PG – Unconscious Parenting

Have you ever stopped to think about your parenting and ask the question of yourself and your spouse; “What are our real goals with our kids?” What is it that we really want to accomplish? How will we know we were successful as parents and as a family? Failure is pretty easy to see and characterize but what of success? If you don’t have a conscious goal in your parenting, one will be assigned to you. You will be guilty of unconscious parenting.

The unconscious takes over when we put the conscious brain on cruise control. Just like unconscious driving, it always ends up in wreck. As it turns out our unconscious goals are usually not up to par and come out of motivations that say more about us than about our kids. For instance, one unconscious goal might be simply this; “ I want my kids to like me.” I know it sounds kind of shallow but we are talking about the unconscious mind here. Everyone feels that way. We do want our kids to like us.   If we were to sit down and write it down as a goal we would feel silly. Yet I have seen parents who are parenting with this as their primary goal. They try and do everything they can to please their kids and appease their kids. They employ stuff, events, experiences, and usually permissive and liberal boundaries thinking that if they do their kids will like them.

Another often-unconscious goal of parenting sounds like this “ I want my kids to have/do all the stuff I never got to.” This goal seems unselfish, and indeed a parent with this goal may sacrifice much for their children. But ultimately this is pointed toward the parent’s own unfulfilled fantasy’s and expectations or possibly even a repudiation of their own parents. A child raised with this overarching goal exists in the confusing world of constant entitlement and disappointment. The parents that achieve it give their kids everything they didn’t have and the kids grow up thinking it is all about them. More often, the parents are rarely ever able to deliver on their goal. So the child grows up thinking that some how they got ripped off or constantly hearing parents say “ I never wanted you to have to …. like I did….”

There are many more examples of unconscious goals (you will hear more tomorrow) but all of them come from a fairly consistent source: Self. Whether it is hoping our kids have more, avoid some perceived trauma, or achieve some lofty status, when self is the source it will always fall short. What we really need to do is look to God for the source of the goals of our parenting. It is not by mistake that Jesus teaches us to relate to God as Father. When we look at and then consciously shape our parenting based on God’s parenting goals, we will quickly move past the more shallow goals of our unconscious reactions and move into a place where we are parenting with purpose. The results will speak for themselves.

Are you unconsciously parenting? If you were to write down your top 5 overarching goals for you children what would they be? Tomorrow we will look at some of the goals God has for us and that we can apply to parenting with purpose.

See you at church,

 Pastor Chris

PG – Deafening Silence


You’re a mom and you are busy doing all the things you have to do to get ready for the next thing you have to do (because that is a never ending story) and in the middle of doing what ever it is , you suddenly realize; where are the kids? You know the time where suddenly it is too quiet and you wonder, “What are they getting into?” I am pretty convinced that being sneaky so you are not caught is a genetic trait, because most of the time they are too young and inexperienced to have actually figured it out.   It is at these times that you come into the kitchen and find them “cooking” or go into the living room and they have discovered that the walls were much too bare and obviously needed more color. Burnt Umber was the Crayola they boldly chose and used with utter abandonment. Silence is very rarely indications that sneaky good things are happening.

There is another kind of silence that occurs as a result of anger. It is the kind of “I am not going to talk to you ever again” kind of silence.   It is funny and almost cute (if it wasn’t so defiant) when they are little. It is so much less fun when they are 15. For some it is a day of celebration when you get more than an ug, uh huh , fine, or other monosyllabic answers to complicated questions about things like “how was your day?” Once again silence doesn’t seem to work real well.

Do you long for rich conversations with your children? Don’t you want to be part of their life and do everything you can to communicate with them? You want them to ask your advice and seek your counsel. You want to be part of their decision-making and hope that they look to you first before doing anything rash. Your ultimate desire is for them to achieve the ultimate life and you have so much experience and wisdom to offer them. If only they would seek you out, involve you, and talk with you.

This is why parents more than any others, should understand the heart of God concerning prayer, and why parents should lead their families by creating a culture of prayer. For all too many families, the silence is deafening.

Parental Guidance Required, come learn how you can create a culture of prayer in your home with your children. A practical question and answer time will follow the sermon.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Understanding Design

I was watching a television program the other night where there was a lady fishing in Alaska. Fishing in Alaska is on my bucket list, and the scenery was spectacular. They as it turns out are the last ones permitted to have cabins in a big Alaskan Wildlife refuge. It is clear she had been fishing her whole life. There was certainly a sense in which she knew exactly what she was doing. But when she went to reel in the lure something surprised me. She was using a spinning reel and instead of the reel being in front hanging down from the pole, she had the reel up and was awkwardly reeling it from that perspective. She was doing it wrong!

She is not the first one I have seen do this. She might have been a lefty and so this maybe felt more comfortable to her. But the thing is , that is not the way the reel was designed to be used! I wanted to go to her and show her, “not that way silly, this way.” And if she complained that she was a lefty, I would switched the side that the handle was on for her so she could do it the right way. Most things in life don’t get me but that one is like finger nails on a chalk board. If you hooked a really big fish doing it that other way, chances would not be in your favor. It just wasn’t designed to work that way.

