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    Go Big! Pursue God's Dreams For your Life!

    By Rev. Jason Lane, Man Resumed Column

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    Go Big

    Teaching your teen to go after their dreams

    Sitting in my office, I am listening to one of my church members who is now 83 years old as he is sharing with me why he is so hungry to serve the Lord. “I just want to serve God while I can. Whatever it may be, I want to be used by God before I die.”

    As we sit and talk, he explains to me that when he was in his early twenties, he wanted to go to Bible College, yet he had this dream crushed under him when he was told that he was not smart enough to be a pastor. I saw in his eyes years of frustration come streaming forth in tears because a dream never came to fruition.… continue reading

    Islands of Isolation

    By Wendy Fitzgerald, the On Cause and Effect Column

    ID-10016314Satan takes the things in our lives that we are afraid no one else will understand and makes them our own personal “islands of isolation.” This is true in every area of our lives including parenting! You have probably found yourself watching other families, comparing what they allow you to see in public to your family’s chaos behind closed doors. In a world where “selfies” taken at the perfect angle and carefully sculpted posts become a work of art, the “realness” of family life can sometimes look scary.

    I must confess that it is in the “realest” moments of my life, the ones that I pray no one ever sees, that I am most in need of support and most afraid to share. This fear is where Satan gets a foothold! He knows that if he can get me to hide my struggles, I will create for myself an island – an island that no one can approach. … continue reading

    On Manners & Civility: Lesson One/ Be Kind to Those Who Serve You

    manners

    By: Sarah Philpott

    Manners: a characteristic or customary mode of acting

    Civility: polite, reasonable, and respectful behavior

    From the Meriam-Webster Dictionary

    The words ‘manners’ and ‘civility’ sound a bit pompous, but don’t be fooled or afraid. These nouns are not just for the elite of society; they are for us all! It doesn’t matter if you live in the middle of an upscale neighborhood or you live on a farm (that would be me!) manners and civility give us ALL confidence for knowing how to act in any type of social setting.

    Quite simply, manners and civility are codes of behavior that are acceptable. It’s a way of showing kindness and respect to others, knowing how to use the tools of our society, and knowing how to interact in different cultural settings.… continue reading

    Spring Cleaning: From the Inside Out

    By Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Creative Connections column

    ClutterPerhaps this is a familiar scenario: You tell your daughter to clean up the disaster zone she calls her bedroom and a moment later she’s skipping around, singing “Happy” as she zeroes in on piles of crumpled clothes and multiplying dust bunnies. Right?

    Right… I didn’t think so. More likely, she groans and whines, wondering why it’s such a big deal that there are candy wrappers and dirty socks on top of the still-sort-of-white t-shirt that was thrown over the school books under the desk (oh, there’s that lip gloss she borrowed from you two months ago), which is piled up with magazines and bracelets and a couple of dried-up gel pens (wasn’t there once a trash can around here?) and… oh, look! The note from school that she was supposed to ask you to sign two days ago. Oops.

    Here’s the thing.… continue reading

    We Influence our Teens...But Who Are They Influencing?

    By Lyn ParkerOn Mentoring Teens Column

    If you want to find out who is influencing your teen, take a look at the people he or she follows on Twitter, whose blogs they follow and where they spend most of their time. Those are the things, people, games, and influencers in your teen’s life.I know that social media has a big influence on me and my teens, but I also know that they have a big influence on the people who read the status updates that my teens post, too.

    businessman holding large red magnet, close up

    In their everyday face-to-face life, they have some of the same opportunities to share the truth of the Word of God and the love of Jesus with others as we do. They’re like a magnet because people want to be around that joy and peace that radiates out of our teens.continue reading

    Parenting Tips: Know What to Limit and What Not to Limit

    Parenting Tips: Know What to Limit and What Not to Limit by Sherri Wilson Johnson, On Inspiring Purity column

    cnm sherri april ID-100302364

    In a little over a month, my husband and I will be empty-nesters. We raised two children while on our parenting journey. We homeschooled for 14 years. We instilled in our children the values that were passed on to us from our parents. We raised them in church. We taught them the importance of saving themselves sexually until marriage.

    Did we do everything right? Absolutely not! Did we do a few things right? I think so. I’m proud of how my kids have turned out in spite of our involvement in their lives. It’s true there isn’t a parenting manual, and each child is unique and must be handled uniquely. So I consider it a miracle that two flawed parents managed to raise two God-fearing, tender-hearted children. All credit goes to the Lord.… continue reading

    How to Show Our Daughters What Happily Ever After Looks Like

    By: Jennifer Watson

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    “I heard you and Dad fighting this morning.” My oldest daughter said while we were driving to church.

    Did I mention that we were driving to church? Did I also mention that my husband and I pastor this church?

    She’s twelve going on twenty. I looked at her sweet face and I’m not going to lie, my firstborn who is in the annoying “Oh, I know” stage looked a mix between “You are so busted” and “How embarrassing for you.” Brutal.

    I had a decision to make and I needed to make it quick.

    We had just watched the new Cinderella movie, which we all adored. I even cried during it.

    I loved this new spin on the fairytale and I’m still thinking about it. It was truly beautiful in so many ways. But, in all the messages that are sweet and worth celebrating is this concept that it is super hard to live up to, that marriage is a fairytale minus the random bursts of lovesick serenades.… continue reading

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