Archives For faith

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I am sure many of you have been following the news out of Houston this week about the pastors' sermons that have been subpoenaed by the lesbian mayor's office.

It is shocking, but honestly, I figured it would all blow over quickly.

But now we are seeing it is not blowing over. In fact, it appears to be even more far reaching in threat to religious liberty. 

I received this helpful analysis today by a Southern Baptist leader I respect. Please take a look. 

We have pondered on this site about what would happen if Christians were no longer free to talk about these "sticky issues."

Now we see this..... It is time for us to awaken and PRAY! This weekend!!

External link:

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston — The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

Related post:

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What if I Cannot Warn You Anymore??

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Evidence of the changing attitudes toward Christianity is all around us. From ISIS beheadings to student Christian clubs being disallowed in our schools, persecution is becoming a new reality for all Christians.

As I have watch the shocking images coming out of the Middle East, my heart is sobered. I'm asking myself a very important question that I encourage all my readers to think about:

How prepared is my family to stand for Jesus in the face of persecution?

Doug and I are making adjustments in our home even this week. Our children need foundation to their faith, strength to their resolve, and spiritual support to walk out their convictions.

 We have found it to be very important that our children hear stories of those who are standing with courage for Jesus. In Hebrews 11 you find a list of the heroes of faith. I think it's very exciting to find those in our midst today who may be standing with Hebrews 11 type faith.

Voice of the Martyrs has released Liena’s Prayer: A mother’s offering in war-torn Syria, a powerful video available to our families for free with this link. We may also want to take up advantage of their offer of a free DVD to be sent to our churches in observance of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which is November 2.

 I'm praying for you and your kids today. What an exciting time to be a Christian!

Image: Robert Conley: “Daeker’s eyes” via Flickr Creative Commons
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I received this letter from a Frontline Mom last week:  (She said I could let you read her letter here.) 

Hello! I'm a homeschooling mom. I have recently been reading and learning about preventing all kinds of danger and abuse of children. I have a question about the subject of grooming. I really would like to be able to spot the difference between grooming behavior and typical close family friendship.

My husband and I believe that our family needs to be close to other Christians outside our family. We are part of both a church and a homeschool group that get together regularly in small groups in members' homes….

How do we grow close friendships with other families while still being confident that our children are safe playing outside our eyesight? How can we be sure our children are safe to play at even our closest friends' houses if we are not there?

A lot of what I read about the grooming process sounds like I cannot even trust my own gut and experience with people.

Thanks for your help!

I think she is asking some great questions, how about you?

Here are some of my best tips I want to give to our friend.

Dear S.:

I so appreciated your heartfelt requests! I think I can understand what you are saying.

Kalyn's sexual abuse totally shook my world. As I worked to recover our family, I thought for a while that the best strategy was to build a big moat around our home and pull up the drawbridge. But somehow that idea did not pan out for me! :)

I quickly discovered that fear, paranoia and hysteria were not helpful parenting motivators...  and were actually causing me to make errors in judgment. So instead, I adopted more reasonable approach. Here are 5 Important Strategies that helped me stay in balance.

1. Learn, learn, learn

Honestly, I did not know what I did not know about predators. I didn't understand that adults, if they are to pick up on the subtle grooming behaviors of predators, need to be saturated in the issue to the point where their senses are sharpened.

Read the stories. Learn the common tactics predators use with children, teens and adults. Learn the facts. And then after you have studied, link up to someone who calls your attention to the issue on a frequent basis, so it keeps the issue sharp in your mind and heart. (I can help you with that here on Frontline Moms and Dads. Start with our book Unmask the Predators. Read our posts and also click here for other websites to continue your education.)

2.  Build a team

One of the best strategies for deterring sexual abuse is to raise the standards in the groups your family frequents. You mention having groups of families who fellowship together. How about having a training meeting in your group? Bringing the issue into the light intentionally will raise the "bar of safety." Responsible, godly adults who study the issue will recognize the danger and then willingly submit to protective policies, because they care about all the children in the group.  No one wants our most vulnerable ones to be in danger of abuse!

Obviously, this is not the total answer.  Predators are known to infiltrate organizations where children are, and they will look for ways to violate your trust.   But when it is known that all the adults are on the lookout for suspicious behavior and everyone has pre-decided to report anything that is truly amiss, there is a degree of deterrence!

