Thursday, April 28, 2011

Notes on Making Disciples of our Boys, Part 3

Continuing thoughts from Part 1 and Part 2.
  • We want to take one day off each week (completely off).  We've done this pretty regularly for the last few years and it has been fun to watch our boys look forward to our Sabbath.  (Pronounced "Sabbaf" by some in our house...  And it's entirely possible their favorite part is the pancakes we always have for breakfast and the pizza we usually have for dinner).   As I've said before, we purposefully focus our day on God and each other.
  • Use the rod.  I previously posted some Bible passages on parenting: One read through Proverbs was enough to convince me.  The book Shepherding a Child's Heart has a great section on this Biblical concept.
  • As they get old enough, I'm planning on taking them to work with me.  Even as I write I'll admit that that it is slightly terrifying idea.  I'll let you know how it goes. (If I survive)
  • While we want to take a specific "man-cation" at age 13 (Thanks for that name Theresa!), raising three boys in our over-sexed culture means we can't wait until 13 to start diving into topics of purity and sexuality.  I'm not totally sure on the plan, (although thanks to inquisitive minds we've had several conversations already.)  I do know I want to discuss pornography with them by age 10, as I've read in a few places the average boy sees a pornographic image by the age of 11.
  • Lastly, what's the goal?  By the age of 18 we want a full functioning adult.  But more importantly, we want men who are following Jesus.  That's the end-result we're looking for anyway.

Up next?  Parts one through three... organized!

Monday, April 25, 2011

BOOR April 2010: Learning from an expert

I love it when something I read last year correlates with something I'm reading now.  I just finished reading through Acts and for the first time was seeing some specific ideas for changing the world for Jesus.  (It seems amazing that I missed them before.)

Then I came across this post: Learning From an Expert on Steve Addison's blog.  It is a short list of practical Biblical advice for turning the world upside-down "Acts-style".  I'll post the short list here, but I'm hoping you click through to the original blog to read about each point in detail.
  • Be up front about Jesus.
  • Keep moving.
  • Stop planting churches.  (If that doesn't make you want to click here and read more, I don't know what will.)
  • Cast vision early for simple neighborhood churches.
  • Stop trying to reach one person at a time.
  • Don’t focus on “mature” Christians.
  • Begin with the end in mind.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How I Read It: The Exemplary Husband

A few thoughts after finishing The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott

Quotable: A word to any married guy (or to any guy thinking about getting married): "The husband's various duties involve priestly elements, organizational and administrative tasks, and numerous responsibilities related to spiritual and practical leadership of all kinds.  Being a godly husband requires the skill of a gifted manager, the heart of a loving counselor, the ability to lead while gaining a follower's respect-chiefly by being a consistent example... This is by no means a part-time calling."  (From the forward by John MacArthur.)  In other words, don't take it lightly!

How I Should Have Read It:  If I read this book again, I'm going to start with the last chapter.  It may have been the best in the whole book.  It was both an inspiration and challenge to be a Christ-like husband.  From there I would look at the Table of Contents and 'jump around' to the topics that pertained to me.

Don't Text Me: I first read this book as a textbook for a college class... and now I can see why.  Overall it was too much like a textbook for my taste.  To illustrate: The first sentence after a chapter on humility reads "Now that you are equipped with a more lowly mindset..."  I literally almost laughed out loud when I read that.  Since when does reading about humility make you humble?  Most of the book read like that: a textbook that thinks knowledge is the only requirement for change.

You Can Use This: But with the textbook format comes this benefit: Lists!  And good ones too!  I wrote "Great list" multiple times in my notes.  Here's what you could find and use: an explanation of true repentance (p44), a list of how the Trinity interacts in a perfect relationship (p51), a list that details "What we worship, we will... adore/seek after/etc" (p90), and a list of what Christ's love is like (p105).

If you've read the Exemplary Husband I'd love to hear from you.  What did you think of it?  What did you think of How I Read It?

2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
  1. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
  2. Humility by CJ Mahaney*
  3. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson*
  4. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  5. Crazy Love by Francis Chan*
  6. The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott* 
*I own these books, let me know if you want to borrow them.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The Bible on Parenting

    As promised a few posts ago, here's a list of Bible verses and passages pertaining to raising children.  I'd love for you to take a minute and glance through it.  Did I miss any?  What passages what you add?

    This link takes you to a printable Google Document of the information. (And it includes a worksheet I'm going to use the next time I study these verses.)

