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.