Deny Your Children And Take Up Your Cross!

They say, “Moms, because we are women–nay, not mere women but Wise Western Women–we can change the world, but we need to take up our crosses, and deny our children in order to do it.”

Christians, let the World’s women do whatever mental gymnastics they require to convince themselves that charity begins halfway across the world. We have an Example set for us, for all time. Jesus didn’t save his children by leaving them. He saved them by joining them in their muck, their diseases, and finally their deaths. If we want to do real charity, we have to do the same.

But this thoroughly secular idea that we can adequately serve other people without first keeping our own homes in order is a lie, for while we’re off saving the world, Satan is devouring the next generation. How are we going to save Haiti when we can’t even understand the vulnerability of the souls in our very own homes?


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You Can’t Childproof The World But You Can Worldproof Your Child

My 8 year old looked at me with her deep brown eyes and said, “The world is scary.”

I turned the TV off and wondered how to teach my kids about real love-the kind that makes us pray for our neighbors in the war on terror while shutting out the lure of our anything-goes culture.

It hit close to home. And it made me long for another home. Because I can’t protect my kids from the world we live in.


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Pope Francis Called Our Generation Selfish – What If He’s Right?

Pope Francis recently spoke blasphemy to a generation that is obsessed with self-esteem and self-fulfillment. He said that people who choose not to have children are selfish:

“A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society. The choice to not have children is selfish.”

The pope’s statement has people up in arms because it’s true. The fact that millions of people are extremely upset by this proves the truth of the statement.


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Church As Matchmaker: It Takes A Family To Make A Family

It is not good for a man to be alone and he who finds a wife finds goodness, but it takes the beauty of a family to see the goodness far below the surface and in the crevices of these clay jars. Church, be that family, be the mothers and father, the sisters and brothers. Guide them, protect them, show them what is true and good and honorable in marriage, and then, please, help them get there.



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Sunday Sermon: Children Are An Integral Part Of A Worship Gathering

Rob Rienow explains why children should be involved in the gathering of the saints for worship. Believe it or not, this was actually the norm for millennia. It’s only in the last century or so that we had the genius idea to split families apart and do age-segregated ministry. Let’s examine the fruit of that and compare it to the fruit our ancestors saw as they worshipped together as families.

Click the button below to hear the audio of Rob’s message…


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You Don’t Need A Youth Ministry, You Just Need Families

I believe that one of the essential jobs of the local church is to equip Christian parents to take the lead in spiritually training their children. Passing faith to our kids is not the church’s job – it is ours as parents.

But what about all the unsaved kids who don’t have Christian parents to disciple them?


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Ferguson Is About The Failure Of Fathers & Families

At the heart of the Brown case was the responsibility of parents to train their children rightly. “If the parents don’t turn back to God, love Him with all their heart, soul and might, get married, and by good example guide their children in the right way to go, it’s never going to get better, because that is the order of God,” Peterson continued. “According to the Scriptures, God advised us to train our children up in the right way to go, and when you do, you don’t have to deal with this stuff when they go out into the world.”


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Why The Young And The Restless Should Get Married And Make Babies

You won’t miraculously turn into a better person because you got married and had kids, obviously. But, at their essence, families are built and held together through sacrificial love, and this is something that can — if you give yourself over to it — sanctify you and bring you closer to God.

When you pour your energies and efforts into serving and loving your spouse, raising your children, and guiding your family, you’ll find that, inevitably, you grow and mature in the process.


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Sunday Sermon: Your Family & God’s Plan, Part 2

Dr. Rob Rienow shows how the first command to humans to be fruitful and multiply is still in effect. The primary means by which this happens is through families passing on faith from generation to generation. The Great Commission is really a recapitulation of this original mission and it is also accomplished primarily by the same means: Multi-generational faithfulness.

Note: This sermon is part 2 of another sermon that was previously posted here.


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What Happens When We Live In A Fatherless World?

Father in our world is absent, first because he is gone all day at work, out of the sight of his children, and second because society marginalizes and mocks his role in the family. Now, it’s not that we can go back to a pre-industrial lifestyle. The life of the parents, father included, took place before the eyes of the children. Further, what he contributed was physically and emotionally was seen as necessary. No important aspect of the adult life would have taken place outside of the children’s sight.


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Understand The Difference Between Modern Family And Biblical Family

In honor of Throwback Thursday, we are remembering a video post in which Jeremy Pryor explains how the Bible’s view of family collides with modern Western views of family. The insightful comparisons and contrasts between these two models of family shed a very helpful light on the issue of family and what we can do to correct some of the problems families face today.


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What Is A Covenant Family?

