Order online or call 1-800-338-1445
Open
X

Archive for the 'Godward Orientation' Category

Your children were not designed for sin

Posted on February 13th, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Wisdom, Worldview

Your children were designed by God for honor and glory. They were designed for a rich, full, satisfying relationship with God. They were designed for purity and significance. They were to designed to serve and not to be served. They were designed to delight in God and to have all of their deepest needs met in him. They were designed to work hand-in-hand with God to spread his dominion over the planet. They were designed to enjoy the gift of sex in the safety of marriage. They were designed for.. read more

Let not your heart be troubled

Posted on January 11th, 2018 · Posted in Earthly Treasure, Godward Orientation, Worldview

Heaven is the hope of troubled hearts. John recorded these words of your Savior to remind you of the wonder of heaven: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And.. read more

The nearness of God is your good

Posted on January 5th, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation

You often say that God is good. You often hear that he is good. For these statements to be relevant, especially for your children, you must know why he is good. It is a potentially unsettling to believe God is good based upon your interpretation of the circumstances of your life. God is good because that is who and what he is. He remains good regardless of how circumstances appear. His goodness is determined by his own character and nothing else! You and I may affirm his goodness, but we.. read more

Is holy boring?

Posted on January 4th, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Godward Orientation, Worldview

You tell your friends that your main focus for 2018 is to make holiness more a part of your lifestyle. It would not be surprising for the response to be, even from your Christian friends, “how boring is that!” Boring? This is the way the enemy of your soul wants holiness to be understood – as drab, boring, and uneventful. Our culture has totally bought into this lie. If you are holy: you can’t enjoy life, you can’t enjoy sex, you can’t have fun, you will be intolerant and self-righteous,.. read more

God’s gifts never stop

Posted on December 27th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

The space under the tree is empty. The presents have been opened. Christmas day is done. I remember as a child on these first days after Christmas thinking that next Christmas was more than a life-time away.. I remember being sad that there were no more gifts to open. As I look back on those thoughts 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 really haven’t changed all that much. God’s goodness to me.. read more

Your last Christmas

Posted on December 19th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

What if you knew that this Christmas would be your last one on earth? Would it make a difference in how you celebrated, in the gifts that you give, and in the meaning of the day? Obviously, the answer would be yes. But how would it play out in your life? Of course, you can look at things from a statistical perspective and conclude that this will probably not be your last Christmas. But the truth is that the length of our lives is not determined by statistical probabilities. The.. read more

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 have.. read more