I’m been meaning to write this since we got into our new home here in Nampa, ID. I see it’s been months since I’ve posted anything of my thoughts here. I do update Twitter just about every day though…
When we first got here we thought we’d have to rent something. Then with how the market was it looked like we might be able to buy something small after all. Then God totally blew us away with the house he provided for us. It’s actually the nicest home we’ve ever had. It totally exceeded my expectations. I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful.
Then I realized something. The reason I was so thankful is because my expectations were blown away. And I also realized that the reason I’m not normally so thankful is that I really expect way too much.
William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” I want to have the kind of expectations that Carey had. If you know about his life as the first missionary to India, his expectations of God were just that God would use him in the circumstances he was in. From what I can tell, he had no expectations about what those circumstances would be. I think Carey learned the secret to contentment that Paul talks about. Perhaps that’s also the secret to thankfulness.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. — John 1:16
The idea of “family worship” has been getting a lot attention at our home church. It’s a pretty simple idea: us Dad’s are supposed to be the primary spiritual leaders in our homes. We’re supposed to be the priests, prophets, and protectors of our family.
This past weekend I attended our men’s retreat in Lake Geneva, WI. The speaker was Voddie Baucham. He suggested that to be a spiritual leader meant that we should do these things with our families:
- Read Scripture together
- Pray together
- Sing together
- Memorize Scripture together
I’ve been convicted about this and have tried to implement this in the past. Our Family Pastor, Rob Reinow has been teaching this for some time. His Visionary Parenting course is outstanding. But I had not been very successful for very long at implementing this in our home.
I was convicted about this again this weekend and thought a lot about why I have failed in the past. I think God gave me at least part of the answer. I realized that even though we eat (at least) dinner together most nights of the week, there’s typically little conversation and when someone was done eating, they’d head off to play or watch TV. God gave me a revelation. I need my family to Stay At The Table!
In fact that’s just what I’m calling this event of family worship in our home, Stay At The Table. The idea works on so many levels. First, it’s literally what I’m having my family do. No more dine-and-dash! We’re going to stay at the table and hear God’s word and talk about it and pray together. We’ll probably sing some of the time, although it’s been a custom since the kids were born to sing to them at bed time. I haven’t quite figured out where the memorization is going to come in, but the kids are in AWANA, so we’ll probably play off of that.
Then besides the literal meaning of Stay At The Table, there’s the fact that God’s word is spiritual food that we need to keep taking in. Plus, as my kids become teenagers, I want them to Stay At The Table of our home and of God’s word.
Sarah just turned 3 on Friday. We actually had a party for her the previous Sunday. And of course, we had balloons. Sarah loves balloons.
We were in the car the next day or so and she said she wanted to be able to play with God. She said, “He would be very careful not to pop my balloon.”
I love that idea of playing with God. I love that my daughter has a sense that God loves her enough to care about what she cares about.
Sarah & I were playing with another balloon today. It was a big one that were batting back and forth around the room. We were having a lot of fun. But then the balloon hit something and it popped. She cried.
Balloons pop. Most of the balloons in my life have popped. But I have a great marriage and we have great kids. And now I’m getting to invest whole life in ministry. God’s has truly given me the “desires of my heart” ( Psalm 37:4).
Yep, balloons pop. And sparrows do fall from the sky. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows [or balloons]” (Matthew 10:29-31).