You Are More Than A Shiny Thing

I joke about how my kids can catch a glimpse of a shiny thing and lose track of what they were doing.

But lately it’s been their dad who’s having that problem.

The reason for my distraction changes all the time. It seems trying to have a conversation with me is trying to have a conversation in a restaurant with a bunch of TVs playing football games everywhere.

I don’t know why it’s been so hard to focus lately because the distractions have always been there and have never affected me. But now…

It’s has showed up with my children. They want to tell me something, and I’m only catching a part of what they are saying. Then I have to ask them to repeat what they said.

I’m definitely not liking that part of me.

They have a fun story to tell me or a question and I’m off in some other thought, my eyes off towards some else I think is more important. As they get frustrated, they might give up telling me stuff.

That makes my stomach churn. I don’t want to experience the day where they don’t want to tell their Daddy about the snow fort they built, how they made the cookies all by themselves, or how they need some feedback on a friend who is frustrating them.

I think about how Jesus picked up children the disciples wanted to keep away from Him. It when He said “Let the children come to Me for the Kingdom of God belongs to faith like this.”

There are so many theological pieces to this that are essential to our faith, but let’s look at the physical part of this moment.

He picked up the children and held them. He didn’t need to. He could have just gathered them around Him, taken a selfie with them, made His point, and shooed them on their way. After all, He was a pretty important guy with a lot of people needing His attention around Him. That’s certainly what the disciples thought.

Instead He picked them up.

I think that’s a crucial part of who Jesus was and even more who God the Father is. Remember Jesus said “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”

We don’t know all what Jesus said or did when He held the children. We don’t know how long it lasted, but we do know that Jesus, God Himself, physically held them.

He gave them affection, focus, held them and affirmed who they were in front of all the busyness going on around Him.

Why? Because they were His children.

Hey, are you reading this?

You are His child. When you go to Him, you get God’s focus, attention, and He affirms who you are to all of those around you. God is not distracted by “shiny things.”

He enjoys you, is proud of you and will never, never, never turn you away because there are ”more interesting things going on around world.” You are most interesting to the Abba Father.

Years ago I wrote a song about this moment and recorded it live at a youth conference. If you want to have it, you can download it clicking here. I hope you might find it a push for you to go sit and be held by Jesus. He loves it.

God is good all the time.

Peder

Lent and the Eide Family

As we enter this season of Lent, my family has decided to do something a little different.

Kinda…

The tradition is to give up something in the weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Something that may be taking your focus off of Jesus and basically getting more of your attention than the Lord. It’s a good time for believers to commit to taking something out of their daily living in order to get closer God.

This is a pretty simplistic description but it is a common approach. People give up certain foods, habits, social media, movies, etc.

The Eide Family

The Eide Family

My family and I have decided to make a music commitment.

Being a family that loves music (imagine that) and has a lot of different tastes, we’ve decided to treat it like food.

If you have had an illness, you’re told to drink lots of liquids or eat chicken soup.

If you are an athlete, you’re instructed to eat good proteins, fruits, carbohydrates, do heavy workouts and then light workouts, and replenish your electrolytes.

If someone has the stomach flu, you don’t encourage a trip to Taco Bell for healing.

If someone is trying to improve their physical body you probably wouldn’t suggest to triple McDonald’s intake with everything supersized.

I truly believe that when it comes to the heart and mind, we should take the same approach.

In regards to music, I really believe it’s a big deal. Bigger than we give it credit for.

Without getting into a 20-chapter research project, simply put, music is one of the—if not the—most powerful form of communication we have. It engages emotions; it reminds us of past experiences; it brings feelings and memories to the surface.

You can hear a song with no lyrics and it can move you to tears or excite your heart.

When it comes to lyrics, your brain remembers everything. Everything! Ever walk into a store and find yourself singing a tune you haven’t thought about in years and then realize it was softly playing in the background? Did you realize you know the lyrics of tv show theme songs yet you don’t have the song on you iPhone?

Music is powerful and your heart and mind know it!

With that as a backdrop, for Lent the Eide family decided to listen to only music that we call worship.

Style was not a determining factor. If the song has lyrics, they’ve got to be songs with scripture, hymns, modern worship, etc. If it doesn’t have lyrics, we must recognize the melody line from a hymn or modern worship tune.

It narrows down the playlist for sure.

Before some of you jump on the soap box of “Are you saying secular music is wrong?” or “You can’t tell me that all of today’s ‘Christian’ music is good for you” or “Are you trying to make your family into one of those ‘eyes covered up, fingers in our eyes motivated by our fears’ families?”

That’s not what we’re doing.

Instead we’re looking at what Philippians 4:8 says:

Finally brothers what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what ever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if anything is worthy if praise, think about these things

What we put in our mind through our ears and eyes matters.

Do I condemn all “secular” music? No, I do not.

Do hymns and modern praise and worship fit Phil. 4:8 perfectly? Nope.

But is it closer to fruits and proteins for the mind and heart and a help in the direction of getting focused on the God’s presence? I would say yes.

Well see how it goes. I can tell you I’m ok with a little less Taco Bell in my heart and mind. J

Think it through.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Or tell me what your family’s doing for Lent.

God is good all the time!

Peder