Thursday, August 11, 2005

better from above

Last night, Jackie and I drove up to Willow Creek Community Church to catch their mid-week worship service called "New Community." One of the main reasons that we wanted to do that is their teaching pastor Mike Braeux (sp?) was teaching. And even though I can't spell his last name, he's one of my favorite speakers.

On the trip up, which is a fairly simple trip, I came to an intersection that looked like the right intersection. We needed to make a right turn and so we did. Seemed right. Only later, would be realize it was wrong... about 2 miles later. What seemed right wasn't. No problem. We just turned around and headed back the road and continued for one more block and then made the right that we needed.

But as I reflected back on that simple mis-turn, I thought of a couple of things in relation to my relationship with God. First, its easy to make a simple mistake that gets you way off course. Second, the turn seemed like the right one, even though it was the wrong one. So, what seems right can be very wrong and despite the fact that it feels right, that doesn't change the fact that it isn't.

Third, from above, the turn that I made must have been so very and obviously wrong. God has a different vantage point on our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 teachs us that God has a plan for our lives... not a plan to harm us... but a plan to give us hope and future. God has a great view of our lives from above. Often, we think we've got the best view... we know where we're going... and exactly how to get there. But much like my driving last night, we think we know where we're going and how to get there and even though it seems right... it's not.

It was nice last night because I could pick up my cell phone and call a friend to ask for advice on where I should have turned and got right back on track. The same is true with God. God can help me get back on track... by prayer... by reading the Bible... by good friends who can give me Godly direction and advice.

Often, we won't seek the help.

Just a few getting lost thoughts...


Thursday, August 04, 2005

so much pressure

so much pressure...

Well, I'm not really sure what to make of this. I started this little blog thing a couple of weeks ago and I had no idea it was going to be as popular as it has become. At this point, 44 folks have taken a look at my little blog here. I'm not sure who you are, and that's cool... But I'm hoping that I don't dissappoint.
But now I feel somewhat pressured to give a good blog entry... I'm not sure that there will be as good of an entry as Monday's... but we'll give it a shot from time to time.

Last night we (myself, some of the staff and leaders in the children's program at FVCC) went up to Willow Creek to check out a program. And the question that I'm finding myself struggling with this morning (and last night) is: Are we doing enough to encourage families in their walk with God and their encouragement of their children's walk with God?

The statistic is something like... the church gets 40 hours of a child's life a year... Parents get 3000 hours of child's life a year (not counting sleeping, school, homework and sports).

And if we aren't encouraging them enough, how do we do a better job encouraging them? Is it a program? Is it a handout? Is it less programs and less handouts? I'm not sure.

But one thing I am sure of is that parents and families are central to God's plan to reach out to the world. He (God) entrusted families with raising up and challenging kids/teens to a passionate relationship with God. "Hear, O Israel (and all of us): The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commmandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads (which sounds painful). Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deut 6:4-9
The point: It's parents' responsibility to share God and his love for us with their children. It's the church's responsibility to aide and encourage parents. Which brings me back to my orginial question... How do we best encourage parents?

More thoughts to come...