Family Discipleship LifeHack

Shane —  January 4, 2017 — Leave a comment

en-3ce6ba3774a2ff8aaaf0d95dfdfd144bIf you’re like my wife and I, you struggle with family discipleship.

Yeah. You know it is important to disciple your kids, but the flow of life makes it difficult. Plus, maybe you experienced this, every time you tell your kids to go get the bible, they groan. You’ve even bought the cool, colorful, comic looking bibles. But they still groan.

Even pastor’s kids do this.

I happened upon this trick the other day…

On of my boys was sitting on my lap and he was playing with my Apple Watch. He came to the Bible app and opened up the verse of the day. We read it and talked about it.

Then a light bulb went on. You know, that light bulb where you simultaneously feel smart and dumb. Smart because you discovered a tool. Dumb because you didn’t think of it before now and it was sitting on your wrist the whole time.

So, I decided to give it a try. Every night where the boys go to bed at the same time, I open up the verse of the day and read it. Then we talk a bit about it. Then I pray for them.

And they ask for it! If I forget (or, more honestly say, “I’m not going to mess with it tonight.”), they ask for me to read it. Will that last? I don’t know, but I’ll ride that train as long as I can!

Most of us have the Bible App on our phone. So just look up the verse of the day. Do it on your way to school. Do it at dinner. Do it before bedtime.

Maybe it’ll work for you. Maybe it won’t…and that is ok! But that doesn’t mean to give up figuring out how to disciple your kids. It is just that the current solution for you is something you haven’t found yet.

It is worth the fight though. Find something that’ll get them excited about hearing about God that you can do together!

Yesterday was a bad day.

The boys were crazy. Mondays are the day we go out and shop for what we need. And with the Holiday break still being in, all 4 boys were with us.

They were running on less sleep because of the holidays. And I was struggling with internal agitation.

And their energy depleted mine. And finally, on the way home, I snapped.

Thankfully it was in the car, as I was driving. That tempered how it all could go down. But it was not a shining moment.

The day had started well. Joyful. Peaceful. Pretty good.

But man, it didn’t last. Why is it that when I’m agitated on the inside, the boys do the most agitating things? They don’t respond to any type of correction. And then boom…I lose it.

Then through all of that, I set out a challenge for them to clean up all their mess (and they had created a lot of mess!) and they’ll get a reward if they finish by a certain time. And they met it without me having to say another thing. They worked together to accomplish the task. They even helped each other get their chores done (something I hadn’t even asked). And I wondered how that even happened…because on good days, clean up doesn’t go this good!

It all left me last night wondering if I can do this. All of it. Parenting. Leading. Pastoring. Husbanding. It was one of those “just give up the fight” moments.

But God. His mercies are new every morning, right? That means we can blow it. That means we will still wonder, “What was I thinking?”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus included “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” in the Disciples’ Prayer? Yes, we normally call this the Lord’s Prayer, but really it is the Lord teaching the disciples how to pray. Oh, and Jesus isn’t talking about financial debts. He’s talking about the debt of sin.

If we are already following Jesus, our sin is cleansed, right? So why continuously pray this?

Because he knows that we will need it daily. We will need continued repentance for our own sanity. We will need to pray this to remind us where grace comes from.

And he also taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” He tells us to pray for forgiveness & cleansing, but to not stop there. We must pray that God strengthens us to stand against the temptation in the first place. He wants us to no longer deal with what we deal with.

We’ll never achieve perfection. This is why he taught us to pray this. But he also wants us to grow. Yeah, we’ll take steps backward, but we use those steps backward to continue to step forward with Jesus.

Our culture demands perfection and so that leads us to think that God demands perfection too. He doesn’t. That was Jesus’ job. God demands faith. Faith that his mercies are new every morning. Faith that he will forgive. Faith that he will strengthen.

Nobody is perfect. But everyone can have faith.

When we knock ourselves down, have faith, and let God clean us and strengthen us to keep going.

That moment when you realize encouraging your boy to read the bible could end up revealing the birds & the bees.

Manger Scene

Our oldest (almost 9 years old), was reading the Bible this morning. We bought the second oldest name plated Bible and it reenergized both of them to read.

And the oldest said, “Jesus didn’t have any brothers.”

And I replied, “Well, Mary and Joseph did end up having children after Jesus was born. Jesus was just different…”

And what was going through my mind as I said that?

“Holy crap…how am I going to get out of this one?”

Leadership people talk about what you get done before breakfast determines the productivity of your day. That would set an all time high…or low…of productivity. I told my son about sex because he was reading the Bible…all before breakfast!

So I paused and said, “Because he was God and God put Jesus in Mary’s belly.”

Oldest, “Oh.” And went back to reading.

Crisis averted…for now.

Spiritual point? Not sure. Except that I think that I figured out why people don’t believe in the virgin birth of Jesus.

They don’t want to explain sex to their kids using Jesus as the example.

Finding Joy In Our Kids

Shane —  August 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

We went to Silver Dollar City today.

My wife, myself and all our four boys. And today, just like any other day, someone says, “Those are all 4 boys? God bless you.”

Today was the last real day we could get away this summer and take advantage of the season tickets that my parents gave us for last Christmas. School and soccer start next week! Time is running short soon!

But we had a good day. Anytime we all come home and no blow ups happen is a good day.

This leads me to…I’m trying to find more joy in my boys.

I’m someone who has too much obsession with perfection. If things aren’t just right, it gets me frustrated.

Paul saw Timothy as a son. And in 2 Timothy 1:4 Paul tells Timothy, “I will be filled with joy when we are together again.”

