I recently opened my front door to find a flyer from one of the local churches advertising their upcoming VBS (Vacation Bible School). I quickly dismissed the brochure and continued on my task of mowing the lawn. While I cut grass, I thought more about this practice of inviting the community to your church’s VBS and whether or not I, as a father, should support sending my children to one of these.
As Christians, we should strive to be resurrection families. What, perchance, is a resurrection family? Resurrection families are families whose central and primary focus is living in light of the reality that Jesus has risen!
We live in light of many other realities. For example, you may find yourself standing on the balcony of a hotel room on the 30th floor. Does your heart race a little when you stand at the railing, or even lean over a bit? Do you jump? Of course not! Gravity is a reality that we all must live with and acknowledge. To do otherwise would be to our detriment.
The same is true, more true, of the Triune God of Holy Scripture. One God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is my Father’s world, as the song goes, and when we deny that fact by our actions and priorities, we are not living as God intends and this is to our detriment.
The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.Proverbs 3:33 (ESV)
I was dwelling on this verse the other morning and was astounded that this verse applies to me, and to my household.
Certainly, I wouldn’t classify my household as a house of the wicked. But, if you asked me if I were “righteous,” that is much harder to answer. Am I righteous? Well, no! Obviously! I know myself all too well. I know the dark thoughts that swim around in my head. I know all my past sins and propensities to sin.
Especially we men, who are supposed to be the head of our household, find it hard to see ourselves in a righteous light. We deal with lust, anger, selfishness, idolatry, greed, pride, and all manner of sins.
How can I be considered righteous? How is my household a household of righteousness?
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.
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.
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.
I usually try to pick a plan to read the Bible through during each year. I’ve used several different plans over the years, my favorite being the Tabletalk Bible Reading plan from Ligonier Ministries. However, this year I had some special requirements that I wanted to try out. I could not find a plan that matched what I wanted, so I created my own.
God Adopted Us
I am thankful for adoption, first and foremost, because it was really God’s idea. God first adopted us and showed us the blessing of adoption.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
– John 1:12-13 (ESV)
We are only able to love because God first loved us. I am thankful that God showed me His mercy, opened my eyes, and saved me. I am thankful that “in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
Just over two years ago, Aubrey and I embarked upon a journey to adopt. In March of this year, our first adoption was finalized, and we have had the privilege of being Mommy and Daddy to a beautiful little girl from her birth. Now, we are beginning the process all over again. That’s right. We’re adopting another child.
I’ve received a number of responses when I tell people this. Some encouraging, some comical, but thankfully, none too rude. I would like to address the reasons why we are adopting again and the things that are NOT reasons why we are adopting again.