By Amy Joob, On Emotions Column
I know it’s summer and the living is easy. It’s the time of year filled with pools and beaches, vacations, family BBQ’s, and the like. I know there is a strong temptation to just get lazy over the summer and let things slide. I often find myself, especially during this time of year, putting off projects and deadlines. I just want to go with my family on another adventure in the great outdoors! A time of rest is important, but too much rest and fun can be detrimental to you or your family.
This is not the time to let go of caring for yourself or eating right. It is not time to forgo church or spiritual growth time. It is not the time to slack off in your devotions or your quiet time with God. It is not the time to let up in praying for your family or your teens.… continue reading
By Claire Culwell, the On Life Column
I want to introduce myself as you likely don’t know me personally. My name is Claire and I’m an ordinary person just like you. Although I can’t relate to what you have been through because I haven’t had an abortion; I have been severely affected by abortion and have a unique perspective that you probably haven’t heard before. There are so many people who can encourage you in your healing, hurting and regret from your abortion experience, but I wanted to write to you from my unique perspective. So many of the words and stories that you hear about abortion will hurt; they will take you back to the day that you had your abortion…a place you likely don’t want to go. My hope is that even though this letter takes you back, it frees you in a way from the hurt, regret and the unknown of that choice that was made.… continue reading
By: Tara Fairfield, On Identity
When my son turned 13 he faced the prospect of a second open heart surgery, the first having occurred at his birth. Most teens don’t spend time contemplating their mortality but his situation provided an awareness beyond his years. Luckily, he had already given his life to Christ and was surrounded by a powerful youth group praying for his safe recovery. The youth covering him were powerful prayer warriors, responding with unwavering faith to the call for intersession on behalf of one of their own.
As parents, we are responsible for equipping and preparing our children to be mighty warriors for Christ. God is speaking to the youth of this generation and calling each to rise and be a powerful voice for his glory, not at some future time, but right now. As parents, our call is to equip and support our child’s response to God’s plan for his or her life.… continue reading
By Steve Repak, the On Family Money Matters Column
Proverbs 27:23-24(NIV) “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”
It’s hard to believe that it is time once again to start planning for back to school. Having children myself, I understand the struggles because of the cost of school supplies and clothes. So what are some ideas you can use to make back to school shopping a little less painful on your checkbook?
1. Buy in bulk
#2 pencils, spiral notebooks, folders, and paper. Every child needs these basic supplies in school and most of the time it makes sense to buy these in bulk. Unless you have a child that is graduating this year, consider buying their school supplies like pencils, paper and glue sticks, which by the way do not spoil, in bulk because it will turn out to be less expensive and your child will likely need to replace these throughout the year, and will definitely need those items again next year.… continue reading
By: Bethany Jett, On Friendship Column
After some readjusting, I am honored to move from writing the On Dating and On Friendship columns to a more mature audience. This column is On Parenting Teens through Relationships, and we’re including those parents of tweeners and college-aged students as well.
When I speak at retreats or churches to parents, the first thing I feel compelled to do is explain why I am qualified to tell parents of teens anything, considering that I’m 5’3″ tall and don’t look old enough to have teens myself.
It’s true, I don’t have teens. My boys are all under the age of nine, and I pray they stay innocent and wonderful forever. I know this is not the case, however, since I’ve been working in youth ministry (in some capacity) for almost 15 years.
My first book released last year, a dating guide for young women called The Cinderella Rule.… continue reading
Nicole here: I’m so pleased to introduce to you my husband, Wil O’Dell. He’s the VP of Choose NOW Ministries and is joining the writing team with a blog of his own. Here’s an interview with Wil, and you can find out more about him at www.wilodell.com.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I started playing music in nightclubs when I was sixteen (eighties’ music rocks). At that time, I wished nothing more than to tour the world with Ozzy. Though I never played with him, I had lots of great shows with many talented musicians. I opened for national acts and played all over. As time went by, the rock-and-roll lifestyle took over, and my life was uncertain at best. I finally hit rock bottom and told myself I was done playing for the devil. In what felt like a lifetime, I had finally decided to change my direction. I dedicated my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.… continue reading
By Lyn Parker, On Mentoring Teens Column
I have known for a long time that the Lord put a call on my life to work with youth. In 2012, our pastor’s wife (also a pastor) felt the Lord urging her to interview members of our church. When I had my meeting, I simply told her what I felt the Lord telling me to do (as far as a ministry) in life.
Well, I knew I was to work with youth. I’ve been doing it since my husband and I got married in 1990 and we taught 5th and 6th grade Sunday School and I had my heart set on moving forward with the teens at my church. But soon, two other people worked together to rebuild our church’s youth group that had begun to flounder in recent years. I was more than disappointed that it wasn’t us, but I knew God’s timing was perfect. And just because I wasn’t the youth leader right then, didn’t mean I wouldn’t ever work with youth.… continue reading