Has The Culture Worn You Out?

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” D. L. Moody

Do you feel small and inadequate in the world we live in? I do. Are you overwhelmed by what is going on in the culture around us? I am. Do you sometimes ask yourself, “What’s the point?” I do.

I liken this feeling to sitting in a leaky boat with water coming in through various holes. You try to plug them, but you don’t have enough hands. You can’t plug holes and bail at the same time, so your efforts seem futile; you’re going to sink.

The state of our culture has many of us feverishly bailing. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle sometimes.

There are so many causes to get involved in, so many injustices to fight. We can wear ourselves out standing for righteousness and truth.

I have to ask myself though, should we really be worn out? Saddened by the evil that is running rampant, yes. Weary from the onslaught of opposition to God’s Word and truth, of course! But worn out? No, I don’t think so.

I tried looking for a scripture this morning that encouraged us to be worn out. Would you be surprised if I told you that I didn’t find a single one?

When we hear or say the phrase “worn out,” it suggests tired, empty, weak—all things that occur when we are physically spending ourselves. We get to the point at which, to rephrase a common saying, we become so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good!

My friends, it is easy to take on the burden of this world. But all through Scripture Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy, His burden is light. We know that the battle is not an earthly one, but oftentimes it’s easier for us to try and fight verbally and physically, through social media posts and protests, than it is to fight on our knees, where the battle is truly fought and won.

I do believe we have to take a stand and engage the culture. We are called to be salt and light in this world. We are to be the voice of righteousness. But not in our own strength.

We should not be taking on our shoulders a burden that only God can carry. We can’t plug all the holes and bail at the same time.

Our hearts should be broken for lost souls who believe the lies of the enemy, and that should drive us to pray.

Pray for those who are in such darkness that they believe they are something other than what God created them to be. Pray for the evil hands that shed the innocent blood of the unborn. Pray for those in authority in our nation who are pushing agendas that fly directly in the face of the Lord. Pray for churches that are watering down the truth. Pray for those who have a platform and claim to know Christ but are compromising for money, book sales, and popularity.

The question we need to ponder is, what has God called each of us to do?

For me, He has called me to raise my children to be a blessing and a beacon to the next generation. He has called my family to be a remnant family, a kingdom family. He has called me to proclaim truth in a culture that is saturated with lies. He has also called me to trust Him with the issues that are out of my control—to rest in His peace and remind myself often that He has not and will never fall off His throne.

For those of you who, like me, have been struggling to bail the water out of the boat, stop wearing yourself out.

Second Samuel 22:33 reminds us that it is God who arms us with strength, and He makes our way perfect! Believer, “the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Exod. 14:14).

Get out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus, because He wins in the end.

Lord, help us to trust You in a culture that is so adamantly against You and those who stand for righteousness. Help us to take up only what You have called us to take up. Help us not to become weary in doing good but to rest and gather our strength for the battle from You. May we be broken for the world around us, seeing people as You see them. Amen.

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We Don’t Have a Gun Problem- We Have a Parent Problem

Once again our nation is wrestling with devastating news, this time out of Texas. Another school shooting. And once again people immediately start demanding more gun control, more legislation, more security measures, more mental-health screenings. All these knee-jerk reactions are common in the wake of a tragedy such as this. But sadly, this type of horrible event is going to happen again. Why? Because we have a generation of parents who have relinquished the responsibility of raising their children to others.

We have a generation of parents who are convinced that their children need more things rather than more of their parents’ time in order to be content—and as a result, we have children who are ungrateful and believe they are entitled to whatever they want.

We have a generation of parents who have been told by a consumer-driven culture that in order to be successful, they need a bigger house, a newer car, and the most up-to-date phones. With that comes larger debt, strained schedules, and two parents working outside the home just to make ends meet.

We have a generation of mothers who are no longer content to stay home and raise their children. They have believed the lie that being a stay-at-home mom is not a noble and fulfilling occupation. As a result, children are farmed out to daycares and public schools, raised by strangers just so parents can pursue equality and self-worth through a career or position.

We have a generation of fathers who have decided it’s ok to leave their families in order to follow their own lusts and desires; all because sometimes family life is hard and the pressure is too much.

We have a generation of parents who are so tired and stressed out that they allow devices to babysit their kids.

We have a generation of parents who insist God be taken out of their everyday lives, but then want to blame Him during times of crisis.

We have a generation of parents who believe their teenagers want nothing to do with them, when the reality is they need them more than ever.

We have a generation of parents who are ignorant of the dangers of social media and the depth of their children’s involvement in it. “All the kids do it,” they say. “It’s no big deal.” Parents fail to see that oftentimes social media becomes an outlet for their kids because it’s somewhat anonymous, a place where our kids don’t have to face reality. Children find belonging and family among strangers rather than the people in their own homes.

We have a generation of parents who are content with the average of thirty-four minutes of meaningful conversation per week they have with their children. Yes, you read that right—thirty-four minutes per week!

 We have a generation of parents who sit in churches all over America being taught that it’s ok to fit in with the culture; that biblical parenting is now old fashioned, irrelevant and offensive.

We have a generation of parents who are overweight, tired, and unhealthy,  who simply do not have the energy to get out of their chairs and engage in activities with their children. Instead, they over-schedule their kids with activities so they don’t have to deal.

We have a generation of drive-through parents who don’t have time to cook meals, sit at the table, and connect with their children.

We have a generation of parents who have bought into the lie that they should be friends with their children instead of parents. Discipline has become abuse, and punishment is seen as an infringement on children’s rights. So children are being raised with no boundaries or limits, and as such, they are unable to handle disappointment or hardship. It’s nonsense!

We have a generation of parents who are so concerned with selfies, status updates, and sports scores that they don’t take the time to look up from their phones on the odd occasion that their children do try to engage them. I’m preaching to the choir here, folks!

Parents, we have to do better. We can no longer push the blame onto guns, schools, organizations, politicians.

Newsflash: our children are our responsibility. It is our responsibility to be intimately involved in their lives. We have to do whatever it takes to connect with them.

If it means downgrading our cars and our houses to lessen our debt, so be it.

If it means saying no to our children’s wants or activities so we can spend more time engaging in conversation as a family, then we need to say no.

If it means sacrificing material desires so Mom can stay home, we have to do it.

If it means pulling our kids out of school to teach them at home, we need to get over ourselves and do it!

If it means turning off our phones and placing them in a drawer so we can’t see them, then we need to turn them off!

If it means looking at your teenagers social media, email and texts, look at it! You pay the bills, don’t you?

We are losing a generation, and it isn’t anything’s or anybody’s fault but ours. Rise up, parents! We need to stop pointing the finger and do our jobs!

Lord, we need You so desperately as we raise our children in this day and age. Help us rise up and take responsibility. Help us put aside our own needs and wants, and live sacrificially for the children You have placed in our care. Forgive us for pointing the finger of blame at others, and help us do whatever it takes to engage with our children—love them, discipline them, and nurture them so they can grow to be the people You designed them to be. Amen.