Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘children’

GUEST POST: “A Goodly Heritage”

1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

My first guest author this year is my pastor and hero. He has been my best friend all of my life. I am grateful for dad’s testimony of faithfulness. He has lived at home what he preaches at church. As we focus on marriage and family this month I am happy to share with you a few of his thoughts on the home, and pray that they will be a blessing to you as they have been to me… I grew up in a Christian home and thank God for the instruction and influence of my parents.  Our family really never had much, as far as material possessions, but we were certainly blessed. My father was a preacher and when…

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“Thank You For Loving Our Country With Me”

As you read this post I am ministering in another country. No matter where I travel in this world, I can boldly proclaim that God loves all people and Christ died for every man. Our heart for humanity must be bigger than one people group because God’s heart is! While it is a privilege to labor in other nations there is always something special about coming home. I love America. It is my country and it is a country that has been specially blessed by God. As we seek to reach the world with the gospel we must never neglect the mission field immediately around us… Pray for our country’s leaders (1 Timothy 2:14). Prayer is the most important work…

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The Lord’s Love for Little Ones

Recently I had the joy of spending a few minutes with a group of children who have given and prayed for our upcoming gospel work in India. What an encouragement to be with boys and girls and see the excitement about life and the Lord on their faces! As I travel the Lord has often used a child to minister to me. “Out of the mouth of babes” God often speaks encouragement. I have a file of notes and drawings made by children in so many places. They are truly the Lord’s messengers to us. And what is our message to them? In the formative years, the tender time of life, children’s hearts are so open to the truth. Hungry…

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A Lesson From A Student

A few days ago I was talking with a school teacher who has a number of special education children in her class. As we spoke about the importance of this work, she told me that there was one student who had made a tremendous impact on her. This young man shows up every morning with a smile on his face. He is positive all through the day. He always has something nice to say. My teacher friend said that this one young man is like a ray of sunshine every day. One morning she finally asked, “How are you so happy all of the time?” With tears in her eyes she relayed to me his simple and sincere reply. He…

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How To Keep the Next Generation

A fellow preacher and personal friend asked me recently how I believed we could do a better job of retaining young people in our churches. It is a problem of epidemic proportions. The vast majority of young people are exiting the local church by the time they are eighteen. For many years I said to prospective youth workers that we must get young people connected to more than the youth group. It is my conviction that, as early in life as possible, young people must find their place in the church. It must be their church. The pastor must be their pastor. And some work for the Lord must be their ministry. This cannot begin when they graduate from high…

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A Simple Idea for Families

Families are busier than they have ever been. One of the most challenging things to do as a spouse or parent is consistently read the Bible with your family. I must confess that I feel I have failed in this area more often than I have succeeded. We have done better at certain seasons than at others, but I want to be more diligent in putting the Word of God into our hearts and home. Pastor Sexton instructed us that a Christian home has more to do with what you put into it than what you take out of it. In one of the classic passages on the family the Heavenly Father reminds us that a key element in home…

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How to Make This A Great School Year

Our children have just begun a new year at a new school. We have been blessed to have had our children in a wonderful school through the years and are truly thankful that the Lord continues to provide that opportunity for our family. Across the country this is the time when schools resume – elementary, middle school, high school, and college students are beginning the next step of their education. As a teacher for many years, I always enjoyed walking into a classroom filled with new students and new possibilities. As a parent, I want my children to make the most of their opportunity. If you are a Christian, this school year should be dedicated to Christ. Whether enrolled in…

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The Kindest Thing You Can Do for Your Preacher

Recently someone asked me what the kindest thing was that had been done for me as I traveled from church to church. That was easy. Pastors and people have been very gracious and encouraging in every place where we have been privileged to serve, but there is one thing that stands out above the rest. It costs nothing, and yet it is priceless. It is not tangible, but it brings visible results. It seems somewhat small, but it is an enormous gift. The kindest thing ever done for me is for someone to love and encourage my wife and children. Many years ago I heard my pastor say that the nicest thing anyone ever did for him was love his…

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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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What I Learned from a Child About Singing Hymns

You can learn a lot from a child.  Sometimes those we are teaching become our teachers.  This happened to me again recently.  As I walked through a certain place I heard the voice of a young man singing a great hymn.  Not just singing it…singing every word…with abandon! Suddenly so many things were clear.  This young boy has parents who love the Lord.  He is being raised in a church where the great hymns of the faith are being sung.  Now he loves them too. Young people love old hymns.  Many churches today have followed the assumption that kids only want “new music.”  In fact, they want something that is real.  They want truth.  It doesn’t have to be new…

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