Teach Your Children to Thank God for Basketballs and Balloons

pexels-photo-106225Bedtime is a precious time in the Gilbert home. With two boys under two, both full of energy, evenings, from time to time, find us all a little grumpy and a lot tired. After dinner, the boys are still ready to play, but they are clearly starting to wind down. It doesn’t take much to upset our (almost) two year-old, Jude, and our 7 month-old, Jack, is tough to keep happy as the sun starts to set behind the tree-line across from our house. By this time, I’m not typically in the best of moods. There are some nights when it doesn’t take much to push my buttons. If we aren’t careful, a perfect storm of complaining and grumbling can wreak havoc in our living room.

Which is why our nightly happen of prayer as a family is so important. Every night, just before Jude goes to sleep, we come together to pray. But before we pray we ask Jude to say what he wants to thank God for. His answers are the best. Over the past week, Jude has “tanked” God for Cheerios, trucks, trains, balloons, basketballs, outside, and Jack. The simple practice of thanking God for even the smallest graces he gives is more than just a cute little tradition.

Reminding yourself and your children that every good thing in their lives is a gift from above is a tonic for grumpy, tired souls. Teaching your children to thank God for the things they love is to teach them that God is the source of all blessing. Gratitude teaches the heart to rejoice in God. Raising your children to trust, obey, and enjoy God begins with showing them that God is worthy of our thanks. Training your children to thank God is to declare war on sin and disobedience in their little hearts, as well as yours.

Gratitude is the heart’s joyful response to God’s sovereign reign and saving work on behalf of sinners. Gratitude is not strictly related to the gift that is given, but rather to the giver of the gift. When you are aware of God’s glory and grace in your life, your heart will well up with gratitude, which will then overflow in glad obedience to him. Gratitude requires you to rightly see God’s grace and rightly respond to it.

While gratitude creates faith, ingratitude is central to unbelief and idolatry. The antithesis to gratitude is pride, self-love, and the pursuit of self-exaltation. A failure to give thanks to God is a failure to glorify God. It is a failure to depend on God’s grace. The root of every sin is ingratitude. New Testament scholar Tom Schreiner has written, “All the discrete acts of sin are a consequence of failing to honor and give thanks to God.” This echoes Paul’s words in his letter to the Romans: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Why is ingratitude so central to unbelief? Because in order to turn from sin and trust Christ, you have to see him as always right and yourself as always wrong. You have to see him as possessive of all the resources for the good life. You have to see him as the one from whom all blessings flow. You have to see him as a sovereign Lord in whom all things have their being. You have to see him as the source of righteousness, joy, and life. Faith requires humble gratitude, so a thankless heart is a heart that cannot and will not believe in Jesus for salvation.

The old life in the flesh is a life of thanklessness that rebels against God as sovereign ruler. The new life in Christ is a life of thankfulness that submits to God as sovereign ruler. Ingratitude says, “My way is better than your way!” Gratitude says, “Your way is better than my way!” As Paul counseled Timothy,

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Tim. 3:2-5)

Ingratitude may just be at the heart of this list. The original sin in the Garden was one of ingratitude. Adam and Eve failed to trust God to satisfy them. They failed to be grateful for what God had given them, and they craved the very thing God had forbidden them. Thanklessness led to discontentment and disobedience. The same thing happens in our homes. When we forget to give God thanks with our lips, we will forget to give God thanks with our lives. Thankless hearts lead to thankless lives.

So, we fight discontentment and disobedience with thanksgiving. Gratitude is central to saving faith, worship, and gospel living. Schreiner has said, “The call to give thanks in every circumstance represents the heart of the Pauline gospel.”

Gratitude is central to saving faith because it is through faith that we grasp God’s work on our behalf and renounce all efforts to earn his favor or live life our own way (see Luke 17:11-19).

Gratitude is central to worship because it is through worship that we see God as supremely valuable. We are teaching Jude to worship when we show him that we direct our thanks and delight to God for the good things we have and enjoy.

Gratitude is central to gospel living because it is through gospel living that we reflect God’s character to the world.

I believe the reason many of us fail to pursue holiness with joy is because our motivation for godly living is guilt, not gratitude. The reason many of us cease our spiritual growth after baptism is because we adopt the attitude that we must obey God in order to pay him back for saving us. “Jesus died for you, so what are you going to do for him?” Is this the right kind of motivation to fuel gospel living?

