For the Love of the Game: Baseball

Well, weather permitting, today begins a new phase in the the Lutz family, Little League!  Tyler is playing coach’s pitch baseball and Lauren is playing coach’s pitch softball.

Thursday was Tyler’s last practice before opening day.  The whole team was excited but some of the kids were really energetic and a bit out of control.  At the end of practice the coach had to call them in and tell them they had been too out of control.   He then began to tell them about their first game on Saturday.  Tyler raised his hand and waited for the coach to call him out.  Tyler began, “Coach, I am excited.”  I think it was half confessional for why he thought the coach had to address the team and half that he just could not contain the thought any longer.  A few seconds later, he raised his hand again, as if he had not finished the first time.  “Coach, I just love baseball.”

Well, here we go, opening day is here.

Family Worship

I, like many, have struggled with family worship. Sometimes you wonder what you really accomplished. Other times you think you have accomplished a lot, only to later realize that you have completely shot over your children’s heads. Satan can use this to discourage and cause us to give up. I found a post by Dr. Jim Hamilton to be a great encouragement.

Family worship doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t take someone with a seminary degree to pull it off. In the morning at the breakfast table we work on a memory verse together. In the evenings right before we put the boys in bed we read a passage or two from the Bible, say the Apostles’ Creed, sometimes sing a hymn, then we pray and put them in bed. That’s it. That’s family worship.

Chick Flick No More!

Guys may have a legitimate reason to say no to watching  the next chick flick that comes along.  Here it is:  You need to say no to save your relationship, and because you love your woman too much to let some movie destroy your communication and love.  Dr Bjarne Holmes, Heriot Watt University, has released a recent study that demonstrates that chick flicks promote unrealistic expectation when it comes to love and may have an impact on couples failure to communicate.

“Marriage counselors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

“We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people’s minds.

“The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize.”

Is the real answer to stop watching chick flicks?  Should we have ever been watching them?  I will leave those questions for your own discernment.  Seriously, the idea of the influence of media portrayals having more influence than we realize is what I take away from this study.  Blatant sin is not always as dangerous as subtle eroding messages of immorality.  In other words, a movie should not need content which gains an R or PG-13 rating for a Christian to stop and think, “maybe the message of this film will dull my thoughts and love for God”.  Sometimes “innocent” love stories will damage our thoughts of what is true and right.  This study is another reminder to filter everything through the lense of God’s Word.  It is true and will not fall to the ground or return void.   Most media is filtered through the human lense, which means, it will appeal to our flesh and the logic of the flesh, but does not mean that it is ultimately true or right.

Preparing for Worship with Small Children

Having small children can be a challenge when it comes to worship.  We, as parents, can make it even more of a challenge if we fail to prepare our family for worship.  Yes, we must prepare their hearts and minds, but sometimes preparations include the most basic of things as well.  Here is a brief list:

  • Get them to bed early on Saturday Night.  We do it for school, why shouldn’t we do it for something that is to be more important?  It will probably limit some of your Saturday social life, but it will set an example of priorities for your children.
  • Have things laid out (clothes, shoes, bibles, Sunday School papers) or in the car ready to go Saturday evening.  For some reason Sunday Mornings seem like the worst morning of the week.  With three kids there is always a bible or paper missing and then we pull out for worship with dad blaming mom, mom not having time to get done what she needs because she has spent 15 minutes looking for a flip flop, and kids crying and upset after getting instructed on their irresponsibility.  All the devotions you did Saturday night to prepare for worship seem rather empty at this point.
  • Parents should rise before the children.  (Usually not a problem, this also seems like the one morning when all of the kids would sleep until 10 AM if we would let them)  No matter how much we seem to prepare on Saturday evening, there is always something else that comes up.  If we can be ready to go before we get the children up it helps us be on time and the attitudes of all are usually dramatically improved.
  • Take your children to the bathroom. I cannot stress how important this is for the entire congregation and the preacher.  Not only does it disrupt your ability to worship, but the pee-pee parade down the center aisle will disrupt others as well and spark a subconscious desire for other children to “need” to go to the bathroom.  Take your children to the bathroom 5 minutes before the service and they will almost always be able to hold it for an hour or more.  They do it all the time during “Cars” and “Cinderella”.
  • Bring your loose change for the offering. It may not be their offering, but it gives them something to anticipate and participate in during worship.  As they get older, then they can bring their own money to give.
  • Allow them to use a Hymnal, Bulletin, or Prayer Sheet.  Again, it is important that they know they are a part of what is going on and not just required to sit still while we participate.  Small children love to imitate and if they desire to imitate us worshiping, why not allow them?  As long as they are using it semi-properly, allow them to have it so they know what is going on is for them as well.
  • Have them draw or look at books, don’t bring toys.  Bring papers, quiet crayons, etc.  Once a child is out of toddler nursery and in worship it is for training them.  If they still need toys, maybe they still need to be in nursery (talk to your pastor or nursery staff and see if they can stay in a little longer).  Let them color, draw, take notes or look at books (There are many good bible story and bible picture books they can use).  Again, even if they are not always drawing or coloring about the sermon or reading about what is being preached on, they are doing what everyone else is doing.  (Hopefully parents still “draw”, take notes during sermons)  Also, don’t allow them to draw during prayer, singing, etc.  Have them participate in all that they can.  Drawing should be limited to times when you as a parent would be drawing.
  • Learn to pray with one eye open. If you don’t there may be entire rows of adults with both eyes open behind you.  Multitasking is part of it.  It is a training process.

