risks!


Lots for worship leaders to think about here…

Let Worship Be Local Too: On the Influence of Industry on Sunday MorningRyan Mayo
What are we asking Sunday worship to do for us? This is the root question behind the “worship wars” of recent decades, although that argument typically takes place a few inches above this root. Many American churches have asked at least two inappropriate questions to evaluate our worship ethos. The first is “what music makes us feel like we’ve worshiped?” The second is “what songs and sounds will grow our church?”

These questions have forced out better ones and reveal our real agendas for Sunday liturgies. We have asked our worship practices to bear loads they are not meant to bear, and they have succeeded… These new functions also allowed industry practices and industry pressures to crowd out the old functions, and we are worse for it.

Corporate singing can accomplish many tasks, and church leaders should take great caution when they assign a telos to Sunday music. Singing binds together generations of Christians through common song. Singing catechizes. Singing is also, as Marva Dawn has reminded us, a necessary-and-extravagant “waste of time[1].” Singing can also be conscripted to attract certain groups and/or repel others, or it can produce heightened feelings in our congregations. Singing can dwarf the preached Word of God and relegate it to the status of a lecture, or singing can prepare the ears to hear it. Whether through invitation or through neglect, there is an ever-expanding worship music industry that will exert pressure on our liturgies and, by extension, the theology and practice of our congregations.


Prom Prep…
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Zits – Click image for a larger view.

This Is Us

http://www.nbc.com/sites/nbcunbc/files/files/styles/640x360/public/images/2016/12/21/NBC-This-is-Us-Midseason-AboutImage-1920x1080-KO.jpg?itok=QBq5o_Td

Like most of the country, Kathie and I are completely hooked on This Is Us. We are drawn, week to week, into the intimate relationships of the multi-generational Pearson family. It’s on tonight but I won’t be able to watch until tomorrow, so don’t tell me what happens!

There is a lot to love about this show. The central idea, of course, is the unique way the writers seamlessly connect the story lines of the generations. The device is more than the use of simple flashbacks and “time-hop” story telling, which has become all too common in my opinion. It’s as if we’re standing apart from the constraints of time and watching three stories, separated by time, unfold simultaneously.

There’s the love story of Jack and Rebecca. There’s the story surrounding the birth of their triplets and their doctor. There’s the early story of Randall’s birth father, William as well as William’s relationship with his own mother and brother. There are the stories unfolding in the adult lives of the three siblings: Kevin, Kate and Randall.

The writing is superb, the acting is first-rate. I find the characters to be completely believable. Every episode grabs you by several emotions at once and refuses to let go. Just like real life.

Obviously, one of the things that becomes clear in this show is the powerful influence our parents and grand-parents have on us. On our attitudes, choices and behavior. We all know this to be true, of course, but seldom do we see it portrayed so well or so believably.

My generation, specifically, seems to make a high priority of looking within ourselves to analyze how our parents, for good or ill, have impacted our lives. I believe there is value in this. Particularly if we carry some horrible emotional scar. Understanding is the beginning point to healing.

But what we don’t think about often enough, and what This Is Us is reinforcing in my mind, is how our own present behavior has the power to impact the coming generations. It reminds me that my life is not just about me. It’s about us.

How would it affect my behavior today if I could step outside of time and watch the story of my life, along with the stories of past and future generations of my family unfold simultaneously?

I have many regrets in my own life as a parent. There are moments I can recall, with excruciating clarity, things I said or did that I was sure would leave a lasting scar on my beautiful girls. What I’m learning is that, if you would ask them about my worst parenting mistakes, they would probably remember something completely different. It would likely be something I wasn’t even aware of.

I remember a conversation with one of my girls when she was in about 7th grade, I think. I wish I could remember the context better, but I remember the comfort and encouragement I felt when she said, “I finally realized that you and mom are just people, like me.”

I’ve been a grand-parent now for about ten years. I have found that I’m more intentional about trying to leave my grandkids with something positive.

I wish I had thought of that sooner.

Steve Farrar has said:

“I’m not going to know my great-great grandchildren.
But my great-great grandchildren are going to know me.”

What will they know?

