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

 

 

1MISSION House Build Trip – 1 Year Ago

One year ago today we were in the midst of Day 1 of our 1MISSION House Build Trip in Mexico. Our group of fourteen from Wilmington, Ohio, flew to Phoenix, Arizona, and then drove to Rocky Point, Mexico, to build a house for Miguel and Deysi. We were excited and also somewhat nervous about this new experience. It turned out to be a great trip and one we still talk about.

While some of our group had done some traveling and others had participated in mission trips, none of us had traveled to Mexico to build a house. I remember looking through the house plans 1MISSION sent in advance of our trip and wondering if our group of inexperienced house builders could do the job. The group was fantastic, working hard every day, doing whatever needing done and trusting our crew leaders so we did things the right way. We wanted that house standing after we left!

Looking back at pictures I was reminded of so many things:

– new friendships with Miguel & Deysi, Ricky and others from 1MISSION

– getting a small taste of what life is like in that area of Mexico

– the great work that 1MISSION is doing

– the privilege of playing a small part in that work

– seeing our Ohio friends interact with Miguel & Deysi and others in Mexico despite a language barrier

– being grateful for what we have and how big God’s kingdom is

I know many in our group would love to go back in the future. While it’s hard to believe that the trip was a year ago, it was a great opportunity and one for which I am.

I posted this video when we returned from the trip and it offers a visual recap of some of our experiences.

Why Should We Be Kind?

We know we are supposed to be kind, right?

It seems like the good thing to do.  The nice thing to do.  Even the neighborly thing to do.  We should be kind.

But why?  Why should we strive to be kind?  Because someone has been kind to us? What if they are unkind?  Does that mean we are released from the responsibility of being kind?

As my wife and I are raising our now three-year old, it’s something we have had to think through again.  As good parents, we want him to be kind.  But if you have ever had the experience of convincing a toddler that he or she should be kind (or share or say “thank you” or “I’m sorry”), you know that it can be somewhat challenging.

I was reminded of an important truth we all need to hold to as I had a conversation with him one evening.  I asked him, “Why should you be kind to other people?”  His answer fell into the space of “because mommy and daddy said so.”

That’s not a bad answer, but then I remembered that there is a deeper reason for him, or any of us, to be kind.

So I told him, “We should be kind because God has been kind to us.”

Because God is love, we should love others.

Because God is truth, we should speak truthfully.

Because God forgives us, we should forgive others.

Because God is compassionate, we should show compassion.

That conversation is one I know we will have many times with our son, but it’s also a great reminder to us, especially to those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus.

God has been kind to us through His Son Jesus and we should be grateful for His kindness.  Then, we should strive to be kind to others because of God’s kindness to us.

Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4 & 5:  “…be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”

So, as you go through your week, be kind.  Because God is kind and He has been kind to us.

I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

I shared last week that my daughter started a blog, Divinesixght.

Her latest post is about the empathetic heart of Christ.

One of the greatest things about life is that you get to do it with other people. I love people and I love reading about how much Jesus loved people. When it comes to loving on anyone and everyone, Jesus lead the way. Lately, I have felt God putting the word empathy on my heart.

Read the entire post here: I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

Share Your Faith Story With Your Kids

As Easter approaches, many churches and families look for ways to prepare for and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  Some people give up something as a way to focus on the significance on the season. One person I follow on social media is fasting from his personal social media feeds “to focus more on my faith, family and friends.”

Others choose to add something to their schedule like devotional readings, times of prayer or specific periods of reflection.

Here’s a great idea for parents to use this Easter season:  share your faith story with your kids.

Do your children know how you came into your relationship with Jesus?

As I was reading The Jesus Gap the author gave several suggestions to youth workers and parents to help point our students to a Biblical picture of Jesus.  One was a pretty simple idea – to have families share their faith stories.

In the book the author referred to research done by the College Transition Project.  The author wrote this:  “Don’t assume family members already know each other’s faith stories.  Most don’t, even though the College Transition Project showed us that parents sharing about their own faith is vital to the process of a child growing into his or her own.”

If your family has been going to church your whole life, do your children know why?

Do they know the when/why/how that lead you to become a follower of Jesus?

Our “conversion stories” don’t have to be dramatic or even long-winded.  Taking some time to share the people and events that lead you as a mom or dad into a relationship with Jesus  can be a great story for your children to hear.

