Minggu, 28 Juni 2015

3 Mentorship Challenges All Men Face

3 Mentorship Challenges All Men Face

"Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1).
Men, this is our calling: to live for God and to stand with the apostle Paul in his imitation of Christ. But with this comes three challenges.

1. The life of a Christian man is examined from all angles.

This is happening whether we realize it or not. Even if you are not a mentor, somebody is watching you. At a minimum, your family—children and grandchildren are always watching.
Those of us who are mentors know our mentees expect us to be a model of faith. In fact, they have a right to expect that you are instilling something righteous into their lives just by being their mentor.
Just as a magnifying glass concentrates the sunlight into a fire-starting force, mentoring narrows the focus so others look directly into our lives. That might be a painful look, especially if we are not living as we should, but God is glorified when our lives of obedience direct others to Him.

2. The life of a Christian man is examined during all seasons.

"You have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra" (2 Tim. 3:10-11).
What Paul is describing in 2 Timothy 3 is the "life on life" experience of mentoring. During this time, Timothy examined Paul's life in the good and the bad.
From this we know that people—especially your mentees—will see your faith illustrated best when they see your foundation stand strong as the winds blow (Matt. 7:24-27).
Indeed, sometimes mentoring means talking about mountains you climbed in the past to help others face the same mountain today. What are those mountains in your life—a financial crisis, a bad medical diagnosis, a broken marriage, a job loss, a foreclosed home or the death of a loved one?
No matter what mountain you may encounter, God grants the grace to endure your troubles so you might illustrate strength for others (2 Cor. 1:3-7).

3. Christian men are more inclined to hide their struggles and weaknesses. 

Most people do not typically see you for 24 hours a day. But like hidden cracks in the hull of a wooden ship, hidden sin weakens the foundation of our faith and ultimately weakens our mentoring efforts. Eventually, people—our mentees included—will see through our unfaithfulness.
Men are often inclined to hide their struggles and weaknesses. We are trained to be tough and to be warriors who do not give up.
We are, in fact, to fight the enemy by wearing the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11), but we fight best when God alone is our strength. Like Paul, we must learn to rejoice in weaknesses that drive us to dependence on God (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
Believe it or not, the act of confession and repentance is a great place to start for mentors and mentees alike. Admit your struggles today and mentor others from your knees.

"A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, and you have admired the talent of the persons who could write so well; but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people." —Charles Spurgeon
This article is courtesy of Mature Living Magazine.

Love is More Than a Feeling

Love is More Than a Feeling


Love and Sex
Contrary to popular belief, Hollywood did not invent sex. According to ancient Hebrew writings, the Book of Beginnings, God looked at the man He had created and said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The Creation narrative continues, “God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” The man exclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Then the Creator declared that the two would “become one flesh.” The account concludes with these words: “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18-25).
Based on this ancient Creation account, Jews and Christians have always viewed marriage as a sacred relationship between a husband and wife, instituted by God. The sexual union between the husband and wife is seen as a profound symbol of their deep companionship. That Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed indicates that, from God’s perspective, sex is beautiful.
Throughout the Old and New Testament Scriptures, God repeatedly affirms the beauty of sexual intercourse within the marital relationship. Sexual intercourse from God’s perspective is an act of love that binds the souls of a husband and a wife to each other in a lifelong, intimate relationship.
It is obvious that one of the purposes of relating to each other sexually in the context of marriage is for reproduction. God himself said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Husbands and wives who love each other and express their love sexually provide the healthiest context in which to rear children.
However, procreation is not the only purpose, nor the primary purpose, of sexual intercourse within marriage. Far more basic are the psychological and spiritual dimensions of making love. As a husband and wife give themselves to each other sexually, they are building a psychological and spiritual bond that unites their souls at the deepest possible level. Together they can face the challenges of life because they are soul partners. Nothing unites a husband and wife more deeply than making love.
God intends marital sex to be an experience of extreme pleasure.  This pleasure is not limited to the physical sensation of orgasm. It also involves the emotions, the intellect and the spirit. Sexual intercourse within marriage is designed to give us a taste of the divine. It involves the total person and brings waves of pleasure as we make love.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of The Five Love Languages. This article isexcerpted fromHappily Ever After: Six secrets to a successful marriageby Gary Chapman.
Taken from Happily Ever After copyright © 2011 by Gary Chapman. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Too Busy to Help?

