A Boy at the Cross-Roads of Life

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As a boy in middle school, I was right on the edge of heading in the wrong direction. There was a great battle going on for my mind and spirit. Then one critical day I hit a cross-roads. The Lord spoke to me and called me to follow him. You can hear the story of what happened in Part 3 of the video series How to Help to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated.

We have all experienced this battle. Your children will too. What can you do to help them? What can you do to facilitate a one-on-one encounter with God for your child? 

In this video, we will explore the important difference between discipline (using external motivation) and discipleship (developing internal motivation). You can learn to successfully transition from discipline to discipleship and help bring about a true heart transformation in your children.

Can you remember a crossroads like this in your life? Can you remember the people in your life that helped you move in the right direction? Leave a comment below and tell us about it. 

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

How to Get Control of Your Anger

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On the very day I was working on a video on How to Get Control of Your Anger, I came across a video from Prager University on Anger Management. I usually like what Prager U puts out. However, in this video the main piece of advice given is this:

"No matter how angry you get, restrict the expression of your anger to the incident that provoked it." 

There are some good thoughts in this video on communication strategies. But that statement as the bottom line for anger management is . . . well, pitiful. Especially in light of a worldview that includes God and how he made us and how he satisfies our every need. 

Why do we become angry? What does our anger tell us about our needs and struggles? Instead of only trying to manage our anger, how can we get to the heart of our desires and learn how to trust God and follow his will regarding those desires? 

In this short video, I share what I have learned about my own anger and what it is telling me about my need for God. The insights that I share are from my dad's book, The Message in Your Emotions [Wayne McDill]. The book addresses many negative emotions that help us understand our need for God. In this video, I am referring to chapters 7-9 on Anger and Authority. 

Please comment below and let me know how these insights help you. Share and tag a friend who has anger problems. Just kidding! Just share it with all your friends. Most of them have anger problems anyway.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Have You Discovered the Ultimate Goal of Parenting?

What we are aiming for as parents has a major impact on how we relate to and raise our children every day. Have you discovered the ultimate goal of parenting from God's point of view? It is easy for us to get distracted by all sorts of other parenting goals and motives that will not produce the outcome we are really looking for. 

Here is Part 2 of my video series on How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated. [Hint: Helping your children to become self-motivated is not the ultimate goal of parenting!]

How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated Video Series

Last week I spoke to a local homeschool group on How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated. I have presented this talk in a set of ten videos. Here is the first one! I hope you are inspired! If you find it encouraging, please share it with others. If you have a question or comment, please leave it below.  

Are You Teaching Your Kids About Personal Finances?

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"Parents cannot abdicate the teaching of finances to the schools, because the schools aren't teaching it. It's astounding to think that you can get through elementary school, high school, and college and still not know how to balance a checkbook, or buy a home, or decide what kind of insurance you need. But, unfortunately, that's the norm."

You will find this paragraph in the introduction of the Money Matters for Teens Workbook by Larry Burkett with Todd Temple. For those of us who have children in public (and probably even private) school, this is a helpful reminder that we cannot depend on the schools to prepare our children for life. In addition to teaching practical matter of life (like finances), Christian parents have to remember that God has given us the responsibility to disciple our children (Deut 6:4-9; Eph 6:4). We cannot depend on others to fulfill this role in our children's lives (not even the church!). 

For those of us who homeschool our children, this norm only confirms our reasoning for home education. But it is probably still worth asking home educators: Are you making sure to include personal finance in your teaching plan? We are using this workbook as a part of ours. 

One more reason that teaching personal finance to our children is important: "It's sad that half of all marriages today fail and, overwhelmingly, the major factor is the mismanagement of money." 

[Photo by Olly Joy on Unsplash]

Three Questions Fake Christians Can't Answer

As we were on the plane, flying home from the Dominican Republic, a friend of mine (William) got into a conversation with a Polish man who currently lives in North Carolina. William asked him if he knew for sure if he would go to heaven when he died. The man said he didn't know for sure, but would like to. So, William proceeded to share the gospel with him.

An hour later, they had run down all sort of religious and philosophical rabbit trails. That's when I joined the conversation. We did our best to try to get back to the main point, but by this time he was trying to convince us that he was a Christian. However, he clearly did not believe what the Bible teaches about salvation. I have had similar conversations in which someone claimed to be a Christian and did not believe biblical teaching on salvation, and there seemed to be no way to break through their mind set.

Soon after we returned home, I discovered this video by Tim Keller, "Questions for Sleepy and Nominal Christians." I was particularly struck by the title of the article about the video on churchleaders.com: Three Questions Fake Christians Can't Answer. These are very helpful ideas for talking with people to claim to be Christians but don't seem to understand it or don't seem to be walking it.