Posts Tagged ‘Leaving a legacy’

Shrimp & Ketchup

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Faith Conversations, Family Devotions, Moms, Praying Together

Over lunch with a radio talk show host last week, I was enlightened.  I ordered fish tacos and he ordered fried shrimp.  When our meals arrived, he did something strange; he moved his little dish of cocktail sauce out of his plate and squirted some ketchup in its place!  Who does that?

I had to ask.

He said when he was a child, that’s the way him mom served shrimp.  Since that’s the way he was brought up, that’s the way he eats them now.

I laughed.

He looked at me with a question mark on his face.

I chuckled because, it was a great example of the influence of the home.  What we do at home will shape our children’s spiritual lives even as it shapes our taste buds.

We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Psalm 78:4-7

I have to remind myself that what I’m doing now with our children is not only impacting them; it’s also impacting their children, too.   We are influencing our grandchildren; future generations.  Our children can pass the love and trust of the Lord onto their children and their children’s children.

Whatever we choose to dip our shrimp into doesn’t matter, but the way we spend our time connecting our children’s hearts towards God’s can have an eternal difference.  The habits we instill in our children while they are at home will carry on long after we are gone.

Pray together as a family.  Read the Word together and tell your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord…Then they [will] put their trust in God and [will] not forget his deeds but [will] keep his commands.”

 

Discussion Questions for parents and small groups:

When do you share with your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord?”

How are you developing spiritual habits in your home?

What is a habit you are going to start?

When is the best time to pray together as a family?

Find someone to share this with, so they can ask you about it.

 

Finding Family Friendly Movies

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Movies

How do you decide which movies are appropriate for your family?  How do you find good movies with meaning and a good message without all kinds of junk in the middle?

When was the last time you watched a movie that said this:

“There are those who claim it’s impossible to know what we’re meant to do or meant to be. But the folks who say that, tend to be looking for a God who shouts and completely miss the one who whispers.

“I side with Paul who wrote, “We see only a dim reflection as through a glass darkly, but one day we shall see face to face and what we now know in part we shall know fully but in the meantime these three things remain faith hope and love and the greatest of these is love.”

Love this quote from the movie: Finding Normal. http://ow.ly/JpfRc

Carrie and I really enjoy watching with our kids movies that have meaning.  Movies that have a great message. That inspire us to action and draw us to love, give and serve.  Not that all of them will be blatantly Christian, although those are the best. We want our children to be inspired and motivated to righteousness.

I also like watching action movies; thrilling movies that have you on the edge of your seat.  But, I’m not willing to compromise, if those movies are filled with worldviews that corrupt. 

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  Philippians 4.8

Because we take this seriously and realize how movies impact us so much, we rarely will see a movie without checking it out on www.pluggedin.com.   This site, by Focus on the Family, reviews almost every movie and includes it’s: synopsis, spiritual content, violence, profanity, positive element, etc.  For instance, here is their review of 50 Shades http://ow.ly/Jpnbi

Where can you go to find family friendly, motivational movies with an inspiring message?  You can check out pluggedin.com for a list.  You can also check out a new site I just heard about called www.IamFlix.com.   There is also http://www.christiancinema.com/.  Carrie often searches the Dove awards site: http://www.dove.org/. I’m sure there are others, so if you know one, please post it on our site below.

My encourage you to mix it up and declare that “It’s going to be a Movies with Meaning family night!” Be prepared for the kick-back.  They probably won’t always jump up and down in excitement.  The truth is these movies may have some bad acting, even some cheesy scenes, but there is Truth in these movies which is more important than always being steeped in entertainment void of the Truth.

It’s our job to lead them and guide our children to pursue the things of God and movies can be a fun, entertaining way to positively influence them.  If you aren’t putting them in front of some good movies and talking about the negatives in other movies, no one else will. Help them make decisions on what they should and shouldn’t expose themselves to.  And until they are mature enough to do that on their own, God has given them into your custody to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6.4

 Helping You Have Homes Devoted

Jonathan

Forward to someone you know.

