Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Link Highlight 9.30.11 – A Great Article on Parenting

Here is the link that got the most traffic from my Monday post:

rickthomas.net/2011/09/21/incrementally-introducing-your-children-to-the-world

In many ways this article speaks for itself.  Here are a few things that struck me.

1. We all want our kids to turn out well.

Even if people aren’t Christians, most parents (not all inclusive) want their kids to turn out in some form that lines up with what they believe.  This is no surprise and it’s a great way to get thinking about this.

2. Humbly

In every one of the “parent traps” listed in this article, the minute we think we can do something better than God, we’re in trouble.  And all of our frustrations, failures, etc. as parents come directly from a lack of trusting God fully.  Read, re-read, and digest the list of parent traps in this article.  They reveal the way our human hearts stray from God in parenting.

3. Powerful Quote:

“If your children are still in the home, then let me appeal to you to introduce them to our culture. Let me discourage you from trying to control future outcomes by sheltering your children from the world.”

Parents can do a great job of helping kids understand the way the world works.  It takes wisdom and teaching and love, but it is possible to have a strong voice in the lives of our children regarding culture. We can NEVER make all their decisions or prevent them from harming themselves.  We can, though, pray like nuts and point them in the direction they need to go. My #1 goal as a parent is that my kids will walk in the truth, and it’s a goal I can’t accomplish on my own.

Have a great Friday everyone!

On My Mind #1 – God’s Justice

Usually by Wednesday night I have plenty on my mind.  I’m going to start writing on Wednesday nights to get something on my mind, well, off my mind.  For the first one tonight: God’s Justice.

The main question I have as a Christian is this:  how much do I thirst for justice in this world for criminals, enemies of God, etc.?

I am often intrigued by crime shows, more often than not disgusted by evil people who commit horrific crimes and refuse to show remorse, and always heart broken.  First, I am glad for justice systems.  Lots of times great detectives pin crimes on despicable human beings.  Juries return just verdicts. Recently in our area, a gunman who killed several people was killed by police.  These are all pictures of God’s justice, those guilty paying proper penalties.

But these aren’t the most important pictures of God’s justice.  First off, the above mentioned systems do fail.  Innocent people go to jail, even die in execution.  It happens.  Thus, I don’t thirst first and foremost for earthly justice.  It’s flawed.  Personally, my first concern for every human being is God’s ultimate, eternal justice.  Hardened criminals, housewives, pastors, day laborers, delivery drivers, everyone under the sun past, present and future have God’s true justice at their disposal.

I am truly heartbroken by the most vile offenders.  I am convinced that biblically I am required to be.  Murderers, child offenders, terrorists, anyone else who makes your list of people who make your skin crawl, all fit into this verse:  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Re-hashed many times the world over, some may even tire of hearing this verse.  But there is no qualification in the verse, nor a set list of types of people who can’t be transformed by God’s love.

Simply: we’re all sinners, and I thirst most for God to redeem those He will redeem.  I long for people to know Jesus, the true transforming power of His blood, and NOT just those I think to be worthy of it.  Second, I thirst for those who commit crimes to receive their just due, knowing the system that metes that justice can fail.  I pray for justice this side of eternity.  I trust only though in the one who will have the ultimate say of what is eternally just – the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Monday Links and Bullets 9.26.11

Another Monday is here.  I surf, I share links.  Hopefully your mind is challenged, fed, or otherwise! Enjoy some links.  Below, you’ll find my bullet thoughts about life and whatever else.

LINK OF THE WEEK

Best article on parenting I’ve read in a long time.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Six reasons to join a church.

–Helpful hints to manage social media, rather than social media managing you.

–This is why (in addition to Biblical guidance) it’s a horrible idea to live together before you’re married.

–How about a call for mercy for someone being persecuted in Pakistan?

AKRON, OH

It’s sad to read this about Akron.

–Big win for Kenmore’s football team.

