How to Have a Clear Conscience

One important way to be happy is to have a clear conscience. When we are carrying guilt or sin, we are not happy. We are not peaceful and free. That is why the forgiveness that Jesus extends to us through his death is so precious. Forgiveness! Are you enjoying forgiveness and a clear conscience? Learn how in episode 006 of the Truth to Freedom Podcast.

Fun Family Time, Great Food, and Home School Encouragement

Coming up at Cherokee Cove is the annual Home School Family Camp Out. Go HERE to see more details about this event and sign up today!

I will be teaching on the following two topics in four sessions:

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home

Are you fed up with the ugly talk and fighting in your home? Amazingly, it is easier to be polite and patient with those outside the family than those we love the most! A major part of preparing our children for life is teaching them how to interact with others. In this session, we will apply biblical conflict resolution principles to the relationships in your home. You will receive practical tools for how to teach your children to handle conflict (and how to practice it yourself!).

How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated

Are you tired of working so hard to get your child to do their work or make the right choices? When will they be self-motivated? How can you help them develop this? Discipline is when parents provide external motivation for right choices (which is a necessary part of the process). Discipleship is when parents help children develop their own motivation for making the right choices because of their love for Christ. In this session, we will discuss how to make the difficult transition from discipline to discipleship. You will receive practical tips on helping your child develop godly self-motivation.


My 4th Grade Goals, Continued

Here are the life goals I wrote when I was in the 4th grade:

1. Teach as much people about God.
2. Learn as much as I can about talking in front of other people.
3. Raise a good family.
4. Try to learn as much Scripture as I can.

I already gave the back-story of my 4th grade life goals HERE and explained the present significance of the first two. Now I want to explain the last two.

I want to raise a good family.

Again, it is amazing to me how the importance of family has developed as a significant theme in my life. It started with my own family. I grew up believing and experiencing that family is important.

My conviction deepened as I spent many years in youth ministry. I observed the spiritual maturity of young people and the fragmentation of the family unit. Many families were not unified and many parents were not taking any responsibility in training their children in the Lord. A desire was born in me to minister to the whole family, and especially parents, equipping them to disciple their children.

Then Dana and I started our own family. Wow, what a privilege and responsibility! We quickly came to the conclusion that the general attitude of our culture was not the way God views children. Children are a blessing, not a liability, an expense, or a burden. Having children and passing faith to them is a central part of God’s program. While we are not opposed to birth control, we have taken that program pretty seriously and now have nine children. Our calling now is to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, teaching them to love God.

Back row from left: Caleb (13), Dana holding Andrew, Matthew holding Isaac (2), Bethany (14). Middle row: Nathaniel (7), Josiah (11), Hannah (10). Front: Kathryn (6), Samantha Ruby (3).

Back row from left: Caleb (13), Dana holding Andrew, Matthew holding Isaac (2), Bethany (14).
Middle row: Nathaniel (7), Josiah (11), Hannah (10). Front: Kathryn (6), Samantha Ruby (3).

We also have had the privilege of helping to start a family integrated church in Boone, NC. A family integrated church is one in which there are no nurseries or classes for children to go to. The whole family worships together all morning. It hasn’t always been easy, and it certainly isn’t always quiet, but we love worshipping and learning together! The children get to be observers and real participants in the function of the church family and the parents are given the primary responsibility of leading and teaching their children.

I want to learn as much Scripture as I can.

My parents taught me to memorize and study God’s Word. My Dad taught me to teach God’s Word. My second master’s degree and Ph.D. are in Biblical Studies with a focus in New Testament. I love memorizing, studying, and teaching the Scripture. And there is still so much to learn!

God’s Word is how we learn the truth that sets us free. That is the entire purpose of my ministry:

I hope you can see now why this little paper, written 32 years ago, is so amazing to me. Not long after I gave my life Christ, he began to put in my heart his own desires for me.

“Not that I have already attained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Phil 3:12

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fake?

I hate that horrible feeling I have when I am hiding something. I despise the tension in my spirit when I know I'm not living in integrity. Thank God I don't have to live that way! Having a peaceful, clear conscience is definitely one of the keys to being happy.

Podcast episode 5 continues the series on How to be Happy. If you have any questions or thoughts about this episode, please leave a comment on this post. You can also email me at matthew@truthtofreedom.org.

Facing That One Thing You Hope God Doesn't Ask You to Do

This podcast is the first in a series called How to Be Happy. Through the series you will be guided through a sequence of steps to help you process all the desires and fears in your heart and understand how to find deep and lasting happiness in Jesus.

Here is the first step: make a list of answers to the following questions:

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As we create our lists, we will ask ourselves if we trust God's plan for our lives. And we will face that one (or two or five) things we hope God won't ask us to do.