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

Friday Link Highlight 11.29.13 – Parents, Require Your Child’s Obedience

This article was by far the most clicked from Monday’s post. Whether new parent, parent of school aged children, or grandparent, these are great thoughts to keep in mind. First, read the article:

Parents, require obedience from your children.

After you’ve read the article, here are a few thoughts.

1. Don’t be afraid to say as a parent that you are learning.

If you read articles like this and feel like someone is judging you, the best I can do is tell you to change your thinking. You don’t have to “have it all together”. What you need to do is let wise people help you.

2. Yes, it is hard work.

It is very seldom (VERY) that someone “lucks” into having well behaved children. It means asserting yourself, sometimes over and over and over again until the child learns. This requires a lot of both physical and mental energy.

3. Keep the Gospel in mind.

Requiring outward obedience from a young age does prepare kids to respect authority as they age. But if they respect all human authority and reject God’s authority then they remain lost, apart from God in their sin. So, as you engage in the war for the obedience of your children, do more warfare for their hearts!

Think. What in this article is most helpful/challenging?

Act. What strategy can you use to put it into practice immediately?

Think and Act 11.27.13 – I Hope No One Reads This Thursday

Look, it’s no big secret that I like to make people think. Here’s the question:

Could/should Thanksgiving be a day (or a majority of a day) without social media? Two strong reasons I hope it is.

1. In-person relationships are better than on-line, even if they involve people you don’t like.

Most family gatherings involve uncomfortable-ness. You gather to give thanks with people you don’t see much, and all of a sudden the comfort of scrolling through online strangers’ posts seems better than engaging in real conversation.

I would argue that in-person relationships are much better, and learning how to cultivate them is far preferable to the shallowness of gathering for holidays and funerals.

2. Does everyone in your online world have to know you’re thankful?

I wrote last week that going on about thankfulness without giving glory to God only shines the light on the self. Here are a couple suggestions to take the opportunity to make it more personal, and even bridge the gap with someone you might not know very well.

How about taking the opportunity to ask someone why they’re thankful? Or, better yet, tell someone why you are thankful for them. See how they respond. These things are harder to do but they open a door to show a genuine interest in someone and take an honest stab at loving your neighbor (or your family!) as yourself.

Think. Is in-person communication growing more difficult for you?

Act. Make use of the time this weekend to genuinely show interest and love in those who are there in person way more than the attraction you have to “interact” with those who aren’t.

Tuesday Rambling 11.26.13 – You live in Ohio, now act like it!

Tuesday. I’m up early and excited about the day.  Time for some rambling!

Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Today is our annual community Thanksgiving Dinner.  I doubt the snow will slow things down too much.  If you’re in the Kenmore area, don’t forget – 5:00 dinner at the community center! We’ll be there till 7:00, so come get a bite to eat.
  • Later in the week, most of America will give thanks in a very common form: eating. We will gather around and have a meal. A great big meal is indeed a great big way to give thanks to a great big God who provides so much.
  • If things are tight and your mouths are fed most of the time, it is still a great opportunity to thank God for all He provides. Which leads me to my next topic . . .

You live in Ohio, now act like it!

  • Probably a full post cooking for the future, but for now let me just say this: the negativity can really eat at me sometimes.
  • You live in Ohio.  You’re going to have crazy weather – act like it.  Drive like it. Let’s be grown ups here and remember we have a choice to live here!
  • People complain when it’s too hot, when it’s too cold, when this is wrong, when that seems out of place, blah blah blah!
  • It’s not that I never complain, but at some point even though it’s just fine to not like something, I question the wisdom in being so negative all the time that it brings others down.  I really think the more thankful you are, the easier it is to deal with things (and people) you don’t like. Hmmm…..

Sports

  • I just read a post at ESPN that had the top six Super Bowl contenders. What? No Browns!?!?!
  • The Browns are not a bad football team.  They just don’t have a quarterback.  When you don’t have a QB, you have no rhythm. It’s very difficult to have the most important position on the field changing every other game.

Discipleship

  • All Christians should make disciples.  I want to be a leader that gives practical ways for this to happen.
  • Here is a quote from Robby Gallaty, who I linked to in yesterday’s post: “I’ve come to realize that when people don’t know what to do, they don’t do anything.”
  • Not doing anything is NOT an option.  And, as a leader, leading in such a way that people do nothing is unacceptable as well.

 

Monday Challenge 11.25.13 – Highlight: Require Children’s Obedience

One month from today is Christmas.  Good thing we’re not doing tons of shopping.  I am excited for Advent as it begins this week, and I’m excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this week as well.  For now, it’s time to be challenged. Let these articles challenge the way you think – and act!

Link of the Week

Parents, require obedience of your children.  There are lots of practical examples and helps, to explain why parents should require obedience.  I am moved and challenged by this personally and gladly share it – I hope you are challenged too!

Question: Which point challenged you the most?

Christianity

1. Here is a great discipleship principle you can use immediately.  I love that Pastor Gallaty is very focused on discipleship.  I have never spoken to him, but I have been blessed by his site, his writings, and his passion.  If you subscribe to things or follow people, let me recommend him as a great resource if you’re serious about making disciples (hint: as a believer, you should be).

Question: What is the biggest benefit of implementing the principle of discipleship mentioned here?

2. Struggling with being effective in relationships? Here is Paul Tripp with some great advice on relationships and how they work.

Question: On point #3, how does this get confused in your life?

Teens and Parents of Teens

Here is an article that is challenging.  Please please never underestimate how much you should think before you spread an image of yourself.

Question: How easy is it for you to do something you regret?

A Lesson from the World of Sports

We should watch what we say.  This is a great lesson about why.

Question: Do you ever say things you shouldn’t just to make a point?

Friday Feature 11.22.13 – It’s True: Laziness Costs You Money

Does laziness cost you money? This blog post argues that it does. Readers from Monday’s post have spoken: they’re interested in the topic too! This link got to the most clicks and earned its place as Friday’s Feature article:

Laziness costs you money.

After you read the article, here are a few of my own thoughts.

1. Grace.

I never post articles about what to do in day to day life without an understanding that there must be grace. I wish more people would emphasize this.  You’re always going to read an article like this and feel like you don’t measure up.  Well none of us measures up.  Find me a person who is the perfect parent, the perfect employee, the perfect evangelist, the perfect money-handler, and I’ll sign them up to run my life as well as theirs.

We must rely on the grace of God to grow in these areas. So please don’t read an article like this and think I, the authors, or anyone else expects instant perfection.

2. Time

Closely related here but more specific to money.  Getting finances in order can take many years. I know it has for us.  Even though we live in a culture of instant everything, don’t expect results within weeks, or even months.  For many people I’ve known (ourselves included), financial growth has taken years.

3. I most related to . . . 

You’re not giving enough. I think that giving is the first thing any believer needs to learn regarding finances. Giving releases our control and gives it up to God. Giving teaches obedience and the thrill of supporting a local church and helping others as well.

Think. In what ways are you being lazy with your finances?

Act. Before you do anything else, pray about where God may be leading. Then, only after you’ve prayed, seek some counsel about setting some goals for making improvements!