Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Tim Challies on A safe place for our kids shameful questions.
  2. A pastor looks at dads.
  3. Barnabas Piper on Why Christian leaders (like Mark Driscoll & John MacArthur) fighting is discouraging.
  4. 5 reasons people aren’t volunteering at your church.
  5. Michael Jensen on Is chastity possible?
  6. How to keep your home safe with the internet. Great insights for protecting your kids.
  7. Carey Nieuwhof on Is the pastor celebrity culture a positive or negative thing. Interesting thoughts on this subject.
  8. Sam Rainer on Why pastors neglect managing.
  9. Tim Keller on Why a covenant marriage matters. Marriage is a covenant, not a contract which our culture holds to.
  10. Thom Rainer on How pastors can develop thicker skin.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Trevin Wax on Don’t give your child a trophy for losing. Couldn’t agree with this more.
  2. Regular bedtimes help kids behavior.
  3. John Piper on Hijacking your brain from porn.
  4. Thom Rainer on 7 reasons your church needs to go on a diet. Being simple is the one of the defining characteristics of Revolution Church.
  5. Ryan Williams on 8 things I learned as a young lead pastor.
  6. 10 productivity tips for pastors.
  7. Ron Edmondson on 5 tips to be a better dad this week.
  8. Sleep & productivity.
  9. Mark Driscoll on 7 sabbath killers.

Elevation Creative: I Have Decided

Top Posts of September

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  2. Revolution Church 5 Year Anniversary Video
  3. The Biggest Sin in Adoption
  4. A Mother’s Heart (From a Husband’s Perspective)
  5. The Most Important Minutes to a Guest on a Sunday Morning
  6. Does Homeschooling Deny the Missional Life?
  7. What to do on “Fat Days”
  8. Redeeming Halloween
  9. Get the Men, Win the War
  10. Rex Ryan: The Model Father?

Saturday Afternoon Book Review || The Shepherd Leader at Home

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One of the books that I read as I worked on my What He must be… sermon at Revolution Church was The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protection and Providing for Your Family (kindle version) by Timothy Witmer.

Here are a few things that jumped out to me:

  • If you are married, in order to accomplish what God has called you to do, you must understand that each of you brings strengths and weakness to the relationship for the benefit of one another and for the marriage.
  • Marriage is designed by God to be your primary human relationship.
  • The Hebrew word for sexual intimacy is the word translated “know.” Knowing your wife in the comprehensive biblical sense includes a relational union that implies physical, spiritual, and emotional oneness.
  • Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.
  • The objective of leaders is to influence their followers to accomplish their respective missions.
  • Marriage is a call to die to self, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called.
  • The bible has a very high view of women. This can be seen from the very beginning, where creation itself was not deemed complete until the woman was made.
  • Those in leadership are always called upon to use that leadership for the benefit of those called to submit.
  • For a wife, following her husband’s leadership is an important aspect of following Christ.
  • When we submit to our spouses, we are once again agreeing with God that His beautiful ordered plan is worth obeying and the mystery worth preserving. By so doing we once again acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
  • Part of the wife’s discipleship to Christ is to respect the position of her husband in the home.
  • Christ’s love is unconditional. There was nothing about you or me that deserved or required Christ’s love. Quite the contrary. Not only did we not love him, but also we were heading the opposite direction in our sin. It was the classic case of unrequited love. This is why our relationship with him is solely by his grace. Our love for our wives must be unconditional as well.
  • Christ’s love was sacrificial. To what extent did Jesus love the church? he gave himself completely for her. His coming was to give himself in selfless service.
  • The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility…Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from his likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me?
  • You will show your love for your wife as you support her maternal instinct to nurture your children.
  • One sure way to fail is to fail to love her. Your number one responsibility, humanly speaking, is to love your wife to the extent that she has absolutely not doubts about it. Your expressions of love must be demonstrable and practical.
  • Another way to have a frustrated wife is to fail to lead. Christian wives hope that their husbands will be godly leaders. They hope that you will take the initiative.
  • The Lord created husbands with an innate sense of responsibility to provide materially for their families. Remember that work is part of the Lord’s original design for mankind. The newly created Adam was placed in the garden and charged with tending it (Genesis 2:15).
  • The happiest and holiest children in the world are the children whose fathers succeed in winning both their tender affection and their reverential and loving fear. And they are children who will come to understand most easily the mystery of the fatherhood of God.
  • The practice of participation with our children is an expression of the same principle. We get to know people by doing things with them.
  • Use your words to build up, not to tear down. If there’s anyone from whom your children should expect a word of encouragement, it should be you.
  • Communication is multi-faceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, understanding, teaching, and prayer. All these must be part of your interaction with your children.
  • Your relationship with your children now sets the trajectory of how they will relate to you for the rest of your life. If you are unapproachable when they are at home, don’t expect them to be eager to approach you as adults. If you are highly critical of them as children, don’t expect them to be coming to you later for advice. But if you are ready and willing to talk to them when they are young, they will seek you out when they need advice as adults. Remember that you are not sowing the seeds of what you will reap from your adult children for the rest of your lives.
  • Whether you like it or not, you are the model for what they will be like when they become parents themselves. When you show your children that they are a priority, you are setting a good example for them when they have families of their own. If children are seen as hindrances by parents, this attitude is reproduced when they become parents.
  • You as their earthly dad are laying the foundation for their relationship with their heavenly father. You are their first exposure to a relationship of authority in the world. How you develop that relationship and wield that authority will either help or harm their view of God. There are countless examples of people who have difficulty embracing a loving heavenly Father when they have had neglectful, absentee, or even abusive earthly dads.
  • Your goal as you lead your children is to prepare them to follow the chief shepherd for the rest of their lives. Therefore, your leadership should point them to the One you are following.
  • Will your children think it is really important to read the Bible if they never see you read yours? Will they consider it a priority to go to church and be involved with God’s people if you send them but don’t go yourself? Will your children speak respectfully of others when they hear the way you speak to your wife? Will they deem it necessary to be honest if they constantly hear you shad the truth or mislead others? Who are you kidding? In reality, what we often communicate to our children is that it is more important to get to football, soccer, or baseball practice regularly than to church. what are you really communicating to your children?

