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Peace is Not the Absence of Conflict

Posted on March 6, 2019 · Posted in Faith

The world is looking for peace. Whether it is in the children’s playroom or at an international negotiating table, peace is described as the absence of conflict. Thus, terms are sought to minimize or eliminate conflict. But this is a futile pursuit. A mom knows that discord and self-service rules young hearts. The sad reality is that diplomats attempting to negotiate peace treaties ignore this most basic truth: people are born at war with God and with each other. The human heart will not naturally be drawn to peace. Conflict.. read more

Satisfied

Posted on March 4, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting, Worldview

One of life’s hardest lessons is to realize that true satisfaction is found only in God. There are many pretenders but only God is sufficient to give meaning and purpose to your life. Apart from God every single relationship and endeavor you pursue carries the reality of disappointment. One of the cruelest things you can to do is to expect others to provide for you what can only be found in God. No human can bear the weight of being God for you. Practically, what does this mean? Children cannot.. read more

The Heart: Impossible to Control

Posted on March 2, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Gospel, Parenting

It may be possible to control behavior.  However, control of the heart is another matter.  As Tedd Tripp teaches, you can shepherd your child’s heart. But you cannot control his heart. So the purpose of your authority as a parent is to shepherd your children, to build them up, to strengthen them.  But attempts as controlling children without shepherding them will lead to frustration. Over time attempts at control through rules will lead your children away from Christ (Colossians 2:23).  Controlling your children in this way will weaken them and.. read more

Your kids and heaven

Posted on March 1, 2019 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Are my children going to heaven? This is the major concern for every Christian parent. If you look to human confirmation for the answer, life will quickly become a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. The eternal destiny of our children is tied to the faithfulness of God. God alone does what is right and good. God alone, is the savior of people, including our children. As much as we may want to, we cannot force our children to know God. Ultimately the hearts of our children can only be.. read more

Is Heaven Relevant?

Posted on February 27, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom, Worldview

Is heaven something that dominates your life? God means for heaven to be the anchor that helps you make sense of a world dominated by sin and injustice. The Holy Spirit has guaranteed you an inheritance, which includes the reality of heaven. What a huge blessing this is! The most wonderful and spectacular destination any human can have has been secured for you by God’s Holy Spirit. God wants you to see heaven as relevant to your everyday life. Life without heaven is a life that makes no sense.  If.. read more

A conversation with a teenager

Posted on February 26, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting, Teenagers

Mom: “Stop bothering your sister.” Josh: “Why?” Mom: “Because it upsets her.” Josh: “Good, she needs to be upset. It’s what she does to me!” Mom: “God says you should be nice to her.” Josh: “Well, then, you should tell her to try being nice. It’s not like I am hurting her or anything.” Mom: “But that is not how it works. You should do what God wants no matter how your sister responds.”  Josh: “So, what do I do when you get mad and yell at me?” Josh: “You.. read more

Does your pastor know you?

Posted on February 22, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

Does your pastor know you?  It’s an important question! You are struggling with financial issues and are battling fear and worry — does your pastor know you? You are feeling overwhelmed with your obligations as a parent — does your pastor know you? You feel the weight of anxiety and depression — does your pastor know you? Your teenagers have questions about their faith — does your pastor know you? Tensions in your marriage are rising — does your pastor know you? You are burdened about the political and social.. read more

God’s answer to conflict

Posted on February 21, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Authority, Gospel, Parenting, Wisdom

Gentleness is God’s answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God’s truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes gentleness as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness: Gentleness stands against the deeds of.. read more

When your child is hurting

Posted on February 18, 2019 · Posted in Discipline, Friendship, Parenting, Wisdom

“Mommy, Heather was so mean to me today at school. She laughed at me and told me I look dumb. I thought she was my best friend! I am really, really sad. I just want to stay home and not go back, ever.” Your daughter has just experienced how cruel and sad life can be. Your first thought is to protect and defend her from the cruel words. But, then you want to see how God can use this to prepare your daughter for the difficult challenges that life will.. read more

Empty Boxes, Hurting Hearts

Posted on February 15, 2019 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Marriage

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Gifts were given. Some carefully planned and thoughtful, others, not so much. The flowers are in their vases, the chocolate has been enjoyed, the calendar has a new date. But the most important question still remains. How is your relationship? Did last night help to make it stronger? Do doubts still remain? Does the new morning bring new worries? The answers to these questions are found in the relationship that matters most – your relationship with God. Knowing and loving God gives significance.. read more

