Archives For disciple

My Baby Girl Is Twelve

Erik Cooper —  February 9, 2011 — 4 Comments

Today my baby girl turns 12. Twelve.

Donuts come in dozens. So do roses. And now I guess years are packaging that way, too. Who knew?

To top it off, Mandy and I have officially become those parents. You know, the ones who spout annoying, clichéd sayings like “when did she ever get that old?” and “how did the years pass so quickly?” and “it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.”

Don’t you hate those people?

(I’m sorry. It just happens like unwanted belly fat and male pattern baldness. Involuntary.)

Yet there she is, in all her emerging womanhood. Emma now shares shoes with her mom. She reads books with no pictures. She (occasionally) even talks to her dad about issues bigger than Justin Beiber and iCarly. She’s like a caterpillar in the early stages of pushing through its cocoon.

It’s beautifully scary.

So this year we’re launching an experiment. A year long intentional effort (that I honestly hope mom and dad have the courage to complete).

The entire year between Emma’s 12th and 13th birthdays is our gift (along with a few tangibles for dinner tonight, don’t worry we’re not crazy). Twelve months of exposure to new thoughts. Specific time set aside to write and dialog about those ideas with Mandy, me, and mentors we trust. A year of brand new experiences. A open window into the world. God’s world.

  • Relationships (and yes, the dreaded sex word).
  • Injustice and global responsibility.
  • Money and how we should think about it.
  • Scripture and what it means to work it into our lives.
  • A trip to an impoverished country.
  • Maybe even a physical challenge (a 5K or a biking event if dad can get motivated).

I’ll keep you posted here on our progress (the successes and challenges).

Our job as parents is to build our kids’ muscles. To help them see the world as God sees it. To get them leaning into their heavenly Father fully despite our own tendency to be such broken examples of who He really is (and trust me, even carrying the “pastor” label, we’re as flawed as they come).

So that when their cocoons fully open, they can fly.

Happy birthday baby girl! Here’s to a great year. To flying. Faster. Higher. Straighter. Closer to the Father.

With His heart in you.

All my love…daddy.


Erik Cooper —  January 13, 2010 — 1 Comment

Some days the Bible is like a warm blanket by a fire, wrapping me in its promise and assurance, comforting me in times of pain and confusion, pointing the way in the tension and unknown of everyday life.

And some days it’s just flat disturbing.

Hey, just keeping it real.  Try this one on for size:

“If you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)

I’d like to tell you that “in the original Greek,” or “according to historical context,” that what you read here isn’t really what Jesus meant.  But I can’t.  So I won’t.  It’s there.  It’s disturbing.

Even after all these years of serving God, pursuing His ways, leading His church, I have to confess something:  I still fall victim to thinking this is all about me. Admit it.  You do, too.  We “love me some me.” (thank you Terrell Owens for that amazing addition to the American pop-culture lexicon).

We long for a God who will strain out the ugly realities of our broken world and leave only the ease, comfort and pleasure we desire to consume.  We want a God committed to elevate the good and eliminate the bad in our little self-oriented kingdoms.

But God isn’t seeking to edit your story.  He wants to give you a whole new script.

Some days I can’t wait to embrace that reality.  And some days it’s just flat disturbing.