Monthly Archives: December 2015

23 posts

What will you live for in 2016?

Every December 31st, we become time conscious. But time is slippery, temporary. What will our time be like this next year? News shows, books, internet articles, friends tell us there is much to worry about in 2016: terrorists, the elections, the economy, the climate, social unrest. We are told any one of these things may impact the quality of life and how long we may live. But as Paul says, don’t focus on what is temporary, but focus on eternity.  Faith has to do with eternity. This means that faith is rooted not in time and what happens in time. Faith is rooted in the person and character of God! Faith is not primarily about everything working out. Faith is […]

Why do you fight with your teenager?

Why do you fight with your teenager? The answer is obvious, right? If your teenager was more respectful, if he would just do half of the things you asked, if she would actually listen, if you mattered half as much as the phone…? Of course there are some things that you need to work on, but the bottom line is your teenager specializes in making life difficult, right??? The problem with this scenario is that this parent is acting like her teenager is in control. Everything is dependent upon the teenager doing what is wanted or expected. The parent’s action is controlled by what the teenager does instead of what God commands. Really? Yes, really. James says that fights and […]

The gift you cannot buy

By now almost all of the gifts are purchased. The planning is about over. Now comes the actual giving. However, there is one essential gift that you cannot buy, but it will make the biggest impact of any gift that you give. This one special gift is giving God’s word to your children. The best way to present the this gift to your children is to have that Word dwell richly within you.  A full, energetic relationship of Christ’s word dwelling in your heart is a magnificent gift to your children. See Deuteronomy 6:5-7 and Colossians 3:16. Love your children enough to do a personal evaluation of just how precious the Word of Christ is to you.  Are you thrilled […]

Greed & Christmas

With Christmas presents comes Christmas squabbles. All of the challenging things your remember from last Christmas, but over the course of 364 days have somehow managed to forget, are back. Topics like:time of possession, present hoarding, and ownership disputes, once again take center stage. Why? Greed. Ouch! Greed is a pretty strong word. Do we have to go there? Actually, we do. Sin is deceitful. Greed can masquerade as a desire for justice or fair play. But greed is when you want something for yourself without caring for someone else. Luke tells of an encounter Jesus had with a greedy person. A man from the crowd asked Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute with his brother. Christ ignored the who, what, […]

The Savior Reigns

All that is good, noble, and excellent in life stems from the glory and goodness of God, not from any other source. If Jesus reigns, the only fitting response is one of joy. This flies in the face of conventional religion and wisdom, in which various circumstances determine our sense of well-being. This is the theme of the second verse of Joy to the World: Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy… God has done marvelous things.  It is true that there is much darkness and sadness in our world, but because of the Lordship of Christ, we have hope.  Things are not as […]

Star Wars: An Introduction to Buddhism

Full disclosure: I am a big Star Wars fan. But that doesn’t mean one should watch Star Wars or anything else without discernment. All films have a behind-the-scenes agenda. For example, take George Lucas’ purpose for the Star Wars movies. He wanted to use Star Wars as a platform to introduce Buddhism to America. The “Force” represents the impersonal god of eastern mysticism. You don’t have to avoid Star Wars, but you and your children should be aware of its agenda. You should be able to articulate how using “the force” is different from how the Holy Spirit works in the life of God’s people. The Holy Spirit’s power comes from his membership in the Trinity and is distinct and […]

Is God make-believe, just like Santa?

This is a post that we offer each Christmas. I pray that it will serve as an encouragement. Here is a comment we received from a reader which underscores the focus of this post: “Like my 13 year old daughter said to me…”Mom, I’m afraid that one day I’ll figure out that God was really make-believe just like Santa is. Just a way for you to get me to behave.” Are you Santa’s helper? Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or […]

Looking for good in the wrong places

If you use the world’s standards of success, you will become exactly like the psalmist in Psalm 73. His overwhelming discouragement came directly from looking at life the way God’s enemies do. What is good cannot be found by looking at our culture. Christians have a different standard for goodness: “But as for me, it is good to be near God.” The ultimate good for God’s people: the nearness of God!  The psalmist suddenly sees the foolishness of evaluating his life the way the world does.  He finally realizes the world is interested in mocking God and ridiculing his wisdom.  Because he had entertained such thoughts, the psalmist compared himself to an unthinking beast. If you use the world’s standards to […]

Christ alone, the hope of the nations!

Biblical Christianity is not limited to one culture. The earthly biblical heritage of Christianity is the Ancient Near East, which has influenced Asian, African, and European traditions. In short Christianity addresses not the heart of a particular culture or ethnic background, but the heart of man. Sin is not limited to one culture. It is deeply ingrained in all cultures. Wherever there is man, there is sin! Thus, God has revealed his righteousness to all the nations. All of the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God. God chose a time and place in the timeline of human history where the message of the gospel would be spread to all the earth. So, Christmas is about the […]