Parent’s Progress 7.11.13

We are back for another week of pointing parents in the direction of others with insights and helpful advice on how to raise teens and children. As you read these articles, look for the redemption and pray and prepare against the stumbling blocks along the way.


My Daughter’s Gateway to Porn

Beth’s Story

Our daughter is now sixteen (where does the time go?!?!), and she is recovering from a cyber-sex and pornography addiction.  Firstly, I have to say that it hadn’t really dawned on us that our little daughter could succumb to a sex-related addiction.  Like so many, I think we assumed that pornography was a boy’s problem.  We had a few conversations with our daughter about staying pure and protecting her body as she was growing up, but now, looking back, I realized we mostly left her to figure that stuff out on her own.

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Choosing Faith Over Job

Kylie Bisutt’s dreams came true when she won a Victoria’s Secret modeling competition. But less than two years later, she decided to stop because of her personal beliefs.

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Always There

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“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”—2 Chronicles 7:15-16

God promised, “My name will be there.”

The name above all names; the name that makes seas to boil and the skies to fall; the name that causes every knee to bow and every tongue to confess—that name and all it represents would be there for the people of God. God himself swore that all his character and all his essence would surely be there for his children.

But what does this mean for us?

It means we can count on the One who parted the ocean and calmed the seas to be there for us when the opposition bears down at full speed or the storms of life toss us around like plastic cups caught in the surf. The very essence of the One who lifted up the mountains and raised up the dead will be there to lift us up to new heights and to raise us up with his Son on the last day. The sum of all God’s character and power and authority and holiness—100 percent of everything about him—will be there for
you and me.

Excerpted from Be There by John Trent

Daily Reflection: What does God’s name and the assurance of His presence mean to you?

Thanks to God For His Mercy

by Pastor Roland

Last month, I paused my story at the point where Elaine, our two daughters and I were in a U-Haul van on our way from Sacramento, California to Vancouver, Washington where I was to serve as pastor of the Vancouver F M Church and attend seminary studies at Western Evangelical Seminary in southeast Portland, Oregon.  Older ones will remember that in 1977 the U.S. was dealing with a gasoline shortage.  One thing I hadn’t figured on was that at night, some filling stations in remote areas of northern California and southern Oregon had cut their hours of operation and would not be open for our overnight journey.  There we were, on the road with our rig that only got about 8 miles to the gallon, our two babies, and a shortage of places to refuel.


Bishops Respond to Supreme Court Rulings

Bishops David Roller, Matthew Thomas and David Kendall

The Free Methodist Church – USA Board of Bishops released the following statement June 27 in response to the previous day’s Supreme Court rulings: 

Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States published two rulings of interest to the whole country. First, the court ruled that the provision of the celebrated Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. In a second opinion, the court refused to overturn a lower-court decision striking down the California marriage law, which paves the way for same sex marriages to resume in California.

Predictably reactions to these rulings are strong and conflicting. Supporters of same sex marriage, among them our President, hail them as righting a wrong. Supporters of defining marriage as between one man and one woman view them as yet another instance of social and political imposition of moral and spiritual values contrary to their understanding of their faith.

As Free Methodists, we remain committed to our best understanding of what God intended from the very beginning, what Jesus affirmed, and what virtually all followers of Christ have understood almost universally until relatively recently. We do affirm that from the beginning God intended marriage as composed of one man and one woman committing themselves to one another in a life-long covenant of faithful love. In this union, where two become one flesh, God intends the reflection of God’s own self, God’s own image (see our Book of Discipline, par. 3215, 3311).

The Supreme Court rulings are legal rulings that will have legal consequences that play out in multiple directions and levels. Some of those consequences will no doubt affect us, in many different ways. What shall we do now?

The church must pursue its mission and vision: love God, love people, and make disciples. The church must become healthy biblical communities of holy people … through whom God brings wholeness to a broken and hurting world.

