Roots and Wings

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Roots and Wings

We all need two basic things in life. The first is stability to be grounded and secure individuals. Only then can you be relationally healthy. The second is the vision and encouragement to discern and develop your unique gifts and aptitudes. Then you can recognize, pursue, and fulfill your calling. In simple terms, you need roots, and you need wings.

Today I want to focus on the latter—the wings. We all want to be discerning so that we can develop God’s design for our lives. But be prepared . . . it takes time and energy. It takes time to connect with God; to read and study His word, to pray, to talk to God and to listen to God, and connect with other people.

As you connect with God and connect with others, you will see God’s will for your life. It’s when you actively pursue life and pursue God . . . that you’ll see God’s will revealed. Don’t wait for it, move ahead and see it happen.

Steve Arterburn

No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley.” – Seneca the Younger (5 B.C.–A.D. 65)

 

New Life Live: August 7, 2015

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Topics: Marriage, Intimacy, Sexual Abuse, Parenting, Depression, In-laws, Pornography
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. Dave Stoop, Milan Yerkovich

Caller Questions:

  1. I am not sexually attracted to my husband; will that ever change?
  2. I am frustrated because I can’t help my 24yo Down Syndrome son.
  3. What do I tell my in-laws who say that I spend more time with my folks than with them?
  4. My niece’s 6yo daughter is watching pornography; how can I help her?

Suggested Resources:
Life Recovery Bible
Healing Is a Choice

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: August 5, 2015

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Topics: Homosexuals, Premarital Counseling, Dating, Divorce, Grandparenting, Alcoholics
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Dave Stoop

Caller Questions:

  1. How can my church strike a balance between love and truth regarding gay marriage?
  2. What is the best way to prepare my 21yo son and his fiancée to get married?
  3. My dating relationship is moving slow like a turtle; how long should I wait?
  4. Is it time to give up on my 5yr marriage (his fifth marriage)?
  5. How can I help my 11yo grandson who hears his alcoholic parents fighting all of the time?

Suggested Resources:
7 Minute Marriage Solution
Boundaries in Dating
Life Recovery Bible

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Silencing Unholy Sounds

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Silencing Unholy Sounds

You don’t need to look very far to find that our culture is bombarded by words–billboards, radio, email, text messaging, internet, television, telephones, the list goes on and on. Some messages are, of course, better than others. Nevertheless, there comes a time when we all need a break from the constant bombardment.

But how do you find refuge in a world as frenzied as ours? You can’t just set up your life in a way that you avoid everything coming at you. Yet it will be good for you to find a way to carve out a time and a place for silence in the midst of the frenzy.

The Bible tells us to sit still and be silent, and know that God is God. Take a break from the constant chatter of the world. Sit quietly and attentively in God’s presence.

Try it. See if this spiritual discipline doesn’t break the power of fear and anxiety in your life. See if it doesn’t heighten your awareness of God’s presence. See if, in this silence, you can learn to pay less attention to the noise of the world and more attention to what God is trying to say to you.

Set aside some time this week. Read Psalm 46 slowly and carefully, then sit quietly and let your heart rest in the comforting truth that God is God, and you’re not!

– Steve Arterburn

There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” – Minnie Aumonier (1865–1952)

Humility | Doorways, not Doormats

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Humility Doorways, not Doormats

Humility. What is it anyway? If I’m humble, do I have to roll over and play second fiddle to everyone, all the time? Too often humility has been misunderstood as a negative character trait. I would like to help you get a clear biblical perspective on what humility is and what it is not. Humility isn’t thinking less of your-self; it’s thinking more of God and of others. In other words, humility isn’t about putting our-selves down, but rather, about glorifying God and affirming others.

Consider Jesus. He left His place of highest honor in heaven in or­der to become a man, flesh and blood, here on earth. However, He didn’t tear himself down or deny that He was a person of value and importance. What He did do is lift others up through His humility and show them how valuable they were to God.

So, you see, humility isn’t about being a doormat; it’s about being a doorway–a doorway through which others enter into the presence and power of God. By focusing on building others up and help­ing others connect with God, we show them the love of God, who desires the best for them.

Think about how you can strive to put others’ interests ahead of your own. I challenge you to show others in your home, your offices, or even in the checkout line at the market, how you and God value them. A good way to begin is by asking yourself what Jesus would do if he were in your place.

– Steve Arterburn

What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.” – Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

Silence

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 1 Peter 2:15

Silence

Have you ever hung up the phone or left a conversation and felt like you said too much? Have you ever wished you could take back something you said? We often learn the hard way that words can cause pain and create problems.

One way to refine your use of words is by routinely practicing the discipline of silence.

