Monday, November 24, 2014

Christin's Quote Book

  • Retirement means twice as much husband on half as much money. ―anonymous
  • Santa Clause has the right idea: Visit people once a year. ―Victor Borge
  • Whenever you hear the word save, it is usually the beginning of an advertisement designed to make you spend money. ―anonymous
  • He is a sheep in sheep’s clothing. ―Winston Churchill
  • Silence can’t be misquoted. ―anonymous

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christin's Quote Book

  • The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places. ―Samuel Butler
  • When I see a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees. ―Abraham Lincoln
  • The inveterate punster follows a conversation as a shark follows a ship. ―Stephen Leacock
  • A recession is a period during which you discover how much money you were wasting on nonessentials. ―anonymous
  • A refrigerator is a place where you store leftovers until they are ready to be thrown out. ―anonymous

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christin's Quote Book

  • The distance from obscurity to fame is much longer than the distance from fame to obscurity. ―anonymous
  • Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. ―anonymous
  • Those proud of keeping an orderly desk never know the thrill of finding something hey thought they had irretrievably lost. ―Helen Exley
  • Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. ―Samuel Johnson
  • I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous―everyone hasn’t met me yet. Rodney Dangerfield

Monday, November 3, 2014

Christin's Quote Book

  • One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t smart enough to marry your daughter can become the father of the smartest grandchild in the world. ―anonymous
  • One of the mysteries of human conduct is why adult men and women are ready to sign documents they do not read, at the behest of salesmen they do not know, binding them to pay for articles they do not want, with money they do not have. ―Gerald Hurst
  • He had been kicked in the head by a mule when young and believed everything he read in the Sunday papers. ―George Ade
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. ―anonymous
  • If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments. ―Earl Wilson

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Privilege Once Granted Becomes a Right

God indulges His children occasionally. In fact, HE does so more often than we deserve. Feast days are special times when such indulgences are encouraged. “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household” (Deut. 14:26-27). We also do this with birthdays, Christmas, and a variety of other holidays and celebrations. Special occasions should be special. They afford us privileges.

There is a danger, however, that comes with the privilege of indulgence: a privilege once granted easily becomes a “right” in the mind of the recipient. If that “right” is withheld it will not be gratitude for past gifts that is evoked but rather outrage. Professor BrenĂ© Brown observed that “What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” This is why privileges should be handed out sparingly and irregularly when possible. You might grant the privilege to a younger child to stay up past their normal bedtime but if that happens about three times in one week I can assure you that in the mind of the child the later bedtime has now become his “right,” and if you try to rescind that “right” there will likely be some tears involved.  

When I headed off to college, over forty years ago, my parents had the wisdom to not send me a regular check in the mail. They did help out but they didn’t put me on a monthly payment plan. I knew better than to run to the mailbox on the first of the month looking for “my check.” An occasional check of irregular amounts (some a little disappointing and some very generous), were always welcomed gifts and never expected as entitlements. I carried this practice over to my own children’s college years and I think it serve me and them very well. Such privileges or gifts should be surprises that are met with thankfulness and appreciation.

This principle can and should be applied in many areas of our lives, especially when it comes to our children e.g., what they eat, what they spend, gifts given to them, curfews, bedtimes, cell phones, data plans, Facebook (and other social media), games, entertainment, time with friends, chores, and a thousand other areas of life. Gratitude is the central thing; gratitude to you and gratitude to God. When gratitude disappears then the thing is no longer a privilege; it has become an entitlement. The entitlement class will never know happiness.

We live in world full of people who think they are entitled to a whole bunch of things they haven’t earned and do not deserve. When we receive something we perceive we didn’t deserve, we’re grateful. When we don’t receive that which we think we are entitled to we’re mad at the one whose job we think it was to give it to us. Economist Thomas Sowell noted: “One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.” 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Truth About Sex

As a follow-up to a lesson I taught at church last night I want to emphasize what I have previously said. As parents guard their children from the corruption of the many sinful sexual influences in the world, context is critical. Our sexuality is sinful and destructive only when it is used in a manner contrary to God’s word. As the Westminster Catechism succinctly states: “Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God.” The powerful gift of sexuality, like all other gifts from God is to be used first and foremost for the Glory of God. The secondary goals are subordinate to that ultimate purpose. The context for the goodness of sex is found in these areas:
Marriage: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed"(Gen. 2:24-25); “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4); “…If they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Cor. 7:9).

Procreation: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:27-28); “But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth” (Mal. 2:15).

Avoidance of Sin: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:3-8); “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2)

Pleasure: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love” (Pr. 5:15-19); (see also the entire book of the Song of Solomon).

As a Picture of Christ and His Church: “ For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (1 Cor. 5:30-32); “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:25-32).

As we teach our children to love God and love His standards this instruction must necessarily include teaching them to view their sexuality, as well as appropriate sexual acts, as part of their overall seeking of God’s glory. This context is critical if they are to see the truth, beauty and goodness of God’s creation of sex. Taken out of this context, the power for good is turned into the power to destroy.  We must never stop with only teaching or implying that what God called good is somehow bad in itself. It is the perversion of what God called good that is actually the bad thing. There is no greater legacy that parents can leave their children than the image of a husband and wife (their father and mother) loving each other to the glory of God. This is inescapably sexual in nature.


Marijuana

Marijuana should be decriminalized but that does not mean that its use cannot be a sin. The main point of smoking marijuana is for the effect; the intoxicating effect. While all sins are not crimes, nevertheless, more blurry drivers, pilots, parents and students inevitably lead to a whole range of serious problems, some of which are crimes; crimes that should be punished. -RB

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Part-Times Jobs

We're all born thinking the world exists to serve us; that’s the essence of immaturity.  Real work is often hard; it involves some level of self-denial, which is the essence of maturity.  Jobs, even part-time and menial jobs, force us to have to sacrifice some immediate gratification for something larger than the moment. I can’t always do what I want to do when I want to do it.  I bear some responsibility for my own existence.  There are many other ways that work benefits those in transition to adulthood, but there's a certain kind of pleasure than can only be had by having the discipline of a job. -RB

Monday, October 27, 2014

Christin's Quote Book

  • The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters. ―Harold Nicholson
  • When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. ―Mark Twain
  • Middle age is the period when a woman’s hair starts changing from gray to black. ―anonymous
  • The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing. ―G. K. Chesterton
  • Two can live as cheaply as one―for half as long. ―anonymous

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Endings

Rescue, reconciliation, redemption, restoration and resurrection make me happy every time; they are the happy endings I want for every story. -RB