RSS Robot

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  1. “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) It is sad that many Christians today are so eager to appear intellectual they are willing to compromise God’s clear revelation to do so. God has made it as clear as plain words could make it that “in six days t... More... View the full article
  2. All children have moments or seasons when they struggle with obedience—just like their parents. But some young people, particularly in their teenage years, become defiant and overtly disrespectful. Why? There are many contributing reasons—including the freewill of every person to follow the Lord or to reject authority— but below are seven factors common when teenagers rebel. Regardless of what you may be doing right as a parent, if you are also doing any of these, you are undermining your own influence: When they hear parents criticize authority—If every night you come home from work and talk about your boss in a way you never would to his face, if every Sunday lunch you talk about the mistakes the pastor is making, if you take sides with your child in criticizing his teachers or coaches, don’t be surprised when your child disrespects you. Hearing you disrespect authorities—no matter how justified it seems or how much your children agree with you—plants seeds of disrespect in their hearts. When they see parents violating Scripture—None of us are perfect, but when your children see you flagrantly disobeying Scripture, they know you don’t really believe what you are teaching them, and you will lose their respect. When they feel their parents do not love one another—The seeds of insecurity sown in a young person’s heart when she feels her parents don’t love each other run deep. If you have difficulties in your marriage, determine together that you are going to work through them. Ask for pastoral counseling. Get individual counseling if necessary. Get whatever help you need, but don’t give up on your marriage. No matter how many times you tell your children that it’s not their fault that you can’t get along with your spouse, they won’t believe you—not down deep. When they are not disciplined for disobedience—When your son breaks the curfew you established, when your daughter continues to neglect her homework, when you learn your children have been hanging out with friends you told them to avoid…and there are no consequences, they learn not to respect what you say. When they are rewarded materially in spite of bad behavior—A parent who thinks, “If I just keep giving stuff to my child, he’ll really love me” or “If I refuse to buy him what he asks for, we’ll lose our relationship,” is being lazy. The truth is, your teen will not love you more for what you buy him; he will enjoy what you buy, but he will lose respect for you when he knows you won’t ever tell him “no.” When they are compensated materially by parents who pity them—Give your children gifts, yes. If your teenager, however, is always asking for money, but is unwilling to work or to budget and you keep giving her money, she loses respect for you. Giving freely to your kids because you are their parent is one thing; financially bailing them out repeatedly (even if the bailout is just avoiding missing an activity) is another. They will learn to see you as a financial source to manipulate, rather than a loving provider and teacher. When they are allowed to participate in activities which they were told they would not enjoy unless they obeyed—Teenagers need you to hold firm boundaries. While there may be occasions for mercy, if you regularly go back on the conditions you established for your child to participate in events they enjoy, your child won’t respect you. Additionally, at that point, even the times you do hold the line become a further wedge in your relationship because the lack of consistency will make it feel like a personal attack. If you tell your teenager that there are conditions attached to participating in a particular event, hold to that. The years of a child’s life that we most commonly associate with disrespect—teen years—are often not the beginning of the disrespect in their hearts. A six- or seven-year-old child usually feels more dependent on his parents than a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old and thus is less likely to show overt rebellion—even though the seeds of disrespect may be already growing in his heart. This is why it is vital to cultivate respect in your children’s hearts while they are young. As you endeavor to teach your child respect, be careful that you are not undermining your words by your actions. This post is an excerpt from lesson six of a newly-released curriculum Making Home Work in a Broken Society. The curriculum is based on the book by the same title and is structured to teach in a class or small group setting for thirteen weeks. Also available is a ministry download with student outlines and presentation slides. For more information or to order, visit Related posts: 5 Common (But Wrong) Assumptions Christian Parents Make 3 Ways to Win as a Parent Growth Points 55: Five Ways to Have a Positive Influence in the Life of Your Child View the full article
  3. Legal Challenge Dropped After Court Declares Gender Identity Laws Don’t Apply to Churches By Heather Clark Christian News Network DES MOINES, Iowa — A legal challenge that had been filed against the Iowa Human Rights Commission over its interpretation of local laws pertaining to gender identity has been dropped after a federal judge noted that churches are not generally considered places of public accommodation by the courts. “This […] The post Legal Challenge Dropped After Court Declares Gender Identity Laws Don’t Apply to Churches appeared first on . View the full article
