• Wednesday, December 30, 2009

  • Couples Retreat At Maranatha Bible Camp 2010

    (I said this part)
    We live in a day where the meaning of marriage has been put up for grabs. However there are reasons for marriage that are beyond cultural or per­sonal and they are far more important. The weekend will be an explora­tion of the meaning of marriage as given by God. The objective will be to make sure that what God has declared as important, glorious, and eternal is the center of our marriage and guides us with clarity every single day.
    The camp wrote this line .. :)
    You won’t want to miss this, fun, informative, joyous weekend!

    George and Deb Lockyer

    Feb 26 - 28, 2010

    $240, Dorm Style housing
    $300, Hotel Style housing

    5:00 - 6:15 PM Friday

    After Sunday lunch

    For more information and registration:


  • Tuesday, December 29, 2009

  • A Study for Married or Engaged Couples

    Deb and I will be leading a study on Monday nights (6:45-8:30) starting January 18 and lasting 11 weeks titled, “Change and Your Relationships, A Mess Worth Making.”

    This is an interactive study designed to help couples learn to:
    1. Value their relationships
    2. Understand why relationships are difficult
    3. Rejoice in God’s grace that can bring healthy, godly relationships

    There are often deep issues that keep relationships less than God designed them to be. This study will give practical direction on conflict resolution, how to have difficult conversations, grant forgiveness, overlook weaknesses, and celebrate strengths by knowing and applying the gospel of grace.

    You must sign-up for the course by Monday, January 11 and the cost for the materials is $13.00 per person or $26.00 per couple.


  • Monday, December 28, 2009

  • I find resolutions a review of my personal failings. As we approach January 1, I am rehearsing the familiar tune of getting in better shape, making better use of my time, getting certain projects done, more prayer, more time with family, better steward, clean up certain character flaws, and on and on..

    The problem with these resolutions are they are things that I feel like I have to do rather than things I get to do. Some of them I did not have a problem with years ago because I saw them as I get to do things. Take for example getting in better physical shape. I never did anything that cost money such as health clubs. I simply took the time to run, do some resistance exercises (sit-ups, push-ups) and kept somewhat of a healthy diet. But somewhere along the line, these activities turned difficult when I saw them as I should be doing this rather than I want to do this.

    There are activities that I consider “I get to” that were once “I ought to” such as daily Bible reading and quiet time. Getting up in the morning is not that hard for me for my quiet time is something I look forward to. This motivates me to even get up very early when I have morning appointments or to not move my alarm when I get to bed late.

    My resolution this year is to move some of the things that I should do to the more positive side that I get to. This motivates me to do these activities because I choose to do them and not because I should do them.

    What is on your list that you see as “I have to do this” and how can you change it to “I want to do this?”


  • Monday, December 21, 2009
  • My Christmas greetings to you as expressed by my favorite artist, Andrew Peterson:


  • Wednesday, December 16, 2009
  • Have you ever wondered about some of the words we sing in some Christmas hymns? Tim Hawkins has ....


  • Monday, December 14, 2009
  • This past year several outstanding books were written about marriage and parenting that were Christ centered in their approach and focused on the power of the gospel to transform families to God's design. Here are some of the top ones that I read and commend to you:


    "Relationships: A Mess Worth Making" by Tim Land and Paul Tripp. This book addresses many of the issues that seem to mess up our relationships with one another. No relationship ever delivers what we dreamt it could and our fantasies collide with reality. So what do you do about it? This book gives gospel-centered answers. Just last month a workbook that includes the elements of this book was published titled "Change and Your Relationships: A Mess Worth Making" which I will probably present as a tool for marriages in our church.

    "This Momentary Marriage" by John Piper. Pastor John has a very high and Bible saturated view of marriage. As he always writes and preaches it is full of passion and pulls no punches. No matter how good of a marriage and family you have, this will challenge you to go higher. Parenting, singleness and his view on divorce is also presented and challenging.


    "Everyday Talk" by John Younts. Deuteronomy 6 commands us as parents to talk to our children everyday and everywhere about God and His ways. This is a very practical and challenging book to show how ordinary conversations can turn to gospel-centered themes.

    "Get Outta My Face!" by Rick Horne. If you have a teen or younger child who seems to have a quick trigger to anger or unmotivated, this is an outstanding resource. Rick Horne does an excellent job to help us understand the heart and what is often behind these issues. He then offers very practical ways to reach the believing and unbelieving teen. He comes from a well-experienced background of working as a guidance counselor for over 30 years in Christian schools.

    "What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter" by Voddie Baucham. This book is a must read for those of you who have children in junior high or high school. Voddie pushes a very strict courtship model but even if you do not agree with that model, you will benefit greatly by the book. The principles will save some of the greatest heartarches in your life and the life of your children. The book works both ways ... what a young man must be and what a young women must be. If you have a teen in a relationship, challenge them to read it and if it is a "serious" one, challenge their "other" to read it as well. Maybe then they will break up!

    Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They’re Good?

  • Friday, December 11, 2009
  • by John Piper

    If mere external conformity to God’s commands (like don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill) is hypocritical and spiritually defective, then why should parents require obedience from their unregenerate children?

    Won’t this simply confirm them in unspiritual religious conformity, hypocritical patterns of life, and legalistic moralism?

    Here are at least three reasons why Christian parents should require their small children (regenerate or unregenerate) to behave in ways that conform externally to God’s revealed will.

    I say “small children” because as a child gets older, there are certain external conformities to God’s revealed will that should be required and others that should not. It seems to me, for example, while parents should require drug-free, respectful decency from a 15-year-old, it would do little good to require an unbelieving and indifferent 15-year-old to read his Bible every day. But it would be wise to require that of a 6-year-old, while doing all we can to help him enjoy it and see the benefit in it.

