Laurie’s December Blog

Laurie’s December Blog

The Reason for the Season

It is such a thrill to see the minds and hearts of young children begin to understand what the birth of Jesus means for them. Which brings me to the tricky part. As parents, we know that our children are not only absorbing the messages of Christmas we share with them about Jesus’ birth but they are also being exposed to the commercial side of the holiday season. A balance is tough, whether you have children or not!

Growing up, my parents used the advent wreath to help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. During nightly, family devotions in December, one or more candles on the wreath were lit as we celebrated the coming of Jesus. As more candles were lit each week, the closer my brothers and I knew we were to the BIG day! As a parent, I have great memories of sharing this same Christmas tradition as well as an Advent Calendar with my sons and visually emphasizing to them the real meaning of the season. I encourage you to take time this Christmas to continue or establish traditions that allow you to celebrate the reason for the season and share that message with family and friends.

From Birmingham Christian Family to you and your family-

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-Laurie Stroud 

Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.

www.BirminghamChristian.com

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Birmingham Christian Family DECEMBER GIVE-AWAY!

TO SAY THANK YOU for reading and supporting the businesses and organizations that advertise with us and make spreading Good News possible, we have a great giveaway for you this month!

  1. Family 4-Pack to the Nutcracker performed by the Birmingham Ballet- Four tickets to the December 16 evening performance at the BJCC.  Simply visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the Nutcracker give-away post to be entered to win! Offer Ends 12/12/17. Winner Announced on Facebook Wednesday, 12/13/2017!
  2. Mixed Case of Cookies from Bud’s Best! 2 Winners! Sign Up for our E-newsletter at www.birminghamchristian.com OR visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the Bud’s Best Give-Away post to be entered to win! Offer Ends12/19/17. Winners Announced on Facebook Wednesday, 12/20/17!

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Local Medical Advance Keeps Missionary on the Move

Local Medical Advance Keeps Missionary on the Move

Healthy Living

Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center physicians, Drs. Jeffrey Davis and K. David Moore, standing beside the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System used to help patients like missionary Tim Prewitt. “I’d like for people to understand this is not something where I wind up a robot and then go get a cup of coffee,” says K. David Moore, M.D., one of the first surgeons in the area to utilize the innovative technology that allows him to personalize total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement procedures to each of his patients. “Surgeons are still doing the entire operation, it’s just that the robot guides us to make the boning cuts according to our plan for the patient’s individual anatomy.”

With church plants, Bible Institutes and humanitarian efforts in 13 countries on three different continents, World Reach founder Tim Prewitt is accustomed to international travel up to eight times a year. Last year, however, extreme hip pain was limiting his mobility. Thanks to a talented surgeon and an advanced robotic-arm assisted surgery available here in Birmingham, he is back to the mission field he loves.

As a young professional, Prewitt spent nine years working for Sears, Roebuck and Company before he began to feel that God was ushering him out of corporate management and into full time ministry. He and his wife, Carol, joined three other men in founding World Reach in 1981, and today the mission organization establishes Bible Institutes and indigenous, self-sustaining churches around the world. Prewitt’s travels often include encouraging staff or teaching in an Institute, but a year ago an x-ray of his right hip showed significant deterioration that could no longer be managed with anti-inflammatory medication. “The doctor told me it was bone-on-bone. It was exacerbated by the fact that I travel so extensively, walking and carrying suitcases and so forth,” he explains. Every move he made forced him to shift effort to the left side of his body to avoid pain and limited mobility.

Prewitt found that Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center was the first and only orthopaedic practice in Birmingham to offer robotic-assisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System. K. David Moore, M.D., says its technology has been a game changer in terms of accuracy and precision. “Traditionally, we’ve really done these operations based on the law of averages, using average anatomy. There are some ways you can accommodate for variations in people’s bone structure, but it’s been very imprecise. The Mako allows us to really customize each operation to the individual.” In knee replacements, for example, the Mako’s precision in placing an implant speeds the recovery and improves the longevity of the results. In hip replacements, dislocation is less common, as is unnecessary postoperative differences in leg length.

A Peruvian pastor thanks Tim Prewitt for helping his village with humanitarian relief related to flooding earlier this year. In Peru, World Reach ministries include a bilingual Christian School, medical and dental clinics, children’s and youth ministries, a Mobile Bible Institute, and church plants.

