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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

Note to Parents: Sin is a process

Posted on January 23, 2019 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting

“How many times have I told you not to do that?!?” “Stop doing that, right now!” “Why can’t you obey and do just this one thing?” “You know that you are not supposed to do that!” “If I hear you say that one more time!!” “One thing, why can’t you do just this one thing?!?” Do these statements sound familiar?  They are uttered, muttered, shouted and pouted when your child just doesn’t seem to get the point: why can’t she just obey! They are statements of frustration and vexation. The.. read more

Anger: the Enemy of Loving Communication 

Posted on January 18, 2019 · Posted in Anger

Your teenager is talking to you. You hear his words but they really don’t sink in. You are frustrated with him because he won’t do his chores and he is being disrespectful. He is actually trying to tell why things are hard for him. You are focused on not being visibly angry and attempting to act like you are listening to him but your hidden anger drowns out his words. Trying to act like you are not angry will not rescue you from the trap of anger.  Anger builds a toxic.. read more

What about Tomorrow?

Posted on January 17, 2019 · Posted in Worldview, Worry

Are you obsessed with tomorrow? People assume that tomorrow will come. However, there is no guarantee that tomorrow will actually happen. Even if tomorrow does come, there is nothing that you can do to control the events of tomorrow or the impact they will have on your life. Yes, you can and should be responsible with the choices you make today.  But there is no way to control or predict what will happen tomorrow. Still, thoughts of tomorrow dominate our plans, our thinking, our worries and our hopes. Jesus puts.. read more

Mercy or fairness

Posted on January 14, 2019 · Posted in Gospel

Fairness is a cruel master. To desire fairness is to live like a fool, to live has if there were no God. Wait! What? Think about it! Where would you and I be if God treated us fairly? Does God ever have a reason to be fair with me? In pride, I want to say yes. I don’t deserve unfair treatment. But such thinking is harmful. In light of what God has done for me and how I act in return for his mercy, any demand for fairness is stupid.. read more

Anger is not your friend!

Posted on January 13, 2019 · Posted in Anger

Anger: sometimes it just feels right. Anger is happy to assume its place as your advocate, your defense against unfair actions.  And we are all too happy to welcome it. It just feels right! When your spouse is insensitive, when the kids are selfish and squabble constantly, anger stands ready to come to your defense. When others are selfish, anger is there to encourage you. When your pride is wounded, anger offers its supposed “healing power”. But the reality is that when human anger is embraced, good things will not.. read more

A two sentence prayer to guard your heart in 2019

Posted on January 9, 2019 · Posted in Parenting, Prayer

The Holy Spirit wants you, commands you to center your thoughts and actions on putting God first in your life. Specifically how does he want you to implement his calling to put God first? He instructed Solomon to urge you to guard your heart, because it is the source of your life. Then he directs Paul to tell you to be in constant prayer and that everything you do should bring honor to God.   Few would argue that you should put God first, but how do you practically make.. read more

The Gift of Adornment

Posted on January 7, 2019 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting, Shaping Influences

The Holy Spirit makes a vital connection between adornment and protection!  You care about your children. You want to protect them from harm. So you take the obvious precautions: you use car seats, you dress them in warm clothing, you install a security system, you take them to the doctor and you do everything possible to keep them physically safe. But what about spiritual protection? Children who are spiritually adorned are also spiritually protected. It is the fear of the Lord that will keep your children from being deceived by.. read more

Are you helping your children to despise themselves?

Posted on January 4, 2019 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting, Proverbs and the Gospel

Are you helping your children to despise themselves? It is simple thing—you asked your 8-year-old boy to take out the garbage. He doesn’t respond. You reason that maybe he didn’t hear you. So rather than cause a scene, you just ask him later. Then, later comes. So you ask him again, a little more loudly this time. This time he responds and says he will, right after he finishes his game. You tell him you’re good with that and move on. A half-hour later, you see he is still at.. read more

Your Guide to 2019

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

In the twenty-third Psalm, 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.. 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