The Conlectio Newsletter
Dishonor Culture and God's Better Way
Hi friend!
Last week I had an experience I will never forget.
Josh and I were wrapping up a date night by stopping by the grocery store. We were on another side of town, a wealthier area, and he dropped me off at the store while he got gas.
The store was nearly empty as I picked out tortilla chips and salsa. Suddenly the quiet was interrupted as a cart, pushed by a blustering middle aged man, blew by in a fury. The man was dressed for boating and wearing sunglasses inside. He was tailed by two young boys. Locals would recognize him as one of the visitors who join us in summer. The boys were lagging behind their father, tousled heads bobbing like ducklings. “Daaad can we please -”
“Shut up!” The man barked without looking back and wheeled around the corner. I was a little taken aback by his response to his son, but everyone has bad days; maybe the kids were whining, he was tired. I made my way to the register.
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It took me a moment to realize he was two people ahead of me in line. There was only one cashier (it was almost 9 PM at night, and a small grocery store). As the cashier rung up his pile of wine bottles and food items, the conveyor became more and more congested. The man made no effort to bag the groceries (though he could have; he was standing right by the bags) and the boys continued to beg him for something on a nearby shelf.
“Can't you be quiet?” he yelled to the boys. He turned to the cashier. “What are you doing? Can I have some space here?”
“I'll get to the groceries in a moment, I'm trying to finish your order.”
He swore. “Don't you have anything for these bottles?”
She handed him a cardboard wine carrier. “If you can get this open, you can put them in here. I haven't been able to figure out how to use them.”
The man snatched it from her hand, bending and twisting it for a few seconds as he continued to curse. Then, in a rage, he threw the wine carrier across the cashier's station. The boys' eyes widened. “Dad!” One gasped. 
The line of us was silent, including the two people ahead of me: a grandmother and her grandson - he looked to be about twelve years old. As the man raged and stuffed wine bottles in his cart, I watched the twelve year old boy quietly walk around him to the abandoned wine carrier, pick it up, and hand it back to the cashier. He returned to his grandma and loaded her things onto the now-empty conveyor. As the man stormed out of the store, the boy loaded his grandma's bags and watched with earnest eyes as the cashier finished her work. “Thank you,” he said gently.
The cashier looked at his grandma. “You must be very proud.”
She smiled. “I am. He's one of the good ones."
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Dr. Joel Muddamalle once said that we live in a culture of dishonor. We celebrate dishonor. We encourage it. We want to normalize the rampant use of curse words as humor, even cursing people who do things that inconvenience or cross us. We think courtesy and manners are for antiquated times and people. We consume media and music that encourage us to dishonor others and ourselves.
And then, after all of this, we speak of love as if we can accomplish it.
What you consume will come out of you. What you believe about yourself and others will become your very mode of speech and conduct. But most of all, who you are at home, in the coffee shop, in the grocery store - in the little places, as Francis Schaeffer says - is who you are.
I was astonished this father could treat his sons with such disrespect in public. Then I was astonished he could treat a stranger - the cashier - with even more dishonor. But if this is who he is at home, of course this is who he is in public! If you do not live by an ethic of honor held accountable to the most honorable Person of all, you will never believe people deserve your respect. You will live from entitlement.
To be a Christian is to live by an ethic of honor. And not just live by it, but to actively disciple people into it. Christian honor is not “niceness”. It's not pretense. Christian honor looks at another person and sees the image of God. “I might be offended by you," the Christian must think. “But I may not wound you, because I am accountable to God for how I treat His image.” We are responsible to teach our children this kind of honor. We are responsible to fight back against a culture that tells us OUR emotions come first, OUR feelings get precedence, OUR way is best and instead choose to say, “Yes, God sees my feelings and emotions, but He has called me to obedience, and because I am loved by God, I choose honor.”
This is what we teach our kids. This is orthopraxy: The right ordering of our lives around theology. And this theology deals with sin ruthlessly on the Cross so that honor is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As our culture becomes more and more dishonorable, entitled, and deceived, may we be the people who choose honor. May we be awake to the Spirit's call, awake to His prompting to mature and grow and get outside ourselves enough to walk by His leading. May we be like the twelve-year-old boy who was more of a man than the 45-year-old father, quietly picking up the wreckage of a world's rage, looking into the eyes of the wounded, serving in the small places.
And when we do, I imagine God looking up on us like we all looked upon that sweet young man, perhaps saying something like we said: “I am proud of you. You're one of mine.”

 Verity Conference Tickets
As I continue to cut back speaking engagements (I will only have three in 2023) Verity Conference in my hometown of Petoskey, MI is the place to join me and the EWAT community! This year's conference on apologetics and evangelism is Nov. 4-5. Early bird tickets are almost sold out before the price goes up. Church groups can get a discounted rate - email us for info!
