Month: May 2014

Tips for Parenting Teenwolfs

Raising teenagers is like trying to tame a wild animal, at least, so I’m told.  I find it ironic that I’m going to attempt to equip parents on how to be a parent to teens, even though I don’t have a teenager and am a long way from having one. (10 years)  So while I’ll acknowledge that irony, I will still pursue this effort because it is needed.  As a theme within this blog, I ascribe to know very little, if anything at all, but rather will attempt to point you to someone who does, namely Jesus.

Today’s post comes from Focus on the Family.  Focus on the Family is global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive.  They provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.  They have a “teen” section on their site that is full of articles and tips to help parents navigate the murky waters of raising teenagers.

I’ll do my best to highlight the ones that I find most helpful, practical, or encouraging.  This series is titled, “Tips for Parenting Teens.”  It is a 6 article series with very practical tips on parenting teens.  The first article is an overview of the series and then each following article highlights a different aspect of parenting teens.  Instead of breaking this post into 6 separate posts, I’ve linked each of the 5 main articles below, not including the overview.  I will later highlight specific sections of some of these articles in a later post, but not all 5.

Articles in the Series

Walking Alongside Your Teen

Being Available for Your Teen

Tools for Listening to Your Teen

How to Talk to a Reluctant Teen

Being a Diligent Parent

While I don’t have experience being a parent to teenagers, I do have experience being a parent.  I also have experience working with teenagers.  That doesn’t me an expert, just a student of both, just like you.  A reoccurring statement I hope you notice is the idea of working intentionally, not perfectly.  Parents must be intentional.  Leaders must be intentional.  Do not get discouraged if you are not perfect, but strive to be intentional.  Not perfectly, but intentionally.

focus-logo

Tips for Parenting Teens

An old Ozark Mountain “hillbilly” friend shared some wisdom with my dad a few years ago: “The older I get, the less I know for sure!” That’s how I felt when I was raising my teen girls. I couldn’t figure out the intricacies of dad-and-daughter psychology. But I worked and prayed and cried over it more than I care to remember!

Don’t get me wrong: My daughters were my pride and joy, and I tried every way I could to be the perfect dad. But, man, how many times I failed! I was clumsy and always seemed to be “say­ing it wrong.” I give God and their mom all the credit for the amazing, godly young ladies they were and are today.

During those turbulent and often disillusioning days, all I knew to do was spend time with my girls. Fortunately, that turned out to be the key to the relationship I wanted so badly.

My connecting point with daughter Courtney was on her early morning jogs. She wanted to run three to six miles at 6:15 A.M., so we hit the pavement together. I had to follow her rules, though:

  1. We ran at her pace.
  2. She did all the talking.
  3. I did all the listening.

When I tried to change the pace (a mistake I only made once) or tried to give unsolicited advice (probably more than once), I was quickly corrected and reminded of “the rules.”

I still look back on those early morning “joggers” as some of the most important hours I’ll ever spend in my life. That’s when I learned how vital it is to walk (or run) alongside our teens.

KEEP READING…

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Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make

Top Ten lists are great because you can read the list and then read only about the one’s that you are interested in.  Here are 10 mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make.  If you’ve made a few or all of them, repent, refocus, and get started.  Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, just intentional.  This list is not ground breaking, but it is a good reminder of what not to do when it comes to teenagers.

Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make

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It might be difficult for some parents to read through, but here’s a top ten list that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. Over the next several days I’ll be expanding on each of these in succession, but for now, here is my top ten mistakes Christian parents of teens make:Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make

10. Not spending time with your teen.

A lot of parents make the mistake of not spending time with their teens because they assume their teens don’t want to spend time with them! While that’s true in some contexts, teens still want and need “chunks” of one-on-one time with parents. Despite the fact that teens are transitioning into more independence and often carry a “I don’t need/want you around” attitude, they are longing for the securing and grounding that comes from consistent quality time.

Going for walks together, grabbing a coffee in order to “catch up,” going to the movies together, etc., all all simple investments that teens secretly want and look forward to. When you don’t carve out time to spend with your teen, you’re communicating that you’re not interested in them, and they internalize that message, consciously or unconsciously.

