We Cannot Bring About Lasting Change In Anyone

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Labor Day has thrown me off this week. I keep thinking that it is Tuesday when it is really Wednesday.

I’ve been wanting to share my notes from teaching through Paul Tripp’s Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family in Sunday School. Each week has been a good reminder of what I’d call Christianity 101. Foundational Biblical truths we all know, as Christians, and yet forget to live out.

Sunday morning, our topic was on Inability (Chapter 4). The key principle was: “Recognizing what you are unable to do is essential to good parenting.”

We started out by reading the following quote:

If you are going to be what God has designed you to be as a parent and do what he’s called you to do, you must confess one essential thing. This confession has the power to change much about the way you act and react toward your children. It is vital that you believe and admit that you have no power whatsoever to change your child. If any human being possessed the power to create lasting change in any other human being, again, Jesus would not have had to come! The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus stand as clear historical evidence that human power for change does not exist.

And then shifted to talking about our inability to save ourselves from the punishment we deserve for sinning against a holy God. How only faith in Jesus Christ can bring about lasting change, in our lives, and save us.

Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash

We then went over the Gospel presentation that our Children’s Director goes over with our kids. I think it’s helpful to know what our kids are going over AND the simple presentation is good for us adults.

As a class, we read through the following scriptures noted in the presentation:

  • Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11; Colossians 1:16-17; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8; Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9-10, 13.

Afterwards, discussing what Tripp calls “The Three Most Often Used Tools of Parental Power”.

  1. Fear – “the power we buy into here is that we can issue a big enough threat that creates a big enough fear to change our kids.”
  2. Reward – “This may be the most popular way we fight our inability to change our children. We manipulate them to do what we want them to do by holding certain reward in front of them.”
  3. Shame – “Shame and guilt are power tools that parents use more frequently than we recognize.”

Coming to the point where we realize that we cannot bring about lasting change in others, apart from Christ, is freeing. Whether in our friendships, relationships, or parenting, Christ is the only one who can bring about lasting change. We CANNOT change anyone, no matter how hard we try.

“Good parenting lives at the intersection of a humble admission of personal powerlessness and a confident rest in the power and grace of God.”

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Bloodborne: Joy In Death

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Scuttlebutt on the street is that Dark Souls games are cruel. Punishing difficulty. Death equaling toys being taken away. A regular playground bully of a game series.

Firing up Bloodborne, I expected a steep learning curve. Dying over 30 times on the first nether beast, I thought that my experience was par for the course. Maybe the game doesn’t give you weapons for awhile? My fists of fury will triumph! And they did. After many rolls, dodges, and time, the nether beast died. Joy to the world.

Death is the teacher in Bloodborne. My moment of joy pooled in blood. I can hear Han Solo telling Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.” Best advice ever.

My friend Scotto noticed that I had taken up the hunt in Yharnam. He sent me a link to a walkthrough he is using. He noted:

“Helped a ton, and the author is pretty funny.”

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My character looks like Harry Potter. Complete with wire rim glasses. Will take a screenshot of him soon.

Geared up, I restarted the game with a new character. Picked up weapons in Hunter’s Dream. The hunt begins now.

Exploring the city, I take on it’s infected denizens with ease. Silly me to think that the game was sadistic enough to hold back weapons. Rolling, coming up behind an enemy, pure mechanical satisfaction. I found myself smiling. Until I embraced cockiness and died. I laughed.

Bloodborne could be the most fun I’ve had gaming in a long time. The challenge and skill level demanded is perfection.

I walk around screaming, “Bring it, monsters!” Forgetting that the blood shed comes at a price.

I have enjoyed knocking on closed doors in the city. People answering me on the other side. Revealing a small bit of story. Hunkered down until the madness of my hunt comes to an end. Am I damned to slaughter the infected forever? As long as I have my trusty cleaver and blunderbuss, I’m good with whatever the game wants to throw at me. Roll, fire, slash, repeat. Another night, another hunt.