Paul, the spiritual father, found joy in the presence of the son, Timothy.

Sometimes parents, it is hard to find joy. Cause it all gets frustrating.

But maybe the frustrating times will start to melt away if we find more joy in our kids.

This doesn’t mean a discipline free home. When one person’s actions take away the joy of all, the joy of all must be paramount to the joy of one.

Find joy. Laugh. Tickle. Wrestle. Play. Whatever it takes.

And you’ll find a kid who finds joy in you.

My youngest three boys were playing in the front yard while I mowed.

I noticed the youngest (2.5 years old), trying to get on a 2-wheeled bike. I wasn’t too worried about it because there was no way he was getting on there. Maybe he’d fall over, but nothing major would happen.

Until I saw my second oldest (7 years old) picking up the youngest to sit him on the bike. The third boy was also helping. Helping keep the bike upright while the youngest was put on the bike.

They all were just fine with what was transpiring. But the father didn’t want it to happen.

That’s when I stepped in and made sure no one got hurt.

The boys were just trying to help give their younger brother a great experience riding a bike. I know that wasn’t going to end with a great experience.

We have a desire to help others with life. But one thing that we must be doing to help them the most is to tie ourselves to the Father.

At CrossPoint, we call this “Fill my cup. Empty my cup.” A saying borrowed from a guy by the name of Andy Stanley.

We must make sure that we’re tapping into the Father while helping others. There will never be anything to empty if there is nothing being poured into our cup. And we need to make sure what we are helping others with is actually what the Father wants.

Ever hear…or tell…someone, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Well, that’s not in the bible. In fact, God’s word is chalk full of examples where people are in way over their head. And that’s what God wants. He does that so we will have full dependence upon him.

We’ll never help perfectly; so we need to jump in the game of helping people. But maybe we can help better than a 7 year old helping a 2.5 year old onto a bike by listening to the Father first.

Doing What You Do Well

Shane —  November 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

The people said Jesus did all things well.

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Is this your goal? To do what you do so well other people notice?

Now, nothing will ever be perfect. There is always something to work on.

But is the tapestry that other people look at done well?

Like cross stitching, the back is a mess. But the front is art.

What people don’t see might be a mess.
What people do see must be done well.

How can you work on making what you do better today?

This series is about leadership lessons we can apply to our everyday lives from the stories of Jesus’ miracles. Today’s reading is from Mark 7:31-37.

Hope Goes Viral

Shane —  November 12, 2014 — Leave a comment

“Going viral” is a touchy thing.

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If you want your organization to go viral because it is good for business, then you may be going viral for the wrong thing.

Jesus went viral. Often. The more he came to an area, the less he could move around freely. People came up to him for teaching, healing and just to get a touch.

Why?

Not because Jesus tried to go viral. In fact, he tried to get people to stop talking.
Not because it was good for business. In fact, it’s what got him killed.

Jesus went viral because he offered hope. Hope that lives could be restored.

God has given you something to restore with your organization.

Give hope to people with what God has given you.
Bring restoration to lives because you are in business…

Not because it is good for business.

Rather give hope just because it is good to give hope.

Then deliver on the hope you give.

How does your organization give hope through restoration?

This series is about leadership lessons we can apply to our everyday lives from the stories of Jesus’ miracles. Today’s reading is from Mark 6:53-56.

It is so easy to feel like you’ve lost control.

And when we’ve lost control, it is easy to lose control.

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The disciples found themselves having lost complete control of a situation twice. They were professional fishermen, but the storm they faced overwhelmed them.

But both times, Jesus restored control.

And he did it two different ways.

For Peter, he restored control by allowing his feet to be solid, even though the water he was walking on wasn’t.

For the rest, Jesus restored control by bringing peace to the storm.

Leadership feels like walking on water at times. People want you to do it…but you don’t quite know how.

When we’ve lost all control, we have two options…

1. Try and gain control back.
2. Focus on the One who has all control.

We cannot be in complete control (read: power). So, let’s not lose control (read: composure).

Instead, focus on Jesus. He might not take the storm away.

But he sure knows where to put his feet when walking on water.

How can you focus on Jesus today so he can restore control?

This series is about leadership lessons we can apply to our everyday lives from the stories of Jesus’ miracles. Today’s reading is from John 6:16-21.

Rewarding Persistence

Shane —  November 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

Persistence must be rewarded.

Shout

Jesus rewarded these blind men for being persistent.

Why?

Because persistence reveals faith.

Is there someone in your organization who just won’t stop?

Maybe their a tad annoying. Like a couple of blind guys following you shouting.

Reward their faith despite the annoyance. Their faith that they can do the job. Their faith that your organization is what they need to be a part of.

Because someone that is persistent will make a difference, if you allow them.

How can you reward someone’s persistence today?

This series is about leadership lessons we can apply to our everyday lives from the stories of Jesus’ miracles. Today’s reading is from Matthew 9:27-34.

You Can Be a Laughable Hope

Shane —  November 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

Would you want your organization to give away laughable hope?

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Jesus gave away laughable hope.

“The girl is just sleeping.”

In the middle of all the mourning, people outright laughed at Jesus.

Hope is the certainty the future will be better than the past or present.

And whatever your organization sells, it can sell hope. Hope that you will make their future certainly better.

Not in a slimy, break down trust sort of way.
But in a way that you honestly desire and work for the better future of others.

In a way also, that people just can’t believe it. It’s so unbelievable that they chuckle at the very thought.

How can you give a laughable hope today?

This series is about leadership lessons we can apply to our everyday lives from the stories of Jesus’ miracles. Today’s reading is from Luke 8:40-42; 49-56.