School is coming…finding rest in the chaos!

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School is coming…For some it is already here…For some parents it is a great day, for some parents their will be tears .  For some kids it is a struggle filled with anxiety and for some kids they just cant wait to be back at school with their friends.  It is a mix of anxiety, joy, fear, and excitement for a new year.

One things we will all experience this year is the busyness that comes with a new school year.  It seems to me that every year, sports gets more intense, classes get harder for kids, the schedule for ministry even seems to get more and more intense.  All these things may be amazing opportunities for learning, exercise, friendships, and fun.  These things can make it almost impossible to have opportunities to share a meal, share your day, or just find times to be home and slowing down together with your family.

Somewhere as a family we all learned that to be the best parents we have to run, run, run.  We have to be in everything, be there for everyone, and give our kids the most experiences possible.  I am here to tell you we are all wrong on this front.  Yes experiences for our kids are great.  It is important to give them times to succeed, and fail, to find joy, and sadness so we can help them navigate those moments before they become adults.  The thing I think we miss is how can we also teach them to rest.  How do we teach them to slow down enjoy life with the people God has put in our lives.

This fall our Church is starting something new. We are calling it Family rest nights.  The second and forth Wednesdays of each month during the school year we have opened the school and Church schedule so that no events happen in the building after 4pm.  We want to model for families to be home and with each other gathered around His word. I love food so for us it will include a meal.  We plan to send out emails with devotional questions, scripture readings, and prayers for the family.  The goal is to help model family times of rest.  My prayers is this will help families slow down and be.  Slow down and be in the presence of each other and Jesus.  I know I need to have those times of rest. Join us in resting in Jesus and growing together as a family.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42 NIV)

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Speaking the truth in love. Being right and wrong at the same time.

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Life and ministry are messy. When your sitting in a class in college it all seems so easy. Everything is black and white, you can always look in a book for answers. I sometimes long for the day when I could sit in a class room and just think about ministry instead of having to get in the trenches and speak truth into peoples lives. Alas, that is not possible. We can’t stay in the classroom forever we are all called by God to get in the trenches. Whether it is ministry or any walk of life you eventually have to get into the real world. That is where it gets messy.

Speaking the truth in love is a very difficult thing. First and formost speaking truth in someone’s life is a struggle because sometimes we can stand up and think we are speaking “The truth” but in reality we are just speaking our truth. You can’t always know the difference, but I would tell you humility and prayer is where you should start. In any conversation about difficult issues you may end up offending someone or hurting someone because what you learned in class is all well and good, but this is someones real life and it can hurt. You need to be careful.

So how do you speak the truth in love? I often tell people that you can be right and wrong all at the same time. You can be speaking the truth but doing it as such a jerk that you get it wrong. You can do great damage and never get that truth to them because you speak in such a poor way. Speaking the truth in love is one of the hardest things in life to do. The second most important part of speaking the truth in love happens before you speak. Before you speak listen, listen, listen. You can’t speak the truth to someone without listening to them. Understand their story so you can speak truth into it. Lastly understand that you can speak all the truth and all the love you want to a person and sometimes they just won’t hear you. Sometimes their heart is hard, or sometimes you aren’t the one who gets to see their lives changed. Truth change happens when

This is hard part about speaking the truth in love. You do it to people, and people are messy. As you and I speak the truth to people. Let us remember to speak it in love.