Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘parents’

A Word to the In-Laws

I know. The title has real potential. A preacher friend of mine recently said to me, “I have no problem with mother-in-laws. I love my wife’s mother-in-law!” (For the record, I did laugh. But I shouldn’t have…) My relationship with my wife’s parents has always been especially good. For that I am truly grateful. My word of thanks to them goes far beyond my own relationship… Today my wife and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. My thoughts are full of past experiences, present blessings, and future dreams. I am a blessed man. On this special day I would like to say thank you to people who often do not get the credit they deserve. You see, without my father-in-law…

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3 Things You Could Write Today

Writing is work!  It takes time and more mental energy than most tasks.  I am currently reading the biography of Jonathan Edwards.  Edwards was one of the greatest theological minds that America has known, and this is no accident.  His father worked diligently for the education of each of his children.  One of the disciplines that the elder Edwards built into his children’s training was the practice of regular writing.  Correspondence and other compositions were expected on a regular basis. Today’s young people are learning to tweet, post, text, and message…but they are not learning to write.  Some will argue that this is a different day and communication is so much simpler.  The truth remains that writing is connected to…

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Counsel to Young People and to Those Who Counsel Them

It is my privilege to work each week with hundreds of middle school, high school, and college age young people.  It is fascinating that the older I get the younger they seem!  Not long ago (in my mind) I sat where they sit.  Making decisions and seeking direction. Recently I spent several days just meeting with kids, listening, talking, praying.  Full of hope for their future, every one of them is in the middle of a season of decision.  Decisions that will alter the course of their life.  Perhaps I am more concerned than they are because I have seen so many poor choices and sad casualties. Meeting after meeting it seemed that the conversation returned again and again to…

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When Young People Ask Hard Questions

Questions are opportunities to teach.  God gave explicit instructions to Israel about what to say when your children ask (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).  And ask they will!  All of us who have young people in our homes are well acquainted with the question, “Why?”  It is the way we answer that determines the outcome. Recently I allowed the young people in our Academy to submit anonymously questions that have troubled them.  I was overwhelmed by the response.  Sincere questions and concerns.  Some doctrinal, some personal – family, eternity, morality, God, the Bible, and relationships.  We have since tried to schedule chapel speakers who could address specific topics that are on their minds. Questions cannot be ignored.  In fact, they should be encouraged.…

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The Power of Parents

As I sit in my study at home there are two pictures of my parents on the desk in front of me.  One is a photograph taken on the night that I graduated from high school.  It is hard to believe that I will soon be the age that they were then.  This picture is the way they are indelibly impressed on my mind.  Time has moved on, but some things do not change. The other picture is a recent photograph taken of mom and dad.  They have aged very little through the years but my appreciation for them has grown more than I could ever express.  Children are in so many ways a product of their parents influence.  All…

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For Christian Young People: You ARE Missing Out!

“A prudent wife is from the Lord.”  This verse means more to me the longer I am married.  Tammy and I were driving along in the car recently.  The kids were strangely quiet in the back seat and we were talking.  About nothing.  About everything. I really don’t remember how we came to the topic but she began to talk about how much she appreciated all that her parents had instilled in her.  They were saved when she was just a little girl and had worked hard to teach her and her siblings that the world held nothing for them.  The scars of sin were not worth the pleasure of sin.  With emotion she said to me, “People without God…

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A Word for Young People About Parents

Like most children, when I was very young, I memorized the Ten Commandments.  The fifth commandment says, “Honour thy father and thy mother.”  It is repeated eight times in the Bible.  As a boy, if my mother said something once I was supposed to listen.  If she said it twice, I was definitely supposed to listen.  If she had to say it three times, it was too late to listen!  When God repeats something it is always for emphasis. This is God’s word to every young person: “Honour thy father and thy mother.” For many years I quoted it without even knowing what it meant.  The word honor means to assign value to something, to treat it as a prize. …

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Acres of Diamonds

When I was thirteen years old an elderly preacher in the mountains of West Virginia gave me a book.  It was old and dusty.  There were no pictures and at the time it seemed like a good book just to put on the shelf.  Several years passed before I actually read its yellowed pages, but after reading them I would never forget them. Russell Conwell was a preacher and educator.  He started what is now known as Temple University in Philadelphia.  Conwell traveled the world giving a very famous lecture over 5,000 times.  Any honorarium that was given to him was in turn given to some young person to help them through college.  But the value of his lecture was…

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Teens for Christ

One of the greatest privileges of my life has been the opportunity to work with young people. Youth ministry is not a stepping stone to another ministry. It is the work of a lifetime! D.L. Moody said if he had his whole life to live other he would give it all to working with children. I truly believe that the greatest work on earth is influencing the next generation with the truth of God’s Word and pointing them to Jesus Christ. When I was 12 years old God changed my life at a summer youth camp. I have never been the same. There are more young people alive at this moment than there have ever been. The majority have never…

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My Thoughts on the In-Laws

I am sitting in Michigan this morning listening to the wind howl outside.  Eighteen years ago I started making regular trips to the great white north.  Not to see the sights or exchange ideas with people who speak a different dialect than me.  No.  It was a much bigger reason.  You see, the love of my life grew up here.  There is an old western song that says, “I met a girl from Saginaw, Michigan.”  That’s me. Now all of these years (and three children) later, here I am.  A West Virginia boy sitting in the midst of Yankee land…and loving every minute of it.  As I have grown older I have come to appreciate more and more the influences…

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