Guest Post by Mark Gouge
Timing is everything.
We find this maxim to be true in countless ways, whether it be a promotion at work, the item you need the most being on sale, or your golf swing having been miraculously corrected in time for the tournament with your friends.
Timing also plays a factor in what we focus on. We buy new tires for our cars when our old tires begin to wear. We prepare meals when we are hungry and need to eat. You get the idea. Read More
If you are a Christ-follower, you surely want to grow closer to Him and to your family. This summer provides a great opportunity to do just that! Because of the good weather, longer days, and children not being in school, you can maximize the time you spend together to grow and be strengthened in your relationship with God and with one another. Here are 7 ways to take advantage of the time.
1. Be Intentional
There is an old saying that goes, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” So be intentional! Make it a specific effort to spend quality time together with your family. If you want to grow closer as a family, you must spend time together. Some of the following “keys” to taking advantage of the summer will certainly give some ways to kick start this intentionality, but in reality it’s up to you! You know your family the best, and your creativity in being intentional with them will make all the difference. Read More
To the life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, prolific preacher and influential pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the ministry of a lesser-known seventeenth century pastor was essential. In a passage recorded in his biography, Spurgeon recalls a conversation with his wife one Sunday evening: “I fear I have not been as faithful in my preaching today as I should have been; I have not been as much in earnest after poor souls as God would have me be…. Go, dear, to the study, and fetch down [Richard] Baxter’s Reformed Pastor, and read some of it to me; perhaps that will quicken my sluggish heart.”
Richard Baxter, a counter-cultural, Puritan-trained English pastor, served for fourteen years as shepherd to the people at Kidderminster in England in the mid–1600s. Influenced not by the norms of the day (to the point that he was imprisoned at the age of 70 for eighteen months by the Church for libel), Baxter remained unwaveringly true to his Puritanical, Christian convictions.
In addition to shepherding his own people, Baxter labored for unity among denominations. He was instrumental in forming the Worcestershire Association of Ministers for the encouragement, edification, and accountability of his fellow pastors. He ultimately penned a strategy for ministry in his seminal work, which Spurgeon would be seeking some two hundred years later to nurse a spiritual malaise, The Reformed Pastor. The work intended to champion a restorative manner of ministry by insisting on the renewal of one’s calling and motivation to administer the Word of God. Baxter’s influence was not focused solely on the flock he shepherded, but on the ones shepherding their own. Read More
Once one has taken on the responsibility of family discipleship, implementing it can be overwhelming.
Where do I start?
What tools do I use?
Is there a right or wrong way to do this? Read More
As parents, we deeply desire for our children to develop a growing, personal relationship with Jesus. We want them to learn to love the Word, to read it, to believe it, and even to share it. We plead for God to use them in his kingdom (except overseas in a hostile context. Let God call someone else’s child for that!). We long for those moments when they discuss at length matters of the Word and what God is doing in their lives. Read More