Wednesday, March 02, 2011

God is my Father

How often do you think about God as your father? We often address Him as such in prayer. But do we interact with Him that way? Should we? So many times in scripture our relationship with God is compared to the parent/child relationship. So many times earthly parents fall short of that ideal. When I think and read about some amazing parental examples it seems like the best picture of what our relationship should look like. But because of the brokenness of this picture it seems that many people do not attempt to relate to God in this way. Possibly they use some other example. Is this helpful? Is this sufficient? What examples are more helpful than others? Which ones fall short?

Comments welcome

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fellowship You Don't Wanna Miss

When you think about church discipline there are two main tools that come to mind; rebuke & exclusion. Rebuke is sometimes necessary but basically works to point out the shortcomings of others. Not that anyone likes doing this, (well some do, but not many people like them) but when people choose to be held to a higher standard, rebuke is one of the first courses of action in addressing that person's mistake.

Exclusion, that sounds equally as legalistic. But as a higher level course of action, this is often described as 'putting one out of the fellowship'. When someone repeatedly messes up and does not respond to correction or rebuke ( are you still cringing when you hear that word? Me too), the next action is to NOT allow them to be apart of your fellowship. The idea here is that by missing out on what your group is doing they will decide on their own that they want to change.

Now there is some thinking behind this that believes it is right to exclude someone because a fellowship of believers in Jesus should be holy and set apart. So it is just 'right' to prune the bad branches to keep the whole tree from corruption. I'll give that some merit. But that should not be the focus of this type of discipline.

Is your fellowship something you don't want to miss out on? Think about it. If the relational temperature and draw of community were so great, then when you need to correct someone by exclusion they truly feel the loss of friendship, support, and community. Even the threat of missing out would be a preventative measure to those desiring to stay on the straight and narrow of this higher standard.

All this to say, "is your fellowship something that people don't want to miss out on?"

What would the church look like if we spent more time on creating that kind of community than righteousness of exclusion?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Meekness means to harness or control the power or strength that you have. But there is a big difference between gaining power in order to control it and realizing the powers of liberty that you already have and already control. Meekness is found in both. Where do you find meekness in your life? How often do you actually think about being meek?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Creating in Community

I've been reading a bit lately form some "creatives" about the creative process.  Great insights as I love being creative, but struggle with my analytic personality.  But one perspective I have not gotten from any "creatives" is the idea of creating in a community.  I bring this up because as I read through this passage in Colossians, and am reminded of others like it. When I read of God's creation, I get this image of God the Father and Jesus working together as a team to in the creative process. Previously, and I think most people do, I had the mental picture of creation where God the Father (only) was up in heaven and was chillin with the angels and they are just watching God cheering Him on, in awe of the things he is "speaking" into existence.  But now, I get a different image of God the Father and Jesus having some great discussion full of excitement and collaboration.  While they create and come to agreement on things, they poof into existence. Seems like a better image to me.  There is one flaw I guess, where is the Holy Spirit?  Not sure yet, haven't seen the scripture that creates that added mental image.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Haul: Day 6

Last time, on the Holiday Haul, we left you in the Mall in Grand Rapids...

We left the mall headed for Orland Park, Illinois. My Big Bro Tim and his family moved into a new house in July, but, we've been a bit busy and haven't been able to come see it. Well the 2.5 hour trip went pretty well. we had plans of having the girls sleep on the way there, it was nap time, but it was a bit challenging. Makenna fell asleep easily. (gotta love those compliant 2nd born kids, it also helps that she's almost 6 mos and takes like 5 naps a day) Alayna on the other hand was not having it. She did not want to take a nap. In fact, what she wanted, was Mommy. (who happened to driving at the time) So we gave her two reasonable options to help calm her down to take a nap, read a book or eat a snack.  In true Alayna form, she took those two options and pondered them both. she then came back with her own suggestion. "how 'bout, YOU read me a book, while I eat a snack"  So I contorted my body and read her TWO books, while she ate a snack. What can I say, the kid knows how to work a deal. But, she did go to sleep after the books and snack.

The rest of teh drive was good, till both girls woke up at the same time, and Makenna was 30 mins over due to eat and Alayna, well, you guessed it, she wanted Mommy, who was still driving.  But, by this tiem we just had 30 minutes to go till we were at Tim's house. I tried my best tricks, can you believe that Alayna didn't want to watch a DVD, and Makenna didn't want her Pacifier? But eventually they were both calmed down. Alayna finally agreed that she would watch Caillou on my phone, and Makenna was good as long as I was holding her hand.

So we got to Tim's house and had a great time hanging out and seeing the house.  They have a great house and have done a lot of work to it. It really looks good. But Alayna had the most fun playing with her cousin Lina!  It so fun to see them get to this age where they can really have fun playing together.  Lina, is the spittin image of her mom Janelle, sorry Tim. Of course they had fun playing dress up and various princess games, but the best part was when Uncle Tim pretended to be Swiper and the girls ran and screamed  together, pretending to be scared. (video to come).

