Raising the Next Generation – Proverbs 22:6

1410655386Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Familiar words but a heavy implication. Are we training the next generation in the truth and passing on our faith? I was able to preach on just this issue to our congregation.

Listen to it here.  .

We must pass along something solid. The bedrock of our faith is: 1.) Who God is, and 2.) What He has said:

  • In a generation losing its grip on right and wrong we must train them in morality, because God is Good.
  • In a generation accepting relativism we must train them in absolutes, because God is unchanging.
  • In a generation rejecting the Bible as authoritative we must train them in Truth, because God has spoken honestly.
  • In a generation slipping into desperation we must train them in Hope, because God has sent Jesus Christ.

Who are you training up? Are you passing along bedrock? Remember the next generation needs us to put Proverbs 22:6 into action.

Mission Trips and other Humbling Experiences

Each year I lead a High School Senior International mission trip over spring break. I am always captured by the personal and group growth that takes place during these weeks. I am humbled by God.

  • That we can serve Him
  • That the Gospel has reached me and reaches around the globe
  • That we live with so much blessing without saying thank you often enough
  • That those with so little can love so much
  • That God is the God, and He moves when, where, and in whom, as He sees fit

This year we are going to Belize.  Here is a quick video of the people and places we will encounter.

I am blessed to have met and worked with this pastor before. Pastor Mark is a man of God, full of grace, passion, and a big smile.

Me and Pastor Mark

 

I encourage you to go on mission trips and engage in other experiences that remind us of the truth of scripture, that we are all equal before the cross, that God does not show partiality, that we are brothers in sisters in christ.

In a different cultural environment we get to see a new perspective, yet the same God. He is at work all around us. Let’s join Him as He offers hope through Jesus Christ.

Mark 9:35 “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Philippine 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Modesty at Prom – Sadie Robertson style

Prom is just around the corner. I’ve seen several elaborate date requests already. As the event draws closer the inevitable dress shopping excursions/tweets/Facebook posts flood social media.

Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty has produced a line of age-approiate and modest prom dresses. Just as she modeled in her time with Dancing with the Stars, Sadie has consistently upheld high values and respect for herself and her future.  Click below for more information on the “daddy-approved” line of dresses this year.

Sadie Robertson’s “Daddy-Approved” Line of Prom Dresses

Here is sneak peak of a few pieces. As a dad of a daughter, I say, “Way to go Sadie”!

Preparing Our Hearts For Christmas

communion-jsbFrom my family to yours, wishing you a Christ-filled Christmas.  Here is an Advent resource using the Jesus Storybook Bible, which we love.  In Leslie’s article are links to a printable schedule of readings and printable/colorable ornaments we put on our “Jesse Tree”.  Hope it is a help in focusing your family on the true meaning of Christmas this year.

Celebrating Him,

Adam

Counting Blessings

I love the Christmas season, it’s my favorite time of year.  I love the music, the decorations, the festivities, the food, the continuing on of family traditions, and the starting of new ones.  But, it’s so easy for the true meaning of Christmas to get lost in all the hustle and bustle of this busy season.  This is the time to anticipate and celebrate the arrival of our Rescuer; the coming of our King!  What a glorious day that first Christmas was some 2,000 years ago,  when Heaven came down to earth in the form of a tiny baby, our Savior had come to live…and to die for us all!  There is no greater reason to celebrate Christmas than this!

Through the years we have started some of our own family traditions to help our kids better understand the true meaning of Christmas.  We do a daily random act of kindness…

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You are NOT a Student First

For a few brief years you may hear this phrase by well meaning adults, “Remember… You are a student first”.

While the intention may be noble, the message is flawed.

Yes, students need to focus on their studies while in high school or college. They do not need to get the balance of social life, work, school and many other activities so out of whack that academic discipline takes a backseat.

But are you really a student “First”? Is there not a more important mission and goal of life even during the years in which you are a student? Is there a broader perspective that allows your identity to remain intact even beyond school and career decisions?

The answer is a resounding “YES”. Paul says to the Corinthian believers, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)

Let this dominate our identity in all stages of our life, from student to career to family, to everything! This clip says it beautifully in 1:48 of your day, that will be well spent.  Watch it and be encouraged.

Discerning Your Call to Ministry

***Free 128 page PDF ebook, “The Call to Ministry” Journal, by Al Mohler, Don Whitney, and Dan Dumas, detailed below***

Through my time as a student pastor I have seen many students pursue a call to ministry.  This is a rewarding aspect of working with teenagers.  As they are growing in their faith and learning to make decisions on their own you get the privilege of seeing God a work and the teenager wrestle with it.  Several students, both young men and women, have expressed a leaning toward missions or children/youth ministry and even the occasional pastoral calling that surfaces early.

