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

We ♥︎ Moms


We Love MomsThis Sunday is Mothers Day, and I cannot wait to celebrate the special ladies in our church. Both the biological Moms and the spiritual Moms have definitely earned my respect and admiration!

I’m going to share a special message about the power that comes when Moms persevere in prayer and a godly example. These prayers with the feminine touch not only change our present, but have a lasting impact for generations to come. In fact, we owe much of our spiritual heritage to those Moms who faithfully prayed.

Please bring Mom with you to Calvary Assembly of God this Sunday!

Links & Quotes

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“What takes away the compulsion of revenge is our deep confidence that this world is not our home, and that God is our utterly sure and all-satisfying reward.” —John Piper

“Though it is clear as noonday in Scripture and in experience that stability is not to be found beneath the moon, yet men are for ever building upon earth’s quicksand as if it were substantial rock, and heaping up its dust, as though it would not all be blown away.” —Charles Spurgeon

[PHOTOS] 50 photos of Moms loving their kids in very trying times.

This post from a Live Dead team member—The Risk Of Security—reminds me to (1) pray for our front-line missionaries, and (2) pray that God will move on people’s hearts to raise up more missionaries!

How to poison your marriage in 3 easy steps: blame, compare, withdraw. Married couple should definitely read this post.

I love the leadership insights from Tim Elmore. He’s got a thoughtful post today on 2 temptations leaders face in turbulent times.

[VIDEO] Frank Turek and Boby Conway discuss the question: Can Science Disprove God?

Links & Quotes

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“‘Amen’ is an exclamation point of hope after a prayer for help.” —John Piper

“You ask ‘for what’ God wants you. Isn’t the primary answer that He wants you. We’re not told that the lost sheep was sought out for anything except itself.” —C.S. Lewis

A good read for Moms―Moms Need Theology Too.

And something for young men―5 Pieces Of Advice For Young Men.

Some United States Senators are more interested in making sure we can kill babies than they are in rescuing human trafficking victims.

Remember when your parents said, “Go outside and get some fresh air”? That advice may save your eyesight.

George Whitefield learned that God’s Word trumps our insights.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from this weekend…

[VIDEO] John Maxwell talks about contentment. I love this: “Contentment is a stabilizer for success.”

Parents, check out 7 Lies Christian Parents Believe.

A baby is given no hope to live, but is born completely normal and healthy! Misdiagnosis or miracle?

As we celebrate Billy Graham’s 96th birthday, here are 6 lessons from his life, and a great [VIDEO] of Dr. Graham with Woody Allen.

“A praying Christian is a constant threat to the stability of satan’s government. The Christian is a holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God. satan never knows from what direction the danger will come.” —A.W. Tozer

“He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.” —C.S. Lewis

[VIDEO] Whether you are a country music fan or not, you will love this pro-life, pro-Mom message from Garth Brooks:

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

Thrilled for the pro-life victory in today’s Supreme Court ruling!

[VIDEO] This is a really straightforward explanation behind the horror of the Plan B pill that Hobby Lobby stood firm against providing.

“We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.” —Henry Ward Beecher 

“Whatever we may undertake with a sincere desire to promote His glory, we may comfortably pursue. Nothing is trivial that is done for Him.” —John Newton

“I would never follow a leader who doesn’t follow a leader.” —John Maxwell

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” —George Bernard Shaw

[VIDEO] Why didn’t anyone tell me that Star Wars’ Mark Hamill did the voice of Joker in the animated Batman series?!?

“Quiet heroes dot the landscape of our society. They don’t make the headlines, but they do sew the hemlines and check the outlines and stand on the sidelines. You won’t find their names on the Nobel Prize short list, but you’ll find their names on the carpool, and Bible teacher lists. They are parents! Heroes! Their kids call them mom. Dad. And these moms and dads, more valuable than all the executives and lawmakers, quietly hold the world together. Be numbered among them. Read books to your kids. Play ball while you can and they want you to. Make it your aim to watch every game they play, read every story they write, hear every recital in which they perform. Children spell love with four letters:  T-I-M-E. Not just quality time, but hang time, downtime, anytime, all the time! Cherish the children who share your name. Succeed at home first!” —Max Lucado

Dr. Tim Elmore has a great post called How Failure Can Be Your Kid’s Best Friend. And exciting news … he has a new book coming out! I cannot wait to read Twelve Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.


