Hi Five Oakers, The weekend's coming and I have a few things I want to share with you.
It's Father's Day this Sunday so I'll be continuing the "To Raise a Family" series. Here are some highlights from past sermons in this series. Invite someone to come who could benefit from more of these kinds of thoughts.
- Raising a family is something we can’t do alone. We need God and we need each other. Especially since we’re preparing our kids to launch into eternity.
- You love your kids best when you love God most. But not by loving them less, but by growing deeper love for God.
- You lead best when your heart burns brightest for God.
- Your faith will be more compelling when your home is marked by fun and laughter.
- God’s loving parental leadership took him all the way to the cross. We reflect that love to our kids the more we reflect on his love for us.
- A heart for God must be trained by the grace of God.
- I don't have to be the expert on what I teach my kids. God's power is made perfect in my weakness.
- Pray for what you most want for your kids.
- As a follower of Christ, sometimes it’s easy to forget what it is that produces all those good things that we want for them. We become focused on those things themselves. But eternal life, true joy, true fulfillment, a moral life are all produced by living in a faith-based relationship with God. God produces those things for us and in us through an on-going relationship with us.
By the way, this weekend's sermon will be based on what we can learn about God and us when Jesus reveals God's Fatherhood to us in the Lord's Prayer.
And guys, don't forget to wear an ugly tie.
D. L. Mayfield on "Why I Gave Up Alcohol: In a rush to shed our separatist past, have young evangelicals forgotten to love their neighbors?"
In the past few years, though, my beliefs have changed—or been changed. My husband and I joined a Christian order among the poor, inspired by the likes of Shane Claiborne, who seek the face of Christ among the most marginalized of society. Our first shock when we moved into our low-income apartment in a Midwestern inner city was the amount of substance abuse that surrounded us.
Rachel Marie Stone on "Richard Dawkins Has Reason to Fear the Fairy Tale"
Frankly, it's hard for me to think of a fairy tale, or a canonical work of children's literature that doesn't in some way touch on "deep questions." A professor friend who teaches a course on theological themes in children's literature at a Christian university told me that it's "really a class about the meaning of life."
Kelli B. Trujillo on "Kick Your Husband Out of the House: Trust me, it’s good for your marriage"
I know I'm a better me when I'm connected with friends. But when I'm lonely or isolated or disconnected from community? Let me be honest: In those seasons, I'm more stressed, I'm crabbier, I'm impatient, I'm critical, I'm less happy. And I'm less me. While friendships enrich, loneliness depletes. And this is why I, every so often, kick my husband out of the house: because he, too, has a deeply-ingrained, God-given need for friendship—a need that isn't suddenly erased by marriage.
One More Thing
I'll be in Cuba next week with Lois and Dave Baar. Dave is leading our Global Leadership Summit international initiative. This will be the first ever Summit in Cuba and it will take place in Havana.
I haven't been there since I was a toddler, my second trip and last trip to Cuba. I was there with my grandmother and she was there for surgery. About that time the country was closing to travel and my mom was concerned about having trouble getting me back to our home in Miami. My grandmother was still recovering, so she asked a flight attendant friend for help, and she brought me home on her very next trip to Cuba. Hoping for lot less drama this time around.
Please pray for us. Next year we plan to be the primary church working with Willow and the churches in Santiago, Cuba. The plan for this trip is that we will meet some of the key leaders for that Summit as they attend this year in Havana. Pray for those meetings. Pray also for the effectiveness of the Summit (it will be last summer's dubbed into Spanish). And pray as we begin to discern what kind of ongoing role Five Oaks can have in Cuba.