As a father and husband, this book was really convicting and at the same time, incredibly practical when it comes to thinking about living out being the shepherd leader of my home.

What to do on Daddy Dates

I get asked a lot by Dad’s what to do on daddy dates, how do you talk with your kids on daddy dates. If we’re honest as Dad’s, daddy dates are something we want to do, they are fun, we want to have a relationship with our kids. It is just intimidating.

I first started daddy dates when Ava was 18 months old. I wanted to give Katie a break and I decided early on I was going to beat that punk kid with cheap jewelry, driving his dad’s car from stealing her heart. I figured I had a head start.

Here are some goals for a good daddy date:

  • It is about being with your child. Turn your phone off, be present with them.
  • Do what they want to do. This isn’t about what you want to do, although sometimes it can be introducing them to a hobby of yours like rock climbing, hiking, fishing, depending on the age.
  • It doesn’t have to be anything major. You don’t need to go out to eat each time. You don’t even need to spend money. One of the favorite things for my boys is to take them to a skate park where they can ride their scooters while I watch and make videos of it.
  • Talk to them. This is awkward depending on their age, but try.
  • Listen to some good kids worship music in the car. This is our current favorite.

Questions I ask:

  • What are you learning right now in school?
  • What do you want to talk about today?
  • How can I pray for you?

Because of the age of our kids, right now daddy dates typically are me with one of them at a local coffee shop sharing a treat. Find a rhythm that works for your family. I do one daddy date a week with a different child, they each take turns.

What do you do on your daddy dates that works well?

[Image Credit]

Links of the Week

  1. Jeff Vanderstelt on The elder qualification we often forget.
  2. Theology a hot issue in GOP race.
  3. Grace Driscoll on a Godly wife, woman, mother & friend.
  4. 6 characteristics of spiritual leadership.
  5. Mark Driscoll on Manhood and the fatherhood of God.
  6. Perry Noble on 10 signs you are near burnout.
  7. 30 ways to be missional in your workplace.
  8. Jonathan Dodson on 25 ways to engage your neighbors.
  9. Tim Keller on Salvation outside of Christ.
  10. Russell Moore takes on Pat Robertson. I thought Robertson was kidding when he said this, but Moore calls him to task on his statement about marriage and divorce.

Writing the Story of Your Kids Lives

Gavin turned 4 today. One of the things I do each year is write a letter to my kids.

