Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {April 4, 2014 edition}

Before getting to this week’s finds, let me share with you that I’m not sure if we will have very many–if any–posts next week. I will be holding a Gospel Meeting during the week and I’m not sure if my schedule and access to the Internet will allow me to post. I may get in one or two posts, but we’ll just have to see.

The Gospel Meeting, by the way, will be at the 6th Avenue church of Christ in Jasper, Alabama. If you’re in the area, I’ll be preaching at 9AM, 10AM, and 7PM on Sunday, then at 7PM on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you there!

With that out of the way, let’s get on to this week’s finds for you to enjoy over the weekend!

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

10 Marriage Killers [Life in the Light]

Perhaps the Most Important Thing We Must Teach Our Children [Life and Favor]

Fun and Frugal Double Date Ideas [Of the Hearth]

Teaching Responsibility [On Parenting]

When a Friend’s Marriage Falters [for the family]

26 Rainy Day Activities for Kids [My Kids' Adventures]

Our Week in Review

These posts were not necessarily written in the last week, but were the 5 most-viewed posts during that time. (Original publication date in parenthesis)

#5:10 Budget Basics for Families (March 12, 2014)

#4: Politically Correct Fairy Tales (April 2, 2014)

#3: Dealing with Anorexia : Thoughts from One Who Prays (March 31, 2014)

#2: Why I Restarted Facebook (April 3, 2014)

#1: Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, and “Conscious Uncoupling” (April 1, 2014)

What Did We Miss?

What family links, tweets, or videos did we miss this week? Contact us with links you’d like us to consider for future Friday’s Family Friendly Finds! You can also contact us if you are interested in writing a guest post for our site. We look forward to hearing from you!

One More Thing

Since we restarted Facebook this week, we also restarted our blog’s Facebook page, so our “like” count went back to zero. (It was over 500 when we reset Facebook.) If you enjoy what we do here, please “like” our blog. You can do that in the box below (or by clicking here to access Facebook).

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Why I Restarted on Facebook

I have been thinking about Facebook a lot lately, and I took a very odd series of steps over the past few days. To make a long story short, I have completely started over on Facebook.

If you are still interested, let me give you the longer story.

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I have a very strong love/hate relationship with Facebook. It is a great way to keep up with folks, and it drives the most traffic to our blog–by far–of any site.

However, I had grown weary of how Facebook has spiraled on me. I’m sure it will again, but I have been on the site since 2007 and it had gotten to be a fire hose of information that I just could not keep up with.

So,I tried to think of solutions.

First, I thought about deleting Facebook completely. I’m sure I could do that, but I really do use it for legitimate purposes that I find important. From connecting with family and friends to running a few groups, it really is a great tool.

Then, I considered “becoming a page” on Facebook. In fact, I went through with it, and started a page only account. This really seemed like the perfect solution to gain simplicity in using Facebook. However, if you only have an account as a “page,” you cannot be a part of, or run, any Facebook groups. All you can do is work with pages that you either create or administer. Since I run a few groups, this was not an option.

However, once I had become a “page,” there was no going back. You can go from a personal profile to a page on Facebook, but you can’t go back. I considered sticking with the page, but just couldn’t do it.

Then, it hit me: why not just start over. This way, I can get a fresh start with Facebook completely. Sure, I don’t have all the information on my site yet, but I can get a clean start and rebuild it however I want. It will take awhile to build the site back up, but that’s okay. While that’s going on, I can enjoy actually keeping up with people again, instead of getting the completely overwhelming amount of information that was coming at me before.

What This Means

Here’s the bottom line. I am only going to add friends on Facebook who are people I actually know and interact with. Obviously, people from the groups I run will be added, as will many preaching friends, and others I keep touch with from different times in life (college, 9th Avenue, etc.).

However, I am not going to add everyone back. I had so many “friends” who were people I had never even met or communicated with. There’s nothing wrong with using Facebook this way, but it was taking way from me actually enjoying the site for what I want to use it for.

Now, won’t this hurt the traffic to our blog? Absolutely it will (in the short-term, anyway). Facebook provides the most traffic to our site by far, but that was not the original reason we used Facebook, so I don’t mind taking this short-term hit. We have restarted our blog page on Facebook, and would like you to “like” it, and that will help us, but we are going to focus our efforts on Facebook on our friends and family.

