Information technology people have a saying, “Garbage in – Garbage out”. That means you can’t expect good results from bad input. The inverse is also true. Good in – Good out. This principle holds true in the Christian life as well.
The “remind you” ministry of the Holy Spirit is one I find fascinating. Like a spiritual Google search, the Holy Spirit brings to mind truth we’ve read or memorized from scripture and actually helps interpret those truths for our use in real life circumstances. But, for that to work we first have to download biblical truth into our minds and hearts.
Therefore, I’ve chosen twelve verses or passages of scripture I’d recommend every Christian memorize or at the very least, meditate on deeply and often. I’ve also selected some of the most important historical creeds and prayers every Christian ought to know and teach to their children. In some cases, I’ve noted why I selected these verses.
At the end of this blog, I’ll be asking you to weigh in with other verses you believe every Christian should know as well. But, here are mine! (more…)
“What can we do to help our children or grandchildren grow up with less fear and anxiety?”
That’s a question asked of me recently by a group of concerned Christian parents. One of my December blogs was about fear and faith in times of economic crisis. In it I shared how my childhood experiences shaped my “emotional truth” – which are the things I felt were true, based on my life experiences.
Ann Voskamp, the best-selling author of, One Thousand Gifts, an amazing Christian woman said this in her January 3, 2013 blog:
“My dad, he used to look at my straight A report card and then look me straight in the eye and say, “Well – maybe your little sisters will someday make me proud.” Then she goes on to say, “And when you can’t live up to expectations, you can feel like dying – or running away.” That’s her emotional truth which obviously still haunts her.
In my 30 years of mentoring, I’ve come to this conclusion about certain people: Most driven and successful people are still trying to win the admiration or approval of someone they couldn’t when they were young. Either that, or they have been inspired to excel by someone who believed in them deeply and loved them unconditionally.
Today, let’s talk about what we as parents and grandparents can do to raise fear-less children. Who was it in your life that either cheered you on, or you could never seem to please? (more…)
When I was a kid, I was force-marched to church every Wednesday evening for years and made to memorize the Heidelberg Catechism. It’s actually an amazing document, but to a kid of 12, I’d rather have been poked in the eye with a sharp stick. It was long and boring and taught by a godly, but humorless and unimaginative elder.
Then this week a good friend of mine, Meg Cusack, told me about a wonderful new, shortened and modern version of the catechism. It’s called the New City Catechism. It was written by Tim Keller and others, in cooperation with the Gospel Coalition. (I’ll have a link at the end of this blog.)
Tim, where were you when I needed you?
Here’s how this catechism works and why it’s important to you; there are 52 short questions and answers, one for every week of the year. (Very “doable” for memorization.)They cover all the most important teachings of Reformed Theology. In addition, each Q & A has a wonderful teaching that clearly explains why we believe what’s being taught. It’s wonderful!
This is an amazing tool for every protestant parent to easily teach their children and (themselves) a very simplified systematic theology. Go to www.newcitycatechism.com to find out more for yourself.
Following Jesus in Real Life
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“I want you to go out and play a game of basketball and the only rule is that there are no rules.”
Those were the only instructions given at a Christian camp a few years ago, to a group of teenagers. No rules – enjoy yourself!
You can just imagine the resulting chaos. Kids stole the ball and ran to nearby basketball courts to shoot unopposed. Others scored points by shooting at their own basket. They couldn’t even agree on how to score. Some wanted to deduct points for every basket. What started out as great fun quickly became both frustrating and futile for everyone. But, they got a great lesson in the value of having structure in their lives – rules they could all depend on to make life work! And, it created a teachable moment.
When I heard this story, I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce our grandchildren and yours to the wisdom of God’s moral laws. You can achieve the same results playing a board or video game without rules. But, beyond the fun exercise of playing a game without rules, the following are some ideas for leveraging the resulting chaos to pass on to the next generation an appreciation for God’s rules. (more…)