• Saturday, June 27, 2009

  • My earlier post on social networking brewed a few comments to me from some who read it. I still recieve from time to time the question, "Have you seen what so-and-so posted on their facebook?" The answer remains, "no, and I probably will not look." I also continue to hear from spouses who have concerns about the "friends" that are being contacted and reconnected that probably should remain as memories.

    Steve Altrogge, a pastor-intern and songwriter at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA posted this article about facebook that is good instruction for you personally and as a parent.

    You Are What You Tweet

    The things I can do on and Facebook and Twitter are incredible.

    I can let you know exactly what I’m doing at 2:01 P.M. on Tuesday afternoon (drinking my third cup of coffee). I can post that goofy picture of me and my buddy sporting our sweetest 80’s clothes. I can take a quiz that helps me identify which ‘The Princess Bride’ character I’m most like. I can catch up with my high school friends.

    Yet in the midst of all this, something strange can begin to take place. I can feel as though the things I say and post on Facebook and Twitter don’t really matter. As if, somehow, the things I say and do online are separate from the real me. Come on, it’s just Facebook, right?
    Wrong. In Matthew 15:19 Jesus said: For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

    So what does this mean? It means that our status updates, photo uploads, wall posts, and online chats are a visible display of what is taking place in our hearts.

    Posting flirtatious comments on someone’s picture isn’t “just what happens on Facebook”. Uploading an inappropriate photo isn’t just for fun. Relentlessly mocking someone isn’t what happens online. It’s the overflow of the heart. And it’s sin. What we do online is the real us. It doesn’t matter that we’re safely behind a computer screen.

    And the sobering thing is, every action that takes place online has effects that last into eternity. Jesus said: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak… (Matt. 12:36)

    Let’s put that verse into online terms. On the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless Tweet they post. Every inappropriate status update. Every sinful picture. Wall post. Chat.

    On the final day, I don’t want to regret the things I said in cyber space. So for now, I need to watch what I Tweet, upload, and wall post. Because I am what I Tweet.

    Here are some questions to get us thinking. Parents, Facebook and Twitter provide excellent conversation topics. Use these questions as starting points.
    Do I ever say anything on Facebook or Twitter that is impure or unedifying? (Ephesians 4:29)
    Am I communicating with anyone online that I wouldn’t want my spouse/parents/friends to know about? (1 John 1:6-7)
    What do my pictures, wall posts, status updates, and “friends” show about my heart?

    Here’s the bad news: we’ve all sinned in this area. The good news is that Jesus Christ died for Facebook sinners like me. In light of this good news, let’s use Facebook and Twitter for the glory of God.

    THE GOSPEL-CENTERED HOME: Teens; Who Are These Guys Part 3

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2009
  • Trying to figure out a teenager is not really as hard as it seems. As previously posted, they are just like you the parent. Their lack of experience and many times focused teaching makes them susceptible to making foolish decisions. The last 2 items of who are these teens are perhaps the ones that bring the largest amount of fear and frustration to their parents.

    8. Teens are susceptible to sexual temptation. Here the strength of youth, changes in life, the freedoms they experience and the lack of an accurate view outside the home and church all contribute to the potential problem. As a teenager physically awakens, fantasy and lust are common private sins and to help a teen, they must be open for discussion. Are you comfortable with this topic with your teen? Do they really have a biblical view of sex? Do you know where they struggle in this area? Can they critique the world's view? Do they have a heart for sexual purity? Are they modest?

    9. The final point to discuss is that teens tend to be focused on the present. What is not in their scope of view is to delay anything, especially gratification. Right now is the most important moment of life. Galatians 6:7, "God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." is not so much in the scope of their day to day thinking. The physical moment tends to be what matters and temporal happiness is the priority. Some of this comes from the saturation of entertainment in our lives where the meaning of things is found in how good it makes me feel. As a result, things like church are boring regardless of how nourishing it is for them.

    All of these things that describe a teen does not mean every teenager nor every item. They only are representative of the culture today. For us as parents and workers of teens, it gives us a place to understand and enter their world so we can help shape it to God-centered meaning. More to come....


  • Saturday, June 20, 2009
  • With 7 grandsons and no granddaughters, this past week my daughter-in-law Megan gave birth to our 8th grandchild......another boy! Xavier Christian Lockyer. The cousins were delighted that there is another boy and we are putting away anything pink and I am reinforcing all our structures on the farm. I thought it would be fun to have at least one granddaughter until I saw this video of an infant girl.....Now I am totally excited about 8 boys.


  • Tuesday, June 16, 2009


    What is your view of the church as a family? One of the metaphors of the church in the Scriptures is the family. All the qualities of a healthy family are the same qualities of a healthy church. Living in community is part of God's design and the two primary communities are the family and the church.

    The church is where the support structure for a biblical worldview to the home is found. Worship, prayer, God's Word, authority, accountability, submission, roles, and caring relationships are developed. The church is where we can learn how to deal with trials which is essential teaching for a child's development spiritually.

    All said, the church needs to be a priority to your family. As parents, you will shape your child's attitude about the church. If you love the church, they will likely love the church as well.

    (If you are part of Faith Bible Church, make sure you have a copy of our booklet on children in worship titled, "Worshiping with the Greatest in the Kingdom.")


    1. If someone would ask your child what mom and dad think and say about your church, what would they say?

    2. How are your children a picture of the children of God?

    3. How well does you home emulate these qualities which are part of the community of the church: consideration, forgiveness, acceptance, encouragement, communion, companionship, self-sacrificing, love, admonition, rebuke, restoration, repentance, reconciliation, fellowship, nurture, loyalty, refuge, healing, and accountability?

