Archives For Family


If you attend The Red Brick Church picking out presents for Father’s Day just got a whole lot easier. Complete the homework and come by my study early on Sunday. I am even supplying gift bags and tissue paper.

But I recognize that not everyone can attend our church. So I’m here to help you pick out the right kind of gift for your father.

I should say by way of explanation, that for years my wife complained that she finds it difficult to buy presents for me. Inasmuch, as there is no one easier than I am to pick out present for, I found this puzzling. And I have told her as much. Still she remained baffled. Now I realize that I should have taught her how to buy presents.

Here’s the principle. It’s all about verbs. If you identify manly verbs ,then you will easily pick out the presents. Of course, you want examples, so I am supplying the below table (table 1) to spark your thinking.

Manly Verb

Possible Gifts

Poor Choices

Kill Roundup, Raid, Shotgun shells, snap traps Live traps
Eat Chocolate, Bacon, Ice Cream, Carmel Popcorn, Oreos Celery, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
Tape Duct tape, guerilla tape Scotch tape
Grease WD-40, grease, gun grease, heavy weight motor oil Vaseline, vegetable oil
Hammer Hammer, vice grips, screw drivers Knitting needles
Saw Saw, hatchet, ax, chainsaw, power saw Butter knife
Start stuff Ether, Starter fluid, jumper cables Books on dieting
Light Matches, lighter, accelerant, gas, A book on safety

Recognizing that this still may not be enough to help you understand the male mind, I am including a Red Green video below which embodies the sort of ingenuity and resourcefulness which not only won the American West, but continues to help men with remodeling projects, plumbing problems, and various other challenges in life.


Part of our church’s vision for youth is that we would see interaction between different age groups, that is that we would be “intergenerational.” We don’t want to compartmentalize and isolate teens, but rather see them build relationships with our entire church family.

This year it has been a special joy to see our teens lead the drama (and we consider Eric a teen too) for our VBS. The gift they are giving the children of our church is tremendous. Our children are seeing the older church teach them by modeling the joy of Christ and of the gospel.

This doesn’t mean that we never have youth events. We do. There is a place for teens to hang out with teens. But we get really stoked when our teens model Christ for our children (or for any other age group for that matter).


Notice in the below picture that my wife (lower right) is a pastor’s wife in action!

Do your homework — come by my office before church – - and I’ll supply you with a Father’s Day present–sure to please the man in your home. But you must complete the homework and leave a comment on the assignment post from earlier this week. Share something you’re thankful for about your father so I know how many presents to supply.

My wife has occasionally lamented that it’s hard for her to pick out presents for me. She has a point. I like to get books and since I already own most of what it is in print, it is hard for her to know what to buy. I tend to have very eclectic tastes.

I once suggested that Jamie buy me a tool (I owned zero tools at the time). So she bought me a hacksaw, which she later used to “hack” the bottom off a closet door, but then that’s a different story. She thought a hacksaw looked like a tool I should own.

I also like camera gear, but good gear is a little pricey and, again, she doesn’t know what is on my wish list. If she gets me a full frame camera, I will be very happy. But ONLY if she robs a bank (in a Christian sort of way) in order to pay for it.

All of which is to say, I assume that my wife and kids are not the only ones who struggle in picking out Father’s Day presents. But, hey, I’m here to help! I understand the male mind. If you visit our church on Sunday, and come by my study from 8:30-8:45 AM (but don’t be late) and if you do your homework – - – including leaving a blog comment, then I will supply you with a Father’s Day gift that guys are sure to like. (I impose a limit of 1-2 per family).

But the important thing – - -and a great way to prepare for Father’s Day together – - is to prayerfully read God’s Word together as a family.

Would you share something about your father for which you are thankful? This is for our church family in a special way.

  1. Read Ephesians 5:22-6:4 Aloud
  2. Prayerfully Thank God for your home – Maybe each person in the family thank God for one aspect of your home.
  3. Couples share with your children the story of how you met. Even if you know the story very well, they need to hear it again. Can you think of some new part of the story?
  4. Tell us something you are thankful for about your father – - In order to complete this question, you have to respond on my blog! You don’t have to put your full name. First names or initials are fine.  But on Father’s Day Ben will take care of Father’s who children did a good job being thankful!

Often the most hurting people I pastor are those who have family members who have turned their back on Christ. Below, Jon Bloom reminds us that Jesus knew this pain directly.

Jon Bloom:

Do you, like me, have family members who do not believe in Jesus? If so, we are in good company. So did Jesus. And I think this is meant to give us hope.

According to the Apostle John, “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). That’s incredible. Those who had lived with Jesus for 30 years really did not know him. Not one of Jesus’ brothers is mentioned as a disciple during his pre-crucifixion ministry. But after his resurrection and ascension, there they are in the upper room worshiping him as God (Acts 1:14).

