Posts Tagged ‘ Bible ’

A Family That Prays Together… Ah, You Know The Rest

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

You started noticing that Mommy and I hold hands and pray before we eat dinner every night.

It’s not some beautiful, poetic thing. We let our words be few: “Dear God, we thank you for this food today and all you have blessed us with. Amen.”

Last week you started wanting in on the action. You smiled at us and lifted your hands out for us to hold them.

So now before dinner, and at night as we’re putting you to bed, and before our family leaves the house for our separate ways in the morning, we pray together.

And you now not only expect it, but I can clearly see you like being a part of it.

I actually think you’re pretty aware of what’s going on. You know who God is from your Beginner’s Bible, as well as from church.

Tonight as I sang “Away In A Manger” as part of your bedtime routine, you stopped me in the middle of the 1st verse and said, “Jesus makes!”

I asked you what Jesus makes and you responded:

“Jesus makes oatmeal… and beans and rice!”

My immediate uproar of laughter pretty much killed the mood for helping you get to sleep. Mommy later explained to me you were referring to the 2nd verse, which she sings to you: “No crying he makes.”

I think it’s really cool that you want to be a part of our family’s prayer times throughout the day. I figure at best, what you gather from us praying is that we not only believe in God, but we trust him.

We have no idea what’s in our future, five minutes from now or five years from now. But we want to be in God’s favor and we know that means loving others as ourselves.

I know that’s a very simple way of explaining our faith to you, but I think if I as your dad can remember that much of it, I could have the faith of a child.

From what I understand, that’s actually a good thing.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

 

 

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My Toddler’s Self-Taught Bedtime Bible Stories

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

23 months.

“I want John! I want Paul!” my son Jack whines.

You’d think he was just a big Beatles fan like his dad, until he continues:

“Martha- where’s Martha? Jesus! There’s Jesus. Jesus sleepy.”

For the past 23 months, Jack has been exposed to a children’s story Bible for bedtime. But now that he can piece sentences together and recall names of different characters, his children’s story Bible has never been more relevant.

His Bible is officially his favorite book. Why wouldn’t it be?

Plenty of camels, horses, sheep, and bearded men in robes to keep the attention of a 23-month-old little boy.

I think it’s hilarious/awesome that Jack has memorized the cartoon representations of at least a dozen men of the Bible. The only real distinction between them is the color of their beards and robes.

Tonight during story time as he sat in my lap and read to me, he made it his mission to find Mark. The problem is, even I couldn’t find Mark.

So I turned to a page where Jesus was feeding the multitudes from a little boy’s bread and fish. I figured with all the bearded men surrounding Jesus on that page, Jack would think he saw Mark somewhere in the crowd.

Not so much.

As I put Jack to bed tonight, it was kind a struggle for me to get him in sleep mode.

“I want Jesus! Jesus!” he cried, literally.

What he wanted was for me to let him take his children’s story Bible to bed with him, like he would his Elmo doll.

I just didn’t see that being a very comfortable situation in the middle of the night.

So Jack did settle for Percy the Train instead.

What’s interesting is that today during my lunch break, I mountain biked across town to the LifeWay store. I was just curious…

Do they sell a Jesus action figure, or even a plush doll?

They don’t.

But I sort of have a feeling by the time this story really ends, I’ll find one for him.

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The Bookworm In My Back Seat

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

17 months.

Jack loves reading. In other words, he loves looking at the pages of a book for the purpose of identifying the animals so that he can make their appropriate sounds.

The book he is currently obsessed over is The Beginner’s Bible; a children’s cartoon version of the stories in the Bible. Why does he insist of reading it all the way to daycare and back everyday? Because he’s just that spiritual of a toddler? Or…

To practice his animal sounds.

A couple of minutes into the car ride each day, I hear “Sssssss…”. That means Jack sees a picture of Satan, as a serpent, tempting Adam and Eve with the forbidden fruit.

Five minutes later, it’s “Bzzzzzz…”. Yeah, that’s the Seven Plagues on Egypt; the gnats and lice to be exact.

I’ll hear various spurts of “Pffffttt…”. That would be Jack’s very impressive impression of what a camel sounds like: There are plenty of random pictures of men riding camels throughout the book.

Eventually I hear “bah-bah,” Jack’s version of a donkey, which means Jesus is making his triumphal entry into Jerusalem… on a donkey, of course.

And then for the rest of the book, there aren’t so many animals anymore; mainly just bearded men in robes talking to each other.

Each time Jack gets to this point, he just starts laughing.

It took me a solid week to figure out what was so funny. I’m pretty sure it’s because Jack has never seen a man in real life with a big bushy beard.

So he’s laughing at the brown sheep’s butts on men’s faces. Or, beards, as we recognize them in the non-cartoon world.

Yes, my toddler son leads his own Bible study twice a day in the back seat of my car. Technically.

