A Little Bit About Me...

My photo
I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 ends.... 2012 begins!

2011.... The end, the last day of another year.  They seem to be stacking up faster as I get older.  I look and I have a marriage to the best woman in the world, I have three incredible children that teach me about myself every day.  I have some incredible friends that have become “incredible” this year.  I have some relationships that have been a struggle but have made progress. 

I have had a few changes at work, and have had the chance to establish a positive example of character.  I have been able to make relationships with people I never would have expected, and love all the things I am getting to look into.
At church we are still working at building Infuzion, and pouring into those young people.  It is a challenge and is so amazing to see.  I love each one of them for who they are and they too also have taught me about me, and I thank each one of them.

This year has had its ups and downs.  It has had successes and opportunities to try for success again.  Such is life... Life in general and the life of a Christian are not meant to be easy but challenging.  Jesus never said that if you become a Christian that your life would be easy.  He said it would be abundant life... life to be lived... to be experienced.
So what have I learned this year?  Take the time to plan before acting, but don’t let the planning be so bogged down that you never get to act.  Spend time with your kids because they will teach you so much about yourself, and there is a lot that they can learn from time with their parents.  Speaking quietly can get better results than yelling.  Don’t be afraid to love people... to hug them... to hear their struggles and be there for them.  And cherish each special moment you have with them as you never know when that will be the last time you are with a loved one.  Keep reading the Bible.  No matter how many times you read it you will always learn more the next time around.  Pray... daily... hourly... minutely.... as often as you have a need or something to be thankful for.  Faith can move mountains, but it takes a step to put the faith into action.  Fear and faith are opposites.

For 2012... Love deeply.  Give of yourself.  Give like you are giving to God.  Keep moving forward, and keep yourself aligned to the cross.  Point others there and let God do what he wants with them, not what you want with them.

I love you all and can’t wait to see what God has for us in 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just some thoughts.... Mumsie

It is when faced with death that we truly figure out who we are sometimes. I know that right now as I hear the news about my grandmother, Mumsie, that I really feel compelled to live life to the fullest… to the deepest. I am told that she is in her last days. How long that is, is up to God. His breath brought her into the world, and with her last breath she will leave this world. She lived her faith out, and passed it to her kids.

As we approach Christmas day I do find it difficult that it looks like it will be this time of year where she passes, but again, she is in God’s hands.

We found out about another death in the people we know, and mentioned it to the kids. I guess it was sort of a way for us to see how to explain things to the boys. Logan, the fine Star Wars fan that he is, asked if the person’s body disappeared. Trying to explain the concepts of the eternal to the mind of a curious 6 year old will prove difficult.

This year, more than most I find myself trapped in the Ghosts of Christmas past. Going to see my grandparents was always so much fun. They always had a huge tree in the house… often pine. There was the little crèche under the tree. We would gather around the big table. As we got bigger the table did too… with spouses and children. I can remember the distinct sound of my grandfather’s footsteps coming down the stairs, and how he had to duck every time. There is the sound of his laugh that still makes an impression on me…. And the sound of his sneeze from too much pepper. Playing with my cousins while someone used the electric turkey knife, and the smell of it all as they put it on the table.

There is part of me that longs for those days, when life was simpler, when all I had to do was open gifts, eat and have fun. But now, as life does, it moves on. It moves towards a fixed point where each of us must pass into eternity.

I intend to enjoy the journey, to go after God with all that I can, even though there are times of stress, times of hardship, times of disappointment and times of grief. Mixed in there is love, and family. Friendships and hugs. There are experiences and wonder. The life that is travelled will have its ups and downs. Jesus promised us life more abundantly. He never said it would be easy.

As each season of my life concludes I wish more and more that I could keep hold of them, but I also know that there is more there to experience and see. I have my own wife and kids. They have their grandparents and uncles and aunts. Each day my kids do something to bring a smile to my face. Each day they see something that they have never thought of before. Each day a new thought forms…. A new question. Each day I discover how much I know, and how much I don’t know.  I am also learning how innocence is powerful.

Life is wondrous. I hope that I have my health well into my eighties so I can tell my one “when I was boy” stories, so I can call the young people “whipper-snappers” and so I can see how the world changes, and try to change it for the better.

So what have I learned from my grandmother?  Stay true to your marriage.  Have a song for everything.  Stand up for what is right.  Always have cookies baked and ready for guests.  Have people over for dinner to build relationships.  Dance.  Cheer for your sports teams.  Laugh.  There are few problems that a cup of tea can't work out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Beatitudes of Parenting By Cindy Puhek

A Bit long... But really good too:
Jesus’s Beatitudes are profound for many reasons, not the least of which is how applicable their lessons are to different life situations. One can apply the Beatitudes to find practical advice on how to be a godly husband, wife, employer, or employee, just to name a few possibilities. In this article, I would like to expound on the Beatitudes by applying their timeless lessons to parenting.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
My favorite definition of being “poor in spirit” is understanding our complete bankruptcy in anything of spiritual value. Parenting seems to bring this bankruptcy to light on a daily basis! The enormity of the task of training up eternal souls, each with unique strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, for life now and for life in heaven, is overwhelming.

But I should remember that when I feel weak, inadequate, and perhaps even like a failure at this amazing job of motherhood, I am blessed. The very knowledge of my weakness qualifies me for an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
One day I was asked by a visitor how I could keep a candy bowl on my table in easy reach. “Don’t your children get into it?” she asked.

While my family certainly has its own areas of weakness, we’ve never had any trouble with our children sneaking sweets. Their dad and I enjoy a piece after dinner, but having it around doesn’t tempt us to overindulge, and our children have followed suit. But as I thought about my friend, I realized that she’s always had a weakness for sweets, and her question indicated to me that her children had inherited this weakness.

While this is a small, almost silly example of how parents unconsciously pass on traits to their children, we see a more serious example in the pages of Scripture. Genesis 12 and 20 record two incidences of Abraham lying because he was afraid he would be killed by pagan kings so they could take his wife, Sarah. Frighteningly, we witness Abraham’s son Isaac perjuring himself in exactly the same way to a pagan king (Genesis 26), even though he was not yet born when his father did so.

