The gospel frees us to read God’s word—not anxiously searching for how our life matches the hero of the passage, but thankful that even though you don’t measure up to a heroic standard God loves you regardless and has sent His Son to redeem you anyway.
The easy answer would be: “There’s bad stuff on the internet and we don’t want you to access it.” We could talk about sexting and pornography and all the potential dangers of being online. But I know there are certain filters and barriers that impede that deluge of filth. Besides, the potential for future, sexual temptation is not our greatest concern anyway.
No, the real reason why our son doesn’t have a phone is because we think his middle-school years will be better spent without one. The answer I’ve given, over and over again, is this: I want you to be free from middle school drama when you’re at home.
rowing up, I only attended church on major holidays. When I did find a church my junior year in high school it didn’t end so well. I ended up falling for an unbeliever and left the church. That wasn’t the only reason for my departure, I was also aware that there wasn’t something quite right with the doctrine. Nevertheless, I said goodbye to church and vowed never to return. I didn’t want to have anything to do with organized religion.
But that was not God’s plan.
There is something freeing when you humble yourself and place yourself before a group of people who say, “We see this area that needs worked on.” In December 2016, I completed my NAMB Church Planting Assessment. There were aspects about the whole process, especially the pre-assessment paper work, that were incredibly mundane to me considering the experience of planting that I already had. However, it proved to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever walked through.
The Five Versions of Hill Valley
This was neat:
Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert:
For the most part, tough love gets us through the tough times. Every relationship experiences struggle. Yet when two people are committed, reasonable, and willing to work things out, love finds a way through it all.
Loving a prodigal is even tougher.
It’s loving a rebel, someone who isn’t trying to work it out and who doesn’t have your interests in mind. It’s loving someone who’s enamored with sin and who doesn’t care about the consequences—or the pain and hurt it causes others. The wayward often see themselves as the victims, and they’re hell-bent on finding their freedom on their terms.
A favorite from the archives:
It’s really tempting to rebuke ourselves, isn’t it? I mean, when we see the reality Christians face in the Middle East, it makes much of our issues seem petty. Our frustrations about the sort of books being bought and sold. Our issues with celebrity pastors. Our ongoing debates over religious liberty and same-sex marriage. Our incredulity at the notion that we should give or serve in our churches and communities…
They all seem so insignificant in comparison, don’t they?
The natural reaction is to tell the Church to wake up—to make disciples who are truly willing to submit themselves to dishonor and even death for their faith.