I once had a friend who came to Christ from a very secular lifestyle. The cute Bible covers prevalent at the time bothered her, and our lingo confused her. Those of us in the church have an entire vocabulary of Christianese, which can isolate us from unbelievers around us. For example, the word ‘saved’ has a particular meaning to us inside the church. Even the word ‘church’ has a unique definition because it refers to the people, not the building. Another example would be the ‘body of Christ.’ When we say that we are referring to believers as a whole particularly in view of spiritual gifts. A non-believer might think we are speaking of the physical body of Jesus. Even the various names we have for our Savior can be confusing. When I was a child, I assumed “Christ’ was his last name because I heard it combined with “Jesus’ so often.
Living in our Christian bubble feels comfortable, especially with the rapid changes around us. However, if we stay completely isolated, we won’t understand how others think. We won’t be able to share our hope with those who need Christ, and that is a huge part of our mission. In First Corinthians Paul said. “…I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some.”
The Bible teaches we are all sinners, and even the things we consider good is like filthy rags before the Lord. That means that unsaved people might make choices we don’t expect, and respond in ways we can’t understand.
Terri Blackstock is today’s guest. She has just written, If I Run, which is a novel about a complex character who grew up without Christianity. Her goal was to remind us how someone outside our faith might face a difficult situation. Listen and enjoy.
There’s nothing as precious as holding your new baby in your arms, but each time I gave birth, I also felt the enormity of the task before me. We want our children to have a good life, and good parenting lays the foundation for that. They need to be loved and they need to be taught. In fact, I believe loving them means teaching them. I also believe every parent should teach their children rather than leaving it up to the church. The job it too important to pass off.
Christmastime, however, can be a huge distraction. I love the pretty lights that blink at us from everywhere. Santa and his elves appear everywhere, and you’ll see nutcrackers dressed up with ribbons in store windows. Getting up the decorations and hanging the stockings are all such fun. But none of the glitter our culture spreads about addresses our biggest task, teaching our children. A world broken by sin would have no hope. All the tinsel we could throw up in our homes would just hide the reality of our doom. Jesus came to redeem us, and if we embrace that, all the celebration is worth it. Because Jesus set us free, we need to sing about our joy at the top of our lungs. Psalms says “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!”
There are, however, things to consider when we discuss doctrine with our offspring. If you think about the Old Testament, there are places that it’s x rated because God shows people as they are. You also need to consider varying maturity levels. A parent shouldn’t give a child more than they can digest emotionally. Pastor and author Marty Machowski offers suggestions on how to teach at Christmas and all year as well.
Learn more about Mr. Machowski here and learn more about his writing here.
ReAnn Ring interviewed Katie Luther: Halloween Message – ReAnn Ring filled in for Cynthia this week for a special interview
Katie Luther or Katherine von Bora ‘arrived’ to celebrate the upcoming festivities for Halloween, also called Reformation Day. She married the former monk, Martin Luther. In preparation for All Saints Day, which fell on November 1, he chose to open debate with scholars on several points of theology. He nailed the famous ninety-five thesis to the door of the castle church on October 31st, which sparked a response across Europe. The negative reaction from Catholic theologians horrified him. At the Diet of Worms, Charles V condemned him as an outlaw. Once excommunicated, he founded the Lutheran church. In contrast to the Catholics, Luther’s preaching focused on salvation by faith and reliance on the authority of Scripture. And he translated the Bible into the language of the people.
Katie’s Halloween message gave details of her life in the 1500s, which may surprise some. A former nun, she shared the story of her life with the great reformer and left a message for us in these difficult times.
Cynthia and her family visited Germany in 2005 and discovered the entire nation took a holiday for October 31st. She toured the Luther home, the castle church, the state church, and other historical sites in Wittenberg, Germany. As a result Katherine von Bora became one of Cynthia’s favorite historical women. In order to teach more about Katie, Cynthia now does impersonations for women’s ministry groups and homeschool groups.
If you’d like to know more about the life of the woman behind Luther, you can learn more here.
The latest landmark court decision distressed many believers. Our world changed, drastically. In light of that, how shall we live now? Cynthia interviewed Denise Shick of Help 4 Families, and Pastor Dane Skelton for answers. Listen and be encouraged.