Either Isaac witnessed other acts of dishonesty in his father that are not recorded and picked up the tendency to protect himself with lies that way, or there is a spiritual sowing and reaping taking place here that is very sobering. The truth of the adage, “Like father, like son,” should lead us to mourn for our sins for the sake of protecting our children from repeating our mistakes.

Sometimes the amount of mourning I’m required to do can be discouraging. I sometimes think that if I could only be a perfect parent, my children would turn out well. Constantly making mistakes and apologizing to my children seems far from perfection! But I was taken aback one day when I heard the head of a family I greatly admire declare that he walks before his family in daily repentance. I would have thought this family had achieved perfection, but the dad admitted that he makes mistakes all the time that he has to apologize for and then correct.

It struck me that repenting and mourning for my sin in front of my children is more important than perfection. I will never achieve perfection in this lifetime, but if I can show my children an example of humility and brokenness before them and before God, and if I can model for them how to mourn for their sin, I will have given them spiritual training that will serve them well throughout their lives.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
The most popular definition of meekness I’ve heard is “strength under control.” Jesus was an example of this. As God, He could have ordered all of humanity to bow before Him—and forced them to comply. Instead, He was meek and always submitted His power and authority to God.

As parents, we have a certain amount of power over our children’s lives. We are blessed when we consciously avoid abusing that power. Fenelon, the French educator from the 1600s, said adults should never put unnecessary restraints on their children (the key word here is “unnecessary”; there are plenty of restraints that are necessary). This advice has made me very careful what I ask my children to do or refrain from doing. It is easy to try to control their lives for my own convenience rather than for their good. Frighteningly, I can abuse the authority God has given me and be a tyrant to my children. But I am blessed and will inherit the earth when meekness reigns in my parenting.

The Psalms also give us a definition of meekness. Psalm 37:9 says that they who “wait upon the Lord” shall inherit the earth. When I see a problem in my children’s lives, I often try to rush in and fix it as quickly as possible. I know the disasters that could ensue if the problems are left uncorrected. It’s important to be involved in our children’s lives. But on the other side of the coin, I must wait on the Lord to “fix” my children and cry out to Him in prayer, as He alone is the Great Physician who can make a real change in my children’s souls, rather than just external behavior modification. (That’s not to say behavior is unimportant, but the heart is so much more so.)

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
In the same way our children inherit our weaknesses, they will also tend to follow in our spiritual footsteps. There’s a beautiful picture of this painted in Pilgrim’s Progress. As Christiana begins her journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, her children make the journey with her. These children grow to adulthood and marry while on this journey, and her grandchildren are born on the path to the Celestial City rather than in the City of Destruction as their parents and grandparents were.

The spiritual heritage we are leaving our children should be an excellent motivation for our sanctification. While we cannot save our children’s souls, we can blaze a trail for them and see to it that their spiritual journeys have fewer potential pitfalls. The benefit to our children adds an extra sweetness to righteousness which should increase a parent’s hunger and thirst. I pray that I will make following Jesus look good every day and show my children that there’s no better place on earth than the narrow road that leads to heaven.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
It is a good idea sometimes to remember our failures, as painful as those memories can be. The knowledge of God’s mercy toward us in our failures should help us be merciful to our children in theirs. But we have a tendency to have short memories about such matters.

Ted Tripp tells a wonderful story of a time when he was disciplining his children for being selfish. “How could you be so selfish?” he heard himself asking. God brought to his mind a recent incident when he was carrying two dishes of ice cream, one for himself and one for his wife. As he walked across the house, he was carefully and almost subconsciously measuring which bowl had the most ice cream and therefore would be his. It dawned on him how hypocritical it was to question why his children were being so selfish. He well knew how his children could be so selfish, because that same sinful tendency also rested in his own soul!

Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re all destined for selfishness in one permutation or another. This realization caused Ted to deal with his children with mercy and grace rather than exasperation. I try to rehearse my own weaknesses to my children, especially when I correct them. This always leads me to mercy as well.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
To be “pure in heart” means to have a single focus. In parenting, that single focus should be training our children to love God and love others. Unfortunately, maintaining this single focus can be difficult. I get tempted by the fear of man (what will my neighbor think if we’re behind in academics?) and the pride of life (won’t everyone be impressed when my daughter wins this competition?), and these things can cause me to turn from pursuing God to pursuing achievement. If I want to see God in my parenting, I’ve got to remember that though my children play all musical instruments, excel on the SAT, and win sporting events, but have not love for God and others, I have failed as a parent.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Life with children can be noisy and chaotic, but it should not be full of strife. God is a God of peace, and this peace should reign in our homes.

Peace in the home begins in the relationship between husband and wife. A survey was once conducted of a large group of homeschooled teenagers from very conservative homes. These students were asked what one thing they would change about their families if they could. The people who conducted the survey really expected the children to say they wished Mom and Dad were not so strict and would give them more freedom. But overwhelmingly, these children said that if they could change anything, they would keep their parents from fighting and make Mom and Dad love each other. The relationship between Mom and Dad sets the tone in the home, and we cannot expect our children to live at peace with one another if there’s strife between their parents.

We also need to encourage good relationships between our children. I don’t allow fighting or name-calling within my house. Because these things are not allowed, the children have learned other, more peaceful ways to deal with frustration.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, in their book 20 and Counting, give a list of the rules of behavior in their house. I smiled when I read this list because they are very similar to the rules in my own house.

But for these rules to be effective, Mom and Dad have to abide by them too:
1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
4. Have sincere motives with no thought of self-gain.
5. Think pure thoughts.
6. Always give a good report of others. Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. Use Matthew 18.
7. Never raise a hand to hit.
8. Never raise a foot to kick.
9. Never raise an object to throw.
10. Never raise a voice to yell.
11. Never raise an eye to scowl.
12. Use one toy/activity at a time.
13. Never let the sun go down on your wrath.
14. Amendment J.O.Y: Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Make serving your family a priority.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We live in a culture that does not value children the way God values children. As a result, if we choose to structure our lives around training our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we will be persecuted. Some of the persecution will be blatant. It might come from family members who oppose the new baby you’ve joyfully welcomed into your household. Or sometimes total strangers will make remarks such as “Are they all yours?” or “Don’t you know what causes babies?”