A better way forward to living the good life, the new life we now have in Christ, is to live every second of every day in thankfulness to God. When we are grateful to God, we are aware of his grace that he has freely given us in Christ. Gratitude creates the kind of gospel awareness necessary to cut off the lifelines of sin in our lives. Gratitude looks back in thanks to God for his grace in the past and looks forward in faith in God for his grace in the future.

Gratitude is central to gospel living because through our self-renouncing thankfulness we see both our need for God and his ability and willingness to meet our need. This empowers us to kill sin in its tracks and chase hard after righteousness. Only a grateful heart can thrive in kindness, patience, love, and forgiveness. Only a heart that recognizes God as the rightful ruler of heaven and earth will submit to his will and his ways, and so be conformed to his image.

So, teach your children to thank God for everything–Cheerios, trains, balloons, and basketballs included. Show them that every good thing they have or experience is a gift of God’s grace. In so doing, you will be sowing seeds of faith that may one day take root.

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Morning Mashup 04/05

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

The Pastor’s Wife: Strengthened by Grace for a Life of Love | Gloria Furman

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The Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry | Brian & Cara Croft

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The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity | Barnabas Piper

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ARTICLES

The Reformation of FBC Durham | SBTS Equip

North Carolina pastor Andy Davis revitalized his church through verse-by-verse expository preaching.

Thank You, Big Blue Nation | The Player’s Tribune

Malik MonkI haven’t found out yet who the best possible version of myself is — and to be honest, as far as that goes, I think I’m still just scratching the surface. But I’ve found out what the best possible version of myself does: He plays in the NBA.

Does Dating Prepare Us For Marriage–Or Divorce? | Desiring God

Marshall SegalThe common trends in dating today are more likely to prepare you to get divorced than to enjoy and persevere in marriage.

Augustine Today: Why He’s Still Relevant | Christianity Today

Ed StetzerIn this edition of Theology for Life, Ed, Lynn, and Greg Lee discuss why St. Augustine is important to theology today, especially as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

For the Christian Perfectionist | Reformed Margins

Faith ChangWe may be struggling, weak, ashamed, and afraid. But our Father’s love can free us from our perfectionism that we may obey him freely and joyfully in his perfect peace.

Parents, Be Quick to Listen | Forward Progress

Michael Kelley: Today, parents, you and I will all come upon a situation with our kids that needs to be dealt with in some way. Here is where we bring God’s Word to bear – that we fight the pride of assumption and approach that situation with open ears instead.

VIDEOS

 

Strange Joy: Three Reasons to Delight in Discipline

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. –Proverbs 29:17

The hardest thing for any leader to do is to point out or expose the moral deficiencies of those under him or her. However, this is also one of the most important things for leaders to do. Even harder, and seemingly impossible, is the prospect of delighting in this biblical duty to rebuke and subsequently discipline. Whether it is in the classroom, the office, the home, or the church, exposing and punishing moral failure can be one of the hardest parts of leadership.

It is much easier to create an atmosphere that allows for all types of moral failures or sins to exist. This kind of environment is much more comfortable. There are no awkward situations when messages from parent to child or from pastor to congregation are always chipper.

Parents often say, “This hurts me more than it hurts you” or “I am doing this for your good” when they punish their children. And often they punish their children for disobedience despite the emotional pain that presses down upon their souls to punish them. Honestly, I would much rather not discipline my son when he yells “No!” to me after I’ve asked him to please not stick a pencil up his nose.

The dual experience of heart-ripping exposure of sin and subsequent discipline is viewed and even often felt as a begrudging duty rather than a delight.

The Bible speaks very clearly on the importance of checking our children’s sin, disciplining them accordingly, and bringing them up in the instruction of the Lord, all of which is commanded of the Lord and is for their good (see Deut. 6:7; Ps. 78:4; Prov. 19:18; 22:6, 15; 29:17; Eph. 6:4). Similarly, the Bible speaks on numerous occasions and in numerous contexts to the importance of the pastor’s role in leading the local church in the things of God, guarding them from sin, exercising oversight, and calling them to repentance (1 Pt. 5:1-4).

The image that is used to describe the pastor in this sense is the “shepherd.” The pastor is to shepherd the flock that God has entrusted to him. The biblical imagery of shepherding carries with it a sense of providing, guiding, protecting, and constant companionship. This means that when a pastor sees members of the local church he is shepherding indulging in sin, he should stop them with loving rebuke as he calls them to repentance.

Leaders of God’s people throughout Scripture are seen as bearing a special responsibility for the spiritual condition of the covenant community.

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’” (Jer. 50:6-7).

