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Showing posts from July, 2014

Girl on Fire (Points from Power Ballads, Psalms and Songs Series)

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I grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s.  We invented the power ballad.   What child of the most eclectic and unreal generation of music hasn’t sat at a red light belting out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and actually thought you sound just like Steve Perry?   I do. When a power ballad charts it defines a moment for a generation.  Power ballads make a strong statement about empowerment and overcoming some of life’s most difficult trials.   The Book of Psalms also has a collection of power ballads.  Psalm 30 provides an example of a redeeming moment in David’s life when he was struck down, but somehow rose again.  The result is a classic for his generation that would also be used at the dedication of the Temple.   Yet in comparing Psalm 30 with the power ballads of our culture’s pop music we find a major difference.  Today’s power ballads are about self-sufficiency; yet it was David’s self-sufficiency that was also his undoing.  “As for me, I said in my prosperity, I shall never

Public, Private, or Homeschool (Deciding Factors Part 3 - Freedom and Curriculum)

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Continuing a discussion on deciding factors for choosing your child's education. I would like to address two deciding factors at once in this point. Personally, this is where I am beginning to part ways with public education.  I see great educators who love kids with their hands tied by bureaucrats.  Most decisions are being made by Washington and very few are being made locally.  I see more elitists at the top assuming there is no intelligence in the people who are actually gifted to educate children.  I see more passion for an ideology than I do for my child.   I may be very jaded here, but my kids now both attend private school and I teach two hours a day in that same school.  The kids in our school, which is a Christian school, are just as flawed as the kids in any other school; but I can pray with my kids.  I can customize certain experiences for my classes based on who they are.  We can use the Bible as a text for life.  We can stop the course of the day and assembl

Public, Private, or Homeschool - Deciding Factors - Which is affordable?

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( Continuing the topic of choosing education for your kids; deciding factors). Affordability. Once you have your options before you, count the beans.  Which of them are affordable for you?  Don't think that public ed. comes free.  Oh no, you will pay!  And if somehow you will not pay, you will sell gift wrap, gourmet chocolates, and all sorts of knick-knacks to make up the difference.  Public school is cheaper, but it is by no means cheap.  You should also know that the further your children go in public school, the more they will pay as their activities increase.  This is especially true if your child is athletic or artistic.  As government budgets become more strapped fees for extra-curricular activities grow higher and higher.  It is not unusual for a public school cheer leader or football player’s family to throw in $500 or $1000 just so their child can be on the team. Homeschool and private school come with some sticker shock as well.  If you homeschool, you will pro

Public, Private, or Homeschool (Deciding Factors Part 1)

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A couple of weeks ago I posted an article I wrote entitled Before You Bury the Bus on the topic of using sheltering as a strategy for raising our children.  In that post I mentioned the education environment.  In response, Bridgette asked, “Hi, Brian - Do you think choosing to home school strictly for the purpose of sheltering children from the evil they may face in public school, or even Christian school for that matter, is 'burying the bus in the Mojave'? I can see how that could be literal 'withdrawal' so is it more biblical to prepare children for the things they are likely to face in school rather than avoiding them altogether? ... I realize this could potentially open a can of worms via the comments, but its becoming a hot topic in our home this summer as we prayerfully make the decision to continue homeschooling or not.” This is a great question and one in which there are a wide variety of strong opinions from both educators and parents.  To answer this,

The "Me" Monster Church Has Become (from David Prince)

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David Prince has posted an article to the ERLC website that I think needs to be seriously considered. The longer I am in pastoral ministry the more I feel like an event planner instead of a  minister of the Word (Acts 6:2).  My week looks less and less like that of the apostles and more and more like that of a cruise ship director.  The staff spends more time choosing whether the next fellowship meal will be chicken or burgers than it does in prayer.  I think this is only symptomatic of the mindset of today's consumer driven, Me-centric church.  I am appreciative of David for sharing his thoughts on how this mindset is especially impacting church ministry and preaching.   ____________________ A morally Christianized narcissism has invaded many churches where congregants read the Bible and hear sermons in a pursuit of individualized self-improvement. Corporate worship is often understood as a matter of convenience in assembling individual Christians who seek individualized a

How to Talk to Your Kids about Modesty

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We live in a society that is quickly losing a sense of decency, modesty, or shame.  The Bible, however, calls for God's people to observe a sense of modesty.  How do you talk to your kids about this subject?  Here are 10 "Do Not" principles that you may find helpful: Do not teach that the body is a bad thing. Gen. 1:31.  Modesty is not because there is a problem with the body, it is because there is a problem with our mind.  Before they sinned, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed.  After sin, even though they were married and there is no indication that there was anyone else in the garden, they looked at their nakedness in a different way than they had before.  As a result, they covered themselves.  Let's be honest, we live in a world of perversion and uncovering the body is provocative.  Call it art, call it beauty, naked is naked.  I have read articles that object saying that we should honor the person without objectifying the body.   Ultimately  we do want

Public, Private, or Homeschool - Mistaken Assumptions

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I received this comment from Bridgette last week in response to my post “Before You Bury the Bus . . .” “Hi, Brian - Do you think choosing to home school strictly for the purpose of sheltering children from the evil they may face in public school, or even Christian school for that matter, is 'burying the bus in the Mojave'? I can see how that could be literal 'withdrawal' so is it more biblical to prepare children for the things they are likely to face in school rather than avoiding them altogether? ... I realize this could potentially open a can of worms via the comments, but its becoming a hot topic in our home this summer as we prayerfully make the decision to continue homeschooling or not.” This is a great question and one in which there are a wide variety of strong opinions from both educators and parents.  To answer this, there are two categories to keep in mind: 1) mistaken assumptions and 2) deciding factors.  With this post I want to deal with the mist

Love Songs (Points from Sunday 6/29/14)

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Sermon:  Love Songs Series: Psalms and Songs Text:  Psalm 33 Love is arguably the most common theme in music.  With an incredible capacity to love and to receive love it should be no surprise we find love so interesting and inspiring.  At the same time we have a heart that is vulnerable and explosive.  When it comes to love we often experience as much exhilaration as we do confusion.   In today’s music there are basically four types of love songs.  1) Pure romance.  This is the song that makes the ladies melt.  It is romeo with a beat.  Much like John Legend’s “All of me” it is all about the words.  2)  I’m not like the other guys.  These songs pick up the important theme of rebuilding trust in someone after a broken heart.  Justin Timberlake’s “Not a Bad Thing” is a prime example.  “I know people make promises, all the time, then turn right around and break them.  When someone cuts your heart, open with a knife and you’re bleeding, but I could be that guy, to heal it ov