Understanding design helps us operate not only little fishing reels the right way, but really it helps us in any number of areas of life. When we don’t understand the design of something we are often tempted to take short cuts, to misuse or even abuse something. But when we understand and honor the design of something, things work so much better.

God designed motherhood. His design is spectacular. Our world often wants us to believe that God’s design is awkward and unwieldy. The world neither understanding the design (or the Designer) does it wrong and then blames the designer. They think that they can do it better. Like the vintage baby formula adds that suggested that their product was much better than what mom has to offer. Or those branches of science who are pursuing the creation of children without the need for men. They ignore both design and designer.

As we launch the PG sermon series, it is fitting that we begin with God’s design for moms. Not only do we want to look at what God has designed but we want to honor it. It honors moms and it honors the Designer.

Come discover God’s design and how we can honor it and honor moms.

As with all the sermons in this series, there will be a time of discussion led by Susan and I . We hope to share some of our insights into parenting and encourage you.

God Bless,

Pastor Chris

Kids Dance On The First Song!

If you have ever been to our worship services then you know that the first song is where we come into the presence of God in worship, we greet each other all around the church, and the kids get to come up on the small stage and dance! It is not by accident that we do this and I would never want you to miss what we are saying with our actions. Church is for everyone, kids, teens, and the adults. We want kids to be excited to come, excited to worship not just with their parents but up front! Kids have no hang ups about worship. They already know that it is fun to dance and praise Jesus! We hope they teach the adults in their lives how to do it!

The same is true when the teenagers take over the sermon, which is this week! They have an alive vibrant faith. They have things that they want us to hear. Church is theirs as well! As they live for Christ in their world, they are literally on the front lines. They are challenged every day in ways that are nothing like what most of us adults went through in school. Thiers truly is a different world.   Giving them the opportunity to speak to all of us, using the words, media, and methods that are more common to their world , gives us the opportunity to hear them, appreciate them, and listen to a sermon in a completely different way.   I am excited for what they will bring and excited that Wellspring Fellowship is a church for them as well.


I hope you are looking forward to a great time this week in worship and in hearing what the youth group has ready to bring to us.


God Bless,


Pastor Chris.

Character Matters

When I was a science teacher we used to do the most wonderful and fun experiments. One of my favorites was almost the cliché of science, the egg drop.   In the ones we did it was to emphasize and teach the scientific method and so we would give them certain parameters and have them go to work designing and building the perfect capsule to protect their egg.   I would often get some amazing results. There were categories really. There were those who did it on the way to school, which involved gym clothes and duct tape (and oh yeah I need my gym clothes for next period), then there were those who really did their research. The thing is you couldn’t really judge which one would work just by looking at it. It had to be tested. Some of the ones that looked the worst, actually performed better. And others looked great on the outside and produced horrific eggstruction.   The character of the method of protecting the egg was only evident after the test.

This is true of our character as well. We might look good on the outside and all those around us might think we would do great in a test, but it is not until the test comes that we really find out. We are tested every single day. This world is fallen and sirens of temptation call to us from the shoals of shipwreck. They beckon us to just get by, to hold back, and to compromise. How do you respond to them?

 This week we will look at the character of Daniel and discover there some examples of how to live with character in a broken world.

Come be encouraged!

 Pastor Chris

What are you afraid of?

What scares you? Clowns, spiders, IRS audits, snakes, or maybe it the boogie man under the bed? Even as adults there are things that still scare us. Most often they are silly and inconsequential. But occasionally our fears have merit. A diagnosis can scare us and rightly so! Other times it might be a circumstance or an event. World news is scary especially in this age of elections and geopolitical chaos. It is not by accident that the most prevalent command in scripture is “Do not be afraid.”

The biggest problem with fear is not the feeling but rather what it causes us to do. On one hand it can cause us to run the opposite direction of where we ought to be headed. The danger there is that we miss what we are supposed to do. Other times it may cause over reaction and our actions are out of step for what is called for. Like shooting a spider with a shotgun, we do too much and the results are worse than the fear ever was. Most often our response to fear is paralysis.   Stuck on the edge of the high dive, we are too afraid to go backwards and too afraid to jump in.

Walking with Jesus means that we must face the things that we fear the most. Not the silly things, but those fears that actually have substance. Death, persecution, inadequacy, poverty, irrelevance, and doubt all can paralyze us. But paralysis is not an option. Jesus says “take up your cross” not “stand there and look at it trembling”.  We have no choice. It is impossible to go where Christ would take us without facing our fears. We must do what he is calling us to. No matter the consequences, our faith demands it. And that is the rub isn’t it. It is faith that dispels fear. “Do not be afraid” is actually positively said as “Trust me.” Fear is ultimately a lack of trust.

 This week you will be challenged to face some fears; to move, to let go of paralysis’s, and to get out of the boat.