Blatant persecution can be easier in some ways to deal with than subtle persecution. Our society is organized and prioritized with small families and large disposable incomes in mind. It is easy for little things to creep in and destroy peace and contentment in a mother’s heart. Feminism tells me that our job at home is unimportant drudgery, and I should be out building a career. My neighbor with two children tells me that if my children don’t have access to a wide variety of extracurricular activities, they are being deprived. But my neighbor doesn’t realize that the time and expense for my large family to participate in those activities would tear us apart at the seams! Some of my childless friends, perhaps unintentionally, lead me to dissatisfaction when they give me glowing reports about where they’ve eaten out this week or the long vacation to an exotic location they’ve enjoyed.

But blessed are you if you are persecuted for righteousness sake. We must hold fast to God’s declaration that children are a reward from Him and stay on our guard against the subtle philosophies that bombard us weekly to tell us the opposite. I need to be faithful to the calling God has on my life as a wife and mother and not expect the world (or, unfortunately, even my extended family) to always understand or approve.

The Beatitudes give a very challenging outline of what parenting should look like, but they also promise great blessings and rewards. If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed and inadequate for the job right now, go back to the first point: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Feeling inadequate and looking to Jesus for help qualifies us for the first blessing!

The Right Doors Open By Max Lucado

You try one door after another, yet no one responds to your résumé. No university accepts your application. No doctor has a solution for your illness. No buyers look at your house.
Obstacles pack your path. Road, barricaded. Doorway, padlocked. Do you know the frustration of a blocked door?

God uses closed doors to advance his cause.

He closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display his power to the elderly one.

He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator.

He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon.

And Jesus. Yes, even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane so he could say yes to us at the gates of heaven.
God's Story, Your Story
It’s not that our plans are bad but that God’s plans are better.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8–9 NLT)

Your blocked door doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. Quite the opposite. It’s proof that he does.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mike Fisher Quote

Just reading Mike Fisher's biography "Defender of Faith", and I ran across this quote that I thought was very Infuzion sounding:

“My parents always stressed faith as a central part of my life, and I grew to understand the importance of having a balance in life and finding a purpose through our Creator. I believe we are all gifted in certain areas and it’s our responsibility to use these gifts that God has given us for his glory.”

Forensic Theology By Jill Carattini

He seemed to brace himself for what had become the typical barrage of questioning after stating his occupation. The once unrecognized field of forensic science now comes attached with visions of beautiful men and women swabbing for DNA, replicating gunfire trajectories, and piecing together the truth with hair, bugs, and CODIS. The tremendous popularity of forensic dramas has made crime scene investigating a household subject. With a real forensic scientist standing in front of me, it was hard to repress my enthusiasm. Predictably, I asked if he watched any of the shows. Humoring my line of questioning for the moment, he admitted that he did not.

The vast public intrigue with forensic science has been increasing as feverously as the viewerships of crime scene television. In Great Britain alone, the increase in students applying for forensic programs is up nearly 33 percent, attributed entirely to the influence of CSI, NCIS, Bones, and many similar programs.(1) They come into their programs believing they already know a great deal about the job because they have seen it all performed. In a more damaging vein, criminologists note the pervasive misinformation that is powerfully influencing criminal justice systems in various ways, particularly and significantly in the minds and expectations of jurors.(2)

Analysts refer to this global phenomenon of forensic pop culture and its consequences as the "CSI Effect," though speculation on the reasons for our feverish embrace of the motif is wider ranging. In my own right, I find something compelling in the movement from mystery and crisis through clues and evidence to truth. In less than an hour, I am taken from dark riddle to conclusive resolution. Truth and justice emerge plainly where deception, obscurity, and injustice once reigned. In the rare instance when the suspect does not personally own up to the crime after the facts have emerged, the science and its expert witnesses are so definitive that it hardly matters. The truth is clear.

Of course, I know in reality that mysteries are not typically so easily dissected nor the truth so mechanically laid out for the taking. But in that brief hour, I am relieved at the clarity of truth, presented to me quickly and with watertight certainty. English professor Scott Campbell further speculates on the allure of "a longed-for world where deceit is no longer possible and where language finds a close, unbreachable connection to the events it seeks to describe."(3) On the nature of truth in such a world he notes, "If we know how to look for it, the truth is self-evident. It will, in effect, narrate itself."

In a world where truth is subjected to the murkiness of taste and opinion, the attraction to a self-evident, one-dimensional truth is understandable. All the lofty humility of the abstract pluralist cannot beautify the noise of a million clashing voices and truth claims; eventually, we grow weary of the end product and seek a less polluted scene. In the words of the illustrious detective Joe Friday, "All we want are the facts."

But here, we must be wary of simplifying the nature of truth in our attempts to simplify our investigations of it. This is precisely what the pluralist must do to make room for all his claims and voices. But in the world of the Christian, the world of truth is far from flat. Nor is its true song a raucous cacophony. Quite the opposite, Swiss theologian Hars Urs von Balthasar oft reflected on the truth as "symphonic." Elaborating, seminary professor Anthony D. Baker explains, "Truth is not simply a completed score, but the action of playing it back to God the way it was written. Only by following Christ into the cacophony, by descending into hell ourselves, by actively engaging in the redemption of fallen melody, can the church be alive with the resurrective power of the Spirit."(4)

In other words, truth is not simply something passive that we intercept, like the outcome of a CSI episode that leaves us entirely certain of "what really happened." Truth certainly has this definitive element; to be sure, the Logos which became flesh is God's definitive account of truth. But this is something far deeper and more dimensional than cold, unresponsive facts, as further evidenced in John's description of Christ as one "full of grace and truth" in himself. There is a corresponding, interactive quality to truth, which takes longer than an hour to absorb and is best understood by engaging its depth and character within a world of impersonal, simplistic alternatives. For if truth is personal—indeed, a Person—it demands a lifetime of shared engagement with the one who is truth and the Spirit who actively leads us into a discovery of this truth.