Lloyd

 

Tuesday Picks ~ 2-28-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I raised two impressive daughters. These things were always my heart’s intention. I wish I could say I did them well, but I know better…

10 Things I’d Do If I Were Raising a Daughter Today
Ron Edmondson
All women (all people) have scars of some kind. Sadly, I know a few girls – most of them now grown – who have scars caused by a dad. And, the scars caused by a dad may be among the worst.

As I’ve counseled dozens of hurt or angry girls over the years, I’ve often wondered what I would have done if I had raised a girl. Would would I do now if I were raising a girl?

Certainly the world can be a crazy place. Our children need us – perhaps now more than ever. If I were raising a daughter I would want to be wise and intentional. Maybe one dad out there will read this, consider his own role as a father, and be even more intentional in this important responsibility.


This is such a delicate balance. We must stay vigilant if we have any hope of walking this tightrope…

The Two Things We Must Say About the Transgender DebateKevin DeYoung
imagesThe Christian response to the transgender debate depends on whether we are talking about the debate or about a transgender person. I understand the two cannot be completely divorced, but they are not the same thing either. The ideas bandied about in the public square are often ridiculous. The people struggling with gender identity are not…

That means while we do not have patience for secular agendas, we must have patience for struggling people…It means we must show private care in a way that is not confused with public indifference, and make known our public concern in a way that is not confused with private disdain. We have two different things to say depending on the context–not contradictory things, but complementary things the world is eager to confuse. The agenda ought to be lampooned. The people ought to be loved.


You may find this sadly interesting. I did…

The End of the Olympics As We Know ItRodger Sherman
The Olympics are the world’s most internationally revered money-laundering scam. The host country does not pay the International Olympic Committee to host the games. (That would be bribery!) Instead, the host spends a ludicrous amount of money building infrastructure, and the IOC makes a ludicrous amount of money from selling the international television rights and licensing the Olympic name and logo to advertisers. Hypothetically, the host makes the money back in the decades to come by hosting sporting events at its stadiums.

But if that second part never happens — and it almost never does — the IOC has already made its money…

The IOC is a parasite: It latches onto hosts, leeches out all the money it can, and leaves a trail of rotting velodromes in its wake. Luckily, cities across the globe have learned how to fight back.


Back in my day…
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Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Weekend Picks ~ 2-24-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Some interesting thoughts for your weekend reading, not that it’ll change your mind at all…

Why Facts Don’t Change Our MindsElizabeth Kolbert
The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted…

The Stanford studies became famous. Coming from a group of academics in the nineteen-seventies, the contention that people can’t think straight was shocking. It isn’t any longer. Thousands of subsequent experiments have confirmed (and elaborated on) this finding. As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?


It’s a fact that people who consider themselves committed to their church actually attend much less often than they used to. I believe it’s an unhealthy development that we should fight to change…

Church Member! Fight to Attend Your Church Weekly!
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
This is not just another paper urging the unsaved to just ‘get to church’. This essay is for those whom God has saved and who have obediently committed themselves to a local church and submitted themselves to the leadership of that church. This is an essay for the saved to reorient the focus on the Lord and on His church because this in our culture can distract and disrupt and cloud our minds at times.

My argument? Fight with all your might to attend your church weekly. I’ll provide 7 simple reminders…


To Give a Good Answer, Sometimes You Have to Change the QuestionMelinda Penner
As Christians representing God’s Word, we have to be able to explain the bigger picture. In the case of homosexuality, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, we need to explain what God’s plan is for human sexuality. The reason there are negatives in the Bible is to protect the positives…

…When confronted with direct questions about what the Bible teaches about sex, you probably need to answer a somewhat different question to give a good answer. Instead of answering the question, “What does the Bible teach about being gay?” it might be more effective to help the asker actually understand the answer if you respond to the more relevant question, “What does the Bible teach is God’s design for sex?” In that context, the answer to the question he asked will make more sense.


Worship leaders, this might be worth thinking about…

http://www.challies.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Challies_Feb19-25-05.pngPastors, parents, worship leaders: Are you teaching any songs that can be sung acapella around a hospital bed in 50 years? -Kevin DeYoung


Your Kids are Not Family Decision-Makers
Melissa Edgington
Somehow we have gotten it in our heads that kids want a say in everything. Wrong! Kids want you to figure all that life junk out and let them go play with bugs in the backyard…

Childhood is so short. Let kids be kids. I know many of you don’t believe it, but kids like to be told what to do. They like knowing you are in control. It gives them security. It makes them feel protected and taken care of and safe.


