He Reads Truth (Hymns): "Be Still, My Soul"

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I have the privilege of contributing to He Reads Truth, a website of whose purpose is “To help men become who we were made to be, by doing what we were made to do, by the power and provision that God has given us to do it, for the glory of Jesus Christ.” They do this by providing scripture reading plans accompanied by reflections that can be accessed for free online or purchased as print books. For those of you looking to engage scripture in a fresh way, these studies/plans will refresh your soul and engage your mind.

What follows is the piece I wrote for the "Hymns" reading plan. You can find the full plan HERE.

 

Day 4: "Be Still, My Soul"
Psalm 62, Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 8:22-25, James 5:7-8

Several years ago, my wife wanted to get backyard chickens, and I fought it. I thought the idea was crazy. We live in the city—in the suburbs. Chickens? Really? But she wore me down. And it’s been one of the best parenting decision we’ve ever made. Our kids love them. They’ve named them. And through feeding, collecting eggs, and scooping chicken poop, my daughters have learned all kinds of things about daily responsibility.

But one of the most significant moments came on the day a dog jumped our back fence and killed two of our hens. My daughters’ hearts were broken. I disposed of the bodies, and that night we had a chicken funeral. We went around the dinner table, each sharing our favorite memories of Rebekah and Matilda. We’re not the most sentimental family, but we still grieved. I can remember sitting on the bed that evening with my youngest while she cried. She needed her dad to help her find rest.

A mentor of mine once told me, “Life is full of unfinished symphonies.” It’s true. In this fallen world, things are always falling apart. We face cancer, lost jobs, and disability. Hopes and dreams are deferred. Loved ones die. But even when we feel life’s brokenness more than we’ve ever felt it before, God is still with us. We can patiently bear our cross of grief and pain, because He is on our side.

Jesus calls us to come to him with our griefs and fears. He wants to bear them. Let Him quiet your soul today. When I feel anxious, grieved, and oppressed, my tendency is either to run to my friends or to make myself busy in order to take my mind off the griefs and worries. This isn’t wrong, but Psalm 62 reminds me of my need to first bring my griefs to my Father, just as my little girl brought hers to me. We find true rest in God alone; our hope comes from Him (Psalm 62:1, 5). People and things will always let us down, but God remains faithful (Psalm 62:9-12).

This can be hard to trust when we experience loss and injustice (Sometimes we just want to be mad at the neighbors’ dog!) We can’t always trace out what God is doing, but we know that he orders and provides. Rest and hope are found in remembering his power and providence over all of life’s storms (Luke 8:22-25). One day, he’ll show us the end of the symphony he’s writing for us. He’ll correct the prevailing forms of injustice we experience in this world. And, for his people, Jesus will repay--from his own fullness--all that He has previously taken away (Isaiah 62:3).

Family Friday Links 12.29.17 New Years Edition

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David Murray at the Head, Heart, and Hand blog. Encourages Parents to help their children read the Bible in the new year. He gives some great reasons how we can help kids read their Bibles in 2018. Murray states, "We want our children to read their Bibles, not as a way of salvation, but as a way of them learning about salvation. Reading the Bible will not save them but discovering Christ and his grace in the Bible will. That’s why we should always be encouraging them to ask two simple questions of every passage: “What does this teach me about God?” and, “What does this teach me about salvation?” Here is a link to David Murray's Bible Reading Plan for Kids

This week I came across a 2-part post Jill Nelson had from earlier in 2017 reposted this week about what you should do if your child doesn't want to go to church.  Jill writes, "While we have influence and responsibility, we don’t have control over our child. We can teach our child the Scriptures, but we can’t be the Holy Spirit in our child’s life. We can confront sinful patterns that need to change, but we can’t generate spiritual life that leads to lasting change. Only the Spirit can do that.What we can do is pray for and parent our child the best we know how. We can keep trusting God to do what we cannot"

Tim Parlier wrote an article on the Saturate Blog about reaching the Epic generation. As he writes about the Epic generation he sets a foundation about a context for sharing the gospel for any generation. Tim writes, "If you’re serious about building a church family that represents all age groups, you’d be well-advised to consider the significant differences and expectations each of these generations have when entering relationships and how the gospel is applied to each of them (that may be another article). " How well do you understand the Epic generation? 

If you got a new android or iOS and are looking for a new app for kids I would encourage you to check out Lightgliders. They also have a blog for Parents. This week their blog was on Love. The blog says, "We are talking about the fifth and final Lightglider value this week, the value of love. Love is significant because it motivates everything we do both inside and outside Lightglider Academy. God wants us to live knowing that we are loved. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is the proof that God loves us. If we live truly knowing that we are loved, we can love. We can love God. We can love others. We can love ourselves. An important question to always be asking is "What does love look like here?" Lightgliders look for ways to be a sample of love wherever they go." This is also followed with some conversation starters for parents. You should check out lightgliders for your kids!

Leave in the comments what you have been reading this week?