Thursday, December 27, 2007
I remember when I was a kid my cousin Jon was coming to visit us in Lynchburg, Va. I was excited about Jon's visit for a few reasons. First, Jon drove a sweet silver convertible sports car; I think it was an Austin Healey (sp?). Second, due to Jon's visit mom had baked an applesauce cake that I loved to consume as a child (and still do). Third, it was just going to be cool to have Jon at the house for a visit. Mom was busy getting the house ready but I just remember being really excited, I got that way whenever someone was coming to our house.
Even more exciting was when we brought Ty home. We had to prepare a nursery, gather all the things together that we would need to give Ty the space he needed. I remember how special it was when we first carried Ty into the house and put him in his bassinet.
As Rick talked about Jesus getting heaven ready for us to come home I turned it more personally. Jesus is in heaven right now building me a home and I will get to spend eternity in worshipping him face to face. Jesus is both the architect, he is designing the place, and the contractor; he's building the place. What will the place look like? I have no clue and my puny little finite mind probably couldn't begin to even grasp what my place will be in heaven will be like.
Does that blow you away? Jesus, if you are a believer in him, is in heaven right now getting a place ready for you! The creator is creating a home for the created. And I can't help but think that he is just as excited, probably more excited, about us coming to our new home as I was a child when someone was coming to our home. Jesus is excited about you spending eternity with him. Why? Because he loves you!!
Mom and Dads, when was the last time you told your son or daughter how much Jesus Christ loves them? Not because they earned it, not because they had to do anything to deserve his love but that he simply loves them because he is love. Here are some verses to read with your son or daughter about God's love for them: Romans 8:39; Ephesians 2:4; I John 3:1; I John 4:8 - 10. Perhaps you could break these verses up over the next week and read one together each day and talk about the verse together. Share what the verse means to you. Use open-ended questions to get your teen to talk. If they stare back at you with a blank look on their face, don't worry that's normal. Start small and be consistent and in time you will see that conversation will become easier for both of you. Think of something you can do special for your teen because you love them, not because they have done anything special or done anything to deserve something special, but just because you love him. Take him and some friends to a movie, take her out to eat at her favorite restaurant, take her to the ice skating rink in Currituck and skate together, play his favorite video game with him.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Currently I'm sitting in my living room by the light of the Christmas tree after attending the Christmas Eve worship gathering at church earlier this evening. Misha is channel surfing between It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. The smell of a pumpkin pie baking in the oven is wafting throughout the house. Sasha (our dog) is laying at my feet. Ty is all snug in his bed with visions of presents to open dancing through his head.
Does it get any better than this? It is the picture perfect Christmas Eve.
As we drove home tonight from the Christmas Eve gathering Misha asked Ty, "Do you know why we celebrate Christmas?" Ty responded happily, "Open presents!" I have failed as dad and a pastor! Just joking, the kid is 3 give em' a break! We then explained again the birth of Jesus. So again we asked him what we were going to do to tomorrow? Ty answered, "Open Jesus' presents!"
My favorite part of the movie, A Christmas Story, was just on. Ralphie told his mom that he learned a dirty word from his friend so Ralphie's mom called the other boy's mom. You can hear the kid getting yelled at and whooped over the phone. Ralphie just threw out a name, it wasn't even true. I love that!
So from all of us here in the pumpkin pie smelling Lawrenson home we wish you a Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
- When the hit counter reaches 1,000 we will have a blog party right here on this very blog site. Who will bring the Chex Mix?
- In the spirit of Hanukkah I had Matzo ball soup for lunch today. Now first of all I love Matzo ball soup. It is great on a cold day or when you are feeling puny. When I was in the store the other day I picked up two cups of instant Matzo ball soup. I thought that would be great to have here at the office for lunch. First of all there were only two Matzo balls in the instant soup cup, so I made both. Second it was probably the nastiest thing I have ever eaten (and I've ate dog before). The Matzo balls were like Styrofoam. So just a word in passing and note to self, "Don't eat instant Matzo ball soup!"
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
How do we fix years of unhealthy feeding? In the 60s and early 70’s some bright person in the government figured out that bears and humans don’t mix so well. Too many people were hopping out of their Plymouth for that perfect photo opportunity with a bear only to become a tasty snack for Mrs. Grizzly. So those that studied the bears and their interaction with human encroachment came up with steps to work towards less human and bear interaction, mainly involving removing human food sources.
So how does the church undo years of poor feeding habits? Steps need to be taken to help parents disciple their children. How do we instill confidence in parents in this aspect of godly parenting? Any ideas? I can think of a few:
- Create discipleship groups to disciple parents that were never discipled, teaching parents how to be self-feeders.
