Futureshock

5 Essentials Every Parent Needs to Know ! (from the Brilliantly Brave Parenting Podcasts) 

  1. Do you know what Futureshock is and how it directly impacts every family and the modern church? (the following quotes are from Bishop Dan Scott Ph.D. – A Season 5 podcast guest)

“This generation of parents in the church are struggling with more than a simple ‘generation gap’. They … ‘we’ are struggling with ‘Futureshock “. A displacement of reality in which life is only focused on the present, and constantly being redefined by the moment. This lack of stability and constancy creates a state of constant flux for parents.”

A long-range result of the age of ‘enlightenment is the demystification of time, we are trapped in meaninglessness.”

“To offset these cultural instabilities, we must locate ourselves in the space where something exists outside of the time in which we are. This will anchor you to something tangible and true.”

“What we are aiming for as Christian parents is timelessness, not relevance.”

Interview and Blog Links:

https://brilliantlybraveparenting.com/rev-dan-scott-ph-d/ – Website Episode

https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep57-bishop-dan-scott – Podcast

BBP Commentary:

Clearly as parents in a shifting moral landscape we are going to need to anchor ourselves and our kids to something ‘greater’ than ourselves.

The traditions of the church and our Christian faith provide a powerful resource for parents and pastors to utilize. These long-established Disciplines of devotion (Scripture reading, prayer, bible study, worship, following the yearly church calendar, Eucharist)  offer a way for us to be reminded of the truth of our biblical heritage. The constant remembrance of how BIG GOD is, and how the values of our world do not match with the values of scripture.

Attending church regularly isn’t just a religious thing to do, it’s a biblical thing to do. It shows our kids we value the church, we seek out the fellowship of other believers, and we make every effort to worship the creator, not the creation. These weekly habits will allow for the truth to sink deeply into the hearts of every child, and it will anchor them to something and someone greater than themselves.

The idea that our world is only able to process the moment, that ‘today’ is all that really matters… is a huge insight into the forces that are urging us along. We need to pull ourselves and then our families and congregations out of this flow of the immediate and anchor ourselves to the truth of our Christian heritage and faith.

What we believe is real and tangible, it transcends the immediate and ties us to something ancient and enduring, something that can stabilize us in the rough and tumble moments of modern life.

Co – Host of the Brilliantly Brave Parenting Podcast, Pastor Brad Mathias.

Find out about the 4 other essentials every parent should know… weekly at BrilliantlyBraveParenting.com

The Secret of Adventure…

From the very beginning I’ve had a deep longing to explore… to be challenged, tested, and to discover. God in His great wisdom granted my heart’s desire… and made me a parent.

The secret of Adventure is knowing your already living in one.

AA Milne knew that. His pooh stories saturated with the truth of Adventure and the need we have to be on one. So is the Bible… it reminds us of the fantastic story we’re a part of . The epic and the insignificant moments all threaded into one beautiful tapestry we call our life. For us children of the 80’s… the Adventure was in a galaxy far, far, away.

pic source - moviepilot.com

pic source – moviepilot.com

Like all great stories, there is a sacred quest and a villain with evil intent. A damsel in distress and a gallant hero complete the setting…

Soon our story expands, as priceless treasure is discovered, needing to be protected,…good, and evil locked in a battle for the prize. Drama and tragedy set among the glory and triumph, we watch with breathless anticipation to see how the scene plays out.

Life is an adventure… if you see it for what it really is. 

Can you see your life as more than survival, or a test? More than a painful series of ‘checklist’s to complete?

Can you see your marriage and your love for others as a sacred quest? The priceless treasure…your little ones. Heroically we stand guard against a corrupted and evil world, fighting to protect their hope and preserve innocence.

It’s heroic, even inspiring to watch as we parents learn to love and honor each other in the pursuit of parenthood. Sacrificing our rights and ‘precious little wrongs’ on the altar of true love and a growing commitment to serve someone greater than ourselves.

Ahhh… the heart of a epic story really is inside us all, just waiting to be discovered and celebrated!

