Your Weekly To-Do List

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Each week, my wife and I sit down and plan the week ahead. Communicating those time gaps are greatly important to growing our family and living our dreams. 

Take a moment and look at a “To-Do List” you can use this week as you plan and live this week.

  • Communicate love to my family.
  • Eat dinner with my family.
  • Do something special with each member of my family.
  • Read 100 pages this week.
  • Do something out of your comfort zone this week.
  • Send a note of encouragement this week.
  • Turn off your cell phone for one hour and relax.
  • Take a walk and listen to nature. (Stop missing the world around you)

Creating a better life begins with acting on your knowledge. Use this week to work on the knowledge you have gained.

Just my thoughts,

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#Marriage – The Supreme Court Discussion

On Friday the Supreme Court handed down a decision which made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. When this decision was handed down, many questions came up regarding how the ruling would affect churches and Christians. For this lesson I discussed how a Christian should respond and when the battle started.

During the lesson, I mentioned a gathering of people in Chicago in 1972 formulated a Gay Agenda Platform which has been pushed since its inception. The resource is found here: http://afaofpa.org/archives/1972-gay-rights-platform/

Here is some other information not included in the PowerPoint but referencing the year 2003:

  • On September 30th, many leaders of our nation will vote on the definition of marriage.
  • Events and decisions in the United States:
    • On June 10, 2003 three Canadian judges on the Canadian Supreme Court declared that the exclusive view of marriage, one man with one woman, to be unconstitutional.
    • On June 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Texas law prohibiting sodomy. (Lawrence v. Texas)
    • The New York board of education, on July 28, 2003 announced the creation of a gay-oriented high school.
    • Bride magazine devoted a full page article about same-sex marriages in the September-October issue.

The audio for the lesson will be available shortly.

Just a thought,

 

 

 

Pray Together – #ChristiansAwake

In the light of the current events in our nation, I am requesting each person to take a moment on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00pm (EST) and spend some time in prayer. Pray for our nation, its leaders and the citizens of this nation.

I believe this is a time where we need prayer more than ever. My words on Facebook a few days ago, share my current thinking:

Today, the United States has seen the consequences of electing leaders who care more about political opinion than the future of our children. The leaders have become cowards looking for votes instead of leading a nation into the future.

This morning, if you listen closely, you can hear the “death rattle” of a nation choking to death on its own disgust. The downward spiral is upon us and no voted politician will bring us back. It must be “We the People.”

The people must turn to God, not a man, for the restoration of hope and life. The vile digest of sin needs to be called what it is – sin. Instead of fluffing up words as to not offend, how about exposing the vile filth for what it really is – a path to hell.

Whether you want to believe it or not, a court of cowards by no means overrides the GOD of all men. It is He who must be glorified, not a court of fools.

Christians, rise to the occasion and live your life for GOD and not a human institution.

Do not let the religion of living for GOD become second place. Show the world your greatness because of Christ.

Just my thought you never asked for.

These were my thoughts when I saw such an immoral decision come from leaders of a nation who have “In God We Trust” on our money, yet the heart of a nation is far from them. As a result, I am asking each person to spend a few moments in prayer on Tuesday at 1pm (EST). Let us unite as a group of humbled servants to petition the Lord Almighty ad seek His guidance in the midst of this current turmoil.

Feel free to copy and share this graphic and let’s get to praying!

Just my thoughts,

10 Ways to be a Great Parent

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None of us wants to stink as parents, but some of us just might be getting there. We want a positive future for our children and we want to see them succeed in every way.

Our future is determined by our actions in the present, not the past. Today is the day to begin living for the future. Parenting has future rewards that are beyond our imagination.  These ten ways are not guarantees, but they are a start. Enjoy!

        • Live the example of how you want your children to grow.
        • Stop being your child’s friend and be their guide.
        • Hug your children.
        • Give your children responsibilities and make them fulfill them.
        • Let your children be children; stop expecting adult reactions from them.
        • Stop yelling at your children.
        • Spend time playing with your children. (Video games do not count)
        • Read with your children.
        • Discipline your children, they will appreciate you later.
        • Teach them respect of others.

