Saturday Stuff, May 30, 2015

SaturdayStuff_socialmedia*I like Sean Connery’s 2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Some didn’t.  20th Century Fox is rebooting/remaking the movie.

*This Redneck Avengers made me laugh out loud…

*Season 1 of the CW’s The Flash was incredibly awesome!  Here’s some future teases from executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.

*Here are summer 2015 TV previews from IGN.

*Chris Pine (Star Trek’s Captain Kirk) is a candidate to play Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman movie.

*Check out this cool history of the lightsaber within the Star Wars universe.


6-String Salvo, May 29, 2015

bigstock-Guitar-9506791. Doug Wilson offers some helpful thoughts on kids and video games from a Christian worldview perspective.

2. Love this from Sam Storms on how important Maranatha! was to Christians as they parted company.

3. Jesse Johnson reminds us of what our culture seems to be forgetting…God made us male and female.

4. Randy Alcorn shows how atheism has trouble when it tries to lay a moral foundation.

5. Barnabas Piper answers a great question, “What is redemptive about sports?”

6. Once again, Joe Carter helps us with 9 things you should know about mental health.

Here’s The Temperance Movement with Ain’t No Telling

Smile, Be Pleasant, and Say Thank You

fastfoodemployeeThis isn’t really an experiment I’ve been doing because I think of myself most of the time as pleasant, but I’ve really noticed the difference a smile, a pleasant attitude, and a nice “thank you” can make.  I don’t know if people at fast food places or in other customer service oriented business are just plain worn out from the gruffness or meanness of customers, but I’ve been amazed at what smiling, being pleasant, and saying “thank you” does for them.

Just yesterday morning I drove through McDonald’s for a sausage biscuit and a caramel frappe (no whip, extra drizzle).  I always make a point to say thank you after the person says what the total will be.  When I pulled around to the window, a young lady was taking the money and I could tell pretty quickly by her countenance that her morning didn’t seem to be going very well.  I smiled as I handed her my card and say “Good Morning.”  She kind of smiled back.  But when she handed my card and receipt back, I smiled again, said “thanks, have a great day” and a genuine smile came across her face.  I don’t know how many smiles she received that morning, or how many she had given, but in that brief moment I was glad to give her some encouragement.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again.  So let me encourage you to do your own experiment.  Put a smile on your face, be pleasant to people, and say a genuine, heart-felt “thank you.”  I’d love to know how this works for you and how it affects those with whom you try it.

Proverbs 17:22 (HCSB) says…

22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

May the Lord allow us the privilege of being good medicine to folks who have broken spirits.

Board Games & the Joy of Family

boardgamesIn yesterday’s post I talked about ways to redeem the summer with your children.  One of the ways I mentioned was playing board games.  I said that board games offer times to laugh and to communicate.  I think board games can teach as well.  What are some ways board games can teach children and youth?

  1. Board games have winners and losers. Pride is at the root of sin. Humility must be taught early and often.  No one likes to be a loser, yet losing reminds us that our value isn’t found in the final score of a game, but in who we are in Christ.  Winners have a general tendency to “rub it in the face” of the losers.  But winners should strive to show humility when they win because the next time they might be on the losing side.  In a small sense, having winners and losers reminds us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice over and against our tendencies.
  1. Board games have rules. Some see rules as restrictive. However, rules are what bring enjoyment to games.  Without rules in a game, anything goes.  And when anything goes, the game loses its joy.  This is the same with God’s Word.  His rules are not burdensome but light.  His rules help us to enjoy life as God intended it to be lived, not to take away our joy.  Learning that rules can add joy to life in the same way they add joy to a game can help teach a great lesson to children.
  1. Board games are competitive. I heard someone say years ago about playing football that he was competitive but not combative. I think that’s a great way of talking about how to play games.  While we can have some “trash” talk during a board game, we can also teach about how to properly use words to be competitive without crossing the line of hurting others.  Competition is a good thing if properly used.
  1. Board games can help us learn how to resolve conflict. If you’ve played a board game, you know that at some point there will be conflict. There will be conflict in life and we must learn good ways to resolve that conflict.  Board games can help.
  1. Board games get us out of our comfort zones. These games help us to move into areas in which we may not be comfortable. Maybe we are not very competitive or maybe too competitive.  Maybe we prefer one-person video games rather than multiple players.  Maybe we prefer tech games more than traditional games.  Board games can help us move away from those comfort zones.
  1. Board games open up communication. Board games require communication. Especially when our families have introverts and extroverts, these games give us some opportunities to communicate while playing.  These times of playing can open up other opportunities to dialogue with family.  We have to take out our earbuds and actually talk with one another.

I hope you’ll take time this summer to introduce board games to your family.  I think you’ll be glad you did!

Redeeming Your Summer

With Memorial Day behind us, we’ve entered into the summer months.  Schools are out for a few months.  Teachers are celebrating, and parents…well, parents maybe not so much.  However, summers can be a great time for parents and kids to reconnect with one another.  Reconnecting will require spending time together.  Here are 6 ways to redeem your summer…

  1. Take extended time to think biblically. Read the Bible together. Read classic stories like Pilgrim’s Progress, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or The Chronicles of Narnia stories.  Fill your minds with Scriptures and stories that will be used by the Spirit to shape your character more into the image of Jesus.
  2. Play lots of board games. Board games are great opportunities to laugh and communicate.
  3. Go on day trips. There are lots of opportunities to take inexpensive day trips. From museums to state parks to local historical sites, go hang out with the family and have some fun and learn some stuff.
  4. Serve somebody. Go visit a senior adult and mow their lawn. Go see some sick folks in the hospital.  Get to know your neighbors by baking some cookies and taking the treats to their homes.  There are lots of ways to serve.
  5. Be careful in using the TV/video games to entertain your children. Because of all the free time, parents may resort to turning on the TV or letting video games babysit the kids. Don’t fall into this trap.  Find other ways to entertain your children.  The extra time will be worth it.
  6. Stay connected to the church. When you’re in town, make sure that you attend church. Many churches will have children and youth activities going on during the summer.  Get your kids involved.  Have church friends, and church people you don’t know so well, over to your home for a cookout or for pizza.  Make church a regular part of your summer activities.

Allow the summer to help you grow your family closer as you redeem the time you have with your kids.

The Image of God in Women…The Notes

IMAGO_DEI_Social_Media_WEEK_3Yesterday’s sermon was from Matthew 27:55-61 as I preached on The Image of God in Women.  You can listen to the sermon here.  Here are the notes…

1. Women were valued by Jesus.

2. Women were disciples of Jesus.

3. Women unashamedly identified with Jesus.

4. Women witnessed Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

5. Women served Jesus.

6. Women were the first to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28:1-10).

The Image of God in Women

IMAGO_DEI_Social_Media_WEEK_3Today is week 3 of the sermon series Imago Dei: And God Created Them Male and Female. Today’s sermon is The Image of God in Women from Matthew 27:55-61…

Matthew 27:55-61 (HCSB) 55  Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and ministered to Him were there, looking on from a distance. 56  Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57  When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58  He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. 59  So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, 60  and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. 61  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.