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Archive for May, 2009

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David Powlison suggested three categories of questions to ask your husband or wife. Each of these categories can be asked on a daily basis. And each of these categories are simple and broad, but certainly provide helpful reminders. Here are the three:

1. What are your present burdens?

The Bible tells us that we are born for trouble (Job 5:7). So what is the trouble? A sin? A responsibility? An issue at work? A particular conflict? What weighs you down? What was your lowlight of this day? These burdens are the “heat of life.”2. What are your present joys?

What were your highlights from the day? These joys are the “dew of blessing.”

3. What is your calling?

This could include the mundane tasks, or broader life-purpose questions. What are your duties for this day? What do you need to do? What are your goals for this day? For example, a parent could say, “Today, I don’t want to lose my temper with the kids.” It could be as simple as this.

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While I have no musical ability at all, I love how Steven Curtis Chapman turned the tables on this task. You know that this is something his children will never forget. My challenge this week for all of us is to find creative ways to make mundane tasks intentional times with our kids.

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A dear friend lost her father this past week. I wanted to share the email she sent out. It  says enough without me commenting on it.

My daddy passed away on May 16th at 6:33pm while I was reciting Matthew 6:33 to him–holding his hand.

”Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

It is a little game we do at our house —when the clock says 6:33—we say this verse to remind us to Seek God First. It was a holy moment. Pop Pop took his last breath as I said “Hallelujah.” And then he smiled a little smile. It was beyond special and overwhelming!!

So what are you going to do today at 6:33?

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It was one of those conversations that you never forget. Our headmaster and I were having lunch with Joe Ehrmann, the subject of the book Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx. The topic of discussion was kids and sports. As the conversation lengthened, Joe made a comment that has stuck with me to this day. Joe told us that he thought “the most competitive sport in America is parenting.” I must say that the  behavior of parents really supports that his thoughts are on track. The more I think about it, the more I realize the need for us to create a New Normal when it comes to parenting. In order for us to change, we must struggle with these questions and pray for change in our families:

  • Why do we become more concerned with how our children compare to others than how intentional we are as parents?
  • Why are we worried more about what others think about our children than what God thinks?
  • Why are we more child-centered than God-centered when it comes to parenting?
  • Why do we parent more towards the worldly definition of success than we do the godly definition of success?

May our kids see us as imperfect parents who are delighted and satisfied in Christ alone. May our families be pictures of reconciliation.

In the words of Mark Batterson (with a tweak): “Don’t let what’s wrong with you or your kids keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.”

Let’s lead the charge of changing how parents are viewed. I would rather be known for being intentional than for being competitive.

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Three Types of Dads by Robert Lewis:

ABSENT dads are invisible and are only shadows in a boy’s life.

INVOLVED dads participate in their son’s lives but without a plan. This kind of dad is often vision-less or shapeless. He has overlooked investing a core of clear, masculine directives into his son’s life which are vital to his success.

STRATEGIC dads have a well thought out plan and vision. They understand the true sense of masculinity and know how to deposit it in their son’s life.

Which one are you?

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20 Important Minutes

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From a blog sent to me:

There is a crucial 20 minutes of a man’s day that can really bless his wife and change his marriage. If a man would think through these specific times and ask his wife what blessed her during these times, he would be setting a trajectory for a successful marriage. Here are the specific times:

  • The first 5 minutes when he woke up in the morning
  • The last 5 minutes before he said goodbye for work
  • The first 5 minutes when he walked in the door from work
  • The last 5 minutes before he said good night

Of course, the time a man spends in God’s Word and in prayer is the most important part of the day. What if men intentionally greeted their spouse with gratefulness and grace at the beginning of each morning? What if he lavished love on his wife and kids before he left for work in the morning? What if he greeted everyone in the afternoon by seeking to show interest in their day and not just having a self-focus that sought rest more than relationship? Finally, what would a marriage look like if along with the other 15 minutes of wife-focus, a man sought to honor his wife and communicate his affections for her as they were going to bed? I think this couple would be growing in communication and would be joyfully helped. Obviously, every family has different schedules, but the priority of a husband seeking to be intentional toward his wife is primary…and a little 20 minute change could have big implications for God’s work in a marriage.

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At our faculty meeting, my friend David Montague from the Memphis Teacher Residency Program came and shared with our faculty. We were given a spiritual report card and the opportunity to grade ourselves in five areas. It was a very convicting time where God showed me some things in my life that need to be addressed. Last night, I thought about using these five areas to grade ourselves in our parenting. How are your grades as a parent in these five areas:

  • Relationship with Christ- Do your kids and other families see a clear picture of Christ in the way you parent?
  • Character and purity- Are you modeling a life of character and purity in your home by what you watch, what you say and how you interact with others?
  • Servanthood- Do your children see you serving your spouse? Are you taking the leadership role in modeling a life of service?
  • Grace economy- Is your parenting framework filled with grace?
  • Above and beyond- Are you willing to go above and beyond to raise your kids in a home that seeks to glorify God?

What’s your grade?

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