Vacations, Family Trips, and Family Discipleship

A year ago, I had just returned home from a week of enjoying my daughter’s college graduation and some much-needed R & R. Truly, life is short. Was it only yesterday that she was a three-year-old waltzing around, carrying lots of purses, and wearing her mom’s high heels?

But as our family gathered for her graduation and I began thinking about that week, it made me reflect on some principles I tried to apply to our family vacations and trips. I didn’t perfectly follow them and we certainly had our share of family meltdowns. But maybe you will find these principles helpful.

1. Remember a vacation and a family trip are two different things. I can’t remember where I heard this but it is key to managing my […]


What the Complex Emotions of Jack Harbaugh Can Teach Us

Jack Harbaugh has two sons playing against each other tonight: John and Jim. So father will watch his sons battle it out. At the end, one son will be a winner. The other son will have Super Bowl loser on his resume.

But what will be going on in the heart of Jack Harbaugh during the game? Cheering for one son while agonizing for the other? And what about afterward in the locker room when one is jubilant? And the other is deathly quiet?

I think this analogy can begin to help me understand the complex emotions of God. The following paragraph from John Piper helps my small mind grasp the deep things of God and keeps me from overemphasizing one emotion of God without thinking of […]


Jesus Came to Testify to the Truth

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:36-37

Why did Jesus come into this world?  One reason was to speak the truth.

We live in a world ignorant about God, ignorant about righteousness and sin, ignorant about successful living. Jesus came into this world to speak truth. His kingdom is established, not by arms, but by truth.

In […]

Thoughts on Meditation from Spurgeon and the Puritans

From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

“I will meditate in thy precepts.” — Psalms 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, […]

How We Handled Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy

We are past this stage in our parenting but I thought it might be interesting to post how we handled Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

This issue is not at the heart of the gospel (Romans 14:4, 17). I was brought up on Santa until age six. That Christmas Eve night we were driving home from my grandmother’s house. As I looked out at all the homes in my city, I just knew that there was no way Santa could visit every house in the world in one night. And I am following the Lord today.

However, anytime we talk to our children about someone who knows if we are sleeping or awake (omniscience) and who knows if we’ve been good or bad […]

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Kids Opting Out of Social Media – I’m sure you know of this trend but it still interesting to see an article on it. Our children are narrowcasting not broadcasting. Make sure you are talking with them.

With Him – Jesus’ Discipleship Method.  This has huge implications for parents. Are you “with him?” Are you bringing your children “with you?”

Ask Questions Like Jesus – One author says that Jesus was asked 183 questions but asked 307. Questions are powerful teaching tools. This article looks at different types of questions and will help you in your communication.

10 Questions to Diagnose Your Smartphone Usage – I found these enlightening and helpful.

5 Ways Christianity is Increasingly Viewed as Extremist – I don’t take Barna too seriously. Nevertheless, he usually is on […]

Puritan Activities to Encourage Spiritual Growth

At this time of year, it is appropriate to remember our spiritual (and perhaps physical) forefathers.  New England’s first white settlers were those who separated from the worldy Church of England (Separatists).  These “Pilgrims” landed in 1620.  Another group tried to purify the worldy Church of England (Puritans).  But a mere ten years later, the colony was infused with a great migration of Puritans who had finally given up on the Church of England.  Two thousand Puritans emigrated in 1630 alone.  Both of these groups brought with them a rich emphasis on the daily walk of the believer. We can do well to imitate them.  The following notes are from Christian History Magazine, Issue 41,

The Puritans sought a living relationship with Jesus Christ through public worship and private “devotions.”  Private devotions took place in secret exercises, private conferences, family devotions, and private […]

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Links to Equip You
4 Questions to Ask Children – I like a couple of these open-ended questions that allow for an ongoing conversation with young children. Try them.

Five Questions Better than How Was Your Day – As long as we are on questions, here is another collection of excellent questions.

Mariana Trench Named Worst Place to Raise a Child – This satirical article hit it right on the nose. All these articles name the “best” places to raise a child. But the best place is in the center of God’s will for your family.

Children in the OT – I appreciated this professor’s perspective on children and the implications for us.

9 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler without Using a Smartphone – C’mon parents. Don’t be lazy! Be creative!

Using Proverbs 31 and a […]

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12 Things Every First Time Father Should Know – I enjoyed his list and came up with a few more. What would you add?

A Pastor’s Greatest Regret – If you are a pastor, are you caring for your family? If not a pastor, are you helping him care for his family? I have written about this here and here.

What to Do When They Stray – Whether or not you agree with this gentlemen’s theology, you will find his four suggestions practical.

America is More Post Christian – Barna tells us what we already know. Let’s train our children to live in this world.

My Own Personal Bollywood – I like this understanding of how movies can lead to unrealistic views of things. Helpful for talking to those […]

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Top Posts of 2014

With the end of the year here, we look back on our top posts from 2014.

1. Ways My Church Cared for My Kids – You can click through to an article published by The Gospel Coalition that received over 5000 Facebook likes in 3 days and 25,000 unique impressions in a month. Obviously, this is an important issue that resonated with others.

2. How Pastors Can Care for their Children – A follow-up post to the first one. The Gospel Coalition published it and it too struck a cord.

3. She’s Not Perfect but She’s Perfect for Me – Another popular article on TGC, encouraging spouses to believe in God’s providence.

4. Unsolicited Dating Advice for Young Men – CBMW published this article in October and it quickly gained […]

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