Family Reunions, Big Rocks, and Prodigal God
My wonderful Dad is Don Wolf, and his extended family enjoy a reunion the first Saturday in December every year. This year we added another reunion for the 160th anniversary of the Wolf farm and homestead in Fort Wayne, IN.
The right picture shows the whole reunion last weekend, including the house’s original tin roof on the very top (160 years old!).
This blog I updated my “For Your Health” sheet to be more concise. If you are feeling bad or having problems in any way, you need to review these aspects of your life and make any needed additions (and if assistance is necessary, seek help from me, family/friends, and especially God).
In Family and Faith I reviewed a great hour talk about parenting from last week’s North American Christian Conference here in Indy, and my church sermon series on the prodigal son, “Prodigal God”.
Family & Faith
Parenting Tips – from lead minister Randy Garis, from North American Christian Conference
Parenting is made up of hundreds of thousands of interchanges with your children (like sand), but he says if he could do it all over again he would focus & get distracted less on the grains of sand and hang on much tighter to the 2 big rocks… What does your child believe about their own identity? Do you and they know their identity?
In Genesis 1, man is made in God’s own image – we are made after His (God’s) kind and made in His nature, both male and female. I am the shadow of God. Randy related about the toys in Toy Story with the word Andy on them – they were so proud that they were Andy’s and knew their identity… We have God stamped on and in us – we are God’s! This is the number one thing we need to pass on to our children – the truth about their identity.
Big Rock #1 – You are deeply and unconditionally loved from newborn and forever. You have worth and value just because you exist. You are made in the image of God and are the only thing on this earth that will be eternal.There is nothing you can do or not do to make me love you more or less.
You have worth and value just because who you are. You cannot fail and be loved or valued less, and you cannot achieve anything that will make you be loved or valued more. There is nothing you can do to increase or decrease your value and worth. You have value and worth because you are the shadow of God. Repeatedly establishing this in your child makes your child’s (and ours) heart so peaceful. Pray over and say to your children this blessing every day.
Big Rock #2 – Because you are deeply loved, you will have grand adventures, great ideas, and live out big dreams. Lift your child’s eyes up repeatedly to give them idea of great plans God has for them. There are great adventures and dreams from God to live out and dragons to slay!
No matter what happens or what someone says, then your child’s heart and soul are content and solid with these core values. They know to their deepest being that nothing cannot change the value of who they are (example of taking a $100 bill and wad and spit and soil it and it is still worth $100 – because the people who gave it its value still give it its value).
Our value was established by someone else, the creator of our universe. Do you now your worth and value? Or do you keep wanting something else and more from the outside world? God tells us you are not bits of plastic or of this world – My name is written on and in you and you are my shadow. Then I give you great dreams and plans to live out
Our children (and we) all leak, so our children need to be constantly reminded about their identity and God’s unconditional love and these 2 big rocks. We and our children need to be around people and church who remind and show us this.
Randy asks these questions:
1. Do you believe these things of the two big rocks about yourself? Do you have unfinished business in your own life you need to work on? Don’t use your kids to fill the own whole in your chest-drug user.
2. Is your message consistent? He wishes this weren’t so – but it takes 20,000 steps to climb a mountain but just 1 step to fall off… Consequences of one bad conversation are profound and can undo a zillion great conversations. Children believe what they feel comes from your deepest emotion – so when you lose your temper or yell or cut them down, they will believe and hold much more from that interaction. We do not have the luxury of bad conversations… We need to many times each day be saying things like – I so love you, You are great kid, I am so happy God honored me by putting you in our house, You are the only child I wanted and couldn’t wait to take home from that band performance., I love you forever and no matter what.. Randy states that if these conversations are not common and daily in your house, you are carrying around a lot of your own baggage that you need to work on yourself! Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
3. Do you believe in their worth and value even though they are very different in temperament and interests than you? Do you really want to get to know them, spend time with them, and value and praise their differences and uniqueness?
4. Do your children believe that you speak more about their worth and value than you do about their failure? And when did you stop saying good boy or bad boy, and instead say good choices or bad choices? (Son, you made a really bad choice AND you mean the world to me and God and we believe in you always)… Say a blessing over your child each day in person or on phone reminding them that they are loved by you and God no matter what, and that they can live out their dreams. This makes sure the big rock always stays big rock, since we continually leak.
5. Have you learned how to really listen? (Draw me the picture of your life today or what happened.) If Randy could do his parenting over again, he would teach less and listen more.
6. Are you emotionally available? If your work, house, hobbies, or TV has kidnapped your emotional availability consistently, you have robbed your children.
Randy encourages us to have people praying for our parenting and have wise experienced parents around to help us. And that we must constantly know ourselves and teach our children about the truth of our identity!
Faith – Prodigal God! – lessons from the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:25-32) about God’s amazing grace!, from a 3 part sermon series at my church in June, Trader’s Point Christian Church
“Prodigal” – means extravagant; reckless; radical
Representations of this text:
Younger son – radical arrogance – interested only in what he can get, and then is broken and repentant, didn’t deserve grace but is model of us all with God’s prodigal grace
Older son – radical religious moralism, and felt since he worked he was deserving, impressive on outside but unfinished on inside
The sons father – extravagant and reckless grace and is the model and representation of our awesome God, runs to meet his lost son, humbles himself, forgives and restores
Our prodigal God – He wants to be our father, He always forgives and wipes away our sin, He makes us clean and holy and restores us, He will always receive us back, He wants relationship and to walk with Him, He sees into our hearts, He humbled himself for us
We are saved by grace. Are we prodigal with our grace, and is our default set to grace?..
With my prayers and hugs for you and your family!