Christian Freedom & Parenting, Part 4: From a Mother’s Perspective by Karen Cheong

It is interesting how becoming a mother really brings out “the mother bear” posture.

I have been a mother for almost 26 years and during these years, the Lord has taught me so much about myself and about Him!  I remember hearing for the first time, “You are pregnant Mrs. Cheong!”   Robert and I were so excited that we were going to be parents and at the same time, we were scared to death for many reasons.  The emotions can go from

(1) “Yes!  We are going to be great parents, we know what we are doing, we are ready!” to (2) “Pregnant?  I am scared to death!”  Regardless of your response, the fact is, Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3)  And yes, during those parenting years, our gracious God is at work in each one of us in many ways.  He is exposing our sinful hearts and showing us our great need for Him!

It is interesting how becoming a mother really brings out “the mother bear” posture.  We become very protective of our children.  We love them and want to take care of them in the very best way.  We want them to grow and prosper and if we were completely honest here, we would say we want others to see our children as “precious, adorable, and perfect.”  In our quest to raise our children in the very best way, we read lots of books, ask our pediatrician, ask other mothers, ask our own mother, consult the internet, etc.  Our hearts’ truly desire what is best for our children.  We agonize whether we will deliver naturally, or with a doula, or to breastfeed, to use cloth diapers (you fill in the blank), but instead of deciding what is best based on the opinions of others, we need to decide what is best for our own family. Continue Reading…

Collaborate, Family + Church

Collaborate, Family + Church is a new book edited by Michael Chanley, my friend and Parenting Minister at Southeast Christian Church, which is located here in Louisville, KY.  I am super thankful for Michael.  I’m thankful for his example and friendship, and I’m glad that we serve in the same city. Louisville is blessed to have him.

Michael has a strong desire to equip Louisville parents to raise their children in a Biblical way, and he is passionate about connecting leaders who have something to contribute to the family ministry movement.  He has created CM Connect, a social networking platform for children’s ministry leaders that currently has over 6,000 members.  The Collaborate book project also flows out of Michael’s passion to connect.  The book, which is published by Minister’s Label, is not about Michael’s personal philosophy of family ministry.  Rather, it is a collaboration of 35 ministers, teachers, leaders, and thinkers that blends their ideas for connecting family and church.

Michael firmly believes that we can all learn from one another, and his book vividly demonstrates this philosophy.  For this week’s Thursday book club, I’ll review Collaborate.  I’ve learned a lot from the book, and I think that other family ministers will as well.

I received a complimentary copy of Collaborate from Minister’s Label as part of the book blog tour.  This did not affect my opinion of the book in one way or another.

New Children’s Book: “Our Home is like a Little Church”

If you’ve been following the blog, you’ve seen our new children’s book, Our Home is like a Little Church.  I’m really excited to show you a video that my friend Tony Kummer at Ministry-To-Children.com helped us to create earlier this week.   Here it is:

Our Home is like a Little Church was written to teach preschool children the Christian doctrine of the home as a “little church” where the father teaches his family God’s commands and leads them to worship the one true God.  It is now available to pre-order from Amazon.com and the Westminster Bookstore (where you can get it at 20% off).  The book has been published by Christian Focus Publications.

Thursday Book Club: Values for Education

Daniel J. Estes, Hear, My Son: Teaching & Learning in Proverbs 1-9, (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), 174 pages.

Estes’ second chapter unpacks values for education.  He gives four values:

1.  Wisdom is skillful living within God’s ordered world.  Ultimately this is found not merely in doing what appears to be wise but in fearing God and shunning evil (Proverbs 9:10).  When we teach, we must teach for response, because the Scriptures value more than mere knowledge.  Knowing is not enough.  It must be put into practice.

2. Teachability is the humble willingness to accept instruction both from God and human teachers.  As Estes states, “Rejection of instruction is a degenerative condition that leads to scoffing and folly” (46).  Proverbs presents three kind of unteachable people.  The simple love their simple ways, because they don’t possess the knowledge necessary to make wise decisions.  Mockers despise wisdom because they take pleasure in tearing down what they don’t accept.  Fools have settled into a fixed pattern of antagonism against the Lord’s way of wisdom.

3. Righteousness. The righteous man conforms to God’s wise standards.  “Wisdom declares in Proverbs 8:13 that to fear Yahweh is to hate evil in all of its forms.  Because Yahweh is righteous, reverence for him necessarily entails both embracing what is righteous and rejecting what is unrighteous” (50-51).

4.  Life is substantial, meaningful existence within God’s world.  On the one hand, this can be seen as a value for education in Proverbs.  On the other hand, it can be seen as the reward which comes to those who esteem the first three values.   Life in the Lord must be valued above all other counterfeits.

This is why, as Christians, we must value Jesus in our education.  He is our wisdom, righteousness, and life.  And only he can make us humble and teachable.

Christian Freedom & Parenting, Part 2: Freedom and Feeding by Dr. Heather Lewis

Our culture seems to be strangely schizophrenic regarding nursing. Everyone says you should do it, but no one will tell you what to do, and no one wants to be anywhere near you when you do it.

Although I am an OB/GYN, most of the things I knew about breastfeeding before I had my own children came not from my medical training but from my mother.  The way my mother described nursing sounded easy enough– the baby is born, crawls from the womb up to your breast, latches on, and stays there for 1-2 years depending on how long you want to nurse them.  You can imagine my surprise when my healthy first child didn’t want to latch on… or when I got mastitis, or cracked nipples, or had to nurse in public the first time.  Our culture seems to be strangely schizophrenic regarding nursing. Everyone says you should do it, but no one will tell you what to do, and no one wants to be anywhere near you when you do it.   I hope that at Sojourn we can have a balanced view of feeding our babies, and, in this article, I hope to give some insight into both common issues as well as how we can support the moms in our community. Continue Reading…