Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thus & Such, Vol. 27

1. As an introvert, I appreciated this thoughtful reflection on introversion.  I can identify a lot with what the author writes: "But I need to remember why I'm wired that way [as an introvert].  It's good that I enjoy being an introvert, but my enjoyment is not the highest goal of my existence.  God's glory is.  And that often means doing things that are uncomfortable, unexpected, and desired, working against my wiring when necessary as a (hopefully) faithful bearer of Gods image in the world."

2. One area that I've been thinking about recently is about how parenthood changes parents.  So often parents are only concerned about forming their children through their parenting, but they often neglect the reality that they are also being formed by their parenting as well.  In fact, God uses parenting to make us more like Jesus.  "God uses parenthood to strip away our independence and the sin that keeps us from abiding in him.  My true need wasn't to find the perfect 'get your child to sleep' system or the best potty training program or even the top ten ways to get my kids to clean up after themselves, rather it was to see my desperate ned to rely on the grace of God."

3. In our house, children's Bibles are everywhere.  We have plenty of storybook Bibles that we use to teach our kids basic biblical stories and truth.  I've always been wary of these books though.  I don' want to trivialize the Bible, or present stories as fairy tales, which some of these books can often do.  I think our favorite children's Bible is the ESV Family Bible, which has magnificent illustrations, and includes the actual words of scripture, rather than an author's paraphrase.  Anyway, here's a very long and thorough article that addresses the positive and negative aspects of using children's Bibles to teach stories.  As the author points out, there are always parts of the Bible left out, and the author's view inserted in.  Not that that's necessarily bad, but it's at least something to be aware of.

4. "Great amounts of time get invested in helping young people negotiate the choppy waters of early adulthood, middle-aged people work their way through the challenges of marriage, family and career, and older persons figure out meaning late in life sometimes without much-loved spouses, declining health, and shrinking numbers of living peers.  Pastors and elders mistakenly think they must become masters of each stage of life, counsel people through every opportunity and difficulty, and be there in every circumstance.  But, actually, the Bible instructs the pastor to teach the congregation to be there for one another and does so by tying the generations together so that the built-in expertise of old age gets leveraged for every younger generation.  It's a beautiful thing."

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