Each family, each marriage can become a testament to the adventure God intended us to all share in. And like any great story… we know intuitively the ending. Good will triumph and the evil villain will get his just reward…

Unless you remember the story. Unless you understand what your life really is a part of… the adventure you’re in may only feel like one long moment of sheer terror and the epic hero seems absent. Don’t be confused, that isn’t just a battered and helpless carpenter nailed to a cross… it’s the Prince of Peace and the Lord of the Universe.

The truth is, your hero is with you. The battle has been fought and your are free to be as your father intended. Full of life and optimism, trusting the script has been written down to the smallest detail.. and you’re going to see the ending! 

Peace and Grace dear one… Pastor B.

It’s all about the “tone” – confessions of a dumb dad

First up, my wife is a saint.

Second little detail… I’m a doofus.

Let me set the scene… family dinner of dad’s spaghetti surprise, everyone’s had a long day, sharing a meager late dinner. Bleary and fatigued, I heedlessly jump into a delicate and complicated relational issue with one of our kids.

youthservicesslc.com

youthservicesslc.com

Ever do that ?

Of course you have… we all have, “bad timing” would be the ‘only positive spin we could make on such a poor approach.

In my genuine concern, I jumped the gun and dove into a deep problem armed only with my logic and need to resolve the issue before bedtime. Completely missing my wife’s gentle warnings to ease up, I pressed in…. made my point and wounded everyone.

Nice.

The painful truth hovering an inch over the table and squeezing the life out of what I had hoped to be a ‘healing’ conversation, I slowly realized how soundly I had screwed this up. My wife raising her voice deliberately in check (holding back her right to kick my shin in half under the table) as her eyes burned twin holes through my chest.

So it turns out… I needed to be reminded, you can say the right things the wrong way and be completely in the wrong.

After an extra thirty minutes of damage control from my wife, the issue was soothed and smoothed over.

An hour afterwards, I came back to my wife and my kid to apologize. Not just the “I’m sorry’ I said things the wrong way apology…but the I was wrong for speaking to you that way, I am truly sorry for being insensitive and harsh when you needed me to be gentle, patient and kind apology.

Grace was extended, grace was received and in the mess, somewhere and somehow… God’s Kingdom came to my home. 

apaperlesslife.com

apaperlesslife.com

Parents, we’re not going to get it “right’ , but we can ‘make it right’.

Let’s focus on living our faith in ‘front’ of our families and be careful to allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide our every conversation… and guys, please say an extra prayer of thanks for our gracious spouses who offset us knuckleheads!

Pastor B.

Fatherhood Resource for dad’s to check out – by John and Sam Eldridge,

Killing Lions – from Thomas Nelson publishers.

The absurdity of exhaustion

As parents, we define the word ‘exhausted. (Merriam Webster – “the state of being extremely tired : the state of being exhausted: the act of using all of something : the act of exhausting something” -)

Sound familiar ?

Do you feel exhausted ?

I bet you often do, and within your moral right to claim “exhaustion’ and name it as your own personal word !  Parents, we use the word frequently and we’re right, we ARE tired and completely used up some days.

beautyandbedlam.com

beautyandbedlam.com

Kids, work, school, spouses… homework, laundry, dinner, soccer practice, dry cleaning, groceries and the pharmacy are all on our list of “must” do’s, squeezed in between the errands of life and our responsibilities, we’re wrung out. Stretching to get out every last drop of our time, energy and focus to just cover the ‘basic’s.

So when it comes to our staying ‘connected’ with our faith and the communities of believers we hang with… it’s often a last second decision to pick between an evening of “quiet sanity” on the couch or one more obligation to attend to in our otherwise, totally obligated life.

So it’s absurd to even think that we could ever do ‘more! Right ?

It’s in the moments of true exhaustion that God’s power is released to pour into our ’empty’ until we are truly strong. The irony and absolute absurdity of our faith is in the moments we ‘feel ‘ the most powerless and ineffective, God shows up in our circumstances to super-charge us.