Keys to Making Your Kids Apathetic About Faith

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Dads, Encouragement, Moms

I wrote this on the Homes Devoted Facebook page (which you should “like” 🙂 if you haven’t yet.)
Many Christian parents put more effort, time, money into their children’s activities than into following God and then wonder why their children grow up and love everything but God.

Scott Linscott shared this article he wrote on the subject, called: Your kid’s an All Star? Wow! Someday he’ll be average like the rest of us.  Scott, was my youth pastor.  The man who met me for breakfast once a week to answer my questions about faith and life.  Most importantly, he was a man of integrity and loved his family well, very well, which was something all of us youth group kids needed to see.

I am posting it here with his permission.  It might encourage you, challenge you or “tick you off” like it did many others.  Here it is:

NOTE: A lot of comments have focused on “church.” As one who believes the church is people and not a location or institution, I wish i could have communicated more clearly that this is about we parents living our faith. “Faith activities” and “community” was my intention. Those things come in numerous flavors. Following Jesus is not about sitting in a “church service” once a week. That said, my tongue-in-cheek approach is not intended to offend.

The church in America is puzzled. Young adults are leaving in droves. Magazines, books and blogs are wagging the finger of blame to point out who is responsible. Some say it is a failure of youth ministry, some point to church budgets and some nail the blame on outdated, unhip worship services. We parents are shocked that our kids just really aren’t all that into Jesus.

When I look for someone to blame I head into the restroom and look into a mirror. Yupp, there he is. I blame him. That parent looking back at me is where I have to start.

If you’re a parent, I might tick you off in this post. But, hear me out. I think that we, as parents are guilty of some things that make it easy for our kids to put faith low on their priority list.

Keys to Making Your Kids Apathetic About Faith  

1) Put academic pursuits above faith-building activities. Encourage your child to put everything else aside for academic gain. Afterall, when they are 24 and not interested in faith and following Christ, you’ll still be thrilled that they got an A in pre-calculus, right? Instead of teaching them balance, teach them that all else comes second to academics. Quick … who graduated in the top 5 of your high school class? Unless you were one of them, I bet you have no idea. I don’t.

2) Chase the gold ball first and foremost. Afterall, your child is a star. Drive 400 miles so your child can play hockey but refuse to take them to a home group bible study because it’s 20 minutes away.

2b) Buy into the “select,” “elite,” “premier” titles for leagues that play outside of the school season and take pride in your kid wearing the label. Hey now, he’s an All-Star! No one would pay $1000 for their kid to join, “Bunch-of-kids-paying-to-play Team.” But, “Elite?!?” Boy, howdy! That’s the big time!

2c) Believe the school coach who tells you that your kid won’t play if he doesn’t play in the offseason. The truth is, if your kid really is a star, he could go to Disney for the first week of the season and come back and start for his school team. The determined coach might make him sit a whole game to teach him a lesson. But, trust me, if Julie can shoot the rock for 20 points a game, she’s in the lineup. I remember a stellar soccer athlete who played with my son in high school. Chris missed the entire preseason because of winning a national baseball championship. With no workouts, no double sessions, his first day back with the soccer team, he started and scored two goals. Several hard-working “premier” players sat on the bench and watched him do it. (Chris never played soccer outside the school season but was a perpetual district all-star selection.) The hard reality is, if your kid is not a star, an average of 3 new stars a year will play varsity as freshmen. That means there’s always 12 kids who are the top prospects. Swallow hard and encourage your kid to improve but be careful what you sacrifice to make him a star at little Podunk High here in Maine.

2d) By the way, just because your kid got a letter inviting him to attend a baseball camp in West Virginia does not mean he is being recruited. You’ll know when recruiting happens. Coaches start calling as regularly as telemarketers, they send your kid handwritten notes and they often bypass you to talk to your kid. A letter with a printed label from an athletic department is not recruitment. When a coach shows up to watch your kid play and then talks to you and your kid, that’s recruiting.

