The Gospel and Family Traditions

I’m thankful to Risen Motherhood for the invitation to write about how the Bible speaks to tradition. The piece is called “Gospel Thinking: How Do We Decide Our Family Traditions.” Here’s an excerpt:

Efforts to keep Christ in our traditions can bring us into conflict with the world and family. Days of travel, feasting, gifts, games, and small-talk may not feel “Christ-centered.” In my 20s, I found myself burdened with guilt around holidays and notable seasons, feeling that I wasn’t ever doing enough to honor Jesus. As a young father, I felt like a failure. I wondered if I had the best traditions to ensure my kids treasured Jesus and would follow him all their days.

Relief arrived when I considered what the Bible had to say about traditions and “holy days.”

Read the rest here. Be sure to download RM’s free equipping printable with discussion questions here.

I previously wrote a piece for Risen Motherhood on miscarriage, which you can find in my “Dads Hurt Too” series.

#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the concluding post in a series on miscarriage and the Gospel — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

It’s been almost three years since our last miscarriage. Wounds are healing. Yet, I’d be lying if I said those foxes don’t still bark and nip from time to time. They bark, but the Gospel speaks. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 5) — Miscarriage and Loneliness

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the fifth post in a series— “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

In God’s kindness, we survived that year. Our son—Living Child #5—was born February 8, 2012, allowing us to spend the anniversary of our loss enjoying our newborn. With his birth, we were finished having children—miscarriage and the little foxes were not.

In December 2014, I accepted a call to be associate pastor at new church. We packed and moved to a new city, to this new congregation, filled with new people.

In January, we discovered that, despite our decision to be finished having children, my wife was pregnant. We hit a wall of conflicting emotions. Pregnancy had grown increasingly burdensome and destructive to her body, especially in the summer heat. We hadn’t wanted another child. Yet, we treasure children. We knew we should want this child. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 5) — Miscarriage and Loneliness”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis post is the fourth in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

The day we returned from the hospital, I headed to store to fill a prescription for my wife. As I drove, I turned on the radio, set to my usual public radio channel. A state lawmaker and the host were discussing some bit of abortion legislation. The legislator quipped something like, “You know, it’s not a big deal. We’re only talking about fetuses up to 18-weeks.” These words hit my heart like salt in a bite wound. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the third post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

Our daughter—Living Child #4—entered the world in December 2008 with no complications. In the spring of 2009, we learned another baby was on its way, due in February 2010. On a family vacation in July, my wife experienced strange contraction pains. We saw her doctor when we returned. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame”

Review: ESV Expository Commentary Series

Crossway recently released the first three volumes in their ESV Expository Commentary: Volume VII — Daniel-Malachi, Volume XI — Ephesians-Philemon, and Volume XII — Hebrews-Revelation.

Appearance

The set is well-made, a delight to hold, and attractive. The paper is thick and easy to read from. The ribbon marker is a nice touch. The Smyth-sewn binding seems like it will hold up to long-term use.

Scholarship

The set is edited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton, and Jay Skylar. Among the authors are many trustworthy scholars, whose work I’ve come to trust.


WTS Books is offering the volumes on sale at a significant discount (bit.ly/ESVCommentary).


Continue reading “Review: ESV Expository Commentary Series”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 2) — Miscarriage and Comparison

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the second post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

Despite arriving pale, blue, and breathless—the umbilical cord cinching a death-grip on his throat—our first child lived, as did our second and our third.

We first experienced the death of a child in the womb in September 2007, a year after the birth of Living Child #3. We lost the baby early in the unannounced pregnancy, at only four and a half weeks. The bleeding started the day after a home pregnancy test. Had she not taken it, we might have thought her cycle had simply started late.

Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 2) — Miscarriage and Comparison”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageMy wife and I have nine children, but if you meet us, we’ll only say we have five. That’s because we’ve only ever named five—the five we’ve met, the five who took breaths, the five we brought home. Four of our children died by “miscarriage.”

Medically speaking, miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation; it is the death of a baby in the womb. As with most suffering, I did not expect to experience it personally; it happened to other people. I certainly never considered it from the father’s perspective. Miscarriage seemed to be—before it happened to us—solely a woman’s experience, a mother’s sorrow. Now I know differently. Moms hurt, and dads hurt too. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the New Heaven and New Earth

This is the final post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God. For background on the approach taken, see the first post, “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

Already and Not Yet

Life today is a mixture of the already and the not yet. Christ is already reigning—and he is working in and through us. So, we see glimpses of the Kingdom of God in the good done in social media.

But the kingdom is not yet here in its fullness. People are still dead in their trespasses and sins, “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air…children of wrath”—and it shows it their social media use. We, as Christians, still struggle against our flesh and its sinful inclinations—and it shows in our social media use. Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the New Heaven and New Earth”

#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Church

This is the sixth post in a multipart series—#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media to the Glory of God.  For background on the approach taken, see the first post, “Social Media to the Glory of God.”

Human Purpose in the Church

For our purpose, we can look back to the description of Jesus we found in Philippians 2. In the broader context, Paul writes (2:3-16): Continue reading “#TweetLikeJesus: Social Media in the Church”