Without any doubt, the mystery of the Christian religion is great. Paul's description of Jesus is as full of inscrutable truths as it is compelling evidences: "He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory" (1 Timothy 3:16). Evidences of the heights and depths of this divine truth can indeed be received as factual, definitive fingerprints. But so they are clues that point to a multi-dimensional, inexhaustible Person full of grace and truth.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Teaching Your Daughter Modesty by Shannon Ethridge

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
~ 1 Timothy 2: 9-10
The "guards" were heavily armed and ready to protect the bank from any "bad guys" that might wander in. Matthew (four years old at the time) stood on one side of the entrance to the bank lobby with a toy bow and arrow in ready position. On the other side of the door stood his friend Cameron, also four, with an impressive plastic sword drawn from its sheath. As I stood in line at the teller window, I noticed that all the bank patrons, relieved that they were in such capable hands, were looking on appreciatively at these self-appointed guards.

Then she walked in, a long-legged young woman in high heels, a formfitting miniskirt, and spaghetti-strap top. The young guards glanced at each other with eyes wide. The rest of the onlookers turned their heads back and forth between the little boys and the young woman as if watching a tennis match, eyeballing the woman, then the boys, then the woman again. As this scantily-clad bombshell strutted across the bank lobby, made an ATM transaction, and then strutted back out through the armed doors, I sensed that everyone in the lobby was holding their breath and wondering, What could those boys be thinking right now?

As soon as the door closed and the woman was out of earshot, Cameron satisfied everyone's curiosity as he leaned over to Matthew and loudly exclaimed, "The Bible warns about women like that!"

Of course, the entire bank erupted in laughter! The incident happened years ago, but it's no laughing matter that today we often see young women dressed more like stereotypical hookers than modest young women.

Here are two of the most valuable principles we can teach our daughters when it comes to how they dress:
You teach people how to treat you.
Whatever bait you use determines the type of fish you'll catch.
If a young woman dresses seductively, guys are likely going to treat her as if she wants to be seduced. She's going to get attention from lustful guys, not godly ones who want to guard themselves against sexual compromise. If we want our girls to be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, we'll teach them to dress modestly. If we want to protect them from boys who are more interested in their bodies than in their minds, hearts, or spirits, we'll teach them to shop for clothes that present a passion for purity rather than a plea for attention.

I want to challenge you, the parent, to consider what you can do to help your daughter become a smart shopper who values modesty and responsible stewardship.

Who's in Charge?

On occasion when I speak to parents about encouraging our daughters to dress modestly, some will retort with statements like these:

Wearing the latest fashions doesn't make my daughter less sexually pure. If we look at sexual purity in strictly a physical sense, then granted, a girl is no less a virgin if she wears immodest clothes. But as followers of Christ we are to pursue not just physical purity, but mental, emotional, and spiritual purity as well. Do you want your daughter dressing in such a way that boys flirt wit her and try desperately to get her attention? Do you want older guys noticing her? I believe that when parents let their twelve-year-old dress like she's twenty, they are not protecting her from vulnerability to unhealthy, premature relationships.

I don't want to spend my hard-earned money on clothes that are going to just hang in the closet. If this is our mind-set as parents, we need to reconsider what we value most. Will we sell out our daughter's sense of modesty and her reputation so that she'll get more mileage out of what's hanging in her closet? While inappropriate clothes may get worn more often by an attention-seeking preteen, eventually a parent's hard-earned-money may have to go toward professional counseling to get her out of the relational messes she'll find herself in if she continues to dress provocatively.

I can't control what clothes she wears. Funny how some parents say this about their preteen daughters, yet in truth, these same parents facilitate their daughters' bad choices by driving them to certain stores, whipping out the credit card to buy the clothes, and standing at the door when their daughters leave for school in the morning, wearing those clothes. Regardless of how powerless we may feel, we do have control over our daughters' wardrobe as long as they're living under our roofs. We simply have to be secure enough in our role as parents to exercise that control.

If you feel that your preteen daughter is calling the shots when it comes to what she wears, you may need to seek counsel for how to regain the parental control you've abdicated to her. Remember, the battles will only get more significant, and if she's accustomed to getting her way, you will certainly travel some bumpy roads ahead.

But my daughter wants to wear what all of her friends are wearing. One of the most significant ways we can help our daughters is to teach them to lead rather than follow, especially when it comes to fashions. Think about it. If your daughter looks to others to determine what she should wear, she will be more likely to look to others to tell her what to do in other areas of her life. She will be more likely to follow the crowd into sexual compromise. Teach her to blaze her own trail through life -- one that will steer clear of the many pitfalls to sexual compromise.

She doesn't even have breasts and hips yet, so I don't think she's turning any guys' heads by what she wears. News flash: your daughter may not have a rounded figure just yet, but guess what? That's only temporary. Better to prepare her for modesty in the near future by expecting it today, during her tweener years. In addition to teaching a sense of modesty we can also teach our daughters to value practicality and quality, as well as how to be responsible stewards of resources.

Taking Charge of Your Investments

It alarmed me when my daughter developed a hearty appetite for shopping when she was only eight years old. Anytime we went into a store, Erin felt she had to pick something out for herself, regardless of whether she needed anything or not. If I told her I didn't have the money for the purchase, she'd sometimes say, "But Mom, you can charge it on your credit card!" She had no concept that at the end of the month her father and I would have to pay the entire bill or we would start accruing interest on those purchases. Greg and I knew we were heading for trouble and that we needed to teach our daughter how to spend money wisely.