Why didn’t they believe? And what made them change?

The Bible doesn’t answer the first question. But I’ll bet it was difficult to have Jesus for a brother.

First, Jesus would have been without peer in intellect and wisdom. He was astounding temple rabbis by age 12 (Luke 2:42, 47). A sinful, fallen, gifted sibling can be a hard act to follow. Imagine a perfect, gifted sibling.

Second, Jesus’ consistent and extraordinary moral character must have made him odd and unnerving to be around. His siblings would have grown increasingly self-conscious around him, aware of their own sinful, self-obsessed motives and behavior, while noting that Jesus didn’t seem to exhibit any himself. For sinners, that could be hard to live with. . .

Read the rest here.

Mark Cuban:

Remember the housing meltdown ? Tough to forget isn’t it. The formula for the housing boom and bust was simple. A lot of easy money being lent to buyers who couldn’t afford the money they were borrowing. That money was then spent on homes with the expectation that the price of the home would go up and it could easily be flipped or refinanced at a profit.  Who cares if you couldn’t afford the loan. As long as prices kept on going up, everyone was happy. And prices kept on going up. And as long as pricing kept on going up real estate agents kept on selling homes and finding money for buyers.

Until the easy money stopped.  When easy money stopped, buyers couldn’t sell. They couldn’t refinance.  First sales slowed, then prices started falling and then the housing bubble burst. Housing prices crashed. We know the rest of the story. We are still mired in the consequences.

Can someone please explain to me how what is happening in higher education is any different ? . . .

Read the rest here.


Joe Carter:

The Story: ”It used to be called illegitimacy,” says the New York Times. ”Now it is the new normal.” Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America: More than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

The Background: In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a top Labor Department official and later a U.S. senator from New York, warned of a “tangle of pathology” that was resulting from the number of black children—25 percent—that were being born out of wedlock. Today, 73 percent of black children, 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites, are born outside marriage.

Read the rest here.

The biblical concept of submission is a beautiful one.  God works in and through submission and uses those over us to shelter us from some of the storms of life.

Non-Christians regularly throw around words that should not be part of a believer’s vocabulary.  No matter how flippantly people may say, “Oh my God,” Christians should never use our Creator’s name irreverently.

You already knew that.  What is interesting, is that there are words in the Christians vocabulary that society treats as swear words.

One such word is “submit.” Depending on where you say the, “submit,” people may look at you like you just used profanity.  Say “submit” and the hair on the back of culture’s neck stands straight up.

Christians, on the other hand, should treasure the word “submit” and talk about it often.  Repeatedly, the Bible tells Christians to submit.  Wives should submit to their husbands.  Children should submit to their parents.  Employees should submit to those over them in the work place.  Citizens should submit to the government.  Church members should submit to their pastors and leaders.

The New Testament word for submission is the Greek word, “ὑποτάσσω / upotassō.”  It means “to voluntarily yield to in love.”

We submit for our own benefit.  God tells children to submit to their parents that it may go well with them.  When we submit, when we place ourselves under the authority of another, we stand underneath a shelter that God Himself has built.

“I am Unalarmed”

Chris —  June 20, 2011 — Leave a comment

Tim Challies interacts with the Barna study which shows an alarming number of children who leave the faith after growing up in “Christian” homes:

In September of 2006 George Barna released what must be among his most influential studies. Following interviews with more than 22,000 adults and 2,000 teenagers from across America, he revealed that the majority of twentysomethings who are raised as Christians subsequently abandon the faith. The study found that “most twentysomethings disengage from active participation in the Christian faith during their young adult years—and often beyond that. In total, six out of ten twentysomethings were involved in a church during their teen years, but have failed to translate that into active spirituality during their early adulthood.”

Another survey, this one commissioned by LifeWay, found that “Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 — both evangelical and mainline — who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23.” Still another study from Church Communication Networks said that up to 94 percent of Christian teens leave the church within a few years of leaving high school.

These statistics are alarming, and particularly so to those of us who are raising children and earnestly praying that the Lord would save them. It has often been my prayer that the Lord would save my children while they are young, long before they desire to taste the world’s pleasures as unsaved adults. According to these reports this is unlikely. Statistically speaking, I can have little hope.

Each of these studies appears to show that Christians are doing a very poor job of reaching the children in their midst. Ironically, the statistics are used to support solutions that reach from one end of the spectrum to the other: they vary from more programs for teens to fewer programs to teens to abolishing all programs for all children.

These statistics are widely quoted, widely believed, but I remain unalarmed by them. I remain skeptical about the results. Allow me to explain myself.

Read the rest here.