Christ Centered Families

Lets have a Christian home that is centered on Christ.

Linn Winters
May 20, 2018    42m
This sermon has an eclectic panel of families from Christian homes talk to the congregation about what it looks like to live a Christ centered home life. Each family has different backgrounds that leads to an interesting contrast in their stories. Pastor Winters talks about the story of Joshua choosing to live to honor the Lord as an outstanding example of someone in the bible who made the choice to live in a Christ centered home. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 00:29 Okay, so if you've been here the last few weeks, you know that we've had an ongoing discussion that we entitled fight for the family. And that if you were to kind of pull back, and take a look at each of the conversations we've had every week, we've really been pushing you in a singular direction. Which simply says this, "Will you established yourself as a Christ centered home? Will you make a decision that just simply says, Jesus is the king of our house, he's the ruler of our family, and we are going to be a people whose families are centered on Jesus Christ. Not on culture, not on what other people are doing, we're centered on who Jesus Christ is."

Linn Winters: 01:13 You and I, I believe today, have an opportunity. I think this may be one of the most significant services in the story of our church, based on how we respond to this moment, Because today we want to give you the opportunity to make today a declarative moment. A moment in which we leave here, we go home with our families, and we say, "What does it mean for our family, to decide today, to be a Christ centered home?" You may have already decided that, and you're just reaffirming that. You're saying, "Hey, you know this is who we are, let's reaffirm our commitment." Some of us in the room, it's going to be the first time ever to have that conversation with our families. Some of us are here and you're alone. You're not here with your family, but how powerful would it be if you left here today and said, "I'm going to be a Christ centered influence in my family, and see what God would do if I brought my life to the table for us to be a Christ centered home." And today we're going to have the opportunity to kind of flush that out, and live that out for us.

Linn Winters: 02:11 There's a great passage in scripture, it's in the Old Testament. And it's a moment in which there's a guy by the name of Joshua, some of you will have heard of him before, who decides to make this decision for his own home and he does it big time. So grab your bibles real quick, go with me to this book of Joshua. If you're not familiar, if you go to the front of the Bible, start working to the right. You're going to find the book that's named after him. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua. Joshua, chapter 24, while you're getting there, let me set up the moment of what's happening. So Moses has died. Joshua was his second in command. Joshua was given the commission to now take the children of Israel into the promised land. The problem is there were other people, following other gods, living in the promised land. And God said to Joshua, Joshua, you're going to go in and conquer the land. You're going to take the land for Israel. Joshua's has spent his entire life being the general of Israel, and they have fought battle, after battle, after battle, in order to occupy the land. He's now an old man, literally the conversation that he has here he is on the verge of his deathbed, and now he has to address the people. Here's the problem, they haven't finished conquering the land, they haven't driven out all of those who worship other gods, they're still there. And in that moment, here's what Joshua knows, he knows that if they stay they're going to influence the children of Israel.

Linn Winters: 03:43 And in that moment, here's what he says to them, it's Joshua chapter 24 starting in verse 14. These are the words of Joshua, "Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped, beyond the Euphrates river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. So get the moment, Joshua says, I understand, some of us when we came out of Egypt, we brought the old way of living with us. Sounds familiar, right? Some of us, when we came to Christ, we brought the old way of living along with us. And he said, you're gonna have to make a decision. Are you going to continue to live the way you lived before Jesus, even though now you've found Jesus? Or he says, now that we're here, there's all the new stuff, there's the things that culture's doing, and it looks modern, and it looks cool, and it is something that's really easy to post on Facebook, are you going to go that direction with it? And then Joshua says, you ready, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. You get what you just said? He said, I don't know what you guys are going to do. What I'm going to do, is I'm going to choose for me and mine and, I'm going to choose that we're going to be a God centered family. I don't care how the neighbors behave, I don't care how anybody else is, I don't care what's on MTV, I don't care, we're going to be a household that serves the Lord.

