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How do we impact the hearts of those we love?

I loved the scene


The Theory of Everything

which is based on the true story of Stephen Hawking.

Jane Wilde, who believed in God, fell in love with Stephen Hawking, who did not. When she asked him why he didn’t believe, he said cosmologists (scientists studying the origin of the universe) usually didn’t believe in God. She said, “I think that’s a commentary on cosmologists, not on God.”

One night the two of them went outside and looked up in awe at a magnificent night sky.


Reverently she looked up and said:

In the beginning God

created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was

upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon

the face of the waters.

He reached for her hand.

A fluttering heart response.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and my dad would take me out under the stars and ask me to ponder how it all began. He was planting in my young soul a sense of awe.

Paul Tripp says this is our calling as parents — to give our children an awe of God. How can we do this as mothers, mentors, and grandmothers?

My daughter Annie and her husband David have taken Paul Tripp’s excellent curriculum

Getting to The Heart of Parenting.


I am impressed with how they are parenting their two little girls. Though I do think God gave them compliant children, still, I am impressed at how respectful, loving, joyful and obedient they are and how their parents talk to them. They have learned — and I’m eager to share what they have learned.

Lily and Miabelle
Lily Grace (2) and Miabelle Meredith (4)

I quizzed them about this curriculum.

David said, “Paul Tripp spent so much time talking about our own hearts — I kept thinking,

Wait, aren’t we supposed to be talking about how to impact our children?”

And then he laughed.

This is where we must begin.

Our own hearts.

May this be our prayer each day this week.


Sunday: Icebreakers

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Share one way a mentor or a parent impacted your heart.

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study (Luke 6:39-49)

plank-eye-630x210First take the log out of your own eye…

3. Read Luke 6:39-42

A. What is the point in Jesus’ rhetorical question in 39?

B. What is the point of his statement in 40?

C. Have you experienced the truth of the parable of 41-42? If so, share briefly.

I know it is vital as leaders, mentors, and parents to confess to those under our authority when we have failed. One of the most vivid memories from my childhood occurred when my dad was home in bed with a bad cold, and I decided, in my 9-year-old head, to cheer him up by making popcorn for him the way he had taught me. (Not sure why I thought popcorn would appeal to a sick man, but I did.)


I proudly brought it in and gave him one box, and then plopped down next to him with the other and began to eat it very loudly. (My dad, I now realize as an adult, lived with untreated depression and noises bothered him.) I realize today he was trying to tolerate the crunching, but he suddenly blew up and I fled the room in tears and hid in my closet.

He came to me, so repentant. “Deedle — you were trying to love me. You made such good popcorn. And I hurt you. I want to be a better father. Please forgive me.”

Of course I did — and I never forgot this. He grew all the taller in my eyes for seeing the log in his own eye and admitting it.


4. Read Luke 6:43-45.

     A. What is the point of this parable?

     B. Our mouths reveal what is in our hearts. What are

          your most frequent topics of conversation?

Christianity is organic — next week Paul Tripp will explain the difference between fruit stapling (morality) and abiding in the vine.

Wise Man - Foolish Man House

Before Keller I did not see that the two ways of life continually contrasted in The Sermon on the Mount are not the pagan and the believer, but the religious and the believer. That was huge for me, for we have such a tendency to fall back into self-righteousness, into religion. See if you can see these two ways, religion and the gospel, in this next parable.

5. Read Luke 6:46-49

A. What is the same about the wise and the foolish man?

B. What is the contrast?

C. Where, as you are still before Him, are you hearing but not doing?

Thursday-Friday: Interview with Paul Tripp

This interview is actually on his book, “Dangerous Calling” but the same principles of the heart and maintaining awe are addressed.


