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The Equinox: a time of color!

Posted on September 22, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Today, precisely at 10:21 a.m. EDT, the Sun will once again pass directly over the equator. If you live in Australia, today means that longer days and warm weather is on the way. If you live in North America, it is just the reverse, shorter days and cooling temperatures. The Lord announces the change of seasons with spectacular outbursts of color. Spring arrives with fresh greens and gorgeous, subtle pastels. Fall is arrives with bold splashes of yellows, reds and golds. The Lord delights in color. He specifically designed you.. read more

God’s approval of Job’s Curse

Posted on September 21, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Fear of the Lord, World View

In the third chapter of Job he recalls the total and horrific tragic events that brought overwhelming despair and agony to his life. He curses the day he was born and wishes that the day he was conceived would be erased. The chapter ends with these words: “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” Job had suffered all that we dread as humans. God took his property, livestock and then,.. read more

Do you enjoy being duped?

Posted on September 20, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

The answer is, of course you don’t! Yet, if you are like most people, you find yourself frequently saying something like, “I know better than that, why do I keep doing it?” So why do you keep repeating the things that trouble you — it is the deceptiveness of sin. You were born with a spiritual heart that is defective, it does not operate as intended. If there is a problem with your physical heart, it tends to immediately demand whatever attention is necessary in order to solve the problem… read more

Low-tech terror in your neighborhood

Posted on September 19, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, World View

Low-tech terrorism is an ugly, cowardly, but effective means to bring fear to many. It represents a threat to families going about their daily activities. And, of course, it is designed to be unsettling to your children. What do you tell them? How do you ease their fears? God continues to be your refuge and your strength, even in times of trouble and uncertainty. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. He knows your children’s most intimate thoughts and fears. He controls the acts of men, even.. read more

Emotions and your heart

Posted on September 17, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Godward Orientation

Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is well-guarded emotions can work for you, not against you. If the heart is not guarded then emotions can bring much damage. The book of Job immediately shows the value of emotions. Job feared the Lord and shunned evil. His.. read more

Do people frustrate you?

Posted on September 15, 2016 · Posted in Anger, Sanctification, Worry

The person who is insensitive dominates your thinking. Your ungrateful kids or spouse provides hours of self-pity. The so-called friend who is constantly irritating you keeps you awake at night. The political figure who is against everything you stand for makes you see red. When you reject the Spirit’s control you give all these people control of your life. Is this what you really want? I didn’t think so. All of the above examples mean you are being controlled by your flesh and not the Spirit of God. In Galatians.. read more

Silent pleas

Posted on September 13, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Wisdom

On any given Sunday morning, you may sit next to a friend who is silently, urgently, pleading for help. She desperately wants help, but she is terrified that someone might actually notice her fears. So, each Sunday she tries to look normal and happy, while on the inside she agonizes with a mixture of guilt, desperation, fear and resignation. You see, your friend, who always appears slightly edgy but always eager to please, who quickly offers a nervous smile, is living in an abusive relationship. This scenario is all too.. read more

The power of faith living in you

Posted on September 12, 2016 · Posted in Faith

The book of Judges tells the story of a very dark time in the history of Israel. Yet even in the darkness, God was at work. As He often does, He brought light and hope from the most unexpected place. Naomi accompanied her faithless husband, Elimelech, to Moab; he doubted that God could provide for him in the land of promise. So he turned his back on the provision of God for Israel. Years later, Naomi returned to Bethlehem from Moab. Her husband and her two sons had died. All.. read more

Another 9/11 has come

Posted on September 10, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Fear of the Lord

  Fifteen years ago September 11th became a date that will be etched in history. Planes striking the twin towers, the courage of first responders rushing towards the smoking buildings, the dramatic collapse of each tower — terror on American soil became a fearful and lasting remembrance. But is there something to be feared more than these haunting images? The answer is yes. 2,000 years ago Jesus warned his disciples that they had more to fear than those who would persecute them and kill them. There was an even greater.. read more

The shopping trip

Posted on September 7, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Shaping Influences

Once I was shopping at the grocery store. An eager four-year-old started to wander off from her mother. The mother spoke to her child in a calm but icy voice. She said something like this, “I knew it was a mistake to bring you shopping. If you don’t come here right now, I’ll never take you shopping again.” The little girl sadly turned back to her mother with her head down. She was being treated as her mother thought she deserved. Mom seemed pleased that her power play worked. Often.. read more

Mosquitos, Storms and Quakes

Posted on September 3, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Worldview