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    How I Read It: Humility

    A few thoughts after finishing Humility by CJ Mahaney

    Quotable: This was a short little book that was packed full of good quotes.  Here are a few:
    • "You and I hate nothing to the degree that God hates pride." (p 33)  
    • "I believe in the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him, and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards, and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love." -Charles Spurgeon (p 103)
    • "My self perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror." - Paul Tripp (p 127)

    Sleep on It:  Maybe the biggest thing that has stuck with me from reading this book is how our need for sleep is humbling.  If I was the most powerful man in the world, I would still need sleep.  Both my need for sleep and what goes on while I sleep are totally out of my control. 

    Parenting Tip:  Since I've been posting some thoughts on raising children, I couldn't pass this up: "If you're a parent, don't celebrate anything more than you celebrate godly character in your children."  (p 160, emphasis mine).

    You Can Use This: (in quote format): "If you're in a small group for fellowship and accountability are you humbly and aggressively participating or merely observing?  Are you actually hoping to avoid correction? Do you experience a certain perverse relief when your sin has gone undetected?" (p129)  CJ then provides a list of questions to evaluate how much you're actually seeking correction.

    2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
    1. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
    2. Humility by CJ Mahaney 
    3. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson
    4. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
    5. Crazy Love by Francis Chan

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Inspire Me: TobyMac's Prayer

    "Lord forgive us when we get consumed for the things of this world that fight for our love and our passion.  With our eyes open wide and on you, grant us the privilege of your world view. And may your kingdom be what wakes us up and lays us down."
    From: Lose My Soul on Portable Sounds

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Notes on Making Disciples of our Boys, Part 2

    These are continuing thoughts from Part 1.
    • Each year my wife and I want to review the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.  This books presents a Biblical perspective on parenting in a very usable way.  It challenged us immensely the first time we read it, so we think a yearly review will help us 're-align' our parenting on the Bible.
    • Speaking of Scripture, we want to regularly review Scripture about parenting.  I've been compiling a list of Bible passages about parenting, and I'll put it up as a separate post in the future.  
    • Be there.  (This is mainly directed at me.)  When I'm at home, I need to be fully focused and present.  Specifically, I need to put aside my phone and put off responding to text messages when I'm with my family.  (It's taking my hierarchy of communication and seeing my wife and kids at the top of it.)
    • Once a year we want to seek time with another family who has raised their kids to be followers of Jesus.  We want time with them and to seek to learn from them. (We're actually keeping a list of people that fit this description.)
    • Another yearly goal: Take a family vacation.  This should be just us, with no bigger agenda than spending time together.  
    Final notes for this post: a) Look for an upcoming 'Part 3'.  b) I'd love your feedback (yes you!) on any of this. c) One word: BETA.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    How I Read It: The Problem of Pain

    A few thoughts after finishing The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis:

    Quotable:  I already posted a long, inspire-me quote on the love of God from this book.  But here's another freebie for you:  "The dangers of apparent self sufficiency explain why Our Lord regards the vices of the feckless and dissipated so much more leniently than the vices that lead to worldly success.  Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger."

    Whoa Nelly!: Chapter Five really took me by surprise.  In his explanation of the Fall of Man, Lewis basically shows he fully buys theistic-evolution, (meaning God used evolution to create mankind).  I won't digress into a full discussion on this topic here, but suffice it to say I guess you'll never agree 100% with everybody.  Not even C.S. Lewis.

    LOL: During a random side-track about animal immortality, Lewis says: "I am not greatly moved by jocular inquiries such as 'Where will you put all the mosquitoes?' - a question to be answered on its own level by pointing out that, if the worst came to the worst, a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for men could very conveniently be combined."

    Just What I Needed: Overall, this book was just what I needed to hear.  I've watched multiple friends go through hardships over the past months and this discussion on God's use of pain was excellent.  If you're struggling to see God's goodness through trying times, I highly recommend this book to you.

    The Questions I Will Be Asking: I also read this book along with a friend who doesn't believe in God.  I will be asking him the following questions:  (They sorted of 'bubbled out' of my mind as I read the book.)
    • How did we nearly all of humanity get a belief in the supernatural?
    • What would a good God look like to you?  How would our world be different?
    • Do you see humanity as good, bad, or neutral?
    • How would you explain the 'problem of pain?'
    • What differences do you see between animals and humans?
    2011 Personal Impact Ranking:
    1. The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
    2. Fight Clubs by Jonathan Dodson
    3. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
    4. Crazy Love by Francis Chan