Posts Tagged "parents"

What Matter Now in Children’s Ministry – Parents by Gina McClain

image image In the book What Matters Now in Children’s MInistry, Gina McClain chose the Word “Parents.”  She writes:

“Every parent has a vision for their kids whether they know it or not. A vision for an education… from a Doctorate to simply an educational step higher than they achieved. A vision for a certain lifestyle… from multi-millionaire to simply a step above what they had growing up. A vision for opportunity… from NCAA athlete to simply more open doors than they had opened for them.

Some visions are more precise than others. In the end, parents want more for their kids. This vision drives decisions they make: where they devote their time, money and attention and where they lead their kids to devote their time, money and attention.

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The Doctor Is In

Last week there was a bug making its way through my house, and I don’t mean the kind with wings or umpteen gazillion legs or even beady little eyes.  This bug was more of the stomach variety.  My daughter was the first to show the symptoms on the weekend.  I got hit on Monday going into Tuesday.  Finally, on Wednesday, the bug finally won its battle and took out five people in one afternoon including my two year old.  Still reeling and feeling nauseous myself, I spent a good portion of Wednesday cleaning vomit and such (sorry for the details, but they’re integral to the story).  Anyhow, come Thursday I was sick (pun intended) of cleaning and disinfecting, so when my two year old son laid down with me in my bed to watch TV, I asked, “How’s your stomach feeling Nathan?”  He replied, and I quote, “I’m fine.  How’s your back doing?”

As frequently happens with my kids, I was floored by his response.  After some reflection, I walked away with a couple of important reminders:

1. Kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for.  Nathan will be three in November.  I don’t often discuss my medical problems with him, but he understood that his Dad’s back hurt.  I had my final of three shots of steroids the Monday before, and he was legitimately concerned with how I was.  Now, I’m a bit partial and a bit biased when I say that Nathan is a smart kids, but I think we need to remember that kids of all ages are capable of much more than we give them credit for.  If a three year old is capable of comprehending a situation like this and wondering whether or not things were all better, imagine what even older kids are capable of.  We should never, ever, underestimate a child’s capacity for understanding or compassion.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

BirthdayToday is my birthday (yesterday by the time you are reading this).  I turned 37 years old.  Now, I’m not much of a birthday person.  I don’t tend to make a big deal about my birthday, but I started to think about where I am in my life these days.  As I started to put two and two together, I realized that this year marks a couple of milestones:

  1. I will have been married 10 years this coming September.
  2. Next year will be my 20th High School reunion.
  3. I graduated from The Ohio University 15 years ago this past June – Go Bobcats!
  4. We are starting to experience the “lasts” in our family as my youngest son turned two this summer.
  5. My oldest son reaching the legal driving age this past June – pray for us.
  6. I have been part of God’s family for roughly 6 ½ years now and actively involved in a church for about five of those.

I don’t mind getting older – really!  I figure age is a sign of experience and maturity, and I have the grey hair to prove it these days.  I actually got a hair cut on my birthday, and I was struck by exactly how much gray hair fell to the ground during that process. Anyhow, when I started to look back on where I’ve come from and where I am these days, a couple of birthday observations came to mind which I thought I would share with you all:

