Becoming A Spiritually Healthy Family…

I recently finished reading the latest book from one of my favorite family life authors, Michelle Anthony, titled Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family.  

One of my favorite chapters proposed 4 Steps in Responding to Today’s Families…

  1. Intake (offering listening/love):  Give eye contact, undivided attention, and verbal cues to allow your child or spouse to know he or she is being heard.
  2. Investigate (offering counsel):  Receive counsel from God’s perspective first.  Investigate His Word or receive counsel from your pastor or other Christian friends.
  3. Instigate (offering encouragement and confidence):  Ask questions to help your family member determine what this step should be.  But, ultimately, this is where you really want to partner with God’s Spirit to have your child or other family member hear from God (not merely your voice telling him what to do).
  4. Integrate (offering support):  Determine who will hold your family member accountable for the long run.
Check this book out (or any of her previous works) and let me know what you think.
Becoming A Spiritually Healthy Family…

Pixar’s Inside Out…

I love the emotions of Pixar… but not as much as I used to.  The storytelling has become far more predictable than in the earliest years.  Aside from Toy Story, the sequels have added little to nothing to the brand.  That being said, 2014 being the year without a release, was a very long year!  That, coupled with Amy Poehler, made me very excited to watch Inside Out!  

Honestly, I was a tad disappointed.  My expectations were far too high.  After giving some more thought, this film is growing on me.  The depth of the story – the way the movie dealt with despair – is absolutely astounding (especially given that the writers were addressing a multi-generational audience).  I am not ready to say that Pixar is back to golden-age status (they have a lot of sequels still in the pipeline).  But they did the audience good. 
That being said, here are my rankings to date…

15) Cars 2 (2011): A way to sell more toys.  
14) Brave (2012): Too many directors – too little direction.  
13) Wall-E (2008): We get it.  You hate consumerism and love the environment.  
12) A Bug’s Life (2001): The infamous sophomore slump.  How would anyone hope to follow Toy Story
11) Ratatouille (2007):  Didn’t feel like a Pixar movie at all.  Disney will always have only one mouse.  

10) Monsters University (2013):  No Boo.  No magic.  But it was nice to see old friends – at least the ones who were invited to the party. 
9) Inside Out (2015):  The best cast since Toy Story.  

8) Toy Story 2 (2002):  I could have done without sequels altogether – but if you are going to do a sequel, this is the story to tell….
7) The Incredibles (2005): Unique and underrated.  
6) Cars (2006): Where are the people? 
5) Up (2009): The first twenty minutes makes me cry every time. 
4) Toy Story 3 (2010): A fitting end to a wonderful story… until the fourth movie is released in 2018. 
3) Finding Nemo (2004): Probably the best animation of all the releases to date.  
2) Monsters, Inc. (2003): I can’t explain why I love this movie so much. But I do.  
1) Toy Story (2000): Nothing beats the original.  

Where do you agree or disagree?  
Pixar’s Inside Out…

You and Me Forever…

I recently finished Francis and Lisa Chan’s You and Me Forever:  Marriage in the Light of Eternity.  My favorite quote reads, “Again, our marriage problems are not really marriage problems.  They are heart problems.  They are God problems.  Our lack of intimacy with God causes a void that we try to fill with the frailest of substitutes.  Like wealth or pleasure.  Like fame or respect.  Like people.  Like marriage” (230).

The authors do an astounding job of framing marriage within the context of God’s mission.  They reiterate the writings of the Apostle Paul who believed there to be possibly no greater witness than that between a husband and wife.  Chan actually suggests, “A quote I heard recently:  ‘We are God’s plan to make it believable that He is good and loving and true.’  God has always chosen to reveal Himself through people'” (340).

That being said, Chan has a tendency (in all of his writings) to downplay a Christ follower’s responsibility (and privilege) to love God and love others in the every day and ordinary (especially in the context of one’s home and neighborhood).  For a fuller perspective on this topic, I would highly recommend books by Larry Osbourne (discipleship), Timothy Keller (marriage) and Michelle Anthony (parenting).

Give the book a read and let me know what you think.

You and Me Forever…