Archive for July 5th, 2012

Chris Braun shares six nuggets from Proverbs 6:6-9 for instilling a hard work ethic in your children:

  1. Read Proverbs together
  2. Set an ant-like example
  3. Acquire a taste for work
  4. No need to move a mountain; just carry a crumb
  5. Fear laziness
  6. Work together

Read this short, helpful post here.

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R. C. Sproul, Jr.’s post, “Breaking Hearts,” is will be an encouragement to those who find themselves facing multiple trials in their lives or for all of us who face the everyday trials of life. .  His wife died of cancer last year, leaving him as a single father to eight children.  In part he writes:

Five days ago, concerned over a radical increase in seizure activity, and a frightening lethargy I called Shannon’s neurologist. Shannon is my 14 year old daughter. Her brain did not develop properly, and she has the mental capacity of a toddler. She also suffers from seizures. The nurse with whom I spoke had no uncertainty with her advice — call 911 and get her to the emergency room. She has been wonderfully cared for. Sundry experts have run their tests. Nurses have loved on her. Visitors have come to cheer her. And, by God’s grace it looks likely she will get over this, and in a day or two we will go home. Why then is my heart so heavy?

Because I don’t trust my Father as I ought.…

I am here and not [at home] because He has brought this to pass. I am here for Shannon’s sake, for her good. I am here for my own sake, for my good. And I am here for the sake of Darby, Campbell, Delaney, Erin Claire, Maili, Reilly and Donovan. My Father knows what each of my children need. He knows how to grow the fruit of the Spirit in each of them. He knows precisely what they each need to become more like Jesus. And He has the power to bring this to pass. What they need right now if for me to be here.

Loss of a mother, worry for a sister are not emotional meteorites hurtling haphazardly toward the psyches of my children. They are the plans He has for them, plans to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Which, by His grace, are the same plans He has for me. By His grace I will hope in Him and praise Him, for the help of His countenance (Psalm 42:5).

Read the rest of Breaking Hearts and be strengthened by God’s grace today!

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Clint Archer has two posts (part 1 and 2) that highlight six key pieces of biblical wisdom for single adults.

  1. Be pure
  2. Be realistic
  3. Be informed
  4. Be grateful
  5. Be warned
  6. Be content

Clint also links to a book for single young ladies by Nancy Wilson.

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Ken Currie, lead pastor for outreach at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis addresses the issue of awkwardness in evangelism and how we can deal with it.  He begins:

Evangelism is counter-cultural. It’s true everywhere on the planet, but perhaps it’s especially so in our increasingly post-Christian Western society. We live in a polite culture, for the most part. Talk about religion? You just don’t go there. Talk about how many tornadoes have come through, and how the team is doing, and how the city has new recycling bins. But Jesus Christ, crucified for sinners and risen from the dead? You just don’t go there. So they say.

For the time being, it seems the greatest threat to gospel-telling in such a society is not that we will be hauled before the city council, beaten, and have our property taken away. What we are really dealing with is some awkwardness.

Awkwardness is perhaps the biggest threat to evangelism for far too many of us.

I’ve done a little research and can confirm to you that there is not one documented case of someone dying, or even being severely injured, by awkwardness. Not one. . . .

Keep reading if feel that sense of awkwardness sharing the gospel.

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Paul Tripp sends out Wednesday’s Word, a resource of Paul Tripp Ministries. For more information about Paul Tripp Ministries, visit www.paultripp.com:

We all dream of the perfect relationship. You know, the one that is free of disagreement, conflict, communication difficulties, power battles, anger and control. We can envision what it would be like. The problem is, none of us ever get what we were once able to imagine. When we wake up from our dreams, we all are greeted by the reality that all of our relationships live in the same location – the fallen world, and all of our relationships are with the same kind of person – an imperfect human being. (I will remind you again, you’re one of those too!)

Now you just have to ask why God would choose to subject us to such difficulty and disappointment. Is there meaning in the mess? Is there mercy in the mess? Maybe right now you are facing things in one of your relationships you never imagined you would face. Maybe right now you are dealing with such deep hurt and disappointment that you simply don’t know what to do. Have you wondered what in the world God is doing? Have you been tempted to doubt his goodness and question his love?

Here are some things to remember:

1. God never gets a wrong address. Acts 17 tells us that God determines the exact place where we will live and the exact length of our lives. Your life is not out of control. What you are facing is not the result of God forgetting you. No, God hasn’t turned his back on the promises he made to you. I know it’s hard to grasp, but what you’re facing is the result of God being faithful to his promises to you.

2. God is in the middle of the mess with you. Psalm 46 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” If you are God’s child, you have never been in a location all by yourself. If you are God’s child, you have never been in a relationship all by yourself. You have never endured difficulty in isolation. Why? Because God is always with you and he is there so that you would have a place to run (“refuge”) and help in your moments of greatest discouragement and weakness (“strength”).

3. God is up to something good in the mess. Here’s the mistake we make in the way we attempt to make sense out of lives. We think that the mess is a sure sign that God is not working in our lives, because if he were at work, we wouldn’t be in such a mess. The Bible tells us something completely different. It tells us that because God loves us so, he is not satisfied with us as we are. He looks down at us and sees many areas where change and growth are needed. He couldn’t love us and be willing to leave us in our immaturity and weakness. So, God takes us where we do not want to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own – character. And how does he do this? He uses the difficult experiences of life to expose and change our hearts. One of his main tools is our relationships. These messy relationships expose our hearts, bring us to the end of ourselves and cause us to reach out for the help that only Jesus can give us.

I know it is hard to face the hurt and disappointment of a relationship gone bad. But there is hope. You are never alone. The One who is with you is up to something very good and because he is, there really is mercy to be found right smack dab in the middle of the mess!

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