Teaching Family Rhythm in Nicaragua

7 10 2014
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Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes; pictured is Concepción volcano, as seen from Maderas volcano.

Families everywhere matter to God. Children everywhere do not have a choice where they are born or what family they are born into. Yet God not only loves each one a lot, but also has his hand on them for something special (1 Thessalonians 1:4, MSG). Jesus came to bring us back into right relationship with the Father, which leads us to desire all families around the globe to be brought back into right relationships with each other (2 Corinthians 5:18).

My wife, Daphne, and I are thrilled to travel to Nicaragua from October 21-31. We will be a part of a pastoral training team leading two simultaneous conferences to ministry leaders south of the city of Managua at the Skylark Centre. This centre is a part of Threefold Ministries. One conference is for marriage relationships, while the conference we will teach, called Family Rhythm, is for family relationships.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

Please pray for us in these ways:

  • Clarity of presentation
  • Relevant content and personal connection
  • Transformed leadership and families
  • Personal burdens of attendees lightened
  • Revitalizing experiences for attendees

…there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained [by godly discipline].
-Hebrews 12:11, NLT

Daphne and I will explore the topic of restoring broken relationships (which we all daily have to deal with) through the motif of a rhythm of the heart. This rhythm keeps the hope of Christ-filled and deeply satisfying relationships in view in order to press on through the real difficulties that families face on a daily basis. (Use link below for more information).

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

Attendees will each receive Jim Jackson’s Discipline that Connects Handbook in Spanish, a powerful tool for helping families connect deeply with each other and with God. We are also giving away some copies of The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Beginner’s Bible in Spanish.

You may wish to donate. Please donate at the Threefold Ministries website (link above, click on the “Donate” tab) with the designation “October 2014 Conference Team.”

The philosophy of Threefold Ministries “has always had as its goal, sustainability. Threefold believes it is absolutely essential that if you are going to help people in a meaningful way you must commit to them for the ‘long haul’.”

May the peace and power of God extend throughout the world as we make disciples in and through our families!





Book Review: The Christian Parenting Handbook!

29 04 2013

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I’ve been privileged to get a preview of this brand new book by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, known for great parenting books based on Biblical and heart-based approaches. Their website is http://www.biblicalparenting.org. You can pre-order the new book anywhere, but here is a link to it at the Canadian Amazon site. Below is my review.

When Joanne and Scott say in the introduction, “You’re holding a book of ideas,” they aren’t kidding!  If you’re looking for a treasure trove of parenting ideas that goes beyond clever quips and coy research to truly heart transformational truth, you’re going to want to pick up this book. As the title says, it’s a handbook. You’ll want it close by for quick reference relevant to almost any situation or any question you’ll face as a parent.

As a parent, you’re also looking for more than a plethora of ideas, you’re also looking for an overarching way of thinking that breathes vitality into your family life. Scott and Joanne provide the Biblical foundations that are essential for looking beyond the parenting pressures of day-to-day life and into eternally valuable insights that will sustain and energize your journey.

The authors don’t sugar coat their principles or try to make parenting seem easy. They acknowledge the difficulties, but provide more than adequate inspiration to accompany many truths that will equip parents well. They often suggest things that may take a little more work on the surface, but will greatly improve the results and increase the satisfaction and sense of purpose along the way. I love their emphasis on training, which I like to call rhythm, and their solid understanding of the Bible’s use of the word “discipline.” Here’s a quote:

“The word discipline used in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew word chanak. It means “to train.””

Oftentimes, we as parents feel we’re constantly in the corrective mode and trying to “get kids to behave.” This book offers a refreshing approach that focuses on building relationships, the joy of great character, building on strengths and a life of wisdom leading to success.

I feel a sigh of relief coming on and see the sun of hope rising on the horizon!

This book is super-charged with practical and easy to find advice and, more importantly, it is infused with a Christ-focused way of thinking about the parenting journey. It is a proactive versus reactive approach that will empower you to be a great parent. You’re going to want this as your go-to book in your parenting library!





What’s REALLY Behind Kids’ Misbehavior? – Connected Families

10 01 2013

 

What’s REALLY Behind Kids’ Misbehavior? – Connected Families.

Worth a read! Sometimes as parents, we feel satisfied to just deal with the situation and move on. Raising a child is about much more than dealing with inconveniences, it’s about training a child in wisdom!





To Spank or Not to Spank? – Connected Families

4 12 2012

To Spank or Not to Spank? – Connected Families.

I’ve come to appreciate this organization and having met Jim Jackson, I know him to be a man who not only loves Jesus, but has some excellent advice on this issue. Thanks Jim! Also, here’s a link to a couple of my thoughts on the issue and another blog that I find helpful: Spanking and Proverbs.





Solving a Child’s Big Spiritual Problem – Connected Families

25 05 2012

Here’s a good website that also provides excellent, Gospel focused email helps for families.

Solving a Child’s Big Spiritual Problem – Connected Families.





The Big List of Consequences

9 11 2011

Consequences and discipline are necessary and helpful for any parent who seeks to help their child grow up to be a responsible person who makes great choices. Below is a big list of consequences from about.com for your tool belt. But keep in mind the difference between behaviour modification and Biblical correction. As Godly parents, we don’t want plastic children who comply with our wishes. We want children who’s hearts are transformed by the love and power of God through Jesus Christ. Make that your prayer as you discern how you use consequences to shape your child’s heart.

 

The Big List of Consequences.

 





Behaviour Modification or Biblical Correction?

30 07 2011

I’ve been thinking about my use of consequences as I parent and lead children. Consequences are a powerful motivator for making right choices and avoiding the wrong. So they are needed for guiding children.

However, there is a word of caution for relying solely on consequences. Relying on them is merely behaviour modification. This is actually damaging because simply changing behaviour is self-reliant and exterior. As parents who believe in and follow Jesus we know that we cannot save ourselves or grow our character apart from his redeeming and sanctifying work. We are not self-reliant, but Christ-reliant. And the way Christ works is by transforming the heart not putting a vain polish on our appearance.

We reap what we sow. If you plant a fern you will grow a fern. Likewise, if you sow anger you will reap anger. So as parents we can help children recognize the implications of their choices with appropriate consequences.

Tedd and Margy Tripp have written a book called Instructing a Child’s Heart. In it, I came across a quote that provides a solid distinction between the worldly approach to parenting called behaviour modification and the Godly approach they call biblical correction. They write,

“We do not depend on consequences to alter behavior. We want to train the heart of the child. In behavior modification, consequences are the means of shaping or manipulating behavior. In biblical correction and discipline, consequences are a means of demonstrating, in a sensory way, the importance of the spiritual consequences that are accruing in relationship to God, to others and to ourselves.”

Therefore, communication is vital for parenting. We can’t slap down consequences and expect children to turn out right. We have to do the hard work of explaining what Christ wants to accomplish in our hearts. The consequences are a way to help make that conversation happen.

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