When a student comes to me for advise when discerning a call to ministry it is never an easy conversation.  It is hard to say with certitude what God may or may not be doing in another person’s heart.  Therefore I always try to push that student to good resources and to continue exploring what God is saying.

I recently ran across a great resource that I will be using for this very purpose.

Dr. Hershal York, a preaching professor from my alma mater, Southern Seminary, posted a great blog about how graduating from Seminary doesn’t qualify you for ministry (despite that being a primary indicator for hiring churches). Check out his article here, “Why seminary can never qualify anyone for ministry“.

At the end of this article is a free PDF workbook written by Molher, Whitney, and Dumas titled, The Call to Ministry.  It is self-described as:

This is a different sort of book. Or workbook. Or journal. Whatever it is, this resource from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is meant to help you discern whether or not God has called you to ministry. And it’s meant for you to use and devour. You’ll notice pages with blank space; those pages are for you to respond to questions, react to the quotations and reflect on the Scripture references you’ll find throughout. So, open your Bible, get out your pen and discover whether God has called you to this most noble and weighty task.

I downloaded it and will continue to pass this out to those considering full time vocational ministry.

I would upload the PDF here and make it available to all of humanity, but I feel I would be subverting Southern’s goodwill gesture to prospective students and the seminary’s offer to provide the highest quality conservative ministry training available.

So I will leave you with a link.  Check out www.sbts.edu/the-call-to-ministry-journal. If you are willing to give them your email address, they are willing to give you this 128 page invaluable resource, that quite possibly could be a determining factor in understanding God’s call on your life.

 

 

Lee Strobel comes to Murfreesboro, TN

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Come join me as we welcome Lee Strobel to Murfreesboro for a rare opportunity to dialogue with a nationally known apologist.

I am particularly looking forward to the Teen/Parent exclusive event where we will get to hear in a small group environment Strobel’s advise for todays teenagers with a Q&A time and book signing.  If you are in the mid-TN area don’t miss this great chance to be encouraged and challenged.

Click The School of Christian Thought for more information

Thank you Renee Sproles and the School of Christian Thought for hosting this event and reaching out to our community.

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The Hardest Truths for Teenagers in Proverbs

A while ago I introduced the teens in our student ministry to this list of 20 truths that I felt hit home with teenage life. We read through the list first in its entirety. Then I asked each student to rank the top three “hardest to keep” truths for them personally. We then broke into groups based on their number one pick to discuss those topics and why they are hard to keep. We prayed for each other and strategized about how to encourage each other on a regular basis in these areas.

So which of these truths do you think ranked in the top three of teenagers most often? Read through for yourself and see what you would choose.  My poll results are at the very bottom of the article. The list is surprising and insightful.

20 Truths for Teenagers in Proverbs:

  1. Take responsibility for your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.” (Prov. 9:12)
  2. Integrity is your guidance. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.” (Prov. 11:3)
  3. Shun evil. The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.” (Prov. 22:3)
  4. Speak the truth.Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.” (Prov. 24:28)
  5. Be humble.When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.”(Prov. 11:2)
  6. Work for your dream. He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” (Prov. 28:19)
  7. Diligence is a key to success.A lazy man does not roast his prey, but the precious possession of a man is diligence.” (Prov. 12:27)
  8. Never give up when facing adversity. “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.“(Prov. 24:10)
  9. Learn to control yourself. Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” (Prov. 25:28)
  10. Control your anger. He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Prov. 14:29)
  11. Be prudent about your choice.Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.” (Prov. 4:26)
  12. Train your patience. By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.” (Prov. 25:15)
  13. Listen before you speak.He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.“(Prov. 18:13)
  14. Talk Less, do more. In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Prov. 14:23)
  15. Stop gossiping. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.” (Prov. 18:8)
  16. Don’t flatter others.A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.” (Prov. 29:5)
  17. Pay evil with good.If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” (Prov. 25:21)
  18. Honor your parents.Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.” (Prov. 23:25)
  19. Choose your companion.He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Prov. 13:20)
  20. Do not envy evil men.Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.” (Proverb 24:1)

proverbs

These five answers were most commonly given as “hardest to keep” truths according to my student group.

  1. Shun evil. The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.” (Prov. 22:3)
  2. Honor your parents. “Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.” (Prov. 23:25)
  3. Speak the truth. “Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.” (Prov. 24:28)
  4. Control your anger. He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Prov. 14:29)
  5. Talk Less, do more. In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Prov. 14:23)

Youth Ministry Resources Giveaway

Hey, it free, why not?

If you are a supporter of your Youth Pastor/workers, enter this free contest and give them all the goods if you win!  Its full of resources, and who can say no to that.

They say it is $565 worth of stuff.  If you don’t win, I guess you could just donate $565 and buy it outright, too. 😉

Click ministertoyouth.com for the link to enter with just an email address.

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