Linn Winters: 05:49 Here's what I think is interesting in the conversation, remember Joshua was a general, he doesn't say to them, "Hey, go finish the work we started, go drive the rest of the guys out." He doesn't give them some sort of a military strategy. At the end of this old generals life he realizes the biggest battle, the most critical battle, he can win is for his family. Think about that, is for his family. And so his last dying words his last decision was, as for me and my house, we're going to be a God centered, a Christ centered home. That's my biggest win. And guys, I just think that every one of us in this room has that opportunity today to make a decision and say, as for me in my house, who are we going to serve? Some of you again may have already decided, we're going to reaffirm it today. Some of you are going to decide this for the first time, we're not just going to be a family that happens to be Christians. We're going to be Christians, who center our family on Jesus.

Linn Winters: 06:56 So here's the deal, here's what I thought about, I started to get a sermon ready for today and do this. And I realized all I was doing was coming up with a list, and I thought you know, I don't know that that's how we need to get there today. And then it occurred to me we have some remarkable people, who have landed Christ centered homes, and I saw how powerful would it be to ask them. Because sometimes when you talk about hey, be a Christ centered home, it gets kind of fuzzy, and it gets a little mystical, and it gets a little obscure. So what about just talking to people who've done it, who've done it in a really crummy culture, who've done it with a lot of peer pressure going on, and they have landed Christ centered homes. And if you and I can pick their brains for a little while today, it may just give you and I a really clear direction on what it would mean to take this step together. So do me a favor, I'm going to invite them out on stage, would you give them a Cornerstone welcome as they come on out here. They look like they're going to a firing squad or something, they're like okay, you use me as a blindfold.

Linn Winters: 08:08 So here what I'd like for us to do at the beginning, because the reality is, this is a really eclectic group up here. Some of you started out, you knew Jesus when you were a child. And then some of you figured out Jesus way, way, way later. Some of you guys have had some real struggles, before you got to this decision of being a Christ centered home. So, just give us some background. Let us get to know where we started this from, before we decide to be a Christ centered home.

Adair: 08:37 So I did not grow up in a Christ centered home. I grew up in a great family. I thought I was a Christian because we were kind of all American, had good values, but it was definitely not a Christ centered home. And it wasn't until I became an adult, at age 23, that I received Christ as my savior. My husband Corey, he definitely grew up in a Christ centered home, and so that was something interesting we had to kind of navigate. Because it wasn't too long after that, that we got married and had to kind of navigate that together.

Linn Winters: 08:37 Okay. Jana?

Jana: 09:12 Well I grew up in a Christian home, in fact, my dad was a pastor. And my mom and dad had this amazing relationship, so it was this perfect home. And so when I got married I thought, oh, I've met the perfect man and here we go. About three months into the marriage I realized that there were some really, really unhealthy pieces, and things that I had never ever had to navigate before, so it was crazy. It really took me to my knees, but you know what I love about God is that even in the storms, he's there. And I think no one ever gets married and thinks that their marriage is going to end in a divorce, but that's what happened to mine. We went through five years of counseling and, my story didn't end the way I wanted it to. And I had three beautiful girls but you know, I just said, "God, I know you've never left me, and you never will. So just help me going forward that I would raise my girls to love you like I do." So that's my story.

Heather: 10:25 So I was not raised in a faith based home. I came from a very dysfunctional home and when Matt and I met, I was two marriages down. I also had a 10 year old daughter. Now he was raised in a very wonderful Christian home, grew up with wonderful parents, but he definitely was not living that lifestyle when we got together. So for several years when we were together, we lived together, and just did not follow a good path. Then about seven years into our relationship we started having some pretty serious troubles, a lot of deceit going on, and that's when we knew that we really need to make some serious changes in our lives.

