Monday, July 16, 2012

Milestone 6-Leaving Home

(Taken from Southern Baptist Texan, June 24, 2012)

VIDOR– College is a time when Christians have their faith challenged and even demeaned on secular campuses. So Tony Romero, director of Collegiate Ministries at FBC, Vidor, and Lance Crowell, SBTC church ministries associate, offered several tips for parents who want to help their children stay grounded to the faith through college:

> Realize that a Christian upbringing does not guarantee a strong walk with Christ through college. “No matter how well (parents) prepare their kid, no matter how awesome that kid was in church, and how exposed to the Scripture he was, whenever they graduate and go to school, [their faith] is going to have to become theirs.” Romero said. “They’re going to have to own it.” He added that Christian instruction at home and in a church youth group provides a “valuable foundation” for a godly living in college.

> Urge your children to participate in a Bible study with Christian peers during the college years. This is the best ways to solidify Christian faith in a student’s heart, Romero said. One key purpose of a college Bible study is to teach the overarching narrative of Scripture so students realize how the entire Bible fits together. “They need to be engaged in a Bible study among peers, “ he said. “Not a lecture, but rather a guided discussion where you have someone there who, it they start picking up some heresy, is able to address that. Crowell agreed that peer group Bible study is important, and he added that students should not isolate themselves from study opportunities with the larger church body.

.>Be patient. Your children are in an awkward phase between adolescence and adulthood.

“They’ve been told they’re adults, but they’re not really adults yet.” Romero said, “because they haven’t quite got the experiences that qualify them for adulthood. And they don’t really know who they are and what they want to do and where they want to go.”

> Don’t pressure your children into a certain career path. Teach them that security comes from walking with God, regardless of what job they choose. “They’re going to use this time in their life to discover what it is that God’s gifted them with that they’re going to find fulfillment in, “ he said.

>Help your children take on some “real-world” responsibilities in college to learn principles of decision making. “Give them a little bit of freedom to make the tough decisions without influencing every little thing they do,” Romero said. “When they fail, allow them to fail. They’ll learn from that. But so often, parents don’t want them to fail. So they’ll cushion everything, and then by the time it’s their turn to make really tough decisions, they’re either extremely indecisive or they fail and never get back up.” Find a church the student can invest in as well as connect with. “We believe that as hard as it is to find a new church and to connect well, they have to find a local body of believers in a local church to invest in. We see this as foundational for them and formative for them for years to come, “ Crowell said.*

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Papaw's Dressing

There's lots of chopping going on at several Magness homes this week. Onions, celery and more are in preparation for the main event- Thanksgiving! There are some variations of manuscripts that are passing around the descendants of our clan. As best I can tell, the original recipe was found in the Houston Post or Chronicle newspaper but has since morphed into the dressing we have today.

Here is our copy of primarily ingredients with some important comments, the best one is at the bottom: Taste as you go!" I guess that best sums up Dad's life. Though raised in the old school era, he was an entrepreneur. As he passed through this life, he sampled new things, especially new relationships. I can only hope that the dressing tastes right this year. Oh, and don't forget the secret: fresh hand rubbed sage!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Intentions v. Intentionality

We all have good intentions. In fact we've heard that the road to you know where is paved with good intentions. That's the best we can sometimes say about intentions. They are stand alone "woulda coulda shouldas". What if we put feet to these good intentions, roll them into a plan and do them? Now that's intentionality!. Great ideas with a plan.

Do you have someone you have been wanting to ask to church or Bible study? Perhaps someone you have had on your heart for a while?

Why not put that great idea into action and plan to invite them this week to join you at church. You may not be able to reach the world, but you can reach your world. You won't however reach anyone without a plan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rite of Passage

If you ask a 16 year old about a "rite of passage" you might get the answer, " When I get the keys to the car..." somewhere in their response. Dads, there are better things than that awaiting our sons (and daughters). I was reading the current issue of LifeWay's Home Life magazine and saw the article "Rites of Passage." Wow! What a powerful way to bless our children. The article told a story of a father who wanted to do something special for his teenage son. "An unforgettable journey" was the father's gift.

Outdoor interests were the backdrop for the journey as the father planned a hike for his son. The father placed a few men who had meaningful relationships with his son along the trail at various intervals. As the father and son "happened" upon the first man, the son would pause and then walk farther down the trail as the new hiking partner shared his blessing blessing. As the pair came to the next person, the son would continue the hike with the new partner as the previous partner dropped back, and again the new pair would walk on. On the adventure went until the end of the hike.

