• Tuesday, April 3, 2012
  • With the help and encouragement of a few computer savvy and industrious persons, I am going to close down this blog and moving to a new site and format titled "Driving the Gospel Home." You can check it out by clicking here. Look for posts at least twice a week and some, not all, will be duplicated to those of Faith Bible Church who are registered on "The City."

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, March 22, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    U is for Unity
    A clear
    Gospel focus in our preaching and teaching has the potential to contribute to the unity of the church. In the latter half of the twentieth century one frequently seen example of this was the evangelistic campaigns of Billy Graham, which typically featured the cooperation of a great diversity of congregations and denominations. At the  beginning of this century new movements are afoot for the sake of the Gospel that aim to be both evangelical and ecumenical. We never seem to achieve perfect consensus here because we need to constantly wrestle with variant details of conviction and, of course, with all kinds of intellectual spin-offs of our fallenness. But magnifying the Gospel as our central point of reference can help us keep a variety of lesser concerns in proper perspective (Phil. 1:18)

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Deb and I had a few of the boys over to our house last week and decided that with Easter coming soon, we would start a discussion about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. I thought a good way to get the discussion started was to ask the question, “What is Easter?”  Here were the replies:

    First the 4-year-old said, “That’s easy Grandpa, it’s a holiday when we all get together to eat turkey and be thankful.”
    The-5-year old answered, “It is when we put up a nice tree, give presents and celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”
    The 6-year-old jumped in and said, “They are all wrong Grandpa. Easter is close to the time of the Jewish Passover. Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal and then He was later turned over to the Jewish and Roman leaders by one of His disciples. The Romans then took Him to be crucified after giving Him a crown of thorns, and He died on a cross. He later was taken down and buried in a nearby cave that was sealed with a large boulder.”

    “Wow!” I cried out. “That is very good. Now let’s finish the story. What happened next?”
    My grandson continued, “Every year the boulder is moved aside so that Jesus can come out and if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter."

    (This really will happen – kind of)

    I don’t remember when I started the email of Parents and Kids of Faith but I think it was in 2003, so nearly every week for 9 years this has gone out to you. Thanks for your support of it over the years, even if 9 out of 10 comments were on the “maybe this really happened” jokes of my family and not the articles! With the advent of our communication going to “the City,” I will not be doing this format of Parents and Kids but I will be continuing and expanding articles and posts on this blog, Check the blog every few days for I will try to do at least 2 to 3 articles a week. Not all will be on the family, but the focus of most it will be there.

    By Paul Tripp

    It was eleven o'clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn't be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed like I had been given an impossible job to do; I had been chosen to be the dad of four children.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    T is for Theology
    Both our doctrine and our manner of living must be in alignment with the Gospel. While errant theological thinking on a variety of issues can lead us to a twisted Gospel it is more to the present point to state that an errant Gospel can unleash a host of heresies. It is worth noting that Satan is a competent theologian with great skill in confusing and misleading with regard to God’s truth.

    Patrick's Hymn - The Lorica, Breastplate or Deer's Cry
    Originally composed in the 5th Century. Later known as the "Old Irish Morning Prayer"

    With the upcoming celebration of St Patrick's Day, besides the fun of the day with the green, there is a lot of great Christian history with St. Patrick. He is often associated with the Roman Catholic Church, however there is much more to the story and what he did for the sake of the gospel. It is worth the time to research. An example of his gospel-centeredness is this translation of one of his writings. Enjoy and Éirinn go brách (Ireland till doomsday).

    I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three.

    I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation; his baptism in the Jordan river; his death on cross for my salvation; his bursting from the spiced tomb; his riding up the heavenly way; his coming at the day of doom: I bind unto myself today.

    I bind unto myself the power of the great love of cherubim; the sweet "Well done" in judgement hour; the service of the seraphim; confessors' faith, apostles' word, the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls; all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of virgin souls.

    I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven, the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks, the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old eternal rocks.

    I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken to my need; the wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.

    Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course; of few or many, far or nigh, in every place, and in all hours against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers.

    Against all Satan's spells and wiles, against false words of heresy, against the knowledge that defiles against the heart's idolatry, against the wizard's evil craft, against the death-wound and the burning the choking wave and poisoned shaft, protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

    Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

    I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three. Of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word: praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.