Take a day to monitor your conversations. Spend some time in silence to reflect on how you’ve used and abused words. Do you use words to rationalize, lie, deceive, exaggerate, or manipulate? In silence you’ll remember the words you spoke quickly in anger and slowly in apology, arrogantly in accusation and humbly in confession. In silence you’ll begin to hear and you’ll begin to experience his renewal.

Then you can begin to make changes where necessary. People recovering from heart attacks are often counseled to bring quiet into their lives by speaking less often and more slowly when they do speak. Such discipline has been proven to reduce stress and ease tension. And most importantly it can help you use your words in ways that encourage others and please God.

– Steve Arterburn

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot (1819–1880)

Bearing Each Other’s Burdens

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Bearing Each Other's Burdens

We are called to walk alongside others on the journey of discipleship. We serve our brothers and sisters by helping them stay on or return to the path of faithfulness. And we also serve them by making sure we continue in faithfulness. Self-neglect and irresponsibility impose an unfair burden on your brother and sister in Christ, because they’re responsible to help you.

The body of Christ is not a place of self-sufficiency. It’s time we quit believing those lies we’ve been listening to for so long. The Christian faith is not each person looking out for him or herself. Nor is it the survival of the fittest. The body of Christ is a place of interdependency. When you share the troubles and problems of others, you’re fulfilling the law of love. Our burdens bring us together! As you call on others to help you bear your burdens, you will find your love and appreciation growing. Your weaknesses call forth other’s strengths. And when others call on you, you have the opportunity to be an agent of God’s mercy and grace, looking for nothing in return.

Do you know someone who is under a heavy burden at this time? What practical way can you come alongside that person and help him or her bear it? Prayerfully consider what God may be calling you to do, then step forward and do it.

– Steve Arterburn

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

Raising Kids

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Mark 10:14

Raising Kids

Looking for an alternative approach to adult education? Try raising kids! You’ll learn important like this:

  • A king size waterbed contains enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house about 4 inches deep.
  • When you hear the toilet flush and the words ‘uh oh,’ it’s already too late.
  • A ceiling fan isn’t strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy clad in Batman underwear and Superman cape hanging by a dog leash. It is able, however, to spin a paint can quickly enough to splash paint on all four walls of a room.
  • Super glue is forever.
  • VCRs don’t eject ‘peanut butter and jelly’ sandwiches
  • Garbage bags don’t make good parachutes.

If you’re a parent, or have kids in your life, enjoy the daily adventures, even if it means time and energy you didn’t budget for the moment.

– Steve Arterburn

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.” – Michael Caine (1933- )

God’s Watching!

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1–3

God’s Watching!

The children were lined up in the school cafeteria for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples accompanied by a note that read:

Take only ONE. God’s watching.”

Further down the lunch line, at the other end of the table, was a plate piled high with cookies. Next to it was a note in a child’s handwriting:

Take all you want. God’s watching the apples!

Kids are hilarious. And our thinking often isn’t much different than theirs. Take for example the issue of God’s providential care. How often do we think that God is absent or preoccupied with
other things? How often do we err by assuming that God is present but indifferent to our actions, or He’s present only with disapproving judgment?

God sees us. He’s watching all the time. . . in our time of blessing and when things are tougher than they’ve ever been. When He sees His image reflected in who we are, it’s pleasing to Him.

– Steve Arterburn

For however devoted you are to God, you may be sure that He is immeasurably more devoted to you.” – Meister Eckhart (1260–1328)

Quality And Quantity?

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6 -7

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you lie down and when you get up.

You’ve heard parents say this about their kids: “I don’t have much time to give, but what I do give is quality time!” I don’t know what that means, and I bet your children don’t either. Even if they did, I don’t think you really build relationships on “quality time”.

How can you predict the quality of “quality time?” And what constitutes the distinction, anyway?

My point is that life just doesn’t work that way. For instance, suppose you bought tickets to a local minor league ballgame for you and your son. You planned some real quality time to teach your son about the game you loved, and hopefully instill the same passion in him. But in the first inning he spots a friend, and they disappear together for the rest of the game. So much for quality time!

Then suppose in the same week, while heading to the grocery store, you bring your daughter along. No chance of quality time here, right? But among mundane chores and small talk, your daughter asks, “Daddy, what does salvation mean?” Your last minute errand just turned into quality time.

Quality time can’t be manipulated. It doesn’t happen at our beck and call. Instead, quality time sneaks up on us amidst quantity time. Consequently, the only way we can ensure quality time is to make sure there’s quantity time—and plenty of it.

“If you wonder where your child left his roller skates, try walking around the house in the dark.” – Leopold Fechtner

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I pray that I will not miss the opportunities to turn my time with family and friends into quality time, to share my knowledge about your love and grace with them. Amen.