Second Chance!

Guess what! Due to overwhelming demand, we have found it in our hearts to open up a second webinar on the same topic. This is a room by room topical study through the house. If you missed this last time, it’s your big chance to join! Looking forward to it!

Here is the link to more details and registration. Cheers!

Funner, Part 3 – Emotional Control

IMG_7713Emotional control is just another way of saying self control – but it brings something to the forefront. It might be easy to consider self control as pertaining only to actions – like you didn’t eat that brownie, so you exercised self control. But the self is a many faceted thing, and even though controlling your actions can be difficult, controlling your emotions is no small task. Often losing control of your actions comes a long time after you lost control of your emotions. Think of a woman committing adultery – long before she lost physical control she lost emotional control.  We do not usually lead with the body, but rather with the engine behind it. Continue reading ‘Funner, Part 3 – Emotional Control’

Fruitful or Busy?

photo(51)When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts, the result is fruit. Lots of it. And yet even Christians can forget that without the grace of God working in and through us, we can become barren and unfruitful. In 2 Peter 1:5-8 we have a list of things we are to diligently add to our faith (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, etc.) and the conclusion is that “if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ: (vs. 8).

Now we can be very, very busy people, with a calendar booked for months ahead, but that is not the same thing as being fruitful. I’ve been trying to come up with a definition of fruitfulness, and I know that it isn’t connected to busy-ness. Obviously, it must be connected to the fruit of the Spirit, but I don’t think it’s the same thing as Continue reading ‘Fruitful or Busy?’

Gardening

photo(52) The last couple years my yard officially got away from me. It was so overwhelming that I would go out in the spring, walk around seeing all that needed to be done, and then come back inside, not knowing how I could tackle such a big project.

Then I decided to ask a dear friend to come give me perspective. She walked around my yard and suggested that I turn one area along the south of the house into a focal point and just start with that. In other words, pick a spot and dig in there rather than looking at the entire project and throwing up my hands.

So I took her advice and recruited my husband to pull out some overgrown and unattractive bushes (no mean feat), and he dug up the hard-as-nails soil for me so we could add some of those good things that you add to soil to make it garden-ready.

After we were ready to roll, Lisa came back over with a carload of starter plants, and she helped me lay them out in the space according to size and color and time of bloom. And did I mention… she also met me at the Continue reading ‘Gardening’

Praise in the Furnace

We all have natural instincts and impulses that kick in when we receive criticism. But after those instincts and impulses get out of the way, if we are trying to receive the criticism in a Christian manner, we thank the person who gave it, tell them that we will think it over and weigh it and pray about it and consider it. And at the end of the day, we might think their criticism was brilliant or we might think it was cuckoo. But my point here is that we are used to the idea that we should take criticism seriously and at least give it some consideration. The Scripture says plenty about receiving criticism. For example, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:5-6).

But what about praise? We have natural instincts and impulses here as well. I’m pretty sure that I receive a compliment without much soul searching. Praise has a Continue reading ‘Praise in the Furnace’

Funner, Part 2 – Loyalty

IMG_7395One of the most important and long term fruits that our family is working towards is loyalty. We want our children to be loyal to Christ, loyal to us, loyal to one another, and loyal to their broader family – the people of God.

Loyalty is not something that will spring out of nowhere when our children are eighteen – it should be growing in them from the very beginning. And this is because loyalty is fundamentally about who you are, where you stand, who are your people, and who is your God.

One of the most obvious ways to build loyalty is to identify your own self with your children without shame. Every weird input from a stranger about your children is a chance for you to show them your loyalty.  There is no need to be rude about it – but there is a great need for you to be completely unashamed and un-moveable. When people say to me, “You have your hands full!” I respond, “Full of good things!” When a stranger says, “Well, you must be busy!” I almost always say “Yes! But who wants to be bored?”  If they say something vague like, “Look at all those children!” I might say something back like, “Aren’t they great? We sure love them!”  The point here is that my children hear over and over that I am happy that they belong to me. Continue reading ‘Funner, Part 2 – Loyalty’