If I lived in the wild west…
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Bizarro

These Kids Own Me

These kids own me.

Iris, Asher and Oliver are my grandkids, and I simply cannot imagine, nor do I want to imagine, my life without them.

Two years ago there were only two of them. When I learned there would be another it was sort of hard to see how a third kid would fit into this. There’s simply no way another child would bring the sweetness and caring that Iris adds, or the exuberance for life that Asher brings. What would a third kid bring? What was lacking? I couldn’t imagine.

What was lacking was Oliver.

What was completely unclear two years ago is utterly obvious today. There was an Ollie shaped hole in our family and we didn’t even know it.

The blog will likely be quiet for the next few days because tonight these three kids will begin spending a few days with Nana and Pop while their mother gives birth to her fourth child, and our fourth grandchild.

Right now, it doesn’t seem like anything is missing. Our family feels complete. My heart feels full.

But I can’t wait to see who joins us to fill his own unseen hole.

Lloyd

 

Weekend Picks ~ 2-10-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Encouragement for church leadership…

Are You on Track if You Lead a Church of Less Than 100?
Ed Stetzer
Are You on Track if You Lead a Church of Less Than 100?…church planters need to know that the expectations they see on conference platforms are unrealistic. Pastors need to remember that ministry in the past should not serve as the only measuring stick for ministry in the present. If we don’t remember this, then planters and pastors may see the tremendous success on the stage or in the past and assume they are failures if they don’t reach those virtually impossible-to-reach levels.

It is past time that churches measure success based on the current realities of their cultural context instead of past glories or present-day anomalies.


I appreciated this short interview with Keith Getty…

The Reformation Changed the Way We Sing
Collin Hansen interviews Keith Getty
Luther’s context was similar to ours in some ways—a generation of somewhat-new believers not used to singing. We live in a world today with more Christians than ever before, most of whom have little theological understanding of why we sing, or experience in how to do it. Luther taught why we sing. He also curated songs that gave people a deep, rich understanding of the God of the Bible and the gospel he offers.


This is an excellent article about how to have the conversation no parent ever wants to have, but most likely will…

How to React the First Time Your Child Admits Watching PornJohn Fort
dad holds son safeA parent’s first reaction is so critical. The first words out of our mouth, the first body language we express, has an enormous impact on any future success we may have helping our child. It’s worth thinking about and trying to plan for…

The most important take away for any child in this scenario is to experience that Mom and Dad are safe people to talk about sexual temptations with. If we do not leave our children feeling safe after our first discussion about an exposure that occurred, we are likely cutting off any future chance of them listening to our advice on the matter.


Just in time for Valentine’s Day. I appreciate this article a lot…

If You’re Looking for Romance, It’s Probably Right in Front of YouMelissa Edgington
Someday when I’m sitting in a rocking chair looking back over our life together, it won’t be the big trips or the diamond rings that I remember most. It’ll be all the little things. The small gestures that he makes every day to communicate how much he loves me. If you’re searching for romance in your marriage, chances are you’re ignoring the most romantic things about your life. Stop and think about it, and appreciate all of the little ways that you are being romanced every day. I promise it’ll make marriage more fun and meaningful if you do. Be grateful for what you have and stop pining for a version of marriage that Hollywood dreamed up. Most of the people who wrote that stuff are divorced. Just saying.


The People’s Choice…
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Bizarro – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 1-31-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Every kid and family is different, but he makes a valid point…

Why Our Son Doesn’t Have a SmartphoneTrevin Wax
lightstock_135026_medium_tgc…the real reason why our son doesn’t have a phone is because we think his middle-school years will be better spent without one. The answer I’ve given, over and over again, is this: I want you to be free from middle school drama when you’re at home.

Of course, our son thinks the phone represents a new rung on the ladder, the next step toward the freedom of adulthood. We think the phone, at his age, is a step down into slavery. It traps kids, just like it can trap adults, into the social game of likes and comments and never-ending comparisons.


