En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘media’

A Pastor Believes in hell-Alert the Media!!!!

Posted by Scott on September 10, 2008

Written by Albert Mohler Jr.

Hell just emerged as an issue in Election 2008, and the campaign now enters a zone where politics and theology collide.

The catalyst for this emergence of eternal punishment as an issue is a “Belief Watch” column in this week’s edition of Newsweek magazine.  In “A Religious-Right Revival,” Lisa Miller suggests that the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee for Vice President represents a resurgence of the so-called “Religious Right.”

There is something to this argument, of course, given Gov. Palin’s record and positions on key controversial issues.  Her pro-life credentials, even taken alone, would be enough to encourage many evangelical Christians, as the response to her nomination now demonstrates.

But what makes Lisa Miller’s article most interesting has nothing directly to do with abortion, marriage, or any social issue.  The most interesting (and revealing) part of her article is a sentence that does not refer to her campaign, nor to her role as Governor, but to her church:

The senior pastor of that church, in sermons that circulated online before they were taken down last week, preaches hell for anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus.

In the event a reader might miss that sentence, the magazine put the words, “The senior pastor of Palin’s church preaches hellfire for anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus” in large type in both print and electronic editions.  In other words, these words are intended to catch a reader’s eye as newsworthy — an attention grabber.

Miller went on to explain that the fact that her pastor preaches such a message “puts her squarely in the tradition of the old-school religious right.”

Of course, belief in hell as the just punishment of the impenitent is part and parcel of historic biblical Christianity.  Taken at face value, the belief that “anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus” faces the verdict of hell is as normative as any other Christian belief.

There is no way to read the New Testament without encountering the very clear message about the reality of hell.  “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul,” Jesus warned.  “Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” [Matthew 10:28].

True, there are those who have denied both the reality of hell and the exclusivity of the Gospel.  Some attempt to deny that those who do not believe in Christ will spend eternity in hell.  Nevertheless, even those who propose doctrinal theories such as universalism and inclusivism (or those who promote annihilationism with reference to hell) must admit that their position does not represent what most Christians throughout the centuries have believed — or believe now.  We should be concerned that these theories may be spreading in influence, but it should hardly be surprising to find that an evangelical pastor preaches historic Christianity.

What this article in Newsweek represents is the absolute confidence that discovering people who believe that those who do not believe in Christ will go to hell is supposed to be shocking.

So we find in Sarah Palin’s pastor an evangelical who believes in hell and preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means of escaping hell.  In other words, he is an evangelical preaching like an evangelical.  Alert the media.

_________________________

See my articles “Hell Under Fire,” Parts One and Two, and my chapter in the book, Hell Under Fire.

See also my review of Richard Florida’s new book, Who’s Your City, at The Reading List, here.

Join us today for “Ask Anything Wednesday” on The Albert Mohler Program.

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Listen Up Guys….Appropriate Relationships!

Posted by Scott on February 3, 2008

Appropriate Relationships

Guys, if you’re going to succeed in living a God-pleasing life, keep your distance from women apart from your wife. 

I’m not saying that you become rude to women or stand-offish. What I am saying is that we keep an appropriate distance in our relationships with the women with whom we work and associate. You know what I’m talking about. We must keep our distance emotionally, and we must keep our distance physically. And if we will do that, we’ll be just fine. 

One of the reasons a vast majority of guys don’t finish strong can be found right here. Why? Because Satan takes them out with his all-time, numero-uno, time-proven tactic for snaring men and keeping them from living successfully: sexual immorality. Be on the alert and remember, ministry begins at home. My first responsibility before God is to my wife.

–Steve Farrar

Steve Farrar is the author of ten books, including the
best-sellers Point Man and Finishing Strong.
Learn more at SteveFarrar.com

-Scott Bailey 2008

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-From A Dad: Wait! The Lord is at Work!

