Links to Think

Links to Think: 14.08.04

August 4, 2014

14.08.04.ltt

THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL WASN’T GOOD FOR MY SOUL” – (While there is difference in the ways news networks present their information overload, I should probably clarify that there are a number of options for becoming this type of diet for any news junkie.)

“I couldn’t see it at the time (people mired in a sub-culture rarely ever do), but that person is not who I want to be. I want to be who I am and who I am becoming—and to do that, I need to leave the Fox News Channel in my rearview mirror.”

“I was done. I didn’t know for how long. I just knew my steady diet of Fox News wasn’t good for my soul. So I walked away.

I’ve noticed several things have changed in my heart and mind as a result of no longer watching FNC…

  • I no longer feel hopeless and defeated. I no longer think the world is going to end, or that “America as we know it will cease to exist.” That’s a ridiculous, never-ending chant from those who make their money by us believing the rhetoric and coming back for more. The truth is, America as we know it ceases to exist every day, and I’m okay with that. As we all contribute to solving problems and helping our fellow citizens—we continue to make America a different place.
  • I am less cynical toward politicians. Many of them are hard working Americans who love their country and are trying to do the right thing. They need more of my prayers and less of my high and mighty criticism.
  • I have more of an interest in hearing from people with whom I don’t agree. I am a bit of a hodge-podge as far as my political views, but I’m mostly conservative. When I was getting a steady diet of commentators telling me every night how “liberals” were evil, that they hated America, and they were trying to take my kids and my freedoms and my rights—then I had no interest in sitting down with “those people” to hear what they believed, how they thought, what they valued, or what drove their worldview. I didn’t want to hear it because I already knew. FNC had told me what was true. Now, I’m much more compassionate. I really care what they think. They may not sway my opinion, but I really care about them.
  • I am becoming more interested in what Jesus would do rather than the right political stance and how it will effect the next election. When I think about illegal immigration through the eyes of Jesus and how he would care for human beings who are trying to survive or find a better life—I land in a different place than when I think about it logically or economically or politically. If my filter is first loving God and loving others instead of making a point or winning an election or passing a law—then it makes a big difference in my life and my attitude and my focus.”

“I sincerely want to know about other views and have found some of my own long-held beliefs shifting as I’ve been released from the quicksand of group-think. I’ve discovered that Jesus is not a republican nor are “Christian” and “conservative” synonymous terms.”

Yes, I Do Want to Be Friends with My Kids” – A helpful perspective in the land of false dichotomies.

“Many have grown concerned with the “best buddies” model of parenting, where the young are not given a model to follow as much as the old are given a model to follow. Both end up immature and the relationship is, well, not ideal.

In reaction, we have seen many, “I’m not friends with my child” messages, complete with a clarification of the differing roles and callings of children and adults. These can be a helpful corrective, but may, I think, tend toward over-correction.

Calling my children friends — literally calling them “friends” –  has helped me to realign my heart with the calling I have as a Christian parent.”

“I think hierarchy can be a gift. God made a world where hierarchy exists. It existed in the past (even eternity past), does now, and will into the future, including in the Kingdom of God on earth. I have no problem with that. King and Kingdom come, I say, and the sooner the better. But we sure love to foul this operation up, don’t we? Our sinful nature calls out to us to lord over others, to dominate and manipulate others, to punish and coerce. I don’t want to dive too deeply into these waters, but I’ll just say that Christian parenting is a hierarchical arrangement. Parents are“over” their children. But we aren’t over them to dominate and exasperate them. Quite the opposite. We are called to love them, to help them flourish and grow, to lead them into maturity.

We are not finished products. We do call our kids to good behavior (it’s OK to do this, it really is), but we don’t do it from a perch of perfection. We do it as people in need of grace ourselves, as people walking the same path.

I think this influences our discipline, both what we say and what we do when we correct our kids. If we view their sin as something we need to expunge, then I think we’re taking on a job that’s not ours. We don’t need to hurt our kids to balance out their bad actions. We correct them with the goal of restoration and realignment. It’s not the revenge business. We do this because we are not different sorts of creatures than they are. What we do for them, we ourselves needed and need.”

“Our sins are provided for in Christ, but we need correction to remind us who we are, where we stand, and who we belong to. It is an act of love from a loving Father. When we correct our kids, we are coming beside them and saying, “Hey, we’re in this together. You and I aren’t different kinds of people where you’re bad and I’m good and I am punishing you because you’re bad. I am selfish at times too. I need to ask God for a humble heart too. Here, I’m inviting you into this life of grace and joy. Let’s do this together.”

Though we are far from being worthy of the title, God calls us friends. We are on a journey with our kids, leading and loving them, correcting and caring for them in the path of abundant life. Surely, we can call our children friends. If we are afraid to do that, then maybe we are assuming an adversarial role that is unwarranted and unhelpful.

Give your kids grace. Give them leadership. And yes, give them friendship.”

The Mission / How Great Thou Art (Piano Guys)

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Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising. But life with God is like that exponentially. We can dig in, make plans, write in stone, pretend we’re not listening, but the voice of God has a way of being heard. It seeps in like smoke or vapor even when we’ve barred the door against any last-minute changes, and it moves us to different countries and different emotional territories and different ways of living. It keeps us moving and dancing and watching, and never lets us drop down into a life set on cruise control or a life ruled by remote control. Life with God is a dancing dream, full of flashes and last-minute exits and generally all the things we’ve said we’ll never do. And with the surprises comes great hope.” ~Shauna Niequist.

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  • Dena August 5, 2014 at 7:34 am

    This is rich, as always. I see facebook comments from people often and can spot the Fox News influence. It is fatalistic. It is void of a Sovereign God. It is like if we don’t get our lazy behinds off the couch and march or impeach someone, then Satan wins. Too much. God is on the throne. We are doing our best, or maybe could do a bit better. Neither we, nor politicians can thwart the Almighty and His plan. The struggle between being doers of the Word and learning contentment and evaluating all things in light of the Word should be compelling, but not crippling.

    Concerning being friends with your kids, please do, because they are your friends for life! It doesn’t mean you give up authority. It means you come alongside and learn and grow together. No one has perfected parenting. It is a process and takes on a different look with each child as God has knit them each with unique personalities, gifts, and sensitivity. I remember reading a book as I was homeschooing our four while they were still all in single digits by Susan Schaeffer whatever her last name is (that shows how much I remember) that urged us as mothers to guide with sympathy. That stuck with me. That I remember. It shifted the way I parented. I was a bit sorry with my kids when hard discipline was necessary, and sometimes it was. In spite of all of our mistakes, God has blessed us with 5 great young people (as one joined us in marriage) to share life. They are our favorite people to laugh and learn, and sometimes weep with.

    Thank you, Keren, for sharing your wordsmith gift with us.