If we didn’t do these things I think it would help a lot…

7 Ways to Do Political Punditry Wrong in a Polarized WorldKevin DeYoung
…it seems like the promise of “moving past this contentious election season,” is not going to materialize. No doubt, your Twitter feed and your Facebook page are as full as ever with political punditry–much of it well intentioned, only some of it well considered. What are we to do as Christians when there is so much we might want to say, and yet, we’d like to say it in a way that makes a difference instead of just making noise?

Perhaps a look at the negative will point us in a positive direction. Let’s briefly consider seven ways to do political punditry wrong in a polarized world…


The church needs you, and you need the church…

Where Are All The Skinny Jeans Pastors?Stephen McAlpine
Male legs in elegant skinny jeansA US report indicates only one in seven senior pastors is under the age of 40.   It’s a Barna Research piece so it’s got some cred.  You can read the Christianity Today report here.

The research lists nine reasons for the collapse in the younger pastor demographic,  which also shows the average age for a senior pastor is 54, compared to just 44 years of age in 1992…

Let me add a tenth to that – a theological reason – A Poor Ecclesiology.  And it’s this tenth one that could be allowing the other nine listed above to set the agenda… The church is no longer viewed as the locus of God’s work on earth…


My new word for today…

A Necessary CoinageAlan Jacobs

Drumpfengeworfenheit:
The condition of finding oneself “thrown” into Donald Trump’s America.


Software upgrade…
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Dilbert – Click image for a larger view.

How was your Christmas?

“How was your Christmas?”

I’m glad you asked.

It was good.

Allow me to try to explain what I mean by that…

December 24

When our girls were little we started the tradition of giving them each one gift to unwrap on Christmas Eve. It was always pajamas. The idea was that they would have nice new pj’s for the pictures on Christmas morning. They caught on after about…one year.

Our girls are now 35 and 33. They can buy their own pajamas. But we continue the tradition with our grandkids. On Christmas Eve they stop at our house either before or after the Christmas Eve worship services at church. They get one gift each. They know what it’s going to be. They just don’t know what they will look like. But we also throw in a little something else, like a book or a stuffed animal, just for fun.


It’s our tradition. It warms my heart.

And it’s good.

December 25

Christmas morning used to be just the four of us. Lloyd & Kathie & Liz & Kate. The LKLKs. (Pronounced “lick-licks.”) This was still true when Liz & Kate grew up and moved out. But now it revolves around the next generation. This is as it should be. But the transition has been a little awkward, I think. We want to keep family traditions alive, but we recognize the need for the next generation to establish their own traditions. Like we did.

We’ve settled into a pattern where the kids have their own Christmas celebration at home, then, later in the morning, everyone comes to our house for brunch and another round of gift giving. By “everyone,” I mean Kathie and I and our kids, and kids-in-law, and grandkids.

We take turns opening gifts. There is chaos, mess, laughter, and love.

And it’s good.

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but earlier in December, Kathie’s mother took a turn for the worse. Her health hadn’t been good for a while now, but it had worsened to the point where hospice care was called for. During these weeks Kathie made the 45 minute drive to be with her mother almost daily. We had even discussed how things might go if her death occurred before Christmas. Her condition weighed on our hearts during our Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day activities. But, as I reflect on those days now, I realize that, even though there was sadness in the knowledge that Louise could pass into the arms of Jesus at any time, this knowledge did not cast a gloom over our family times.

In fact, I think it added warmth and meaning and depth.

This is why we celebrate.

This is what hope can do.

This is what Jesus’ coming to earth can do.

And it’s good.

December 27

On Tuesday morning we got the call. Louise’s breathing had changed. It was starting to happen. Kathie left work and I met her at the Hospice Care Center. During the rest of that day the room was filled with her children and grandchildren. There was laughing, and talking, and serving, and remembering, and loving. Louise wasn’t really conscious, but I’d like to think she could hear it all. I believe she did.

As evening came, some decided to go home. The lights were lowered. It got quieter.

A couple years ago, Louise was very sick. We thought we were going to lose her then. During some of those times of delirium she would call out for her older sister who had passed away some years ago. “Ruby!” she would cry.

“Ruby!”

