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Psalm 23: Your Guide to 2019

Posted on January 2, 2019 · Posted in Faith, Shaping Influences, Worldview

In Psalm 23 the Holy Spirit provides what you need to make your life count for God in 2019. Whatever issues you may face this Psalm provides the biblical framework for you to make a difference for God. This wonderful psalm is for everyday life and the trials and pressures of each day. The psalm provides two great truths to give stability and comfort for your life:  God is your shepherd (verses 1-2). The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green.. read more

Celebrating Insanity!

Posted on December 31, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Worldview

There is a popular definition for insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and others. It goes like this: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Every January 1st, most of the world celebrates insanity. Times Square is filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People are excited about the promise of a new year. They hope the disappointments of the.. read more

From Presents to Possessions

Posted on December 30, 2018 · Posted in Holidays

Something mysterious happens to items in colorfully wrapped boxes and then placed under a tree full of lights. After a short incubation period these items, called presents, become possessions when the wrapping disappears. This is actually a dangerous time! Christ had an encounter with a brother who was also concerned that his sibling was not being fair with possessions. He wanted Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute. No doubt, this issue was critically important to the offended brother. He must have been taken aback to see his desire for fairness.. read more

More Gifts To Give

Posted on December 27, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Gratitude

The presents have all been opened. Christmas is done. For children, next Christmas seems more than a life-time away. I remember feeling sad that there were no more gifts to open, even as I was surrounded presents and empty boxes! As I look back, I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts! Now as adult, I find I still quickly forget God’s kindness to me. His goodness to me is quickly forgotten and replaced with, “I need more.” Loosing focus.. read more

What Child Is This?

Posted on December 25, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

Verse two of the Christmas Hymn, “What Child is This?” provides much to ponder this Christmas. Read these words slowly and carefully: Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary. Why does the hymn writer include this line in a song celebrating the birth of Christ? Nails, spear,.. read more

Christmas Rush

Posted on December 20, 2018 · Posted in Holidays, Parenting

Being a parent is a consuming job. The unexpected and unplanned for circumstances just keep on coming. It is ironic that In the rush of Christmas, Christ can become distant.  In Psalm 73, the psalmist had become overwhelmed with the seeming futility of following God. Survival mode had become the norm. But here is the reality that the crush of daily life can obscure—Jesus is right there with you in the middle of the mess of your life! Trusting Christ in the rush of life is what gives stability to.. read more

Christmas Light

Posted on December 19, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

Christmas is all about the joy of true light. John’s gospel teaches us that Jesus is the light for all of humanity.  Any goodness in people is a reflection of the true light of Christ.   In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There is no authentic light in this world but the light of Christ. Anything else that appears to be light is but a reflection of the light of Christ… read more

Tedd Tripp on Smart Phones and Your Kids

Posted on December 18, 2018 · Posted in Holidays, Parenting

It’s Christmas! I know, not exactly breaking news. But there is one item that is at the top of the list of “must-have” gifts for your children, Smart Phones!  Your kids have a thousand and one reasons why they need a smart phone now: it will help them with school work, they can keep up with their friends so they aren’t isolated, they can keep up with current events, the can follow their favorite sports team and many other “compelling” reasons. Then, of course, there are all the reasons that.. read more

 A Three Step Guide to a Miserable Christmas!

Posted on December 17, 2018 · Posted in Gratitude, Holidays

Giving gifts can be a dangerous activity. Gifts given for the wrong reasons can bring misery instead of joy and happiness. How can this happen? How can giving someone a gift be a bad thing? It is easier than you think. Here are three examples of gift-giving that can result in a miserable Christmas.  1. Giving gifts to receive. This type of gift giving is actually giving a gift to yourself.  No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from you to you.  I.. read more

This Christmas, what is your good?

