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Showing posts from November, 2009

Please Be Unfashionable

The following is a blog Posted November 30th, 2009 by TullianTchividjian. We, as a pastoral staff, are reading the book right now and discussing it in our staff meeting. I recommend the book as a good read and a challenge to how we do church. Enjoy the post by Tullian and I hope it sparks an interest to live Unfashionable.

I wrote the book Unfashionable to make the point that Christians make a difference in this world by being different from this world; they don’t make a difference by being the same.

My deep concern (which prompted me to write the book) is that many Christians, specifically in America, seem just as fascinated with success, popularity, power, and prestige as the world around them. Materialism, consumerism, individualism, and narcissism—cultural ideals that are antithetical to the self-sacrificial nature of the gospel—are just as prevalent inside the church as they are outside. The sad fact is that we in the American church are better known for producing self-exalting…

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year . . . to start family devotions in your home.

As many people are flooding the stores today on the "official" start of Christmas, I was reminded how easy it is to pass on faith at home during Christmas. There are many resources available to talk about spiritual things during the coming weeks. I thought I would share a few ideas for you and your family.

One resource we have used over the past several years that the kids really enjoy are called Adornaments by Family Life. Unfortunately, this resource is no longer published, but you might be able to find a new or used one on amazon or ebay. They are ornaments that talk about 12 characteristics of Jesus. They are simple to use. Grab the ornament, open it up and read the devotion. They are worth the cost as you talk about the reason for the season.

Another resource that Bethany bought that we are going to use this year is a book called The Adventure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. …

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you gather around your table this Thanksgiving, I hope you cherish your time with family. This is a great time of year to think back on the last year and remember God's faithfulness and provision. Take some time to share with your spouse why you are thankful for them. Have your kids share about what they are thankful for. Share with a friend how they have blessed your life this year. Call or talk with a family member (grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc.) and share how God has blessed you this year. Let's not forget to thank our awesome, holy, almighty, loving, forgiving, providing, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, just God for who He is and what He has done and will continue to do. Make sure Thanksgiving is a day to say "thank you" to God for all your blessings!

Check back on Black Friday for a post about ideas for Christmas devotions with your family!

Family Worship on Thankfulness

Last night, we had a great time during family worship. We did our usual singing and prayer. But we added a game into our time of learning. I had each of three oldest read the following Scriptures: Philippians 1:3; Colossians 3:15-17; Philippians 4:11. We talked about Thanksgiving coming up and our need to be thankful and content.

I then had prepared 4 questions for a "Family Feud" type game. The kids had to work together as a family. Any points on the board after three strikes went to the Unthankful Family. All of the questions had to do with being thankful. Here are the questions with answers (you can change them to fit your situation):

Thankful for Hesston: Church (42), School (21), House (17), Parks (11), Arboretum (6), & Friends (3)

This Thanksgiving I'm Thankful For: God (33), Spouse (21), Parents (17), Kids (9), Family (8), Food (7), & House (5)

Things I'm Thankful About My Family: Love me (36), Take care of me (20), Play with me (16), Help me (15),…

Be Thankful for Mom by Brian Haynes

The following is a post from Brian Haynes, author of Shift. His blog (legacyblog.org) has great ideas for family devotions. I thought his post today was really good and so I wanted to share it with you.

Teach Your Kids to be Thankful for Mom
The days before the Thanksgiving holiday always cause introspection on my part. About this time every year I find myself pondering the things I am most thankful for in life. I ask the Lord to bring to mind the greatest blessings of my life and then I pray, thanking Him for the amazing love He has lavished on me. I have noticed, the older and hopefully wiser I am becoming, the blessings have nothing to do with material possession. As I think about my blessings this year I realize every blessing comes in the form of a relationship. The things I am thankful for are not things at all but instead, people.

Particularly I am thankful for my mother and my wife. They are 2 of the greatest blessings of my life.

It is easy to take mom for granted… until she’s go…

Special Blessings This Week

As many of you know, we are still working to sell our home in Iola. We have had a renter for the past 9 months and that has ended. We are getting the home ready to sell. Please pray with us for a quick sale as we don't want to continue leasing any longer. As I began thinking about the Iola house, I began to worry a little about finances. I began to be concerned with Christmas approaching and wondering how we are going to make it with double payments. Then God made it very clear to me that He was in control and He provides.

Here are the 3 special blessings that God used in my life.

I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and the following quote challenged my worry over the sale of our home. "Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or …

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

On November 15th, Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Flywheel) announced its newest movie project. It will be released early 2011. I am really excited about this movie as this topic relates very well to my ministry as Associate Pastor of Family Ministry. It is focused on fathers and I cannot wait to see it and how it brings about change in dads in our churches and country. Below you can read the synopsis from their website. Visit it at www.courageousthemovie.com.

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives.

With action, drama, and humor, the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures embraces God’s promise to "turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers." Souls will be stirre…

Busy Weekend

Well, it's now the weekend. We seem to have a pretty full weekend ahead of us. Not as busy as some, but still filled in many ways. Tonight I had a good time with the family for supper and movie night. We watched UP. I really enjoyed the movie, but don't remember any Disney movie being quite this sad. I have the kids put to bed and getting ready to go pick up "our boys" from SDYC (Southern District Youth Conference). We will have 5 others living in our home this weekend as they attend the conference in Newton. My wife is an amazing hostess. Not only has she cleaned non-stop, but has made tons of food.

