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

Monday Challenge 9.30.13

Happy Monday. It’s always happier when the Browns win.  If you don’t care about football, you’re in the right spot.  Here are some great articles that will challenge you as you start your week.  Friday’s post will feature the article that gets the most clicks!

Links of the Week

Two articles about ministering to the elderly. If you’re young, don’t skip these. A few minutes will help your perspective, I promise.

First, how about remembering the caregivers?

Second, here are lessons a pastor shared about ministering in a nursing home.

Question: Do you think younger people should learn how to spend time with the elderly?

Christian Faith

Here are some similarities between Jesus and Noah.

Question: How do these thoughts help you as you think about the Bible?

Special Needs

We are learning a lot about special needs. We wonder about their potential as adults.  Here is a great article about an autistic brother’s journey into adulthood.

Question: Is it hard for you to relate to special needs kids or adults?

Money

Here are five tips for getting out of debt.

Question: What would you add to the list?

Miscellaneous

Losing is good for you.  

I couldn’t agree more with this article! Question: why is it good teach kids about losing?

Friday Feature 9.27.13 – How to Meet A Woman’s Four Basic Needs

As a man, this is a challenging post.  I encourage men and women of all ages to have a look:

A woman’s four basic needs and the ways they are met.

I do encourage you to read the article.  Once you’ve done so, here are a few additional comments:

1. Theology

Big surprise coming here, but I think it is really important to know God’s characteristics. If you didn’t have any accurate view of who God is, this article wouldn’t make any sense. But, if you have a view of God who made Adam (literally created a real person) as one who would labor to provide, then it’s a big difference.  Read Genesis 2-3 to get an idea of what God is doing with men and women.

2. This does not mean women are weaklings.

Let’s be serious.  This doesn’t mean that for women it’s all fluff and Oprah. I know some women who are incredibly tough. It’s not about physical strength.  It’s about spiritual position. And, men who make women feel secure not only honor God but put their wives in a great position to succeed.

3. Men – pursue godly living! And, get whatever accountability you need.

Asking your wife to read this article is a good start. Or, if you’re a single guy, talk this over with a married guy and ask how you can prepare to do these things.  Some of them will be obvious.  So, men, seek out every way you can to spiritually and physically care for your wife with a love that is both maturing and securing. Be willing to admit your faults and ask God to give you growth in those areas.

THINK.

Men – In what areas would you need to grow?

Women – How can you encourage your man to grow in the way he is loving you and making you feel secure?

ACT. Do your best to honor God with the role God has given you according to your gender. Pray like crazy and live for Jesus. Others will see it and know there is something different about you!

 

Think and Act 9.25.13 – Three Priorities We Have As Parents

Not a book, not an article, not a rant – what you find here are simply three primary priorities we have as parents.

1. Gospel.

This is by far the hardest. When you want things to run well, you focus on behavior. But the number one key to parenting has to come from the common condition in every household in the world: sinfulness. We are in need of a Savior and we must remind our kids of that.  The good news (gospel) is that Jesus died to forgive us and rose from the dead to fill us with hope for this life and the next.

Practical phrases like “Jesus died to forgive that sin” are very helpful and remind children that they need Jesus as much as Mom and Dad do. I often pray that our children will always know Jesus’ love and be able to accept His forgiveness when (not if) they fail. We sing, pray, and study Bible together so we can do our best to lead our children in God’s ways.

Part of Gospel parenting is also realizing you don’t control their salvation.  That’s probably another blog entry, but we really believe that we should teach, model, and then pray like crazy.

2. We want our kids to understand that we mean what we say.

We believe that we are a picture of godly living to our kids.  A firm and loving picture of parental authority can translate into a healthy view of a firm and loving God.  Personally, I don’t count to three.  One, two, two and a half,  etc. is teaching a fraction of obedience, or delayed obedience.  When we ask for something to be done, we believe it should be done. This is never perfect (and it takes a lot of work to be consistent), but we believe the concept is important. God doesn’t want our obedience to be on our terms, He wants it on His.  Parents can lovingly and graciously reflect this as they lead their children to healthy views of authority.

