3 steps to protect your kids

Posted on October 27, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, World View

Protecting your children is an obligation of being a faithful parent. However, there is the false notion that children should be protected from every danger and uncertainty of life. That simply is not true. There is too much uncertainty in life, too much which is beyond your control.  Yet, the temptation to worry about all of the things from which you cannot protect your children persists. You cannot protect your children from life itself.  The storms in Matthew 7 come to the wise and the unwise alike.  Until you go.. read more

From post- modern to post- authority

Posted on October 26, 2016 · Posted in Authority

The modern drift away from authority has had a negative impact on Christian families. Scripture says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Our culture is suspicious of this truth. If man is only the result of a random series of bio-chemical events, then the idea of being responsible to a divine authority has no validity–in fact, it is absurd. This is the mindset that today’s parents have been raised with. Here are some questions that are a reality check to see if your parenting reflects.. read more

It’s Monday!

Posted on October 24, 2016 · Posted in World View

What does Monday mean to you? Do you look forward to this new week? Or, perhaps, are you wondering if this week will be as overwhelming as last week? Or maybe you think this will be just another week—nothing special or worrisome to look forward to—just another week. God has given you this new week to do things for him. First and foremost it is God’s week, not your week. Acts 17:26-28 tells you that God has determined that where you are now, on this Monday, is exactly where he.. read more

Do you tell stories?

Posted on October 21, 2016 · Posted in Narrative, Parenting

If you are interested in your children living a life of faith, you need to tell stories! The Psalmist wants God’s people to vividly remember the great deeds of God in redemptive history. Then, he pledges that his children will hear these stories: We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. (Psalm 78) “We will not hide these truths from our children.” This is an important step towards raising.. read more

Repentance or regret

Posted on October 20, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

One day a man returned home exhausted and famished from a hunting trip. As he neared the camp he caught the smell of a meal that his younger brother was preparing. Convinced he was about to die, he pleaded with his brother for some food. His brother was an enterprising sort, so he offered to exchange the food for the birthright, the blessing which belonged to the first born. Driven by hunger, the older brother greedily accepted the offer. It was a decision he lived to regret. Esau, the older.. read more

Five Senses

Posted on October 19, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation

  Every day is an opportunity to be invested in something more than what our five senses tell us. More to the point, our senses fail to tell us what makes life worth living. Life lived for sensory input alone cannot deliver the spectacular promises that each sense evokes. Our eyes show beauty, our ears hear music, our tongues tempt of delicacies, aromas bring memories, our bodies long for warm embrace. With each sensual encounter we long for more, but satisfaction is only for the moment. Our senses lead us.. read more

What is love?

Posted on October 17, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Ruling Desires, World View

“Love is giving willingly of whatever I have to meet someone’s need.” I can almost hear someone reacting, “Wait a minute! That might be a partial definition of love. But what about the deep feelings, the driving emotional mood that is also supposed to accompany love. This definition leaves that part out.” There is an unspoken expectation that is associated with love. This human assumption is that when you love there are huge emotional benefits that make love something good for you. When you say you love someone, your natural.. read more

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Posted on October 15, 2016 · Posted in Worship

People were designed by God to worship. At the fall man lost his ability to know whom to worship. So, we worship counterfeit gods. This is the worship we were born to as fallen creatures. It is the enemy’s scheme that when we participate in corporate worship we do so to earn God’s favor. But our God is a jealous God. He will not share his glory with counterfeit pretenders. May we see God for who he is, not for what we want him to be. May we say with.. read more

Who is in Control?

Posted on October 13, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Godward Orientation, World View

Life is about control. Specifically, who is in control. It starts at birth. Babies naturally want to be fed, dry and know comfort. When one of these conditions is not met, who is in control becomes an issue. Later on there is a toy that is appealing, someone’s attention that is desired, and yes, feelings of hunger still matter. Teenagers want control of their time, of how they are perceived, and the lives of those they may be attracted to. Adults want control of outcomes: things like income, relationships, personal.. read more

Listen to your children, instead of yourself!

Posted on October 12, 2016 · Posted in Communication

“Hey mom, Jeremy is upset.” “Okay Sarah, I’ll be right there.” The real story here is what mom is saying to herself. “Here we go again.  Sarah is always making Jeremy upset. I can’t finish anything without somebody having an issue.” “Dad, I’m really sorry I messed up and forgot to cut the grass. I’ll get to it right after lunch. Sorry dad.” “Aaron, when is this pattern going to change? You need to start being responsible. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!” What dad is thinking: “I can’t believe.. read more

Tired of parenting?