- Give parents tools to disciple their children and teach their kids how to self-feed.
- Point parents in the direction of excellent resources, books, web sites, newsletters, magazines.
- Form affinity/accountability groups for parents by grouping them according to their children’s ages.
- Create systematic discipleship plans parents can use.
- Youth and Children pastors could let parents know what is being covered in youth group/kids’ church and then parents could use that as a springboard to discussions and Bible study at home during the week.
- Pair up younger parents with older parents that have done a good job at discipling their kids.
- The church needs to re-think what we have been doing all these years.
If you have any good ideas or know of resources I would love to hear them.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
When bears are fed, they quickly learn unbear-like behaviors. Sadly, this often leads to the death of the bear. Once a bear comes in contact with human food they return again and again.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
- no allowance - kids shouldn't make their bed for money they should make their bed because they are part of a family and we work together in our home.
- stop projecting money fears onto kids - kids don't need to hear their parents money woes
- don't gripe about your job in front of your kid - they don't need to be taught to fear that adulthood is going to be boring and no fun
Friday, December 7, 2007
Today was a day off. We got up and headed to the McArthur Center in Norfolk this AM. Now going to the mall is high on my least favorite things to do list. Today, we went with a mission. When I know what my mission is it makes the pain of the mall much easier to handle.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Just so you know he did get on the phone with me for a minute. He squeezed me into his schedule then he had to run. He had to play.
Christmas time makes me think of another crisis. Imagine what it must have been like for Joseph to receive word that Mary was pregnant and he knew he wasn't the father. I would call that a crisis. What would the family think? How would they be looked on by the community? Lots of questions would have rolled through my mind if I was Joseph. Joseph's crisis was a God given crisis.
Whether a God given crisis or a crisis that is the result of choices the crisis can move us closer to God. We can also make the choice to allow crisis to move us away from God. I believe God often uses crisis to get our attention and turn us in the right direction, towards him.
We probably all know someone that seems to be in constant crisis. Are they continually making poor choices? Possibly. Are they ignoring God's movement in their life? Possibly. I've seen Christians hit rock bottom. They have turned from their faith and turned their back on God and then find themselves in a horrible situation but still don't surrender.
The prodigal son, he had to hit rock bottom. He was looking at pig slop (Nasty!) and considering eating some of it. It was only when he encountered crisis that he turned and ran home to daddy.
We, as parents, have to teach our kids how to handle crisis. What do we do when crisis hits? They are watching and more is caught than taught. Our children need to learn that crisis can be the result of choices made, usually poor ones, but that they can also come from God. Ultimately we need to teach them that crisis gives us an opportunity to strengthen our faith in a God who is control, sovereign.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
What is discipleship? Discipleship is an intimate, personal relationship designed for growth and learning through imitation, dialogue and observation.
"We have to be there. We have to show up on the job. If a parent is not available or is emotionally tuned out, or burnt out, that parent is actually contributing to the emergence of an immoral child. A parent may feed and clothe his child, buy her expensive toys, enroll her in lessons and sports, but if he fails to pass on a sense of right and wrong, he is guilty of moral neglect.
It’s our job to provide a role model, not a perfect one, but a real one. It’s our job to disciple our kids."
Here is a great article about what I'm rolling through my mind. If you are a parent you need to read this.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The more I think about our youth ministry and where it is at in 2007, the more I realize it is time for an adjustment, changes. Not changing simply for the sake of change but changing to make an impact in the lives of students. Why? If 80% of Christian teens are walking away from their faith and church upon graduating from high school something has gone severely wrong.
For years the church has said, "Bring us your children and let us teach them the Bible". The result of this mindset, I believe, is the statistic mentioned above that is alarming us today. Students should be discipled and taught the Bible by their parents. That's what God instructs us to do in Deut. 11:19,20.
I think it is time for youth ministry to shift and become youth ministry through the parents. How is that going to happen? I guess that might take some time to figure out.
When was the last time you read the Bible with your teen? Just wondering.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Misha is now hanging our "first Christmas together" ornament, I'm tearing up a little, not because it was our first ornament but because the buck on the ornament is an eight pointer.
Other big news! Our house is officially listed. Yes, you could be the proud owner of a lovely pimped beachbox with a bonus room, open floor plan, laundry room, storage room, two car garage, large lot with fenced in backyard, freshly painted interior, light and airy. Swingset is negotiable. For more info contact Cathy at Village Realty :).
We are also looking at putting in an offer on a home, a big "fixer upper".
Merry Kwismas! Last night's Lord's supper and Christmas dinner was kickin'.
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