More specifically, the Free Methodist Church’s response to the challenges of same-sex relationships and marriage flows from the message of the gospel — that we are saved by grace through faith, that we will be judged finally on the basis of how we have responded to Jesus, not according to the particular forms of sin we have chosen compared with others.

The message of the gospel is that Jesus saves, that he does so completely or wholly, on his own time table, by the convicting and transforming power of the Spirit, and most often in the community of others who are also being saved from their sins and the impact of sin upon their lives.

We will proclaim the good news in Jesus as the remedy God offers us, whatever particular sin grips us most firmly—all in the spirit of Jesus’ person and ministry. We can be “correct” but then corrupt or counter the impact of the truth by a spirit contrary to Jesus’ spirit.

We will trust the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sin, to enliven hope of transforming possibilities, and then to lead people to God’s best for their lives.

We will be a people who offer ourselves as agents of Jesus’ grace and love to others, all others. We must reach out and welcome people in the Spirit of Jesus, in faith that Jesus knows how to care for all of us and bring us to his best. As we do, we must not give up on people, and must confidently hope and wait for the wholeness Jesus promised and will surely affect.

In the meantime, we will be people of such faith, hope and love individually and corporately with relentless passion. Therefore, let us evaluate ourselves against the welcome and grace of Jesus for others, and not give up on others, even as Jesus did not give up on us.

It Was a Great Day Indeed!

Day of Helping Picture Montage

It is exciting to see the impact a simple book can make in the life of a church. When Pastor Roland first came, he brought with him Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker. In short, the book is about taking your faith into the community through a heart of service.


Working Locally, Impacting Globally

by Rick Nier

Recently, Christi Ziebarth approached me about a possible partnership between our church and Africrans By Amerikids. This ministry began three years ago as a creative idea by Heidi Ziebarth, then 11 years old. They had no idea what they were starting, and the kind of space it would require.



At Annual Conference this year, we heard from Superintendent Joe James. Among other lessons he passed along, he had this to share.

by Superintendent Joe James


One Final Lesson … from the front door of the Conference office. A couple of weeks ago, I was very focused on getting some work done at the office. I was on a mission. But as I approached the driveway a line of Canada Geese were walking across the road. They were going from the conference office side lawn to the Jones’ Funeral Home lawn.


Endless Grace, Endless Love

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness . . . and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. — Colossians 2:6–7, 10
Come Monday morning I forget. A child loses a book, has an exam, is late for practice. I stress over the trite, a phone call, what’s for dinner, a deadline.

Am I living God’s best for this life or am I bankrupting any legacy of faith? What misery lurks in the next twenty-four hours and the next? Stress can be an addiction and worry can be our lunge for control and we forget the answer to this moment.


Living With Unction

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Show me, O Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath. (niv)

I chewed on that. Ever breathed on a window during a cold winter’s day? Did you notice how it fogged up, and then the fog instantly disappeared? That is what the psalmist David is saying the life of man is like. Here for a brief moment, then gone. Why would David ask God to show him the shortness of his life? David knew that when a man grasps how short his life is, he begins to live with a new sense of what’s truly important.

Excerpted from The Real Win by Colt McCoy and Matt Carter

Parent’s Progress 6.27.13

Welcome back parents, to another week of articles and resources. If you find these helpful, be sure to promote and pass them along to others who have teens and children or work with teens and children.


4 Tips to Teach Kids Delayed Gratification

Today, with the challenges to our economy, it is imperative to teach your children the self-discipline of delayed gratification, particularly economic self-discipline. The ability to wait and save money to purchase whatever we want and need using cash—especially in today’s “gotta-have-it-now,” instant gratification world—will bless your children (and their families) for their entire lives.

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The Justice Side of Porn

The moral arguments against pornography are well-known. However, even apart from questions of fidelity and objectification, there is an inescapable problem with porn.

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Parent’s Television Council

New research from the Parents Television Council shows that blurred or pixilated full nudity is increasingly being shown on primetime broadcast television shows, and that almost 70% of this type of nudity is being shown on TV-PG rated programs.

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