I can’t tell you how many millions of pastors and their spouses would share of how God empowers them to “press on” into ministry each week, despite their physical and mental exhaustion.

How when at the very end of our personal proverbial rope, God asks us to give just a little bit more… to Him, to His people. An act of total faith and dependence as we have NOTHING left to give, but I can assure you, when you step into the world of the exhausted servant, the power of resurrection becomes real !

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. (2 Cor 12:9)

So Parents; as we work through our insanely busy days, let’s remember to allow room for God to work in our exhaustion to bring resurrection life to us and then to others through our behind the scenes, heroic acts of faith!

thenextweb.com

thenextweb.com

The absurd thing is this… when you take the risk to serve others in your exhaustion, God responds to our act of total dependence by reviving our heart, mind and body in a way that no bubble bath or Emmy winning sitcom ever could !

It’s amazing to experience, and impossible to truly describe….but when by every measure of science and psychology we should be MORE exhausted than ever, we’ll find ourselves ridiculously refreshed!

Love you all, Pastor B.

 

 

 

The Secret Life of an Ordinary Parent

I love the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” ! I love it for all kinds of reasons… the photography, the acting…the comedy and the complexity of all the dialogue, but most of all… I love the celebration of an ordinary man’s character and integrity, which is the “most beautiful thing” !

Walter is this super-plain, ordinary fellow with an extra-ordinary dedication to his work.

It makes me think… how many of us are discounting our own importance as parents… as spouses, as friends ?

We read the tabloids and watch ET, looking at the electronic gospels with diminished spirits, comparing our lost and little lives to the over-the-top amazing people who seem to have it all. Beautiful children with beautiful faces and lavish homes with perfect parties and glamorous lives all done without breaking a sweat.

We can easily believe the lie… namely that we lack the qualities of greatness.

Pull back a bit from the mind-machine and remember the truth about yourself, about God… about our lives. We have something more to long for, something deeper to gain than the momentary affirmation of fame or notoriety. We have a chance to live “ordinary” lives – extra-ordinarily well. Focusing on the eternal issues of love… integrity, faithfulness and fidelity.

The truth is…living out your days with an ordinary family is an EPIC accomplishment… such a life leaves a testimony that is simple, powerful, true and all too rare!

Remember…its ok to struggle, totally normal to want to give up… all of us will find ourselves discouraged and out of energy to parent from time to time. Without friends, fellowship and faith… it becomes all too common for many parents to do just that. Some parents tune out and walk away from their families, fearful they won’t measure up and way weary of trying to be the “perfect’ parent with the perfect family. Let’s not do that.

Parents, be encouraged to hang tight to your “ordinary” families and live with a renewed determination to finish your lives well, knowing that your labor and work of love is NOT in vain.

Blessings,

Pastor B.

The pit in our parenting stomach.

Fear grips every parent. No exceptions.

We all know our pH levels drop to battery acid levels as icy spasms start to form deep inside. Fear, becomes helplessness… ending in despair.

The acid pit we call a stomach boils uncontrollably as we near our puke point… from the moment we allowed ourselves to ponder in vivid detail all the horrific outcomes of life.

We lurch forward numb and nauseous praying – “sweet Jesus don’t let “that” ever happen to my little one”…. we rush to push the nightmare back into our sub-conscious, hoping to never find out what “that” might feel like as a parent.

But the pit in our stomach eventually creeps back…. a breaking news report of another tragic school shooting or a families missing teen girl, we easily slide back into another acid soaked anxious parenting turmoil… we have so much to worry about already.

We understand the “normal” stress of parenting… all wanting our children to emerge from adolescence with at least a rudimentary sense of balance and wholeness, familiar with “right” and “wrong” , connecting to their faith with growing certainty. We parents of faith, hope and pray they  learn to trust God for themselves as they walk through their teen lives… “trying on” their parents beliefs and values to see if they fit.

