Thursday, September 10, 2015

War Room: A Movie Worth Seeing

Full Disclosure: I am generally not favorably inclined to “Christian” movies like War Room for a number of reasons.  (Scroll down to the end of this blog if you want to know why.)  That said, I came away from this movie encouraged and impressed by three specific things:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Marriage: A Contract To Aid In One Another’s Sanctification

This past Sunday I quoted Dr Richard Lovelace regarding the idea that for Christ-followers, marriage served as an important "school for sanctification."  Here is the longer quotation from his book, Renewal as a Way of Life

Growth in sanctification should be a lifelong series of alterations in our lives through such crises of conviction.  One of the functions of God’s law (biblical moral principles which declare God’s will for our behavior) is to measure our lives and locate places where they need changing.  “The Law” come to us again and again, not only in the pages of Scripture, but also in the warnings or protests of people close to us who can see our failing, however much they may be in the dark about their own.  Parents, teachers, the police and other authorities are all personalized forms of the law.

A husband or wife also functions in this same way, serving God as an agent of our sanctification.  He or she can see the patterns of sin which are hidden from our own vision by spiritual darkness, and from the world because it sees only the surface of our lives.  Most divorces among Christians probably occur because the parties have not realized that marriage is a contract to aid in one another’s sanctification.  Without this realization, we become experts at what is wrong with one another, without recognizing that the information our spouse is giving us about ourselves is an essential aid to our spiritual growth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Putting On The Brakes: Why Johns Hopkins Hospital No Longer Does Transgender Surgery

Like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, I would like to share some information.  I realize it is dangerous to step in front of a freight train and shout “Slow down!!” and that is what this feel like, but here goes.  With cover stories on Vanity Fair and the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on transgender people, I want to say that there is more to the story that needs to be considered as well.

First of all, what a challenging situation to love and care for someone struggling with what is commonly called “gender identity issues,” especially when the person with the struggle is our child.  I certainly would not want to “pile on” any parents struggling with that, but especially for anyone in that situation right now, I want to offer some information for consideration that is getting lost.  I know I would want to know it if I were a parent in this situation.

Sorting Through the Duggar Rubble

The sexual abuse of children is a topic that most would prefer to not talk about, but one that we must be prepared to face.  There are victims among us, and we want to care for them in appropriate and helpful ways.  Avoidance cripples our ability to do that.

The recent revelation of the sexual abuse perpetrated years ago by Josh Duggar – part of the reality TV family at the center of “19 Kids and Counting – puts the issue in our faces, so let me suggest  some things to consider, as well as references that I found helpful for digging deeper.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pray Each Day With Scotty Smith Using Your Smart Phone

I’ve made it no secret that my own prayer life has been enriched by including the daily prayers of Scotty Smith.  First in his book Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith and now with his daily “prayer blog” Heavenward on blog list, I join him in prayer daily.

Things have gotten better – or at least easier – to do that.

If you have a smart phone search your app store – available free on both Apple and Android – for the PrayerMate app developed by Andy Geers.  Click Here to learn more about PrayerMate from Andy himself.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Gospel, Identity and Questions of Sexuality

With regard to sexuality and marriage questions, the “message” for my LGBT friends and neighbors is identical to the “message” I have for everyone, including myself.  Whether straight or gay, married or single, old or young, the Gospel sets you free from seeking your core identity in your sexual preferences or performance.  That message impacts different people in different ways, but it means that Jesus offers all of us a new identity – the identity of “in Christ.” This identity then becomes the life-giving source to all other aspects of my life.  “I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”  Those opening words to the Heidelberg Catechism state it well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Encouragement For Parents - And The Rest of Us As Well!

My wife and I began the parenting adventure in a different century.  That gives us some historical perspective on what parents face today.  

Now, as an overdue grandparent and pastor of young families, I find myself very, very aware of how dramatically the world that we parent in has changed.  Technology, entertainment and social pressures have altered the ocean of life that families will grow in.  No wise parent would face those waters alone.  Here are three GREAT resources for encouraging and equipping parents in this new setting.   

By the way, they are in alphabetical and not rank order.  You’ll want to read them all, even if you are raising only boys or only girls.  Odds are still good that your kids will eventually bring home your potential “child-in-law” and you’ll want to get started understanding that gender NOW!
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