If you go to a church over the Christmas season you may be surprised by how few teenagers are there at their own free will.
Before you fire the youth pastor, parents may want to look into their own lives to understand the lack of faith engagement of their children.
A lot of research agrees that our youth faithfully mirror the aspirations, passions, lifestyles, practices, and problems of the adult world into which they are being socialized.
In these ways, our teens may actually serve as a very accurate barometer of the conditions of the culture and institutions of our larger society.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Duet 6:6-9
This incredible image was taken by the Hubble telescope.
It is called the Majestic Sombrero galaxy…
This galaxy is 50,000 lights years across and is approximately 28 million light years from our earth.
God created this for our enjoyment… for us to study… but I think most of all so we would would know without question what an amazing God we have the opportunity to be in a personal relationship with .
If He has the power and creativity to create this with a single word how much more can He speak into our life and create beauty and greatness?
Psalm 33:6 The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
I love to scan the covers of the magazines as I wait at our grocery store checkout.
Most of these magazines shamelessly appeal to our human base drive for sex, power and outward beauty.
The magazine covers fixate on beauty of face and form as though that’s all there is. Joan Rivers has spent a fortune on her face but after multiple surgeries to hold onto beauty she now has a “plastic, clownish” young face on a senior citizens body. I don’t think it is the look she was going for.
Physical beauty all too quickly fades away; all one’s efforts to keep it are doomed to fail. But there is an inner beauty—authentic beauty that will endure forever—in the one “who fears the Lord”
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing” Proverbs 31.
This gives great insight to Matthew 13:44.
You have found a treasure: the treasure of God’s love. You know where it is but you are not ready to own it fully.
So many attachments keep pulling you away.
If you would fully own your treasure, you must hide it in the field where you found it, go off happily to sell everything you own, and then come back and buy the field.
Finding the treasure is only the beginning of the search.
Finding the treasure without being ready yet to fully own it will make you restless. (This is where most of us live)
This restless search for God is the way to holiness.
It is the journey to the place where you can rest.
Our desire for God is the desire that should guide all other desires!
Have a Great Day!
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” .
Trusting God is a hard place to be but ask yourself if doing it your way has worked out as planned and if not what do you have to lose to try it His way?
Faith is not logical. Faith is theological. It does not ignore reality; it just adds God into the equation.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Without weakening in his faith he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead
– since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Abraham was fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
“Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
We have all looked down on someone who’s hair or clothes are 30 years out of style.
We are guilty of judging people when we know nothing of their story.
In reality our judgments say more about us then others.
Where we are usually depends on where we start. We all have started in different places and are given different tools. God only knows our true heart and He alone can guide us closer to Him.
Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows
~ Paul Valéry Flametree
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3
God is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another it means that God is choosing us now and now and now.
Our response to being chosen is prayer. Occupy yourself with nature of God not your own resume of strengths and resources. Max Lucado
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
I was reading the story (in John where the Pharisees catch a woman in adultery.
Her accusers publicly humiliate her before they prepare to pummel her to death one stone at a time.
Jesus intervenes and is eventually left alone with her.
Jesus asked her, “Woman, has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
I think I know the names of the accusers: shame, guilt, defeat, self-loathing, despair…
These accusers pummel God’s children one accusation at a time.
Hold on to the words of Christ “Then neither do I condemn you” until our accusers leave.
Even if our heart condemns us,
God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
1 John 3:20
“The Wise Woman’s Stone”
There was a wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.
The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
If we are wise we would be asking Jesus to give us what enabled Him to give his life for us.
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28