Linn Winters: 11:06 Here's what I like about this panel, is that it's eclectic. I mean there's a little bit of everything sitting up here. So we've got a Adair and Corey, and you've got a gal who figures out Jesus fairly late in life, but is pretty new as she comes into marriage. And then you got the perfect Christian guy, which makes us all angry. And you guys early on, here's the thing that's cool, your story is early on pre-kids. You guys decided that you in your marriage, we're going to be Christ centered, and then kids just added to that story. Jenna, you grow up as a pastor's daughter. You thought you were going to have this perfect marriage, and I'm just going to say out loud to everybody else, you were kind when you said this was bad. Because the reality is, yeah, it was bad. And you hung in as long as you could, and then you found yourself as a single raising three girls. And you had to make a decision that says, hey, I'm not throwing in the towel, I'm not going to. I'm going to figure out what does it mean to have a Christ centered home as a single parent. Right? And then Heather and Brian, you guys come to it late. The truth is, I think you guys got to Cornerstone, what, about five years ago? Heather, you didn't even know Jesus at the time, right? Brian, you knew Jesus, you're just living like poop, right? You're just backslid right? And something happens in the process, and Jesus gets a hold of your hearts. And then you're going, okay, this is a little bit late in my life, but we're going to just put a stake in the ground here, and decided to be a Christ centered home from now on. Right? So I think the power of this group is, we probably represent somebody in this room all the way across this group on the deal. So do this for me just fly me over your homes, and give me a you know just if I peeked in, what are some of the behaviors that I would begin to see in your homes that would be different than your neighbor living next to you that doesn't know Jesus. Doesn't have this Christ centered decision in their lives. Just what are some of those things I would immediately start observing about your homes, what are they?

Corey: 13:05 So I would say, you know, there's the standard, so you know there's church. So whether that's Sunday or this church has a Saturday service, but it's making church our priority. So that'd be one thing. Then you know we would have prayer in our home. And then I think also just the opportunity to serve, that became really important to us ever since the beginning of our marriage. We started in our first years of marriage, disciplining college kids in our college group, and we've continued to do that as well. So there's just a few things.

Male Speaker: 13:37 For us, I mean, something we always try to do together is pray. The music we listen to, what we watch on television. Just the way we act to each other, respect in the house.

Linn Winters: 13:51 Okay. So here's what I thought was really, really interesting. We were hanging out before this all happened. We were talking together about, hey, what are the things in your home that are different, and people would notice? And every single one of you said either number one or number two was serving. Which is interesting because I think a lot of us `will say, wait a minute, what does serving have to do with the Christ centered home? And yet every one of you said this was a big deal, this was a huge value, in establishing our home as a Christ centered home. Someone help me understand why serving is a big deal in establishing a Christ centered home.

Heather: 14:31 I'll go. So for me I think it was really important to put that example for our daughter that it was no longer just about our self. That it was doing things for others, doing things for God. And making her see that it's not just about us anymore, because I think we are definitely living that type of lifestyle.

Linn Winters: 14:53 I think there's some wisdom in there that I don't want us to miss. So many of us when we come to Christ, Jesus is about us. Hey, what is Jesus going to fix, what is Jesus going to help me in? But when you put your life, and start centering your life on Jesus, it becomes about Him. And serving is one of the most powerful expressions to say, hey Jesus, I'm not here for what I get out of this, I'm here to follow and serve you. And it just shifts my whole perspective of how I'm living, me centered, Christ centered, and it shows up in serving.

Female Speaker: 15:27 And I think sometimes you think of serving as something that you have to sign up for, and get trained for, and do. But a lot of times serving in our home just look like, hey, we're going to get ready early and go pick up some of your friends to take with us to church. Or you know what, there's a family that's having a hard time right now, what can we do to help them out? So it was just learning to just find little things that would fit for our family, and who we were, that we could do and feel comfortable doing.

Linn Winters: 15:56 How do I get my hands dirty for Jesus? Right? Anything else on this whole serving thing?

Adair: 16:04 I think we just made an effort. Well we started off serving, and like Corey said, being involved in a college ministry. And then we've been involved, we've led a life group, and other things that the church, you see them all the time. But our kids have then been able to see that, from when they were little, just been raised. And just that example, and so now they're teenagers, and they're serving. And it's not because we make them, they truly have a desire to. And we've had seasons where that doesn't always happen in their lives, but it's just kind of a natural DNA of our family because we started it. We started when we first got married, and have always done that. And also just role modeling that, kind of like heather said, but it's out of a gratitude for all that God has given us. And that's why we serve, just to to give back to him for all that he has given to us.

