Devotionals - Purity

Do you struggle with living a pure life in the midst of a sexually saturated world? Are you interested in a good devotional on purity? Pure: A 90 Day Devotional for the Mind, the Body, & the Spirit is written by Rebecca St. James. "Rebecca St.James shares her heart, her passion, and her energy, offering insight into the quest for purity. She's walking this journey with you, and she's radically committed to total purity - not just when it comes to sex., but when it comes to all of life." Freedom Begins Here: Finding Hope, Direction, and Change in a Sexually Saturated Culture is a 30 day devotional that is designed to challenge "Christians everywhere to break the chains of pornography in our culture. You may not be struggling, but you know someone who is." "A shocking survey recently revealed that 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography." 1 Peter 2:9-12 "9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

Family Devotionals - HeartConnex

Do you want to increase or improve communication within your family? Do you desire to start a family devotional time that is simple and effective? "The National Study of Youth and Religion has heavily documented the fact that parents are the number one influence in the lives of teenagers. Student ministers now know for certain that parents who teach the Bible to their teenagers will make a visible, lasting difference in their spiritual transformation." "Each week, parents receive two, twenty-minute Bible study devotionals via email. These studies, authored by Dr. Richard Ross, contain solid Bible teaching presented in a warm, interactive format. In addition, the devotions are set-up so that students & parents alike are involved - each given specific things to say or do. A meaningful way to pray as a family is also included at the conclusion of each study." "Heart Connex devotionals are designed for very busy families. The head of the household can print the studies and make preparations in only about five minutes. In most cases families can complete the studies in twenty minutes" Sign up HERE to subscribe to the weekly emails for HeartConnex or to see samples. HERE is the three-year topical plan for family devotionals. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Christian Parenting Magazines

Ever want more help in learning how to handle the day to day challenges of parenting? "Living with Teenagers" and "ParentLife" are two great magazine resources (click on to follow link) available to provide expert advice and insights! You can access complete samples to preview online.

Got Conflict?

Is there somebody you just can't seem to get along with? Is there conflict brewing in your workplace, your home, or your church? On Tuesday I had the privilege of hearing Ken Sande, president of Peacemaking Ministries, speak on peacemaking in the local church. If you desire to grow in your ability to handle conflict, I highly recommend his books and resources available on their website.

These principles are challenging and Biblical, but can radically transform how you handle conflict personally at home, work, and church!

James 4:1 "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?"

Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Romans 12:17-21 "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. 20On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Free & Online Seminary Level Classes

Ever want to attend seminary-level classes? Did time, money, or life situations get in the way? Below are some great online and free ways to take such courses and to grow in your walk with Christ! BiblicalTraining.org has a wealth of free online courses for new believers, Christian foundations, and for church leadership. Covenant Theological Seminary also offers many free online courses. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary also has a few free online courses. ChristianCourses.com is another helpful resource of classes.
"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." Hebrews 5:13-14

9 Steps to Fireproof Your Marriage

Want to repair or protect your marriage? Here are Dennis Rainey's "9 Steps to Fireproof Your Marriage."
  1. Learn about God's blueprints for marriage
  2. Reaffirm your commitment
  3. Deal with your selfishness
  4. Begin to pray with your spouse
  5. Develop your relational skills
  6. Spend focused time together
  7. Attend a Weekend to Remember® marriage conference
  8. Start or attend a couples' study using the HomeBuilders Couples Series®
  9. Depend on God's power to build your marriage

I HIGHLY recommend step 7! If you have never been to a marriage conference, or it has been awhile, commit to going to "Weekend to Remember!" There are some scheduled soon near us:

  • October 31st-November 2nd - Louisville , KY
  • November 7th-9th - Kingsport, TN
  • March 6th-8th - Cincinnati, OH
  • March 27th-29th - Nashville, TN
  • June 12th-14th - Indianapolis, IN

Weekend to Remember - An Experience You'll Never Forget

A great movie is coming out September 26th, from the makers of Facing the Giants...Fireproof.

Church History - so important!

History was always a chore for me growing up, and is still a difficult task for me due to the immensity of reading and memorization that goes along with it. Although I have barely brushed the surface of Christian church history it amazes me how many lessons of the past are applicable and relevant to the church today! Here are some neat resources if you ever want to explore Church History for yourself! Justo Gonzalez has written two great books, one starting with the early church and leading up to the Protestant Reformation and the other continuing from the Protestant Reformation to the modern church. Another interesting resource is the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. It has lots of early church writings (up to 1900 years old!) that have been translated and uploaded to the Internet for all to read. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

Scripture Memorization - It is possible!

Have you ever tried to memorize Scripture only to get frustrated and fail? Memorization is a difficult thing for me. Today I heard a convicting message ("Authority of Christ in the Great Commission") in which the pastor, Dr.David Platt, (~30years old, travels all the time, leads a 4,000+ member church=busy!) had memorized half of the book of Romans (chapters 1-8). It was inspiring and powerful to hear the Word of God so well communicated. "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8 "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Prayer Quote - E.M. Bounds

This is an awesome but convicting quote!!
"The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day." E.M. Bounds

Rembrandt van Rijn, David in Prayer, 1652

Dependent on Ourselves or Desperate for God?

Do you "do life" day to day in your own power and skills? Do you “do church” within your own comforts and abilities? Today I was blessed to hear convicting message on “The Presence of Christ in the Great Commission” by Dr. David Platt, the pastor at the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Platt exposited Exodus 33 with these four main points:
  1. We have an assignment we cannot fulfill
  2. We have a privilege we cannot forsake
  3. We have a family we cannot forget
  4. We have a God we cannot fathom (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)

I know I often rely on my own power, skills, and abilities in "doing life" and "doing church." I know I must become more and more reliant on His power through the Holy Spirit who especially equips us through the Bible and prayer.

Are you truly desperate for God? Are you totally dependent on Him?

The American Holocaust

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