If you enjoy our blog, you can “like” our page here:

So, we start over. I’m actually glad this happened, in a way, because it will help me re-learn how to use Facebook more effectively.

QUESTION: So, what are your thoughts? Have you ever thought about deleting or starting over on Facebook? Share your reactions in the comments!

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Politically Correct Fairy Tales

We love reading to our children. There are so many reasons this is true. One reason, though, is that we can choose to instill so many positive values in them through our selection of stories and literature. While a lot of books and stories are basically just “fun,” we try to expose them to positive, encouraging, and moral stories that we hope will build within them a desire to be the best they can be.

And that’s why I’m thankful that many of the tales were written before the era of political correctness.

pc fairy tales

In our “everyone is equal” and “no one loses” world, I can only imagine how certain fairy tales would be told. While the following are meant to be satirical, it is sad how many people would think these updates are more appropriate than the originals.

Enjoy this satirical list, and add your own “updates” in the comments!

The Tortoise and the Hare

In this everyone-gets-a-trophy revision of the classic story, the tortoise gets right to the finish line, then must wait for the hare to catch up, so they cross the line at the same time. After all, we can’t have “winners” and “losers.”

The Ant and the Grasshopper

This story only has to have an epilogue added. The ants work hard all through the year and are prepared for the harsh winter. However, as that winter comes, they must take their harvest to a central location where some “lead bugs” divide up their hard-earned food and give some evenly to all the insects. It’s not fair that some have and some don’t, so we have to be sure that all have an equal amount.

Jack and Jill

Feminists cry out for a rewriting of this short poem, because it is obviously gender biased in that Jack always rolls down the hill first, and Jill comes “after.” So, a second version is written where Jill gets to be the lucky one to tumble down the hill first.

The Three Little Pigs

The story remains the same until after the wolf cannot blow down the brick house of the third pig. At this point, the wolf sues the pigs and wins punitive damages for harming his fragile self-image.

Old Mother Hubbard

This short tale becomes boring, but at least it’s “p.c.,” when the old woman opens her cupboard and finds…you guessed it…some of the grain from the ants who had it redistributed from another story.

Pinocchio

As the young puppet-turned-boy continues to grow up, he decides that his rights have been violated by Geppetto, so he starts a social media campaign to destroy the reputation of the older man. Despite spending his life savings on a firm to help represent him, Geppetto loses in the court of public opinion, and is never heard from again.

 

COMMENTS: What are some other fairy tales you can see being rewritten so they are more “politically correct?” Share yours in the comments!

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Photo background credit: J.E. Theriot on Creative Commons

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, and “Conscious Uncoupling”

On the online celebrity newsletter Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin recently announced that their marriage was ending. That might not be too surprising, considering how often we hear of weddings and separations among the celebrity world.conscious uncoupling

The way in which their split was announced, however, has raised some eyebrows. You see, they aren’t calling it a “divorce.” Instead, it is being called a “Conscious Uncoupling.”

On the Goop newsletter, Paltrow and Martin provided a short statement to fans about this “conscious uncoupling,” and provided fans with some words of thanks.

Following that, however, there was a rather lengthy essay by Drs. Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami about the concept of “conscious uncoupling.” To say it is quite different from anything I’ve ever seen is a grand understatement.

These two doctors, well known for their New Age concepts, state that what Paltrow and Martin have done is simply an outgrowth of (are you ready for it?) human evolution.

They state:

During the upper Paleolithic period of human history (roughly 50,000BC to 10,000BC) the average human life expectancy at birth was 33. By 1900, U.S. life expectancy was only 46 for men, and 48 for women. Today, it’s 76 and 81 respectively. During the 52,000 years between our Paleolithic ancestors and the dawn of the 20th Century, life expectancy rose just 15 years. In the last 114 years, it’s increased by 43 years for men, and 48 years for women.

Based upon that, they ask the question, “What does this have to do with divorce rates?”

Get ready for this answer:

For the vast majority of history, humans lived relatively short lives—and accordingly, they weren’t in relationships with the same person for 25 to 50 years. Modern society adheres to the concept that marriage should be lifelong; but when we’re living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we’re living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime.

