Fight Fair

Boxing is a sport I can appreciate. Two men beating the snot out of each other, and the last one standing wins. I can follow that strategy. There are very few rules; no hitting below the belt, listen to the referee, and take breaks.

It would do us well to follow these same principles in our relationships. Saint James and Saint Paul give us similar rules to help us.

1) be quick to listen
2) be slow to speak
3) be slow to become angry
4) if you get angry, at least don’t sin
5) do your best to resolve the issue, preferably before bed

I don’t always remember these. And, my guess is, you don’t either. I suppose that’s why Jesus also commanded us to be quick to forgive. Forgive those who neglect these principles, and forgive yourself when you also fail.

Here’s to a year of learning to fight fair. But remember it may take a lifetime.

Creating a Church Nursery Space for Crawlers

bastienjc:

Here are some updates to our children’s department. We are overjoyed with God’s many blessings.

Originally posted on Jennifer Noricks:

I lead Children’s Ministry at my small church. Our youngest children are in a large classroom; they range in age from birth to Pre-Kindergarten. It was impossible for our workers to find a safe spot for newly mobile infants. Thanks to a donation, I was given a budget of $900 to create a Crawler Zone. When I started looking into the project, I was overwhelmed by the choices that are available.

First of all, I had a hard time finding the products I’ve seen in crawler zones at libraries and children’s museums. I didn’t know what they were called. My advice to you is, do a Web search for “soft play toddler.” You can go to the company websites and request catalogs if that’s your preferred method of browsing. Wesco brand products will come up quite frequently. I ended up selecting Wesco floor mats, wall mats, and “tiny tot module”…

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Slow Church

slow-and-steady-wins-the-race1

Slow & Steady. When I was a child, “slowness” was my middle name. I was slow to roll over, slow to walk, and slow moving from one place to the next. I just didn’t feel a need to rush through life. I knew where I was going and that I would get there in my own good time. It was such a part of my personality, that my mother put a turtle patch on my school bag…and I was proud of it (I guess I’m a little slow with humor too).

My first job at 16 years old was at a fast food restaurant. I know right? My mother thought the same thing!

Honestly, most of my life I have never been concerned with speed. It doesn’t bother me that other people talk faster, walk faster, think faster, move up the ladder faster…I’m very comfortable with the way God made me. I’m content to move through life a little slower than others.

Until I planted a new church.

People seem to be so concerned with speed. How fast are you growing? How fast are you reaching new people? How fast are you discipling and baptizing and enlarging your territory? It’s not the expectations that are exhausting as much as the speed.

Some things in life just take time. TIME. A baby will be born in nine months. Eight months is too early; too fast. A cake will bake in 40 minutes. 25 minutes and it will still be mush. Vegetables planted in the spring cannot be harvested until the fall. I didn’t make the rules. God did. It’s the way life works. Some things, some very good things, take time.

In May, I sensed God calling us to double the size of our faith community in one year. It would mean reaching 100 new people in order to do this. It would mean moving fast. It has been a whirlwind and we are moving fast, but I’m not sure fast has been better. I feel like I am missing out on all that God is doing in people’s lives. We are moving too fast to see His handiwork and transformation. We are moving too fast to even determine if we are reaching people or not. And I’m beginning to think that fast is good, but slow is better.

So this November, I am taking time to slow down, reflect, evaluate, and refocus. I know where we are going and I know we will get there in our own good time.

May you take time this November to slow down, reflect, and refocus. Do you know where you are going? Are you confident God will get you there in His own good time? May you find peace in knowing slow and steady really does win the race.