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August 30, 2017 / Saturday

Swan: Bill - There is a part of me that worries that my son will follow his father's path to Midlife Crisis and with him nearing 40 I think that fear is becoming more real for me. He hasn't demonstrated any signs, but then my husband didn't really either, it was almost overnight that the change became noticeable with my husband. I know my son has commented that he lost a lot of respect for his father, but that doesn't mean he won't have his own crisis.

Bill: Swan: I hate to agree but wisdom says he is vulnerable. He is fortunate that you are praying for him. There is, of course, no guarantee that he will experience a MLC just because his father did but we know that spiritual influence travels from generation to generation.

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August 30, 2017 / Saturday

Bill: Good Evening and welcome

Swan: Hello everyone

Little Magpie: All - Hello

Bill: How is everyone tonight?

Little Magpie: Bill - I am trying to calm down. Had a very intense/stressful day and high anxiety due to college student preparing to leave soon. I did take some vacation to try to help

Little Magpie: Bill/ Swan - I have a hard time letting go when things don't go quite right, even when I am told things will be okay. I am a worrier

Bill: Little Magpie: Understood. Do your best to celebrate this as your D is taking a big step that will enhance her life and help her become the young woman God intended for her to be.

Bill: Little Magpie: Since you admitted you are a worrier (which is quite common), what has helped you over the years to worry less?

Swan: Bill - I am good. There are floods in Texas and fires in Montana, wouldn't it be nice if we could route the excess water to the fires. My son isn't a Christian and last night he was asking me and his wife how a so called loving God could do that to people. We tried to answer him, but he was in an argue mood, so I don't think we got very far with him, it is a hard situation to defend especially with someone that doesn't believe.

Little Magpie: Bill - Denial; prayer; Distraction, focusing on a pet so we got a new pet.

Little Magpie: All - I saw some pictures from Yoli and it looks bad in her area. I will be praying for your son Swan

Bill: Swan: Wow, quite the week for you. I agree it would be amazing if we could rout the excess water to the fires as we would all do it in a heartbeat. Your son is obviously a thinker to be asking questions such as this one. I will share more in my next post but let me recommend a book here. Clay Jones just published a book entitled The Problem of Evil which may be helpful to him.

Bill: Little Magpie: I like the pet answer! Nothing like a little barking and biting to take your mind off the stress.

Little Magpie: Bill - she is 11 weeks old and looks like my H and my first 4 footed baby. We got our first 4 footed baby before our first wedding anniversary.

Bill: Swan: As far as your son's questions, I would first of all encourage you to keep the dialogue going as long as he is willing even if you have no answers. It is tricky to figure out if these are personal questions or principle questions. Nobody can deny that we live in a dangerous and difficult world. You don't have to look very far to recognize that things are not safe or nice or easy. Everyone is forced to come to some kind of conclusion about why it is this way in principle which can be discussed with logic. When it is personal, however, the pain can be mixed with emotion, self-pity, bitterness, agony, etc which are not logical and are best addressed with acceptance and venting.

Swan: Bill - Thanks for the book referral, I will have to get it. When my children were young, we went to church on and off, we failed to teach our children. My daughter is a Christian and has been most of her adult life, but my son (who yes is a thinking and a high IQ) just doesn't accept. My daughter in law and grandson are Christian, until high school my grandson attended a small Christian school and my son had no issue in paying for it. He doesn't condemn anyone for believing, but will in a hurry remind us we should not attempt to shove our belief down his throat. We haven't, but my daughter in laws mother has made some comments that offended him. She has the Left Behind books and actually told my son they bought them for him so when the end happens he will be able to go to their house and read what he needs to do so he can join us later.

Bill: Little Magpie: Not sure what to do with the comment that the new family members look like H

Swan: Little Magpie - thanks for the prayers. KmKrn was in chat last night, they live in Austin, but her husband works in Houston, so he wasn't able to go to work this week so far, she is glad he is home and safe. She reminded me that gas prices will most likely be going up since Houston is full of oil fields.

Bill: Swan: Your daughter-in-laws mother is certainly well meaning but probably not too strategic, but who knows what God will do. The good thing about Clay's book is it is a thinking man's approach to the issue. Clay is a professor at Biola and has been studying this subject for 3 decades. Clay also has a blog your son could engage in if he likes the book (or he could check out the blog first).