Welcome to Back Seat Baptist Church.

 

 

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Babies Don’t Come with Pause Buttons

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Ten months.

Cliche phrases annoy me. Perhaps the one I despise the most is “patience is a virtue,” which is often assumed to originate from the Bible, though it is instead taken from a poem from the 5th century entitled “Psychomachia.”

The reason it probably urks me so badly is because the people who tend to say it the most are typically people who are… too patient!

There’s a decent chance they are also the same ones prone to use other worn-out phrases on a daily basis, like, “I’m not gonna lie…” as to anticipate telling some candid revelation, which they don’t. Another one is “just sayin’,” as to excuse themselves after saying something that is passive aggressively rude.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a patient person. Sure, it’s probably something I should care about trying to improve. But really, I’m a parent. I have a 10 month old son. If anything is going to teach me patience, whatever that even means, then it’s going to be my dealings with him.

Yes, I know: I’ve got it easy. My kid is very laid back and loves to be around people. It’s easy for anyone to love him. I know I’m one lucky guy.

Still though, he doesn’t have a pause button. Sometimes, especially on a Sunday afternoon when I am aching for a good three hour nap, I wouldn’t mind a pause button.

I wouldn’t mind being able to carry on a meaningful conversation with my wife during dinner without him interrupting because he’s not being engaged enough as we eat and attempt to feed him in the process.

Instead, the only pausing he does is during the 11+ hours from around 7 PM to 6:30 AM each day. But by that time, most of our energy has been spent.

Thank God for my son. I love him so much. I adore him. Awesomest baby ever.

But I am not a patient guy. Just sayin’.

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The Gospel According to Jack

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Nine months.

If I wasn’t a devout Christian, what would I believe in instead; especially after becoming a dad? I try to imagine…

I don’t have enough faith to believe in nothing at all, so I would probably think that my life as I know it is just a figment of some big computer program in which I play a small role; unaware of how insignificant I really am; basically, I’m getting the idea from the movie The Matrix. Or maybe I would believe my life is simply a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream, like in the movie Inception.

Either way, it’s clear to see that if I didn’t take the words of Jesus Christ literally, along with all 66 books of The Bible, that I still would be led to believe that I am part of someone else’s plan; that there is some all-powerful force behind it all and for some reason I was chosen to play a part in it.

Something I hear other parents say a lot, or at least grandparents, is that when they look at a young baby, they see an innocent angelic being. I’m not knocking that concept, because I totally get it. But for me, what I see more of when I think deeply about my son Jack, is a human currently incapable of understanding right from wrong, but who nonetheless needs no instruction on how to make the most destructive decision possible.

Jack naturally would choose to crawl down the stairs if I wasn’t there to stop him. He would stick my car keys into the electrical outlets if I wasn’t already 23 steps ahead of him. He would never sleep, never get his diaper changed, and never leave the presence of his parents- using his crying power to try to sway his parents’ interception.

So the fact that Jack needs no help in being prone to make the wrong decision would definitely say something to me if I had no religious beliefs. It would clearly show me that despite man wanting to be good, on his own, he is prone to do the opposite.

That would cause me to realize that as a human, I am in need of some kind of intervention or path to lead me to be reconciled of my flawed nature- which is wired with good intentions but ultimately bugged with morality viruses.

But I wouldn’t be okay with the belief that there is simply some “higher power” who would usher me into a heavenly afterlife just because I was a “good enough” person. Because what exactly would be the standard of “good?”

What would make the most sense to me at this point is that there must be a God who not only created this whole universe but who also Himself would be willing to intervene in my morally imperfect state, helping restore flawed mankind to the state of Paradise that this world once was.

That way of thinking would ultimately cause me to be curious enough to pick up a free Bible in a hotel room somewhere and start reading The Old Testament, taking notice of the reoccurring theme of a perfect man who would eventually show up to willingly take on imperfection and sacrifice his life for all of mankind.

Then as I would move on to The New Testament, I would read about how God Himself came to Earth in the form of man; bringing to life the ancient predictions of The Old Testament.

I would ultimately become fascinated by this Jesus fellow, eventually believing that He was the answer to my state of moral depravity. I would recognize that no matter how hard I tried to be good enough on my own, I would ultimately fail and never be “good enough.”

Humbled of my pride and eager to embrace this mysterious yet somehow practical savior, I would become a solid believer in this man from Galilee.

Even if He wasn’t God, who He claimed to be, I would still be so enamored by a man who has managed to lead so many millions of people astray by his false teachings within the past 2000 years, and who could cause people who didn’t believe in Him to still at least say he was a good teacher, despite Him being dead wrong or even lying to people that He was God.

And that’s how ultimately, I would have become a follower of Christ, simply by observing the nature of my son. That is the gospel according to Jack.

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