  1. I am old enough now and know enough to know that I still have a lot to learn.
  2. Other than the Bible, I have found that God teaches me more about himself and my relationship with him through my children and the children I work with at church than in any other way.
  3. I used to focus on my kids to the detriment of my marriage.  Now I realize that focusing on my marriage in the greatest gift that I can give my kids.
  4. 37 Candles creates quite a light and a fire hazard!
  5. When I first started to investigate Christianity, God put me in a great Bible believing and teaching church which didn’t have all the trapping I associated with what I would have called “blind sheep” at the time.  There was no worship music (rarely anyhow), there was no formal membership, and the teachings were done more in the form of lectures than preaching.  It was exactly what I needed at the time.  I think anything else would have scared me away.  We have since left that church and are now part of another Bible believing and teaching church.  This one, however, is a little bit different.  There is worship music before every celebration, and it is one of the most edifying things I do every week.  We also recently became members of the church – the first time in my life I have ever been a member of a church.  As I look back, I am amazed at how God works in the little things and the details.  The things I now cherish as a maturing Christian probably would have scared me a way in the beginning, and God put me in exactly the right place at the right time!
  6. Now that I have four kids of my own, I have a deeper appreciation for what my Dad had to do to raise me and my three brothers by himself for years.
  7. Kids have a way of keeping you humble.  It’s hard to be proud when you’re wiping a poopy butt.
  8. When things don’t turn out the way we want them to, we should accept that God knows what is best for us and look forward to what he has planned.
  9. Loving our kids means that they will not always be happy with us.
  10. The saying “it is more blessed to give than receive” applies to a lot more than Christmastime and a lot more than presents.
  11. Time is precious, and we should be careful not to waste a second.
  12. I used to live by the mantra that “You can do anything you put your mind to.”  Now I live by Matthew 19:26 – “With God all things are possible.”  He has a lot better track record than I do!
  13. I don’t mind being 37, but I find that I don’t really think of myself as being that old.  Somehow, in my own mind, I’m still 26 or 27.
  14. I am still divesting myself of boxes full of stuff from back when I tried to find happiness in things rather than in God.
  15. As a parent, one of the most satisfying moments in life comes when your kids are getting along and helping one another.
  16. Every breath and every birthday is given to us by the grace of God!
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Blog Patrol (June 23, 2009)

police-fish Welcome to a special post-Father’s Day installment of the Blog Patrol! In honor of Father’s Day, all articles linked in this week’s blog patrol have to do with parenting, kids and Children’s Ministry.

Stragglers

These are the stragglers from the prior week which I either didn’t receive or find in time to add to last weeks Blog Patrol. Enjoy!

Growing Up Without Dad

  • Keith M. Jowers offers this moving personal testimony about growing up without a Dad.

Tuesday (June 16, 2009)

How Fatherhood Is Changing

  • John Fuller offers a link to a Voice of America report on the changing views of fatherhood in America.

Family Time vs. Computer Time???

  • This article from CM Buzz looks at the growing trend of computer time being used to replace what was formerly family time and the negative impact of that trend.

Fathers, Your Attitude Should Be Like Christ’s

  • This article from John Younts reminds fathers that their attitude in parenting should mirror that of Christ.

Helping Kids Use Their Powers For Good

  • This article examines how to draw the best out of each child based on the unique gifts God has given him.

Leading a child to faith

  • Kenny Conley starts a new series on leading a child to faith with some background information.

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Why Did God Make Us? (Questions Kids Ask)

QuestionWhen I started the “Questions Kids Ask” series a couple of weeks ago with the question, Who made God?, I didn’t realize how popular that post would become.  Indeed, in less than two weeks, it has become the most popular post ever on my blog.  It has also sparked some interesting discussion including one commenter who asked, “So what made him up and decide to create the planets and life?”  I don’t know how old this person is, but the question seems like a logical follow-up question in the “Questions Kids Ask” series, so I thought I would deal with it in a separate post.  In short, I suppose the question is:

Why Did God Make Us?

This question has been asked over and over throughout history.  In fact, King David asked essentially the same question in Psalm 8:

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”  [Psalms 8:3-4]

The fact of the matter is that the Bible does not give us explicit details about why God chose to make us as opposed to not making us.  Genesis 1:1 clearly tells us that God created the world, and Genesis 1:27 tells us that he created man (and woman) in his own image.  Beyond that, it does not talk much about the why of creation.  Accordingly, this question rightly falls under the umbrella of the “secret things” discussed in Deuteronomy 29:29:

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deuteronomy 29:29]

Fortunately, the Bible does give some insight even if it doesn’t come right out and directly answer the question.  Let’s start with some of the mistaken theories that are often offered for why God created us.  Let’s look at some of those notions and see why they are not true.

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