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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 Today providence has been replaced by the word “news.”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

Too busy for God?

Posted on August 20, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Worldview

The sky displays the glory of God. You can see the amazing  power of God in the sky each day. But most of us are too busy to take much notice of the daily display of the glory of God. Vacations are more likely opportunities to notice the work of God above. But what about Monday morning? What about today? Moms, Dads, kids, teenagers—all of us will be encouraged if we will just look at the power of God on display above us. This day and every day God declares.. read more

Avoiding the trap of social media

Posted on August 19, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Social Media

It is easy to get drawn into the negative side of social media. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some positive guidelines to avoid the negatives and thus benefit from your use of social media. Social media is like the rest of life, exercising wisdom is always essential. When you post: use good judgment, use biblical restraint, do avoid gossip, do speak only what is good and building, do show genuine care for others, remember many people you don’t know may read your words, and do.. read more

A better way

Posted on August 18, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Marriage

Humans always seem to have a better way. If there is a law, there has to be a way around it. If there is a barrier, it must be broken. If there is a plan, an alternative must be found. This pretty much sums up human history. In the garden there were only two trees in all of creation that were off limits. So, Satan had a better way and tempted Eve with the injustice of such an unfair restriction. Abel honored God in a way than Cain did not… read more

School and your marriage

Posted on August 16, 2016 · Posted in Marriage

It is time for school. There are multiple lists to check: clothing, textbooks, supplies, transportation, after-school activities and more. You know the drill.  However, there is one important matter that you don’t want to overlook – your marriage. The challenges of school are hard on a marriage. Time, relationship,and communication  can be consumed by the demands of school.  The relationship between mom and dad can easily shift into one where scheduling and time pressure become the main focus. Is your marriage ready for school? Don’t be afraid to ask the.. read more

“I’m sorry” or “please forgive me”

Posted on August 15, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences

“I’m sorry” or “please forgive me”, does it make a difference? Aren’t they just two different ways of saying the same thing? Not really. “I’m sorry” can lead to regret, which leads to enslavement. “Please forgive me” leads to repentance, which leads to freedom. Saying I’m sorry doesn’t really require a change of heart. For example, one child takes another child’s toy truck without permission. He is caught in the act. He is told to go to his brother, give the toy back and say he is sorry. He does.. read more

The Perseids — God’s signature!

Posted on August 12, 2016 · Posted in Worldview

Every August the debris from a comet enters into the earth’s atmosphere producing a spectacular light show. The debris appears to come from the constellation Perseus, so this meteor shower is called the Perseids. Meteor showers speak of reality beyond the air that we breathe, realities far beyond human control. The streaking beauty across the night sky speaks to the magnificence of God’s creation. But not all acknowledge that it is the hand of God that hurls these lights before our eyes. Instead of bowing before the awesome power of.. read more

Delight in your children

Posted on August 11, 2016 · Posted in Shaping Influences

School has started. School is about performance.  Report cards and grades are the measure of success. There are tests to be taken and teams to tryout for. But evaluating performance is not the true measure of a child’s worth. No child can bear the weight of thinking he has to measure up to a standard in order to be appreciated and have worth.  Academic pursuits are not a true measure of worth. Neither is academic excellence. Do your children know this? Do you believe this? It is one thing to.. read more

What rain teaches your children

Posted on August 10, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Gospel, Worldview

Looking out onto my back lawn the sun is shining brightly and deep rumbles of thunder mix in with the sound of falling rain. Rain, sun and thunder. Each has valuable lessons to teach you and your children about how the world works. Paul told people in Lystra who were trying to offer sacrifices to him and Barnabas about the God that they were neglecting to worship. He told them that the God that he served had shown his kindness to them in ways that made the difference in their.. read more

Drama and taking out the garbage

Posted on August 9, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Worldview

Your view of obedience controls how you give directions. Strange as it may seem, the way your garbage is taken out can reveal your functional understanding of obedience. The goal is to learn how to give holy, everyday directions that please God and bless your children. Let me begin by asking you two questions: Do you want your children to obey your directions and take out the garbage? You might be thinking, “That’s a strange question; of course I want my children to obey me.” That leads me to the.. read more

Going for the Gold

Posted on August 8, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Shaping Influences

Life is about competition and winning. Or at least it seems that way. The Olympic Games show the drama and stunning capabilities of athletic achievement. But in the end, all eyes are still on the gold. This fascination with athletic success is a human thing. Tedd Tripp puts it this way: “That is why we enjoy watching sports on TV. We love to marvel at amazing feats that ordinary mortals cannot accomplish. Whether football, basketball, ice skating or skiing, we love to be dazzled by athleticism.This is uniquely human. There.. read more

When the universe began

Posted on August 7, 2016 · Posted in Worldview, Worship

There was a moment when there was no universe to observe. There were no light years to measure because there was no light. There was no way to measure time, because there was no time. There was no gravity, no radiation, no black holes, no stars, no planets, no comets, no asteroids, no moons to be observed. The physical universe did not exist. Or did it? Before there was light, time and galaxies, there was God. This same God asked Job a question whose answer gives the difference between creature.. read more

Parental authority is a good thing

Posted on August 4, 2016 · Posted in Authority

If we conducted an opinion poll of children raised in Christian homes not many would list parental authority as a blessing. This is a sad reality. Authority is a gift of God to his people and especially to families. Authority is often abused on the one hand or grossly neglected on the other. However, it is important not to frame your view of biblical authority based on abuses. Parental authority is a daily object lesson that all of creation is under the authority and rule of the Lord of the Universe… read more

It takes more than data

Posted on August 3, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

Most of life’s problems that you and your children will face are not caused by a lack of information. Most problems arise because of a lack of sound judgment. After Joshua died Israel became a train wreck. Why? They knew about God but they didn’t know God. Here is what Judges 2:10 says about the time after Joshua’s death: “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for.. read more

When your posts damage the gospel

Posted on August 1, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Social Media

One of your friends just posted a less than complimentary comment about a politician. You reply back with a similar comment. This touches off a mini-flurry of comments and links that are all centered on the stupidity of anyone even thinking that there may be something good about this person. You sign off with a few emojis thinking it was a good exchange. Is there a problem here? Actually, there is. The problem comes when interactions on social media are viewed as private exchanges between you and the people you.. read more