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Archive for October, 2009

imagesThis article was sent to me from my friend and grades PK-3rd grade Bible teacher Darilyn Christenbury. I think it is worth reading and considering where your family stands on this issue.

Not So Fast
The Busy American Family

October 7, 2009

This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship president Mark Earley.

School’s back in session. And between hauling children to and from classes, dance lessons, music lessons, sports practice, and church activities, many parents (not to mention their children) are already feeling frazzled. And this is just the beginning of the academic year!

Busyness is a problem all of us face. In fact, a 2007 study asked over 20,000 teens and adults if “the busyness of life gets in the way of developing [their] relationship with God.” The response? Six in 10 Christians said they are too busy for God.

Are you? That’s the question which Ann Kroeker poses in her new book, Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.

Of all the groups most affected by the busyness epidemic—perhaps the American family has been the worst hit. A self-assumed pressure to make sure the children get every opportunity to give them an edge academically, socially, physically, and even spiritually, pushes us to push them. But somewhere in the process—something is getting buried. And it might just be our souls.

In her new book, Kroeker quotes Pastor John Ortberg as saying, “For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so busy and distracted and rushed that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.” It is hurry which, he goes on to say, is the great enemy of the spiritual life.

One of the things I appreciate most about Kroeker’s book, Not So Fast, is that she examines the motivations that can get families to this point. These are motivations for safety like: “The best way to keep kids out of trouble is to keep them busy.” They are motivations based in competition, like: “An abundance of activities and volunteer work looks good on college applications.” And they are motivations based on keeping up an appearance, like: “We feel important and indispensible when we’re busy.”

The trouble is when we dig down deeper with motivations like these and others, Kroeker points out, we find that many of them are based on fear, envy, pride, insecurity, and a love of the approval of man. And as we squeeze every last drop out of out of our days, our children are getting squeezed in the process.

For the Kroeker family, it took a serious illness for their family to begin to see what a mind- and soul-numbing pace they had been living. That wake up call was what it took for them to slow down.

I like the fact that the book, Not So Fast, doesn’t suggest mere cookie-cutter approaches for what families should do to regain balance in their lives. Instead it invites us to examine what’s at the root of these choices, and to repent of the motivations when they are based in sin. And then it offers a variety of suggestions for helping families make much more meaningful connections both with each other and God.

As Kroeker says, “For everyone who yearns for the benefits of a slower life, I want to point to Jesus and say, ‘Start here. Start with the One who offers true and lasting peace.’”

She’s right. Not So Fast is a book Christian families need, if only we’ll slow down long enough to read it and heed it.

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Time

This video is from Ragamuffin Soul. Check this blog out. I think the video speaks directly to the heart of being intentional.

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Three Kids

Three Different Personalities

Oldest- the rule follower and the competitor

Middle- the comedian without knowing it

Youngest (girl)- the boss

Back to the comedian. He is, as most kids, the funniest when he thinks no one is looking or watching.

While playing a game on the computer, he is heard saying “Somebody get the hose, cause I’m on fire!”

No, he did not get that from me.

Who knows where he got it but I love it.

God has given us three unique children and I love them dearly.

My prayer today is that you cherish moments with your children. Take every moment to show and model the love of Christ to them.

Have a laugh as I did and go invest in your children.

Be intentional today!

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Father vs Son

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At PDS, we have intramural sports. It is a great program where our 4-6th grade guys get to play after school sports against each other.  After teams are divided, one student comes up and draws a name out of a hat to determine who their coach for the season will be. I get the privilege of coaching a 5th and 6th grade intramural football team.  This year I have the Saints.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that my oldest son is a Jet. You know where this is going. Monday marked the long awaited matchup between the Saints and the Jets.

Brady vs Brady, Father vs Son, etc. You get the picture.

Result- Dad wins and son scores a touchdown against dad. Not bad huh?

Why do I write about this? Two reasons:

1) I can’t stand to coach against my own son.

2) I really wanted to win to have family bragging rights for once in my life.

I tell you this story to let you know about the best part of the game: the ride home. Usually after a loss in anything, my oldest is not in the best of moods ( wonder where he gets that from?). As the family headed for our cars after the game, Preston asked if he could ride with me. Relief. Our drive home was about ten minutes and we talked about everything EXCEPT the game. The conversation ranged from the funny to the serious. In a brief moment of silence, I thanked God for giving me my children and for entrusting them to me for this short time.

As we got closer to home, my mind went from thankfulness to a bit of sadness. I am not going to have these drives much longer. I wont be able to spend this amount of time with him each day. There will be a day when I will not be able to win in anything (that day is fast approaching).

Cherish every moment with your children. Make every moment count. Don’t let laziness creep into your world like I do. Take every waking moment to let your child know who and whose they are. Disciple them so when that time comes, you can launch them out as young men and women “who think deeply about God, feel passionately about God and live urgently in response to God.”

Time is running out. Be intentional!

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Our next Building Boys, Making Men Speaker Series Event will take place on November 11th from 11:30-1pm.

Our featured speaker will be Robert Lewis, noted author and speaker. Robert is Pastor-at-Large for Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served as Directional Leader for over 20 years. He has authored a number of publications including Raising a Modern-Day Knight (Focus on the Family), the Raising a Modern-Day Knight Video Training Series with Dennis Rainey (Sonlight Productions), Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage (NavPress), Real Family Values (Multnomah Press) and The Church of Irresistible Influence (Zondervan). Robert’s most recent book is Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church From the Inside Out published by Jossey-Bass. He is also a contributing author to Building Strong Families edited by Dennis Rainey and Faith Factor in Fatherhood edited by Don Eberly. His most recent publications are the Men’s Fraternity Bible, and The New Eve.

Please rsvp online and invite your friends. We are opening up this luncheon to any parents that want to attend so please invite your friends.

RSVP here.

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Continued notes from author and speaker David Thomas:

Moms teach boys something unique about:

1) The heart of God- mercy and mystery

2) Relationship- the first encounter with the opposite sex

The work of mothering is mostly about stepping aside with precise timing.

Fathers

Tasks involved in fathering well:

1) Enjoy him for who he is and how God designed him

2) Engage him physically and emotionally

3) Validate him- call out his physical and emotional strengths

4) Initiate him- model for him how to treat women

5) Celebrate him- make sure it matches his character

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Continued Notes from author and speaker David Thomas:

Boys ages 9-12 need:

1) Supervision- you are Homeland Security

2) Information- be a step ahead of his development

3) Involvement- peers and parents

4) Outlets- strength, mind, risk and adventure, purpose

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