May, 2015

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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Songs and Scenes: May 31, 2015

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Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. Today’s liturgy recap features photos by Gerik Parmele. There are links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.

Getting Ready for Sunday May 31st at The Crossing

Prepare

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Keith Simon concludes our 1 Corinthians series this Sunday with a sermon entitled, “God’s Heart for the Poor” from 1 Corinthians 16:1–4. The Scripture reads,

The Gospel Of Fitbit

fitbitMaybe it’s best to say upfront that I don’t own and have never used a Fitbit. And yet given their prevalence, it’s impossible to not be familiar with them. But just in case that some of you are among the uninitiated, Fitbit is a wireless device that people wear on their body so that it can measure any number of things most famously the number of steps one takes in a day. I know that some of you are mentally correcting me because Fitbit is a brand not a device. So is Kleenex but you say that all the time so get over it.

The Fitbit is a great little device that can helpfully measure and track all kinds of helpful information and be the catalyst some need to improve their health. But of course we human beings have an amazing ability to take good things and misuse them. It seems that the Fitbit is susceptible to the same kind of corruption.

One way you won’t regret using your summer

There are very few things that I am confident of in parenting. One thing though, that I am fairly confident of, is that I will not look back and regret time spent reading to my kids. Now hear me correctly, it doesn’t mean I do it all the time (or that I’m that great at it). Often I choose, for both good and bad reasons (really, selfish reasons), not to read to my kids; but overall, I am thankful for the opportunities to sit on the couch and read. And in many ways, I suspect those memories will become even richer as time passes, my kids get older, and these times become rarer. With this in mind, I would like to allocate some time this summer to be intentional about reading to my kids – nothing massive, maybe two or three books, read out loud to whomever will listen.

So if you too think this is worth an attempt this summer, let me recommend three books that have been huge wins in our family. I asked my two early elementary-aged boys to help decide which three books to endorse here – and after much debate and wavering, we came up with:

How to Fight for Contentment

By most standards, my kids have a pretty good life. And yet, no matter what they have, they seem to be remarkably skilled at wanting something else (amiright parents?). A few examples:

  • Rejecting mac and cheese—a certified dinner favorite—because “it’s too cheesy this time.” By the way, in the entire history of the world, how many people have criticized mac and cheese for being too cheesy? Is it theoretically possible? Yes. But that bar has to be pretty high.
  • Complaining about having nothing to do…after riding bikes/scooters and playing with Legos, puzzles, stuffed animals, action figures, etc. Meanwhile, dad fights the urge to go on a dramatic soliloquy about how nice it would be to have “nothing to do.”
  • Saying “you never do stuff with me” while suffering from a curiously selective amnesia regarding the many hours you’ve spent together reading, going out for breakfast, watching games and movies, playing catch in the backyard, wrestling, etc.
  • Saying “(insert sibling names here) never want to play with me” while suffering from a curiously selective amnesia regarding the many hours they’ve all spent together playing any number of things already mentioned above.

Songs and Scenes: May 24, 2015

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Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. Today’s liturgy recap features photos by Dan Gill. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.

Getting Ready for Sunday May 24th at The Crossing

Prepare

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Dave Cover continues our 1 Corinthians series this Sunday with a sermon entitled, “Living for Resurrection” from 1 Corinthians 15:35–58. The Scripture reads,

Will You Get (Or Give) Your “Wife Bonus”?

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Malika Favre

So I’m picking and choosing my way through the articles that interest me in the Sunday edition of the New York Times and I come across an article titled Poor Little Rich Women. I might have not read it except it was on the Opinion page (one of my favorite sections) so I started to skim it and came across the term Glam SAHMs which is short for “Glamorous Stay At Home Moms”. That got my attention so I slowed down and read more carefully.

Practicing Hospitality Through Imperfection & Messiness

When I invite someone over to our house, I imagine that I’ll have the perfect day of getting ready for guests. The bathrooms will be cleaned, the kitchen will be spotless (after I bake homemade bread and cookies and make chicken noodle soup from scratch), the baby will never cry, and best yet, I’ll have time to shower. But in reality, the baby is teething and needs ceaseless attention, I burn the dessert, I feel like I have drool and snot all over me (the shower never happened), and the house is less than perfect.

The intimidation of feeling like we have to be perfect can sometimes thwart our best intentions. When the day starts out rough and never smooths out, it’s easy to be turned off from practicing hospitality. But remember? Jesus came because we actually aren’t perfect, and we never will be on this side of heaven. We’re not expected to be.

Make This Summer With Your Kids Count

kids togetherAh, summer. For many of us, the word is synonymous with any number of good things: long, sundrenched days, vacations, going to the pool, the smell of freshly cut grass, baseball, etc. But the summer months also offer a great chance for parents to help their kids grow and develop in an intentional manner. Toward that end, my wife Rachel—who does a great job thinking this through for our own three kids—weighs in with today’s guest post. As you read, keep in mind that each family’s goals will be different given all the variables, including the age of kids, work responsibilities, summer school, etc. And remember that reality sometimes falls short of even the best intentions. It’s a lesson we’re taught regularly at our house!

………

I love the idea of using summertime with my kids in a way that makes a lasting impact. But when it comes to parenting, if we don’t have some goals in mind for our kids–whether long-term or short-term–it’s easy to lose sight of where we are going. It’s easy to waste the precious little time we have with these young souls in our charge. (I’m speaking from a “guilty as charged” place myself!) That’s why it’s helpful to think through some specific goals for our summer with our children. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years about that process.