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

Monday Links and Bullets 6.3.13

It’s June.  Wow.  Time for another week of articles and thoughts, otherwise knowns as Links and Bullets.  Be challenged!

WEEKLY LINKS

LinkS of the Week

Yes, two featured links.  These are both so good I couldn’t decide. So have them both!

PRACTICAL PARENTING: Here is an intentional way a father can disciple his 13 year old son.  If nothing else, this article can make parents (mothers too!) think about how they’re pointing their children to Christ.

Are you wondering what to think about our current cultural/moral crisis? This article has some fantastic, clear insight.

The Christian Faith

ABOUT PORN: 33 reasons to abstain from pornography.

WISDOM: God forgives.  This articles points out that tough consequences remain.  Seek wisdom!

I AM HOLY: Here is a great article about what God does inside of us when we believe.  Stay with it – there is great stuff in this post!

RESPONDING TO ATHEISTS: How about some ideas for responding to atheists’ attacks?

THE SELF:  Can you forgive yourself?

MARRIAGE: You won’t regret reading this article on marriage.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

Sports:

  • Yes, I hope the Heat lose tonight.  Go Pacers!
  • Someone recently wrote that the Browns could have a dynamic offense.  Hmmmmm……
  • There are a lot of exciting young players in baseball.  I’m most interested in a rookie the Dodgers called up.  His name is Yasiel Puig (pronounced “pweeg”).

Faith:

  • If we are not operating out of spiritual resources, we are operating out of human resources.
  • Culturally, I think that a huge part of the Christian mission in 2013 in America is helping people break cycles of sin in their lives. These are deep layers of ruin that have sometimes covered whole generations of families and affected individuals in untold ways.  The Gospel is more powerful than all of it.

Family:

  • Our home is officially re-opened tomorrow after several months of being “on hold” for foster placements.  Our range is between two and not 5 (4 years 11 months), and we can only have a boy.  Finding a situation that narrow seems like we may be waiting for a while, but who knows?  We’re praying for sure!
  • Sometimes in our lives we think and pray and think and pray and then we just do.  We have talked about re-opening our home for foster care, and last week we got bunk beds for the girls’ room (a needed transition as Jocelyn is now ready for a twin bed).  We also then got bunk beds for the boys room as well so we’d have another full bed to take a boy for foster care.  We hadn’t planned on that being the week, it was just the week it all came together.
  • Best joke from church yesterday: Person: “Kevin, you said you’re writing devotions for your family?” Me: “Yes, we’ve been trying it out a little bit.” Person: “Now I know why your kids sleep so well.” Wow, do I enjoy a good zing!

Random:

  • I have really been lazy on taking the car for an oil change.
  • School is almost over.  Summer is going to be great.
  • Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but I think Food Club has the best imitation Frosted Flakes on the market.

 

Monday Links and Bullets 5.27.13

Another Monday.  I hope you’re enjoying a day off (or at least part of the day) and taking time to reflect on why you have the time off.

That said, below find this week’s collection of articles I’d like to share (links) followed by my usually scattering of thoughts below (bullets).  I’ll post Friday with the most clicked article of the week. Enjoy, and as always, be challenged!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

Here is an article about young men.  Even if you’re not one or don’t know one, I think you should read this.  After all, it’s the link of the week!

The Christian Faith

PARENTING: Ever wondered whether you should protect your kids or “let them be a light”? This article helps us think through this issue.  Here’s an article for parents with older kids (teens & up): do you help your kids too much?

LIFE: Please read the testimony this doctor recently gave to congress.

LOVE: If you don’t want to be convicted about how selfish you can be, don’t read this article.  Actually, read it anyway! It’s incredibly challenging. It’s very good for thinking through ALL types of relationships.

PASTORING: If you don’t pray much for your pastor, after reading this, you should!

Sports

Here’s a very short video I thought was really cool.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

Personal Faith:

  • I have been thinking a lot about discipline.  If we brush our teeth every day (we do, right?) and bathe every day (hopefully…), why is it a struggle for many people to pray and hear from the Creator of the entire universe every day?  The results of not brushing your teeth are obvious, but so is spiritual dry-ness.
  • Even if it is a paragraph of Scripture and 2 minutes of prayer, I think it is preferable to nothing.

