Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/24/09)

At VisionaryDaughters.com they have some good insights as it relates to the Twilight series and the draw it has on many women and girls, even those professing Christ, on their post: How Twilight is Re-Vamping Romance.

Voddie has a couple disturbing videos on the direction Arne Duncan would go with schools in Voddie’s blog post: Education Secretary Arne Duncan in his own frightening words. Duncan couches his talk in words that may sound good to the world that sees the state as messiah but the truth is he is seeking to move the center of life from the family to the school and thus the government. You may also notice that when he speaks of non-profits using the school grounds he does not say who will dictate their agenda as it will undoubtedly be the government. When he mentions family issues he does not seek to correct those problems but instead makes plans to accept those problems and work around them. This all from a man that ran what could be termed a failed school system in Chicago. This man along with his president has an agenda and it is far form biblical.

Steve Camp has a good post, He must increase – I must decrease, with regards to the issue of the cult of personality. I am saddened when churches decide to expand by having satellite churches where the lead pastor is piped in to the service in some form or fashion. I always wonder why the church does not have others to fill that role and why one person needs to be so front and center. But, before we dump the entire problem on the pastor alone remember it is the people that make up the cult and we need to check our fleshly desires at the door so as to avoid this. This is not saying we cannot have a pastor we enjoy to listen and learn from but we always need to make sure it is the word of God that is the draw not the person delivering it.

On the J.C. Ryle Quotes blog they are having a giveaway of a set of his commentaries: Win A Free J.C. Ryle Commentary Set

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Family Move

As I write this I want to make sure it is known that this is not done to get an “ataboy” or any such compliment but I write this to help remind us of the importance of family. Before someone runs off and says “there goes one of those people who worship the family” you could be no further from the truth. What I do worship is the God that ordained the family as a means of manifesting His glory in His world. We do this when we obey and follow God’s all sufficient word, by His power. Unfortunately today the professing church has taken on the cultural norms of the world that minimizes family. We are often a church that will sacrifice the family for any number of seemingly important endeavours, some even sounding spiritual. When we minimize family we say we know better than God. This is not about maximizing or lifting the family up but instead is about simply seeking to live the life God calls and seeing the family as God calls it to be seen.

As you read this I am in no way seeking to make others feel guilty. There may be situations and circumstances that lead families down different roads but in all of this I would pray we would first ask the question; “Is what I am about to do what God’s word calls me to do.”

Many of you that know me may already know about our forthcoming move to Tennessee but you may not know why. There may be those that think this may be to simply move from Southern California and its bankrupt government and decaying morals. Others may see it a move to change lifestyles from the fast paces world of California to a more agrarian life. Both of those are reasons we as a family have thought of moving and they may have led us to move years down the road but that is not why we have decided to move in the next few months. Those are not the reasons that I have given notice and really am not entirely sure what is ahead. The reason we are moving is that to do as God would have us do we need to leave California. Let me explain:

For some time we have known that the call of scripture is not to send ones parents off to retirement homes or other places to spend their last days but it is our duty as children to care for them. The call in 1 Tim 5:4 in reference to families caring for widows can be applied to parents as a whole depending on their situations. We know from Eph 6:1-2 which refers back to Ex 20:12 and the 5th commandment that we are called to honor our parents and this does not end at adulthood but is a lifelong commandment. The OT is full of pictures of this honoring and in fact the OT is a wonderful picture of how we are to care for one another in families. Even jesus on the cross did not leave Mary to fend for herself but gave that duty to John as sort of an extended family member. Thus, from scripture we have come to the conviction that caring for our families is not an option even though how this would work out was not fully known to us

I would like to interject here that there may be cases where a family cannot care for their parents due to some extenuating circumstance or the parent may even refuse care. But I would add that we are to always start with the family being the ones to directly, and primarily, care for family members. As a society we have all too often given this duty up to the state and have been indoctrinated over the years to rely on Uncle Sam to care for our family. However, that is not the plan of God but the plan of man. We need to get back to God’s design for families and leave the world’s humanistic, narcissistic, me centered plan.

So back to our story: Over the last year we have known of health issues in one of my wife’s parents but did not think much of it with regards to how it would directly affect us now and how God would use it to build us up. However, over the last few months we came to realize that our so called plan for the future was to be for the present. We realized that we would need to help Donna’s father and mother and to do so we had to make some changes. God does not simply ask us to do what is convenient but to do what is called for in His word. The joy and hope that we have is that He does not ask us to do more than we are prepared to do. He prepares us by His word (2 Tim 3:16-17), by the path He leads us down and by the changed heart He provides. So we have headed down the path He has set before us. We do not know all that is ahead but we do know that God will provide and will not forsake us as we seek to be obedient to His call.