So when Erin turned nine, we started an annual tradition for back-to-school clothes shopping trips. We buy the basic updates she needs (new socks, underwear, and bigger shoes if necessary), but she has to make nonessential new clothes purchases from the cash we give her for those shopping excursions. We determine the amount of money she gets each year by multiplying her age times ten dollars, so when Erin was nine, she received ninety dollars. She could spend that money however she wanted, as long as her choices were modest. She could either buy one pair of jeans for forty-five dollars and one sweater for forty-five dollars from an upscale store and be done with her shopping trip, or she could shop in stores where clearance sales and bargain racks abound. Fortunately Erin proved to be no dummy when it came to math. She figured out quickly that she could get lots more bang for her buck by steering clear of brand names and posh department stores. That year she purchased two pairs of jeans, a dress with a jacket that could be worn with other things, two casual shirts, a sweater, and a pair of capri overalls with her ninety dollars. She was proud of her new clothes and her shopping savvy.

A pastor and his wife recently told me how they teach their children to appreciate the limited value of a dollar. As soon as their children are old enough to have a checking account, the parents begin depositing a set dollar amount each month. The kids are expected to tithe 10 percent off the top, and anytime they need something, it comes out of their own account. When they walk into Wal-Mart, they each grab a cart and go their separate ways. Mom purchases the family groceries and household items, but personal items such as makeup, toothpaste, hair-styling products, clothes, and school supplies come out of the child's own checking account. While Greg and I have not implemented this plan with our children yet, we do plan on asking the bank about the minimum age requirement on a checking account! What a great way to teach kids valuable skills, such as comparison shopping, budgeting, and accounting.

Make sure your daughter understands that money doesn't grow on trees. Teach her to discern her wants from her needs. As parents, we always want to provide for our kids' genuine needs, but when it comes to their wants, we must teach them moderation.

The Power of Responsible Consumerism

We also need to teach our girls responsible stewardship and consumerism. The money we have to spend doesn't really belong to us, but to God. He owns everything. Therefore tithing isn't a matter of how much of our money we are going to give to God, but how much of God's money we area going to keep for ourselves. I believe God blesses us financially so we can be a blessing to others. Tithing and charitable giving should not be options but regular acts of worship. The more money we spend on ourselves and our selfish desires (things we don't really need), the less we have to help those who truly are in need.

Because all of our money belongs to God and He entrusts it to us, I feel we have a responsibility to channel our resources in directions that honor Him. One day I had an incredible opportunity to teach my daughter this concept. We were shopping, and Erin found a T-shirt that she liked. It wasn't overpriced and was relatively modest, but I suggested we continue looking to see what else we could find. As we made our way toward the back of the store, we saw young girls looking through racks of shirts and bins of miscellaneous items, so we thought we might find some cool stuff there. Upon closer examination, I discovered that many of the shirts broadcast sexually graphic messages and the bins were filled with gag gifts such as "boob pasta" and "gummy penises." I wondered where the parents of these girls were, and if they knew their kids were rummaging through such things.

Trying to keep my cool, I walked back toward the front of the store, and Erin followed right behind. I asked her, "How much do you like this shirt you are wanting to buy?"

She replied, "Mom, I don't want the shirt that badly. I can find something better at a store we can feel good about. Come on, put the shirt back, and let's go." I breathed a prayer of gratitude that she and I were on the same page.

Unfortunately, many people don't make the connection between how we spend our money and the explosion of irresponsible sexual messages in retail stores. For example, many kids (and parents) know how offensive Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs and graphic window displays are, yet they are still regular patrons of the store. They say it's okay because they don't buy the really seductive clothing. However, they are fueling a business that is contributing to the moral decay in our country. If Christian consumers don't send the message loud and clear that they want clothes and companies that support their values, no one else will.

For years Calvin Klein has targeted young adults and teens with sexually provocative black-and-white advertisements. The company manufactures clothes, yet their models rarely have any on. They blatantly use sex to sell their products. I coach consumers of all ages, "I don't care how great their clothes look on you or how good their cologne smells, don't pour your dollars into Calvin Klein's pocket so he and his company can continue putting borderline-pornographic advertisements in kids' faces."

Again, we teach people how to treat us, and retailers are no different. If we reward them with our business, they are going to assume we like being bombarded with sexually inappropriate advertisements. We can turn the tide by channeling our dollars away from rather than into companies that use sex to sell their products.

Lessons That Last a Lifetime

As a parent, you may feel it's not worth the fight to try to control where your daughter shops, what clothes she buys, and what she leaves the house wearing. It seems so much easier just to give her the freedom to make her own choices and hope for the best.

The same could be said for many other parts of her life. It would be easier just to leave her alone and let her do her own thing rather than getting her out of bed, taking her back and forth to school every day, helping her with her homework, and attending teacher conferences. Why do you make education a priority? Not just because it's the law, but also because you want the very best for her and you know a good education will take her where she dreams of going in life. It may seem easier to let your daughter do whatever she wants on Sunday rather than dragging her to Sunday school and church every weekend. Why do you make church activities a priority? Because you want her to develop a strong spiritual life and enjoy an intimate walk with the Lord.

Are values of modesty and responsible stewardship any less desirable? Of course not. Since you are reading this book, I know you want to develop the strongest character possible in your daughter. You want her to have a sense of pride in how she presents herself to others, to enjoy the respect of peers and adults, and to attract like-minded friends and a healthy, future romantic relationship.

Every struggle you may experience along the way toward instilling these values is worth the fight. Every ounce of energy you pour into encouraging these concepts is a worthy investment. These lessons on modesty and responsible stewardship will guide your daughter not just through puberty and her upcoming teenage years but also throughout her lifetime.

Shannon Ethridge is the best-selling author of Every Woman's Battle and coauthor of Every Young Woman's Battle, as well as a wife, mother, speaker, and lay counselor. Previously a youth pastor and abstinence educator, Shannon has a master's degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University, and she speaks regularly on the Teen Mania Ministries campus and in a variety of other church and college settings. Shannon lives in east Texas with her husband, Greg, and their two children, Erin and Matthew.

