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Do you have the courage to be gentle?

Posted on February 4, 2016 · Posted in Anger, Proverbs and the Gospel, Teenagers

  A gentle response to an angry or defiant act seems weak and out of place. The Holy Spirit has a different perspective: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 The Hebrew word for gentle here means the quality of being tender, soft, delicate in substance. This is not exactly the first response that comes to mind when someone you know or your teenager opposes you. There are two natural responses when this happens. Both are equally wrong and destructive. The first.. read more

Shepherd Press announces Counseling One Another!

Posted on February 3, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Dr. Paul Tautges has written a book for every believer. Preorder it for great savings. Order now — Prepublication special 50% Off! Here is an excerpt from the book: Believers in Jesus Christ must be taught and trained to be richly indwelt with the Word of God, to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to be driven by the gospel, to express dependence on God through prayer, to be motivated by love for God and neighbor, and to be moved with compassion to help one another make progress.. read more

Familiar words, distant thoughts

Posted on February 2, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Psalm 73 tells you that the nearness of God is your good, or how good it is to be near God! These are familiar words. No doubt, they often bring an “amen” when they are read or spoken. However, how deeply do these words take root in your heart? How often do difficult circumstances and events drive these words far away from your mind? Do these familiar words bring joy to your soul or do you wait to use them as platitudes when times are rough? What the psalmist describes.. read more

Can your teenager trust the Bible?

Posted on January 31, 2016 · Posted in Apologetics

Here is what the Bible teaches about how it was written: 1. God gave man his words through the direction, inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 2. Man then expressed these words accurately, in his own voice, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit. 3.The Holy Spirit oversaw the collection of these inspired writings so that they became the Bible we have now. This, in short form, is what the Bible teaches about how it was inspired, written, and complied. However, this makes no sense if your teenager doesn’t believe the.. read more

Love your middle schooler: become an epic listener!

Posted on January 29, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

It is important not to miss the struggles your middle schooler faces each day. She is beginning to function without immediate and constant parental supervision. New and sometimes dangerous influences enter his life. This is the scary part for parents. It is no secret that sex, drugs, pornography, bullying and even gambling have made inroads into middle schools. So what can you do to shepherd your middle school children without giving them a lie detector test each afternoon and attaching a body cam and GPS to them? Here is one.. read more

The Debate Insanity

Posted on January 28, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Worldview

The political debates pretend to talk about important things. Yet they ignore the one issue that supersedes all others. The debaters, the commentators, the analysts all ignore that God actively rules the world and the universe! Don’t misunderstand; God is not a politician. He is not limited by the feeble thinking of men. He is not for a particular political party. He is “for” his own honor and glory. He is accountable to no one, especially not to public opinion and votes. This is what the debates don’t get. As.. read more

S.N.A.P.

Posted on January 26, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Shaping Influences

Regardless of your method of schooling your children will have schoolwork to do at home. How you interact with your children while they are doing schoolwork has a huge impact on your relationship with them. Here are some positive ways you can interact with your kids and their schoolwork. Schoolwork issues generally fall into one or more of these three categories:  speed, neatness, and accuracy. Undergirding these three categories is the truth that all things must be done to the praise and glory of God. Here is an acronym you.. read more

Mercy: the opposite of fairness

Posted on January 25, 2016 · Posted in Uncategorized

We desire God’s mercy while we expect, and even demand, to be treated with fairness. Desiring fairness is a black hole that leads to anger, frustration, disappointment, and struggles in relationships. Where would you and I be if God treated us fairly? In pride, I want to say I don’t deserve unfair treatment. But such thinking is not sound. To demand fairness is to live without the fear of God. To demand fairness is to live like a fool, to live as if there were no God. Yes, we must.. read more

God’s message in the snow for Washington, D.C.

