Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Can the Church Get Along?

posted by Linda Mintle

Last week, after the horrific movie shootings, the two presidential candidates suspended their attacks on each other and gave us a breather from political campaigning. It was a nice relief even though we all know this will not continue.

And I wondered, what would happen if the church took their lead and stopped its in-fighting and disagreements over doctrinal issues that are not essential to our faith?

For example, what does it matter where one stands on when Christ will return? The point is, He will return. Or why get all worked up if creation was a literal 7 days or some other time frame we really don’t understand. The point is God created the heavens and the earth. It’s fine to study these issues, have opinions and friendly discussions regarding your interpretation of biblical passages, but to make them issues of division, makes no sense.

There is a bigger issue to consider.

According to a recent Pew Survey reported on in June of this year, millenials (age 18-30)  are the least religiously observant youths we’ve seen in a long time.

Why? Three reasons were cited: 1) Prayer has been taken out of schools 2) The impact of the modern use of the concept of the separation of church and state 3) Little knowledge of God’s word, a sort of spiritual anorexia.

People need to see the relevance of faith to everyday living. Faith needs to be valuable and essential to living.

Fighting about non-essential issues of doctrine doesn’t help people connect with their faith. It also doesn’t make the church attractive to those who may be interested in exploring faith.

We all have enough conflict in other parts of life to add church to the mix. Let’s not have the church be a source of more conflict,  but  a place we find peace, relevance and healing.

 

What We Learn When Celebrity Couples Divorce

posted by Linda Mintle

Today is a video blog.

Russell Brand and Katie Perry are officially no longer a couple. What can we learn when celebrity couples break up?

3 quick tips to remember in order to keep your marriage intact.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Scriptural Meditations for When Terror Strikes

posted by Linda Mintle

When Terror Strikes

Psalm 34:19–Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

Proverbs  3:10-11--Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes, For the Lord will be your confidence. And will keep your foot from being caught.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9–We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed.

When You Feel Afraid

2Tim 1:7–For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:18–There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Psalm 91: 1-2–He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress. My God in Him will I trust.

(the entire Psalm)

Deuteronomy  31:6–Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them; for the Lord Your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Isaiah 34:4–Say to those who are fear-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.

 

When You Worry

Matt. 6:35–Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

(verse 25) Do not worry about your life.

 

Phil 4:6-7--Be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts, and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

24 Ways to Help Children Deal With Fear

posted by Linda Mintle

After the Columbine shootings and other horrific events that can raise fear in children, I wrote an article that included  24 ways to help children deal with fear. In light of recent events, this may be helpful to parents.

Coping With Children’s Fears:

  1. First know how you are coping. You will communicate whatever emotions you have to your children verbally or nonverbally.
  1. Do not overburden your children with too much. Make your discussions age-appropriate, listen and answer their questions.
  1. Don’t avoid talking about world events and how they impact us. This is your opportunity to present a biblical world view.
  1. Talk about good and evil from a biblical context. Children have been taught relativism which is anti-biblical. There is good and evil traced to two sources–God or Satan. The devil is real, his minions are real and there is a war with principalities and powers.
  1. Provide the hope God gives us to overcome evil through His son Jesus Christ.
  1. Pray for protection. Read Psalm 91 as a family, daily and claim that Word over your household.
  1. Engage in daily prayer times with your children. The stronger their walk with God, the more peace they will have.
  1. Teach your children where their confidence and hope comes from –read scriptures)
  1. Give your children a practical spiritual way to combat fear and worry–prayer, supplication, thanksgiving and then request (Phil 4:6-7)
  1.  When fear enters their mind, renew it with a verse– 2Tim 1:7. Tell the enemy you won’t listen to his fearful thoughts, tell him to leave and speak the name of Jesus. Fear will have to flee.
  1. Keep routines and structure going. These make children feel safe.
  1. Encourage creative expressions of feelings though music, art, dance.
  1. Take action. Send letters to firefighters, supplies to the homeless,etc. Show the love of Christ in tangible, sacrificial ways.
  1. Reassure them that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe and that God’s presence is always with them. They can call His name anytime they feel afraid.
  1. Limit exposure to trauma. Exposure to graphic images can cause psychological damage.
  1. Share feelings at youth groups and with fellow Christians who understand how to have overcome fear, hope in Christ, and pray for spirit-led direction and protection.
  1. Take care of your physical body with sleep, eating well, exercise and vitamins. Stress taxes the immune system. If you are an anxious person, cut out caffeine and stop smoking.
  1. Be physically affectionate with your children. Touch is reassuring and makes them feel connected.
  1. Continual renew your mind and theirs with the Word of God. There are so many scriptures (see attached) that help us cope and trust God in difficulty.
  1.  Practice relaxation exercises if you find yourself constantly tense. Then make time for laughter and play with your children.
  1. Talk about all the people who are helping and do good.
  1. Given all the talk about anger, you need to discuss that emotion and how to handle angry feelings. Anger is a God-given emotion but should never be used to hurt people.
  1. Also talk about forgiveness of those who hurt us. This doesn’t mean we agree with what they did or won’t try to stop them from hurting us more, but we can’t harbor unforgiveness in our hearts and must allow God to heal us.
  1. Watch how children play in the coming months. Young children tend to act out their feelings in play. You can redirect those negative feelings to appropriate responses.

 

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