I love Wednesday afternoons.

Now you might expect, especially since I have the job of professional-church guy, that I love Wednesday afternoons because I’m beside myself with excitement, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to see people at church on Wednesday night.

Believe that if you must, but that’s not it. I love seeing people in our congregation and they’re all wonderful people, but there’s something that gets me even more excited, and I can tell you in two words:

Emma + Starbucks

Emma is my adorable daughter who also happens to be a huge fan of the world’s largest java peddler (as am I), but a five-dollar cuppa joe isn’t what I look forward to most. Emma and I have set Wednesday afternoons aside as our date afternoon. I have her attention for a whole hour, and we talk about everything under the sun. Here’s a bullet point list of what was on the agenda not that long ago:

· Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm” captures how daddy thinks about mommy
· A Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino with a shot of vanilla has to be best drink in the whole world
· The girls in her small group at church are becoming her best friends
· “Hearts on Fire” by Passenger and Ed Sheeran will one day become the Sanders’ family anthem
· Hell must be like a never-ending PE class

I let her direct the conversation, and we always have a ball. As you can tell, we’re not solving the world’s problems, and that’s fine by me. I’m not even interested in solving Emma’s problems, though I’m happy to help. There’s someone who can be of much greater help–I want her to know Jesus more and more every day which is why we always wind up talking about some particular truth in the Bible. It’s not formal but it’s intentional.

I’m attempting to disciple my daughter as she shares her life with me. It makes me sad to think that our Wednesday dates will one day come to an end. But, for as long as I have her, I’m going to do everything I can to help her discover how she can live as a young woman who is completely devoted to God. Here’s the best part: in spite of my own flaws and brokenness, God allows me the privilege of leading her to become more like Jesus.

Emma’s amazing, and she knocks my socks off. She is one of the few people who can make me laugh out loud, and one of her hugs gives me enough warm fuzzies to last a week. It’s an honor to be her dad, and I can’t wait to see how God will use her for His purposes.

Emma isn’t the only person I’m discipling–she’s just my favorite! Who are you helping become more like Jesus?

Deuteronomy 6:4–7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (English Standard Version)

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