Similarly, James warns potential pastors that they will be judged more strictly than other believers (Jam. 3:1). The position of leadership in the family or in the church is one of influence either for ill or good on those under the leader’s care.

So, one crucial duty of a parent and pastor is to expose the sin of children and flock and call both to repentance. There is no denying this. However, the question becomes, can this biblical duty be a delight? And if so, how? I think this can be answered by quickly looking at three reasons why we are called to lead in this kind of exposing, rebuking, and correcting way.

The Father’s Example

Firstly, we are called to expose sin, call to repentance, and if necessary discipline because this is the position our Father who is in heaven takes with regard to sin. God hates sin. He convicts us of our sin through his Word and Spirit (John 16:8). And as our Father, God disciplines the one he loves because he hates to see his children meddle with sin (Heb. 12:6). Christ is the Chief Shepherd and he will not allow one of his sheep to be lost. God as Shepherd is seen very vividly in Ezekiel 34.

“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost…bring back the strayed…bind up the injured, and…strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice” (Ezek. 34:15-16).

God is jealous both for his glory and for his people. Jesus said, “My Father, who has given them [the sheep] to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:29-30).

Likewise, parents and pastors should be jealous for God’s glory and their children’s/congregation’s eternal state. Let God as Father and Shepherd who disciplines his children and cares for his flock be your example in truly caring for your children and congregation when they sin by exposing sin and calling for repentance. Knowing that this is how God interacts with his children or people when they sin should cause us to find joy in a biblical duty that can be difficult and even sorrowful as you labor in the grace of Christ to help your children and congregation fight sin.

Love’s Motivation

Secondly, we are to expose sin, call to repentance, and if necessary discipline because we love our children and congregation. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6). This is remarkable. Because God loves us as sons and daughters, he disciplines us. His great and unparalleled love for us—the same love that sent Christ to die for us (Rom. 5:8)—leads God to discipline us. So, parents and pastors, let your love for your children or your congregation lead you to see them in their sin, expose it, and call them to repentance. Joyful discipline is possible, despite the pain, when love is the motivating force.

To put it more strongly, neglecting to call your children or your congregation out in their sin is to not love them. And it would be contrary to the very way that God interacts with his children and flock. Leadership in the home and church is faulty if it does not care about the hearts of those being led. Letting children and congregants freely sin with no buffer of discipline may mask as love, but it is really dressed-up hatred.

Inherent to love is delight. So, when we discipline or call our people to repentance, we can delight in this, as it is an action motivated by our love for them. There is great delight to be found in loving discipline.

Eternal Vision

Thirdly, we can find delight in discipline because when we call children and church members to repentance, we are doing so for their eternal good. What good is it for a parent or pastor to gain the approval of children or congregants who are living in sin if they lose their souls in the process? Our Father in heaven disciplines us for our eternal good (Rom. 8:28). We should do the same. Discipline in the home and in the church serves as a roadblock to keep those in our care from doing further damage to their souls. Not only will discipline be for temporal good as many consequences for sin will be avoided, but it is for eternal good as only those who persevere to the end will be saved (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36).

Discipline is difficult. And though disciplining those we love “hurts us more than it hurts them,” there is a strange delight to be found in discipline. Discipline is the fruit of love. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Prov. 13:24). Discipline is a demonstration of grace. It is incredibly gracious to stop someone in his or her sin through loving rebuke. “When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him” (Ps. 39:11).

Parents, love your children by calling them to repentance through discipline when they fall into sin. Pastors and churches, love the church by calling those to repentance through discipline when they fall into sin.


17498999_1870940272931412_6999370580315029592_nMathew Gilbert is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew and his wife, Erica, live in Tupelo with their two boys, Jude and Jack.

 

Morning Mashup 04/03

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Praying the Bible | Donald Whitney | $3.19 (Kindle)

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Prayer | Timothy Keller | $7.58

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A Praying Life | Paul Miller | $10.19

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Praying with Paul | D.A. Carson | $13.25

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ARTICLES

Are We Victims of Sin? | Head Heart Hand

David Murray: One of the keys to the Christian life is getting the right balance between confessing personal sin and lamenting the universal consequences of sin.

4 Surprises in Bible Publishing | TGC

Trevin Wax describes the biggest surprises he encountered in his role in helping publish the Christian Standard Bible.

You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus’ Name | Prince on Preaching

Excellent article for parents as they consider raising their children in a world where we can’t protect them from pain.