3.  Stay alert

In my book Unmask the Predators, chapter 12 is “26 Keys for Protecting Your Child from Sexual Predators.”

Key #2 is: Maintain a Watch List.  Please allow me to explain. In my previous way of thinking before Kalyn’s abuse, I would scan around me and classify people as either safe or dangerous—2 categories. But I understand now that this mindset can get us into trouble.  It can cause us to not to notice certain behaviors we should in a person we have already declared "safe."

Instead, now I am always watching. I just see what I need to see. I am always evaluating. I am NOT always expecting to see a problem. But I do not throw out data. I maintain alertness in accordance with 1 Peter 5:8.

4.  Sacrifice

Learning how to have safe standards in group settings is one thing. But putting them into practice consistently is another! I like the convenience of just putting one teenager in charge of a group of kids. But if I do that, I automatically increase risk to my program. So that means more manpower is required, which means more sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice is noise control when we need to leave kids in a room with us because we did not have a safe alternative.

I really appreciate the training programs of the insurance company our church uses. They can equip your group for safety. Check them out here.....and remember they only work with sacrifice!

5.  Pray and rest

Ultimately, only the Lord can carry this burden for us and keep our kids safe. Finding my own place of rest and faith was critical for me. As I maintain safety standards, I am regularly praying...

Lord, I pray that anything hiding in the darkness, You would bring to the light. Help me to see and know what I need to know. Protect our children from wolves in sheep's clothing. I plead the blood of Jesus over them and command every evil thing to stay away. In Jesus' Name!

Now as I pray, I match it with faith. God is at work! And my job is to trust and rest.

I hope those thoughts are some help! Let's stay in this fight for our kids' sake and the sake of a generation.



Image: Will “The moat and drawbridge of Hever Castle”  via Flickr Creative Commons
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I love the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. Now is the time for me to catch up on all that stuff that has been bugging me for months but I just could not get to.

Maybe it says something about my personality, but I find great pleasure in lightening my load by clearing things out.

Not that I don't enjoy all the blessings that come our way....but sometimes too much is no longer a blessing. It has somehow become a weight.

As I have been tackling this project in my natural environment the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about my spiritual environment.

This morning our family enjoyed a fruitful time of prayer casting off some of the weights and worries and stresses that had entangled us.

College decisions, end of year studies, relationship disappointments, and financial pressures. It was time. We needed to pitch them on the Lord and clean out our minds (1 Peter 5:7)

So how about you?  Do you need to do some house cleaning and drop some junk in the well as the spiritual?

Are your kids looking for the freedom of summertime but weighed down with cares of this world?

We as Frontline Parents must help our families maintain order. Our kids are looking to us to learn how to manage our lives so that peace and order drive out stress and chaos. Why not let the Lord start with

-By Lisa Cherry

Image: Sara V. “Stress level: Midnight”
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Jessica Misener says she misses her "Jesus phase" of her teen years. Her story brought grief to my heart.

What went wrong in Jessica's life that caused her to lose her faith and plunge into such great darkness? Ray Comfort featured her post recently when he proposed she had experienced a "false conversion" in her teen years. (Listen to Ray's audio "True and False Conversion" here.)  Whether that was the problem or it was something else, obviously she is in deep trouble as she has joined the epidemic number of millennial "ex-born again" Christians.

What can we as parents who are concerned for our own children's souls learn from this young woman's article? I see at least 3 things:

1. She had no foundation on the concept of truth.

As she explained her reasoning, she had obviously absorbed the cultural lie that eliminated the whole concept of "missing out on the truth." That is a dangerous, deceptive trap for our kids.

2. She remembered the emotions of worship in the gym

I am all for a true living abiding presence of God in our worship times! But if worship music is the sum total of our kids' revelation of the Lord, their root structure will be shallow. Jessica did not appear to be rooted in the Bible as a foundation of her faith.

3.  She was not prepared to defend her faith.

To live as a millennial Christian today is to live life cross-culturally. This young woman was not equipped to defend her faith against the multiple other world-views and false gods she encountered.

Parents, let's pray for Jessica as we pray for our own kids and families. This is ark building time! We must build something in our children's lives that will help them stand when others fall.

Has your family begun the Not Open study yet? Type “frontline” in the coupon code of our store to receive your free copy of the Not Open study guide for families.

Image: Simone Paoli “dressed smoke”  Flickr Creative Commons
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