Too Busy to Help?

by Lysa TerKeurst

Years ago I saw a plea on TV to help orphans — and I turned the channel. Not because I didn't see the importance of caring for the less fortunate; I was blinded by the demands of my daily life. I could barely manage to teach my kids manners and multiplication tables. How was I to tackle something like helping those in need?
Then I met Ken. He was a neighbor who lost his wife to cancer. One day I sheepishly asked Ken how he was doing. He responded, "I'm OK, but sometimes the silence kills me."
Those words compelled me to do something — anything. The noise of family was something I had in plenty, so we invited this grandfather over for dinner. The food wasn't fancy and the house wasn't clean, but Ken didn't have silence. For more than a year, Monday nights with Ken ignited our family's vision for helping others.
Through the years, this vision has led our family on some unexpected adventures. Sometimes they were small — helping a family in crisis pay their bills. Other times, they were bigger projects, such as working to buy and deliver Christmas presents for pediatric cancer patients. All these experiences eventually led us to make a decision that changed our family forever. We went from being a family with three kids to five when we adopted two precious Liberian orphans. We couldn't offer perfection, but we could offer a home.
I'm still a mom overwhelmed with laundry, dishes and carpool schedules. And the concept of "showing compassion" still seems complicated. But it no longer feels far removed.
If you're looking to teach your children about helping those in need, let me offer three ideas:
  • Start where you are. Look just beyond your mailbox and watch for God's invitation to help someone in your neighborhood. Ask your children for suggestions.
  • Use what you have. What passions, talents and resources do your family members have? My teen daughter has a passion for caring for little kids, so last summer she traveled with missionaries to care for AIDS orphans in Africa.
  • Do what you can. Pray as a family, saying, "God, here's our family, and we don't know where to start or what to do, but we're willing." Then watch and respond.
God will surprise you. And you will discover the greatest blessing isn't how much good you've done for the world, but how much good helping the world has done in you.
Listen to this Focus on the Family broadcast, "A Man Called Norman" Part 1 and Part 2. Mike Adkins tells how his life was changed when he reached out to his neighbor, Norman. A second listener call-in broadcast reflects how the story of Norman impacted people around the country.

Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.
This article first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 Lysa TerKeurst. ThrivingFamily.com.

Even Sodom!

Even Sodom!
(En Español)
All We Lack Is Christlikeness!
"Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent" (Matt. 11:20). Jesus has a word to say, not only to us as individuals, but to entire cities as well. In anger He rebuked Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum (vv. 21, 23); with tears He cried out to Jerusalem (Luke 13:34). If He expected cities to repent in the first century, He expects cities can come to repentance again today.

It was in this very context of reproving cities, however, that Jesus made a statement that unveiled the scope of God's redemptive power. He said, "For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes" (Matt. 11:21).
Tyre and Sidon were Gentile cities known for their debauchery and sin. Yet Jesus said that His life, revealed in power, can bring even the vilest of cities to "sackcloth and ashes." The strategy, therefore, to win our cities is for the church to reveal Christ's life in power. Yes, the revelation of Christ in us starts for us as individuals, but it multiplies when His life is revealed corporately in His body. Jesus says even the worst cities can repent and find God!
What hinders the turning of the people's hearts? Part of the answer lies with the church, with our sins of self-righteousness, indifference and unbelief. Pastors, listen, the future does not belong to the world; it belongs to the transformed church! God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4). The sacrifice of Christ pays for the salvation of all men. Heaven waits only for the church to act.
One may say, "But that was then. Our cities are worse. They are beyond redemption." Not so. Jesus continued His rebuke of cities, saying, "If the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day" (Matt. 11:23). Amazingly, when Christ is manifested in power, Jesus said even Sodom could find repentance!
Is America Sodom? Not yet, but it seems like it wants to be. In spite of America’s embrace of darkness, I believe all we need is a genuine move of God -- real miracles and actual transformed lives -- and multitudes in darkness will come to the light. Indeed, our cities have seen hell, so now let the church show them Heaven. The promise of Christ is that even Sodom could repent in the atmosphere and revelation of Christ's love and power. If there is hope for Sodom, there is hope for your city as well!
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, When the Many Are One available at www.arrowbookstore.com.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Save up to 42% this week
Limited time offer
When the Many Are One
How the Christian community - driven by grace, unified in love, and activated by prayer - can bring revival and change the world.
Our best efforts will not stop the flood of problems in our cities if we remain isolated from each other. In a season when external forces are causing disunity and division, Francis Frangipane calls us back to oneness with Christ, and through Him oneness with other Christians. With the character and power of Christ in our midst, the Church can again bring transformation to our communities, our nation, and our world.
Book - $8.75 (Retail $15.00)
Ebook - $8.75 (Retail $15.00)
~   ~  ~   ~  ~   ~  ~
The Power of One Christlike Life
Updated and revised, The Power of One Christlike Life carries a cargo of gold from the heart of a man after God's heart. This book by Pastor Frangipane contains the nectar of his walk with God. It is packed with revelation about the nature of God in Christ, and how the key to everything spiritual is found in the pursuit of Christ's likeness.
View Francis introducing this book
Book - $8.78 (Retail $13.50)
Ebook - $8.78 (Retail $13.50)
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God
This is the first book ever written by Pastor Francis. It came after three years of studying and repeatedly reading the Gospels. The truths in this book have stirred men to revivals. Over 500,000 in print. This book is a penetrating study of the human heart and how God prepares it for His glory.
Book - $7.80 (Retail $12.00)
Ebook - $7.80 (Retail $12.00)
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

More of God - Audio Series

Our primary need in the church is not more programs; what we need most is more of God.

