Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I came across an article by David Nienhuis in the recent issue of Modern Reformation which I have read several times.  In it, he addresses the issue of biblical illiteracy among modern evangelicals, particularly among young evangelicals.  It is a very insightful article.  Having spent several years working with young people in the local church, I can say that I think his assessment is quite accurate.  You can find his article here http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=1110&var3=main&var4=Home.  It is a little long, but it is worth the time to read.

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I recently posted a link to a couple of articles by Kevin DeYoung on reaching the next generation.  He has posted a couple of more articles on this topic.  Here is an excerpt from one of the posts entitled “Hold Them With Holiness”…

“Look at what God says in 2 Peter 1:5-8:

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you pick up on the promise in the last verse?  If we are growing in faith, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love, we will not be ineffective ministers for Christ.  If ever there was a secret to effective ministry, these verses give it to us.  Grow in God and you’ll make a difference in people’s lives.  If nothing of spiritual significance is happening in your church, your Bible study, your small group, or your family it may be because nothing spiritually significant is happening in your life…”

Sobering thought!!!

Take the time to read the following posts:

“Hold Them With Holiness” found here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/10/21/reaching-the-next-generation-hold-them-with-holiness/.”

“Challenge Them With Truth” found here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/10/22/reaching-the-next-generation-challenge-them-with-truth/.

“Amaze Them With God” found here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/10/23/reaching-the-next-generation-amaze-them-with-god/.

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In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  The way of the cross is hard… but it is nothing less than Christ demands of us.  It is nothing less than what He endured in order to save us… sinners who were helpless and dead (Rom 5:6, Eph 2:1.)

I don’t think I follow Him very well.  No… let me reword that… I know I don’t follow Him well.  I think too much of self and not enough of Christ and others.  I do not willingly suffer on behalf of my Savior and those around me as He would sometimes have me suffer.  I follow Him rather poorly.

I read a very moving post written by Zach Nielsen over at the “Take Your Vitamin Z” blog today describing the experience of a couple (Steffan and Rachael Brown) who made the decision to adopt a child they knew would only live a few months.  As I read this post, I couldn’t get the words of Jesus out of my mind… “Deny yourself… take up your cross daily… follow Me.”  I think this couple understands Jesus’ call to follow Him in a way I probably never will.  

I don’t think I can describe this post to you and do it justice.  Just read it… and see if you feel humbled like I did.  You can find it here http://takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com/2009/04/yesterday-we-lost-member-of-our-church.html .

And please… remember the Brown family in prayer…

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Dr. Russell Moore has some interesting (convicting?) thoughts on unrestricted and unmonitored cellphone usage among our children.  Like virtually everything he writes, it is worth the time to read.  Here is an excerpt…

“The formation and discipline of children, after all, is built on the pattern of God’s fatherly discipline of his people (Heb 12:3-11), seen in his discipline of Israel (Deut 8:1-20) and, ultimately, in his discipleship of the incarnate Christ (Luke 2:20, John 5:19-20; Heb 2:10). Our discipline of our families is rooted, then, in the Fatherhood “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph 3:14).

I wonder, then, when it comes to cell phones, how many parents do precisely what our Father never does, and never will do. James tell us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:14). The Apostle Paul tells us that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).

That’s why our God, through the Law of Moses, treats his people as a tightly-governed child “under guardians and managers until the date set by his father” (Gal 4:2). He carefully works us toward maturity, seeing that we’re faithful in small things before putting us over many things. That’s what a good and loving Father does.

A pre-teen or a teenager with unrestricted cell-phone usage (or Internet or television consumption) is being placed in a very, very difficult place of temptation. The company of that young man or woman is now away from the scrutiny of parents, and is now left only to his or her discretion or conscience.  Are there some young Christians who can handle such? Of course. Should you assume your child is one of them? Your Father is more careful of you than that.”

Read the whole thing.  You can find it here http://www.russellmoore.com/index.php/2009/02/09/does-your-childs-cell-phone-preach-another-gospel/

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I have long been convinced that the great hymns of the faith are important to sing and memorize, not only to demonstrate the communion of the saints throughout history, but in order to strengthen our practical understanding of the faith.  There is great value in learning some of the more signficant hymns of the past for they give expression to the Christian life and faith in way which is powerful and unique. 

So I was excited when I heard that Josh Harris at Covenant Life Church was encouraging families in their church to memorize ten great hymns over the next few months.  But I was even more excited to hear that they were producing a new album of these hymns.  And my excitement grew to a fever pitch when I learned that they are making this album available for free download to those who will tell 5 friends about this new album.  I downloaded the music and it is exceptional.  I highly recommend it. 

Why not follow the lead of Covenant Life Church and try to memorize one hymn a month with your family and close friends?  May we all grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

You can find out more about this new music project here http://www.joshharris.com/2008/11/memorizing_great_hymns_of_fait_1.php .

Soli Deo Gloria!!!

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Dr. Gene Veith recently posted some interesting facts about growth among the Amish (they have grown 84% since 1992.)  The majority of this growth is the result of high birthrates (on average, each Amish family has 5 children with 85% of these children remaining Amish.)  The thrust of his post is the weakness among evangelicals when it comes to evangelizing their own children.  Sobering stuff here.  You can read it for yourself at http://www.geneveith.com/church-growth-amish-style/_992/

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Dr. John Piper comments on the different roles of fathers and mothers.  It is a short, but helpful post.  You can find it here http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/104/3267_Do_fathers_and_mothers_have_different_roles_in_parenting/ .

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