All posts written by Jared Kennedy

“Daddy, why is it called Hate-E?”

My friend Doug Wolter posted the following after the tragedy last week.  Doug is an example dad, and this post is full of wisdom:

Last night as I tucked my kids into bed, we prayed together for God to have mercy on the people in Haiti. One of my little girls gently asked, “Daddy, why is it called Haiti (HATE-E)?” It was an honest question. So I just spelled out the word for her and said it had nothing to do with the word “hate” that she knows is a word reserved for sin and evil. But I wish I would’ve said something similar to what Al Mohler said here … only summarized in kid’s language like I did below.

Girls, some people think that God sent the earthquake to Haiti because he hates Haiti. But God doesn’t hate Haiti. He loves Haiti. He loves the people in Haiti. He loves the mommies and the daddies and the little boys and little girls. Do you remember John 3:16? It says,”For God so loved the world (all the people in the world) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

God is a loving King. But He is also a holy king. He rules over all. And one day he will judge all the peoples of the world. He will punish all the people (from Haiti to Kentucky) who have sinned against him and not believed in his Son Jesus Christ. God doesn’t hate Haiti. But God hates sin. And one day He is coming to judge us for our sin. So the earthquake reminds us that we must turn from our sin and trust in Jesus. Jesus is our only hope as he died on a cross to take our punishment and give us eternal life.

Girls, God loves us and he loves the people in Haiti. So we need to pray. We need to pray for the people who got hurt and are sad and alone. We need to pray for the little kids that don’t have a mommy or daddy. And we need to pray most of all for the people in Haiti to hear about Jesus and the amazing love he showed them by dying for them on the cross. Remember John 3:16? Let’s say that verse together and pray for God to have mercy on the people in Haiti.

Also, read these two pieces at Sojourn’s Travelblog

Below are a few places where you can give:

  1. G.O. Ministries
  2. EDGE Outreach
  3. Haiti Response Fund (through the IMB)
  4. Haiti Earthquake Relief (through the NAMB)

Helping Children Love Those Who Are Different

John Piper’s latest sermon suggests “eight ways to help your children love those who are different from them.” Piper is primarily thinking here of racial harmony and disability differences, but this would apply to an even wider range of differences.

Go read or listen to or watch the sermon for the unpacking of each point, but here’s the outline:

1. Help the children believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in creating them with the body that they have.

2. Help the children believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in making other people with the body that they have.

3. Help the children believe that they and all other children and adults are made in God’s image.

4. Teach the children that God tells us to do to others as we would like others to do to us.

5. Teach the children and model for them that their own sin is uglier than anybody they think is physically unattractive.

6. Teach the children that God loves them in spite of the ugliness of their sin and that he proved this by sending his Son to die for our sins and give forgiveness to all who would trust him.

7. Teach the children that because Jesus died for them and rose again, he becomes for them an all-satisfying Friend and Treasure.

8. Teach the children to love others who are different from them, not in order to be accepted by God, but because they already are accepted by God because of Jesus.

via Justin Taylor.

Thursday Book Club: A Proverbs Driven Life: The “why” of discipline

A Proverbs Driven Life: Timeless Wisdom for Your Words, Work, Wealth, and Relationships
Two chapters in Anthony Selvaggio’s masterful work on the book of Proverbs are dedicated to parenting.  In my next two additions of the Thursday Book Club, I’ll summarize and interact briefly with these two chapters. The first gives biblical evidence for the “why” of discipline–helping parents discover a biblical motivation for disciplining their children:

Anthony Selvaggio.  A Proverbs Driven Life: Timeless Wisdom for Your Words, Work, Wealth, and Relationships, “Chapter 11, Born Foolish, A Child’s Need for Discipline.” (Shepherd Press, 2008)

In the book of Proverbs, “discipline” has in view a range of activities which includes instruction, teaching, training, and correction.  “Stated very briefly, instruction and teaching involve imparting knowledge; training involves all sorts of coaching and preparation; and correction involves identifying errors and urging their removal” (170).  In this sense, the whole book of Proverbs is about education and the discipline of children.  And the book provides more than just biblical methods  It gives a biblical motivation for this discipline.  So, why discipline?
Continue Reading…

Proverbs Visual Arts Project: January 24th

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

On Sunday, January 24th, elementary age kids at Sojourn’s Germantown campus will participate in an art project led by Sojourn artists. The concept for the project is simple.  Kids will pick a single proverb from the book of Proverbs and illustrate it.  The biblical book ‘Proverbs’ is not only a collection of sayings and observations for wise living, it is rich in powerful visual language. Proverbs offers moving insights that confirm our own observations about the world and call us to clearer vision and action as well.  We can learn from these scriptures in a lot of different ways.  One way is by creatively responding to them. We’ll have bibles available opened to proverbs.  Kids will be able to search on their own, or they can work from a print out with some especially good proverbs to illustrate.  The results will look something like what you see in the picture above (submissions by the students at Louisville’s Christian Academy Southwest).

Here is a video that shows the completion of the project:

Sojourn Visual Arts — Prayer & Wisdom from Shepherd Ahlers on Vimeo.

Investing in parents begins at the front door.

At Sojourn, we’re invested in families.  And investing in families involves investing in parents.  That is why we provide family worship guides and children’s books and other resources for families.  But, we’ve come to see that investing in parents begins at the front door… and this is where we’re weak.  We want to be a church that shows parents that we care for and love their kids just as much as they do. We want to be a church that is so helpful and safe and friendly and fun that families can’t wait to come back next week.  This is who we want to be, right?  So, here is the challenge.  We need a team of 10 people from each service—primarily ladies—who will commit to serve weekly over the next year as part of a family hospitality team.  And we need these 10 people by January 24th.    If you are interested in being part of this team, please sign up at the information table after the service on Sunday or e-mail