Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

Journey Through Lent Week 2 February 13, 2016

Filed under: Spiritual Transformation,Uncategorized — billmacphee @ 5:00 pm

BibleI hope you are enjoying the Scriptures selected to help us begin our reading and reflection journey through Lent to the cross and empty tomb.

Remember,
Lent is a time for sacrifice and self-examination, for increased self-awareness and God-awareness, for spiritual refocus and renewing our conversion, for seeing our own need for Grace, and for opening our hearts to be more captured by Jesus’ love.

I discourage any practice in Lent that detracts from the work of salvation accomplished by Jesus on the cross. Yes, let the Scriptures push us toward humble acknowledgement that we, like Israel before us, have fallen far short of God’s ideal for what it means to be human. But by all means, let these sacred texts clarify that God is the relentless hound of heaven, pursuing you and me with an unquenchable love. He requires nor desires our attempt at appeasing him by acts that earn forgiveness.
Even this practice of reading can easily be turned into labor that makes us feel better about how God might view us. Read, reflect, rest, ponder, and let his words guide.

Here are the readings for Week 2 | February 15-20

 

Millennial Parents January 17, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — billmacphee @ 9:45 pm

Is it possible that as the so called Millennial’s become parents they are struggling with authority? A recent study gives insight and indicates that compared to the cohort that has been labeled Gen-X, Millennials are more authoritarian. There is a significant difference between parents who use a libertine and those who land on a more authoritarian parenting style. In many ways, kids respond the same to both of these extremes. A laissez-faire, anything goes parent and a tight-fisted, controlling parent get the same outcome: insecure, rebellious, truth-hiding, prone to laziness adolescent. Less we put the blame on the young person, we must pause and reflect on the impact of the way we parent. A better approach is to choose an authoritative stance, where mom and dad are still in charge, but their primary goal is help their son and daughter discover who they are [identity], what they are called to do [purpose], and where they fit in the adult world [belonging]. Authoritative parents raise kids who are secure and confident, willing to take risks, and engage in making the world a better place not only for themselves, but others.

 

Why I Prefer Paper/Physical Books to Ebooks January 14, 2016

Filed under: pastoral leadership,Technology,Uncategorized — billmacphee @ 11:57 am

I prefer physical books for many of the same reasons Michael lists here. Primary among them is the feel and interaction I have with books, taking notes, flipping pages, reviewing the big ideas. I have the same feeling about reading the Bible online versus my paper text. Maybe it is because I am used to the format, but I like being able to look at two pages in a paper book or Bible, because this trains my eyes to see context. Ebooks and YouVersion for my Bible is useful and used often, I just still prefer the kinesthetic engagement.

http://michaelhyatt.com/ebooks-2016.html

 

11 Tips for Parents – Welcoming Your Teenager Home From Camp February 18, 2013

Filed under: Parenting,Uncategorized,Youth Ministry — billmacphee @ 1:25 pm
Tags: ,

Our family enjoyed the privilege of sending our daughter off to camp this long weekend, and we are preparing to welcome her home. While it has been a great couples weekend, it will be fun to hear the life-change stories emerging out of camp.

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We often spend much time preparing for camp, and praying for our children while they are away at camp. But some of the best fruit from camp can be cultivated best by parents after camp.

Here are some simple tips on helping your son or daughter return home from camp well. My suggestion is that you pay attention and pick and choose from this list as you seek to maximize the positive spiritual impact of this outstanding journey at camp.

  1. Listen attentively. It is inevitable your son or daughter will return home tired. For some the fatigue makes them excited and talkative, for others it leads to grumpiness and silence. Be sensitive to trying to drag out too much information on the ride home. Pace the feedback. The next best activity for your son or daughter may be rest.
  1. Filter your questions. Let your student guide the conversation. Pay attention to what they are saying, and also to what they are not saying. Look and listen for a few key nuggets.
  1. Offer them their favorite meal. Though camp food might be good [or it might not], your child is likely longing for something to eat that is familiar and substantial. A meal is a great place for the family to listen to their stories.
  1. Temper your expectations. Parents may be hoping for a significant life change, but it’s likely not to show up all at once. Try not to communicate unrealistic expectations about spiritual life change, but rather applaud any movement toward spiritual sensitivity and growth. Ask in your own words, “What do you think God was teaching you at camp?”
  1. Remember the [pre] adolescent journey. By definition, pre-teens and adolescents are very self-focused and most of their experience at camp will be defined through the filter of “me.” Use this as an opportunity to affirm their journey of self-discovery and the unique identity you sense God is helping them grasp. Avoid exasperating [Ephesians 6:4] them with a sharp critique of their “selfishness.”
  1. Ask about friends. It is almost impossible for a developing adolescent to separate their relationship with God from their relationship with friends. Teenagers grow in Christ in groups. Who did you hang out with? Did you make any new friends? When will you see them again? It is likely there will also be some drama between friends to report. Hopefully you can guide them to not let this push them away from friends or the group. Or maybe you may walk them through changing friends due to new spiritual convictions gained at camp. If you have a high school student they will most likely want to go hang out with camp friends as soon as possible.
  1. Look at pictures. Having your son or daughter show you their pictures, even if just the big camp photo, is a great way for them to share their memories and experiences. Have them point out friends and adult leaders they enjoyed.
  1. Explore themes. Ask your son or daughter to tell you what the speaker, cabin times, and devotions were about. Keep it simple and look for or guide them into articulating one key lesson they grabbed from the week. Gently guide them to express a couple ideas they might want to act on in practical ways in the coming weeks. Ask what they want to change as a result of being at camp [in their relationships, in their family, in their beliefs, in their habits]. Don’t pry too much since these changes may be something they would rather share with their friends, small group, or other adult leaders.
  1. Affirm your support. Be very positive about their experience at camp and affirm your ongoing support of their relationship with God. This time at camp can be powerful but it is also one smaller part of a bigger and longer journey in their emotional, physical and spiritual development. Your child needs a fan that is cheering them on as they grow up.
  1. Keep them connected. An experience at camp is often times a launching pad for new friendships within the youth group at church. Maximize the partnership between you as a parent and the youth group leadership. Be sure to find a way to thank your child’s cabin leader. Do the extra work to help them get to a weekend worship gathering and the next meeting of the youth group. For those with a Junior High or High School student, encourage getting plugged into a smaller discipleship group. The older your student gets the more strategic support from the church gets.
  1. Model an intimate relationship of trust with Jesus. Your [pre] adolescent is looking to see what a relationship with Jesus looks like. They possess a keen radar system that sniffs out hypocrisy. They will be looking to see if you have an honest faith that trusts Jesus with daily life. Be the kind of person you want your child to become. Model love and grace, an intimate relationship with God, involvement with other believers, and a servant lifestyle.

What additional tips would you add from your experience as a parent?

 

Broken in the right places March 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — billmacphee @ 9:25 pm
Tags: , ,

I have countless x-rays of my feet, my face, and my femur. I have never considered them from this beautiful perspective.

Learn more at: http://www.potsc.com/