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

Monday Challenge 12.16.13 – Good Michigan, Bad Michigan

Monday! Time for another set of challenging links.  Check ’em out!

Good Michigan.

I rarely say good things about Michigan, but this is great news. I hope and pray other states (c’mon, Ohio!) follow the lead.

Question: What convictions do you have that should lead to action?

Bad Michigan.  

This is just about hilarious. It’s the sort of thing we’d expect from those drivers up north.

Question: Really? You want me to ask something serious about this? Sometimes it’s okay to just laugh!

The Christian Faith

1. It’s Christmas time. What do you really know about the Christmas story? Take this Christmas quiz!

Question: How important is Biblical knowledge to you? If it’s God standard, should you know it better?

2. Be honest about guilt and sin.

Question: How important is an article like this to your personal spiritual health?

In 2.5 Minutes, Make Yourself a Better Person.

Seriously, this little video points out some very important things about how we relate to others. VERY worthwhile.

Question: What are some of the most common listening mistakes you make?

Survival

Could you survive multiple days with your family in the freezing wilderness after a crash? These people did, and here’s how they did it.

Question: Ok Boy Scout, are you prepared?

 

 

Think and Act 12.11.13 – What I Learned In My Intro To Counseling Class

Today was a great feeling – I finished my Introduction to Counseling class.  I had to read five books and listen to over 20 lectures (averaging about 45 minutes a piece).  I started around Labor Day and finished today, completing two tests, a bunch of forum entires, one long paper and one short paper.  Grade? TBD and rather inconsequential.  I want to represent myself well regarding grades, but to me the learning and the skill are more important than passing a test.

So, what did I learn? Here are three of the top things I learned.

1. Problems with humans are vast. I struggle with areas “on the counseling list” and so do you.

How’s that for a heading? Listen, it’s true.  None of us leads a perfect life, and every one of us has some struggle for which we could use counsel.  Depression, sexual thoughts, anxiety, conflict, marriage, grief, etc. are common things people struggle with. And we all know people who struggle with these sorts of things if we don’t struggle with them specifically ourselves.

Extreme deviant behaviors and severe disorders are obvious, but not all counseling is “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” A lot of counseling is encouraging each other through difficult things Satan throws our way to destroy us.

2. Fixing problems is not the highest goal. Neither is growing in knowledge and skill.

I was really challenged by the idea that results are not necessarily in “lives fixed” or “knowledge attained”. It hit home with me that when working with people the highest standard is love. Of course we want to see improvement, but in order to do that anyone trying to help someone else should do whatever they can to make sure they know they love them and desire their greatest good. I know I have made mistakes in this area and I’m hoping this emphasis will help me be more careful in the future!

3. Scripture defines the greatest good.

Love is not an affirmation of what someone is doing. Love is pushing them to God’s design for our lives. Scripture is the place to find this, and counselors are called to be loving AS WELL AS Biblically faithful. Please, if you’re reading this, make sure you know that it is possible to tell someone hard things in counseling in a spirit of honesty and Biblical faithfulness AND love them at the same time.  If you don’t think that’s possible, you should think through your definition of love.

Be challenged!

Think. Do you like to help people? What are your goals and standards?

Act. Start with the people closest to you – are you sure that they know you love them? Ask God to help make you faithful in your relationships to be a loving person. He can help us overcome our shortcomings and distorted perceptions of ourselves. Assure others of your love and strive to be as consistent as possible.

Monday Challenge 12.9.13 – Atheists & The Bible, Media Lies

I like to post challenging things on Monday. For me it makes me think and re-orient after Sunday, which is almost always an exhausting day. I hope you’re challenged by these articles.  Have a look – I’ll be back Friday with a feature on the link that draws the most interest.

Link of the Week

Are pastors real?

Question: In what ways do you look at your pastor that aren’t fair to either of you?

Christian Faith

1. What is wrong with the prosperity gospel?

Question: Why is it important to see God in all parts of life, rather than just success?

2. Why do atheists care so much about the Bible?

Question: How can an article like this help you have an intelligent and loving conversation with an atheist, should the opportunity arise?

3. Nine lies the media tells about Christians.

Question: How important is it to you to let the Bible and your actions define you, rather than the media?

4. Christmas brings destruction.

Question: How much do you struggle to think about God during this time of year?

Anger

Here are three marks of righteous anger.

Question: By what are you most specifically challenged in this article?

Monday Challenge 12.2.13 – Same Sex Attraction, Religious Freedom, and “Wow.”

Good Monday! Another week begins. Time for some good mind food. I’ll see ya Friday with the most popular article of the ones linked to here. Until then, be challenged!

Link of the Week

Here is a site made by Christians with same sex attraction.  It gives hope to those with same sex attraction who want to honor Jesus rather than act on the sinful desire.  I’m so glad for a site like this.

Question: Is there someone you know who would be helped to see a site like this? Would you share it with them?

Christian Faith

1. When you minister in tough places, keep these things in mind.  This article really spoke to me.

Question: Which of these is most helpful to you? How will you plan to make a change because of this?

2. How to be thankful in all circumstances.  I really enjoy the perspectives the DG blog has on things.

Question: What circumstances challenge you the most?

Hobby Lobby and Religious Freedom

Read this article and know about the Supreme Court case coming. It’s HUGE for religious freedom.

Question: How much does your religious freedom matter and how much do you think a case like this really is a litmus test for our country’s attitudes?

Parenting

Probably a parenting article of my own cooking for Wednesday night. Until then, some other thoughts:

1. Exactly why do you wish your kids were different? Be sure to catch this whole article and evaluate.

Question: How much of our preferences are behind our parenting?

2. Ten things every teen girl should know.  Most can be adapted for teen guys.

Question: Are there ways you could use this article as a conversation starter with your teen?

Local

So we have a city in Summit County this is in a lot of turmoil.  Here’s an interesting article.

Question: If you were stuck in this, what would you do to try to make it better?

Wow

Who knew giving away $1,000 could get you in trouble?  If that sounds weird, wait till you see why he did it!

All I have to say here is wow.

Monday Challenge 11.18.13 – Highlights Include Parenting and Laziness

It’s Monday again.  Time for some challenging articles.  Why else would you be here? Stop back Friday to see which article got the most clicks.  Until then, I hope and pray your week will be off to a great start!

Link of the Week – Parenting

How do we talk about our kids sins? Do we treat our kids graciously? This article provokes some VERY good thoughts that really challenged me.

Question: Are there safeguards you should put in place in response?

The Christian Faith

1. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP. Here’s a great 9 minute video from David Platt explaining some of the Biblical reasons for committing yourself to a local church.

Question: If you don’t think church membership is necessary, did anything in this video help?

2. CHURCH HISTORY: Are you discouraged? Read about this guy.

Question: Is encouragement something you need regularly?

3.  MONEY: Laziness costs you money.

Question: What is the most convicting point in this article? What is most helpful if you are working with someone who is lazy?

Life Issues

1. THE HOMOSEXUAL LABEL: Here are some great reasons why teens shouldn’t be forced to label themselves.

Question: Do you let the media drive your opinions on this issue?

2. USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Here is the Today Show’s take on using social media selfishly. Interesting.

Question: Why do you agree or disagree with what’s written here?

Common Interest

These are just some great photos. Thought I’d share these.

Question: Do these encourage you at all?