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Shining Your Light on Social Media

9/17/2014Posted by Helene


The modern world comes with modern challenges.  We talked recently about the issue of bullying, a modern "sin" hiding some very real Biblical sins.  It's hard for us to translate sometimes the simple principles that Jesus gave us into the gigabytes we live with.  Take social media for an example.
I know there are all kinds of posts out there castigating social media. I hear that Facebook is a huge waste of time.  People are connecting with strangers and neglecting the real people right in front of them.  Twitter is a kind of viral gossip and Pinterest is rife with boasting, envy and crafts that  could cause a saint to cuss.
There is truth in all that.  Especially the bit about the cussing and the crafts!  Like me you might have even heard people suggest that social media might be something best avoided by Christians altogether.

Calling Bible Things by Bible Names

9/15/2014Posted by Helene


"Call Bible things by Bible names." Have you ever heard that maxim before?  I grew up hearing it, mostly in reference to naming things.  Nondenominational groups of all stripes have long been against calling a minister "pastor," a word that references elders in the New Testament.  Or calling a church by a person's name instead of using a biblical name like, "The Way."
However, I spent a long time thinking about that slogan from another perspective recently. In my older daughter's Sunday School class the teacher and another student had had a spirited discussion on an unfamiliar topic: bullying. 

"Bullies" by Original uploader was Bpenn005 at en.wikibooks - Transferred from en.wikibooks; transferred to Commons by User:Adrignola using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Sincerely Wrong

9/12/2014Posted by Melissa


Can I admit something?  There are parts of the Bible I don't like.  They make me uncomfortable; sometimes they scare me.  Lot offering his daughters to the people of Sodom instead of sending out his angelic visitors?  I hate that.  God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove his faithfulness?  Even though I understand the story, I still don't like it.  Sapphira dropping dead because of a lie?  That scares me to the bone. 
Recently I read a lesser known story that I don't like.  In 1 Kings 13, after Jeroboam becomes king of the Northern kingdom of Israel, God sent a prophet to Bethel to speak against the king's idolatry. He also told this man of God not to stay and eat in Bethel, but to return to Judah by a different route.  The man of God intended with all his heart to obey.

The Child Training Bible

9/10/2014Posted by Melissa


For me, the hardest part of training my children (Psalm 22:6) is addressing their hearts and not just their behaviors.  It is easy to fall into the habit of punishing bad actions and rewarding good actions, as if my children are puppies I'm trying to house train.  But children are not animals; they have souls that need training too.  If I only address their behaviors, I may have children that I'm proud to take to the grocery store but who have hearts full of sin and rebellion.
I don't have the power to change or train their hearts on my own, but there is another promise in the Bible that applies here.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.