Commitment to Christ

Skipping a Generation

October 19, 2017
Skipping a Generation-Cynthia L. Simmons

Each generation whether by force of habit or driven by a nostalgic feeling, loves to speak of what would happen “back in my day”. Usually, when one of these flashbacks occurs, a twinkle will appear in the eye, the chest swells and a two- hour lecture of their youth is to be expected. At times it is quite entertaining to hear of the exploits of yesteryear and it can be really engrossing to imagine this titular character navigate the minefield of life, but there is one stinging reminder of how the present is viewed. An automatically assumed moral high ground stance is laid out and the current generation is usually seen as lost because of one obscure reason or another.

Making the assumption that a new generation starts every 17-21 years, approaching the youth of today- meaning approaching anyone that you have a 17+ age gap over, will seem like a challenge. You have experience and an appreciation for Christian art; they will have more access to knowledge and technology and so both sides will want and demand respect but none will give it first.  Here lies one root cause of the divide between the Church and youth of today.

Keeping in Step with the Times
Placing extensive pressure to go to church and to keep the Lord’s commandments as they appear in black and white will not work. Youth feel disconnected because of their easier access to higher learning and at times the Church will seem as an antiquated system designed to constrain rather than teach. Becoming more educated allows for persons to think in ways previously outlawed by the Church. Most importantly when these thoughts are posed as questions, the rebuke given while strong, usually does not answer the underlying question in any satisfactory way.

Setting the Gold Standard
Understandably the Church cannot change with the world, nor can its standard wane and flux in the same manner of the world. If the Church is to be seen as God’s chosen people and a Royal Priesthood, it must be a strong and sturdy Rock of the Ages. Since the doctrine cannot be changed, how then can the youth be reached?

It starts with personal behavior and understanding that today’s youth can see, understand and interpret your actions at an earlier age. They are not blind and should be respected as individuals at an earlier age. Having greater worldly knowledge does not equate to greater spiritual wisdom, therefore the bible has to be broken down into bite- sized bits to ensure that the proper nursing in the Lord is happening. One simple measure of this is being able to quote His word, but that cannot be the only way. Cramming large volumes of information is quite standard for the youth of today so the Bible may just be crammed too without being understood. A way of measuring spiritual wisdom is the behavior during times of trouble. Does the person wail at calamity or travail in prayer?

Photo by Aaron Burden

Columbus

Columbus: Monster or Role Model?

October 13, 2017

Our nation just took a day off to celebrate Christopher Columbus, but many of us don’t know much about him. A philosopher named George Santayana once said. “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I agree with Mr. Sanataya, but we will see what the Bible says.

In Deuteronomy 5:15, God told the Israelites,”You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” From these verses, we can see the Lord didn’t want his people to forget how he freed them from bondage.

Here’s more: as the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan into the promised land, God told the leaders of the tribes to pick up a rock from the dry river bed and make a memorial: Joshua 4:6 “…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’  then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

God wanted parents recounting these stories to their children, so history is important.

Today many condemn Columbus, and others think well of him.  Was he a monster or role model? Author and historian Rebecca Price Janney and I discussed him and his choices.

Learn more about Rebecca here.

Disaster

Disaster: Too Blessed to be Stressed during Irma

October 6, 2017
Disaster

Disaster! This country just experienced several major hurricanes, and now we have endured a massacre in Las Vegas. At times like this, I often think of the verses in Romans eight that my husband calls Groaning 101:  “…we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly.” Many people are grieving the loss of their family members as well as their possessions.

We can be sure Jesus groans with us. “…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are…Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Today I have Deb Coty who wrote: “Too Blessed to Be Stressed. She just experienced Hurricane Irma, and she’s going to tell us how she lived through that nasty storm.

Find Deb Coty here.

[tweetthis]Keep her-spective on #God[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Turn #hardtimes to #funtimes[/tweetthis]

Teens

Raising Teens: An Impossible Job? Here’s Answers

September 29, 2017
Teens

I recall being a difficult teen, not that I got into drugs or alcohol, but I believed my parents didn’t understand me so I crawled in my shell and stopped talking about things that mattered. (What a good way to ruin communication.) Mom and Dad put me in a private school, but they didn’t want to drive me there. They found a young family in the neighborhood who attended the same school to take me. Back then, I was terribly shy and stubborn. Riding with perfect strangers didn’t make me happy. In fact, I always greeted them when I got in the car, but I said nothing more until they dropped me off. The family reported my behavior to Mother because they believed I didn’t like them, which wasn’t far from the truth.  Mother panicked and considered sending me to a special school out-of-state for troubled teens. Looking back, I’m glad they didn’t make that choice.

Since then, I married and navigated the teen years with five of my own children. The teen years can be quite turbulent as your child strives for independence.

Today my guest is Gwyn McCaslin. She is a marriage and family counselor who founded Hope Creek Counseling in Sugar Creek Ohio. She recommends Focus on the Family or Association of Christian Counselors if you need help.

[tweetthis]#Listen to your #teen[/tweetthis]

Mother-in-Law

Love Your Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law

September 22, 2017

My mother told a story about my grandmother, her mother-in-law, that I’ve never forgotten. She said my brother was about nine months old. She had placed him in a bouncy chair that hung in the kitchen doorway when my grandparents came to visit.  Granny got up in my brother’s face and bellowed. Of course, a sudden sound will scare a baby, and so my brother cried.

Granny huffed. “My own grandson doesn’t know me. ” And she ran out to the car where she sat the rest there while my grandfather stayed and chatted.

