Thursday, February 3, 2011

C'mon Dads! Humor your kids.

Came across this VW commercial today, which will apparently be airing during the Super Bowl, and I had to share it.


Dads, humor your kids. Play along with them. Encourage their imagination. Just don't run them over with your car.

Tell me...
What are your kids into?
Do you share a hobby or fascination with them?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review: Radical by David Platt

Radical is a difficult book to read. David Platt sets out in this book to turn the hearts of American's from their selfish pursuits to the needs of the hurting and lost people groups around the world. Along the way he makes a host of excellent points, but they are overshadowed by his selective use of scripture and poor logic.

I was tracking with the author until about Chapter 4. Up to that point I thought he was doing a good job of bringing me along side of him, taking me step by step to the point where his heart is today. I applaud him for that. The tone was not preachy and the prose were engaging. But it's his response to the question, "What about the needs here?" that lost me (pages 75 and following).

Here he makes the point, with exceedingly poor logic, that if we only have a heart for the United States (and seek to serve the people in our own back yard and within our borders) then we only share 5% of God's heart. God has a heart for the entire world. (I'll agree with that. John 3:16 makes that plainly clear.) But Platt's explanation for why we can't stop in the United States is terribly weak.

He goes on to give examples from members of his congregation ("faith family") who are embracing "a greater dream." Each of them is doing consistent, gospel-centered service in their communities, oh and they spend a week or two a year in another country serving. The impression he gives is that each of them have a heart for a people group overseas, but isn't that the same as having a heart for people in the poor neighborhoods of your hometown? Are we to give more importance to the people of Sri Lanka simply because they live in another country? Don't the gang bangers of the United States need Jesus as much as the orphans of Nigeria? Are the single mom's of our communities in less need of a savior than the single mom's of third world countries?

Platt bangs the drum of "all nations" (Matthew 28:19), but never mentions Acts 1:8 where Jesus tells his disciples they will share the good news beginning in Jerusalem and spreading out from there.

Some positives 
He does make some good points about discipleship in Chapter 5. And the closing chapters have some practical thoughts on how we can turn our hearts towards the needs of others. When is challenging people to read their bibles, prayer for others and make sacrifices for greater needs ever a bad thing? 

Some other negatives 
Platt takes a few pot shots in this book. He calls out video venue churches as being shallow. And takes an indirect jab at Joel Osteen (while it's well deserved it didn't seem necessary). So in this respect I think he painted with too broad a brush at times.

His thoughts seemed rather scattered to me. One chapter didn't necessarily follow another. Again, I think he offered some good points in the book, but they were too varied to try to follow his line of thinking from one chapter to the next.

One annoying aspect was how scripture was quoted throughout the book. Most often references to scripture were directed to footnotes which were tucked away at the back of the book. I quickly lost interest in flipping to the back to see which passages he was alluding to.

Closing thoughts
In the end I feel like Platt wrote this book before he had given time for all of his thoughts to come together. It seems like he's simply struggling to minister to an affluent congregation while maintaining a proper perspective on the needs of others around the world. It sounds like some things are taking root with his congregation, but I don't know that it necessarily translates to a larger audience just yet. 

To me, Radical is simply over-hyped.
Father Fan Man Review Disclosure: The featured product for this review was provided to me, at no cost, by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the sole purpose of product testing. I do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. All opinions expressed are my own.

Family Discipleship


My Lil' Man is studying Genesis. We're going through Beginning with God: Book 1, which is a great companion to The Beginner's Bible. He has memorized Genesis 1:1 and this week he's learning Genesis 1:27.

I'm so proud of him. He loves to pray and loves reciting his memory verse. It's fun for my wife and I to plan these little devotions and listen to Lil' Man respond to our questions. He's starting to get some of the big ideas of the Bible.

Tell me..
What are you doing with your children to disciple them?
Do you do a family devotion or do you do something specific for your children?
Do you do memory verses with your kids? How do you pick age-appropriate verses?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Proper Perspective and Two Brothers with Swords

Trying to get back in the swing of things here. Had a busier than usual past week or so, but let's get back to it.

An interesting point was made a few weeks back at the men's bible study I attend. We're studying men of the Old Testament. The teacher began his examination of Adam by saying that none of the men we will study are perfect. Only one man in the whole of human history was perfect and that man is the Savior of all mankind–Jesus Christ. He said each of these men are regular guys. They are flawed just as we are flawed. They made mistakes just as we make mistakes. But we have hindsight's perspective and hindsight is always 20/20, so in this bible study we are seeking to learn from the strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures of each man we study.