Message titles:
More of God   |   God's Will for Us
Dismantling Strongholds
  |   With Unveiled Face
The Simplicity of Devotion
  |   He Restores My Soul
CD Audio Series - $15.60  (Retail $24.00)
MP3 Audio Series Download - $7.80   (Retail $12.00)
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
The Power of One Christlike Life
Holiness Truth and the Presence of God
Both books $15.30 (Retail $25.50)

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Package of 2-Books and CD series - $28.71
(Retail $49.50)

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Minggu, 14 Juni 2015

How to Help Your Kids Show Love for Their Dad

How to Help Your Kids Show Love for Their Dad

By Diana Davis
Dad“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6b ESV
Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Don’t let that happen at your house! How can a mom help her children honor Dad on Father’s Day?
Help your children show love for Dad with a well-planned, poignant Father’s Day gift or love demonstration. Try one of these starter ideas:
High school or college son or daughter:
  • Write a long, heartfelt, hand-written letter to Dad, listing things you admire about him. Be very specific.
  • Find two photos of you and Dad—one with you as a baby or small kid, and one of you this year with him. Put it in a dual frame.
  • Take Dad to lunch—just the two of you—your treat! Be intentional about sharing your heart and goals. Take a selfie with him, and proudly post it on Instagram or FaceBook.
Middle school daughter or son:
  • Use one of many free word search websites to easily make a personalized word search game about your dad. First, list lots of descriptive words—traits you admire, nicknames, hobbies, favorite things, and words like hero, dad and manofGod. Print the puzzle, roll and tie with ribbon.
  • Take a great photo with your dad. Make a 2”x3” print for his billfold, with a “love you” note on the back.
  • Kidnap Dad and take him out for breakfast. Ask questions about his childhood and his work. Ask him about how he came to know God. Tell Dad things you love about him.
Elementary age son or daughter:
  • Blow up dozens of balloons and write one thing you love and appreciate about Dad on each. Words can be funny, serious and creative. One reads, “Thank you, God, for my dad.” Fill a small room, such as dad’s closet, with the balloons. Or tape them around his workbench or desk or around the house.
  • Ask Mom to help you plan a special outing—just for Dad and you—such as go-cart racing, fishing or a ball game.
  • Write a simple poem about Dad. Add a Scripture, such as 1 Corinthians 16:13, Joshua 24:15b, Ephesians 6:2a. Frame it, or use a free app to convert it to a rap.
Preschool daughter or son:
  • Mom, make a list of questions, ranging from silly to serious, to ask your child about Daddy, such as “Cooper, what do you love most about dad,” “how much does dad weigh” or “what does daddy do that makes you laugh?” Make a little booklet of the answers.
  • Simple handmade coupons make a sweet gift. Be creative with promises, such as grilling assistant, foot massage, a race down the sidewalk and back.
  • An older preschooler might enjoy setting up a simple treasure hunt for Dad, with a small gift at the end.
Make it a meal to remember. Prepare a fabulous meal of Dad’s very favorite foods on Father’s Day. Whether it’ a cookout or an indoor feast, involve the kids in its preparation and make it great fun. Before the meal, allow each child to pray, thanking God for one specific thing about their dad.
A father is one of the greatest influences in a child’s life. I know mine certainly was! Mother’s Day is often celebrated well, but since God’s Word instructs us to honor our father and mother, why not go all out to help your kids celebrate God’s gift of a dad?
Father’s Day approaches. Honor him.

All Thing Subdued to Himself

All Thing Subdued to Himself

“He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

What a mighty God we serve! Exactly how the Lord goes about bringing all things into submission unto Himself is… how can we describe it? It is an art. It is a science. There is a process at work in this universe. Do you see it? It is a process through which the Lord is continually refining, purging, molding, chastening, disciplining, judging, and conforming all things. This process is working itself out on every level, from galaxies, to nations, to the innermost recesses of the souls of men, right down to the very last disciple and sinner.
Throw yourself onto the Rock and be broken; or wait for it to fall on you and be ground into powder (Luke 20:18, Daniel 2:34,35). Either way, sooner or later, the Rock wins, for “He MUST increase, but I MUST decrease” (John 3:30).
Source: The Irresistible Kingdom by Chip Brogden