When principle #2 breaks down, refer to principle #1.

3. Responsibility is the goal.

I really don’t want our kids living in our home when they’re 33.  Or, 23 for that matter!  One of our goals is to raise self sufficient, independent children capable of doing basic chores, making basic decisions, spending money well, finding decent friends, etc.

When it comes to this, class is always in session. Some things we do to encourage it:

  • appropriately allowing a child to learn hard consequences rather than bail them out
  • requiring basic household chores/participation
  • teaching basic life skills such as cooking, laundry, dishes, appliance use, etc.
  • emphasizing that entertainment is a secondary, not a primary pursuit

When principle #3 breaks down, refer to principle #1!!

Think. What drives your parenting? What would you add to this brief list? Do pride and control seep into your parenting as much as they into ours – or should I say mine 🙂 ?

Act. Are there things you can implement to help instill eternal (first priority) and practical (secondary priority) values into your children?

 

Tuesday Rambling 9.24.13

Here are a few thoughts on some varied and random topics, otherwise known as Tuesday Rambling:

Football:

  • The following conversation was heard Monday morning in our house. David: “Lexi, did you know the Bengals beat the Packers?” Lexi: “I don’t care.”
  • Yes, the Browns won.  The real war rages on against Satan.

Faith

  • I am excited to be preaching from the Old Testament.  It’s fun to think about how things were in the beginning days of the faith.
  • I am praying for God to be at work and stay at work in our community.
  • Spiritual warfare is constant and something to stay aware of all the time.

Social Media

  • I think a lot of people waste a lot of time on social media. There really isn’t much new. I do enjoy basic status updates, pics, and things like that. But the complaining, drama, negativity I can do without.
  • Twitter is hard because there is absolutely no way (that I know of) to filter my feed.  For instance, I’d like to categorize the types of things in my feed but I don’t think I can.  Oh well.
  • If you are on social media, realize it is NOT reality.

Family

  • Someone recently told me they thought our kids listened to us well.  They must have caught us on a good day.  C’mon, each family has its ups and downs so let’s not pretend they don’t. Also, let’s not build ourselves up by comparing ourselves to others.
  • Thought: Julie and I both believe it is important for our children to understand that we say what we mean and mean what we say. We believe God’s Word is to be trusted, and the logic for us is that we want to give our children a picture that our word can be trusted as well. We think that as parents we will give our children a picture of what God is like.
  • That is a LOT to think about.

Baseball

  • I have ZERO hope the Yankees make the Wild Card game.  They could win all six games left and STILL miss the game. Not likely for them to be playing past Sunday.

Monday Challenge 9.23.13

Another Monday is here. It’s time for your weekly dose of reading, thinking, and challenging. Enjoy! I’ll be back on Friday with a look at which link drew the most interest.

Link of the Week

If you don’t think religious liberty is being threatened, then think again.  Here’s an article that will give you a bird’s eye view into something happening right now in our nation’s military.

Question: Do you really believe your religious liberty will be threatened in the future?

The Christian Faith

1. This is not popular with culture, but it is Biblical.  This article highlights the four basic needs of women. The site seems pretty good too! Guys should read this!

Question: Men, how can we better meet the needs the women in our lives have?

2. Fathers, love your daughters.  It’s that simple.

Question: This article is a great thinker for why dads should connect with their daughters.  Does this make you think about “how”?

3. Why would a loving God punish anyone in Hell?

Question: If someone walked up to you on the street and asked you this, would you know how to answer?

4. Rick Warren and his wife were interviewed for the first time following their son’s suicide. He’s a pastor so I’m kind of curious to see how a pastor would handle something like this.  If you didn’t see the interview, you can read about it here.

Question: Does this help you understand what a Christian view of suicide should look like?

5. PARENTS: It’s not about you! Your parenting does not create the child. This article confirms that somebody else is thinking what I’ve been thinking.  Here’s one line to entice you: “It’s harder to ruin our kids than we think and harder to stamp them for success than we’d like.” – Kevin DeYoung