Category Archives: Family

COD: Family Quote of the Day

I found a great article about having the family together in worship. Heres a quote and the link.

Worship is the most valuable thing a human can do. The cumulative effect of 650 worship services spent with Mom and Dad between the ages of 4 and 17 is incalculable.–By John and Noel Piper

650 is a very small number. How many have you got left? Enjoy them.


Bleeding Cash

Like most of America we’ve been attempting to tighten things up around our house because with gas prices what they are its pretty tight right now. I think every checkbook in America is sucking wind except Exxon Mobile who made a jillion dollars off our high demand for gasoline. The money has got to come from somewhere. Coupons, comping at Wal-Mart, whatever: at this point I’m pretty well open to most anything legal that will trim some of the fat from our budget.

Short of setting up my own still in the back yard for brewing my own ETOH to burn in my car or converting my diesel engine to burn cooking oil, the first place I had to look was the grocery bill. Babies have got to eat and so do Mama’s and Daddies. But beans are cheaper than steak and probably more nutritious, etc. We didn’t have to look very hard to see that we were bleeding cash like a US war time defense spending bill.

Our main issue really amounts to a lack of motivation on Friday. We are, frankly, so conditioned to just going out that it’s difficult to break out the pots and pans on Friday afternoon and whip up even a quick meal. Burger, taco, and pizza joints are not only the ruin of your waistline they can wipe out your budget. Here’s an example. Four kids meals and two adult combos of our choice at the local burger joint that shall remain nameless runs $30-$35 of hard cold cash. You do the math on that one. We used to eat out at least twice a week and sometimes once on the weekend if we were feeling particularly unmotivated. That adds up to something like a thousand dollars a year or more for just three meals a week. Three meals a day, seven days a week is twenty one meals a week (plus the odd snack).

That’s the sort of ridiculousness we were faced with when we sat down and looked at what we were spending on food. I don’t know about you but I could use a thousand dollars. (I could use several actually but that’s beside the point.) Tomorrow I’ll discuss the first step we took that actually worked and what we did to torpedo it. Learning from your mistakes is tough but its just about the only way to do it.

They Think

I was sitting in a board room one day and the meeting was about to start. We were running behind because our corporate headquarters apparently had a clock that just spit out random numbers or something. We never started on time. It was going to be fifteen minutes either way so we’d either break in late (right on time) or sit and wait for thirty minutes for them to get their act together. And this was fine because the chairs were at least nice and there was a good view of downtown Dallas out one of the windows. I usually did payroll or something while we were waiting so it wasn’t a total waste of time. But it also, on occasion, gave me a chance to talk with some of my co-workers.

Now these were various varieties of managers, supervisors, and directors. Area managers, location managers, quadrant directors, cubical jockeys, et al. All kings of their little domains. All quite secure in their money and all quite happy to be, for the most part, childless. Most were boomers who had pursued their careers to the point that it was all they had. They had the six figures and the BMW. They had the downtown apartment and the house in the burbs. They had all they wanted an more.

But they were the sorriest, unhappiest bunch of people I had ever been around. They were always looking over their shoulder. They were always looking to ‘get’ someone else. This left them generally cranky and un-fun to be around.

So one of these late occasions I was having a discussion with one of these individuals. It was about the time my first child was born and I was just giddy. She was and is just an absolute delight, and even more so then because of {this}. “I don’t know” this fellow says to me one time. I said “Huh?” “About the whole kid thing, I don’t know. I mean, I would rather spend my money on myself.” I said, “You’re missing out. Kids are a blessing.” I got that ‘you’re a crazy Baptist aren’t you?’ look and I don’t know that he ever said anything to me ever again.

Now this isn’t something I had done a lot of research on, but I knew that God is the one who gives children. He is the one whom ‘forms’ them in the womb. He is the one who blesses us with them. But this was something that escaped most of my co-workers. Kids were a hindrance. They kept you home when you could be working or playing. They made you do other things besides take advantage of business opportunities. They were baggage. They were a drain on your assets. These folks were so focused on their money and their careers and their things that they were missing out on one of God’s most fundamental blessings. And I want you to know that I think this is what drives most of what I talked about at the end of last week. That’s the point of this post, actually: Abortions are, by and large, for the convenience of the mother or the mother’s parents. “She’s much too young to be saddled with a child” blah, blah, blah…because, for the most part, They Think God Doesn’t Know What He Is Doing.

Look for more on this soon.

The Product of Conception

If you’re reading this, you’re the product of conception. At some point, someone did something that caused you to come into being. You were conceived. You were carried in your mother’s womb for around nine months and you were born. At some point in your life you were a baby. All of us at least have that much in common. We are all the product of conception.
I just don’t think we’re thinking about the same thing.

It’s easy to reduce our existence down to biology and tissue, flesh and bone. We are that, at least. But we are also spiritual beings. There are religions in every culture of the earth. The athiests want us to believe that it’s an inherent weakness in the human race, the need for a crutch. I think they’re right, to a certain extent. We all feel our own mortality bearing down upon us. ‘Death and taxes’ are the only sure things some folks say. I know it’s a cliché but it’s one that reflects the way some people feel. We all hear that external call. We all see the marvels of nature, the stars in the sky, the sound of a musical note, the taste of fresh strawberries or the sweet smell of hay in the fall. Some of us just reach different conclusions about it than others. Some call it happenstance or random chance that led to the evolution of life on this planet. Some point to scientific evidence and have well convinced their self that no one could have created this. It’s too complex, too bizarre for any mind to conceive. And I agree with that too.

But here’s the thing I continue to come back to in my thoughts. If God is who the Bible says he is, then do we really expect to understand him or his creation? Could we really worship God if he was anything but so far outside our ability to understand that most of what he has done is beyond our comprehension? Of course not, I wouldn’t want it that way either. That would reduce him to an idol. We could truly capture his essence in a statue or painting if that were the case. We could contain that image–and control it.