    (Taking a step in the right direction for yourself and your son)

    With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.
    All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. 
    Proverbs 7:21-23

    Wives can read this as well, but this week is mainly for men, especially husbands and fathers. This is to touch upon the uneasy subject of pornography and something you can do to take a step in the right direction.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, March 9, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    S is for Salvation
    Scripture is quite clear that the Gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). As we have already noted, this is not a truth pertaining only to evangelism. The Gospel saves those who believe, from first to last, through and through. It includes all the wondrous doctrines of our great salvation, including election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, and much more. For this reason alone, the Gospel must remain central in all the ministries of the church.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    The other week I dropped my wife, Deb, off at Westfield Shopping Center where she was going to pick up something “quickly.”  The parking lot was nearly full so I drove up and down several lanes waiting for her. While coming down one lane, a car with a young man driving stopped near an open space and I noticed that he gave me the "Are you going to park there?" look.

    I responded by gestures. First I shook my head. Next I pointed at him, then at the parking space and then at me, my watch and the mall. Finishing off, I frowned, raised my palms upward and shrugged. Once he had parked, he walked over to me to make sure I didn't want the space.

    "You must be single," I replied. "If you were married, you would've known that was the universal sign for 'Go ahead and take the spot. I'm waiting for my wife.'"

    By Justin Taylor

    (A few of Tom’s sermons lately have dealt with the topic of generosity. Another place we are to show generosity is through the resource of our homes where hospitality is seen as a virtue of the gospel.)

    When Martin Luther (the 42-year-old former monk) married Katharina von Bora (the 26-year-old former nun), perhaps it was appropriate that they moved into the dilapidated Black Cloister, which had once housed forty monks, including Luther—who had lived there for fourteen years.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, March 2, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    R is for Righteousness
    In the Gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” (Rom. 1:17). Paul’s argument in the letter to the Romans is deep and complex, but we submit that the Gospel reveals God’s righteousness in at least these two ways. First, it is a declaration that God himself is just and righteous, for the Gospel teaches that in Christ our sins have been fully propitiated as a basis for his forgiving of us (Rom. 3:24-26; 1 John 1:9, 2:2). Then, second, through the Gospel God declares us righteous as we put our faith in Christ Jesus. Thus in the Gospel God demonstrates “his own justice at the present time, so as to be just and the ones who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). It is truly vital beyond words that we faithfully preach and teach this Gospel.

    Though our calendar year is 365 days, it actually takes the earth a little longer than that to complete one full orbit around the sun. In fact it takes five hours, forty-eight minutes and forty-five seconds longer.

    In 45 B.C., Julius Caesar proposed the calendar be changed to accommodate this discrepancy by fixing the solar year at 365 ¼ days where every 6 years a day would be added.

    The calendar still did not match exactly to the astronomical year. For the calendar under this system would be 3 days off every 400 years. So in March 1582, Pope Gregory XIII abolished the old calendar system and established what is called the Gregorian Calendar for they were 10 days off by this time. Pope Gregory just cancelled the 10 days and they came up with a new formula which brought the solar year closer to the astronomical year and reduced the discrepancy to only 26 seconds per year. These will not add up to a full day until the year 4905. 
    Why is it called leap year when we have 29 days in February? One explanation is that the additional day of February 29 did not have any legal status in the old English courts. So February 29 was “leaped over” in the records and whatever happened that day was dated February 28.

    By C.J. Mahaney

    This Sunday Pastor Tom will be covering idolatry in his sermon. The following article addresses the issue for you as a parent to your child. Though the title points to video games, the counsel is fairly universal. Take it to your own heart first, before you address your child.

    Question: As kids get older, how do you deal with idols in their lives?...For example, my 12 year old son is generally obedient, but he loves to play video games. If that privilege is lifted he is like a different kid. How much do we restrict? Do we just say no more of this? What have you done in those situations?

    C.J. Mahaney: Great question. We are always reluctant to answer parenting questions because they are so child specific, and the more you know about the child the more, I think, wise and precise you can be.  But, in general, you want your child to be convinced that you can identify with them. So I want to find illustrations from my life that parallel an illustration in his life. So I could say, “Son, this is not a foreign topic to your dad. We are fellow sinners both in need of a savior.”

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 24, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    Q is for Quickening
    Though by nature we were dead in our trespasses and sins and were objects of God’s wrath, God quickened us–made us alive with Christ–through his love and grace (Eph. 2:1-5). This God did, and still does, as we believe the Gospel, putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Lutheran theology especially emphasizes the notion that the Gospel is God’s quickening word, spoken to us in infinite mercy. We need to hear this word continually for our own sakes and to speak it faithfully to others.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I am finding that having 8 grandsons means life is never boring and always challenging. Last week my daughter, Brita, called about 11:30 A.M. and asked if I could pick up Thaddeus, our 12 year-old-grandson, from school as they were letting him go home early. Since my lunch break was coming up, I agreed.