The Gentle Initiative

Posted on · Posted in Anger, Discipline, Wisdom

It is late in the day and you’re exhausted. Your head is pounding. It’s time to prepare dinner. At this precise moment, a dispute breaks out about who has the gaming screen next. So you do the only thing that seems logical,  you say: That’s enough! I’ve had it. You want dinner? Then sit down, give me the iPad and don’t say another word until I call you for dinner. Do you understand? As if on cue, one child starts whimpering, and the other one defiantly looks at you and.. read more

Love is more than flowers and chocolate

Posted on February 14, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Genuine love cannot be confined to a particular day on the calendar. Love transcends dates, gifts, and dinners. Love endures pain and heartache. Authentic love is modeled by the selfless commitment of Christ.   Love has no equal. Love does not demand performance to be satisfied. Love does not demand to be noticed or praised. Love delights when others delight in God.  Love is satisfied most when the one loved is satisfied.  Love anticipates God will always care. Love offers encouragement when none is expected. Love does not regret the.. read more

Mom! I’m So Bored!

Posted on February 11, 2019 · Posted in Parenting, Sanctification

Is it wrong to be bored? Given that boredom is a common complaint, especially with children, this is an important question. When your children announce that they are bored, how can you respond in the way that is most helpful to them? Often the response to an expression of boredom would be, “Well, go find something to do!”  But this response is not productive because it does not provide any positive direction. It is important to ask whether it is wrong to be bored. Let’s attempt to answer this question.. read more

Wisdom and Your Emotions

Posted on February 7, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

God designed your emotions to protect you. However, for most people, emotions are not a source of protection. Instead, they are often a source of trouble and temptation.  Why is this? Your emotions are shaped by what you value and the things that you believe. Thus, Solomon teaches that the fear of the Lord, an emotion, is the beginning of wisdom.  Job feared God and turned away from evil. Job’s emotions protected him because he valued honoring God.  Therefore, biblical wisdom works best when emotions have been informed by truth. .. read more

Humility: God’s Response to Irritating People

Posted on February 5, 2019 · Posted in Anger

How many people do you think of as being less significant than yourself?  Sounds a kind of arrogant, doesn’t it?  Okay, how about this? Are you irritated by people who don’t do things as you think they should be done? Or are you often irritated at how self-centered other people are? Do you feel “put out” with people close to you more than you feel drawn to serve them? These are indications of self-importance. Not a pleasant thought!   Being irritated with people leads to anger. That anger may lead.. read more

Help Your Teenagers Know the Bible is True

Posted on January 31, 2019 · Posted in Apologetics, Authority, Bible

You tell your teenagers that they should live as the Bible says they should. The problem is that from almost any other source that they hear, the Bible is antiquated, exclusive and factually not true.  Here are some truths that speak to this challenge: God gave man his words through the direction, inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Man then expressed these words accurately, in his own voice, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit directed the collection of these inspired writings so that they became the Bible.. read more

The Process: From Complaining to Slavery

Posted on January 30, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Counseling and Discipleship, Discipline

Fourteen-year-old Louis is moody. He constantly complains any time he is not absorbed in his screens. His parents fear for the things he might be viewing when no one is watching. It seems like it has been weeks since anyone has seen him smile. How did this happen? What needs to happen? The immediate, expected response is to demand his screens from him and require him to stop being so grumpy and moody. This plan may attain some temporary relief. But it will not address the real reason for his.. read more

Three Ways To Not Love Your Children 

Posted on January 29, 2019 · Posted in Parenting

The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13:5 exposes three patterns that are the enemy of  loving your children. These patterns bring anger, frustration and brokenness. They are also connected; one leads to the other. Let’s look at each one: Love is not self-seeking It is foolish to assume that what pleases you and what pleases God are one and the same. For example, do you want a house that is quiet and orderly? Why? Because that is pleasant to you? Or do you want a house full of energy and.. read more

Freedom From Fear

Posted on January 28, 2019 · Posted in Fear

The eighth chapter of Romans provides a sure hope for conquering fear. The strong, yet tender, words of the Holy Spirit provide hope and encouragement when fears arise in your life or the life of your children. There is no fear that you have that cannot be conquered by God’s power at work in you!  As Hebrews 11:1 says, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” The greatest fear anyone can have is the condemnation of God. But in Christ,.. read more

I don’t like correction!

Posted on January 24, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Sanctification

I don’t like correction. There I said it. I like to be right. More importantly, I like it even more when you think I am right.  By admitting these things I have also shown a propensity for stupidity. This is but another reminder of the danger of being wise in my own eyes. If I care most about being right, I care most about myself. This desire to be right is destructive to relationships, especially relationships in families. This is not wisdom but stupidity.  If I am to learn, I.. read more