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    Christian Cliques – A Problem to Overcome

      What we want and what we get are often two very different things! You would think that inthe church of all places we would easily find community. However, our churches often consist of a large group ofpeople coming together for worship but leaving in cliques. New comers may be welcomed in word while excluded from our conversations and activities.   Even Jesus had close friends with whom He spent more time than He did with the large crowds that came to Him for healing or to hear Him preach. Was that a clique?  By definition a clique is “a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially:one held together…

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    Heartprints

    Teaching Children to Live Love

    Obedience is one of the universal things that both parents and teachers seek to produce in children. As Christians obedience done with a wrong motive may look like obedience to us but it falls short. When it comes to obeying God, the heart attitude is as important as the action. A simple observation of their actions will not be enough to prove Biblical obedience. Sometimes a child gets it right by accident. They didn’t intentionally decide to obey but circumstances were such that without thinking about it they chose the right action. There are children who obey for fear of the punishment and with resentment in their heart. Other children…

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    Better to Have Loved & Lost?

    Think about a time when you wholeheartedly loved someone and felt adored by them. As you think about that person––spouse, parent, boyfriend or girlfriend, sibling, child––how would you describe that love? What emotions or feelings come to mind? I think of: expectation, joy, excitement, purpose, belonging, peace, contentment, hope. As human beings, we cannot live healthy, abundant, prolonged lives without love. We are created to love. We long for love. We will do crazy things to show our love. But at some point in our lives, we will all lose love. What then? ·  A husband sits silently, mourning the end of 50 years with his beloved bride. ·  A…

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    Spirit of the Rainforest: A Forty-Something Book Report

    “We want people who will really care about us, like the man who came into my village and put his arm around me when I was covered with dirt, sweat, saliva, and mucous…He showed us something we knew nothing about—love.”–quoted from Spirit of the Rainforest             Eight years ago my husband announced he would quit his corporate job to go to seminary full-time. I reminded him of his disdain for reading and writing. Not that I wanted to dissuade him, but I didn’t believe him for the aforementioned reasons. Years later I joined him and I took a fascinating class on Angelology. I expected the extensive…

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    Heartprints

    Wisdom in Waiting- A Timeless Truth

    In a world of instant everything, a third world country appears to be backward, deprived, even antiquated. They seem slow in their thinking, in their decision making, and especially in their everyday living. A person who visits these countries where living is harder, might verbally give thanks for modern advances while they secretly enjoy the slower pace. Modern cultures have life easier, faster, and more productive. Technology has advanced our ability to do more but sadly reinforces our tendency towards impatience. Impatience comes naturally to all who have a sinful nature. Just try to get a baby to wait when they are hungry or when their diaper needs changing.  In…

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    Consider My Bluebonnets

    Have you ever seen a field of Texas bluebonnets? If you’re not a native Texan, you may not have heard of bluebonnets or appreciate the annual spring hubbub. I certainly didn’t. Until last weekend. After 10 years in the Lone Star State, I went on my first bluebonnet drive––along with 100 others in our caravan of cars following the Bluebonnet Trail through Bristol and Ennis. Field after field after field emerged as we twisted and turned through the sun-drenched countryside. Bluebonnets are to Texas what tulips are to Holland, azaleas are to Augusta, and cherry blossoms are to Washington, D.C. They integrate with culture. They draw annual pilgrimages. They display…

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    What God Says about You

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: One of the top search phrases leading people to Bible.org is this question, “What does God say about me?” That could be a natural question for anyone to ask who does not already know the Bible’s teachings. But, a lot of times, that question is wrapped up in mega insecurity, even among Christians. Perhaps this question is constantly rolling over in your mind. Looking at stuff on the internet and reading through some devotionals and Bible studies, it’s obvious that there is a lot of shallow teaching out there that focuses constantly on our sinfulness (and, yes, every human is prone to…

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    Good Friday? Good for who????

    Think of it. The blackest, darkest Friday of all time. Christ is hanging, suffering unbearably on a cross. This is the day labeled Good Friday by those who claim to love Him most. “Good for who???” might be a question that pops into the mind of a child who has been taught from birth that Jesus loves everyone and is always good.  Even teens or adults who have not grown up hearing the full story of Jesus might look at the suffering Savior and His weeping friends and ask the same question.  I certainly had questions at the age of 6. I was coloring a picture in Sunday School of…

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    Heartprints

    WHY IS IT SO HARD TO RAISE UP A GODLY GENERATION?

    If as teachers and parents our faith is in Jesus, our text book is the Bible, we’re indwelled by the Holy Spirit and want God’s will for our children, why are so many of our grown up children leaving the church? Why is it so hard to pass on our faith to the next generation? Dr. Paul David Tripp encourages us to look for the answer in the Gospel message, “Parenting is a sinner seeking to give guidance and wisdom and grow a sinner. No wonder it is hard. No wonder we need God!” The more I hear what Dr. Tripp has to say, the more I am convinced that…

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    WHO DOES GOD WANT TO TRAIN OUR CHILDREN?

    I was encouraged, by a dear friend, to read the article, “Five Reasons Why the Children’s Minister Is the Staff Position in Greatest Demand.” Here is the link to the article: http://thomrainer.com/2018/02/five-reasons-childrens-minister-staff-position-greatest-demand/ Most of the comments were from people concerned about who they thought should be teaching our children about God. I was left with the question in my own heart: Just who is God holding responsible to teach our children and what does it mean to meet that responsibility? There are very few easy answers when it comes to raising children. Take schooling for instance… Children are schooled in public, private, and boarding schools; while still others homeschool.  We…