Monday, October 15, 2018

What Are You Thirsty For: Devotion Two

In order to be grounded parents, we need to consider our own hearts. Our hearts inevitably affect family decisions, which was the devotion topic last week. This week's devotion invites us into honest reflection. Scripture uses the metaphor of thirst to inspire us to think about what we truly yearn for at the most basic level.


Day 3
“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
It’s easy to understand thirsting for water, but there are other things we thirst for that might not be so readily transparent. We must dig deeper into our hearts to discover our thirsts. Options might include popularity, approval, success, or wealth. While these things are not necessarily wrong, when they’re taken to the extreme as a measure of a person, they become chains rather than gifts. We can think less of ourselves, causing our self-esteem to falter based upon whatever rubric we envision as the ideal. Self-worth, by comparison, never falters because it’s based upon God’s approval of us. We are his intricately made creation, endowed with purpose and crowned with his unconditional love. Faith affords us the option to climb off the hamster wheel of comparisons and enter into a new kind of judgement of ourselves—one that is freeing. That’s something to thirst for every day! Today, consider what God says about you.
Further Reading: Romans 8:38–39; 1 Peter 2:9


Watch my social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for an inspirational meme associated with this theme! And if you want your own copy of this free devotional ebook, follow the prompts here.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Protecting the Intangibles: Devotion One


Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing devotions from my ebook. My hope is that each devotion will spark further reflection. The ebook's goal is to open the spiritual reservoir of God's provision and guidance as we parent. That provision is waiting for you today. Feel free to share your responses and journey in the comments; I will respond to every one. And if you want your own copy of this free ebook, follow the prompts here.

Day 1
“You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.” Psalm 21:6
Chaos in our lives can be driven by comparison games. It’s easy to become busier and busier as we compare our schedules with others. There are often good intentions behind these efforts. Schedule-wise, we don’t want our children to fall behind, miss out, or fail to reach their full potential. The problem is that these tangible activities can choke time for the ones with intangible rewards. Spending quality time and planting godly seeds in our families are not always activities that pop on a page, but their rewards are far richer. True inner fortitude can’t be measured by how firmly a child kicks a ball; lasting happiness can’t be found at the end of an expert recital. By investing in what God measures as worthy, we can experience greater blessings and joy, often when we least expect it ... and with no regrets later on. Today, tally three intangible blessings that you want to impart as you parent.
Further Reading: Psalm 1:1–3; Psalm 119:1–3

Monday, September 17, 2018

7 Tips to Get the Most out of the School Year


Another year brings another round of new experiences for our children. Ultimately, children are not at school to compete with one another, but to more fully discover who they are. They mature at different rates, and their learning arcs vary. As a parent, I want to walk alongside my children’s unique journeys and give them every resource and tool in their own becoming. To that end, here is a checklist of new adventures that I hope school children might tick off this year:
  1. Investigate sparks. Discover something interesting about a subject that you didn’t know before which sparks a desire to learn more outside of school.
  2. Get to know someone you’ve never really spent time with before, teacher or student.
  3. Find a special spot on campus. Realize what makes it special to you and return to it.
  4. Embrace character growth. Look out for an example of a sacrifice or tough choice you’ll make but that you feel proud of.
  5. Try a new food. (For some kids, this might be the hardest adventure of all!)
  6. Look for a new leadership opportunity. How can you use what you enjoy or are good at to help others by being a leader?
  7. Set a growth goal for yourself and later demonstrate how you reached it!
A friend of mine said that she was going to print this list out and challenge her children to do each of these things this year. I plan to do the same and hope you will too! For a specific prayer to pray for your child, check out this post. Cheers to a great new year!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Watch My Sermon, "Living Loved When You Feel Rejected," Now!


It's wonderful to be back writing you after taking a summer break to be with my family! While school schedules are now undoubtably busy, I wanted to pass along this link so that you can watch my most recent sermon. If you missed church recently or are just looking for a little inspiration, I invite you to tune in on this timeless topic!


Watch HERE

This June 2018 sermon draws insights from NYT bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Uninvited. It concluded my church's "Book and a Bible" series at its contemporary service called WAVE. You will find other sermons in this series (which included other NYT bestselling books) here near the bottom of the page or here on my church's Vimeo page.

P.S. Tune in next week for a back to school special post!


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last Sermon of the School Year


The gift of a good friend is a beautiful thing. But what happens when instead of rejoicing in a deepening friendship, you find yourself feeling left out and lonely? In our hyperconnected digital age, this can happen more often than we admit. And it is real. Some have felt so alone and brokenhearted that they are even willing to end their life.

While I hope that the church is a safe place for all people who are suffering, even more powerful is the God who maintains it. Christ’s wounds have the power to heal, his promises are sure footing to stand on, and his unconditional love can inspire our greatest confidence in whom God made us to be. When the world robs and depletes, Christ offers us the free gift of abundant life through faith and community.

Join me as I preach my final sermon for this school year this Sunday, June 3rd at 5 PM at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ. My message will conclude the church's Book and a Bible sermon series as I pull insight from a third New York Times bestseller — Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited. You, friend, are definitely invited, whether in person or through my on demand sermon to come.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Watch May's Sermon on Life Purpose


Do you wonder what living your life purpose looks like for you?

How can you identify the steps toward identifying and actualizing that vision?

Where can one find encouragement for that often hard, but rewarding journey?

To answer these questions and more, watch my most recent sermon on demand through HomeTowne TV. I draw upon insights from my own research and acclaimed author Parker Palmer's book Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Palmer's book continues our church's Book and a Bible sermon series.

Watch HERE

Stay tuned for my last sermon of the school year! I will be preaching on NYT bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. All are welcome at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ at 5 pm this Sunday, June 3rd!

Also, did you watch my recent Chaos to Calm episode with the NYT bestselling author Dr. Leonard Sax? Join the other 1.3K viewers and watch as we tackle tough parenting issues! Watch here.

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