6. Share your notes and comments.


7. What is your take-a-way and why?

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  1. Interview of Paul Tripp on his book, Dangerous Calling
    He says that the war still goes on.   Ministries are war – war for the gospel and war for your own heart.  We don’t live in peaceful times.  
    First there is war for the purity of the gospel.  Law is important to expose sin and to be a guide, but the Law can never save.   If we are law-keepers – we want to think of ourselves as more righteous than we are and want to make law-keepers out of others.   We do this because we believe that we are keeping the Law, so we can enforce it on others.   The reason Jesus said we shouldn’t parade our righteousness before others is that we don’t have any!!   Self-righteousness of the pastor is what begins the process of diluting the gospel and making it into something else.  If I am broken by being exposed by the law, then I am going to give tender, passionate, perseverant grace. 
    The struggle for the gospel is in my own heart, and I tell myself that my needs are outside of me – it is my wife, or my children who never seem to get it together, or my congregation.  We live in a fallen world, so we have plenty of things to point at.   The wars actually come together because to the degree that I am not facing the depth of my own present need for the “nowism” of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and rescue today – it makes it easier for me to put law onto other people, because I am looking elsewhere for my hope.   
    Tripp says he is committed to three prayers each day– 
    1.  God I am a man of desperate need of help today (he tries to do this before getting out of bed)
    2.  I pray that in your grace you will send your helpers my way. 
    3.  Please give me the humility to receive the help when it comes.  
    The interviewer asked Tripp about his recurrent theme in his book about reclaiming the sense of awe, and why awe is so vital.  
    The central message of the word of God is that the deepest, most influential motivation of every human being, by God’s intention, was to be awe of God.   The most important words are the first four words of the Bible – In the beginning God.  That tells me what everything is about – my identity, my meaning, my calling, my life.    The awe of God should be the thing that defines everything about my life.  
    If that is true of life for everybody (that’s not about being spiritual, that’s about being human), if that’s God’s plan for humanity – how much more for ministry?   Because what ministry is about is giving people back their awe.   Awe of God migrates to awe of creation.   When “awe of God” is absent, it is quickly replaced by “awe of me!”   The biggest idol of all idols is the idol of self.  The kingdom that competes with the kingdom of God is the kingdom of self.   Every worship song, every Sunday School class, every meeting of men’s groups or women’s groups, youth ministry, every time word is taught, every sermon that is preached – all should be designed to rescue people from all the other “awes” that have gripped their hearts, and to reclaim them once again for the “awe of God.”    We want all of creation to rise up and clap its hands at the glory of this One.   
    The danger for me is the danger of familiarity because the more familiar things get, the less they command my awe.   Artists talk about the dynamic of visual lethargy.   The first time you see something it gets your attention.   The 15th time you see it, you don’t even notice it.   
    It is very hard in ministry to give away what I do not have.   Trip said he was sick of listening to boring homileticians (I’m thinking he made that word up!) who have long size lost their awe.  It is no wonder people fall asleep – the awe is gone – God has left the building!   We are not putting this awe out in front of people in ways that the Spirit can empower reclaiming the hearts of people.  
    The interviewer listed the fruits of awe:    Humility, tenderness, compassion, confidence, discipline, and rest.  He asked Tripp “What do you say to the pastor who realizes that he has lost his awe?  The gospel has become so familiar – it is head knowledge.  Where does that pastor go to reclaim that deep sense of reverential awe for God?”   
    The first thing is to go to his knees – the posture is important.  Get down on your knees and say, “Father, help me, help me, help me, rescue me.   How could it be that I could look at you and not be blown away?   What has happened to my heart?    God, I don’t want this to be my life.  Please meet me by your grace.   Open my eyes again.  May I see your glory in ways that I haven’t seen it for a long time. “  
    Stay there until there is evidence of heart change.    Start every morning that way.   Do this for a half-hour each day.  
    The second thing is to grab hold of things that are written by people who have a part of their mission to show you the glory of God.   You don’t tell an uninspired artist to study art theory – you tell him to go to a good museum.   
    A third thing is to confess to the people near you that you have lost your awe, confess that you are not inspired by your own sermons.   Have them intercede for you, encourage you, and watch out for you,   And discontinue to do those things.   

    1. Thank you ,Deanna for the summary and also the story about your daughter. I thank God also for Christians like Paul Tripp.