How A Single Moment Can Define Your Life

How A Single Moment Can Define Your Life

On Tuesday, June 9th former New York Post editor Vincent Musetto passed away due to pancreatic cancer at age 74 while at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx.
Musetto spent over 40 years at the legendary paper where he served as both an entertainment and newsroom editor.  As decorated as Musetto’s career was, his legacy is defined by a single headline written on April 15, 1983.
According to the Post, Charles Dingle shot Herbert Cummings, an owner of a topless bar.  Dingle then held multiple women hostage forcing one to decapitate Cummings.  Dingle, under the influence of cocaine, then drove around town with Cummings’s head in a box.  All of this according to the Post.
Musetto then wrote one of the most famous headlines in journalism history – “Headless Body In A Topless Bar”.
If you read the numerous online tributes to Musetto, you learn very little about his life, his interests, or his passions.  However, you will read much about those six words – “Headless Body In A Topless Bar”.
One moment.  One headline.  Six words.  Nine syllables.  25 letters.  And a life is defined.
Musetto’s life presents both a warning as well as an opportunity for leaders.
If you take a perfectly white bedroom sheet, stretch it across a room and put a single black dot in its corner with a magic marker, will you be looking at the 99% of the sheet which is white?  Or will you be looking at the 1% of the sheet which is the single black dot?
Human nature says you will be looking at the 1%.  The 1% is often what defines our lives.  We are then forced to ask what 1% do we want people to remember us for?  
Will it be a moment of incredible bravery?  A brilliant decision?  A breakthrough idea?  An inspiring speech?  Extravagant generosity?
Or will our 1% be a moment of indiscretion?  Financial impropriety?  A moral failure?  A reckless comment?  A burst of anger which damages the lives of others?
We hope our lives will be defined by a large body of work over many, many years.  After all, we are all flawed human beings.  But oftentimes, our lives will be defined by a single moment, the 1%.
Leaders, choose today what you want your 1% to be.
My single defining moment took place in August, 1980.  Prior to starting my freshman year of high school, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  This single decision altered the course of my life and I was never the same.

The Mom You're Meant to Be

The Mom You're Meant to Be


All moms experience moments when they feel unequal to the responsibility of motherhood and think: I just can't do this! I don't have the strength and wisdom for raising this child.
Cheri Fuller wants moms to have the confidence and support they need to connect with their kids. The process starts when parents begin to understand their children and value them for who they are. Discover how you can start the connection today.
  • Understand your child's temperament. Do you wonder why your child acts the way he does? The way your child behaves is influenced, in many ways, by his temperament.
  • Discover your child's learning style. Even with a toddler, you can find out how he learns best. All it takes is reading a story to him.
  • Pass on a love of learning. A few simple suggestions are all you need to make learning a fun process for your child. He will catch your enthusiasm.
  • Teach your child to pray. When kids start to realize that talking to God is as natural as talking to their friends, they begin to enjoy prayer. Make conversation with God a part of your day-to-day routine.
  • Listen to your child. Invest in your relationship with your child and take the time to actively listen. He will know he is a valued member of the family when you do so.
  • Delight in your child's wonder. Take advantage of nature in your own backyard and capture your child's imagination.

Understand Your Child's Temperament

From birth onward, people behave and respond in different ways to their surroundings and life experiences. The way we react is largely influenced by our temperaments. You will probably find your child in one or more of the following characteristics of varying temperaments.
Activity level: Does your child like to climb and run? Or does he prefer to read and draw?
Predictability and consistency: How predictable is your child's biological functions, like waking and sleeping, hunger, etc.?
Response to new situations: What is his first response to unfamiliar situations? Does he act anxious until he has tried it a few times or does he jump in enthusiastically?
Flexibility: Does he adapt if you're out together and he has to nap later?
Sensitivity to sudden sounds and textures: Does he startle easily, awaken to small sounds or complain about clothes irritating his skin? Or does it take more noise and discomfort before he reacts?
Positive or negative mood: When he was a baby, did he wake up in a happy mood or cry and fuss?
High- or low-intensity emotions: Is your child easygoing or does he protest and cry when frustrated?
Easily distracted or highly focused: Does your baby want his bottle (or older, want to finish his game) and can't be distracted from that desire? If so, he's probably a more focused child.
Attention span and persistence level: Does your child have a long attention span and keep persevering when working on a puzzle until it's completed. Or does he give up when frustrated?

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Imagine you're reading from a book with the repeated refrain "and the rabbit went hop, hop, hop." Does you're child:
  • insist on sitting on your lap to see the pictures? This is a sign of a visual learner.
  • mimic the words of the refrain or interrupt to talk about the story? This is a sign of an auditory learner.
  • move around and do what the refrain says (hop, hop, hop)? This is a sign of a kinesthetic learner.

Pass on a Love of Learning

A child catches a love of learning from a parent who likes to find things out and enjoys learning. It's not that hard to be a good example in this way. Try these suggestions:
Continue to learn. If you don't know something, head for the library with your child. Let her see you check out the computerized card catalog, ask the library staff for help and find resources.
Write and read. When you write a letter, explain to your kids what you're doing. If you're an avid reader, let your kids hear you laugh when you read the Sunday comics.
Admit when you're wrong. Even in your shortcomings, you can be a good role model. When your kids see you learn from your weaknesses, they learn how to handle their own failures. They will be more likely to risk making mistakes so they can grow, knowing they have their parents' support.
Adapted from The Mom You're Meant to Be by Cheri Fuller (Focus on the Family/Tyndale House, 2003). Used by permission.