    Upon arriving at the school, I was surprised to see that he was the only one being dismissed so, as he got into our car, I asked him, “Why are you going home from school so early?” Thadd replied, "They let me go early because I was the only one who could answer a tough question."

    "Oh, really? What was the question?" I asked.

    "Who threw the eraser at the teacher?"

    By Rick Thomas

    The following article is one of the important things that a parent needs to help their child understand (as well as parents understand for themselves). The difference between the two is a case of spiritual life or death. Please take this to heart and teach your children the difference. There is a critical difference between an apology and repentance… learn it!

    How do you discern the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? Though the question may seem to be your run-of-the-mill Bible question, how you answer it will determine the quality of your life and your relationships.Your thoughts on repentance will be the difference between life and death, restoration and dysfunction, and joy and sorrow.
    In order to truly discern your daily practice of repentance it may even be wise to talk to a friend about this life altering question. When God shows you that there is something wrong with you, what do you do? How do you respond to Him? When the Spirit is calling you out of a particular nonsense, what does change look like for you?

    The Bible says the proper response to these questions is repentance. Interestingly enough the very first point of the Ninety-Five Theses that Martin Luther nailed on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on the eve of All Saints Day in 1517 said the following: When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “repent,” He called the entire life of the believer to be one of repentance.[1] Though this can sound bleak or overly introspective to some, it is not. What it really means is victory. Because of the conquering Gospel, we have the victory through Christ. Christians are the only people in the world who can continually repent.[2]

    Luther understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knew that the only way a person could make progress in the Christian life was through daily, active repentance. How goes it with you? Do you do this? Just like the Gospel, repentance is an act of strength and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). The richest men and women in the world are repenting men and women. They have discovered and are regularly applying the Christian’s secret weapon of active repentance.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 17, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    P is for Passion
    Passion comes from the Latin passio, meaning “suffering.” We celebrate each year the passion of our Lord when we attend to the historic remembrance of Holy Week. Likewise, whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper together we “proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes.” It is given to us not only to believe in Christ the Suffering Servant but also to suffer for him ourselves (Phil. 1:29). Paul saw his own suffering for the Gospel and for the building up of the church as an active participation in the afflictions of Christ (Col. 1:24; Phil. 3:10-11). We must be forthright in teaching our congregants, by word and by example, that this is part of our calling as well.


    (Maybe this happened)

    At Sunday School last week, my grandson, Isaac, was learning how God created everything, including human beings. Isaac was especially interested when Mrs. Marge told him that Eve was created by God taking a rib from Adam’s side.
    The other night, Deb and I were babysitting the boys and noticed Isaac was not feeling good. He stretched out on the couch and had a look on his face as if he was in pain.  I asked, “Isaac, what is the matter?” 

    Isaac responded, “I have a pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife!”


    Too many parents focus on changing a child's behavior. More important is what's going on in the child's heart.

    Article by Tedd Tripp

    The Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life. A person's life is a reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
    The word picture here is graphic. The heart is a well from which all the issues of life gush forth. This theme is restated elsewhere in the Bible. The behavior a person exhibits is an expression of the overflow of the heart.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 10, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    O is for Obedience
    The Gospel calls forth obedience (Rom. 1:5) in at least three ways. First, we must obey the Gospel by believing and receiving the Good News (John 6:29). Second, the faith that saves works itself out in obedient living by God’s empowering grace (Phil. 2:12-13). Third, we are to obey Jesus’ command to bring this Gospel to the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). In our ministries of teaching and formation these calls to obey the Gospel must be clear and unequivocal.


    1. Fine:
    This is the word Deb uses to end an argument when she is right and I need to stop talking. 

    2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if I have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

    3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and I need to be on my toes. Discussions that begin with "nothing" usually end in “fine.”  

    4. Go Ahead: This is a dare from her, not permission, so I don't do it!    

    5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by me. A loud sigh means she thinks I am an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing there and having a discussion with me about nothing.  (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

    6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements Deb makes. “That's okay” means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when I will pay for my mistake.  

    7. Thanks: When Deb says “thanks” I do not question it. I have learned to just say “you’re welcome.” Unless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking me at all. I do not say "you're welcome"... that will bring on a "whatever" – see #8).

    8. Whatever: It is Deb’s way to say “you’re toast!”  

    9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that Deb has told me to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in me asking her, "What's wrong?" For her response, refer to #3.