Then, after dinner we left and went to Nana & Papa's house to put the girls down to sleep.  After the girls were asleep Rachel and I were able to go visit some friends. Unfortunately for the Erickson family, But fortunately for us, My best friend Nick's GRandfather had passed away, and he and his wife Jenny had made the long trek from South Carolina for the funeral.  It was so great to see Nick and Jenny, and Nicks Siblings and parents.  I think this is a record, I have seen Nick twice in 6 months. That's the most I 've seen him since we shared a room for 3 years in college.  It was really good to see my friend. And Luckily, we found out, that Nick's brother Chad lives a block down the street from my parents! Crazy!

Wednesday was a nice relaxing day. Rachel got to get out and have some good solitude time shopping. Yes, for some people, shopping provides just the right environment to connect with God well.  Alayna & Nana played all day, making paintbrush cookies and reading books, and all kinds of various activities.  We capped off the day with our usual trip to El Campesino for dinner.  Ya know, we like that place but the service continues to go down hill. But the food is good.  Then, after the girls were asleep, we taught my parents how to play Skip-Bo. This seems to be Rachel's new favorite game.  And soem how we were able to come up with a good sermon illustration from the game. That's how pastors brains work...

Well, today Rach and Nana went out early to get a jump on the 75% off Christmas stuff at Target. Were stocking up on LED lights for next year.  Then we're planning on Monical's Pizza buffet for lunch! WooHoo! Have a great day, I know we will...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HH Day 5 update

We are at stop #1 for the day. Rivertown mall in GR. Hangin with Alayna while she plays on the quarter rides. She never wants to put $$ in them. She is content to use her imagination.

Had my first pre-marital counselling meeting with Cris & Emily. It was more informative than anything else. Also, we were in the middle of the mall.

Next were off to Orland Park to se my big brother's new house.

The Girls in Capes!

Download now or watch on posterous
VIDEO0015.3gp (3327 KB)

Here is a glimpse of what the girls have been doing. This is considered 'low key' activity. I made them capes and they ran all around the house being super-heroes.

Holiday Haul: Day 5

Yesterday was a great day.  We had Lamport Christmas Celebration #2 at the Cottage. But today is a day on the move. We've got a lot of places to go and be.  So, no time for a full post.  I will be posting on the go today, in pieces.  Have fun following along!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Haul: Day 4

Ok, ok, I got dressed and got out of the house, I even took a shower!!  

We all met up for lunch at El Burrito Loco. 

Ya know in math class when that one kid always says "when am I ever going to use this?"  Well, they should tell you that you will use all that crazy math when you go out to eat with family.  

Then it was off to Meijer thrifty.  If you are not familiar with Meijer Thrifty, its the perfect Lamport shopping outing. Its kinda like a smaller Big Lots, but just filled with over stock stuff from Meijer.  I am always glad to go to Meijer thrifty, especially when compared to the alternative.  Sometime I need to write a whole entry about our famed trip with 8 adult siblings in a minivan on a 45 minute drive to the "World's Largest Dollar Store".  But, there's always something good there.

Then it was home to get the girls some naps.  The guys stayed home to watch some football, and  the women went back out to grab some after Christmas deals!  Apparently the day after Christmas is like a mini-Black Friday, and going out at 1:30 is a little late to get great deals. 

But, watching football with the girls napping was a success. I think I had about 20 minute (all put together) where both the girls were napping and I could watch the game.  There was one magical moment where both girls were down, I was in the recliner, eating Pumpkin Pie, drinking some coffee, and the Bears had just made a comeback. That was a great 3 minutes. But, the Bears won, and the girls got naps, Rachel even bought more stuff at the store. Pretty good afternoon!

The rest of the evening was the typical family craziness. We all just hung out and while Amy and Zack tried to pack up and head home, I helped the girls make capes and run around as super heros.  "Larry-Boy 'Layna" & "Gwen the Tickle Monster" chased by Daddy/Uncle Dan the Picture Monster (I was trying to get some video) and followed by Addie, who never really got her cape to work.

For dinner we were able to find a new pizza place that makes gluten free pizza, and we even got a free pizza cause they accidentally made one too many. Score!

Then, Aaron, Shelly and the girls went home, we got the girls to bed, and we settled in to a 'relaxing' game of Skip-bo, only to be surprised by Emily and Cris coming a night early. So we were nice enough to include them in on a game while talked about wedding plans. (They got engaged on Christmas Eve).

Today, is off to a lake cottage for Lamport Christmas #2.  The directions are a little  sketchy, I hope we find it ok. Have a great day everyone!