“The cosmos exists to help you know God, the Maker. And the main message is that He is very great and that we are very small. We need to feel this greatness. We need to be able to say, ‘You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You’ (2 Samuel 7:22).” —John Piper

30 Quotes From “Raising Your Child To Love God”

Raising Your ChildIt’s a book I called a “must read for all parents” (you can read my full book review by clicking here). After typing up my notes of all the quotes I highlighted in this book, I ended up with 18 pages of notes, so these quotes from Andrew Murray’s book are, in my opinion, the cream of the crop. Tomorrow I will share some of the prayers Murray offered in his book.

“Example is better than precept. … Love that draws is more important than law that demands. … Let parents be what they want their children to be.”

“How terrible is the curse and power of sin! Through the father the child becomes a partaker of the sinful nature, and the father so often feels himself too sinful to be a blessing to his child; thus the home becomes a path to destruction rather than to eternal life. But—blessed by God!—what sin destroyed, grace restores. … Let God’s Father-heart and His Father-love be your confidence. As you know and trust Him the assurance will grow that He is fitting you for making your home, in ever-increasing measure, the bright reflection of His own.”

“God seeks a people on earth to do His will. The family is the great institution for this object; a believing and God-devoted father is one of the mightiest means of grace.” 

“What God says of Abraham gives us further insight into the true character of this grace: ‘For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord.’ The spirit of modern so-called liberty has penetrated even into our family life; and there are parents, who some from a mistaken view of responsibility, some from lack of thought as their sacred calling, somer from love of ease, have no place for such a word as ‘command.’ They have not seen the heavenly harmony between authority and love, between obedience and liberty. Parents are more than friends and advisers; God has clothed them with a holy authority to be exercised in leading their children in the way of the Lord.”

“Oh that Christian parents would realize, just as Judah did, what it means to stand in that place for their child! How often—when our children are in danger because of the prince of this world, when the temptations of the flesh or the world threatened to make them prisoners and slaves, holding them back from ever reaching the Father’s home—are we found careless or unwilling to sacrifice our ease and comfort in order to rescue them!” 

“Oh, that the eyes of God’s people might be opened to the danger that threatens the church! It is not infidelity or superstition, it is the spirit of worldliness in the homes of Christian families, sacrificing the children to the ambitions of society, to the riches or the friendship of the world—that is the greatest danger of Christ’s church. If every home once won for Christ were a training school for His service, we would find in this a secret of spiritual strength no less than all that ordinary preaching can accomplish.”

“With a parent’s love comes a parent’s influence. … The character of a child is formed and molded by impressions; continual communion with the parent can render these impressions deep and permanent. The child’s love for a parent rises to meet the parent’s love.” 

“The first four commandments have reference to God, the last five to our neighbor. In between stands the fifth. It is linked to the first four because to the young child the parent represents God; from him the child must learn to trust and obey God. And this command is the transition to the last five because the family is the foundation of society, and there the first experience comes of all the greater duties and difficulties with humankind at large.”

“The child can only honor what he sees to be ‘worthy of honor.’ And this is the parent’s high calling: always so to speak and act, so to live in the child’s presence, that honor may be spontaneously and unconsciously rendered. … Above all, let parents remember that honor comes from God. Let them honor Him in the eyes of their children, and He will honor them there too.”

“There is nothing that drive home the word of instruction as powerfully as a consistent and holy life. … The entrance of divine truth into the mind and heart, the formation of habits and the training of character—these are not attained by sudden and isolated efforts, but by regular and unceasing repetition.”

“Love knows no sacrifice, counts nothing a burden; love does not rest until it has triumphed.”

“We don’t want to be just another family with whom God dwells and is pleased. Ours must be wholly consecrated to God. And do not be afraid that strength will not be given to keep the vow. It is with the Father in heaven, calling and helping and tenderly working both to will and to do in us, that we are working.”

“We need renewed wisdom directly from above for the individual needs of each child. Daily prayer is the secret of training our children for God. … Those who have already communicated with God and received divine teaching about their children will be those who desire still more and pray earnestly for it.”

“Nothing open the fountains of divine love and renewed love for each other more than the prayerful desire to know how to raise our children to love God.”

“Not to restrain a child is to dishonor God and the child.”

“My duty is never measured by what I feel is within my power to do but by what God’s grace enables me to do.”