    By Pastor Erik Raymond, Emmaus Bible Church, Bellevue, Nebraska

    My kids are growing up. This is filled with all sorts of emotions. Life presents new challenges and circumstances. This is true for any parent. But things are a little different for Christian parents. We actually believe that our kids are not Christians just because we are. Heaven is not an unalienable right like voting at 18. Our children have to actually come to terms with the God of the gospel themselves.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 3, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    N is for Narrative
    We must ever study the Gospel because it is the apex and summary of the great narrative of God’s redemptive activity in the world.  It is into this Story that we have been called. In an age when many deny the existence of a single metanarrative that applies to all persons it is more crucial than ever that we know the biblical narrative and tell it faithfully to others, asking God to convince hearers as we do so that this is their Story as well.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot.

    Deb has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty.

    I immediately call the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all.

    "Honey," I stammered. (I always call her “honey” in times like these.) "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen."

    There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard Deb’s voice.

    "George" she barked, "I dropped you off!"

    Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, would you come and get me?"

    Deb retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car."



    When my son, Eric, was young, I asked God many times why he was born with autism. I wondered: why me? And why Eric?

    Why Did I Have to Suffer?
    I wanted to know why other mothers got to have wonderful moments with their infants, cooing and smiling, basking in all that glorious mother-child love, while my baby was as unresponsive as a sack of potatoes most of the time.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 27, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    M is for Mission
    And why must we continually learn and teach the Gospel? We do so that we may not lose sight of the great work that God is doing in our day.  God is actively engaged in the wondrous work of reconciling all things to himself.  It was for this that the Son of God came forth.  “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).  And this work continues in and through us, the body of Christ, gathered and dispersed throughout the world today.  The very work for which the Father sent the Son, the Son has now sent his church to continue (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21).  And he promises to be with us always.  Being in his presence must be taken as seriously as doing the work of true mission, for mission can only have power and a cutting edge when Christ is indwelling us and we him.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Deb and I went to SouthPointe Shopping Center last week to buy a few items at Scheels, and she asked if we could stop in at one of her favorite clothing stores, Coldwater Creek. I agreed and knew she wanted to get some new clothing items. I took a seat in the “husband chair” as she shopped and came in and out of the dressing room with the question repeated each time, “How does this one look?”  After about 40 minutes of her trying on outfits, my patience had run its course. Deb came out of the dressing room and I immediately looked at her and said, “That one looks great on you. Go ahead and get it!”  

    “Dear,” she replied, “this is what I was wearing when we came in.”  Whoops again on my part.

    By Rick Thomas, Greenville, SC

    Everything is an opportunity for the Christian. All of life is one big opportunity to put God’s name on display. In one sense it does not matter what you do, as much as it matters why you do it. I’m assuming you understand that when I say “What you do,” that I am talking about things that are morally right, correct? 

    For example, in our small group we like to ask this question:  If your wife asks you to go to the store to get a gallon of milk, what would be your main reason for going to the store?
    The answer to that question should not be, “To get a carton of milk.” That would be a secondary reason for going to the store. The primary reason for going to the store is to seek God’s kingdom. You could say it this way: to glorify Him. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) 

    Jesus told us not to think so much about what we eat, what we drink, or what we put on our bodies (Matthew 6:25). Those are the things the Gentiles spend their time thinking about and pursuing. He said that our heavenly Father will take care of those things for us (Matthew 6:32). While we have a personal responsibility to go and get the milk, it is not something that we should spend a lot of time thinking about. Those are things of this world. We have an eternal perspective.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 20, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    L is for Love
    The Gospel is the revelation of God’s abounding love: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).  We do well to immerse ourselves and the saints we serve in that Good News.  The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, for example, is an ongoing, multi sensory reminder of Christ crucified (1 Cor. 11:26).  God’s Gospel love also calls forth love as response.  The Lord’s Supper both declares God’s love and demands that we love one another in turn (1 Cor. 11:27).  John, “the beloved apostle,” makes these truths very clear.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).  And again he writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Would we see love grow in the hearts of God’s people and reach to their neighbors– both saints and sinners?  Then we must school them continuously in the Gospel of love.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I made an appointment to see my family physician this past week, out of concern for what seems to be a lessening of my level of energy the last few months based upon what Deb has expressed to me. My doctor asked why I thought I had a problem, and I told him that apparently I am not able to do the things around the house anymore that I used to be able to do.

