A Nanny for the Family

People sometimes wonder why I’m such an advocate of filtered Internet access. We’ve used a product called SafeEyes from internetsafety.com for years. But when they sold out to McAfee, and their product support was shipped overseas, the company began making numerous missteps, in my opinion. I wanted something different, however, there didn’t seem to be anything comparable. But recently SafeEyes has simply slowed my computer and my connection speeds down to impossible to use, so we looked again.

Last night, we installed NetNanny from content watch.com. I am dumbfounded at the speed of my connection again! I forgot how much I depended on my laptop and how fun it was to use…. Really, it had gotten that bad that I hardLy used my laptop anymore.

So, if it was that bad, why not just get rid of the Internet filter? In my personal devotional time this morning, I read this:

And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (‭Job‬ ‭28‬:‭28‬ NET)

Wisdom doesn’t come from an open internet. Wisdom doesn’t come from the news. Wisdom doesn’t come from an always connected family. Wisdom comes from spending time with God. Shunning evil helps us do that. Keeping evil away from my house is important. Just like I wouldn’t let cable companies bring garbage into my house (if I had a cable connection), nor am I about to allow the Internet to bring me garbage through unintended web searches, through accidental typos, and neither from our selfish hearts.

And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (‭Job‬ ‭28‬:‭28‬ NET)

Good words for today….

Updated: 8/31/2015

A couple of months ago we started having troubles with Net Nanny. It quit filtering, uninstalled itself, and wouldn’t reload at times. We’ve now switched to Covenant Eyes filtering. We’ve been doing so for several months and like it a lot. 

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I Discipline My Kids Because I Love Them

I really don’t get all the discussion about how if we disagree with someone, or point out a wrong, that we are judging them, or not being loving. I don’t get it. Sometimes the most loving thing I can do for my kids is to tell them no, to correct them, and to tell them to stop.

I thought God disciplines those he loves…. (“ For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. ” Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭6‬ NET). I thought correction was good for us. So, I’m confused by our generation being so opposed to correction. If we aren’t going to be corrected, or allow others to correct us, then we are each doing what we want to do. There is another verse that comes to mind that is a condemnation of that concept (“In those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right.” ‭Judges‬ ‭21‬:‭25‬ NET)

So….recently I listened to a sermon from Pacific Union College Church that was stating the homosexual community needs to be loved, not condemned. I totally agree. I think everyone needs be supported, loved, and treated as a child of God. ABSOLUTELY. Let’s never forget that. Surely the church hasn’t always shined on that point.

However…sometimes…isn’t the most loving thing to do is to say “no”?

The great theologian, John Cougar Mellancamp (sp?) once said in a song, “I know there’s a balance, ‘cuz I see it when I swing by.” The church today is swinging by the balance point. They are swinging away from Legalism to Cheap Grace. Hmmmm.

Let’s stop the swing. Let’s live in balance. Whenever I need to discipline my kids, they usually end up with plenty of hugs and kisses. That’s what it should be like in the church. Don’t stop the discipline of living by God’s word, but let’s do it in a loving and supportive environment.

Leading People to Truth

Leading people is often hard work. Some embrace truth readily and some embrace it slowly. Others don’t embrace it at all. It is still very much like the Parable of the soil that Jesus told in Matthew 13.

It’s really hard to watch people get excited about some truth yet when it comes to harder truth they begin to walk away.

No matter their response, I have to remember that my job as a leader/preacher is to do two things: (1) teach truth as the Bible unfolds. God’s job is to get people’s hearts ready to hear it. He’s working on everyone. I have to trust him to do what is right for the individual. I must be faithful to the text. However (2) I must also take a look at how I am presenting that truth. Am I speaking in a language these people understand? Does it make sense to them? Is it logical? Am I being faithful to my hearers as well as to the text?

In order to accomplish those two things above, I must first submit myself – heart, soul, and mind to God. Clearly I have to be connected to be able to preach with power.

Why Passover?

passover3Yesterday I was asked by one of my members why we were having a Passover service at our church. It was our 2nd annual one. I explained things this way:

  1. Passover was the real time when Christ was crucified as our Passover Lamb (see 1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
  2. You cannot celebrate Passover with all the requirements because you would do away with Jesus Christ as that sacrificial lamb.
  3. This makes it a symbolic event and one that has much to teach us as we seek to serve and honor Christ. In other words, it becomes a teaching moment not a requirement of scripture anymore. I know people may take me on with this one, but this is where I stand after studying it for now….

Yes, I think the key event in the Christian history and faith is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, I guess I’m amazed at Christians who want to celebrate Easter over Passover. Think about it for a moment with me.

  1. Jesus’s last supper was the passover meal.
  2. He was crucified the next day and raised on that next Sunday.
  3. The key piece of the meal is the lamb – representing Christ and Him crucified.
  4. The Jewish people have kept track of the date for centuries
  5. Easter has purely pagan roots and the date can range up to a month different from year to year
  6. Eggs, rabbits are about fertility not about Christ.
  7. The Easter Ham has replaced the passover lamb as the food of choice and with being such anathema to the Jews it makes for a curious symbol….

Don’t get me wrong. When all the world is celebrating the resurrection, I think it’s an important time to celebrate it too. But I don’t see the resistance to Passover. I don’t see the problems with using a purely Biblical tool to teach about Christ as opposed to a purely pagan one.

Top Ten Reasons to Pray….

girl praying woman man

The top 10 reasons you are too busy to pray today:

1. You wake up feeling rested, then realize your alarm should’ve gone off an hour ago.

2. Your spouse is away on a two-day business trip that’s lasted all week.

3. None of the clean clothes you were able to find match.

4. Your teenager shaved…the left half of his head.

5. Your bills are due, and your toddler hid the checkbook.

6. A strange fluid is dripping from your car.

7. You accidentally delete your quarterly report ten minutes before a meeting with your boss.

8. You’re in charge of games for the church youth night tonight.

9. Your dog is throwing up.

10. Your toilet’s overflowing, but at least you found the checkbook.

Ten reasons you really should pray today: (See list above.)

“The Top Ten Reasons You Are Too Busy to Pray Today,” Marriage Partnership (1996)

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Seeing God in the Word

Dusty BibleReading in the LIFE Journal today, in the book of Numbers.

6he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there are prophets of the LORD among you,
I revealg myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
7But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”
The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005 (Nu 12:6–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

I ponder this in light of the Christian song that says, “I want to see you, I want to touch your face” in speaking to God….

Probably we all want to see God more clearly. Probably we all want to touch him. We all want to be in that kind of relationship with God. But God is essentially saying, only 1 person ever got to see God face-to-face. Only a select few get to have those kinds of dreams and visions.

I sat there thinking, “How do I get to be good enough to be one of those select few?” and then it hit me. God doesn’t choose the good. He gives grace to a few for a purpose, but it’s not because they are better at the Christian thing than you or I am. God does it on purpose, because it will advance his cause more.

Yes…I need to continue to grow closer to God. I need to continue to seek Him in his revealed word. However, I’ll leave the decisions about how He chooses to communicate with Him.