Sunday, April 20, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life

John Piper writes, “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader’s Digest: A couple ‘took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . . .’ Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy.

“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”

Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. This book will warn you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, read this book, learn to live for Christ, and don’t waste your life!


To learn more about Ray Comfort and The Way of the Master, his ministry, and how you can become a child of God, visit his website:

The 200 Year Plan

A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness
“To achieve victory, first you must seek it.”

Do you aspire for your children and grandchildren to thrive in their life-work before the Lord rather than just “survive” the influences of our bankrupt culture? If so, now is the time to prepare for this. For our children to be mighty in the land, we must embrace a long-term vision of victory, and this will only be achieved if we take steps now to plan and implement multi-generational goals for our families.

Enter The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness, a series of messages by Doug Phillips and Geoffory Botkin geared at helping families develop creative approaches to implement a 200-year plan through the culture of family life and the legacy of godly experiences, wisdom, and vision which parents leave to their children.

Inside this wonderful album comes with over 11 hours of audio and a bonus CD: PowerPoint Presentation Slides (PDF format).

Topics Include:
Strategic Considerations for a Multi-Generational Vision
Seven Secrets of Successful Multi-Visionaries
200 Year Plans That Succeeded
The Family Toledoth
The Family Enterprise
The Family Catechism
How to Draft a 200 Year Plan
The Family Investiture
Armchair Discussions

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

We made it!!!

Never be Shaken made it into the Young Filmmaker's category of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival! Praise the Lord!
Only 40 out of 140 entries were choosen to be shown at the festival.
The festival will be October 25-27

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Men


Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be good for you; and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.
And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Truth, Incoming

Yea!! We've been waiting for this museum to open for a few years. God is faithful, His people have been faithful to support them, and they're ready to open to the public and let them know they really can believe every word of the Bible, God's truth is to be believed, from beginning to end! His word is relevant to every area of our lives. Yes, still today!! and tomorrow and forever!
My children have been so excited they have been supporting this project by sending their tithes to help in their own way! Praise God! For more information on the Creation Museum you can visit their website:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Courtship vs. Dating

"Heather, how would you like to go to a movie Saturday night?" Our daughter hesitated. Although she didn't know the young man standing before her in the college student union, she wouldn't accept his offer- at least not yet. Instead his inquiry needed to be directed to her father. Would the young man be offended or think she was some kind of weirdo? Heather mustered her resolve. "Well," she said, "I would really prefer that you talked with my dad first." Then, without giving the fellow a chance to respond, Heather made a beeline for her dormitory. I'm never going to hear from this guy again, she thought. In fact, I'm going to be the laughingstock of the campus.

Early Beginnings

Heather, the oldest of our four children, has been a willing participant in our family decision to dispense with the dating game. The decision may seem hopelessly old-fashioned to you, but our choice grew partly out of personal experience; as teenagers ourselves, we had encountered some of the drawbacks and dangers of dating. When I (Anne) dated, my heart became emotionally tied to my steady, which created wounds of rejection that lasted for years. We wanted something better for our children.

One of the best ways we've found to do that is courtship. Courtship can mean different things in different circles, but for our family it means that if a young man wants to date one of our daughters, he contacts the father and asks to take the daughter out. (Of course, the mother can take this role in families where the father is not available.)

At this very first meeting or phone call, the father explains that the family believes in courtship, which means that the young man must be spiritually and financially prepared to marry her if they fall in love. Otherwise, don't even bother starting a relationship. There are no casual "tryouts" in courtship. (As for our sons, they know they must meet the same guidelines before they can begin courting a young woman.)

Since courtship is reserved only for young couples spiritually and financially ready for marriage, this effectively means no courtship or dating during the high school years, and perhaps not until after college graduation.

Before we heard about courtship, the advice we received from many Christian friends was to allow our children to date once they reached their 16th birthday. Thus, when our twin sons, Ned and Drew, turned 16 they began closely observing the dating scene. When they saw the broken hearts and hurt feelings following the latest school break-ups, they believed there had to be a better way to protect their emotions while learning to be friends with the opposite sex.

