Just a Minute

Just a Minute

In honor of spring break I want to tell the story of a child and of the man he became. This man today loves children like Jesus does and helps other people do the same. He didn’t have a good childhood. He was beaten nineteen times each week for nine months out of each year. He was the son of missionaries in the days when children were sent off to boarding school to keep them from interfering with the mission work. A head master and teachers who didn’t want to teach and were not called to caring for children used physical abuse to keep  some 50 children under control and said that if the kids told their parents they’d become Satan’s tool and would harm the mission work being done. The children lived in misery, fear, and silence. Finally one...

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What’s a Hypocrite?

What’s a Hypocrite?

I don’t think we’ve had this particular discussion before with the boys. It was verses from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6) and questions in Good Dirt (http://gooddirtfamilies NULL.com/good-dirt-devotional/) that got their wheels turning and, before we’d even finished the Scripture reading our 8-year-old was interrupting with, “What’s a hypocrite? … What’s a hypocrite?” They couldn’t really identify with Jesus’ examples of blowing trumpets when giving money in church, or praying really loud on street corners, or fasting from food with troubled faces. So, the challenge was to bring hypocrisy to a kid’s level. “It’s doing things so that other people will think you’re a really...

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Going for Gold

Going for Gold

Olympic season and the Quinns are taking in some winter sports in Russia these days! We’re rooting not only for the USA but also for Norway, Switzerland, and the Ukraine. Our high-schooler is part of a competition in his Global Community class and his threesome bid for these countries in their class Olympics. They chose well; we’ve celebrated more than a few golds. It’s fun to watch these exotic winter games and witness the amazing victories, along with the crushing upsets, injuries, and nerve-wracked sub-par performances. As we do, though, the mom in me can’t help but ask questions that span far beyond Russia. It’s these questions that run deep and wide, but that really circle back to the heart of each one of us and what it is that we’re really...

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Understanding Sin and Where It Brings Us

Understanding Sin and Where It Brings Us

Sin. We can’t talk about what it means to be a follower of Jesus without discussing sin. It’s a word we find a lot in the Bible and a word that has been used in all sorts of ways throughout the eras of the Christian church. Sometimes sin hasn’t been explained well, and sometimes God’s answer to sin hasn’t been celebrated as the vital second half of the story of God’s life with us. I’m reading the New Testament book of Romans with a group at church, and we have plunged right in with Paul, the writer of Romans, to talk of sin and its effects on people in the very first chapter of this book. Paul is writing to a church in the big, first-century city of Rome that has never had a visit from an apostle, has never had...

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Dirty Work and New Growth

Dirty Work and New Growth

Kids never cease to surprise. Over Christmastide, the period of the twelve days of Christmas beginning December 25, our family had a time of sitting together and focusing for more than 30 minutes on both the spiritual parallels for the 12 Days of Christmas song and then on what spiritual disciplines are, why we practice them, and some discussion on a few specific disciplines. We are using a book titled Good Dirt: A Devotional for the Spiritual Formation of Families (http://gooddirtfamilies NULL.com/good-dirt-devotional/) by Lacy Finn Borgo and Ben Barczi (which you can download for free to use with your family or purchase in paperback from Amazon, with two  subsequent issues for upcoming parts of the church year available soon). The book has a brief family...

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Why Kids Need God Now

Why Kids Need God Now

Children and God. How important is it, really, to help kids meet Jesus and learn how to live life with him? How much “God” do kids really need? Where is the line between “not enough” and “too much” God in a child’s life? I’ve been thinking about these questions for years, and through many hours of training with Child Evangelism Fellowship and in living daily life with my own kids, I’ve come a long way in finding what I believe are important answers to these questions. Some years ago the Barna Research Group did a study on kids and their exposure to teaching about Jesus and the Bible. They found, basically, that the younger kids are, the more receptive they are to meeting God and joining their lives with his....

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