Category Archives: Morality
I recently shared with my family that my biggest regret as a mom was not helping our children learn to read and study the Bible. As a rather young mom and new Christian, it took me awhile before I realized the importance of daily Bible reading in my own life. This happened several years after receiving Jesus as my Savior.
Recalling Rev. Billy Graham’s message when he spoke at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, 2004. He had keen spiritual insight into the way our country was headed. And sadly, he was right.
Both Graham and his eldest son, fellow evangelist Franklin Graham, linked their religious messages to contemporary issues.
“There is a great move on in this country to take prayer out of the schools, take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and take down the Ten Commandments,” Billy Graham said from the Arrowhead Stadium platform. “As a nation it seems we are turning away from God. But Jesus Christ is coming back, and that is the future of this world.”
Recalling how Rev. Billy Graham personally touched our lives:
Rev. Billy Graham’s message of the loving and saving grace of Christ touched our lives, especially through Decision Magazine.
I’ll always remember how my husband read Decision magazine following his salvation in 1981. Decision magazine was delivered to our home back then in the form of a newspaper. Not being a Christian at the time, I started reading Decision to see what Jeff was so interested in. After seeing such a miraculous change in Jeff’s life and reading the wonderful accounts of God’s amazing love and transformational power in the lives of thousands, I surrendered my life to Jesus about six months after Jeff.
While looking for earlier publications of Decision magazine, I came across an article that touched my heart this morning. The article is titled Spiritual Heart Disease, a sermon preached by Billy Graham in 1957. I was gripped with the thought that this is truly what America is suffering from. It’s not an issue of gun control, it’s an issue of a nation’s diseased heart. And the only cure is Jesus. Our nation, once established and founded on the One True God and his guiding Scriptural principles has lost its way, and our children and our children’s children are paying a horrible price for our negligence and compromise.
May God raise up a people who will once again humbly repent of their sins (individually and as a nation), who will turn from their/our wicked and stubborn/prideful ways, and who will fully surrender their hearts to Christ our Savior and King.
We desperately need revival, a revival of the heart in America. But if not, “Jesus is coming back, and that is the future of this world.”
Rev. Billy Graham’s message, Spiritual Heart Disease, sermon preached May 23, 1957, at the historic New York crusade. (From Decision Magazine, February 6, 2018)
And do you know the greatest stumbling block to the Kingdom of God? Murder? No. Drunkenness? No. Adultery? No, pride. More people stay out of the Kingdom of God because they’re proud than any other reason. We don’t like to humble ourselves and come to the cross of Christ, and say, “O God, I’m a sinner.”
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
“Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people”(Psalm 3:8 NLT).
Everyone loves to cheer their team on to victory.
The Kansas City Royals overcame “several” losing seasons and are now 2015 World Series champions.
It was exciting watching the ballgames, especially clincher game 5. Raised a St. Louis Cardinal fan, I had hoped for a matchup with the Redbirds. Maybe next year!
One Met’s player stood out to me during the World Series: Daniel Murphy.
Knowing nothing about this second baseman prior to the World Series,
I thought to myself, “There’s something different about this guy.”
No anger after striking out multiple times and missing some key plays?
I later learned Daniel Murphy is a Christian.
“Oh, that’s the reason he seemed different.”
I’m sure he’s not perfect. In fact, he alludes to this in one of his interviews.
We tend to glamorize “star” sports figures/teams and Hollywood celebrities and the like.
I think by doing so we set ourselves and our children up for idol worship.
How can we guard against idol worship?
By pointing to the One who deserves all our praise and glory.
Ben Zobrist, second baseman for the Kansas City Royals and Daniel Murphy did just that.
Zobrist’s verbal acknowledgement after the World Series clinching 7-2 victory:
“This is incredible, a very prepared team, everybody is prepared but, you know, you prepare the horse for battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord,” Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/world-series-champ-ben-zobrist-victory-belongs-to-the-lord-royals-149083/#cRj1WoFJV7gfDPQI.99
“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).
Facebook friends: May the Psalms draw you near to God.
Dayton Moore, General Manager, Kansas City Royals. Mr. Moore is a follower of Jesus Christ and readily accredits the success of the KC Royals team to emphasizing moral character within the organization. To read more about Dayton Moore, Ben Zobrist, and Daniel Murphy, click-on the following links.
Faith at Home
Shape the moral character traits in your children. Helpful resources:
* Character Crew: Develop Moral Character http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/spiritual-growth-for-kids/character-crew/character-crew-developing-moral-character
* Character Matters! Raising Kids With Values That Last http://www.christianbook.com/character-matters-raising-values-that-last/john-yates/9780801064104/pd/64102
For Parents & Baseball Fans: More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture, Dayton Moore, Author http://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Season-Building-Championship/dp/1629371556
What consumes your thoughts on a daily basis? Take a few moments to answer this question (it won’t take long), then reflect upon the following.
If your thoughts are continually focused on this world and all the “things “promising satisfaction, you are no doubt miserable! Take it from a person who has from time to time walked this dead-end path. Fortunately, I’ve learned a better way of thinking….that leads to a life that fully satisfies, and at times, splashes hope, joy, peace, and love onto those who happen across my path.