9. Letting your teen’s activities take top priority for your family.

The number of parents who wrap their lives/schedules around their teen’s activities is mind-boggling to me. I honestly just don’t get it. I know many parents want to provide their children with experiences and opportunities they never had growing up, but something’s gone wrong with our understanding of family and parenting when our teen’s wants/”needs” are allowed to overwhelm the family’s day-to-day routines.

KEEP READING…

The Gospel Everyday

GospelLast night at our student worship, I spoke on the need for the Gospel to be more than just the starting point in our relationship with Christ.  As J.D. Greear points out in his book, Gospel – Recovering the Power that made Christianity Revolutionary, the Gospel is not just the diving board into Christianity, it is also the pool itself.  We do not move beyond the Gospel, but deeper into it.

Below is an article written by Tullian Tchividjian about this exact same point.  It is my prayer that the students of Lone Oak FBC would learn this and grow in this understanding of the what the Gospel truly means for  believers.

The Gospel Everyday

By: Tullian Tchividjian

Ionce assumed the gospel was simply what non-Christians must believe in order to be saved, while afterward we advance to deeper theological waters. But I’ve come to realize that ” the gospel isn’t the first step in a stairway of truths, but more like the hub in a wheel of truth.” In other words, once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel, but to move them more deeply into it. All good theology, in fact, is an exposition of the gospel.

In his letter to the Christians of Colossae, the apostle Paul portrays the gospel as the instrument of all continued growth and spiritual progress, even after a believer’s conversion.

“All over the world,” he writes, “this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Col. 1:6). He means that the gospel is not only growing wider in the world but it’s also growing deeper in Christians.

KEEP READING…

 

Abortion . . . think you understand it?

Life.

Although most Americans have some sort of opinion on abortion, many don’t really understand the truth behind this horrific problem.  How does abortion impact you and your family?  Is it really a constitutional right? Why do most abortions happen?

Take this quiz and find out just how much you know about abortion in the United States.

Some of the answers will surprise you.

Happy Birthday Jonas!

Today Jonas turns 3!  Jonas is our comedian and future front man.  He has an incredible imagination and is always dreaming up new ways to play with his toys.  He also loves music and singing.  When he sees a stage of instruments and a microphone he has to go check it out.  He even gets on the mic occasionally.  Jonas has the sweetest disposition and can melt the heart of his grandparents with just a smile.  He has a pretty powerful effect over his mother too.  Both of our kids can have that affect.  Jonas is constantly talking.  There is a steady stream of consciousness coming out of his mouth.  Whatever he thinks, he says.  A funny story about Jonas comes from on of his teachers at school.  They asked him when he was going to start peeing in the potty and with one hand held to the sky,  he responded with a resounding, “NEVER!”  We love our Jonas and are so glad he is our son.

Jonas

Jonas

music mantractor Flamingo Big boy Beach

 

Lone Oak here we come!

Lone Oak
We are excited to announce that we have accepted the call to be the High School Student Pastor at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, KY. 

God has used the last 5 1/2 years at Crossings to prepare us for our next chapter in student ministry.  While we have loved our time at Crossings, we cannot wait to invest in the students and families at Lone Oak FBC.  God’s call on my life and my passion for student ministry has lead us to make this decision.  God made it clear earlier this year that my time at Crossings was coming to an end.  While we didn’t know where or what He was leading us toward, we knew He was leading us away from Crossings. In a step of faith we began the job search process. Through prayer and reading God’s Word, He made it clear that He was leading us back into the church.  At Crossings my primary responsibility has been to minister to students through our summer staff and the various programs and resources that I helped to develop. My connection was on a one week basis connected only through the churches student pastor or group leader.  God was giving me the desire to invest long-term.  As the student pastor at Lone Oak FBC, I will get the opportunity to walk through life with students and families on a long-term basis, something I have truly missed.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:4

I surrendered to the call to ministry when I was 18 years old at a church camp (Centrifuge) in Jackson, TN.  At that point I had no clue how the Lord was going to use someone like me in student ministry.  I held on to these two verses as Christ begin to do a new work in my heart and in my life.  It has been an incredible journey to see how God has personally directed my path and given me the desires of my heart.  He has given me a passion for student ministry and I am excited to be used for His glory.