Little Magpie: Swan/Bill -My YD doesn't want to take a bible to school with her and I don't know if she will go to church at college (a worry of mine) I thought I would have my H take one with him and leave it on her desk. My eldest D is one of those with the high IQ that swan spoke of and says she doesn't believe and that God is a myth, difficult

Little Magpie: Bill - no, new family member looks like our first puppy dog

Swan: Bill - My daughter in laws mother does mean well, I don't think she understands how she sounds to a non believer. My son likes her and cares about her, but when she starts talking about God, he is ready to leave and has a few times left my daughter in law and grandson when they were doing family get together things, he goes back and picks them up later, but will then avoid the mother for a period of time. I have tried talking to her, as has my daughter in law to try to help her understand that she isn't helping, in fact she is pushing him away, but she believes she is the one that is going to save his soul because she is willing to take him on.

Bill: Swan: The other thing I would point out to you is the pointed nature of your son's question, "How could God do this?" Most people have an assumption that God should only bring good to life and yet they hold to a some system of justice. We believe there should be laws and those who break the law should be punished which means we possess a moral code. At the same time, we believe God is supposed to protect some people from the horrors in the world. It is a tough question to come to grips with.

Bill: Swan: I believe "evil" is a corruption of free will. Adam and Eve were given the ability to choose because God wanted people to have "real" relationships. If we only operated by instinct or were programmed to obey, we would either be robots or simple animals rather than humans who can freely give and receive love. When they chose to use that free will to disobey and design their own way, their nature became corrupt with pride. From that moment on, people with very limited perspective think they know better than God who has unlimited perspective. God instituted the process of death in response to the world and people could be redeemed. If death and decay had not been imposed on creation we would live in a corrupted state forever.

Swan: Bill - An interesting fact is that for someone who doesn't believe, my son knows the Bible pretty good, I mean as in he can quote things and is familiar with people in the Bible. In fact one of his commends was "Didn't God say He would never flood the earth again, yet Texas!" I did tell him that he is leaving a little bit out of that, God promised that He would never destroy the earth by flood", to that he kind of rolled his eyes.

Bill: Little Magpie: Ok, I get it. Sorry I misunderstood that one.

Bill: Little Magpie: I think it might be more strategic to ask your D to put a bible on her phone. Most young people engage with the Bible digitally. You could tell her that your mommy heart would be more at ease if you knew she had the Word of God on her phone, just in case.

Swan: Bill - I have to often remind myself that God loves us so much that He gives us free will. As a parent who sometimes had to let go and give my children room to make their own choices and let them face the consequences when their choice wasn't the best for them, I can imagine how it breaks God's heart when we choose to not walk in His light.

Bill: Swan: Again, the assumption is that God is actively doing this to Texas. I am sure your S would never tolerate God actively intervening in his personal life, dictating everything that happens in his life. He would feel smothered and disrespected. In that case, God would be seen as a controlling dictator. When it comes to trouble, however, God is blamed for being a vindictive deity.

Bill: Swan: Well said. It is fascinating to me that Jesus wept over the plight of mankind and compassionately made the supreme sacrifice for our well-being. As a parent, I can't imagine.

Swan: Bill - He is familiar with the story of Job (when my grandson was little, they read to him and sometimes my grandson chose Bible stories), I have pointed out to him, in face my grandson has also that God didn't do the things that happened to Job, but did allow them for a purpose. It just gets frustrating so often because I love my son dearly and want the best for him and there are times I cannot give hard answers to his debates. He often brings up my husband and the other woman, he wants to know why if adultery is a sin, that they seem blessed. But, my son is only looking at the financial part of that, I told him that my husband tells many people that he is miserable every moment of every day, that isn't being blessed. But my son measures success and blessed by comfort and income.

Swan: Little Magpie - Several Christmas' back I gave my son a Bible, it is still in the box, but he still has it! I take that as a positive and pray and believe that one day he will open it and begin to read it, but it has to be in his time, if I push any further he will reject God even more.

Bill: Swan: Your son is asking great questions. Most of us prefer to dismiss these questions in exchange for acceptance and eternal hope. They are, however, realistic questions that each of us must come to grips with. I encourage to not feel like you have to have answers. It is enough that he is willing to talk with you about these matters. He is smart enough to figure this out and God will orchestrate moments where he must find answers when the time is right.

