Here’s a little bit of “this and that” for your reading pleasure…
I received a great email yesterday. I preached a message on handling anger on Sunday. Here is an excerpt from the email.
Just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for your message on Sunday…anger and the battle in the mind! Whew!! Tough ones!! I’m going to be clearly open and honest here, and with absolutely no intention as being self righteous. As someone who has fought through years of depression, anxiety, and yes, even anger, I have sat with more counselors and tried more medication than what I care to admit. And yes, I do feel at times those things are necessary…and I’m not trying to discourage or belittle the matter in any way. But, I have found that when I was finally ready to sit with the Great Counselor, be honest with Him ( He knows anyway!!), and allow Him to work in my heart is when the Holy Spirit began to change me. It’s not been an easy road and the hard stuff in life is never easy, but there are great rewards. So, I thank you for an encouraging and challenging message. It couldn’t have come at a better time for this week. And I have used your phrase MUCH this week….”you are responsible for your response. Do not return evil for evil”…
Isn’t that great? And here’s the cool thing. I don’t preach topical messages. I preach straight through Scripture. I’ve been in the book of Acts for 2 years and 2 months now. I might be done with it by this time next year. 🙂 Anyway, God is the One who orchestrates the messages, not me. So, when Paul blew his stack in front of the Sanhedrin in Acts 23, well…God used that to help a lot of folks deal with anger. Neat! God’s sovereignty at work!
I sometimes talk about the weather and I must tell you that I love the weather. God is in TOTAL control of the weather and mankind can do NOTHING about it (but try to forecast it). There is much talk about global warming and I must tell you that I believe it is WAY overblown. So does this guy.
This is Joe Bastardi. I think I’ve mentioned him before. But, he’s really a good forecaster. He’s on Fox News a lot. The Weather Channel (owned by NBC) won’t touch him. The week of the nasty tornado in Moore, OK…well, he predicted “killer storms” and drew with his pointer over Oklahoma and Kansas. Here’s his latest forecast for the hurricane season and it’s a BIG one!
I guess you heard the Boy Scouts caved in last week. Gay boys can now come into the Scouts. Amazing. The Boy Scouts logo says this…
In my mind the BSA can no longer use this phrase in good faith. It has demonstrated by its actions that the organization’s values are not timeless, and instead they are governed by changing tides of polls, politics and public opinion. The saddest part of today’s decision is what the organization is teaching our children and young people in the program. I read a post from an organization that is looking at planning an alternative to Scouts. It’s www.onmyhonor.net. They said this:
The BSA is teaching our kids that when your values become unpopular, just change them.
The BSA is teaching our kids that when your convictions are challenged, just cave to peer pressure.
The BSA is teaching our kids that public opinion polls are more important than principles.
The BSA is teaching our kids that you should not stand up for what is right instead you should stand up for what is popular.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.” BSA is teaching our kids through its new mission that we don’t make ethical and moral choices through the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law but we make them like an unprincipled politician does, by putting your finger in the air and seeing which way the wind is blowing or by looking at the latest polling results.
What kind of a message are we sending to young people about being brave when its top adult leaders don’t even have the courage to stand up to the pressure of a militant lobby when the bullies in Washington DC, Hollywood or even some of their own renegade councils start pressuring and harassing them? We hoped to keep sex and politics out of Scouting. Now we grieve for those young boys who will not have the wonderful traditions and experiences that so many of us have had in Scouting.
See this young man?
That’s 2013 Class President, Jonathan Harwick of Lincoln County High in Stanford, KY. He’s a hero in my book. He was told not to pray at his high school graduation and he did anyway! Here’s part of what he said: “Thank you for helping us get here safely today, Lord, and thank you for the many blessings you have given us.” What’s so bad about that? What’s so insidiously evil about that? Here’s the full story if you would like to read it.
As I think about Jonathan, I think about the high expectations we should have for our young people. Yet, many parents are oblivious to what’s going on in their child’s life. Don’t believe me? This quote came from a recent “Rite of Passage” participant in our church when I asked this…
Statistics show 70% to 92% of all Christian young people, who were raised in church, will abandon their faith by their 20th birthday. Why do you think this is so and do you think this could happen to you?
Here was a response from one of our young adults:
“…in my opinion, the main reason is because of the lack of expectations that their parents request from them while they grow up. Sadly, this example can be easily seen in many teenagers in middle and high school these days. …teenagers…are attending church because they are told to… However, they are actually just living a fake Christian life. Their parents are oblivious to what they are doing with their boyfriends or girlfriends in their “2nd” life and are really not even present in the process of guiding their children on the TRUE Christian path.”
Did you catch the phrase, “…parents are oblivious to what they are doing…” Why is this the case? Is it because we are too busy trying to make money or make sure the kids are in every sport, dance class and extra-curricular activity available? Is it because we are trying to vicariously do through our children what we couldn’t do ourselves?
The same is true in our churches. I read this quote recently…
Youth leaders, in an attempt to be “relevant,” have begun to abandon a true reliance on God’s Word and a deep belief in the inherent power of the Bible. They have lost faith in God’s ability to get his work done through his inspired, written Word. So they try in all sorts of ways to “spice up” the message. They analyze the newest Lady Gaga song. They show lots of YouTube clips to demonstrate their main points…. Talks become more funny, more cute, and seemingly more ‘relevant” … and the Bible plays a less and less prominent role.
Here is what many of us youth leaders have forgotten: the Word of God alone holds inherent, divine power to accomplish the saving work of God in people’s hearts and lives. God’s Word is God’s chosen way to get his work done in student’s lives. So when we make our talks cute, relevant, and funny—and shove the Bible from its rightful prominent place in our teaching—we have stopped grounding our teaching in the only truly powerful foundation: God’s inspired Word.
Jon Nielson, Bible Study: A Student’s Guide (P&R, 2013), 36–37. Full article here…
That’s why I wrote my book! God help us to think! 🙂 So long for now…