It's a valid point to remember as we read through the Bible. None of these men are to be put on a pedestal. Yes, God chose them as servants and some did great things, but he's also called us to be his servants. He's called you and me to follow the example of Christ and to submit our will to his. We are capable, just as Abraham and Moses, of doing great things for God.

So as we read on let's just consider the men we encounter like the guys at the office. Let's think of the women as our wive's girlfriends. Regular people, but people who were called by God to do extraordinary things in his name and for his name sake.

Genesis 34
So Dinah, Jacob's only daughter, decides to pack a lunch, venture out and make some friends. So apparently she is by herself and the prince over the area took notice of her and raped her. But instead of being casted aside he loves her and longs for her.

News of this makes makes way to her eleven brothers who become enraged. They weren't going to have anything to do with the people of Shechem, nor their offer to marry each other's daughters.

Strangely Jacob is silent during this exchange. He doesn't respond when an offer is made and he doesn't step in when his sons seem to be negotiating with Shechem and Hamor. Surely the right thing to do would have been to refuse any offer made for Dinah and possibly even ask for a price in return for defiling her. But Jacob does neither. He let's his sons do the talking.

They call for the circumcision of all of Hamor's men in exchange for their women and when they men were sore from their "procedure" and vulnerable two of the brothers take out all of the men of the city.

Jacob is none to pleased with the actions of his sons Simeon and Levi. Realizing he doesn't have the man power to withstand Hamor's possible vengeance he scolds them. To which his son's respond, "What were we supposed to do Dad!?!? They defiled our only sister and you weren't going to do anything!"

Once again Jacob fails to take the reins of leadership over his family. He doesn't take proper precautions to guard his only daughters chastity. He doesn't stand up for her when she is taken advantage of. And he doesn't direct his sons in a proper response.

I don't have a daughter. Maybe some day God will bless my wife and I with one. And if he did she would be my responsibility. Not my sons'. I would be responsible for ensuring her purity. It would be up to me to set boundaries for her to protect her. And if something happened to her I would be the one who would determine the proper response.

Jacob in this case shows no leadership over his children and seems to show more anger to his sons for their retaliation than to Shechem for his misdeeds. It's rather disheartening, but again Jacob is a regular guy so let's consider what lessons we fathers can learn from him.

Tell me...
What boundaries have you set in your household for your sons and daughters?
When someone mistreats a member of your family does your children know what the proper response will be? Do they know who will/should respond? Do they know how you will respond?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry

This is the kind of storyline Jerry Springer would love to get a hold of...

Genesis 29
Laban pulls a fast one and gives his oldest daughter to Jacob. They must have kept it dark in that honeymoon suite. Seven years he worked for Laban and the old boy tricks him into "marrying" the lesser of his two daughters. Jacob, upset but not fazed, agrees to work another seven years for the girl he thought he was marrying, Rachel. Laban agrees and gives Rachel to Jacob. But Jacob favored Rachel (no kidding) and hated Leah, so God decides to give Leah children and make Rachel barren.

Genesis 30
This is where it gets ugly. Leah is having kids left and right, but it doesn't endear Jacob to her. Rachel is tired of waiting so she gives her maidservant (Bilhah) to Jacob so she can be a mother through her. Meanwhile Leah becomes barren and gives her maidservant (Zilpah) to Jacob. Then some mandrakes exchange hands and Leah is able to have children again. Then God remembers Rachel and she is able to have children of her own.

I need a flow chart. That's four mothers and 12 kids.

Rachel gives birth to Joseph, one of the great figures of the Old Testament. You know, the kid with the fancy coat who is sold into slavery by his conniving older brothers. Is it any wonder they didn't get along?

What can we learn from our friend Jacob? I think the main take away her is that having kids doesn't solve your marital troubles. As if it wasn't complicated enough being married to sisters, neither wife is happy. Leah because she is not loved by her husband and Rachel because she can't have children. I think a lot of people believe having kids will cement their relationship with their spouse, but a home where mom and dad don't get along and don't really love each other is never healthy for raising children.

Jacob's passivity is showing again here. He seems to be the pawn in this game of chess between these sisters. Surely he knows what is going on. Why doesn't he do something about it?

Tell me...
How has fatherhood changed your relationship to your wife?
Do you wish you had done anything differently before having kids? That is, was your marriage solid enough before you added the stress of raising children?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brotherly Love

Genesis 25
This sibling rivalry runs deeps.

