RSS Robot

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  1. Letter to the Editor: My Children Asked to Read About Benefits of Yoga in School To Lighthouse Trails: My kids are taking an AP English class and were asked to read articles that show the benefits of Yoga in schools. The question was not if Yoga was good or bad, but whether detention using Yoga was effective, reading an article that said it was (per query of the students’ getting […] The post Letter to the Editor: My Children Asked to Read About Benefits of Yoga in School appeared first on . View the full article
  2. “The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.” (Numbers 6:25) This request is part of the well-known Mosaic benediction for the children of Israel (Numbers 6:24-27). The first occurrence in verb form of the word “shine” is in this verse, although in the noun form, translated as ... More... View the full article
  3. “Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.” (Psalm 109:26-27) There is disagreement as to the proper interpretation of this psalm of David. Its center section (vv. 6-20) consists of a strong denunciation and curse, while the beginning and ending sections petition God for ... More... View the full article
  4. American Missionary to Nicaragua Pleads Guilty to Helping Ex-Lesbian Who Fled Country With Daughter LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has been following this story for over seven years. We are advocates for the protection of children, even if that sometimes means breaking laws of the land if the laws of the land have become immoral and outrightly harmful to children. Today, still in hiding with her mother, Isabella is nearly […] The post American Missionary to Nicaragua Pleads Guilty to Helping Ex-Lesbian Who Fled Country With Daughter appeared first on . View the full article
  5. You’ve heard it (and maybe shared it): “Keep Christ in Christmas.” It’s a great thought…but do you do it? December can be such a busy month. Even busy with ministry. But sometimes in all the busyness of the season, we’re as guilty as the innkeeper of not making room for Jesus, even if our reasons are well intentioned. How can you, throughout the month of December, not only keep your head above water but actually make this month a season of worship? Here are seven suggestions: Attend every church service. You might be inclined to think that cutting back on church attendance during a busy month would relieve your schedule, that coming to every service just adds to the busyness. In actuality, if you come with a heart to quiet the white noise of the season and worship the Christ of Christmas, it doesn’t add to the busyness—it adds to the worship. (It could also add to your gospel opportunities if you invite a friend.) Schedule time for personal worship. Carve out time daily to open God’s Word and spend even just a few moments reflecting on Christ’s love, humility, and grace in coming to be our Saviour. Don’t wait until December 25 to read the Christmas story. Begin today reading Matthew 2 and Luke 1–2. Read Philippians 2. Reread them. Read them all in one sitting. Then read again just a few verses a day. Meditate on them. Even if you are a pastor immersed in ministry for Christmas, take time to immerse your own heart in the rich truths of the Incarnation. Use a Christmas devotional. If you read just one short book this month, make it a Christmas devotional that will encourage you to reflect on Christ and what His coming to earth means for us. Christmas Is a Gift (also available on kindle or iBooks) could be a helpful one. For a short devotional sent to your inbox each morning, you can subscribe to Daily in the Word. These daily devotions are featuring Christmas passages and truths all of the month of December. Teach children the meaning of Christmas. Whether it is your own children at home or helping in a class at church, teach a child the true meaning of Christmas. Or a new Christian. There is nothing to remind us of the wonder of familiar truths like seeing it through the eyes of a child or a new Christian. Think about the carols as you sing them. In some ways, Christmas has built in reminders to make room for Christ if we will simply think about what we do as we do it. Our Christian Christmas carols are among those. As you sing them in church, hear them in the mall (that’s one thing I love about this time of year), or play them from your phone…think about the words. Invite a guest to church. This is the easiest time of year to invite a family member, co-worker, friend, or neighbor to church. Between children’s presentations, church choir musicals, or a candlelight service, there are usually events at every church to which you could invite a guest. This year, Christmas itself is even on a Sunday! Give the gospel to someone. Beyond inviting someone to church, pray for an opportunity to fully share the gospel with someone. There is no better way to keep Christ in Christmas than to tell someone else the reason He came: to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Related posts: ’Tis the Season…for Soulwinning! 7 Guidelines for a Joyous Christmas Soulwinning Knows No Seasons View the full article
