Lakeside Links – December 17th

I looked up at our 10 year old foster boy, and his head was bowed, his face drawn and serious. Unlike his 5 year old happy go-lucky brother beside him, he remembers. He remembers the cold nights sleeping on the street or in someone’s car because his mother had nowhere safe for him to stay. Instead of protecting him and reaching out for help, she eventually abandoned him at a mobile home park. Kelly Cone offers us the Christmas story like you have never heard it. The post is from last year but is a great reminder to appreciate the story we are hearing this season. Click here to read the story of how a foster child heard the Christmas story for the first time. homeless-man-in-the-cold
Justin-Taylor-_67_100 The great Scottish churchman Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847) once wrote that we can only “dispossess the heart of an old affection” by the “expulsive power of a new one.” In other words, temptation cannot be ultimately solved merely through an avoidance ethic, but through through a replacement ethic whereby a deeper and longer-lasting affection displaces the illicit object of our desires. Christ must become a greater treasure to us than any rival pleasure. Justin Taylor takes us to a song from The Gray Havens. Please take the time to watch the video, produced by Bobby Bennett, of their single Sirens. Click here to watch the video and read about how you can receive a free download of the song.
timchesterheadshouldersjan2014 Because of sin our affections are disoriented they no longer want to do what is right. We do not sin because of some natural necessity. We are not made to sin against our will. There is no gun against our head or hand over our hand forcing us to sin. but we do sin out of a moral necessity because our will always follows our affections and our affections are misplaced. So the freedom of our will and our bondage to sin are entirely compatible. Tim Chester discusses the affections of Puritanism is his latest post. Click here to read of the dynamic relationship between the mind and affections.
This is our 4th Christmas with Ben and Remy home, and last year I finally tracked our history and noticed that Christmas produced an inevitable cocktail of unintentional sabotage, overreactions, and meltdowns (or total withdrawal). The best of days ended in their tears, yelling, and devastation. Until last year, I kept thinking, “Dang! I am just not getting this Christmas thing right!” I thought I failed once again to provide the perfect mix of togetherness, meaning, Advent, and memories. This one has started to make the rounds on facebook but it is too great to leave alone. Jen Hatmaker explains how we can sabotage our own expectations of holidays. You do not need to be an adoptive parent to notice some of the triggers that we as parents bring on. Click here to read how you may be sabotaging your big days. hatmaker-round_1


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