Monday, December 29, 2014

Death and The Life Well Lived

This article is from a most excellent blog:

LEARNING IN THE GRIP OF GRACE.


Steve Jobs, Death and The Life Well Lived


I recently watched a Steve Jobs speech that he gave at Stanford university (check it out here.) In it he quite candidly talks about death. Here is a quote from it:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Jobs is saying that the path to the life well lived is remembering you are mortal which is exactly what the Bible says in Psalm 90:2 where the psalmist says “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
It got me thinking, if I had only one week or month to live what would I do?
Here are ten things that I would do if I only had a week or a month to live:
  1. Kiss, hug, play and pray with my kids and tell them about Jesus.
  2. Kiss, hug, serve and pray with my wife.
  3. Have the hard but good conversations I have been avoiding
  4. Pray for my family, church and those I loved
  5. Praise God for the gospel
  6. Put time into the leaders and future leaders of Resolved
  7. Preach the gospel with all my heart and strength and without fear
  8. Be fully intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually engaged in everything I did
  9. I would ignore Facebook, Twitter and my phone
  10. I would tell people how God has used them to encourage me in my faith
But then that got me thinking what if I did those things all day every day? What if I lived life like that? That would be a life lived for the glory of God. That would be an unwasted life.
So maybe the key to living life to the full is not trying escape death but embrace the fact that you and I are going to die and living in the light of that!
If you had only one month to live what ten things would you do? What if you lived out this list every day? What would your life be like then?
You may also like:

Will There Be Work in Heaven?

How To No Longer Fear Death

The Distinguishing Mark of a Leader

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Temper Tantrums



Not fun.

For the parent or for the child.

Some suggestions -

Pre-tantrum;

1. Model self-control and patience yourself

2. Have a predictable pattern for most days

3. Make most of the decisions for the child

Mid-tantrum;

1. Do not give them an audience

2. Do not try and dialogue with them

3. Never give them what they are fussing for

Post-tantrum;

1. Administer a meaningful age-appropriate consequence

2. Role-play expected behaviour for next time

3. Gently and patiently teach obedience and self-control.




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Passion

What is your passion in life?


What do you look forward to?


What do you get excited about?


What do you talk most about?






How do you know what really matters to someone?


Easy.


Look at how they choose to spend two commodities.


Time.


Money.


What does the way you spend your discretionary time and money say about your passion?



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Coping with Happiness

How can I help my little one handle times of happiness?

Life is fun.


Life is happy.


Life is good.


Our precious little ones laugh a lot.


Sometimes when they are alone.


Sometimes when they are being tickled or chased.


Sometimes when they are receiving a treat.


As kind parents we respond in kind.


We laugh with them.


 We play with them.


We provide them with good things.


So what should we do when they are happy?


Often we will be happy with them.


Sometimes though, we will need to help them modify their responses.


Squealing for a prolonged period of time can cause discomfort to other people's ears.


It is okay to be happy, but it is not okay to squeal for a long time.


Shouting in excitement at an extreme volume can cause discomfort to other people's conversations or naps.


It is okay to be excited, but it is not okay to be super loud.

Running around hysterically and jumping on and off furniture can be dangerous for others.


it is okay to be delighted about a treat, but it is not okay to run around in a reckless manner.


One of my children in particular would become super excited on receiving a gift, hearing that a visitor was coming or that a treat was planned. This child needed instruction in how to express this happiness in appropriate ways. So in times of non-conflict we would role-play receiving a gift or good news and actually act out how to respond in a way that expressed pleasure, yet was also kind to others.

We need to help our little ones walk through these situations, rather than simply excusing their outbursts due to their age.


Life is fun.


Life is happy.


Life is good.


Yes, walking through happy times together can strengthen relationships and build your child's faith.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Coping with Sadness

How can I help my little one handle times of grief?


Life is hard.


Life is messy.


Life is sad.


Our precious little ones cry a lot.


Sometimes when they are hungry.


Sometimes when they are tired.


Sometimes when they are frustrated.


As kind parents we respond in kind.


We feed them nutritious food at regular times.


We ensure they are not over-busy and have adequate naps and night time sleep.


We teach them skills that will enable them to progress developmentally and help minimise their frustration levels.


So what should we do when they are sad?


Often we will be sad with them.


If a family pet dies, they should know it is okay to miss the pet.
 It is okay to say goodbye in a tangible way.
 It is okay to talk about the pet.
In time, it is okay to buy a new one to care for and love.


If a family member dies, they should know it is okay to cry and feel sad about that.
It is okay to need lots of hugs and snuggle time.
It is okay to look through photos and remember the happy times.
Hopefully they can have the comfort too, of knowing they will see that loved one in heaven one day.


Moving house.
Having a family member leave the house.
Prolonged illness.
An injury to a family member.
Loss of a job.
A relationship conflict.
The end of a dream.


All of these things can cause sadness.


We need to help our little ones walk through these situations, rather than trying to shield them from reality.


Life is hard.


Life is messy.


Life is sad.


Yet, walking through hard times together can strengthen relationships and build your child's faith.







Elisabeth Elliot




“Called to be a mother,
entrusted with
 the holy task
 of cooperating with God
 in shaping
 the destinies of six people,
 she knew it was too heavy
 a burden to carry alone.
 She did not try.
She went to Him whose name is
 Wonderful Counsellor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father.
 She asked His help.”

Elisabeth Elliot (describing her mother’s faith)

Elisabeth Elliot's father


“The trouble with so many parents
is that they do not begin early enough to insist on
 obedience,
telling the truth,
and respect for parents;
and unfortunately many do not behave in the home
in ways that inspire respect.
 Love,
kindness,
cheerfulness,
 and good times
should abound in every Christian home,
but these are stifled where there is
disobedience,
disrespect,
and where the children’s will dominates.
Parents are God’s representatives in the home and,
like Him,
they should keep the right balance
 between Law and grace.”

Philip Howard (Elisabeth Elliot’s father)