Spring Soul-Cleaning

Spring cleaning. It stinks and nobody likes it.

Yet when we do it, we realize something surprising–We collect junk!

Every year I’m shocked by how much garbage we’ve collected and how much grime we accumulated. I don’t feel like we collect junk or hold onto things too long, but when we take time to analyze everything we haven’t touched for a year, we see how much junk we really have. Continue reading Spring Soul-Cleaning

A Helpful Distinction

“Discipline a child for being disobedient, not for being a child. Be patient with mere immaturity”-Gavin Ortlund

I feel a little ashamed that I needed this common sense quote. Like a lot of common sense, it hit me like a ton of bricks after I read it.

Having a two-year-old, I’m constantly confronted by senseless and frustrating immaturity. Whining to have shoes put on only to immediately remove them. Going to the potty, demanding to be cleaned up, then promptly sitting back on the potty to go again. Using mash potatoes like shampoo: lather, rinse, repeat.

Her immaturity often makes me have to do work, which can make it frustrating but it’s still just the result of her childish immaturity.

Since this quote has stuck with me, every time I feel myself getting frustrated I ask myself, “Is this disobedience or immaturity?” When I recognize it as immaturity, I find myself calming down (most of the time).

If we discipline mere childishness, we disrupt peace because the child can’t be a child. When we discipline disobedience, we are creating peace (though disrupting a false peace).

I hope this distinction provides you with guidance as you deal with your own children’s disobedience and immaturity.

Keeping Christmas About Christ
christmas-family

Pastor Aaron’s article this month on establishing activities in the home to immerse children in the rhythms of holy time makes some excellent points concerning how to disciple our children by means of forming seasonal liturgies. How fitting it is to think about these ideas during a holy season such as Advent! Is there a season in the year when Christians face a greater threat of “rival liturgies” than at Christmastime? Continue reading Keeping Christmas About Christ

Guard Your Heart: The Liturgies of the Home

you-are-what-you-love-coverThis is part of our series where we are discussing James K. A. Smith’s book You Are What You Love. Please check out or review part 1 and part 2 to get caught up. We are skipping chapters 3 and 4, though they are quite good, to get to more immediate application for family discipleship.

Chapter 5-Guard Your Heart: The Liturgies of the Home

In the first two chapters we discussed how our lives follow what we love, which is formed by “liturgies” in which we engage. We then saw how our world is full of rival stories (liturgies) to the gospel that cause us to love other things other than God. Often mundane, seemingly neutral activities are loaded with alien visions of the good life, the human problem, and our salvation that draw our hearts away from loving God. Continue reading Guard Your Heart: The Liturgies of the Home

You Might Not Love What You Think: Learning to Read “Secular” Liturgies

you-are-what-you-love-coverIn part 1 of the series, we explored how it’s not what we cognitively believe that directs us but what has captures our love and imagination. As Christians, we know the right answers for what we should love: Jesus, His Kingdom, etc. The problem is that this often doesn’t match reality.

Smith argues that what we truly love is “manifested by [our] daily life and habits” (29). Put simply, we have habits of behavior that reinforce or change what we love, how we view the world, and how we behave despite the fact that we’re often completely unaware that they are affecting us. The “formative practices that do something to you, unconsciously” (37) Smith calls “liturgies” because of how they wrap the practitioner into an (alternative) ultimate story with rival visions of obtaining the good life. Continue reading You Might Not Love What You Think: Learning to Read “Secular” Liturgies