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

Friday Link Highlight: 5.31.13 – Anyone who knows (or is) a young man should read this article!

It’s Friday.  That means it’s time to feature the highest clicked link from Monday’s post.  This week’s feature article has this idea:

Young men are to be challenged.

Please click on the link and read it for yourself.  Maybe you’re a not so young man, and it still applies!  I hope it does.

Here are a few thoughts:

1. This can’t be said enough.

I’ve heard Mark Driscoll make the analogy of producing and consuming.  Men should produce, produce, produce.  At nearly 7, we are teaching our son that entertainment is a small part of life, not the goal of it.

2. Older men should be influencers.

If you are an older man with any sort of example, be an influencer.  Chances are, young men are struggling with the basics of this article.  A suggestion: if a younger man pops into your heart when you read this, sit down with him and go through this article.  Find out how you can pray for him, lead him, challenge Him.

3. Laziness is a burden.

This is so true.  If someone is lazy about themselves and their work ethic, what it really means is this: someone else is going to have to pick up the slack.  You’re not paying your own bills? Then you’re expecting someone else to do it for you.  You’re not serving effectively and passionately in your church? Then you’re planning for someone else to do it instead.  Don’t be a burden.

Young men, be challenged.  Those with influence over developing and younger men, encourage them, teach them, lead them, and hold them accountable.  Above all, let them know they are loved enough to be challenged to be what God has for them!

 

On My Mind #62: Why We Foster Parent and How You Can Pray for Us

Our family has enjoyed a great season since Jocelyn’s adoption.  We believe the time is drawing near for us to open our home again for another potential foster child.

I’d like to offer this post as a challenge and an opportunity to pray. Here are three reasons we foster and three ways you can pray.

WHY WE FOSTER PARENT

1. It’s spiritual.

God calls us to care for the orphaned.  This is a micro level way we can do this.  Some children are temporarily orphaned, some permanently.  It is a local, practical way to live out our Christianity with the resources God has given us.

2. It’s challenging.

Yes, we are looking for challenge.  There is nothing in the Bible that says life is supposed to get easier.  Nothing.  We believe that sharing the love of Jesus is gritty, challenging, and not for our comfort. Foster parenting gives us an opportunity to influence children and their families with the love of Christ. As a result, we do it because we’re able to – it makes sense for our family and it stretches us.  We challenge you to do what your family can do to live for Christ in bold, practical ways.

3. It’s part of a legacy.

We want our children (and those we influence otherwise) to know that we are willing to love others at personal cost to ourselves.  Life could be easier.  There could be more time, energy, entertainment, relaxation, etc. if there were not diapers to change, discipline to dole out, and schedules to juggle.  We want our kids to experience sacrificial love in a real and practical way, and to do the same one day if they’re able.

HOW YOU CAN PRAY

1. Pray for the process.

We don’t know what the process will be, so we will be inviting a season of unknown into our lives.  We may not look to adopt.  We may foster in several situations.  God may surprise us and challenge us. We have no clue and we covet your prayers for the process.

2. Pray for wisdom.

We may need wisdom in the coming weeks to make the right decision. Refer to #1!

3. Pray for orphans.

Pray for orphans, and not just the ones in our care.  Do something, anything, to show lost and abandoned children that you love them.  It’s a sign of God’s love for them and can communicate the reality of the love of Christ.

Monday Links and Bullets 5.27.13

Another Monday.  I hope you’re enjoying a day off (or at least part of the day) and taking time to reflect on why you have the time off.

That said, below find this week’s collection of articles I’d like to share (links) followed by my usually scattering of thoughts below (bullets).  I’ll post Friday with the most clicked article of the week. Enjoy, and as always, be challenged!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

Here is an article about young men.  Even if you’re not one or don’t know one, I think you should read this.  After all, it’s the link of the week!

The Christian Faith

PARENTING: Ever wondered whether you should protect your kids or “let them be a light”? This article helps us think through this issue.  Here’s an article for parents with older kids (teens & up): do you help your kids too much?

LIFE: Please read the testimony this doctor recently gave to congress.

LOVE: If you don’t want to be convicted about how selfish you can be, don’t read this article.  Actually, read it anyway! It’s incredibly challenging. It’s very good for thinking through ALL types of relationships.

PASTORING: If you don’t pray much for your pastor, after reading this, you should!

Sports

Here’s a very short video I thought was really cool.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

Personal Faith:

  • I have been thinking a lot about discipline.  If we brush our teeth every day (we do, right?) and bathe every day (hopefully…), why is it a struggle for many people to pray and hear from the Creator of the entire universe every day?  The results of not brushing your teeth are obvious, but so is spiritual dry-ness.
  • Even if it is a paragraph of Scripture and 2 minutes of prayer, I think it is preferable to nothing.

