Swipe Right @LeviLusko

Sometimes we think we’ve heard it all. We don’t think new information will surprise us or grab our attention. Then, in the introduction of his book Swipe Right, the author writes about the impact of the internet. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard most of the stats. Then he writes that “dating apps such as OkCupid, Grindr and Tinder have poured gasoline onto what was already a hook up culture. Tinder alone has more than a trillion swipes now.”

More than a trillion swipes? I would have never guessed a number like that.

Then more stats: “There are now more than one hundred million people on mobile dating apps; half of those are on Tinder.”

More than one hundred million? Perhaps we don’t know as much as we think we do about the current state of relationships and all the ways that people are connecting. Into that setting Levi Lusko offers his latest book.

In Swipe Right Lusko offers practical, direct and Biblical teaching on the subject of purity and relationships. I appreciate his willingness to speak directly to a subject that people sometimes like to gloss over and speak in vague generalities. It can be uncomfortable to enter into a conversation about sex with someone else, especially if that someone is your child or youth group student, but Lusko offers a great tool to help do exactly that.

Lusko has the ability to connect truths from God’s Word in a way that captures the reader’s attention. Here’s one of my favorites from chapter 5:

“God, too gave us guidelines, but people think he is a prude and a killjoy. It’s ridiculous, really. Do you think Apple is a buzzkill because the instructions tell you not to take your iPhone swimming with you? Are they phone-o-phobic? Of course not! We understand the rules help us get the most our of our phones. Far from proving He is against it, the fact that God tells us how to do sex the right way shows he cares about it.”

If we care that much about our phones and want to take care of them, how much more should we take care of the gift God has given to us?

In his writing Lusko speak to those who don’t think they need these principles in their relationships. He recognizes that there will be some readers who think “this doesn’t apply to me” or “that might be true of other people, but not me.” He writes with both truth and grace recognizing that people won’t always listen the first time. In a culture that continues to move further into an “anything goes” approach to intimacy, Lusko offers enduring truths that individuals and couples can return to when the current approach leaves them empty.

An added bonus of the book is that he added a section at the end called Things I Really, Really Want You to Remember.  In that section he gives a quick rundown of the principles from each chapter.  It’s a great way to refresh your memory and even share that information with a friend.

Swipe Right is a good tool to use for both individual reading and group study.  I think it would be helpful not only for those who have struggled with purity issues in the past, but also a good conversation starter for those who are just moving into the time of dating and relationships.

You can get more information at the Swipe Right Book website.

She’s THAT Mom // Cheryl’s Latest Post @DaytonMomsBlog

Cheryl’s latest post on Dayton Moms Blog took her on a little journey down memory lane as she thought about when her big boys were little.  She is now THAT mom.

As moms, we all know what kind of mom I am referring to……..

The mom that looks at the young mom and gives a little smile.
The mom that sweetly smiles and giggles as you discipline your child in the store, and just watches you.
The mom that offers to help you with your bag, when you look like your about to drop said bag.
The mom that asks if she can help you out the door, when you have a cart in one hand and a car seat in the other.
The mom that seems to be watching you as you multi- task.
The mom that looks at you and pats you on the shoulder and says, “Enjoy these sweet moments, they grow up so quickly.”

Read the rest of the post on the Dayton Moms Blog

A View of Adoption from the ‘Brother’ Side

I’ve posted a number of things about our adoption of Max, some bumps in the road as we have pursued adoption, and experiences through adoption that have changed us.  Recently, one of Max’s brothers wrote about how adoption has impacted him.

Max, along with the siblings in his birth family, gained three brothers and a sister when he joined our family.  A few years later he welcomed a sister-in-law.  One of his brothers, Austin, is a student at Johnson University and shared how a class project on the book of Psalms brought to the surface how adoption has changed him.

This semester, I have had the opportunity to take a course at Johnson University that delves into the Psalms. During this course, we have discussed many different things, ranging from the structure of Hebrew poetry to the implementation of the Psalms in modern worship.

One thing that we focused on heavily was a paradigm proposed by Walter Bruggeman. Bruggeman claims that Psalms can be classified into three groups: Psalms of Orientation, Psalms of Disorientation, and Psalms of New Orientation…

Read the rest of his post on Austin’s blog, Vintage

Support IJM and the IMPACT Kingdom Worker Challenge

Just about every summer our high school students attend the Christ In Youth MOVE Summer Conference. It’s a week designed specifically for high school students and the goal is to move students to become Kingdom Workers.

For the past few years, that challenge to Kingdom Work was an individual one where students would commit to open a card and fulfill the challenge they were given.  We’ve had students in the past serve with special needs kids, go through their clothes and sell what they didn’t wear to raise money for a ministry, and commit to putting others first by allowing others to go in line first.  The challenges were varied, but always pointed students to Kingdom Work.