Awesome stories from Saturday’s Akron Marathon.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Praying hard.  With success comes trouble.  Learned that in church this weekend as we studied Mark 1.
  • I’m not sure there is a “normal” day in pastoral ministry.
  • For that matter, what is a normal day anywhere?  Are we ready for upheaval in our lives?  Often, God teaches us the most when upheaval comes.
  • My running season for 2011 is over.  I’d say that overall I ran well and got my body in really good shape, but my fall set of races was characterized by bad luck, low motivation, and disappointing results.  Although I ran the Akron Half Marathon Saturday at 7:03 pace (better than I expected), this season leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  I’m looking forward to some time off.
  • I don’t think I’ll be playing church basketball this year.
  • Good teams win games they shouldn’t.  Nice win, Browns.  That kind of offense, however, won’t get it done the majority of Sundays.
  • I’m praying for several situations in the lives of people I know.  The more I get to know people, the easier it is to look past imperfections and simply pray.  I hope I can grow in my ability to address difficulties as needed while loving people at a deep level.
  • Many people have plans for their lives.  What plans are you making to further your faith in Jesus Christ?

Friday Link Highlight 9.23.11 – What Teachers Want to Tell Parents

Here is the link from my Monday post that generated the most clicks for the week.

It’s about what teachers want to tell parents.

A few of my own comments:

1.  Parents – education is as much your responsibility as the parents!

This can’t be understated.  Almost any teacher would affirm this statement.  If help, support, instruction, pro-activity, etc. are going into each child so they’re prepared for school, then the teacher’s job becomes that much easier.

2. Learn how to take advice.

Boy wouldn’t all of us as parents do well to hear others criticize our child?  And instead of getting upset and taking it personally, how good would it be if we weighed the criticisms out to see if they might help our children in the long run?  note:  I am not saying that teachers are right about everything, but at least they have earned the right to be heard without parents defending their kids at every angle.

3. Learn how to teach from trouble.  

Almost every kid will get in trouble.  Instead of over-reacting, I do agree these can be opportunities to teach.  And it’s not necessarily indicated in the article, but for those of parenting our kids toward the gospel, these times will be humble reminders of our kids’ sin natures.  We can use troubling circumstances to re-enforce the message of grace, forgiveness, and pointing them to the cross of Christ as their only hope.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday Links and Bullets 9.19.11

Another Monday.  Enjoy the reading.

LINK OF THE WEEK

What teachers want to tell parents.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Pat Robertson is completely outside basic Bible teaching.  It’s important to know why and how to speak out.

What makes faith stick during the college years?

A great set of thoughts about taxes.

It’s important to learn to think this way.

–Here’s an excellent article about homeschooling.  It summarizes potential blind spots.  I read this with curiosity, not judgment.

–Excellent read for dads of daughters.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Definitely a difficult week last week, but a good one all in all.  I praise God for the opportunity to do what I do for a living.  It really is a way of life way more than a job.
  • What do you expect of marriage?  If it was meant to be happy bliss all the time, then words like “poorer, sickness, worse, and death” would not appear in the vows.  It’s important to note this is not based on anything currently going on, I just mean it as a challenge to think through.
  • Still adjusting to the way the Browns are playing football.  It will be interesting to see how this team responds by the end of the season when their tough games hit.
  • Do churches promote the love of Jesus more than they promote the characteristics he called us to?  I think it’s important we know how to simply love Jesus as well as know how to live.
  • Do you respect authority?  I fear that a lot of our problems in society are because 1) people don’t respect the authority in their lives or 2) authority is misused.
  • I probably won’t discuss this too much, but I’ll just say this:  the fight in Ohio over Issue 2 will be ugly and probably not worth the hatred and division it causes.  This sort of thing really grieves me – seriously.
  • What brings you joy?  What do you have in your life right now, today, that you can celebrate?
  • Christian – are you prepared to share hard truths as part of your faith?
  • Love Jesus today – love Him big time!