Family Friday Links 6.3.16

Here's what we've been reading online this week:

Mark Dever had a post on the Gospel Coalition site on the importance of discipleship. He wrote, "What is discipling in addition to helping others follow Jesus? It’s doing them spiritual good." This is not just a good post for parents, pastors, and volunteers; but for all believers. This is something we are all called to. The post offers practical steps to talk as we seek to disciple.

Donald Macleod had a post on the Desiring God site on joy. This is something we all desire to experience more of. It reads, "... [the Holy Spirit] fills our hearts with joy by focusing our minds, not on joy itself, but on the majesty of God, the beauty of Christ, and the unsearchable riches which are ours in him." This is a needed reminder.

John Hailes had a post entitled "Raising & Releasing the Next Generation." He writes, "When we include teenagers in our ministry its messy. Sometimes putting them on the stage is even cringe worthy. However, its so unbelievably necessary for our ministries and the future of kidmin…" He goes on to list several reasons this is important. Pastors and leaders this is worth considering.

Our friend, Sam Luce, wrote another amazing post on parenting. He says, "If you are a parent and are looking to invest your time where it matters most to get the most bang for your buck, I would urge you to consider the three things I have listed below." You'll have to go to the post to see what Sam's list. Parents this is an important post for you.

What have you been reading online? Leave a link in the comment section for us to check out.

Experiencing the joy of the moment

April is Autism Awareness month. I'm the dad of a daughter who struggles profoundly with Autism. Last week, I had the opportunity to share a brief story about how God showed up in our journey with Lucy in a guest post for Not Alone Parenting. Here is a brief excerpt and link to the full article. 

Kelly couldn’t wait to talk after the service. She met Megan and me in the stairwell on our way to the children’s wing. “I have to tell you about Lucy’s morning!”

For parents of a child diagnosed with Autism, that’s not necessarily how you want to be greeted. Anxious thoughts run through your head. “Did she bolt from the classroom? Did she have a meltdown? Did anyone get hurt?”

But this was good news. It was a baptism Sunday, and, at that service, one of our students was being baptized. So a seasoned teacher took her class into the service to watch. Our elementary kids heard a friend’s testimony and witnessed the church celebration. The children’s ministry director later reported, “Not only were the kids really excited about the privilege, but they also asked really great questions about what baptism means and why we practice it.” Taking the kids to see the baptism was a big win.

But the biggest surprise was Lucy. I fear a lot of things for my daughter when a class breaks from its regular routine. None of it happened this morning. No sensory overload. No tantrum or screaming interruption of the service. This is what Kelly told us in the stairwell: “When Jenna came up out of the water and the congregation began to clap and cheer, Lucy looked at me with the biggest smile on her face. I don’t know how much she understood, but she experienced the joy of the moment.” Read more of my reflections on worship, our affections, and special needs parenting at the Not Alone Parenting website.