Family:

  • Got our daughter’s old bed torn down, family (decades old) bunk beds replaced, and a new twin mattress bought for the lower bunk bed, all in 1 hour and 15 minutes!
  • I enjoy the relationship our children have with their cousins.  It’s a neat thing that will make for lots of lasting memories.

Sports:

  • Anyone else thinking the Browns are a total mystery? Some are saying they’ll be good enough to make the playoffs.  Some are saying they won’t and their owner will be gone by the end of the season because of a scandal enveloping the owner’s business.  That’s quite a range of options!
  • Read an article on ESPN.com today suggesting Rafael Nadal may struggle to win the French, because he dropped a set and was sort of pushed in his first round.  Must be a slow news day in sports.  I’m pretty sure Nadal knows how to handle himself on clay.
  • I’ll put the odds of the Cavs trading the 1st pick at over 50%.  Guarantee they will trade a couple of their picks for an established player they need.  No way will they want to add four more rookies this year.

Random

  • So gas was near $4.00 earlier in the week? Now it’s in the $3.50 range.  So stupid.  If everything we bought and paid for  fluctuated as much as the price of gas, our economy would be total chaos (not to mention our family budget!).
  • I’m happy for friends who are getting to go on vacation!
  • Definitely looking forward to planting the garden this week.  It was supposed to happen today.  Yeah, not so much!

Have a great week!

 

Monday Links and Bullets 5.20.13

Here’s an interesting collection of articles (links) and a collection of thoughts below (bullets). Friday I’ll make a post with a few comments on the article that gets the most clicks this week.  Be challenged, and enjoy!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

This is a very short read that includes quite a story.  You should read it.

The Christian faith.

Over-eating: a diet problem, or a sin problem?

Here is a challenging love letter to a lesbian (or any gay person).

In your old age, don’t be afraid to be a burden.

The U.S.A. 2013

Every American should know about this scandal.  I promise this is not all politics as usual; there really is a reason to know what the government is doing.

Is College Worth It? This article contains an informative book review on that very interesting subject.

BULLET THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

Sports

  • Let’s start with sports this week.  Yes, the Indians are playing well.  Weren’t they 30-15 last year or the year before to start the season?  And yes, they’ve faltered in recent years after good starts.  The difference this year? More depth on offense.  The guys filling in for the injured guys or the under-performing guys can still get it done.
  • Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be on a sports team and be traded?  I would not be set up to handle that well.  In many cases the player just travels and the family stays in one place, but for those who do move with a trade, what a pain.  Good thing they make lots of money.
  • Here’s hoping the Pacers can beat the Heat? I’d put the odds at about 90% that they can’t do it.

Family

  • Does anyone else have rules about turning on the air conditioning?  We don’t turn it on at least until June 1.  Likewise, no way our heat is on before October 1 (preferably later!)
  • I think I ate pizza five straight days (Wednesday – Sunday) between my own preferred pizza and Lexi’s birthday.  Some of that was leftovers.
  • I’m trying to get a plan for the summer time to keep the kids busy and productive.  Julie’s good with this as well.  In my world it’s structure, structure, structure – let’s think through what we want to happen this summer and then make some plans accordingly.

Faith

  • There are strong messages in Jesus’ reaction to the approaching crowd in the Garden of Gethsemene.  He knew the crowd was coming, yet chose to stay, in obedience to Scripture.
  • Being at the Basics Conference for pastors last week was a great experience.  It was some much needed rest and feasting on God’s Word.
  • I have been struggling with poison ivy over the past week.  I’ve been trying lots of things to treat it (yes, I broke down last night and bought some Zanfel), but I realized yesterday I hadn’t really committed it to prayer.  Even in an annoyance like poison ivy, I should be asking God to move it along more quickly than any medicine ever could!

Random

  • I really feel caught up when I can get bills paid and get out from underneath the pile of paperwork.
  • Both of our cars seemed to be covered with bird doo.  Gross!  Got the worst one washed over the weekend.

Have a great week everyone!

 

Monday Links and Bullets 5.13.13

Another week has gone by. It’s time for another Monday post. I’m interested to see what you find interesting out of the articles I’m posting below (links). Look farther down for some loosely organized thoughts (bullets). Be challenged!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

Look at what just opened in Kenmore. Yes, right here in my home community! Love it!

