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Posts Tagged "heart"

SuperNanny? not so much

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in My Life

I’m no Clair Huxtable either.

I’m more like Seinfeld’s Elaine with a moral bent.

So when fellow parents request parenting advice from me I feel like I must offer a disclaimer… a little “fine print” that lets them know that I’m on the journey as well… and I don’t have all the answers.

But I do have some suggestions when it comes to teaching kids how to have a right heart.

So many times as parents, we can teach kids the response we expect.  However it’s obvious when they’re just giving us the response we expect yet their heart is not in the right place.  How do we address the heart issue?  This isn’t something you can beat out of them(err, I mean) This isn’t something you can reach inside and change.  🙂

But there are a few things you can do that address the issue and teach your child over time how to do their own ‘heart check’.

**these are in no particular order**
  1. Right vs Wrong This is one of the best books I’ve read about the reasons I want to teach my kids the character of God.  Why?  B/c relating back to the character of God draws our focus back to the image in which we were created.  Character gets to the heart of the issue.  I want my kids (and myself) to learn to act in ways consistent with God’s character b/c that’s who He created me to be.
  2. Gods Word – Pray His Word over your child.  This is different from praying with your child.  Pray scripture over your child.  Why?  B/c Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s Word does exactly what He purposes for it to do.  And Hebrews 4:12 tells me that His Word “…is sharper than a double-edge sword… that discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.” So, if it’s a heart issue then it’s really not our job to change it.  That’s God’s domain.  Our role is to actively speak His Word into their lives so that His Word can dissect, discern and develop the heart of our kids.

There you have it… my “not-so SuperNanny… nowhere-near Clair Huxtable… yet so-much-better-than Elaine” parenting advice on how to address the heart issue of your child.  Enjoy

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Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

God has a way of stopping me in my tracks. 

Thankfully I’m a little better at listening. 

A little.

It’s been a rough few months in ministry.  And it’s beginning to wear on me.  Much of the stress is surfacing and my ability to fend it off is diminished. 

It’s a road I’ve traveled before and thankfully I recognize the signs.  But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s wearing on me.

Today God stopped me in my tracks.  I had my plans.  My schedule… and it was full.  Full of all the ministry ‘things’ that must be accomplished so that I shine as a ministry leader.  That’s my problem.

Leaving my first appointment of the day, I walk to my car only to find a flat tire. 

“I can do this”, trying to convince myself.

I don’t freak out.  I know how to change a tire.  My dad showed me when I was 16.  (I’m almost 36… it’s been a while) 

But I don’t think the point of the excercise is to freshen up my tire changing skillz.  I think the point is God is asking me to stop and define a few things. Stuff like…

  • ministry work vs. ‘busy’ work
  • tasks He’s handed me vs. tasks I’ve contrived for myself
  • the Holy Spirit prompting me vs. my own concieted, people-pleasing, self-gratifying heart leading me

He has a way of stopping me in my tracks… literally.  Because He knows I won’t hear Him any other way. 

So, I’m listening now, Lord.


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Parenting Litmus Test

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Ministry, My Life

A friend of mine sent me this question in a text last night…

…if u were asked “what does God define as success in parenting” backed by scripture, what would u say?”

Here was my response…

“My immediate fall back is Proverbs 22:6.  As parents our role is to watch, learn and recognize the intricate design of our kids.  To learn to see them through the eyes of their Creator.  To teach their child how to pursue the heart of their Creator and exercise the gifts He’s put inside of them for the very purpose of serving Him. It’s a 50 year litmus test.”

How would you answer that question?

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Shaping the Heart

Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in Ministry, Orange

What’s the difference between obedience and influence?

Both shape the heart.  Yet one is the result of a command while the other is the result of a suggestion.  One is authority-based.  The other is permission-based.  One focuses more on conformation.  The other more on transformation.

As a parent, obedience is a big deal.  I want my kids to obey me.  I wish I could say my kids do this very well.  Some days they seem great.  (Emphasis on the word ‘some’.)  The rest of the time I question their ability to hear or my ability to speak clearly.

(Kyle and I have a running joke that we’re going to invent “The Repeater”.  A small device worn on the shoulder that records your last command.  When the device detects a “Huh?” response, it auto-magically repeats the last command.  That simple.  Would you pay $19.99 for that?)

Back to the topic… Teaching our kids to obey the authority placed in their lives is an important life-skill.  The extent to which my kids learn to obey their earthly father is the extent to which they learn to obey their Heavenly Father.  However, obedience for the sake of obedience is nothing more than empty conformity.

This past weekend I got to meet with a group of parents to talk about one of the chapters from the book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.  The chapter we discussed was on the parenting value “Fight for the Heart”.  I think every time I teach I’m cheating because I gain more than anyone else in the room.

The truths I walked away with were:

  • Fight for the Heart means focusing on the transformation of the heart and not the conformation of the behavior.
  • My child’s foundation of trust in God is established as he learns to trust me.  In other words, the extent to which my son trusts God is the extent to which he trusts me.
  • In Deuteronomy 6, Moses wrapped up his recap of Israelite history with this statement, “Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”.  Interesting that after reviewing the 10 Commandments, Love (not obedience) takes center stage.
  • Influence is gained in the context of a love relationship.
  • Cultivating that relationship is the most important thing I can do.  Why?  Because when my kids are teens, I don’t grant myself permission to speak into their lives… they do.

Reading this book renews my focus and hope to cultivate great relationships with my kids.

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Building Up: the ripple effect

Posted by on Oct 6, 2009 in Leadership


Last week I wrote the following:

This week I’ll sit down and flesh out a growth plan for a jr volunteer that I recently removed from my team.  He wants to return but I need to see changes in him.  I’m excited for what this could lead to.  A process of time involving different people that will spend time with him to talk about heart issues and his relationship with Christ.  If he submits to the process, the potential for transformation is rich.

So if you’re curious what kind of plan I put in place, click here to see it.  (I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent.)

The goal is remembering what we can control and what we cannot.  We can

  • create an expectation
  • foster an environment for heart change
  • provide the support for growth

But ultimately, heart change is something only God can do as “Billy” allows.

But if he allows… the ripple effect is incalculable.  Please pray for “Billy”.

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