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An Embarrassing Easter Story

Posted on April 19, 2019 · Posted in Pride

The Last Passover, the first Lord’s Supper, the intimate setting in the upper room, provides precious memories. But there is another memory of that night that we don’t recall so easily. It is a story that discloses the selfishness of the human heart. Just after the Lord’s Supper and just before Jesus goes to the garden to pray, the disciples manage to get into an argument that exposed the pride of their hearts. They were trying to figure out who among them might betray Jesus since he had just predicted.. read more

Jesus, the Only Good Son

Posted on April 18, 2019 · Posted in Faith, Gospel

John records that at the end of his life Jesus said, “it is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. These are not the actions and words of a victim. Jesus was in control of his own death. He ended his life when it was the right time when he had finished what his Father asked him to do. No one took his life from him, he laid down of his own accord (John 10:17-18). The death of Jesus was not a random moment in time… read more

Easter and Your Enemies

Posted on April 16, 2019 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Worship

You may think you know exactly who your enemy is. Your enemy is your unhappy spouse. Your enemy is your stubborn teenager. Your enemy is your ungrateful boss. Your enemy is your friend who said something you don’t like. Your enemy is the economy or the job market. Your enemy is your sickness. Your parents are your enemy. In short, you may think life is your enemy. The truth is that most of the time you are wrong. You are likely to believe the enemy is the people and circumstances.. read more

The Resurrection: Humanity’s Story

Posted on April 15, 2019 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

The resurrection of  Jesus Christ has become a fairy tale in modern culture. Chocolate bunnies, new clothes, and Easter church services are all tolerated as a tip of the hat to an outdated myth. So, Easter break has become Spring break. This is Easter week. Does it still matter? The media will observe this week as a religious or traditional event. But it is doubtful there will be commentary that states the fate of the world depended upon a political prisoner 2,000 years ago. It is unlikely that you will.. read more

A Prayer for Life

Posted on April 12, 2019 · Posted in Prayer, World View, Worship

Dear Father, My dreams are too small, my desires too selfish, my actions too sinful. My focus and, too often, my prayers are about what I think is best. Father, you know my weak heart and doubting faith. I pray you would give me the courage to see that my life is about Christ. I need to follow his life and love you as he did on earth. I pray my life would be about adding to your reputation. I pray my focus would be consumed by showing gratitude for.. read more

Your Middle Schooler Lied

Posted on April 10, 2019 · Posted in Gospel, Lying, Parenting

Jesus died for you. He was resurrected for you. He gave you life. He gave you the opportunity to tell your kids how special he is to you. Jesus made a commitment to you. It’s personal! Do your kids know how special he is to you? Here is a way to let them know. You have caught your middle school child in a lie. You have confronted him with his lie and he has admitted it. Then you tell your child something like this: “Justin, I know what it is.. read more

Specks & Planks

Jesus was the most extraordinary communicator in all of human history. He was the ultimate guide for bringing truth to everyday life.  So it is not surprising that his craft as a carpenter provided rich illustrations for his teaching.  Specks of sawdust were part of his life. He used words with the skill and grace of the ultimate master woodworker. His crafted vivid word pictures that connected his hearers to everyday life. Thus, in Luke’s gospel, he uses the common elements of his carpenter’s life to connect to my life.. read more

Love or Anger

Posted on April 4, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Wisdom, Worship

Love is about showing God’s grace to those whom you love, regardless of the price to you. Love is living out the beauty of Jesus Christ. Love is how other people see the uniqueness of Christianity in you. Love is selfless, sacrificial. Love remembers good and not the last offense. Love’s voice speaks gentle, pleasant, solid words. Love is focused on God’s glory.  Love does not run from fear but overcomes fear. Love means being vulnerable. Love does not demand praise. Love is quiet. Love gives. Love honors. Love is.. read more

Who is the king of your heart?

