Monday, May 07, 2007

Anointing Alexey

A conversation with my 8.y.o. son, Alexey, while we are getting ready for school this morning....
"What's that stuff, Dad?"
"That's a vial of oil. We used it this weekend to anoint one another."
"What's anointing?"
Dad then does his best to describe anointing....a symbol of God's promise, blessing, being set apart, of God's spirit falling upon you, part of a prayer....way to much info for an 8 y.o.
Alexey resumes working on his math sheet....then asks....
"Do you have to be a certain age to be anointed?"
"Nope - would you like me to anoint you?"
"I dunno."
Dad continues to fold clothes, pack snacks, start the grocery list for the day.
"Hey dad, yeah, I guess I'd like to be anointed."
So we finish up a few things and I get distracted by something and a few minutes later Alexey says - "Don't forget to anoint me!"
So I stop. I grab my bible...we read a couple of passages that speak to anointing from James and Psalms. I share with him what I will do - pray a blessing over him while I anoint his head with oil in the sign of a cross.
"Do I close my eyes?"
"You don't have too."
I anoint my son. He is looking at me as I pray for him. His eyes are SO big. Jesus is living there.
We finish.
"Can you see it?" "What's it look like?!"
We go to the mirror and look. You can see a small, shiny cross on his forehead.
"Can you still see where you got anointed?"
"Nope - I've washed my head too many times since then."
"Hmmm.....hey Dad - want to wrestle!?"
And life goes on.....Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Perception vs. Reality

I went to "The Core" this weekend. The topic was on "Helping Hurting Kids". This was the third year in a row I've attended. As usual - good training and good fellowship. I love having an opportunity to better equip our volunteers and parents - and in so doing better equip our kids. It is also great to get to know each other better outside of church.

One of the videos they used was from "The Skit Guys" showing youth ministry perceptions vs. reality. It was well done - and you can track it down here.

It has got me thinking about a conversation we had in SMYG a couple of weeks ago...

We were talking about the story of Jesus turning water into wine. (I used Laurie Polich's "Studies on the Go - John" and Grant English's devo on the passage as a frame - both great resources)

One of the questions I asked our kids was from Laurie's book -

"If you were going to throw a party with your friends and you had the opportunity to have Jesus there, do you think the party would be more fun or less fun? Why?"

The couple of students that answered - out of about 30 - generally said, "If it was a party of Christ followers it would be sweet, but He would probably make my friends who aren't Christians uncomfortable."

As I've replayed that sentiment in my head here are the questions it brings up....

* How does the kid's perception of Jesus relate to what we see of Jesus in the bible? To me it seems Jesus made those that are religious more uncomfortable than those that weren't.

* Is their perception of Christ a reflection of my teaching? Is this how I come across in my relationship with Christ? Lord, forgive me.

* Are the kids more worried about what their "non Christian" friends think about Jesus....or what Jesus thinks about them....or what Jesus thinks about their friends? I wonder where they think Jesus' focus would be during the party?

There are so many more questions it brings up.

Many of them make me uncomfortable - and bottom line is all I can say is God forgive me - and thank you for opening my eyes.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Drew

This past Wednesday (and Thursday) we celebrated my son's birthday. He turned 15.

I can see God transforming him - and it is cool to see - through his relationships, his choices, his priorities. It is such a privilege to be a parent.....and to be entrusted to nurture, encourage, support, and guide along side a child.

I know that you read this at I won't get too emotional here....but know that you are loved.

15 years. Great memories. Praise God for the blessing of my son Drew. Happy Birthday, Drew.