Instruction and correction can easily be misunderstood. This is particularly the case when parental authority is being exercised. When correcting your children you can give them the impression that you are delighting in their failure, or that you are fixated on their shortcomings. Since disciplined training in righteousness must be thorough and ongoing, a child may think that your only purpose is to delight in telling him how wrong he is.
World Magazine recently asked several Christian authors what one book would they like to see on a list of books read by most Christians. Author Carolyn McCulley chose Paul David Tripp's Lost in The Middle, "with its helpful teaching on trusting and obeying God when life doesn't turn out the way one expects."
Communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we communicate with each other. Here are some biblical guidelines to make your communication more productive and effective.
Check your Heart Attitude
Consider others more important than yourself. Philippians 2:3-5
In the previous article we looked at the unsearchable greatness of God. So, how does one respond to such a God? Needless to say, such splendor, majesty, mercy and call for the loudest and most passionate of praise.
We are to extol him (v. 1a), which literally means "to be high." God is high and we acknowledge and declare it so. We don't make him higher than he already and always is. But we can declare him to be infinitely high and worthy of praise. Thus to extol is to exalt above all others, to set as pre-eminent over every other thing. We also bless (vv. 1b, 2a, 10b) and praise (v. 2b), and commend and declare (v. 4, 6b) and meditate (v. 5) and speak (v. 6a) and pour forth praise of his abundant goodness (v. 7a).
You can't not worship. Ignore my use of the ungrammatical double negative and try to understand what I'm saying. You can't not worship. Or to put it yet another way, "we can't not love something ultimate" (James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love, 20). You may choose not to sing. You may choose not to bow down. You may choose not to lift your hands. You may choose not to give any outward or physical expression to your devotion, but you can't not worship.
Recently I came across a journal entry from January, 2005.
I talked about some of the goals I had for the year and my progress and lack thereof towards meeting them. I shared some current frustrations I was having in ministry. I then asked God to help me be more disciplined.
Then I read the last sentence of that day's journal.
I wrote, "God, at 41 years of age, some days it feels that I'm not accomplishing anything."
DONCASTER, UK (ANS - March 8, 2017) -- As Iran's supreme leader calls for a "holy intifada" to eradicate Israel, Jews everywhere can be encouraged that the tables were turned on a man from the same part of the world when he made a similar threat.
As we approach the annual Jewish feast of Purim, we recall the plot to destroy all Jews living in the ancient and far-reaching Persian Empire. The man behind it was Haman, political aide to King Xerxes, but thanks to the intervention of Queen Esther, his plan was ultimately foiled and the gallows he had constructed for his Jewish enemy Mordecai (cousin and guardian of the beautiful young Queen) was used for him instead.
Worship is a subject on which everyone has a personal opinion. We all know what we like and dislike. So it may appear silly for me to summarize in ten points what a biblical approach to worship should entail. Silly or not, here goes.
(1) From biblical texts such as 1 Samuel 16:14-23 we learn that music in the hands or from the mouth of someone who is filled with the Spirit and devoted to God's glory can exert great power in the spiritual realm. We read in 1 Samuel 16:23 - "And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him."
Gentleness is probably not on the top of your list of important, immediate goals to accomplish. Perhaps this is because you see gentleness primarily as a personality trait. This is the point where gentleness is often misunderstood. Gentleness is all about the wise use of power. This is huge for parents.
I love principles. Perhaps this is one reason I spend so much time reading Proverbs. Principles aren't always "guaranteed", but they are often proven by time and experience.
Principles can help us learn from one another. We can benefit from another person's experience.
Here are a few principles of ministry I've experienced:
Just because you can do something better, doesn't mean you did anything wrong. We shouldn't be afraid of critical thinking or observations. Granted, some people are terrible at suggesting ideas. They always come across as being negative. Filter through personalities for nuggets of insight which can help you improve.
WILLIAMSPORT, PA (ANS - March 9, 2017) -- As we prepare our hearts this year for Lent, let us go back in our hearts to that Black Friday nearly two thousand years ago. The Roman Governor Pontius Pilate presented before the crowd two men: One man named Barabbas and the other Jesus. Pilate declared: "It is your custom that I free one prisoner to you at Passover! Which do you choose?"
"Give us Barabbas!," the angry mob cried.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (ANS -- March 8, 2017) - WestBow Press will release a new missions challenge book this month from author Billy [Bill] Bray. The book is in production now and is expected to be available in bookstores for graduation gift-giving.
Titled "Called to All: How I Discovered the Power of a Yielded Life," it is primarily a spiritual challenge to the next generation of student leadership. Bray says it answers the question every spiritually-minded student must ask, "Is God calling me?"
DONCASTER, UK (ANS - March 8, 2017) -- The Church of England faces a stark choice of either conforming to current fashion with "easily swallowed soundbites" or of being vigorously counter-cultural, according to one of its most outspoken bishops.
In a new book, Faith, Freedom & the Future (Wilberforce Publications), Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali comments on what he describes as a "dumbed-down" version of the christening service.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS -- March 8, 2017) -- Before he retired from racing and became a broadcaster, NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip was one of the winningest drivers in the modern era. For a time, he was also one of the most unpopular drivers -- someone people loved to hate.
"My passion was racing and quite honestly I went at it all the wrong ways in the early years," Waltrip told the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast. "I was just as aggressive off the racetrack as I was on. I didn't have a lot of friends. I didn't think I really needed friends."