Note to self and friends: Learning and living this out is a daily surrender and dependence upon God.
Most recently, I found myself consumed with worry. Yes, the big W. Although I memorized Philippians 4:6 many years ago, I hadn’t been living it out, nor had I replaced my stinkin’ thinkin’ with thoughts that lead to hope, joy, peace, and love.
First, let’s look at one of my favorite passages of Scripture:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
– Worry about NOTHING
– Pray about EVERYTHING
– Thank God for ALL THINGS
Often we try to avoid or rid ourselves of thoughts that are unhealthy and or unholy with our own will power. This is not the best method. In fact, we will find ourselves powerless over thoughts that originate from the flesh, the world, and Satan, unless God’s power, through His Holy Spirit is at work in our lives.
Paul instructed the Church of Philippi, and future Christians, to fill their minds with the following:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
I believe this is a great plan! Instead of going around with stinkin’ thinkin’, I’d much rather think upon such things that lead to peace.
Parents and grandparents, take this challenge.
No more Stinkin’ Thinkin’!
Discover the meaning of such things and then help your children/grandchildren catch you living out a thoughtful life in Christ, setting an example for them to follow.
Brief definitions (paraphrased from Webster Dictionary, etc.):
True — Agreeing with the facts, not with anything false. And I will go a little further than Webster: Not only agreeing with the facts, but living a life that substantiates all that is true. Qualities: steadfast, faithful, honest, just, truthful
Jesus said, “I am the true vine…” (John 15:1).
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Noble — Having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.)
The Scripture that comes to mind: Proverbs 31:10 – The Wife of Noble Character
Right — Morally correct or acceptable; agreeing with the facts or truth; accurate or correct; speaking, acting, or judging in a way that agrees with the facts or truth. Sounds somewhat similar to the definition of True.
Pure — Not mixed with anything else; clean and not harmful in any way; being free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes; being free from everything that might make dirty, change, or lower the quality
Synonyms: spotless, stainless
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob” (Psalm 24:3-6).
Lovely – That what is attractive or beautiful especially in a graceful way; very good or likable; very pleasing; having a beautiful character
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Admirable — Deserving to be admired; deserving the highest esteem
Excellent — Very good; extremely good; that what is superior or first-class
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question–if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17 NLT).
Praiseworthy — Deserving praise; worthy of praise
God is worthy of all our praise.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11).
Daily Challenge: Read and meditate on God’s Word (Holy Scripture).
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it” (Joshua 1:8).
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT).
All Scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.
While reading my Bible this morning, I was reminded of how much God loves me. Interestingly enough, this early Valentine’s message came through a very unlikely passage of Scripture: Numbers 25 and 31 New International Version (NIV). The swiftness of God’s punishment came upon some of the Israelite men and the Midianites for their sexual immorality and idolatry. As I read the chronological events of this difficult portion of Scripture, the Holy Spirit helped me to correlate God’s divine love for His children with the severe penalty of sin. I concluded it is because of God’s amazing love, that He protects us from that which has the potential to not only rob us from our present blessings, but even worse, prevent us from entering the “Promised Land,” the eternal home God has prepared for those who love Him.
When the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land, they were seduced by the Moabite and Midianite women to participate in idolatrous practices (Numbers 25:1-18); thereby provoking a jealous God to anger, and resulting in the death of thousands because of their sin. Just like those who posed a threat to the Israelites’ entrance into Canaan, sin poses a threat to us and must be dealt with—to secure our entrance into Heaven.
I am thankful God takes every precaution to keep me from spending eternity apart from Him. He does this by demonstrating His amazing love and grace…daily in my life, and at times warns me of danger, and on occasion, delivers just discipline for my sin.
Because I want my children and grandchildren to enter the Promised Land (Heaven), I want them to know the love of God that is always demonstrated through His mercy and grace; and I also want them to understand the Holiness of God, which is often upheld through His protective and corrective hand of justice. God is the lover of our souls!
When teaching our children and grandchildren of God’s love and the beautiful plan of salvation, these verses come to mind. Help your children memorize them and take time to help them understand their meaning. Pray that God will prepare their hearts to receive Jesus as their Savior if they haven’t already done so.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7).
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23).
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Children enjoy making Valentine’s cards for their family and friends. Go to the Bible Parent website to print Valentine’s Cards based on 1 Corinthians 13: http://www.bibleparent.com/valentines.asp
Valentine’s Day is a great time to tell our children and grandchildren how much we love them, and it’s also a great time to tell them that Jesus loves them even more. And that’s a lot!
“For great is [God’s] love, higher than the heavens; [His] faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Psalm 108:4).
Faith @ Home Moment:
Our precious three-year old granddaughter spent the night with us Friday evening. During breakfast, she randomly posed this question. “Why did Jesus have to die?” I’m not sure what prompted her to ask this question since we hadn’t been talking about Jesus at this time. My heart welled up, realizing once again, God has placed eternity in the hearts of all people, including Julia Ann. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The Ten Commandments – – Exodus 20:1-17 (NIV)