How Did You Raise Your Kids as a Pastor (The ABCs of Godly Parenting)

godlyparentingYesterday, a friend made a comment to me about Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson being PKs (pastor’s kids), who apparently no longer profess to be Christians. Then she asked me, “How did you raise your four kids as a pastor?” This post is my partial response and spontaneous reflection based on my experiences as a dad for 30 years.

A is for authenticity. I believe that Christy (my wife) and I lived authentically as Christians to the best of our (limited and imperfect) ability (1 Cor 15:10). I was who I am in Christ whether I was in church or at home. My sense of my subjective self was no different in church or at home. As best as I can tell I was not “more holy” at church and “more relaxed” at home. Continue reading →

A Letter to Cincinnati UBF

[Admin Note: This article has been edited to remove some personal details, 5/25/2013]

Dear Cincinnati UBF and all in UBF:

It has been over a year and slowly God has revealed to me the truth about UBF and it’s practices. UBF is abusive to families and to children and to many students in the name of raising disciples and living under the dome of truth. I could write a fifth book about all the abuses that I have personally suffered under you as God’s servant and the bad theology and the anti-family mentality in the framework of UBF. It is hard to see this truth while living under the leadership of UBF but I saw it in Cincinnati and was afraid to speak out because of the control and because I was taught to never forget God’s grace which was more of a control mechanism than a love for God.

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New Life – The Growing Family


Editorial note: Our friend “gc” has been offline for awhile, taking care of his growing family. Congratulations on your new child! Here are some thoughts on families by gc. Please read and respond to his heartelt words. He raises numerous questions that have not been discussed openly in the UBF context. This article provides a nice segue into the next UBF heritage point, “house churches”.

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How My Life Changed Forever

UntitledOften times when someone has something important, someone close to them they are pushed to let go. We learn that it is our Isaac. This is a point that is drilled into your consciousness from the moment you take your walk in UBF. Many times we are told to look at the world and look at ourselves so we can find our Isaac. When we find it we must simply give it up and let go without looking back. Is it really a correct interpretation of the passage that contains one of Abraham’s greatest examples of faith?

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What if UBF Had Used The NASB?

bibleWorld1Think fast: what is the #1 most popular Bible verse in UBF? I think that those who have studied the Bible in UBF, who have attended UBF wedding ceremonies, read UBF mission reports, or just read the website might answer: Genesis 12:1-3. The study of this passage has a prominent part in the Bible studies in UBF. The famous Genesis group Bible studies of Sarah Barry perhaps kick-started the early portions of the UBF ministry in Korea.

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My Concerns About The International Conference, part 2

SoLovedEarlier Ben shared an article expressing his concerns for the upcoming UBF ISBC (International Summer Bible Conference) to be held in Pennsylvania. The article quickly became our #2 most-commented article ever. But I read almost no response regarding Ben’s concerns directly. For those who responded to Ben, thank you. Here is a second chance for people to comment about Ben’s concerns.
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It Must Come to an End

Php2.12-13It must come to an end. If it doesn’t end, it won’t be healthy for any of us. That was the advice one of our pastors gave to a member of our cohort group as we concluded our nine-month “Emerging Journey” class. One of my new friends in this class was sad that the fellowship had to end. Nine months have flown by so quickly! As we finished our class last night, none of us wanted it to end. All night our pastor’s words bounced around in my head. He reminded us that it is unhealthy for a spiritual discipline or church program to go on and on without conclusion.

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Shattered Dreams

I was touched by this 2 minute video showing God’s grace to one whose dreams were dashed to pieces: Shattered Dreams. It was choreographed by Tim Fitch to introduce his sermon last Sun at West Loop: Shattered Dreams, A Compassionate God (1 Kings 19:1-18). IMHO I thought that Tim’s sermon was the best sermon delivered at West Loop since our church plant on 1/4/2008. Thank God for the gospel of God’s relentless pursuit of us in spite of ourselves.

Marriage is Covenant Keeping

Recently, a friend and member of West Loop UBF asked me about my wife. He and his wife were wondering if Christy, my wife of 30 years, had any sins, since they were not able to detect any obvious sins whenever they meet or interact with her. Though it is obvious that my lovely wife is also a sinner, I was quite awed by what he said. I told him that it is one of the highest compliments that any man has ever given me. For to regard my wife as “sinless” in her public persona indirectly and partially points to the husband who has loved his wife by the grace of God and by the strength God provides (1 Pet 4:11). But I do know without a shadow of a doubt that the ONLY reason I have been able to love my wife for 30 years is because Jesus has loved me far, far more than I can ever deserve! This is the profound mystery of marriage (Eph 5:32).

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Beware of the Tiger Mom

For the last few weeks, the internet has been abuzz with talk of the Tiger Mom.

Amy Chua, a professor at Yale University and mother of two daughters, ignited a firestorm with her opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.” Chua uses the term “Chinese mothers” to describe an ultra-strict parenting style which is prevalent among Asian-American immigrants. She described how she never allows her daughters to attend sleepovers, have playdates with other children, watch TV or play computer games. She does not allow them to get any grade less than an A. She expects them to be the number 1 student in every class, except gym and drama. She forces them — using physical restraint if necessary — to put in long hours of practicing piano and violin. Any sign of disrespect toward their parents is met with swift and severe punishment. She described how her own father once became angry at her and called her “garbage” in his Chinese dialect, and she has done this to her own daughters as well. While western parents are horrified by this, thinking that it damages the child’s self-esteem, she believes that it can be healthy, productive and useful. She regards this parenting style as superior because it leads to achievement and success, ultimately allowing the children to experience the joys of accomplishment. She defends her practices as an expression of motherly love.

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