Category Archives: Uncategorized

From Nemesis To Friend

Good heroes are hard to find. In early times, my heroes were wearing capes or masks and had Halloween costumes in their honor. Later, my heroes excelled on the court, field, or diamond. (I miss you Michael Jordan!) But as I got older, I realized I would never be a super-hero zooming through the clouds to save the day. It also became apparent I would never be able to dunk, tackle or throw a 95 mile an hour fastball. I got older and life became exponentially more complicated. Relationships and responsibilities filled the day. Crushes turned into dating turned into husbandry turned to fathering. Playing hide and seek turned into studying turned into more studying turned into testing and then a job and then owning my own business. I might watch Avengers now, but I have a different understanding of what a hero is.

Let me introduce you to one of mine.

Joanna Fuhrman is my sister. In ancient days, she was my mortal enemy. I found great pleasure in her misery. I shot at her with BB guns. I played pranks on her. I made attempts to embarrass her in public and was often very successful. I vomited on her because, as I remember it, it was hard to distinguish the difference between her sleeping face and the toilet. Those were hard days for her…I hope.

Because we were home-schooled the majority of our childhood, we were together constantly. I watched her grow up all the while thinking she was stupid for doing it. Then an amazing transformation took place.

I started growing up too. I needed girl help. Joanna was always willing to listen. And she gave great advice.

Home-school turned into college and life was throwing curves left and right. I needed help. Joanna gave great advice.

College turned into law-school and serious girl relationships. I was beginning manhood. I was developing independent spiritual disciplines that would establish my direction for years to come. It was heartbreaking and confusing, but she gave great advice.

It was around then that I realized that she who was once my nemesis was now my friend. And I have had no better friend.

She is steady. She is grounded. She is devoted. She is faithful. She loves Jesus. She is a super mom. She cooks, cleans and rides. She teaches, cheers and cries. She games…and loses…to me.

She thinks. I love a good thinker. She is a great thinker-listener combo. Unless you are trying to get her to listen to a song. Good luck with that. But she talks politics and books and theology and all the while listens and respects my opinions.

Joanna cares for her family. Her extended family too. She makes time with us a priority even when it is difficult. Or inconvenient. Or expensive. She always has time for talk. Or advice. Or a laugh.

Oh, the laughs. I told Candice I rarely feel prouder of myself than when I make Joanna laugh. Laughing over dinner, over Rook, over Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy. All at 2 o’clock in the morning knowing the kids will be up by seven.

God gave us our children, parents and siblings for a deliberate reason. In His sovereign goodness and design, he chose from the infinite possibility of souls and placed her in my life. Though her childhood was likely worse because of me, my life is infinitely better because of her.

So this October 24th, wish a Happy Birthday to Joanna. My sister. My hero. My friend.

Advertisements

Imaginary Wars Among The Mothers

The Bible and Christ’s example is filled with calls to unity and love and togetherness “especially among the brethren.”  So why do so many Christians see conflict where there is none or imagine ill-will where none exists?
Specifically, I am referring about this supposed rift between stay-at-home mothers and employed mothers. I think people are to quick to see attacks when what they should see is encouragement, sovereignty and faithfulness.
Full disclosure: I am the son, brother, husband, nephew and cousin of stay at home, homeschooling mothers.  So now you know where I stand — and with whom I stand.  But in 33 years of life, I have never once heard one person in my family utter a disparaging word about a family’s decision that the mother be employed. Not one word.  I would not waste my keystrokes if it were not so.
I speak for me and my wife when I say we love and respect many precious mother-friends who have made the decision to obtain employment.  They feel like it is right for them. They feel God has led them there.  Some choose to do so for various reasons. We do not judge them.  Do not imagine that in the dark closets of our home, we malign and curse the working mother. No. We do not judge.  If that is the path you have prayerfully chosen, then God speed. It is not a lesser one.   We assume You are serving the Lord in different ways and different places.  What a blessed diversity!
But let the mothers who have similar callings encourage each other in their journey.  If my wife talks, blogs or tweets about home-making or home schooling, she does not intend to insult other moms who make homes and educate children differently.  Can missionaries talk about being missionaries without plumbers getting hurt? Can doctors talk about being doctors without lawyers screaming about insults?  Of course.  So let a home-maker talk about her home-making. Let a home-schooler talk about her home-schooling. It a unique challenge with unique needs for encouragement.
Are there unique challenges that come to the employed, working mother. Yes! You should be able to talk about them without my wife getting her feelings hurt.  Your skin should be as thick.  Not just for your own well being and mental health, but for the sake of the kingdom of Christ.
Bear up together and embrace the different journeys on which God has placed us. All of us, from the lowly to the theologian and scholar should encourage unity and love among the different walks of the sisters and brothers.  While the conflicts may be imagined, the casualties will be real.