What we can’t endure or cope well with is the “curve balls” life throws at us. The things that no-one could have predicted. A cancer diagnosis, bankruptcy… marriage collapses, or legitimate random tragedy.

muscle4hardgainers.com

muscle4hardgainers.com

As parents we’re expected to navigate our own lives and our kids as we bounce from one life moment or challenge to the next, hoping and praying for enough strength to “hang on” for one more hour… one more day. When we add layer upon layer of fear upon our minds and hearts… we start to know despair.

For those who feel that despair… Remember this! God won’t leave us to get through it all by ourselves. No matter what we feel or can sense in our desperate moments… God has NOT ABANDONED US.

When you feel the acid burn in your gut…it’s time to reach past the tums and find your bible. Reach for genuine hope and linger in it until you find encouragement, not containment. God has plans for us and for our kids, we just need to remember what they are and how faithful God is to make everything work out for good.

It’s amazing how a few moments in prayer – reading an encouraging Psalm or sharing your uncertainties with a good friend, frees us from the paralytic grip of chronic anxiety & fear. God’s promise isn’t to keep us from trouble, but to keep us company while we’re in it. His PEACE is ours to have in any circumstance.

picture source - pincel3d.deviantart.com

picture source – pincel3d.deviantart.com

Sometimes we just need a nudge back to sanity… back to some pillar of our Christian faith and then the clouds break and we can see the light again. I think the Apostle Paul (author of Romans) really knew how we all feel at times…

Romans 8:  (NIV) – Biblegateway. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.

Pastor B.

Choices are all we have.

I’m always amazed at how oddly time seems to move around me. It rushes by with no regard at all to the moment… regardless if that particular slice of life happens to be one of epic importance or mundane normalcy. It moves at the same pace regardless of my request. But what really catches me off guard, is how minor moments add up to entire years of time without any sense of rapid movement. Like a dream… soft and distant, with wisps of fog and only a little bit of light, surreal and unexplained, and then I have a moment when I “wake up” startled to find that I’m nowhere near where I thought I was.

lawstudentally.com

Time changes subtly… this morning it was suddenly cold outside, with frost on the windows of my car and it “seemed” like only last week that I was running around wearing shorts and a t-shirt. This morning my college freshman daughter is sleeping in her sister’s bedroom on an overnight trip back to college, but it “seems” like she was just sleeping in that same bunk bed as my precious little eight year old, bright-eyed and full of childlike excitement about her third grade field trip to go see the local apple orchard.

Choices are all we have.

We can’t stop the movement of time, we can’t stop the transitions of life. The change in seasons, the growth of our kids into adults and the relentless march of age as we grow and mature and start to slow as everything we know and seems familiar keeps on changing.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)

  15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

But we can make wise decisions.

The assumption that can destroy us all is the belief that things will always stay the way they are. The subconscious belief that we will be exempt from the movement of life and time to its unavoidable conclusion. Our passing. Morbid? Nah, this is good stuff. Thinking about the pressing nature of life, of change and the ultimate common denominator is healthy for us to consider in the hustle and bustle of our days.

Slow down a bit, spend a moment with God, read of the sacred word and breathe a bit of life into your soul as you rush off to do whatever is so important today. STAND STILL in the midst of your Chaotic World. Consider the end game, rouse yourself from the lethargy of it all. Make your choices accordingly. Life is a gift, not a guarantee and the flavor of our decisions will shape the present and our eternal futures.

Parenthood is an epic and honorable accomplishment, not something simply to survive. It’s an uncommonly rare thing for parents to finish strong, to remain married and to provide the stability and strength of a healthy home for children to become men and women of influence and direction.

Stand still and see the life you live as it really is, remember that Choices are ALL WE HAVE.

Changes to be made…? Sure, of course…things to improve, values and priorities to re-establish, undoubtedly. But make them now, or the distractions of today may become the regrets of tomorrow.

Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Amen and Amen. God help us to live each day and each moment to it’s fullest… conscious of the precious and fleeting gift it is. Help us to live with wisdom and intent as we raise our children and follow your will for our lives.

Peace out, Pastor Brad.