FAQ on the Collected Works of John Piper | TGC

Justin TaylorOur basic criterion for selection has been to include everything that John Piper has written for publication in printed books, magazines, and journals. The result is forty-five books, sixty articles and reviews, twenty-three forewords, and forty-two chapters—totaling around three million words.

How Calvinists Miss the Key to Happiness | Desiring God

Tony Reinke:  The joy of Calvinism is a joy purchased by Christ and emerges from the ever-present Spirit within us.

Graceless Dads, Overly Spiritual Pastors, and Sticky Notes | Gospel Centered Family

Jared KennedyWhen I am disciplining one of my girls, I may even go beyond misbehavior and shepherd her heart motivations. But like an older brother in Christ, am I willing to confess my own sin and repent before my daughters as well? If not, I’m in danger of being a graceless dad.

VIDEOS

How to Depict the Beauty of Complementarity? | TGC

Paul George vs. LeBron James in OT

Morning Mashup 10/12

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church | Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin | $15.69

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The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ | Chap Bettis | $13.99

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ARTICLES

20 Surprising Ways a Believer Can Be Self-Deceived | Out of the Ordinary

Diane BucknellEvangelicals en masse believe they will inherit eternal life because they have “asked Jesus into their heart”,  even though many know nothing of  what it means to test themselves to see if their faith is genuine.

Why Are So Many Evangelicals Condoning Sexual Assault? | TGC

Joe CarterRecent events have shown that many evangelicals—especially prominent conservative defenders of family and public morality—side with the powerful oppressors over the vulnerable oppressed. Many have shown they are willing, even eager, to overlook admissions of sexual assault if it will lead to their preferred political outcome.

Seven Simple Daily Prayers | Desiring God

Marshall SegalAs 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.

Churches Reaching Millennials | TGC

Trevin WaxYou don’t have to be the flashiest church in town, have the coolest pastor, or the most contemporary music to reach young people. The churches in this research come in all shapes and styles and sizes. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.

Why Does Friendship at Times Feel One-Sided? | Grace Covers Me

Christine Hoover It’s so disheartening when we make ongoing efforts to extend friendship to other women and find them met with what appears to be apathy or, worse, disinterest.

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading | Club 31 Women

Jen ThornReading is important. This is the primary way we learn about God. God did not inspire a TV series about himself. He gave us a book that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. A book that when read and studied brings about a change that lasts forever.

VIDEOS

What Is It Like to Be a Missionary? | IMB

 

Mark Dever on Sermon Preparation | For the Church

Morning Mashup 10/10

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion | N.T. Wright | $21.74

the-day-the-revolution-began-book

Spirit Hermeneutics: Reading Scripture in Light of Pentecost | Craig Keener | $36.48

spirit-hermeneutics-book

ARTICLES

Donald Trump and an Excruciating Moment for Evangelicals | The Washington Post

Albert MohlerAmerica’s evangelical Christians, awakened by the millions to political activism barely a generation ago, now find themselves in what can only be described as a crisis of conscience. 

Wayne Grudem Rescinds Endorsement of Donald Trump | The Washington Post

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Sunday, Grudem, a conservative theologian respected in many evangelical circles, pulled back his support and called for Trump to withdraw. The move could signal a loss of support for Trump from evangelicals, many of whom see him as a better option than Democrat Hillary Clinton.

160+ Republican Leaders Don’t Support Trump | NY Times

Really cool timeline of which Republican leaders don’t support Trump and when they made their decision.

The Wisdom of Repugnance | Snakes and Ladders

Alan JacobsI believe that the proper response of the well-former mind and heart to the very idea of Donald Trump as President of the United States is, to put it bluntly, revulsion.

N.T. Wright Reconsiders the Meaning of Jesus’ Death | TGC

Michael HortonI agree with a lot in this book. I agree with the basic gist of Wright’s critique and with much of his own proposal. That response might surprise some, including the author, with whom I’ve enjoyed spirited and edifying discussions of the manuscript. My differences lie at the point of certain details. That said, they are significant.

How Do We Prepare Our Kids for Suffering? | Ask Pastor John

John PiperThe greatest challenge of parenting is not primarily remembering all the things that should be taught in the catechism, but primarily being a parent growing in grace and humility and trust and joy in all the ups and downs of life. Few things will have a greater power in our children’s lives to help them suffer as Christians.

The Problem of Lazy Men | The American Conservative

Rod DreherA smaller percentage of American males in the prime working years (ages 25 to 54) are working than were working near the end of the Great Depression in 1940, when the unemployment rate was above 14 percent.

