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

Monday Links and Bullets 2.27.12

Here are a few articles too feed your mind and challenge you.  I love to share things that I find interesting.  Enjoy!  I have included some bullet thoughts below:

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

Seven marks of humility – a very good challenge as something to grow toward.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Building sons into men.

President Obama’s Christianity.

–Important things to know about ministries on college campuses.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Would you have guessed this process for BP would take this long?

They booed their president.

MYSTERY LINK

One billion of . . . 

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Had quite an experience being gone last week with a good friend for a couple days.
  • Apparently there was a school shooting today in Chardon, about 75 minutes from here.  Terrible.  The best thing I heard in coverage so far is this: Is there anywhere we know we can be safe if someone is bent on doing harm?
  • How do I think about Jesus?  More and more I am convinced Jesus is NOT a pill to make me feel better.  He CAN heal me and rewire the way I think.  He CAN do that for us.
  • So much in these times we are in desperate need of God’s wisdom.  I pray for it for parenting, for leading a church, and for all those I know – may we cry out for God’s wisdom! (Prov. 2)
  • While I was out of town a couple days there was a double fatality accident just a couple blocks from our home.  I did not know either of the men killed, but I am praying for those in our community who have been impacted by these deaths.  I hate it when people suffer.
  • Quick update on our adoption process: Summit County Children’s Services has permanent custody of our foster daughter.  The adoption process should take six months or less, depending on court dates and scheduling.  We are very hopeful we will be able to adopt her at this point.  All prayers have been and will be appreciated!
  • How much of our lives are about events coming up vs. the excitement of living in the now.  Most of our life is lived in the now and does NOT revolve around special events – how does that affect how we live?

Have a great Monday everyone!

 

Link Highlight from Week of 2.20.12 – Teens and freedom

A great article from last week is the highlight, as it got the most clicks.  I was gone a couple days at the end of last week and wanted to post this before posting today’s links and bullets:

The role of freedom in raising teens.

One comment on this article.

1. Big difference between control and discernment.

I really believe it is best to teach kids how to discern what is right.  In going with this model, there are a few things the parent must admit: 1) they’re not  in control 2) the kids will make mistakes.

Parents should KNOW their kids will make mistakes, and that ultimately kids need to have resources to make good decisions.  I don’t want to give in to that tendency to take too much responsibility for what my kids do.  The biggest thing I want to do is give them the tools to make the right decisions, then pray like crazy they make the right decisions.

Personally, I grew up in an environment that encouraged my freedom as I showed responsibility, much as this article suggests.  I certainly made mistakes, but I also had tools to understand which decisions were good and which were harmful.

Parents: it is critical to determine how you will encourage responsibility in your kids and how you will give them the tools to make good decisions. God’s Word is good (the best!), specifically Proverbs is excellent for practical wisdom.  I would simply encourage good discussions as a place to start.

Thoughts?

Monday Links and Bullets 2.20.12

Enjoy some good articles and some bullet thoughts of my own below.

LINK OF THE WEEK

–A great concept FOR MARRIED PEOPLE: Do you FEEL love?

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–A good article about films not being sermons.

20 ways Satan will try to destroy you this week.

–For anyone in any kind of spiritual leadership – this is excellent stuff to think about.

–Wondering how the gospel relates to homosexuality?  One link provides MANY resources.

MYSTERY LINK (Click to find out!)

For this guy, the answer is: months!

SPRING TRAINING BEGINS!

10 Questions the Indians need to answer.  Good article.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Man is it frustrating when you’re just not feeling 100%.  Hoping to turn the corner north of about 75% today and tomorrow.
  • Anything we take to God for our justification besides Jesus is worthless.
  • As we got into yesterday morning and evening, it’s the grace of God that inspires our obedience (Titus 2)
  • Are you more dependent or less dependent on God?  The more independent we feel, the more dangerous it is for us spiritually.  Self-sufficiency is a terrible thing to think we have!
  • Anxiety is only a chance for us to trust God more.
  • You can go over on the Price Is Right and lose.  You can never go over the amount of grace God can extend to you.
  • Prayer is growing and growing as a necessity in my life.  For you?
  • I am definitely excited about this year’s Yankees team.  There are a lot of unknowns regarding who will step up and do what.  And A.J. Burnett is gone – how can I be un-excited about that?  I do predict he will have a sub 4.00 ERA in Pittsburgh and throw 190 innings or more.
  • Have you ever stopped and thought about how fast things are changing?  It seems like smartphones are so commonplace now, but only 5 years ago news of the first iPhone was just starting to gain traction.  Man it’s incredible how much technology does for us.

