Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Lord IS good!

The Lord is good
Tell it wherever you go,
The Lord is good
Tell it that others may know;
Tell of His blessings and
Tell of His love,
Tell how He's watching
From Heaven above:
The Lord is good
Tell it wherever you go.
 - Alfred B. Smith

Remember to reflect on God's goodness today. Not just how He has been good to you in easy times, but especially how He was good to you during the difficult times and brought you through. I find that when I remember His faithfulness to me in the past, I learn to trust Him more with my present and future.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Discipleship Training

Have you heard of Bright Lights? "Bright" stands for Being Radiant In Godliness, Holiness, and Testimony. Their website gives the purpose of this ministry - "to give practical training in godliness, to encourage young woman to live the years of their youth fully for Christ, to provide edifying fellowship and accountability, and to be a group which will minister to others." Our church is in the process of starting a Bright Lights group in about three weeks. This is a discipleship training program for young girls, although they have also started a new group for young boys called The Light Shop. You can check out their website for more details on this program, as well as how you could start a Bright Lights ministry in your own church. Our church purchased the training manual and dvds so that all of our workers could learn the philosophy behind this ministry. The training dvds have been excellent! The Bright Lights lessons teach concepts such as children giving their heart to their parents, learning how to get along with brothers and sisters, having a clear conscience before God, and many others. The recommended ages for a Bright Lights group is for girls age 10-13. Our church has decided that we are going to also adapt the lessons for girls as young as second grade. While we whole-heartedly believe in reaching teen girls for Christ and discipling them, we are finding that many girls are already "set in their ways" by the time they reach their teen years, and often have a hardened heart towards the things of the Lord. We are hoping to reach younger girls and teach them Biblical concepts before they even reach those extremely critical years.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Character Qualities

Dr. S. M. Davis, along with Park Meadows Baptist Church, has a wonderful ministry of helping Christian families. His website is SolveFamilyProblems. Dr. Davis has preached in our church, and the truths he preached have deeply impacted our church, Christian school, and my own family. He talks a lot about anger, rebellion, marriage, character, parenting, friendships, and much more. He has put his sermons on DVD, using a unique technique of hundreds of picture illustrations that really drive home the points, while making every sermon very interesting and easy to listen to. He even has some free downloads on his website. Our school's theme this year is developing Christian character. Dr. Davis has a free downloadable chart of the 49 Character Qualities on his chart. These are so good, I have listed this chart below. I think teaching good, godly character is something that is desperately missing from many of our Christian homes these days. As I read through the list, all I can say is "Oh me. I have some work to do in my own life!" Through watching Dr. Davis' video sermon on instilling godly character in children, my husband and I have renewed our determination to teach our children these Biblical concepts, as well as work on them in our own lives.

1. Truthfulness vs. Deception - Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts (Ephesians 4:25)
2. Obedience vs. Willfulness - Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority (II Corinthians 10:5)
3. Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy - Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22)
4. Virtue vs. Impurity - The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God's Word (II Peter 1:5)
5. Boldness vs. Fearfulness - Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just in the sight of God (Acts 4:29)
6. Forgiveness vs. Rejection - Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and allowing God to love them through me (Ephesians 4:32)
7. Persuasiveness vs. Contentiousness - Guiding vital truths around another's mental roadblocks (II Timothy 2:24)
8. Alertness vs. Unawareness - Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right responses (Mark 14:35)
9. Hospitality vs. Loneliness - Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those whom God brings into my life (Hebrews 13:2)
10. Generosity vs. Stinginess - Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purpose (II Corinthians 9:6)
11. Joyfulness vs. Self-pity - The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with God (Proverbs 15:13)
12. Flexability vs. Resistance - Not settling my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others (Colossians 3:2)
13. Availability vs. Self-centeredness - Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving (Philippians 2:20-21)
14. Endurance vs. Giving Up - The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God's best (Galatians 6:9)
15. Self-Control vs. Self-Indulgence - Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God's Spirit (Galatians 5:24-25)
16. Reverence vs. Disrespect - Awareness of how God is working through people and events in my life to produce character in me (Proverbs 23:17-18)
17. Diligence vs. Slothfulness - Picturing each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to accomplish it (Colossians 3:23)
18. Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness - Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected (Colossians 3:23)
19. Dependability vs. Inconsistency - Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice (Psalm 15:4)
20. Security vs. Anxiety - Structuring my life around that which is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away (John 6:27)
21. Patience vs. Restlessness - Accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it (Romans 5:3-4)
22. Wisdom vs. Natural Inclinations - Seeing and responding to life situations from God's frame or reference (Proverbs 9:10)
23. Discernment vs. Judgment - The God-given ability to understand why things happen (I Samuel 16:7)
24. Faith vs. Presumption - Picturing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it (Hebrews 11:1)
25. Discretion vs. Simple-mindedness - The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)
26. Love vs. Selfishness - Giving to others' basic needs without having as my motive personal reward (I Corinthians 13:3)
27. Creativity vs. Underachievement - Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective (Romans 12:2)
28. Enthusiasm vs. Apathy - Expressing with my spirit the joy of my soul (I Thessalonians 5:15, 19)
29. Resourcefulness vs. Wastefulness - Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard (Luke 15:10)
30. Thriftiness vs. Extravagance - Not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary (Luke 15:11)
31. Contentment vs. Coveteousness - Realizing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness (I Timothy 6:8)
32. Punctuality vs. Tardiness - Showing high esteem for other people and their time (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
33. Tolerance vs. Prejudice - Acceptance of others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity (Philippians 2:2)
34. Cautiousness vs. Rashness - Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions (Proverbs 19:2)
35. Gratefulness vs. Unthankfulness - Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefitted my life (Ephesians 4:25)
36. Orderliness vs. Disorganization - Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency (I Corinthians 14:40)
37. Initiative vs. Unresponsiveness - Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it (Romans 12:21)
38. Responsibility vs. Unreliability - Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting of me (Romans 14:2)
39. Humitiy vs. Pride - Recognizing that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life (James 4:5)
40. Decisiveness vs. Doublemindedness - The ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God (James 1:5)
41. Determination vs. Faintheartedness - Purposing to accomplish God's goals in God's time regardless of the opposition (II Timothy 4:7-8)
42. Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness - Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those whom He has called me to serve (John 15:13)
43. Attentiveness vs. Unconcern - Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)
44. Sensitivity vs. Callousness - Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me (Romans 12:15)
45. Justice vs. Fairness - Personal responsibility to God's unchanging laws (Micah 6:8)
46. Compassion vs. Indifference - Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others (I John 3:17)
47. Gentleness vs. Harshness - Showing personal care and concern in meeting the needs of others (I Thessalonians 2:7)
48. Deference vs. Rudeness - Limiting my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve (Romans 14:21)
49. Meekness vs. Anger - Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God (Psalm 62:5)