Death, Carnage, and Kids

The accident yesterday that critically injured Brandi’s cousin (Quick side note: He is doing better than what many would have expected, thank you to those who have been praying) led Brandi and I to talk about the discussions we have had with our kids. Our kids are young (the oldest will be six in August) but we have always been very open and upfront with them about death and related topics. (Clearly we don’t talk about it much to the two-year old since he can’t grasp the concept). When Brandi lost her Uncle and Grandmother we were open with Kaden (the oldest) about their death, and that because they loved Jesus we would see them again some day. I think that it helped the conversations we had with him to be able to have the reassurance that this was not the last time we would see them. Kaden is a pretty smart kid (he takes after his Mama) so we saw no reason to try to hide anything from him.

I know that this is not the norm for some, for various reasons. In the conversation Brandi and I had last night we discussed why we thought some parents didn’t discuss things like this with their kids. It’s my opinion that one of the main reasons that many don’t is because they don’t have the hope that Christians do of a reunion with their family members who went on before them. Death is a terrifying thing because there is no hope.

For our family death is not the end. It’s not something to be terrified of. Understand that I’m not ready to leave my family, they mean the world to me. However I know they would be okay if something were to happen to me, chiefly because we understand that death is not the end, it’s just the vehicle that transports us to a new life, one in Heaven for eternity. This comes only from placing our hope and trust in Jesus Christ. Nothing else can provide this hope for eternity.

So what about you- how do you deal with the topic of death with your kids?

Sunday Sales and the Christian Response

One of the topics that is getting a large amount of attention (at least locally) is the issue of Sunday Sales of alcohol. Georgia historically has not allowed Sunday Sales, with a small number of exceptions being local cities being allowed to have votes about liquor by the drink sales on Sundays. However, it has (and still is) currently illegal to sale packaged drinks on Sundays (i.e. Walmart, convenience stores, etc.) With a change in the political leadership in Georgia a bill has been passed by the General Assembly giving local jurisdictions the authority to have referendums to vote on allowing Sunday Sales. Loganville has recently received some news time for being the first city to make plans on putting this issue before the voters. It does not take a rocket scientist to imagine the stir that this has already created, and it is bound to get much, much worse before the actual vote.

There has already been ridiculous amounts of rhetoric and hyperbole spewed from both sides of this issue. From those for Sunday Sales there has been things written/spoken like: “We will see a huge boost to the economy in Loganville, the restuarants need equal footing as surrounding areas” as well as many other things, some specifically against the ban on Sunday Sales because of the “Blue Laws.” From those against Sunday sales I’ve heard/seen such things like: “We need one day of safety from the drunk drivers, six days are enough, it’s about protecting us, there will be a dramatic increase in drunk drivers, and accidents” and the quotes could go on for awhile. Those against it have often made statements such as “It’s the Sabbath, and it should be respected.”

My opinion is rather fixed on the issue of alcohol. I think it’s wrong, and I think that it is easy to show from a Biblical viewpoint that’s it’s wrong. I can’t think of a single instance where the description of alcohol is used in a positive manner in the Bible. (Don’t even bother mentioning Jesus turning water into wine since many, many theologians believe this to have been a grape juice, and not a fermented beverage). You can even turn to society to see the many, many, dangers and troubling aspects that come along with alcohol consumption. However, that’s not really the point of this post, or even the referendum about Sunday Sales. Here’s my honest opinion on Sunday Sales: I don’t care. Yep, we’re 400 words into this post and I can sum up my opinion in three little words.

I think it’s complete hogwash to think that adding one day of alcohol sales will resurrect the economy of this county, yet on the flip side I don’t foresee mass numbers of DUI related fatalities on Sundays either. I’m going to have to disagree with the idea of the Sabbath rest as well. The concept of the Sabbath being Holy can’t be trotted out when it’s convenient for Christians to try and make a point. Not only that, but to try and force others (mainly non-believers) to abide in a Biblical mandate doesn’t really make sense. Those who are unbelievers will act like unbelievers. I know, it’s earth shattering stuff, but it’s true- you can mark my words!

How then (in my opinion) should the Christian (and the church) respond to the issue of Sunday Sales? Vote against it if you wish, because that is certainly your right. Tell others to vote against it if you wish, that’s your right as well. However when I hear people talk about boycotting, picketing, or doing other antics to protest the vote I honestly shudder. When it comes to the actions of the church, I certainly don’t think it wise for the bride of Christ to engage in protests against something like this. It certainly brings no honor to the name of Christ to be known for fighting against something of this nature. The church should be known for promoting Christ. They should be known for reaching out to the orphans, widows, and disadvantaged of society. They should be known for spreading the love and truth of the Gospel, without ever watering it down. The church shouldn’t be known as, “The church that’s fighting against Sunday Sales”, but rather, “The church that really cares about me, and loves me.” Part of that love is teaching against alcohol when warranted, but to make a huge battle and controversy over this issue doesn’t seem right to me. You might disagree, and that’s okay, in fact I’d love to talk about it with you. Feel free to comment to discuss the issue from your point of view.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Of Moms and Such…

This Mother’s Day is certainly going down as different from the plan, although I must say that nearly every day at the Parker house winds up going down different from the plan. I have been meaning to devote a little attention to this little blog of mine, in fact I have several different posts running around in my head to write about… if I can get my act together to post on a regular basis I’ve thought about submitting my blog to the Loganville-Grayson Patch to be included on their site. We shall see…but I digress…

Today is the day we set aside to celebrate Mothers, and all they mean to us. Moms certainly deserve more attention and recognition than just one day a year, especially my favorite one, the amazing Mama to my three (soon to be four) kids. Brandi (aka kwpmom on Twitter) is the perfect person to describe how the perfect mom should be. She’s the real life image of a Proverbs 31 Wife (except of course for the knitting, farming, and selling land and such (but who really does that stuff anymore).