Mosquitos, Storms and Quakes Large storms and earthquakes tend to get our attention. But little winged insects are just an annoyance, but nothing to take seriously, like a hurricane. But of course that depends on where you live. If you live some place where malaria and yellow fever are prevalent then the winged insects are also attention getters. In the U.S. mainland until recently mosquitoes have been mostly in the annoyance category. Then last May, a mosquito-born virus, Zika, known mainly in Africa and Asia unexpectedly arrived in Brazil. Since.. read more

Sold out

Posted on September 2, 2016 · Posted in Earthly Treasure

A man was walking in a field and came across something that was buried in the ground. In a moment his life changed forever. What he found caused him to immediately sell all of his personal possessions and then buy this field with its great treasure. He sold out to gain the treasure. People sell out for treasure all time. The question is, how valuable is that treasure? We have just witnessed the Olympic spectacle. There are countless stories of people selling out to win the gold. What about you? What.. read more

27 Years

Posted on September 1, 2016 · Posted in Shaping Influences

Today is moving day; moved into this house 27 years ago. 5 kids under the age of 9. New state, new church, new opportunities, new people. Our lives were all in front of us. I tried to remember what I thought life would be like looking ahead into the future. It is not surprising that what God unfolded was nothing like I had imagined. Now 27 years later I’m moving again. Only this time instead of moving with my wife and 5 children, it is only me. The Lord took.. read more

Toddlers, toys and debit cards

Posted on August 31, 2016 · Posted in Toddlers

Toddlers are people. This means they make decisions about what is important to them, just like you do. And just like you, their interpretation of their circumstances determines how they respond to problems they face. Let’s put this in perspective. You can’t find your debit card. Was it lost or stolen? Is your bank balance secure? Getting that card back is now your highest priority. But, suppose your helpful neighbor is visiting and says to you, “don’t worry, the card is just piece of plastic. Don’t get stressed. It will.. read more

Deborah, a mother in Israel

Posted on August 30, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Fear of the Lord, Worldview

Deborah was a Judge in Israel over 3,000 years ago.  She has the distinction of being the only Judge of whom nothing negative is said by the Holy Spirit. Here are three character qualities that all of us can learn from her. Trust in God’s Word Deborah  trusted God’s word for what it was.  Her faith was strong, even when the men of Israel wavered. Barak failed to trust the word of the Lord and demanded Deborah go with him into battle.  Deborah was not afraid to challenge Barak with.. read more

Last Chance

Posted on August 28, 2016 · Posted in Marriage

Pre-order Pricing Ends Monday for Marry Wisely, Marry Well Marry Wisely, Marry Well teaches Christian young people how to start building a future marriage house even before beginning a relationship. It helps them learn to make a wise choice of a spouse, and how to start preparing for a future relationship that is truly built on Christ. 40% Pre-order Discount Ends Monday

Excuses or repentance

Posted on August 26, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

Excuses keep us from trusting God, erode human relationships and weaken character. The default mode for the excuse maker is to shift blame instead of looking to God in repentance. Repentance brings hope. Excuses result in frustration and blame-shifting. This how the Holy Spirit describes the difference. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 Concealing sins—making excuses—destroys trust in God. But repentance yields mercy and the blessing of God. Listen to yourself. Listen to your children. If you hear.. read more

News or Providence?

Posted on August 25, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Worldview

Providence, Rhode Island, Providence Hospital, the hand of Providence are just some of the ways the word providence intersects our culture. It is a familiar word that has lost its meaning. Today providence has been replaced by the word “news.” Webster’s Dictionary defines providence as: “God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.” Western culture no longer sees God as the One who shapes and controls the events of each day. Today we call Providence, news. This shift leads to public cynicism and discouragement. News stories are reported.. read more

Communication Guidelines

Posted on August 23, 2016 · Posted in Communication

Communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we communicate with each other. Here are some biblical guidelines to make your commutation more productive and effective. Check your Heart Attitude Consider others more important than yourself. Philippians 2:3-5 Let love be in control Love is patient, love is kind. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts. From 1 Cor. 13:4-7 This passage.. read more

The power of a soft heart

Posted on August 22, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Teenagers

Josiah became King of Judah when he was eight years old. At the time, Judah could not have been more of a spiritual and cultural disaster.  Manasseh and his son, Amon, had just concluded 57 of perverse years of leadership. Manasseh set a new standard of wickedness during his reign and his son, Amon, picked up where his father left off. These were dark, dark times. Amon had been king just two years when he was assassinated. Apparently, the people had had enough. They made his young son, Josiah, king… read more