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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...

Photos: 2021-02-20 Basketball (at Harvest Prep)

    Today was kind of a bittersweet day as Lyndsey finished up her high school basketball career. While losing 48-36 in the is not the way she would have wanted to finish, she led her team in scoring again this afternoon with 13 points and well over 10 rebounds...

Photos: 2021-02-12 Basketball (at Heath)

  After two games getting cancelled earlier this week for "Covid concerns," the Lady Vikings finished up their regular season on Friday, February 12, 2021, at the Heath Bulldogs. The Vikings came up short with Heath prevailing 50-24. Lyndsey Stocks 16 of the teams 24...

When the Angels Rejoice

Baptism I have always enjoyed the Parable of the Lost Coin from the book of Luke:

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15: 8-10]

I have always enjoyed the images of Angels celebrating every time someone enters the kingdom of heaven. Every time I hear a story of salvation or a baptism testimony, I get a mental picture of angels in heaven celebrating. The verse doesn’t say so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit right there along with them celebrating right along with them.  This Saturday night, that idea of celebration takes on a whole new meaning for me.  This Saturday, at around 7:00 PM or so, my seven year old daughter will be baptized, and I can’t wait to celebrate along with the angels.  Now, mind you, they’ve already had their big celebration, as did I on a Sunday afternoon in April.  Here’s what I wrote about that day (April 18, 2010) previously:

On the way to church yesterday my 8 year old son (nine today – Happy Birthday Jacob), my seven year old daughter (Lyndsey) and I were talking about the gospel and being saved. My son (who is saved and has been baptized) asked how you know for sure that you’ve been saved (this was after a lesson last week on Thomas and how doubts are normal in the Christian life). So, we talked about the prayer of salvation and then we talked about how being saved is much more than just that prayer. We talked about the outward and inward signs of being saved like changes in attitudes, regretting when you do bad things not just because of the thing itself but because it is something God wouldn’t want you to do, etc., and we talked about how God changes us from the inside out. When we got in the truck to come home from church Lyndsey was kind of quiet then she told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever said that prayer.” I asked her if she wanted to, and she said she did but not until we got home and her brother wasn’t in the truck. 🙂

Anyhow, when we got home we talked about how salvation was more than just a prayer, or words that you say, or an easy way to get to heaven, but rather a choice to make Jesus Lord of your life. She said that she understood and she still wanted to say the prayer so we did! Needless to say, it was an awesome moment – another glimpse for me into how God must feel when one of his kids comes home. I stand amazed as the awesomeness and goodness of God. When my kids were born, I never thought anything would top those moments. I was wrong! Yesterday, and the same event with Jacob have exceeded those moments.

Now, Lyndsey can’t wait to be baptized. That will be another moment to add to my list. Sometimes, in children’s ministry, it is easy to get caught up in other people’s kids. And, so much of what we do is the meticulous investment that yield future (but not immediate results). Yesterday, God graced me with a moment that reminded me what is truly important and put everything back into perspective for me in a moment, and I find myself repeating a refrain that permeates my life and my prayers, “Thanks you God!”

She couldn’t be at the baptism last time our church did them in June, but she (and I) are excited about this coming Saturday.  When I finally submitted to God’s will and got baptized myself, it was a moment I will never forget.  But to see my son, and now my daughter, follow me in that act of obedience has truly been a gift of God.

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