Serving Together as a Family

How gratitude glorifies God and draws our kids’ hearts to Christ

Hang around the church long enough and you’ll pick up on the lifestyle and lingo of a believer.  One thing you’ll hear is that you should serve others…even better if you can serve together with your kids.  Although undeniably important, I have this nagging suspicion that many of us serve for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner.

In our most transparent moments we confess our motivations for serving include words like we ought to and should.  Service also sometimes feels burdensome and inconvenient. Collectively, these impure motives and feelings permeate our thinking and pollute our acts of service.  Worse yet, they might deter us from serving altogether.

Today I’ll share a Biblical perspective on why and how we should serve.  If you’re seeking a list of ways to serve as a family you won’t find that here.  What you will find is a philosophy of service – and some challenging thoughts.

Grace…the Heart of Leadership

I can’t even contemplate leadership without thinking about how my Heavenly Father leads me. As a follower of Christ, underpinning everything good I’ve ever learned about leadership (in my home and the marketplace) is a distinctive and often misunderstood concept. The concept of grace!

I love Max Lucado’s word picture, “Grace is God as a heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart – poisoned as it is with pride and pain – and replacing it with his own.”

This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
This is your life
Are you who you want to be?

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The band Switchfoot poses the age-old question “Are you who you want to be?” in their compelling song This is Your Life.

Take a few minutes to close your eyes (even though the lyrics suggest you not do that) and enjoy a few minutes of personal reflection.  If you’re not who you want to be…when are you going to do something about that?

The Beautiful Letdown (Columbia/Red Ink, Sparrow (CCM), February 25, 2003)

The One Thing

2048 - Michael's High ScoreOn October 1, 2014 I was sitting at a Starbucks in India, when my good friend, Bill, shared something profound. Well, let me clarify. I wasn’t in India. I was in downtown San Diego at the corner of Hawthorne and India. But Bill did share something profound.

By way of background, Bill and I have a long history of playing iPhone games. Upon besting the other’s high score we text screen shots as proof. Call it what you want. Essentially we’re 2 pathetic middle-aged men attempting to compete without physically injuring ourselves (as we’ve both done more than once).

Our latest obsession is 2048. It’s been a top game since it’s introduction in March. Simply put, the object is to slide numeric tiles around a 4X4 grid, pairing up numbers, doubling in size each time a match is found, until no more moves are possible. The object is to pair two 1024 tiles, yielding a single 2048 tile.

Fantasy or Reality…Buyer Beware

Disneyland-29This past October my wife and I took our boys to Disneyland.  One afternoon as I returned from the Thunder Mountain Railroad Fastpass station, I scurried across the moat, over the drawbridge and through the gates of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I was en route to It’s a Small World to rejoin my family.

My body tensed as I collided with the wall of humanity inside Fantasyland.  I sidestepped princesses, tuned out screaming children, and scanned the queue for Peter Pan’s Flight.  Shocked at the depth of the line, I skirted an oblivious stroller-pushing mom and shimmied past a dad corralling his kids.

Glancing at the camera-toting parents chasing their kids around King Arthur Carousel it struck me that the word “Fantasyland” is a misnomer. 

A Platform of Giving

Christians often debate the level at which God wants us to give.  Is it north or south of 10% (e.g. are we still under the tithe)? Is the calculation based on our gross or net income?  A favorite answer of mine is, “Would you rather God bless you on your gross or net?”

Set aside that question and instead consider this: Do you have a plan for allocating the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars you WILL give away during your lifetime?