  6. By Jcgumpal - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, No – that’s not our nativity set. In fact, we don’t put up a nativity set – but my daughter does. The baby in the manger, surrounded by parents, shepherds, various sheep, cows but no Magi, no camels laden with gifts. They are across the room because they didn’t arrive until the family moved into a house. That’s her personal statement that most nativity sets – as the beautiful one above, does not reflect the correct chronology as told in the gospels. The unreality is not my reason for not setting up a nativity scene. Mine is simply that at our age and physical condition, we do little decorating that has to be unpacked, arranged, enjoyed, packed and put away. Unlike our doctor and hospital visits, those activities are not necessary. We do put up a “tree” as a signal that we know what season it is: Yes, it does take some work to put up and take down, but not much. I hope it tells people that we do celebrate Christmas, that we’re pretty much country people but not much more. No angels – though they did herald His birth. No stable – though He lay in a manger, most likely surrounded by farm animals. No shepherds – though after hearing the angels they did come in from the fields. Absolutely no wise men/kings or camels – though they came later and are included in the story of his birth. And it’s His birth we will celebrate. Not as the date He was born, but as a date chosen by men. Not as a celebration whose attention is required by scripture, though the story of His birth is detailed from conception to the flight to Egypt. We celebrate because: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV) Paul understood this: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV) Every day I live in thanksgiving for God’s love. Every Sunday I meet with others to celebrate Christ’s resurrection – the awesome sign given His followers. On December 25, a Sunday, we’ll add the celebration of His birth in services and include dinner with family and extended family in remembrance of God’s gift and His love for the world. I do this because I love the Lord, not because of any other person’s traditions. I do not wish to change anyone’s mind about how they view this national holiday in a world-wide setting. I do ask for the same scriptural understanding from other Christians that was given to us through the Apostle Paul: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:5-6 KJV)View the full article
  7. “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11) The pungent phrase “from the beginning” occurs no less than nine times in the first three chapters of the little epistle of 1 John. Thus, while in one sense, Christ’s command to love one another was a new commandment, in another sense it has... More... View the full article
  8. To Ray Yungen, from Castle’s in the Sand Author, Carolyn Greene: A Tribute LTRP Note: Carolyn recently mailed this letter to Lighthouse Trails. She wrote it shortly after Ray passed away (on October 16th). Carolyn is the author of Castles in the Sand and Dangerous Illusions. Dear Ray, How I have missed you, and always will. The first time I heard about you, I read your book, A […] The post To Ray Yungen, from Castle’s in the Sand Author, Carolyn Greene: A Tribute appeared first on . View the full article
  9. “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 106:48) Many is the speaker who, after he has made some point which he considers especially good, will then say: “And all the people said, ‘Amen’” (meaning “that’s right!&rdqu... More... View the full article
  10. It is exciting to announce that Live Lighter, Love Better is available tomorrow morning! (Nov. 30) What a privilege it is to work with the Striving Together publications team to make this project available! I’m grateful for their excellent work. I received my advance copy this week and was excited to see the beautiful quality of the finished product. (242 pages, hard-cover) Striving Together is offering a launch day promotion—any purchase of the hard copy book will come with a free ebook of Live Lighter, Love Better as well as the free ebook—Real Christianity. Live Lighter, Love Better is a book that will challenge you to think deeply about the values that drive your life, and it will lead you to twelve courageous decisions—each one focused on building a lifestyle that is grounded in the gospel and balanced in God’s grace. It’s a book that will help you do less that you might love more. Perhaps in addition to yourself, someone you love could benefit from this book as well. I hope you will consider giving it as a gift this Christmas. For more information, to view the book trailer, or to download the first chapter visit: Striving Together Publications. I pray this book will prepare you for a new year of living lighter and loving better! Sincerely, Cary View the full article