This year the challenge was a group challenge.  So a few months after MOVE our group received our Kingdom Worker Challenge:  social justice.  We spent some time talking about what social justice is.  One definition we read was this:  “…to love and defend those with the least economic and social power.”

Our group then did some brainstorming about what it looked like to love and defend those with the least power.  We talked about local and global organizations that do that.  We landed on International Justice Mission (IJM) and decided to raise funds to support the work they are doing.  The vision of IJM is to “Rescue thousands. Protect millions. Prove that justice for the poor is possible.”

Our Kingdom Worker Challenge is to raise $800 which will help provide after-care and training for those rescued from human trafficking and fund a weeks worth of investigation to continue rescuing people.

We have a Kingdom Worker Campaign Page where people can see more information about the project and also donate toward our goal. The page will be active until May 23.  Click on the image below to be a part of our campaign.

 

I Failed & I’m So Thankful I Did @daytonmomsblog

My wife’s recent post on the Dayton Moms Blog tells about lessons learned through divorce. It’s a well written piece that hits home with many of us. 

I was checking out at a local superstore, and my eye caught People magazine. The July 6, 2009 Issue. I happened to glance and saw the words, “I feel like I failed.” This stirred an emotion in me that I had not felt for many years, and right there, in the check out line, I started to weep.

Read the entire post on Dayton Moms Blog

This Life I Live // Rory Feek

I have to admit that I don’t listen to country music. If I do hear a country song, it is purely by accident. So, there are a lot of country music stars that I simply don’t know. I may recognize a name or two, but couldn’t pick them out of a line up or name any of their popular songs.

And here’s another thing I must admit: until I received a copy of This Life I Live, I didn’t know the names Rory or Joey Feek.  I didn’t know their story or their music or the fact that they have a TV show.

Several weeks ago I happened to be watching the TODAY show and there was an interview with Rory.  Matt Lauer was talking to him, asking him questions and referenced Rory’s story like everyone watching knew it.

I didn’t.

But after reading This Life I Live, I’m glad I do.

The book tells the compelling story of Rory and Joey’s relationship: how they met, the fact that she saw herself marrying another man even while talking with Rory, the courtship and marriage that followed, the birth of Indiana and her battle with the cancer that ultimately took her life.

Rory and Joey’s story is both real and powerful.  Each chapter in the book reads more like a journal entry than a typical biography and Rory writes from his heart.  It was more like having a conversation with him and he was transparent about his successes and his failures.

While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it is so much more than that.

The first half of the book gives Rory’s back story: about his upbringing, his family’s constant moving and the on and off again relationship with his father.  All of that leads into the man he is as he begins his relationship with Joey.

While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it really is the story of how God was working in the life of Rory to make him the man he is today.  Through a rough upbringing, many broken relationships, a lot of mistakes, successes and failures, parenting, marriage, having a child and losing his wife to cancer, God used all of that to shape and mold Rory.

A quote that jumped off the page at me is from chapter 52 where Rory writes about his daughter Indiana. She is born with Downs syndrome and this was his conclusion:  I have a feeling – I’ve had it for a while now – that Indiana is here to teach me something.  To teach me everything . . . She will teach all of us.  Just because she’s different. Her extra chromosome will be the thing that changes our DNA. What we’re made of and what’s down deep inside.

Her extra chromosome will be the thing that changes our DNA.

This Life I Live is ultimately about change.  And growth.  And growing up.

While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it’s really about how God doesn’t give up on His children and will teach us and grow us as long as we allow Him.

You can see more about Rory and Joey on their website which features a blog, videos and information where you can get a copy of the book.

Good Post: The box that made me more well rounded – limitation

I shared a few weeks ago that my daughter started – or actually relaunched – a blog. She’s had some good posts, but this one is pretty insightful.

My blog contains post primarily about church work (primarily student ministry and youth culture), about books I’ve read and my family.  The past few years have contained many posts about basketball and Syd’s journey through high school, AAU and college.

As you will read in her post, injury has altered her intended course in the game of basketball.  But what she has learned – and is learning – is pretty cool to read.

In her post, The Box That Made Me More Well Rounded – Limitation, she begins this way:

The other day, someone asked me about my basketball season that I underwent this past year. Specifically, their question was, “what was it like playing on one leg?” Well, if you don’t know me I have two legs, don’t worry. But, for those who do know me know that I have had 5 different knee surgeries/operations on my left knee. Some were simple ACL replacements and some were much more extensive, involving reconstructions of ligaments, bone resurfacings, and a screw removal… I have some sweet scars. The main problem with my knee is that I don’t have much of a medial meniscus or much healthy cartilage left, both of which function as types of cushions for your bones and joint in the knee.  My knee hurts after most any moderate activity and swells at the sight of any basketball court for longer than 30 minutes.  So when I decided that I wanted to continue to play I knew that I would be “limited.”

Read the rest on Syd’s blog – divinesixght