This article originally posted on Crosswalk in June 2005

Monday, August 22, 2011


Sometimes things just happen in a way that is tragic. After being involved with some things with 4MYCanada I have been able to meet some of the different MP’s in the country. I never had the chance to meet Mr. Jack Layton, but I did respect him as an MP, and I honour him as one that made sacrifices to lead in Canada. I do have several differences in my political leanings than what he had, but I still find myself being sad by hearing the news of his passing away. He really was a passionate politician who knew how to connect with people, and knew how to make his little piece of the House of Commons make a lot of noise. And with this last election, he gained so much ground in becoming the official opposition in the House. Jack Layton was one that believed what he said and acted on it. As I walk to the Tim Horton’s to get my tea, all I keep hearing is people talking about Jack Layton. He was obviously very well-liked from all sides of the political spectrum. He seemed to take any opportunity to be in the face of the public. I listen regularly to CFRA where several of the radio shows are notoriously conservative, while Mr. Layton was more the socialist. He would call in, or be in studio if called upon.

I don’t know what Jack Layton was like from the perspective of his faith. I don’t know if he was a man of faith. But his life, and now death brings to mind something that we can all learn from. After this last election Jack Layton and the New Democrats were able to make the greatest advances in Canadian Parliament for that party, decimating the Liberal party, and being the official opposition, or the second largest party. This was HUGE! Mr. Layton had been able to lead a major advancement. He had battled prostate cancer. He was on a roll. But recently he came forward and announced that he had another kind of cancer. Many people noted how weak he looked in that announcement. It was tough to watch. And here we are today mourning the loss of this Member of Parliament.

This man had given his life for politics at various levels, and had made some big accomplishments, but look how life can be. All of the work he did is lost to him personally. What if I had been the one? What if I had worked so hard to get all of that, but had neglected my soul? All of what I had done would mean nothing.

In Mark chapter 8, Jesus says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

Our lives are but vapours, and we are on the world stage for but a few moments compared to all of the other people that are on earth now, or have been on earth since Adam and Eve. What are you going to do with it? How will you spend your time? How will you treat people? We are here for so short a season, and those things that are invested in the kingdom of God are those things that will last. Spend your time investing in the things of God. Spend your time loving people. Spend your time moving for positive change. Don’t waste anything. Don’t waste any time. You only have so much of it.

My thoughts and prayers are with Olivia Chow and the family of Jack Layton. May other people follow your example in saying, this is what I believe in, this is who I am both in public and in private. Follow me towards the goal.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away - A Book Review

Why God Won’t Go Away was a good book, and took me some time to get through because of how much of a thinker it was. As a Christian, and someone that shares my faith with others I have had some encounters with atheists where they just ridiculed and name-called and the tone that all of their discussions came through was in anger… at me for believing in God… In religion in general.

In this book Alister McGrath writes about what he calls the New Atheism. You have probably heard of some of their “big guns”: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and the like. I have tried to read some of the writings of these authors, and each time I picked up a book they were so filled with sweeping judgements about all religions as a whole, and using the negative things done in the name of religion to say that ALL religion is evil that I had to shake my head at their lack of understanding.

Why God Won’t Go Away is divided into three parts. Part one is about defining what he means by the New Atheism, and how it is contrasted from moderate atheism. Part two addresses three core themes of the New Atheist proponents. McGrath addresses the claim that ALL religion leads to violence. He addresses issues in reasoning and I think quite soundly shows the limits of science and what science can prove. Part three examines the New Atheist movement in where it is today, and then shows some of the ways that it is falling off in momentum.

McGrath closes off the book with a story about a young man that approached him after a speaking engagement seeking an autograph. The young man shared about how he had been lead to Christ because of reading a Dawkins book. He felt that the book was so unfair and one-sided that he was compelled to find out the other side of the issue. In looking at the other side, he had now become a Christian.

Why God Won’t Go Away is an excellent book. You will come away seeing some of the weaknesses in the claims and omissions of the New Atheists.   I was provided a complimentary copy of the book for review by Book Sneeze.  Click the link on my right side bar for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I was just doing some reading to prepare for the barrage or questions for "Stump Pastor J" this coming Sunday.  One of the first verses I read was Jesus telling his disciples that if anyone is going to follow him they will have to DAILY pick up their cross and follow him.

A few thoughts.... First, Jesus' road to the cross was hard.  It was painful.  It took all of his life but because he endured it, we can be saved.

Secondly, Jesus told them to be prepared to take up their cross DAILY.  Every day we need to examine our lives based on the standard of the Bible, and give our lives for Jesus.  That might not mean as much for those of us living in North America, but Christians in other parts of the world literally have their lives threatened.  It can happen here too.

It may not be in the form of dying for Jesus.  I heard a leadership thought that brought this verse in Luke 9 to mind.  A leader chooses the corporate good over personal pleasure or preference.

That is SO tough!  Making choices like that could cause discomfort or hurt is not a favourite passtime of mine.  As Christians we are to be leaders.  We are to make disciples... to model being a Christian.  Sometimes it will mean making hard choices where we have to make the sacrifice in favour of something for the cause of Jesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with having patience in difficult situations. I have noticed it a LOT lately. With work, and kids, and dog and relationships, and people that oppose me, and keeping the house clean, and cooking…. Well, life just gets to me. Notice my wife is not on this list? I think she has been the one that said the thing that really made me think most in this. I’ll get to that later though.

Recently on Facebook I had a bit of a scuffle with an atheist that didn’t like the perspective I was taking. I have no problem with people not believing what I do, but I begun to lose patience when the person began to focus the attack on me personally. I didn’t like it, and I tried to respond to each of the things they were saying, but each of my replies brought out more aggression (I perceived).

The dog…. I know that my dog wants to do what she is supposed to, but sometimes her curiousity gets the best of her. She barks at things that go by the back yard, or the front door. It’s like my commands are not even heard. She is so caught up in whatever it is that she just goes until someone goes to get her. Guess this one is my fault for not spending enough time training her.

Kids…. Sometimes it would have been easier if they didn’t develop personalities… As much as I love my children, and as cool as I think it is to see them grow and learn, along with it comes some resistance to doing what they need to be doing… Don’t fight with your brother… Clean up your toys…. Don’t hit your sister…. Bring your plate to the kitchen…. Go to bed… Don’t fight with your brother… Don’t throw your toys… From what I hear this is only mildly different from those of you that have ‘tweens experience… but it gets to you after a while.