That’s right: you and I simply have evolved to the point where we live too long to expect to stay married “til death do us part!”

Further in their essay, they speak to the idea that couples say they are going to remain together, “but then reality sets in.” It is that “reality”–things like children, unmet needs, etc.–that should cause us to not feel shame when we “uncouple” in a “conscious” manner. These two doctors actually state, “The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone.”

Too much pressure?

So, I guess the pressure of being married for a lifetime got to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and it was just too much. Thankfully, they can find New Age/evolutionary “proof” that this separation is just part of human development, and they can simply uncouple.

When you remove God…

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Sources and Further Reading

“Conscious Uncoupling” (Goop.com)

“‘Conscious Uncoupling’ : Gwyneth Paltrow Explores Spiritual Side of Divorce on Goop” (New York Daily News)

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Photo background credit: Mickael Plichard on Creative Commons

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Dealing with Anorexia : Thoughts from One Who Prays

I will not use their names, but in the past few years, I have known two young ladies who have battled anorexia nervosa. This post is dedicated to those two girls, and is written by someone who wasn’t as close as he should have been, but who continues to pray for them as they battle. Please accept this post as trying to raise awareness and helping us all work together to do what we can to help those battling anorexia nervosa.

dealing with anorexia

We live in an image-obsessed society. The constant barrage of what is “perfect” is ever before our eyes. None of us measures up to the computer-enhanced, airbrushed, “perfect” image, no matter what we might try. And, no matter how much we know that what is portrayed as “perfect” really isn’t, we are barraged by that message on an almost constant basis.

For some, this search to conform to the “perfect” image leads down a very dangerous path. Eating disorders develop for many, including anorexia nervosa. Out of every 10 cases of anorexia nervosa (hereafter, simply called “anorexia”), nine will be female. While there are other similar disorders that people battle in this search for “perfection,” we are going to restrict our thoughts in this post to anorexia, since I have known these two young ladies.

Anorexia is a serious disorder, and though we don’t seem to hear about it as much as we did a few years ago, it is still very real. It is nearly impossible to get accurate statistics, since so many cases go unreported (or untreated), but between 1% and 4.2% of all American women will suffer from this disorder at some point in their lifetime. They will severely restrict what they eat, and then will often exercise in almost extreme ways. Some will then “binge” on things like diet pills, because they know their body needs something for energy. A few will “purge” what they do eat, severely restricting the levels of nutrition their bodies actually get. Early warning signs can include headaches and extreme mood swings, but there are other effects, as well.

What can be done to help? Again, speaking solely as an outsider, but one who has a heart that cares, let me offer 8 suggestions that will at least help us think about how we can help those, both in our families and out, to prevent or battle anorexia.

1. Stop Making Fun of People’s Weight. If our children constantly hear us talking about how heavy someone is, they will not want to have “that” image. Mom and dad, what we say about others (not just about our own kids) has a bearing on how our children look at themselves. Children usually want to please their parents, so why would they want to be overweight (even if it isn’t “over” weight) when mom and dad poke fun at those who are that way?

2. Emphasize the Whole Person. We have to battle against a society that speaks only to body image. It is up to us to build into our children the view that their body is important, but so is their mind, their soul, and their social grace. If we only talk about one without speaking to the importance of them all, we are not teaching the balance necessary to our kids.

3. Watch How (and How Often) You Talk about Your Own Weight. Moms, your daughter does not need to hear you use the word “fat” very often, especially when you are anything but obese! Dads, if your child hears you constantly harp on your physical condition (good or bad) with no reference to other parts of who you are, they could develop a serious obsession.

4. Start Young (or Now) with Good, Balanced Eating/Exercise Habits. Dieting is not wrong, nor is being in good shape. Teach your kids healthy eating, but also show them that it is okay to splurge on some junk food every once in a while. Make them go outside and play to get some exercise, but also let them know it’s okay to just hang out sometimes, too. Don’t obsess over eating healthy, but teach that these are wise choices overall. (Then, don’t feel bad for having a brownie for dessert.)