Dr. Moore’s treatment for Prewitt began with a CT scan of the joint and the construction of a 3-dimensional model that allowed him to plan the procedure in virtual reality a week prior to the surgery. Prewitt, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, says his surgery took place at St. Vincent’s Birmingham on a Wednesday morning, and he was walking by Wednesday afternoon and home on Thursday. “I am 100 percent better. I can now move free of pain, without thinking I’m just causing more injury to what is already there,” he says. “I have complete freedom in terms of movement, range of motion.”

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade, and as the baby boomer generation sees a need for relief of arthritis symptoms beyond conservative treatment measures, the Mako System allows for a personalized surgery based on each patient’s specific diagnosis and anatomy. “This generation of people has been more active on the whole than previous generations and less tolerant of limiting their lifestyle because of joint pain,” Dr. Moore explains. “We certainly think that is important not just for quality of life but quantity of life. Once you stop moving, your health deteriorates fairly quickly. We want to make sure that people can stay active as long as possible.”

Now able to travel comfortably again, Prewitt says World Reach plans to bring on additional missionaries and add six new Bible Institutes in the countries he serves in 2018. For more information on how you can get involved in World Reach’s global efforts, visit www.world-reach.org. To connect with a physician who can help with conservative arthritis treatment or provide more information on the Mako System, visit AndrewsSportsMedicine.com or call 205-939-3699.

-Camille Smith Platt

 

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500TH Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration

500TH Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration

Special Feature

Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz will speak at the November 15 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration at Hodges Chapel Samford University. Learn more at www.vestavialutheran.org

Join Christians throughout the world in observing the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills is sponsoring a Reformation Celebration at Hodges Chapel on the campus of Samford University on November 15. There will be preservice music by the Shades Mt. Brass Quintet at 6:30pm and worship at 7 pm. Service music will feature hymns that are a confession of a Lutheran’s faith. Luther understood the significance of music: “Next to theology I give music the highest and greatest honor.” Luther desired to communicate the Gospel message that sets people free from the bondage of sin. What better way to spread that message than to teach what we believe through music.

Rev. Dr. Gregory Steltz, who has served as speaker of the Lutheran Hour Radio Program from 2011 to 2017, will be the keynote speaker at the Reformation Celebration. Dr. Steltz follows in the footsteps of Dr. Walter A. Maier the first and founding speaker of the Lutheran Hour ministry that gained worldwide popularity in the 30’s and 40’s with the largest radio audience of the 20th century. The Lutheran Hour has a current audience of over 1 million listeners, airing on more than 1,600 stations across North America as well as the Armed Forces network.

Dr. Martin Luther gave the Reformation its impetus when he nailed the 95 theses to the church door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. These theses called the church leaders to discuss major teachings of the church that Luther believed were contrary to Scripture and to stop the   unbiblical practice of selling indulgences which the common people were led to believe shorten time in purgatory and even forgave sins. As a young man, Luther had an obsessive fear that he stood under the judgment of a harsh God, “my sin lay heavy night and day” he wrote. In his study of Scripture, he discovered that a person’s relationship with God was a total gift – it is by grace through faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross that a person stands justified before God. Man is not saved by doing good works but by the good work that Jesus did when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Luther taught that God does not need our good works but our neighbor does. Good works are the evidence that the person is walking and living in a faith relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther’s reforms focused on these three solas: sola scriptura, sola gratica, and sola fide.  Scripture alone is the source of teaching and doctrine; grace alone is responsible for sins forgiven; faith alone receives the gift of a relationship with God for now and in eternity.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)


-Rev. J. Mark Kuehnert

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101 Mobility: Improving Lives in Our Community

101 Mobility: Improving Lives in Our Community

Faith at Work

Owners of 101 Mobility Alabama, Derek and Ashley Gann, with their children Reagan and D.C. at their 101 Mobility office on Highway 280 near Greystone.

Birmingham Christian Family recently sat down with 101 Mobility of Alabama’s Derek Gann who shared with us how God is using his team to serve others in our community.

