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Tag Archives: Home

Around the Web (8/2)

On July 19, NASA took a photo of Earth from the vantage point of Saturn, 898 million miles away. "Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering. He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:6-7). Earth from Saturn

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NEEDED at HOME: A Spirit of Gentleness

I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4:1-3)

Annoyances. Frustrations. Disagreements. Misunderstandings. Short tempers.

If you're human, you can relate. And because human homes are made up of human beings, the atmosphere of our homes is sometimes polluted with relational smog. In such moments, the last word on our minds may be "gentleness."

Of the many prophecies Jesus fulfilled, consider this one:

___ He will not quarrel or cry aloud, _____ nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; ___ a bruised reed he will not break, _____ and a smoldering wick he will not quench. (Matt 12:19-20)

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). It is "put on" by those who have dedicated themselves to holiness (Col 3:12). It is a sign of growth in character. The gentle man or woman has left behind childish foolishness (Tit 3:3) and is manifesting maturity in the determination to "speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people" (Tit 3:2). In other words, gentleness doesn't "come naturally." Gentleness is a choice. The choice to walk in the footsteps of our Savior. Who did not quarrel. Whose voice did not echo in unrighteous anger from across the street. Who did not maliciously break the broken reed or selfishly quench the smoldering wick.

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Around the Web (5/31)

CHEAP eBook Deals of the Day - Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow (Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley, Philip Nation) – $4.99 (67% off); Essential Church (Thom S. Rainer & Sam Rainer III) – $4.99 (75% off); Built by the Lord: A Study of the Family (Edwin Crozier) – $2.99 ...

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Around the Web (4/23)

CHEAP eBook Deal of the Day: Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent (Josh Moody) – $0.99 (93% off). Ken Weliever issues a simple challenge: be kind. “In a world that is often insensitive, cold and calloused, Christians are called upon to ...

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God Notices the Little Things. Do We?

And [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44)

God notices and appreciates the little things. Little things are powerful. They can accumulate to have positive and negative impacts on our homes.

Little things affect our marriages. Most husband-wife relationships that have grown to be strained are not so because of one-time, massive, easily-identifiable "meteors" that suddenly and unexplainably fell out of the marital sky. Most of the significant problems we experience in our marriages can be attributed to the multiplication of the little things---a selfish choice here, rude disregard there. Attitudes produce actions. Actions evolve into habits. Habits undeniably impact life at home. Given enough time, the little things can snowball and cause serious damage at the very foundation of a marriage.

Children who are not taught to appreciate and participate in the little things are set by their parents on a trajectory of ingratitude and self-centeredness. Mom is not the maid. Dad is not the ATM. Children are not entitled to everything their hearts desire, nor should they be treated as immune to sacrifice or free from accountability. When the little things are taken for granted, erosion of the heart is experienced that can eventually lead to devastating consequences.

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The Great Commandments Apply at Home

"Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)

If no commandment is greater than these, no environment needs them more than our homes. When God first commanded the children of Israel to love him with all their heart, soul, and might, he directly attached his expectations to everyday life at home.

"These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:6-9)

By God's design, home is "where the children are led to know Christ in his beauty who loves them so." Home, as God envisioned, is "where the altar fires burn and glow" (B. B. McKinney). Home may be "where the heart is," but nothing matters more in Christian homes than the heart of God.

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The Weight of Anxiety

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Prov 12:25)

The weight of anxiety can affect life at home. This weight comes to settle on big and little shoulders for a variety of reasons: an upcoming test at school, problems on the playground, a job-performance review, an impending business trip, an unpleasant confrontation, sickness, financial strain---these weights are real and carrying them can be difficult.

When our hearts are weighed down, it's easy to "take it out" on the people we love the most. Throughout the day, at school or at work, we may do a pretty good job of balancing the weight and keeping our spirits under control... until we get home. Then, we find it all too easy to be grumpy, mean, and hurtful with our families.

Anxiety in a man's heart may weigh him down, but "a good work makes him glad."

  • Dads: it was a long day. What about deliberately reflecting on "a good word" before you open the front door?
  • Moms: it was a long day. What about intentionally taking a moment to pray for patience before the chaos of the evening has the opportunity to hit critical mass?
  • Teenagers: it was a long day. What about carefully checking your attitude before your interaction with Mom and Dad takes a negative turn?
  • Kids: it was a long day. What about looking for little ways you could help out and pick up after yourself before things get crazy around the house?

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Could Your Home Use a Good Spring Cleaning?

The home was God’s idea, but life at home isn't always perfect. Or easy. Or pleasant. Or like we expected it to be.

On this first day of Spring, might the Bible provide some help? Many of us know it's time for a good "Spring cleaning" around our physical houses. But what about our homes? Our marriages? Our parent-child relationships? Our individual lives of integrity?

Here's a Spring Cleaning Checklist to get us thinking about the issues that matter most:

  • What sort of clutter has built up? (Luke 8:14)
  • Is your garbage disposal working? (James 1:21)
  • Are your mirrors clean? (James 1:22-25)
  • Are you keeping an eye on your filter? (Phil 4:8)
  • Is your alarm system functional? (Prov 22:3)
  • What needs to be thrown away for good? (Gal 5:19-21)
  • How's the laundry coming? (Col 3:5-14)
  • Are you getting the fresh air you need? (1 Cor 13:4-8)
  • Have all the necessary locks been installed? (Eph 5:3-4)
  • Are things as secure as they need to be? (Prov 4:23)
  • How's the foundation? (Matt 7:24-27)

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