5. Restrict the Media Intake. The “perfect” look is all around our kids. Walk down a mall corridor or drive by some billboards and you’ll see it. We also know it is all over our TV programs, movies, and online sites. We must restrict how much of that message our children are getting through constant exposure to the “allure” of celebrity. And it doesn’t have to be immodest stuff. Just the constant feeding of “the look” into their minds can fuel a serious self-doubt.

6. Keep Communication Open. Communication should be obvious. Too often, though, parents may suspect something is wrong, but will not probe for fear of what they might find out (or because “my kid would never do that”). While there is no way these conversations will be easy, parents need to allow their children to talk about anything openly and to help in any way they can.

7. Get Help. Anorexia is not a battle that can be won alone. Those who battle do so valiantly, but they need help, both professionally and in general support. It may embarrass someone to admit they struggle, but the more help they get, the more likely they are to battle forward.

8. Pray, Generally and Specifically. Generally, pray for anyone who suffers or who is going the way that leads to these types of disorders. Even if you don’t know anyone with anorexia, pray for those who suffer silently and who are not getting the help they severely need. Obviously, if you know someone who is battling, take their name before God’s throne often. Think of them in your silent prayers and take their needs to the Lord.

Anorexia, along with other eating disorders, is life-altering. It can really hurt not only the one battling through, but those around him or her. But it is a battle over more than just food. It is a battle to teach that the whole person is what is important.

If you are suffering, you are important, and we are praying for you. If you are suffering in silence, please seek help.

COMMENTS: What are your suggestions for helping those who battle anorexia? Leave them in the comments below.

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Photo background credit: Tanakawho on Creative Commons

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Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {March 28, 2014 edition}

Welcome to our weekly post where we share some articles for you to read over the weekend that should encourage you and your family. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature, and will help us by sharing articles and posts you find encouraging, either privately or in the comments.

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

Maybe We Should Stop Entertaining Our Kids So Much [We are THAT Family]

What You Really Need in Marriage [The Blazing Center]

Teaching Our Children to Judge [for the family]

Emotional Cues [Biblical Parenting]

Trend Alert: 6 Messaging Apps That Let Teens Share (Iffy) Secrets [Common Sense Media]

Our Week in Review

These posts were not necessarily written in the last week, but were the 5 most-viewed posts during that time. To emphasize that, we have started adding the original publication date for each post to this list.

#5: Slow Down, and Cherish the Moments [March 24]

#4: Dressing Our Daughter for Who We Want Her to Be [March 4, this post is very close to 2000 Facebook likes!]

#3: To My Son, On His 7th Birthday [March 26]

#2: The Hardest Part of Proverbs 22:6 : How Not to Live Through Your Child [March 27]

#1: “Before Your Kids’ Eyes : 6 Things Your Kids Need to See You Do Daily [March 18]

What Did We Miss?

What family links, tweets, or videos did we miss this week? Contact us with links you’d like us to consider for future Friday’s Family Friendly Finds! You can also contact us if you are interested in writing a guest post for our site. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Hardest Part of Proverbs 22:6 : How Not to Live Through Your Child

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Every child is different. If you don’t believe that, you either don’t have kids or you have only one. It is remarkable how two kids, raising in the same house, can be so different.

But that’s the way God made children. Each one has a certain set of gifts and talents, which are often quite divergent. To use an old word, each one has a certain “bent.”

Sometimes, the “bent” of our children, though, is not the same as one–or both–of the parents, and that can lead to a parenting dilemma.

Proverbs 22:6 is probably the most well-known verse for parents in Scripture. Whether we are aware of it or not, that verse speaks to this idea of the “bent” of our children. Here is that verse from several translations:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV)

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
(NIV)

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJV)

Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost. (The Message)

So, where is the idea of the “bent” of our child in Proverbs 22:6?

It is in the hardest part of the verse to follow: “the way he should go.”

What makes that part of Proverbs 22:6 hard? It’s hard because doesn’t say, “The way I want him to go,” or “The way I feel is best for him.”

Maybe even harder, though, is that it doesn’t say, “The way I wanted to go.”

Ouch.

Obviously, we are not talking about religious training. There is only one way (John 14:6) and that is the way of God through Christ Jesus.

Instead, we are talking about the unique “bent” of your child. Far too many parents want to “bend” their children to be what they were successful at, or (maybe worse) what they were not. Proverbs 22:6 is strictly and clearly telling us not to try to live through our children.

