Today is the last message in our series entitled “For the Least of These.” This week we focus on what our responsibility to the orphan. Our reading is James 1:19-27
Today we we continue this message series entitled “For the Least of These.” This week we focus on what we do as parents when our children turn their backs to the faith they were raised in.
If you would like to go deeper on this subject, make sure to check out the book: When They Turn Away by Rob Rienow.
Last week I offered some suggestions to you about what you might do when you feel stuck in a rut. It can be frustrating when you feel as if you are not going anywhere. You may realize something has got to change, but then you keep on, keep on doing the same basic things and nothing changes.
Check out last week’s list, but another suggesting I would offer is changing media diet. What are you consuming? In much the same way as the food you eat affects your health, so also the media you consume impacts your well-being. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale says, “what comes out of the mind is what you put in the mind. You must feed your mind like you feed your body.”
If you are stuck in a rut, maybe you need to consider a radical shift in what you are consuming. The season of Lent is coming up. Ash Wednesday is February 22. People will often fast during the season of Lent. But instead of fasting from food, maybe there is a certain form of media that is polluting your mind and heart from which it might be healthy for you to take a break from or to eliminate altogether. It might be what you watch on TV at night, the talk shows he listened to on the radio, time spent on Facebook, or the romance novels you read before bed.
However, remember that the ultimate purpose of giving something up for Lent is that we might fill ourselves with other healthy alternatives. Think about the newspaper you might read in the morning. It has been said that good news is no news. The stories that are often printed in the news are stories of auto-accidents, crime, corruption, sports, and weather. The purpose of the news is not always to inform but to sell ads through sensationalism. Instead, you might use this time when you would read your newspaper to read the Bible. I doubt you are going to be that much less informed by giving up your morning paper, but you will be starting your day on a much more positive note.
Speaking of ads, the general theme of most ads is that your life is missing something. In order to be fulfilled you need to purchase a certain product. Then when you do purchase that product you then see another ad that tells you your life is still not fulfilled until you buy yet this other product. Many of us fail to recognize the way modern advertising tends to discourage us and bring us down. The more we avoid the glitz of advertising, the better off we will be.
The more stuck you feel, the more radical your change may need to be. There are probably many forms of media you could give up and would not miss a thing. If you’re not quite ready to give up a certain form of media, consider keeping a log of all the different types of media that you consume throughout the day. Write down how much time you spend with each one. How much time do you spend reading the newspaper? How much time do you spend on Facebook? How much time do you spend on blogs and other websites? How much time do you spend watching TV? You just might be surprised at things you are taking in.
Another thing to consider is to whom do you give your ear? Who do you listen to? And coworkers? Family members? Friends? Even brothers and sisters in Christ? Consider the tone and the messages you receive from these people. Is it positive? Is it negative? Do they speak well or poorly of others? Are they fire starters? Is the sky always falling? Seriously consider the people you spend time with. Obviously, you can’t cut family members out of your life, but you can limit their influence. You can’t change your coworkers, but you can politely refuse to take part in a conversation.
God’s words says, “Finally, brothers, 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.” Philippians 4:8
What I want to leave you with is this thought: if you are stuck in a rut, you may need to consider radical change. It may be real hard, but the alternative may be even harder to face.
Today we we continue this message series entitled “For the Least of These.” This message series is focused on the responsibility of the church and parents to the next generation. The first two weeks of this series will focus on the children we have in our own homes. The third week we will talk about what happens when children wander away from the the Lord. And the final week we will talk about the responsibility we have to the orphan.
The Scripture reading for this message is Deuteronomy 6:1-12.
The following is posted on Lutheran Church Charities website:
Donations for Family Still Being Accepted
To date more than one hundred donations from 16 states coast to coast have been received by LCC, combined, and used to purchase the special wheelchair, stationary chair and special iPad the Seals received just before Christmas… or forwarded dollar for dollar to Lord of Life in Elburn, Illinois so the Seals can pay some of Meagan’s medical bills and expenses.
Curt Berg (left) Director of Care Ministries, and Senior Pastor, Rev. Phil Ressler at Lord of Life, joyfully show the most recent check received last week as a result of Lutheran Church Charities’ appeal.
Members of the congregation will be taking the check to the Seals later this week.
LCC will continue tracking the ongoing story of miracle baby Meagan and posting updates here.
Tara, one of the LCC staff K-9 Comfort Dogs, had an exciting and memorable day visiting the Seals family and little Meagan on Tuesday. Meagan, to the amazement of her mother Luellen, reached out on her own to touch and pet Tara. This simple action brought tears to Luellen’s eyes as it is unusual for Meagan to reach out like that. Not only that but it happened again later in the visit. The whole family enjoyed the visit from Tara accompanied by LCC staffer Marie Payes. The visit ended with Meagan’s sisters, Madison and McKenzie, playing ball with Tara on the front lawn while Meagan rested in her mother’s arms.