Q. How does owning 101 Mobility allow you to live out your faith in the marketplace?

A. As business owners, our main objective is to serve: to serve our customers, community and our employees. My wife Ashley and I believe that emulating the traits of Christ is our greatest earthly calling. From owning a business, to leading my family, and rearing our children, it all points to Jesus. Because 101 Mobility focuses on improving life, what a ministry! We get the opportunity to help people navigate through a difficult and often fragile time. When families and individuals are faced with circumstances that are often beyond their control whether it’s the reality of aging parents, a tragic accident that claims one’s mobility, or a family member with a disability it is easy to feel discouraged or broken. That’s the beauty of Jesus and what we get to do as owners of 101 Mobility. We get to be a part of restoring others. We can bring back some hope and dignity. We make the days ahead easier than the days before. 101 Mobility provides mobility devices to help individuals regain that independence. We help families live longer in their homes and provide free face to face consultations that help guide customers through all their options and what works best for their needs.

Q. How does your faith impact how you run your business?

A. Simply put, our faith drives us. Each day we remind ourselves that all that we do on this side of eternity should all point to the greatness of Jesus. Even leading up to the decision to become business owners, every day was filled with prayer. We asked for wisdom, discernment and direction. Ashley and I feel that God has led us to right where we are and we must be faithful stewards of what we’ve been given. We think the greatest leader of all time is Jesus and we try daily to replicate those traits. Our faith doesn’t mean our business is void of difficult decisions or tough calls, but our faith guides us and reassures us of our purpose. We strongly believe that you have to have vision and our vision is to love our customers well, build strong community relationships, and provide top-notch service. These goals are all predicated on our faith and our hope to be a glimmer of light in what can be a dimmer time in one’s life.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of the business to you?

A. No question, the most rewarding aspect of our business is being able to give someone a new lease on life. No one wants to wake up
and discover they can no longer walk up their stairs or get around their house like they used to. So, when 101 Mobility can design a plan, unique to your needs, that gives you that freedom and independence back, it fills our heart and reminds us that each time a job is done, we’ve left one life a little better. The greatest gifts in life are truly the ones we give, not the ones we get. We are blessed to provide mobility devices that give back joy, that give back freedom, that give back hope. The stories we hear from the customers we serve can often leave tears in our own eyes, so being able to restore something that has been lost is the greatest reward of all.

-Learn more at www.Alabama.101Mobility.com or call 205-538-5692.†

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The Untouchable, Touched by Jesus

The Untouchable, Touched by Jesus

Encouraging Word

One of my favorite biblical accounts is recorded in Luke 5:12-14 in which Jesus heals a man with a serious medical condition.  Luke, a physician, described the man as one “full of leprosy,” meaning it was in an advanced stage. In Jesus day, this infectious disease made one religiously and socially unclean.  Lepers were ostracized and quarantined from society. No one wanted them around. They were considered the “untouchables.”  Leprosy was debilitating and caused one to feel helpless and hopeless. The leper was at a point of despair with no place to go and no one to turn to; until he saw Jesus.

Apparently, the leper had heard about Jesus and had faith that Jesus could do for him what others could not. Luke records that when the leper saw Jesus, he fell on his face in worship and implored Him saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” What Jesus did next just blows me away. Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing, be cleansed.” You were not supposed to touch a leper! Jesus didn’t have to touch him. He could just have said the word and the leper would have been healed. Yet, He touched this “untouchable!”

You see there is no sin too bad; no person too evil; no problem too big; no sickness so severe; and no one beyond God’s reach. If you will come to Jesus in faith, submitting to His will; He will touch you and make you whole. I’m reminded of the Bill Gaither song, “He Touched Me.”  It says, “shackled by a heavy burden; beneath a load of guilt and shame; then the hand of Jesus touched me; and now I am no longer the same.” I pray that Jesus has touched your life and made you clean and whole.

