We hunters often get a “bad rap” because of our hobby. Many naively believe that the hunter is to blame for the dwindling populations of many threatened species in our world. On the surface, this may sound logical, but the truth is that the sportsmen have done a great deal to preserve and enhance fish and wildlife resources.
When you tell others that you’re a Christian, what do they think you mean? To some it means you’re religious or conservative. Some may assume you’re self-righteous or judgmental. Hopefully, to many it means you are a follower of Jesus, not perfect, but forgiven.
I have enjoyed the pleasure that came from several friends and mentors in my life who were in their later years. Most churches and Christian ministries today could not continue without the totality of the dedication and determination of these senior committed Christians sharing their gifts and talents.
We desperately need a spiritual awakening — that’s our wall to build. Like Nehemiah, God may call upon many of us to step into the fray and assume a leadership role to help bring about this spiritual awakening.
If you study game films from that Perfect Season, you can see the intensity and pride each player had in his performance. They worked together as a finely tuned machine. The team’s cohesiveness and unity allowed them to make the most of each play called.
In the first three chapters of Romans, the apostle Paul names three kinds of broken people: the ungodly, the morally self-righteous, and the religious.
Technology and modern culture seem to elevate efficiency over intimacy. Voicemail, text messages, Facebook, and emails may expedite communications, but in reality they distance us from others. It’s almost like we are avoiding personal contact with people.
The middle linebacker is to the defense what the quarterback is to an offense. The middle linebacker is the playmaker; the one everyone looks to for guidance, inspiration, and advice. He is the coach’s eyes and ears on defense. The linebacker must be one of the most gifted athletes on the field.
Nowadays, we face many social and peer pressures to conform and be compliant. People tell us “not to rock the boat,” but to trust political leaders and media sources that try to intimidate us. It is noteworthy when someone stands up for their faith and convictions, others gain confidence to join with us, for courage is contagious.
As a model for my approach to these athletes, I looked to Abraham, the Old Testament patriarch. His greatness was found in his hospitality to strangers (Genesis 18:1–8), his obedience to God (Genesis 26:5), and the blessing of the Lord upon his family and his life (Genesis 24:1). In three separate places found in God’s Word, we see Abraham called a “friend of God”. How encouraging! I want to be known as a friend of God.
How did Jesus make disciples? He used a small group approach. He took twelve very common guys and poured His life into theirs. Christ taught by example and with short stories. He connected with His followers in both attitude and action. They had real fellowship with the Master.
Our culture wants to discourage believers by dispelling the claims of the Bible. Many of the social icons within this nation are a host of blasphemers and hypocrites. Our societal norms have been adjusted to accept all kinds of behavior that only two decades ago would have been ludicrous. Even a few of those running for political offices around the country deny that our moral compass is off. It would seem that getting the vote is more important than taking a stand. Some suggest that charisma is more important than character.
I was reminded of God’s faithfulness to another group almost 3,500 years ago. Under the leadership of Moses, God had directed the Israelites to endure many hardships during their 40 years in the desert. He regularly allowed opportunities for His chosen to prove their obedience and faith through the testing of their courage and commitment.
How can grandparents use their “grand positions” to the best advantage? God’s Word says that grandchildren are “a crown to the aged” (Proverbs 17:6). I believe we wear that “crown” by actively investing in their lives. There are five tools I’ve found helpful in being a grandparent or adopted grandparent:
Grandparents have another magical ingredient that parents often lack – TIME. Kornhaber has found that children who are close to at least one grandparent are more emotionally secure than other children; and they have more positive feelings about older people and about the process of aging.
Billy Graham prophetically said, “I realize that my ministry would someday come to an end. I’m only one in a glorious chain of men and women God has raised up through the centuries to build Christ’s church and take the Gospel everywhere.”
Without a doubt, the thing we most hope to leave our children and grandchildren is a spiritual legacy that lives on in subsequent generations.
When darkness appears to be your only friend, remember that we have a loving, grace-filled God who is the Father to the fatherless, a Comforter to His children, the Author of light, and an Encourager to those who are struggling.