Sunday, May 29, 2011


Be still, and know that I am God!  Psalm 46:10

A rest-less work style produces a restless person. We do not rest because our work is done; we rest because God commanded it and created us to have a need for it.  Gordon MacDonald

When asked how they are doing, many will tell you that they are “busy,” “behind,” “treading water,” or just “trying to get ahead.”  Chances are you have never heard anyone respond “I’m well rested.”  The rhythm of our lives seems to get faster and faster each passing year and yet in the midst of our crazy busy culture God commands us to “be still” and rest in Him.  At first when we are told in Scripture to rest at first it seems like just one more thing to add to our schedule.  But rest isn’t about adding, it’s about stopping what you are doing.  

Don’t ignore God and His commands.  You’re just not that important.  Jesus, the Son of God, was our example of rest.  Even with His limited time of ministry (3 years to change history), He frequently found time to rest.  Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” Mark 6:31.

Truly resting fills us up physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  This weekend and each weekend find time to rest.  It’s God’s idea and you need it!  For more on the importance of rest and how it impacts your life, I encourage you to read Margin by Richard Swenson and Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Glamorizing Grace

I’m getting tired of hearing about grace.  (I know this post is going to get me in trouble.)  Recently I have been listening to people share their testimonies and watching a variety of TV preachers talk about the grace of God and instead of rejoicing I find myself getting haggard of hearing the message of grace.  This really troubled me.  I mean grace is the ultimate gift of God, right?  Grace always wins (Romans 5:20).  I love grace.  I’ve experienced God’s grace.  I preach God’s grace.  Grace is essential to the Christian experience.  Grace is unique to Christianity, the distinguishing mark among world religions.  So why this feeling?

When I took the time to meditate on my trouble with grace I realized the issue was that too often we glamorize grace instead of focusing our attention on the giver of the gift of grace, God.  Grace is simply a gift.  Grace (charis) is commonly defined as “unmerited favor.”  Grace is the ultimate expression of God’s love and generosity to those in relationship with Him.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...” Ephesians 2:8

So why my angst?  Grace is a big deal!  But it is a result of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Every gift has a giver.  It’s the gift that follows the relationship.  I hear a lot of people talking about grace and other amazing gifts of God but they talk very little about an ongoing intimate relationship with the Lord.  I love receiving gifts, it’s one of my “Love Languages,” but if my wife Leslie gave me a gift and I was more excited about the gift than our relationship, there would be trouble.  

This is more than mere semantics.  The giver is always greater than the gift.  Without the giver there is no gift.  While we celebrate the gift let’s not neglect the giver.  It is my contention that we glamorize the Giver and then let Him offer the gift.  In other words, seek (and preach) Jesus first and His grace will follow.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Susanna Wesley’s 16 Rules of Parenthood

Susannah Wesley was the 25th child of twenty-five, and the mother of nineteen children, including John and Charles Wesley. Through much adversity, she dedicated her life to instilling a sense of Christian destiny into each of her children. Her children went on to change the world.

Here are 16 rules she laid down in her home.

  • Eating between meals not allowed. 
  • As children they are to be in bed by 8PM
  • They are required to take medicine without complaining.
  • Subdue self-will in a child, and those working together with God to save the child’s soul. 
  • To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak. 
  • Require all to be still during Family Worship. 
  • Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely.
  • To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.
  • Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
  • Never punish a child twice for a single offense. 
  • Comment and reward good behavior. 
  • Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.
  • Preserve property rights, even in smallest matters.
  • Strictly observe all promises.
  • Require no daughter to work before she can read well. 
  • Teach children to fear the rod.