-Tony Cooper 

Celebrating 27 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission

www.jimmiehalemission.com

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5 Ways to Equip Your Kids for Faithful Living

5 Ways to Equip Your Kids for Faithful Living

Education Extra

Learn more from Dr. Mueller, February 3, at his “No Parent Left Behind” seminar at the Birmingham Parenting Collective Conference, Oak Mountain High School auditorium. For details and tickets go to www.bhamparentingcollective.com

Since we as parents are called to equip our kids for a lifetime of living under the Lordship of Jesus, it is essential for us to prepare them for a lifetime of weaving together the inseparable bond that must exist between belief and behavior. What we must instill in our kids is both a knowledge of the Gospel message (belief), along with how that message must inform, shape, and transform, every square inch of life (behavior).  As I look around at today’s youth culture, there are numerous aspects of childhood and adolescent life where Christian parents must begin challenging and equipping their kids to see how Christian beliefs speak to their behaviors. Here are five key areas to consider:

1.Playing. Many of our kids are involved in athletics. Are we teaching them what it means to play to God’s glory as opposed to the glory of self? And, are we equipping them to prioritize rather than overprioritize or idolize sport and play? Are we helping them put their lives in order by teaching them to see opportunities for spiritual nurture and gathering with the Body of Christ as a higher priority than practices and games?

2.Studying. Do we expect them to work to the best of their ability, producing the best work they can if they have a bent toward academic laziness? Are we pushing back on the anxiety-producing obsession and academic competitiveness some kids have, where they are never satisfied with the results of their best efforts? Are we teaching them to study first and foremost to increase their knowledge of God and His world, as opposed to achieving the idol of good grades? Are we helping them see that academic achievements are not an end in and of themselves, but that they are a path to contributing to God’s work in the world?

3.Posting. Our kids will be engaging with social media and technology for the rest of their lives. Are you teaching them to live out their faith on social media by setting up clear borders and boundaries, along with endeavoring to bring glory to God rather than trying to solicit glory and attention for self? Are you leading them to find their identity in Christ alone, rather than in the frequency of “likes” and positive comments to their curated/fabricated posts and photos that typically don’t even come close to representing their true selves.

4.Relating. Are you teaching your kids to honor, love, and respect authority? Are you equipping them to glorify God through their friendships? Are you teaching them to put others first?

5.Driving. There’s a reason why states and insurance companies place restrictions on new teenage drivers. They’re new to this, without experience, and developmentally impulsive. Are you teaching your kids to see driving as an act of worship where they can bring glory to God through safe driving habits. . . beginning with putting their smartphone aside while behind the wheel?

The life of the Christian is one that is to be lived counter-culturally and around the clock. Equip your kids for faithful living and for effective mission by nurturing them into playing, studying, posting, relating, and driving to the glory of God.

– Dr. Walt Mueller

Founder & President, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

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Adoption as a Calling: Duck Dynasty

Adoption as a Calling: Duck Dynasty

Adoption as a Calling: Duck Dynasty

In the new content in her re-release of Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed (Thomas Nelson, 2017), Korie Robertson shares how a missed flight to Birmingham and the adoption of son, Rowdy, reminded her that “God’s plans for us are greater than we could ever imagine.”

According to Duck Dynasty stars Korie and Willie Robertson, 100,000 children currently in the foster care system in the United States are adoptable because their parents’ rights have been terminated. Statistically, 30,000 of those children will never get a “forever family.” The couple has been passionate about adoption since high school and has welcomed three different youth into their home since 2001—an infant, a foreign exchange student and an older child from foster care. In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, Korie reflects on the beauty of an intentionally large family, the need for adoptive families in the United States, and the re-release of her book Strong and Kind, with added material in honor of newest family member Rowdy, officially adopted last year at 12 years old.

Growing up in a family that made hospitality a priority gave Korie a clear model of the kind of mother she wanted to be when she had a home of her own. During her childhood, her parents hosted more than 80 people who needed a temporary place to live. “We had an extra bedroom that was always full,” she remembers. “They took in families, teenagers that were struggling at home, or single mothers with kids. That really impacted me—to say what’s mine is yours, and if I have an extra room, then someone can have it.” Korie’s first exposure to the adoption process came from her high school Bible teacher, who adopted a little boy her senior year and spent much of instruction time talking about how important it is that Christian families care for orphans. She married Willie in 1992, and after John Luke and Sadie were born, becoming pregnant a third time proved difficult. They took it as a sign that it was time to adopt. Five-week-old Will was living with a foster family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when they brought him home in December 2001. In January, Willie surprised Korie with a 10-year wedding anniversary trip to Cancun. She came back pregnant with Bella. “I had two babies on my hip for a while, and it was a lot of fun,” Korie remembers. “It was a little crazy because of Destructo 1 and Destructo 2. They got into everything.”