Linn Winters: 17:11 I think one of the powerful things about this that just shifts everything, is that before I serve, Jesus can be something I do for an hour on Sunday, right? I come in, I do my Jesus time, and then we go. But when you start investing your life, then it becomes Jesus is who I am. Right? And all of the sudden your kids see an authenticity in who you are and your home. That's different than just mailing in a Sunday attendance. Right? And I think that's probably why we all landed on this idea, even though it's kind of hard to describe a little bit, serving was a big deal in establishing a Christ centered home.

Linn Winters: 17:52 Alright, so here goes another one. We talked about this idea that there is always moments, if you're going to be a Christ centered home, when there's going to be a conflict. There's going to be hey wait a minute my kid wants to get a job, and that job requires them to work on Sunday. Or my kid wants to be in sports, and now all of a sudden they're going to be missing midweek bible study. You know, there's always a time when you go, hey, you know what they want to do isn't bad. Getting jobs aren't bad, doing sports is great, but now we got to choose. Is that Jesus or is it the other thing, and you guys have had to navigate that a little bit. I think Adair, you were talking about a time when your daughter wanted to get a job.

Adair: 18:28 She's actually in the process right now of applying, and it's a weekend job, and we just have tried to navigate with her. And had that conversation about asking the employers, you know, what does that involve? Church is important to me, can I miss that? So just having that conversation of prioritizing, you know, the church over the job, and what does that involve. And she understands that church comes first, because it's always has, and just having that open conversation and allowing her to help make that decision.
Linn Winters: 19:08 Jana, I think you talked about a sports thing. You had a daughter who is involved in sports, and all the sudden it was a conflict.

Jana: 19:14 Yeah, I think a lot of it is like you said, conversations. Because I remember one time one of my girls had a soccer event, and it was going to go late into our youth group time, and we always had youth group at our home. And so it was like, hey, how can we navigate this? How can we make it so that you can be part of the event, but yet get home in time. So we talked to the coach, we ended up bringing her home early so that she could be a part of the youth group event. But I do think it's just those conversations and really showing your kids, you know what, church is a priority in our family. So we're going to really work our hardest, and it doesn't always work. But when we can make it work, we get home for church. Because we love church, and we love the people that we've invited to be there with us, and so it was just one of those conversations.

Linn Winters: 20:08 I think one of the things that you had said, especially Jana, was that this wasn't about a legalism, right? This wasn't, hey, it's church and we got to do our time. It was just this idea that when those two things become a decision, we want Jesus to win almost every time, right? Most of the time, there's going to be exceptions, right? There's going to be a moment you go hey, that's just when the tournament is, that just when that is. But that everybody understood, in that moment, this is the exception. It's never going to be the norm that Jesus gets second seat. Right? So the lean for our family is always Jesus first. I know in Josh's life he wanted to get a job, and it was working on Sundays. And we kind of said, Josh, we're just not ready for that to happen, not willing for that to happen. And what our encouragement in fact to Josh was, we said, hey, would you go back to your supervisor and say, hey after 12:00 I'll be done with church, I'll come in. Because everybody wants teens to work Saturday and Sunday. Right? And so after 12:00 I'll come in, if you'd be willing to amend that in my schedule, and here's my promise. I will be the best employee on the floor. if you'll allow me to go to church first. And for Josh that became a huge commitment, because number one he had to make that thing of hey, this is a deciding thing whether I can be in this job. But the second was that left him with this huge impression at work, now I've got to be the best employee because I'm representing Christ at work. Right? On the deal because we had encouraged and pushed, hey Jesus, ought to come before jobs.

Linn Winters: 21:32 Alright, another one that we talked about, a little bit when we were together, was about money. And it was interesting because almost every one of you said, the fact that our family gave faithfully to the church and our kids knew it. The kids knew that we were making that decision to put God first in our finances. We believe had a big effect on our church, and just establishing that we were a Christ first family. So someone unpack that. Help me understand why you think that was a big deal.