Posted by Scott on October 23, 2007

Something I have always had trouble with is waiting.  It is not a genetic characteristic built in a male to wait.  We know something needs to be done and it is our nature to fix it if we can.  Isn’t it amazing that the one bent we struggle with is one of the very characteristics God leads us into….waiting.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”  -Psalm 33:20

What can be accomplished by waiting on God?  Why is it He wants us to wait?  I hope to address some of the reasons why waiting on God is best and that it may encourage us as dads in our daily walk when we are eager to move forward yet God instructs us to wait.

Strength comes from waiting on God.  Many of us lack the strength we need to bless others because we have not waited on our Lord.  This stems from a self-dependency or self-effort on our part.  God intends that we depend totally on Him and allow Him to build a useful testimony.  With a strong useful testimony that is filled with the providences of God, He will take that and use it and us.  For our families sake we need to be in God’s word daily and waiting for His instructions.  God is always at work whether we can see it or not.  He plans to use our gifts, talents, time and resources in order to further His kingdom.  Each day will present its own set of challenges and trial, but He promises if we will wait on Him, God will renew our strength daily.  As it states in Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.”  Guys, so many of our decisions are made irrationally.  He wants to be in the entire process of our life not just a part of it.  This is from how we dress, the number of children we have, where we live, what we live in, what we eat, where we go to church, how we raise and educate our kids, where we work and what we do.  He wants to be our conselor on a daily basis….not have us only come to Him once we have moved ahead of Him and now everything is a mess.  I can testify to that first hand.  I have gone ahead of Him too many times.  However, His word has permiated my mind and heart.  I understand that waiting on Him is of extreme importance.

As busy dads of even busier households we are in need of serenity or rest.  By waiting patiently on God we can find that needed rest each day.  Our world today is rampant with noise, strife, conflicts, and challeneges. Psalm 37:7 says “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself.” Rest in Him, wait patiently, and do not worry.  Without these three main components in our lives, guys, we will live very complicated lives and that will transfer into the lives of our family.  Constant strife and conflict in a household is not godly nor is it healthy.  As the heads of the household we need to waiting on God in order to keep this serenity and restfulness in our homes.  You may think I am nuts on this, but I believe we need to find a place and time each day in order to simply be quiet and still before our Lord.  God’s word admonishes this in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”  That is a command, not a suggestion.  Let’s take time to be still and find out what God wants for our family today rather than running wrecklessly through life hoping we are in God’s will.  He will give us direction in due time, but waiting patiently will bring that rest or serenity we need to keep our families moving in the right direction.

Waiting will bring about stability from God.  He wants His people to be constant and stable in our daily lives.  When times are good we must keep a level head.  When horrible trouble comes our way we must keep a level head.  As Christian dads our influence is important on the people that are around us each day.  If we are up one day and down the next we cannot be effective for the furtherment of God’s kingdom. Psalm 40:1-2 says “I waited patiently for the Lord and He…set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.” God can plant us firmly upon a solid rock for stability.  Many times I am reading and it states in the bible to “patiently wait”.  I have never prayed for patience, because that will come no matter what anyway.  As we get up each morning His mercies are fresh and new.  We can trust God to give us that stability to make it through the day.  Study His word, chew on His word, meditate on His word, and breath His word into the lives of your family.  God promises to establish us, strengthen us, and settle us daily.

Finally, gentleman, waiting helps to bring about submission to God’s will.  Jesus was a perfect example of bowing in submission to His heavenly Father as it says in Luke 22:41-42 “He…kneeled down and prayed…nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.”  Each morning it is good to yield our will into God’s hand.  He will carry us all day.  It does us no good to try and inject our will upon Him.  This is a fight we will not win, guys.  He will patiently wait us out.  So, from the start of our day, let’s yield it over to Him and see how He directs our path.  We know in our minds and hearts that God’s will is always best anyway, so, why do we fight it so often.  I am speaking from experience men.  Submitting is the same as surrendering it all to Him….our physical well being, our mental well being, and our spiritual well being.  Surrender it all into His hand and trust that He will get us through.

