Archive for September, 2014

This week in the marriage class I am facilitating, we were challenged with a call to go after our children’s hearts instead of merely pursuing behavior modification. Paul Tripp explained in this video series that trying to get instant obedience might work in the short term but it won’t produce any lasting change because lasting change only goes through the heart. Whenever we threaten, manipulate, or guilt our children into obedience we are avoiding the hard but needed heart work we are called to. This is a very challenging and sobering truth that has convicted me greatly as I think about my parenting. As I came across this article this week, I found myself relating to this mother and how she handled her child in a public setting without dealing with her heart. But I also see the hope found in the cross of Christ that is offered to rebellious children and inconvenienced and embarrassed parents. Check it out by following this link: I’ll Never Take You Shopping Again

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In this short video, Timothy Paul Jones explains how he and his wife try to disciple their children at home. If the culture in your home hasn’t included time in the Bible, family worship, faith talks, or whatever else you call it, it can be hard and intimidating to start something like this. In this video Jones explains what the goals are in doing something like this and how we shouldn’t expect a worship service to break out every time or for our kids to remember every word we say and hide them in their hearts forever. Check it out.

An Open Letter to Parents

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is a repost from last year, but it presents some challenging questions that force us as parents and students to look at our schedules, commitments, and priorities.

I remember in middle and high school (and really elementary too) the demands my extracurricular activities placed on my time. For me they consisted primarily of school and sports. I was forced into the former and lived for the latter. I also was raised attending church. Anytime that my extracurricular activities conflicted with being at a church related activity, Bible study, or summer camp, the extracurricular activity won the day. Too much homework? Church was negotiable. Have a game or a practice? Church was negotiable. Hunting or lake season? Church was negotiable. This was the culture in our home, although the overwhelming majority of the time these conflicts didn’t occur and my parents had us faithfully attend.

With that being my personal experience and now watching scores of students (and adults for that matter) who are stretched thin and over-committed and who say with their parents that they want to be at church, but….(fill in the blank with whatever takes precedence), I appreciate this article I came across this week. Do I agree with everything he says? No. Do we need to show grace? Absolutely. Is this too judgmental and condemning? Debatable. But the question we need to ask as parents and students and church members is why we think this is too harsh? Is it because it’s mean spirited and condemning or is it because it’s true and the truth hurts when we’re trying to justify our actions? If God is real and eternity is forever and this life is a vapor, what could possibly be more important than making Him and our faith and our church community priorities in our lives that take precedence over temporary things that are here today and gone tomorrow?

Check out this article at: http://www.organicstudentministry.com/?p=1792#comments

This is a repost from last year but I think it’s worth looking at again.

Suffering is something we all go through in this life. We hear and often have firsthand experiences of tragic suffering. In this video, three pastors (John Piper, David Platt, and Matt Chandler) discuss the goodness of God in suffering by looking at personal examples of suffering in their lives as well as how we can have hope in the midst of it. It’s worth 9 minutes of your time. Check it out.

Tim Hawkins- Parenting Songs

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

We showed this video to open up our parenting class last Sunday morning. I find it quite hilarious and it might even be a way to get through with your teenagers! Check it out!

The Church Needs More Tattoos

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

What? Some of you are confused by a blog title that seems to go against the sentiments you have been raised in and around. And yet, in our desire to be “in the world but not of the world,” our traditions and biases have often have led us to be so against those not like us that we prevent ourselves from being able to minister the gospel to them. If someone came into our church and was another race, living another lifestyle, was of a different socio-economic status, wore different types of clothes, had a storied past, and maybe even had a little ink on their skin, would you feel excited that they were coming to sit under the word of God and hopeful that God’s redeeming grace would be showered upon them? Or would you feel threatened and uncomfortable as you prefer they stay away from the holy huddle you are accustomed to?

The truth is, the gospel of Jesus Christ is an offensive message. It is offensive because it cuts the legs out from under the self sufficient, independent, do it my way attitude that pervades our culture and our hearts. The gospel is good news of salvation only because of our inability save ourselves, and in our “pick yourself up by your own bootstraps” world, that message is a cause of offense. We are not called to change the gospel because it is offensive, but we should strive to let the gospel and its implications alone be offensive to a lost and watching world. When our preferences and comfort are the idols ruling our hearts, our churches look more like country clubs and social clubs then like hospitals for sick people.

I love Russell Moore. He was the dean at my seminary and is now the president of the Ethics of Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention (yes we have one of those and it does mean something). He gives leadership to helping Southern Baptist think about ethical issues in our country and world from a biblical and theological perspective. I have so much confidence in him leading this charge for our convention and I love the article he put out last week on why the church needs more tattoos. It might challenge your thinking and maybe will give you a fresh perspective, but it will definitely be worth a read.

Check it out here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/05/12/the-church-needs-more-tattoos/

Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Flip on your television or radio and you will hear a constant steam of worldviews that are not based out of the Bible. Many of them will also be opposed to what God’s word says. Our children are forming their worldview each day. The question is what and who is coming alongside them to help them interpret our world? What is a biblical worldview and how in the world are we supposed to teach our children to have one?

This link will send you to an explanation of these things from Timothy Paul Jones. Check it out: Teaching Children a Biblical Worldview