How a trip to the zoo makes you long for the Kingdom

17 10 2006

gorilla_big.jpgOn Monday we as a family enjoyed a day at the Omaha zoo with some friends. The zoo is a popularly requested destination by our two year old Lexi, who always wants to see the monkeys and gorillas doing something amusing.

Yesterday was no different. As my kids stood only inches from a 300 lb. gorilla, separated by only by a layer of fortified glass, the gorilla found it humorous to massage the inner nostrils with their fingers and to repeatedly moon the kids. They, of course, thought this was hysterical.

We were also treated to a gorilla ultimate fighting challenge. As one gorilla came running up to smash the window right in front of us, another ran after him to do the same thing. The first gorilla was not happy with this apparent gorilla insult and immediately all the other gorillas ganged up on the second guy and we were treated with a little gorilla smack-down. It was pretty amazing to watch, the big fellas can flat out move. Well this unsuspected glass pounding continued for some time. As you looked one direction a huge silverback would rush the window and thunderously pound it while running off.

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A movie on the book of Esther

6 10 2006


A favorite book in our house for family devotions has been the book of Esther. My wife and four year old daughter just love the descriptions of what the ladies went through relative to their ‘beatification’ (this is not the only reason why they love the book..)

Often times we have said that this would make a great movie. Well, it looks like it is coming out in a week or so. One Night with the King is coming out on October 13. You can watch the trailer here

I’m not sure about the content or how accurate it is but am looking forward to checking it out. If I am up for a royal disappointment let me know.

(HT: between two worlds)

Doing Family Devotions

30 08 2006

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The Scripture is pretty clear on the fact that we have a responsibility to be training our children in the truth. Christian fathers in particular have a responsibility to be leading and training their families in the Revelation of God.

Many men struggle in the area of family devotions. It is kind of like evangelism, we know we have to do it but it is the doing it that is the problem.

Because I have echoed the Scriptures command for you and me to act like men and because some folks have requested that I talk about it, this is a quick guide to doing family devotions.

What follows is not an exhaustive how-to manual but rather some things that we do in trying to “teach them diligently” (Duet. 6.4) as God has commanded. Most of these things are things that we do, I am not saying that everyone has to do them, but rather supply suggestions in effort to be helpful.

-1- Be in the Word yourself

If you are going to teach your family to love the Word of God you better love the Word of God yourself. God’s design in commanding men to lead their families in the truth is to be preserving faithfulness throughout generations not modeling self-dependence and hypocrisy.

If you have not gone to the well of truth to draw fresh water from heaven than do not pretend to have something to say to your family. Instead, retire to a place where you can open up the Bible and drink from the fountain of grace that you might be fueled to speak of how impressed you are with Christ. You must know the Jesus you speak of, and not just know him but love him; this love is birthed by divine grace through the word of God and sustained by the same means.

-2- Choosing a Topic

In our family we usually go through books or sections of books of the Bible. We have been most recently going through Mark’s gospel, but I felt the need to work on teaching my family to pray more biblically, so we have been working on the Lord’s prayer in Matt. 6.

I have found that narratives are great for our family due to their ages. This also forces me to continually explain the context and themes of the book. I am learning too!!

You may have something that needs to be dealt with in your family. Family devotions are a great place to do this. Study as the leader and communicate what the Bible says and apply it to specific circumstances.

-3- Open the Bible

This is always a good thing! When you as the leader open the Bible you show your submission to what God says and you are modeling faithfulness to the Word. You may have the text memorized, it doesn’t matter, open the book and read it. Show your family you love the Bible.

Your own handling of the Scriptures expresses your view of the Scripture. Is it authoritative? Then you must open it up, interact with it and submit to it as you endeavor to apply it.

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Some Fruit from Family Devotions

22 08 2006

imag.jpgThis past weekend was my oldest son Bryce’s 11th birthday. He scored an iPod shuffle and was pretty excited.

Of course his younger brother Luke (7) managed to pry it from him during a visit to the local Hollywood Video store. When we were inside picking out the movie Luke gave us all (as in everyone in the place) a memory not soon forgotten.

Bryce’s buddy picked out a movie that he wanted to see. Luke grabbed the movie to check it out for himself.

Now you must remember that he is still enjoying the iPod at this point so his hearing is not the best and as a result his voice is a bit elevated.

So Luke grabs the movie and yells, literally, “That is the immoral woman!!”

“We are not watching this….look at her, she is immoral!!”

Every head in the place instantly turned to look in our direction. Only they did not see the little 42” amplifier but instead his Dad, who’s head conveniently stuck out above the racks.

What can you do?

I just laughed my head off. Luke of course has no idea. His brother and his friends are shushing him but he doesn’t get it…he is just going on about how this teenage girl is dressed inappropriately.

I thought later about the study we did as a family in Proverbs about three years ago. It has made quite the impact on Luke. For this I am quite thankful. We may have to dial him down a bit though.