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Archive for the 'Wisdom' Category

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

A moment in time

Posted on September 18th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Wisdom, World View

In 1933 some of the leading educators and thinkers of the day penned and signed the Humanist Manifesto. Among the signers was John Dewey, arguably the most influential voice in modern American education. Two full generations have come and gone, but the core beliefs of this document continue to shape American values, culture, and educational philosophy. The Manifesto found in Sartre’s version of existentialism a rich soil in which to grow and propagate its anti-Christian agenda. The Manifesto sought to strip biblical influence from western culture. it has largely succeeded.. read more

Winning or loving

Posted on September 5th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Music, Ruling Desires, Uncategorized, Wisdom

When you have an argument you have a choice: you can win or you can love. The word “love” in this phrase seems awkward and out of place, doesn’t it? The conventional wording is you can win or you can lose. But as with other things in the Christian life, God’s ways are radically different than our own. The idea that an argument or discussion is about winning or losing is flawed at its core. God has called us to honor him with love and not be focused on winning.. read more

The pursuit of wisdom

Posted on August 23rd, 2017 · Posted in Wisdom

Proverbs commends the excellence of wisdom. This is no secret!  But familiarity too often breeds neglect—if not contempt. It is helpful to stop for a moment to consider what the pursuit of wisdom looks like today. To set the stage, here are some basics about wisdom: No one is born wise. Therefore, the first prerequisite for being wise is to come to a saving relationship with Christ. If one is to be wise, it must come from a diligent and relentless pursuit of wisdom. The pursuit of wisdom is not.. read more

The disconnect between school and the gospel

Posted on August 14th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

The gospel is about grace. School is about performance. The gospel is about receiving compassion. School is about earning grades. The gospel is about resting in the power of Christ in failure. School is about trying to avoid the shame of failure. The gospel is about acceptance in Christ regardless of performance. School is about gaining acceptance because of performance. Skilled and loving teachers and parents will work hard to bridge the gap illustrated by these comparisons. However, it is important to grasp that no matter how sincere one’s efforts.. read more

Anger or Joy: Your Choice

Posted on August 9th, 2017 · Posted in Anger, Ruling Desires, Wisdom

Anger and joy are not directly connected to circumstances. They are directly connected to your understanding of God’s faithfulness to you. Joy and anger are choices. Good or bad circumstances by themselves are not reason for joy or anger. If I think a circumstance is bad or unfair, I may become angry. But this is a choice I am making. I could just as easily choose to return good for evil instead of becoming angry. I could also choose to be joyful because I know that evil will not defeat.. read more

Proverbs: 3,000 years ahead of its time

Posted on August 7th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Proverbs, Wisdom

Solomon did not have a web page. He didn’t blog. He didn’t tweet. He wasn’t on on Snap Chat or Instagram. But he can still help you navigate the seas of social media. Here are three important terms to know when using the internet: Verify, Verify, Verify! In the world of social media, little is as it seems. You must verify that what you read and see is not just a half-truth or flat-out deception. Proverbs 18:17 says: The first to present his case in a dispute seems right, until.. read more

Thoughts on starting school

Posted on August 4th, 2017 · Posted in Criticism_, Parenting, Wisdom

It is one thing to say that your children are a blessing to you and that you delight in them. It is another for them to actually believe this. How well children perform cannot be the basis of your acceptance. This is a particular challenge for parents and children as the school year begins. School is about performance.  Report cards and grades are the measure of success. There are tests to be taken and teams to tryout for. But evaluating performance is not the measure of a child’s worth. No.. read more

Forecast: 100% chance of storms

Posted on July 17th, 2017 · Posted in Wisdom

No, this post is not a weather forecast! Rather it is about whether or not you can avoid the storms of life. Is it possible for the storms not to come? Can wisdom and faith in God help steer a course away from these storms? Jesus answers this at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. His answer is clear. Strong, violent storms are certain to come. This stern warning coming at the end of the beautiful and moving sermon is surprising. The ending you might expect would be.. read more

Note to a young girl

Posted on July 8th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Wisdom

This note is from an unpublished collection of notes written to a daughter of a close family friend. She is like many young children. She struggles with fears, with the sad things in life, with being afraid when she goes to sleep at night. As I wrote this one, I thought it might be helpful to some of you as well. This is note 28 of 30. Hi sweetheart, One thing we have talked about in these notes is that being sad and being afraid are part of life. So,.. read more

