#TBTB#TBT – 2/26/15

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

We love all of our readers and desire earnestly to keep God’s Word at the center of the human experience for as many humans as we can.

Thank you all for reading and sharing!

For those of you who don’t know what Evermind Ministries is about, please enjoy this article.

Evermind Ministries

Before You Now

“Jesus Saves” – Steve Pettit

Music Wednesdays

Can more beautiful words be found?

Jesus Saves!

“Today you will choose . . . . ” – Quote

“Today you will choose to embrace God’s living Word or live in the caprice of your emotion.” Click To Tweet

Which will you choose?

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5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook Debates

5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook DebatesI recently posted something controversial on Facebook.

This is not surprising to my friends.

One such friend tentatively joined oh-you-got-in-an-argument-online-you-must-have-really-opened-thethe discussion with a remark about how he hates getting into “Facebook Debates.”

Thankfully, the exchange was peaceful and professional. No one’s mind was changed (as is frequently the case), but information was shared well.

The Debate

boromir-argument-internetYou’ve seen it, and unless you just like arguing, you’ve probably been annoyed, disgusted, or aggravated by one or more social-media-soap-box-back-and-forths. And you’ve likely asked yourself with the tone of a backstabbed Cesar,”Why?!”

I’m glad you asked.

Here are 5 Reasons Christians Must Engage in Facebook Debates and how to do it to the glory of God.

1. God Created Us to Communicate

When God created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1), He could have designed the human body without ears – demanding that all communication happen via sign. He could have even given them the power to read minds. But He didn’t. He chose verbal and written communication to be the medium by which His Truth was conveyed to man.

This dynamic observation requires a lifetime of study, but for now let it be sufficient to understand that communication is pregnant with spiritual purpose.

2. God Commands Us to Communicate

After equipping us with the content, ability, and desire to communicate Truth, the Godhead then went one step further by commanding us to engage everyone with said Truth.

We are constrained by the very writ of God to sharpen each other, pray with each other, encourage, remind, edify, rebuke, admonish, preach, teach, counsel, and even answer each other. Paul described it as an Gospel indebtedness to all men (I Corinthians 9:16-19). Guess what! We have the same indebtedness (Matthew 28:19-20).

J.Gresham Machen rightly noted that “A Christianity that avoids argument is not the Christianity of the New Testament.” because God wants us interacting with Truth.

3. The Gospel Is More than Justification

Okay, so you’re not going to argue that we owe all men the Good News of salvation. But if we merely introduce people to God, but refuse to help them grow in their relationship with Him, we have sorely misunderstood the gospel.

God’s grace doesn’t only save us, it transforms us in our everything. Salvation is the glorious beginning, but Sanctification is daily refining with which God purifies us as we fulfill our responsibility to share the Gospel with the world.

The necessary application is, then, that God’s Truth touches every area of life. Therefore, if we owe the Gospel to all men, we must apply God’s Truth to every facet of life – whereby helping them be sanctified by the Gospel.

4. Facebook Offers a Wonderful Venue for Corporate Sanctification

The world wide web is a clamoring Areopagus of ideas. Every book is bellowing its philosophies, every merchant is advertising his wares, and every desire is pleading her delights.

It’s a glut of lies yet a famine of Truth.

But where’s the salt?

Where’s the light?

Where’s that city set upon a hill (Matthew 5:14), those reapers for harvest (John 4:35), this Christian with a burning desire to use his God-given vocal folds to spread the glorious news of life more abundant?

Facebook is merely a patch of land in the online world. If we look on a map for Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth, you’ll find Facebook nestled in our own backyards – on our bedroom nightstands.

5. We Must Engage in Redemptive Relationships in Every Sphere

If we’re created to communicate, commanded by God to apply His Word to eating, drinking, and living (I Corinthians 10:31), and if Facebook is the perfect soil in which to plant that Truth, why don’t we use Facebook to cultivate redemptive relationships?

Probably because we’re not cultivating those relationships anywhere else either.