The relationship of the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law can be unpleasant. However, God tells us to love our neighbor as he loved them. And he gave his life for the sins of the world. What is the answer to this dilemma?

Deb DeArmond is my guest today from her newest book, Related by Chance, Family by Choice.

Learn more about Deb here.

[tweetthis]Pray for that special person whether MIL or DIL[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]#Leave and #Cleave helps that MIL relationship[/tweetthis]

Choices

History Shows the Impact of Your Choices

September 15, 2017
Choices

What do you really love doing?

Let me take that a step further? What would you do if nobody was looking and you could do whatever? And it wouldn’t matter because no one would ever know?

I would immerse myself in mystery/ thriller books and drink tea. It’s even better if it’s storming outside. Or I would shop for hours.

That’s what I do when I take time off when I want to rest. I KNOW I can’t read all the time.

Have you ever heard anyone say, this is my life, and I’m going to do what I want? When someone says that, I think about that question. What would you do if no one was looking and it would not change anything?
Yes. God gave us the right to choose. He gave us free will, but we experience the consequences of those choices. So do others around us.

“Don’t be deceived, whatever a man sows that he will also reap.”

If you think back to the early passages in Genesis, God gave us work to do BEFORE the fall. And the things we do or don’t do impact us and others around us.

Today I have Rebecca Price Janney. She has written Easton at the Forks.

Learn more about Rebecca here.

[tweetthis]Your #choices impact people[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Leave a #legacy of good #choices[/tweetthis]

Connected

Stay Connected with Your Spouse

September 8, 2017

Do you recall when you got engaged? I have fond memories of those times. My future husband and I wanted to be together all the time and would talk for hours. Those newlywed years were wonderful too. We lived in an apartment and didn’t have a house or yard that needed care. What fun we had getting to know each other. I’d have to use the word ‘blissful’ to describe those days.

Marriage should be pleasant because God intended it to be a  picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.

Then we had kids and life got busy. The job of getting our kids to ballet or karate took the place of our long chats. How easy for us to get disconnected. Communication stops and sometimes you feel like you don’t know your spouse anymore.

Husband and wife are very different. We are opposites that mesh together, but we respond differently to stress, emotions, and everyday life.

Cynthia Ruchti is with me today. She has written A Fragile Hope about a man and wife who experience that disconnect. However, Cynthia also shared ways to keep in touch.

Learn more about Cynthia here and here.

 

[tweetthis]God intended marriage to be a picture of Christ and his church[/tweetthis]

Stress

Coping with Stress and Trauma

September 1, 2017

Do you struggle with stress? Maybe you have suffered a trauma.

 

The world we live in is broken, and God designed us to live in a perfect world.

 

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

I love mysteries, and I recall reading about Lord Peter Wimsey, a Character in Dorothy Sayers books. He fought in World War 1 and experienced what they called shell shock. Doctors believed the exploding bombs created damage to the nervous system creating a panicky feeling, heart racing, trouble breathing, trembling, anxiety, and inability to focus.

This trauma associated with the military also had other names, Nostalgia, soldier’s heart, irritable heart, battle fatigue.  It was also called railway spine since many soldiers traveled on the railroad.

Now we understand that anyone subjected to trauma can exhibit these symptoms.

There is a story about the last wife of Henry VIII of England. He was known for divorcing or beheading his wives. When Katheryn Parr learned he had ordered her arrest, she assumed she was headed for the execution.She was so terrified, that she hid.

Even today our complex world stress creates issues for all of us. My guest today is Dr. Laurel Shaler. She has just written about overcoming stress and trauma.

Learn more about Dr. Shaler here.

 

Child-rearing

Child-Rearing Tips from Heritage of Truth

August 25, 2017
child-rearing

I was raised in a Chrisitan home, but as I got older, I didn’t realize the value of my upbringing. In my teens, I thought less of my parents and questioned the way they did things. One day a college student commented how strong I was because I had been exposed to Scripture all my life. I thought her comment odd. But now that I am older and have raised five children, I understand what she meant. I’ve seen the impact of God’s word in my life. God’s truth, guides us, protects us and keeps us safe.

Today my guest is Jeanne Dennis. She founded Heritage of Truth which reaches out to parents offering child-rearing tips and materials.

You can learn about her ministry here.

[tweetthis]God’s word protects us[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Encourage your child to ask questions[/tweetthis]

 

Science

Does Science Contradict the Bible?

August 18, 2017
Science

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Those are incredible words that give us worth and moral standards.

Today science and the Bible appears to be a huge contradiction, and that has been the case ever since Darwin published in 1859. Until that time, scientists wanted to believe life came into being gradually, but that had no mechanism to make that plausible. Darwin was the first person to suggest that small changes in living creatures might create new types of animals over time. He noted what amounted to selective breeding, which Mendel described around the same time Darwin wrote his book. Darwin’s new book overshadowed Mendel’s work plus it changed science and society as a result.

To be credible in the scientific world, you have to assume natural causes for everything we observe. Which means you leave out the possibility of the supernatural.  Anyone who does not receives the disdain of the scientific community.

Randy C.  Dockens has just finished a book called T-H-B. It’s a novel that challenges the underlying basis for today’s battle between science and the Bible. He has a doctorate in pharmacokinetics and Biblical prophecy and believes science and faith go hand in hand.

Learn more about him here.

Science

Randy C. Dockens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[tweetthis]Science and faith go hand in hand ~ Dockens[/tweetthis]

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