I was asked at work by a well meaning co-worker if we really knew what was ahead and my answer was as simple as God will provide. The world does not understand this and sadly much of the church does not either. I would encourage you not only in family matters but in all things to trust God and obey His word. Not just those parts that are easy, comfortable, or culturally acceptable but all that God calls us to do in His word. Will things be easy, probably not but God never promised ease but says that what He commands us to do will not be burdensome (1 Jn 5:3). I am confident that God will not only provide but that He is with us in this endeavour and since He is not only the God of the ends but also the God of the means He will provide those means in His way and in His timing so that He is most glorified.

So I would ask a couple things. First, that in your families you would seek God’s word for how they are to function, in all areas of family life. Seek God’s guidance and power so as to have families that are directed by His word and not the culture that surrounds them and that we would be families that most glorify God and expand His kingdom. Secondly, I would ask that you to pray for our family as we head off into this new adventure. This is not an adventure that others have not entered into but we need to bathe all things we do in prayer so your prayers are appreciated.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Franklin Springs DVD Release

Franklin Springs Family Media has a new DVD coming out that is available for pre-buy:  The Art of Cooking.

Here is a preview of part of the DVD:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NCFIC Articles on the Church as a "Family of Families"

The NCFIC has added some articles on the often complained about saying that the church is a “Family of Families”:

Here is the series of posts to date on this subject:

The Church is a “Family of Families” A History -- Part 1
The Church is a “Family of Families” -- Part 2
Did the Puritans have a “Family of Families” Ecclesiology?
“Family of Families” in the News
The Church is a “Family of Families” -- Part 3
The Church is a “Family of Families” -- Part 4
The Church is a “Family of Families” -- Part 5

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/10/09)

For those that still want to complain about the Family Integrated Churches use of the term “Family of Families” here are some further responses from the NCFIC: The Church is a "Family of Families" -- A History, Part 1 , The Church is a "Family of Families" -- Part 2 and The Church is a "Family of Families -- Part 3.  Unfortunately this same complaint keeps surfacing and by the way the question is usually phrased it is apparent that the people raising it do not read the many answers given to the complaint. Of course there may be churches that misuse the term and put family above all else and do not recognize the different justifications God has set up but this is not the position of the NCFIC or most Family Integrated Churches I know of.
(Updated with Part 3 of series on 11/12/09)

At the Voddie Baucham Ministries post on Answering Your Questions the question of the Month is: What are practical ways to involve and teach your preschoolers during your family devotional times (ie: morning pray/read/sing).

If you have seen the documentary Demographic Bomb: Demography is Destiny, sequel to Demographic Winter, you will know who Paul Ehrlich is. But have you made his connection to Barak Obama, well you should. John Holdren whom Barack Obama recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – aka. The United States' Science Czar has connections to Paul Ehrlich. In a WND post entitled Demographic Bomb Explodes the article states:

“In 1977, Holdren co-authored a book with the original population hysterics, Anne and Paul Ehrlich. In the chilling, apocalyptic tract ("Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment"), Holdren and the Ehrlichs mused that a coming "Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. … The Regime would have power to enforce the agreed (population) limits."” 

“At his confirmation hearing, Holdren assured senators that he does not believe government should set population goals. Still, in the course of three decades, Obama's science czar never bothered to disavow these 1984-ish views until he was up for confirmation.”

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Some Answers for Critics from the NCFIC

The National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC) has posted: Some Answers for Critics. They answer the seven most common misconceptions people have about the NCFIC. I would encourage you to read this post if you have concerns about the FIC, and even if you do not, as it is not a new movement as what they, we, seek to be is what the church has historically been; a multigenerational biblical assembly of believers committed to worshiping God as His word directs.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/2/09)

This months free audio book from Christian Audio is John Piper’s Desiring God. Just sign up for a free account, if you do not already have one, and then enter the coupon code NOV2009.

This looks like a good documentary: Homeschool Dropouts.

“The Botkin siblings have been talking to their peers around the United States, many of whom are planning futures that do not include home education.”

Are we preparing our children to carry the mantel to the next generation.  For far to many professing believers that homeschool their main reasons are not firmly grounded in the commands found in the word of God. When this mindset is passed down to the next generation there is little stability and when a seemingly better alternative to homeschooling presents itself they will turn to that. It is when we ground our reasons for homeschooling in the all sufficient word of God and pass that on to our children that the next generation will be more intent on homeschooling themselves. It will be interesting to see what this DVD has to say.

At Kevin Swanson’s Blog he writes in his post Not Much Has Changed in 400 Years that the warning of Richard Baxter concerning who our children associate with is as true today as it was then.

Don’t forget the upcoming Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 Conference in December.