As a parent, you do what you can to train your children up the best way you know how. Sometimes you wonder if you are doing it right, if what you are teaching is sticking, or if they are being discipled at all. Then there are times when something happens that brings you hope and renews your faith in even the most feeble efforts.
About a week after K. came to live with us, we noticed something; he LOVED to go to church. He asks us almost daily, “Do we go to church damarrow?” When we say “yes” gets really excited, his countenance aflame with joy. We found him a small Bible to carry, and he carries it proudly every service. It is really sweet to see. Though he doesn’t yet understand many of the words, he still wants me to read from it each night after we read something on his level.
Today began as a heavy-hearted day. On the news I saw a story of three children killed in a tragic accident at a bus stop. Last night a dear family in our community suddenly lost a child. Yesterday a another lady and two children were killed in a car accident. These are heavy times, deep waters. Thomas Paine was once quoted as saying, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Indeed.
Pre-order sales are open now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. LIVE Sales begin November 30th! We are super excited about this book and know it will touch the lives of many. The enduring faithfulness of God is the sustaining force we need to navigate the turbulent seas of our day. Remember, all proceeds go to The Crucible’s Fire to fund the production of material for encouraging those on the front lines of disciplemaking and to help us all know Him and make Him known.
Sometimes foster children call you all sorts of things. Sometimes they call you Mom and Dad like everything else. This go-round we are Mrs. Tammy and Mr. Parker for reasons unknown to us we acquired those names after about two weeks of being Mom and Dad. It doesn’t matter, but I will say that Mr. Parker has a very sweet sound coming out of the mouth of a tiny five year old.
We’ve waited and we’ve waited and it’s finally here! The Crucible’s Fire: A Story of God’s Faithfulness is ready for Pre-Order. Get your copy on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble. If you are not a subscriber to this blog or The Potter’s Hands, our Disciplemaking blog, Use the buttons to subscribe and receive a FREE PREVIEW CHAPTER of the book.
My wife saw this comment on a post on the Humans of Foster Care Facebook page.
"My 6 year old adopted from foster care asks me when he sees a mom with a baby 'I wonder if she's a safe mommy or if he needs a new family' "
This is the tragedy we walk in every day. These little ones have seen so much and have such a tragic worldview. Consider foster care today. Show them a redeemed world that looks nothing like the one they know. We would love to show you how to get started.
Just over a week ago a new foster placement came to our home. He is five. It feels weird to call a child a “placement,” but that is the term. He is small and lovable. As I stated in last week’s post, each new face brings to mind the heaviness of a world broken since that fateful act of disobedience in the garden. However, from time to time, out of the ashes of abuse and neglect we are privileged … no, blessed and humbled … to see a flower of life and redemption sprout where once there was only desolation.
In her charming and insightful book, ThoughtFull, author Dorena Williamson shines light on something we desperately need more of in our world; thinking of others and appreciating our differences. This delightful children’s book is a wonderful teaching tool and conversation starter as we attempt to teach them how to be more like Jesus as they relate to the world around them.
When I was in college I learned something that has stuck with me ever since. It's called the Peter Principle. It was developed by a fellow named Laurence J. Peter. In simple terms, his theory states that people tend to rise to the level of their incompetence. You could say it another way:
People are often promoted one level higher than they are capable of performing.
Loneliness. Fear. Guilt. Hope. Anxiety. Anger. Bitterness. Despair.
All of these are emotions a family goes through when trying to be an active part of a church family. It's even worse if they are coming in as visitors. Depending on the severity and type of the disability, the emotions are different.
"What is your motivation for your struggle for holiness?
"If I do things around the house like clean up, do the dishes, or laundry because of fear that if I don't my wife will go bananas and yell at me, how much joy do I find in doing those things? However, if I do the very same things out of love for her and out of a desire to serve her and for her joy, then how much joy do I find in doing those things?
"It is the same way with God. If my motivation for holiness is fear, then there we find no joy. If our motivation is love, then in that we find infinite joy."
One of the things I love about scripture is the divinely inspired tensions that seem to riddle its pages. One of those moments comes from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14. In it, Paul says,
"13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Many years ago I heard a sermon where the preacher pointed out how we could tell what was important to us by what was in our checkbook register. Apparently at that time, as now, Wal-Mart is EXTREMELY high on that list. It isn’t that I worship Wal-Mart, it just so happens the bulk of what we buy for our family of 7 comes from there. I mean, they carry everything!
The Crucible's Fire: A Story of God's Faithfulness will be released by Lucid Books Publishing this Fall! Subscribe to our blog at www.thecruciblesfire.org for up-to-date release information and an opportunity to win a FREE COPY!