In my mind she has the hardest job that any mom could have, that of a stay at home mom. Throw into the mix that we home school our kiddos, add a special needs kid, and a couple dogs and things are usually hectic at our house. She does an amazing job handling all of it, and does most of it by herself since I’m working a good bit. She always puts the needs of the kids (as well as mine) above hers, in fact I’m not sure of the last time she even thought about her own needs. When she has some extra spending money it’s usually the kids that benefit. She has way more on her plate than the average mom, and she does it all with grace and class. She’s a wonderful example to our kids of the wife I would want them to have one day, and I will certainly compare each prospective bride to my wonderful bride. At the Parker house we try and make sure she knows how wonderful we think she is, but like many things it sometimes gets neglected. So today, it’s all about the best Mom ever- Brandi Parker.

I Love You!

The Love of a Father

I was laying in bed this morning needing to get up in order to have my Bible reading time and get ready for work when one of our nighttime visitors to our bed (a 19 month old, incredibly cute, terror of a kid) rolled over and said Dada and promptly snuggled up next to me. Needless to say I was late getting out of bed.

It’s times like these that I get overwhelmed with love for my kids. It’s amazing how much you can love something so small. What’s even more amazing is our capability to love each kid equally strong. After having kids I always said I would die for my kids in an instant, without questioning it at all, and I would kill for them even faster. (I’m mostly joking almost joking about the killing part, but it clearly would have to be an issue of someone’s life for theirs, in a situation I hope I’m never in).

It’s when I ponder the depths of my love for my kids that I automatically think about the love of our Father, God. How much He had to love us to send His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us. It was also a willing sacrifice- Jesus new full well what was coming for Him, and yet He chose to endure the shame of the cross, knowing the end result. God even though He knew that Jesus would be rejected, scorned, and abused, He still sent Him because it was the only way for our sins to be forgiven. Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. Blood had to be shed, and it was freely shed for me. What an amazing thing to think about.

The question for me is am I living in a manner worthy of the blood of Christ? Do I live each day remembering what Christ did for me to release me from my chains of captivity to sin? Am I living each day for the glory of God?

Soli Deo Gloria

The Christian World view in the World

I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting conversations in Facebook in the last couple of days. (For what it’s worth I also managed to stay out of one I saw on a friend’s status…) They’ve involved Biblical teaching and standards and involved deep discussion on what is right and wrong, along with who gets to decide it.

The topics invariably brought up the concept of a person’s world view. Each of us has our own world view, which is simply our beliefs and opinions about different issues. It is influenced by our religion, our politics, our life experiences, and forms the lens through which we look at the world, and the things that go on in it. The world view of a Christian (should) be dramatically different from a non-Christian. However the priority influence on their world view has to be Christ and the Bible, and not a talk show host, celebrity, or even a family member. When someone asks a Christian why they believe a certain way their answer shouldn’t be, “Because my Mama said so,” but rather that the Bible teaches this.

When a person has the appropriate world view it impact their every decision. Where they eat, what they drink, who their closest friends are. A Christian has to be mindful of every decision to ensure that it is pleasing not in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of God. As my signature on my emails says- Soli Deo Gloria, all the glory God.

What about you- do you claim to be a Christian but yet your world view looks no different than those around you who would never claim to be a Christian? Is there a difference in your life? Do you live your life for your own glory, or to the glory of God?

Soli Deo Gloria!

Your own little world

We went to a different church yesterday for a visit. It is one of the area churches that we have submitted a resume to. We really enjoyed it, but that’s not the point of the post today.

The church was on the West side of Atlanta so we had to travel on I-20 through Atlanta to get to where we were needing to go. You could see the differences in the way of living as we drove through the different areas (of course you needed to look quick since we were on the Interstate). As we went by the different areas it made me start to think about some things, namely apathy.

I wonder if we (including me) become apathetic to the needs of others because we never leave our own areas. We travel in our own little circles surrounded by those who look like us, talk like us, dress like us, and have the same amount of money as us. I wonder if this affects our feelings towards those that do not have as much as we might have. When we never focus on anything outside of ourselves then we become oblivious to the needs of others.

It’s clear that this sort of attitude is directly against the teachings of Jesus. He intentionally went outside of his “circle” to reach out to others. (Think about the woman at the well, or eating with Matthew and his tax collector friends). We all need to make a better effort to look to the needs of those who might not look like us, talk like us, or dress like us.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Welcome to the blogosphere

I decided last night after some thinking to start a blog. It’s seems to be a common experience for me that I’m thinking of different ideas to speak or write about, but it’s tough to do writing at any length on Facebook. I also have several friends with their own blogs/ websites I enjoy reading. I figure I will give it a shot! It’s going to be a MAJOR work in progress.

My goal/purpose in blogging is to discuss the things of eternal significance. While I have little doubt i’ll be sharing some stories about my family, the main purpose will be to point to Christ. I intend on writing on a variety of topics, some controversial ones as well. I encourage you to visit often, and comment freely!