Sadly, American Christianity has decidedly given up on intentional, personal one-anothering. Our relationships are freckle-level. Our interactions are polite, pithy, professional . . . yet pathetic.

Don’t engage in Facebook debates merely to abuse, hurt, argue, or even win.

Duh.

Involve yourself for these 2 reasons:

  1. The one who posted has asked a question or posed an idea that they want you to know about. They’ve invited you to share your worldview the moment they pressed “post.”
  2. You have divine, relevant Truth to bring to bear on the subject.

And when you find yourself in the middle of a digital debate, keep these 2 goals ever before your eyes:

  1. God wants to be worshipped in your communication. Glorify Him.
  2. You cannot glorify God with your words unless they are Truth-filled and love-filled.

Please evermind that any time Truth comes to bear on a worldly disposition, it will either awaken life or loathing. You must choose carefully how and when to interact. We mustn’t cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), but we must always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks (I Peter 3:15). We mustn’t answer a fool according to his folly, but we must also be ready to answer a fool according to his folly (Proverbs 26:4-5).

Knowing when and how to speak requires wisdom and discretion, but we must do it. Don’t lament the fact you have a sovereign chance to preach the glorious news of grace!

Embrace it.


If you’d like to learn more about using Facebook redemptively, please read “Can Facebook be Redemptive?

Weekend Update: 2/21/15

Weekend Update

This coming week Mr. Brewster and Mr. Massey have an amazing opportunity to take the guys from Victory Academy snowshoeing in northern Wisconsin.

Please pray for this time; adventure camping in God’s beautiful, snow-crusted creation provides many chances to apply God’s Truth to key areas in a young man’s life.

Also, be on the lookout for Mr. Brewster’s Feature Article on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Worship God in spirit and Truth,

The Evermind Staff

#TBTB#TBT – 2/19/15

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

Internet fads fade as quickly as they flash, but now and then the “_____ Things You Should Never Say to _____“article still finds its way to our Facebook walls.

But as AMBrewster points out, most of them are “One Type of Article to Avoid at All Costs.”

See why by clicking the image below and weigh in with your thoughts.

bad-advice-ahead

5 Ways You Take God’s Job (and fail at it)

5 Ways You Take God's Job and fail at it Creating the universe, facilitating each atom, tracking every sparrow, counting the stars, and superintending every event to achieve His greatest glory and the benefit of His followers . . . if God weren’t God, He’d have his hands full.

Yet, even though we know He’s omnipotent and omniscient (all-knowing and all-powerful), we still feel the need to “lend God a hand.” It’s like we think we’re His administrative assistant or something.

Guess what. He doesn’t need our help to do His job. In fact, there are many cases where He flat-out commands that we stay away from that which only He can do.

So, what divine tasks have you tried to usurp recently?

You Save Someone

We all know you can’t redeem anyone’s soul from Hell. You need Christ’s shed blood as much as the next guy. However, we often pretend we can see the heart of man and then use that “divine insight” to make pronouncements concerning another’s eternal destiny. And what’s worse, many people do this with their children.

I spoke with a teenager who informed me that he’d recently been born again. He also told me that when he shared this news with his father, Daddy-o reminded his son that he’d been saved since he was five and insisted his son had merely received “assurance of salvation.”

Eight months later that young man had completely rejected God and is now a hard-core atheist.

Way to go, Dad. Instead of being aware of his son’s doubt, confusion, and searching, Father-dear assuaged his own concerns by futilely trying to write his son’s name in the Book of Life. While trying to convince his son that he was saved, Dad missed the chance to share Christ with him.

You can’t save someone, and you can’t know for certain a person’s saved. You can tell a tree by its fruit, but we seem to regularly mess that up too. When dealing with someone about their eternal destiny, let God’s Word be their source of joy and comfort. If they don’t have assurance from the Bible, you shouldn’t say anything to convince them.

That’s God’s job.

You Get Revenge

Most Bible readers are familiar with the anti-revenge injunction; but does that really stop them?