She did this again a couple weeks ago. When she was more alert she explained that she had dreamed she saw a door in front of her. Light was streaming from under the door, and she knew that Ruby was on the other side. But Ruby wouldn’t open the door to let her in.

I don’t really know what to make of these kinds of experiences, but there are too many stories like this to ignore. There is something going on here that we cannot quite understand.

What I do know is that, around 2:30 on Wednesday morning, surrounded by her children, Louise’s breathing slowed to about 6 breaths per minute. Susan whispered to her to ask Ruby to open the door and let her in.

She did.

And it was good.

The following days were spent planning a memorial service.

December 31

Just as Kathie and I have had to transition our family Christmas time from one generation to the next, my parents have done the same thing. Not only do their kids have families of their own, their kids’ kids have families of their own, and we don’t all live in the same state. So, it takes a little effort to figure out how and when we can all get together. But we believe it’s important, so we do it. This year, the 31st was the day.

It’s nothing fancy. Just the usual holiday food and gifts.

I picked dad up at the nursing home and brought him home for the day. I can’t tell you in a few words what that man means to me. This is the man who would throw the childhood me in the air. The man who would make the teenage me work with him in the hot sun building a stone patio behind our house, and I just couldn’t keep up. The man who consistently demonstrated to the grown up me what it means to stand for what was good and right, regardless of the personal cost. He’s the same age as my mother-in-law. He is certainly not dealing with the same life threatening issues she was, but his physical ability seems to deteriorate every time I see him. This is why my heart aches every time I’m with him.

I want him to experience the love of his family as often as possible.

Four generations celebrating together make for an interesting afternoon. There is certainly a lot of joy, a lot of love, and a lot of warmth, but there are definitely stressful moments. It can’t be helped, and it shouldn’t be avoided. The stress is where love grows. You deal with it, recognize it for what it is, forgive, and move on. You’re family. That’s what you do.

And it’s good.

Then there’s New Year’s Eve.

We have celebrated New Year’s Eve with the same basic group of friends for many years. These people mean the world to me. This year, I think I needed their presence more than ever. Yes, it added one more activity to what was already a busy and emotional couple of weeks, but we needed it. It was life giving.

And it was good.

January 2 & 3

Funeral services.

Monday evening’s visitation. Watching a video collage of photos and telling stories. Covered with love from family and friends. Oliver, 18 months old and currently the youngest reminder that a part of Louise lives on, oblivious to the purpose, but enjoying the gathering, bringing life and charming everyone.

Tuesday morning’s memorial service. A bit of a delay as we wait for one family member to arrive. Typical. While we sit and wait like mature adults, inwardly we run and explore vicariously through Oliver who has a hard time sitting still but easily brings a smile. Young life. It’s sort of hypnotic in these circumstances.

It’s a dreary, drizzly day, and kind of muddy around the gravesite, but we’re thankful it’s warm for a January day. After the short committal service, we were invited to take a flower from the beautiful spray on the casket. I was deeply touched when my daughter Liz took one of the flowers across the road to the nearby grave of her great-grandparents and placed it in the small vase on the marker. Her sensitivity impresses me.

The chain of life. Generation to generation.

These connections are important. We do live on after we die. I carry the life blood of those who came before. A part of me lives on in those who come after.

It’s humbling.

And it’s good.

I think maybe it’s fitting that our Christmas season ended with a funeral. This is why Jesus came, isn’t it?

“For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
-1 Corinthians 15:25-26

So, maybe our Christmas didn’t look like a Currier and Ives print.

Everything wasn’t perfect.

But we were reminded why we celebrate.

And it was good.

Lloyd

Monday Picks ~ 10-24-2016

Picks Monday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Your vote is your voice. Let it be heard!

The Power of the Wasted VoteD.M. Andre

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it, than vote for what I don’t want and get it.” — Eugene V. Debs

While each vote has statistical importance, there is more to a vote than simple mathematics. The election is not a horse race, it is not about picking the winners and the losers — it is about participating in democracy. That is why you do not simply vote for who you think will win, you vote for who you believe will do the best job based on the issues that are important to you. Your vote is your voice, if you are merely voting for the candidate most likely to win you are self-censoring.