Without being too morbid, isn’t amazing what we learn about people after they are gone?  Over the years I have been involved in a number of funeral services, both as a minister and having lost family members. During the visitation hours and the meal times, you get to hear stories about the life of your friend or loved one.  Many times you learn something about that person because someone shares an experience that is new to you.  It gives you a different perspective on that person’s life.

As Easter approaches, why not take a few minutes, maybe at the dinner to table, to share your faith story?  Perhaps your children have heard it before.  But, maybe they haven’t.  Perhaps we assume our children already know it.  It could be they don’t.  Take some time to share how you came to follow Jesus and even why you still follow Him today.  It could lead to some great conversations.

My Teenage Zombie – a review

I have a confession as I begin this post: I’m not really into the zombie thing.  I have not watched a single minute of The Walking Dead.  I don’t watch zombie movies like World War Z, Shaun of the Dead or even Night of the Living Dead.

Probably the closest thing I’ve seen in the zombie genre is a particular episode of Phineas and Ferb that my son likes to watch and, of course, Michael Jackson’s classic music video, Thriller.

So, when I first saw this title, My Teenage Zombie, it didn’t really strike a chord with me.  However, as I read it, I found it to be a great description that Dr. Henderson carries throughout the book and is an image I as a parent could relate to as he spoke about the adolescent years.

This book is not bashing the adolescent years or railing against today’s teenagers.  It is rather a solid resource for parents who either have a teenager living under their roof or, better yet, have children that will be entering adolescence in the future.

In My Teenage Zombie Dr. Henderson addresses all the changes that teens are going through as well as the unique pressures students in our current culture are enduring.  He also offers some great insight to parents from his education and experience about how to understand and then engage with “teen zombies.”

He gives an apt description of what he considers a teen zombie:  “Undead adolescents are directionless, and this lack of direction leads them to focus all their attention on one thing:  themselves.”  As some students go through adolescence they sometimes fit this description and parents are left with the task of addressing their son or daughter in this zombie like state.

In offering some insights to parents, Dr. Henderson talks about these areas to address to resurrect an undead adolescent.  He writes that a teenage zombie lacks these three elements that are necessary to sustain life:

Pulse = direction
Spark = motivation
Fiber = determination

In the book he elaborates on each one both from the perspective of the teen and what he/she is going through, but also from the perspective of parents who could be feeling frustrated, confused and ready to give up.

Dr. Henderson had some good advice to parents and I thought this was especially poignant:  Parents are the stable framework that help a teen grow into a strong & mature adult. Be that stable & predictable framework for your kids.  What a good reminder that our teens need parents who will offer stability, predictability and consistency as they navigate the adolescent years.

The author offers a balance of medical information (I found the chapter that talked about the adolescent brain to be very interesting), real-life examples from his own experience as a psychiatrist, reflections from his own journey through adolescence and Biblical principles that speak to both parents and teens.

My Teenage Zombie is a good resource for parents who want to understand how to address the undead adolescent who might be living in their home and a great tool for families who look forward to navigating the ups and downs of the teen years.

To read more info on the book or to order a copy, click on the image at the top of the post to be directed to the publisher’s website.

Syd’s Blogging, too – The Perfect Fit

I’ve shared that my wife is now a contributor to the Dayton Moms Blog. Her recent post, Her Name is Kate, has taken off and has been shared a number of times. Over the weekend my wife found out it had over 23,000 views! Pretty exciting. 

My daughter is now blogging. She had a WordPress blog, but it was hacked and had to be deleted. She is now blogging at divinesixght.wordpress.com

Her most recent post deals with how God is able to help us as we seek to build our lives. Here’s a snippet:


“Good architecture should make you feel as if you are in a cave with a view of the horizon.” -Jonathan Safran Foer

Architecture is defined as both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing structures. We try and shape our lives like a good piece of architecture. We try to plan, design, or construct what we believe is artwork. This involves the two perspectives, in the cave and then the open view. Inside of the cave we entertain the present and we meet needs. We meet our own needs, we meet others needs, and we attempt to balance what we want to do and what we ought to do. But if it’s good architecture, if it’s a solid life, then it should feel open with a view of the future looking out to the horizon…

Read the rest in her blog