You Don’t Need More Parenting Advice | Desiring God

Paul Tripp: If you desire not only to cope but to thrive with vision and joy as a parent, you need more than seven steps to solving whatever.

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 09/29

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Prophet, Priest, and King: The Roles of Christ in the Bible and Our Roles Today | Robert Belcher | $14.62

prophet-priest-and-king-book

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family | Paul Tripp | $16.30

parenting-book

ARTICLES

9 Debatable Thoughts About Contemporary Evangelism | Chuck Lawless

Anyone interested in reaching people for Jesus has to face the reality that culture is changing dramatically – and we have to respond by considering our methods and approaches to evangelism. I understand that reality, but some of the current thoughts about evangelism are worthy of debate. Let me know your thoughts about these positions…

4 Ways to Discuss the 2016 Election with Your Kids | Russell Moore

For families with children, this election year brings unique challenges, since the campaign often feels like a reality show. How do we talk to our kids about what they are seeing and hearing all around them? Here are a few things we do…

The Supreme Court and the Convoluted Case for Trump | Thomas Kidd

The question for white evangelicals, then, is whether we are willing to get behind a non-conservative candidate like Trump, who is so boorish, divisive, and uninformed, because he might appoint judges who can get confirmed and then actually turn out to be good judges? That’s a lot to ask, and a lot of “ifs.” I remain convinced that no major party has offered us a candidate worthy of evangelicals’ support in 2016.

The Price of Trying to Be God | Timothy Paul Jones

To sin is to use a gift that God wove into his creation to point to his glory in a way that the Creator never intended. That’s how God’s good gift of relaxation degenerates into vacations that end in frustration because they fall short of our self-centered expectations.

Singing Man: The Story Behind the Viral Video | Russ Ramsey

The story behind the moving video of students singing to their dying teacher. You’ll find the video in the “Videos” section below.

Crossway Statement on the ESV Bible Text | Lane Dennis

I was a little shocked by Crossway’s recent decision to release a final, unchanging edition of the ESV text. According to this new statement from CEO Lane Dennis, “We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake.”

5 Benefits of Regular Family Worship | Tom Ascol

Regular family worship is valuable and brings many blessings to parents and children alike. Here are five benefits that I have observed.

Pastors Are Not Quitting in Droves | Mark Dance

Each time a pastor prematurely exits the ministry race, I grieve. I also grieve each time I hear the awful pastor retention stats which are unsubstantiated and sometimes exaggerated.

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 08/22

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ | Matt Papa | $2.99

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Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View | Garry Friesen | $1.99

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ARTICLES

Six Things a Godly Dad Does | Scott Slayton

Our oldest daughter just celebrated her eleventh birthday, so I have now been a parent for over a quarter of my life. There have been sins, mistakes, wins and growth as we seek to raise our four children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I have ransacked the Bible, read books, watched other godly men, and asked them lots of questions as I have sought to discover the answer to the question, “what does a godly dad do?”

Leadership in the Church | Doctrine and Devotion

Joe and Jimmy talk about the realities and responsibilities of church leadership. Very helpful for anyone considering a call to ministry.

The 3 Minor Prophets Who Wrecked Me | Trevin Wax

In my time as editor, however, I’ve grown to love the Minor Prophets, all sandwiched together at the end of the Old Testament. There are three in particular who, I would say, have “wrecked me” – in a good way, in a powerful way in which I felt the refreshing shower of God’s grace.

Do You Pray Like a Non-Believer? | John Piper

It is possible that nominal Christians learn the language of true, Christ-exalting, God-centered, sin-confessing, Spirit-dependent, promise-trusting, holiness-pursuing prayer. But I have found that it is rare for those with little love to Christ to pray as though they love him and his kingdom.

Learning to Do Less So Parents in Your Church Can Do More | Timothy Paul Jones

When it comes to our children, we might ask a similar question: What does it profit your child to gain a baseball scholarship and yet never experience consistent prayer and devotional times with his parents? What will it profit my child to succeed as a ballet dancer and yet never know the rhythms of a home where we are willing to release any dream at any moment if we become too busy to disciple one another? What will it profit the children all around us in our churches to be accepted into the finest colleges and yet never leverage their lives for the sake of proclaiming the gospel to the nations? What will it profit pastors to lead the largest churches with the greatest discipleship programs if they don’t disciple their own households?

With Love, Your Single Daughter | Rachel Dinkledine

At first I thought of writing you a letter of apology–an apology for not fulfilling your dreams, for not giving you a son-in-law, and for leaving you grandchildless. However, an apology implies I have the ability to change the story. And, at this moment, I don’t. So instead, I want to say “thank you.”