Following Jesus is not “common sense”…

Let’s Keep Christianity WeirdElliot Clark
http://theblazingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Keep_Portland_Weird.jpgBut, let’s be honest, no parent wants their kids to be weird. I certainly work hard so that my children are not socially inept. Yet all of us must prepare our children for life as outsiders. As much as we hate to say it, our children, should they choose to follow Christ, must be ready to suffer. The Christian home may be a safe place of sorts, a temporal sanctuary from the onslaught of the world’s common sense. We try to provide this shelter, but we are simultaneously training our children to push against the natural thought patterns of the world.


I hesitate to share this, but I think these are pretty accurate…

Six Reasons Congregational Singing Is Waning
Thom S. Rainer
six-reasons-congregational-singing-is-waning
Please be nice…

I know I am touching on several sensitive subjects in one post: the loudness of music; lighting in the worship center; music preferences; and performance versus participatory singing.

But here is the clear reality in many congregations: congregational singing is waning in many churches. In some churches it seems to have disappeared altogether…

Here are six reasons…


Are you in denial? Here’s how you can tell…
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/denial-flowchart.jpg
Wrong Hands

Weekend Picks ~ 10-21-2016

Picks Weekend

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

This is how I learned to love the church…

How My Parents Taught Me To Love The Church
Ricky Alcantar
http://theblazingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/old-people-753591_1920-1700x1133.jpgWhether you realize it or not, you’re teaching your kids a theology of the church with your time…

…part of imparting a love for Jesus to our kids means imparting a love for Jesus’ family, the church. If we tell our kids one thing about the church and undermine it with our time, they’re sharp enough to get the message.

So what are you preaching about the church to your kids? What is your time preaching to them?

I heard simple truths like this read as a kid: “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10 ESV).

I couldn’t grasp how huge those words were–that once we were without a people but because of what Jesus has done we’ve become God’s people. But I knew this: we had a people and we saw our people on Sunday mornings and during the week at small group and sometimes unexpectedly when they showed up crying and sometimes in the hospital when they were sick.

They were our people. I heard that loud and clear.


This is written with leaders in mind, but I think there is value here for anyone…

5 Emotional Intelligence Hacks That Can Immediately Improve Your LeadershipCarey Nieuwhof
shutterstock_268007936Your emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) is already affecting far more than you think at work and at home. It explains:

Why you have conflict and when you have conflict.

Why people like working with you or don’t.

Why you never seem to get the promotion you’re hoping for—or why you do.

Why there’s so much drama in your life, or why things actually go quite smoothly.

So how emotionally savvy are you?


I don’t usually read a lot of Beth Moore stuff, but she really hits some nails on the head here…

The Scandal of Election 2016Beth Moore
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/centraljersey.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/66/266156be-28ee-11e6-b915-efc45fe68509/5750780740b75.image.jpgYesterday’s America, in all its honor and shame, is in ashes but, rather than exercise the faith and obedience and earnest prayer to see God raise some beauty from the heap, some gold from the fire, we keep trying to glue ashes back together. And they won’t stick. Yesterday’s America has become an idol to us. It has no more breath in it and the thing about idolaters is that, sooner or later, they become like their idols. (Psalm 135:18)

God could do something new but we’ve lost our hope. We want back what we’ve seen instead of believing Him for what we haven’t…

Poor, poor God. He’s down to His last two options. And poor, poor us for having such a poor, poor God.

We are called to be people of faith in a God who never needed a man-paved road to get anywhere. A dead end means nothing to a God of resurrection.


Good communion meditation here…

Judas at the Table -Ronald G. Davis
Judas cared so little for Jesus’ well being, he saw only money signs—“What is he worth?” Well, that is the question that is answered here at this table. “What is he worth?” Is he worthy of devotion? Worthy of obedience? Worthy of repentance? Will we sit quietly, repentantly, or are we in a hurry to “get out and get on with life”? Do we make the Judas choice? He repented . . . but too late. Jesus died because of Judas’s sin, and he died for Judas’s sin. Then, sadly, Judas died unnecessarily for his own sin, at his own hand.

Those are the choices: die for one’s own sin or allow Christ’s death to be a personal atonement for one’s sin…

When Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me” (Mark 14:18), the only question I can ask, the only one you can ask: “Is it I?”


It’s all in your head…
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