Goliath Had a Brother

Goliath Had a Brother
(En Español)
Here's the scene: You are in a battle against sickness, oppression or some similar struggle. You seek God, and in some way the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other encouragement, but you absolutely know the Lord has delivered you. Using the five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.
But then, a few weeks or months or perhaps years later, all the old symptoms suddenly return with a vengeance. If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests worse than ever; if your battle was regarding a relationship or a particular sin, it seems as though all progress has been lost. You are back to square one.
Have you ever been there? These negative experiences can drain the faith from your heart. You lose the anticipation and power of faith, and a spiritual paralysis immobilizes your soul. You may still attend church, but your faith is unresponsive. When others testify of deliverance, you worry secretly that they, too, will "lose their healing."
For many, the result is one of faith-shaking disillusionment. Scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12). This "heartsickness" is a spiritual disease that can cripple your walk with God. Remember, faith is the substance of the things you hope for; if you lose hope, your faith becomes hollow. How can you trust God when it seems as though He let you down? You wonder: Did I lose my breakthrough, or was I only deceiving myself and never really had it?
Dear one, it is very possible that what you are experiencing is not a loss of God's blessing but an entirely new spiritual battle. This new war is a very clever and effective deception that Satan uses to try and worm his way back into the lives of those delivered by God.
I had been praying about this very thing, this recurring battle, when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: "Goliath had a brother." I was immediately reminded of David's war against the Philistine giant. We all know that David became a great hero by trusting God and defeating Goliath. However, things changed as we see in 2 Samuel 21:

"Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant . . . intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him" (2 Samuel 21:15-17).

Years after David conquered Goliath as a lad, after he became king he had to face other giants. In fact, 1 Chronicles 20:5 reveals that at least one of those warring against David was "the brother of Goliath," and four were his children (2 Sam. 21:22). We can imagine that these giants, being Goliath's kin, looked like Goliath, boasted like him, dressed like him and probably even smelled like him. The Scripture says that while fighting one of the descendants of Goliath, "David became weary" (2 Sam. 21:15). The Bible is silent as to what might have been going through the king's mind as he battled these giants. Perhaps he wondered, I thought I killed Goliath. What is he doing back? But Goliath had not come back; he was dead! David was actually fighting the giant's kin. It just looked like the same battle!
Likewise, you also have had many successful victories. Just because the current giant you are facing looks like one you defeated in the past, do not accept the lie that you never really won the first battle! By the strength of God's grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath. The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy so he can slip past your shield of faith and thus regain entrance into your life. Resist him. Do not accept the lie that you were never delivered. Stand in faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
The living God who helped you conquer Goliath will empower you to overcome his brother as well.
Father, I come to You as Your servant. Like David, I have become weary with fighting an enemy I thought I had defeated. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, however, I expose the lie that this is the same foe I previously conquered. In Jesus' name, I rebuke the enemy. I ask You, Lord, to send angels to strengthen me supernaturally, just as angels often strengthened Jesus. In the name of the Lord, Amen.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ on sale this week at www.arrowbookstore.com.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Save up to 50% this week
Limited time offer
Spiritual Discernment and the
Mind of Christ - plus CD
Book and Free Training CD - $7.71(Retail $12.85)
Ebook - $7.71 (Retail $12.85)
How can you defeat your enemy if you don't know who or what you are fighting? Pastor Francis shares biblical insights on the gift of discernment and what it means to possess the mind of Christ. A few of the chapters are classics from Francis' previously published books; they have been rewritten, updated, and included here as foundational to our understanding of spiritual discernment.
Includes extra chapters from several of pastor's other books, including three from The Three Battlegrounds. These additional chapters give continuity and additional insight into the important subject of spiritual discernment.
Includes a training CD titled, Society of the Redeemers.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
This Day We Fight!
Book $9.00 (Retail $15.00)

This book is anointed to help the reader get their fire back. The Holy Spirit is ready to impart a fresh anointing to God's people - an anointing that will activate the "war mode" in the church. Published by Chosen Books.
View Francis introducing this book
1. The Bronze Bow
2. Fighting the Fight of Faith
3. This Day We Fight!
4. The War Mode
5. Love-Motivated Warfare
6. Embracing the Fight of Faith
7. Overcoming Discouragement
8. If We Do Not Lose Heart
9. Goliath Had a Brother
10. Overcoming Fear
11. Unwavering Perseverance
12. Your Appointment Awaits You

13. A Word to the Women of God
14. Prayer Warriors
15. Fighting For Our Families
16. The Real Jesus
17. Will Jesus Find Faith in You?
18. When David Captured Jerusalem
19. Hastened in Its Time
20. And Then the End Shall Come
21. Prophet, Priest and King
22. A Generation of Rulers
23. When America Blesses God
24. The Lord of Armies

