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    Elders' Blog - Entries written by Tim Depue

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    WedWednesdayMayMay23rd2012 Diapers and car keys
    byTim Depue Tagged Community Family Parenting 0 comments Add comment

    This combination could bring memories of a midnight run to the store to prevent an unexpected disaster at home. While that may be a noble act by a young parent, what brought this to my mind was a combination of events that happened this past week.

    Last Saturday KSBC hosted the first “Growing Families” milestone dinner for parents of newborns. During that time those of us who are more seasoned as parents interacted with our younger counterparts about different issues relating to parenting. Good questions caused me to dig back and think through what and why we did things years ago with our children. But predictably most of the questions were focused on how to start parenting well.

    The next event on my calendar was taking my youngest child for her driving test. This rite of passage is the first major step toward independence with all the freedoms and responsibilities that come with adulthood. What struck me was the similarity between my concerns and those of the younger parents. As I am faced with being the parent of an adult child, the same questions ran through my mind. Am I ready for this? What can I do better? Who will help me?

    In the middle of all this, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:33, where the apostle Paul points out the importance of the company we keep. Who we spend time with will influence our choices and behaviors. As parents we often think of this when screening our children’s playmates and choosing their education environment. But this is also true for parents. To be the best parent at any stage we need not only godly people around us but also godly people who have already walked the road before us and will share what they have learned. We need the church to be more than a building we go to, but a group of people we experience life with. We need the classes and fellowships, the lessons and encouragements—not only as a person but also as a parent.

    The company of older generations can help give us confidence that we will be ready and will do things well. At the same time, as we take our turn in helping in the nursery, the children’s classes and teen activities, we not only can know what our children are learning, but we can learn from others how to help our children grow and learn—giving and sharing ideas to help us prepare our children for the life God has for them.

    The distance from diapers to car keys may seem long and bumpy from the start, but in looking back, for Val and me, the company of being in a church has made the road much more smooth and enjoyable. 

    FriFridayMarMarch2nd2012 Lunch with a friend
    byTim Depue Tagged Community Culture 0 comments Add comment

    This past week I found myself in territory that I had never been in before. (At this point my children might ask if I had finally signed up for Facebook.) The truth is I was still in Lafayette and in a place I had been before. But it was a brand new experience.

    The experience came during lunch with a good friend. While I had eaten at this place before, they now advertised that they served food that was Zabiha. This was a new word for us, so my friend looked it up on his phone and found out that it was referring to food that was prepared a certain way for religious reasons, specifically for Muslims. We continued with our lunch, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that my thoughts had returned to the experience.

    Thinking about the issue of food and religious regulations prompted me to recall 1 Corinthians 8, where Paul addresses an issue that was causing problems for the church. The issue was a division between the believers on the practice of eating food that was previously offered to idols. Some were enjoying the meat, but others were bothered by the thought that it had been part of a sacrifice at the local temple. Paul reminded the believers that all food comes from God and is meant to be a blessing to us. Furthermore, it is the means he has created by which we receive the strength to live and serve Him.

    While there are several lessons and many applications that can come from this passage, what intrigued me was that I was experiencing during my lunch the same reality that the Corinthians were experiencing—the reality of living in a rapidly changing world. Cultures from distant places are being brought together at an ever-increasing speed, and with that we experience a difference of preferences and convictions that can be responded to in varying ways. My response to those points of exposure can be guided either by my sense of cultural comfort or by the truths I have learned and believe from God’s word. My natural response is to retreat to what I know and enjoy as “normal” for me. But what I have found over time is that when I take the time to learn about those things that are new and different, these differences are what God uses to grow and shape me.

    These moments of learning and the experiences of differences offer opportunities to interact with others and share applications of truth from the Bible. This is not to help other people see things my way, but to show how God’s word is relevant and essential to life. It is amazing to see what happens when God’s truth is accepted and practiced.

    So back to my lunch. The meal was good, the conversation was great, and I look forward to eating there again. Even more, I look forward to the next experience that God will use to grow me and maybe those around me.

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