consistencyIn his book “Wild Goose Chase,” Mark Batterson brings up something that really struck me. He says that the reason we take things for granted is because they have been so consistent. I think it’s true! I take it for granted that my bride will get up when Kasen cries in the middle of the night. Why? Because she’s been so consistent about doing so. Because she’s so good, I’ve come to expect it. At one time earlier in our relationship, I was surprised by some of her actions/behaviors etc. I saw them as incredible expressions of love – she has continued to love me in those ways, but I have gotten “used to it” and grown to expect it. I’m not longer surprised by those things.

I remember Voddie Bachaum speaking about relationships at a bible study saying that we should work to “Expect nothing and appreciate everything.” This is perfect advise for me.

Here’s another thought – I wonder if we miss God because He’s so good? Because He’s so good at being God, we take Him for granted. His consistency/goodness has caused us to have some expectations. What if we were surprised when we were given another new day to live? Would we live differently? Would we remember Him more if we didn’t have food consistently on our plates? Maybe this is the “gift” He has given the poor?

Bottom line: He is so good to us. Maybe we should quit expecting and begin appreciating a little more.

Mother’s Day

Mothers_dayMiranda is an amazing mom (not to mention how amazing she is at being a wife). Having Kasen, was like uncovering what she was created to do.

I sat next to her the other night on the couch as we listened to Kasen crying in his crib. We were attempting the let him “cry it out” which is a method for teaching children how to sleep through the night. It’s a tough thing to do. You basically just let them cry until they realize that they’ve gotta go to sleep on their own. Anyway, Miranda was in tears. It took everything she had to force herself to stay in the living room with me. As she cried, it was hard to understand her words through the tears, but she mumbled “I’m his mother. I’m supposed to love and care for him.” I tried to comfort her saying that she was loving and caring for him by helping him learn how to go to sleep on his own. I’m not sure my words were very comforting, but I think it’s true. This is probably just the first of many times where our love for him will put us in a position where we’ll have to act against our own desires. Ultimately, Miranda held off and after the second night, Kasen slept through the night completely by himself. He’s now made it three nights that way. It’s a pretty amazing thing. Miranda and I both know it’s a good thing, but I feel pretty confident that when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants to check in on him – you know, to make sure he’s still breathing and is okay. How do I know that? ‘Cause that’s exactly what I wanna do, and I know she’s a much better parent than I could ever dream of being.

As a single youth minister, that whole “tough love” thing sounded a much easier than what we experienced together the other night. This is probably only the beginning though. Anyway, all this is to say that we’re both realizing that parenting is tough, but I can see clearly that Miranda is tougher. God has truly blessed us by giving her to Kasen and I. Voddie Bachaum defines love as “an act of the will accompanied by
emotion on behalf of it’s recipient.
” That’s exactly what she did the
other night. She chose to do what was best for him in spite of her
emotions. Kasen will grow up knowing that he is loved beyond measure, and he’ll also be shown a beautiful example in his mother.  She loves with all she has, and will sacrifice her own desires to do what’s best for him. Even when it hurts her, she will choose to love him.

Baby Making

Lookin_at_daddyI listened to a sermon by Voddie Bachaum the other day and was struck by something he said. He explained that 75%-88% of American so-called Christian teenagers abandon their faith by the time they finish their first year of college. The average Christian parents in America have 2 children. This means that it takes 4 Christian adults to bring one successfully into the next generation. Which also means that (subtracting new conversions) Christianity is declining at a rate of 75%-88% in only one generation. Voddie continued his argument saying that Germany is already being called a Muslim nation by the Muslims because by birthrates alone it will be a Muslim country in just a few years. Evidently, the Muslim faith is doing much better than American Christianity in regards to how many children are being born and how many are adopting the faith of their parents.

Voddie, also reminded me of the Scriptures which describe children as a blessing and as arrows in a man’s quiver. It is through his children that a man can have the most impact on the world. Yet, most Christians believe that having 2 and at the most 3 children is plenty. The excuses they raise have to do with finances and the size of their houses and yet just a generation ago, our grandparents raised many more children in homes that most of us would consider too meager today.

Is it Biblical to choose material things over children? What would a family be like if they had to share more things in the home? Would our marriages be stronger if we made more babies? Would a more demanding home life provide the accountability and challenge that a father really needs to be the spiritual leader of his home? Could it be true that if we raised large families, they might be more healthy? What if we saw children as a blessing instead of a nuisance that has to be endured for 18 years? Would we have more children? Would Christianity look differently? When did the “perfect family” become the “perfect little family?” Could the church be revived if men and women went forth and multiplied? Leonard Sweet says that every cell in the human body recreates itself every 7 years and that when it stops recreating, it begins dying. What if the same is true of the Body of Christ? What if we were baby makers? Just some ideas I had after listening to Voddie. What do you think?

The Family Bible

WordI was thinking a couple of weeks ago about the family Bible. Most people have this huge Bible that just sits around somewhere in the house, that is never used. I felt like God was telling me that Miranda and I needed to be more intentional about our time together and our Bible reading. I talked to her about it. We talked about how we want Kasen growing up in a home where he sees us studying the Bible together and that we want the Scriptures to be clearly present in our everyday lives – not to mention the benefits it will bring to us personally.

Anyway, we decided to read and study together each night that we are able and so far it’s been a huge blessing! We have always been pretty good about our own personal quiet times, but this is something we’re doing together. Familydriven_2We have been able to go to our small group (studying Matthew) a bit more prepared, and we’ve also been reading a book called “Family-Driven Faith”
together. It’s written by Voddie Baucham and it has been great for sparking other conversations between us. We have probably talked to each other about important things more in the past couple of weeks than almost any other time in the history of our marriage.

Thank you God for my Beautiful Bride. Thank you for her willingness to spend this time with me. Thank you for her heart and how she interacts with You during these times. God, help us to remain faithful to this commitment so that Kasen will witness consistency in our lives and He’ll grow up knowing the priority the Bible has in our lives. Teach us to turn the TV off and listen to You more. We believe that You are the most important part of our lives, but we must confess that our lives have not always reflected those beliefs.  We want that to change. Help it change in us. We will abide in You so that we can produce fruit for You. Keep us healthy so we can produce amazing fruit. AMEN.