Posts tagged ‘Parenting’
On Mondays, I’m going to be sharing about a ministry that I feel you should know about either to bless you and your family (like today) or because you might want to get involved in/be aware of what they are doing. Today, I’d like to share about a website called Raising Godly Children (twitter: @GospelParenting).
Raising Godly Children’s mission statement is:
RGC believes the HOME should be the center for discipleship and evangelism. The church should complement the teachings that take place at the home. Our desire is that these online ministry pages will help Godly Parents (particularly Fathers) in their pursuit to train their children up in God’s word. There will be helpful videos, articles, and other materials posted to help parents Raise Godly Children.
I have read a number of their articles and have been blessed by them (like this one about children in worship services). If you are a parent, I would encourage you to check out this site! There are a number of great articles on things like Family Worship and holidays and even a page full of training resources.
I hope this website is a blessing to you and your family!
Have a great Monday!
(By sharing about this ministry, I am not endorsing it or its views. I have no connection or affiliation with this ministry.)
1 My people, hear my instruction;
listen to what I say.
2 I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past—
3 things we have heard and known
and that our fathers have passed down to us.
4 We must not hide them from their children,
but must tell a future generation
the praises of the Lord,
His might, and the wonderful works
He has performed.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children
6 so that a future generation—
children yet to be born—might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
7 so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget God’s works,
but keep His commands.
8 Then they would not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not loyal
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Becoming a Father causes you to ask questions all the time. Questions like, “Why is she crying?”, “What will her voice sound like?”, “Does she recognize me?”, and “Why is she still crying?”
It is so easy to get caught up in the daily quest to keep this little girl happy (partially because we want to avoid her crying, but also because we both honestly love watching her smile), but sometimes in doing that, we miss what’s really significant, what she really needs.
So what do you think, what does Avery need? A safe environment? Loving parents? Good friends? A solid education? Fashionable clothes? A cell phone? Church?
As important as any of those things are, none of them can change my daughter’s heart.
There is so much I would like to say about this, but instead I would like to share a song. This music video by Shane & Shane beautifully articulates, probably better than I ever could, my daughter’s true need: Jesus.
Please take a few minutes, watch this video and let me know what you think about it.
Hold back the tears.
That’s what I told myself as I prepared to see my daughter for the first time. But as Dr. Kyle held Avery up for the whole room to see, I was immediately overwhelmed. I watched as they cleaned her up, trying to take in the moment while also getting pictures on my camera. At one point I just stopped, because I realized that no picture would ever need to recreate the feeling that was washing over me, that the love that I instantly had for this little one would only continue to grow.
The next 60 hours in the hospital were a complete blur. We found out that first night that Avery had jaundice, which meant she was required to be under a blue billi light at all times. While we knew that jaundice was very common, that’s not much comfort to two new parents who are unable to hold and soothe their crying newborn baby. To make matters worse, waking Avery to eat every 2 hours became an incredibly difficult chore (one of the affects of jaundice). Our time in the hospital became very much a repeat of trying to wake Avery, desperately trying to get her to nurse, trying to calm her down while putting her back under the billi light, and then talking to her soothingly until she finally quit crying.
On Sunday, we found out that her jaundice levels had gone down enough that she would be allowed to go home! The nurse followed us down to the car with Avery strapped into the carseat, helped get everything loaded into the car, and then waved goodbye. I remember Emily turning to me and saying, “so they’re just going to let us drive off with her?” And it was at this moment that the full weight of my responsibility as a parent hit me. While there might be other people, like the doctors and nurses in the hospital, who will be there to help at different times along the way, no one else would be going home with my daughter; the only person equipped and available to be her father, is me.
Cry. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
It’s incredible how quickly something so small radically changes your entire schedule, but by the end of the first night, this pattern had already begun to dominate our time (actually, the pattern is more like cry, eat, cry, cry, eat, cry, sleep, cry, eat, cry, repeat). I remember one night/morning around 4 or 5 AM, after being awake since 2 AM with a crying baby, Emily and I looked at each other and we both had the same thought, “What are we doing?” Few things will make you question your qualifications as a parent more than trying for hour after hour to unsuccessfully calm your child down and not having any idea why they are crying in the first place. It was at this moment, as the exhaustion and uncertainty began to set in, that I realized how little I can do, but more importantly, how much God had already done.
Thankfulness for our Church
We’ve had meals brought to our house, visitors come to see us in the hospital (even waiting into the night on Thursday with our family), and we’ve been given more clothes than Avery will probably ever be able to wear. On top of all the gifts, kind words, encouragement, and support, we’ve known daily that our whole family has been covered in prayer. This whole experience has been a vivid illustration of what the body of Christ looks like, and we are thankful beyond words for our faith family here at First Baptist.
