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Archive for February, 2008

design-1.jpgI’m headed out today to the Engage 21 conference sponsored by my denomination. I have strong ties to my denomination and want to see it succeed. Currently though, there is a generational gap that seems to be widening among our leaders. This issue as a whole is not exclusive to the Church of God though. It is indicative of what is happening in the entire church world. I’m grateful the current CoG leadership is making an attempt to bridge this gap. I hope this conference will play a pivotal role in this much needed process.

Additionally, Pastor Brian will be speaking at the conference. He’ll be sharing his story and the story of GenesisChurch.tv. I know he’ll do well! If you could, do me a favor, offer up a pray for him (especially those of you in the GC.TV community). I know he’ll appreciate it!

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The BIG Challenge

We recently closed out a teaching series at GenesisKIDS entitled the BIG Challenge. In the series we talked about getting into spiritual shape. We covered issues with the kids that would help them focus on becoming all that God wanted them to be.

When we closed the series, I remember praying for the kids during that last service. I prayed for them to respond to God’s leading so they could do great things for God. But then, in a moment I will not soon forget, the Lord checked me and I changed my prayer. I prayed that the kids would first allow His Spirit to change them. Then I repented for the times I prayed for God to do great things through me instead of in me. I asked for forgiveness for the times I wanted to change the world, but I neglected to allow His Spirit to change my heart.

It seems kids today are more socially aware then my generation. They are more concerned about issues affecting the world then my friends were in the 80’s, and that is without a doubt a good thing! However, in order to affect real, eternal change, it will take kids (and adults) whose concerns go beyond the social injustices of today. God needs people whose principle concern is how they respond to God’s leading their personal lives with that still, small voice. To put it more succinctly, the BIG challenge for us today is to focus on what God wants us to be, before we obsess over what He wants us to do.

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It’s a BeU2iful Day!

U23D Movie Jerad, Lance, and myself have a date to see a live U2 show today. Well, not a real date, but we are three guys who enjoy each other’s company… lol. And not a real live show, but a live show at the movies.

While considering myself a U2 fan… i.e. I own most of their music, they’re on my automatically record TiVo wish list, I have the U2 on U2 book… I’ve never seen a live show. I understand for all the serious fans out there, this is sacrilege. But this hole in my U2 Fan Resume is not for lack of effort! Today is not the time to explain all of that though. Today I have a date!

Now I admit, this 3D movie is at best a poor man’s concert, but I ain’t mad! The 3D effects are supposed to be pretty sweet. And for all of my friends and family out there who’ve been to a live show (and you know who you are… jerks), and you’ve reminded me of it over the years, some even showing me bootleged videos from your fancy phones… well I’m finally going to a U2 Concert… kinda!

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This is the sixth post in a series about parenting. I described my reasons for these posts in an earlier introduction.

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His.

We are His people.

– Psalm 100:3

We want our kids to know whose they are. First and foremost, they are God’s. They are blessed and favored. We know this because of what the scriptures promise. Anna Brooke LOVES her Gigi books. She is a full blown princess and we encourage her in it, because after all, she is the daughter of THE KING. She and Evie even have the shirts to prove it!

Secondly though, they are Harris’. They have a heritage of values, integrity and traditions. We teach them that some things we do are just the Harris way. It may be different from what they see on TV or in school, but it is our heritage. This gives them connection, belonging, and security. It anchors them in a world of change and challenges.

Do you have a rich family heritage? Be proud of it! If you’re not sure, let it start with YOU! Pass on integrity, character, hard-work, love and loyalty. Raise up your kids to know they can follow in your path, and ultimately the path of their Father.

Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name,

He gave the right to become children of God.

– John 1:12

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This is the fifth post in a series about parenting. I described my reasons for these posts in an earlier introduction.

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
– Proverbs 13:20

For many years I’ve spoken to kids about the importance of their families. I’ve said, “Your family is the only one you’ve got. Friends will come and go, but you’ll always have your family. In fact, if you live a godly life, you’ll end up loosing some close friends because of it, but your family will always be with you.”

When choosing friends, kids should understand they have a choice. If friends are making bad choices and are negatively affecting their lives, help your kids consider ways to put some distance between them. They can still be kind and compassionate without becoming ‘bosom buddies’. They don’t have to invite them to your house. They don’t have to sit with them at lunch. Help your kids realize they have a choice. In fact, an important choice.

One of Andy Stanley’s great quotes deals with this subject. “Your friends determine the direction and quality of your life.” As parents, we’ve seen the effects of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong crowd. We need to teach kids at an early age that their choice in friends will have a great impact on their futures.

Evie and I have discovered the positive effects of having godly relationships. Our lives have been greatly impacted by seeking out relationships with folks who strive for God’s best for themselves and their families. We are definitely the richer for it! We want to see our kids have the same kind of friendships!

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Wishing for Childlikeness

Perry Noble recently posted about wanting more childlikeness in his life. I enjoyed the entire read, but here are his main points for returning to childlikeness:

#1 – I Would Have Less Stress In My Life!

#2 – I Would Have More Joy!

#3 – I Would Be More Forgiving!

#4 – I Would Not Fear Losing God’s Love

Great points! Thanks Perry!

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Whining is disobedience

This is the forth post in a series about parenting. I described my objective for these posts in an earlier introduction.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – Psalm 106:1

Throughout Psalms we are commanded to give thanks, and many times to do it with a grateful heart. Too often though, instead of focusing on the many things we should be thankful for, we whine about the things we ‘ain’t got’.

Whining is a heart issue — unless it’s dealt with at an early age, it leads to an unappreciative and disrespectful heart. A couple I have much love and respect for shared this value with me and shared some practical ways how to pass it on to our kids.

  • Expect immediate obedience without the whining

Do not give an audience to “the whine”. If my kids come to me with a genuine gripe, they still have to use their BIG kids voice.

  • Don’t negotiate with your kids

Too often we attempt to explain to our kids why we’re asking something of them and we fall into negotiation mode. Yet when they’re young, it’s unlikely our kids can understand our motives. Sometimes the “Because Mommy/Daddy said so card” must be played.

  • Don’t ever buy your child’s obedience

Obedience is right, not rewardable.

  • Always keep your word especially when it comes to discipline

Be ready to back up whatever you’ve promised. Your kids have got to know that you mean what you say. “Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’, and your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’!”

  • Be Thankful

Once again, let your kids catch you being thankful. Make it a part of your family routine to “Give thanks!”.

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