Monthly Archives: September 2013

23 posts

How to know if you have listened well?

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening, that is his folly and shame.”  One major obstacle to being a good listener is assuming we know what the speaker means by what he is saying. We then assign our own interpretation to the words we hear, thinking (or acting as if) we understand what is truly being said. This manner of “listening” will lead to trouble. Sometimes our assumptions are accurate, but more often they are not. Answering based on assumptions leads to communication that is not productive and, therefore, to difficulty in relationships. Exchanges like this are all too common: “You are not listening to me!” “What do you mean I am not listening to you! I heard what […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

The God you worship.   Note well Isaiah’s description of God. Note his commitment to his people. This great God takes people like you and me and holds our hand and protects us.  That is amazing. May we live a life of worship that honors God for who he is and what he does.     “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;     I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people,     a light for the nations,       to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,     from the prison those who sit in darkness.   I am the Lord; […]

Do you encourage your children to disobey?

Suppose your child has developed a pattern of not coming when he is called.  This can easily lead to frustration for both parent and child. Tension can mount until finally the parent decides enough is enough and a confrontation irrupts. This confrontation also may encourage the child to think that the eighth time he or she disobeyed is far worse than the first time. In reality each refusal to come is equally serious. The problem is the same each time – God is being disobeyed.   The following scenario assumes that mom has been working with her daughter to change a pattern of being slow to obey.    Five year old Jennifer has shown a pattern of not responding quickly […]

Even in dark times, God brings hope.

The book of Judges tells the story of a very dark time in the history of Israel. God was mocked, the legacy of Moses’ faith was abandoned, and the people of God appeared to have left the fear of God. 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 she had to bring back with […]

The weapon of everyday talk.

Talk is a given. Everyone talks. It’s a basic function of life. In order to teach your kids you must talk to them. But there are all sorts of talk. For example, formal discussion (usually a monolog, in reality) occurs when you sit your children down and explain some matter that you think is really important. Then there is talk that gives directions, such as, “Take out the garbage,” or “Be quiet,” or “Come here.” However, Deuteronomy 6 speaks about a specific type of talk that God wants you to have with your children—everyday talk. Why do I say everyday talk is so powerful? Because the Bible teaches so. Deuteronomy 6:6–7 says, “These commandments that I give you to- day […]

The power of light!

The world in which we live is troubling. As Christians, we must understand where the trouble comes from. It is easy to list many reasons for the wrongs we observe: disease, natural disasters, wars, political leaders gone amuck, etc., but the root cause, the real reason for the troubles we have is sin—sin and its impact on creation. Sin brings trouble and discord. Sin has brought trouble to relationships, sickness and inherited diseases to untold millions throughout history—and the list could go on. So whether directly or indirectly, the darkness in the world and in our lives comes from sin.   As Christians, we are called to be the light of the world. There’s an overwhelming thought—people like you and […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Beware the heart of darkness.   When the people of God come to worship, our vision and our trust must be singular. God and God alone is to be the object of our trust. Too often we live and worship with other options on the table. We say, sing, and pray that God is all that matters, but in the hidden corners of our heart we value, trust, and hope in something other than God. We trust in God to make our circumstances what we want them to be. But this is not trust, it is doubt. We trust in God to make other people appreciate us. But this is not trust, it is idolatry.   Jesus knew that the […]

How good is God?

How good is God?   Children naturally determine goodness by their circumstances. Your mission as a parent is to help your child expand his natural understanding of goodness to also include what is behind the circumstances of his life. The goal of maturity is to become more influenced by the unseen realities of faith than by the seen events of the physical world. 

Parents – Messengers of the Living God

Tedd & Margy Tripp The life classroom is constant, compelling and comprehensive. The same is true of our homes as well. They are environments where our children are constantly learning. Not only that, but we are always teaching our children. Our every response, whether it is instruction or silence, teaches. Our behavior and our love teach. But in addition to that natural process, God calls us to instruct our children about what to believe, how to think from the Scriptures, and how to live. In this book we will call that deliberate teaching “formative instruction.” Formative instruction “forms” or “shapes” our children. It is not a single event, but a lifetime of interaction that is based on God’s revelation. We […]

Flat Tires

On first impression 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 an accident that would have resulted in harm to you or your family. From this vantage point the flat tire that was a curse now becomes a blessing! The point is that we don’t know what would have happened if…  And it is very good thing that we don’t know what would have happened if the […]