One of the roles I think Dad’s should play is helping to write the story of their kids lives. When kids get older, what will they remember. They might remember trips and things that happen, but what about the small things in their lives? How their personality developed, how they started a relationship with Jesus, what shaped them. So, each year I sit down and write a letter chronicling that year in the life of our child.

It is also helpful for me as I think through the pace of the life of our family. I believe that Katie and I work together on our schedules, but one of the roles of a father is to help make sure the family is pacing well. Are they in a busy season? Slow season? Doing too many activities? This helps me look back over the year as well as I chronicle it for our kids.

Gavin is strong and determined, not sure where he gets that from. That shapes a lot of who he is. One of the differences between me and him is how outgoing he is. The combination of this can be huge for the kingdom of God as he grows up. I sit back and wonder how God will use these gifts the has given to him.

I love hearing him pray for our friends and family, as well as how he prays for our adoption. I can see the Holy Spirit working in him and drawing his heart to his. It is neat hearing he asks about why we are adopting, why some kids don’t have parents and how that is shaping him. I hope that between these two things, God shapes him into a man that is strong and determined, but whose heart breaks for those who have less than he does and that God will use him to serve those who are hurting.

Dads, I’d encourage you to tell the story of your kids lives. Even if you haven’t started, start now. I look forward to the day Gavin graduates from high school and I hand him a stack of letters that help to remind of who he is, where he has come from and the grace God has shown to him and us in our lives.

Yearly Letters to Your Kids

Ava turned 6 yesterday. One of the things I do each year is write a letter to my kids.

One of the roles I think Dad’s should play is helping to write the story of their kids lives. When kids get older, what will they remember. They might remember trips and things that happen, but what about the small things in their lives? How their personality developed, how they started a relationship with Jesus, what shaped them. So, each year I sit down and write a letter chronicling that year in the life of our child.

It is also helpful for me as I think through the pace of the life of our family. I believe that Katie and I work together on our schedules, but one of the roles of a father is to help make sure the family is pacing well. Are they in a busy season? Slow season? Doing too many activities? This helps me look back over the year as well as I chronicle it for our kids.

I just finished Ava’s 6th letter. Crazy that she is 6.

This was a major year for Ava. She started kindergarten and is now reading, writing and counting. We homeschool her, largely because of the schedule and pace of our family, but I love what is has done for our family, the input we have into her life and education. This was also the year that we really saw Ava’s heart change and open to the gospel. You can see how the Holy Spirit is changing her and how her 6 year old faith is growing.

I’m still blown away how fast 6 years go, but I am reminded of how important of a role I play as a father. I believe the view many kids have of God comes out of their view of their earthly father. The way Ava will allow men to treat her will be developed through how I treat her, but more importantly, how she sees me interact, love and pursue Katie.

Dads, I’d encourage you to tell the story of your kids lives. Even if you haven’t started, start now. I look forward to the day Ava graduates from high school and I hand her a stack of letters that help to remind of who she is, where she has come from and the grace God has shown to her and us in our lives.

This Weekend: Raising a Girl to Become a Woman

I am treading into uncharted waters this Saturday. We are continuing our series The Perfect Kid and I am preaching on “How to raise a girl to become a woman.” Of all the weeks in this series so far, this might be the one I am most passionate about.

Saturday I will be laying out what Scripture calls us not only to as parents when it comes to raising girls, but a wife is to be, what a mom is to be, what a single woman is to be, what we should look for as men when it comes to marrying a woman. Scripture is chalk full with what a woman is to become and yet we have allowed culture to hijack that and in the end, we settle for what a woman is. We settle for what we have become when God wants so much more for us.

This week is very personal for me. Saturday is Ava’s 5th birthday. Ava is our oldest and she stole my heart the moment she was born. The relationship we share is so special to me. This week, I will be preaching my sermon from the perspective of what I hope and pray she becomes.

When I say that it will be personal and challenging, you have seen nothing yet.

Also our Saturday, we will be having another baptism and celebrating what God has done in people’s lives as they take their next step and publicly identify with Jesus. If you would like to get baptized, email Christe LePeau.

You won’t want to miss it!

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and don’t forget to bring a friend with you)! This is a great week to bring a friend, every parent wants help and advice when it comes to parenting, so this is an easy series to invite them to. To use an e-vite, just go here. And come expecting to see God move and do something huge in our lives.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you then.