Big Days: Rites Of Passage

Big day ahead.

Today, my soon-to-be 10 year old son Benjamin (“son of my strength”) and I fly to Vancouver, British Columbia for a week. While two of those days will be connecting with our Vineyard worship leaders in the west, the rest of the time will be play time.

For each of our children, on their 10th birthday, they fly with me somewhere in the world to mark their changing responsibility as they move from childhood into their pre-teen years.

Then, on their 13th birthday, we throw a huge party, with family and friends from all around, celebrating their movement from childhood into young womanhood or manhood. Significant ifts are given, along with blessings written, visual, spoken and prayed by family and friends.

Then, on their 16th birthday, the shindig is essentially going to be (next year for our oldest, Anna) a big high-five into their young adult years.

Psychologists tell us that if we don’t create rites of passage for our children through significant phases of their growing up years, they will create their own rites of passage – usually with their peers. I’ve seen many families do this – create rites of passage – and I see a security, confidence and maturity in their kids that is remarkable to me.

It all seems to be about identity.

Big day ahead. …For more than just my little guy.

P.S. The contemporary worship movement in the Church is moving away from its adolescence, I believe, through a rite of passage that calls it to own its identity, take some responsibility along with its newfound freedoms, and to honor its fathers and mothers in the historical church.

May the whining of the younger years cease, and the gift be maturely given into the 21st century community – of both the Church and the culture.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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