Jackson Five Friday: Beyond Superficiality

Hey Friends,

It’s actually Saturday –Friday kinda got away from me. Anyway this morning is unbelievably gorgeous. It’s 71 degrees under clear skies, with a lovely and uncommon little breeze. Maybe the breeze is somehow connected to Florence, I don’t know. How odd to be sitting on my front porch beholding such glory when just one state away there is such devastating destruction. Praying for all those affected.

I wish I could post about my sons. They say the most hilarious things. And I’d love to quote them and then pull out some spiritual lesson. It’s been one of my favorite things to do now for over ten years here on the blog. But sadly they’ve reached the age that they do not want to be quoted on my blog. And I get that. I really do. Still, it’s a little sad to have such an abundance of material and yet refrain.

I will say though that I am generally very proud of their depth of thought. Richard Foster said, and this was decades before Twitter, that “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”

Are you blessed to have some deep thinkers in your life? Are you helping those around you to move beyond the superficial? One of my sons is less naturally contemplative than the others. Sometimes his analysis of an idea feels a millimeter deep. Who is better equipped to help him engage more meaningfully than me? It’s certainly part of every parents’ job to help their children move beyond superficial thought. We cannot get inside their minds but we can point the way. The question is how.

The answer, like so many answers, isn’t just found in the Bible. Of course the Bible has the answer and in various locations! What’s amazing is how many answers to living the Christian life are found in a single chapter. Romans 12 is a beautiful summation of living a Christ-like life. I think every Christian should know it inside out.

Romans 12:2a says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Can I take a stab at an amplified paraphrase?

Stop letting the superficial, talking-point, buzz-word rhetoric get in your head. Just stop. Instead spend time alone with God and in His Word and in His Creation. Your life is transformed when your mind is renewed. Guess what never once renewed a mind? Social media, movies, friends, or even good books. Faithful friends and good books are important. But they do not renew your mind. The renewing of your mind is a work of the Spirit. Stop mindlessly conforming and let Him transform you.

Praying for a weekend at least sprinkled with quiet moments before the Lord.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: What’s for Dinner?

Hey Friends,

Hope the back-to-school season is going swimmingly.  So far it is for us.  Since all three sons are now at one school, and we have a fully licensed driver and another with a permit, things feel a little less complicated.  Sports are part of the school day.  Sam goes directly to swim practice instead of being home for a while and then swimming or doing something else.  This simple shift in schedule has dramatically improved our lives.  Sitting down to dinner flows naturally.  They walk in the door hungry and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of having dinner ready to go.  We can linger at the table because no one has anywhere to be.  Evening obligations — games and meets — will creep back in in a few months, but right now I am loving the get-home-and-stay-home routine.

As Henri Nouwen writes “a really peaceful and joyful meal together belongs to the greatest moments of life,” and I agree.  I honestly don’t think the importance of this time spent together can be overstated.  In our house food makes people happy and chatty.  There is little in life as satisfying as winsome and chatty sons.

How are you and yours doing with indulging in peaceful, joyful meals?  It’s not really about the food.  Although, tasty nourishing meals certainly don’t hurt.  And obviously phones and other distractions need to be put away.  But mostly it’s just about the people.  It’s about undivided attention and continually pointing those we love to the ways of Christ.

The Bible says that we are to teach our children to love the Lord our God, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to Him.  When are we supposed to do this?  At church on Sundays?  Family devotional time?  No.  Deuteronomy 11:19 says, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  In other words, all the time.  And think of how few distractions and outside influences people had in the days of Deuteronomy!  People of that time weren’t bombarded 24/7 with the lie that stuff would make them happy, but still God commanded that the truth be shared over and over and over again.  All day.  Every day.

Parenthood is a high calling!  May I be faithful to the task!

Praying for you as well.  May this weekend include some peaceful and joyful meals seasoned with laughter and lots of truth sharing.

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. I took the picture of the schweineschnitzel above because I had made so much of it, and I wanted to see how much would be leftover.  Any guesses?