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 07/29

1451631120721

A daily mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

Same-Sex Marriage (Thoughtful Response): A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage | Sean McDowell & John Stonestreet | $1.99

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Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint | Ben Reed | $4.97

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ARTICLES

Why Some Preachers Get Better and Others Don’t | SBTS

Hershael York: On the first day of the semester, or the first time I hear a student preach, I have no way of knowing if he has what it takes or is willing to do what he must to be the preacher he needs to be, but I can usually tell by the second sermon if he does, because that is when he has to act on what I told him after his first sermon. What makes the difference?

The Attractional Church’s Growing Irrelevance | TGC

Jared WilsonI find it incredibly interesting, sort of amusing, and more than a bit sad that the attractional church—what we used to call the “seeker church”—hasn’t seemed to grow up at all. Yes, it’s grown big. But growing big and growing up aren’t the same thing.

9 Reasons Established Churches Should Plant Churches | B&H Academic

Ed StetzerWe would challenge established church pastors to mother a church plant. You’ll see that people will be won to Jesus in the churches you plant and in your church. Some that may be less receptive to your church will be receptive to your plant. That’s why we want to plant churches that plant churches that plant churches.

Hillary Clinton Rehearsing Convention Speech in Dozens of Different Dialects | The Babylon Bee

Hilarious!

7 Ways to Help Children Deal With Tragedies | Facts & Trends

Bill EmeottWhile you may be all too aware of the recent tragedies, most younger kids probably aren’t even aware—thank God. To some extent, ignorance may be the best plan. They’ll hear things and you should be ready to have meaningful conversations, but I would advise church leaders and parents to be careful about the media exposure and adult conversations you allow your kids to be exposed to over the next few days. Below are some ideas that might help parents and ministry leaders as they deal with the children in their lives during this crisis.

Being Real About Being Real | Desiring God

Jon BloomMillennials, in no way do I wish your desire for authenticity to diminish. I want it to increase, and mine with yours. It is spiritually healthy, and as a generational value could be a harbinger of a new outpouring of the Spirit. I only long for you to avoid sacrificing love on the altar of your ideals, a mistake we, your predecessors, have made.

Should Pastors Host a Q&A After the Worship Service? Tim Keller Responds to Mark Jones | Gospel Relevance

Tim Keller drops a 1,400 word response to Mark Jones’ criticism in the comment section of his article on hosting a Q&A after a worship service. Incredibly helpful!

VIDEOS

When Culture Gets Confused With Christianity | Jamie Dew

 

Bad Lip Reading of Ted Cruz

Morning Mashup 06/09

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A mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

ARTICLES

Pastoral Ministry is About Souls, Not Stats | Jared Wilson

The way we are typically programmed to measure the success of our ministries sets us up for hollow victory and desperate failure. But this is not to say we should never do any measuring. It is only to say that what we measure and how we measure shows where our confidence lies.

Parents, Tell Your Kids They Are Sinners | Mike McGarry

As we talked about his sin, I reminded him of the gospel. God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross so we could be forgiven of our sin. Because we’re forgiven, we should live differently—not for his acceptance, but from his acceptance. We say no to ourselves and yes to God because he loves us and is making us more like himself. And when we look like Christ, the world sees a glimpse of the greatness of God. If I refuse to tell my kids they’re sinners, I’m forfeiting a chance to communicate gospel grace.

Is Religious Freedom for Non-Christians Too? | Russell Moore

Religious liberty is never an excuse for violence and crime, nor has religious liberty been so construed in American history. The United States government should fight, and fight hard, against radical Islamic jihadism. But the government should not penalize law-abiding people, especially those who are American citizens, simply for holding their religious convictions, however consistent or inconsistent, true or false, those convictions are.

About Those “20 Minutes of Action” | Ann Voskamp

Rape is not “20 minutes of action” — it’s a violent act with lifetime consequences and it’s time for parents to take far less than 20 minutes of action and stand up right now and say hard things to our sons right now before it’s too late.

 Why Are So Many Christians Bored With the Bible? | Marshall Segal

Unfortunately, many Christians love the idea of the Bible, but not really the Bible itself. We love having a Bible close by, even within reach, but don’t make time to open it on an average day. We talk about Bible reading like we talk about cutting calories or cleaning our house. We’re grateful for the results, but we don’t wake up dying to do it again. It sounds like a fine thing to do, until we have to choose what we won’t do in order to make time for it.

VIDEOS