 See you at church,

Pastor Chris

A Culture of Blessing

This week is special. After church the men are going to gather in the upper room and there we will recognize something that has already occurred. While it is not unheard of for men to fit well into the role of “captain obvious” this has a bit more significant. We are going to be recognizing in a formal way the transition from boy to man.
Rites of passage have largely disappeared from our culture and the result is confusion. 14 year olds can be tried as an adult if their crime is heinous enough but no one really considers a 14 year old an adult. When you are 16 you can earn the right to drive a 4000 pound weapon, but people don’t think of you as an adult then either. 18 year olds can sign up for the military without mommy or daddy having anything to do with it, they can vote, and get married. They are kind of adults. A person who is 21 can demonstrate that they are they are chronologically an adult by purchasing alcohol, and then many who celebrate the moment promptly dispel the notion by irresponsibly and stupidly getting drunk. The confusion continues and even has a name of “delayed adolescence” to describe the adults living in the basement hoping to be able to sell their level 100 World of Warcraft characters. (The record is $10K). There is a hole, a missing element in our culture and while we can complain about it (it is actually more fun to mock it) the reality is that we are not helpless.   This is an opportunity for the church.


The church should be a light in a dark place. We should be the place where people find help in negotiating the rapids of this clueless culture, and we can. We can create meaningful rites of passage that both recognize adulthood but also bestow adulthood with all its privileges and responsibilities. We can raise our children with the expectations of when that will come so that they can both eagerly anticipate it but also make sure they are ready to assume that mantle. These rights of passage should be reasonable and be able to translate to the overall culture we live in and can we please not tie them to reproductive potential?! The church needs to seize this opportunity. The church needs to create a Culture of Blessing.


This week we be talking about what that means. I hope you come and find out how you can be a part of it!

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Why do you love me?

Imagine it is an ideal summer day, which is not too much work on a day like today. You have the picnic basket packed and you are walking in a beautiful park. You find a spot with just the right amount of sunshine and you and your beloved enjoy the most wonderful lunch. Afterwards you lay back on the red and white checkered blanket you have brought just for such an occasion and look into the incredible blue sky. Your hand moves over and catches hers, and you sigh, “I love you.” Then it happens. She sits up on one elbow and with a twinkle in her eye says, “Why?”

Oh no it’s a trap! Red alert, just the right words are needed here! Your heart races, the options are endless but often lead to deep trouble. Your mind is spinning in circles, because if you pause too long, it will look like you are having to think too hard! You only have a few seconds before you had better say something! Cooking and taking care of the kids! NO that won’t work to utilitarian are you trying to get stabbed with a cheese fork! You could go with the physical characteristic and mention some of your favorite ones even quote scripture “your hair is like goats….. “ Buzzz – to shallow and very likely to get you in trouble! Time is up! Time to man up and wax loquacious. Time to think of all the things that make her unique, all the things that cause you to love her.….

David said this in Psalm 119:97 –“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” What if suddenly God asked; “Why?” What would you say? It is fairly easy to say you love the Bible, but we also say things like we love Carl’s Jr. or Seabeck pizza. Have you ever stopped and pondered if it you can say like David did. “I love your word”? And if you did, could you say why?

 This week we will be talking about Next and our goal to have the word of God saturate every aspect of our church. Rather than talking about how we will accomplish this with classes, discipleship, and personal devotion, I will be talking about why. So spend some time before church thinking about how you would answer the question; “Why do you love the Bible?”

See You at church,

Pastor Chris

A New Beginning


I do my best to try and live my life with no regrets. Regretfully I am not always perfect at that. When I think back to decisions I have made or courses of action I have taken that didn’t work out, caused pain, or were just simply stupid, I kind of wish I could do that over.

I am reassured that God can take the mistakes I have made and use them to His glory. He can take the scars and help me teach others. He can clean up messes and bring humility, gentleness and forgiveness to bear. And how beautiful it is when we have a new beginning.

This week we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Christ who bore our sins so that we would not have to. Christ who was crucified in our place. Christ who was through the resurrection demonstrated to be the Son of God. Christ who laid down his life, and picked it up. Christ who has made a way to a new beginning.

What humanity was helpless to do for itself Christ has done. A new and living way has been made for us to be restored to a right relationship with God. We are purified from unrighteousness. While we lean on that reality every day, the new beginning I speaking of is still to come.   It is a future event.   Christ’s resurrection was merely the firstfruits, it is the anticipation of the announcement, “It is finished” when every enemy has been made his footstool. When death is ultimately destroyed. It is only then that the full reality of our new beginning will be realized.

What a glorious day that will be.

I hope you will come and celebrate the resurrection with us and celebrate our anticipated new beginning.

See you at church,

Pastor Chris

Lord’s Supper Tonight

Tonight we participate in one of the most beautiful demonstrations of the humility of Christ. He did the job of a servant even a slave, demonstrating that he was not above such service. We are forced to recognize that neither are we. He put forth the example that prevents the church from becoming stratified and hierarchical. We are all just servants willing to serve each other in worship of our savior. Following his example we also will wash one another’s feet. We also wi

ll participate in communion together, remembering the sacrifice that he made.

Please come and participate in this beautiful worship. 

Tonight at 7pm. Don’t forget to bring a towel and a basin.

John 13:5-17

5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.