One more surprise was planned for the son. All the significant men were at a lunch in honor of the son. Key women in the son's life also participated in this mealtime.

Some variations came to my mind to help in special situations. Obviously some key people may not be around to participate. Death, job transfers and other factors may need a workaround in order to make the journey meaningful for your child. Cherished aging grandparents may be able to be videoed with their blessing. A letter of congratulations and even a digital recording might be acceptable ways to share in the moment. Plan ahead! The possibilities are many, but don't let regrets shorten or delay the incredible jouurney you can have for your children.

"Rites of Passage." LifeWay Home Life magazine. July 2011. Pages 40-42

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Read the Bible For Life

"Only 16% of churchgoers read the Bible daily and 25% of churchgoers don't read the Bible at all." When I read this quote from George Guthrie of the Ryan Center at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, my heart ached. Not just because 3 out 4 of those sitting in our church don't read God's Word, but mostly from the ache I had for my own drought of not reading God's Word that dotted my early Christian life.

For some weeks I have been looking at this material. I remember growing up how my Sunday School teachers taught us the books of the Bible and all the different literary styles contained in the Bible. It wasn't until recently that I developed an appreciation for just reading God's Word. Jan & I read through the Bible each year as a couple. (Those hard to pronounce names in the Old Testament don't get any easier to say.)

  • 25 million copies of the Bible are sold in the US annually
  • 9 out of 10 homes in the US have a Bible
  • More than 400 million copies of all or part of the Bible are distributed through Bibles societies each year
A LifeWay research study tells us that daily Bible reading is the number 1 predictor of spiritual maturity and yet only 16% of church goers read their Bibles daily. On a pew of 6 people, only one person reads their Bible daily.

I trust that you lead your family to be better than average when it comes to reading God's Word.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Neckties Required!

A man dying of thirst walked through the desert. As he stumbled over a sand dune, he was greeted by a man selling ties. The dehydrated man begged for water, but the salesperson said he only had ties. In frustration and anger, the thirsty man continued his journey for survival.

Within an hour he reached an isolated restaurant in the middle of the desert. At first he thought he was seeing a mirage; but as he drew closer, he knew the restaurant was real.

He felt ecstatic. He ran for the door, but a security guard stopped him and denied him entry into the restaurant. "I'm sorry," said the guard, "but to eat in here you must have a necktie."

I read this cute story and thought about ways God grows the His Kingdom and His church. Recently we started an Outreach Strategy to connect guests and prospects to Anderson Mill Baptist Church. Outreach is rather simple, but often overlooked. It's like the necktie in the story. It may not seem relevant in the beginning, but without outreach nobody profits. Our Outreach Strategy:

  • Demonstrates that we really are a friendly church.
  • Helps everyone to attach a name to a face.
  • Allows our church to extend a timely "Thank You for being our guest."
  • Gives us an opportunity to share His story, the gospel.

Already, several AMBC members are helping our guests to connect with God and His church. You can join us. Just comment on this blog and we'll contact you about orientation. If everyone would be involved once a month, His church will grow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marriage Mentoring

This year AMBC allocated budget support for our first in-house Marriage Enrichment Conference. On August 26-27, 2011, Dr. Scott Floyd and his wife will be our guests for this exciting event. (More on this later.) As part of this conference and in line with our Milestones strategy, we will offer marriage mentors to those attending the conference.

Who are mentors? "Mentoring involves life-to-life exchanges that help others discover and pursue their passions and sort out their priorities." David Stoddard1 Mentors are couples who model life, help mentorees set and keep goals and challenge and encourage couples in their journey.

Why do we sometimes need mentors? Jan & I were remodeling our home in Alvin several years back. One delivery truck was loaded with lumber and supplies. As the truck backed into our driveway, the weight was too much and the truck sank in the soft clay soil just off the drive. It wasn't going anywhere without help. Jan was keeping a toddler at the time and he was watching all this take place. The driver came to the door and told us. "I need to call Bobby." Bobby was the dispatcher at the lumberyard. Our small toddler friend heard this and commented, "I sure hope Bobby has a tractor." Like tractors, mentors can help keep the relationship moving. Whether we have slowed down or come to a complete stop, we may need a little help to get out of the clay and back on firm ground.

Who might profit from a mentoring relationship? Anyone can. Whether we are preparing for, repairing or trying to maximize our marriage, mentors can be the short term guide for the journey.

If you are interested in looking into having a mentor in your marriage, sign up today for the Marriage Enrichment Conference. Click on the stack of cups to register.

The Complete Guide to Mentoring. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. Zondervan, 2005. Page 28