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18 tips for “little things” to boost your happiness at the office
Need to work on # 9, 10, 16.

How to preach like Phil Ryken and Duane Liftin without sounding like them
Especially liked Ryken’s #2 and Liftin’s #1.

The Excluded Male
J C Penney are starting down a dangerous path.

Is “the culture” really the Church’s problem?
Ken Myers says, “No, it’s the culture in the church that’s the problem as many believers live not fully transformed by the Gospel.

15% Discount at Ligonier
If you are buying anything from the Ligonier store, enter HHH15 and you’ll get a 15% discount.

PRTS Graduation Ceremony
Come along and hear Sinclair Ferguson deliver the Commencement address or else watch online. And while we’re on the subject of the Seminary, here’s a mission in Gambia (pages 8&9 of the pdf) that’s using PRTS distance learning courses to advance theological education there.


The Solution to my Chick Problem

When we see someone in pain, and we can make it better, should we do so?

That’s the essence of My Chick Problem.

My two little girls are in tear-filled, chick-less pain. I can make it better by driving an hour north where more chicks are available. Should I?

For most people, it’s a no-brainer. The kids want; the parents can get; therefore get. Why let the kids “suffer”?

Well, I must admit, my first instinct was “Pull out the stops, Superhero, and ride to the rescue.” The unforgettably painful sight of two suddenly deflated little girls hanging tearfully over cold, lifeless chick bins would melt the harshest dictator’s heart. Instead of the much-anticipated cuddly, yellow, warmth – nothing. What’s a two-hour drive to fix this?

But with preaching tomorrow, can I really afford the time?

I know, PETCO. Just 10 mins down the road; grab a rabbit, a hamster, or some other rodent, and kill two birds with one stone (well, not literally, but you know what I mean).

Then I remembered my two pet rabbits from 35 years ago. STINK! And I know who’ll end up cleaning out the hut.

Hmmm.

Teaching time?
And Shona keeps whispering in my ear, “There’s a lesson in this, David.”

“I know, I know, but look at their faces.”

I so much want to be their hero.

What about another cat? I’ve resisted this for a year, after the trauma of hearing Fluffy’s squeal when she was half-squashed by a car; then having to tend her as she lay dying a week before she was due to give birth to her first kittens. Five little lives faded before my eyes. Anyway, I’m trying to block that.

Cellphone + Craigslist = $5 kitten within 30 mins. Superdad rides to the rescue!

But should I?

There is a lesson in this. More than one: you can’t get everything you want; if you set your heart too much on something, God can take it away; if happiness depends on things – even lovely, cuddly, yellow things – what happens when there are no things?

Am I willing to sacrifice these invaluable life lessons for the sake of being a temporary Superhero? Will I give up the opportunity to teach self-denial, patience, contentment, and submission to my children – just to make them (and me) feel better for a short time?

Decision Time
Four days later, we are still pet-less. (Hope you don’t hate me!) One of the girls bounced back quite quickly. The other moped and mourned a bit for a half day or so. But I steeled my heart and stayed the course.

The “compromise” is that we will probably get another cat…eventually, once the lessons have been really learned, by the girls…and by me.

Because I think this was sent to teach me more than them. I learned more about God in these empty chick bins and wet eyes than I have in many a sermon. My Father sees my pain and can relieve it in an instant. But He “reluctantly” chooses not to.

Because He wants to be much more than a briefly-appreciated Superhero delivering me from outward troubles and trials. He wants to be my Savior, delivering me from my sin and drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him.

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto.


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Why family time is a pastor’s job description
“No, I can’t see you about the family issues you have because of your misplaced priorities, because it’s my day off and I spend it with my family.”

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Confessions, Generations, and the Future of the CRC
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My Chick Problem

“Can I have a horse, Dad?”

“No, dear.”

“Can I have a dog, then?”

“No. Ask Tim Challies about that.”

“What about a hamster?”

“Nope.”

“Rabbit?”

“Probably not.”

“A cat?”

“Come on, girls, you know what happened to the last one.”

“OK Dad…”

Stonewall Crumbles
My daughters (10&8) and I have this conversation quite regularly, probably every two months. And I’ve held out, heroically. Until this week, that is. I finally succumbed on Thursday. And what breached my hitherto impregnable defenses?

Yes, chicks! I know, its pathetic isn’t it.

They spied baby chickens at Farm & Household on Thursday, came home, and begged and begged until at last I yielded when they promised that it would only be for six weeks; then they would go to a farm or homestead.

Two almost sleepless nights followed as they excitedly looked forward to picking them up on Saturday. “CHICKS, CHICKS, CHICKS” was written with highlighter on their calendar.

For them, Saturday morning passed like a year as I worked on building a retaining wall in our yard. They hovered nearby to make sure I lived long enough to pick up the little creatures.

Having got everything ready to house and care for the anticipated new arrivals, we jumped in the car after a barely-eaten lunch, and drove the short distance while the new chick experts twittered away about their plans for the unsuspecting birds. We tried to calm them down, as I said to my wife, like only a good Scottish Calvinist would, “This can only end in tears!” (Little did I know…)

They sprinted ahead of us towards the chick bins, but when we finally caught up, we could tell from their faces that disaster had struck.

Chick Question
“They’re gone, Daddy!”

By now the tears were welling.

“Don’t worry, girls, I’m sure there’ll be more.”

“Afraid not,” said the assistant, “Not till next Spring.”

OK, now I start worrying…as the tears start flowing (mainly theirs).

The assistant then threw me a lifeline: “You might be able to get some if you travel up North….”

Four wet eyes look up at Daddy, plaintively.

What happened next? That’s the parental challenge of the week! What are my options? What would you have done? What spiritual/life lessons would you try to teach in this situation?

Let me have your suggestions, and tomorrow I’ll tell you what I actually did.

Hope you won’t hate me for it!


Check out

Sinclair Ferguson to give PRTS Commencement address
Join us this Friday 7.30 at Heritage Reformed Church (540 Crescent St, Grand Rapids), for Sinclair’s address on “Grace Marks in Young Gospel Ministers.”

Top 5 things introverts hate about Church
Written so that extroverts can understand.

When the anchor holds
Why I no longer say, “God didn’t cause this birth defect in my child.”

The Scriptural witness to the historicity of Adam
Could it be put more simply or persuasively?

Biblical Counseling Center: Impacting the Next Generation