What would you add to the list?

Just some thoughts,

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A Bible Handling Code

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Everyday many American display the flag of the Unites States of America outside of their home (weather permitting). They are proud of our country, even though she is not perfect. They are proud of the freedom in this country; for speech, for religion and for life. Without this country, many places in the world would not see relief or security.

Several years ago, it was time to replace the flag outside of our house. The same flag has flown for seven years and it was starting to fade. The colors are not as bright as they used to be and the constant wear can be clearly seen. With respect to this flag, it was time for a replacement. While unpacking the new flag, I was reminded of the guidelines for handling the flag of the United States of America. Some of the points you already know are listed below:

  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it.
  • The flag is displayed only from sunrise to sunset. (except for constant illumination)
  • The flag should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be displayed on inclement weather days.

For the entire flag code you may read it here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/4/chapter-1

While preparing my new flag for display outside of our home, I wondered about how Christians handle the Bible.

Do we handle the flag of the United States of America better than we handle the Word of the Almighty God?

What would a “handling code for the Bible” look like?

  • Your Bible should not be left in the pew where it may be forgotten during the week.
  • Your Bible should not be placed on the floor, lest it become dirty, stepped on or disrespected.
  • Your Bible shall not be kept on your car’s rear window shelf, lest it receive a sunburn.
  • Your Bible should be handled gracefully and respectfully at each holding.
  • Your Bible should be opened gently as its pages contain eternal truths.
  • Your Bible should be read at sunrise and at sunset.

What else would you add?

Just my thoughts,

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A Father’s Day Story

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A few years ago, I ran across this brief story and found it moving and making a great point each person can understand. I cannot remember where I first heard the story, but it concreted itself in my mind. I have used variations of it before and every time someone comes up after the lesson to thank me for the illustration. I tell them it is not mine and I am sure the original author would appreciate it.

The link below is to a version of the story.


A gentleman was flying on an airplane when the plane ran into some turbulence. At first, no one was too alarmed, thinking that the rough patch would soon be past. However, the plane continued to be rocked and swayed by the powerful currents all around it. As the man looked around at the other passengers, he could see the fear rising in the eyes of those closest to him. The plane continued to dip and roll with the unstable environment it was flying in.

All of a sudden, this man’s eyes fell on a young girl who seemed to be all alone with no adult near her. He watched her as she sat reading her book during the frightening journey. She would look down at her book and then raise her head and close her eyes. After a few moments, she would look back down at the book again. She repeated this pattern throughout the turbulence. What struck the man observing her was the little girl’s calm demeanor while those much older than she were visibly shaken.

The plane landed safely on the tarmac some time later. The passengers were grateful to be on solid ground again. The gentleman decided to let everyone else in the plane disembark as he stayed behind to talk to the young girl. He smiled as he approached her, still sitting calmly in her seat.
“I have a question,” he said to her.

“I was wondering how you were able to stay so calm during the turbulence we went through in the air when so many adults were afraid.”

The little girl looked up at the man and said simply,

“My daddy is the pilot of this airplane. He told me he was taking me home.”

(Source: http://esengoministries.blogspot.com/2009/09/pilot.html)

 

Hope this stirs your mind for this coming Father’s day.

Just my thoughts,

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The Separating Factor

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“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17.14; ESV)


The Word is the separating factor. As Jesus gave the apostles the word which would separate them, we have been given the word of God which separates us.

The effects of the truth makes us a peculiar people (1 Peter 2.9; KJV) or as the English Standard Version translates it, “a people for his own possession.” The peculiar life of a Christian is not peculiar to the Christian but peculiar to the world. Christians are living “in” the world but not “of” the world. They are products of the living Christ, not a dying world.

What separates you from the world?

Do people see you as living differently than the world?

Are people shocked when they find out you are a Christian?

Just some thoughts,

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The Original Document

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Due to the political craziness, growing debt, roller-coaster unemployment and “don’t have a clue” politicians, many want to return to the founding documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Federalist Papers) to strengthen our nation’s unity and priorities.  They reason many want to return to those documents is their desire to find the hope and strength our nation had over 200 years ago. Their dreams were written and their goals were in the minds of the citizens of this new country. They were sacrificing and determined that this new country would be the one of hope and prosperity.

