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Archive for the 'Gospel' Category

Harvey has nothing to do with Mother Nature!

Posted on August 25th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, World View

A few days ago a tropical storm weakened as it approached the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. But when the system reemerged into the Gulf of Mexico it began to move towards the coast of Texas and grew quickly into a powerful category 4 hurricane named Harvey. Do not allow the public media to deceive you into thinking that mythical Mother Nature birthed Harvey. This storm is not merely the random result of an intense area of low pressure coincidentally interacting with 2 high pressure centers that will potentially result.. read more

Repost: The Manipulation Game

Posted on June 9th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more.. read more

Why Thirteen Reasons Why, Season 2

Posted on May 10th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Teenagers

Hannah Baker has thirteen reasons why she ended her life. She describes them in moving, vivid detail on thirteen cassette tapes, one for each reason. Netflix has created a video series based on the book, Thirteen Reasons Why. It is the fictional story of Hannah Baker. The book is written in classic existential style. Existentialism, as a genre, focuses on the moment, without regard to the relevance of God. The Netflix series, in terms of viewing audience was a success. So it is no surprise that Netflix just announced there.. read more

Obedience: a response to grace

Posted on May 8th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Obedience is not something that can be used to obtain grace. Rather, obedience is a response to grace. Just as I cannot make myself more acceptable to God by my obedience, neither do I want my children to think that I will be more accepting of them because of their obedience. Your children must not think that you will be more accepting of them just because they obey you. I know, saying it like this seems awkward. So much of your life is about training and teaching God’s truth.  But.. 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

Dark Saturday

Posted on April 15th, 2017 · Posted in Death, Gospel

Think about Saturday, the day after the crucifixion. This day was different. The trial, the crowds, the drama of Christ upon the cross was past. It was a dark Saturday. The disciples were overwhelmed. Judas was gone. The eleven and those close to them had spent three years with the most powerful person in all of human history. Try as they might they could not anticipate his next move or deed. Now, his calming presence was gone. It appeared their hopes and dreams had vanished before their eyes. The Roman.. read more

Here is your King

Posted on April 14th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

For 21st Century Americans the idea of serving a king is bizarre. One person having authority over life and death, of absolute rule is unthinkable, medieval, even barbaric. We believe we have evolved to a more sophisticated, enlightened way of life. So, if someone were to say to you, “here is your king”, you might be uncomfortable, maybe even outraged at the thought of giving someone total control of your life. 2,000 years ago, the religious leaders of Israel had similar thoughts. The Christ was only fit to be their.. read more

The triumph of the resurrection

Posted on April 13th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

The resurrection is the defining moment in all of human history. Without the resurrection the holy character of God could not have allowed for the race of men to continue to exist. It is the triumph of the risen Savior as he fulfilled the promise that was made thousands of years earlier. The resurrection means that Christ won hope, joy and peace for his people and for the honor of his Father. It means that all of the mess of this world will be reconciled and made whole. When Christ.. read more

When God has a different script

Posted on April 9th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem to cheering crowds. Five days later the same crowds shouted for his crucifixion. When Christ met the expectations of the crowd, he was their king. When he did not, they swore allegiance to Caesar. How often does your heart replay this scene? When life follows the script that satisfies you, God is good and worthy of praise. But when God has written a different narrative, one that disappoints or brings pain, he becomes distant and praise is a stranger to your heart. You cannot.. read more

Toxic bodies, whole lives

Posted on March 18th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Shaping Influences

Cancer attacks healthy tissue and turns it toxic. Modern medicine attacks these toxic cells with surgery, poisonous medications and lethal radiation. The question becomes whether the human body can survive the treatment. Two years ago the decision was made to attack my cancer with a combination of toxic chemicals and targeted radiation. The plan was to eliminate the toxic cells.before they spread throughout my body. Your battle with sin is very much like my battle with cancer. Sin attacks what God made to blessings and turns them into something ugly… 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

Knowing Christ in conflict

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Wisdom

Whether it is in the play room or at the negotiating table peace is often defined as the absence of conflict. So, 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. People are born at war with God and with each other (Ephesians 2:1-3). Thus, the goal for achieving peace cannot be the absence of conflict. Rather, for Christians, our goal must be to know Christ in the middle of the conflict. The Bible teaches.. read more

A time to pray for repentance & mercy

Posted on February 26th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel

God commands that you and I pray for our land and for our leaders. Specifically, we are to pray for hearts to turn in repentance to God and also to cry out for God’s mercy to fall upon a land which would have him not. It is far too easy to complain and to grumble. It is the simple way out just to be unhappy with lifestyles that scorn God’s laws. However, God has called us to compassion and to the mercy of gospel grace. Let us seek his great.. read more

May God make it so

Posted on February 10th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

I watched the almost full moon set this morning against a dark, clear sky. The sun’s reflected light cast its shadows across the yard. The beauty and power of light in the darkness is a challenge to me this day to not be overwhelmed by the darkness of sin and its chaotic mess in our culture. I also have the light of the Son to reflect. May God make it so.  

Heaven – God’s gift

Posted on January 20th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

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. Matthew 13:44 The gift of heaven makes sense of life as nothing else can. It is a gift that cannot be earned by man, but won by Christ. It is a gift that exposes our faith, but is given in faithfulness. It is a gift that we are tempted to exchange for the treasures of this.. read more

Fairness: a dangerous request

Posted on January 11th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

  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 not helpful. In light of what God has given for me and how I act in return for his mercy, any demand for fairness is stupid. To demand fairness is to live like a fool, to live has if there were no God. One of the significant areas of conflict in.. read more

From the manger to the cross

Posted on December 20th, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Holidays

God is not impressed with what impresses people. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the incarnate life of his Son, Jesus. Christ’s birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But it was the religious leaders 33 years later who finally succeeded where Herod had.. read more

The Reigning Christ!

Posted on December 18th, 2016 · Posted in Authority, Gospel

Joy is a response to the reign of King Jesus. It is the rule of Christ and not your circumstances that is your reason for joy. This is the theme of the second verse of Joy to the World: Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy. God has done marvelous things.  It is true that there is much darkness and sadness in our world, but because of the Lordship of Christ, you have.. read more

The light of Christmas

Posted on December 16th, 2016 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

The darkness of the world is total. When you are overcome by anger, resentment, bitterness, despair there is no light – only darkness. God has something better for you. People who are walking in darkness will see a great light. Light is the great promise of the Christ-child. As Isaiah proclaims, it is God who turns darkness into light. Take time to remind your children and yourself that life without Christ is deep, utter darkness. May God grant you faith to live by the light and turn from darkness. May.. read more

Christmas: not about naughty or nice!

Posted on December 1st, 2016 · Posted in Gospel, Gratitude, Holidays

Satan has done a good job of attempting to confuse the wonder of Christ’s birth with idea of presents being result of nice behavior. You know the song about Santa checking his list twice, he’s gonna find out about who has been naughty or nice. The idea is that if you are good enough that magical present will appear. Being naughty doesn’t really fit with receiving good gifts. This is exactly how Satan would prefer you think about receiving good gifts from God. His purpose is for you and your.. read more