Five Tips for Making This Thanksgiving One of the Best Ones Ever


Thanksgiving is one of the great American holidays, a time dedicated to the deliberate expression of gratitude to the Lord for this country and our many blessings.

If you’re like my wife, Jean, you’ve been shopping and preparing the last few days. Perhaps you’ve cleared your house of extra clutter, wiped the fingerprints off the fridge and aired out the stuffy guest room. The serving platters are out of storage and your overnight guests might even be on their way.

Two Ways to Instill Virtue in Your Children

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When you think about it, instilling virtue in our children can be pretty serious business. After all, the adult world is a competitive place, and we want our kids to be prepared. And that leads some parents to bury their children under some pretty harsh standards.

At report card time, a parent wanting their child to learn responsibility may question why their nearly straight A student didn’t get that one grade just a little higher. Or maybe they snap at their teenager if he or she shows the slightest sign of irresponsibility.

How to Forgive When It Seems Impossible

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Forgiveness may be one of the hardest things God asks us to do.

Not so sure? Well, think about Jonah.

Jonah was a prophet of God. His life was devoted to serving the Lord and following His will. But then God said, “Forgive the Ninevites.”

Now, remember who the Ninevites were. They weren’t the innocent-looking people so often portrayed in Sunday school lessons. They were cruel and wicked and enemies of God’s people. It would be the equivalent of God saying to us, “I want you to go to the Middle East to forgive ISIS.”

I’m sure you remember Jonah’s initial response.

How to Talk with Your Kids about Paris & the Threat of Terrorism

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By now you’ve likely heard that earlier today, French police raided the home of additional terror suspects, killing two. Two Air France jets were diverted yesterday on account of bomb threats. A German soccer game was cancelled last evening following “concrete” evidence of a bomb plot.

The ISIS terrorists responsible for the Paris massacre have pledged to attack other cities, including some in the United States. The FBI and counterterrorism officials are on high alert and expressing deep concerns.

Do You Believe in these Christian “Superstitions”?

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Today is Friday the 13th, a day some associate with bad luck. Just saying the phrase brings to mind other (imagined) connections with misfortune, like black cats, broken mirrors and an open umbrella indoors.

While as Christians we should steer clear of these “silly myths,” (1 Tim 4:7) the reality is we have a few “superstitions” we believe, too. Ours might not be rooted in magic or chance, but in a misunderstanding of what Scripture truly teaches.

Four Ways Parents Can Protect Their Kids from Sexting

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It’s the type of story that makes parents shudder:

Students exchanging nude photos on their phones.

Members of the Cañon City High School football team here in Colorado allegedly exchanged and collected hundreds of nude photographs of more than 100 students. Some of the students photographed were in middle school. And it seems all of this was part of a competition where points were assigned per picture.

As a colleague remarked, if this type of scandal is occurring in a small town like Cañon City, you know it’s happening all over America.

How to Get Organized for Christmas

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Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas?

Well, it’s not if you hope to get yourself organized, so you can have a smooth December and enjoy a stress-free Christmas season.

A lot of you can relate. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, a time when we reflect on our Savior who came as a baby in a manger and soon took upon Himself the sins of the world.

Instead, we get caught up in all the “stuff” of Christmas: the lights, the decorations, the shopping.

Common Sense Wins in Houston

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Election night 2015 brought victories for religious freedom and common sense.

Last night we saw many encouraging signs from around the country that voters are concerned with issues ranging from religious freedom to the expansion of recreational drug use to the safety and privacy concerns of women and children.

Here are some of the highlights:

First, Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected a controversial city ordinance that would have allowed men suffering from gender confusion to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms around the city.

Four Ways Failing Marriages and Healthy Marriages Look the Same

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If a couple in your church was headed for divorce, would anyone be able to see it coming before it was too late?

Chances are less likely than you might think, according to a new study that Focus on the Family sponsored through LifeWay Research. The study found that in the three months leading up to divorce, churchgoing couples in troubled marriages show similar levels of involvement as those in healthy marriages in four areas:

Attend church once a week or more
Involvement in a small group
Serve in community ministries
Hold positions of responsibility at church

What’s even more astounding is that nearly one-third of churchgoers who divorced never told anyone in their congregation that they were experiencing marital problems.

How to Successfully Blend Your Family

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If you made a list of all the things in your life you never thought would happen, situations you never could never have imagined yourself being in, what would you write down?

For some of you, picking up the broken pieces of your life and starting over again with a blended family might be at the top of that list.

This new chapter of life may have come about through death or divorce or some other circumstance, but the challenge is the same: how to overcome the difficulties common to blended families and to give this new part of your life its best chance to thrive.