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

Friday Feature 8.30.13 – Abortion Contract In A Relationship?

This week, the article from Monday’s post that got the most attention was this one:

Can you define the relationship?

PLEASE, read this article.  It is challenging on many levels.

Then, here are a a few of my thoughts:

1. Self.

Pure and simple.  Many modern minded men are concerned with self.  The line in the article that drew out this dynamic that men want to have sex with women with no regard to the woman or to any potential child is staggering.  We should reject this value outright!

2. Relationship Arrangement.

Also based on self (and NOT on sacrificial commitment), the other types of relationship arrangements mentioned here in this article should help us understand that we are living in a very sinful world.  We are in a world devoid of commitment and should pray that all committed relationships will scream the glory of Jesus into an ever-deafening world.

3. Hope.

Yes, real gospel hope.  The same hope that God offers us through the cross of Christ is the same hope we have for relationships.  People’s hearts and minds can change as repentance grips the human soul. Godly desires replace human ones.  It happens.  How do I know? God has brought it about in my life, and I’d give anything if it would happen in yours!

Think. What is your approach to relationships if you’re already married? Single? Divorced?

Act. Help others challenge their relationship values, and/or have serious conversations and take specific action to safeguard your own!

Think and Act 8.28.13 – Three Parental Concerns As School Resumes

Yeah, it’s the first day of school.  With two kids going back today and a preschooler headed to school next week, I might have something to say.  Yes, but not so fast.

This is not just your “daddy’s emotional or glad the kids are gone and life is back to normal” post.  This is think and act. So, let’s do that and apply it to the start of school.

Let me take a route you might not normally think of when it comes to school starting up.  Here are three concerns parents should have as their kids head back to school.

1. Spiritual protection.

Our kids go to public schools (at this point). I know it is possible for children of believing families to thrive at public schools. I also know it is possible for those same kids to regress, the pressures of life and culture proving to be too much. So, I pray for spiritual protection.

This relates to peer pressure – obviously.  This also relates, however, to educational and self esteem pressure.  At some point, the things you’re taught will conflict with the Christian’s viewpoint on things.  I pray that our children will be able to handle any conflicting “educational” situation with grace and humility, remembering their identity in Christ and their foundation in God’s Word. Ultimately, an identity in Christ is more important than academic identity.

2. Physical protection.

Yes, I pray for physical protection. I regularly keep in touch with a pastor in the Newtown, CT area. I do so as a way to show concern in a situation I don’t understand, and to have a human face on my prayers. Do you think the folks there could teach us something about praying for physical protection?

I don’t want to take any child’s physical safety for granted.  I pray for wisdom for all administrators, teachers, and those in school security.

3. My own selfishness.

This is a big one.  I enjoy routine, and life is more routine when the kids are in school.  But, there’s a lurking selfishness that I know I have to watch. I don’t WANT to be comforted that our kids are gone for about 7 hours a day. I WANT to make the most of my opportunities while they’re in school, and the most with the time we have with them at home as well. This is a balance that must be struck, and it has NOTHING to do with what I want.

Think. How does the routine of school challenge you?

Act. Pray like crazy for your kids and others’. Make intentional decisions to maximize the time your family has together.

 

Tuesday Rambling 8.27.13

Some thoughts on life and stuff and whatever.  Enjoy!

Miley Cyrus

  • Really people? Now we’re upset about values? The hypocrisy is really difficult to endure.
  • One way to change the value and actually do something (hint hint, through driven action)? Stop supporting people who degrade women and make image so important to younger girls.  Let’s learn to build healthy young women whose identity is not wrapped up in how they look or how they feel they’re perceived.

Free Dinners

  • I have a hard time when people pay for stuff.  In time, I am learning to accept the blessings. I think it’s mostly pride that keeps me from accepting the blessing.
  • Do you have a hard time when God blesses you through someone else doing something simple like paying for lunch?
  • Sometimes when it happens to me I take the money I’d have used for that and try to bless someone else.

New Jersey

  • Are you aware Gov. Chris Christie signed a law in New Jersey making it illegal for anyone with a state issued counseling license to provide help for an individual looking to fight unwanted same sex desires?
  • The governor said he believes people are born gay and that his state should do nothing to impede that.
  • How is this not a stomping of religious freedom? If a Christian has unwanted same sex desires and wants to seek professional (Biblical) counseling, how should they not be free to do so? Grrrr.

Chance

  • I had lunch with a friend yesterday I hadn’t seen in 10 years.  We had so many things in common about the way God has been using us in the past 10 years, it was eerie.
  • I do enjoy when things like that happen, seemingly by “chance”.  Isn’t it good that God is sovereign and encourages us when we need it?

How’s that for a Tuesday Rambling that doesn’t look like the norm?  Hope you enjoyed!

Monday Challenge 8.26.13

Last Monday of August! It’s time for school to start in Akron.  But before Wednesday rolls around, it’s time for Monday Challenge.  What does that mean? It means a bunch of articles that are designed to make you think.  Take your time, read through, use the questions provided to help you challenge the way you think about the various viewpoints.

Link of the Week

Egypt seems like a long way away.  Here is a fantastic article from a trusted source about why we should care about the turmoil going on there.

Question: Is it hard to find this sort of perspective in international politics? For me, it helps with understand believers’ struggles near and far.

The Christian Faith

1. I generally like to preach through books, chapters, etc.  Here’s why.  What a great article about helping Christians go past just music in worship.

Question: Do you study through entire books or do you just look for faith snippets? Are you a “Christianette”?

2. Wow. This makes me sick.  What are relationships coming to?

Question: How can you look for opportunities to teach others the value of others and the value of great, committed relationships?

3. Great truth: God is already satisfied, so quit trying to do it.

Question: What subtle ways do we try to take the place of Jesus and earn God’s favor?

4. We won’t back down. At least, I hope not.  I know I’m not planning on it!

Question: What makes believers most cowardly?

5. Starting school this week? Here is some great advice. If you’re not starting school, pass this on to those who are!

Question: If you are an adult, can you relate to young people at all and the pressures they face at school? How could you bridge that gap?

 

Friday Feature 8.23.13 – You Teach Your Kids To Pray By How You Pray

Every Friday I do a feature on the article that received the most clicks from Monday’s post.  Here is this week’s feature article:

When you pray you teach your kids how to pray.

Here are a few points to emphasize:

1. Slow down.

There is a good encouragement here to slow down.  Life goes by fast sometimes. The quicker I’m thinking about something happening, the more likely I am to feel frustrated or respond without thinking.

2. Recognize opportunity.

I do pray that God will use me to be a lasting influence in the lives of our children.  I often wonder what their memories will be of me. Then, it hits me: I really do have the ability to shape this.  This article was a great reminder of that.

3. Rely on God’s grace.

When we make mistakes or respond quickly (or outright blow it!) we shouldn’t rely on ourselves to make it right.  Jesus died to make it right, so we can ask His forgiveness (and if need be the forgiveness of others) and move one.  Trust may need to be rebuilt, but God is gracious and helps us along. We just need to remember to ask for His help.

Be encouraged and have a great weekend!