  4. Letter to the Editor: LT Materials Helped Friend Leave the New Age Movement Dear Lighthouse Trails: I would like to say a few things to each and everyone of you at Lighthouse Trails to include all the authors, your speakers, ect. My husband and I have been reading your articles, buying your books, to include videos for around 6 years and we can’t begin to tell you how […] The post Letter to the Editor: LT Materials Helped Friend Leave the New Age Movement appeared first on . View the full article
  5. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) This is, no doubt, the shortest commandment in the Bible, and seemingly the most difficult to obey. How could anyone possibly pray without ceasing? What about sleeping, or working, or other necessary pursuits? Paul himself claimed to pray without ceasing. For example, he wrote to the Roman church: ... More... View the full article
  6. This graphic is an edited screen capture which could be used to document some discussions I’ve overhead or read about. I commuted with a young man who took a great deal of pride in not having a doctrine and said neither did his church. I found that unfortunate – and still do. But yesterday, as I wrote about the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s doctrinal and political issues, I mentioned that there still are such divisions within Christianity and among very good people. So it would be a good idea to study what doctrine is and consider its source. doc·trine - noun a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group. synonyms: creed, credo, dogma, belief, teaching, ideology; Based on that simple definition, my commuting partner was wrong. I’m certain he had been taught by his church. I’m certain that a lack of doctrine could be defined as a doctrine since it entails a set of beliefs held by his church. So, my question today is: What is the source of your doctrine? Even if you have determined you are not to believe in God, Christ, Bible, etc. – what is the source of that belief? Surely we all have a belief system, correct? Something that allows us to differentiate between right and wrong, whether it is actions we do or another does to us? Where did they originate, were they taught? The Bible has been taught to me for decades, and I continue to learn from it. There are some denominations that teach differently from what I’ve found to be accurate in God’s word. Not my job to change them. It is my job to point to the Bible where the word Doctrine is found fifty times in the Bible. First, spoken by Moses as he praised God: Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:1-4 KJV) I will not be as Zophar in Job, jumping to conclusions: Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. (Job 11:3-4 KJV) Zophar was in error. Job’s beliefs were pure. What happened to him was not punishment, retribution nor judgment. Jesus did recognize incorrect doctrine and spoke against it. How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:11-12 KJV) People were astonished at His: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29 KJV) Jesus taught doctrine, too. As the title on the graphic displays: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35 KJV) Does not mean we must accept unbiblical doctrine – but we must love each other when discussing it. If we are His disciples. View the full article
  7. Over the past six years God has performed a complete rewiring of my internal value and motivational system. He began with the blessing of a battle with cancer. He graciously disrupted my busy and blessed “comfort zone” with a vivid reminder of the brevity of life and of my own expendability. He lovingly showed me I was dispensable and replaceable in many areas of my life. Then He showed me where I wasn’t expendable or replaceable—in the unique relationships and callings for which He created me, and the unique purposes for which He designed my short life. The journey of physical illness was then quickly followed by a disruptive call to a completely different ministry world and context—new geography, new church family, new relationships, new challenges, and new life structure. That aspect of the journey was even more challenging than the cancer battle. Through this journey, the Lord lovingly exposed to me my own self-deception and independence. He revealed to me aspects of my values and heart motives that were tainted. To this day, He is working to dismantle the areas of my heart that still attempt to encroach upon His Lordship and preeminence. He graciously cultivates my heart, anew, every day to be more deeply grounded in the gospel of grace. The results of the journey are too expansive and immersive to briefly recount—but they are in part articulated in the principles of this book. It is an attempt to reverse engineer the bad decisions of history’s most successful failure—Solomon. We’ve all experienced how life tends to make us busy and burdened. We’ve all been pressed and pressured to keep up with life’s demands. We all know what it feels like to live fast and heavy, while loving poorly? Have you hit the wall yet? Are you finally tired of the adrenaline-driven life? Would you like to experience freedom from the anxiety and tension of a big, fast-paced, but relationally thin life? If you are tired of walking weary—if you would like to build a healthy, biblical, and balanced life of real meaning, then I believe Live Lighter Love Better will encourage and equip you. Live Lighter Love Better is a heart-searching, deep-thinking call to courageous decision-making. Each chapter examines the life-long regrets of Solomon, as recorded in the book of Ecclesiastes. One principle at a time, we will allow God’s Word to pull back the curtain of our hearts and expose our deepest idols. We will allow the gospel to loosen the stranglehold that those idols place upon our hearts, and we will begin the journey back to biblical, healthy balance and joy. Prepare to courageously journey through twelve chapters that will expose your lesser, more oppressive lords; and prepare to embrace twelve intentional decisions that will compel you into the grace-filled arms of the only Loving Lord—Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can set you on a sustainable path of high-value, meaningful living. Click Here to find out more about Live Lighter Love Better— from Striving Together Publications View the full article
