A word about the Word

I continue my series of posts for fathers of young children. With you in mind, I write these infrequently knowing how busy you are. Welcome!

This is definitely a “God, Jesus, Bible” topic. You gotta have it. If I were the devil, I would: 1) want you to think of the Bible as something you have to do in a burdensome way, not something you get to do in a refreshing way; 2) think of reading the Bible as a heavy, difficult thing; 3) make you feel guilty for not trudging your way through. This way, when you actually take it up, you’re already a bit tired, likely trying to rush, and most interested in doing the minimum to get rid of that guilt.

Before you can open the Bible to your kids you need to open it to yourself, and if it’s a burden for you it will be the same for them. You can only give what you have. Jesus says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). When the disciples ask him how to pray, he tells them to form a prayer chain and pray continuously one hour each for 24 hours. Oh wait, I had him confused with someone else. He told them to pray for about 45 seconds: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:9-13).  Continue reading

8 Ways to Make Herding the Cats to Church Easier

In the dictionary worship comes right after worn, worn-out, worry, worrywart, worse and worsen. Sometimes on Sunday mornings worship follows the same sequence. Getting children and young people to the worship place is too often as far as we get in helping our offspring to worship. As the dropout rate of older kids indicates, there has got to be a better way! … Recently I listened to a group of parents share their frustrations with Sunday mornings. These were parents whose lives are given to Christian ministry–parents steeped in Scripture, parents committed to rearing their children in ways that honor the Lord. Even though I understood, my heart just broke as Sunday morning was described as “the worst morning of my week.” One mother confessed, “Sometimes I’m relieved to stay home if one of the kids is sick.” Another shared, “I’m just exhausted by the time I get to church.”           –Robbie Castleman, Parenting in the Pew

Getting the tribe to church can be an exercise in herding cats, but with the added task of getting the cats dressed and fed! Still, this herding is important since the last thing you want your kids to think is that the light yoke of following Jesus is really heavy on Sunday morning. If anything should be joyous, it’s  worshipping the Maker of heaven and earth. Joyous, however, doens’t mean easy. Here are 8 ways to make church, and getting there, better. Continue reading

Wild at Home

When a townsman first sees these things directly and intimately, he does not despise them as dull but rather dreads them as wild, as he sometimes takes a tame cow for  wild bull. The most obvious example is the hearth which is the heart of the home. A man living in the lukewarm air of centrally-heated hotels may be said to have never seeen fire. Compared to him the housewife at the fireside is an Amazon wrestling with a flaming dragon. The same moral might be drawn from the fact that the watch-dog fights whiel the wild dog often runs away. Of the husband, as of the house-dog, it may often be said that he has been tamed into ferocity.

This is especially true of th esort of house represented by the country cottage. It is only in theory that the things are pretty and prosaic; a man realistically experiencing them will feel them to be things big and baffling and involving a heavy battle with nature. When we read about cabbages or cauliflowers in the papers, and especially the comic papers, we learn to think of them as commonplace. But if a man of any imagination will merely consent to walk round the kitchen-garden for himself, and really looks at the cabbages and cauliflower, he will feel at once that they are vast and elemental things like the mountains in the clouds.  He will feel something almost monstrous about the size and solidity of the things swelling out of that small and tidy patch of ground. There are moods in which that everyday English kitchen plot will affect him as men are affected by the reeking  wealth and toppling rapidity of tropic vegetation; the green bubbles and crawling branches of a nightmare.

–G.K. Chesterton, from On Household Gods and Goblins