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Update From Sumaya!

September 25, 2013

Look what I got in the mail today! A letter from our Compassion Child, Sumaya.

SumayaSeptember2013Letter Page 2 SumayaSeptember2013Letter Page 1


Is Mom The Only Homemaker?

September 23, 2013

Reggie Joiner:

I have discussions with working moms quite frequently related to the competing values of pursuing a career and being a mom. There seems to be a tremendous amount of pressure and sometimes guilt associated with trying to juggle their responsibilities. One mom of preschoolers recently confided: “Being a mom is just different than being a dad. At least with a baby it is. . . . I guess in an ideal world there’s a 50/50 split of laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, bedtime story telling, baths, boo-boo kissing, etc. But is that really true for families you know? When I check with my friends, my husband seems to be more involved than the average, but I’m still the primary homemaker.” When I asked what she meant by the term “homemaker” she said: “I don’t know another word for it. It’s all the work that happens at home. Someone has to do the job.”

We could pause here and address the pressures of single parenting. But that’s another blog, for another time. Right now, I am wondering how many married moms sometimes feel like a single parent when it comes to homemaking? Okay, that’s probably a dramatic comparison, and maybe it is unrealistic to try to find a 50/50 solution. I also understand that some personalities in a relationship may be just more naturally wired to assume the homemaking roles. At least that’s the excuse I used when my kids were preschoolers. I did improve slightly with the parenting duties when they moved through the elementary years and into their teens. But if homemaking is “all the work that happens at home,” then maybe we should be more creative in how we share the responsibilities.

I made the mistake of getting a list of homemaker responsibilities from this mom. This was the partial list she sent:

“Planning play dates, picking a preschool, arranging for childcare, going to the pediatrician, tracking development, grocery shopping, getting pictures taken and sent to grandparents, filling out the baby book, recording memories, disciplining, reading discipline books, changing diapers, buying baby clothes, making baby food, preparing meals, making sure we’ve always got the epi pen, potty training, giving baths, knowing the nap schedule, interpreting baby-talk, coming up with fun and educational games, teaching manners, networking with other moms (parents), planning birthday parties, going to other kids birthday parties, packing the diaper bag, changing batteries in the toys, laundry, laundry and more laundry. . . . As kids get older, it’s also figuring out what sports and activities to sign up for, finding the best piano teacher, discovering the right baseball league, going to teacher conferences, PTA, driving to practice, going to games, recitals and shows, helping with homework, researching books and movies before they read them or go see them, keeping up with their friends—it all seems overwhelming.”

She is not suggesting that her husband will not help with her homemaker responsibilities. She is just implying that she feels primarily responsible.

If you are a dad reading this, what I’m about to ask you to do could be dangerous.

Look at the list above and attempt to write a percentage of your involvement next to some of the homemaking responsibilities. (For example, what percentage of the laundry or grocery shopping do you do?)

Am I suggesting that you should do 50 percent of the laundry or diaper-changing? Not necessarily. But maybe you should pick a few of items on the list and increase your level of involvement. Bump that 10 percent to 20 percent. Or better yet, do 75 percent of the laundry. Contrary to what some may say, it won’t make you a wimpy, spineless man if you increase your homemaking skills. It could be a positive step for your family and marriage if you took some of the pressure off mom.

Does Sponsoring A Child Really Work?

September 18, 2013

I saw this infographic today and thought about the young lady we sponsor through TrinKids, Sumaya. Read more about her here, here, here, here, and here.


Do You Really Want To Change?

September 17, 2013

John Piper during a sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12-17 on Christmas in 1983:

Before anyone says, “Oh, I’ve tried religion and it didn’t help,” let me ask this: How many of you have ever fasted for three days? Two days? One day? Have you taken the Word of God, asked for a vacation day, gone away by yourself Friday through Sunday, and saturated your mind with holiness and poured our your soul in longing to the Lord for change? Have you gathered around yourself two or three spiritual brothers or sisters, shared with them the habit you want to break, sought their daily earnest prayer, and stood yourself accountable to them? If not, then don’t say religion doesn’t work.

Moses fasted forty days. Elijah fasted forty days. Jesus fasted forty days and spent whole nights in prayer. When was the last time you wanted any change in your life bad enough to spend one whole day in prayer and fasting seeking it from the Lord, not to mention three days like Paul (Acts 9:9), or three weeks like Daniel (Daniel 10:2, 3), or forty days like Moses? The problem with most of us is not that the Christmas message is powerless, but that we don’t really want to be changed. “You will seek me and find me (says the Lord, in Jeremiah 29:13) when you seek me with all your heart.” When you want with all your heart to rid yourself of what is evil and undesirable, God will give you the Christmas gift of change.

God could give the gift of change apart from the struggle of prayer. But then we would never appreciate it as we ought. If he didn’t usually cause our prayers to mount up with fervency and earnestness before he changed us, then we would be like people who are fed before we are really hungry. The Christmas dinner of God’s transformation would go down on a full stomach. There would not be so many oohs and ahs to his glory.

What’s more, when God gives the gift of change, it is always pure. But our motives for change, even the best change, are not usually pure at first. Only when we begin to seek him earnestly and saturate our minds with large doses of his pure Word and test our affections through self-denial, do our motives become pure and ready to receive the pure Christmas gift of change.

What I Read in August

September 3, 2013

I am a continual devourer of information. As such, I am always looking for good book recommendations and am curious as to what other people are reading. I try to read widely (sometimes unsuccessfully) and so I am often reading many books at the same times with various levels of concentration and depth. I am always looking for good book recommendations and so I figured I would “pay it forward” a bit. So, here is what I read in August.

Leadership is an Art by Max DePree – A wonderful book on leadership and management written by one of America’s top CEOs. The short book is full of wisdom from years of leading teams. I loved every page of it and will read it again…lots of times.

packer2Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer – This book was originally written in the 1950s and bears all the marks of classic Packer. Short, sweet, and to the point. This is doctrine put on the low shelf. I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling with issues related to predestination and free will. Packer does a great job balancing the two.

Leading Teams, Leading People by Lee Ellis – This book, although I read it like a regular book, is really more of a reference and tool. It provides good (but sometimes vague) personality diagnostics to help maximize team performance. Overall it was good. A bit clunky and repetitive at points.

In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson – Simple, straightforward, and yet complex look at the person and work of Jesus. Would give this to someone unfamiliar with Jesus and would also reference it in a dissertation. Ferguson does a great job of blending top-notch scholarship with accessible writing.

book1Deep and Wide – Andy Stanley – I am still working on this one. It is half biography and half ministry philosophy of his megachurch – North Point in Atlanta. The first part of the book is riveting as he recounts the infamous “split” in First Baptist Atlanta that resulted in the creation of North Point Church. I am just starting to get into some of his ministry philosophy. There is a lot of good stuff here, but a lot of seeds to spit out. I am glad Andy is in the kingdom, but I am not sure I would work on the same staff as him! But I love him for his wisdom and winsome spirit.

TrinKids Monthly | September 2013

August 27, 2013

View below or click here for PDF version.

TrinKids Monthly Sep 2013 TrinKids Monthly Sep 2013

Watch TrinKids Worship In Action!

August 22, 2013

Watch below the entirety of TrinKids Worship from August 18th.