Announcement!

Looking for a few good men...and women...and families...and stories...and reviews!

Life in the Forge is looking for guest writers, reviewers, and families for the Forging Families series. Take a look at the descriptions below and let Taraneh Kerley know if you are interested.

  • Write an original post: You may write on any topic related to family life, discipleship, parenting, or spiritual formation. You’ll need to get your topic approved first!

  • Participate in the Forging Families Series: An interview with an Iron Works family or parent about their parenting and/or a unique aspect of their family's experience. You don’t have to know it all; this is an opportunity to share your family’s unique story, testify to your faith, or share parts of your story that may offer encouragement, guidance, or support to others at Iron Works. Depending on the content gathered, these pieces may appear in interview or narrative format.

  • Write a Review: Have a great parenting or family life resource to share? Write a review!

Contact Taraneh: taraneh@ironworkschurch.org

A Nothing-Special Life

A Nothing-Special Life

Maybe your life still feels small, even after focusing on prayer, discipleship, attending church, and giving to the poor. Maybe you just want to be be jealous for a few minutes of someone whose life seems bigger and better than yours. Maybe you know your life would be easier, more comfortable, just BETTER, with what other people have. But the truth, written in God’s own Holy Book, is that a quiet, little life can be the best life.

Rest & Invest

Rest & Invest

Today’s fast-paced, constantly-connected, productivity-centered world makes rest infrequent yet all the more important. It is when we are at rest that we recuperate, reflect, heal, grow, and invest in what matters most.  How can we use this summertime as a culturally significant reminder to rest? It involves both finding and making.

Introducing The Forge

Introducing The Forge

Introducing The Forge: A Family Ministry Blog.

God's love for us, a love that is fierce, tremendous, and beyond measure, is something we can understand, even in the smallest way, when we look upon our children and our families.

I envision this blog as a place of comfort and encouragement, of motivation and reminders, of discourse and ideas. It is a place for us as parents, when we feel like imposters, to come for a pep-talk. It is also a place for us, when we feel good enough to relax into the better days, to feel heartened. It is a place to celebrate and to give thanks for our little disciples. Parenting is hard, but it is good work, work that brings us indescribable joy.

About: Children and Family Ministry at Iron Works Church

Our family ministry is rich in substance. You won’t find self-help books or quick fixes here. What you will find is a community of believers in Christian teaching, rich in all its fullness and depth, seeking to do their best in a broken world.  Daily, we confront the ups and downs of child-rearing and the exhaustion of the 9-to5 while juggling family commitments, the quest to find time for intimacy and connection with our spouse, and the pressures of to-do lists. Sometimes we can barely hear, never mind answer, Scripture’s call to disciple our children, to serve our spouse, to treasure our family. Other times we hear it—oh, how we hear it—and making the time to heed that call fights its way to the top of the pile.

We strive to be a community of parents, of husbands and wives, of men and women, who do not find time as if it were lost, but make time, as if we care enough to carve it from the heavy stone of obligations, commitments, and work. We aim to be intentional in how we use our time, prioritizing the things that matter for eternity, the things of the heart, the things of the soul.

 We value and recognize the gift of family and its importance in raising our tiniest disciples to know, love, and grow in Christ. We embrace not only the fullness and richness of marriage as a gift from God but also the challenges of bringing together two imperfect people.

We seek to live out the Gospel while avoiding the legalism that creates shame, the liberalism that expects little of us, the moralism that prioritizes obedience before faith, and the pragmatism that focuses on what feels good and easy about following Christ.

We throw open our doors to welcome all families, regardless of where they are in their faith walk, of how strong their biblical knowledge is, or even of what their lifestyles look like. We engage with our community with servants’ hearts, seeking to spread the love of Christ while remaining culturally engaged. We run toward the challenges parents face in an increasingly secular world and walk beside them to navigate through the bad to find the good.

You and your little, or big, ones are welcome here.

Who Should Be Baptized?—a Covenant Dialogue

by Stanley D. Gale

The LORD God = bold
Abram/Abraham = regular type
Date: circa 2000 BC

Abraham, I am entering into covenant with you. I will be your God. But this special relationship with me is not just for you. It’s also for your children after you. From you I will form a people for my own possession.  (Genesis 12:2-3)

Lord, is this relationship just for Jews, who will descend from me? (Romans 9:6-8)

No, you will be a blessing to the nations.  My promise will be for Jews and for Gentiles—for all who will believe.  (Genesis 15:5-6; Galatians 3:6-9)

Lord, what will be the sign of this promise of blessing?  (Romans 3:29-4:25)

All the males in your household are to be circumcised.  It will represent my promise to you and to them.  It will show they are distinct from the families of the world that do not know me. (Genesis 17:9-13)

Lord, I have believed you.  Should I be circumcised?

Yes, you should be circumcised, as should your 13-year-old son, Ishmael, as should your newborn son, Isaac.  (Genesis 17:24-25; Genesis 21:3)

Lord, I have faith, but Ishmael has not believed.  And Isaac is only a baby!  Should we all receive this sign of your covenant?

Yes, Abraham. This sign of the covenant does not point to your faith. It is not an outward sign of your inner faith. Nor does it guarantee that Ishmael or Isaac will believe.  It points to my promise of blessing.  (Romans 4:13-16; James 2:21-23)

Lord, will this sign be for all generations, even in the day of the Messiah to come that I rejoice to see? (John 8:56; Galatians 3:13-14)

Yes, my friend, I will always have a sign of my covenant for believers and their children. In the new covenant when Messiah comes the sign will be water baptism, and applied to females as well as males as part of my covenant community, the church. (Isaiah 41:8; Ezekiel 36:25-28; Acts 16:33-34)

Lord, will water baptism be a sign of the same thing as circumcision? (Colossians 2:11-12)

Yes, Abraham, it too will be a sign, not of faith but of my promise to faith.  As my servant Peter will later proclaim in Jerusalem on the day you long to see: “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-39)