When Your Kids Won’t Bow to Your Idols

I believe there is a great deal of truth in this article. It was a good reminder that if we are not careful, all we may end up doing with our children is turning them away from Christ instead of pointing them to Christ. I recommend all true believing parents to read the blogpost found here by Jennifer Phillips.

Willing to Be Broken

It seems no matter how long I walk with the Lord, there are things that are difficult for me to accept or understand. Especially when my body is under attack, I don’t handle it well. And yet I know that my God does all things well.

Not long ago, I realized that I had fallen into the trap that so many in ministry do: that of being too busy serving God to have a lot of time for Him. This bothered me and I determined to do better. After all, I can’t do what I do without His help. Well, God granted that desire, just not how I would have chosen and, honestly, I’ve struggled with it.

I don’t know why I still fight God sometimes. In my heart, I know His way is best but my mind does not always want to accept it. I hate limitations. But right now God is using these limitations that I despise to draw me closer to Him. I’ve needed this time but it took God intervening, mercifully helping me to slow down and acknowledge Him and allow Him to direct my paths.

broken

The fact is that, even in the valley, God is good. Our job as His children is to be still and know that He is God. He desires to be exalted in our lives and will do whatever He needs to do to accomplish that. I, for one, am thankful. I don’t want to get so far away from my Savior that I don’t realize I’ve strayed.

I’m not through my valley yet but I am learning to rest in the fact that I am where He wants me for a (hopefully short) season.

No one likes being broken. Our pride rebels at the first sign of weakness or not getting our way. And yet Scripture tells us that a broken heart He will not despise (Psalm 51:17). If I want to please Him, I must have a put away all haughtiness and stubbornness and be willing to be broken for Him.

I don’t know what all God is doing in my life right now, but I know whatever He does will be for my good and His glory. I pray I come through this stronger than ever before. And that is my prayer for you as well.

Christians are not always strong. We need God to make it through this life. Storms come. Trials bombard. But we still serve a loving God. He is right there with arms outstretched waiting to comfort and hold and wipe away your tears. All you have to do is ask.

How Necessary is Experience?

We live in a society where people won’t receive advice from those who haven’t “walked in their shoes.” The older I get, the more I realize that experience is not always necessary.

Whether I have been married or not, I know how husbands and wives are to treat each other. Whether or not I ever have children, I know a few things about what works and what doesn’t work in raising children. I also realize that all children are different, so what works for one may not work for another. Basic principles can be the same though.

The Bible has clear guidelines as to how a person is to live. It really doesn’t matter what I would do if I were going through your circumstances. There is still a right way to handle a situation and a wrong way.

I believe part of the reason people get defensive is that they do not want to be judged for bad decisions they are making. If you are living in any way contrary to the Word of God, you are judged already. No one should be unwilling to receive input, regardless of the source.

advice

For many years, I have periodically counseled people on marriage, parenting, and other issues. I often felt unqualified, but people needed help so I prayed and asked God for wisdom. Between Scripture and things I have learned from reading, praying, and watching others, I believe God used me during those times.

Too many times, people use excuses to do what they want to do. They are not interested in what the Bible says; they want to do what feels good in the moment. Because of this, children are hurt by parents divorcing. Selfishness reigns so that there is constant heartache and strife. God gave instructions for a reason. He loves His children and desires them to live a peaceful, holy life that He can bless. There is a reason that he condemns greed, envy, unforgiveness, hatred, etc. Those things cause us to do things that we will live to regret … if we live long enough.

Maybe I haven’t gone through what you are going through, but I know we serve a loving God. I know that His plan for you is good and not evil … IF you follow His ways.

Praise: A Sacrifice?

I grew up singing “We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord” but I confess that I did not understand what a “sacrifice of praise” was until a few years ago. Praising God is fun … at least for me … so how could it be a sacrifice?

I am reading through the Book of Psalms right now, and it tells us a number of times to offer up a “sacrifice of praise” or a “sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Reading it translated as “thanksgiving” has caused me to ponder this even more.

praise

My family and I have entered a season of life recently that, honestly, I have been dreading. In it, I am going to have to die to self and forgo some of my plans this summer. That’s not easy for me but I know that, in this, God is performing His perfect work. Because of this, I do find myself thanking Him. I don’t always feel like it but, as I praise Him and thank Him for what He is doing in each of our lives, I feel more peace and more grace, and I know that, because of Him, I’ll never walk alone.

No matter what you are going through today, don’t stop praising Him. You may not always like the changes that God brings your way or the tasks He calls you to but, if you are willing to lay down your life and surrender to Him 100%, you will find that peace that passes understanding, and you will grow even closer to a God who loves you so much more than you can think or imagine.

rose

How Much Do You Love Christ?

Oh Father, may you reawaken the first love we had for Christ when we were rescued from the pit of hell and from having to undergo Your wrath. May our hearts be overwhelmed with Jesus Christ so that there is nothing that will ever be first above Him.

Christ does not want prominence (first among many), He demands that preeminence. He must be the first and only one we worship.

A Common Thread

For the first time in my ministry, I have been studying in some depth the Ten Commandments. This has been a most profitable study in my own heart and life. I have been encouraged to share my notes, and while it is not the same as the message, I pray that someone might gain some profit from what is written. Lord willing, I will seek to share my notes on each message over the coming weeks.

**********
“Intro to the Decalogue – A Common Thread”

Text: Exodus 20:1-17, “And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13Thou shalt not kill. 14Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15Thou shalt not steal. 16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Intro: From the records of ancient civilizations three millennia past to the laws of modern civilization, there is a common thread that resounds with each person. It will not leave them alone and the points it makes haunts every person who has ever lived or who will ever live. From a human perspective, each culture has resorted to establishing a set of punishments for those who seek to break the common thread that keeps humanity in line. From a divine perspective, the common thread only serves to prove that God is indeed true and every man a liar, and also points to an unfathomable doom reserved for each who disobey Deity.

If you were to find and visit a tribe that exists in a stone-age type of environment, you would find that little has changed with respect to this particular facet of human history and literature. The historical veracity of the common thread is unchallenged even though the literature originally presented is no longer in known existence.

Continue reading