Knees to the Earth

Here’s a recording made in the waning days of my time as an equipper for the 249 band, a wonderful group of students that I’ll never forget. It’s not the greatest quality; I recorded it on my Mac along with several other songs and mixed it in a memorable late night session with Brian in Spring.

Good Sunday morning

This was a great Sunday morning. In the College and Young Singles we planned on starting a series Charles T has recommended on basic discipleship (having just finished Habakkuk last week). The first week of this series was, fittingly, on the Gospel.

This morning our pastor started a series on 1 John (aw yeah!), and had a heavy Gospel and Christ-centric focus this morning. It fit perfectly with the CYS class.

Good Sunday.

(and my Texans won a squeaker today too. That just added to the awesomeness).

Selah week, Day 1

Today is day one of Selah week. This is something Jill and I are doing: we have four kids and I work full time so it’s not like we can really retreat, but we’re attempting a smoothing out of the sharp edges of schedule this week. We’ll be eating in more, going to bed earlier, resting more. We’re each fasting on certain things: For instance, I’m staying away from sugar and caffeine, and from political blogs and news. We’ve selected an easier, somewhat less rushed schedule for the week.

Will keep you posted on how this goes.

(For starters, today, we accidentally overslept and will be late for church! Selah! 🙂

More wildness

More posts that strike themes similar to my last post:

Russell Moore, as quoted at The Spyglass:

Where the Wild Things Are isn’t going to be a classic movie the way it is a classic book. But the Christian discomfort with wildness will be with us for a while. And it’s the reason too many of our children find Maurice Sendak more realistic than Sunday school.

Too many of our Bible study curricula for children declaw the Bible, excising all the snakes and dragons and wildness. We reduce the Bible to a set of ethical guidelines and a text on how gentle and kind Jesus is. The problem is, our kids know there are monsters out there. God put that awareness in them.

They’re looking for a sheep-herding dragon-slayer, the One who can put all the wild things under His feet.

My friend Danielle, up on her soapbox:

During class we were supposed to get in groups and discuss what we thought kids need to know by that stage in their lives, and honestly, I was kind of appalled by the answers I heard. I mean at face-value they were all okay answers, but they just really struck me as complete garbage.

Here are some of the first ones I heard…

– actions speak louder than words

– how to be a good person

– how to be obedient

I mean seriously, are you kidding me?! One girl had the audacity to call me “harsh” because I said that they need to know that they are sinners. How can anyone have an appreciation or understanding of salvation without first knowing what sin is and that they are a sinner?

. . .

I guess the reason it frustrated me so much was because I was thinking of my own (future/potential) children. I don’t want my ten/eleven/twelve year old thinking that “being a good person” or being “obedient” means anything without having a personal, intimate relationship with Christ. I mean sure, I want obedient children ;), but in the grand scheme of things that would not be on the top of my list.

My group mentioned Jesus once (minus my submissions) . And the one time they mentioned Him, the exact words were “…to know Jesus died on a cross”. Seriously, that was it. No explanation of His life and why He had to die on a cross, no emphasis on salvation or the Gospel…just flat historical facts.

. . .

I’m not saying every church should try to scare their kids, or anything like that, but if the thought of Hell scares them…well, it should! Children can be taught all kinds of things as long as they are taught in love and kindness. Give kids the opportunity to understand, instead of withholding Truth from them. Offer them the whole Gospel, not just cartoons or cut-and-dry facts. I know I probably sound like some hardcore beat-truth-into-them type of lady, but I hate the thought of kids wasting what can be the most influential years of growth on pointless trivia or partial Truth.

Chesterton on the benefit of fairy tales for children

I find that there really are human beings who think fairy tales bad for children. I do not speak of the man in the green tie, for him I can never count truly human. But a lady has written me an earnest letter saying that fairy tales ought not to be taught to children even if they are true. She says that it is cruel to tell children fairy tales, because it frightens them. You might just as well say that it is cruel to give girls sentimental novels because it makes them cry. All this kind of talk is based on that complete forgetting of what a child is like which has been the firm foundation of so many educational schemes. If you keep bogies and goblins away from children they would make them up for themselves. One small child in the dark can invent more hells than Swedenborg. One small child can imagine monsters too big and black to get into any picture, and give them names too unearthly and cacophonous to have occurred in the cries of any lunatic. The child, to begin with, commonly likes horrors, and he continues to indulge in them even when he does not like them. There is just as much difficulty in saying exactly where pure pain begins in his case, as there is in ours when we walk of our own free will into the torture-chamber of a great tragedy. The fear does not come from fairy tales; the fear comes from the universe of the soul.

. . . . .

The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it– because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. [emphasis mine]

G.K. Chesterton, excerpted from his essay The Red Angel

This really resonates with me, because from a young age I rode like a squire through the Arthurian legends, crouched quietly in the belly of the horse with Odysseus, galloped alongside Centaurs in Lewis’ Narnia, and went into the dreadful dark of Moria with Frodo and Sam. These led me one day to open up a Bible and begin reading what Lewis would call the “true myth” of the ultimate, and fully historical, defeat of the dragon.

As parents we should, of course, protect our kids. But I think Chesterton makes a compelling case here for not limiting them with politically correct, neutered fiction that contains no dragons. How will they ever know that the dragon can be killed?

Why are we losing the kids?

Jack Hammer asks “Why are we losing the kids?”

The whole post is good, and his many reasons are all spot-on, I believe. Some hit me a bit too close to me as a parent, actually.

But this one really jumped out at me. It applies to all, not just young people:

11. Many young people have heard very little of the “fear of God.” They have a warped image of God that magnifies his love and mercy while almost completely ignoring his holiness, majesty, and wrath. Subsequently, they walk in pride and rebellion.

This attitude manifests itself in irreverence, but that’s just a symptom of a deeper symptom.

So many of us don’t fear God. And yet that fear is so vital, so good, such a doorway to wisdom, to obedience, and to a real relationship with the Lord.

Good reminder for me . . .

[H/T Milton]

Big Worship Car

This brings back memories, and not a small dose of nostalgia.

Big Worship Car

This is a MySpace that has some recordings of the last Student worship band I led.

Good times. Wonderful friends.

(note: the first song in the list, “One Hop”, is kind of a gag rendition of a song from Aladdin. The rest of the songs are legit and serious)