Waiting on God is the way to gain that much needed strength each day.  Our rest and serenity is found in Him daily.  To have a stable household and life requires waiting on God.  Submitting our lives into God’s hand will result in a great and successful life.  Allow the Lord to help each of us dads, husbands and men to live a life we can truly say was worth waiting on.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

 

 

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-From A Dad: The Feminization of our boys!

Posted by Scott on October 22, 2007

Feminizing boys and the American Schools?  What is that?  Well, I was thinking about this subject the other day.  I was thinking through many of the praise songs presented in the churches today and how feminine they are presented.  Think about the songs in Vacation Bible School or youth groups and how feminine those are.  Listen to the songs on Barney (heaven forbid you watch that show) in case you do listen to the words or other shows resembling this and think about how feminine they are.  Now, think about the number of school teachers both private and public that are women verses the number that are men.  How many hours per week do they spend with these teachers?  Who picks them up from school a higher percentage of the time…mom.   How many hours or minutes per week do the boys on average spend with a real male role model that can influence their outcome as a man someday?  The entire American culture is not setup to take the boys to manhood properly anymore expedited by the feminist movement that started in the early 1960s.  However, as early as the early 1900s the workplace took dads out of the home and left the boys with their moms.  This was the begining of the change in our culture towards a more feminized culture of boys.

Society will tell you and this has even drifted into the church now, that boys need to be very sensitive or “get in touch with their feminine side”.  I am sorry…I thought God made males to be a bit rough edged for a reason.  Males are born with a sense of conquering someone or something on a daily basis.  Males are born with a sense of the need to work.  Boys will typically eat more because their metabolism is higher.  Ever noticed that a boy will climb a tree just so they can jump out of it and see if they survive?  What girl in their right mind would do that….I hope none would.  My boys like to skateboard down the mddle of the street and move to the saidwalk just before being hit…what a rush they say.  If I did not know better I would think that boys have some portion of sensibility missing from their brains, but God made them different on purpose.  If a girl is in distress and finds themselves between the boy and a bull, they natural instinct would be for the boy to move the girl out of the way and place himself in that position.  If the boys were not made that way it would be an even more dangerous place to live.  Boys are here to protect, guide, provide, play, and help reproduce.  These are qualities that are instilled deep within a boys genetics. 

What has caused all the natural instincts and abilities of boys to be turned upside down?  Who has methodically altered the natural progression of the male role in society and in the church?  Does it hurt our world to feminize the boys?  I mean after-all they will be more sensitive to their female counterparts in the workplace and in their households.  So many questions have been raised about this subject and it is time to turn the tide back in the direction that boys are to be boys and girls are to be girls and stop this war between the sexes that should never have started in the first place. 

“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
       you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
       in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.”

Psalm 10:17-18

One place to look is the number of households that are fatherless.  A new stastic is the one in four children are born to a fatherless home.  I am speaking in this segment about dads that are physically not present whether they have moved away, died, disappeared or whatever…they cannot be seen or heard of by the family.  The crisis of the shrinking American father is a growing problem.  The numbers are getting too far away from us to the point we cannot bring this back into line.  With dad absent moms are faced with a difficult task…raising sons not to be feminine.  How will they accomplish this?  In the past dads would for the most part guide their children’s choices of marriage and manage the sons entrance into the workplace.  Dad was always seen as the one who directed the religious affairs of the family and made sure the kids education was morally preserved.  Any blame society had on those kids could be blamed on the dad.  Mom is now asked to take on this role and to be blunt, moms are not equipped by their creator to be the dad to these sons.  It will take someone outside the home usually to bring in that much needed male role.  Moms this is not to blame you, you were not suppose to have to be dad and mom at the same time.  I have written another article post to encourage single moms on raising their kids, because I do think if you are in this position you need all the help you can especially in rearing those boys to be as manly as possible….this is not easy, but it can be done.

