This article by Tim Challies may be helpful to those of you with teenagers and soon to be teenagers.
A reader recently asked the question: Do you have a suggested list of books for teenagers, something like a “Ten best books every Christian teenager should read?” It surprised me that I have never compiled such a list, especially since I’ve got two teenagers of my own. I decided I’d better remedy this oversight straight away. Here, then, is a list of ten great books every Christian teen ought to read—or at least consider reading.
Please note that these are not necessarily the ten best books your teens will read in their lifetime. Not all of these books will stand the test of time as Christian classics. But each of them is suited to twenty-first century teenaged readers and together they will provide a foundation for the Christian life that will prove both deep and wide. I list them in no particular order….
Click below to see the list and the rest of the article:
I arrived at corporate worship more than slightly distracted: tests were on the horizon, papers loomed heavy, I was exhausted. I wanted a nap. I wanted to stay home and watch Netflix. I didn’t want to think about the Bible. To be honest, I desired a hundred things other than Christ’s presence.
Then worship began, and we sang this lyric:
I will glory in my Redeemer, My life he bought, my love he owns. I have no longings for another, I’m satisfied in Him alone.
I felt the cognitive dissonance immediately. In that moment my heart wasn’t like Asaph’s who sang, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). How then could I sing that I have no longings for another and not be a complete hypocrite? I felt like crawling under the pew in front of me.
So what do we do with passages of Scripture — or lyrics in worship songs — that describe an ideal that does not match our reality? Is it possible to affirm them from the heart without pretense or posturing?
A single event on a single day changed the world. It was October 31, 1517. Brother Martin, a monk and a scholar, had struggled for years with his church, the church in Rome. He had been greatly disturbed by an unprecedented indulgence sale. The story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s meet the cast.
First, there is the young bishop—too young by church laws—Albert of Mainz. Not only was he bishop over two bishoprics, he desired an additional archbishopric over Mainz. This too was against church laws. So Albert appealed to the Pope in Rome, Leo X. From the De Medici family, Leo X greedily allowed his tastes to exceed his financial resources. Enter the artists and sculptors, Raphael and Michelangelo.
When Albert of Mainz appealed for a papal dispensation, Leo X was ready to deal. Albert, with the papal blessing, would sell indulgences for past, present, and future sins. All of this sickened the monk, Martin Luther. Can we buy our way into heaven? Luther had to speak out…
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In 1997, I wrote my first book, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. I felt God calling me to write more books, but I was equally as persuaded that Age of Opportunity would be my only one on the topic of parenting.
But for the past two decades, as I saw how people were using that book (and my brother Tedd’s book Shepherding a Child’s Heart), I grew increasingly uncomfortable. Something was missing in the way these parents were interpreting and applying the strategies detailed in the pages of our books.
It took me a while to figure out what was off. Then it hit me: the missing piece was the gospel. It sounds obvious, almost cliché, but it’s more significant in our lives than we realize.
Prayerlessness is the great enemy of true happiness. If we give up on prayer, or refuse to pray, we surrender our seat at the very source of the highest and fullest joy. “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
But even those of us who do pray can find ourselves in danger of forfeiting prayer’s fullness as we fall into stale ruts of familiar words and repeated requests. We wake up each day, say the same prayers, and wonder why it doesn’t feel more real and life-changing.
As we walk through the valley of the shadow of rut, many of us just put our heads down and hope for better days. But the Bible speaks too often and too highly of prayer for us to stay here long. Yes, we may know the Lord’s Prayer by heart, but those five verses are not the only guide we have to help us pray. God has given us all kinds of routes out of daily ruts in prayer. Take Psalm 86, for example. Here are seven simple daily prayers drawn from David’s prayer….
As the news from both presidential candidates goes from bad to worse to nightmarish to surreal (see below), I find myself grieving. There is no other way to put it. I’m not grieving as one who has no hope. But I am grieving all the same.
It is bitterly painful to see America arrive at this point, neck-deep in corruption and vulgarity, edging closer and closer, day by day, towards moral, spiritual, social and economic implosion.
We desperately need a revival, a sweeping spiritual awakening, to put us back on the right track. Will it come? I honestly do not know. I’m praying — pleading — for the Lord to give us one, and soon. I’m praying for each of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their families and advisors. I’m praying the Lord will supernaturally salvage this train wreck of an election and give us a surprise ending that will truly bless the entire country. Yet I’m also praying for His infinite, amazing grace and mercy if He chooses to let us proceed down this ugly path “as is.”
Click the link below to read the rest of the article.
(Ed Stetzer has been posting varying views from the evangelical perspective of the election on his blog. You will find the 4th post here as well as links to the first 3)
Many Christians have it right.
There is a real dilemma for their vote in this election. The choice we have before us is no real option. It is like choosing between facing a tornado rolling through your home or a hurricane. Both will do real damage in different ways. The only possible check on this regrettable situation involves the considered selection of legislators put around the poor choice the nation faces. Our votes for other offices now count for more.
The dilemma we face is one we have given ourselves. Our votes created our choices. We have opted for decades to step back from reflection on character, teaching our children the skills and economics of life but not judgment, discernment, and wisdom. A soulless child rearing produces what we face today.
T.S. Eliot spoke of hollow men, people without chests, without souls. So we get what we pay for at the ballot box. We will not get a mulligan on our choice now, but we can prepare to do better next time.
The 1 Thing That Could Tip the Balance in the First Presidential Debate
There is one thing that could tip the balance in an increasingly tight race for the presidency, and it is the one thing that probably will not be mentioned—much less emphasized—during Monday night’s presidential debate. Here’s to hope.
How the Nominees are Preparing for the Debate
The debate is the most significant head-to-head since Carter v. Reagan (1980). The two candidates are taking vastly different approaches in their preparation for it. Their divergent strategies reveal who they are as candidates and what they think of their opponents. Mrs. Clinton and her team are devoting four days to mock debate sessions, while Mr. Trump and his team will do debate drills for only one day.
(To read the rest of this article click the link below)
I hate to admit that the title of this blog post too often describes my household. I never (or at least it seems that way to me) lose my temper with my wife, my staff, or my congregation. But sadly, I too often feel (and act?) like that little Anger guy from Inside Out when it comes to my kids. Too many frustrated sighs and raised voices and sharp tones (and that’s just from the parents!).
In Ephesians 6:4, God tells fathers—though I think it’s okay for moms to listen in—to raise children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He also warns against provoking our children to anger. So how do we do one without the other? How do we discipline exasperating kids without in turn exasperating them unnecessarily?
To read the rest of this article by Kevin DeYoung click HERE
Some would argue that the Bible says nothing about the explosion of the transgender phenomenon in the Western world. After all, there is no verse that says, “Thou shalt not transition from a man to a woman.” But neither are there any verses that talk explicitly about gun violence, anorexia, waterboarding, fossil fuels, vaccines, GMOs, HMOs, or Pokemon Go. We should not expect the Bible to speak in 21st century terms to every 21st-century eventuality.
But that hardly means the Bible provides no guidance for Christians trying to make sense of our transgender moment. In fact, when it comes to transgenderism, the Bible actually has a lot to say—not by a prooftext here or there but by a rich and pervasive understanding of gender and sexual identity….
To read the rest of this article by Kevin DeYoung click HERE