Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sacrifice and Freedom

What a weekend! What a holiday! What a service! What a sacrifice!

Let's just be honest here. Typically, Sunday services are not well attended on Memorial Day weekend. Typically. I am so glad that Midtowne is no a typical church. Not only was attendance great, but the service was too.

The music was fantastic. Then we were able to witness the baptism of a mother and her daughter. And then we learned about the sacrifice of American soldiers and the sacrifice of our awesome Savior. The comparison is amazing. The fact still remains that there is no freedom with out sacrifice. Soldiers sacrificed, and still do, so we can live in a free country and Jesus sacrificed Himself for us so that we can live in freedom from the bondage of sin. It's pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

But that seems to be the problem: stopping to think about it.

Memorial Day has become another one of those "long weekend" holidays that we really don't pay attention to. We certainly enjoy the time off but fail to realize the significance of the holiday itself. It's not just about having an extra day off. It is about the sacrifices that have been made in order to give us a day off.

As we head into the summer and you plan more time off, I hope you will take time to remember the sacrifices that have been made. Not just by our soldiers, but also by our Savior. As we kick off Midtowne's Family Fun Summer this week, it is my prayer that we remember that the only reason we can have the fun we have is because of the sacrifices that have been made for us. Especially the sacrifice of our Savior.

*If you would like to hear the Memorial Day service at Midtowne Church, visit our web site at www.midtownechurch.com and go to the media page. You can listen to the message and download the message notes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Children or Puppies?

"We were thinking about having kids until we heard your message Sunday. Sounds like too much work - we're looking for another puppy!"

Now that's funny! I got that in an email this week. I laughed out loud.

It's true though. Parenting is very hard work. It is not all fun and games. In fact, way too many parents don't play any games at all with their kids and that's part of the problem. But I digress...

Parents are a special breed. God has given us a very awesome responsibility. He has entrusted the future of His church to us. It is our job to develop children to become adults who find and experience God's Best in their life. It should be our number one job and our focus. Of course, that comes right after loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. If we are doing that, we will fully embrace this role of parenting. God has not only given us this responsibility, He has also given us all the resources we need to accomplish the task. He has not set us up to fail. He truly wants us to succeed as parents.

However, kids still have a choice. We can do all we can with God's help and resources to develop them but ultimately they have to respond to it. God equips us but then we must leave the results to Him. God is not going to rate us on how our kids turn out but on how we use the resources He provides and the methods and motives of our parenting. Just like sharing God's love with others, we just have to be obedient and leave the results up to God. People may or may not respond to His love. Doesn't matter. We just have to be obedient.

So get to work. Or go get a puppy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Can We Play Soccer?

"Mom says you're too tired but I wanted to ask you anyway."

That was what my youngest said to me yesterday. Funny how when you start talking about family and parenting that things like this happen.

Mom was right. I was tired. I had spent most of the day working on the yard. It's also funny (strange not ha-ha) how the lawn mower breaks every time I get ready to use it. Yesterday it broke twice. I replaced a pulley on the mowing deck before I could even use it and about halfway through the back yard the linkage broke on part of the steering. After about 30 minutes of working and searching for something that would work, a bolt and locking nut took care of it. Then I had to finish the mowing.

Too tired for soccer and fortunately it was getting dark, I sat down and ate dinner. Yes, without my family. They got tired of waiting on me and ate without me. Yes I know I talked about the importance of eating together as a family in the message Sunday. Yes we had every intention of doing that. No, eating by myself was not the plan. No I did not enjoy it. No I did not like telling him no.

Life is busy. Things come up. Stuff will happen. But don't panic. Don't give up the fight for your family. Don't abort the plan. Stick with it. I am thankful for an understanding kid.

Only one family. Don't waste it.

We intend to eat together tonight. And we will play soccer, if it doesn't rain...