7 Things That Show How and Why Jesus Chose His Friends

7 Things That Show How and Why Jesus Chose His Friends

“A person’s destiny is often determined by those closest to them in regards to quality time spent, mutual goals and common purpose.”
When most people think of how to choose their friends, they have more of a worldly, casual concept rather than a biblical one. In John 15:15, Jesus told his disciples He called them friends and not servants. Since the Kingdom of God is based upon relationship and not ministry, it is important we know how to choose our friends wisely.
Many churches and even Christians attempt to engender friendships merely to have nice fellowship together. However, true kingdom fellowship should be with the ultimate goal of getting closer to someone to advance kingdom purposes. Most folks are too quick to call someone a friend and/or choose friends just because they have a few things in common. Choosing friends should be a lot more important than just picking as a friend someone you merely work with or enjoy watching a football game with. Merely liking someone should not be the only criteria.
There are many people I would like to consistently hang out with. But when it comes to the kingdom, there is more to it than that. I have to ask myself if I am called to build with someone before I make a long-term commitment to him or her. The reason is obvious: A person’s destiny is often determined by those closest to them in regards to quality time spent, mutual goals and common purpose. You are whom you choose to “hang with” the most.
The following are some of the criteria Jesus had before He chose who would be His friends:
1. He prayed about it.
In Luke 6:12-13 Jesus prayed all night before He chose the 12 closest people to Him. This shows His choice of a friend was not haphazard; neither should ours be.
2. His friends lived lives of obedience to God.
In John 15:14 Jesus said, “I call you friends if you do what I command you.” It would be foolish for a believer to make their closest friends and confidantes people who live purposeless lives before the Lord. This is not to say that we cannot have friends who do not follow Christ. Jesus at times spent time with sinners (Luke 7:34). However, He did not hang out with them merely to have a good time but to win them to His Father so they would eventually live a life of obedience. Also, these “sinners” were not the ones He invested the most time with unless they became His disciples. Paul encouraged Timothy to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).
Consequently, we should not be close friends with someone unless they are serious about pursuing the things of God.
3. Jesus chose His friends to be with Him in order to send them out.
Mark 3:14 teaches that the primary expectation Jesus had at first with those He chose as friends was to spend time together. They had to learn to “do life” together, not just Bible studies and attend synagogue. However, the ultimate result of their proximity to Him was to be sent out to preach. After all, how could they proclaim a Jesus they did not know and how could they know Him unless they spent quality time with Him? No one should be quick to call someone a friend before they have spent much quality time with them and know them personally.

4. Jesus chose friends He could share His heart with.
John 15:15 teaches us that Jesus shared His heart with His friends who understood Him. In Matthew 13:11 Jesus told His friends, “To you it has been given to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven but to them (non-friends) it has not been given.” If someone cannot understand your heart or believe in your vision it will be difficult for them to be a true kingdom friend. 
5. Jesus proactively chose His friends.
John 15:16 teaches us (in the context of His choosing friends) that people did not choose Him but vice versa. Although this passage is also referring to salvation, it also shows that His methodology for choosing friends was proactive (not reactive) based on their calling to build with Him. Consequently, we should determine in our hearts who we should pursue in a friendship. Don’t merely pick those who desire to be close to you; proactively choose people based on a leading of the Lord. Not everyone who wanted to be close to Jesus was given that access; out of the multitudes, He only had an inner circle of three, then 12 and then 70.
The others only had access to Him during brief moments of their lives. If you are going to be fruitful in the kingdom, you cannot spend a lot of time with every person you meet. For example, I do not feel guilty for not answering every Facebook message or email sent to me; if I did I would either suffer burnout, leave important work undone, or lose my primary focus and miss my calling.
6. Jesus’ friends received His hard sayings.
In John 6:66-68 many of His disciples left Him because they could not receive the meat of the word! His true friends were thus separated from those who were merely temporary acquaintances. Your true friends will stand by you even when God gives you a hard saying and/or call to do something that is not understood by many other people.
7. Jesus’ friends were those who stood by Him during His trials.
Luke 22:28-29 shows that His closest friends were those who stuck it out with Him during His earthly trials. God will often allow you to go through a severe personal or ministerial trial to test those around you to demonstrate who your real friends are. You can only build with those who are faithful to you during difficult times and not only when things are going well.  
Joseph Mattera Joseph Mattera is in demand internationally as a speaker and consultant : His mission is to influence leaders who influence nations : to order one of his four books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to www.josephmattera.org

