The new year is upon us which means it’s time to update those reading lists!
I always recommend making a reading list to start the year because it helps you stay on track. Let’s face it, most of us don’t read as much as we are capable of, and often that is because we are not taking a structured approach. We start books but don’t finish. We know we SHOULD be reading more, but somehow we find new and creative ways to fill our reading time with some other stimulating activity. When you have no strategy and no goals in your reading, reading falls by the wayside.
If President Trump’s 2016 campaign was any indication, it was that we were in store for a wacky and wild first year in office. He did not disappoint. He started the year with a fiery inauguration speech and promised that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” Since then, Trump has been intensely outspoken especially on social media. He’s used it as a tool to communicate his uncensored version of the truth, often calling out specific individuals for ridicule and shame. His original promise of taking a step back from Twitter after he’s sworn in seems to have been laid aside.
What is the most reliable indicator for violent crime in a neighborhood? Is it segregated communities? Institutional racism? Lack of educational resources?
All statistics point to one thing as the major cause: single parent families. Where two parents can stick together over the long-haul in a healthy relationship, children and communities thrive. But the long-haul relationship is becoming increasingly rare. According to the Pew Research Center:
– 87% of children lived in a 2-parent home in 1960. It was 73% in 2000, today it’s at an all-time low of 69%
– While a majority of children grow up in a 2-parent home, only 45% of children are living with parents in their first marriage
– Children are being raised in increasingly evolving families – there is less stability as parents divorce, separate, re-marry, etc. 3 in 10 children under 6 experience a major family change
What’s to explain the breakdown of the family? There are many factors to this, but much is explained by the abandonment of God’s design for the marriage. Even obvious classifications such as gender are being called into question. What does it mean to stay faithful to God’s design for marriage and our roles as husbands/wives/parents?
This Wednesday I will be delving deeper into these topics at a special session of our parenting class. All people of marriageable age are invited (something like near graduating college and above). We will be meeting at Black Wolf Hall in Stow at 7:30pm and will go to about 9:30 or 10:00pm. I hope to see you there!
On October 13, 9 leaders and workers including myself set out for Pottersville, NY, located in the middle of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. Our destination: The Word of Life Bible Institute – a sprawling Bible college campus on the edge of a picturesque lake. We were there at the perfect time to see Fall colors at their peak. Everywhere you looked was like the most beautiful landscape painting.
Famous ‘New Atheist’ spokesman Richard Dawkins rocked the religious world in 2006 with the publication of his book: The God Delusion. The book inspired many closet atheists to come out with their newfound militant atheism and declare war on religion.
The movement seemed to most resonate with young people. With the onset of major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit came an onslaught of anti-Christian sentiment in the form of memes. They weren’t really funny memes, either. They were nasty and mean-spirited. It was war.
C.H Spurgeon (1834-1892) was one of the most remarkable spiritual leaders of the past 150 years. Everyone who knew Spurgeon recognized his pure and passionate heart. He threw himself fully into the Lord’s work, and his ministry flourished as a result. Spurgeon preferred simple and direct preaching aimed towards winning souls for Christ, which was in stark contrast to the grandiose, flowery, inaccessible language used by preachers in his day. He lived his life by this credo: “Not I, but Christ.”