Monthly Archives: August 2013

36 posts

Ninety-nine years ago.

In the summer of 1914 the Archduke of Austro-Hungary was assassinated in Bosnia by a Serbian nationalist.  This one action set in motion a series of events which culminated in the first World War.  A new era in human history had begun. The events in one corner of the globe would spread to involve all of Earth’s nations in one way or an another.   One reality that has become apparent in these last ninety-nine years is that intentions seldom match outcomes. It is unsettling to realize that what happens in places far removed from where we worship, live, and work can radically alter our lives and the lives of those whom we love. Those attacked or threatened with attack […]

Self-trust is misplaced trust

Proverbs 3:7-8 indicate that our bodies don’t do well when we trust ourselves, that is,  when we rely on our own understanding. Trusting God and purposely loving him in all that we do brings health to our soul and stability to our walk. Trusting our own understanding  leads to a troubled spirit and to a lack of stability. This is not a magic formula. Loving God in every area of your life means an intentional awareness of loving him. Recall God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 6:5-6. A deep love for God is followed by God’s commands being woven into the heart.  Merely reciting God’s word will not keep you from being wise in your own eyes. The book of Judges is […]

Being different, a bold adventure.

There are many ways to describe holiness. One of the most basic is to understand that being holy means being different. Holiness is being distinct from the world. If we are to love God we must be constantly aware that he is holy. He is different. This is what we are to model for our children as we bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.   Today, the prevailing mood of our political leaders is that we should not be defined by our differences, we should be strengthened by them.  A Christian has a different view. A Christian must be defined by his differences. A Christian is to be chaste and pure. A Christian is to […]

Obedience is a gift.

Over the time that your children are in your home you will give them many gifts. Some will be small. Some will be huge. Some will be foolish and unwise. Some will be well thought out.  Some will be unappreciated. Some will be cherished. This is the nature of gifts. The one sure way you can know if your gift is good is if your gift is one that is commanded by God.   Parents often don’t think of obedience as a gift. But teaching your children to obey is among the most precious gifts that you can possibly give. Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 6:1-3:   Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. […]

Our obedience is a response, it is not a basis of acceptance.

If my obedience does not produce acceptance, then why bother to obey, to attempt to excel? Why bother to obey if I cannot earn God’s favor?   I obey because I have been loved and been shown mercy. I obey because I want to see my Savior’s reputation enhanced on earth.  I obey because it means participating in the only thing that truly matters, living for the glory of God.   Some might say, “Well that is fine for me, but what about my children who have not yet professed faith? Why should they obey?”    The answer is the same, because obedience that flows from a response to the mercy of God is the only form of obedience that […]

Helping Children Interpret Life Correctly

When truth about God is our greatest joy, we will help our children interpret life from a biblical perspective. Truths to impress on our children: • Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. It is not found in new jeans, a new iPod, a car, one’s abilities, or exciting, heart-pounding experiences. • We need to walk in wisdom, submit to the goodness of God’s way, and turn away from our own agendas. • A life of prayer and godly counsel is our desire. • Choices that are principled rather than popular, foregoing immediate gratification for the sake of eternal reward, are the goal. • God’s authority structures are a blessing. For an eight-year-old this means I can trust […]

The danger of living for your children.

We live in the age of the Child. Children are to be accommodated. They become the center of family life. So instead of training children, our modern world seeks to idolize them. Education can become a means to serve children rather than to teach them to sacrificially live their lives for God. Parents live for their children instead of for God. When this happens, nothing good is accomplished. Marriages are weakened because of this wrong-headed focus. Children can never meet the expectations of parents who worship them. Divorce and child abuse increase. In the end, all that is left is relational rubble.   It is this relational rubble that can also lead to children becoming cynical and disaffected by Christianity. […]

Unstoppable – Compelling Answers to Life’s Hard Questions

Kirk Cameron’s new film, Unstoppable, is one you won’t want to miss. This film is intimate, edgy, bold and full of the unexpected. Let me explain.   It is intimate. The idea for the film came from the life and death of a 15 year old son of one of Kirk’s friends. The young man battled cancer for ten years. His death hit home to Kirk in a personal and painful way. The deep and heart-rending  impact comes through powerfully in the film. When something like this happens, we want to know why. Why would God bring cancer to a family that only wants to serve him? Kirk addresses the universal question, why do bad things to good people. Unstoppable […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Who is a God like your God?     “Who is a God like you,     who pardons sin and forgives the transgression     of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever     but delight to show mercy.   You will again have compassion on us;     you will tread our sins underfoot     and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”   Micah 7:18-19   Amazing!

Learning Christ

The phrase learning Christ appears only once in the New Testament. Paul uses this phrase when he contrasts the church and the world. In Ephesians 4:17-19, he describes the thinking of the world. Then, in Ephesians 4:20, he says that the Ephesians did not come learn Christ that way. Those who think and live like the world are dominated by darkness, futility and sensuality. So Paul says that this is not the way they learned Christ.   Let’s be clear. Paul says there are only two ways of living or thinking. One way is to follow the natural path of darkness that all men were born with (Ephesians 2:1-3). The other way is to learn Christ. This is the point […]