Thankfulness for our Family
It’s so easy to take this for granted, but our family has been here for us every step of the way. We had the waiting room full of people until Avery came at 1:19 AM Friday morning and we’ve been blessed by our family visiting, calling, texting, sending flowers and even requesting daily pictures of our sweet Avery. I can’t imagine what this would be like without the support of our family! You are yet another reminder of God’s provision in our lives!
Thankfulness for my Wife
I’m stunned as I sit back and take in the fact that Emily is not just my complement, but she is also uniquely designed to be Avery’s mother. I remember walking into the nursery and seeing Emily asleep in the chair with Avery sleeping in her arms. This image is forever burned into my mind as a portrait of my beautiful, loving and compassionate wife nurturing our sweet little girl. It is truly amazing the way that God has programmed my wife with the motherly instincts that I lack, and I want to thank Him every day for my helper.
All of this from God
How can I possibly bask in the gifts that have been poured out over me instead of turning to the Gift Giver and thanking Him with every inch of my being? I’m not nearly proud or foolish enough to think that any of this is because of who I am, but I am wholly sure that it’s only because of who He is. And this is the best part of the story, because as I’ve come to understand that I will fail Avery as a father, I am encouraged to know there are broader shoulders that will carry her. And that is why, as my beautiful wife so perfectly put it yesterday, “We just need to pray for her, every day.” And we will.
With the New Year finally upon us, here’s a look at a couple books (actually 12) that I plan on reading in 2012. Have you read any of these? What are some that you would recommend?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is the only fiction book I plan on reading in 2012. I’ve heard a lot of my students talk about it, and with the movie coming out next year, I’d like to have a little more understanding of what it’s all about.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
I Am Second by Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett
If you’ve never been to I Am Second’s website, you need to go check out some of their videos. God moves in magnificently different ways in different people’s lives, but to all who accept His Grace, the result is the same.
Across North America and around the world, millions of people are proclaiming a new anthem: “I Am Second.” No longer are they number one. These people have come alive to the truth that God has a plan for this world…a plan that specifically includes them. In this book you will discover their stories–some from notable people and some not so well known– who have had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and are walking in radical obedience by putting Him first in their lives. These stories are raw and real, dealing with the darkest moments of the human experience. Addictions, depression, infidelity, abortion, cancer, pornography, loneliness, jealousy, divorce, war…each story shows the redemptive power of Jesus…bringing purpose and true joy to every secret place of life. Along with each story, there are also helpful insights from the Bible and authentic life application for you or a group of your friends to discuss. Your story may not be included in this book…but you too can be a Second.
Family Driven Faith by Vodie Baucham
Vodie Baucham has been on the front lines of Family Worship and integrating families together at Church. His Church, Grace Family Baptist Church has completely integrated families and done away with all age-specific ministries. While I feel that it’s not wise to do away with all age programming within the Church, I certainly believe that our Church could benefit greatly from integrating families and equipping them for worship together both within the Church and at home.
More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that 75 to 88 percent of Christian teens walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college. Something must be done. Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, antifamily society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multigenerational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children. This bold book is an urgent call to parents—and the church—to return to biblical discipleship in and through the home.
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Dr. Tim Kimmel understands that every child’s greatest need is not success or a happy life, it’s Christ. His website has a number of resources to help equip parents to lead and disciple their children.
Parents in our post-modern world tend to be committed to but anxious about their child-rearing responsibilities. They’ve tried the countless parenting books on the market, but many of these are strident, fear-based books that loving parents instinctively reject, while still searching for direction. Now Dr. Tim Kimmel, founder of Family Matters ministries, offers a refreshing new look at parenting. Rejecting rigid rules and checklists that don’t work, Dr. Kimmel recommends a parenting style that mirrors God’s love, reflects His forgiveness, and displaces fear as a motivator for behavior. As we embrace the grace God offers, we begin to give it-creating a solid foundation for growing morally strong and spiritually motivated children. Releasing in an affordable trade paper edition, this revolutionary book presents a whole new way to nurture a healthy family.
Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick
There are several other parenting books that I plan on reading in 2012, so I’ll let this one be the last on parenting on this list.
All of us want to raise good kids. And we want to be good parents. But what exactly do we mean by “good?” And is “being good” really the point? Mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson contend that every way we try to make our kids “good” is simply an extension of Old Testament Law—a set of standards that is not only unable to save our children, but also powerless to change them. No, rules are not the answer. What they need is GRACE. We must tell our kids of the grace-giving God who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message your children hear, if you are just telling them to “be good,” then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too. Give Them Grace is a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience.
