Jesus, Kids and a Glorious Inconvenience

We have been thinking a lot about our family life and kids and how we  minster to them, this year. We are well and truly over run with little (and not so little) people. So this has posed some logistical questions to family worship time, expectations and the experience of our time together.

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But A and I have persevered with doing family worship after dinner, in a different room ( NB we all have to move which has proven to be a good tactic) with all the musical instruments and more. We have made music together and enjoyed reading the bible and praying.

I am always encouraged to find others who are also thinking about family worship and devotions.

Have I mentioned Seed Family Worship?An awesome new resource in our home – music, sheet music and memory verse printables. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

And our friends in the city who have planted a new church here and are thinking hard about community and family ministry, even while numbers are growing.

Of course my fix of Challies resources always leaves me with work to do, and this was evident in his approach to personal devotions for his kids. He prepares curriculum, weekly. Are you up for that challenge? Kindly he has a free PDF sample on his blog.

And finally, A and were challenged listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon from Luke 18: 15-17 – Children are a Glorious Inconvenience. How does Jesus respond to the children? What does he do and say? Does he grow impatient having to spend time with them? No. Apparently Jesus was fun. Omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. And Fun!!

And often we believe the lies of the world in how we approach parenting and loving our kids.

This is Driscoll.

One of the lies that has been promulgated is that you don’t need quantity time with your children, you need what? Quality time.
Here’s the truth: You don’t know when the quality time is going to come, when their heart’s going to open up, when a situation arises, when they need you. You just don’t know. So you can’t say, “Well, on Tuesday from 3 to 4 p.m., we’re going to have deep, heartfelt conversation.” Alright, you don’t know, so you need to be there a lot, need to be available and attentive. And then when their little heart opens up, love and serve, encourage, instruct, correct, whatever is needed at the moment. …
Now, say, “Where do you get that?” Look at Jesus. This was not, “And now we’re going to do the children’s discipleship lesson.” Jesus is teaching. There’s a big crowd, there’s a lot going on. There’s nothing in the schedule for the kids. But the kids decide, “Let’s go see Jesus.” So Jesus is attentive, he’s present, and he makes them a priority. He disrupts his plans. He allows them to, in the providence of God, interrupt his day, and he makes them a priority.
There’s a great parenting lesson there. The children are a priority. They are a blessing. They are a gift. And that quality time comes sometimes when you don’t expect it. And this was one of those quality time moments between the Lord Jesus and children.

I have so much to learn from this. How about you?

Shooting the dogs….

Here I am working from home. I have been at my desk for almost 2 hours and in that time I have emailed, filed documents, printed out application forms and ……put the washing the dryer, unloaded the dishwasher while making a coffee, paid several bills online and completed some necessary correspondence. I have also skimmed several blogs and started the ideas for a new article for So I guess my focus is not great today!

My desk is a mess. Partly because last weekend “A” and I decided to move three massive bookshelves out of the study. One went upstairs to the girl’s room and the others remain in the hallway. As a result the hallway is looking gorgeous complete with all our favourite books (it is quite confronting to see where our money must go..!) but the study is scattered with paper and miscellaneous material that is now homeless.

It is amazing when I realise that all my work starts and ends on my laptop so if I had a wireless connection I could be working on the sofa or outside or on my bed.

But alas I must be content to sit amongst the mess, until inspiration hits and I clean it up.

Mess does mess with my head in a way that my “A” does not really understand.

I have girlfriends who secretly admit to being proud about keeping their house clean and tidy, or having gorgeous stationary and boxes and Tupperware to organise life’s clutter. We agree that we “get off” on keeping things ordered and controlled. The reality is when things are not tidy I feel the gloom and dark of the black dog looming, snapping at my heels. And I have to confront the mess and do something about it. Right now it is not just the study but the playroom aka sewing room, my wardrobe and the linen press…and possibly the fridge that all need attention.

Am I alone in being messed up about mess?

Mark Driscoll in Confessions of a Reformation Rev, argues that we should shoot the dogs. He is applying this metaphor to issues in the church and his ministry but it resonates with me. It is relevant to the things that are not working, that cause us stress and hound us for attention, dragging us down. So often we are immobilised by people pleasing, fear and an inability to act. Driscoll says shoot them.

My dog today is the mess….as I sit here and work I am distracted. I need a plan to attack each dog and be done with it. Sieze the day. The poodle is going first!