  8. Letter to the Editor from an Assemblies of God Pastor: How God Sent Ray Yungen Who “Radically Altered the Path of Our Ministry” LTRP Note: We are posting this, not just as a tribute to Ray but even more so to help Christian pastors and leaders consider taking a closer look at how they are operating their ministries and churches and ask themselves if they are truly preaching “Christ crucified” or are they following after programs made by […] The post Letter to the Editor from an Assemblies of God Pastor: How God Sent Ray Yungen Who “Radically Altered the Path of Our Ministry” appeared first on . View the full article
  9. “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?)” (Ephesians 4:8-9) This verse has been controversial but is nonetheless very important. The context is taken from Psalm 68:17-20: “The chariots of God ... More... View the full article
  10. NAR Pioneer and Chief Theologian C. Peter Wagner Dies By Holly Pivec Spirit of Error C. Peter Wagner [Rick Warren’s dissertation mentor in graduate school], one of the most influential leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), died Friday at age 86. Many people who are part of the global NAR movement have been deeply influenced by Wagner without knowing it. In short, he […] The post NAR Pioneer and Chief Theologian C. Peter Wagner Dies appeared first on . View the full article
  11. "A Sermon Preached At Boston in New England upon a Fast Day, the XVIth of January 1636, by Mr John Wheelewright" Elizabeth Fones (Winthrop, Feake) Hallett, my husband’s 9th great-grandmother, most likely attended this meeting and heard Wheelwright’s assurance that “Christ is with his people – or else absent from his people.” In the book, “The Winthrop Woman” by Anya Seton, she was – and went to see Ann Hutchinson days after that sermon. I must ask my American readers – are these names known to you? If not, you are missing some very important history in the birth of our nation. A lot is made about how Puritans came to America for religious freedom. There is no doubt that in Europe – an in their own England – Christianity was divided and Christians of one thought persecuted Christians of another. What is not usually studied is that in New England there was dissention among Christians, often between works and grace. If you’ve read the last few blogs, you’ll know that question remains today. What saves us? The easy answer is God – through His Son, Jesus Christ. A dividing answer, though, is works – what we do good pleases God and He saves us; what we do bad separates us from God and He turns His back on us. That is separate from another dividing answer, grace – Jesus’ death on the cross was the sacrifice that saves. Then comes the question, is accepting Him as savior a work? There are divisions there. And, there are extrapolated scripture to support all of the divisiveness. The same divisiveness that moved into the political arena in Boston, removing and returning governors in our American history. Governor John Winthrop is my husband’s 10th great-uncle. Since it was a rather small community of Puritans, he also counts Governor Thomas Dudley a 11th great-grandfather. These two men were at odds over the governing of their Massachusetts Bay Colony, and at odds with Wheelwright over works vs. grace. I was reminded of this while rereading “The Winthrop Woman,” realizing that same division in Christianity exists today. I do not see why it should, since James addressed it so very well in his letter: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18 KJV) I do suggest the full reading of James’ book. It is not very long, but is well worth indepth study. Any person can tell me they have faith in God and His provision of salvation through His Son, Jesus – the Christ – and I cannot refute that. It is personal and only God knows the heart of that person. I can, however, see the work that person does in God’s name. I can see if the works follow scripture. I can study, as the Bereans: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11 KJV) Jesus read scripture – and declared prophecy fulfilled (Luke 4:14-21), knew the scripture of David and shewbread (Matthew 12:1-8); and others, but you are capable of locating those yourself. My continued question is – how well do we know scripture and apply it to our lives? Do our “works” really show other people what Jesus is? Do we act as though He is the light of the world? Do people in darkness see His light in us? That these questions remain never ceases to amaze me – especially when applied to myself.View the full article
  12. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) This verse, together with the parallel passage in Colossians 3:21, is probably the key New Testament instruction specifically dealing with the training of children. “Nurture&... More... View the full article
