Link We Like: Marriage on the Edge of Eternity

Link We Like: Marriage on the Edge of Eternity
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

God started the human race with a wedding and He will finish it with one.

Friends, if you are married, its important.
If you are single, its important.
If you are divorced, its important.
Marriage is important.

No matter what status we have on the matter, no matter what we have been through, as believers, we need to uphold the sanctity of the covenant of marriage.

Today we share a link we like by Francis Chan.
Take a few moments and be encouraged and challenged friends.
Check out the link HERE

 

A Plead for Courage

A Plead for Courage

Take 5 minutes.
Grab your kleenex.
Read my beautiful friend’s heart felt letter to another young woman.

A while back I shared with you about my friend Kara Tippets (you can get to her blog here)
Faithful, Godly wife, young mom of four, just 36.
Dying of cancer.

This isn’t a light hearted or one of our regular posts. But I need to share.
I wanted to share with you a sincere letter she has written to another young woman who is also dying of cancer.
Kara, so eloquently pleads with this gal to reconsider a devastating choice she has already made.

Would you join with me in praying for Brittany.
Read Kara’s letter HERE

 

Set An Example

Set An Example
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

Football.
Cross Country.
Soccer.
Softball.

If you’re like any of the thousands of other families around your state. One or all of your children are participating in a sport…or two. We Americans think very highly of our sports.

Each day in our country, thousands flock to stadiums of all levels to watch the game. From “bam-bam baseball” to the MLB, we love games. We love competition, and most importantly of course, we love to win!

There are many things we can learn from playing a sport:
teamwork, good work ethic, encouragement, the rules of the game, how to take turns…how to be a bad sport.

Unfortunately, along with watching my own children compete, I have been witness to many parents acting like fools in front of other adults, the opposing team and of course, their own children. This past weekend I was watching one of my sons, 14U-soccer team, play a nearby town for a regular season game. It was not the league championship and by no means was it anything more. Simply, a game.

I was actually sitting in a non-fan area since I had two little ones I had to keep my eye on while they played on the playground nearby. So I was a little surprised as the referee all of a sudden stopped the game and went over to the coaches and talked with each of them separately. Immediately our coach went over to our fans and politely asked them to keep their comments to themselves. Although the opposing coach did not follow suit. Which actually did not surprise me as he was angrily hollering at his own team most of the game.

When I asked my son if he knew what had happened he explained that the other team’s fans were being verbally disrespectful to the referee. It was a great ride home as we talked about how we should act when things don’t go our way and how we respond to disappointment in games…and in life. To act like fools over a game is pretty ridiculous in my mind. But more importantly what example are we setting for our children? As believers, what example of Christ are we being. I was reminded of 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “…be an example to other believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (HCSB)

If you are a believer.
If you are a parent.
Please heed these words of Paul.
When you’re in the stands,
set an example.

Sometimes there’s 14 bats . . .

Sometimes there’s 14 bats . . .

We spend some summer weekends at a nearby lake with my husband’s family. Our kids love to swim and boat, play with their cousins, and fish. Usually my oldest son (six) is making plans on the drive up to the lake. “Dad, can we swim right away?” “Can we golf?” “I want to play basketball and then ride my bike around the circle.” He’s got it all figured out.

On one particular weekend, we were having friends join us at the lake. So we had somethings to get ready before they arrived to make our weekend fabulous. But my son had already requested to go fishing, and my husband figured there would be plenty of time. So he made a trip to get the bait, and the fishing was just about to begin.

But then . . .
My husband stopped on the deck to open up the picnic table umbrella. From time to time we have discovered a friendly neighborhood bat who has claimed the closed umbrella as a nap spot while no one is around at the lake house. When Mark started to open the umbrella, he was met by not one but FOURTEEN bats tucked in the folds. And so began the long process to get the bats to fly out of the umbrella and then cleaning up the HUGE mess they had left behind. We wanted to use the table and enjoy the deck by the lake with our friends after all.

Meanwhile . . . back inside the house . . .
The firstborn child is losing his ever loving mind. “I wanted to fish. Dad said we could fish. I want to fish now. When is dad going to be finished? I want to fish.”

Being a firstborn myself, I recognized what was going on. Callen had a plan. He had structured his afternoon. He had an agenda. (I was once told by an awesome Sunday school teacher that “Callen has ambition!”) And these bats were interrupting his plan.

So I took the advice of Paul Tripp from this video and used this opportunity to identify with Callen’s struggle.

Our conversation went something like this:
Buddy, I know you are disappointed because you wanted to go fishing when we first got to the lake. You had a plan. You had agreed on that plan with dad. He bought bait and you were ready to go. Wanting to have a plan is a big part of your personality because you are the biggest brother in our family. And lots of times, that will be a great part of your personality. You are the firstborn. And mommy is a firstborn too. I really like things to go the way I’ve planned them. I like for things to work out all nice and neat. And when that doesn’t happen, when something interrupts my plan or gets in the way, I can get really disappointed. And really, that’s kinda selfish and prideful. But sometimes buddy, stuff just happens that we didn’t plan on happening and sometimes its stuff that has to be taken care of before we can move on. Today, you had a plan to go fishing right when we got to the lake. But then dad was getting the place ready for our friends to join us and he found those 14 bats in the umbrella. And they made a big, dirty mess that we had to have cleaned up before we could use the deck. And that got in the way of your plan. And you are disappointed and frustrated. And I completely understand that feeling. But Callen, sometimes there’s 14 bats. You didn’t plan on them. They weren’t “on the schedule.” But sometimes 14 bats come along and its something you have to take care of anyway. We have to learn – you and me both – how to deal with our disappointment and frustration when our plan gets interrupted.

Somehow . . . by God’s grace . . . it seemed that Callen understood. He’ll continue to struggle. I’m 40 something and I struggle. But somehow, by God’s grace too, maybe Callen will learn earlier in life how to be flexible and to deal with disappointment. Maybe he can begin to learn now how to trust God’s plan and His ways and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Because sometimes in life there’s 14 bats . . .

(To all my English teaching friends . . . please forgive the improper use of “there’s”!)

 

 

 

 

Link We Like: “A Letter to My Boys”

Link We Like: “A Letter to My Boys”
Image courtsey of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtsey of freedigitalphotos.net

I have been there friends…sitting in the Dr’s office and your little’s are tugging at you, talking/chatting/laughing/yelling so loudly others are sneaking a peek at the commotion. You just want them to “be quiet/be seen and not heard”. It is so tempting to hand over that electronic device. To not bother others, to “educate” them. But friends read today’s post and be challenged.

Challenged to engage with them rather than quiet them.
Challenged to talk with them rather than tune them out.
Challenged to discover with them rather than shush them.
Challenged to point out things that God made and created rather than to allow them to “experience” our world via a flat screened device.

I know its hard.
I know it’s easier to hand it over.
I know its easier to keep them occupied.

But seriously read and be challenged not only for your choices with your own children but be challenged with what she has to say about electronics in YOUR OWN life.

“A Letter to my Boys”