  2. 1. WOW what stands out to me is that this is the 3rd time in a week that I have had Paul Tripp cross my path! and I dont think i have listened or read his stuff in 15 years!
     I shared his sermon to christian leaders with my pastor and he shared it with the board, it is an amazing sermon on grace in leadership. The main book that I followed as a parent, since my kids were very young was “sheaparding a childs heart…by… you guessed it Paul Tripp! while all my friends where following “growing kids Gods Way” I was reading Paul Tripp and Sally Clarkson..I was often looked down upon by my homeschooling friends, and probably still am, I just don’t notice 🙂 I also read the strong willed child and dare to discipline which were very helpful in the day to day practicalness of how to get your kids to listen to you!
    I am so thankful for His teaching 20 years ago! I think it made all the difference in the relationships I have with my kids and in the fact that I am way more worried about my OWN spiritual growth then I am about my children following the christian mold. I try really hard to be more worried about their hearts….which Emma is really struggling with right now. she is getting teased at school for “liking a boy” (she is 11!!!)  and it is making her very angry and she is treating everyone with disrespect because of it. I may have to pull her out of school for this last month and home school her to help her be kind and forgive and let go of her anger. This would be VERY hard for me! please pray for me as I make hard choices, that I do what is best for her and not what is easiest for me. 
    on a side note Paul Tripp is in stage 3 kidney failure. he had a very bad kidney infection and he went septic and it damaged his kidneys…keep Him in your prayers!


    1. Cyndi,  your situation with Emma reminded me a little of one I went through years ago with my daughter, Karen.   When Karen was in the fifth grade,  she carried a metal lunch box to school.   Believe it or not, at that time it was supposedly far more cool to carry a lunch in a paper bag!!   Well, Karen knew you could end up with a soggy bag if something leaked and you could lose your whole lunch that way, so she wasn’t buying it.   She was teased.   Her teacher even advised me at a parent-teacher conference that I had better get Karen turned around before she went to Junior High, because the teacher knew of some children in Junior High who had their lunch boxes taken away from them and slung all the way down the hall floor.   I still believe that teacher had it all wrong!   Karen’s response was to be argumentative with everyone around her at school and seemingly had no friends.    At the time,  I was working on a church staff, and would pick Karen up after school and drop her off to a babysitter until I finished work.  The point was that she never had the opportunity to bring a friend  home after school so she could have some bonded friendships.    I finally decided that it would not be to my credit to impact all the other children in the church, if I lost my own daughter in the process.   So I resigned my position and became a “stay at home mom.”   This allowed Karen to bring home friends who thought like her and  had the same values.  I became a Girl Scout leader and a room mother.     My action  was a little drastic, but my Karen is a very sweet woman of 47 years now, and president of our congregation.   Oh, and by the way, she continued to carry a lunch box all the way into Junior High and never had a problem about it.       

      1. Thanks 🙂  sounds like your made a great choice! She brought two girls home last night that are easy better choices then and has been making! she has also become very good in volleyball and the coach is a godsend. thank you for praying I feel a difference already in her heart and her situation!

        1. Cyndi – see my reply to Deanna, as I can see you following the path of God’s wisdom as well!  I so agree with Laura’s words to you here.  

      2. Deanna – love, love, love this story!  Right here you are a picture to me of the Titus woman found in chapter 2, verses 3&4 and following….”Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  THEY ARE TO TEACH WHAT IS GOOD, AND SO TRAIN THE YOUNG WOMEN TO LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS AND CHILDREN…….”  Not every woman would be in a position to resign a job – but your wisdom shines through in this instance.  You were pursuing your daughter’s heart for God.  We all so need the flesh and blood examples of how this might look in a woman’s life.  Beautiful!

      Cyndi, I think you are brave to even consider taking Emma out of school this last month. You are putting God first instead of worrying what the world thinks. You know it’s more important that she has a right heart. I have learned in these situations to pray, which I am sure you already do. The hard part is waiting for God to respond. I have an “A,” high energy personality. I think you do as well? Interesting that you have had three encounters with Paul Tripp recently though, huh? Maybe you already have received your kiss from the King?

