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 TheGospelCoalition.org 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!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Resources On MTD

This Sunday, I referred to "Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism" and would like to make a number of resources easily available.  As I said at that time, I am increasingly convinced that MTD is the "Spirit of the Age."  I encourage people to prayerfully and thoughtfully cultivate the discernment to identify MTD's impact in their own life and in their circle of relationships.  No church adertises themselves as an "MTD Church," but all of us face it, many are unaware of its influence on them and some have - whether knowlingly or not - let MTD replace the Gospel of Grace in their ministry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meet Hank Spinner . . .

On January 11, I used a video recording of a drama sketch called “The Plate Spinner” written and performed by Willow Creek Church in Chicago.  You could tell it was from the ‘80’s, but it seems sooooo descriptive of the lives we all seem to lead today.   Teens are spinning plates of popularity, school, extra-curricular activities.  Single Moms are spinning a set of plates all their own.  Retirees have their own plates that make demands of them.  You get the picture.  It seems we are ALL busy and distracted with a the wobbling plates of our particular life.

I found a Youtube video of the same script by a different church, so wanted to make that available below.   

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