The Flaws of Family…

Every year we gather as families. 

Turkey and Football, Black Friday and Tryptophan Thursday… the family together… In one place… for an extended period of time.

That will create some drama. 

Sometimes it’s good drama (hugs, love, affection, and cheek pinching) and sometimes it’s bad. (arguments, old grudges renewed, hostility and offense) family-thanksgiving-drama-modern-family

The question for each of us, how will we respond?

Of course families have emotional baggage. Of course we struggle to ‘like’ the one’s we love. That’s life. That’s family. Expect it.

Don’t revel in how bad it (family) really is now that you’re back in the thick of the fray. Don’t marvel at how much the past mirrors our present, or how the old habits of your family are like Kryptonite to your Christian testimony of today.

My encouragement, my exhortation… enter the Turkey gates this year with renewed humility and hope.

  1. Humility – accepting your own flaws. Acknowledge and accept that you need as much forgiveness and grace as anyone before arriving…  If you do, you’ll be in a much better position to extend some grace to your annoying whoever… 🙂
  2. Hope – trust that as God is actively at work in changing you… He is also working with those around you. That means… your family can change!

Remember… it’s the mix of good and bad that make it all so interesting. One thing we know for sure as followers of Christ, He expects us to learn to love each other as He loves us. That means to forgive and to be reconciled (*means to make things right) with our families.

Oh… and for those of you who are parents….your kids are watching. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor B.

 

 

 

Fall Funk

Each year about this time… I get a bit of the funk. Cold and cough, snotty nose… sinus headaches. I blame it on the long grey days of fall, when it rains all week-long and then the leaves are gone. Life seems to go blah, kinda gross. Nothing really fun happening yet. Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is on the horizon and the day-to-day becomes a grind.

74211.com - source

74211.com – source

Parenting… pastoring, living… gets dull. People seem to want their space. It’s just easier to go back to bed… to skip the next church event or party invite. We’re tired. Coffee and Tea and the ol comfy couch are where we want to start and stop each day. 

Kids grind down too. School gets serious about now, homework and tests amping up for the quarter and teachers load on the extra assignments. Short days become long nights and everyone get’s tired of everyone else’s attitude. Family time is squeezed out and we’re all fending for ourselves in the fridge.

Consider this… God is most active in the ordinary. Not the grand and glorious moments of our lives.

He works in and among us when we feel the weakest. The most “blah”. In fact, He works amazing things in and among our least and lowest moments. When we think we’re hopelessly useless… He will show up. Giving us opportunities to do real ministry to our kids and those around us.

This fall… don’t give in to the funk. 

God has plans that only you can carry out. Custom prepared for your unique blend of gifts and gaffs. Don’t isolate and avoid the next opportunity to mingle and mix it up with friends and family. Step out in faith… irregardless of how you ‘feel’. I promise you… the mystery of God’s ways will fill you with renewed wonder and grace for yourself and those around you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV) Biblegateway Source.

Living in the fall funk is only a moment of time… but without hope, it can stretch darkly far out in front of us. Get up, get out there… change the world. You’ll be surprised how much we need you and how much you need us!

Pastor B.

Thanksgiving “Thursdays”

It’s on the calendar horizon. Thanksgiving is coming, that great and glorious day of family, food, and football!

It’s such a wonderful place for my memories to return to… warm and drowsy moments gathered by the fire, half asleep with my intentional tryptophan poisoning, totally safe and content to do ‘nothing’ but rest and enjoy being with my family. pooh_piglet_thansgiving

An iconic day, steeped in the historical foundation of our nations first breath. A time for mankind to pause… reflect… and remember the blessings we share. It’s a time for us to re-focus on the family, to ponder how remarkable the gift of life really is and to celebrate it with one another.

I can’t help but think of how millions of families make an annual pilgrimage, often for hundreds if not thousands of miles… to simply be ‘together’ for a day or two. THAT’S ACTUALLY PRETTY AWESOME! 

This year, I’m asking myself to really put some extra time into recognizing the beautiful and marvelous in my life. To pay more attention to those God has surrounded us with. Looking with eyes of gratitude and not critique at their unique and irreplaceable personalities, gifts and contributions to my life… to the community of faith I help pastor, to my own children.

HOW WONDERFUL it is to notice all of the good things in our lives, to let the joy crowd out the cynical and sad!

Thanksgiving once each year is not enough… I want to encourage us to keep our ‘posture’ of gratitude alive all year long. SO my idea is to make each “Thursday”  a “Thanksgiving Thursday for us to remember to keep looking for all the ways God is reaching out to bless, and love, and restore.

What can you see in your life to be Thankful for…. ? (no cheating here parents, saying your kids or spouse isn’t going deep enough :)) Dig a bit, look under the emotional surface of your life, what can you sense or see in your present circumstances that are really good (not necessarily easy) and true, things that you know God has allowed to shape or bless you.

Ask your kids, friends and co-workers to join with you… “Thanksgiving Thursdays“could become your families meal discussion topic once a week, a fun way to teach our kids and remind ourselves to live with a heart full of gratitude. A habit that can help us all move past the pessimistic and find new ways to celebrate the ‘goodness of God’ in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone !

Pastor B.