      1. yes, i think so 🙂 I have been binging on his stuff all week. such a good reminder of grace. still praying about Emma, her teachers are such wise godly women that I want to leave her in it at all possible! I consider her one teacher one of my mentors. I know they are talking to her heart as well. Such a blessing to have a Christian school standing behind you. Thank you for your kind words….so glad it is God in charge and not me!!! and yes very type A “lion” personality 

  3. this is the link to Paul Tripps sermon to leaders. it is Amazing!

  4. A. What is the same about the wise and the foolish man?
    They both hear God’s Word, they both have knowledge of God. It is possible to have knowledge of Him and yet not really know Him. 
    B. What is the contrast?
    One allows the Word to pierce their heart and mold them, shape their actions, and transform them. The other, hears the Word and walks away, ignoring the Truth. If we say we believe and yet there is no fruit—it is just talk. There must be heart-level, at the root, change. True heart change brings the real fruit. I think there is a difference between “hearing” and “listening”. Hearing is just auditory “noise”, but listening involves processing, allowing the words to seep in, affect you. I think too, when we hear “doers of the Word”—it’s not just doing good things—it’s not about outward behavior and effort. Really living the Word is a person who confesses, repents, believes. I’m reminded the mark of the Christian is not perfect obedience, but repentance and faith. 
    C. Where, as you are still before Him, are you hearing but not doing?
    Loving with acceptance and patience when it is hard. Loving in relationship when there is little in return—sacrificial  love. Being more quick to admit my own sin and weakness, to confess and seek forgiveness in certain relationships when it feels like it could be used against me to admit weakness. He tells me He is my shield, my Rescuer, my Protector. He is my reputation, my identity. He wants to love through me. I hear this, and still often allow my own pride to stop me from letting Him love through me, break and re-make me. 

    1. He is my reputation! So good

  5. my campus ministers wife when I was in college was a great inspiration to me and the woman that I strove to mother like. her name is Lee north and I will always be forever grateful to her for showing me what a mom who loves Jesus with all her heart can the for her kids  
    The mission of motherhood by Sally Clarkson also was a great inspiration. I also listened to focus on the family and midday connection every day when the kids where little.

  6. 6. Share your notes and comments.
    Love this….”There will be a day, when the final enemy is under the foot of Christ.”
    He speaks of self-righteousness and how there is a battle in the present and now, between my needs and God. He says, “…the kingdom that competes with the kingdom of God is the kingdom of self.”
    Everything that defines my life should do so with the awe of God.

  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZngJkDjtqo
    another awesome Paul tripp video on parenting with grace.

    1. Cyndi,
      Thank you for sharing this link here.   So good. Timely.

    2. Cyndi, thank you for sharing this video. Grace liberates and that is what I am learning these days as I struggle with what I feel was bad parenting on my part while our daughter was still at home with us. Thank God He gives forgiveness and grace over and over. It is a relief for truth to sink in that only Jesus can save and I as a Mom can never be my daughter’s Savior. I know He is at work and continues to work in my daughter’s life.

  8. notes from video
    we put “law” on people when we want them to fill us up instead of letting Jesus do it.
    send helpers and the humility to use the helpers
    the awe of God needs to by our “WHY” for everything in our life
    EVERYTHING we do and say should be to rescue the AWE of God.
    Humility, confidence, rest = the fruit of AWE
    GET ON YOUR KNEES! God rescue me! meet me by your grace, beg God to give you a new passion for the GLORY of God. confess to friends.

  9. This is a test…I have tried three times to post and keep getting the security trigger. Not sure what’s up?

    1. Removing quotation marks has worked for me recently too.  It is hard not to use them, but I usually put things in italics instead.  That’s the only consistent thing I’ve figured out that triggers security. 

      1. Thanks, that’s good to know!

  10. I don’t know for cyndi it was a simple quotation mark. So sorry

    1. no worries!

  11. 6. Share your notes and comments.      Being a part of this blog fellowship has been paradigm shifting for me for many reasons.  One of them is because I’ve been introduced to speakers and writers that I had never heard of before.   (Different backgrounds, different churches tend to lead to different listening/reading experiences.)  I am just recently becoming more familiar with Paul Tripp, since I’ve been following his facebook posts and hearing comments about him here. I did some background reading about his ministry tonight after hearing the interview.  Such depth and richness to his teaching.   I plan to listen to more.