The Christian Faith

BEING A PASTOR: I have found myself in situations very similar to this one. This gives an idea of what can go on…and better yet, how to respond!

SUBURBAN CHRISTIANITY: A good article about a specific brand of Christianity, known as suburbianity.

YOUR HEART: Don’t neglect it.

CONVICTING: Aren’t you glad you’re not like other people?

CLEVELAND: Do you know your neighbors? This was a very good, challenging post from a local source.

BULLET THOUGHTS

Thinking about faith:

  • Who has the ultimate say about how to perceive culture and living: God and His Word, or our experiences? I was challenged on Sunday about this after doing some reading and searching. I think the question highlights the way many are using (or not using) Scripture to form their positions.
  • Do you hunger to see people’s lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit? It’s something that I can honestly say is working and living in me.
  • I am praying for God to make me aware of my spiritual surroundings. More and more, I just don’t feel like coasting. I want to work to challenge people with God’s Word in ways that will meaningfully inspire them to action!

Family:

  • Our daughter Alexa turns ten years old this week. Can you believe that? I cannot be old enough to have a ten year old daughter. But, we praise God for her and for the blessing our children are to us.
  • I went to a class on parenting last Friday (part of maintaining a foster parent license). A secular curriculum pointed to parenting based on unconditional love as the way to go. Hmmmmm…..

Sports:

  • Anyone think Jimmy Haslem will not be the Browns’ owner a year from now? I’d put the chances above 50% (slightly).
  • The Yankees and the Indians are both playing really good baseball. Now, they play two tomorrow. Double headers are fascinating, as the large majority of them are split. I’ll predict an Indians sweep. The Yankees have been winning with a bit of luck. I don’t think they’ll have the quality pitching going tomorrow they’ve had over the past week (5-1 in Colorado and KC).
  • Last Saturday I ran a 5K. That was the last time I ran, save for Monday night’s softball game. Still sore from that.

 

 

Monday Links and Bullets 5.6.13

It’s May.  The weather is warmer and this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  Every Monday I share articles or sites I’ve found interesting (links) and some random thoughts (bullets).  Friday, I do a highlight on the article that got the most interest from today’s post.  Click and away.  And, as always, be challenged!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

KIDS AND SPORTS – here’s a blog post from a Major League manager that gives perspective.  Does yelling really help kids?

The Christian Faith

PARENTS – Do you know about Instagram and how/why your kids use it?

OPPOSITION TO CHRISTIANS – You’ll have to read this to believe it.  Maybe not.  Either way, please tell me who is acting worse here!

TOLEDO, OHIO – Here’s a post that gives a brief description of some of the problems found in Toledo.  It highlights people who are bravely ministering in a very difficult spot.  Take a read!

SPIRITUAL GIFTS – The variety of gifts shows how needy we are!

SEX – Here is a very good article about sex in Christian marriage.  Please read this and let it challenge your thoughts.

GOD’S WORD – Are you prepared only on Sunday for God’s Word, or is it something you prepare for throughout the week as well?

BULLET THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

Challenge

  • Giving up our will is a reflection of what Jesus did for us when He went to the cross.  Wow.  
  • If you are a part of a local church, what is your role?  What is the church’s role? Do you give more than you get?

Sports

  • Church softball starts tonight…..and no one cares outside of our league.  Good perspective.
  • Nice to see the Indians won six in a row.  The highlight for me was Trevor Bauer’s scoreless outing (despite still struggling with control).  I love following young baseball players.

Family

  • Woohoo to my wife, Julie, who ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday in Indianapolis.  I’m proud of her accomplishment and dedication!
  • For the first time in a long time I ran a 5K race.  20:30 wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. About 6:35 per mile.
  • If you have younger children, do you ever find yourself praying for the future spouses of your children? We have begun to do that recently, knowing that finding a peaceful spouse with similar beliefs makes so much difference.

Marriage

  • It’s primary goal is to make you holy; your happiness comes second.
  • Forgiveness is such a huge part of marriage it can’t be underestimated.  As soon as you’re perfect you can stop forgiving your spouse.