“’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

We love to punch-in with our holy time card and start delivering pallets of vengeance. We use passive/aggressive quips, manipulation, caustic remarks, gossip, and all-out backstabbing techniques simply because we want our antagonist to feel the same pain we did when they hurt us.

This is sin.

God saves this chore for Himself because He is the only one who can exact righteous vengeance. We avenge because we feel we must protect our own pride; God avenges because His holiness is actually worth it.

You Condemn Others

“He will never change!”

Oh, really? According to the Bible, change is God’s biggest accomplishment! Behind every moment and minutia of the day God’s sovereign hand is working to change us.

Yet our divine condemnations are actually motivated by pessimistic hatred.

Yes. Hatred.

Love hopes all things and believes all things (I Corinthians 13:7). True love rests in God’s ability to do the miraculous and optimistically looks forward to our loved one’s maturity. When we assume someone will never change, we’re being hateful.

We also heist this God-job when we judge people for doing things the Bible doesn’t directly address. It’s true that we are commanded to make judgements (John 7:24). We’re to use God’s Word and His wisdom to discern between good and evil. However, when we judicially decree that someone is sinning in an area the Bible doesn’t specifically name . . . we must be very careful. Condemning a soul is God’s job.

You Assume Motives

I Samuel is very clear that man’s understanding of another man is very limited. We see the skin. However, God has the ability to know the thoughts and intents of a person’s soul.

God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

Yet that rarely stops us from assuming we know why people do what they do.

I’ve seen it before.”

I know why she said that.”

He always does the same thing because he’ll never change.”

God has equipped us with the wisdom and discernment necessary to shine His Truth on a situation. When we use the Bible, we can often have a very clear picture of the motivations God reveals. But because our personal insight can only penetrate the freckle-level, we must remember four key things about interpreting another’s motives: you can read more about that here.

You Receive Worship

Of all the things God’s responsible for, this one is the most dastardly to usurp.However, we’re so stuck on ourselves, we’re quick to impersonate God when worship is being passed out.

This is the proverbial “dancing where angels fear to tread” for even angels are smart enough not to take this job.

How many times today have you impersonated God by receiving worship?

Ken Collier said, there are “just two choices on the shelf, pleasing God and pleasing self. When we reject God’s will and do what’s right in our own eyes, we’re placing ourselves higher than God. We’re worshipping ourselves. Everything from reading blogs to parenting to eating to taking out the trash must be done as an act of worship to God. The moment we don’t actively desire God’s glory we’re seeking our own. Interestingly enough, it’s when we snatch this task from God that we seek to take the other four jobs to ourselves as well.

Conclusion

If you’ve been perceptive then you’ve realized two things: 1. You’ve taken God’s job far more often than you thought. And 2. The one constant that runs through all of these impersonations is blatant arrogance and pride.

We’ve come to the place where we think we can do God’s job better than He can. It’s so easy to give someone confidence in their eternal state, exact revenge, condemn others, read people’s minds, and bask in the glory of worship!

Unfortunately, we not only epically fail with each attempt, we make everyone else’s God-given jobs that much more difficult. Because now we’re the ones that need to be rebuked, corrected, and admonished.

You’ve been tasked with enormously vital responsibilities. God wants you to be His ambassador. He’s gifted you to fulfill every “one another” in Scripture. He’s given you His Word to use in disciplining, counseling, parenting, leading, mentoring, and fellowshipping. He’s called you to bear the Fruit of the Spirit and put on the whole Armor of God. He’s entrusted you with the life-changing gospel of Christ!

There are plenty of things to keep us busy.

Stop taking God’s job!

#TBTB#TBT – 2/12/15

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

Should Christians carry guns?

Should they advocate stricter gun laws?

How do you convince people?

gun

“If the Word of God were . . . .” – Quote

“If the Word of God were a treasure map, I believe more people would read it. This proves they have no idea what unspeakable riches it holds.” Click To Tweet

"If the Word of God were . . . ." - Quote

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“10 Things Parents Miss” – Mark Massey

On August 16th of last 2014 I packed up my family, drove five hours into the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and joined forces with Mark Massey, executive director of Victory Academy for Boys.

