Saturday, June 20, 2009

Equipment for Your Family Tool-Box

My book is almost done and is being prepared to be sent to some publishers. I've included the intro below. I hope you find it interesting and wanting to check it out upon its completion.

Life is Making Memories


There Is No Place Like Family

In the story Wizard of Oz, Dorothy embarks on a mysterious adventure. She is surrounded by lollypop kids, witches, and a tin-man that talks. And although this dream world is exciting, it lacks something. It is true that she meets new friends and forms wonderful relationships, but something is missing. Her closest of comrades is her dog Toto. Why is that? It is a link to her favorite place. Even though this place sometimes stirs emotions that fuel anger and resentment, it is the safe heaven she longs for, that she misses, that she needs.
At the end of the movie, she longs to be back in this place and clicks the heels of her shoes together three times and utters that ever so famous saying, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” She is whisked away from this fantasy land to a place full of love. It is not just the four walls and a bed that are important to her. It is her family that she has missed.
My friends, I write this in hopes that this will be a tool to help make a difference within your family walls. In the hustle and bustle that we call life, we are surrounded by events which tear us away from those things that are important, that are vital. We are whisked away from our loved ones to join the card game at Tom’s house, the makeup-party as Suzy’s or to run each of our children to a different ball field while trying to decide which game to watch---if any. While being involved in fun activities is not wrong, it can become a trap which creates a group of strangers who meet together to say goodnight before bed and goodbye when leaving for work. God wants more for the family unit. I contend that the family is where it all begins and where we learn what God has in store for each of us as individuals.
If we claim to be Christians, we should act like it. What does that mean? How does that look? Scripture paints a pretty vivid picture of that person who personifies the characteristics of the fruits of the spirit. They serve God and others with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). We also see a cool illustration of what an overseer and deacon are called to do in 1Timothy 3:1-5. Now I already know what you are going to say, “I am not a deacon or an overseer, so this is not for me.” That is simply not true. An overseer is defined by as a person who oversees; supervisor; manager. As leaders of your family, you qualify, so listen up. Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) If you struggle like me with any or all of these attributes, you are not alone. However, if we learn to harness our attitudes at home and truly begin to know what it means to love to be with our family more than anything else, we will begin to be equipped to effectively teach and love our church family as well.
So the next question is how and this is the key. Many times, we know what we are supposed to do, but getting there is the trick. We like the place in which we are at. We like our Friday night golf league, our Monday softball team, teaching two classes a week at church and then making sure we fit in our two hour fix of Kill the Aliens Part III on the computer or our blog surfing. However, what is the sacrifice when we do all of these things? Yup, you guessed it didn’t you; the love from our spouse, the respect of our children and the priority placed on God.
Folks, this book is designed to help you take a family timeout once a day to sit together and enjoy a meal, a scripture and a fun activity. Believe me when I say that this time is invaluable to our family unit in forming the glue that holds everything above together. Spend some quality time in God’s word! Whether it is through this devotional during supper time or breakfast or some other form of family worship AND I am not talking about time spent at church. Don’t get me wrong, our time spent with our church family is important, but we need to form the tightest bonds within the comfort of our home, to train our children in the way they should go so they can some day do the same.
In the year 2006, I was tired of being prompted by my wife to worship as a family through some sort of devotional. I was leading a life at church that seemed spiritual on the outside, but was only a shell within the comfort of my family. So I tried to incorporate family devotional readings during supper to talk about how God was leading all of us. But I quickly became frustrated with the media I was using. The devotionals were not working, so I decided to embark on a journey to create something unique. I have created my own devotional linking scripture to my life memories and adding an activity to each day.
Through this book, you will meet my family and be taken on treks of adventure, blunders and victories. My prayer is that through the scriptural links and stories, you will not only be jogged of your own memories, but will write them down as a family journal that can be passed down to the next generation. My friends, it has been through the writing of this book that I have been given one of the keys to our time on this earth. Life is making memories. Hopefully these memories are both an honor to God and to those to whom our lives have crossed paths.
And so I leave you with your mission. Make memories that last a life time and make a family that honors and places God first. If you need to, because it is hard to stay on course and get together every day, click the heels of your tennis shoes together three times and utter these words, “There’s no place like family. There’s no place like family.”