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[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”492030c291da3319″ width=”432″ height=”260″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”] Took these pics in early spring 2008. It’s fun to remember days like these when the kids are still young enough to show immense joy in the simple discoveries of a day in the park.

When you fight and bicker, and compete for who gets to sit in that favorite spot on the couch…It’s hard for me to help you see, but I know that you love each other. When I was a kid, we had twin brothers who seemed to constantly fight, physical, brutal fistfights. But, if anybody ever had an issue with one, the other had his back. Sibling relationships are tough, I know that you know that, but I want you to know that you should remember to be thankful for each other. As time goes by, I think you’ll learn to believe that regardless of circumstances. 

I’ll leave you with a poem from Robert Bruce “Love Your Enemy”

 

To seek vindication
from the
accuser

To protect
property and
reputation

This is called common sense

To be surrounded
by the lovers
and the lovely

To present a
reasonable
list of offenses

To master
the art of
self-defense

This is called shrewdness

To build a high wall
and fire down upon
unknown comers

To wage violent war
against those
who seek your head

To plot
against those who
plot your downfall

This is called wisdom

Love them?

Do good to them?

Pray for them?

Foolishness

It is difficult enough
to love those who love

Even
family and friends
deliver
bone-crushing
heartache
that an enemy
could never
dream up

This is beyond
the visualization
of World Peace

This is beyond
tolerance

This is beyond
any help the self
could ever muster

And
this
is
why
the
true
enemy
is
always
much
much
closer
than
we’d
care
to
admit

It’s a little after 6am on a Sunday morning…

As the thunder started rolling in about an hour ago, I knew I would be up for the duration. I just waited as the waves grew louder and brighter, knowing that any minute I’d here footsteps upstairs headed down to the safety of my bed. Sure enough, after the sky lights up like a sparkler and the loud clap of thunder that follows I hear the sleepy feet making their way down the stairs. They always pause at the door of our bedroom, to give us that, “Is it okay?” look. Knowing the answer to that question, they continue the approach into the warmth of mom and dad. However, we have a queen size bed and the kids keep growing (as does my midsection) so it’s a tight fit. Of course, I’ve been awake for sometime so now coffee sounds good, so I let them “spread out” as I go get the paper and make coffee. Another loud clap, and the dog retreats from her chair into my bedroom and now they all are again fast asleep, and I sit here drinking coffee, reading the paper, and thinking about how I love the little things a father does for his children, even when that means giving up my warm bed. I think God does the same thing for me and that’s a nice feeling.

Found this at Matt Ritchie’s blog “Running with the Lion” and thought it relevant to part of what I’m struggling with, and what I’m sure many others are dealing with.

Occasionally, when the subject of missional living comes up during a conversation with a young parent, I will hear something like this:

One way you can be “missional” is to raise good children. Thats what I’m doing.

The idea is that being a responsible parent and instilling the right attitudes and behaviors in your child is an important spiritual responsiblity. Thus, “missionality” is recharacterized as going about the critical task of child rearing without regard to the reaching out to the marginalized in society.

But it seems to me that this recharacterization does a serious disservice to our children.

As a parent, my job is to raise my children to be disciples of Jesus, and Jesus’ life was about reaching out into the margins of society. How will my children ever learn to imitate Jesus in this way if they (a) never see their parents doing it and (b) are never given opportunities to learn how to do it themselves?

Rather than serving as a free pass for avoiding the marginalized, the responsiblities of parenthood ought to be urging us toward greater commitment to serving those who are weak and powerless in our communities.