    “No one gives the law more perseveringly than people who think they are keeping it and no one offers grace more tenderly than people who think they desperately need it.”

    Those words caused  me to go back and listen word for word again and write it down.   So clarifying of the log/speck discussion and yet I still hear this and think first about all the persevering  ‘judgmental lawgivers’ in my life who cause me disdain.  And if the log were truly gone, I would instantly think of myself as the first one guilty.  My heart needs to be softened every day to make me see how this applies.  I like the idea of praying the same prayer every morning as Paul Tripp does and how he shared that when pastors have lost their sense of awe, they need to get down on their knees and pray/plead with God for that awe to be restored.  And stay there until that happens. Day after day.  I need that awe renewed too and I think I also need to repeat the above quoted sentence to myself as a prayer every morning.  I cannot physically kneel since I had my knee replaced, except sorta on one knee.  I miss that posture.  I did find it beneficial to kneel.

  12. 5. Read Luke 6:46-49 
    A. What is the same about the wise and the foolish man? 
    They both heard Jesus.
    B. What is the contrast?
    One did what Jesus asked the other one heard but didn’t do what Jesus asked.
    C. Where, as you are still before Him, are you hearing but not doing?
    Being willing to be laid open and vulnerable and let God have my heart in extending Grace to someone who purposefully sets out to hurt others-who told me he does and who told me he thinks special needs kids should be thrown off a bridge. 🙁 He has been turned in once for shoving a special needs kid with his broom because he got too close. Recently he went too far stirring up trouble in my kitchen and I had to go to his boss to be sure he doesn’t come in my kitchen anymore and now he is mad at me. God is humbling me managing this kitchen…it is a huge training ground managing people!
    I was encouraged by a brother at work to love this man-he is a young Christian who is reading Idol Lies :)) and God sent him to encourage me. Yet I have held off and God has asked, ‘what is holding you back?’ It is my comfort idol. It is because I think this man is evil, and I don’t want to experience being uncomfortable for he will be nasty back to me if I am kind to him. Lord undo me again today with your kindness..I am a sinful woman for I am clinging to my idol and ignoring this man is easier-I am so grateful you don’t ignore me when I am like him to you..thank you for I am in such need of your Grace every day..if I think of the evil in my heart-yet your lavishing Grace all over me to break and remake me-oh! Melt me in awe of you to be able to lavishly extend your Grace to him. 

  13. 7. What is your take-a-way and why?
    I normally don’t do take-a-ways, but this week has really impacted me. I have pondered what I’m really leaving my children as a legacy. Something to pass down for our family. For my mom it was cooking and baking, as well as going to church and biblical learning, my grandmother left us quilts. We do have normal family traditions at Christmas and Easter and such, and I have done a journal for each of my children over the years. However, I don’t have a tangible family heirloom that can be passed from generation to generation, like the parables were passed in Jesus’s time. It makes me sad that I didn’t think of this earlier when my kids were younger. I guess it’s never too late to start.
    As I’ve thought about that this week I realize my parents passed along other things that made us who we are as adults. For example, my dad was stationed in Manila during the late 50s and early 60s. They lived in Tokyo Japan. Much of their furniture, dishes and artwork was all Japanese. I grew up in a Japanese house! I still have some of those pieces, and we uncovered a huge doll collection last summer that was pretty cool, of my moms. We had never seen those dolls before so, we decided to split the collection up between my brother, sister, and myself. I will pass these things to my own children at some point as well, so I guess they can be reminded of their heritage. 
    I’m I not sure this is what I was supposed to get out of this wee Dee, but thank you anyway!

  14. my take away is that I have been reminded how powerful prayer is and how important it is to be humble enough to ask for it. I had a talk with Emma’s teachers yesterday and both of them have seen right into her heart and spoke words of wisdom to her in a way that she heard. the same words would not have been heard from my mouth. thank you dear blog sisters for praying!