Posted on December 15, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Worldview

What makes a Christmas a good Christmas? Think about that for a  moment. There is danger that lurks for Christians when we evaluate the quality of life with the standards of our culture. Using the world’s standards as the measure of what is good in your life will bring dissatisfaction. This is exactly what happened to the psalmist in Psalm 73. His overwhelming discouragement came directly from evaluating life the way God’s enemies do. Parents, this applies to you, as well. If you work hard at your parenting, but use the culture’s.. read more

No One Can Hold Back His Hand

Posted on December 14, 2018 · Posted in Holidays, Worldview

Everyday world leaders make decisions thinking that they answer to no one but themselves. Legislatures pass legislation believing they have served their constituents, their party or even themselves.  Generals direct their armies where they believe they should be deployed. But behind all of these decisions is the unseen hand of God directing the affairs of people to bring about his sovereign decrees. Men seldom recognize or acknowledge this rule of God but his control is there. King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon said this about God’s control over the nations: His.. read more

Thirty-Three Years

Posted on December 13, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

The thirty-three years of the life of Jesus Christ on earth held little expectation that this man’s life would be the most significant life in all of history.  His life ended in public disgrace and shame. His birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But.. read more

Whose helper are you?

Posted on December 10, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Parenting, Worldview

 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. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does.. read more

The Heart is Deceitful

Posted on December 7, 2018 · Posted in Worldview

On a beautiful Sunday morning there were signs. There were negotiations, there were warnings, there were plans, there was a grand scheme. There was deception. There was a belief things could be managed, that our country would be safe. There was also one missing component in the policy making of our country on that Sunday morning, December 7,1941. Like today, there was a refusal to believe what the Bible said about the human heart: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows.. read more

Awe and Humility

Posted on December 6, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Humility and power are seldom connected.  Humility is associated with peace, passivity and keeping a low profile. A humble person is not considered a person to be feared. When your kids are out of control, humility is probably not the first thing you pray for. In our culture humility does not inspire awe. However there is a different way to look at humility.  The most courageous, loved, feared and hated man ever to walk the face of the earth described himself as humble. This man began his life on earth.. read more

Discipline is About Compassion, Not Retribution

Posted on December 5, 2018 · Posted in Discipline, Gospel, Parenting

This is part two of a series of posts contrasting discipline with retribution. In the first post of the series, I highlighted this consideration: Biblical discipline must not be seen as payment for the sins for which the discipline was administered. Retribution is not the goal of biblical discipline! In response, the question many of you raised was, “How does this work itself out in everyday family life?” This post will begin to address that question. In the first post, we saw how Psalm 103 provides direction on how to address.. read more

It’s Too Busy In My Life!

Posted on November 30, 2018 · Posted in Holidays, Prayer, Sanctification

A prayer for the busy Christmas season. Dear Father, it’s busy in my life. Crowds are everywhere. My heart is busy, too many gifts, not enough money, not enough time. This time is supposed to be about Jesus. But even at church I feel more busy than thankful for his birth. There are people to see, events to attend. All of this is supposed to be about Jesus, but it feels more and more like it’s all about me. Jesus came to bring peace, but my life is full of.. read more

Discipline is Not About Retribution

Posted on November 28, 2018 · Posted in Discipline

Instilling discipline is huge for your children. Discipline and structure are vital for any child to function well in life. Up to this point, I believe we can all agree that this is precisely what the Bible teaches about the importance of discipline.  However, here is one significant biblical insight that is just as important to grasp: Biblical discipline must not be seen as payment for the sins for which the discipline was administered. Retribution is not the goal of biblical discipline! Correct understanding of this truth is equally important.. read more

Our Duty?

Posted on November 26, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Gratitude, Holidays

Do we have a duty as Americans to acknowledge and honor the rule of God? Do we have a duty to obey God? Do we have a national duty to be grateful for the blessings of God?  George Washington thought so, as did both houses of Congress!  Wait! What? Yes, that is exactly what they believed! By today’s standards it appears that the first Congress and the first President didn’t understand the Constitution was against any mention of God, let alone proclaiming it is the duty of all nations to.. read more

Psalm 100: The Spiritual DNA of a Christian

Posted on November 23, 2018 · Posted in Gratitude

When God made you a new creature in Christ, He also designed you to be a creature fueled by thanksgiving. Only a Christian has the ability to express thankfulness from an eternal perspective. Gratitude for someone who does not know Christ is limited to the here and now. Anyone can be thankful for temporal things, but eternal gratitude is for those whom God has made to be his people. When you lack thanksgiving you are being contrary to the person God has made you to be. In other words without.. read more