The next invitation the Robertsons extended to a youth in need of a home was to a foreign exchange student. Sixteen-year-old Rebecca came from Taiwan for one year of high school in 2005. Korie and Willie invited her back the following year, and she never left. Now 28 years old, she had Willie walk her down the aisle at her wedding last year. “Her dad passed away when she was 11, but she still has a mom in Taiwan,” Korie explains. “Her mom was at the wedding, and we sat beside each other as mothers of the bride. So, we are her American family. We never officially adopted her, but she’s ours just like the rest.”

In 2015, Korie had just published the book Strong and Kind and was speaking at an adoption fundraiser when presented with the opportunity to provide a permanent home for an older child from Texas foster care. Familiar with the struggles older children often have finding a home, a woman approached her at the event and asked if she knew of anyone who would take a 12-year-old boy. “We hadn’t really planned on adopting again, but we’ve always remained open to God’s tugging on our heart. It was one of those moments that I thought, ‘Alright, God. This is probably us. I called Willie and he said, ‘Why not? We can do this. Why not us?’ We got Rowdy a few weeks later, and he became ours last September officially. He makes six.” Korie explains that bringing an older child into the home and adjusting him to sibling relationships had its challenges but also its rewards. “It’s been incredible to see how our other children have responded to him and accepted him and loved him. At one point Will looked at me and said, ‘Mom, have you noticed that me and Bella don’t fight anymore?’ It was like we all had a greater purpose and everyone just stepped up to the plate.” Rowdy had been raised an only child, and Korie admits that looking back she realizes the transition he had to make—into a family of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents—was monumental. “There was a point where I asked him, was it harder or easier than you thought it was going to be? I said you can be honest. He said it was harder.”

In 2016, the Robertsons celebrated the addition of their sixth child, 12-year-old Rowdy. “It’s been a crazy transition but God has been so good and faithful throughout it,” says Korie Robertson.

After 11 seasons on A&E, the final episode of Duck Dynasty aired in April 2017. Today Korie continues to work in the Duck Commander® business overseeing licensing for the family’s brands and does philanthropic work as a board member for The Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute and Help One Now, an organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and providing care for orphans worldwide. Korie and Willie also founded the Drive Adoption fund at last year’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway. DriveAdoption.org gives fans the opportunity to learn about domestic and international adoption, connect with adoptive organizations, and donate financially to the cause.

Korie regularly speaks on behalf of older children waiting to be adopted and says youth who turn 18 and age out of foster care are at a much higher risk for homelessness, early pregnancy or drug addiction than those who gain the support of a family. She stresses that for all the wealth in the United States, finding a home for the 100,000 foster youth currently available for adoption should be simple. “We should be able to have homes for those children. They are going to bed each night thinking, ‘Am I going to get a mom and dad? Is this going to happen for me?’ There’s a lot of problems in the world that I know I cannot fix. This is one of the problems that is really solvable,” she says. “A lot of people are scared of what it looks like bringing in an older child and how the rest of the children will reac. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but one of power that He will take care of our needs. Not that it’s going to be perfect or simple, but raising children biologically isn’t perfect or simple [either].”

Adopting Rowdy inspired Korie to rerelease a paperback edition of Strong and Kind this year, with additional content reflecting on the legacy she wants to pass down to the next generation. The Afterward is a nod to Rowdy’s assimilation into the Robertson family and how adoption is symbolic to the Christian faith. “I have always loved everything about adoption,” she writes. “How it makes families whole; how it is full of hope and promises to love a child forever and always… how it redeems something broken and makes it whole; how it reminds us that we all are adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family through His Son, Jesus Christ…how it has made our family complete.”

  • Camille Smith Platt

 

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It’s a Dangerous Calling and You Can Help

It’s a Dangerous Calling and You Can Help

Church Leaders

There are days when your minister loves his calling. He is absolutely convinced he has the best job in the world. Imagine spending hours studying God’s Word, expressing the wisdom he has discovered, extending God’s undeserved grace, transforming his city, molding tomorrow’s leaders, and orchestrating the worship of God. And atop all this, he gets paid for doing so. However, there are also days when he wants to retire, run, or roll-over into a fetal position. There is no doubt about it, there are seasons of life when your loving, faithful, and smiling minister feels like he is falling apart. Why?