“Every thoughtful parent knows that there are times and places when the temptations of sin will be more apt to surprise even the most well-behaved child. Such are the times, both before and after the child goes into a situation or circumstance where he may be tempted, that a praying father and mother should do what Job did, bring the children before God in repentance and faith and where possible to confront them with questions concerning their behavior.”

“Let us ask God to make us very watchful and very wise in availing ourselves of opportunities to admonish our children and to pray audibly with them.”

“In our family’s life, the first thing of importance must not be our earthly happiness, or even the supply of our daily needs, nor seeing to the child’s education for a life of prosperity and usefulness, but rather the yielding of ourselves to God in order to be conveyors of His grace and blessing to our children. Let us live for God’s purpose: deliverance from sin. Thus our family life will forever be brightened with God’s presence and with the joy of our heavenly home to come, of which our earthly one is by the nursery and the image.”

“‘The children of Your servants will live in Your presence; their descendants will be established before You’ (Psalm 102:25-28). Death may separate one generation from another, but God’s mercy connects them as it passes on from one to another; His righteousness, which is everlasting, reveals itself as salvation from generation to generation. … It is God’s will that His salvation should be known from generation to generation in your family too, that your children should hear from you and pass on to their children the praises of the Lord.”

“God’s purpose is that the Holy Spirit should take possession of our sons and daughters for His service; that they should be filled with the Holy Spirit, consecrated for service. They belong to Him and He to them.” 

“Jesus desires that we rise above the experiences of fatherhood on earth to know more deeply the Father in heaven.”

“The earthly father must not only make the Father in heaven his model and guide, but he must so reflect Him that his child will naturally desire to emulate the One whom he so aptly represents. … In a Christian father a child ought to have a better picture than the best of sermons can give of the love and care of the heavenly Father and all the blessing and joy He wants to bestow.”

“If we are to watch over the heavenly quality of our children, we must ourselves be childlike and heavenly-minded. … Children lose their childlikeness all too soon because parents have so little of it.”

“Fathers, you have sons whom you would fain bring to Jesus to be saved, come and hear the lessons the Lord would teach you. Let these children first send you to Jesus in confession, prayer, and trust; your faith can bring them in.”

“Your motherhood is in God’s sight holier and more blessed than you realize.”

“The effect of the good advice parents give is more than neutralized by their own behavior.” 

“A child should never be allowed to feel that his immaturity is not taken into account, that his young reasoning is not regarded, that he has not received empathy, or help, or justice that he expects. This will take a kind of love and thoughtfulness that parents are all too short of.”

“If you feel that you do not know how to teach the Word to them, to make it interesting or exciting for them, take heart—God will make it come alive to them if you are faithful to read it and live it.”

“I am the giver of their physical life, the framer of their character, the keeper of their souls, the trustee of their eternal destiny. I was first blessed that I may bless them, first taught how my Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me that I may know how to love and how to give myself for them. … And the more tenderly my love to them is stirred up, the more I feel the need to be wholly and only the Lord’s, entirely given up to the love that loves and makes itself one with me. This will fill me with a love from which selfishness shall be banished, giving itself in a divine strength to live for the children that God has given me.”

The Destiny Of Nations

Destiny of nations“To be a mother is the greatest vocation in the world. No being has a position of such great power and influence. She holds in her hands the destiny of nations….” —Hannah Whitall Smith

A great example of this is a woman by the name of Rahab who lived in ancient Jericho. She was doing her best to provide for her family in a very unsavory way: she was a prostitute. Yet this is a woman who is commended for her faith in God (Hebrews 11:31) and her righteous actions (James 2:25).

I know many moms who work hard to provide for their families, sometimes taking jobs that are very difficult and pay a low wage. They still find the time to buy the groceries, fix the meals, do the laundry, help with homework, attend after-school functions, and a million other things. Even after all this they feel inadequate, like they are not quite measuring up to the “best mom” standard.

To those moms, I say this: Look at Rahab, and learn what she learned. Rahab tried to provide for her family too, but when she got to the point where she was completely desperate she turned her family over to God. By helping the young Jewish spies, she turned her back on her countrymen and lost any other options for help. She said, “I believe in God, and I’m willing to trust Him with my family completely” (see Joshua 2:1-13).

Legacy of faithfulnessAs a result, God’s faithfulness to her is something we still are blessed by today. In giving us the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Matthew says this: Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David (Matthew 1:5-6). Rahab went all-in with God, and is now an indispensable part of the lineage of Jesus Christ!