The story starts with Isaac praying his barren wife will conceive and God comes through, blessing them with twins. Great! Twins! Thank you Lord!

Well...these twins are different. Literally, they are both different. One likes to hunt, the other likes to contemplate. Esau spent his time in the fields. Jacob spent his under the shade of a tent. Twins? Yes. Kindred spirits? Not so much.

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu/profile/kaleff
Jacob must have made a mean pot of stew.
These differences wouldn't be much of an issue, but the parents seem to have split their affections. Isaac favors Esau because Esau enjoyed eating his father's kills. Rebekah favors Jacob because (we can assume) he likes to hang back with the ladies and cook. It's telling that the only interact we see between Jacob and Esau is the infamous exchange whereby a birthright is exchanged for some Campbell's Chunky. This can't be healthy for this family of four. From the beginning these brothers fought, but their division was amplified when mom and dad chose sides.

I can't really relate to this story. I have an older brother, but our parents didn't seem to pick favorites. Sure my mom wanted a daughter when I was born and yes I did go see Sleeping Beauty with her one Sunday afternoon while my brother and dad watched football, but that was a long time ago. I was 5! But my brother and I were no rivals. As for my little family today. We have one child. No sibling rivalries yet. But I feel like this story is a warning to parents.

I can't think of any good that would come from parents taking sides. Will one child tend to follow the footsteps of one parent over the other? Sure, but why let that be a dividing line?

Genesis 26
As the story continues we see that Isaac is blessed because of his father (v 5, 24). God keeps his word. He always does. He makes it clear that Isaac is being blessed because of the actions of Abraham.

It's a bit of a theme in God's word. The actions of fathers, positive or negative, are returned on their offspring for generations. The conclusions for today's fathers are obvious.

Genesis 27
The rivalry continues as Rebekah lies to her husband.

Jacob follows his mothers advice and deceives his father. Isaac finds out but the blessing sticks.

I just don't understand this. What power did those words hold that made them irreversible? Isaac didn't intend to give the birthright to Jacob. Why couldn't he have hit Edit > Undo?

Words have power. I don't know how else to look at it. I'm sure some bible scholar has it all figured out, but it doesn't add up to me. It's clear that the words Isaac spoke carried a lot of power.

Tell me...
How do you handle sibling rivalries in your household?
Do you engage with each of your child's interests and encourage them?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trust Me

Genesis 22
What a picture of obedience Genesis 22 portrays–Abraham obedient to God, Isaac obedient to his father.

This is one of those passages of scripture that's just hard to believe. I'll accept Jesus' miracles. I'll believe in crossing the Red Sea. I can even buy a talking donkey. But to believe that a man would willingly sacrifice his son without another word...that's hard to swallow.

Here's what God is telling me through this passage.

1. Abraham was listening for God's direction.
The chapter opens with God calling Abraham and the reply shot back is, "Here am I." No delay is found in Abraham's response. You get the sense that he was always ready to hear from God. But maybe, even more importantly...

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu/profile/januszek
2. Abraham doesn't delay in responding to God's instruction.
In verse two God is instructing Abraham on what he wants him to do. By verse 3 Abraham is packed and well on his way to follow through with what God told him to do. Did you notice he "rose early in the morning." Abraham did not take God's instruction lightly.

I find this strange though. If you recall this is the same Abraham who bargained for Sodom, trying to save as many lives as he could, yet when it comes to saving the life of his son he utters not a word. How is that? How could he just blindly follow along with God's plan this time considering the great personal cost?

3. Isaac trusts his father.
Isaac is innocently following his father and doing just as he instructs, but soon realizes they have no lamb for the offering. When he asks his father the response is basically, "Trust me as I trust God." And Isaac does. Abraham has obviously taught Isaac who God is and what he is capable of. I sense that Abraham has passed along a healthy fear of God. Abraham has modeled the way for his beloved son.

In the end God rewards Abraham for his obedience and trust. He sees that Abraham has acted selflessly and knows that he has found his man, the father of his chosen nation.

I know every father who has ever read this passage has put himself in Abraham's shoes. I for one would probably have questioned my choice to follow God if he asked me to do such a thing–to take my only son's life. Thankfully he hasn't asked me to do such a thing and I don't think he will. But the example that Abraham set definitely stretches me as a father.

