Enjoying the Journey

The last two days I have been speaking in Michigan at a wonderful Christian Educator’s Convention. It has been a privilege to spend time with men and women who are giving their lives to help families as they seek to provide their children with a true Christian education. Tammy and I both had the joy of being a part of Christian schools and are grateful for the outstanding Christian academy the Lord has allowed our children to attend. I thank God for Christian education. Christian education is undoubtedly more than Christian schools. It is done in the context of home and through the ministry of local churches. In the words of one of my mentors, Dr. Clarence Sexton, “Christian education…

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All over the country young people are returning to school. Our own children start back this week. New beginnings are a wonderful opportunity to set so many things in motion. Regardless of what school your children are in, parents are always key to the education of their own children. Little things can make a big difference. What can you do to encourage your children to make the most of every day? Get ready the evening before. One secret to fruitful days is in how the previous evening is spent. Prepare so that the morning hours are not spent in “emergency mode.” Play good music around the house during the morning routine. Encouraging, Christ-honoring music will help everyone’s spirit. Take a Bible…

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Thank God for faithful youth workers. As a parent of two teenagers I realize more than ever that no one raises their children alone. My wife and I praise God for every youth pastor, youth pastor’s wife, teacher, coach, administrator, and choir leader who influence our children…and we pray for them. We need them. Our kids need them. The role of youth leaders is more indispensable than ever. They cannot take the place of parents or the pastor, but they can extend the influence of both. Youth workers are key in strengthening two God ordained institutions – the home and the local church. Much of our ministry has been with young people and helping to train those who work with…

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One of the hardest things in serving the Lord is keeping your own heart stirred about the work you have been given to do. We all struggle with it. It is called flesh. Flesh is weak. Flesh grows weary. You cannot trust the flesh. It is not difficult to get stirred – it is difficult to stay stirred! Without a doubt, emotions will come and go. There is an ebb and flow to life and ministry. But the Lord’s laborers should work to stay enthused about the most important work in the world – God’s work. Some people run from meeting to meeting always trying to find the formula. Others depend on some motivational speaker or leader to pump them up, prime…

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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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Teachers are powerful people.  This month thousands of teachers will be recognized.  Few will be appreciated as they deserve. As I think over my elementary, junior high, high school, college, and seminary years I remember quite a variety of teachers, and realize that God used each of them to help shape my life in some way. A few months ago my mother called and said that she had found an old book of mine at home and was sending it to me.  (My wife was very excited that I would have one more book to add to the collection around the house!)  This book was not a biography, a theological treatise, or one of the classics.  No. It was The Phantom…

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Recently I was sitting in my study at home when my oldest daughter came in and proudly announced, “Dad, I am about to write my first letter.”  She is thirteen.  How is that possible? Now, she has written cards, short notes, and plenty of text messages – but a letter? Letter writing has been all but lost in our generation.  While I am not opposed to messages of 140 characters or less, there is something deeply personal and powerful about a letter that cannot be conveyed in short bursts of communication. I know that I am in danger of sounding terribly old, but I still enjoy getting a letter – especially a handwritten letter – in the mail.  Surveys of…

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