How to Help Your Kids Fall Deeper in Love With God

How to Help Your Kids Fall Deeper in Love With God

“I believe that there are three things that can bring discipleship back into the home and make it a reality once again.”
Discipleship is a word that is thrown around in ministry a lot these days. Church staff members in many of our churches are constantly searching for the next big idea on how to lead people to become more devoted followers of Christ. This is a question that keeps many ministers up at night. This is a question that I have asked myself numerous times. How do I get kids to fall deeper in love with the God who created them? How do I get them to own their faith and eventually share it with others? How do we get kids to understand that salvation is so much more than being able to spend forever in heaven with God? The answer that I keep coming back to is the fact that this can only happen through the family. Psalm 78 has played over and over in my head,
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
And this is just four verses! There is so much within this text that we often miss. It does not say that the church is supposed to tell the coming generations of the deeds of the Lord, but the family. Discipleship is both initiated and cultivated in the home. Parents have more influence than they can ever imagine when it comes to the spiritual development of their children. When children see faith displayed in the lives of their parents, they naturally will want to display those same qualities. Yet, the question that is asked by so many parents is, “Where do we begin with this seemingly daunting task?” I believe that there are three things that can bring discipleship back into the home and make it a reality once again.
1. Parents must tell their children how they came to faith in Christ.
I can think of many children that have no idea how their parents came to know Christ. The children know that their parents believe, however they are not sure what drew them into a relationship with Jesus. Your story of salvation is also a part of your child’s story of salvation. Therefore, telling them how you met Jesus makes salvation a real thing to them. The more they hear your story about salvation, the more they are likely to experience their own story of salvation. It is one thing for a pastor to stand in the pulpit on Sunday mornings and talk about coming to faith in Christ. When children hear the story of how you came to faith in Christ, it becomes more meaningful to them. This allows the children to grasp what life is like without Christ, to realize their own lostness. But more importantly, they get to hear how Christ changed you and how you are now a new person. All of a sudden salvation becomes more real to them. This can be the beginning of a continual spiritual conversation in the household.
2. Parents must take every opportunity to point to Christ.
We look for teaching moments in a child’s life every day. However, these usually pertain to their behavior rather than their Spiritual development. God blesses many of us with 6,408 days (from brith to 18 years) to continuously point our children to Himself. If parents are the primary disciplers of their children, then every moment can either point them to God or to the world. We will do whatever it takes to make sure we have “good” kids that have “good” behavior. However, our behavior is what flows out of our heart. Therefore, issues of behavior are truly a matter of the heart. Matthew 15:19 says, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Luke 6:45 says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Jesus was telling his listeners that who we truly are comes from the heart. Moments of discipline are teaching moments pointing back to our belief in God. Therefore, we must understand that there is so much going on beneath what we see on the surface. As parents, God has equipped us to speak directly into their heart by pointing them to the Savior Jesus Christ.
3. Parents must show their children Jesus by the way they live.
This is the scary part, because if anyone knows that parents mess up it is their children. They see the good, the bad and the ugly. However, parents can live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, and their children will follow suit. I remember growing up and watching my parents love others in a way that had a huge impact on how I now treat others. I also remember seeing my parents being confronted with a people who were upset or agitated, and how they handled that person with so much grace and mercy. I am not at all saying that they were perfect; they did however model for me the fruits of the Spirit. They showed me that if Jesus truly lived in my life, then others will notice by the way I talk and by how I love others. Sometimes living out your spiritual life in front of your kids means admitting that you are a sinner too. This is scary, but whether you like it or not, your children know that you are not perfect. So it is time to take down the mask and admit that you struggle with certain things. Just think about the impact it would make to a child who struggles with anger to sit down with their parent, and the parent explains how they handle life when they are angry. This would change the way kids understood their parents.
Psalms 127:3-5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Children are a blessed gift from the Lord. Therefore, their spiritual development is of upmost importance to the family and to the church. God has called parents to be the primary disciplers of their children and not the church. The church is called to journey alongside parents.
We are in this together. Parents the church is for you, we are ready to fight for your children with you.  

Erin Woodfin Erin Woodfin is a full time Children’s Minister at Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, TX. She attended Ouachita Baptist University where she received a degree in Christian Studies in 2011. She is currently a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters Degree. Her passion is to partner with parents to see Children transformed by the life changing message of the Gospel. Her ultimate goal is to equip children to leave the children’s ministry with a passion for God and for others. Erin has been married to Michael since 2010. Also, Erin loves running, a hot cup of coffee, and watching baseball with Michael. More from Erin Woodfin or visit Erin at http://bekidsmobile.com/

Sabtu, 06 Juni 2015

4 Tips on How to Stay Focused in Fatherhood

What are you doing to stay focused as a dad?
What are you doing to stay focused as a dad? (iStock photo )
I have played on three different teams over my 11-year NFL career: the Patriots, Browns and currently the Saints. There are always guys in the locker room who are fine just being in the NFL. There is no ambition for more.
When I played for the Patriots in 2007, we were undefeated. After every win Coach Bill Belichick would give us a stern warning, "Don't let success make you complacent. We haven't arrived." He wanted us to know that there was always room for improvement. It was a great reminder on the need to give the best effort week in and week out.
Complacency has a way of working its way into our lives like a disease keeping us from reaching our true potential. It causes us to lose focus and fail. The same is true of fatherhood. Are you complacent just being a dad or do you want to be the best dad for your kids? It takes focus and maximum effort every day.
Here are 4 tips on how to stay focused in fatherhood:
Set Goals
Without goals, we are prone to wander aimlessly and arrive nowhere. Setting goals gets us to plan a course and picture where we want to be. If you want focus, you need something to focus toward. Make sure the goal is achievable and measurable. In fatherhood, it could be always putting your phone away when you come home so you can spend time with your kids without distractions. You may set a goal of reading to your kids a certain number of times a week or making a list of things to do together each month. Whatever you want to be, set goals to get there and follow through on them. Tell them to your kids. They are great at holding us accountable.
Track and Budget Your Time
Financial budgets are made to eliminate wasteful spending. We tend to waste a lot of time, particularly with the technology boom. If you have goals as a dad, you need to maximize your time to accomplish them. Schedule time to be with your kids. Every minute that passes doing something trivial is lost opportunity to mold and shape our kids. Protect that time. Make the most of it.
Be Consistent in Your Activity
Follow through on your goals by outlining the activities that will get you there. There are days when we feel tired, frustrated and discouraged. Don't let those days take you out of the game. Practice the daily activities that will achieve your vision as a dad. Pray, play and talk with your kids every day if you can. The people who are consistently active are the ones who realize goals.
You Haven't Arrived
Don't just be happy to be a dad, simply complacent to hold the title. Attack each day with purpose. Bring your "A" game. Every day, try to learn something new that will make you a better dad. Study other dads you admire and work on those qualities. There is always room for improvement. We will never reach perfection, but we can work towards it.
How do you stay focused as a dad?
Benjamin Watson is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League.
For the original article, visit allprodad.com.

