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Archive for the 'Godward Orientation' Category

Guest Post: Abiding in the Vine — Brian G. Hedges

Posted on December 1st, 2017 · Posted in Bible, Godward Orientation

Abiding in the Vine One of the most vivid and powerful illustrations for the believer’s union with Christ in all of Scripture is that of the vine and branches. Branches bear fruit only when they abide in the vine. So it is for believers: the only way we can glorify the Father with fruitful lives is by abiding in Jesus. This teaching is found in John 15, where Jesus continues to prepare his disciples for his imminent death and departure by instructing them about their calling and mission as his.. read more

Three truths for parents

Posted on November 20th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Worldview

Five words, sixteen letters: for the Lord is good. These five words are the bedrock that gives hope and purpose to your life and to your parenting. They form the lens that will allow you see life with a clear vision. Without them life is blurry, uncertain, even terrifying. These words come from the fifth verse of Psalm 100: For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. These are words of hope when life hurts. They offer assurance when circumstances seem.. read more

It all comes down to this

Posted on November 5th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

If you have issues with life, you have issues with God. Life is often hard. Relationships often hurt. Dreams vanish like the morning mist. The truth is that life easily disappoints us. Disappointment comes when we fail to have what we think is good or fair or just. It comes when we believe we have reached our limit. It comes when those whom we love appear incapable of understanding or caring. So much relational energy is consumed in seeing people and circumstances as obstacles to wholeness. After all of Job’s.. read more

Where is God when life is hard?

Posted on October 22nd, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom

Life is hard. Life brings pain. Moments of happiness and joy fade quickly when darkness comes. When life is hard God calls out to his people, his voice remains strong and sure. It is in this setting that David writes Psalm 27. David has known joy and victory. But he has also known the despair of failure and agony. Some of this has come from the betrayal and manipulation of those closest to him. Some has been self-inflicted. David hears the call to doubt God. He hears the taunts of.. read more

The Beauty of Joy!

Posted on October 19th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

In our deepest sadness we are rescued by joy. Joy has to do with the reality of God. Joy transcends the moment and extends into eternity. Joy does not fade but endures. Joy alone makes sense of the pain of life. Joy is the certain knowledge that what is unseen is more vast than what is seen. Joy is the fuel of hope. Joy means your circumstances are opportunities to honor your God. Joy is the evidence that you are never truly lost. Joy means you are not limited by.. read more

Who has ever given to God?

Posted on October 8th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Worship

God is special simply and profoundly because he is God. He is unsearchable. He turns to no one for help or advice. He is in no one’s debt. No one calls him to account. All things are because he is. He died for the unworthy, the unlovable, the ungrateful. He became sin so that his people would live. He is three persons and one God. It is this special God who sent his Son to die for me because it pleased him to do so. He is my Shepherd. I.. read more

Where is hope?

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, World View

Life can be crushing. People will turn evil. Madness will come. Hurt will run deep. And yes, even worse, our own sins find us out. Where do you go, when the lights go out? Who is there to bind the wounds of your heart? There is a river that runs from life through death to life again. It is the river of hope and strength when all else seems lost. One hell-bent man can bring a nation to its knees. One angry burst of words can send a relationship over.. read more

Ruth’s Letter

Posted on July 31st, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Prayer

Today I am reposting the letter my wife, Ruth, wrote to our church about her response to what was most important to her once she was diagnosed with brain cancer. My prayer continues to be that I would embrace these priorities as my own. I pray that for you as well. Here is the letter written April 25, 2010: “Twenty-five days ago, on the first day of April, God got my attention with a malignant brain tumor. It’s been quite a month, and now I’m on my way to surgery,.. read more

People are a poor replacement for God

Posted on July 26th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Ruling Desires

Disappointment, frustration, bitterness, sadness, hurt: these are words that all too frequently describe our relationships, especially with people we love. Why is that? Perhaps the most common reason is that you are asking people to do what only God can do. When people occupy the place in your life that God has reserved for himself, you will find disappointment and frustration. No one can bear the weight of being your God except God. When you place your spouse, your children, your parents, your close friends, anyone in the role of.. read more

Repost: Flee and Pursue

Posted on June 7th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting, Sanctification, Shaping Influences, Teenagers

Indulging sensual desires has become an entitlement for young people.  The message is loud and persistent: You can have it. You can have it now. You deserve it. Advertising that targets our nation’s youth is built on these three components of youthful desires or lusts. A cultural shift has occurred. It is one that is based on gratifying youthful desire. Having sex outside of marriage is the new social normal. Virginity is an indication of a dysfunctional personality.  The notion of drinking responsibly doesn’t mean restraint, it means finding a.. read more

Why is God good?

