Contaminated!

 

Wal-Mart is not. Ball practice is not. Homework is not. Family gatherings are not. Working at McDonald’s is not. But . . . church sure is! Or at least that’s what it appears to be. When I hear the excuses parents make for not faithfully attending church, youth activities, Sunday School, ministry opportunities, regular services, I begin to wonder, “Is church contaminated with something?”

Look at the following written by Mary Louise Kitsen, “Generations of Excuses,” found in the Good News Broadcaster.

  • our baby Timmy’s birth
  • Timmy’s just a baby
  • Timmy always catches a cold in the nursery
  • Timmy’s too noisy and too active
  • Timmy can’t get along with the other children
  • the birth of Timmy’s baby sister, Sally
  • Sally’s just a baby
  • Sally always catches a cold in the nursery
  • Sally’s too noisy and too active
  • Sally can’t get along with the other children
  • we’re all so busy that Sunday is our only day as a family
  • my husband’s boss wants to golf with him on Sundays
  • I work during the week and Sunday is my only day to relax
  • Timmy’s soccer games are on Sundays
  • Timmy thinks going to youth group is dumb
  • Timmy’s married now, and you know how it is with newlyweds!
  • Timmy’s baby’s birth
  • Timmy’s baby is too noisy, too active, might catch a cold in the nursery . . .

Many parents don’t mind exposing their children to the germs at the grocery store, because after all you must eat. Or exposing their children to the other children at school, because after all they must get an education. Or exposing their children to the “clean world” of McDonald’s, because after all they must get a job. No excuses are uttered here for these temporal endeavors. BUT, exposure to eternal, life-changing truths, people who preach and teach the Truth, activities that help children hear the Gospel and eventually understand salvation, summer camp that enriches the lives of children spiritually, the local church which is the body of Christ, now we had better be careful! There must be something about those eternal things, so we make excuses to protect them! (By the way, my favorite line at the door on Sunday morning as folks are leaving is, “We probably won’t be back tonight for church.” Oh really????)

What excuses are you using to keep your children from being impacted by Truth? What excuses are you using that your children are learning and will use someday as well?

Luke 14:25-26    Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Thou Shalts of Digital Media

It’s the world we live in. The Jetson’s have moved from TV cartoons to reality. The internet has changed our lives. Who would have thought that a cellphone would have such possibilities? Let me be quick to say that my wife and I own and use our smartphones all the time.   For many of us, it is our office away from our office. Seems like everywhere you go, people young and old are using their cellphones to text, talk, search the internet, find directions, get information, etc.  I even use mine in the pulpit and class.

Speaking of youth, gazillions of kids and teens have cellphones. They are attached to them like an appendage. The point of this blog post today is to join up with a parent who has attempted to guide and give some discipline to her children concerning their digital media. Parents, our children and teens need your help in all areas of life including the proper use of their digital media. I believe you will find Susan Maushart’s “The Ten Commandments For Using Modern Media” to be helpful.

  1. Thou shalt not fear boredom
  2. Thou shalt not “multitask” (not until thy kingdom come, thy homework be done)
  3. Thou shalt not WILF (WILF describes the “What Was I Looking For” phenomenon of using Google to look for one thing, and then burning two hours hunting down random and unimportant facts)
  4. Thou shalt not text and drive (or talk, or sleep)
  5. Thou shalt keep the Sabbath a screen-free day
  6. Thou shalt keep thy bedroom a media-free zone
  7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s upgrade
  8. Thou shalt set thy accounts to “Private”
  9. Thou shalt bring no media to thy dinner
  10. Thou shalt bring no dinner to thy media.

Friday’s Findings

As we close out this week, I’m sharing some links/blogs that have impacted me this week.  I believe they will be of encouragement to you.

 

Christ’s Body: The Mission of the Church —Watch as Jason Ormiston delivers a message that all believers need to hear.  (Bob Jones University Chapel, September 24, 2014)

  • You would also be greatly edified by listening to Dr. Steve Pettit’s messages on Walking in the Spirit.

How I Learned to Win Souls — You will find this practical post by a dear man of God, Dr. Don Sisk, to be a rich blessing in obedience to the Great Commission.  One other feather in his cap is the fact that he is a UK Wildcat fan! 😉

Parenting – Have We Lost Our Way?— How grateful that we have the blessed opportunity to support this family on the mission field.  Here are some very timely questions that need to be answered in regards to modern-day parenting.  If you are a parent, please read and answer with genuine honesty and transparency.  Here is hope for you.

Are You Leeching the Local Church? — Enough said.

Eliminating and Concentrating — Help for busy ladies!

Little Sponges

This week we have the privilege of hosting a Vacation Bible Club at our home.  These children are precious to watch as they sing, listen to the Bible lesson and missionary story, make crafts, play games and enjoy a snack.  They may be wiggly at times, but they hear and retain more than you think.  Most of them sit with their eyes locked in on their adult leader.  They are like little sponges taking it all in!

You see, children are like sponges.  Parents, Sunday School teachers, VBS leaders, grandparents, they watch what you do; listen to what you say; mimic your actions; and follow you around.  Just like a sponge they soak it all in.  As they get older, the sponge is squeezed and  . . . out comes YOU!  They talk like you, act like you, think like you, respond like you, use the same words you do, get excited like you, are sad like you, etc.

So, what are the children soaking up from you today?  When they are “squeezed” will they be excited about reading the Bible because you are?  Will they be singing in church with great enthusiasm because you do?  Will they share the gospel with others because you do?  Will they memorize the Word because you do?  Will they be friendly and hospitable because you are?  Will they be compassionate to others because you are?

How my heart is grieved when I see parents place greater importance on the temporal over the eternal. As their children grow up, they have no passion Christ and the eternal things because of their parent’s example.

What would come out of your sponge (child) if he/she was wrung out right now?

2 Chronicles 33:22  And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them.

Ephesians 6:4  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:12  Be an example of the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Philippians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.