For example, I love sports, and I loved them even more when I was younger. I just don’t have the time to follow them as closely as I used to, but I still greatly love them. I played basketball (my favorite), baseball, soccer, and ran track at various points while I was growing up. I wasn’t very good at any of them, but always enjoyed sports.

Neither of my kids has played a single organized sport yet. They may one day, and we have talked about it, but neither of them shows any interest in any sport.

So, why don’t we just sign them up anyway and make them practice for hours each day to feel some sense of accomplishment in something daddy loved? Because that’s not how they are “bent,” at least at this point in their lives.

Too many dads who never made it to the big leagues try to force their 5 or 6 year old boys to practice for hour after hour. The son may love sports, but he is still just a little boy. He may only want to play for a few minutes, and then move on to something else. What’s so bad about that?

Too many moms never won the big beauty pageant, so they doll up their little girls (and don’t get me started on the “preferred look” in these contests!) when they are tiny, and put them in every contest imaginable, even if the girl is bored with it. Why? Because mom wants to win.

These are just two examples, but we can all think of a hundred more. God has especially wired your child to express himself or herself in a unique way, and that way could change over time. Maybe my artistic son will love to shoot hoops one day, or maybe he’ll pick up piano. Maybe my doll-playing little girl will want to pick up a softball glove one day, or maybe she’ll love to volunteer at the hospital.

Are sports wrong for kids? No, but not every kid is “bent” that way. Are piano lessons or academic tutors wrong for children? Nope, but again, your kid may not have that “bent.”

The key is to take whatever their “bent” is and bend it toward God.

How can that child best express their faith in the Lord on the ball field? In their art? While playing with friends? While volunteering or doing service projects?

I need to remind myself as a parent, God told me to notice the “bent” of my children and point them in that direction, while always pointing their feet toward Him.

Let’s stop trying to live through our children, and let’s make sure Proverbs 22:6 applies to our children, so that, when they are old, they are still using their “bent” to praise the Lord and win others for Him.

QUESTION: What are some tips for parents on how to avoid living through our children, while helping them discover their unique “bent?” Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Photo credit: Bob on Creative Commons

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To My Son, On His 7th Birthday

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Turner,

I know exactly where I was seven years ago today. I also know exactly how nervous I was, for a lot of reasons.

Now, seven years later, I’m still nervous, and for some of the same reasons. The main reason, though, is that I continue to pray that you will grow up to be a strong, faithful, Christian man, and I know that the example of that rests on me. Too often, buddy, I let you down in my example.

You are growing up so, so fast. I know that you are meant to grow, but this past year we have seen so much change in you. It is clear to everyone that you are growing physically. That’s impossible to miss, especially when we have to buy clothes!

But you are also growing in more important ways. Intellectually, you are brilliant. It is remarkable how much you remember, and your curiosity–while it can get on our nerves at times–it contagious. We are also seeing you mature in your social life. While you still hate to lose (I do, too) and don’t like it when you don’t get your own way (who does?), we are seeing you get control of yourself. For that, we are so proud. You have really worked hard, and we pray that you will continue to do so.

I am also so proud of your manners. While all your manners aren’t perfect, I am proud of how you remember to say “ma’am” to your mother more often, and you are getting so good at saying “please” and “thank you” at various times. You are better at obeying mommy and daddy without complaining. We still have a ways to go, but your growth in this area is great, and we are so proud.

You are fast becoming our family’s artist. You love to draw, create, build, and make music; and you are really, really good at it. Your gifts may just be there. If they are, I pray you always use that love of creativity to glorify God through your creations. If your gifts are somewhere else, and this is just a phase, I hope you enjoy the journey!

Nearly every night when you and I say our prayers, you know that I pray that I’m so thankful that you are my son and that I’m your daddy. Turner, those aren’t empty prayers. God blesses us all the time, but He went out of His way when He brought you into our lives. He is so good to our family, and you are an irreplaceable part of that family.

Seven years. Some say that seven is the lucky number. In our case, though, I think it is a blessed number, because we are blessed by 7 years with a wonderful son.

And, as I do each day, I’ll keep praying for many more.