    After the examination was completed I said to the doctor, “Doc, I can take it; please tell me what is wrong in plain English.”

    He said, “Okay. In plain English, you’re just getting lazy.”

    “Hmm, okay,” I replied. “Now give me a medical term for this so I can tell Deb.”

    By Jim Weidmann 

    Parents need to bring their children into prayer on a regular basis
    Jesus taught his disciples by living with His disciples, so we teach our children - they watch what we do, they listen to what we say.  You can not have a house of prayer if you are not a man and woman of prayer.  Children learn to pray by listening to their parents and having their parents invite them into prayer in the every dayness of life. So as you discuss family situations, good or bad, stop and pray with your children.  Or, when your children call you or tell you of something that happened or is happening in their day - stop and pray.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 13, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    K is for Knowledge
    We continually learn the Gospel, even as believers, because the Gospel is the revelation of the knowledge and wisdom of God.  Though the message of Christ crucified seems foolish to many in this age, “to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24).  The Gospel is “a message of wisdom among the mature” (1 Cor. 2:6), a message that is “God’s secret wisdom” that has been hidden for ages (1 Cor. 2:7).  But “God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:10).  ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he would instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  Would we grow in the knowledge of God’s wisdom? Would we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Then let us remain steadfast in the Gospel.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    Last week Deb and I had a discussion about things we can change and do better in our marriage this upcoming year. Among many things, one was an agreement that when we have an argument and neither one of us are willing to concede, Deb said that she would admit that she was in the wrong as long as I would admit she was in the right. I agreed and sure enough it was not long before we had one of those arguments. After a short discussion Deb brought up our agreement and I said, “Okay, but you go first.”  Deb said, “All right, I am totally in the wrong.”

    There was probably a little glint in my eye as, sticking to the agreement, I replied, “You’re right.”

    And so, as with many New Year resolutions, this one passed away.


    By Jeff Temple

    Today my two boys got into a little sibling rivalry. After the crying, arguing, accusations of guilt, and vehement assertions of innocence I began my fatherly duty trying to broker peace in my house.

    As parents, we shouldn’t just dole out discipline and leave it at that. There  must be time for sorting out the spiritual details of the fracas. This wasn’t just having my boys tell each other they are sorry and ask for each other’s forgiveness (that is what I used to do).

    Instead I had to clear the rubble away from the spiritual foundation so that my sons could build on it (1 Cor. 3:10). My boys know the gospel, but don’t yet comprehend the importance of living it out daily. The gospel is more of a concept to them, the big picture of salvation as a ticket to heaven, but it has not become a daily reality to them as sinners guilty of treason before God in continual need of grace, forgiveness, and redemptive sanctification.

    Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 6, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller 

    J is for Jealousy 
    We learn and teach the Gospel because we are called to be jealous for those we serve.  The apostle Paul declared to the Corinthian believers, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2).  If we think jealousy is unbecoming in the apostle, we should remember that God himself is a jealous God (Exod. 20:5).  True love that is covenant based is properly jealous concerning the parties in that covenant.  We must keep the true Gospel before the eyes of those whom we teach and serve so that they will avoid what Paul feared for the Corinthians–that is, that they should “be deceived by the serpent’s cunning” and “somehow be led astray from [a] sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).  Deeper acquaintance with the true Gospel will help believers recognize and reject the preaching of “another Jesus” and “a different Gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4). 

    (Maybe this really happened) 

    Deb was sick in bed with a case of the flu last week. Being a dutiful and loving husband, I offered to fix her some of her favorite herbal tea. When I went to get the tea, I could not find it anywhere. I went back to the living room where she was stretched out on the couch to ask her where it was.  She said, "I don't know how it could be any easier to see. It's in the pantry, third shelf down, in a cocoa tin marked "matches."  

    By Marty Machowski 

    Parents long for the secret to successful parenting much like Ponce DeLeon searched for the fountain of youth.  If there was such a secret tonic, and a person discovered a way to bottle it, they would make a million.  Still parents flock to the latest book, technique, or philosophy hoping against hope their kids will “turn out right.” 

    While we should look to improve our parenting, the secret to good parenting isn’t that elusive.  I was reminded of it last week when a fellow pastor told me a story about his four-year-old son.   Ashley (his wife) found their son Will sitting by himself reading The Gospel Story Bible, which I thought was really cool!  She asked, “Whatcha doing bud?” 

    Will looked up and said with all the seriousness of a four-year-old, “Pretending to be Daddy.” 

    “What does Daddy do?” Mom followed up. 

    “He reads the Bible.”