Corey: 22:08 So as Adair mentioned, when we first got married, she had come from not a Christian home. And so that conversation around tithing was a big hurdle initially. It's like why would we tithe if we still have a credit card bill, or if we have debt in other areas. To me it was just a given. What? Obviously we tithe because we're Christians, and that's how it works. So we had to work through that as a couple, but that became the norm for us. And then as our kids started seeing that it wasn't really even just like we're checking off the box of giving to church. And we supported other ministries. So both of my sisters are in full time ministry so we help support them. And now we're supporting Harvest India as one of the ministries that we support. And so they're also seeing, you know, having that conversation with them about how there's more that God can do with that money than us just providing for our family. If you look at what he's done to the other ministries that we've helped support, it's had an effect around the globe.

Linn Winters: 23:00 So I thought one of the things you said that was so powerful when we were talking together is you said, hey, my kids knew I tithed. But it might've been that money we gave, above the tithe, when we found a family in need, when we found a project like harvest India. That we gave over and above, and then we enlisted them to be part of that, we said, hey, what are you going to do to be part of this because this is what our family is doing. That might've even been the deepest impression, because they knew you'd already given at a place that wasn't comfortable. But now you are going above that, and that became this huge hey Jesus really is the center of our home kind of conversation for you guys. So let's flip that for a second, because the interesting thing is, Heather for you, this wasn't about your kids, right? The money conversation was about you making a decision about Christ being center of your home. Because you didn't grow up tithing. This was a totally foreign concept for you. Walk us through that.

Heather: 23:48 Yeah, and I was a single mom for seven years, so finances and money to me was a huge security. Like I had to have money, I had to have ways to be able to support my daughter, so it was a huge security for me and I had a very difficult time with that. But it was important, once we made the changes in our lives, it was important that we start doing that. So I slowly would start doing that, because I totally was living in a life of scarcity, and not a abundance. So that's something that I really had to learn.

Jana: 24:18 You know? I was thinking about, as I was raising my girls, I thought I didn't want them to tithe or to give because it was something they had to do. I didn't want it to feel like that. I wanted to give myself, because I love the Lord. And I wanted my children to give, because they love Jesus. So even today I sometimes have to catch my heart, but I want to give because I want to be generous. Because I love the Lord and he's given so much to me.

Linn Winters: 24:50 So shifting gears just a little bit. Part of our conversation, and Jana I think you were the one that impacted us the most for us, was you know at different seasons how I exhibit Christ being first in my family changes, right? Because at first it's just husband and wife. So what does it look like just for a husband and wife to be a Christ centered home. Then you have babies and you know, maybe it becomes reading the Bible at night, or you know whatever those things are. And then they become teenagers, right? And then you become empty-nesters. And so at different seasons, this Christ centered home thing plays out just a little different. But I thought one of the interesting seasons was when you were talking about your daughters, and now they're teenagers, you've tried to establish a Christ centered home. But now they've got some friends saying, hey, would you come to a party with me, right, or let's go to this movie. And now you're going, hey, I can't legislate being Christ centered to my teen. Tell us a little bit about how you navigated that, and kept your voice in the conversation.

Jana: 25:45 Well, I think we had, we obviously had plans. Like we talked a lot, I mean there's a lot of training that goes into being a Christ centered home. It doesn't just happen overnight. You have lots of conversations about parties, for instance. That was one of them, but you know I knew that a lot of things that were not good happened at parties. But I didn't want to put a lot of rules on my children. So I really wanted it to be something where they kind of develop that heart that said, I want to do this because I know it's the right thing to do. But there were times one of my daughters wanted to go to a party and we talked through it and so...

Linn Winters: 26:24 It wasn't a birthday party.

