Monday, November 21, 2016

3 Parenting Myths...and the Truths We Need to Displace Them

Author and popular blogger Tim Challies summarizes some important parenting wisdom from Chap Bettis HERE. Here's the nutshell:

  • Myth #1: RESULTS GUARANTEED. The perfect environment will guarantee that my children follow the Lord. 
  • Truth #1: You cannot control your children. … Our goal is not ‘successful’ parenting per se, but faithful parenting.”
  • Myth #2: MY KIDS ARE MY LIFE. The ultimate goal of my Christian life is to have my children follow the Lord.
  • Truth #2: You should not make an idol out of having perfect Christian children. … “As my children realize that I love Jesus more than them, they will realize their place in the order of the universe.”
  • Myth #3: IT’S ALL UP TO ME.
  • Truth #3: You cannot do this alone. … "The best thing you can do for your child’s soul is to become actively involved in a gospel-preaching, gospel-living church community.”

By the way, Chap Bettis is a friend of the Chapmans. They think very highly of him. He's lived these principles out in his own home and in the church he pastored for many years. You can get his book (that Tim Challies summarized) by going here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Food for Thought Friday

This collection of juicy quotes comes from a recent post by Russell Moore entitled, "7 Books That Changed My Life." Yes, indeed. There's some life-changing truth here. Read on, chew, and be changed.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism
“The truly penitent man longs to wipe out the effects of sin, not merely to forget sin. But who can wipe out the effects of sin? Others are suffering because of our past sins; and we can attain no real peace until we suffer in their stead. We long to go back into the tangle of our life, and make right the things that are wrong—or at least to suffer where we have caused others to suffer.”

Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember
“The decisions you think are the most important turn out not to matter so much after all,” he wrote, “But whether or not you mail the letter, the way you say goodbye or decide not to say it, the afternoon you cancel everything and drive out to the beach to watch the tide come in—these are to be the moments when souls are won or lost, including quite possibly your own.”
“By faith we are to understand if we are to understand it at all, that the madness and lostness we see all around us and within us are not the last truth about the world but only the next to the last truth.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”
“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state and never its tool.”

Walker Percy, Signposts in a Strange Land
“Just because Jimmy Swaggart believes in God doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist.”
“The good news is that in becoming the minority in all countries, a remnant, the Church also becomes a world church in the true sense, bound to no culture, not even to the West of the old Christendom, by no means triumphant but rather a pilgrim church witnessing to a world in travail and yet a world to which it will appear ever stranger and more outlandish.”

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ernie Johnson's Post Election Thoughts

I really like (and respect) this guy:

And in case you missed it, here's more reason to like (and respect) this guy.


Isaiah: Seeing the Forest After the Trees

We just finished our "God Saves" series on the book of Isaiah last Sunday. It took us 53 weeks worth of Sundays to study our way through it. Isaiah is obviously a big book and it's easy to lose the forest for the trees.

The Bible Project videos are great for gaining a clear "forest view" of a book of the Bible. Here are their two Isaiah videos. They're a great introduction, but also a great recap on the heels of our study.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2016 IDOP Video

Each year, a video is produced for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We showed this year's video last Wednesday night, so you may not have seen it. I encourage you to watch it. It's very sobering, and a powerful testimony of costly, Christlike love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Something You Can Count On

Lamentations 3:21-26
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Song Recommendation: "How Long?" by Sojourn Music

On the heels of Sunday's message, Pastor Tyler brought the song "How Long?" (Sojourn Music) to my attention.

You can listen to it here.

You can catch the lyrics here (YouTube lyrics video).

"How Long?" is on Sojourn's Over The Grave album. Same album that contains "Living Faith," the theme song for our study through the book of James in 2014.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cable News Wants Urgency More Than Importance

Do you?

Seth Godin asks some great questions:
What if the fear and malaise and anger isn't merely being reported by cable news...
What if it's being caused by cable news?
What if ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture?
Which came first, the news or the news cycle?
We seem to accept the hegemony of bottom-feeding media as some natural outgrowth of the world we live in. In fact, it's more likely an artifact of the post-spectrum cable news complex in which bleeding and leading became business goals.
There's always front page news because there's always a front page.
The world is safer (per capita) than ever before in recorded history. And people are more frightened. The rise of the media matches the rise of our fear.
Cable news isn't shy about stating their goals. The real question is: what's our goal? Every time we hook ourselves up to a device that shocks us into a fear-based posture on a regular basis, we're making a choice about the world and how we experience it.
They want urgency more than importance. What do we want?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Cynicism is Not the Measure of Maturity

We swim in a sea of cynicism. Listen to Josh Garrels' insightful song entitled, "Cynicism":
Cynicism is the sickness of my culture
We undress each other with an evil eye
Concentric circles we look like vultures
When we feast on the failures of the lives we criticize
Don't stand alone and cast your stones at her
Unless you think you're innocent yourself
The same measure that we use to condemn men
Will be the same that's poured out upon our heads
We've all gone astray
We kick against the pricks so convinced we know the way
But who can repay
The love we sacrificed for an empire made of clay
Self-promotion's how we function in this culture
We fight for the spotlight with a peacock's pride
And then condescend to all the lesser men
From thrones we make of paid accolades and a compromise
There is no power that a man can have
Unless it's given to him from above
Our ladders of success descend to hell
Don't sell your soul and lose your one true love
We've all gone astray
We kick against the pricks so convinced we know the way
But who can repay
The love we sacrificed to be kings for a day
We not only swim in this sea, we also contribute handsomely to the rising water levels.

Marilynne Robinson, from The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought,
When a good man or woman stumbles, we say, ‘I knew it all along,’ and when a bad one has a gracious moment, we sneer at the hypocrisy. It is as if there is nothing to mourn or to admire, only a hidden narrative now and then apparent through the false, surface narrative. And the hidden narrative, because it is ugly and sinister, is therefore true.
We believe and project this narrative because we fear, we know, its true...within. We're uncomfortable in our own soul and hate it whenever the florescent lights of our failures shine on the sickliness of our skin.

This disposition is not maturity. Cynicism is not a virtue. It is not the sign of health. Here is virtue and maturity and health (1 Corinthians 13:4-13):
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ...  
For we know in part ... but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
And this virtue flowers from the bloody soil at the foot of the cross. If anyone has the right to cynicism, it is God. Yet he is not petty and childish. He is magnanimously merciful and mature. He loved us all the way to the cross, to swallow up our dark narrative, and rewrite our story with light and hope. This new narrative of grace, when it becomes our truth, awakens love and hope and joy. And we leave childish ways behind and start to love.