What is your number? Taking a measurment of your family faith life.

20160115_092811 So this week we I was part of a team trying to help our staff be more physically healthy. One of the ways we are doing this is through a biggest loser challenge. For those that wanted to participate we broke them into teams to help us all be accountable. The goal is to help the staff have some bonding time and also help everyone be a little healthier. The most fascinating part of this activity is people’s fascination with numbers. Some people are terrified to share their number. Others will tell you if you ask.

The scale is a terrifying thing for many people. This week we set up a scale in the office for people to use if they wanted for our biggest loser challenge. I can tell you a few of them left that room with very angry faces. In fact, one told me we shouldn’t speak to her for the rest of the day. That scale can be terrifying, hurtful, and down right painful. It doesn’t paint the whole picture of health. I can however give us a snapshot of how we are doing. It doesn’t really tell you if you are healthy but it can tell you which direction you are heading in terms of your health. I for one wanted to throw it out the window.

(One note if you are a member of St. John or any Church please look after your Church workers’ health. Bring in some healthy snacks and less cookies we need the help!)

Kicking off this program got me thinking about not just my physical health but also many families’ spiritual health. Weight gain doesn’t happen over night it happens over months and years. Weight loss is the same way. Your health spiritually is very similar. We have good years and bad years. We have ups and we have downs. This is a great time of year to get on your faith life scale. (disclaimer, I am not saying if you are not doing the following things you do not love Jesus or you do not have faith so don’t comment non-stop and tell me I am preaching moralism please)

Are you in prayer as a family? As an individual? Are you in worship? Do you come to receive God’s blessings in Communion? Have you spent time in God’s word this week? Have you cared for someone beyond yourself? Have you served your neighbor? These questions don’t tell us if we have saving faith. This is just meant to help us look at our faith lives and reassess where God can work in us to be more faithful. Let us take a look in the mirror. Let us as Jesus’s disciples get on the scale and see where we are at. Maybe it is time in your life as it is in mine to lose a few pounds and get back to work.

My kids are liars and cheats…being a parent to sinners.

20150928_201911I had a bad day.  I am going to bed angry with my children for their attitudes, and their mood swings.  I am angry because today one of them lied to my face and she is the young one.  She is supposed to be my innocent one. She is supposed to be the one we did this parenting thing correctly. For a moment I thought I need to just pull out my Thor hammer and play whack kid. I was reminded today that I am raising sinners.  I was reminded I am the chief of them.

Every parent if we are honest holds to proverb 22:6

 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

We think if we just teach them correctly they will be perfect little angels. Today is another reminder that my kids aren’t perfect and that they resemble more closely this verse:

10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Acts 13:10

Here is the rub, on most days I epitomize this verse also.  You see every day I know I should have more patient. I know I should have more kind words.  I know I should be praying for them and with them.  I should be reminding them I am not perfect (although they know it, they need to hear it as well).  They need to know the only remedy is Jesus.  Jesus’ forgiveness for us brings a new day.  It brings healing to these broken relationships.  It brings peace to situations that are in chaos.

I think often as parents we are afraid to say this.  That we all have days, weeks, months even years where we are chief of sinners.   We fail to point our kids to Jesus. Being a parent is hard.  We are all sinners in need of Jesus.

So tonight I am on my knees in prayer.  I am praying for my kids, I am praying for my wife, and I am praying for me. I am praying  we would experience Christ’s forgiveness.  Lets join together in prayer as we walk with Jesus.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 NIV