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Seven Ways to Pray for Your Children

By Family Discipleship, Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Early Years, Parenting: Teens and Beyond

In Chapter 20 of The Disciple-Making Parent I have a whole chapter on praying for our children. Prayer is both a duty (as in difficult work) and a delight. The Lord gives us access to his throne room based on the blood of Jesus. Yet often we find it difficult to pray for our children. Here are seven suggested ways to pray for your children and for your family. 1. Pray with thanksgiving. Paul began his letters with giving thanks. Even when writing the problem-filled church of Corinth, he started with thanking God for them. Thanksgiving has a way of altering…

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Levels of Communication for Family Discipleship

By Family Discipleship

The purposes of man’s heart are deep waters but a man of understanding will draw them out. Proverbs 20:5 I can’t remember where I first encountered the concept of communication levels, but understanding this has helped me shepherd more skillfully in my family, marriage, and church leadership. I think it can help you too. We find the seed principle in Proverbs 20:5. In that verse, God’s word tells us that a person’s thoughts are deep down in his heart. A skillful person can draw out the deepest part of a person’s heart. This is an excellent verse for counselor, pastor, or parent…

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The Gifts the Messiah Brings (A Christmas Sermon)

By Podcast

Dear Friends, Lord willing I am hoping to get back into podcast swing. This year has been a year of opportunities and also schedule upheaval. But I am going to jump back in. And we will do that by posting a sermon I just preached in my home church on Isaiah 9:1-7. It is a fascinating passage and one of the most famous incarnation passages. That’s why it is so appropriate around Christmas. I don’t want to give away all the surprises, but in this sermon Isaiah is writing from the mid-700’s BC. But he writes and speaks as if…

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Can You Feel the Incarnation?

By Christian Living

  “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) I dont know about you but I cannot grasp that grace of the incarnation. Several years ago, I came across a story in National Geographic (June 2003) that has stayed with me. In it, I begin to feel the incarnation in a minuscule way. Perhaps it will affect you too. The following is my summary from the article. It is a story about people like…

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The 12 Ways of Christmas. . . Family Discipleship

By Family Discipleship

It’s Christmas time, but unfortunately it’s all too easy to lose focus on Christ even though we’re supposed to be celebrating his birth. This season can bring both stresses and joys, and it also can bring many opportunities for family discipleship. Here are my “Twelve Ways of Christmas.” Consider including a few of these into your Christmas season—and enjoy the gifts that come from family discipleship. 1. Value family joy and unity more than getting the right gifts!  The Christmas holidays are a stressful time of year. Moms especially can plan too much: Every person has to have just the…

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Teaching Our Family to Forgive

By Family Discipleship

Forgiveness in the Family A young man was telling me about his upbringing. He enjoys his grown siblings but his parents are a challenge. When I asked the reason, he replied that there had been so many offenses between the two of them that they now just coexist as roommates. More and more I am convinced that a primary ingredient in a marriage, in a family, and in a church is forgiveness. Love and forgiveness are the gospel-glue that hold relationships together. Living in a gospel-filled home does not mean we are perfect. It does mean we forgive much based on…

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Completing the Work

By Christian Living

I believe that for those with unstructured weeks, managing our time is a unique challenge. How can we manage ourselves better? The following meditation was written for church leaders but it can certainly apply to the busy mom too! We will start with a short theological foundation by looking at a verse that shocks the senses of a Type-A personality. In John 17, we are able to peer into the intimate conversation between Father and Son before the torture of the cross. As we eavesdrop from the shadows, we hear these words from Jesus. I have brought you glory on earth…

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Barriers to Family Discipleship

By Family Discipleship

If we seek to honor the Lord in our family, we can expect opposition. The world, the flesh, and the devil will fight us all the way. But identifying the opposition can help us fight it. I was recently asked what I thought were common barriers to being a disciple-making parent. Here is my answer. Family Discipleship Barrier #1 – Not knowing what to do  One thing I hear from parents regularly is that they don’t know what to do. Parents can make discipling their child too hard, thinking they have to do a dozen different things all at the same time. Or they…

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Discipleship is a Process, Not a Product

By Family Discipleship

Discipleship is a Process Last weekend I led a seminar on raising sexually healthy kids. In today’s world, this topic is even more of a challenge. But apart from the content, I have been thinking about the method of teaching our children. And it reminds me that I need to remember God’s method as well as God’s content. The key thought? Discipleship is a process, not a product. It is easy to fall into the error of thinking that all we have to do is teach our children something once and they should be all set. Or we should take them through a…

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Forced To Be Kind?

By Parenting: Childhood

Kindness in the FamilyIf you have young children, I know that low-level fighting and provoking seem like part of normal life. What did we expect? We gave birth to little sinners and little sinners like to find anything they can to fight about.Yet in the midst of that messiness, we will want to aim for family unity. Notice I said aim. I wrote about that focus several weeks ago. If you missed it, you can read it here on the blog: Aiming for Family Unity. But in the midst of that battle for unity, how can we train our children? In digging deeper…

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