Tell me...
How do you listen for God's guidance and instruction?
What are you doing to teach your children to trust your leadership?
How about teaching them to trust God?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lot's Choice

Those first few chapters of Genesis were packed with wisdom for dads. Much more than I ever noticed. Having started this journey of reading through the scriptures with this singular focus, I've realized how much more I get from reading God's word when I'm looking for something. I'm careful not to read into anything. I don't want to put something there that isn't, but so far I've found that God's instruction manual is not lacking when it comes to truth for fathers.

Genesis 19
Just how vile are the people of Sodom?

This passage of scripture has always disgusted me to no end. I'm sure that's the case for most readers.

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu/profile/ChanMuk
I shutter to think what happened inside 
those city walls before its destruction.
Here God has chosen to take a scalpel to the city of Sodom and extract what few righteous people remain, Lot and his family. It seems that an ax to the city was His preferred method, but because of Abraham's righteousness God sends two angels in after Lot's household before ridding the world of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The reaction the angels receive from the men of the city is (searching thesaurus for stronger word than 'disgusting') vomitous, (one word won't do) detestable, horrifying... They can't control their lust towards these two strangers. They smell fresh blood.

And Lot, fearing for their wellbeing, offers his two virgin daughters to these wolves in place of the angels from God. WHAT!?!?! Whoa, whoa, whoa.

I feel like jumping into the story, pulling Lot a side and saying, "You know these are angels, right? They can hold their own. They came out of the sky from the almighty God. Don't sacrifice your daughters to these dogs!" But alas, I can't. I'm just a neutral observer from the distant future.

So what can be gained from this story? What can we learn from Lot's choice and what that means about his leadership as a father?

It's evident to me that Lot had his priorities straight. Lot loved his daughters very much. After all, he lived in the most infamously sinful town in all of human history and his daughters were still virgins. He loved them and protected them. But Lot loved God more. Lot's loyalties were to God first and to his family second.

I struggle with this as a dad. When it comes down to it, if I must choose between time with family and time with God I choose family. Prayer time isn't a priority, but eating breakfast with my son is. Going deeper in Bible study isn't a priority, but watching a TV show my wife and I enjoy together is. I love the family God has given me, but He's my father. Just as I want to spend time with my son He wants to spend time with me.

My take away is this. I need to look at areas of my life where God has not been put first, because someday I will have to choose between Him and something else. And without a doubt that "something else" will be the lesser option.

Tell me...
What was your reaction to Lot's choice?
What things do you do to put God first in your day-to-day?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Repopulation

Genesis 9
It feels a bit like a public awareness campaign, doesn't it?

Noah and company step off the ark with this command from God, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." (vs 1). His command was the same just a moment before. "...be fruitful and multiply on the earth." (Gen 8:17) After all, who else was going to do it?

Only you can be fruitful and multiply!

So what does this command mean for us now? Is it still relevant?

I should think so. Who better to populate the earth than followers of God? Who better to raise up the next generation than followers of God?

God has only blessed my wife and I with one child, but whether we have one child or one hundred children we are still called to demonstrate Christ to them and show them the kind of love our heavenly Father shows us.

Tell me...
What does this command to be fruitful and multiply mean to your family?
Do you think it has any relevancy today?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hard Verses: Part 1

Genesis 8
Every once and a while you read something that you just wish wasn't true.
"And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done." Genesis 8:21 ESV
Did you catch that? Sandwiched between God's pleasure in Noah's burnt offering and a promise to never again wipe out all living things is the most difficult verse thus far in the Bible's first book. It's only 11 words but it hits like a ton of bricks.
"...for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth."
Now, I've read this verse more times than I can recall. The rainbows and promises are what I've always taken away. I get the sense that God is both pleased with his choice of Noah to carry on the human race and possibly sad that he had to go to such an extreme measure to cleanse the earth. That's what I've always taken from this verse.

But fatherhood has a way of changing one's perspective.

What is God saying here? Could he really be implying even a child has evil intentions? From his youth? Surely he means from young adulthood, right? A teenager? Definitely. But not a child. Not my child.

If we are going to accept some of scripture we must accept all of scripture. Dads, we have to come to grips with the fact that our kids do not have good intentions. The NIV says "every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood." Their hearts are inclined toward wrong doing. They are inclined to sin.

I may or may not have met your child, but I know one thing about each and every one of them–they are sinners. That's right. Your sweet, precious child is a sinner.

I don't like to believe this. My son is innocent. He's barely three years old. He's not had a chance to become jaded by this world and willfully sin. My son has so much joy. My wife and I can't get enough of him. But then there are days when we've had enough of him. He can make us laugh so hard and he can push our buttons even harder.