Friday Link Highlight 2.17.12 – Without Money and Arms

Lots of clicks this week from my Monday post. Several tied for the highest, so I picked my favorite to feature on Friday.  It’s my blog and I can do what I want.  You won’t be disappointed with this short quote:

http://www.challies.com/quotes/without-money-and-arms

A few comments:

1.  How important is money to carrying out kingdom work?

I do think this is somewhat cultural.  But I don’t think it’s a lot.  Certainly Jesus had only a few supporters and no “Jesus stash”.  If you remember, he turned down the offer to be in control of all the kingdoms of the world.  And that wasn’t his chosen method to spread the good news of God’s kingdom. This should be a POWERFUL reminder to us as believers.

2.  We should be careful how much we value education.

I’ll probably get some flack for writing that, but I think it’s true.  God saw fit to bring Jesus into the world without some of the amazing advances the world would witness over the next couple thousand years.  This should help us and remind us that worldly standards simply aren’t necessary for spreading God’s kingdom.  Are they helpful?  Yes.  But we should value how much emphasis we put on education.  Then we’ll only think God can move through highly educated people – which is far from the truth.

3. Jesus was stinkin’ poor.

This goes a bit along with the money comments, but I find it incredibly striking to see that Jesus had such wide influence without money.  He wasn’t constrained by all the trappings of wealth and he appealed to people who weren’t wealthy at all.  This should really affect how we view the poor.  Reading Luke 4:14-21 could be a huge help in understanding exactly why Jesus came.

Be challenged!

Have a great Friday everyone.

On My Mind #20 – Why people’s roots really matter

For those of you who know I majored in social sciences at Malone, this is not about to sound like a history book or sociology text.  People’s roots really do matter – a lot.  Where they come from, how they were raised, who raised them — all of these things contribute to characteristics later in life.

But, don’t miss my purpose here.  Be sure to read to the end.  And PLEASE know that there are ALWAYS exceptions.  I’m speaking in generalities.

1. Present characteristics are many times determined by past experiences.

Our positive and negative experiences from our past really do influence how we act later in life.  Those raised in secure, loving homes are more likely to lead a similar life in the future.  Those raised in chaos will likely breed chaos.  The roots of this can run deep, childhood experiences producing trust, anger, insecurity, and other issues long throughout adulthood.

2. Present characteristics are many times determined by present circumstances.

If someone is being incredibly negative, seems distant, or some other noticeable change in their person, before judging try to consider what circumstances may be contributing to this.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated with someone only to find out there is an incredibly difficult circumstance or trial that is eating them up.

3. It’s really difficult when #1 and #2 combine.

Enough said?  Sometimes it’s not one thing from the past or the present – it’s a combination.  Taking the time to know people and their circumstances is huge.  It also prevents superficial judgments which can hurt and divide.

4.  The MOST important point is that deep wounds and really negative roots can be completely re-written by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is not sociology, psychology, or any other ology.  It’s Christ.  When we put our faith in Him, the Holy Spirit begins to change us from the inside out.  Insecurities can be made whole when identity is found in Jesus.  Despair and guilt are traded for the love of Christ which loves past specific sins.  Hopelessness is shed for the truth of the hope of eternal life.  Grief is softened by the truth of the resurrection.  There is no negative root in our lives so deep that it can’t be cut and replaced with new roots which bear the fruit of real belief.

I hope you’ve been challenged regarding how you view others – it’s something God’s really been helping me see and experience.