  • It could be his personal sin. He is the professional who studies and teaches the Father’s holy law and knows His goodness. More than anyone, he knows his own shortcomings. He would tell you his struggles, but his position requires him to at least look holy.
  • Or consider the unnecessary struggles in the church. He enlisted in the Lord’s Army to fight the world, the flesh, and the devil. It never crossed his mind that he would encounter it in the ranks.
  • Then there is the weight of always being on-call. He is always available because he wants to be available to minister in a moment of need. He can’t “leave his work at the office.”
  • You have family problems? So does he. He is not always the perfect leader; his home is not necessarily a place of perpetual bliss. Like you, he has his fair share of discord and dysfunction. Unfortunately, he lives in a glass house with everyone watching and weighing-in.
  • He also feels less than qualified for his job description. Who can be the total package – scholar, counselor, coach, and communicator? How can he be an expert on everything? And though his heart is broken for sinners, he is forced to wait on the Holy Spirit to affect the hearts of his beloved.
  • Perhaps, it is the “competition” that wears him out. He is very aware he is not to see other churches around him as such, but in his worst of days he sinfully does, and most in leadership around him unwillingly encourage such thinking. They prove it by their words and actions, and many vote with their feet.

Yes, your minister has a fantastic calling, but he has a dangerous calling. And unless he is assisted by God, his fellow leaders, and congregants, he might wear out; his ministerial knees cut out from under him, and be left with no vitality to minister to you. But you can help.

  • First, pray for your minister. Then stop by and pray with him.
  • Write him a note of encouragement.
  • Help him and his spouse schedule a date-weekend but take away his mobile phone first.
  • Guard your words, for what you say has unintended consequences. Listen more; pray more, and talk less.
  • As you see something that needs to be addressed, take the lead, offer constructive suggestion, and go to work.
  • Relentlessly, point him to the Gospel and grant him the same grace and forgiveness you have received from Christ.
  • Finally, send your minister and other fellow leaders to a conference on church health. Perhaps even consider signing them up for the Embers to a Flame conference taking place this January in Birmingham (Emberstoaflame.org). For almost twenty years, ministers, elders, and deacons from many denominations have been gathering, learning, praying, fellowshipping, repenting, and returning home encouraged to carry on. It is an annual shot-in-the-arm for leaders in the church. It is a time to freshly focus on church health instead of church growth.

Friends, I encourage you to encourage your minister. Yes, he loves you. But he may be slowing down, wearing out, and be in great danger. You can help and encourage. Now, will you?

Joseph Franks 

Rev. Franks has pastored in South Carolina, South Florida and Birmingham, Ala. In his current position at Briarwood Presbyterian, he is called to be a pastor to pastors. He is eager to talk about the Gospel, the Church, the pastorate and Embers to a Flame, jfranks@briarwood.org, 205-533-2396, www.emberstoaflame.org.

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Bringing Out the Winner with John Croyle

Bringing Out the Winner with John Croyle

Where’s Your Focus? 

When I heard this phrase it made a lot of sense-

“I don’t have trouble with what I don’t understand from the Bible – what I have trouble with is what I DO understand.”

As parents, sometimes we forget the basics God wants us to know and do. We worry about how we look, how we dress, and how others perceive us. However, I have never read in the Bible any command to buy a bigger house, drive a better car or wear nicer clothes. What we ARE reminded of repeatedly is building strong character, having good morals and ethics, developing decision-making skills, choosing our friends wisely, and being honest. I think you get the point!

You and I need to do a regular check-up regarding where our focus is, and in turn what we are teaching our children to be focused on. Great homes fall, money can be lost, and clothes will deteriorate – but Godly character, strong values, and good decision making skills will, literally, last a lifetime.

What are you focused on today? Better yet, what are your children focused on? Don’t let the simplicity of Proverbs 22:6 escape us. Training is a consistent, daily process. May we build champions for Christ today!

John Croyle, Founder, Big Oak Ranch 

Author, Who You Are/Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess, www.bigoak.org

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