The program is amazing.

There’s no more effective disciple-making paradigm than the family. That’s why the counseling format at Victory takes at-risk boys and injects them into an already functioning family. The boys live, sleep, eat, play, study, and grow in a house with a mom, dad, and siblings. They are trained from God’s Word how to glorify Him at the table, in the bathroom, at school, during a hike, in front of the TV, and in the hallways.

As a Residence Counselor (House Dad) at Victory I see the amazing opportunities intentional disciple-making parenting afford. But I also understand how many parents miss those opportunities when they don’t consider their child to be “at-risk.”

Mark Massey’s written a great article called “10 Things Parents Miss.” If you think it’s another list of “cigarette butts and porno mags,” you’re desperately mistaken. This is an outline of significant, biblical principles and mandates that parents frequently ignore in their child-rearing.

Check out the article below and visit Victory’s website. Your son may not be at-risk, but you may know a boy who is . . . and we’d love to help.


 

“Ten Things Parents Miss” by Mark Massey

Many of the teens in our Christian homes are leaving behind the practice of their faith: “Six out of ten twenty-somethings were involved in a church during their teen years, but have failed to translate that into active spirituality during their early adulthood” (Barna Group). We need revival in the work of raising the next generation for God!

1. Humility is the key

The parents’ worldview is critical to the success of parenting. How can we tell who is at the center of our worldviews, ourselves or God? Easy. We just evaluate what we do when things don’t go our way. Particularly, how do we respond when a child doesn’t do right? Pride demands that we have our own way, that the child submit to us. Humility may demand the same action or attitude, but since the focus is not on “my way,” but on the child’s desperate need to walk in God’s ways, the attitude—which teens do read—is very different.

2. Parenting as a team

The greatest gift we can give our teens is a secure home. The marriage relationship is the foundation of a child’s world. When mom and dad have their disagreements in private and present a unified, consistent direction, teens are more secure.

3. Honest evaluation

How often I have heard, “My son is really a good boy; he has a good heart.” The reality is that all of our hearts gravitate toward sin! (Jer. 17:9) We all think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Honestly recognizing the deep hold of sin in the human heart is essential to guiding our children. Without that, the parents let their protective boundaries fail, and the teen is at great risk.

4. Reaching the heart

We must get past behavior modification, the linking of good behavior to a reward (like getting a drivers license) or punishment (getting grounded). Reward and punishment are biblical, but they are not the totality of God’s plan. With only those, we get teens who calculate the cost: is the fun of disobedience worth the pain of the punishment—and they conclude “yes” all too often.

5. THE main point

The world talks about the parent-centered approach vs. the child-centered approach. Both fail. The main point of parenting is to produce a God-worshiping adult (Eph. 6:1-4).

6. The blindness of immaturity

Teens naturally must try new things as they grow. However, the danger is that, in their inexperience, they may experiment with things that bring bondage.

7. The value of values

Hypocrisy is intolerable. It eats away at the soul as cancer eats at the flesh. We and our teens must do the right deed for the right reason: Bible-based, God-honoring values at the core of our being.

8. Strategic planning

Do we have a more definitive plan for our finances than we do for our families? To develop character in our children, we need to plan the process and have tangible goals, That is, we can see whether or not there is progress. Ephesians 6 calls us to bring our children through the process of maturing spiritually. We need to write down each child’s unique set of needs (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical), the methods of meeting the needs, and what observable action or condition would indicate success.

9. Communication and problem solving

The power of biblical communication results from five values. Communication works when we are honest, current, edifying, kind, and forgiving (Eph. 4:21-32).

10. The importance of family

Enjoying the gift of family is not an extra, it is a God-designed part of success. Casual, fun times are vital to the training and disciplining process. The sense that being family is a positive thing is a platform for the ministry of parents (Psalm 78; Deut. 6). The idea that a little “quality time” is enough is a myth. In giving children the quantity of time that they crave, you find the quality time happen. It cannot be commanded to appear on cue.