Stories

Last week I posted a fairly short…perhaps my shortest post ever to encourage you to tell your story.

It’s easy to think that your story doesn’t matter – or even that you don’t have a story. Your story may be short, but you still have one. And it matters.

I’ve been reading through Awana’s new book The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry which is a summary of answers that children’s ministers have give to their questions. In essence a summation of stories. Through that reading I realized that I’m not the only CM feeling overloaded – most do.

In a weird way, that was an encouragement.

Likewise, while I was camping with some Jr. High students last week, several counselors and me shared our testimonies – our stories of faith. Though we had not talked to one another about what we would be saying, there was a common theme in each of or stories. Struggles with family, struggles with identity.

Again, it’s encouraging to know you aren’t the only one.

So share your story, whatever it is. You may encourage someone.

Your Story

Your story matters, tell it. 

The Power of Grandparents

When children are asked about influence Grandparents come in second only to parents.
When research is done in the area of childhood influence, grandparents rate just as high.

Grandparents have incredible power.

But it isn’t influence that comes easy. Grand-parenting can be a struggle because they’ve passed the baton of parenting on to their own child and they have to resist the urge to manipulate through power, guilt, or another type of control.

Still, you have a story to be told. You have a way you think things should be done.

But you know pushing too hard means loosing influence.

This weekend, Larry Fowler, a leader with Awana and a grandparent himself, will be teaching a webinar on how grandparents can influence three generation.

he’ll talk about:

* What the Bible says about grandparenting
* How to deal with an indifferent parent
* What to do when your adult child is just plain wrong
* Praying for your grandchildren
…and much more.
The webinar is free, kind of. While the webinar is not Awana specific, they do ask that you sponsor an Awana child if you are able. A donation of $20 is hoped for, but more so they want to help you – so watch the webinar even if you cannot donate.
For more information, or to register, visitwww.awana.org/grandparents
I think you’ll find it valuable.

Cottonmouth and the End: Reviewed

C.S. Fritz created an interesting series that uses creative drawings and storytelling to draw the reader into a tale that is full of symbolism pulled from the pages of Scripture. In some ways it’s like “Where the Wild Things Are” meets a Storybook Bible.

But not quite.

As part of the review process I gave the series to my oldest son who is an avid reader and in the target age range. He’s read hundreds of books, including many that draw from scripture. As he read the first book, Cottonmouth and The River, he thought he knew where the book was headed. To his delight he was only partially correct.

Although he enjoyed the first book he told me that the second one was a bit all over the place and then the third one fell apart….but came together in the end.

I’m not sure what to make of that, but he says they are enjoyable.

I read the third book first and I’ll say, “Don’t do that.”
It made little sense to me and I found it rather disjointed…but then again, I started at the back.

C.S. Fritz tells an interesting tale in an interesting way. The illustrations are fantastic, adding details to the story while not getting in the way of the reader’s imagination.

If I had to give the book a rating, I’m not sure I could. As I mentioned, I found it interesting. It held my attention. But I didn’t fully understand what was happening….but that, I think, is part of the draw of a good story. It pulls you in, it holds your attention, and it makes you think.

Delight…

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” – Romans 2:4

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to our congregation about parenting, about delighting in our children, and about God’s kindness. Before doing so I began to change my parenting – I began looking for more opportunities.

I have great kids. They know I think they are great. I tell them I think they are great.

But I began to wonder if I tell them enough.

When they would do something wrong, by accident or intention, my reaction – like most parents – would be somewhere between irritation and anger. And, wanting them to learn to do better next time I would correct them. Sometimes with needed discipline, but more often tones and words which were meant to apply just the right pressure in their lives to mold them into the young men that I knew they could become.

But Romans 2:4.

And the broken spoon. The spoon is a story for another time, but when my younger son broke a spoon and I heard his reaction, I knew that correction wasn’t needed. He needed grace. And when grace came, I think it was confusing which meant that they both needed more grace and more delight.

It’s not that I want them to think of themselves more highly than they should – but I do want them to think of themselves as children of the Most High. I want them to know beyond any doubt that I love them.

So I’ve taken more opportunities to delight in them.
I’ve adapted my discipline so that delight is more obvious.

And they’ve stepped up their game. With my wife on a missions trip for two weeks and, in the midst of those two weeks, the start of the Summer Camp that I oversee, the three of us could have been on course for the hardest two weeks in memory. But instead they have done chores without complaint. They’ve helped with dinner each night. They’ve been asking what else they can do to help. It’s summer, but they are waking up earlier to pack their lunches and be ready to go.

It’s amazing.
But it shouldn’t be.

God gave us His example. He showed how His delight in us lead to our change. He modeled parenthood for us.

Yet somehow we often miss it and when our children err, our tendency is to withdrawal delight.

This week why not look for new ways to delight in your children and see what changes come.

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