Emotional Blackmail and Self-Absorption

Recognizing Emotional Blackmail and the Self-Absorption of the Wounded to grant to those who mourn in Zion—    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;that they may be called oaks of righteousness,    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 Woundedness, Blackmail, and Justice John Piper’s observation was the first I found that named and articulated a problem I had seen often. Whether in marriage, leadership teams, or other places where Christians come in conflict, something was off but I couldn’t describe it--until I read these words by Piper. He calls it emotional blackmail. Ray Ortlund includes Piper's quotation in his book, The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty [...]

Christian Living|

Wisdom and Joy

I recently had the privilege of marrying my son to a lovely young woman. As expected, their hearts were full of joy. But the hearts of all four parents were filled with joy as well. When our children make wise choices, we rejoice. I think children need to know that - even from an early age. A wise son makes a glad father,    but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. Proverbs 10:1 We are connected. As much as our teens and 20 somethings want to assert a rightful independence, it is important to remind them of something Proverbs teaches over and over. We are connected. Their wisdom will bring us joy and their foolishness will bring us pain. I am not suggesting that [...]

Parenting, Prodigal, Verse Lists|

Dr. David Murray: Exploring the Bible Together

Does the idea of family devotions make you feel guilty. Have you tried and failed to have a family time with the Lord?  Then this episode is for you. Family worship and devotions can be an ongoing source of guilt. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  In today’s podcast we are going to talk with Dr. David Murray. Dr. Murray has just released the book Exploring the Bible Together: A 52-week Family Worship Plan.  But before you become overwhelmed with that, take a listen to this podcast. You will discover that it is a simple plan that takes about 4-5 minutes a day. I think you are going to love it. In addition, it is family companion to the study for individual use. So [...]

Interviews, Podcast|

Thoughts on Poverty

The United States is experiencing an unusual time of turmoil. Our young people will be influenced to think emotionally like the world or to think more Scripturally. This is my attempt to think biblically about poverty. Let me be clear that this is NOT an area of expertise. But it is an area where voices are influencing our children. We want to think as clearly as we can. Christians may disagree with applications but the following biblical principles are meant to guide our thinking. As with everything, I do my best to think through things from a biblical framework. I also attempt to be so Bible-saturated that the biblical balance is articulated. Finally, I want to think in terms of principles and let the application [...]

How to Be Effective in an Unstructured Day

I have been a paid pastor or in full time ministry for over 30 years. At the beginning, I remember wrestling with having so much time on my hands and trying to make it effective. Recently, I was asked what principles I follow to be a good steward of my time. These are not exhaustive but a start. Although this doesn’t specifically apply to parenting, I think it may be helpful to you. 1. Try to work a certain number of hours every day. Put yourself on a schedule. If you steal time in the middle of the day pay it back later. Work at least 8+ hours a day. To quote the old saying - “I find the harder I work, the luckier I get.” 2. Set goals. Then [...]


Nine Principles for Overcoming Anger Toward Your Children

Not again! You've lost it with the children, yelling at them and hitting the table. And you see them cower in fear or scramble to their rooms. You end up feeling ashamed and embarrassed. "What is wrong with me?" you say to yourself. "How can I get control of my anger?" In this podcast, we're going to talk about answers to that question. We're going to listen in on a webinar that I conducted on that very topic. As I looked over my podcasts, I realized that even though I'd done interviews on other podcasts on this subject, I'd never made it the topic of my own podcast! The closest I came was in episode 38, where I shared a sermon that I preached on [...]


Five Principles for Healthy Communication

Words, words, words. If you’re a parent, words are flying around your house. Sometimes those words are helpful, and as you well know, many times they’re sinful. How do we get a handle on all those words? How do we communicate well, and how do we teach our children to communicate well? In this podcast, we’re going to talk about five principles of healthy communication. Communication is a huge subject, one that could overwhelm us. But in a recent webinar, I spelled out five helpful principles to guide healthy communication. Certainly it’s not all that could be said, but it is a start. And I believe that they will apply whether you’re thinking about communicating with your young child, with your teen, or with your [...]


Tim Challies: Thoughts on Media and Your Family

The media, internet, and screens can seem like a tsunami, overwhelming us and our children. Sometimes it seems to disciple our children more than we do. What should a parent do? In this podcast, I talked with Tim Challies about his perspective on the media and its use in his family. He has written a book, The Next Story: Faith, Friends, Family, and the Digital World. In our time together we talked about some insights on this new world that could guide us as parents. In addition, at the end of the episode, we touch briefly on his last chapter about having a media plan. Tim is a well-known Christian blogger and author. He is married to Aileen and father to three children. In addition, [...]

Interviews, Media, Podcast|

Tim Challies and His Around-The-World Journey Through Christian History

Does Christian history seem boring to you? Would you like a fun flyover to gain some perspective on your heritage as a Christian? Perspective is a part of maturity. Christian history can give us and our children perspective on how God's church has grown and spread out since Jesus walked the earth. Sometimes we can believe that we are the first generation of believers to experience certain questions or conflicts. Christian history reminds us that this is not true. In this podcast, I talked with Tim Challies about his new book and video series- Epic: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History. Tim is a well-known Christian blogger and author. He is married to Aileen and father to three children. In addition, he serves as an [...]

Interviews, Podcast|

Quick Thoughts on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day was this week. Our children and teens can be influenced by an environmentalism that is based in fear or worship. In honor of this day, I put together some quick thoughts from the Scriptures. What would you add or change? - Chap Quick Thoughts for Earth Day The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psalm 24:1). He created it and established it. Therefore he owns it. It belongs to him.Creation declares God’s glory (Psalm 19:1). A being who can make the heavens and the intricacies of creation is very great. declares to everyone there is a God (Romans 1:20).Creation is actively sustained by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3).The Father is so involved in his creation that not [...]

Young People|