It is Christmas Eve! The eve of our celebration of the light of men, Jesus Christ. Of course, we Christians should celebrate, praise, and worship the Son of God every day of our lives, but this is a day that we can set aside to focus our attention and our hearts on our Lord and Savior. The prophet, Isaiah, tells of a great light that has been seen by… that has dawned on… people who are dwelling in darkness.
I would love to tell you that adoption is only ever beautiful, but that would be a lie. I would love to tell you that adoption is easy, but that would not be true. What you may not realize about adoption is that it is a two-sided coin. There is a bright side, full of beauty and wonder. But, there is also a dark side, that is broken and fallen.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Psalm 107:1-3 (ESV) We have so many things …
What is a catechism? What does it mean to catechize? Does the mere mention of these words mean that one is Roman Catholic? Does catechizing one’s children save them? Is this an unbiblical practice? The word catechism isn’t in the Bible! Are we brainwashing our children? Inquiring minds want to know!
Misconceptions and misunderstandings about this time-honored tradition abound. I have been asked many of the questions posed above or heard similar doubts about the practice in various contexts and conversations. I would like to address some of these misconceptions.
Do the relationships inside your home feel stormy?
Then maybe you can relate to the Ephesian church. When Paul wrote them a letter of admonishment and encouragement he recognized things were stormy.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:25-32 (ESV)
Falsehood. Anger. Corrupting talk. Bitterness. Wrath. Clamor. Slander.
And sometimes our homeschooling days can have their fill of these things, too.
May 19, 2019 was our last Sunday at Grace Community Church (Pensacola, FL), our church home and family for the last thirteen years. It was an extremely difficult decision to make and was not one that we made lightly or spontaneously. The convictions of our immediate family and our church family have been growing steadily further apart over the past year or two. Our differences were not such that they would compromise the Gospel or any primary doctrines of the church, but they were differences that had a significant impact on worship. Having served in music leadership for the past twelve years, this was no small matter to me or my family. However, it should not be supposed that we left merely because of a difference of the type of music. The purpose of this post is not to dig into those differences, but to say a few things about the journey.
I consider myself to be an avid reader and I like to have a reading plan. This past year (2018) I had a few books planned, but I mostly just rambled through a bunch of books at random. This year I want to be more thoughtful and plan out what I will be reading. I generally read more than 10 books per year, but this will be a good basis to start from. This list is heavy on the Family & Parenting side (you know, since it’s a family blog and all).
Happy New Year! This is the first day of 2019, which means there is only one year remaining before we find ourselves in the year 2020 (twenty-twenty). Wow! That sounds like science fiction for those of us who grew up in the previous millennium. 2018 was quite an extreme year for our family, and may be one of the toughest we’ve encountered. It was full of many, many blessings but also many trials and opportunities for God to stretch us and turn us into the people that He wants us to be. I may write about some of the things that happened this past year in the coming weeks… but then I may not. You’ll just have to wait and see.
For this year’s resolutions I wanted to change it up a bit. My resolutions this year are all verbs. Actually, present participles if you want to get technical. These are really just areas that I want to improve upon. To be sure, there are specific steps and goals within each that may or may not be listed below, but the idea is that I just want to get better. They are in no particular order, except for the opening resolution which is really the foundation of them all, and the closing resolution which buttons things up quite nicely. Without further ado, here are my resolutions for the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen.
Aubrey and I are in the middle of our second adoption. We began the journey back in June of 2017 when our youngest turned one year old. We built a new profile, went to meetings, had our thumb prints scanned, and our backgrounds checked. As of the first of this year (2018) our home study has been complete and we now find ourselves in the “big wait”. In domestic, infant adoption this wait could be over today or it could last for another year. We really have no idea. We must be prepared to receive a baby at any minute, while being open to the possibility of waiting for months (or more) with no news. I have been asked if this go ’round is easier than the first time. Surprisingly, it has not been. As the song says, “the waiting is the hardest part.”
The real question is, how do we pass the time during this period?
I sat down this weekend to work on my New Year’s Resolutions for this coming 2018 year. The brief list below is roughly what I came up with.