What’s Your Anchor?

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An anchor is used to hold a ship in place.  The word anchor can also refer to a person who is reliable and supportive to those around them.  Anchors keep things under control during the storm.  Anchors keep things from being lost in the abyss.

When your life is full of turmoil, what anchors are available to you?  What can you rely on to keep you from getting lost in the abyss?

Not a Morning Dog

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Ben is not a morning dog.

I woke up around 5:30.  After a great deal of coaxing, I managed to get Ben out of bed.  He walked outside and immediately collapsed on the patio.

I tried reasoning with Ben.  I told him, if he would get up and use the bathroom then he could go back inside and sleep on the bed.  A bed is a lot more comfortable than a patio.  Ben ignored me and rolled over onto his side.

That obviously wasn’t working.  I then walked over to Ben and started to push him a bit.  He groaned loudly, but did mange to get on his feet.  He walked five feet into the grass, took care of his business, and then went back inside the house.

Ben is sleeping on the couch now.  The poor dog, he just wasn’t ready for it to be morning.

 

Lead Small by Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas

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This is an excellent book.  It’s practical and easy to understand.  Several times while I was reading it, I thought to myself this is great information.  I wonder why these principles are not being put into practice everywhere.

The authors wanted to solve a common problem.  Youth are leaving the church and rejecting their faith, once they hit early adulthood.

What are the root causes?

  • Having a pseudo-faith
  • Being immature in their faith
  • Being green in their faith
  • Using a borrowed faith
  • Being fragile in their faith

The goal is to raise children with a strong faith, an authentic faith.  Incorporating small groups and “leading small” cultivates that faith.  The book teaches, “When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time, so we can help them build an authentic faith.”

The small group leader (SGL) plays a huge role in achieving this goal.  The SGL needs to be present to connect faith to a community.  They should show up physically and predictably.  They should be mentally prepared for the lesson they are teaching.  They also need to show up randomly, maybe at a ball game or other event.  This shows the children you care about them and you are trustworthy.

The SGL is responsible for creating a safe place.  The children need a leader that can lovingly and effectively handle conflict, hard questions, discipline, fear, and other issues that cause tension in the group.  The SGL leads the group, respects the process, and guards the hearts of the children.

The SGL should also partner with the parents to foster an everyday faith and an authentic faith.  Let the parents know what their children are learning in small group.  Honor the parents.  Reinforce the role of the family in teaching biblical principles.

The SGL also needs to make it personal.  Inspire the children’s faith by example.  Show them how to live out their faith in the community.  Teach them how to set priorities.  Also, be real with the children.  They will learn by watching you live out an authentic faith.

Lastly, the SGL needs to move the children out of the group.  Engage the children in a bigger story.  Teach them how to be the church.  When the time comes, help them move onto the next phase of their life.

Leading small is powerful.  When you lead small you:

  • Connect authentic faith
  • Clarify authentic faith
  • Engage authentic faith
  • Nurture authentic faith
  • Inspire authentic faith

The principles in this book can easily be used for any age group and in any setting.  It is a great resource and I recommend it.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

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In the beginning, it was difficult to see where the author was going with the story.  I read four chapters before I understood the plot.

The setting of the story is Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1940’s.  The main characters are teenage boys named Danny and Reuven.  Both boys come from Jewish families; however, Danny is an ultra-orthodox Jew and his father would normally not allow Danny to hang out with Reuven.

The boys got to know each other after a baseball game.  Reuven was pitching and Danny hit the ball straight into Reuven’s face.  Since Reuven was wearing glasses, he needed surgery to remove glass from one of his eyes.

Danny felt horrible about the accident and would visit Reuven at the hospital.  At first Reuven had no desire to befriend Danny, but Reuven’s father thought it was important for the boys to become friends.  He told Reuven, “The Talmud says a person should do two things for themselves.”  The first was to find a teacher and the second was to find a friend.

Eventually, a friendship developed between the boys.  It required a lot of work and things didn’t always go smoothly.

The story teaches us a lot about the benefits of friendship and the importance of maintaining a friendship even when it is difficult.

Even though the book had a slow start, I did enjoy reading it and gained some perspective on the value of friendships.

 

Carbon Monoxide Drama Day

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I was at the doctor’s office with Mom this afternoon.  Gwen called to say the smoke/carbon monoxide detector went off and it said to evacuate the house.  I told Gwen to get all the dogs and go outside immediately.

I told Mom what was happening at the house.  She agreed that I should go and check on the situation.  I said I would come back as soon as I could.

I rushed home and called 911 to report the issue.  The fire department came to the house with a carbon monoxide detector.  They walked through the entire place and they checked all the gas lines.  They also inspected the detector.

The good news, there was no carbon monoxide detected in the house.  The problem was caused by a faulty detector, so we will be going to store to buy a new one.

After they finished, I went back to the doctor’s office to get Mom.  On the way home, we stoped by LawLer’s BBQ to get stuffed potatoes for dinner.  They were delicious.

I think I am going to go to bed early tonight, because that’s enough drama for me today.