Family:

  • Got our daughter’s old bed torn down, family (decades old) bunk beds replaced, and a new twin mattress bought for the lower bunk bed, all in 1 hour and 15 minutes!
  • I enjoy the relationship our children have with their cousins.  It’s a neat thing that will make for lots of lasting memories.

Sports:

  • Anyone else thinking the Browns are a total mystery? Some are saying they’ll be good enough to make the playoffs.  Some are saying they won’t and their owner will be gone by the end of the season because of a scandal enveloping the owner’s business.  That’s quite a range of options!
  • Read an article on ESPN.com today suggesting Rafael Nadal may struggle to win the French, because he dropped a set and was sort of pushed in his first round.  Must be a slow news day in sports.  I’m pretty sure Nadal knows how to handle himself on clay.
  • I’ll put the odds of the Cavs trading the 1st pick at over 50%.  Guarantee they will trade a couple of their picks for an established player they need.  No way will they want to add four more rookies this year.

Random

  • So gas was near $4.00 earlier in the week? Now it’s in the $3.50 range.  So stupid.  If everything we bought and paid for  fluctuated as much as the price of gas, our economy would be total chaos (not to mention our family budget!).
  • I’m happy for friends who are getting to go on vacation!
  • Definitely looking forward to planting the garden this week.  It was supposed to happen today.  Yeah, not so much!

Have a great week!

 

Friday Link Highlight 5.24.13 – Over-eating: Diet problem, or sin problem?

This article from Monday’s post got the most clicks.  Check it out:

http://counselingoneanother.com/2013/05/17/exposing-the-sin-of-overeating/

The question is good: is over eating mostly just a diet problem, or a sin problem?

A few of my own comments:

1. There are no “acceptable” sins. 

The church has lots of acceptable sins.  Gossip, pride, materialism are among sins that are easy to let slip. I don’t care if it’s over-eating or over-exercising (yes, even physical fitness can become an idol), sin is sin.

So, if over-eating is a struggle, please take it seriously.  Not only will it affect your physical health. More importantly, it can damage your spiritual relationship.

2. Please don’t deny it is a sin.

If I tried to tell you that my occasional outbursts of anger are no big deal in God’s eyes, would you believe me? Surely you’d have some questions.  I’d say the same with over-eating.  Please don’t deny it.  This article does a good job of making us think this through.  I think by extension that believer should also consider how much junk they eat. Anything can become an idol – we must be very careful.

3. Practical help.

Check out this website for some practical help.  I do know of some people who have used this to some degree of success.

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/lords-table/

Always be thinking.  Always be challenged.  Know that Jesus died to save us from all our sins, so don’t over-focus on this one if you struggle with it.  While the results may be visible, it can be overcome and your identity is in Christ, not your body image.  Pursue Him in everything and give Him the glory!

Have a great weekend.

On My Mind #61: Why is it wrong to do these two things?

I’m going to argue from a weird angle on this, so be sure to read all the way through.

Here are two things that have been in the news recently:

1. A Cleveland Indians blogger wrote that fans crossed the line trashing their team’s closer for blowing a lead (the Indians later won the game).  The profanity they used against him caused him to shut down his Twitter account.

2. You may have heard that in April a news anchor began a newscast with some cuss words and was subsequently fired.  I’ll refrain from posting the video. It’s not the point, anyway.

My question: why is it wrong to do these two things?

Seriously, I’d like to ask some questions.  See if these sound familiar…

  • Couldn’t the news anchor accuse his employer of hating him?
  • Aren’t the fans in Cleveland free to use whatever speech they want to address their closer on a publicly accessible  social media platform?
  • Who is the blogger to tell the fans they crossed the line? Is he intolerant for not recognizing their right to their behavior?

Do you have real answers to those questions? If so, what are they based on? What the questions I’m posing are designed to do is to make you think about your grid for right and wrong.  Everyone has to have a grid for right and wrong.

The news station had a grid for right and wrong.  The anchor cussed on air and that was wrong, according to the professional/moral standards of the station.  He was terminated.

The blogger’s grid for right and wrong is that a player who blows a lead and fails at his job is not subject to anonymous, profane words of slander and name-calling.

I happen to agree with both lines of thinking.  The problem is, who is to say what is right and wrong? We live in a culture that defines right and wrong according to what is convenient for them.

I don’t agree with our culture’s definition.  I believe what the Bible says:

2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The authority of Scripture is God’s.  God’s servants live by God’s (breathed) Word; and falling outside that word should bring correcting and rebuking. Standards? Yes.  And they’re NOT subject to whatever I feel like is right and wrong today.