    So the following points are reasons why we should require smaller children to behave in ways that conform at least externally to God’s word.

    1) For children, external, unspiritual conformity to God’s commanded patterns of behavior is better than external, unspiritual non-conformity to those patterns of behavior.

    A respectful and mannerly 5-year-old unbeliever is better for the world than a more authentic defiant, disrespectful, ill-mannered, unbelieving bully. The family, the friendships, the church, and the world in general will be thankful for parents that restrain the egocentric impulses of their children and confirm in them every impulse toward courtesy and kindness and respect.

    2) Requiring obedience from children in conformity with God’s will confronts them with the meaning of sin in relation to God, the nature of their own depravity, and their need for inner transformation by the power of grace through the gospel of Christ.

    There comes a point where the “law” dawns on the child. That is, he realizes that God (not just his parents) requires a certain way of life from him and that he does not like some of it, and that he cannot do all of it.

    At this crisis moment, the good news of Christ’s dying for our sins becomes all important. Will the child settle into a moralistic effort the rest of his life, trying to win the acceptance and love of God? Or will he hear and believe that God’s acceptance and forgiveness and love are free gifts—and receive this God in Christ as the supreme treasure of his life?

    The child will have a hard time grasping the meaning of the cross if parents have not required of him behaviors, some of which he dislikes, and none of which he can do perfectly.

    Christ lived and died to provide for us the righteousness we need (but cannot perform) and to endure for us the punishment we deserve (but cannot endure). If parents do not require external righteousness and apply measures of punishment, the categories of the cross will be difficult for a child to grasp.

    3) The marks of devotion, civility, and manners (“please,” “thank you,” and good eye contact) are habits that, God willing, are filled later with grace and become more helpful ways of blessing others and expressing a humble heart.

    No parents have the luxury of teaching their child nothing while they wait for his regeneration. If we are not requiring obedience, we are confirming defiance. If we are not inculcating manners, we are training in boorishness. If we are not developing the disciplines of prayer and Bible-listening, we are solidifying the sense that prayerlessness and Biblelessness are normal.

    Inculcated good habits may later become formalistic legalism. Inculcated insolence, rudeness, and irreligion will likely become worldly decadence. But by God’s grace, and saturated with prayer, good habits may be filled with the life of the Spirit by faith. But the patterns of insolence and rudeness and irreligion will be hard to undo.

    Caution. Here we are only answering one question: Why should parents require submissive behaviors of children when they may be unregenerate rebels at heart? Of course that is not all Christian parents should do.

    Let there be much spontaneous celebration verbally of every hopeful sign of life and goodness in
    our children.
    Let us forgive them often and be longsuffering.
    Let us serve them and not use them.
    Let us lavish them with joyful participation in their interests.
    Let us model for them the joy of knowing and submitting to the Lord Jesus.
    Let us apologize often when we fall short of our own Father’s requirements.
    Let us pray for them without ceasing.
    Let us saturate them with the word of God from the moment they are in the womb (the uterus is not sound proof).
    Let us involve them in happy ministry experiences and show them it is more blessed to give than to receive.
    Let them see us sing to the King.
    Let us teach them relentlessly the meaning of the gospel in the hope that God will open their eyes and make them alive. It happens through the gospel (1 Peter 1:22-25


  • Wednesday, December 9, 2009
  • Andrew Peterson is my favorite Christian artist and he has a great Christmas album titled "Behold the Lamb of God." He performed it last week at the Berean Church. Here is a song he does that my grandboys love titled "Matthew's Begats" ... enjoy it as well

    16 DADDY CHRISTMAS TIPS by Mark Driscoll

  • ’Tis the season for Dad to drop the holiday ball, stress out as the money is being spent for presents, and miss yet another providential opportunity to lovingly lead his family. So, this blog is intended to help dads not fall into the same old rut of holiday humdrum, sitting on the couch watching football and eating carbs, but rather intentionally plan out the upcoming holiday season. Our children grow quickly and if we miss the sacred moments God opens up for us to connect with and bless our families, everyone suffers and we set in motion generations of missed opportunity.

    Dad needs...
    1. a plan for the holidays to ensure his family is loved and memories are made. Dad, what’s your plan?
    2. to check the local guides for what’s going on to make fun holiday plans for the family. In Seattle it’s here.
    3. to carve out time for sacred events and experiences to build family traditions that are fun and point to Jesus. Dad, is your calendar ready for December?
    4. to not let the stress of the holidays, including money, cause him to be grumpy with Mom or the kids. Dad, how’s your joy?
    5. to give experiences and not just gifts. Dad, what special memories can you make this holiday season?
    6. to manage the extended family and friends during the holidays. Dad, who or what do you need to say “no” to?
    7. to ensure his family is giving generously during the holidays. Dad, who in need is your family going to adopt and bless?
    8. to schedule a big Christmas daddy date with his daughter. Dad, what’s your big plan for the fancy daddy date?
    9. to schedule guy time with his son. Dad, what are you and your son going to do that is active, outdoors, and fun?
    10. to help Mom get the house decorated. Dad, are you really a big help to Mom with getting things ready?
    11. to ensure some holiday smells and sounds. Dad, is Christmas music on the iPod, is the tree up, and can you smell cookies and cider in your house?
    12. to snuggle up and watch some fun shows with the kids, especially the little ones. Dad, is the DVR set?
    13. to take the family on a drive to see Christmas lights while listening to music and sipping cider. Dad, is it mapped out?
    14. to help Mom get the kids’ rooms decorated. Dad, do the little kids get lights or a small tree in their room?
    15. to read about Jesus and pray over his kids. Dad, how’s your pastoral work going with each of your kids?
    16. to repent of being lazy, selfish, grumpy, or just dumping the holidays on Mom. Dad, are you a servant like Jesus to your family?