To Tell You My Story

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I recently attended a concert by Christian recording artists Big Daddy Weave, We Are Messengers and Plumb.

My favorite song by Big Daddy Weave is “My Story.” The song talks about if I told you my story it would tell you of love, grace, mercy and life, but it was all about the love, grace, mercy and life of God. Then one verse says, “To tell you my story is to tell of Him.”

I attended the National Prayer Summit last year, and it truly changed my life for the better to try to understand God’s love. The summit gave me such a desire to learn more about God’s Word and to serve Him the best I can. I would like to tell you how attending the National Prayer Summit changed my life; in other words, I want to tell you my story, to tell of Him.


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Giving, Trusting and Blessing

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Norman and Arlene Leenhouts have been married 61 years. Four years into their marriage, they began tithing — giving at least 10 percent of their income back to God — and their finances didn’t suffer.

“Fifty-seven years — we were just counting, my wife and I, about how generous the Lord has been,” said Norman Leenhouts when reached by telephone at his home near Rochester, New York. “I really believe you can’t outgive the Lord.”

The couple learned that God blesses and guides people who give generously and trust in Him. Although the humble pair are reticent to discuss their many charitable contributions, the Leenhoutses support a variety of organizations and educational institutions.


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Gratitude and Grace

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My family and friends may have stopped asking me to say grace at meals. They don’t want to get me started, because I pray too long.

It’s not really my fault. I’ve experienced too much. In the first place, my husband John lost his senses of smell and taste in a horse accident five years ago. So if I eat about 1,000 meals a year, that’s 5,000 times I’ve been able to enjoy the savory aroma and delicious flavor of food while my good husband just eats to live. Before I start praying out loud, I silently thank God for the amazing sense of taste, our Creator’s good gift to us. John’s loss has shown me how much I had taken for granted the pleasure of food. I have a new appreciation for every flavorful bite.


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Tis the Season for Time Together

Making Sure Tech Doesn’t Hijack Your Holidays
An article from David R. Smith at TheSource4YM.com
 
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This holiday season, millions of teens will gather with their families around a turkey. And most of them will gorge themselves with side dishes that include healthy portions of Snapchat, Instagram, and Spotify.

But there are ways to lure your teens away from their screens this holiday season….

Thanksgiving and Christmas are officially upon us…and that means travel for millions. There have been

noticeable shifts in how, why, when, and with whom families travel these days. But much of it has the same goal in mind: shared experiences with loved ones.

Thanksgiving and Christmas offer millions of families the opportunity to do just that.
And it’s a noble endeavor given that

parents spend less than two hours with their kids each day. (Interestingly, there are actually a couple of reasons to celebrate the 104 minutes parents give their children every day. First, it actually represents an increase from decades past…and second, it’s not the 34 minutes per day that British kids get with their parents

.)

Seriously, kids have playlists that are longer than that.


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Offering-Worship

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With Tongue in Cheek

Back in the day, you always got a “bulletin” as you entered the sanctuary. I don’t know why they ever called it a “bulletin.” I googled it and just got more confused. So I’ve now added it to the list of questions we can ask Jesus about, though probably only on a really slow day.

Back in the day, everyone got a bulletin, even though most likely no one really needed one, for two good reasons. First, everyone already knew what was going to happen during the service, since the “order of service” was always basically the same. Second, no one really needed to read the announcements listed in the bulletin, which did vary some, since these would be read to us at least once during the service itself, if not twice so we’d remember. Larger churches might also have a “skit” about the more important announcements.


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Richly Blessed

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I ’m not really one to follow instructions. Anyone who knows me will confirm it. Following instructions is difficult for me because I am inclined toward doing as I please.

The friction comes when I am called to do what pleases God. What pleases God is for us to store our “treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).


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Battling Teen Porn Addiction

Arming Kids for the Fight of Their Lives
An article from David R. Smith at TheSource4YM.com
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On a daily basis, millions of teenagers are bombarded by graphic and explicit images through online images and videos. The degree to which they are impacted is as varied as the kids themselves, but none of it is positive.

Fortunately, there are tools to help…if adults are willing to use them to level the playing field.

Porn’s Impact
Yes, I wrote about porn just 5 months ago. In that article

, the not-so-hidden effects of pornography on young lives were discussed in saddening detail. Perhaps we might be benefited by a brief reminder of what research is saying about porn’s impact on us as sexual beings.
Thanks to

research published in JAMA Psychiatry

  we now know the following about porn’s impact on our brains:

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Any Chance God Thinks of Us?

Is there any chance that the almighty God of the universe, Creator of everything that is, thinks of you? Could you be in His thoughts? One of the most astounding stories of all time is this story; of a young woman who was remembered by God, representing all of us who are “insignificant,” “forgotten,” and without hope. If He thought of her… well, you know where I’m going!

Or on Vimeo at:

 

 



Political Questions – Is There Hope?

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Liar vs. Lecher. That could well be what the marquee reads out front of today’s political arena.  The followers of each engage in fierce fighting for their contender—“fanatical” seems apt to me as a normative, rather than 
extreme, descriptor.  In one corner, just as some alleged lies fade into the past a new spate of emails comes to light.  Sadly, it might be that deals were discussed, quid pro quo in nature, that stretches her credibility beyond the breaking point for many.   In the other corner, just as the lechery stands fully exposed more professed victims come forward.  Sadly, in the most recent cases the alleged lecher responds in ways that themselves seem dismissive, abusive and cluelessly aggravating.  More sadly, professing Christians who support him dismiss his deeds with shockingly cheap grace in one breath and then rail against the same misdeeds committed by the spouse of his opponent.   On both sides, we see the practice of defense by attack of the other.  And both sides seem not to consider that the means one uses often invalidate the noblest of ends.  Christians on both sides know better.  If ends in themselves can justify the means, then Jesus was a fool and should have jumped from the Temple pinnacle.  Liar vs. Lecher offers bawdy entertainment and C-rated drama, but no hope.

But hope remains for earnest and daring followers of Jesus.  In fact, hope remains precisely because the dynamics now playing out in this electoral carnival show seem so dark.  Is there hope?  Yes or, at least, there can be!

Hope will flow from an excellent opportunity for Jesus-followers to reaffirm that:

Our citizenship is in heaven. We look forward to a savior that comes from there– the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform our humble bodies so that they are like his glorious body, by the power that also makes him able to subject all things to himself, (Phil. 3:20-21 CEB).


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The Developing Teen Brain

By Walt Mueller

Everything I’ve learned about the developing teenage brain has been quite liberating for me. It’s been liberating as a journey in self-discovery. You see, if the brain is not fully wired-up until about the age of 25, then that offers me at least some sort of explanation for much of my confusing and now-embarrassing adolescent and young adult behavior. As a parent, I often asked my kids, “What in the world were you thinking?” There were times in my early years where I quietly asked myself the same question while wiping egg off my face or trying to clean up some kind of mess.

So. . . here’s a helpful infographic on the teen brain from the folks at TeenSafe. Give it a good look. 
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