Posted on May 31st, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

God is good because of who he is. He is not good because of the beauty of nature. He is not good because of who is or is not the president. He is not good because I am happy with my circumstances. He is not good because I deserve it. He is not good because I have good health. He is not good because I live in apparent safety compared to others. He is not good because it is a beautiful day. God is good simply and profoundly because his.. read more

Patience — the art of expecting God’s care

Posted on May 11th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Sanctification

A judgmental spirit towards people is a dangerous thing. It leads to doubt, mistrust and broken relationships. However, there is another form of judgment that is far 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 is a bummer or you live with constant disappointment, you are judging God. Why? Because the Holy Spirit says that God is causing all the events in your.. read more

Teach your kids to love God

Posted on April 18th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

Whether you read Deuteronomy, Matthew or Colossians, the message is the same: the first thing that God requires is that he is to be loved. Too often, when it comes to raising children, loving God is tacked on as an after thought to obedience. The thought process may run like this: “I can’t force my children to love God, so I will teach them to obey, because I can require that.” Teaching obedience appears to be a more doable task than teaching the love of God. After all, reaching the.. read more

Would you go to church if…

Posted on April 4th, 2017 · Posted in Earthly Treasure, Entertainment, Godward Orientation

  Would you go to church if: you couldn’t go to the mountains, you couldn’t go to the beach, you couldn’t go on vacation, if the weather is not too bad, if your favorite team is not playing on TV, if you don’t have tickets to see your favorite team play, if this weren’t your only chance to catch an important film or fine arts performance, if the weather is too rainy for a hike or picnic, if you weren’t too tired, if you weren’t feeling bad, if you didn’t.. read more

Why is sin attractive to your children?

Posted on March 13th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

Selfishness, lies, anger, self-pity, cruelty, come naturally to your children. On the surface these sins appear out-of-character for the infant in your arms who just wants to be warm, fed and held close. So, when the ugly indicators of a dark heart emerge, it is easy to be surprised and taken aback. Too often the response to dark hearts is to increase creature comforts, to focus on the external issues as if children were still infants needing to be warm with full tummies and a clean diaper. Thus a nasty.. read more

Gentleness, much more than a personality trait

Posted on March 6th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting

Gentleness is probably not on the top of your list of important, immediate goals to accomplish. Perhaps this is because you see gentleness primarily as a personality trait. This is the point where gentleness is often misunderstood. Gentleness is all about the wise use of power. This is huge for parents. God’s purpose for each of us is to continue growing in maturity in order to become more like Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Christ describes himself as being gentle. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit that each of us.. read more

Give your children a glorious God

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

by Tedd Tripp If you want your children to have a reason to sing on Sunday, give them a glorious God. If you want your children to have a reason not to sin on Monday, give them a glorious God. If you want them to think of nobler things than the latest, mind-numbing video fantasy game, give them a glorious God. If you want them to dream grander dreams than illicit sex or more money or more stuff, give them a glorious God. If you want them to have a.. read more

A cloudy sunrise

Posted on February 12th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

The wonder of God’s creation is on display. How? No leaves are on the trees for a morning sun to show their breathtaking color palette. The clouds appear flat and dull without the sun’s brilliance to highlight their rich contours. There won’t be many photos this morning with comments proclaiming that the heavens are displaying the glory of God. No expressions of wow and awe. It is just another dull ordinary day. Really? You and I think this way when our minds are informed by what we want rather than.. read more

Joy when life is hard

Posted on February 4th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation

  Life is hard. But as you think about the wonder of the Lord’s salvation, even when life is hard, especially when life is hard, there are times when pure joy should erupt in your soul. Psalm 126 records the journey of Israel going up to Jerusalem to worship. This psalm captures this joy. Laughter and praise flow freely in the psalm. This psalm is one that brings perspective. God has indeed rescued you from the pit. You are not treated as your sins deserve. You will know the joy.. read more

Metaphor or Reality?

Posted on January 24th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Proverbs, Wisdom

How do you represent God’s word to your children?  Do you believe the words of God are life to your children or are these words more of a metaphor? Here is an illustration that shows the meaning behind my question. Suppose you gave your child a stack of  twenty one dollar bills. Then you tell your child to take good care of them and they will be a blessing to him. An hour later you see your son playing in the back yard with paper airplanes. Then you realize the paper airplanes were.. read more