Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Shell or Rock?

Moana was a fantastic movie for so many reasons. The chicken made us laugh. The grandma was one we all wish we had. The usual motif about “someone realizing there was something mystically special about themselves all along” – is something many of us hope to discover.

There are roots in there story with amazing truths, if we will notice.

There is a girl who is taught her entire life, that her value comes from her ability to maintain what has always happened. She is expected to make wise decisions, to rule well, and to navigate the difficulties of island life. That someday she will place her stone on the highest mountain, atop the stones of previous leaders, making her contribution the highest point on their island.  But within her stirs a discontent. A “holy” stirring that not only she, but her people, were created to do more than what they’d done yesterday.  That perhaps even, looking far back in their history, they might find stories of a completely different existence altogether.  They were not a people meant to thrive on how well they could perpetuate status quo. They were wired to thrive on creative discovery, and to craft stories of stepping out into the unknowns, in faith that something greater than themselves held their fate and future. That actually, their fate depended on complete change in what was being done. They were facing struggles no resources could be found to solve. The status quo way of maintaining routine was slowly losing its ability to provide life.

So she set out to discover what else could be done. Sacrificially, she launched a new initiative toward becoming vulnerable – not just for her own sake but for a people who were temporarily without any idea of what might happen next.  Collectively, they looked toward tomorrow with hesitancy, but hopeful faith for what could be. Enlight16

It turned out to be exactly what was needed. As she returned to share this new way of life she’d discovered, it was immediately embraced by the people as being their actual story. No longer were they island people, who valued being able to efficiently stay as they were. Connecting to their ancient roots, they were a people “on the move”. Entrusting themselves to something larger, they collectively were reidentified as New Creations.  There is a brief scene where we simply see a shell placed on a stack of rocks. No longer would success be measured by the highest point on an island that was ultimately no source of life.

From now on – they’d become a people who’s measurement for Life had been altogether transformed.

The wisdom here offers us a moment to contemplate as leaders and servants in the Kindgom of God. Are we willing to let go of our chance to place a stone, if it enables others to actually be transformed toward a New Life altogether? Can we trust God to guide us as we launch out together toward a New Land?

There is, after all, a world out there already placing stones upon stones – waiting for followers of Jesus to show them a better way…

 

“Bring You Where I Am” by Wick – Music Video

I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now. But here’s the official music video to go with our song, complete with links to purchase the song or donate to our adoption if you’d like!!

screen time.

“when you have 1-year-olds playing Angry Birds and toddlers trying to swipe the TV screen because they think it’s an iPad … it’s a changing nature of childhood.” – Jim Steyer

An interesting study recently came out from “Common Sense Media”, on Childrens’ Media Use in American 2013.  There are some interesting findings throughout the study, although something very important to note is that the entire study is based on the parents’ response alone.  Imagine yourself as a young parent, who’s had a particularly rough week and may have stuck your kids in front of a tv screen way more than you intended; getting a survey from “Common Sense Media” asking you questions about your parenting techniques.  Of course you won’t confess to babysitting your kids with a television/iDevice.  In fact, the statistics will probably come out looking like this:timespentwithmedia

Now maybe it’s true that the average family can watch an entire DVD in 22 minutes, or that on average, families maximize a movie’s value/experience by dragging it out over several days.  But it seems like the information in this chart might be presented in a better way somehow.  It’s also possible that I’m just not very good at understanding charts of information.  But this next one is pretty easy to grasp.

What are the statistics of children aged 0-8 who have a television in their bedroom?  I figured the response here would be pretty low.  After all, most parents of kids aged 0-8 are my age, and had parents themselves who understood just how bad TV was for your eyesight alone, nevermind it’s ability to hypnotize you.  The results were surprising:tvinbedroom

The main reason?  “Frees up other TV’s so family members can watch their own shows.”

Wow.  I can understand the desire.  Some nights we enjoy a show that we don’t turn on until after the kids are in bed.  Even the popular “Once Upon a Time”, filled with princesses and knights….is quite a bit more than we want them viewing at this point.  Definitely, there are some nights where after bedtime prayer/story, we’re just too worn out to enjoy a show.  It’d be easier to start our show at 6pm, and let the kids enjoy their own show in their room.  But we feel like there are enough things/activities in our life already that make it hard to stay connected.  We don’t need to add something else.

The problem seems like it might be the denial that making choices like this even has any impact on the time a family spends together:

impactofmediaonfamilytime  Wait a minute.  A huge percentage of children under age 8 have televisions in their bedroom, and a large reason for it is so that the adults can watch their own shows….but 70% of parents think media either has no impact, or helps their family spend time together??

We didn’t even spend time above talking about tablets, iPods, smart phones, etc…even though these are all included in this charts view of “media”.

In the midst of all of this, God is calling followers of Christ to continue being people who know how to Sabbath.  To continue being people who understand the difference between creative entertainment, and idols.  To bear the fruit of the Spirit that includes “self-control”, for the sake of our families, and for the sake of bearing the image of God in a world that forgets His Face.  So what does that need to look like in your home?  Is this an “aha” moment where God leads you to new decisions?  Is this a “well done” to your home that handles the pressures of media well?

So what are some “policies” or “Family Rules” that you have in your home that help guide toward a healthy approach and relationship with each other and with media?

final words.

We’re trying to teach our kids about Jesus.  To go beyond teaching them “Jesus is your ticket to heaven”, and actually connecting their lives with the story of God bringing redemption and healing to a broken world.  Consistently pointing out, and calling forth the Love He is giving them, which is meant to transform the world.  The world of which He is already Lord.

But every once in a while, it seems a bit larger than we know how to talk about.  buskids

Enter, the helpful illustrations of Paul.  As he was writing to his “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), and trying to encourage him to live for Christ.  Even from prison, Paul was desperate to encourage Timothy to live out the good news that was found in and through Jesus.  Limited on time, and probably paper, he packed as much as he could into every message.  The outcome, is a bit of a scattered bag of metaphors, as in 2 Timothy 2:3-6:

“Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

It almost seems like Paul is playing some really important game of “Catch Phrase”.  He can’t quite get the complete Truth of what he’s trying to say to Timothy into words, so he’s moving from element to element of that important Truth.  Instead of simplifying it into something really easy for Timothy to swallow and move on, safely in his pocket; with every phrase he breaks the chains of expectation and makes this Jesus-thing a whole lot bigger than in the previous sentence.

Imagine what our letters might be like, trying to communicate to our children through one final letter.  Knowing this will probably be the last thing we’re able to write before we die.  Given limited time/space/resources, trying to scrawl by candle light, one last effort to give them the Hope we have in Jesus Christ.  The book of 2 Timothy is an amazingly emotional letter, packed with encouragement and life for Timothy and the rest of us, as we peek in on what someone dying for Christ might say to their followers/children.

The good news is this:  You’re not waiting to die in a roman jail-cell.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Take a deep breath, and be thankful.

Now realize, you’re not limited to bouncing around between metaphors.  YOU are the living illustration.  Telling our kids about God’s love in their heart is awesome and needed.  But what is even more likely to transform their lives and connect them to God’s story, are parents & grandparents and extended family and close older friends who are living examples of the Words of God becoming flesh.  As we live out the prayer “Thy Kingdom Come”, and invite our children to follow us.  Not to “get their ticket to heaven” with us.  But to actually join us in the Kingdom and Lordship of Jesus Christ breaking through into our world by moments of genuine love, forgiveness, justice, and living sourced by His Spirit; denying the ways of a world of self-centeredness, and living together in Christian community…

May our days be filled with living out our “final words”…and may those who walk in our footsteps be blessed in receiving them…

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