Tomorrow, the day begins early as I take the boys back to SDYC by 8:3o. Then Mitchell and I are competing in a Turkey Shoot. No guns! Just free throws. It is a parent/child competition shooting free throws put on by Hesston Recreation. Mitchell has been practicing. I hope I can make a few and we do our best.

From 2-6 p.m. tomorrow, the whole family will be…

Blessed to be a Blessing

I am a blessed guy! I have a relationship with Christ, wonderful wife, great kids, and love serving in the church. When I made the move to Hesston a year ago, I did not know what to expect. This was new territory for me and for the church. There are not a lot churches with family pastors and those that do have very different responsibilities. So, when I shared my job description with trusted friends and colleagues, they were impressed with the focus of this ministry position. Family Pastor was not just a title for doing another ministry (i.e. children's pastor, youth pastor, discipleship pastor, etc.) It truly was to focus on strengthening families (couples without kids, single parents, parents with kids).

Within the last 24 hours, I have had the privilege to be a part of two very different activities that have been a blessing. Last night, I organized a Family Night (the second this year) at church. The purpose of the evening was to provide a meal as well as fun, learning…

Biblical Fatherhood

Our small group is going through a parenting study called, "Visionary Parenting" by Rob Rienow. It is a really great study. This past week, we talked about biblical fatherhood. I wanted to share a few things with you.

Our main roles as fathers is to love our wives and spiritually equip our kids. Rienow used Ephesians 5:25-26 to show us that we need to Love our wives, Serve our wives, and Lead our wives spiritually. He said that Satan will definitely attack us as we try to lead our wives spiritually. We must do these things in order or they will not work. For example, we cannot lead our wives if we are not loving and serving them. This is helpful information, but it doesn't do anyone any good if we are not putting it into practice in our marriage. Husbands, ask God for help and the power to love, serve, and lead your wife!

Our second role as fathers is to train and instruct our children. Rienow pointed to Ephesians 6:1-4 for this role. It is our Biblical job desc…

Thoughts while at the dentist

Yesterday, I had the privilege of going to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning. I really don't mind the dentist. As I was sitting there thinking about what they do during a cleaning-remove plaque to prevent decay and see how well you are doing at home (flossing and brushing). I thought of several parallels to our spiritual life.

First, lets talk about plaque that causes decay. We see so much of this in our culture and within the church. We see media full of commercials and tv shows that are not family friendly. We should not have to worry what our kids see when watching a 7 p.m. show. TV and movies are pushing the limits. I am sure our grandparents would be appalled at the things that are on TV on the main networks during the family hour. I know the ratings for movies has changed dramatically. It is sad to know that directors add to or take away whatever is needed to allow for a certain rating.

Even more alarming is the state of the church. The church used to be a pl…

Quotes from Crazy Love

I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan right now. It is a great book! It challenges your thinking about how you view God. Maybe we are not that excited about worship or serving because we have a narrow and small view of God? I have only read the first 3 chapters, but would definitely recommend it to you.

Here are a few quotes to stimulate your thinking today:

"The core problem isn't the fact that we're lukewarm, halfhearted, or stagnant Christians. The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it is because we have an inaccurate view of God."

"Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?"

"When I am consumed by my problems--stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice (Philippians 4:4). In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities."

"The…

Family Worshp this week

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are focusing our family worship for the next few months on missionaries. As we think about the missionaries we personally support as well as our church, we talk about characteristics that they exhibit that we should have as well. We have already talked about making sacrifices and being content. During these times, we have made birthday cards for one missionary and Thanksgiving cards for another.

This week, we are talking about telling others about Jesus and spiritual gifts. As we talked about how missionaries share Jesus in other cultures, we talked about how we need to do it in Hesston. Each of three kids looked up one of these verses: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:13-15, and Ephesians 6:19-20. The kids participated in their usual ways as they played the piano, sang songs, and prayed together. We sang one of the kids' new favorite songs "Go" by Seeds Family Worship. When we talk about spiritual gifts, we are going to look at 1 C…

A year later

Well, I have officially been in Hesston for a year now. As I think back over the last year, I am blessed by what God has done for me and in and through me. I cannot believe it has already been a year. As I ponder those times of provision and learning, I am reminded that God is always faithful. He has been with us every step of the way.

I wanted to share a few ways God has worked in the last year:
Richard & Rosemary Prieb opening their house to my family. I stayed with them during the week and Bethany and the kids joined on the weekends. Thanks to the generosity of the Priebs!Moving the whole family into our current home which was a complete God thing in how we found out about the house and how patient the Holmes were with us as we tried to sell our house in Iola.Around 30 visits with individuals and couples to get to know them better and to share about the family ministry at Hesston MB. I have loved each of these visits!Closing on our home in Hesston in March.A renter moving …

Books I Am Reading

I like to share what I am reading occasionally through this blog. Here is my current list:

Think Orange by Reggie Joiner
Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian (reading a 2nd time with the pastoral staff)
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
God, Marriage & Family by Andreas Kostenberger
Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll
They Call Me Dad by Ken Canfield (reading a 2nd time with D6 Dads groups)
Crazy Love by Francis Chan