Posted on January 22, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Wisdom, Worldview

For years the government leaders in Washington, D.C. have passed laws, written executive orders and made legal judgments without regard to God and his laws. These leaders have gone so far as to say it is illegal and unconstitutional to obey God in many areas of life. Because these same leaders have chosen to ignore the teaching of Scripture they fail to heed God’s direct word to them. For example, tonight a massive snow storm has totally shut down the nation’s capitol. This is seen as an inconvenience and will.. read more

Choose Love – part 3

Posted on January 21, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Gospel, Parenting

Here is the third and last post about choosing to love your children biblically from I Corinthians 13: Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth… Faithful instruction and correction can easily be misunderstood. This is particularly the case when parental authority is being exercised. When correcting your children you can give them the impression that you are delighting in their failure. Since disciplined training in righteousness must be thorough and ongoing, a child may think that the only purpose a parent has is to delight in telling.. read more

Choose Love – part 2

Posted on January 20, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

As we learned from the previous post, choosing love is much more than a warm feeling. Paul continues to show what it looks like to really love your children in I Corinthians 13: Love is not self-seeking Love is about not putting yourself first. It is vital that your children see that you are living a life of sacrifice to God, just as you are asking them to do. The goals you set for your home must first and foremost reflect God’s direction in his Word. This cannot be done.. read more

Choose Love

Posted on January 19, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

God is specific about how he wants you to love your children. I Corinthians 13 offers practical help: Love is patient Patience is the fruit of the Spirit. This means that love is not a knee-jerk reaction when things don’t go well. Loving your children means understanding and anticipating that obedience to biblical direction will be a challenge. Being patient means that you are sensitive to reality of spiritual warfare. Don’t be frustrated with their struggles – think carefully, and remember that love is patient. You are in the process.. read more

When your child says no

Posted on January 16, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Parenting, Proverbs

It seems like such a simple thing. You ask your child to do something and in response, either by word or deed, she says no. If the day is laid back and the request seems inconsequential, the negative response might even be ignored. But, you decide to press on, so you ask again, this time a little more firmly. Your four-year-old grudgingly, slowly does as she was told. You breathe a sigh of relief, no harm done. But actually this little girl has taken a step down the road to.. read more

Power and Wisdom

Posted on January 15, 2016 · Posted in Wisdom

In the context of our various trials we need wisdom to know how to function in those trials and circumstances; it is available from a giving God, and we are to ask for it (James 1:5). Our need is no different from Israel’s. We need not only the power of God to overwhelm our obvious enemies but also the wisdom of God to detect our subtle enemies. Unfortunately, the church too often craves God’s power while it ignores God’s wisdom. Dale Ralph Davis    

The Manipulation Game

Posted on January 14, 2016 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more.. read more

Parents, open your hearts!

Posted on January 13, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Parents, God calls you to have an open love affair with his word. The open overflow of your love for God and his word is to be talked about all through the day in all kinds of situations. This is described in Deuteronomy 6:5-7. Here are four principles to draw from these verses: First – God is to be loved with every fiber of your inner being and with every thought of your heart. Second – The commands of God are to dominate your inner man, your heart. Third –.. read more

The birthmark

Posted on January 12, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences

Several years ago I had the privilege to respond to a mom whose daughter was mocked by another child on a school bus. Here is the comment from the little girl’s mom: “The girl on the bus pointed at her birthmark–the one just below her left eye–and told her she looked stupid. The soft confession came from my little girl, who was staring at the floor. A groan escaped me and I grabbed my daughter close. And I did exactly what I shouldn’t have: I cried. Will it get easier.. read more

Flowers, life & death

Posted on January 11, 2016 · Posted in Death, Wisdom, Worldview

The Bible has assigned to flowers an even greater role than to provide stunning beauty. Flowers teach about life and death. They teach us that we live and die at God’s pleasure. It is good and necessary to teach children truths that will last a lifetime. It is also good to teach children that life is unpredictable. This is where flowers have an invaluable truth to teach. The Psalmist says our days are like grass and wildflowers. There is a burst of beauty and then the flower is gone. This.. read more

Worship is not for spectators!

Posted on January 9, 2016 · Posted in Worldview, Worship

Worship is not for spectators. Worship is for combatants. Christian combat is not like the combat of the world; our weapons are spiritual.  Apathy in worship leads to destruction. The fiery darts of the evil one are always aimed and ready to fire. Being in corporate worship in no way lessens the danger. There are no pacifists in worship, only winners and losers. Are you a spectator or a combatant? You must be skilled at wisely and lovingly using the sword of the Spirit in the battles of worship. You.. read more

Flat Tires

Posted on January 8, 2016 · Posted in Wisdom

Flat tires appear to offer little evidence of God’s love and care. But that is just unbelief spinning events in way that seeks to discredit God’s providential care. Yes, a flat tire is an inconvenient addition to an already busy day. But that is just from your perspective. Suppose you knew that having a flat tire would mean that you avoided a situation that would have resulted in harm to you or your family that otherwise would have occurred if you had been on schedule. From this vantage point the.. read more