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30Aug
Two acceptable conflicts I hope you have in your home NS

Two acceptable conflicts I hope you have in your home

Two acceptable conflicts I hope you have in your home NS

It is impossible for two people to completely agree on everything. If you are married, you know this is true. Two fallen people living in close proximity to each other will always have a few perspectives and preferences that will never be the same. It is unavoidable.

But what about good conflict? Are there some things in which you should never agree? Are there some things worth fighting for? In our family, we have narrowed it down two things in which Lucia and I will never agree. I have no intention of changing and she is pretty much the same way.

The biggest sinner

Who is the biggest sinner in your home - Paul died. Therefore, his chief or foremost sinner seat was vacated (1 Timothy 1:15). It is more than obvious to me who the biggest sinner is in our home.

When I stand at the foot of the cross and am seen by others under the light of that cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes.

Indeed, the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations. – The Gospel Primer (Free Gospel Primer Quote Poster.)

There is no sin worse than being accused of putting the Son of God to death on a cross. Therefore, from my perspective and through my eyes, there is no question that I am the foremost sinner.

Lucia and I have discussed this many times through the years and we cannot seem to come to a resolution. She believes she is the biggest sinner in our home. It is her prerogative to be wrong.

I suspect if Paul were here, he would chime in by saying he was the chief of sinners. Now that our children are getting older, they are weighing in on the matter by insisting how they are bigger sinners than either one of us.

Just the other night I asked my family, “Who’s the biggest sinner in our home?” Lucia said she was. Tristen said she was. Haydn said he was. While Ansa Katherine, the youngest, said, “Daddy, I’m the littlest sinner in our home.”

Why should something so simple, be so complicated? Though we will never agree, there is an upside: it is...

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29Aug
Three keys to make your small group dynamic NS

Three keys to make your small group dynamic

What do all of these things have in common?

Failure Community Hypocrisy Friendship Lust Envy Reconciliation Confession Anger Grumpiness Disappointment Criticalness Humility Dysfunction Repentance Unity Misunderstanding Prejudice Forgiveness Un-forgiveness Arguments Laughter Embarrassment Jealousy Lying Self-righteousness Compassion Fear Hurtfulness Restoration

There are probably several good answers to the question. I can think of at least two:

  • The list represents our commonality. It is...

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  • 27Aug
    Why it is okay to smoke cigarettes NS

    Why it is okay to smoke cigarettes

    The following is one of the more embarrassing moments in my life. It was around 1988 when I met a young man who was at the end of his rope. Life was not turning out for him the way he had hoped.

  • He had relational problems.
  • He had drug problems.
  • He had employment problems.
  • He had financial problems.
  • He had tattoos and tattered clothes.
  • He had long, disheveled hair.
  • He lived in a trailer park, on the wrong side of town.
  • He had few friends.
  • He did not know Jesus.
  • And he smoked...

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  • 26Aug
    Seven step template for personal change when trouble comes NS

    Seven step template for personal change when trouble comes

    Let’s start here: Are you problem-centered or God-centered? A quick way to analyze this question is by assessing your most common responses to the problems the LORD brings into your life.

    Bud was having a good day. He just came from an extended weekend at the beach with his family. Time well spent is how he put it on Monday morning. He was alive, refreshed, and ready to do battle with the business of the week.

    By Tuesday, our old friend Bud was slumping back into his all too familiar patterns. Rather than being feisty and hope-filled, he...

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    25Aug
    How do you want to suffer With or without God NS

    How do you want to suffer? With or without God?

    All people born in Adam have no choice about personal suffering (Genesis 2:16-17). That is the bad news. The good news is we can choose whether we want to experience our suffering with or without God.

    It is so easy to forget how suffering comes with the human package–a consequence of the fall of Adam (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:21). It is even easier to forget how the LORD wants to walk with us through our suffering.

    Not knowing God is in our problems certainly adds to the complexity of the...

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    24Aug
    Three essential things to know when life does not make sense NS

    Three essential things to know when life does not make sense

    The number one relationship in your life is God, so what you think about Him is the most important thing to take up your brain space. There are no thoughts higher than our un-transcend-able, infinite, all-powerful God.

    He is our most effective help when trouble comes into our lives (Psalm 46:1), but if our thoughts about Him are insufficient, then the help we receive from Him will be insufficient.

    This makes assessing your God thoughts one of the most important things you can do. The good news is we can assess our thoughts about God at...

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    23Aug
    Can you be quiet NS

    Can you be quiet? – Ten keys to noise reduction

    A few years ago I was speaking with a friend who had a troubled conscience. She did not tell me she had a troubled conscience, but after spending time with her, it became apparent she had a lot of anxiety in her soul.

    She was bitter, angry, often frustrated, unforgiving, and always right. As long as I did not press into her in any meaningful way that remotely suggested there was something wrong with her, we were okay.

    During one of our stronger relational moments I had the opportunity to ask her one of my out of the blue questions. I asked if she ever drove home in...

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    22Aug
    Today is Lucia's birthday - This is how we celebrate NS

    Today is Lucia’s birthday – This is how we celebrate

    Today (08.23) we celebrate Lucia. It is her birthday. Five times a year we have what we call our Birthday Adventure Week–a week-long celebration of a family member’s life. This article is a practical explanation of how we do it. There are fun pictures and a lot of practical advice. Enjoy!

    Why a Birthday Adventure?

    Birthday parties are usually all about the kids, but with the birthday freebie adventure, your whole family (parents, too!)...

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    21Aug
    How can I compare to porn women NS

    How can I compare to porn women?

    Distraught wife – I don’t watch porn, but I know my husband has viewed it from time to time. The little bit I have seen of these women makes me realize there is no way I can compete with them. What am I to do with these thoughts?

    Even the television bombards my mind with their version of the perfect woman. I struggle with being insecure already, but it becomes worse when I think about how I’m in competition with women who are tens in every way.

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    20Aug
    Be careful about telling people what to do because they may do it NS

    Be careful about telling people what to do because they may do it

    The fact any person would listen to me boggles my mind. I am a nobody, who struggles like everybody, and when anybody listens to me, I am sobered and cautious. There is an amazing responsibility on all of us to disciple well.

    People are called to disciple people, which means people must tell people what to do. This is the implication of the story between Phillip and the Ethiopian.

    Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he...

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