The Parenting Paradigm

Our parenting is a product of our upbringing.  Like it or not.  The gift of knowing this dynamic is that we can reflect and learn from it, as well as add new tools to our parenting tool belt.

I recently came across the following graph on parenting:

ParentingStyleDiana Baumrind, a child development psychologist, came  up with the graph.

What quadrant do you fall into?  I float between a few of them and am obviously striving for the “Authoritative Style”.

Overcoming Our Mood Swings

I am grateful this morning for people like Henri Nouwen and his writings.  I know a lot of evangelicals either like him or judge him.  In any case, his words are filled with truth and hope.  

I didn’t wake up in the best of moods today.  I have questions, concerns, and thoughts about various parts of my life.  And of these carry moods and feelings that I am trying to name and observe.  Yet I don’t want to be a victim or a slave to them.  I also don’t want to act out my mood swings with others.  

There are many things that can impact my mood today.  I am hoping to practice some disciplines to help me cultivate eyes that see beauty and ears that hear the Spirit’s whispers.  One of those practices/disciplines is being thankful and grateful.

I am grateful for my family, work, and mind.  Today, I am thankful that I get to be part of other’s lives and journey with them.  I am thankful for a simple meal that was shared with new neighbors yesterday.  I am thankful for the encouragement I received this past weekend at the “Men’s Experiential”.  


Overcoming Our Mood Swings

Are we condemned to be passive victims of our moods?  Must we simply say:  “I feel great today” or “I feel awful today,” and require others to live with our moods?

Although it is very hard to control our moods, we can gradually overcome them by living a well-disciplined spiritual life.  This can prevent us from acting out of our moods.  We might not “feel” like getting up in the morning because we “feel” that life is not worth living, that nobody loves us, and that our work is boring.  But if we get up anyhow, to spend some time reading the Gospels, praying the Psalms, and thanking God for a new day, our moods may lose their power over  us.

- Henri Nouwen


New Church Growth Strategy: Intentional Ethnic Diversity

New Church Growth Strategy: Intentional Ethnic Diversity

“Oftentimes, the dominant culture is saying to those in the minority culture, ‘You are welcome here, but you have to fit into our cultural norms and values,’” Afrik says. “If you pursue this path as a church, you have to be prepared to address the issues of power and privilege. And is the dominant culture willing to release power to those people of color who are coming in to the church?”

The Song of the Redeemed


“Magna et mirabilia”

Revelation 15:3-4
O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done,
surpassing human understanding.

Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth,
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord,
and sing the praises of your Name?
for you only are the Holy One.

All nations will draw near and fall down before you,
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: 
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Sabbath. Poets. Wendell Berry.

Here’s a post about Sabbath, Poets, and Wendell Berry.

I have been trying to understand and practice Sabbath much more than ever.  It’s not just about rest.  It’s about cultivating the practice of being with God.  The writer says it’s also about justice.

I’m also learning that poets are true geniuses.  They see and say things that most don’t see or say.

You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out – perhaps a little at a time.’
And how long is that going to take?’
I don’t know. As long as you live, perhaps.’
That could be a long time.’
I will tell you a further mystery,’ he said. ‘It may take longer.’
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

Don’t Blame Others

This is a great passage of what salvation and life in the Kingdom of God looks like.  It’s a picture of someone trying to manage their life.  How to get along with God, self, and others.

These are good words to share with my son’s.  This is my prayer for them today; that they’d grow into these virtues by our example and God’s gracious gifts.

“Don’t blame others” – This is the one that stands out to me.  Relationships go bad really quick when we blame.  The root word for blame is blaspheme, which means to speak irreverently about God or others.  When we are wronged (real or perceived), to blame is to speak irreverently to the other; we show a lack of respect for who they are and thus devalue the other (and ourselves in the process).  Imagine that!  We devalue ourselves when we blame others.

From Psalm 15


1 God, who gets invited
    to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

“Walk straight,
    act right,
        tell the truth.

3-4 “Don’t hurt your friend,
    don’t blame your neighbor;
        despise the despicable.

“Keep your word even when it costs you,
    make an honest living,
        never take a bribe.

“You’ll never get
if you live like this.”

The 7 Deadly Sins

The following post is from JesusCreed and is written by John Frye.

I think I might be a “self-flaggellater”.  Any time I can peer into my own soul to find “junk”, I’m all into it.  I’m learning about the 7 deadly sins right now in class (church history) and I liked how the author of the book plants “pride” as the root of all the 7 deadly sins.  Pride isn’t listed as one of the seven because it’s the root.

Transformation of character is the core meaning of discipleship. We must take the devastating consequences of the vices very seriously without losing sight of the hope “that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” Rebecca writes, “In the Christian tradition, this is not a self-help project but a Spirit-empowered movement.” At the same time she warns that we don’t just drift into holiness, into Christ-like transformation. She encourages us to use the descriptions and expressions of the seven deadly vices as a self-assessment inventory.

Read more:

IMPULSIVE :: IMPETUOUS :: INTENSE [but all for good reasons]


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