Be Referees

I was at my nephew's basketball game last night and I started watching the referees. There were several times in the game where one referee's initial reaction would be different than the other referee's as to who the ball went out of bounds on. The indecision only lasted about 2 seconds and one referee would make a decision and the game would continue. It happened so quickly, that if you weren't paying attention, you probably would have missed it. The referees didn't stop the game to come together to discuss it, or argue with each other while the crowd sat and watched. Instead, they had a united front and they supported one another.

Each referee had a different perspective of the game because they were viewing the game from different angles. The referees, however, understood their positions and their need to be united together in decision making. The crowd, the players and the coaches all had their opinions on the game too but when conflict occurred the only decision that ultimately mattered was the decision the referees made. In order for the referees to remain in control of the game, they need to be on the same team and support each others' decisions.

I believe the referees provide a good example for how parents should act with each other in front of their children. I know men read my blog, but ladies I'm particularly focusing on us because I think men understand this concept of loyalty in this manner better than we do.

When we become mothers something in us changes and we discover a love we've never had before, because we love something that we carried within ourselves, someone that is part of who we are and someone that we would do anything to protect. As a result, we often choose to put ourselves on our children's team and our husbands can easily become "the enemy" that you and the children are trying to fight against. Unfortunately, this is a wrong perspective and we need to step back and see the position that we hold. Like referees, parents come at the game from different perspectives, seeing things from different angles. As a result, parents will probably have different opinions at times. When the differences of opinion occur before the children, there needs to be a united front and it should happen so quickly that the children don't even notice that there may have been a moment of indecision. If you choose to discuss or even argue the decision in front of the children they will soon realize the weaknesses between the two of you and they will begin to use it to their advantage. The result will be a good cop, bad cop situation; this isn't a healthy perspective for our kids to view either parent as and if you present a united front together before the kids than this should not happen.

Does this mean you can never discuss things with each other? Absolutely not. You should discuss parenting issues together often and come up with a plan of how you will deal with different situations that way when you are before you children you know how to handle it. In a basketball game, the referee closest to the ball usually gets to make the call. I used to be silent when my husband was around and my kids were misbehaving. This ended up being a cause of frustration to us for several reasons. One frustration was that it caused him to think that I never corrected the kids. He would be waiting on me to correct the kids, I would be waiting on him to do it and then by the time correction was made it was being made in frustration for the lack of no one doing the correction. The second frustrating reason was it was beginning to make him be the bad cop of the family. He isn't with the kids nearly as much as I am and he had to spend his time with them correcting them and not being able to just enjoy them. The final cause of frustration is that I would know them better and at times, some of the things he was asking from them were not age appropriate expectations. I then would be mad at him for disciplining them. I thought that by allowing him to make all the discipline decisions when he was around I was allowing him to be the leader of our home. After discussion, though, we both realized that it would be better if I made most of the "initial calls" since I was around the children more and knew what they were capable of doing and when they were crossing that line. As a result, I now usually do the initial blowing of the whistle in our home, even when he is around. He, however, quickly reinforces what I have to say and if it needs to be taken to another level he will usually take over in that. As a result, there is a lot less frustration on everyone's side.

So ladies especially, I would encourage you to evaluate your position as a parent/spouse. Make sure you know your role. You bring great value to your family because of your mother bear perspective in regards to the kids. But ultimately, when it comes to discipline issues there are many times when you and your spouse are referees and need to make the call together. There will be a day when you have to release your children and at that time, you will want to be able to look at your spouse and still have a lover and a friend, not an enemy.

In Christ,

Do we have responsibilities?

One of the dilemmas of Christianity is the question, "what are the functions of "works?" If you read throughout the New Testament you hear many words of: obey God, love one another, faith without works is dead. Reading these words alone can end up becoming overwhelming and confusing if you think you must do these things as a means to your salvation. If that is your view, then by the end of the day Christianity becomes another religion of trying to earn your standing before God based upon merit.

This morning I reread my post Secure your Identity, which discussed

Galatians 3:26
You are all children of God,
through faith in Christ Jesus.

This got me thinking about my children and how our family functions. For me, viewing things through this lense helps bring clarity and understanding to the "to dos" presented in the Bible.