The boys prayed long and hard about the situation. Finally, with Ned leading the way, he decided he would not date until he met the girl he thought he would marry--and then only when he was prepared to support her. This decision stemmed from having been trained by us to follow the Lord wholeheartedly.

Ned's conclusion--which took place before our family embraced the concept of courtship--will seem radical to some. Likewise, Heather's story at the beginning of this article may seem like a story from the 1890's, especially for today's young people in their collegiate years. Indeed, the fellow who wanted to go out with Heather did call our home, but after hearing Jim's explanation of courtship, he opted not to pursue the relationship.

That incident happened nearly six years ago. Since then, we have continued to practice courtship and, as parents with four adult children in their 20's, we have seen some very encouraging results, including their desire to be available to the Lord. Before you dismiss the idea as impractical, outmoded or just plain weird, take some time--as we did--to weigh the benefits of courtship against the drawbacks of dating.

Courtship vs. Dating

We believe courtship has physical, emotional and spiritual safeguards over dating. For starters, dating can be a set-up for divorce. The current thinking goes like this: If I like this guy (or girl), I'll go out with him a few times. If it doesn't work out, we can always break up. It simply does not make sense to train for a long-term marriage by pursuing what all too often is a series of short-term relationships.

Even in a lasting marriage, the baggage left over from previous dating relationships can be frustrating and painful. As Christian parents, we talk a lot about sexual abstinence, but what we would also keep in mind is the need for emotional abstinence.

Dating, by its very nature, opens the door to heartache and disappointment. Courtship, on the other hand, is a process by which young people can get to know and enjoy one another while maintaining their physical and emotional integrity.

Courtship also offers practical benefits. For one thing, bringing Dad into the picture takes the responsibility for saying yes or no to a relationship off a daughter's shoulders. If Heather is not interested in a young man, I (Jim) can break the news gently without damaging their friendship or the young man's walk with Christ.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of courtship is that it also allows us, as a family, to better understand the person interested in one of our children. Dating waves goodbye at the door and says "Be home by midnight," whereas courtship includes time spent with the entire family. In our home, a young man interested in Heather or Catharine is apt to find himself playing basketball with Ned and Drew, or helping out in the kitchen after dinner.

How does courtship work?

While the benefits of courtship are intriguing, folks may balk at changing the way they've looked at relationship building between the sexes. Dating, as it has evolved in the 20th century, is readily accepted and understood. It seems"normal," but is it?

Courtship, on the other hand, introduces a different set of guidelines and behaviour patterns. If a young man is interested in a young woman, he starts by praying about the relationship. With a go-ahead from the Lord and his parents, he then approaches the girl's parents. The parents pray and, if the young woman has a reciprocal interest in the young man, her father talks through courtship and its expectations with the fellow.

Before a young man and woman actually begin courting, the girl's father and the interested fellow spend time getting to know one another. This relationship may be built through shared activities or--in cases where the two do not live near one another-through letters and telephone calls.

As we prayed about God's choice of a spouse for each of our children, we have focused on five areas of personal development that we feel are critically important--both in development that w feel are critically important--both in our children and in their future mates. Each person should demonstrate spiritual depth, a strong biblical character, financial responsibility, sexual and emotional purity, and the ability to lead a simple, practical life.

Courtship activities may include a family missions trip, prison ministry, or similar service-oriented endeavors. The idea is to give the young couple an opportunity to spiritually mature as they fulfill God's call on their lives. Other activities--from family games to neighborhood walks--can shape and reveal a person's character, responsibility and resourcefulness. By allowing for this practical and productive time together, courtship enables a young couple to look beyond physical attraction to focusing on things that are truly important.

Catharine, our youngest, said it best when she described courtship as a way of "training my heart, my eyes, my thoughts and my emotions on becoming like Christ." Since courtship provides relational guidelines and boundaries for young couples, Catharine maintains that the process allows her to "concentrate my energies on doing what God wants me to do, rather than on what I want to do."

Will you pray about it?

When we began our courtship experiment, we had no idea what to expect. We've experienced challenges--like the time one of our children became seriously interested in a person who, we later realized, was not the right choice in God's eyes . Looking back, though, we can count more than a few blessings that have grown out of our commitment to courtship. When Heather realized that the courtship concept could work, even on a college campus, she told us, "Hey, guys are actually going for this stuff!"