Hopefully this will help enhance not only our children’s worhip, but also our’s and the entire congregation’s.

Quote: Paul Tripp on Being Too Easily Satisfied

From A Quest for More and based on Romans 8:22-25:

Being ungodly is not just about committing a certain lists of sins.  It is also about finding fulfillment outside of God, which leads me to commit an endless list of sins of the heart … We are supposed to groan because there are things that we have been promised but do not yet have.  We are supposed to groan because the full expression of God’s Kingdom has not yet come.  We are supposed to groan because we are not yet all that God shed the blood of his Son for us to become.  We are supposed to groan because the temporary pleasures of this physical world do not satisfy us; they always leave a void in our hearts.  We are supposed to groan because in every situation and circumstance we see the damage that sin has done and is wrong.  We are supposed to groan because we recognize how we each give into the temptation to seek in the physical world what we can only find in the Lord and what will only be fulfilled in eternity.  This side of eternity, groaning is meant to be the default language of the big kingdom.

On this Day in History

  • 1848 Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union
  • 1903 Entertainer Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England
  • 1917 John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was born in Brookline Mass.
  • 1942 Bing Crosby recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”
  • 1970 Tom Lutz and Sue Spratlin were married in Atlanta, GA


The rest is history

Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom!

Having Kids To the Glory of God

Justin Taylor had a post about adoption that pointed to Shaohannah’s Hope. I watched this video and it reminded me of a thought I had while on my roof cleaning out the gutters Monday (ah my random thought life). While adoptions is a wonderful thing, it is also a reminder that so is having our own children. Sometimes adoption may make what we are doing more intentional, caring for this child, teaching them the things of God, giving of ourselves, etc., but we who have unadopted children need to be intentional as well. Did we have children to glorify God? Are we raising them to the glory of God? No matter under what circumstance you had children, this is the goal. It is so difficult in the midst of daily whiningvand fussing to forget and just try to make it through another day, but God has given us our children as a gift, for our good and pleasure, but ultimately for His glory. It is easy to forget this simple truth, we have a responsibility to bring Him glory in our parenting.
There appear to be 3 attitudes parents fall into:

  1. Shepherds: Rearing children for God’s Glory.
  2. Wardens: Ready to give up or trying to maintain peace, but with no real joy.
  3. Golden Calf Herders: Love their children to the point that they become idols.

I will write about each in the following days.

Train up a Child…, so when he is older…

Just in case some of you may be feeling tired of disciplining your children, here is a reason to stick with it: Do it so the terrible 2’s or teenage years don’t turn into the terrible 62’s!

ROME (Reuters) – A Sicilian mother took away her 61-year-old son’s house keys, cut off his allowance and hauled him to the police station because he stayed out late.

Tired of her son’s misbehavior, the retiree in the central Sicilian city of Caltagirone turned to the police to “convince this blockhead” to behave properly, La Sicilia, one of Sicily’s leading newspapers, reported on Thursday.

The son responded by saying his mother did not give him a big enough weekly allowance and did not know how to cook.

“My son does not respect me, he doesn’t tell me where he’s going in the evenings and returns home late,” the woman was quoted as saying. “He is never happy with the food I make and always complains. This can’t go on.”

Pastor Andy has been away from his desk

Sorry for the lack of posts and the disappearance of the Puritan of the Week posts. Puritan of the Week will resume next week, but will be switched from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. There has been a lot going on in church and family life, limiting my blogging.

We have just returned from Greenville, SC where we celebrated the life, love, and home going of my grandmother, Virginia Lutz. I am thankful for the past three days with my Grandpa, father, and family. We all rejoice she is no longer diseased and now worships her Savior face to face. She will be missed, I cannot think of Grandpa without her. They were married 65 years. As a grandchild, I will be forever grateful for the love exhibited by my grandparents, and not simply toward us and their children but toward each other. My words will fail to explain what I have observed over the years and watching my Grandpa grieve, but I love to hear my Grandpa speak of Grandma for he adored her and gave himself for her. He cared for her for over 15 years where she was confined to a wheelchair and/or bed, and in that time he adored her equally if not more. He truly seemed to delight in being able to serve her in those years. When we first got down to Greenville, I asked him how he was doing. He thought I was my dad standing beside him. He teared up and said, I am grieving, I miss my wife. I want that in my relationship with Heather, to give myself up for her as Christ did for the church, and I want to delight in it in sickness and in health. Thank you Grandpa and Grandma!

For those who are interested, here is the video played at her funeral:


Friday’s Fotos

I am not a regular on posting Friday’s Fotos but I have been away this week to Alistair Begg’s Basics Conference and am now catching up on other things. So, here are a few shots from over the last week:

Kara Turned 7!


Lauren was the flower girl at Matt and Alison’s wedding

wedding lauren

wedding k and l

I enjoyed catching up with friends from Southern Seminary, Rick Crews and Jeff Douglas at the Conference