Trust in the face of fear

Posted on July 6th, 2017 · Posted in Prayer, Wisdom

The world is a scary place. You don’t know when or where the next terrorist attack will happen. You cannot will your children to safety. You cannot wish cancer away. You cannot remove the drunk driver from the road. You cannot force world leaders to be wise and responsible. You cannot stop dangers on the playground or even in your backyard. You cannot stop the hurricane or earthquake. In short, you cannot eliminate the things that bring fear in this life. If this is true, how can you know peace?.. read more

Christianity is not a spectator sport!

Posted on May 20th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Wisdom

Christianity is not a spectator sport where you sit in the stands and cheer for your team. Christianity is about being on the playing field and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. It is important that you accurately identify your enemy. You will be tempted to believe your enemies are the people and circumstances you encounter. When this happens your energy is spent fighting the wrong target. This is precisely what your true enemy wants! You need the wisdom of God’s Spirit found in his word to identify your actual enemy. Otherwise.. read more

Become a godly refuge for your children

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Wisdom

James 3 warns about how dangerous your words can be. But you already knew that. How many times have you wished that you could grab back the hurtful words that have raced from your lips; careless, angry words that have produced distance from those you love? Fortunately, James 3:13-18 describes what makes your words so destructive and provides the Holy Spirit’s alternative. You can either speak out of wisdom from below or wisdom from above. How does this work? Wisdom from below frequently masquerades as concern for righteousness. It’s focus.. read more

How can you tell me, “I love you” or “Sin makes you stupid!”

Posted on April 24th, 2017 · Posted in Wisdom

She pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what I want to know!”  She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it. One the face of it, this sounds like the man in the scenario is at least being partially to blame for being insensitive to the needs of his companion. Yes, she was wrong to nag him,.. read more

The passionate pursuit of God

Posted on April 3rd, 2017 · Posted in Earthly Treasure, Wisdom

Is God distant, maybe not as close as you would like? Is he an idea, a fleeting abstraction that when you use his name it sounds hollow? When you talk to your kids about goodness of God, do they either literally or figuratively roll their eyes? Is the idea of showing Christ to those you an illusive dream? So how do we clear the vision? How can we make God vibrant in our own eyes — so vibrant that our kids know we are genuinely compelled by our love for.. read more

The wide road

Posted on March 31st, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Fear of the Lord, Wisdom

Public opinion polls have the goal of finding out what is the most popular viewpoint. Politicians in particular are motivated by these polls; safety in numbers. Polls portend of danger ahead or indicate where most think safety lies. The road with the most people on it is the one leading to security or to at least to an election victory. But Jesus has some warnings about public opinion. John’s gospel tells how Jesus had won the popularity of many at the beginning of his public ministry. “But Jesus would not.. read more

Confidence

Posted on March 25th, 2017 · Posted in Wisdom

How do you know peace in times of conflict or fear? Where do you find encouragement when life’s relational struggles threaten overwhelm you? How can you be confident when fear and doubt begin to creep into your thoughts? There is only One who brings peace and confidence to your troubled world. His name is Jesus Christ. Your savior is supremely confident. His confidence flows from his humility. Think about that. Jesus is confident that he can always trust his Father. God the Father has given his son his sheep. No.. read more

Jesus talks about Psalm 139

Posted on March 12th, 2017 · Posted in Wisdom, World View, Worry

Jesus teaches his disciples what prayer should look like in Matthew 6. Then he makes several observations regarding the impact that prayer should have on your everyday life. He speaks of heart allegiance, worries about food, clothing, life’s basic necessities, and how long you will live. He feeds the birds and tells you that you are more valuable in his eyes. He contrasts all of these concerns with the reality that God knows all that you truly need and more. The first portion of Psalm 139 beautifully and intimately describes.. 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

Gentleness is grace and power

Posted on February 27th, 2017 · Posted in Proverbs and the Gospel, Wisdom

Gentleness is God’s answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God’s truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes being gentle as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness To restate: Gentleness stands against.. read more