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
Too few people attending church today, even those in evangelical churches, are exposed to the gospel explicitly. Sure, many will hear about Jesus, and about being good and avoiding bad, but the gospel message simply isn’t there—at least not in its specificity and its fullness. Inspired by the needs of both the overchurched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, Matt Chandler has written this punchy treatise. He begins with the specifics of the gospel—outlining what it is and what it is not—and then switches gears to focus on the fullness of the gospel and its massive implications on both personal and cosmic levels. Recognizing our tendency to fixate on either the micro or macro aspects of the gospel, Chandler also warns us of the dangers on either side—of becoming overly individualistic or syncretistic. Here is a call to true Christianity, to know the gospel explicitly, and to unite the church on the amazing grounds of the good news of Jesus!
Philosophy: A Student’s Guide by David Naugle
Dr. Naugle was one of my favorite professors at Dallas Baptist University and as someone who is interested in philosophy, I’m looking forward to this.
Part of the new Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series—a series of reader-friendly guidebooks for Christian students—professor and philosopher David Naugle has written this guide to the study of philosophy. This book shows the differences between the Hebrew and Greek mindsets, provides biblical perspectives on philosophy and various sub-disciplines, and is primarily Augustinian in character (in that grace restores nature and faith renews reason). Purposed to help students engage contemporary challenges within the study of philosophy, Naugle offers an understanding of the basic issues, thinkers, and sub-disciplines therein.
Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll
While a wonderful wedding day is important, it’s the last day of marriage that really counts. Will the last day of your marriage come prematurely through divorce? Will it be filled with regrets as you sit at the funeral of your spouse? Or, by God’s grace, will the last day be a day to rejoice in the life you lived together? Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, want you to finish well on the last day. From the importance of date nights to answers to the most tricky “can we do that?” sex questions, they share practical help and hope with people just like them-who entered marriage a complete mess-or who are planning to be married someday and want to avoid some sticky pitfalls. Together Pastor Mark and Grace tackle the tough issues, such as: Why being your spouse’s best friend changes everything and how to achieve it.
Pornography and sexual sin inside and outside of marriage.
Submission and respect – marriage’s most misunderstood tenets-and what they should really look like.
Honoring your spouse emotionally, technologically, and financially.
What the Bible says about masturbation and oral sex.
The “Can we do that?” questions you’re too embarrassed to ask your pastor.
How to deal with intimacy issues and create the joyful and fun sex life God intended you to have.
What type of man or woman are you? What type of lover are you? And what type of marriage do you have?
Spurgeon VS Hypercalvinism by Iain Murray
This is a book that our Church staff is going to read through together soon. C.H. Spurgeon was perhaps the greatest preacher ever, and this work is a collection of Spurgeon’s writings against hyper-calvinism. Whether or not someone is Calvinist is unimportant, because hyper-calvinism would end what all of us as Christians and the Church are meant for.
Awaiting A Savior by Aaron Armstrong
“Where does poverty come from? What am I supposed to do about it?” These questions are driving a new generation of Christians to take action on behalf of the poor through social and political action, global partnerships, and financial generosity, as they desire to become the generation that ends poverty forever. But in pursuit of this goal, they risk losing sight of a fundamental reality: the root cause of poverty isn’t found in material or external circumstances. The root cause of poverty is sin—and sin is not a problem we can solve. But Jesus can. In Awaiting a Savior, Aaron Armstrong reminds readers that even as we are responsible for pursuing biblical solutions to poverty, our hope for truly resolving it comes not from the good we do, but from the return of Christ, who will once and for all put an end to sin, suffering and death as he brings about the new creation.
Bloodlines by John Piper
Genocide. Terrorism. Hate crimes. In a world where racism is far from dead, is unity amidst diversities even remotely possible? Sharing from his own experiences growing up in the segregated South, pastor John Piper thoughtfully exposes the unremitting problem of racism. Instead of turning finally to organizations, education, famous personalities, or government programs to address racial strife, Piper reveals the definitive source of hope—teaching how the good news about Jesus Christ actively undermines the sins that feed racial strife, and leads to a many-colored and many-cultured kingdom of God. Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”
Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree
It happens in marriages, parent-child relationships, friendships, workplaces, and churches: Communication falters, friendships wane, teenagers withdraw, marriages fail, and bitter rifts sever once-strong ties. Christian communities are no exception. Why do so many of our relationships suffer from alienation, indifference, and even hostility? Author Sam Crabtree believes that often at the heart of these breakdowns is a lack of affirmation. He observes in Scripture that God grants mercy to those who refresh others, and in life that people tend to be influenced by those who praise them. Crabtree shows how a robust “God-centered affirmation ratio” refreshes others and honors God. Practicing Affirmation sounds a call to recognize and affirm the character of Christ in others. When done well, affirmation does not fuel pride in the person, but refreshes them and honors God. All who are discouraged in relationships will find wisdom and practical insight in this book.