Jana: 26:25 It was not a birthday party. In fact we kind of thought that there might be things going on at this party that weren't going to be things that we would do as a Christian family. But she really wanted to go, it was a lot of her friends, and so she went and she walked through the doors and the first thing the mom said was, hey, I want to collect all the keys. And she thought I'm not giving my keys away, and she walked out, and she walked home. But the beauty of it was really on the other side of that. She's talked about how do I leave, you know, without people making fun of me. So we had a lot of good conversations that came out of that. How do we love people who aren't in the same place we are? You know, what can we learn from this situation to do it better? And the same with movies, because sometimes you'd end up in a movie where you walk away and go, whoa, that wasn't the kind of movie I really would have gone to if I would have known. But we talked about what aligns with what we believe, what doesn't. And so I think it is just some of those conversations, thoughtful conversations, about you know life, and those things. So that we live our lives in a way that pleases Jesus.

Linn Winters: 27:40 Unpack for me, if we came and maybe stayed a week or two of your house, unpack for me some behaviors that happen in your home that are different because you've chosen to be a Christ centered home. You know, things like, how do you argue? Why is the way you argue or face disagreement different? What does it look like to show kindness and respect and you know, what are some of the behaviors we look at and say, you know, this is just stuff that comes the life that we choose. Because let's be honest, it's easy to argue mean, right? These are things we choose to do because we've chosen our home to be Christ centered. What would be some of those behaviors we would see in your home?

Male Speaker: 28:17 For us, I mean, one of the first things that changed was the music that we listened to, and what we watch on TV. We had to start making decisions on is this really appropriate for us to be watching? And then also the way we spoke, I mean that was something that changed immediately for me. I may have made a few sailors blush in my previous life, but that was something that just came very natural to me. But it was major decisions that we wanted our daughter to see in the house as well. And just things that affect your mind.

Female Speaker: 28:50 If someone looked at our home, they would just see the importance of our marriage, we prioritize our marriage first in our family. And make sure that we have date nights every week. And so we placed that as a priority. And then just we don't yell, we're not a yelling, we don't argue, at least in front of the children. Right? And kindness towards one another, and just serving kind of all those things that you hope that your children learn.

Linn Winters: 29:26 And you guys are all perfect at this, right? You guys, it just comes easy, right?

Jana: 29:36 We weren't perfect. But I had a really wonderful counselor that worked with me, at a season of my life that was difficult during my divorce. And one of the things I said was how do you help your kids, you know, get along. And he said, well, don't get in the middle of that, just let them work it out. And it was one of those things where the joke was you had to go sit in the bedroom and figure out a solution. But what's really interesting is that has really helped us, even as we've matured, and my kids have grown. That we still want to work out our relationships. They're messy, it's hard work, but you know what? If we can just work it out. And there's times when we give ourselves time, like we need a little time, this isn't the time to talk through it. But as a rule, we learned that if we can work it out, it's it's the way Jesus would desire it for us, and so I think that's one of the things we learned.

Linn Winters: 30:28 Yeah. I just think it's important for us all to hear. Because we're really describing aspirations for us, right, and not perfections. That nobody up here is saying, oh, every single time, this is how our family...what you're hearing is us describe, this is where our family's going. This is where we've set our faces. This is what we plan. And we stumble, right? We have moments where we're not kind, and we have moments when we raise our voice, or maybe you sat down and watched the TV show that we got up afterwards and went I'm not sure that was my best choice. Right? And my kids saw it or whatever. Right? It is the idea that we then adjust, right? Because we remember where we're headed. I remember telling Josh one time, Hey Josh, being a man doesn't mean you never make mistakes. Being a man means you clean them up. And that's kind of what you're doing in a Christ centered family, right? It's not that you never make a mistake. It's not that you're never not a great parent or a stumble or whatever that is. It's that you're committed to saying, okay, once I see it, I'm going to start heading back toward Christ and what I'm supposed to be doing in my home. Make sense?

Linn Winters: 31:33 All right. This last one's weird for me to describe, but as best as you guys can. It's this idea that says, Jesus isn't something that is like a good luck charm. He's not something that tags along in my life. What is it I do to give Jesus a seat at the table in my home and what I mean by that is what is it I do to incorporate Christ in my home life? Whether I'm just a husband and a wife and there aren't any kids or whether there's kids. What are the things that you do to incorporate Christ? Is it doing devotions together? Is it praying together? What do you do to make sure that Jesus is incorporated in your home?