Babies are wondrous. From conception to two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two cells. How can we even debate the idea that one cell that changes into billions is any less a child that the billion or more? The billion or however many countless cells wouldn’t exist without that one cell, nor would any of us. It’s about the possibility. It’s life, even if it’s less of a mess to ‘clean up’ which is what an abortion is an attempt to do: post-event damage control. Whatever the circumstances that led to IT, IT is still a child.

More to follow…

    More reading

Clone Wars Life is not a board game (see this also) POC POC2POC3

She gets it but do we?

This article by Dr. Mohler and some of the other links in it sort of fit right along with my writing and thinking this week.

Life is not a board game

Warning: possibly disturbing and or convicting.

Life is not a board game. You don’t spin the wheel and move from square to square. You don’t draw cards to see your fate. Life is not a game.

Life is not a TV show either. In spite of that we seem to spend most of our time trying to prove that we’re not guilty. We know we are, deep down. The Christian at least must admit that much. Yet we still strive to prove that we are worthy of our salvation. It’s very American—older American anyway—to want to seem like we’re earning our keep.

But the only thing we can truly earn is death. That’s a grade school Sunday School lesson isn’t it? We’re all sinners and deserve death? It ought to be anyway.

And yet we seem to want to find the get out of jail free card. We want to find a way to extend our lives once more. We’re trying to push further and further past that three score and ten that God talks about in the Bible. We want Sci Fi regeneration treatments like scenes from Dr. Who where light shoots out of our face and suddenly we’re in a brand new body with no physical ailments at all. We want a Heinlein-esque utopia where any new body part or even a new body if we want can be grown in a vat for our usage at a later date. Heart disease? No problem—got a clone of your own right here in the tank. You TOO can BE Lazarus Long.

And we don’t care that its murder, which is what happens when you snuff out a human life. That’s called murder. Humans want to live. And why wouldn’t they? If this life is all there is, why not do all that you can to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Yeah, lets grind up a few million human embryos along the way, what of it? They’re not really alive until the second trimester anyway right? All along the way humanity is making a statement, that they don’t care what happens as long as they get to live. All the rationale of abortion boils down to convenience for the mother who chooses one or the father who forces her to get one. All the rationale for artificial insemination and selective reduction of implanted fetuses is about convenience and the fact that if we work hard enough, maybe we can get around the idea that God is the one who grants the blessing of children. God blesses as he chooses and yet we cannot accept that as sinners. Unbelievers have to have a work around for it. Because if I have a child, at least part of me is living on after I die. Even those who reject God cannot accept the idea of complete annihilation.

If we walk down this path—or sprint, as it appears that we’re doing—we prove that the only life that’s really worth saving is our own. The only glory that matters is that of the folks that are doing this research. Looky, my name is on that paper! So we are left with millions of frozen embryos that will never be used and millions more used up besides. All because we attempt to deny God his due, because we desire the throne the same as the god of this age, the father of lies, the prince of this world. Should we be surprised then that humanity is moving in this way?

I don’t think so. I’ve read many books and heard many sermons that argue that man isn’t as bad as he could be so perhaps ‘totally depraved’ isn’t a good thing to call our sin but I’ll tell you this: most of the time we are as bad as we can get away with.

The Word of God is not bound…are you?

Maintaining your sanity with kids in worship

Having your kids with you in worship can try your patience.

OK. It can really try your patience.

Sigh. Face it, the possibility exists that your patience may never be the same if you keep them in the worship service with you. It may need therapy, actually, if not physical intervention to keep it from doing itself harm. You patience may not be made for this sort of commitment.

But in the long run its not only your responsibility, it’s worthwhile. We talked about that yesterday. It’s the parents responsibility to make sure that their child is brought up in a way that they have every opportunity to know the Lord. For the Christian, this isn’t a debatable point.

Here’s a few tips to help keep you sane. The list is by no means exhaustive so feel free to add your own in the comments.

A good Sunday starts on Saturday Night
The first thing you must have is good planning and execution. If you arrive at Church on Sunday morning already at a high boil, your kids are likely to be in the same shape. For their own good, send them to children’s church or whatever. However, if you arrive at church in state of mind that allows you to calmly deal with their minor transgressions—there are going to be several, brace yourself—then you won’t have to threaten them with death and dismemberment to get them to be ‘relatively’ still.

Lay clothes out on Saturday night

Have a bible study and ‘pray up’ the night before

Get to bed on time or at least at a reasonable hour.

Sunday morning
Get up early enough to get yourself and your family ready. Men, this doesn’t mean getting up early to get yourself ready. This means getting up early enough to get yourself ready and handle the kids breakfast and at least putting their clothes on them. This will allow your wife to get ready and feel good enough about it that she won’t be ready to kill you when she sees you sitting on the couch waiting for everyone else.

Don’t overdose on coffee. I’m always jittery enough on Sunday morning as it is. The extra caffeine raises your blood pressure and drinking the cup takes time and attention away from what you should be doing.

Wives, go easy on the ribbons and bows.

Do what you can to keep the kids from overloading on sugar during Sunday School. Some teachers think they can’t teach the word of God without a tray of cupcakes.

We take a ‘goodie bag’ to the worship service with their bibles, notebooks, pencils so they can ‘take notes’. We don’t let them get anything out, though, until the singing is over and the preaching begins. It’s like their reward for being good and singing and praying. This generally lasts until the sermon is almost over.

If they’re bad, don’t freak out in the sanctuary unless you just can’t get around it. I try to let the kids know that there will be a time for retribution when we get home.

No one ever died from having to carry a screaming child from an auditorium. Don’t panic.

These are some of the things we try to do. How about you?