Five for Friday (8.8.14)

 

 

Here are a few articles to keep you learning through the weekend:

5

8 Ways the Enemy Attacks Church – true words of wisdom from Thom Rainer.

Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity – great perspective!

Marco Rubio: Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance is Hypocrisy – grateful for a politician to stand up and say this.

Don’t Overthink It: The Power of an Invitation – if we truly ‘got’ this truth, our churches would never be the same!

The Single Man’s Journey to Sexual Happiness – I wish all of our single men could read this!

Valentine’s Post to All the Single Ladies Out There (repost)

12.10.12Being a youth pastor for ten years, I’ve got a lot of “daughters” that I view as practically my own. Some are married but many are still single. As a protective dad, here are seven things I wish I could say to all of them (inspired by Perry Noble and his blogs on the same subject):

1. You’re a princess. I don’t mean this in the spoiled-rotten, get-whatever-I-want sense, but in the sense that God sent Jesus to die for you. As a follower of Christ, you’re now a daughter of the King. You’re a princess. If you ever doubt you’re self-worth, remember that the King of Kings died for you. That makes you awesome.

2. Since you’re a princess, wait for a prince. Set your standards high ladies. If almost anyone meets your requirements for a boyfriend, then your standards are too low. Remember, you’re worth the wait. Don’t give yourself away until your prince comes.

3. If a guy asks you to compromise your purity, he’s not a prince. He’s a pig. Your prince will honor you and respect you as a daughter of the King. If anyone ever pressures you to give up your purity for a relationship, then he doesn’t respect you. He just wants your body. He’ll use you and discard you. Don’t be fooled!

4. Just because you screwed up doesn’t make you a screw up. Some of you are reading this and you’ve already messed up sexually. That doesn’t mean that you’re unworthy or no longer valuable. It just means you made a mistake. God still loves you and is pursuing you with a relentless love and overwhelming grace.

5. “I’m lonely” or “I’m getting older” are never good excuses to settle for the next guy that comes along. Wait for God’s timing. It will always be longer than you want, but it will always be worth it. Trust me.

6. If you’re not happy single, you’ll never be happy married. Find your contentment in Christ. As awesome as your husband will one day be, he’ll never satisfy you as Christ will. If you find your contentment in Christ now, then you’ll be content in your marriage. But if you look for your husband to provide the happiness that only Christ can provide, then you’ll be sorely disappointed.

7. Purity starts now. Wherever you are in your purity journey, make this the day that you renew your purity to God. If you’re in a sexual relationship, get out of it. It’s not God’s best for you. Renew your purity to God and watch Him do amazing things in you.

Praying for all of you!

image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

To All the Single Ladies Out There

12.10.12Being a youth pastor for ten years, I’ve got a lot of “daughters” that I view as practically my own. Some are married but many are still single. As a protective dad, here are seven things I wish I could say to all of them (inspired by Perry Noble and his blogs on the same subject):

1. You’re a princess. I don’t mean this in the spoiled-rotten, get-whatever-I-want sense, but in the sense that God sent Jesus to die for you. As a follower of Christ, you’re now a daughter of the King. You’re a princess. If you ever doubt you’re self-worth, remember that the King of Kings died for you. That makes you awesome.

2. Since you’re a princess, wait for a prince. Set your standards high ladies. If almost anyone meets your requirements for a boyfriend, then your standards are too low. Remember, you’re worth the wait. Don’t give yourself away until your prince comes.

3. If a guy asks you to compromise your purity, he’s not a prince. He’s a pig. Your prince will honor you and respect you as a daughter of the King. If anyone ever pressures you to give up your purity for a relationship, then he doesn’t respect you. He just wants your body. He’ll use you and discard you. Don’t be fooled!

4. Just because you screwed up doesn’t make you a screw up. Some of you are reading this and you’ve already messed up sexually. That doesn’t mean that you’re unworthy or no longer valuable. It just means you made a mistake. God still loves you and is pursuing you with a relentless love and overwhelming grace.

5. “I’m lonely” or “I’m getting older” are never good excuses to settle for the next guy that comes along. Wait for God’s timing. It will always be longer than you want, but it will always be worth it. Trust me.