What do fathers do that makes this father and mother household so important?  Dads can teach their sons about fishing, hunting, playing sports, how to be tough yet gentle at the same time, feelings on sex from a mans perspective, death, life, goals, work ethic, leadership, social skills from a mans perspective, how to negotiate the manly way, instruction, love, and so on.  Dads bring to the table alot of qualities that a woman just will not be able to inject into their sons unless it is done on purpose.  The male household figure will tend to be more aggressive, a protector and a risk taker.  These are further qualities in a boy that are nurtured along by the dad rather than mom.   The areas that dads play the biggest role are playing, role modeling, competing, risk taking, independence, discipline, modeling the distinct difference between the sexes, emotional stability, social skills around others, intellect, empathy, aggressiveness, natural skills, and so on.  These are very important areas for dads to be a big part of in our kids lives.  The most serious area a dad can address is to make sure they are serving the Lord and breathing the word of God on their kids daily.

 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua 24:15 NASB

Fathers are the main role model a young boy needs to see.  This person is close to him on a daily basis or should be.  Most kids had much rather see an sermon lived out than hear one.  Dads are a major source of instruction especially to the boys.  As boys get older they will tend to stretch their independence away from mom…still enjoying her love, but not needing the nurturing as much.  This is a time that boys really want to know dad more and enjoy his company more and more.  For us dads this is such an impressionable time.  We can give these boys the visual lesson as well as the scriptural lesson at the same time.  The impact this has on boys is amazing and really cannot be measured effectively for many years in the future.

I could spend hours with statistics and analogies to support these findings, but that would bore you to death.  My main point is that dads need to stay in the marriage through the tough times, bad times, hard times, and be there for those kids too.  Our boys will model our response to our spouses with their future spouse.  If they see that we have stayed in the family and toughed it out through “thick and thin” they have a great chance of remaining married to one woman their entire lives and raising their kids together.  Boys raised by active fathers in a two adult home will most likely not be feminized adult men in the future.  Fathers are important to structure and outcome of the kids as moms are and especially the outcome of the boys. 

If you are reading this as a single mom, take heart…raise the boys differently than you do your girls.  Allow the boys time for rough play, let them play rough sports, allow them to fall down and get hurt.  Let boys play in the dirt, eat dirt at least once, get dirty, play with a frog, non-poisonous snake, spider, etc.  Boys are curious as cats and each day is new adventure for them.  Allow them to explore.  Let them do this most of the time without the girls around or if girls are present allow them to take the lead.  The boy wants to lead his mom and sisters along this trail of life.  If they sense you are letting them lead just step back and see how they rise to the occasion.  Boys are born with the natural sense to lead those who are with them in need of their care.  I wanted to include this small section to encourage you moms to do whatever you can not to feminize the boys.

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Luke 1:17 NIV

Finally, we as dads must take an extremely active role in raising our boys.  Take them to work with us whenever possible, take them fishing, take them hunting, go on a nature walk through the woods, help them discover new places, take them to the zoo, to a ballgame, to a cemetery, make sure they physically see their living grandparents as often as possible and engage them in the history of the family.  Look at pictures with them and talk about what those pictures mean.  Dads, boys love stories of our past.  They really like to hear about stupid things we did and we can take that opportunity to share what the right action might have been.  I know as a dad myself we can get caught up in our careers.  To move forward in business is important to us.  We will justify our extra hours by saying it is for the family, but in the long run it is hurting our kids.  The relationship with the boys suffer….they end up feminized.  So, I want to encourage us dads to do whatever we can to place our wives and family ahead of work and play.  Even if it means changing jobs, moving, having less “things”…guys, your family will love you for it even if it is huge sacrifice.  The future survival of the family is riding on our response to this challenge of raising our children effectively.  To be that driving force in our sons lives that helps them transition from boyhood to manhood in a healthy, godly way.  Share the faithfulness of God in your life with the children, they will never forget it.

“The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.”

Isaiah 38:19 NIV

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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