The term “covenant family” may be new to many Christians. While my passion for this subject originated in being introduced to the biblical multi-generational family, I learned over time that the multi-generational aspect of the biblical family is rooted in its covenantal nature. Covenant families, by biblical definition, have a component of succession, or continuity. In other words, biblical families are multi-generational precisely because they are covenantal.

There is a whole project underway to offer Christians training in recovering the lost vision of multi-generational families. Read more about the ideas and resources for this training…


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Jesus Loved Children Not Because They Are Cute But Because They Are Strategic

Jesus understood the Great Commission begins with the souls of the little ones. The Great Commission is not just personal, but multi-generational. The disciples were standing in the way of parents and grandparents, and Jesus quickly put an end to it. Jesus set the example for every believer, regardless of their family situation, to intentionally nurture faith in children, and participate in God’s multi-generational Great Commission.


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One Family’s Story Of How They Stay On Mission Together As A Team

Ed and Mel Zwyghuizen have three children—Gabe (19), Christian (17), and Greta (15). Together, they are known as Team Z.

We always knew we wanted to invite our kids to participate in God’s big story for the world, but as young parents, we didn’t necessarily know how. We try to be missional. We don’t want to live just for ourselves, but for others, too. We want to be an outward-facing family. One way we do this is by inviting others to join us at our family table.


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10 Scriptures For Strengthening Relationships

It seems we reserve our unkindest words, do our most thoughtless deeds, are the most mean to those who mean the most to us. And because those close to use care  more about what we say and think, those words and actions hurt more deeply. It’s a double whammy.

Because the stakes are so high, we must ensure that our communications not only stay away from the negative, but that they lead everyone to the positive. Here are ten passages of Scripture that can be very helpful in building and maintaining strong relationships.


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Casting Vision For Multi-Generational Legacy

God calls me to do all in my power to impress the hearts of my children with a love for Him and to teach them God’s Word. My mission to “make disciples” begins with the souls of the children God has entrusted to me. Central to my disciple-making mission with my children is to equip them and prepare them to lead my grandchildren (who have yet to be born) to Jesus, and that they in turn would tell my great-grandchildren.



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Refuting The “Price Tag On Parenthood” Lie

Parenthood isn’t cheap. It costs us everything we have sometimes, doesn’t it? But it is free! And we do ourselves no favor when we encourage others to view it as a merely financial transaction. To assign a dollar value to what we give daily as parents only cheapens the relationship. Note: The video above is an example of the kind of messaging that the author of the article below is taking to task.

The article linked below appears on a mommy blog and speaks primarily to moms, but read for the principles and apply them to dads as well, especially as we head into Father’s Day this weekend.



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How Do Those Freakishly Large Families Afford So Many Kids?

We have heard it many, many times: “You have EIGHT kids?! How do you afford it?”  Others add comments about how they can’t afford the 2 or 3 they have.  Many times people who say this really mean they can’t have a large family AND the high standard of living they desire.  I’m going to share 8 tips that helped us afford a large family, as well as learn to trust God.




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What Biblical Genealogies Can Teach Us About Family

All the genealogies that we find throughout the Old Testament and at the beginning of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us about something God values highly. They emphasize the power of the connection between generations and of God’s plan to advance His Kingdom through the generations.

You are not alone in this world. You were never meant to be alone. Faith is supposed to come to us through a long line of men and women who know God and love Him.



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Sunday Sermon: How The Bible Critiques Western Views Of Family

Jeremy Pryor offers a compelling contrast between western views of family and the biblical view of family. The insights he offers here will be extremely valuable to anyone who is looking to strengthen their family culture but can’t find much inspiration for that from American culture. The Bible has a great deal to say about family, but the lenses through which we read the bible as 21st century Americans often prohibit us from seeing the vision for family that is given in Scripture. This sermon helps add clarity so that we can catch the Bible’s vision for family. Let us know what you think in the comments below. (more…)

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Drop What You Are Doing And Read Visionary Parenting By Rob Rienow Right Now!

Visionary Family is running a sale on its ebooks this week. You can download several titles for 99 cents each. I took them up on this great offer and started reading Visionary Family by Rob Rienow. I’m about half way through it and I have found it to be a tremendous encouragement. It is an excellent complement to today’s Sunday Sermon post (see next post). The attention to Scripture in order to see God’s vision for family is inspiring. We’ll try to bring you a full book review soon. In the meantime, go download this great little book and get to reading.



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A Journey Home

When calling his disciples, Jesus told them to drop their nets and follow him. The Waller family took that same call very seriously. This documentary follows a family as they leave behind the comforts of a stable job and home in favor of an agrarian lifestyle in rural Tennessee. The story of the Waller family is inspiring as disciples of Jesus ask what it looks like to respond with faith to his call.


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The Family That Stories Together Stays Together

Later, my dad called me to his bedside. There was a palpable sense of fear I couldn’t remember hearing before.