Posted on April 2, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

It was about mid-day on a Friday. An anxious Roman governor named Pilate plead with the Jews for the life of Jesus. Pilate knew that this Jesus was innocent and though he claimed to be a king, he was not worthy of capital punishment.  But the Jews responded harshly to Pilate’s attempt to spare Christ. They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Blinded by rage and anger at Jesus, the.. read more

Parent, You Can Control Your Anger

Posted on March 28, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Parenting, Wisdom

You are angry! Your son just had a minor accident with the car, your golf game for tomorrow got canceled, your neighbor called to remind you your grass is too high and you can’t stop thinking that your boss is giving you too much work and not enough appreciation. You are raising your voice, your face is flushed. If one more crazy thing happens, you will explode! The kids are bracing for the next outburst. Then you feel the buzz from your phone. You look and see it’s your boss,.. read more

Patience: You Can Trust God!

Posted on March 26, 2019 · Posted in Sanctification

A judgmental spirit is a dangerous thing. It leads to doubt, mistrust and broken relationships. But there is another form of judgment that is even 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 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.. read more

Is the Pursuit of Purity Exciting?

Posted on March 22, 2019 · Posted in Culture, Godward Orientation, Ruling Desires

If someone asked you what is your goal in life, and you answered “to pursue purity,” it would, for sure, be an unexpected answer. However, when James describes what wisdom that honors God looks like, the first word he selects is pure. Peter urges us to love one another from a pure heart. Purity is vital to a life that honors God. In the New Testament, to be pure is to be genuine, authentic, and undefiled. These are qualities that would enhance any life endeavor and any relationship! So, being.. read more

Occasional Gratitude

Posted on March 21, 2019 · Posted in Gratitude

The Holy Spirit is clear: he wants me to always be thankful. He tells me this in the Psalms of David. He tells me through the pen of Paul: give thanks in everything. This morning I am conscious of how often I am disinterested in following the commands of God’s Spirit, commands that are meant only for my good!  The Spirit’s commands are not just for occasional situations when I feel “led” to follow them or when I “feel” like being thankful.  The Spirit’s commands are given to focus my.. read more

Angry Children and Fearful Fathers

Posted on March 19, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Authority, Discipline

It is a challenge to patiently, lovingly, firmly confront a child who chooses to go his own way. For some fathers, it is easier to just ignore their children’s need for care and discipline. Other fathers also take an easy path by becoming angry and threaten severe consequences or engage in physical intimidation. These approaches do not honor God. They do not bless the child. These two damaging responses, indifference and anger, stem front the same root cause – fear. Fathers, are you listening? God created men to be confident,.. read more

Saint Patrick: A Teenager on a Mission

Posted on March 15, 2019 · Posted in Apologetics, Holidays

Most people think the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s day would be in the local pub. Actually, the better place to remember him would be in church! Saint Patrick is revered in Irish mythology as the man who drove the snakes from Ireland. Each March 17th, the color green is worn with pride and various forms of celebration erupt in pubs everywhere. However, the real story of St. Patrick is one of a man on a mission. Not a mission to drive out snakes and party but to bring.. read more

Discipline: Investing in Your Children’s Future

Posted on March 14, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Discipline, Parenting

The full value of your instruction to your children will not be seen immediately. If you invest in changing your children’s behavior your investment is only for the moment. Results will often be quick and impressive, but they will also be temporary. When behavior is the goal, how well your children perform is the main indicator of success. Investing in behavior brings immediate dividends such as anger, frustration, and manipulation. In contrast, investing in heart change is investing in your children’s future. Heart change is for life. Pleasant words, consistent.. read more

The Great Lie

Posted on March 8, 2019 · Posted in Culture, Teenagers, Wisdom, Worldview

Men, pornography is a lie. You think you are attracted to it because of sexual temptation.  That is a lie of the enemy! Yes, the lure is about sexual lust is real. But the attraction to pornography is also about the degradation and humiliation of women for your own lusts. Indulging in pornography promotes and aids human trafficking, slavery, physical abuse, emotional abuse, rape and, in some cases, death. In short, viewing of pornography is finding pleasure in the slavery and destruction of women. The enemy has deceived you into.. read more

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