Bill: Swan and Little Magpie: It is a little awkward to say this but as moms you have significant leverage in your kids' hearts. Giving Bibles, expressing your desire for them to read it, admonitions to love, work hard and remain safe have a powerful impact on your loved ones. It is uncomfortable how much influence you have throughout life but it is real. Use the power but use it wisely!

Little Magpie: Swan - my kids have bibles from me for their baptism I got them grown up bibles even though they were infants and my folks got them bibles many times so they have them, they don't want to take them. The eldest has even read the whole bible cover to cover several times (more that I did) and she claims she doesn't believe.

Swan: Bill - And my son is a mamma's boy, always was and though he isn't as much now, he is! My daughter in law has sought my assistance in some things, she can talk and talk about it and he will be closed off to even listening, I can comment in passing and it gets him looking into it, it doesn't mean he will jump on board but will at least give consideration. I have noticed my grandson is that way with his mom too, so I guess it runs in the family!!

Bill: Little Magpie: Give them time. You have planted the seeds of God's word in their hearts. Right now they feeling their independence and think they have life figured out. The challenges of life have a way of making the Bible seem more relevant. Jesus, please track down LM's Ds and soften their hearts toward you.

Swan: Little Magpie - If she doesn't want the Bible and has them, I don't know if she will accept leaving on for her. She has read it and God is very capable of bringing what she has read and learned to the forefront of her mind. Prayer is going to be your best weapon in my opinion, especially since she is going to be so far away.

Swan: Bill - There is a part of me that worries that my son will follow his father's path to Midlife Crisis and with him nearing 40 I think that fear is becoming more real for me. He hasn't demonstrated any signs, but then my husband didn't really either, it was almost overnight that the change became noticeable with my husband. I know my son has commented that he lost a lot of respect for his father, but that doesn't mean he won't have his own crisis.

Little Magpie: Bill - I don't really seem to have influence on the girls. They don't like my conservative/biblical views and lean heavily toward the liberal side their Dad is on but they swing even further. They have been heavily influenced by the rhetoric that is so common in the media and such right now anyway, I pray and hope they come to see what is true. I hope. SWAN - My YD hasn't read her Bible cover to cover like her sister and the YD is more open to God than her Elder Sister. YD doesn't want to take it because she say's it's too heavy to pack and that is why my H could take it as it wouldn't be too heavy for his luggage plus she has a smaller one that weighs nothing.

Bill: Swan: I hate to agree but wisdom says he is vulnerable. He is fortunate that you are praying for him. There is, of course, no guarantee that he will experience a MLC just because his father did but we know that spiritual influence travels from generation to generation.

Bill: Little Magpie: Your Ds are at the age where they want it to look like you have no influence even though they hear your words in their heart. Keep praying for them and keep believing in them.

Little Magpie: Bill - I will try to not lose heart but it is so easy to get discouraged and fall into hopelessness.

Bill: All: I am going to bid you adieu. Prepping for a family camp this weekend and a men's retreat the following weekend. Also, my dad and I are going to a Dodger game on Monday with my nephew. It should be quite the story to tell when it is all said and done. I will give you the highlights next week.

Little Magpie: Bill - how was Last Week's Family Camp?

Swan: Bill - Unfortunately we repeated many of the traits we learned from our parents and some of those (I know it now) contributed to my husband's crisis. My mother in law was a very controlling person and she ruled their home with an iron fist, all of the older siblings left home as soon as they could, one even before he could legally. My husband joined the Marine Corps to as he puts it escape her. My son is aware of my connection with midlife crisis, I only hope he will feel free to talk with me if he is having those feelings.

Swan: Bill - Have a great night and wonderful family camp

Little Magpie: Bill - Blessings on your upcoming engagements and your Game with dad and nephew. Go Dodgers!!!

Swan: Bill - Baseball and Dodger dog's have fun

Swan: Night all, see you next week

Little Magpie: Swan - Good Night and have a blessed week

Little Magpie: Bill - Good Night

Swan: Bill - There is a part of me that worries that my son will follow his father's path to Midlife Crisis and with him nearing 40 I think that fear is becoming more real for me. He hasn't demonstrated any signs, but then my husband didn't really either, it was almost overnight that the change became noticeable with my husband. I know my son has commented that he lost a lot of respect for his father, but that doesn't mean he won't have his own crisis.

Bill: Swan: I hate to agree but wisdom says he is vulnerable. He is fortunate that you are praying for him. There is, of course, no guarantee that he will experience a MLC just because his father did but we know that spiritual influence travels from generation to generation.

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