    THE GOSPEL-CENTERED HOME: Teens; Who Are These Guys Part 2

  • Monday, June 15, 2009
  • 5. Teens typically think they are wiser than they really are or in other words, they have a very distorted view of themselves. But, of course, so do I most of the time of myself. Oh, the deceptiveness of sin! (Hebrews 3:13) However with many teens, they tend to lack a real hunger for wisdom and look at what we older adults have as very little practical insight to give to them. I can’t count the number of times in working with teens I was told I just don’t understand. What we as parents and youth workers must do is make wisdom much more appealing to our teens. By using demanding words and tone of voice, confrontations and verbal struggles we easily shift the problems we want to address to ourselves. The teen tends to become defensive and not interested in listening.

    6. Believe it or not, teens tend to be more legalistic than their parents. Pushing the limits on rules, they want to know and will test just how far they can go. They become quite the literalists. Ever hear, “I did exactly what you told me to do” to your frustration that they knew what you were intending in a situation? This is a heart issue that needs to be addressed in both their hearts and ours. Legalism as a parent is a form of self-righteousness that denies the saving grace of God and the need that our teens need to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and their actions need to flow from their being born again.

    7. Our teens tend to choose some of their friends without using wisdom. It is impossible to not be influenced by friends. We need to help guide teens in how to choose relationships and how we can step outside the emotional pulls to honest and biblical criteria.

    Two more items to come …

    THE GOSPEL-CENTERED HOME: Back to the Teens; Who are These Guys?

  • Monday, June 8, 2009

  • The term teenager has not been around long in our language. You do not find it in the Bible nor in most literature until the middle of the 20th century. One of the reasons is that in most cultures, including the western culture, a young teenager was considered a young adult. Using the term teenager or adolescent becomes almost an excuse for not acting like a young adult. So who are these beings in many of our homes?

    1. They are sinners like you. Romans 3:9-23 gives a description of the teen and their parents. As a parent, you need to see your teen accurately so that you are not surprised by them. They will do some things that will affirm these verses. As sinners, it means there is hope for them as Christ came to save sinners.

    2. They are a young adult. The Bible does not recognize teenagers but calls those who are traditionally at puberty up to 30 a young adult. Jewish tradition puts it at 13 years old with the Bar (Bas for women) Mitzvah. Your teen needs to be treated as such and leave many of the childish things behind. The biggest challenge of being an adult is making decisions. They have the capability to begin making important choices and living with the consequences of them. Using good wisdom as a parent for sometimes to let them fail is the best thing for them.

    3. Your teen is self-centered and that will get in the way of accomplishing #2 above. Oh yeah, so are we self-centered and how often that gets in the way of our parenting! For both the teen and the parent, godly virtue is appreciated but our biggest problem in practicing it will be ourselves.

    4. Your teen is a "meaning-maker." Paul Tripp in his books on parenting speaks of how we are all interpreters, thinkers, organizers and responders to life and it is not so much based upon the facts of what we see and hear, but moreso on how we interpret the facts. Read back through Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:1-6 and see how the facts were received and interpreted. You will see your teen (and yourself) in the narrative.

    I have several more that I will post in the next day or two, but what does this mean? To better understand your teen is to see how you can better help and reach them. I hopefully am beginning to show you that your teen is not that much different than you. The biggest difference is the wisdom of experience. More to come.....

    INSTRUCTING A CHILD'S HEART - Chapter 10: Complete In Christ

  • Saturday, June 6, 2009

  • I had forgot about going through the book "Instructing a Child's Heart" and no one said anything about it until last week. I received a comment/email that someone asked why I had stopped at chapter 9? Rather than give a reason, here is chapter 10 and I will continue the series.

    This is an incredibly important chapter of instruction for you as a parent. It starts out with this statement, "When our children are confronted with temptation to sin, difficult circumstances, or the sting of the sin of others, we want to show them the beauty of resting in Christ - being complete in Him."

    We often try to give our children tools to deal with these issues that are far inadequate for what they need and all they need is Christ. The Tripps provide a step by step means to show how we can be complete in Christ. They use a series of diagrams that provide an overview of the storyline of Scripture - creation, fall, redemption and the implications of them. This is a chapter where the gospel is clearly presented and how it is connected to the narrative of Scripture.


    1. Read this chapter several times

    2. If your child is young, master the material in order to bring to your child the information at a level they will understand. Charles Spurgeon said that if a child is young enough to understand sin, they are young enough to understand the gospel.

    3. As you have brought counsel to your child for the situations they have faced, how have you brought the provision from God in Christ? How can you grow in this area as a parent?


  • Monday, June 1, 2009

  • My fifth oldest grandson, Isaac, turned 5 today. We celebrated his birthday over the weekend with a water party at Grandpa's house (water slide, slip and slide, pool, water balloons and water guns) along with his favorite meal of popcorn, cheese, crackers, peanut-butter, and apples. His brothers gave him a gift by their own money of a knight's outfit as in this picture of Isaac. I love it!

    This reminds me of what Douglas Wilson wrote in his book, FUTURE MEN. He states, "Men are created to exercise dominion over the earth; they are fitted to be husbandmen, tilling the earth; they are equipped to be saviors, delivering from evil; they are expected to grow up into wisdom, becoming sages; and they are designed to reflect the image and glory of God"

    I love Isaac with a sword because his grandfather and grandmother pray that he will be adventurous and aggressive. That he will be patient and hardworking. That he will hate evil and be willing to fight for what is good with a weapon in his hands be it first God's Word. We pray he will be eager to learn from wise men and most of all that he will stand before God in worship with his head uncovered displaying the image and glory of God.

    May all my grandsons and your boys be "Future Men." Our world desperately needs them!