Male Speaker: 32:12 So I think one of the things that, as you look at, you have different stages in life. And so early on in life there was a lot of opportunities for more structure around you're tucking the kids in and doing devotions and those types of things. And as kids get older, those things change. And so those conversations become more organic, and so you're able to bring Christ into conversations in a way that how would say how would God want this moment?

Linn Winters: 32:12 So you wait for your kids to screw up? And then you get them to Jesus,

Male Speaker: 32:39 Yeah, there's a lot of opportunities like that. You know, so it's around like how would you honor God in your dating life? How would you honor God with the way you're spending the money? Or, you know, I've had plenty of conversations of like here's where you've kind of made a bad decision. Let's talk about how do we seek forgiveness and mercy and they move forward in a better way and kind of seeking God in those moments. And so it's not necessarily that daily structure. It's how does God fit into those real life moments?

Linn Winters: 33:08 I love that when you said the question, you know, how would Jesus fit into that? I can remember a time sitting with Josh, and we'd watch a TV show, and of course ninety percent of the time on a TV show they aren't behaving like Christians. And every once while I would just take a moment and say, all right, so what are the mistakes you just saw? What would have been better choices for them? And so it wasn't like I was isolating him from that TV show that had non-Christians behaving like non-Christians. We used it to teach. We'd say, hey, what would you do differently as a Christ follower than those guys did? And it just brought Jesus into the conversation at home. Anybody else?

Female Speaker: 33:41 I think one of the things that even just your own journey. Like I would go to work, come home. And I would be expressing to them maybe some frustration, to my children, that some frustration I had with a coworker. You know, a decision that was made at work that was totally unjust and you felt the brunt of that. And so it was more or less how do you navigate these waters, and really involving your children even in the solutions of those things in your own life? Man, this is really hard for me. Like I cannot give this up, like the movie just keeps playing in my mind, and I keep wanting to create the solution that I think is the best solution, but that may not be the way God is going to allow that to end up. So I think in some ways it's just providing time for conversations. How do you deal with things? Letting your children come home and say, I'm frustrated with this person or that person. And then you know, you always kind of turn it back to, I wonder what God would do in this situation? And there's not an easy answer.

Linn Winters: 34:44 Tell us because yours is different. You guys became Christians about five years ago. You're daughter was pretty much moved out. So your family, that's primarily Christ centered, is the two of you. What are some of the things the two of you do to keep your home Christ centered?

Male Speaker: 35:02 Yeah, one of the things we talked about doing is tithing our time. And we like to start our day in devotion, and in the word, and praying, and so it's important to us to start our day that way. And then we usually end our day that way as well, by praying together in the evening. We're not perfect about it, but we certainly strive to be that way, and we just work on that every day.

Linn Winters: 35:26 Alright, last words. If you could just give one last word of wisdom to all of us about what does it look like? What does it mean for you guys to try your best to establish Christ centered home? What would you share with us? What would you give to us?
Female Speaker: 35:42 I will say start now. You know, our daughter was raised a certain way, thinking she knew how to go about life, what to do in life. We didn't start making these changes until she was 16, almost 17. So by the time she was almost ready to get out into the world herself, thinking she had everything, knew what she was going to do, we kind of changed everything on her. And now we're really seeing the effects of that. So I would encourage to start now, start young, and raise them that way.

Female Speaker: 36:10 And this goes along with that. Is just, we won't do it perfectly, but you just every day, God gives us new days and fresh starts all the time. So just keep heading the right direction.

Female Speaker: 36:27 I think in our family, from when they were young, there's so many opportunities to help them grow in the Lord. And they were always in kids' camp. They were always in, we made sacrifices so that they could go to, summer camp. And just all these opportunities even for us, even to grow in Bible study, and all of that. But recognizing through all those opportunities, other godly people come into their lives and become kind of that second family or that addition of their family. So you get this big, huge Christ centered family that is helping to grow up your children and your family. And so we just really were intentional on bringing those opportunities, or having those opportunities in their lives so they could growth through an extension of our home, I guess.