3) Teach your kid that the dollar is almighty. I see it all the time. Faith activities fly out the window when students say, “I’d like to, but I have to work.” Parents think jobs teach responsibility when, in reality, most students are merely accumulating wealth to buy the things they want. Our kids learn that faith activities should be put aside for the “responsibility” of holding a job. They will never again get to spend 100% of their paychecks on the stuff they want.

3b) Make them pay outright for faith activities like youth retreats and faith community activities while you support their sports, music, drama and endeavors with checks for camps and “select” groups and expensive equipment. This sends a loud and clear message of what you really want to see them involved in and what you value most. Complain loudly about how expensive a three-day youth event is but then don’t bat an eye when you pay four times that for a three-day sports camp.

4) Refuse to acknowledge that the primary motivating force in kids’ lives is relationship. Connections with others is what drives kids to be involved. It’s the reason that peer pressure is such a big deal in adolescence. Sending kids to bible classes and lectures is almost entirely ineffective apart from relationship and friendships that help them process what they learn. As kids share faith experiences like retreats, mission trips and student ministry fun, they build common bonds with one another that work as a glue to Christian community. In fact, a strong argument can be made that faith is designed to be lived in community with other believers. By doing all you can to keep your kids from experiencing the bonds of love in a Christian community, you help insure that they can easily walk away without feeling like they are missing anything. Kids build friendships with the kids they spend time with.

5) Model apathy in your own life. If following Jesus is only about sitting in a church service once a week and going to meetings, young adults opt out. Teenagers and young adults are looking for things that are worth their time. Authentic, genuine, relevant relationships where people are growing in relationship with Jesus is appealing. Meaningless duty and ritual holds no attraction.

There are no guarantees that your children will follow Christ even if you have a vibrant, purposeful relationship with Him. But, on the other hand, if we, as parents do not do all we can to help our children develop meaningful relationships in Jesus, we miss a major opportunity to lead them and show them the path worth walking.

I want my kids to see that their dad follows Jesus with everything. I want them to know that my greatest hope for them is that they follow Him too.

Mt. 6:33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (The Message)

On a personal note: I know the struggle. My wife and I have lived the struggle firsthand. My son was recruited by a few D1 NCAA schools for baseball and opted instead to attend a small D3 school. My daughter was recruited to play field hockey by a couple D2 programs and ended up playing D3 when the scholarship offer was not enough to make her top school affordable. Both played in “premier” leagues. Both got A’s in high school though we often told them not to stress out too much over it. Both are in honor societies in college and my son now has offers from UNC, Univ. of Wisconsin, Johns Hopkins and Weil Cornell for a Phd in Pharmacology. Neither ever missed a youth group retreat, conference or mission trip because of their sports or academic commitments. Both missed a game or two to attend faith-based activities. Both missed school for family vacations. Both held down part-time jobs in high school and learned to give employers advance notice for upcoming retreats. My son often changed into his baseball uniform at church to arrive in the third inning of Sunday games. Robin and I did all we could to make sure they connected in student ministry even when it meant driving straight from a tournament to a music festival at midnight so that they would not miss out. It was that important to us. My youngest, a culinary student, lost a restaurant job because he went on a mission trip. That’s fine. Thankfully, all 3 have strong faith walks today. That is due only to God’s grace. But, I do believe that our efforts and example helped them long for a community-based faith.

Want to add your own to the list? Comment below.  Let’s continue to sharpen one another.

To see Scott’s original post, click here.

The Best and Worst  25 Minutes of My Day

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Encouragement, Heart Connections With Your Kids

Two days ago Josh, our 9 year old son, wanted me to chase and catch him.  It often involved a little tackling, grabbing, the stretching of clothing.  For 25 minutes, I ran.  Honestly, I kept him on the ground often just so I could catch my breath.
Just he and I.  Running.  Catching him (sometimes).  Rolling on the ground. Laughing. Talking smack. Grass stains. Sweat.He loved it. Complete uninterrupted time with dad. No siblings.  No phone.

Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32904

321.223.1163 jc@homesdevoted.com