SAVE THE DATE
6.20 | Father's Day
June is a month where summer break begins for students in our area and fathers are honored on Father’s Day. These two make for great opportunities to pray for a safe and fun filled summer for families who will doubtlessly be traveling and making memories of all kinds in the days ahead. Prayer for fathers is also in order and greatly needed. More than ever we need godly men leading and shepherding their homes in the strength and power of the Lord. Please join us in asking the Lord to encourage dads who are striving to provide for their families and walk in the way of Christ.
By Bill Powell
The summer months affords me the opportunity to write what is on my heart. This article I must forewarn you may be a little prickly. I have noticed for some time now a trend towards an increase in profanity or what some would call swearing. I have noticed it growing even among the Christian community. What about it? Am I nit-picking, prying or being legalistic, judgmental, or just off base here bringing up this subject? Believe it or not, it has even become a trend in some of the more modern churches right from the pulpit. Does God’s grace give us a pass? Is throwing out a curse word every now and then, ok? What about it? Does the Bible have anything to say about it? What words would be considered profanity or swearing? There are no modern English four-letter words in the Bible. The word used in the Bible “curse” does not necessarily refer to four-letter words or what we would consider swearing exactly. How do you know a curse word when you hear it? Here is how: just say one once around a child and watch how quick they pick it up.
Is “cursing” vulgar, crude, dirty, or are they just words? Could using them be considered a bad habit or filthy talk? What would happen to you when you were a kid if you used a four-letter word in front of your parents? Is it a good way to emphasize a point? Is it the frequency that determines if it is acceptable? Is it ok once you turn 18? I intended to list the scriptures that speak to our speech but found too many to fit in this article, so I will just list the chapter and verse of some of them. Look them up; it is an eye opener. Here are just a few I thought I would print out for you. You can decide if this is proof texting.
(Eph 5:4) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
(Jas 3:10) from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
(Jas 5:12) But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
(Col 3:8, (Col 4:6, (Jas 1:26,) (1Pe 3:10,(Mat 15:11, (Rom 12:14), (Eph 4:29), (Mat 12:36,),
(Mat 12:37), (Jas 3:8), (Exo 20:7), (Luk 6:45), (Psa 141:3), (Pro 4:24), (Mat 5:37),
(Pro 6:12), (Psa 10:7, (Tit 2:6), (Tit 2:7), (Tit 2:8), (Hos 4:2), (1Ti 4:12), (Rom 12:14)
(Pro 10:32), (Psa 59:12), (Mar 14:71) It doesn’t matter what version of the Bible you use.
Following a list of man-made moral rules in and of itself is legalistic. The Bible does teach us, however, that out of the heart the mouth speaks. (Mat 15:18) "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” So, to answer my questions, the answer is what is in our heart. The Christian life is one of changing the heart to be more like Jesus. Do we seek to model Jesus or take up the ways of the world?
Back in the day, slipping a curse word out would get you in hot water, maybe even getting your mouth washed out with soap. Today it is common language of the world. I even feel a little trepidation writing this. I am not pointing fingers. I was just compelled to consider this because it is so pervasive. You decide for yourself. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
A FATHER THAT READS
By Chris Johnson
As a father of three, I often contemplate what I long for most for my children. There are far too many things to list here but there is one thing that always comes to mind. Reading. I want to instill and prayerfully foster a love for reading. I meet with people all the time who regularly tell me they don’t have time to read. That is tragic. Have we become so busy in our day? Have we succumbed to the mind-numbing media distractions of tv, social media, etc.? In moderation, there is nothing wrong with those forms of media, but they should never replace the discipline of reading. Yes, I called reading a discipline. For many people, reading is a joy and for others it is work. Whatever the adverb, it should be a regular part of our lives. Reading engages our minds in a way that visual media cannot. For example, reading engages the theater of our imagination. As one reads a fanciful tale your mind paints the scenes and brings life to the characters. Sure, the author provides details and such. However, the imagination is set free to run wild and sense the danger lurking in the shadows, smell the blossoms of the orange groves, or feel the shivers of the cold. Just think, even as you read that last sentence your mind was engaged with each one.
As a Christian father, I don’t only desire to foster a love for reading, but particularly a love for reading that glorifies the Lord. For example, this summer our family is engaging in a summer reading schedule. We each have reading from the Scripture, a biography of a Christian from history and various books that pertain to theology (an attribute of God, a Christian discipline, etc.). These opportunities are not made up of hours and hours of reading but a simple 20-30 minutes a day. Of course, each person is welcome to read more if they desire and there’s great freedom in adding stories like Chronicles of Narnia, the Wing Feather Saga, etc.