Q. My dad has been really bad with money his entire life. Anytime he would get into trouble, my grandparents would always bail him out. This time he came to my wife and I, asking for $350 to get out of overdraft at the bank. We’re trying to live on a budget and get control of our finances, and $350 would make things kind of tight at the moment. What do you think we should do?
Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to be a good parent. Books by experts and personal stories abound. You can find research testing a number of theories about different parenting styles showing the benefits and limitations of each one. As much as the new parent educates him or herself, this information is of limited use until you deal with your own children, their personalities, and the other important part of the equation – the other parent’s own ideas. Children, families, and parents are unique, thus it is hard to have a recipe book on how to do this amazing job perfectly. However, parents need to keep in mind the general focus on their obligation and responsibility for their children’s spiritual growth, emotional and physical health, and ability to become good citizens of the world. But how?
It is time for my annual activity, listing the “Top 10 Topics” from the previous year impacting the Christian community. Here are the “Top 10 Topics of 2016,” as announced on The Meeting House on Faith Radio the first week of the year.
Have you ever given to someone and felt something powerful in the act? There is power released when we give. I read an amazing story that illustrates perfectly the thoughts in my spirit about what even a small gift has the power to accomplish.
I have noticed that some people are list makers and some are not. Some folks make a detailed grocery list before going to the store, while others get there and wander down every aisle. List makers are trying to be efficient, trying to do more in less time. So, they plan ahead.
Have you been to a wedding recently and noticed the faces of the couple? I love the way they beam with delight experiencing the height of the feeling of love. Yet, in that very emotional moment, when I officiate weddings, I remind us all that we cannot relegate love to being only an emotional feeling that comes and goes. In reality, love is not simply a feeling, though it does have an emotional component. Love is something that also is demonstrated by action.
I was wrong. I read the opening words of The Story of Reality and thought, “Here we go again.” Over the past few years we’ve been inundated with books that tell the story of the world, the story of history, through what we might call a biblical-theology lens. You are probably familiar with the standard categories: creation, fall, redemption, consummation, and new creation. Through these headings we can trace and tell the story of what God is accomplishing in this world. It’s helpful, it’s good, and it’s been done a lot recently to the benefit of the church. But this book is not that book. Not quite.
RRJ: Growing up you said you were a church-going straight-laced kid, but not a Christian. Can you explain the difference?
Mike: Growing up, I went to Sunday School and church every Sunday with my family. I was never involved in church activities, so I didn’t feel like it was a big part of my life. I believed in God and Jesus, but never felt like I was filled with the true spirit of Christianity. I was a pretty straight-laced kid because I had a father who made sure I behaved. I was never part of the partying crowd in high school. I really didn’t have time for it, because all my extra time was filled with sports and athletics. During those years, I had some good coaches that tried to steer me in the right direction. One of those was Lee High School Coach Jim Chafin, who I went to visit out in Texas last year. He definitely was an influence for good in my life.