We don’t like pain. Nobody does. We go to great lengths to avoid it for ourselves, and if we can’t avoid it, we try to ignore it. And if we can’t ignore it, we try to numb it with alcohol, drugs, food or some other indulgence of the flesh to take our minds off of it. If that weren’t bad enough, we also try everything to shield our kids from experiencing pain. We haven’t done them any favors—we’ve actually handicapped them from experiencing the fullness of life, robbed them of the best tool they could have to become responsible, productive, fully-functioning adults. Yes, we need our pain, and our kids do too.Read More
Here’s a vocabulary word for today: “strife”, defined as “angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict.” Merriam Webster includes the idea of a “struggle for superiority” in strife. While you don’t need to look too far today to see examples of strife in the news, between political parties, interest groups and even generations, Christians are now experiencing increasing strife in places that maybe we never thought we would. And if we don’t first check ourselves and our motives before engaging in it with those closest to us, this strife can have devastating consequences.Read More
Over the past month, I think Mike and I have done a pretty good job of laying out a snapshot of what is wrong with kids today and the world in general. With shows like “Losing our Kids”, “(So You) Think You’re So Smart” and “The Attack on Manhood”, I’d go so far as to say we’ve likely scared the heck out of you and maybe caused you to seek the fetal position.
We know from what Jesus said that the world would be just like this in the Last Days… but the one thing I think we’ve failed to do with these shows is the very thing we need to do, that we ALL need to do, which is to encourage each other with practical, doable, biblical steps on how to make sure we provide the absolute best foundation on which our families can not only survive, but actually thrive in these turbulent times. Make no mistake, your kids still have free will to choose which path they will travel, as do we all, but if we don’t lay a good foundation for them, the world will likely devour them.
So today, we’ll explore how to provide the best chance for them, and us, to choose Christ over the World, to choose that narrow path, by laying Family Faith Foundations.Read More
In case you haven’t noticed in younger generations these days, men aren’t what they used to be. And if you’re a “Baby Boomer” like us, you may be stunned at the diminishing of men in education, entertainment and society—it’s actually been going on for a while, maybe begun as an attempt to “right some wrongs” in how women were treated and girls were trained. But now the tables have flipped, and all statistics show that girls are the ones prospering, while men keep falling behind farther and farther. And whether you blame the removal of fathers in the Great Society, boys’ obsessions with video gaming, the re-engineering of our education curriculum and methods to favor girls, the treatment of masculinity as “toxic” in our universities’ “Women’s Studies” programs, or the actual effects of toxic chemicals which disrupt the endocrine system, you can’t deny that men aren’t what they used to be. So today, we’ll explore the reasons and remedies in “The Attack on Manhood”.Read More
We’ve all heard the saying “knowledge is king!” But the Bible has a different view. In 2nd Corinthians 12:8 Paul says that “knowledge will pass away” one day. And the Bible makes it clear, there’s a strong distinction between knowledge and wisdom. As the myriads of protesting high school and college students has aptly and repeatedly demonstrated, you can have tons of knowledge filling your head, but completely lack the wisdom to use it correctly, and most importantly to discern truth thru that forest of facts. That’s because wisdom begins not with what you know…but Who you know. Psalm 111:10 tells us “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So when we pursue human knowledge and believe everything the world is telling us, are we falling for a great deception?Read More
The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has shocked the country with its brazenness and cruelty, but also with its obvious preventability. Any parent who has raised their kids with morals and values, only to see them reject those morals and values, and even Christ Himself after they’ve headed off to college, could tell you that something has been wrong in our culture for a long time now. But now it seems as if the entire generation has lost the ability to reason, as behaviors get more and more erratic, violent, seemingly out of control. You might blame a political party, atheistic professors, ADHD or even the NRA, but the truth is that as parents, you are not helpless against this dark tide. Today’s topic is “Losing Our Kids”, but we won’t leave you without hope—we have some articles with excellent suggestions, even steps you can take toward undoing the damage and reclaiming your kids.Read More