  11. The Calvary Chapel Association Announces Complete Separation from Brian and Cheryl Brodersen, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and the Calvary Chapel Global Network Understand the Times, International posted the following letter yesterday (November 28th) that was sent out worldwide to Calvary Chapel Pastors by the Calvary Chapel Association. November 28, 2016 Calvary Chapel Pastors, Pastor Chuck Smith chose a group of men to lead the Calvary Chapel movement after his passing. The Calvary Chapel Association Council was a […] The post The Calvary Chapel Association Announces Complete Separation from Brian and Cheryl Brodersen, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and the Calvary Chapel Global Network appeared first on . View the full article
  12. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11) What are these “works of darkness” which we must avoid? Some of these works are enumerated in Romans 13:12-13: “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, . . . not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not i... More... View the full article
  13. David Jeremiah Admits Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline Promotes New Age Practices! For many years now, Lighthouse Trails has been trying to warn the body of Christ about the book that first introduced contemplative spirituality into the evangelical/Protestant church. That book, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, was released in 1978, and in that first edition, Foster said, “we should all without shame enroll in the school […] The post David Jeremiah Admits Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline Promotes New Age Practices! appeared first on . View the full article
  14. Have you ever gotten to the end of a “day off” and felt just as exhausted as you did at the beginning? Have you ever looked back over the day and wished for a do over? God so kindly designed our lives to function best with one day out of seven as a day of rest. Although “the Sabbath” is not a New Testament requirement, time for rest is something God created us with a need for. Many people, especially “Type A” leaders, struggle to take this time of rest to actually decompress mentally and emotionally and renew spiritually. (I know, because I am among those people.) Here are seven suggestions that may be helpful: Turn off your phone. If you’re like me, your phone is the pipeline through which almost every other distraction flows. Turn it off if at all possible. If you can’t turn it off for accessibility reasons, at least disable your email and social media for the day. Don’t mix work and a day off. Worse than not taking a day off is the illusion you are taking a day off when you really are connected to work most of the day. Don’t try to mix the two. You will be more refreshed the next day if you totally disengage. And if your day off includes time with your family, you will be able to give them your focus. Plan your company. I love it when I can spend the day with Terrie or with our children and grandchildren. Sometimes it’s so helpful to plan time with replenishing friends. And sometimes it’s good to have a day alone. If you are single, I would encourage you to try to plan at least points in the day to connect with others who will be relationally and spiritually encouraging. Avoid idleness. If you plan to sleep, that’s great! But avoid sitting around all day watching television. Choose a location, and plan an activity. There are some things that do not replenish me and some that do. Shopping doesn’t help me unwind. Traveling to the coast with Terrie does. Family time with our kids or grandkids does. Sometimes staying home to read is helpful for getting rest. Just make sure your time is planned. Develop a hobby. For most of us in ministry, our lives are wrapped around what we do for others. It’s healthy to find a hobby that is not mentally draining and that we can look forward to engaging in occasionally. For me, this is golfing. I’m not particularly good at it and have no intention of putting the time in to become good at it, but it can be a nice way to relax with my sons or with friends. Perhaps for you it would be hiking or photography or painting or hunting. Engage in what you know will help. Sometimes I enter a day off so exhausted that nothing seems like it would feel replenishing. This is a signal to me to choose to do those things that I know are replenishing—spending time in God’s Word, getting out for exercise, reading, things that, even if I don’t feel like doing them in the moment, will make me feel good. You might find it helpful to make a list ahead of time of activities you know will be replenishing for you. I’ve been a long-time learning how important it is to be intentional about resting. But I am learning that taking a day off—and planning to make that a time when I disengage and replenish—is a way of honoring God and acknowledging my dependence upon Him. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.—Psalm 127:1–2 I hope these suggestions will help you to do the same. Related posts: 5 Ways to Keep Your Joy in Ministry 10 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor 7 Ways to be a Godly Friend View the full article
  15. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) When we pray for others, we not only are helping to assure a good life for ourselves—as o... More... View the full article