Advent resources for families

As a parent we want to make the most of every season. Christmas time is no exception. I remember a few years back looking for ways to help my kids “get” the true meaning of Christmas. I’m not anti-santa just more of a Santa agnostic. We tried to teach our oldest that Santa wasn’t real for a while and a few years ago despite our best efforts he opened his gifts and said “Dad, Santa is so good to us.” Boom. Christian parent fail.

How the Catechism keeps us from bad theology

Zacharias_Ursinus

Kevin DeYoung in his fantastic devotional exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism explains the threefold outline of the Catechism in such a concise and profound way.

Question one of the Catechism shapes our whole existence. The first thing we need to know as a Christian is that we belong to Jesus and not to ourselves. But it doesn’t help much to know all about comfort and joy if we don’t know what is required to live and die in this comfort and joy. Belonging to Jesus and not ourselves means knowing three things: guilt, grace, and gratitude. The rest of the Catechism will follow this threefold outline.

First, we understand our sin. Then we understand salvation. And finally we understand how we are sanctified to serve. All three things are necessary. If we don’t know about our sin – which brings a true sense of guilt – we will be too confident in our abilities to do right and make the world a better place. We will ignore our most fundamental problem, which is not lack of education, or lack of opportunity, or lack of resources but sin and its attendant misery. But if we don’t know how we are set free from this sin and misery – which comes through God’s grace – we will try to fix ourselves in futility or give up altogether in despair. And if we don’t know how to thank God, showing gratitude for such deliverance, we will live in a self-centered, self-referential bubble, which is not why God saved us from our sin and misery in the first place. If Christians would hold all “three things” and not just one or two, we would be saved from a lot of poor theology and bad ideas. – Kevin DeYoung

As I am walking our own children through the Catechism I find myself convicted and moved to worship and the beauty and majesty of the truths it holds. If you are a parent looking for a great devotional check out “The Good News We Almost Forgot.” It is written to be read as a weekly devotional but can be read as frequently as you desire I read it all as quick as I could. Such a great book. Highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the Catechism this book will deepen your love for it. If you are skeptical or new to the Catechism it’s worth checking out.

Excited to be a part of CPC again this year. I will  be a Breakout Speaker.  I will be presenting 2 Breakouts:

  1. Be a Pastor- Not Just a Leader
  2. Theology and Kids Ministry

Looking forward to connecting with Kids Pastors and leaders from around the country. Leave me a quick note if you are planning on going this year. I would love to meet you.

Date: January 21, 2015—January 24, 2015
Event: Children’s Pastors Conference East
Topic: Theology and Kids Ministry
Sponsor: INCM
Venue: Chattanooga Convention Center
(423) 756-0001
Location: 1150 Carter St
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Leaders focus relentlessly

PerilsOfMultitasking

Multitasking is a myth. There has been much research recently. Earl Miller MIT neuroscientist at MIT explains that it is actually switch tasking and in the switching from task to task we lose more than we gain.

MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller (Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again: John Hamilton, NPR October 2008) says, “Switching from task to task, you think that you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But, you’re not.” You’re really toggling between tasks at amazing speeds. Apparently, we were never multitasking. It’s a myth!

Leading is difficult. There are more things to accomplish than time to accomplish them. The only practical solution we think is available to us is multitasking. This thinking is only fed by the relentless wave of social media. We think doing more things is the way to get more done but the ironic thing is the less you do the more you get done. This is one of the more counter cultural things I have come to learn as I have gotten older. The secret to effectiveness is not how much can you do at once but rather how well do you concentrate on one thing at a time.

Free books from Logos

logos free book

If you read books and you should. You should be looking for free books. Logos gives away a free book every month from various authors. Then to make something good even better they offer another offering by that author for only .99 cents.

Octobers offering from Logos is from Jürgen Moltmann’s work “The Crucified God” and for .99 Logos is offering “The Theology of Hope.” Jürgen Moltmann is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, and author of several books.