I submit to you, if Christians want to find the hope and the significant life, they need to return to the Original Document – The Bible. If Christians lose the Original Document, they lose heaven.

The world needs Christians more committed to the Bible than the nation.

The world needs Christians more committed to the cause of Christ than the nations cause.

The world needs Christians more committed to Christ’s purpose than a political party’s purpose.

Just my thoughts,

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The Key To Church Growth

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As the clock  is about to chime 3:00 am here I sit with my journal. My family rests soundly upstairs underneath blankets on a cool morning. My eyes have been opening and shutting throughout the night while my mind races about building a strong congregation by bottling up the oldest formula for church growth. The oldest formula has been the truest and the most stable throughout all generations. While men shuffle to find the newest program, the old formula continues to work. When congregations explode in growth, the old formula holds its weight of pricelessness. Hundreds of thousands of people have experienced this old formula, but still some try to place it on a shelf.

Though all the church growth books a preacher could muster have been placed on a shelf, this formula has stood the test of time. It has outlasted the gospel meeting crowds of the 40’s and 50’s, the bus ministries of the late 70’s and even the direct mailing ministry of the 21st century. I am sure if it can outlast those it will outlast the movements to come.  I believe placing our faith into a man made program has taken away our emphasis on the old formula. The creation of ministry motivated and approved seminars have refocused our eyes on the first formula of church growth – YOU!

You are the key factor in church growth! The old formula is You and Christ! Without Christ there is no light to shine and without you letting Him shine, the Father is not glorified (Matthew 5.14-16). While you think it sounds so simple, I am here to tell you it really is. Forget looking at everyone else and consider yourself. Do you make it easy for others to see Christ? Or do we mask him behind a program instead of opening our hearts so He can shine forth in our lives?

I believe Paul understood this powerful formula in Ephesians 4.16…

“…from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (ESV)

Notice Paul’s words about the body, “…when each part is working properly..”; that part is YOU! You are a part of a body which depends on your to fulfill your part (Romans 12.3-8; 1 Corinthians 12.12-31; 1 Peter 4.10-11). The body needs you to fill your role so the body can grow. Notice what happened in the early church when the members found their role in serving – see Acts 6.1-8! When every member filled their role notice the results…

“And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6.7; ESV)

Are you ready to find your role and strengthen the body?

Just some thoughts,

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The Decision Beyond Roe vs. Wade

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Close to one year following the shocking Roe vs. Wade decision, the country was seeing the immoral act of an irresponsible nation as they covered their mistakes by depriving the innocent of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” While our nation began living in the atrocity of moral decline, the choice of selfishness, now made legal,  would take the life of one created equal by God.

It is always powerful to remember that our present choices have an effect on our life and might even effect the lives of others.

One year after the Roe vs. Wade decision, an 18 year old young lady would make a choice to determine her future and the life of another…she was pregnant. The road ahead as a single mother would be difficult and filled with obstacles. Her experiences would be much different than any other 18 year old because she had to make a choice…a hard choice; what would she do?

The Supreme Court of this land made a decision like hers easier by legally allowing her an “easy way” out. Even further, this decision could at a time where very few, if any, of the people in her life would ever know. The decision was hers.

Would her family support the choice she was going to make?

Would the father of the child support her decision?

Did she know what her child would become?

Did she desire to see her child, even though she would hold him alone?

Those were a few of the powerful questions she would have to face; not once, but every day. The road before her was already seeming difficult and the pressure of a child was weighing heavily on her shoulders. 

The world may never know her thoughts or the stress she faced…what would her choice be?

The legal system of this country gave her an easy way out…what would her choice be?

It could be done in such a way that her family would never find out…what would her choice be?

No matter what the decision, her life would be changed forever. To make the decision, she would have to reflect on her values, morals, beliefs and the life of the child growing in her womb.

Her choice was simple…she chose life and I am glad she did.

Thank you mom. I love you.

Your son,

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