I love you.

Daddy

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Book Review: “A Godward Heart”

In the introduction of this book, John Piper writes of the importance of short writings; specifically, of paragraphs. This little volume, then, gives the reader a collection of 50 such writings from Piper.

Depending on the reader, you may find it either helpful or confusing that these 50 essays are not on any one particular topic. Piper simply wrote about various topics and collected them into this little book. Personally, I liked that, but you may find it confusing.

Each of the 50 essays can be read in about 5 minutes (some in much less time), but all are well-organized. That is not to say that you will agree with everything in them. Piper, who is clearly Calvinistic, writes several of the essays from that viewpoint, even promoting it in at least one essay. His Calvinism gets in the way of what I think is a great series of essays.

The best essays, in my judgments, were those that dealt with social ills like racial injustice. Piper is strongly committed to fighting racism, and his words in the few essays that speak to that problem are powerful.

Preachers will find some decent outlines in the book, as several essays are “6 reasons why…” or “5 things about…” type writings. Overall, this is a decent book, but the false teaching mars the excellent work of so many other essays.

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DISCLAIMER: I was given a free copy of A Godward Heart from Blogging for Books by Multanomah. I was not required to give a positive review for the book.

Why I Am Writing “Hymns of the Heart”

Today, the first volume of Hymns of the Heart is being released by Start2Finish books. We are thrilled about this project, and are looking forward to finishing and releasing the remaining 6 volumes throughout the remainder of 2014 (volume 2 is almost done, by the way). When all is said and done, there should be 7 eBooks, containing a total of 35 essays on the Psalms.

hymns of the heart cover

Since the first eBook is being released today, I thought I would share the “working” introduction for the paperback version that will follow when all 7 volumes are completed. I’m sure there will be tons of edits before we reach the final version of this introduction in the paperback (to be released in December or January), but I thought it might show you where these essays come from. Enjoy!

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God is high and holy. He is awesome, great, marvelous, and above anything we can imagine. To say that God is “good” is somehow both truth and understatement.

Yet God is also near. He is Father. He is loving, gracious, merciful, and “not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:27).

How can a holy God be near to us, when we are so often broken, unholy, and struggling?

That question filled my soul recently, and through the intervening weeks and months, it has continued to fill my thoughts. God is the King of it all, but desires a relationship with His people. How is that possible?

It was, in trying to seek answers to that question, that I turned to the 150 poems that comprise the book of Psalms. David, Solomon, Moses, and other writers penned fantastic words that are not only beautiful in their literary value, but seek to connect their minds and emotions with the God of heaven.

These poems come from every conceivable emotion: joy, heartache, anger, confusion, praise, loneliness, sadness, defeat, triumph. In the 150 poems that comprise this volume, whatever emotion you are feeling is more that discussed; it is explored.

That exploration, though, doesn’t look for some pop psychology answer. It isn’t seeking an opinion poll to figure out the winds of change.

The writers are always seeking God. Sometimes, they are asking Him why? Sometimes they are joining creation in glorious praise. Sometimes, they are angry at Him. Sometimes, they are overflowing in thanksgiving. Sometimes, they are crying out to Him for help.

But, in every case, they are seeking His heart.

The 35 essays that comprise Hymns of the Heart are not meant to be a commentary. They are not intended to be considered “scholarly.” The reason is simple: though the poems of Psalms are often sophisticated, that was not their intent. The intent of the psalms was to connect a feeling, emotion, thought, circumstance, or fear with the God of the universe.

In other words, the intent of the Psalms was just what you and I desire in this life: to understand how we relate to the Author of life.

As I write these words, I am about 30% of the way through the writing process of the essays. I recently told my wife, “The more I spend time in the Psalms, the more I am loving it.” What I should have said was, “The more I am loving God.” I still don’t fully understand how One who is perfect can desire that I be near Him. I’m not sure I ever will understand that. But, the more these hymns of the heart fill my mind, I grow ever grateful that God allows me to be near Him, and to express my heart.

My prayer is that you find these 35 essays to be a boon to your faith in Him, and that you let the words of these great poems help you express your heart to the Lord.

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To learn more about Hymns of the Heart, or to order your eBook copy today, go to Start2Finish book’s site here.