“The Total Package Dad”

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Since we recently recognized the blessings of both domestic and spiritual motherhood (on Mother's Day), today, I want to honor fatherhood. This focus is especially important, because Father’s Day is tomorrow. So, to get our thinking into gear we must obtain Biblical support for this tribute. And to do so, we can look no further that the following words of the apostle Paul, who said, “… give honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7). 

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“Learning to Take Criticism”

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Every human being loves encouragement and welcomes it every time it comes his way. This means that we naturally love every form of verbal affirmation we receive, as well as every physical pat on the back. Who wouldn’t? You would have to be literally sub-human to reject such strokes from your fellowman. Sadly, because of our love for personal praise, we rarely apply King Solomon’s words of wisdom, “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise” (Proverbs 27:21). In the same way, every son of Adam does not like to receive, hear, or read critical remarks made about him. In fact, all criticism, whether it’s true and of a constructive nature, coming from a gracious voice; or, it’s false and of an unwarranted kind, from a malicious voice; it is never a sweet experience for we who inhabit those wretched “bodies of death” that Paul spoke so clearly about in Romans (7:24). 

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“God’s Search and Rescue Plan”

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Several years ago, I was told a true story about a local church-going man who declared that he would never go to a church that practiced the unloving act of Church Discipline. Of course, this statement alarmed me, because it spoke volumes to me about the possible spiritual condition of this person. It also revealed either the man’s brazen heart of rebellion toward what God had so clearly spoken in Scripture [Church Discipline (or “CD”)], or it clearly unveiled this man’s outright Scriptural ignorance of this obvious God-ordained doctrine (Note: Jesus Christ, the most loving person to ever walk upon the face of this earth, taught CD [Matthew 18:15-17]).

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“Judge Not?”

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We live in a day of unbelievable business marketing strategies. Anything can be sold by most anyone with some success, if a niche market is found and the appropriate marketing strategy is both properly applied and carefully managed. Thus, whenever a “Christian” book starts selling like hotcakes to both church-goers, as well as to those who are avowed unbelievers, I begin to be very concerned. Then, when that same book’s professing evangelical author begins to make the religious and secular talk-show circuit and his book’s sales hit the New York Times best-seller list, I then start to wonder if this popular title can pass the Biblical test. At this point, I usually go secure a copy of such a publication, hoping that for once this newly famous evangelical guru might follow the Bible. 

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“Does Christ Have First Place in Your Life?”

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It has been said of modern-man, “he worships his work, he works at his play, and he plays at his worship.” Sadly, this is an accurate description of far too many who say that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. The chronic problem lies in these professing Christians simply allowing themselves to get blown along each day by the winds of this age, instead of by the wind of the Holy Spirit. 

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“The Total Package Mom”

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Since Mother’s Day is tomorrow, it is only fitting that we reflect today upon our mothers and the impact that they have had on both our domestic and spiritual formation. At the outset, allow me to just say openly, that I am eternally thankful for my mother, Kathleen Ann Marcellino. Her consistent and unrivaled selflessness toward my brothers and me, especially in our formative years, is a treasure to remember, and assuredly, a memory that will never be forgotten. 

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“Thankfulness”

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Many years ago, I heard a faithful pastor pray the following words: “O Lord, open the eyes of the lost, grant them ears to hear the gospel [Romans 10:17], grant them eyes to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ [2 Corinthians 4:6]; And O Lord, turn their ‘never saying they are sorry’ to you; to a heart of true repentance; and their ‘never saying thank you’ to you; to a life of thankfulness. Amen.” 

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“How are You Handling Stress?”

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We live in probably the most amazing time in the history of the world. It’s an era of immense technological advance coupled with profound opportunities for our physical well-being. Specifically, we often have immediate acces to astounding time-saving devices, land and air-travel vehicles, and cellular communication. In addition, we have vast information at our finger-tips (because of computers and the internet), which enable us to access helpful information on medical and financial issues, and even to find answers to Bible questions, and those about the Bible. Yet, we have never been more overwhelmed and maxed-out in our daily lives. 

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“Are You an Anxious Person?”

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Some Bible verses, more than others, just level me to the dust with their profundity, and at the same time, their simplicity. Two such verses are Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The other verse, which is as profound, is 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

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“What’s Your Daily Motivation?”

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We begin to answer our question this week, with the words of the psalmist in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” This powerfully practical verse for daily living, provokes three immediate questions that every person must honestly answer: (1) Do you see each day as the Psalmist does? (2) When you get up each morning, are you able to rejoice at the beginning of a new day? and then, determine to be glad in it? and (3) What will motivate you to live the next twenty-four hours? That is, what desires will drive you to put in one more 9-5 day? 

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