As we've practiced courtship, our family has enjoyed more rewards than we would have ever dreamed possible. So far, none of our children (ages 20 through 25) is married, but we aren't worried, since we know God has a plan for their lives. We also know plenty of families where courtship has been successful.

But like so many things that we've tried or experienced as a family, courtship had brought us together in laughter and in tears, and it has encouraged us to pray. We pray for our family as a whole, for each individual family member, and for each of our children's prospective spouses, as God prepares them for marriage.

No matter how old your children are, or how many years they may have before dating becomes an issue, we want to encourage you to take time to pray specifically about this subject. This article may be your first exposure to the concept of courtship. On the other hand, you may know far more than what we've presented here.

Either way, ask the Lord to show you whether--and how--you should participate in the courtship process. Our hope and prayer is that you, too, will know the joy this time in your children's lives can bring.

Jim Ryun is a former three-time Olympian and world-record holder in the mile. He and Ann, along with their adult children, operate Jim Ryun Ministries in Lawrence, Kan. The Ryuns were assisted in this article by Jodie Berndt of Atlanta.



*Dating vs. Courtship by Paul Jehle (Plymouth Rock Foundation, call 800-210-1620)

*Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot (Revell, call 800-759-4569)

*Guidlines for Courtship and Preparation for Marriage by Jeff Barth (Parable Publishing House, call 802-462-2002)

For other books, videos and cassettes on courtship, contact the Courtship Connection, 3731 Cecelia, Toledo, OH 43608 or call 419-729-4594


Available from Last Days Ministries (P.O. Box 40, Lindale, TX 75771, or call 903-963-8678):

* "In Search of Mr. Right" pamphlet No. 6

* "Modesty" No. 17

* "Training Your Child for Christ" No. 77

This article from Focus on the Family, November 1995, by Jim and Anne Ryun

Marriage vs. Cohabitation

His Word is still our guide.
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever."
2 Timothy 3:16 & 17 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

Thou shalt not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

One man and one woman.
Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." 23 "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
Matthew 19:6 "Consequently they [husband & wife] are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

By the numbers, divorce just isn't what it used to be.
From YAHOO! News

From "Inspired by a True Story"
Divorce Proceedings
I am beginning a new project dealing with the personal and social consequences of divorce.
The first resource I’ve turned to in my research is Jen Abbas’ book Generation Ex.
In the first few pages I found a quote where she articulates an idea that has been simmering in the back of my mind a long time.
Abbas writes:
“Even if you think you don’t have any lingering issues, I invite you to discover how…divorce has changed your life. You did not experience the fullness of what God designed for you in a family, and so you have been hurt. It’s just that you are part of a generation that has learned to see these scars as normal.”
When it comes to understanding post-60’s generations, this point cannot be overemphasized. The confusion, the hedonism, the anxiety we see in young people today must be understood in light of the collapse of the family unit that was designed to provide a life-long sense of security and direction.
My parents are not divorced. But even people like me whose families remain intact are deeply affected by a culture that takes divorce and its aftermath to be normal.
I remember being a child and playing with some other boys on a hill near our home. Gary told us about how his parents had split up and he’d gone before the judge to say whether he wanted to live with his mom or dad.
The story horrified me. Even though the experience had not been mine, I was able to imagine myself having to make such a terrible choice. The divorce of my friend’s parents made me less secure in believing my own parents would stay together.
We tend to think divorce is a private matter. Most people have forgotten the issue once had a political angle. Kids in my generation and subsequent ones have been damaged not only by our own divorcing parents, but by every legislator and governor who helped enshrine no-fault divorce in law and by every activist who agitated for the change.
It is hard when you grow up in a divorce culture to see that the cynicism, suspicion about relationships, and insecurity of your peers is not normal, but the result of society’s approval of the get-single-quick scheme of no-fault divorce. There aren’t many places to look for another model.
I am interested in hearing stories of how people have been affected by their parents’ divorces. If you are willing to share what coming of age in a divorce culture has meant for you, leave your story in the comment thread, or email me at deansblog at