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Archive for the 'Godward Orientation' Category

Idol Children

Posted on August 21st, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Parenting

We live in the age of the Child. Children are accommodated. They are the center of family life. They are the focus of the educational process. Instead of training children to worship God in all of life, our modern world idolizes them. Education thus becomes a means to serve children rather than to teach them to sacrificially live their lives for God. So parents live for their children instead of God. Children then follow their parent’s example and also live for themselves. When this happens, nothing good is accomplished. Marriages.. read more

Instruction: Blessing or Curse?

Posted on August 10th, 2019 · Posted in Communication, Godward Orientation, Parenting, Proverbs and the Gospel

Most memories of being corrected don’t evoke happy or pleasant thoughts. Often correction means stern or harsh warnings, even when given with the best of intentions. However, in the Proverbs instruction is to be received as precious jewelry, something to be worn with honor. How does this disconnect happen? Why is something that is intended for good and blessing become the equivalent of a curse? Proverbs 16:20-24 provides a guide for how to make instruction valuable. Solomon stresses the obvious, but neglected value of instruction. Those who pay attention to.. read more

Is Purity Worth the Cost? (Part 2)

Posted on July 22nd, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

(continued from Part 1) The songwriter asked, “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?” Your child may think, “Purity? I don’t think so, no way!” Parents, these thoughts are daggers pointed at the hearts of your kids. It is foolish to ignore them. It is equally foolish to answer these questions by simply enforcing rules and being angry at wrong behavior.  The pursuit of purity is a choice to live.  To reject purity is a choice to pursue death. There is no middle ground!  You see, life is about.. read more

Is Purity Worth the Cost? (Part 1)

Posted on July 17th, 2019 · Posted in Culture, Godward Orientation

Is it worth it to be pure? People have been asking this question for thousands of years. The pursuit of purity seems to be out of touch with a life of enjoyment. Purity means dull, boring and unexciting, at least that is what conventional wisdom believed for millennia. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a commercial shouting out the value of being pure and decent?  A songwriter felt this tension 3,000 years ago. In frustration, he complained that fat cats got whatever they wanted. God and biblical morality.. read more

The Curse of “Whatever”

Posted on June 7th, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, World View

“Whatever.” This is not usually a word of encouragement or optimism. It is what we say when we feel let down, betrayed, discouraged. So, “whatever” is said in a way that is intended to communicate that you don’t care. However,  the irony is that it really means that something matters very much. We continue to be surprised at being disappointed. People have this problem called sin. Sin comes from rebellion to God. At its root, rebellion starts with believing a lie. We believe we can be happy apart from dying.. read more

Churchill and My Dad

Posted on May 27th, 2019 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Godward Orientation, Shaping Influences, Worldview

My father served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister of Great Britain. My father served in the Pacific Fleet. Great Britain is in the Atlantic. My father earned the respect of the 120 men he led as skipper of his warship. Churchill earned the respect of millions with his brave leadership against the Axis powers. My father admired Churchill. Churchill never knew that my father existed. “So,” you might be asking, “why is this article is titled the way it is?” In.. read more

In the Presence of My Enemies 

Posted on May 23rd, 2019 · Posted in Faith, Godward Orientation, Sanctification, World View

Psalm 23 ends with God stating what is always true. A feast is always available for the sheep of God’s pasture. This psalm reminds us that no matter what our circumstances appear to be, the good Shepherd is always caring for his sheep.   What does this mean when you inhabit the dark valleys of life?  The human heart is capable of journeys immeasurable delight and equally immeasurable despair. David, the shepherd, the king, the father, the sinner knew these highs and lows. He danced with joy and he wept.. read more

What Captures your Heart?

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 · Posted in Earthly Treasure, Godward Orientation

What is it that captures your heart? What matters more than anything else? Whether you are conscious of it or not, these questions drive both you and your children. Jesus graciously leads us into this discussion in Matthew 13:44: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. This man found a treasure. He quickly buried it again hoping no one noticed. Filled with joy,.. read more

Relationships: Blessing or Curse?

Posted on April 22nd, 2019 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Relationships are the fuel of life. They bring out the very best and the very worst of who we are. Relationships are a gift that can give beauty, meaning, and purpose. But they can also be a weapon to hurt and damage our souls. Relationships bring joy and sorrow, healing and pain, hope and despair, fulfillment and emptiness, gain and loss. Why is it like this? How can the same thing be so good and awful, a blessing or a curse? The answer is not that complicated. Relationships that are.. read more

Is the Pursuit of Purity Exciting?

Posted on March 22nd, 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

Satisfied

Posted on March 4th, 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

Is Heaven Relevant?

Posted on February 27th, 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

Love is more than flowers and chocolate

Posted on February 14th, 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

Wisdom and Your Emotions

Posted on February 7th, 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

Awe and Humility

Posted on December 6th, 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

The Golden Rule: The Biblical Response to Self-Pity

Posted on October 31st, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

Sin is devastating. An eight-year-old tries to be kind to his older sister. She responds with, “That was stupid!”  Michael is crushed. He tried so hard to be nice and got trashed in return. Michael is tempted to engage in self-pity. Thankfully, Michael’s mom observed the confrontation and took quick action. After Mom addressed the poor response of his sister, she asked Michael this question: “How cool would it be if you and your sister were happy with each other?” Michael responded, “I would love that.” “Michael, that’s wonderful! Did you.. read more

The fear of the Lord is your refuge

Posted on October 19th, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

Your middle-schooler wants to hang out with friends that are not a good influence for her. She is unhappy.  Your teenager is frustrated with restrictions that you believe are wise. He thinks you are being unfair and has no problem letting you know about it. In response, you don’t want to communicate you are ultimate authority. You just want to be a safe refuge for your kids. But you know the choices your children make are not always the best ones. And you know that God has tasked you with.. read more

The Pledge of God’s Wisdom — A Thought from Tedd Tripp

Posted on October 1st, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation

God’s wisdom is not pledged to make us happy in the fallen world or to make us comfortable in our weakness and petty heart idolatries. God is at work with exquisite wisdom to continue his work of grace in us, by transforming us into people who will love him, honor him, praise him and delight in him. So he is at work with wisdom in the wonderfully ordered and complex events of our lives to make us grow in grace and the likeness of Jesus Christ. Sometimes that glorious work.. read more

Thought from Tedd Tripp

Posted on August 31st, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation

The suffering that comes to us is not random. It is not just the flow of chance events that careen along without a plan. It is not crazy coincidence. It is not haphazard and undirected. It is easy for us to see suffering as blind chance, or bad luck, or what others are doing to us. It is not karma, bad things are not coming to us, because we have been bad to others. God makes it clear that all suffering comes according to God’s purposes in our lives. God.. read more

At Break of Day

Posted on June 25th, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Worldview

The monochrome of daybreak is warming to the touch of the sun. The air is still. The quiet of night is fading. Soon engines, birds, wind in the trees and the sounds of morning will usher in a new day. While there is wonder in how this day will unfold its mysteries, there is no doubt that the steady hand of God will bring what he has planned.  It is true, there is no promise this day will bring what I want, that I will be shielded from my deepest.. read more