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The Blessing of a Child Part 2 Norah by Jason Edwards

I have three kids. You know this. And, if you know anything about having three kids under the age of 10, you know that sometimes it gets chaotic. People (little people!) need to do things and be places at certain times. They need to respect one another and respect their elders. Sometimes they need to stop disrespecting one another and their elders so their elders can get them all to do things and be certain places at certain times. 

Did I mention this can get chaotic?

When it does, I sometimes find the rate of my pulse and the volume of my voice rising quickly. I know deep down that I should step outside and do some Christian yoga or something (where’s Kathy Benavidez when you really need her, anyway?). But I don’t. No, sometimes instead of owning the moment, I let the moment own me. 

Fortunately, one of my three children seems to know instinctively how to adjust my temperature. 

If you’ve ever studied family systems theory you are familiar with the concept of being a non-anxious presence. This is an incredibly important attribute for good, healthy leaders. A borrowed analogy that I like very much encourages us to (in the midst of conflict) be a thermostat, not a thermometer. An anxious leader reflects the temperature of the room. (thermometer) A non-anxious one has the ability to set or adjust the temperature of a room. (thermostat)

Often, when things are getting chaotic with the kids, and my emotional temperature rises, I notice Norah noticing this and then doing something about it. A wave of calm comes over her all of a sudden. She looks at me with compassion. She puts her doll down and stands up. Then she walks over to me and gives me a most wonderful hug. My appreciation for the hug and my amusement at her perceptiveness simultaneously bring my emotional temperature down, down, down.

I am amazed, grateful, and better for it. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, Norah was one of three who punched the temp up only moments before. BUT, sometimes, when the heat rises, Norah’s cool, calming compassion blesses me and reminds me this better way of being almost always brings forth more blessed moments in life.  

How might you, like Norah, turn down the bless-ed temperature for others this week? 

Posted by Jason Edwards at Monday, May 21, 2018
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Church as a Family by Ryan Dickson

In today’s society, American families seem to be as busy as ever.  Whether it’s a demanding job or a child’s weekend play or soccer game, families have many obligations and opportunities every day.  But with families being pulled in many directions, it’s important for us to remember to not only attend worship when we can but do it so with our entire families.

Studies have shown that attending church as a family can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Increase communication by creating talking points to strengthen relationships within the family.
  • Creating traditions of unity – such as attending regular meals or events that coincide with the weekly church schedule.
  • Enhancing social skills by attending a church-led ministry such as a Sunday School class or weekly gathering within the church.  Many of the ministries within a church can be shared among all family members.
  • Teaching children compassion.  Participation as a family in church activities or volunteering through church activities encourages compassion with children and adults. These works are an extension of what we continually learn in the Bible about Jesus – that He was compassionate and accepting – particularly with the sick and less fortunate.

In addition to regular church services, there are many opportunities within 2BC to attend church as a family. Just within the last year, my family participated in beautifying the Square by planting flowers, attending VBS family night on the last day of Vacation Bible School, and celebrating with many other families at the 175th Church Anniversary – just to name a few.  Experiencing these opportunities can help grow your family together spiritually with the bigger church family at Second Baptist.

at Friday, May 18, 2018
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The Blessing of a Child by Jason Edwards

When I was in seminary a spiritual director led me and some other students through an exercise that seemed a little hokey. For about 10 minutes. Then, in the midst of it, I started crying. The most powerful spiritual exercises often start out seeming hokey. Remember, the line between awkward and sacred is often incredibly thin. 

The exercise (and I invite you to try it with me now), goes like this: Sit comfortably and silently. Relax as completely as you can. Breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes. 

Now, imagine you are standing alone in front of an elevator. It is connected to your own heart. The door opens and you walk in. You enter your own heart. The door closes and you push the button that will take you deep down to the lowest level. You go down, down, down, down and then, the door opens. 

Imagine a chair. Sitting in that chair is a child. The child is you. The child is you when you were three-years-old. 

What has that child been going through? What is that child wondering? How is that child struggling? What is that child afraid of? What would you most like to say to that child right now? What do you most need to say to that child right now? What does that child need to hear? 

Now say what you need to say. Tell the child what you know that child needs to hear.

My first experience with this exercise came rushing back into my mind and heart earlier this week. Just before bedtime, Luke asked me if he could show me the art he’d been working on at school. In the midst of his art stack was the simple picture you see attached to this blog. Luke handed it to me saying it was an early Father’s Day present he’d made for me. That, of course, was special enough. But then he surprised me with this explanation of the drawing:

Luke: It says “I love…” and then, Daddy, that’s a picture of you when you were a little boy. 

And just like that, the tears were back. Because that was exactly what the little boy in the picture, the child in my heart, needed to hear. Luke took the elevator down, down, down, found the little boy and blessed him. 

The child in you is still there. That child is you. Remember.

Others were once little children too. They were and down deep they still are. 

What do they need to hear? What do you need to hear?  

Posted by Jason Edwards at Wednesday, May 16, 2018
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