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2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...

What is DOCTRINE?

Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

Six Ways to Persevere Through the Sluggish Times in Ministry

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the kind – where you really aren’t “in to” what you’re doing and you feel like you rather be doing just about anything else.  What do you do when those times correspond to your time in ministry. I wrote this...

A New Definition of Family

If we are going to effectively work with and understand kids today, we have to understand what a family is. Family, after all, is a defining characteristic for all us - some for the better and some for the worse. It seems like an...

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.

2. For me, Nathan’s inquiry was a physical example of the spiritual role kids play in our lives.  I know in my own life that my kids, and the kids in our children’s ministry, serve as a spiritual barometers for us as “adults.” I can’t count the number of times when something my kids said or did led me to reevaluate my current relationship with God. Based on my experience with kids, I am firmly convinced that God not only teaches us about him by placing kids in our lives, but also speaks directly to us through the words and actions of kids.

So, next time you’re hanging out talking to your kid or one of the kids in your ministry, remember that God put you in their life to teach them about him, but more importantly, he put that child in your life to teach you!

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