Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Worse Things in Life

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” Ephesians 1:3-4

A father passed by his son’s bedroom and was astonished to see the bed nicely made up and everything neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up on the pillow. It was addressed, “Dad.” With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Mom. I’ve been finding real passion with Joan, and she is so nice. I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she is so much older than I am. It’s not just her passion, Dad. She really gets me.

Joan says that we are going to be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood—just enough for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many children.

Please don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself. I’m sure we’ll be back to visit someday so you can get to know your grandchildren.

Your son, Chad

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my desk drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home.

Perspective. It is all a matter of perspective. I’m sure the father felt relieved when he got to the end of the letter. A “not-so-good” report card doesn’t look that bad next to the possibility that your child has run away or may have made one of the biggest mistakes of his/her life. But I wonder why the boy felt he needed to go through this hoax to or felt that his father wouldn’t understand.

What about your children? Do they know your unconditional love? Your forgiveness and acceptance? Do you create a sense of security and safety for them? Do they know your being there for them? Father’s day is a day when we both express our appreciation to our Father’s and also remember, as Fathers, what we are supposed to be about. Fathers—have you told your children that you love them? Kids—have you told your fathers, “Thanks”?

The Power of the Spirit

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:3-4.

Francis Chan writes about two people whose lives were transformed by the Holy Spirit.

He’s a mechanic. She’s a hairdresser. They have been foster parents to thirty-two children and have adopted sixteen. Domingo and Irene are in their late fifties and currently have eleven children living with them, and they tell me they would take more if they could. Anyone who has children knows they could be doing this only by the Spirit’s power. Imagine the amount of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control it would take to pull this off.

While other people their age are figuring out how to live most comfortably, they can’t stop thinking of the 500,000 kids in America who need parents. And while they see these kids as a huge blessing, they are also very open about the hardships they face daily. Perseverance has been key, especially years ago when one of their adopted sons hung himself in the closet. While their days are filled with joy, there have also been many times when they persevered by sheer obedience.

God has provided for them over and over again. One time they needed to build an addition onto their house so that they could take in more children. They didn’t have the money, so Irene prayed fervently. When she looked up from praying, the first thing she saw was a sign for a contractor. She immediately asked God, “Is he the answer to my prayer?” Days later, one of the leaders in their church heard about their need and offered to build the addition for free. And you have guessed it – he was the same contractor whose name Irene had seen on the sign.

One of the wonderful blessings they have enjoyed is watching their biological children follow in their footsteps. One of their sons has two biological and two adopted kids. Another son has three biological and three adopted kids. They live such extraordinary lives that CBS news ran a story on them. Even the secular world notices the unusual and supernatural love these two have shown to those in need.

However, Domingo and Irene have not always been as gracious as they are today. Irene has shared publicly about the early days in their marriage and the hatred she felt toward Domingo. He was abusive, and she prayed regularly that he would die. She even daydreamed about him driving off a cliff because of the pain he inflicted on her. Now she calls him the godliest man she knows.

For anyone who thinks their own life or marriage is hopeless, remember Domingo and Irene. God loves to take people in the worst of situations and transform them by His Spirit.

Intercultural REAL Family Life Conference

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Power to Change presents: Intercultural REAL Family Life Conference

Come and hear experienced and engaging speakers, Phil & Lorrie Taylor, on marriage and parenting as just one piece that couples need to mature as leaders. This conference aims to improve good marriages of intercultural leaders, help mend marriages in difficulty, and introduce a good tool to the Christian intercultural community. We are inviting intercultural pastors, business/community leaders, and young adults leaders. See poster in foyer for more details.

Date: Sat, May 15, 2010
Location: Tenth Ave Church (11 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R5)

For more info, please contact John Driediger 604.613.4123.

Forgiveness

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

For this is what the high and exalted One says–he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

There is a great story about the need for forgiveness in Ruell Howe’s book The Therapist. He tells about the mother who was learning that love, if it is genuine, has to be firm. This mother had a little girl who was given to tantrums. One day the little girl was having one of those notorious fits of hers, and her mother did as her counselor told her to do; she just quietly left the room and refused to pay any attention to her daughter. That infuriated the little girl all the more. She stomped out of the room and went upstairs.

After a time, her mother heard a silence. I don’t know how mothers can hear silence, but somehow they can. There are different silences—there is silence you ignore, and then there is silence you had better not ignore! The mother heard that latter silence.

She ran upstairs and there, in the middle of her bedroom, the little girl sat with the pieces of her mother’s best dress. She had snatched that favorite dress out of the closet and had cut it up with scissors into tiny pieces. When her mother saw what she had done, the mother fell across the bed in tears. The little girl, moved by her mother’s tears, went over and started pulling at her mother’s hands, saying, “Mommy, Mommy.” Finally, her mother looked at her and said, “What do you want from me now?” The little girl said, “Mama, I want you to take me back. I want you to take me back.”

Somehow the little girl felt she had done such a horrible thing that she was no longer in relationship, and she desperately needed her mother’s embrace and her mother’s love to let her know that nothing had broken that relationship. We all need that assurance, and sometimes we need it from specific persons whom we have hurt along the way.

But we need it most of all from God. Experiencing and living in the forgiveness that God offers to us in Christ frees us and renews us and empowers us to live and forgive. Do you know that forgiveness and new beginning? You can, in Christ. You can know that God receives you, God’s love embraces you, God’s love and presence goes with you each and every day.

Listen Slowly

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The Lord will keep you from harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121: 1-2, 7-8.

Over and over again it has been shown that strong families are characterized by good communication patterns. They recognize and work at sharing their thoughts and feelings and also learning to listen. So much of today’s conversations are done “on the fly”. We are too busy to take time, make time to listen. But learning to listen is so important.

In his book, Stress Fractures, Charles Swindoll tells this story from his own life:

I vividly remember some time back being caught in the undertow of too many commitments in too few days. It wasn’t long before I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions throughout the day. Before long, things around our home started reflecting the pattern of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.

I distinctly recall after supper one evening the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me about something important that had happened to her at school that day. She hurriedly began, “Daddy-I-wanna-tell-you-somethin’-and’I’ll-tell-you-really-fast.”
Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, “Honey, you can tell me…and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.”

I’ll never forget her answer: “Then listen slowly.”

Strong families work on having good communication patterns and being good listeners. How about you and your family? Is this something that you do or are working on? Listening says: You are important to me. What you say is important to me. I have known many parents who have discovered too late that they didn’t listen to their children. I have known far too many husbands/wives who discovered too late that they didn’t really make time to really listen to their mates. Don’t make that mistake. Learn to listen and learn to listen slowly.