In the Know
  • I am back on Instagram and Facebook! The new social media schedule is as follows:
    • Monday: Ask Anything, FB/IG
    • Tuesday: Conlectio, discipleship talk on IG
    • Wednesday: Verity Ep: How to create sustainable bible study routine
    • Thursday: Day in the Life
    • Friday: Bible quiz on EWAT account
  • Verity Podcast is back with last week's episode on communion! You can listen in iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you like your podcasts. And by the way - THANK YOU for your reviews!
  • Raising Cross Formed Kids Podcast returns this fall for season three and Coat and I have decided on our topic: “How to Talk to Your Kids About…” almost anything theological! We will give tips for navigating suffering, heaven, Imago Dei, and more.
What I'm Reading
  • No Little People: This mini book of two sermons by Francis Schaeffer was published by Crossway. I love this series and I love Schaeffer, and this book is a combo of The Lord's Work in the Lord's Way + No Little People. Both are amazing and so needed in today's world - especially NLP.
  • An Old Fashioned Girl: I know I've mentioned this the last three weeks (I'm almost done) but this book by Louisa May Alcott has confirmed for me that female relationships have always been hard, there's hope to be a woman of integrity, and that women of value and respect are timeless.
  • Faith in the Wilderness: Words of Exhortation from the Chinese Church: I'm reading this after my study time each morning. It is convicting and sobering to understand what our Chinese brothers and sisters are suffering and how their theology of God's goodness dictates how they live.
What I'm Loving
  • Mary and Martha peg dolls from We Who Thirst: These beautiful peg dolls are a favorite of the girls. We keep them on the table with our mealtime discipleship materials! My girls love any reference to women in the Bible so they've liked these little representations, one for each of them. Check out her full range of dolls here.
  • SleepWise Consulting: I have sung their praises for years (our sleep coach Monica was the bees knees!) but I have to mention them again. I refer back to our SleepWise plans whenever we have issues with sleep for Eva or Ivan (Ivan was always a rough sleeper, and Eva has a hard time falling asleep). Their recommendations for specific routines, black out curtains, and diet tips have helped us establish great sleep schedules for our kids. I'm very naturally minded and I love that SleepWise is scientifically backed (growing kids need good sleep!). We've used them for newborns and toddlers, but they work with kids up to ten. One hundred percent worth the money; I would even put it on a baby registry, it's that good - and all their coaches are wonderful. (Just put my name in the referral if you use them!)
  • Cafe Miel from my local coffee shop North Perk: I was asked about my coffee order on Ask Anything Monday yesterday and I unapologetically admit I order my coffee completely based on my mood! But my rotation usually includes this delicious cafe Miel, a decaf Americano (black), or a mocha with cayenne pepper.
  • My fave nontoxic makeup: I've talked about this a little online and on my farm account, @thereluctantcrunchy, but I've loved and used YL's makeup for four years now. This bundle highlights my favorite products! I use the “multitasker” as eyeliner and for eyebrows. Bronzer and blush each last me eight months to a year, and foundation lasts me around 4 months (I wear it every day). Check it out here. (*you do not have to sell Young Living to buy the products)
  • These baby Wayfarer sunglasses I got Ivan at our local sidewalk sales make him look like a little Beach Boy and I am all about it. Here's a higher quality version for a good price. (Can we also talk about his haircut? He looks fifteen.)
  • My virtual assistant Hannah is opening up spots for more clients - but only until November! If you are a business owner in need of administrative, social media, or marketing tasks, Hannah's company Sourcefully is the way to go. I've never been disappointed with their work. Reply this email and I'll connect you!
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In Our Homeschool
  • Some of you know Eva has a frontal lisp. While we can't afford a speech therapist at the moment, I've had her doing some exercises listed here and they have helped her already - especially “snake in the cage” (if you're a speech therapist and have tips, we welcome them!)
  • Our homeschool co-op starts up again in September, so this is our month to prepare and plan, buy reading and math curricula. I am looking at All About Reading for phonics and Adeline will move to the next level in MathUSee.
  • A quick note that I am the oldest of six homeschooled students and used to be a homeschool-specific college advisor. Home education is in my blood and I am passionate about it, which is why it's in this newsletter. I don't educate about it, though, so if you want to learn more, I recommend The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell and Homeschool Basics by Tricia Goyer. I also love anything by Jamie at The Unlikely Homeschool. 
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On the Farm
  • I planted my fall garden. The raised beds are at full (late) production - we have peas, beans, herbs, cucumbers, and the carrots and beets are finally coming along. Zukes and corn are doing well also! Josh rototilled the in-ground portion and I planted rows of broccoli, parsnip, carrot, beets, and radishes. It might be a bit tight before winter sets in (we get snow by Oct. 31) but I hope the warmer summer weather gives them a faster start than we got this spring!
  • I love this cowboy tater tot casserole from Pioneer Woman and have made it twice in the last two weeks! I make my own cream of chicken soup instead of canned (It takes about 10 minutes and is easier than it sounds - plus less processed ingredients). Recipe here. 
for the awakening, 

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