6. If you’re not happy single, you’ll never be happy married. Find your contentment in Christ. As awesome as your husband will one day be, he’ll never satisfy you as Christ will. If you find your contentment in Christ now, then you’ll be content in your marriage. But if you look for your husband to provide the happiness that only Christ can provide, then you’ll be sorely disappointed.

7. Purity starts now. Wherever you are in your purity journey, make this the day that you renew your purity to God. If you’re in a sexual relationship, get out of it. It’s not God’s best for you. Renew your purity to God and watch Him do amazing things in you.

Praying for all of you!

image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

Five for Friday

Thanks again for another week of blogging. I hope you have as much fun reading this stuff and I have fun writing it all. Here are some links to some great articles much better written than my own.

Special Team – Read an inspirational story by Rick Reilly about a group of high school football players treating a special needs student like Jesus would.

Fourteen Really Bad Predictions – How is the election going to turn out? No one knows. Think you have a prediction? Read these other predictions before you step out on a limb. Great article by Thom Rainer

Balancing Acts - Fan of Andy Stanley or Timothy Keller? Here’s a great Christianity Today article on the balancing act they walk in ministry.

11 Things I Wish I Could Say To Every Single Female – Single? Check. Female? Check. Then this post by Perry Noble is for you.

12 Keys to Authentic Leadership – Must read article by Brad Lomenick for all leaders.

Why Do People Get Married Anymore? (Part 2)

In last week’s blog, we talked about five different reasons people got married in the past:

  1. Protection
  2. Procreation
  3. Companionship
  4. Tradition
  5. Economic advantage

With advancements in society and culture, many of those reasons aren’t as necessary anymore. So, has society progressed beyond marriage? With the alarmingly high rate of divorce today, is this a sign that we no longer need marriage? As a twelve-year-old asked her divorced mother, “Why do people get married anymore?”

The short answer is this: Marriage is still God’s plan. God created it. He instituted it. He gave it to us for a reason. If you think you know more about life than the One who created it, then you might think marriage is irrelevant. Marriages today aren’t failing because we have moved beyond it. Marriages today are failing because we’re not operating our marriages God’s way.

Here’s why people should still get married today:

  • We’re still dependent creatures. As much as we might like to celebrate our own independence and self-reliance, we were created to be dependent. That’s why we pause three times a day to eat a meal and stop for eight hours a night to sleep. They’re constant reminders that we’re dependent creatures. We need other people. Marriage is a beautiful picture of how we’re dependent on others for our success. Marriage itself is a snapshot of our ultimate dependence on God.
  • We still crave community. We’re by nature drawn to other people. It’s how we’re hardwired. We want to live in relationship with others. We’re naturally drawn to other people because we’re relational. We want someone to share our life with. We don’t want to go through the majority of our lives alone. God created us to be in community with him. Marriage is a living picture of what our relationship with God is supposed to be like.
  • We still crave intimacy. Beyond community, we naturally crave intimacy (relationally, emotionally, and physically) with another individual. It’s not enough for us to simply have acquaintances. We desire to know and be known at the deepest level. That desire was instilled in us by our Creator. The proper framework that can offer intimacy while protecting our vulnerability is the framework of marriage. The intimacy of marriage is a picture of the intimacy God wants to have with each one of us.
  • We still want the best for our kids. More than just what the Bible says, studies have continually shown that children raised in two parent homes generally do better in life than children raised in single parent homes. There’s a synergy that happens between mom and dad that’s critical for our children’s development. If not for our sake, for our children’s sake, marriage is still the best option.

Marriage is still God’s plan because we’re still made in God’s image. It doesn’t mean that marriage becomes easy. A decision to get married in today’s society is a leap of faith. It’s trusting that God’s way is best, even though the megaphone of contemporary culture is screaming the exact opposite. Marriage is designed to drive you to depend on God. You have to depend on God to make it (which explains the high number of failed marriages today).

Just because marriage is hard doesn’t make it something to be avoided. Raising kids is hard, but I embrace that willingly, knowing that the joy of seeing a child grow up successfully far outweighs the hardships endured along the way. It’s the same with marriage. The joy of being in a successful marriage far outweighs the hardships you endure getting there.

So go out there, get married, work hard at it, depend on God, and stay married. The reward will be worth it in the end.

QUESTION: What other reasons would you give why people should still get married today?

Image courtesy of: www.freedigitalphotos.net