I would strongly recommend that you take a few moments and click on the following link for the video: Evolution vs. God
Beginning with Creation is essential in witnessing to a lost and dark world today. Missionaries have started with the Creation story for years and as our current culture moves farther and farther away from God – we will have to start with the basic concept of creation as well. This video does an excellent job of debunking Evolution. It is by Way of the Master.
When the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) finally “came to himself” he headed back home. His father was of course looking for him “afar off” and ran to meet him and celebrated his return. I find it most interesting that the Prodigal needed to come back home – his father did not go into the “far country” to find him and bring him back or reason with him why he should return. When the son finally realized his error, he knew where to go and he knew he would be welcomed home. His father was expecting him and welcomed him home.
In our current “me first” culture that we live in, people who have left always expect others to come get them. If a family begins to get sporadic in their church attendance and eventually stop attending church, it seems more often than not that when questioned about their absence they assume someone should have come to them and encouraged them back.
The church is right where its always been. It is up to those that have left to come back when they are ready. It is not the churches job to hunt down those that have become disenchanted with church and have stopped attending. Remember the parable: the father stayed home, kept hoping and praying and expecting the wandering one to come back.
It appears to be the same way in families today. A young person gets upset with their parents and takes off to make their own way. After not talking to their parents or family for a period of time, they begin to develop a mindset that the parents need to track them down and call them back home. The parents however, are right where they’ve always been. The wandering child is welcome home at any time.
Now, we also have the story of Christ the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go and find the one that is lost. How about that principle you ask? In that story Jesus went to find the one that is lost.
The key is the fact that the lost sheep was LOST. It had not left voluntarily, but had become disoriented or injured and lost the rest of the flock. The Prodigal Son LEFT home voluntarily and the Father waited for him to return. The Lost sheep was indeed LOST and the Good Shepherd went to find it.
If you are wandering – head back home. God is waiting for you. Your church family would love to see you. Your family is missing you.
There are times in our Christian life that we need to separate from people in our lives in order to be a more fruitful Christian.
While our command from Christ is to “love one another”, not everyone that we love can necessarily be in our lives. There are often people, often good people, that just are not necessarily good influences for us. There are those that come into our lives that encapsulate too much of our time or energy. Perhaps they often influence us with a negative attitude. Maybe they just are so self consumed with their own problems that they drain all of our energy and resources just picking them back up.
There are many examples of exactly this type of situation in the Bible. Paul and Barnabas were both very special ministers of God yet they had conflict together and excelled apart (Acts 15:36-39). Esau and Jacob were twins, yet were in constant struggle with each other and prospered when they moved apart (Genesis 25-33). Abraham and Lot were relatives, yet the time came when it was necessary for them to separate and move apart from one another (Genesis 13:6-7).
God’s desire is that we produce spiritual fruit (John 15). In order to produce fruit we need to have proper nourishment (The Word of God), we need to be near the Son (The Light of Jesus Christ), and we need to be pruned. Pruning is not only removing dead wood, it most often entails removing good growth. After all, God does not call us to be a beautiful leafy plant; rather He calls us to be fruitful. Becoming more fruitful often includes removing things from our lives that, though not sin, may be taking too much energy which should be redirected towards bearing fruit.
As a Pastor, I have found that I need to caution myself against this very thing. I have found that there will always be a few individuals that demand a majority of your time. They constantly call, stop by the office, need personal prayer, want a visit, etc. The concern is that there are some church members then that don’t get any time. This situation will then call for the Pastor to explain to the more demanding member that he cannot call them back everyday. He may have to require that members make an appointment rather than just stopping in the office. He may have to “retrain” them by delaying calling them back.
“This sounds mean”, you say? Many Pastors have burnt out, become frustrated, reacted poorly, or left the church because of an overly demanding member.
Sometimes, you need to distance yourself from individuals that are demanding too much time or energy. God has called us to be fruitful!
The Following is an article that has been making its rounds on Facebook. It is not from a Christian or Religious perspective – but it makes many excellent points on some of the mistakes society is making in raising our children.
Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…and How to Correct Them
Recently, I read about a father, Paul Wallich, who built a camera-mounted drone helicopter to follow his grade-school-aged son to the bus stop. He wants to make sure his son arrives at the bus stop safe and sound. There’s no doubt the gizmo provides an awesome show-and-tell contribution. In my mind, Paul Wallich gives new meaning to the term “helicopter parent.”
While I applaud the engagement of this generation of parents and teachers, it’s important to recognize the unintended consequences of our engagement. We want the best for our students, but research now shows that our “over-protection, over-connection” style has damaged them. Let me suggest three huge mistakes we’ve made leading this generation of kids and how we must correct them.
Read the full story here: http://growingleaders.com/blog/3-mistakes-we-make-leading-kids/