Tag Archives: father’s day

Do you parents feel like going on strike?

14 Oct

Cat Barnard sits in her driveway in Florida near the tent where and she and her husband slept after both went on strike because their children won't cook or clean up.

Sometimes we parents feel like we need a break.  We can feel exhausted, frustrated, and like we want to go on strike.  In 2004, the parents in the picture above did just that.  You can read all about it here.  Parenting can be hard.  Do you feel like parenting can drive you crazy?  That while you love your kids, there are times you don’t like them?

Parent-Child relationships are a wild mixture of happy and sad, joyful and troubling, close and distant.  Over the last few years at Faith Church we have toned down how much we emphasis we put on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because for so many in our family of Faith Church, those holidays are painful.

Even though we have toned down Mother’s and Father’s day, they are holidays with a good intention.  In the Ten Commandments we read God tell the nation of Israel that they are to  honor their mother and father.  So for God the parent-child relationship is a very important one.

God wants us to be good parents and grandparents.  And he wants us to be good sons and daughters to our parents.  That’s what we’re talking about at Faith Church this coming Sunday as we continue our series, Life in These United States.  Maybe this sermon can be some help for those of you who feel like you’re ready to go on strike from parenting.

We’re going to approach this sermon a bit differently.  Sermons are almost always monologues.  The long-standing homiletical tradition where one person delivers a speech to an audience is not necessarily a bad thing. But how often have you heard a sermon and wished you could discuss it further?  Or maybe you’ve had questions about it, but didn’t feel you had a forum to ask those questions?  How many of you have a culture in your church’s worship service where you can raise your hand, ask a question and your preacher will stop and discuss it with you?  I know some of you do have that, but most don’t.  At Faith Church we have a sermon discussion group after our worship service, and that time of open-ended discussion is fantastic.  I often find it to be better than the sermon!

So for this sermon I thought I would enlist some help.  I have been a parent for 19years, and Michelle and I have four kids.  But some of you have kids and grandkids, and even great-grandkids, and you have been parenting or grandparenting for longer than I have been alive.  I haven’t experienced grandparenting, and Michelle and I aren’t the perfect parents, so we have much to learn.  I thought, then, that I would get help from our Faith Church Leadership Team.  Here’s how it will work.

This Sunday is our once/month Coffee Break Sunday, which means after we praise God in song, we dismiss to our Fellowship Hall.  We normally have a time of continuing our praise of God through open mic sharing about how God has been at work in lives, but on Coffee Break Sundays, we do that around the tables in the Fellowship Hall.  Then after 15 minutes, we return to sanctuary to sing and listen to God’s Word.  But on this Sunday, we’re going to stay around the tables in the Fellowship Hall.

I’ll still have a few words to say, looking at some biblical passages with parenting principles, but I have asked Leadership Team members to help lead mini-discussions on parenting, based on the passages that we’ll read.  Each discussion will take place around your table.

So do you desire to be a good parent or grandparent?  Join us at Faith Church as we learn from God’s Word, and from those who have for many years wrestled with applying biblical principles of parenting in the real world of their families.

Poop Cards, Gift Bag, Projector Box, Christian Junk Mail – Monday Messy Office Report – Vacation edition – June 24, 2014

24 Jun

After 3200 miles, we arrived home last Friday evening from a wonderful vacation in Round Rock, Texas with my wife, Michelle’s, cousin’s family.  It was great to get away, see new sights, spend time with family who have become very important to us, and make a road trip memory we’ll never forget.  But as with any vacation, you probably know the feeling, I have returned to a very messy office.  The weekend and Monday morning were full with family and church events, so I am just now working on clean-up.  My email inbox was insane, and that was after filtering out a lot of junk during vacation…

Here’s what I found in my office:

1. Projector boxes: Our sanctuary projector is fixed!  Later this week, I’ll set it back up.  Think about something with me, though.  The bill for the repair was $1929.57.  To be honest, that number makes me a bit sick in the stomach.  …Uh excuse me a second…knock at the door…  Ok, I’m back and this is wild, not making this up. A representative from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church that rents our church on Saturday mornings just stopped in to drop off their regularly monthly rent check, and they included a check to pay some of the projector repair!

2. Father’s Day gift bag: We weren’t here at Faith Church on Father’s day, so I think this is a bit of what I missed.  Our Children’s Ministry had a special Muffins with Moms fellowship time on Mother’s Day, then on Father’s Day they had Donuts with Dad.  And I missed it!  So thanks to whomever still gave me the gift bag!

elephant poo cards3. Card made from Poop:  I have no idea why this is on my desk.  My wife had picked up some of these in Cambodia on one of her travels there with Imagine Goods, but that was years ago and I thought I had used up my supply.  Yes, that is a picture of an elephant doing poo.  And yes, they literally take elephant poo and recycled paper and turn them into handmade cards.  A label on the back of the card says “the production of the paper and cards provides employment for rural Cambodians and all income produced supports the five elephants of Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center – Lucky, Chhouk, Po, Naram & Jamran as they were kind enough to digest and produce our raw materials.”  There are few things I can think of that are more awesome than that.  Except maybe my all-time favorite joke, courtesy of Monty Python: What is brown and sounds like a bell?  Duuuuuuuuung!

4. Christian Junk Mail:  When I’m in the office, receiving the mail daily, I guess I’ve gotten used to it, a piece of junk mail here and there.  But over the course of 10 days away, it became a formidable pile.  Here’s a sampling of the highlights.

  • Company sending samples of their Gospel tracts
  • World social agency letter…and a duplicate copy of the mailing from the same world social agency
  • Church t-shirt company brochure
  • A Christmas 2014 music catalogue
  • another ugh…a duplicate of the t-shirt company brochure

Guess how much of this kind of mail we actually open? We get bombarded with it. I have a hard time believing that companies actually benefit from these mass mailings, yet they must.  Why else would they keep paying to send them?  As I think about it, this junk reminds me of the Evangelical machine, and I wonder how far off track we are.  Don’t get me wrong.  The world social agency that sent two of the exact same letters to our church is doing some amazing things in the name of Jesus’ heart for justice.  Our church has partnered with that agency in the past and may do so again in the future.  But when I saw that stack of mail I got a nauseating feeling about it all.  I don’t believe I know how to respond, and quite frankly part of my knee-jerk reaction is to avoid dealing with it by throwing all the mail away.  With that in mind…

Now its time to clean up this mess!