When you accept the fact that your child is a sinner and his disobedience, occasional tantrums and outbursts are sin you begin to approach parenting in a whole new way.

My wife and I have just begun this journey. We are reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. The idea that your child's heart is inclined towards evil is central to Tripp's approach to parenting. He suggests your child's heart needs shepherding. Every act of disobedience must be addressed by examining the heart. It's not easy. It takes time, but it's helping us understand our son and more effectively correct him and point him in the way he should go.

Through our reading of the scriptures we'll come across verses that are hard to swallow. They are easier to ignore than to explore. But I hope we can avoid the temptation to conform to culture and let God transform our thinking.

Tell me...
What are the implications of a heart inclined towards evil?
When do you introduce your child to the concept of sin?
How do you explain the idea of sin to a child?

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Than a Boat Builder

Genesis 7
What does God think of my family when he sees me?

Chapter 7 opens with God instructing Noah and his entire household to enter the ark because his righteousness set him apart from the crowd. God is not only saving Noah, he's also extending grace to his entire family. Verse 1 stands out to me for this reason–Noah led his family.

All around Noah is wickedness. So much so that God regrets making man. REGRETS! My translation says he was "sorry that he had made man." I'm not touching that one–an all knowing God who regrets...but you understand the seriousness of the matter. Somehow Noah was able to navigate his family through these dark times, steering them away from evil and towards their Creator.

So God looks down on Noah's family–he, his wife, his three strapping sons and their brides–and a contented curl of his lips forms. He finds favor in him (Gen 6:8). Despite his disappointment with the rest of mankind, God saw Noah and his household and was pleased. He saw in Noah what he had intended for all mankind. Noah was a man that walked with God (Gen 6:9) and he had taught his wife and sons to do the same.

Could there be any greater affirmation for a husband and father that God would choose your family to repopulate the earth? I think not.

So I wonder, when God looks at me what does he think of my family? After all, they are entrusted to me. I am the head of the household. Does he find favor? Am I teaching my family to walk with God as Noah did his? For that matter, do I walk with God?

Tell me...
Who inspires you to be the spiritual leader of your household?
Is there a figure to whom you look up? Are you encouraged by your wife and children to lead?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NFL Playoffs--Who do you like?

The Chin could be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once again. Boo.
I've got the Patriots and Falcons squaring off for the title of World Champs. I know it's a real stretch, but these have been the two most consistent teams all season. Is it just me or have the Patriots been quietly dominating all season?

As for who I would like to see in the big game...I'm pulling for the Bears in the NFC. I'm a Bear's fan by marriage and I'm all about keeping the peace. If you put a gun to my head and made me pick an AFC team to pull for I guess it would be the Ravens. My Broncos are years away from the playoffs and I have reasons to despise all the AFC team, but I like the style of football the Ravens play.

Tell me...
Who do you like to win it all?
When your team is down and out who do you pull for?

And we shall name him...Emilio?

Genesis 5
My tendency is to breeze through the so-and-so-begat-so-and-so sections and get back to the stories, but like I said I want to slow down a bit and see what nuggets God has left for us. So is there anything to be learned from the genealogy in chapter 5?

Martin Sheen with a young Martin Sheen
Two things I noticed...

When Adam fathered Seth the scriptures say "he fathered a son in his own likeness" (v 3). The same was not said of Cain or Abel. It's the same language used when God created Adam, but instead of man taking on the likeness of deity it's a man taking on the likeness of another man, his earthly father. What is the significance of making this distinction? Maybe it's nothing, but I found it interesting.

The other thing that jumps out is when the pattern in the recording of the genealogy is broken. Notice verse 29. Here we learn more than just birthdays and life spans. We see that Lamech, Noah's father, knew that his son was something special. So he named him accordingly. My bible tells me Noah sounds like the Hebrew for rest. Do you suppose Lamech knew what his son would do?

When my wife and I were preparing for the arrival of our son we scoured through a couple baby name books. I wanted a name that sounded good with our last name. Names that ended with 'n' seemed to work best. I know, silly, but that was a part of the criteria. We also liked a few biblical names and the story behind the men who made them famous. We hadn't settled on one until he was born. We figured we had to give him a good once over before we gave him his name for life.

Tell me...
Do your kids look like you? How does that change your perception of them?
How much thought went into naming your child? Was it a family name or did you choose a name based on the characteristics or personality you want your child to possess?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Behind Closed Doors

Genesis 4
I find it strange that our all knowing, all powerful God would ask Cain the questions, "Where is Abel your brother?" and "What have you done?"(v 9, 10). Surely he knows, right? He's God. Why not just call Cain out? Why not say "I saw what you did and you're in big trouble mister!"?