  1. First and foremost we need to know who we are: we are children of God.
  2. If we are children of God then we are part of a family, which means our brothers and sisters in Christ are a part of our family.
  3. All families have "rules" which help them function and operate properly but these rules are not where love comes from.
  4. Sometimes as children we just have to obey, because it is the right thing to do even if we don't want to. In those times, "duty" and "family structure" trump over our personal "desires."However the desire of my heart as a parent (and I believe God's heart as our parent) is that we primarily operate in our families out of a place of love for each other.

In our home, my children have responsibilities that come from being a part of the family. They have chores to do; do they always enjoy doing them? Not always, but they understand it is part of being in the family and they choose to do them because they love us. Sometimes they even participate in "chores" without even knowing it because they enjoy doing it so much. James loves to help with the laundry. I don't even have to ask him to do it. All I have to say is, "I'm going down to do laundry, and he will come running and say, "Can I help?" This of course, brings joy to my heart and he is fulfilling a "duty" that has to be done as being a part of the family. The same holds true as a Christian. We do have "chores" being a Christian of loving one another and serving one another. Is it always and enjoyable thing to participate in? Not always, but there will be times when things like "laundry" which is dreadful to some, is easy and enjoyable to others because of their personality. God has given each one of us gifts. Sometimes, our gifts make the responsibilities of being part of the family of God more enjoyable than at other times. Overall, though, these chores and responsibilities do not define my childrens' relationship with me. Primarily, my children operate out of knowing they are in a family that has parents that love them with all of their hearts and they have a sibling that loves him/her.

If you have been getting tripped up on the "to dos" of Christianity, I would encourage you to take time to step back and get your identity secure in who you are in God: you are a child of God. Once you understand how you are loved it should make it easier for you to understand and accept the "responsibilities" that come from being in God's family. Why do my children help with the chores? Yes, it is duty but they also see the benefits: a clean house is healthier for them, it is easier to find things and if they help out Mom and Dad have more time for them. There are also benefits to being part of the body of Christ:

I Corinthians 12:25

If one part suffers,

every part suffers with it;

if one part is honored,

every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12 helps explain how the body of Christ operates and how each part of the body is connected and important. This chapter ends with "now let me show you the most excellent way." This chapter is then followed by 1 Corinthians 13, The Love Chapter. The best way to operate properly in the body of Christ is to operate out of a place of LOVE and not duty. May you find joy this day in knowing you are loved by our Great Father and you have a family of believers around you who will love with you, cry with you, lift you up when you fall and cheer you on when you are flying.

In Christ,

The Voice: New Testament Book Review

I recently received a copy of The Voice: New Testament which is Tommy Nelson's newest translation of the Bible. Initially, I was excited to receive it because I do like reading other translations of the Bible. However, I was slightly disappointed with this version and would give it a 3 out of 5.

  • It reads like a playscript; when someone talks it lets you know who is talking:
    Jesus:One of you will betray me
    Judas: Is it I, Lord?
  • There is lots of “added” information within the text, which helps bring clarity to the story.
    Unlike the amplified Bible which uses lots of parentheses to denote added information this version uses italics to let you know the text is not part of the original manuscript. This helps it flow and not seem so choppy and distracting.

I would describe The Voice as a written sermon. There is so much “added” information to explain what is happening in the text that I feel you are getting whoever wrote that section of text personal interpretation of the text. I personally would only use this Bible as casual Bible reading time and wouldn't use it for Bible study or as my daily reading either.


If you want to hear more, here is my longer version review. Tommy Nelson only wants a 200 word review and even though I think I write consciously even 200 words is hard for me to do!

Here is a sample passage that I liked. During the genealogy of Jesus it explained who some of the people were:

Matthew 1: 3
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah
(and Perez and Zerah's mother was Tamar,
who was Judah's widowed daughter-in-law;
she dressed up like a prostitute and
seduced her father-in-law,
all so she could keep the family line alive

I think this added text is helpful for people who are not familiar with the whole Bible. They are able to get added information all in one spot without having to search through the whole Bible for it.