Witnessing: What Would You Say?

Have you ever been in a situation where the topic of religion came up? Did you wish you had better responses about Truth and Jesus Christ?  It happens to me often.  My lack of speaking out is the result of ignorance or cowardice, but either way, it does not serve well the kingdom of God.

I believe the best remedy to both cowardice and ignorance is preparation.  So when I saw this clip on TV last night, I thought what would I say if I were the third person in this conversation?

 

It is worth knowing what you believe and worth knowing how to communicate it. What would you say?
 

The Schrute Method

“Whenever I am about to do something,
I think, ‘would an idiot do this?’ 
and if they would, I do not do that thing.”
— Dwight Schrute

My wife and a little about her story

My wife got the opportunity to write at a guest blog. Or is that write a guest post at another blog? Either way,  I encourage you to check it out!

Helping Your Children Love People That Do Not Look Like Them

John Piper always breaks it down on issues of Racial Harmony

We have the urgent burden of teaching our children in such a way to prevent the heavy sin of racism.  This particular topic is practical for parents like me living in the South. I have included below the eight points of Piper’s talk.  I encourage you to read or download the entire sermon here.

8 Ways to Help the Children Love Different People

1. Help the children believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in creating them with the body that they have.

2. Help the children believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in making other people with the body that they have.

3. Help the children believe that they and all other children and adults are made in God’s image.

4. Teach the children that God tells us to do to others as we would like others to do to us.

5. Teach the children and model for them that their own sin is uglier than anybody they think is physically unattractive.

6. Teach the children that God loves them in spite of the ugliness of their sin and that he proved this by sending his Son to die for our sins and give forgiveness to all who would trust him.

7. Teach the children that because Jesus died for them and rose again, he becomes for them an all-satisfying Friend and Treasure.

8. Teach the children to love others who are different from them, not in order to be accepted by God, but because they already are accepted by God because of Jesus.

Pray for Jake Shivley

Jake is my brother-in-law.  Super great guy that loves Jesus. He on the way now to Haiti with New Horizons Church in Starkville, Mississippi.

You can and should follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/jmshivley (or @jmshivley). He is tweeting about it as he goes.

New website for my office

Let me know what you think!

WWW.shaunhair.com

Reagan Prays

I am sure that as a parent, we could all share stories of our children’s prayers. They are sweet, funny and inspiring all at once. My sister recently wrote of her daughter’s prayer that “Mommy become more helpful.” Amen to that!

Reagan loves to pray. I am not sure that She has a clue that it is talking to God. She simply prays a things and people she is thankful for…without mentioning God.

ME –“Ok Reagan, lets pray.”

REAGAN “For Mommy, for daddy, for daddy, for gigi, for hutch for mommy, for daddy, …”

She recently started praying for Ms. Georgie because Ms. Georgie sent her a card for her birthday. Now Reagan doesn’t know Ms. Georgie or that Ms. Georgie is a female. She often prays “for Ms. Georgie, I love him so much.” God knows the important stuff.

I remember hearing a sermon on praying with your children. It emphasized the importance of praying good doctrine in front of your kids. For example, my prayers should speak of Christ, the Gospel, redemption, God’s glory…you get the point.

It’s hard to know how much, if any, of that sinks in a three year old’s brain at night-night time. So I was overjoyed to hear Reagan add “Jesus” to her list of things she is thankful for. It went like this “..And for Jesus, I love him. And lipstick, I really love lipstick.” Oh how she loves lipstick.

I guess I’m happy with small steps. They are more my size anyway.