So this is the season of “Peace on earth, goodwill to men”…have you been to the mall lately, especially the parking lots and checkout lines? And don’t even get me started on Facebook—friendships and even families have been torn apart, with political offenses starting feuds that seem destined to last a lifetime. But that Peace I referenced earlier wasn’t just a “positive affirmation” that will come to pass if we all just put a “coexist” bumper sticker on our cars. And it, or I should say “He”, didn’t come on that night over 2000 years ago just to make us “happy” or fulfill our dreams, at least not by the world’s standards. That Peace Who came on that silent and holy night in Bethlehem didn’t come so we could have our “best life now”, He came so we could have His life…a life of joy and peace no matter your circumstances, a life that embraces suffering here for the glory to come. And it’s a life of humility, often requiring us to lay down our own desires, our own need to be “right” or to “win” the argument, and our right to be offended at the harmful words and actions of others. Here today to explain is teacher and author Kathi McCarty.Read More
Too often in altar calls, especially at youth events, Jesus is marketed as someone who loves you, who wants to make your life wonderful…give you your best life now. All you have to do is invite him into your heart and he’ll be your best buddy, your benefactor and protector from all things bad in this life, as long as you ask with the magic words “in Jesus’ name” and have faith he’ll do it. And, oh yeah, in the life to come you get to go to heaven instead of hell (if hell even exists). While we could debate that in some way, some of these things are true (undoubtedly not in the way we think), we can certainly say that this seeker-friendly “gospel” is incomplete—there’s no repentance, admitting you’re a sinner deserving of Hell, hopelessly lost without Him. All focus is on Jesus as Savior, and none is on Jesus as Lord…Master…as in, He bought us with a very steep price, His own blood, so He owns us now. There’s no counting of that cost, where our lives are no longer ours to do whatever we want, and where there is responsibility that comes with that free gift of grace that saved us. So the question today is, “Who owns you?” Whether you admit it or not, everyone on this earth is a slave—you’re either a slave to sin, or you’ve willingly given yourself to the Lord as His servant. So as His servants, what are our responsibilities, and what should true servanthood in the Body of Christ look like? Here to explain it all to us today is teacher and author of the book, Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.Read More
Have you ever felt like you were in a pit you would never get out of? Whether it was your health, your finances, your marriage, legal problems…the list is endless of the things that can make us feel helpless and hopeless. Today we seem to be reminded daily of our lack of control over much of what affects us in this life—recent hurricanes, mass shootings and wildfires all threaten our “status quo”, eroding our comfort level and leaving an uneasy feeling in our guts. But for Christians, we should always remember that no matter what happens, no matter our circumstances, we have a constant companion who will never leave us during these trials, One who reminds us, to paraphrase Corrie Ten Boom, that there is no pit that HE is not deeper still. Today we’ll be studying a story out of Daniel, involving three Jewish boys who were snatched from their homes and taken to a foreign land filled with temptations and wickedness. But instead of conforming and taking the easy route there, they held tight to their faith and their God, even when facing death. Today we have teacher and author of the book, “Broken Yet Blessed” Kathi McCarty.Read More
Have you ever tried to go up or down a flight of stairs and misjudged how many steps there were? How about walking down the sidewalk when you step off a curb that you didn’t know was there? Hopefully those stumbles caused you no greater physical damage than embarrassment at the potential snickers from onlookers. But walking through this world without watching carefully where you’re going can be vastly more hazardous to your health, your spiritual health, than simply taking a careless misstep down the stairs. And one of the most needed tools in developing the wisdom and vision to take the right steps, seems to be sadly lacking in our reactionary society – perspective.Read More
If the recent hurricanes in Houston and Florida have shown us anything, it’s that we are not promised “our best life now” here on this earth. We often fall into the trap of thinking life in Christ will be all sunshine and balloons, all the time. But that isn’t what the Apostles’ lives were like. Why do we feel we should have any special bubble-wrapped protection from the tragedies, the hardships, the fallenness of this world? This is the perfect time to be reminded that our lives are not our own—if you belong to Christ, you’ve been bought with a price. We are his instruments to bring light into dark places and hope to the hopeless, keeping our eyes on Jesus no matter what. Here today to show us exactly how to do that is teacher and author of the book “Broken yet Blessed,” Kathi McCarty.Read More
I’ve noticed that we Christians spend a whole lot of time talking about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, dying on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins and satisfy God’s wrath. And while that is indeed a worthy topic, the only time it seems we focus on Christ’s resurrection is at Easter time. But the Resurrection was highly important to the apostles, a topic they focused on even more at times than the Cross—Paul even devoted all of 1 Corinthians chapter 15 to explain just why it was so important. With us today is teacher and author of the book “Broken Yet Blessed,” Kathi McCarty, who will help us understand this topic.Read More