Monthly Archives: November 2015

21 posts

Comfort in the face of fear

Paris: cafes, a concert, a football match, shots, explosions, non-stop media, equals terror. Now exchange the name of your city for Paris. Suddenly terror becomes personal. The Holy Spirit authored Scripture knowing exactly what fears you would face this night. The face of terror is ugly and unnerving. Cafes, concerts and sporting events are common experiences that we share with the people of Paris. Our prayers unite with those coming from Paris. We could just as easily share their terror as well. But God speaks to us in his word, bringing comfort in the face of fear. He knew that there would be people who claim that our God cannot save us. Terrorist attacks or not, our God is our […]

A Refuge, Strong and Sure

One unshakeable, one certain truth sustains us even though the chaos of shattered lives threatens those on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite the desires of those who would bring terror to all the corners of the earth our hope remains in our God, a refuge strong and sure. We pray for those in Paris for safety, for comfort and that they would seek refuge in the living God of the Bible and his Son. Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their […]

Get it right, the chicken came first!

Somehow, many folks have the idea that children come first in the family. Children are growing up with the notion that they are to be served. In other words, the egg comes before the chicken! But this is not how God designed families to function. If you desire to be a loving, biblical parent you must begin by being a loving, biblical  spouse. Living primarily for your children leads to making idols of your children. This is a burden that no child can bear. In the long run, it will only turn your children against you. Stability in the marriage relationship is what provides stability for the children, not the other way around. Here are at least three of the […]

Joseph had the means and opportunity

When young Joseph was confronted with a willing and eager temptress, he had the means and the opportunity to sin, but not the motivation. His love of God and his honor protected hm. The love of God and his word planted deeply in the heart is only protection that can be fully trusted to yield godly motivation! Teenagers face powerful temptations.  Parents want to make sure that consequences are in place to help protect their children. It is good to put deterrents in place for behavior that is unacceptable and sinful. But, for your teenager, it comes down to that moment of decision; will the consequence make a difference? For example, Kevin, a young teenage boy has an opportunity to […]

Why do children cry?

Children quickly learn that tears are powerful motivators. If tears are not properly understood they can become weapons of manipulation and deceit. A young child wants to play with a toy that his brother has. He becomes so sad that he feels sorry for himself and tries to grab the toy. When his attempt fails, he begins to cry. Amazingly, the tears allow him to have the coveted toy. This little boy has just learned a lesson he will not forget. “Tears can bring me what I want.” Then he learns that tears will get him out of responsibilities that are unpleasant to him. Finally, he completes the trifecta by learning that tears can actually make others feel sorry for […]

Worship the God who knows your thoughts

Suppose your mouth automatically repeated everything that you thought? Imagine your deepest thoughts on display for everyone to hear and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Not a pleasing idea, is it? Embarrassment. Shame. Guilt. The truth is that all of your thoughts are on display, not to other people, but to the Lord of the Universe. Even knowing that God knew all of his thoughts, David rejoiced in this reality. Why, because he had experienced the lovingkindness of his God. When you go to worship, rid yourself of the pretext that you have any value apart from the mercy of God. Your God knows your thoughts, all of them! But instead of burning wrath pouring out […]

Kindness is not optional

Do your children see two types of parents? When things go well do they see parents that are content and pleased that things are under control? However, when things enter the twilight zone of disobedience and chaos do they see parents who are upset and whose only focus is to get things back under control, no matter what it takes? Kindness seems out of place in this twilight zone. But if God’s love for you is your model, kindness is always appropriate. Being kind does not mean you don’t discipline or correct. It does not mean you roll over and give your kids control of the house. It does not mean lowering standards. Being kind means that you show God […]

Beginning to talk with your kids about sex

Even if your child never sees any television or movies, he will still be exposed to the world’s concept of sexuality. He will hear it from the children that he plays with. Talk about sex is a part of every school situation. Suppose you attempt to cut your child completely off from the world? As unwise as that would be, there will still be contact. There is more than enough information in the form of short comments, quotations in books, pictures on billboards, stories and pictures in magazines and catalogs to influence your child’s concept of sex. Whether you like or admit it, your child is hearing from the world about sex. That is why God wants you to talk […]

The problem with baby pictures

Pictures of infants and toddlers are adorable. These pictures appear to represent every thing good about life: joy, beauty, innocence, vulnerability, potential. They fill us with hope that this sweet, precious child will somehow not be scarred by the harshness of life. However, there is danger in these photos. They can also blind us to the hidden reality of the dark heart lurking beneath the surface. We are stunned by that first lie, that first blatant act of ugly selfishness. Where did that come from? The temptation is to say who did this to my baby?!? To be sure, outside influences are significant. But there is another, more significant source of the problem. The real enemy is within. If we […]

Do to others before they do it to you!

Something sounds a little off about the title of this post, doesn’t it? Yet, this idea resonates with our modern culture. Somebody is going to do something negative to you, so make sure you do it to them first. In other words don’t let someone else get the upper hand. Thankfully, God’s ways are not our ways! Here is what the Bible commands instead: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 Jesus makes this stunning declaration at the end of his Sermon on the Mount. These words challenge you and me to the limits of what it means to have faith in God. […]