Here is John 3:16-17 since that is familiar to most people:
For God expressed His love for the world in this way:
He gave His only Son so that whoever believes
in Him will not face everlasting destruction,
but will have everlasting life. Here's the point.
God didn't send His Son into the world to judge it;
instead, He is here to rescue a
world headed toward certain destruction.

Here is Luke 3:9 (remember the italics is added text):
Face the facts people! God is fed up with religious talk.
God wants you to bear fruit!
If you don't produce good fruit,
then you'll be chopped down like a fruitless tree and made
into firewood. God's ax is taking aim and ready to swing.

So that should give you a little glimpse as to how it reads. It was enjoyable at first, but after awhile I personally got tired of the amount of italicized text.

I received this book through Book Sneeze, a company associated with Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not paid for my opinion and all views expressed are mine and mine alone.



I know I've been quieter on the blogging front lately. There have been several reasons but one of the main reasons is I was helping plan the 2nd Annual Carnival in celebration of my niece Nevaeh Rae Wallace's life. The event helped raise money for the Playroom of Hope (it is a brand new website, check it out!), a playroom being built in honor of Nevaeh's life at Wisconsin Children's Hospital. The playroom will provide a place for siblings to go and be kids while their brother/sister is being treated at the hospital. The event was held on Valentine's Day (Nevaeh's birthday) and it turned out to be an AMAZING event. We were hoping to raise between $7,000-$8,000 and we ended up raising over $12,0000!!!! We had an amazing response from companies and individuals donating items plus we had a ton of generous people show up.

Below is the video that was played during the event. It will give you a small picture of the amazing little girl Nevaeh Rae was on earth and a slight glimpse of the year and a half embedded into the fabric of my family's life forever:

Sunday was truly a bittersweet day. It was sooooo busy that we barely had time to think much less mourn. But seeing Nevaeh on t-shirts, and my sister-in-law with a pink bow attached to her shirt provided a constant reminder as to who was missing that day. For me it also started the "countdown" to it really almost being a year since she was last here on earth. Her last party had been a very special day to everyone; at the time it had been a big sigh of relief and a celebration that she had made it through the "hardest" season of her life. This was suppossed to be the "honeymoon" period where she just got to be a little girl and we could all just enjoy her without worry. No one would have believed that just 2 short months later she would be gone.

So that helps explain why I've been silent lately. Thank you again for your support to our family during this difficult year.

In Christ,

Undercover Boss

Did you happen to catch CBS' newest show, Undercover Boss, after the Superbowl? The premise of the show is that CEO's from multi-million dollar corporations go "undercover" and do the low end jobs along side of their employees. This particular episode had Waste Management's COO go undercover and he ended up leaving his corporate office and exchanging his suit and tie, for work boots, work clothes in order to sort trash, ride garbage trucks and clean outhouses (which involves sucking up poop). After doing the dirty work for a week, he returned to his corporate office, with greater understanding and knowledge of how his company works and how his everyday decisions as a boss effects his employees.

As I watched the show, I couldn't help but think of Jesus. His life on earth was the epitome of an undercover boss. He left the glory of heaven, His robes of splendor, all of His rights as the Son of God to come to earth:

Philippians 2:5-7
Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

The boss on the show, didn't take on the "easy jobs;" he did hard work. He wasn't very good at any of the jobs and he was exhausted every night. But he received some valuable information while he was in the trenches. When he returned to the corporate office he implemented changes from what he had learned which made life better for those in the "lower level" jobs. When Jesus went "undercover" he too didn't take the easy road. He chose to be born to a poor family, he chose to invest His life in Judas, even though He knew Judas would later betray Him. He allowed Himself to be beaten, spit upon and humiliated by men. Why did He do this? The Bible states that because of what Jesus endured in His human form it does make a difference for us here on earth:
Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest
who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted
in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.

Jesus provided the ultimate sacrifice for us and He didn't return to Heaven and say, "That humanity thing is a breeze; those people should be able to figure it out all on their own." Rather, the Bible says, "He sympathizes with our weakness." He didn't succumb to the weaknesses, like we so often do, but rather He overcame them. As a result, He has invited us to come into His presence with confidence; He will help us in our time of need.

In Christ,

Daily Prayer

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