Category Archives: General

Conflict

I hate conflict and love unity. Is it possible you feel the same way? I will do whatever I can, without violating my conscience, to avoid strife and maintain unity. 

Whenever there is a spark of conflict, I try to remind myself of the root cause of contention before things escalate. “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10). It takes two proud people for strife. Since I’m one of the two, I can immediately do something to quench the conflict – repent of my pride. Maybe not so easy, but it does work and is a good thing. 

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23).

(A requested problem topic)

A Serious Concern

What might be a test of whether the average Christian believes in a literal hell with eternal suffering? 

Likely each of us know people (family?) we deeply care for who don’t appear to have a saving relationship with Christ. If you saw them about to be severely, painfully, and permanently maimed, you would immediately do everything possible to help them. 

Might our level of belief in a literal hell be measured by how much time we spend in prayer for them and our level of effort to reach them for Christ? It might come down to either we don’t love them or don’t believe in hell. 

“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains” (Deuteronomy 32:22).

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

The Love of Children

Sunday night we caroled to our neighbors. We love seeing each of them. Many of the longtime neighbors tell us how they have figured out the night we will carol and that they look forward to it. We are grateful for the marrieds’ efforts to bundle up their children for Kansas temperatures to carol with us. This year it was cold and snowy.

Looking into the eyes of those we sing to and seeing the expressions on their faces is a blessing. There always appears to be one thing that is special above the music, food, and friendship. Our neighbors love to see our little grandchildren.

I marvel at God’s design and the “magnetic attraction” little children possess. If you have “littles,” might you consider how God could use them to brighten other’s lives? “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth” (Psalm 127:4).

Disgusting

Ever happen at your home? A slow bathroom drain needs “attention” if opening the faucet more, the sink begins to fill with the stopper fully open. Not good.

To fix the problem, I remove the stopper gaining access to the drain from above and disconnect the trap below the sink. I clean them both with whatever tools will do the job, pulling out hair coated in disgusting toothpaste and then reassemble. Finally I fill the sink with water, release the stopper, check the flow, and also look for leaks underneath.

How’s your prayer life, Brother? First, are you praying? Is God answering? Might you feel like your prayers are not flowing?

If so, ask the Lord to examine your heart. What sort of blockage could be hindering the flow? “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). What disgusting things have you allowed in your heart? What sort of “eye-candy” are you feasting on? What are you coveting? “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). 

My Brother, is your heart clean?

Steve

Your Thoughts?

Our world is changing fast. The challenges I faced 30 years ago are being dwarfed by what you are facing today. Abominable evils are always within arm’s reach. Our world doesn’t know truth as evidenced by what God says is good, being called bad by the world and what God says is bad being called right.

The constant pressure against a family that desires to live for the Lord is staggering. Even within the local church, the spectrum of what is permissible is vast. As a result, families who were strong ten years ago are now crumbling.

How is your family fairing? What are the top three problems you are struggling with? What do you see other families facing?

Feel no pressure to respond, but it would be a blessing if you would share your thoughts on these. Either email or respond here.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

Steve

Communist Became a Believer

We listened to a national missionary from an eastern block country share his testimony Sunday night. He told how the communists and socialists took over their country one step at a time. They imposed gun control and then confiscated all weapons. They took over the health care system and every educational institution.  God was removed in every way from their society, and then it rippled into the homes.  The result—a broken people with crushed families having no hope.  

Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? Brothers, what value do you place on your freedom to educate and disciple your children? In actuality, how dedicated are you to raising your children to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Where is the evidence that you are all in for the Lord Jesus and your children? A possible good initial indicator of how committed you are to discipling your children would be to add up how many days in the last months you missed leading daily family Bible time?  (0 would be great.) Next consider your life’s example, your appetites, and how you spend your time are being impressed on your children’s hearts. 

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).

Are You The Problem?

Homeschooling is alive, well, and quite popular. Homeschoolers I have spoken with over the years want a better outcome for their children than other educational options offer. Not only is a better education desired (and generally achieved), but children, who upon completing their education, still have a strong faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Moms are usually the ones doing the majority of the planning, teaching, and grading, day-in-and-day-out. However, are you aware that you can be the one who effectively shipwrecks her investment with little effort on your part?  

Dads with poor and unsupportive attitudes can torpedo their children’s future. “How?” you ask. It is because Dad’s heart is generally impressed on the children’s hearts. What Dad loves, the children love, and what he dislikes, the children dislike. If Dad doesn’t care how well the children do in school, they aren’t going to apply themselves and will make it difficult for Mom. If Dad doesn’t have a heart for the Lord Jesus and isn’t serious about obeying Him, the children will be drawn to the world just like their father (you). 

I plead with you. Your income job is wood, hay, and stubble. Leading and discipling your family in the Lord Jesus is “gold, silver, and precious stones.” So many dads have it backwards. Brother, be dedicated to the work God has called you to do. 

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood have, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Politics to Jesus

I like pumping gas and going to the grocery store because I love meeting people. For example, last week while getting gas I greeted the person pumping next to our car. For some reason, she started railing about politics. I soon shared how thankful I was that regardless of the political climate, the Lord Jesus was ultimately in control, and I had total peace with that. Summarizing here, I encouraged her to read her Bible and come to know Jesus personally as well. 

She wasn’t offended with the discussion. Just the opposite, she was very happy. I love sharing Christ with people.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). 

Steve

Your Answer

“Joey, I confess that your Grandpa was saddened about abortions, but that was a little like saying, ‘be warm and filled’ because I was doing nothing. We knew abortion was wrong, but like others, I used the excuse of ‘too busy,’ and besides I didn’t know what to do about it. Then one morning I was convicted while reading the passage “the land was polluted with blood” (Psalm 106:38). So I purposed that every time I prayed, I would pray that God would protect the unborn and unloved.”

“Then over time God moved in our hearts. We heard about Life Chain Sunday (1st Sunday in October, it’s the 6th this year) that promotes awareness of abortion across the nation. For one hour we joined others who stood along a designated road in our town and held pro-life signs and prayed. It was a start. We subscribed to pro-life newsletters so we were informed as to how to pray. We donated to pregnancy centers that helped pregnant women who had needs and chose to give their babies life. Over time we became even more involved.” 

“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:14-17). 

Grandpa What Did You Do?

Fast forward forty years, and you are having dinner with your grandson’s young family. It is a special time with many memories being shared and enjoyed. Then the topic turns to a more somber note.

Joey, your great-grandson, full of life and wisdom beyond his eight years, shares that his history lesson was about the Jewish holocaust and how the Nazis killed the Jews. He shared how horrible that was and that if he had been alive then, he would have helped the Jews. He went on to say that when slavery was legal in our country, he would have helped the slaves escape to freedom in the north.

His ten-year-old sister, not to be outdone, pipes up with what she learned. She says that the Jews were killed in Germany, and slaves owned as property in the U.S. because neither Jews nor slaves were considered human. She learned that was also why abortion was legal years earlier too. Babies in the womb were not considered people.

Then Joey turns to you and asks, “Grandpa, what did you do to protect the babies?” Brothers, what would your answer be?

“And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood” (Psalm 106:38).