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

Monday Challenge 6.29.15 – False Teachers, Not Reading the Bible, Gay Marriage

sound_doctrine_bible

Good morning. Jesus is on the throne!

And . . . it’s time to be challenged. Yes, it’s Monday again. Here you go!

False Teachers

An older article on a good topic. As many are swept up in false teachers’ webs, these marks should help discern who preaches truth and who preaches falsehood.

Why We Don’t Read Our Bibles

Very good challenge to read our Bibles by looking at why we don’t!

Perspectives on the Gay Marriage Ruling

Each of these four articles has something unique to contribute in response to the high court ruling on gay marriage last Friday.

John Piper – What is shocking is the institutionalization of Romans 1.

Russell Moore – The church should neither cave nor panic.

Scott Sauls – A call to friendship and repentance.

Denny Burk – Within days of the SCOTUS ruling, mainstream media began calling for the removal of tax exemption for churches. This articles shows that many in this movement are really after – the destruction of churches.

Monday Challenge 6.22.15 – Guest Blogger Steve Motich on Community

kenmore

Good morning – It is a busy week here in Kenmore as Project Shine kicked off last night. In a little over an hour we’ll be heading out to our worksites for day one of ministry.

Steve Motich and I wrote four articles about our local community. The articles will run throughout the year in the Kenmore Connection, our local newspaper distributed four time per year to all residents. In the spirit of Monday Challenge, you can find all four articles by clicking here.

Steve offers some important words on community and our motivation to write these articles:

The idea for these articles came to me when I read a book called When Helping Hurts. The book talks about many things but one point that really stuck out to me is the idea that every community has strengths, values, and resources and that no community is a complete wasteland.

After reading this I began to wonder what, specifically, are Kenmore’s strengths? What do we as a community do very well? I talked to Kevin about this one day and from that conversation these articles were born.

As a Kenmorite, there are no shortage of people who are quick to tell you what is wrong with this area. These people come from both outside and inside the community. Often times they use the word Kenmore as byword for something negative. These articles are written as a response to those people and to show them that there are great things happening here.

Lest we forget that Kenmore has plenty of problems and issues. But we’re not starting from square one here. We’ve got a solid base and a thriving community, ready to take the next step and move forward.

These articles are also written for me, as a reminder that there are lots of great people in this community that are working hard to make it a great place. And when bad things do happen, we, as a community, are quick to rally around each other and love and support one another.

I pray that these articles will be a reminder to you as well.

From Kevin

I challenge you to read each of the articles and think in light of community wherever you live.

Think and Act 6.17.15 – Akron Politics

Print

Wow. This is quite a time for our city of Akron.

Our family has called Akron home for over 16 years now. That seems crazy.

What’s crazier? The state of Akron politics. In the course of just over a week, three different men have served as mayor. Intrigue, scandal, divisiveness – sounds like congress conducting training courses for Akron’s city government.

As you might expect, reactions vary depending on who you talk to.

Tonight, I’ve put together some thoughts to help believers think and act in response to all the turmoil.

1. Pray.

Well, duh. Suggesting prayer in the middle of turmoil is like suggesting the Cavs should have won.

But prayer is obedient (I Tim. 2:2). Prayer supports, upholds, and seeks. Prayer appeals to the ultimate authority.

Telling your councilman or someone you know in authority of your prayers for them can serve as both a good reminder and great encouragement.

2. Consider silence.

Perhaps Ecclesiastes has good wisdom here. Is going on about the past really going to help the city move forward? Griping may feel productive at the time. Lashing out at a politician or writing a critical letter to the editor give your voice public ears.

But Ecclesiastes 3:7b has something to consider:

“a time to keep silence, and a time to speak”

There is a time to keep silent. There is a time to speak. If we must speak, refer to #1. If we must speak, offer encouragement and passion for the betterment of our city (see #4 below).

3. Avoid gossip. 

Upset at the sins and confusion of our mayors? Sure, we all are. What will gossiping about the situations do? Both men need Jesus’ forgiveness.

Would it ever enter our conversations that we pray for their repentance and joy at finding the Savior’s forgiveness?

If not, gossip likely has a foothold. Talking about these public sins may make us feel better than the individuals involved, but we must realize the lie that really is.

Love “hopes all things” (I Corinthians 13:7). Certainly, a love for our city at this point must lead to a hope that those in charge can unite to right the ship and a belief that things can improve.

4. Participate in the election process and demonstrate your desire for the best leaders to represent our city going forward.

I agree with new council president and ninth ward representative Mike Freeman that human nature is on full display, with angst and uncertainty taking center stage. With all 13 council seats and the mayor’s office up for election this year, how could leaders and the city not flirt with anxiety?

So, combine scandal with an unprecedented election and you get some unrest. Surely we can understand that.

With that then comes the encouragement to participate with great respect and vote for the best candidates moving forward. Combine suggestion #1 and you are on to something!

Personally, I am praying for the future of our city. It is a tumultuous time, but also a time of great opportunity. God, be glorified in this great city’s future!

Think. Is it easy for you to attack public figures who have fallen into scandal and dysfunction? Why?

Act. Use the suggestions here or add your own. Be an agent for prayer for healthy change, civility, and the well being of our city.

Tuesday Rambling 6.16.15 – NBA Finals

cavs

The Cavs have made for quite the conversation starter around the area. It’s a run no one will soon forget, with Game 6 tonight. How about a little NBA rambling?

  • I predicted Cavs in 7 and I’m sticking with it.
  • I predicted the Game 4 loss saying it’s hard to beat the same team three times in a row.
  • I’ll predict a Game 6 Cavs win on the same premise.
  • If it goes back to California for Game 7, anything can happen.
  • If the Cavs do win this series, it will go down as one of the greatest stories in the history of professional sports.
  • A recognized great hometown athlete leading a totally undermanned team to a championship for a city/region hungry for a winner would stick in this area’s collective memory for generations.
  • Personally, I am ready for this to be over. I don’t like the late games at all. I haven’t been able to short myself all the sleep, so I haven’t watched all of it.
  • Also, with one of our biggest ministry weeks of the year next week, I need to watch my physical strength. If only these games started at 7 or even 8!
  • The game Sunday night wasn’t bad at all, in bed by a reasonable time. Don’t know why that extra hour seems to hurt so much!
  • Go Cavs!

Monday Challenge 6.15.15 – Tuck the Kids In, Teen Trends, Ordinary Pastor,

graph

Good morning. Time to challenge the heart and mind. I hope that’s why you’re here. I’ll do my best to be back Friday with a feature on which article draws the most interest.

Tucking in the Kids

A mom’s honest and helpful assessment of why she prays over her kids one last time each day.

Question: How does this help you view praying for your kids?

Teen Trends

This summary show some positive trends in teen behavior such as bullying, sex, etc. It comes from Time Magazine.

Question: How much stock do you put in research?

Ordinary Pastor

This is a great 3 minute read about an ordinary pastor. This provides some great insight on the Christian life at the end of life.

Question: When your strength is gone, what will your faith look like?

Giving Conflict Counsel

Do you give conflict counsel? Then do this one thing to increase your chances of giving good counsel.

Question: Do you see why the author (and the Bible) is giving against unbalanced counsel?