“Our family’s falling apart,” he said.

“No it’s not,” I said instinctively. “It’s stronger than ever.”

But lying in bed afterward, I began to wonder: Was he right? What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?



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How Youth Groups Make Atheists And What To Do About It

A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation. Some time ago, Christian pollster George Barna documented that 61 percent of today’s 20-somethings who had been churched at one point during their teen years are now spiritually disengaged. They do not attend church, read their Bible or pray.

According to a new five-week, three-question national survey sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), the youth group itself is the problem.



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Life Well Spent

My grandfather has no intention of ending his life with closed fists. His hands will be open and they will be empty. His accounts are in order. His seed is sown. His hoard is elsewhere, in the faces at his feet, and in the hundreds and thousands of stories his own story has touched and will continue to shape.

Drink your wine. Laugh from your gut. Burden your moments with thankfulness. Be as empty as you can be when that clock winds down. Spend your life. And if time is a river, may you leave a wake.



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21 Rules For A Peaceful Home

The 21 Rules of This House cover just about every situation common to young children and teens. They were developed over 30 years ago to help my wife and me be more consistent in what we required of our children as members of our household.

Click below to read the 21 rules and ask yourself if you think your home would be more peaceful if these rules were consistently applied to your home environment.



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Bringing Back The Family Meal

In recent years, sociologists and educators across the political spectrum have encouraged families to do one simple thing to maintain connection with one another: eat. The issue isn’t just eating, of course. That’s a non-negotiable for all biological organisms. The issue instead is to eat together. The family dinner might seem cute and outdated in a mobile, crazy-busy current age, but there’s something of importance here.

The church isn’t an association of like-minded individuals. The church is a household of brothers and sisters. In order to get community right, we must reclaim communion.



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Jesus Wants Moms To Chill Out

Moms, Jesus want you to rest in him. He wants you to chill out. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Don’t try to be something God hasn’t called you to be. If the mom blogs are making you feel guilty, stop reading them. Be faithful to what he has truly called you to do, and know that he is pleased with you.

Love God, love your husband, love your kids. Keep it simple and chill out.



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Restoration Through Repentance

With most of our PARENTS we are somewhat burdened and we enjoy complaining about our parents’ faults, barely showing love at all.  We have lost hope for growing together and we’ve pretty much given up on seeing these relationships flourish.  We don’t necessarily believe this is best, but ultimately we’re either too lazy or apathetic to do anything else.  We have enough community and “family” from other friends that the time and energy needed to grow relationally and on mission with our biological family isn’t worth it.

I propose that this is weak, immature, and selfish.



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On Mission With Your Children

Clearly, going and making disciples must be a high priority for all who follow Jesus. Some families are called to go to the nations, to proclaim the gospel among those who have not had a chance to hear. Their stories are certainly inspiring, and hopefully many more families will join them. However, not everyone will respond to this call to make disciples by going abroad.



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Is The Church A Family Of Families – Part 1

Any church that does not look like the ‘norm’ is always trying to explain itself.   This is a fact we know all too well at Grace Family Baptist Church.  We explain ourselves to those who visit us, those who call us trying to determine if it is a good idea to visit, those who are interested in finding or starting a church like ours, and those who are sure that we are some kind of “Patriarchy” cult.  Sometimes we explain ourselves in painstaking detail.  At other times we use shorthand.  One example of that ‘shorthand’ is our ubiquitous and somewhat enigmatic statement, “The church is a family of families.”


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Is The Church A Family Of Families – Part 2

Perhaps it will be helpful to describe the origin of the term ‘family of families’ within the GFBC context.  As we were meeting to form the core group that would ultimately plant GFBC, we had a number of discussions about the distinctives of the new work.  During that discussion, the term ‘corporate church’ was used frequently to describe the neo-traditional model (corporate church is much easier to say and explain).  In an effort to explain the distinction, we asked the question, “Is the church a corporation, or is it more like a family of families?”  It was from this discussion that the term ‘family of families’ was born.




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Let Them Come Home

John Piper’s son offers practical advice for families with wayward children based on his own experience as a wayward child.

In a recent interview, John Piper recounts the painful events surrounding the excommunication of his 19 year old son, Abraham.

The night after that excommunication, I called him at 10:00 and said, “Abraham, you knew what was coming.”



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A Path Through The Parenting Maze

Among the perks of having babies in the 1980′s, 1990′s and 2000′s is that your kids’ friends’ parents– your friends– span many decades as well.  Mom-friends who were rearing their last-born when I was fearfully raising my first grew up during FDR’s administration; some friends I’ve met through my 8-year-old entered the world while Reagan served. Consequently, I’ve been exposed to quite a number of parenting styles.



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