Loving Enemies With Your Thumbs

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I have been previewing Wyatt’s devotional book we just started for the year. Prereading so that I:

  • Can ask questions for bedtime discussion/prayer
  • Know what he is reading/accountability

The devotional entry for today was titled “It’s all about the Thumbs”. It talks about how we act and ultimately behave on social media. I thought the entry was bit funny as Wyatt isn’t on social media (Facebook has a rule where you have to be at least 13 years old to open an account). I am thankful we have not had to go down that road yet.

Verse of the Day:

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. – Luke 6:35 (NIV)

After surveying the entry for today, I wrote down some questions for him to think on/answer before we talk tonight (he writes his answers down in a small notebook):

  • How can you show kindness to others while playing video games (which IS something he does with his thumbs)?
  • What makes you mad when playing video games?

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Having a devotional time with your kids doesn’t have to be long. The key is moving forward and doing something while being intentional. Already, in the few days we’ve been going through this new bedtime routine, I’ve noticed that the discussion questions have given us specific needs to pray over. This is a good thing as I’m often not sure what to pray over with him.

362 days to go. Habits take 2-3 weeks to take hold. Why not start a devotional time, with your own kids, and join me?

Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids, NIV

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The Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids is a hardbound children’s Bible for ages 9-12. Features include:

  • Reading plans that both introduce and offer a guided tour of the Bible.
  • Highlighted verses to memorize, engage, and pray over.
  • Devotions perfect for personal or even family discussion.
  • Prayer journaling pages to help begin the practice of recording prayers and answers to prayer.
  • Glossy inserts explain how to use the Bible, how to pray, and how to be a Christian.
  • Easy to use Topical Index.

I enjoyed the overall focus and theme of Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids. The hardbound cover provides durability; the size makes it easy for kids to hold. The print is clean and simple to read. Color choice is mature yet eye-catching. I will add that this Bible does not include maps to provide location context.

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My family and I enjoyed the devotions. They are quick and thought-provoking. Perfect for after dinner discussions at the end of the day. But also applicable for personal use or small group teaching.

My wife and I both agree that this would be a perfect future Bible for our son. We’d definitely recommend Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids.

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.

That Dragon Cancer drove me to prayer

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Tabitha and I experienced That Dragon Cancer together. With Wyatt tucked away in bed for the night, we hooked the laptop up to the television. Light’s dimmed, we entered the world of the Green family. The musical score comforts like a warm blanket. The woods around full of promise and wonder. In this setting we meet the Green’s son, Joel, who is feeding a duck. Joel laughs, a lot. After a transitional time at the playground, we meet the dragon of this story, cancer.

Cancer, represented in jagged distorted shapes of hate. Always lurking like a monster in the night. Howls reverberating as a heartbeat of a sick boy.

That Dragon Cancer is a series of vignettes, brief flashes of hope and dark nightmares. Narrated at times by Ryan and Amy Green, we follow their family on their journey with Joel. Tabitha and I appreciated the depth of honesty in Amy’s comments on doubt. Doubt is normal, she says. A contrast to the modern Church whispering “hush” in such moments.

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No matter how dire the situation became. No matter how hard Amy and Ryan prayed, their faith stood out to us. A faith that allows for questions, doubts, and even fears. Media, as a whole, has a hard time portraying faith. The video game medium allows for an unknown level of intimacy. Allowing us to partake, in some small way, in the Green’s suffering. I’m thankful for that.

As the game ended, I found myself in a contemplative mood. That Dragon Cancer reminded me of my need to pray. I prayed for Amy, Ryan, and their family. I fell asleep only to wake up sometime later. Praying over life, direction, and meaning.

I would like to thank Ryan and Amy for being real. For sharing Joel’s life and opening up their family to the world.

Wave SplinterTitle: That Dragon, Cancer
Developer: Numinous Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, OUYA
Reviews on: PC
MSRP: $14.99

*A review copy was provided for this review. 

Something happened on the way to school

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Today Wyatt had a math test. We were running late. Test anxiety, tiredness, and general panic filled the car as we drove to school. It is on mornings like this that I am happy we have a short five minute drive. But still, there is traffic. Other parents rushing their children about. A regular suburban war zone of cars, humanity.

As we got closer to school, Wyatt asked if he could pray. I told him sure. He prayed for the usual things, family safety being key. I navigated us into the parent drop-off lane. Reminding him that there was nothing he could do about the test this morning. All he could do is do his best.

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Driving through the final drop-off area, my grown-up six year old melted before my eyes. He was crying. I reassured him that he was going to have a great day. The door opened, he gave me a hug and got out.

I don’t have these moments too often, moments where I want to swoop in and protect my kid. But this morning, this was a morning where I wanted to do just that. I wanted to protect him, reassure him, let him know that the world is an okay place. It is on mornings like this that I wonder if my wife and I should homeschool. Academically challenge him in ways public school is failing at. Another discussion for another time though.

My heart hurt this morning. It sucked. I had to trust that Wyatt would have a good day. Knowing that he is a super smart kid and would do just fine on his test. I had to let go… and I didn’t want to.

Being a dad can be hard. Understatement of the year.

We can do this.

Jesus at the table

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My wife and I started reading Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World tonight. I wanted to share a quote from the book:

When Jesus describes the intimacy he wants with us, he talks about joining us for dinner. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).

A praying life feels like our family mealtimes because prayer is all about relationship. It’s intimate and hints at eternity. We don’t think about communication or words but about whom we are talking with. Prayer is simply the medium through which we experience and connect with God.

I don’t think that I ever noticed the part of the verse that talks about Jesus eating with us. How cool! If you were to have dinner with him, what would you talk about? Your struggles, hopes, dreams? Miller says that prayer is supposed to be this way. Can’t wait to read more of the book. I’ll make sure to share as we progress.

Rewind Wednesday: Ask, Seek, Knock

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Note: My wife and I made a rather difficult decision last night. One of those “burn the ships” sort of decisions. I thought this post from the past was appropriate as its truth is timeless.

This morning I read in Matthew 7. Something that really stuck out to me was in verses 7-8:

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Ask = Prayer

Seek = Actually Look/ Gather Information

Knock = Test/ Forward Motion

Surf Report – 3/4/2013

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Surf Report

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God :

On Sunday nights, my church has been going through a series called P-52. Two weeks ago, our speaker for the evening, Brent, talked about the concept of silence. Brent talked about how we are constantly bombarded with audio and visual noise. He said that this noise can serve to distract us from our relationship with God, specifically in the area of prayer. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with prayer. I’d much rather listen to something on my commute to work than sit there uncomfortably and talk to God. Why?!? This is another one of those areas, in my life, that requires discipline.

I want to encourage you to take some time to be silent.

.: Life :

Life is complex. My wife and I are on the brink of making several decisions which impact our future in a great way. These decisions require us to step out of our comfort zones and trust God. Is God who he says he is? Prayer would be awesome.

.: Gaming :

Fire Emblem: Awakening and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood have been my distractions lately. I finally fired up AC and completed the Passion Play mission. That finished off Memory Sequence 7 which leaves me with two more sequences to go until the game ends. Best $20 I’ve spent in a long time.

Fire Emblem has become my go to lunchtime game. I love portable games! I’ve been plugging my 3DS into my car’s stereo and gaming the lunch hour away. Good times so far.

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That’s it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!