Sunday Supper July 19, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

“There’s lots of talk on the blogosphere about why people don’t sing in church like they used to. There are articles on every idea from song key and range to style, to music volume to congregational spiritual lethargy. But I think there’s one, large glaring elephant in the room for why people really don’t sing in church anymore.”

A cool article on the lighter side – Essay: How Pixar enchants us, and moves us, with close-up emotional magic. For a deeper look into their latest, check out Talking About “Inside Out”

H.B. Charles suggests 5 Questions to Ask of the Text when studying God’s Word.

Real Conversations with Dad – A great article about capturing those little moments with your kids.

Ask R.C.: What Are Some Concerns You Have With the Homeschooling Movement? Some wise words of caution from an avid supporter of homeschooling.

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

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Just Like Dad

Recently, I did or said something (can’t remember what, exactly) that stopped me in my tracks. My wife looked at me as I started laughing and I said, “Oh man, I am so my Dad.” This happens more and more often lately as I find myself doing and saying things that I remember him doing or saying in similar situations.

Truthfully, this doesn’t bother me at all. I have been blessed with a dad who is a tremendous man of God, wise teacher, and incredible example of what it is to be a pastor, husband and father. I have learned so much from him, but in honor of Father’s Day I thought I’d share some of the more humorous bits of wisdom I’ve picked up from my Dad.

  • Dad taught me that there is no childhood injury that cannot be fixed by offering to amputate.
  • Dad taught me to acquire a taste for foods and drinks that my kids don’t like.
  • Dad taught me to not get angry, but to just drive faster.
  • Dad taught me that communists don’t like watermelon.
  • Dad taught me that anything I don’t want my kids to do just so happens to be pagan.
  • Dad taught me that if you can laugh at your own jokes, there’s no need for them to be funny.

More importantly than any of these, Dad taught me to love God and His Word, to make family a priority, to work hard and to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. I am grateful today for a dad that cared enough to not only model these things, but to cultivate them in his children. To my dad, my brothers and to all you men out there sacrificing for your families, I say Happy Father’s Day!

Honoring Mom

Recently we were having a family discussion about spending some money to do something nice for “Mom” for Mother’s Day. I was encouraging this and the kids seemed excited – until, that is, one of them decided we should scratch the idea and spend the money on the kids. My explanation that this wasn’t going to happen was met with the following angry accusation: “Mom gets everything she wants, because of you!”

Though I’m sure my wife would argue as to the truth of that statement, I took it as a great compliment. My wife doesn’t ask for much and I certainly don’t do an adequate job of giving her all that she needs, but I’m glad that my children recognize that I honor their mother and make her a priority in my life. I think this is essential for developing within them the kind of honor and respect they must have for their mother and in turn for women in general.

In a culture that is increasingly disrespectful of women it is vital that godly men not only harbor feelings of honor and respect toward our wives and mothers, but that we express it and demonstrate it in front of our children. We cannot expect that they will do or feel what they have never seen. It must be modeled, encouraged and cultivated.

There are many ways to do this, but one way that works particularly well for my young children is to simply tell them stories. They love a good story and stories make for great opportunities to have some fun, inform them of their history and also give honor to those to whom it is due.

I tell them stories of my mom (their Grammy) who loved us fiercely, but wasn’t afraid to grab us by the ear if we got out of hand. I tell them how she taught us God’s Word, but also modeled an authentic and vulnerable relationship with the Lord. They’ve heard stories of how she has protected us from danger, and also that she always made our stomach flutter when she drove over the railroad tracks. Most of all, they hear that their Dad loves his Mom and they believe that is the way it ought to be.

In addition, I try to regularly make them aware of the story playing out in front of them every day. I point out the sacrifices their mom makes for them and for me. We talk about her hard work, her love, her care and attention. I encourage them to express gratitude for her selfless service. Though never as often as she deserves, I praise her in front of them for being a wonderful wife and mother. They know that Dad is flawed, but they also know he loves their Mom and believe that’s the way it ought to be.

My desire for my children is that they appreciate their mother and recognize that I love her and appreciate her too. I want my sons to grow up with a clear and biblical picture of how to treat a lady and I want my daughters to understand how they should be treated by men. The best hope of this desire coming true is if I take the time and make the effort to model this myself – even if I risk them thinking that I give Mom anything she wants.