Here’s the pattern for all moms to follow:

Concern for your family → Your utter reliance on God → The salvation of all in your family who will listen → A legacy of God’s provision and faithfulness

Moms, you have great power and you hold in your hands the destiny of nations, if you will just turn your concerns for your family over to God, and leave them in His loving hands.

Secure Daughters, Confident Sons (book review)

Our society is bombarded by so many flat-out-wrong messages about boys and girls, and how to parent them. In Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, Glenn T. Stanton helps set the record straight.

Right out of the gate, Glenn makes an important statement about the need for a book such as this:

If the rhetoric of political correctness keeps us from exploring the issue of gender differences, we lose something valuable to our humanity. Amazing scientific evidences of essential sex differences in the fields of anthropology, psychology, endocrinology, and neurology in the last few decades strongly disprove nearly all the thinking that drove the misunderstanding about gender in the first place. In fact, the more sophisticated this scientific research gets, the more it deepens our insight into the importance of male and female differences and how profoundly they exist within us. (emphasis mine)

With a no-holds-barred approach, Glenn dismantles the politically-correct falsehoods like:

  • There are no real differences between boys and girls.
  • Kids can development just fine in a fatherless home.
  • Our children are just as healthy in a one-parent home as in a two-parent home.
  • Kids will be kids regardless of what their parents tell them.

The first few chapters alternate between information specifically for raising boys, and information specifically for raising girls. Then the later chapters zero in on the roles both Dads and Moms play in developing healthy, well-rounded, confident, secure children. Who (no surprise here) develop into healthy, well-rounded, confident, secure adults and future parents.

In one of the concluding chapters Glenn writes —

Boys who grow up with warm and close connections with their fathers are more likely to develop a healthy masculine sense of self. …Boys who grow up with close, affectionate, and affirming relationships with their mothers have a better sensitivity to and understanding of women. …Girls who grow up close to affirming, warm, loving, and confident moms are more likely to be secure and healthy in their womanhood. Girls who grow up close to their fathers in loving and affirming relationships are more likely to be confident around boys and men as they grow.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for parents and soon-to-be parents to READ THIS BOOK! Raising children is an awesome responsibility, and we need all the help we can get!

I am a Multnomah book reviewer.

Your Most Important Ministry

These thoughts are especially targeted for pastors. If you are a pastor, tighten your chinstrap because this may hit you a little hard. If you aren’t a pastor, perhaps you could help your pastor in this vital ministry.

Pastor, what is your most important ministry?

Think about it. Get it clear in your mind: what is the most vital ministry you have every week?

Let me give you a little hint… if your “most important” ministry has anything to do with your church, you chose poorly. Your most important ministry is at your home with your family.

I hate to burst your bubble, but someone else can pastor your church. As much as you might think, “These ministries won’t get done if I don’t do them,” trust me, they will get done with or without you.

But, my dear friend, you are the only one who can be your mate’s spouse… you are the only one who can be your kids’ Dad or Mom.

I love studying the life of David. There is so much to learn from him: his passion for God, his military strategies, his prayer life, and other important things pertaining to leadership. But we need to also learn from David’s failures. For all of David’s success as a king, he was an abysmal failure as a husband and father. He spent so much time “at the office” that he neglected his family.

I don’t mean to condemn anyone, but I know that when things are right at home, things will go well at church. Too many people in our churches are getting short-changed because their pastor works so hard on ministering to them and doesn’t work hard enough on ministering to his family. Just like with David, this will come back to bite you. So here are the tough questions –

  • Do you spend more time thinking about how to grow your church than you do thinking about how to grow your marriage?
  • Do you read more books about church growth than you do about marital communication?
  • Do you put more effort into discipling new believers than you do discipling your kids?
  • Are you more attentive in keeping appointments with church members than you are in keeping family time protected?
  • Do you know more about the struggles of the people in your church than you do about the struggles your spouse and kids are facing?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to refocus. EFFECTIVE MINISTRY BEGINS AT HOME WITH YOUR FAMILY!!! Do you want to grow your church? Start at home. Do you want to be a more effective pastor? Be a more effective spouse and parent.

Did I step on anyone’s toes? Good! ‘Cause I just stepped on my own too. Now, let’s get to work on our most vital ministry.

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