Kids In Jesus’ Day

the-bad-habits-of-jesus“Kids in Jesus’ day were to be seen and not heard. Small children (under age 5) were associated with death. All children were associated with dirt, noise, and annoying habits. It went without saying that they shouldn’t bother the rabbi.

“Even Jesus’ disciples thought He wouldn’t want to be interrupted by rambunctious children. Sound familiar? Many of our churches today banish children to distant parts of the building during worship, then bemoan their absence from church when the same kids reach adulthood. Instead of Jesus’ ‘Let the children come unto Me,’ the church says, ‘Let us babysit your kids while we dazzle you adults in worship.’

“Jesus’ idea of children and childhood was radically different from what was normal in His day. Jesus taught a faith that you might call adultproof. Today we childproof our medicine and our faith, making them as hard for children to get into as possible. In contrast, Jesus made faith child friendly and adult averse, meaning Jesus did everything He could to protect children’s faith from adults and to help even the most adultish among us become more childlike so as to get into the Kingdom without messing it up.” —Leonard Sweet, in The Bad Habits Of Jesus

Poetry Saturday—Everywhere, Everywhere Christmas Tonight

christmas-stockings-and-treeEverywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm tree and vine;
Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where corn-fields lie sunny and bright;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight.

Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in its flight,
Broods o’er brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight.

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all,
No place too great and no cottage too small;
The Angels who welcome Him sing from the height,
“In the city of David, a King in His might.” 
 Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight.

Then let every heart keep its Christmas within
Christ’s pity for sorrow, Christ’s hatred for sin.
Christ’s care for the weakest, Christ’s courage for right,
Christ’s dread of the darkness, Christ’s love of the light.
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight.

So the stars of the midnight which compass us round
Shall see a strange glory, and hear a sweet sound,
And cry, “Look! the earth is aflame with delight,
O sons of the morning, rejoice at the sight.” 
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight. —Phillips Brooks 

Dads: Godly Influencers

Godly Influencer - fathers dayIt’s hard work being a Dad!

  • We have to be tough enough to kill spiders, yet tender enough to attend a princess tea party.
  • We have to bring home the bacon, yet not eat too much bacon so our cholesterol doesn’t get out of control.
  • We have to know the strategy of football, and the scoring for competitive cheerleading.
  • We have to be strong and gentle, smart and compassionate.
  • We have to climb the ladder at work, and build a solid foundation at home.
  • We have to knock down our competitors, and build up our children.

The Bible has a lot to say to encourage Dads to do all of these things, and to become the godly influencer God wants us to be in all aspect of our lives.

Please join me this Sunday as we learn from a man in the Bible who had everything to lose at work by doing things God’s way. Yet he chose God’s way and reaped some amazing results. Hope to see all the Dads this Sunday at 10:30am.

Mom, We Remember You

I shared this with my congregation this morning…

MomsTo those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.

To those who lost a child this year—we mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains—we appreciate you.

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment—we walk with you. …

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms—we need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children—we celebrate with you.

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children—we sit with you.

To those who lost their mothers this year—we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother—we acknowledge your experience.

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood—we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children—we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.

To those who step-parent—we walk with you on these complex paths.

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be—we grieve with you.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year—we grieve and we rejoice with you.

To those who placed children up for adoption—we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising—we anticipate with you.

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you.

Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst.

We remember you. —Amy Young

10 More Quotes From “Christian Behavior”

Christian BehaviorAlthough written 300+ years ago, John Bunyan has some timeless wisdom for Christians in his book Christian Behavior. You can check out my book review by clicking here, and the first set of quotes I shared from this book are here. Below are some other quotes I really liked.

In a section to parents about children—

“See if fair words will win them from evil. This is God’s way with His children (Jeremiah 25:4-5).” 

“Take heed that the misdeeds for which thou correctest thy children be not learned them by thee.”

