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The Gift of Children

As we parent our children, there will be trying times that test our patience and there will be easier times that give us joy and pride. He has given us an awesome responsibility to parent them to be responsible, mature adults. In the midst of difficulties, may we never forget that our children are a gift from God!

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

 

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Parenting Children With Special Needs (free podcast)

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Parenting children is tough, but parenting children with special needs is quite another ballgame. In fact, some studies reveal that marriages involving a special needs child have a 80-90% divorce rate.*

As a parent of a child with special needs, I was interviewed by Chuck Hagele, executive director of Project Patch. Project Patch is an organization dedicated to serving families and troubled youth.

The podcast is below.

 

Please see Project Patch’s podcast page for tips and resources for parenting children with special needs.

I also train and coach families at the Northwest Marriage Institute. We offer free seminars around the Vancouver, Washington area. Please see our website for upcoming dates.

 

*Griffin, K.L. (2000, February 28). Parental break time. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, p. 1G.

Painter, K., & Copeland, L. (1998, December 22). Eight babies fight for
Developmental Disabilities Bulletin, 2004, Vol. 32, No. 1 life and reignite ethics debate, USA Today, p. 01A.

 

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The Art of Hospitality

Dhati Lewis is right: Hospitality is an art. It is an intentional, creative way of living that makes room for strangers in our lives. Jesus practiced hospitality throughout his ministry. One example of this is when he washed his disciples’ feet, a practice commonly performed by servants. After washing their feet, he said,

“since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” ((John 13:34-15). 

Fred Liggin, pastor of Williamsburg Christian Church, recently said that being hospitable is a shift in mindset from our normal way of living for ourselves. The chart below illustrates the shifts that Fred stated.

hospitality

I think Fred is spot on.

What do you think is the greatest hindrance to hospitality?

What shift can you personally take to become more hospitable?

 

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Top 20 Countries Where Christianity Has the Highest Growth Rates

Nepal and China are the countries with the highest Christian growth rates, according to a study conducted by The Center for the Study of Global Christianity. The chart below illustrates the top 20 countries with the highest growth rates, along with the average annual growth rate since 1970, the number of years it will take to double the number of Christians, and the majority religion of each country.

 

top 20

What surprises you about this study? What implications does it have for Christianity and missions?

 

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Five Keys to Preaching With Impact

The Rocket Company recommends 5 keys to having an impact on your audience, based on their research. Good ones to keep in mind!
 

1. Get their attention.

In speech communication, the first few minutes of a speech is known as the “attention step.” We need to grab our listener’s ears from the beginning or they will tune us out.

attention

2. Make the topic relevant.

People want to hear topics that are relevant to their lives. According to The Rocket Company’s research, they don’t want to hear sermons about money, politics or hell.

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3. If they don’t like you, they won’t listen to you.

Most people do not view the preacher as someone they would like to hang out with. The more people like a speaker, the more they will trust him/her and listen to him/her.

hang out

4. Keep your sermons short and simple.

There is no need to go into all the nuances of a topic. Most people will not even remember the topic of a sermon after a few days. TED, the popular speaking network, gives 18 minutes as the maximum time for a speech.

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5. Action is better than theory. 

Most people require practical application, instead of mere teaching. One way to make a speech practical is to call for action on the part of the listener.

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Which one speaks to you the most?

 

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