Thursday, June 28, 2007

ex nihilo

ex nihilo usually refers to God's act of creating everything out of nothing. i think it also applies to what my parents did in raising our family.

i read a book years ago that said that there's several main ways that families show love. my folks nailed many of them...and that's in a time that many in the boomer generation, and certainly in the generations prior, only focused on (or even knew of) one of them.

my folks blessed us with, shelter, good clothes, vacations, allowances....all the physical stuff that makes life good. my folks were spiritual and moral guides. they instructed us. they taught us about the spiritual life and about God. they introduced us to God, the bible, and took us to church. more than just "taking us to church," they modeled a commitment to jesus. my mother homeschooled each of us a least a couple years and gave us an intellectual foundation. my dad was a wise guy. :) i have many stories of genius discipline strategies. i could always count on a creative discipline to fit a crime.

and as i hear them talk about their childhood, they didn't have much of that. some of the physical provision, but almost none of the instruction. they started it out of nothing, ex nihilo, out of their upbringing.

my hope is that i can find new ways of showing love like them, add to their work, and continue in the path that they have lived out before me.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

i'm responsible!

i just heard this quote by someone...

your systems are perfectly designed for the results you are attaining

i love it! it helps me get out of my self-delusion that i'm somehow floating along by the will of some external forces. of course God moves in time and history. but that doesn't excuse me from responsibility to sharpen myself, to align my life with Christ, to grow in love for God and others.....

personal character "systems," ministry "systems," family "systems".....the results that i see is how i have (or someone else has for me) designed it.

time to change some systems!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

shift one ~~~ more

this writing is a little a draft, but i want to start getting these shifts out anyway. here is the first shift that i think is undergirding a change in parenting style and practice...

a shift from a dualistic body/spirit view of human self to a more wholistic view of a human self.

it seems like a shift is happening that is expanding our view of what makes up a person. in modernism, the emphasis was placed on the physical/natural, and on the will/choice. the body and what you choose do with it is mainly what exists.

i think that's shifting.

many people are finding that life is much more complex. we crash head first into this when trying to orchestrate change in ourselves...or others. we're not ONLY physical being who make choices. to tell someone to STOP IT is probably not going to help them change. at least it won't help me. maybe i'm just strange. :) i crash into this when trying to change myself....and my children.

dallas willard in Renovation of the Heart says that “spiritual formation actually happens as each essential dimension of the self is transformed to Christlikeness under the direction of a regenerate will interacting with constant overtures of grace from God. (p232) his six "essential dimensions" are thoughts, feelings, spirit/will, body, social context and soul.

i think that our view of what a child is actually informs our parenting practice. too many have felt the effects of a culture that treat people as if they're just a body to be trained. i've heard someone suggest that a small child is much like a dog and should be trained like one. :)

i would suggest that a child is a very complex being...composed of many dimensions...some of which can be far too easily damaged and stifled. the goal is always the "train up a child in the way they should go" but the context and mindset should be altered to include the whole person.

this has LOTS of implications for practice. but that will have to wait until later.....