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Thought for the Lord’s Day

What is safety?   The answer depends upon how you define safe. If safety means protection from the evil and devastation of this world, then the answer is no, you are not safe. If safety means you are always in God’s care and that whatever the circumstance, he is working all things together for his glory and your good, then yes, you are safe.    This world is not our home. The ugliness of sin and death mark this world. The enemy wishes to distract us from these realities by fleeting, temporal pleasures. The reality is that we live in a world at war. Sometimes, we are reminded of this war by our own war with sin or the sins […]

Patience – The Art of not Judging God

A judgmental spirit towards people is a dangerous thing. It leads to doubt, mistrust and broken relationships. But there is another form of judgment that is far more destructive: the practice of judging God. When you begin to question God’s faithfulness when circumstances are not what you wanted, you are actually judging God. When your general response to life is that life is a bummer or that life stinks, you are judging God.  Why? Because the Holy Spirit says that God is causing all the events in your life to be a good thing for you. So, when you look at life and fail to see God’s goodness, even  in the painful things, you are judging God. You are critiquing […]

Tedd Tripp introduces the LifeLine Mini-book series

  Shepherd Press is pleased to announce the publication of the Lifeline Mini-book series. These unique books, larger and more robust than the typical counseling book, are still pocket-sized resources. Lifeline mini-books are a gospel-centered series written by people who are in the trenches of ministry. Each mini-book is practical and accessible, written for the person in the pew as well as for pastors and counselors. The mini-books address a broad range of Christian life and counseling issues, such as abuse, addiction, anger, finances, grief, qualities of a good church, military deployment, marital unfaithfulness, suicide, single parenting to name only a few. These books demonstrate that biblical counsel can be made simple without becoming shallow. There is real meat here: […]

Broken Rules, Broken Relationships

Biblical grace is the strongest possible deterrent to sin. For parents this means if rules become more important than your relationship with your teenager you lose the opportunity to display grace. In other words, a broken rule must not result in a broken relationship!  In my life, the times that I have been most appreciative of God’s grace are the times when I have been most aware of my sin.  Is this true for your teenager? When you address their sin are you most interested in showing grace or reminding them of how wrong they are?  “Why have you, once again, not finished your homework, or cleaned your room, or not cut the grass? You know we have a rule, […]

Your Stupid Rules!

“All you care about is your stupid rules! You care about your rules more than you do about me! Thanks a lot for not caring.” With these words your 14 year-old storms back to her room. Sadly, this exchange is not unusual. Parents want to protect their children. Their teenagers don’t think they need protection. The parents make rules. The teenagers think the rules aren’t helpful and say so. The parents feel disrespected. The teenagers feel abandoned. The parents tighten up on the rules. The teenagers are convinced the parents don’t care and don’t want to care. And so it goes. Nothing less than wisdom from above can address this breakdown. The Holy Spirit describes wisdom from above this way: […]

Unintended Consequences & Immediate Gratification

The desire for instant gratification comes with a set of blinders at no extra charge. If what I want is what I want and I must have it now then there is little or no thought given to what happens when I get what I want. Blinders result in being blindsided. David gave no thought to what would happen after he had Bathsheba. Amnon could focus only on Tamar and never stopped to think that his lust would cost him his life. Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, thought only of the acclamation they would receive from people and thought nothing of lying to the Holy Spirit. These individuals thought only of their immediate cravings. This is exactly what the enemy […]

I want it now!

The demand for instant gratification is destructive. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. Immediate gratification is the gateway to a life of destructive, abusive relationships, pornography, substance abuse, abusive behavior. If you hear your child frequently complain or grumble,  you are hearing a child who is becoming a slave to his own desires. Sin feeds on the desire for immediate happiness. That is why a child can go from seeming bliss to outrage in an eye blink. One moment everything is fine. Then he sees his brother with a toy that he wants and he immediately erupts with a howl that sounds like he is being tortured. Why? Because […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Are you thankful? Psalm 100 says that we are to enter into the presence of God with thanksgiving and praise. If we lived with an appropriate understanding of the mercy of God this  command would be joyfully obeyed. Yet, often we find ourselves asking “do I feel thankful”.  This means that you seeing your world through the lens of your circumstances. This means that you have a distorted view of reality and a diminished appreciation for the grace of God. To be thankful we must first view our circumstances through the lens of the glory of God expressed in his word!  Thankfulness is not ultimately dependent upon the actions of others. Thankfulness is not dependent upon the circumstances of your […]

God has better answers

“I missed the future. Obviously I knew even before his recurrence that I’d never grow old with Augustus Waters. But thinking about Lidewjj and her boyfriend, I felt robbed. I would probably never again see the ocean from thirty thousand feet above, so far up that you can’t make out the waves or any boats. so that the ocean is a great and endless monolith. I could imagine it. I could remember it.  But I couldn’t see it again,…” Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in our Stars   Does death rob us of our future?   The answer is no. God in his gracious and loving providence has planned your days down to the millisecond. Your life is filled with […]

What is Joy?

Joy has to do with the reality of God.   Joy transcends the moment and extends into eternity.   Joy does not fade but endures.   In our deepest sadness we are rescued by joy.   Joy alone makes sense of the pain of life.   Joy is the certain knowledge that what is unseen is more vast than what is seen.   Joy is the fuel of hope.   Joy means your circumstances are opportunities to honor your God.   Joy is the evidence that you are never truly lost.   Joy means you are not limited by a sin-cursed world.   Joy means that you can love when you are hurt.   Joy means that you can live […]