Monthly Archives: August 2016

18 posts

Toddlers, Toys, and Debit Cards

Toddlers are people. This means they make decisions about what is important to them, just like you do. And just like you, their interpretation of their circumstances determines how they respond to problems they face. Let’s put this in perspective. You can’t find your debit card. Was it lost or stolen? Is your bank balance secure? Getting that card back is now your highest priority. But, suppose your helpful neighbor is visiting and says to you, “don’t worry, the card is just piece of plastic. Don’t get stressed. It will probably turn up in a day or two. It’s nothing to worry about.” You might look at that individual and wonder what planet she is living on. Your three year […]

Deborah, A Mother In Israel

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 his lack of faith. This showed Deborah’s  courage and trust in God. She was not intimidated by male leadership that dishonored God. This a quality that our daughters must learn […]

News Or Providence?

Providence, Rhode Island; Providence Hospital; the hand of Providence — all these 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 Today providence has been replaced by the word “news.”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 as random events. Paul reminded the pundits on Mars Hill that it is God who is in control of life’s events, even to the point of determining […]

Communication Guidelines

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 is not a test to apply to your spouse as a defense, but a reality check for your own heart. Be an Epic Listener: Don’t answer with your words or […]

The Power Of a Soft Heart

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. By combining the narratives of Chronicles and Kings we see that even as a teenager, Josiah began to bring reform to a wretched and wicked land. The prophetess Huldah provides […]

Too Busy For God?

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 his majesty in the skies. Psalm 19:1 tells us this is so: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. The photo in […]

Avoiding the Trap Of 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 have courage to speak truth. When you view or respond to posts: be patient, show love not irritation, show kindness, don’t bully or mock, determine not to be judgmental, and […]

A Better Way

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. The obvious solution, follow Abel’s example. Cain’s solution: kill Abel. God commanded that men should spread out across the earth and have dominion over it. The folks at Babel didn’t […]

“I”m Sorry” Or “Please Forgive Me”

“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 this, but inside he is still unhappy he doesn’t have the toy. His brother, on the other hand, is happy to have the toy back, but he is upset […]

The Perseids — God’s Signature!

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 God, random chance or some set of arbitrarily selected laws of science is given the credit. Of course there are advantages to denying God’s presence and his control of the […]