Posted on October 11, 2016 · Posted in Parenting

Parenting is a challenging task — at times even overwhelming. There are countless remedies offered from every corner to make parenting easier and less stressful. Yet despite all the advice and devices, at the end of the day, parents are tired and weary. Weary not only because of the trials of the day just finished, but also weary because tomorrow is just a few hours away. In this in-between time, the tiredness often reaches its peak. The free advice and stress-reducing gadgets offer little consolation. Even Bible verses may seem.. read more

A red city gone bad

Posted on October 10, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Parenting

Laodicea would have been classified as “red” city if it were around today. The city was a prosperous financial and trade center. It was known for its fine linens. It had a great medical school. It was a city of beauty, and the arts flourished there. In 60 A.D. an earthquake leveled the city. The citizens refused any assistance from the Roman government and rebuilt the city solely with their own funds. Laodicea would certainly make the top ten list of the most desirable places to live and raise a.. read more

Do you listen well?

Posted on October 7, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Marriage, Parenting

You give your wife flowers and say you love her, but she remains distant. You apologize to your teenager for being angry and tell him you love him, but the barriers are still up. You give your middle-schooler an expensive birthday present with a note that says “I love you”, yet her smile is only half-hearted. Is the answer more flowers, a bigger and better present, a more sincere apology? Probably not. However, there is one thing you can do that will demonstrate the genuineness of your love. You can.. read more

Prayer or silence – a nation’s choice

Posted on October 6, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, World View

Matthew is going to Florida. Millions are evacuating their homes as Hurricane Matthew, predicted to be a category 4 at landfall, advances towards the Florida east coast. The storm is forecast to bring damaging winds and a devastating surge of water all along the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts. Millions more will lose power for days and possibly much longer. Human lives are at stake. Matthew will not be ignored. The President has urged people to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves. The governors of Florida and.. read more

Three questions

Posted on October 5, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Here are three questions you should ask yourself about your communication with those you love. The way you answer these questions provides insight into the areas where your conversations must grow in depth and in maturity. First question: Do your spouse and your children have confidence that they will be able to say all that is on their heart without fear of your response? Is your family accustomed to being cut-off or being corrected before they can finish speaking? Do you interrupt because you think you know what is coming?.. read more

Where will Matthew go?

Posted on October 4, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Current Events, World View

This morning, millions along the southeastern coast of the United States are asking this question, “Where will Matthew go?” Matthew is, of course, the Category 4 Hurricane currently devastating portions of Haiti and Cuba. Even as watches have been posted for the Florida east coast, the question remains — is the path of this storm random, totally subject to shifting patterns of low and high pressure? Are we watching nature roll the dice in a deadly game of chance? This is the view expressed if you watch the unfolding drama.. read more

Asking too much from your children

Posted on October 2, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires

Living for your children will ruin your life and theirs. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No spouse, no child can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your first loyalty must.. read more

People pleasing – a fatal attraction!

Posted on September 30, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences

Luke recounts a story in Acts about how the early Christians were caring for each other’s needs. He specifically mentions a Cypriot Levite named Joseph who sold a field and brought the money from the sale to the apostles. Joseph was such a blessing that the apostles called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. This was a good thing. There was a married couple who apparently observed Barnabas’ good deed and the appreciation he received for it. So they sold some property that they owned. But something happened to.. read more

The illusion of safety

Posted on September 28, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Wisdom, World View

Suppose you lived in a war zone. The danger might come from guerrilla warfare, or tribal disputes, or ethnic hatred or prolonged civil war or perhaps the jungle of the inner city. For families living in one of these media-neglected zones, going outside to play can be an act of reckless endangerment. In places like this the instructions you give your children are instructions of life and death. If your kids fail to follow your directions to the letter they may pay with their life. An inviting, innocent looking object.. read more

Words that bring life

Posted on September 27, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Criticism_

The wise man (including the wise child) is motivated by the fear of God and the pursuit of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 3:11-18).  This is an important lesson for children to grasp. For example, a little boy who craves praise may well grow into a husband who will be angry and disappointed when he is not constantly praised. He can easily be prone to self-pity. This can lead to a man who will be withdrawn, sullen, or even abusive.  Similarly, a young woman who lives for the praise of others, becomes.. read more