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu/profile/vla
I've caught my son in the act. Occasionally at the end of his room time I'll go back there and quietly peak in on him before going in. Sometimes I'll catch him dancing around on his bed. He knows he's not to stand on his bed. The simple thing is to go in, yank him off his bed and put him in time out or at the very least give him a good scolding.

But I want to know that he knows right and wrong, so lately when I've seen him doing something like this I'll go in and ask him what he's doing. It's and educational experience for me as a dad. I discover if he knows he was doing anything wrong to begin with, what mommy and daddy have told him about that behavior, and what the consequences are. He knows what's up and he knows he can't get away with it. (Well, most of the time. I'm a bit lenient at times and it's come back to bit me. Just ask my wife.)

So I guess that's what God is doing here. He seems to want us to give an account of what we've done. He did the same with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:9, 11). It's an opportunity for us to do the right thing and confess.

Tell me...
How do you approach your kids when you know they've done something wrong?
Is there a stricter punishment/consequence when they don't tell you the truth or is the disobedience treated the same whether or not they confess?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bad Produce

Genesis 3
How many times have you told him not to? And how many times did he do it anyway?

I don't give my son enough credit sometimes. My expectations of him can often be too low, but I've learned of late to raise my standards for him.

God, in his infinite wisdom, left room for choice within his created universe. But the choice did not come without warning. Here he tells Adam once to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). One time he told him. Do you think it stuck? Did Adam get the point?

You bet he did and Eve, who we can assume knew of God's command through Adam, took it a step further and said that they were told not even to touch the tree (v 3). They heard God and they knew what he meant. But the temptation was too great.

As some point we will all let our children loose. They will hold fast to their chosen mate as God instructed (Gen 2:24). Our job is to prepare them for the freedom their future holds. They must understand the choices before them and realize the consequences, good or bad, of each decision.

The temptation is to shelter our kids from the evil of the world. But notice God does not hide this forbidden tree from man. It's in the garden. It's in their backyard! Rather, he educates them about the tree, offers his trust and leaves them alone.

This will be something difficult to wrestle with as my son grows older. Temptation is all around us. In our culture we find knew ways of sinning everyday. What do I allow him to be exposed to, what do I simply tell him about without showing him, and from what do I shelter him completely?

Tell me...
How do you tell your kids about the sinful things of the world?
What do you prepare them for and what do you allow them to experience on their own?
How will you know when they are ready?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Chip off the Old Block

The story begins with the creation of the world and of man. We've all read it a million times. So let's try to take it slow to see if there's something we missed that has implications for fathers.

Genesis 1
God makes man in his image and finally finds his handwork, not just good, but now very good (v 31). God took joy in his children–Adam and Eve. They were created to look like him.

My son looks like me (although he is looking more like his mother every day). He has since the second he entered this world and everyone reminds us of that. I find myself looking at him at times and seeing myself, innocent and oblivious. It's a feeling only a father knows. But it's easy to miss those moments. We can so easily become preoccupied with our work, our hobbies even, that we rob ourselves of the joy our kids bring.

Genesis 2
God had a purpose for man and that was to work and tend to his creation (v 15). Earlier God ordered man to "be fruitful and multiply" and to "have dominion over" all the created things (Gen 1:28). The multiplying is the fun part, the having dominion bit takes some sweat. Are we instilling in our children, even from a young age, the value of hard work?

I have a 3-year-old son. He has his own room. We've given him toys and books and clothes. In a sense he has dominion over those things. He is the caretaker for the things we have placed in his room. It is his job to keep it clean and to care for his toys, otherwise Mom and Dad will find a more appreciative child to give his toys to. It's happened before.

Tell me...
What do you do to appreciate your kids and take joy in them?
How do you teach your children the value of hard work?

Monday, January 3, 2011

BCS minus the C

I know two things: I like Rick Reilly and I think the BCS is a joke.

I like what Rick had to say in his latest column. Here's an excerpt:
What a lie this BCS era is. They say a playoff would take too much time away from school, yet Oregon's players will have had 37 days off when they play again.
They say with this system, "every game counts." Except of course, TCU's epic win over Wisconsin to stay undefeated Saturday. Counts exactly as much as a rainbow to Stevie Wonder.
I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't try.
So how 'bout you? 
BCS? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

-----

Someone Famous Once Said...


"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated,
let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does
in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right."

-- Bill Cosby