“How a Christian wife should live with her unbelieving husband:

  1. Let thy words be few.
  2. And none of them savoring of a lording over him; but speak thou still as to thy head and lord, by way of entreaty and beseeching.
  3. And in such a spirit of sympathy, that the manner of thy speech and behavior in speaking may be to him an argument that thou speakest in love, as being sensible of his misery, and inflamed in thy soul with desire after his conversion.
  4. And follow thy words and behavior with prayers to God for his soul.
  5. Still keeping thyself in a holy, chaste, and modest behavior before him.”

In a section written to employers—“In a word, learn of the Lord Jesus to carry yourselves well to your servants, that your servants also may learn something of the kindness of Christ by your deportment to them. Servants are goers as well as comers; take heed that thou give them no occasion to scandal the Gospel when they are going for what they observe thee unrighteously to do when they were with thee.”

“Pride, in general, is that which causeth a man to think of man and his things above what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6).”

“Pride is when you slight this or that person, though gracious—that is, look over them and shun them for their poverty in this world—and choose rather to have converse with others that possibly are less gracious because of their greatness in this world.”

“It argueth pride of heart when men will not deny themselves in things that may be for the good and profit of their neighbors.”

“It argueth pride of heart when a man that hath this or that in his heart to do in reference to God, but yet will slight a sober asking counsel and direction of God in this matter.”

“It argueth pride of heart when persons are tickled with thoughts of their own praise, that secretly lust after it.”

“It is an easier matter to begin to do good than it is to continue therein; and the reason is, there is not so much of a Christian’s cross in the beginning of a work as there is in a continual, hearty, conscientious practice thereof. Therefore Christians have need, as to be pressed to do good, so to continue the work.”

The Tweetable Billy Graham

BillyGrahamAlthough The Quotable Billy Graham was compiled nearly 50 years ago, all of this godly man’s wisdom still rings true today. Here are some of his quotes that fit nicely into Twitter—15 tweetable quotes from Billy Graham…

“Our faith grows by expression. If we want to keep our faith, we must share it. We must act.”

“The neglect of older people is becoming an increasing sin in America.”

“The ethical and moral concepts of Christianity are found all the way through the Declaration of Independence.”

“Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.”

“The world has never seen such a manifestation of selfless love as was demonstrated upon Calvary.”

“We have not practiced applied Christianity. We have restricted it to a Sunday affair.”

“Many persons today insist on coming into the church head first rather than heart first.”

“Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.”

“Those who stand by the Cross are those who changed the course of history.”

“Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.”

“The further we get from the fact of the Resurrection, the closer we get to the reality of distraction.”

“It is very strange that the world accepts enthusiasm in every realm but the spiritual.”

“Faith is not anti-intellectual. It is an act of man that reaches beyond the limits of our five senses.”

“Once man denies the existence of God, he can stoop to anything.”

“If you gossip in front of your children, they are going to grow up to be gossipers.”

Previously I shared some of Billy Graham’s quotes on faith and on the church.

If you would like to check out my review of The Quotable Billy Graham, please click here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Parents! I do hope you are all endeavoring to bring your children to Christ by teaching them the things of God. Let them not be strangers to the plan of salvation. Never let it be said that a child of yours reached years in which his conscience could act, and he could judge between good and evil, without knowing the doctrine of the atonement, without understanding the great substitutionary work of Christ. Set before your child life and death, hell and heaven, judgment and mercy, his own sin, and Christ’s most precious blood; and as you set these before him, labor with him, persuade him, as the apostle did his congregation, with tears and weeping, to turn unto the Lord.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The role of God’s Word is to feed faith’s appetite for God. And, in doing this, it weans my heart away from the deceptive taste of lust. … As I pray for my faith to be satisfied with God’s life and peace, the sword of the Spirit carves the sugar coating off the poison of lust. I see it for what it is. And by the grace of God, its alluring power is broken.” —John Piper

“This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.” —G.K. Chesterton

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking … yourself is talking to you!” —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Planned Parenthood updates:

Ultrasounds = good for saving babies, bad for Planned Parenthood’s business.

Earlier this week I shared a list of companies who support Planned Parenthood (at least PP had listed them as supporters on its website). Here’s what these companies said when they were contacted by The Daily Signal. Good news: It appears that many of them are not supporting PP financially.

PP cartoonHopefully this cartoon doesn’t describe you… (click the link or the picture to see the rest of it).

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