Tried something different for my men’s group this week

Standard

Our night began with a simple question: What do you think of when I say the word Church?

One of the guys responded, “I think of what the church could/should be versus what it is not.” Reminded me of Saint Augustine’s The City of God. My men’s group is full of deep thinkers.

We talked about how messy the church can be. How Christians can unintentionally hurt one another without knowing it.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 was our main point of discussion. The verses talk about how the church is made up of one body with many different talents/skills.

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:26

Ephesians 4:1-16 were our follow up verses:

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16

One Body. Many Members. 

I brought my PS4 to church. Hooked it up to a projector with a large screen in our room. It was time to game.

ss_8f81598dd2955d8662df83628a1f3626ffaaa559

Thomas Was Alone was the first game I brought out. We played a bit of Claire’s story. Noting that like the Body of Christ, Claire needed the other characters to progress through the levels. 10 minutes with Thomas seemed like enough. What I really wanted to show the group was Broforce.

“This is like Contra!”

ss_b77d3d5ba767df4b2d58017804331e90a7ae4eaa

Broforce was the hit of the night. I was blown away by the video game skills my guys have. Had fun laughing over the insane player deaths and cartoony gore. The best part though was watching my guys work together through a level, helping each other, just like the Body of Christ.

On the Verge of Fear

Standard

There is a fine balance between acting in a responsible manner versus reacting in fear. The church has a responsibility to ensure that all are safe that walk through it’s doors.

The responsible church has plans for inclement weather. Plans to guard against predators who prey on children.

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. – Matthew 10:16 (ESV)

What happens when the church falters from responsibility into fear? I have been wrestling with this question. Wisdom and innocence alight in a dance. Chuck Norris hired to defend the front door.

photo-1432803367987-3845a1dec402

Elijah, God’s Mighty Prophet By David Miles

Standard

_240_360_Book.1856.cover

Elijah, God’s Mighty Prophet
by David Miles
(Review by Tabitha Hall)

This is a Zonderkidz I Can Read Level 2 book. The story is about Elijah and his trying ordeal ministering to the people of God while King Ahab is in power. The story jumps in as Elijah is proclaiming that Israel will not see rain until God says because of their refusal to worship the Lord alone. The climax of the story is when Elijah calls for a contest between the prophets of Baal and God. And in conclusion the people of Israel remember to worship God. God sends rain once again to the land. This story is appropriate for ages 5-8 years old.

This book, with its simple sentences and bright pictures, was a delight for my son to read. He asked if he could read it again. There is Bible vocabulary (Ahab; Baal; Elijah; prophet) that if discussed before reading gives the child confidence going into the book. Elijah, God’s Mighty Prophet does a good job summarizing the Biblical principles found in the story of Elijah but keeping the language at a first grade reading level. The pictures also do a good job helping tell the story but not enough to give away clues forcing the child to read the words. I would definitely share this book with friends who are looking for engaging stories but simple text for their child to read aloud.

I was given a copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Racing Home

Standard

Wyatt and I raced Tabitha home last night from church. Cruising at 60MPH, Wyatt encouraged me to go faster.

“You need to go 140MPH, dad.”

“But the speed limit is 60MPH.”

“So, there are no cops around.”

Launched us into a great discussion over how there are rules to follow, even when no one is watching.

photo-1434491004038-9d04aad5a045

Parenting is all about seizing those teachable moments and acting on them.

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. – Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV)

We are the gatekeepers

Standard

In Raising a Modern-Day Knight, Robert Lewis encourages dads to model positive media behavior. He says that sons are always watching and listening. Using dad’s actions as a way to filter the world.

Talk about a big responsibility.

photo-1417501761731-2b20676a1cd2

In my house, I’ve realized that my wife and I are gatekeepers. Curators. We preview and engage all media consumed. Not out of some crazy quest for control but out of love for our son. My experience with Aliens, at the neighbors, in first grade, not going to happen to him. This allows us to introduce age appropriate entertainment. Books, movies, television and games consistent with our Christian worldview.

Sometimes these experiences bring about questions and conversations. Which is fantastic. Just the other night we had a short discussion on Five Nights At Freddy’s, a playground topic.

I am learning that I have more influence, as a parent, than I ever knew. I want Wyatt to grow up to make smart decisions, in all areas of life. Media discernment is a great first step in establishing healthy cultural engagement.

From Across the Net: “Wrestling with Big Decisions”

Standard

Focus on the Famly’s John Ortberg wrote a great piece titled “Wrestling with Big Decisions“. I found the following perspective helpful:

Indeed, for years after my “What should I do with my life?” conversations with God, I did not realize that what I had been actually looking for wasn’t so much “God’s will for my life.” What I was really looking for was a way to be relieved of the anxiety that comes with taking responsibility for making a difficult decision.

God is a door opener, not a celestial enabler.

Let us share your joy

Standard

I am not exactly sure how to write this. But I’m living at that point where friends and family don’t want to tell my wife and I that they are pregnant. Somehow afraid that our feelings will be hurt after years of dealing with infertility.

More than any birth announcement, I am hurt more by silence. Robbed of that shared joy that comes from living in community with others.

photo-1438962136829-452260720431

I want to encourage those around my family to share their news. Allow us to come alongside them. Please don’t be silent. Let us share in your excitement.

When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other. – Ecclesiastes 7:14a (NIV)