Monthly Archives: August 2012

Prayer for a Daughter

I saw this prayer by Ann Voskamp over on Bekah Moser’s blog and just had to repost it:

 

A prayer for a daughter

Father who breathed into this daughter…
I pray for this girl being formed into eternity….

May the wind always be in her hair
May the sky always be wide with hope above her
And may all the hills be an exhilaration
the trials but a trail,
all the stones but stairs to God.

God, clothe this girl in a gown of grace
Grace, the only dress that makes beautiful,
the style of Your spirit.

Nourish her on the comfort food of the Word,
Word, that makes her crave more of Christ,
have hunger pangs for Him.

Enclose her in communion with You
You, Love who makes her love, who folds her heart into a roof
that absorbs storms for souls,
that makes her tongue speak only words that make souls stronger.

May her vocation in this world simply be translation
Translating every enemy into esteemed guest
Translating every countenance into the face of Christ
Translating every burden into blessing

When it’s hard to be patient… make her willing to suffer
When it’s ridiculous to be thankful … make her see all is grace
When it’s radical to forgive … make her live the foundation of our faith
And when it’s time to work… make her a holy wonder.

May she be bread and feed many with her life and her laughter
May she be thread and mend brokenness and knit hearts
May she be dead to all ladders & never go higher , only lower, to the lonely, the least & the longing
Her led of the Spirit to lead many to the Cross
that leads to the tomb wildly empty.

Oh, and raise me, Lord, from the deadness of my own sins to love this beautiful girl like You do…

In the name of Christ who rose

and appeared first

to one of His daughters…

Amen

by Ann Voskamp

 

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Children and Politics: What do our kids learn from nasty elections?

My seven year old daughter Anna loves anything to do with presidents. One night I walked into her room and she was reading a kids book about President James K. Polk. It takes genuine interest to read about President Polk. Our nightly ritual is to watch NBC Nightly News together which is a great conversation starter about world events and social issues. She won’t let me mute the commercials so lately we’ve been taking in a lot of campaign commercials. She has gotten to the place where she doesn’t like to watch those and will thankfully let me mute them.

As nasty as campaign ads have become this election cycle, I wonder what Anna is learning as she watches the 2012 presidential campaign unfold. What do nasty elections teach our kids? Read the rest of this entry

Handing Over Control: The Journey of Fatherhood

I can remember the day I dropped my oldest daughter, Anna, off at her first day of kindergarten. She screamed and cried as I tried to walk out of the room. Her teacher had forewarned of this happening so I knew I just needed to keep walking out of the room. The sight of her reaching out for me and screaming tore at my heart. I tried to hide my tears as I walked out of the school. Thinking about it still brings tears to my eyes today.

Fatherhood is a series of moments where we give up control. For a control freak like myself this is tough. Especially when it involved my little girls.

Giving up control starts early on and continues throughout their life.

  • Handing them over as babies to the nursery at church
  • Dropping them off at preschool
  • Their first day of school
  • The first sleepover
  • A week away from home at camp
  • The first date
  • Moving them into their dorm room at college
  • And the ultimate: walking them down the aisle at their wedding

The only way I can imagine overcoming the worry and anxiety of these moments of handing over control of my little daughters to someone else is knowing that the Good Shepherd walks with my daughters wherever they go. He cares and loves my daughters more than I can ever imagine.

Giving up control of my daughters to Him makes the burden much easier.

Faith@Home Resources: Kids of Integrity

I’m always on the lookout for great online resources for parents to take an active role in the spiritual development of their children. Recently, I found the Kids of Integrity website and have been returning to it often. Kids of Integrity is a resource from Focus on the Family Canada and is full of great family devotions and activities. I love how their activities and devotions are organized by character trait.

Today our kids headed to a new school and were apprehensive about starting in a new place. We looked at the Kids of Integrity website and chose one of the object lessons on courage and it worked great for what our kids were going through.

Check out Kids of Integrity here.

Find other great Faith@Home resources here.

The Distraction of Politics: Focusing on the Right Kingdom

In my teenage years I was the poster child for conservative politics. I read almost every presidential biography and had pictures of each president in my room. I wrote a essay in high school about how I would one day become president and outlaw abortion.  I attended a Bob Dole presidential rally as well as Dan Quayle’s launch of his presidential campaign in Huntington, Indiana.

I have always loved politics though my views have changed a bit over the years.

But at this stage of my life politics are a big distraction to what really should be important in my life.

Everywhere I look, listen and watch politics are the main show. Thankfully the Summer Olympics gave us a much needed break from the division and adolescent name calling of American politics. But with the announcement of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate we are back into the mud slinging.  Read the rest of this entry

Ten Year Adventure of Defying Conventional Wisdom

“You are getting engaged too quickly. You’re going to get a divorce.”

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. A fellow student at Taylor University, who I didn’t know very well, asked if he could have lunch with me. Though I thought it a little strange that he would want to have lunch with me, I consented. While eating he explained how he was very concerned that Hillary and I were getting engaged after only four months of dating. He stated it like biblical fact that we needed to date for at least a year before getting engaged. I patiently explained our thought process and how we felt like God was leading us this way even though it went against the wisdom of some. I wanted to just light him up. He didn’t even know us well yet he had pronounced a judgment on us.  Read the rest of this entry

Thank You Missy and Gabby

These London Olympic Games are the first Olympics that my two daughters will remember. At 7 and 5 years old, my daughters are drawn to the female swimmers and gymnasts. After watching their new heroes Missy Franklin and Gabby Douglas, they are both asking when they can join a gymnastics team and a swimming team. Our couches have become diving boards and balance beams. They even used their legos to build their own Olympic venues as you can see above.

As a father, I am so thankful that my daughters are looking up to and finding role models in women with excellent character like Missy and Gabby. Here are two Olympians who love the sport they have devoted themselves to and find joy in excellence. Both Missy and Gabby have given God glory for their success on the Olympic stage. They have competed with smiles on their faces. Their joy is contagious.

So thank you Missy and Gabby for exemplifying the kind of women I want my daughters to grow up to be. Thank you for showing my daughters that sports can be fun and that women deserve to be spotlighted in the Olympics.

Man of Steel and Discipleship

The first time I watched the Man of Steel trailer with Russell Crowe narrating, I listened intently to what he said. After watching it a couple of times, I was struck by the correlation to discipleship and following Christ.

Watch it below and read the narration.

“You will give the people an ideal to strive towards,” he says. “They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”

What do you think? Is there a correlation?

Homeless Families

From CBS.com

Yesterday my heart broke. A family with four young kids stopped by our church in need of a place to stay. Our office manager called area shelters and couldn’t find any with openings. In most cities, it is very hard to find a shelter that will take in families. Most of the time, shelters are just for men or women, not families.

So she called area motels on Colfax and finally found one with an opening. As I loaded up the family in our minivan, my heart broke for them. As I looked into the eyes of the children, I almost broke down crying. What was going through their minds? What has gone wrong in our society that children grow up without a roof over their head?

At Mountair, homeless is right in front of us. We can’t hide from it. What can we do about it? How do we equip them but not enable?

For me personally, I cannot stand to see families homeless or living in cars. The children do not deserve to grow up like this. I feel for the parents. I can’t imagine how they beat themselves up for not being able to provide for their children.

We must do something about homeless families.

Here’s a sobering 60 Minute special on homeless families. My hope and prayer is that this will move us to action. We all have a role to play in making sure that children have a roof over their heads.