Cleaning is so tough… you go from one room to the next and by the time you go back to the first room after cleaning it the stuff is all back off the shelf…. One meal is usually enough to get the kitchen back into a tizzy. Sigh…

And then there is getting the kids to events, running our own events, getting together with friends, and helping others run their events… Wow… Tough… None of this is to try to garner sympathy. I know all of you have your own things to do as well. I have just been noticing that I have not been processing it all very well. Irritation comes a little too easy, and I snap at the kids or my wife a bit too easily.

So this is what I do when God puts his finger on something, I go back and take a look at what the Bible says about something. So here are a few verses I am praying through….

Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”

Colossians 1:11
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,”

James 1:3, 4
“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Psalm 37:7
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”

There are others…. But here is the thing that resonates in my mind most. It was one of those “Boi-oi-oi-oing!” moments. I thank God for a wife that wants what God wants, and knows how to speak into my life. I was talking to her about how I was noticing the quick to lose patience thing in me and she said something like, “Well, you are a Christian, and you should have the fruit of the spirit…. You’re just not walking in that.” (That was the stun moment.) I was reminded of this passage.

Galatians 5:22-25
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

There it was…. Right there in Scripture… If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit, and here is what that should look like… see above list. So it is not easy by any means, but it is something that I am trying to work on. I’m praying it through. I have to crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit... and I thank God for my wife.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Review of "Billy Graham in Quotes"

“Billy Graham in Quotes” is a book that I asked for out of curiosity.  I have been a long time fan of Rev. Graham.  I was able to see him in my city when he came.  When I saw this was available I wanted to read it.  It is set up as a collection of quotations from the written works of Billy Graham.  In the table of contents you can see that there are topics from anger and anxiety to marriage and young people, and once you get into the quotations you get to see the depth and wisdom of the man.  It is so refreshing to dig into these quotations.  I have seen many books of late where there is such a weak proclamation of right and wrong, let alone the Gospel.  This man’s writings come from decades spent studying the Word of God.  The way the book is framed is that Rev. Graham writes from what he reads in Scripture.  As I read through it I could see that.  As I read from topic to topic I was pleased with how directly his words addressed what the Bible says.  Some topics would have most people pleased with Rev. Graham’s perspective, while others will step on people’s toes.  As a student of the Bible and a student of Christian history/biography I count this as a valuable volume for my shelf for future reference.  It has a ton of quotes for teaching others, preparing sermons or just posting a challenging Facebook status.  Each quotation is referenced so I can go back and pursue something further if I need to.  Such a great idea from one of Christendom’s most well-known preachers.  I was provided a complimentary copy for review by Booksneeze.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Great to watch young people...

Leigh-Anne and I have been working with the 9 to 12 year olds in Infuzion for a few years now, and it has been so good.  Helping them get into a regular time with God is one thing, but when you help them try something new and you see the look of delight on their face when they find something new that they like doing or that they are good at from the start.  I love seeing them do something creative.  Sometimes you just have to refocus them a bit and keep them positive while they try something where they may be a little insecure... That's part of it... We have to help them try new things, and have to help them work through the insecurity while they learn and develop.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review What's in the Bible? Disk 5

I loved this disk of What’s in the Bible?  I have really been a big fan of concise and yet whimsical writing on these DVD’s.  Each one has been able to take deep theological ideas and link them to fun ideas so they stick in your mind.  I still love the one from Disk 4 with the description of what it meant to be holy, and Pirate Pete talking about how his mashed potatoes being set aside, and therefore being holy.  It was then clarified what holy really meant, but the funny was there to make it stick.

This disk is no different.  It is fast-paced, quick-witted and brings out Biblical truth.  There are a couple of reactions that I would like to note.  When the package arrived, and I pulled out the disk, my two oldest children (A 5 year old and a 3 year old) started to jump around the room wanting to watch the disk right away.  The oldest started to sing the song.  The two of them love these shows.  My wife and I love to see our kids get excited about something that teaches them about God.
I also gathered some of the young people (Aged 9 to 12ish) that I work with for a screening that Sunday morning and they love the show.  The thing that I noted from this screening was that it inspired them to want to get back into working with puppets again.  Some of the topics that we were discussing were also answered in the shows like what is sin, and what does it mean to repent?

In episode 1, we open with Michael and Pierre discussing who gets to be on camera.  Michael observes Pierre’s bitterness.  This moves to a discussion between Phil Vischer and Buck Denver over what the most important book is, the Phone book, or the Bible.  It’s a pretty funny bit, and of course leads us into the themes song.  I love the theme song! 
We go back to Buck and Phil Vischer  talking about the importance of the Bible, and he emphasizes that unlike the phone book, the Bible doesn’t just tell us where people live, but why people live.

Pirate Pete... Wow, what an interesting, zany character!  Last time to be different, he wanted to sing some songs from a hot air balloon.  This time he wants to sing from his submarine.  It is a very creative graphic.  There is also a funny bit about how he knows things are right because he can feel it in his sword.
One of the points that some of the older audience members will be able to pick up on is the bit between Buck and Marcie about whether the insurance policy covers  Pirates.... even law abiding pirates.  Each show goes through a kind of review to keep the focus on the Rescue Plan God has for us.  This time Sunday School Lady (love how she has a picture of herself on her shirt) uses the magic flannelgraph  to show us the timeline of events, and of course that allows her to go over a description of what sin is.

I loved the comment from Pirate Pete and how the book of Judges was like a classroom left without a teacher.  There would be a bunch of kids with spit wads flying everywhere.  This leads us to brief review of Ruth, and leads us into the books for the upcoming shows, 1 & 2 Samuel.
Who was Samuel?  We get into who he was, and how he was instrumental in carrying out the requests of the people of Israel to have a king to lead them.  As a prophet, Samuel leads based on what God tells him.  The Philistines were there threatening them, and they wanted a king to lead them to fight against the Philistines.  They kept being beaten and pressed for a king.  God relented and Israel’s first king is Saul.  Soon Saul became full of himself and was not under God’s spirit.  As Saul did more things without God, and going after his own deeds, it came time for David to be anointed as the next king.