Linn Winters: 37:22 Thank you guys. Would you thank these guys with me for doing this today with us. Just landing this conversation for us. If you take everything I think that we just said out loud to each other, you realize it falls into two slots. Slot number one is simply this, that when there was a choice between Jesus and anything else, Jesus won in our home, that was a big piece of having a Christ centered life. If it was Jesus and something else, Jesus, won in our home. And then just the second piece of that was simply, hey, we found ways to include Jesus. You know, whether that was doing devotions together, reading the Bible with our kids at night, looking for organic moments just to have Jesus centered conversations. We just made sure Jesus was something that was included in our home. He wasn't just something we attended on Sunday, and those two things are huge in helping you establish a Christ centered home.

Linn Winters: 38:28 Here's what I want us to do. I think we're getting ready to do something that has real power, real fun for us. How many remember the old time capsules? There's like three of us. Okay, so this idea is so old, it's new again. Okay. All right, so here's what I want to encourage us all to do today. As you get ready to leave, at each of the exits, we've got a bag like this for every single family, one per family. Inside of that bag, you're going to find a tin box like this. It says legacy box on the top, and what we're going to encourage you to do is go home, spend today, and then tomorrow thinking about what you want to put in this box. Every member of your family, what do you want to put in here, and then at dinner time tomorrow night if you can do it. This is our encouragement, at dinnertime tomorrow night, sit down for a family meal together and put in the box every member of your family, their contribution to being a Christ centered home. Who knows? For a young person, they may say, Hey, I'm going to change my music, or I'm going to choose to be more respectful to my parents, whatever that is. But each member choosing what they're going to put in to help establish their home as a Christ centered home. There are some of us in here, you're the only Christian in your home. Yours is going to be the only thing in there. That okay, it's okay. It's what are we each going to do to contribute to being a Christ centered home?

Linn Winters: 39:50 There's two ways to go about this. You could sit at that dinner table and have everybody tell what they're putting in, hey, I'm just going to do random acts of kindness in my family for the next year. Whatever that is, and if you tell each other, then there's going to be a chance to hold each other accountable. Hey, you said you were going to get to church on a regular basis, you haven't been in three weeks. And we can hold each other accountable on what we placed in the box. That's one way to do it. The other way to do it is to say, no one's going to tell anybody. Where is it going to simply, privately and quietly stick it in the box, and hope that we live out that decision so loud that when we dig this box up again in a year, everybody will already know what we put in here. Because our behavior was so obvious over the year. Wouldn't that be fun on the deal? So you guys choose how you want to do that. Do you want to sit down and have everybody say it out loud? Do we want to put it in kind of privately and then try to live it loudly. And then you're going to take the box. Bury it. Okay, you're going to bury it in the ground for a year. Now here's the deal, if you'll let us, so we're going to put up on the screen. If you'll let us, we're going to send you some reminders during the year, and then we're going to text you at the end of the year to remind you to dig it up. Go back as a family, open it up and see how you did. Okay. So if you want to be part of that, you just do cs with a space family and then put your your name there so we know who we're texting and you do it to that number will send you reminders during the year. Hey, how you doing on Christ centered family. And at the end of the year we'll say, okay guys, it's time to dig it up. It's time to review it all together. I just think this has the potential to be really big. I mean, think about this, if every family that calls Cornerstone home went away from here today saying we're going to live a Christ centered year in our family, that'd be pretty cool.

Linn Winters: 41:44 Let's pray about this and be done. Hey, dearest heavenly father, we're simply coming to you and God in this moment we are repeating and echoing the words of Joshua. I don't know what anybody else in this room is going to do, but as for me and my house, we are gonna serve the Lord. And God, I just ask that we would leave here and hope that every single family, every single couple, every single individual in this room would simply say, today. Today I'm going to establish a Christ centered home to the best of my ability. And that we would go home, we would think about this, we would pray about it, and tomorrow we would place our decision inside of that little tin and put it in the ground and see what would sprout. God this we pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286