10 Things We’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

10 Things We’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

Lessons about kids, arguing, sex, love, respect and more after a decade of marriage.
About 10 years ago, before God and our assembled witnesses of friends and family, we made a covenant with each other to love, cherish and honor one another till death do us part, and were joined together as one.
It’s amazing that we ever got married at all, considering the fact that I (Shane) proposed to Kasi in a barbecue restaurant. Yes, I’m publicly admitting to that. There’s nothing quite like dodging sauce on the ground as you get down on one knee for perhaps the most important moment in your life up to then. Fortunately, my skills have grown somewhat in the last 10 years. So, we celebrated our anniversary by repeating our marriage vows on the beach in Destin, Florida.
Marriage has been by far the most challenging and most rewarding adventure of our lives. Here are some things we have learned during this time from Jesus and each other.

1. Almost all of the time being married is not a fairy tale.

Marriage is neither a Disney movie, nor an episode of The Bachelor with dates in helicopters on remote jungle islands. Sometimes it’s hard, it’s exhausting, and it takes a lot of work. However, words fail us in trying to describe the benefits from such hard work.

2. Have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

If we’re depending on our spouse to fulfill us, we’re setting them up for failure.
Often, as Christian couples, we can make things overly-complicated or too spiritual. It’s good to have fun! Be silly. Do things to make each other laugh. It’s OK to have a good time without having to explain it away with religious jargon.

3. Your spouse shouldn’t—and can't—“complete you.”

We know, we know, Jerry Maguire would vehemently disagree with us. If we’re depending on our spouse to fulfill us, we’re setting them up for failure. Only God can truly satisfy and fulfill the soul; the more we’re completed in Christ, the better spouse we’ll be to each other.

4. The kids cannot become the center of your home.

It’s unfair to our children for them to become our lives. That is way too much pressure for an 8-year-old to handle.
According to the Bible, I have “become one” with my spouse. It doesn’t say that about our kids; we’re simply to be good stewards of them. We plan on being married until we’re old and gray, and hopefully, one day our children will move out. We don’t want our home to crumble when the kids leave, so because of that, they’ll never be the most important thing in our home.

5. Sex gets better the longer you’re married.

Does this really need explanation? Just like any thing else, you get better with experience and repetition. We have gone through great seasons together, rough seasons, celebrations and battles. Love has made us get through, and therefore, we know how to make love.

6. The goal of a good argument is not to win, but to learn.

Arguments aren’t always bad; sometimes a good argument is needed to clear the air. It can actually be extremely constructive if you seek to learn something about each other, and how to move forward. However, it can be very selfish, destructive and hurtful if we’re only trying to win the argument.

7. You have to fight really hard to not become roommates.

It’s so easy to fall into a routine of doing daily tasks together. Laundry, yard work, the grocery store, daily chores, homework with the kids, paying the bills and watching our favorite television shows. Wow, look at us, we’re a great team! We get a lot done, yet we have completely stopped “wooing” each other. How sad.
Remember, if you’re coasting, that means you’re going downhill. Date each other, pursue each other, be husband and wife.

8. She deeply needs love; he deeply needs respect.

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). (There's also been a great book written about this idea.) This verse says it perfectly: The desire of a wife is to have a husband that loves her, and a husband desperately desires that his wife respect him. Conversely, these are two sides of the same coin. You don’t respect someone you don’t love, and you don’t love someone you don’t respect.

9. Everything boils down to good communication and clear expectations.

Our marriage is actually preaching a Gospel message to the world, and that truth alone makes marriage eternally important.

You Might Also Like

It seems like 99.9 percent of arguments and conflicts come down to a communication issue and unmet expectations. Issues over money, children, sex, schedules and whatever else almost all boil down to clearly, lovingly and selflessly communicating expectations.

10. We are in this marriage for a lifetime, so we can either choose to be joyful or to be miserable.

We made a covenant with each other that included some very important statements, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part.” That means that neither one of us are going anywhere, no matter how bad it gets. It is going to be difficult, so we must work daily at being joyful. The only other option is to be miserable, and no one willfully chooses that.
Marriage is not about us as individuals or even as a couple, but it is actually about something much bigger than us. According to Ephesians 5, marriage is the visual illustration God has given the world to show Christ’s relationship to His Bride (the Church). “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:3-32).
Our marriage is actually preaching a Gospel message to the world, and that truth alone makes marriage eternally important. It’s necessary for us to ask ourselves this question often, “What kind of message is our marriage preaching to our children, our church, our family, our friends and a watching world?”