There is an excellent explanation of the Trinity using a triangle. 
There is a great parallel between those space movies and Saul going to the dark side.  The writers were good about making sure to emphasize that the space movies were not real, and the story of Saul and David was true history.

The episode ends with Phil asking if you want to be part of God’s rescue plan?
The second episode on the disk opens with Michael talking about how he once declared himself the king of the backyard, and he and Pierre got into an acorn fight with the kids next door.  Poor Pierre.  Michael does what any big brother would do I guess and uses his brother to shield himself from the attack.

We go through the process that David went through to get to the point where he became king.  We note the time where he was able to attack Saul, but would not.  We note the jealousy from Saul about David.  I was even pleased to see how they dealt with the David and Bathsheba affair.  It was to the point and in a way that a kid could understand.
This gives Pastor Paul the chance to explain what repentance is, and we go through how David is different than Saul.  Saul makes excuses and refuses to do as God says.  David makes no excuse and begs for God’s forgiveness.

This episode focuses on the book of 2 Samuel and then creeps into the book of 1 Kings to cover the good part of Solomon’s life.  The story is left as a cliff-hanger for the audience to either look up, or wait until the next disk to see.  My 5 year old is still asking me what happens to Solomon.  I’m glad he is interested in the Bible.
Do you want to be like Saul or David?

There are a few interesting extras on the disk.  The popsicle stick theatre performance of The Boy Who Cried Melon Monkey is great.  It is a humourous play on the old boy who cried wolf story.  The outtakes are always a treat.  I love seeing some of the performances without all the computer effects.  I love when you hear Phil talking to the puppet and then responding in the Puppet’s voice.  I loved the deleted scenes with Michael and how he was determined not to create an outtake scene while he created an outtake scene.  On a last thought I went to the Chapters menu and there was a great gag from Pastor Paul and his favourite chapter in the Bible.  Very funny.
I was given a free copy of the disk in the exchange that I would review it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's in the Bible? DVD 5

I have a certificate for a free copy of What's in the Bible? DVD 5.  I will give it to the first person that has kids that live in their house, and contacts me with the correct answers to these 3 questions:

As Israel's first king, what made Saul stand out to Samuel the Prophet?

What did David do to attack Saul?

Who did King David send to the front lines so that the soldier would die and David could take his wife?

Email, post a comment, facebook whatever.... Whoever is first gets it!

Happy Guessing!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New "What's In the Bible?" button on the blog.

They sent me a new banner to promote the new DVD that is coming out.  It will now take you to the What's in the Bible website.

For those of you reading by email, my blog is at: http://livinginfuzion.blogspot.com/

Follow the link to the website that is on the right side of my page it you don't know what What's in the Bible? is.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Congratulations! You've been selected to be a member of the What's in the Bible Street Team!

Well, it happened. Leigh-Anne “liked” What’s in the Bible? on Facebook, and then she saw this opportunity to apply to be a part of the “Street Team”, a group of people that promotes the DVD series. So I started doing what I've grown more and more in love with.... I started writing. They wanted to know how I used the DVD’s in my home, and how I would use the DVD’s outside of my home.

The home part was so easy. Both my boys love the What’s in the Bible? DVD’s. They sing the songs, they can identify the box across the store, and last time we were at Salem they wanted me to buy disc 4.

I also wrote about how I worked with young people and they both like the episodes and we used it to help inspire them in building a puppet ministry. I also mentioned that my parents were the children’s pastors in my church as well.

That being said, take a look into this DVD series and see if you know of a family that could benefit from the teaching on the disks. I have always wanted a series like this.... really good information.

Oh, and check out the new banner on the blog... comes from the WITB people.

Here is their site right here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have spoken to many people over the years that try to tell me that they can be a Christian, and not go to church. They will tell me that they can just spend time with God on their own, or watch some TV ministry to get some teaching.

It seems pretty clear to me that the Bible teaches that we need to gather corporately. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

See? It, says, encourage one another. God wants people to learn from each other in the church and be a support to each other. Then I ran into this list of other ‘One Another’ verses from the Bible. Take a look at all the other things God wants us to learn by spending time with our church family:

Love one another. (John 13:34)

Accept one another. (Romans 15:7)

Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13)

Be gentle to one on another. (Ephesians 4:2)

Be clothed in humility with one another. (1 Peter 5:5)

Weep with one another. (Romans 12:15)

Live in harmony with one another. (Romans 12:16)

Don’t judge one another. (Romans 14:13)

Be patient with one another. (Ephesians 4:2)

Admonish one another. (Colossians 3:16)

Greet one another. (Romans 16:16)

Wait for one another. (1 Corinthians 11:33)

Care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)

Be kind to one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Be devoted to one another. (Romans 12:10)

Be compassionate toward one another. (Ephesians 4:32)

Encourage one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Submit to one another. (Ephesians 5:21)

Make allowances for one another. (Colossians 3:13)

Stimulate love in one another. (Hebrews 10:24)

Offer hospitality to one another. (1 Peter 4:9)

Minister gifts to one another. (1 Peter 4:10)

Rejoice with one another. (Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 12:26)

Don’t slander one another. (James 4:7)

Don’t grumble against one another. (James 5:9)

Confess your sins to one another. (James 5:16)

Pray for one another. (James 5:16)

Fellowship with one another. (1 John 1:7)

Don’t be puffed up against one another. (1 Corinthians 4:6)

Carry one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)

Honour one another. (Romans 12:10)

Depend on one another. (Romans 12:5)

Prefer one another. (Romans 12:10)

Comfort one another. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

That is 35 things that the Bible tells us we should be like with other people that are Christians. Two things, you can’t do any of those things off on your own. You have to get involved in the church to do them. Second, this is a long list, and it is a hard list, and I have a long way to go in learning these things too.

List quoted from The Unshakable TRUTH by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell.