September 2008


This is great!  Piper “models” for us true humility and frugality!

(HT: Brent)

I love the Proverbs.  As Anthony Selvaggio says, it gives us“timeless wisdom for our words, work, wealth and relationships.”  And I would add, it’s probably the best parenting book ever written!  So I’m excited about this new book from Shepherd Press called A Proverbs-Driven Life.

(HT: Eric S.)

As I was driving my 6 year old daughter to school today, she asked me a great question, “Daddy, why is the Old Testament so much bigger than the New Testament?”  How would you answer your child if he/she asked you that question? 

Let me just say that her question prompted a great time of discussion and reminded me of how we need to be ready to answer our children’s questions.  Scripture reminds us to be ready too.

When in time to come your son [or daughter] asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.  ~ Exod. 13:14

When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you? then you shall say to your son … ~ Deut. 6:20-21

 

 Fox News reports:

When it comes to smooching, Kirk Cameron only has lips for his wife.

The former star of the TV sitcom “Growing Pains” refused to kiss the actress who played his wife in his new movie “Fireproof,” he told the “Today” show on Monday.

“I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman,” he told the morning show. So his real wife, actress Chelsea Noble, was the body double for the onscreen kiss.

My pastor, Tony Rose, with a much needed word for weary pastors in preparation for our Promoting the Gospel Conference coming in November:

Pastor, who do you tell about the internal realities of your soul?  One of the most dangerous places on earth is the the land of pastoral loneliness.  When you doubt, who do you talk to?  When your hurt, who is your healer?  When your mind is full of thoughts that should have no place in a pastor’s mind, how do you deal with it?

(Read the rest here)

The primary speaker at our conference will be John Dickson from Australia.  We all agree that he is the best we’ve heard on a realistic, biblical, and clear way to do evangelism through the local church.  Tony Rose, and others will help us apply this great gospel to our own souls.  As Tony puts it, “John will help us run with the gospel.  I will help us rest in the gospel.”

  • Check out the Promoting the Gospel Conference website here
  • Read more about John Dickson, our main speaker, here
  • Buy John’s book, Promoting the Gospel here

Here is a very helpful post for parents–How (Not) to Raise a Pharisee.  Kurt Gebhards writes:

It is the sad testimony of church history that the works and expressions of sacrificial love and devotion of one generation of Christians can quickly turn into legalistic rules and regulations for the next.

 Churched children are seldom given to outright defiance of authority; they are much more susceptible to the poison of Pharisaism. Hypocrisy in the heart is much more difficult to spot than disobedient behavior. The Bible gives us some definite character traits of the pretentious pietist, and here is what they may look like in a child:

Bullet His outward behavior and adherence to rules are driven by a desire to please men, not by a love for God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30).

Bullet Doing good works and having them observed by adults is more important than the action itself (Mt. 6:5).

Bullet The child is openly obedient and responsive — asking to pray before bedtime with you — while maintaining a quietly deceitful and rebellious attitude (Gal. 6:7).

Bullet He scrupulously observes the letter of the law — like religiously bringing his Bible to church — but neglects the weightier spirit of the law — like sharing his favorite toys with his siblings (Mt. 23:23).

Bullet He craves the verbal praises and tangible rewards of his parents and teachers, but cares little for the approbation of God Himself (Jn. 12:43)

(Read the rest here)

I’ve worked with children for many years and have been a father for six years now.  I echo the danger of raising our children to be pharisees.  But the one thing missing from this post is the warning to parents that we can be Pharisees too.  I can be a Pharisee.  I can easily care more about pleasing man than pleasing God.  So it begins with me.  It begins with me humbly admitting my sin before God and depending on him and his grace alone to change me and to change my children through the power of the gospel.

(HT: Zach Nielsen)

My good friend, Lisle Drury, on why you should go see the movie, FIREPROOF, with your spouse this weekend:

From the creators of Facing the Giants, FIREPROOF opens this weekend and I want to encourage you to go see it.  My wife and I were invited to see a sneak preview of this movie back in July and we both left the theater thinking, wow, that was impressive.

FIREPROOF is about Capt. Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron), who, at work fighting fires, lives by the old adage: Never leave your partner behind, but at home lives by his own rules.  After seven years of marriage, Catherine Holt wonders when she stopped being “good enough” for her husband.  Neither one understands the pressures the other faces – Caleb as a firefighter and Catherine as the public relations director of a hospital.  Regular arguments over jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks.  As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb’s dad challenges his son to do a 40-day experiment called “The Love Dare” and the remainder of the movie unfolds as he takes his dad’s challenge and tries to recapture his wife’s heart.

So, why should you take a date night with your spouse and go see this movie?

1. It’s realistic

I don’t know if you saw Facing the Giants; it was a good movie, but a little “fairy tailish” for me. Life does not happen like that for most people (i.e. trust Jesus and give your team over to God and you get a new car, become state football champs (even after your best player transfers) and your wife gets pregnant). That does not present life in ways that I can relate to nor most people in the world.  However, FIREPROOF is more real.  It presents marriage problems and temptations honestly, and if a husband would do what Caleb did in this movie then I believe many marriages could change for the better.

2. It’s impressive

No actor was paid to do this movie. If you keep that in mind as you watch it, you will be impressed (plus give grace) to some “cheesy” parts.

3. It shows the right definition of love!

The movie’s definition of love is built upon the character of God.  Wow, and it was refreshing!  We live in a culture that talks about looking for your “soul-mate”, or “I don’t feel in love”, or “oh, this must be right because it ‘feels right.”  But this movie made a strong and loud statement–love is to know God through His Son, Jesus!  Love is a choice.  There is one line in the movie that has stuck with me . . . “Lead your heart”. . . Don’t allow your heart to lead you because it is deceptive. Lead your heart.

4. It shows that the man must take the lead in loving and cherishing his wife

Men, this is God’s command on our lives.  We are to love, cherish and honor our wives and this movie was a good reminder for me to lead in this area.  Think about it men.  When was the last time you planned a surprise candle-light dinner for your wife or some special date night (you set the whole thing up, babysitter and all)?  When was the last time you gave her flowers for no reason other than just to say I love you?

5. The gospel is presented

Depending on your relationship with an unbeliever, this movie could be a good one to go see with them.  The gospel is presented clearly, but not in some cheesy way of ‘trust Jesus and all your problems will be solved’. 

6. It’s moving

I have to confess I cried.  It has been a while since I cried at a movie and yes, I know that does not make a movie good or bad based on getting emotional. But, the writers draw you into the story and there are a few parts that are quite moving.  If you let your guard down, you may shed a few tears too.

Bottom line, this is a well done movie by a group of volunteer actors, but most importantly it has a message that needs to be heard in our culture today, namely, that marriage is worth fighting for! So, men, take the lead, get a babysitter and take your wife out this weekend and go see FIREPROOF, you will be glad you did!

  • Check out the FIREPROOF website for more info.
  • Look at the various marriage resources and curriculum
  • UPDATE: Fireproof will be featured on Dr. Phil this Fri. Sept. 26

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