Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

Good works or good looks?

Posted: July 28, 2015 by abestratton in Advice for the Young, Articles, Parents

Walt Mueller presents some very helpful perspective on our culture in this post, “What you see is what I am...”

As a guy who is inundated with the culture’s message of “body-is-everything” just like everyone else, I understand the pressure that we and the next generation are facing. So we must keep preaching the Good News of Jesus to ourselves and to the teens who are coming after us. “God is concerned with our hearts. That’s the message we should tell the one we see in the mirror and the message we should pass on to our kids” (Mueller).

“Class of 2015. . . it’s not going to work out the way that you are hoping, planning for, dreaming, or imagining. How do I know that? The same way that every single adult my age who was once sitting where you’re sitting today knows it.

You are sitting there today with a script that you believe is going to play out for your life. You’ve written that script. I had a script way back in 1978. It was a good one. It was good because it was smooth, full of pleasure, and void of pain. But in the years since then, God has given me a different script. It’s a script filled with a lot more difficulty, disaster, surprises, and suffering than I ever could have imagined being able to weather. But you know what, I wouldn’t trade this script for anything. Seriously. It’s far better than the script I had dreamed up for myself. The reason? God’s gift to me of His script for me has slowly forced myself out of myself and into Him. Whether I’ve known it or not, that’s where all my yearnings have pointed. . . and in His grace and time, He’s taking me there.

So, the best advice I can give you today is this. . . immerse yourself in a quest to faithfully follow the incarnate Word (Jesus) into every nook, cranny, and second of your life. And, immerse yourself in a never-ending quest to faithfully know and love the written Word where God has revealed His will, way and story (the Bible). And as you engage endlessly and passionately with both, continually pray these three prayers:

1. Lord, show me you.

2. Lord, show me me.

3. Lord, show me your plan for me.

Now, sit back and enjoy the unfolding of His script!”

Walt Mueller

Human Purpose, Identity, and Sexuality

Posted: May 1, 2015 by abestratton in Culture, Parents, Videos

Dale Kuehne shares some thought-provoking insights on the modern link between identity and sexuality and how that link is impacting the next generation. The 10 minutes is well worth your time!

I recently read an article written to a parent who was asking for advice about how to deal with their child’s inappropriate use of social media. The author who wrote the article made a powerful statement.

“I know [your daughter] probably just thinks it’s all just harmless fun, but try not to make it about [social media]. It’s about her heart, her attitude towards inappropriate topics.”

The ultimate problem with anything that dominates our children/teens or us (e.g. TV, sports, phone, shopping, IPad, internet, reading, etc.) is not the thing itself; it is our heart-desires. Each of us craves something that will satisfy us, and we each tend to seek for satisfaction in idols and empty wells. But those around us need to see from us that Jesus is the only well of Living Water!

Walt Mueller, a writer, speaker, and expert on culture, writes about how easy it is for the generations to be divided by preference, pride, and stereotypes. But God’s plan is for us all to live together, learn from one another, and grow along with each other.

“It’s in the full width, depth, and breadth of the body of Christ that we find that sweet, sweet balance of idealism, realism, optimism, and wisdom. That’s why we are committed to continuing to bring the generations together to listen and to learn. . . one from another!”

Read the rest of his brief article here.

Code Words Can Help

Posted: March 25, 2015 by abestratton in Advice for the Young, Parents

“It’s hard being a teen–and it’s hard having one. Teens need independence, that’s normal and good (and how they learn to be adults), but they also need their parents. The challenge comes in figuring out the balance–for both of you.”

Here’s an interesting idea for a way that parents and teens can help each other through the messiness and craziness that is often “teen life.”

Porn: The Biggest Challenge of Our Day

Posted: March 5, 2015 by abestratton in Culture, Parents, Prayer

The war is real. The stakes are high. The fight is worth it!

Walt Mueller provides some sobering insight into this battle we face, and he shares this prayer which is gripping and timely.

Jesus, my heart goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography.  I know of no other power sufficient for the task but the gospel. This is why I run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.

O Lord of resurrection and redemption, bring your mercy and might to bear in stunning fashion. Things impossible for us are more than possible for you. You have come to set captives free and to heal the brokenhearted. Pornography is creating an over abundance of both.

Jesus, for friends somewhere in the pornography continuum of titillation to addiction, we ask you to reveal yourself in the deepest place of their hearts. We ask for the holy gift of godly sorrow, not the short-lived remorse of worldly sorrow. For your non-condemning love has great power to deliver those who cry, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body which is subject to death?”

Lead them to that cry, Jesus. They need a lot more than embarrassment and fear, they need contrition and hope. Where pornography has desensitized our friends, re-sensitize them so they can see and feel the horror of their entrapment, and more so… much more so, the wonder of your deliverance.

For our friends who are married to someone in the talons of pornography, dear Jesus, theirs may be the greater pain and struggle. No one but you can help them with the anger, the disgust, the wound, the shame, and the mistrust that goes with this story. Help us walk with our friends who are right in the middle of this dark vortex. Show us how to validate their feelings without confirming hurt-driven conclusions. Bring patience and perspective, forbearance and faith.

Only you can rebuild the trust. Only you, Jesus, can bring a willingness to hope again. Only you can heal the places in our hearts which have suffered the greatest violation and harm. Absolutely no one understands all this like you, Jesus, and absolutely no one redeem these messes but you. So very Amen, we pray, in your great and glorious name. (Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers)