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

Monday Challenge 11.30.15 – Browns and Leadership, Lessons from Eye Surgery, What Is A Budget

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Happy Monday! Is it? If not, hopefully engaging your mind will help. Reading others’ thoughts and viewpoints encourages me greatly. I’m glad to share with the goal of sharpening our understanding of life, faith, and Scripture.

Thanksgiving

Yes, Thanksgiving has gone. But this article shows that Thanksgiving cannot be divorced from theology. If that sounds really weighty, don’t let it stop you from giving this a read.

Question: How did this article shape your view of God and Thanksgiving?

The Browns and Leadership

I’ve had a few similar thoughts myself to the ones expressed in this article. Read this and try to convince me leadership doesn’t matter.

Question: What does this article teach you about leadership?

Lessons From Eye Surgery

I appreciate these honest thoughts about enduring eye surgery. The pastoral perspective sheds particular light into both the struggle and the calling.

Question: Which of the ten stood out to you the most?

What Is A Budget?

Do you have a defined budget? Do you have a defined purpose behind your budget? This piece is guaranteed to help you think about how to approach your approach to finances!

Question: Of the eight, what made you think most about your approach to budgeting?

Weekend Feature Article 11.28.15 – No Quick Fixes for Pain

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So I didn’t make Friday’s feature. Anyone else in a food fog?

I would like to feature this article from Monday. It talks about pain and people’s reaction to it. I struggle when people find themselves in pain – especially the kind that won’t go away. I want a quick fix, but this article cautions against that.

Check it out here: The Lasting Pain of Quick Fixes

Please read the article. If it doesn’t apply to you, it will apply to someone you know at some point.

Finally, a few of my own thoughts:

1. Pain is like sin.

This provided a great reminder that sin won’t disappear any faster than most of our pain will. Is the fruit of perseverance welling up inside us as we grow closer to God?

2. Thinking?

Yes, both for sin and for pain, thinking matters. If you handle pain by going on and on about how horrible it is, do you think the chances for improvement in your condition skyrocket?

Apply the same logic to sin. Imagine you have a view that God should immediately remove sin from your life. Do you have a framework to THINK about how sin works and what you can do to be effective?

3. The Bible.

The article mentions several places in the Bible for further thinking. Not only is this idea good “in theory”, it is founded in Scripture. Applying our minds to battle for the long haul might just be what God wants us to do. Hmmm…

Think. Do you wish uncomfortable situations would go away quickly? Why?

Act. Slow down. Embrace your pain or others. Ask God for strength to trust His purposes.

Tuesday Rambling 11.24.15 – The Hardest Things About Parenting

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Parenting is hard, isn’t it? Some challenging things:

  • Number one for me? The balance between grace and punishment. How do we punish fairly while reminding of our love and God’s?
  • I’m so glad God gets this perfectly right with us as believers.
  • I want our children to know God’s love and His truth.
  • I also think it’s hard to really know if I’m leading our children well spiritually.
  • How much do you press about devotions? How do you help them find joy in the routine without growing bitter about reminders to do it?
  • I know I can’t make our children believe or grow spiritually. But I also know I can hinder the process by apathy or inconsistency.
  • Are you like me? Do you pray regularly for their hearts to love Jesus?
  • I pray for great opportunities to share with our kids why it can be a struggle to follow Jesus and how sin sometimes challenges my heart’s affections.
  • I find it difficult to know and take into account the uniqueness of each child. Is it a bad day, or more than that? It takes wisdom to know the difference.
  • Sometimes it feels like it takes a miracle to get them to talk about their struggles!
  • It takes wisdom to do what God does perfectly. It amazes me that as believers God knows every one of us all the time, loves us and guides us perfectly.
  • We will never be perfect, but let us as parents rely on the Lord to be in the lead always.

Monday Challenge 11.23.15 – Fixing Pain, Kids and Terrorism, Refugee Policy

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Good Monday morning everyone! Is there such a thing as a good Monday? If not, then at least come ready for a challenge to get your mind flowing. These articles will force some thought to how you approach some difficult topics.

Fixing Pain

Can you fix pain quickly? Do you wish you could? Do you have a hard time relating to those in pain because you think it should just be fixed quicker?

The clever title reveals the argument: The lasting pain of quick fixes.

Question: Did this article change your approach to pain?

Kids and Terrorism

Have you wondered what to tell your kids about ISIS? This article should help. Please use caution and wisdom based on child’s age and personality.

Question: Which did you find most helpful?

Fear, Compassion, and Refugees

Fear? Compassion? Both? Neither? This article covers many sides of the dilemma and argues that compassion can’t be the only standard.

Question: What did you read here that you hadn’t considered before?

Funny

It’s been a serious couple weeks, hasn’t it? Enjoy something funny.

Friday Feature 11.20.15 – Seven Reasons Not to Skip Church

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2015 Giveaway!

Before I get on to Friday’s feature article, let me urge you to get your entries in for this year’s blog giveaway. Click here for entry and contest info. Who doesn’t need a cash prize? This contest is as simple as having some fun with those who read my blog on a regular basis. It’s a blessing to write and so we hope to add a blessing to someone! Your odds will be very good.

Friday Feature

The topic of church grabbed Monday’s readers’ attention. The most read article had to do with skipping church, or why we shouldn’t. Read it here:

Seven reasons not to skip church.

As usual, I’ll share a couple of my thoughts below:

1. I really identify with #4. 

I hope this prompts you to read the article. But as a spiritual leader, I can say this definitely rings true.

2. When you’re not there, there’s just so much you can’t live out.

It’s not that you miss out. Ok yes, that’s part of it.

But, others miss out too. Less people engaged means less people available to encourage and challenge. When you don’t regularly identify with a group of believers, you truly do miss the blessings – and others miss the blessing you are designed to be!

Think. How do you view church attendance? Do you think it really matters if you are engaged in a local fellowship of believers or not?

Act. Try not only attending, but seek to connect over a consistent pattern of several months. See how your outlook changes as you both give and receive encouragement.