Three Failure Philosophies to Destroy in Your Life

No doubt there are many phrases regularly quoted in your home.

“If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”

“Think before you speak.”

“It’s not done until it’s down right.”

One of the concepts repeatedly quoted in my ministry is:

“If your philosophy doesn’t work 100% of the time, you need a new philosophy.”

I spend a lot of time fleshing out the concept of “Failure Philosophies” with the boys I work with at Victory Academy, and I’d like to take a moment to do the same for you.

Continue reading “Three Failure Philosophies to Destroy in Your Life”

Truth.Love.Parent.

Truth.Love.Parent.

We’re very excited to announce the addition of our first podcast to the Evermind Ministries family!

Please subscribe to Truth.Love.Parent. and join AMBrewster as he uses God’s Word to become an intentional, premeditated parent.

Soon you’ll also be able to download podcast notes from our website.

Stay tuned, it’s going to be exciting!

Who is My Mother?

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Mothers come in all states and prizes. Which kind of mother are you: biological, step, adopted? Or are you the kind of mother Jesus introduced us to in Matthew 12 and Mark 3?

This type of mother is the most unique on the planet, and there are more people in this category than you may think.

“While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.’  But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’” Matthew 12:46-48

Which of you mothers wouldn’t feel at least a little offended to hear your son ask this question as you struggled to get to him? After all of the diapers, baths, games, money, and let’s not even mention child-birth! How dare he be so calloused!

However, Jesus was sinless and not capable of being rude or calloused (this is an important reminder that just because we may feel offended, it doesn’t mean we should). Instead, with further study we realize that Jesus is teaching us a valuable lesson about blood, water, and spirit.

The fleshly bonds of blood relations are greatly idolized in our culture. I don’t fault anyone for this state of mind as I too feel more affectionate for my family than I do most other homo sapiens.

Still, the spiritual reality is that the spiritual is a stronger reality. Consider Christ’s explanation:

“And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:49-50

Spectacular.

Stunning.

Scandalous.

It’s hard to say what Mary believed about her son at this time in His life, but we know for certain that His brothers did not yet believe in Him. Regardless of her faith in the Messiah, there is no one in this life more dear to a believer than a brother and sister in Christ. Not even blood.

What does this mean for the biological, the step, and the adopted mother? It means that the greatest gift a mother can give to her children is to be first and foremost their spiritual family. Whether this means accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior or introducing your children to Him, or both, there is no greater relationship you can have with your kids.

The sweet kiss of a mother soothes the scraped knee and makes nightmares flee. But there is nothing sweeter or stronger than a mother who is also a sister in Christ.

“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.

“Your children won’t go . . . .” – Quote

“Your children won’t go in the right direction if you’re not moving that way as a couple.” Click To Tweet

Your children won't go . . . - Quote

Please feel free to share our images. All we ask is that you do not modify them. Enjoy!

10 Ways You’re Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be

10 Ways You're Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be

On June 29, 2014 Tim Hoch wrote “10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be.”

It didn’t take long for it to go viral, and it has made many appearances on my friends’ Facebook walls. Though I don’t know if Mr. Hoch is a Christian, and can’t agree with everything he wrote, I do know many of the observations he made are not only applicable to the family . . . but are biblical.

Using Tim’s 10 ways and God’s infallible Word, let’s see how we can stop making our family life harder and start glorifying God with it instead.

Continue reading “10 Ways You’re Making Your Family Life Harder Than It Has To Be”

Your Emotions are “Inside Out” – Part II

Your Emotions are Inside Out

How to Destroy Your Family in 2:10 Minutes

Let me say again that I will give this movie a chance, and I don’t want to pass too strong a judgment on a mere 2:10 minute trailer. However, there is far too rich a collection of truths here to let dissipate into the mist of forgotten entertainment.

In Part I I discussed the nature of emotions. Their real purpose and practice is very different than with what our modern culture has indoctrinated us.

My desire for Part II is to systematically explain how the following scene all too accurately depicts the modern American family (Christians included) and how much more deadly the reality is.
Continue reading “Your Emotions are “Inside Out” – Part II”

Removing the Mask: 4 Ways to Better Understand Your Child

Removing the Mask: 4 Ways to Better Understand Your Child

We drive them to school.

We sleep under the same roof.

We watch every one of their games, concerts, and melt-downs.

We may even have the regular opportunity to share meals with them.

Yet we often have no idea who they are.

We used to think we knew our children, but no more. Perhaps you’ve felt what many parents have verbalized to me about their teenagers:

Something happened.”

They changed.”

They’re not the kid I used to know.”

What happened to my baby?”

This is all too common a parental conundrum, and it happens in many ways for many reasons. But right now, you’re likely less concerned about how it happened than you are about fixing it. And, for some reason, sitting down and asking your son “How’s school,” “Is something bothering you,” or “What are you thinking about?” just doesn’t seem to work anymore.

The encouraging reality is that our children communicate to us who they are in everything they do. They even scream their deepest heart issues to us with their silence.

With this thought in mind, I’d like to share 4 vital ways to remove your child’s mask and start the glorious process of knowing your child and helping them become the person God wants them to be.

Continue reading “Removing the Mask: 4 Ways to Better Understand Your Child”

Your Emotions are “Inside Out” (how to detroy you and your family in just 2:10 minutes)

Your Emotions are Inside Out

Obvious Observation 1: Our society (Christians subcultures included) has no idea how emotions work. We’re like a child with a gun – we know nothing about what it is, how it works, or what it does, but we don’t care because we really want to play with it . . . and it will likely kill us.

Less than Obvious Observation 2: I love Pixar. I do. Seriously, they are seemingly the only massive movie company dedicated to producing genuinely wholesome content. Much of their work even conforms to God’s revealed truth. But this does not stop me from having some serious concerns about their new movie Inside Out. If you haven’t already seen the movie, please watch the trailer before continuing:

This one scene beautifully illustrates many of the most deadly misconceptions about emotions all tied up with a tragic bow of sex-stereotypes, served with some death-of-a-family fruitcake.

Continue reading “Your Emotions are “Inside Out” (how to detroy you and your family in just 2:10 minutes)”

“To love your children . . . .” – Quote

“To love your children is to feed them daily with God’s Truth.” Click To Tweet To Love Your Children - Quote Please feel free to share our images. All we ask is that you do not modify them. Enjoy!