Vol. 2 Issue 24 | June 17, 2016
Three Things This Week
Happy Father’s Day! Thanks for all the hard work, devotion, perseverance, and love you show your family day in and day out, thereby showing the world God’s love and faithfulness!
What it is: A $99 device that enables you to choose and monitor how you and your family spend time online.
Why it’s good: Circle helps families balance their lives in our screen-driven world. It’s a new way to help you manage content and time online for every device in your home. Want to limit your children’s time on Instagram, give their devices a bed time, or just pause the internet altogether? Circle will do it for you, freeing up time to connect face to face. Click here to buy it for dad (and your family)!
Why it’s good: “To show the power of dads, we pitted dads versus the Internet,” says Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Gillette. “94% of teens ask the Internet for advice before they ask their dads.” The moving advertisement encourages teen boys to ask their dad instead of their phone on such things like how to tie a tie or ask a girl out. It’s beautiful. Watch it with your children!
What it is: Dadcraft is a great resource created to serve dads by helping them refine their most important craft: fatherhood.
Why it’s good: The website provides fun family activity ideas, helpful guides, and inspirational interviews from great dads. Learn how to tell bedtime stories, what NOT to text your wife, and innovative ways to commemorate the end of school/start of summer. We highly recommend this resource for dads at any stage of fatherhood!
I woke up Sunday morning and, like you, saw the terrible news coming out of Orlando. In most cases like this, I begin a social media fast since the Internet can quickly become a platform for vitriolic shaming and blaming. But Sunday was different, at least among students who now use social media as their main news source and podium to express their voices. How fitting then that Twitter turned into a platform for lament, with “Lord, have mercy,” “How long, O Lord?” and “Can’t stop crying” posts filling my timeline. And in a small way, it was comforting.
The next generation was engaging in the ancient, biblical task of lamentation: Israel moaning in Egypt, Rachel weeping for her children, Job and his potsherds, or the cry of the forsaken Jesus gathering all the world’s anguish into that hallowed moment when unconstrained grief was shouted up to God, the one God who actually listens. In fact, one third of the Psalms are laments, modeling how we are to worship and pray in the midst of loss. The biblical narrative is filled with stories of God’s people speaking and being answered, crying and being heard. Yes, there will be time to have difficult discussions with your students about guns, militant Islam, and LGBTQ issues; but for now, lament.
Lament is the visceral announcement that things are not right; it is refusing to be silent. Lament means evoking cries that demand answers. It means summoning God and expecting Him to act. It is prayer in the midst of pain. The very loss of lamentation in a culture preaching “happiness is the truth” ensures that victims remain voiceless and the status quo goes unchallenged.
So join your students in the biblical act of lamentation by looking with tear-stained eyes into the abyss to see how vast, how deep, and how cruel is evil. And like Rachel, refuse to be comforted.
See the world’s pain.
See your own pain.
Sit in sackcloth and shower yourself with dust, remembering from which we come and to which we will return.
Finally, lament with hope.
Lament with the hopeful expectation that the same God who heard Israel’s wailing in Egypt and Jesus’ cries from the cross is the very same loving father who is listening still, and will one day deliver us from all this pain, all this anguish, and all these tears.
—Gary Alan Taylor, Vice President, Father of Emma, Olivia, and Jackson