Quote - A.W. Tozer

"A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself." A.W. Tozer

Parents - Do You Prioritize the Spiritual Growth of Your Child?

A recent Lifeway Research survey reveals some startling statistics regarding the spiritual influence of parents on their children. This survey reveals that many parents show little concern in action for the spiritual growth of their children. The first two stats appear to reveal the opposite though...
  • "72 percent (of parents) want their children to have more than they themselves had growing up"
  • "87 percent of parents believe it is important to teach their children how to have a relationship with God"
The truth is revealed as the application is considered in the process of teaching children about having a relationship with God...
  • "55 percent of parents agree they try to take their children to worship services on a regular basis"
  • "47 percent agree they do not want to influence their children too much about religion, saying, 'It’s important they find their own way.'"
  • "17% of weekly churchgoers, 41% of born-again Christians and 24% of evangelicals do not strongly agree that they need to take their children to services regularly"

The results: many parents value in speech "a relationship with God", but are a significant number are unwilling to build and support that relationship by bringing their children to church.

Since when do children learn to 'find their own way' without the influence of their parents? Do not doubt that children are influenced, for good and for bad, by what they see and don't see in the lives of their parents. A child of any age is far more likely to model what is done rather than what is said by a parent. They will prioritize what the parent prioritizes in the use of their time, emotion, money, and energy. Is your relationship with God a priority in your life? Does it show in a way that inspires your child to emulate you? Is there any hypocrisy that must be rooted out? 1 Corinthians 4:16, 20 "Therefore I urge you to imitate me...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." Proverbs 20:7 "The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him." Photo Above: A sealed church door in Anglesey, Gwalchmai at St Morhaearn's Church from http://www.photosofchurches.com/

Essential Church - A Must Read for all Youth, College, & Young Adult Workers

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Thom Rainer & Sam Rainer III's book Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts and highly recommend it to all of those within churches who minister, volunteer, or work with middle school, high school, college, and young adults within the church. Although the focus is on studying dropouts (dechurched) from the church who are primarily in their 20s, the value of the research is remarkable for the spiritual formation of those teenagers who are still in church and preparation for the many life-changes they will hit as they exit their high school years. In this book, the authors explore why young adults leave "nonessential churches" and contrast it with "essential churches" that effectively close the back door in retaining believers active participation in the local church. Christians today cannot help but notice the trend of those who leave the church in their late teens or early 20s only to return when they begin a family or encounter a significant life-event. It is perplexing and troubling to those of us who understand and value the local church as God intends it. In the first century the followers of Christ were inextricably connected with the local church. In the 21st century we have a generation of Christians who views church as optional. Those of us connected and committed to God's work through the local church MUST work to help bring those claiming Christ back into the fellowship and protection of the flock. It may require some tough self-evaluation and changes within our churches, but the potential reward in the lives of believers and winning of the lost is incalculable.

Quote - Richard Trench

"He has brought himself to this state; he has exposed his heart as a common road to every evil influence of the world, till it has become hard as a pavement." Richard Trench

Babies In The Womb vs Eagles in the Egg

In The Womb is an incredible photographic and videographic look into the human womb by National Geographic (they also have a series on multiples and animals) that reveals the reality of life in its earliest stages. As technology increases to allow 3D & 4D ultrasounds, it reveals what we already know (but some try to suppress); the incredible life God creates at conception in the human womb. I continue to marvel at our country, where we punish the disturbing and moving of eagle's eggs with monetary fines and jail time (Federal Law - 1900, increased in 1972 in the midst of the Roe vs. Wade appeal process) but finance, endorse, and encourage the mudering of innocent human children. Psalm 97:10 "Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. " It is my hope and prayer that those who endorse and allow the evil of abortion would open their eyes to the images of these human children, gaze upon the torn bodies of the aborted, and repent of their wicked ways. Even if we have supported or been complicit in abortion in the past, our God is a forgiving and loving God who desires us to turn to Jesus Christ in faith and trust! 1 John 1:9-10 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

Back in blogging....big news!

After a few months off from blogging (finishing my Masters of Divinity and spending an AWESOME summer leading our church's youth group), an appropriate way to get my website up and running again is through a VERY SPECIAL announcement.... Brittney and I are expecting our first child in early March 2010. Our child is a precious gift from God, one we have prayed and hoped for since we first married. We continue to pray for our child's health as well as its future salvation and service to our Lord Jesus Christ. Over the past few weeks we have clearly seen the beginning of a heartbeat (6 weeks), legs/arms/head/body/umbilical cord/clear heartbeat/small movement (8 weeks), and listened to its heartbeat as well (12 weeks). We look forward to seeing it via ultrasound again soon and love praying for and feeling its growth every day! This visual and audio evidence is such a clear reminder of the reality of life within the womb. It is also a sad reminder of the tragedy and evil of abortion that ends the lives of so many children every day. Enjoy the below photo (8 weeks) and audio (12 weeks) of Baby Carl and please join us in praying for him/her! "13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

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