  13. InterVarsity Comes Under Heat for Trying to Make a Stand Against Same-Sex Marriage – But Straddling the Fence is Hard to Do InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has come under public heat because it recently announced they were giving an ultimatum to employees who saw nothing wrong with same-sex (homosexual) marriage. In a Charisma magazine article (we are not endorsing Charisma), the author states: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is one of the leading campus ministries, and its publishing arm, InterVarsity […] The post InterVarsity Comes Under Heat for Trying to Make a Stand Against Same-Sex Marriage – But Straddling the Fence is Hard to Do appeared first on . View the full article
  14. Future Vision for Bryce Homes Kenya By Roger Oakland Understand the Times International and Bryce Homes International Without a vision the people perish (Proverbs 29: 18). Understand The Times has been serving the Lord in Kenya since November of 2011. We have seen God work among us in the development of a program that has become a blessing to many widows, […] The post Future Vision for Bryce Homes Kenya appeared first on . View the full article
  15. It is impossible for any local church to carry out the Great Commission without missionaries. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 28:19–20 Missionaries, then, are our co-laborers in the harvest. Just as we strive to be a blessing to those we physically labor alongside, we should look for ways to be a blessing to the missionaries we are privileged to support and send. How can we be a blessing to missionaries? Here are ten suggestions: Keep their names in front of your church family. Post the missionary prayer letters in an accessible place. Feature a “missionary of the week” in your prayer bulletin. We’ve also added a “missionary of the week” slide to our pre-service screens for our midweek service. Read their letters, and respond to their needs. Missionaries write and send their letters to be read! So read them, and pray for the missionaries as you read. And when they are facing a large financial special need, do what you can to respond as a church. Don’t ever miss a month of support. Ever. For any reason. Unless you are okay with randomly not being paid and having no way to know when it will happen or any means to make up the difference. Send anniversary and/or birthday gifts. When you can, send gifts to the family on anniversaries or birthdays. Send updates from your church. Don’t send junk all the time (they do not need your weekly bulletin), but periodically send them something to let them know what’s going on at your church. Visit them on the field, and bring necessary supplies for them. This is especially meaningful when you are the missionary’s sending pastor. Visiting your missionaries on the field gives you a realistic glimpse into their daily labors and is a tremendous encouragement for them. Before you go, ask them what supplies—and even personal items they miss—they would like you to bring from the States. If possible, allow your church family to participate in sending supplies, and leave as much room in your luggage as possible to take everything you can with you. Refrain from sending a ministry questionnaire to missionaries on the field if at all possible. It’s much better to ask the tough questions before you start supporting a missionary. If you feel there is a change of philosophy that has taken place on the field that concerns you, you might address it with their home pastor before burdening them on the field. Often these random questionnaire letters will come to a missionary serving in a lonely part of Africa and make the missionary feel his integrity is being questioned. It is always fine to err on the side of grace. Obviously, if there is a blatant moral sin or theological error, they need to be dropped, but that should be in cooperation with their home church anyway; so always start there. Even questionnaires sent from a church to all their missionaries can be discouraging and defeating to a faithful missionary laboring in a lonely, difficult place. Personal correspondence is great. Random questionnaires should be avoided. Use technology to shorten the distance between your church family and the missionaries you support. Call a missionary family on Skype during a church service or missions conference to let them know of your love and prayers and to ask for specific prayer needs. Make it easy for the missionary family to re-enter the States when they come back for furlough. Give them time and space to adjust and to help their children adjust to life in the States. One of the purposes of furlough is to report to supporting churches. Another purpose is renewal. Try to contribute to both purposes being accomplished. Host a yearly Missions Conference that challenges the church family and encourages the missionary. And encourage your church family to get to know missionaries who come through to present the burden for their fields. (In recent years, we have begun our Missions Conference on Saturday evening with a service specifically centered around getting to know the visiting missionary families.) Use Missions Conference to develop a relationship that reaches beyond financial support to faithful prayer support. Remember, we are far more likely to fervently intercede for those we actually know, so encourage people to get acquainted with the missionaries present at each missions conference. The story is told that when William Carey first prepared to go to India, he was at a meeting with would-be supporting pastors. One pastor suggested that the field of India was so dark, so unknown that the mission there seemed like men going into a deep, unexplored mine. “I will go down,” Carey responded, “if you will hold the rope.” Encouraging a missionary is our opportunity to “hold the rope” for someone serving the Lord in the midst of spiritual darkness. May we be faithful to hold it firmly and faithfully! Related posts: 10 Ways to Be a Blessing to Your Missionaries 5 Ways to Become a Missions-Minded Family Missions: A Strategy for Victory (part 2) View the full article