Be Imitators

Colossions 4:6

Morning

Let your speech always be with grace.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear. • Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. •

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. • By your words you will be justified. • The tongue of the wise promotes health.


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Parent’s Progress 1.30.14

This week we are bringing a few links for your equipping. 

This first link it to a video on porn and how we can only combat it effectively one way.

Next, here’s an article over at The Source For Parents, talking about how porn is damaging an entire generation.

Last, one way to combat all of this is to make sure you stay connected to your kids and the tech they use. Here’s an article from Adam McClane about ways we can think smart when it comes to technology.

Have a good week!



The Secret to Loving

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Could two people be more different?

He is looked up to. She is looked down on.

He is a church leader. She is a streetwalker.

He makes a living promoting standards. She’s made a living breaking them.

He’s hosting the party. She’s crashing it.

Ask the other residents of Capernaum to point out the more pious of the two, and they’ll pick Simon. Why, after all, he’s a student of theology, a man of the cloth. Anyone would pick him. Anyone, that is, except Jesus. Jesus knew them both. And Jesus would pick the woman. Jesus does pick the woman. And, what’s more, He tells Simon why.

Not that Simon wants to know. His mind is elsewhere. How did this whore get in my house?He doesn’t know whom to yell at first, the woman or the servant who let her in. After all, this dinner is a formal affair. Invitation only. Upper crust. Crème de la crème. Who let the riffraff in?


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Where is God When it Hurts?

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psalm 34 18

News editors had already selected the top news story of 2012, with President Barack Obama’s reelection polling the most votes. But after the December tragedy at Sandy Hook all other news seemed somehow insignificant.

For the first time ever the Associated Press re-voted, now naming the saddest event of the year as the most important.

On December 28, exactly two weeks after the shootings, I landed at LaGuardia Airport, met my hosts, and after a two-hour drive got my first glimpse of Newtown. TV commentators had used words like idyllic and bucolic to describe the area, and indeed the scene was worthy of a Currier and Ives print. As we got off the congested highway the road wound among Victorian farmhouses surrounded by white picket fences, with blanketed horses frolicking in the pastures. Even the town streets had rural-sounding names: Head of Meadow, Toddy Hill, Mount Pleasant, Deep Brook.

Before 2012 Newtown had two main claims to fame, as the birthplace of the game of Scrabble and the home of decathlete Bruce Jenner. A large flagpole stood on a hill on Main Street in the center of town, and I could easily imagine the scene on the Fourth of July, with families picnicking in the city park as fire trucks and corny floats and school bands paraded by. Sandy Hook, one of the villages within the borough of Newtown, dates back to 1711. This was classic Americana, a model of small-town innocence.


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The Power of Words

Proverbs 16:24

You don’t have to have a big nose to have heard the childhood mantra, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Just because it’s spouted by first graders doesn’t mean it’s true. Perhaps the adult translation of this age-old adage is more like,

“Sticks and stones can bruise your body for a few days, but words can scar your soul for life.”

Like a neutron bomb which annihilates human life but leaves buildings intact, words can devastate. Your body may remain unharmed, but your heart suffers the deadly shrapnel of painful phrases. David, who knew a thing or two about having enemies in high places, wrote that evildoers “sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows” (Psalm 64:3). Whether you’re eighteen or eighty, you can probably recall the pain of someone’s harsh words scalding your soul.

Maybe you still hear the message from years ago, playing an endless loop in your mind, echoing inside you every day.


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Lost

Luke 15:9

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. — Luke 15:8–10

I was awash in a sea of three toddlers. Trying to do anything outside the house was an adventure. But one day I decided to brave a trip to the mall to shop for Christmas gifts. As I stood at the register, I asked my children to hold onto mama’s jeans. Their tightly clutched fists let me know that they were close. After completing my purchase, I turned around and realized that two-year-old Ryan was nowhere in sight. The three tiny hands clutching my pant leg turned out to be one child holding on with two hands, and the other holding on with one while their brother made his escape.


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Parent’s Progress 1.23.14

Our goal is to equip parents with the most recent in articles and helps for communicating with your children and teenagers. One of our favorite sites is http://www.thesource4parents.com/ You can find plenty of resources there. Here’s a recent article.
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Since January 1, 2014, recreational marijuana has been sold in various stores and shops in Colorado – legally. Adults searching for a “Rocky Mountain High” have been greeted by long lines of fellow users.

But in the other 49 states, it’s teens’ illegal use of pot that’s really capturing the nation’s attention.

Mary Jane…and Her Friends
While the rest of America waits to see what will come of Colorado’s landmark decision to legalize marijuana – besides an increased theft of “Mile 420” interstate signs – others are more concerned with what’s already known about teenagers’ use of America’s third-favorite stimulant.


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Wake Up!

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“So how do we continually experience newness in a world where everything ages? How do we experience freshness where everything quickly becomes stale? We have to wake up!

Awakening to the presence and power of God is both a one-time event and a recurring newness we experience throughout our lives. Some would say that this state of newness is a mountaintop experience, one that is nice to have every once in a while, but unsustainable in real life. But…not only is it possible to live a life fully awakened to God at all times, but it is the desire and will of God that you do so.”

Excerpted from Awakening by Stovall Weems

This originally appeared at the Waterbrook Inspired blog.



The Adventure of a Lifetime

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“The award-winning animated movie Up contains some profound truths about relationships. In a breathtaking sequence early in the film, we see the entire arc of the life of Carl, a balloon salesman, as he meets Ellie, falls in love, and gets married. They share a dream to travel to South America and save every penny for their big trip. But there’s something familiar about the way their savings are constantly being used for the urgencies and emergencies of daily life. Before Carl and Ellie know it, they’re in their seventies, and although they have a beautiful marriage, they never realized their dream adventure…

You begin to realize as the movie progresses that this dream trip they were saving for, this object of their future plan together, wasn’t really that important after all. The real adventure was the life they shared along the way.

The same is true for us: the adventure of a lifetime is right in front of us. It’s just cleverly disguised as a familiar face.”

Excerpted from One Month to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook


Daily Reflection: How can you keep this idea of life’s “big adventure” in mind this upcoming year?

 

This originally appeared at the Waterbrook Inspired blog.



We Are All Different

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“They say variety is the spice of life. Perhaps that’s why God so often puts people of such different personalities in the same family. (Either that, or he’s trying to prepare us for marriage!) Mary was the sunlight to Martha’s thunder. She was the caboose to Martha’s locomotive. Mary’s bent was to meander through life, pausing to smell the roses. Martha was more likely to pick the roses, quickly cut the stems at an angle, and arrange them in a vase with baby’s breath and ferns.

That is not to say one is right and one is wrong. We are all different, and that is just as God made us to be. Each gifting and personality has its own strengths and weaknesses, its glories and temptations.

I find it interesting that when Jesus corrected Martha, he didn’t say, ‘Why can’t you be more like your sister, Mary?’ He knew Martha would never be Mary, and Mary would never be Martha. But when the two were faced with the same choice—to work or to worship—Jesus said, ‘Mary has chosen the better part.’”

Excerpted from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver


Daily Reflection: How can you worship God using your unique personality, with its glories and temptations?

 

This originally appeared at the Waterbrook Inspired blog.