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"I believe one of the main reasons affirmation gets a bad rap is because our culture has come to affirm everything, whet...
02/28/2020
Loving Messy People: Speaking Affirmation

"I believe one of the main reasons affirmation gets a bad rap is because our culture has come to affirm everything, whether it’s true or not. We tell every kid that they were great on the baseball field. We tell every employee that they’re vital to the company. We tell every fan in the stands that they were instrumental to their team winning the game. The problem is that the kid, the employee, and the fan all know when it’s not actually true.

"Biblical affirmation is not saying nice things to build someone’s self-esteem. Biblical affirmation is the recognition of gifts, strengths, and growth in a person’s life in order to promote God esteem."

Biblical affirmation isn’t what usually comes to mind when we think of speaking the truth in love. We tend to think of correction, teaching, exhortation, or rebuke. If someone is headed in the righ…

"It is probably inevitable that parents of prodigals will struggle with anger over the endless impact of the destructive...
02/27/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Anger and Bitterness

"It is probably inevitable that parents of prodigals will struggle with anger over the endless impact of the destructive choices of their wayward son or daughter. Their manipulation, lies, and repeated efforts to use you to their advantage can provoke an anger you never thought a parent could have toward their child. If not checked, this anger will damage your other relationships, impair your ability to reach out in love to your prodigal, and jeopardize your spiritual health."

It is probably inevitable that parents of prodigals will struggle with anger over the endless impact of the destructive choices of their wayward son or daughter. Their manipulation, lies, and repea…

Now In Stock!We are pleased to announce that Scott Mehl's new book "Loving Messy People" is now in stock."Scott Mehl dra...
02/24/2020
Loving Messy People

Now In Stock!

We are pleased to announce that Scott Mehl's new book "Loving Messy People" is now in stock.

"Scott Mehl draws on a wealth of pastoral experience as he shows the reader how to use biblical principles to care for people in very realistic (and messy) life situations. There isn't a ten-step formula that will solve every problem. Rather we lovingly listen and then speak the truth to hurting people and then stand back and see the great things that God can do through His powerful word." —Jim Newheiser

Author: Scott Mehl / Paperback, 224 pages / ISBN 9781633421837

"In speaking the truth, where do we begin? While every person’s mess is unique and there are no two situations you will ...
02/24/2020
Loving Messy People: Speaking Hope

"In speaking the truth, where do we begin? While every person’s mess is unique and there are no two situations you will come across that are the same, there is one common temptation I find in every situation I’ve come across: hopelessness. Whether the mess comes in the form of addiction, depression, guilt, marital struggles, discrimination, abuse, or fear, the temptation to hopelessness is always a part of the cocktail. This is why giving hope must always be a part of gospel care."

In speaking the truth, where do we begin? While every person’s mess is unique and there are no two situations you will come across that are the same, there is one common temptation I find in every …

"Some parents of prodigals have walked the hard road of a false profession of faith by their son or daughter—only to be ...
02/19/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Dealing with False Professions

"Some parents of prodigals have walked the hard road of a false profession of faith by their son or daughter—only to be heartbroken, realizing it was a manipulative effort to gain some advantage. Not wanting to thwart the work of the Spirit, and excited to think that their prayers have been answered, parents may take the profession at face value and welcome their prodigal home. Soon, the reality brings disappointment and the deep pain of betrayal."

Some parents of prodigals have walked the hard road of a false profession of faith by their son or daughter—only to be heartbroken, realizing it was a manipulative effort to gain some advantage. Ha…

"When we don’t prioritize serving one another in our gospel care, we subtly communicate that Christians shouldn’t need h...
02/14/2020
Loving Messy People: Serving in Love

"When we don’t prioritize serving one another in our gospel care, we subtly communicate that Christians shouldn’t need help. They shouldn’t need to be served. We communicate that all that is needed is information from the pages of Scripture and that we have better things to do with our time than watch someone’s kids, help fix a leak, or give someone a ride."

Somehow, somewhere along the way, personal ministry became primarily a “talking” ministry. When we think about ministering to others, we usually picture two people sitting in an office …

Back In Stock!We are pleased to announce that, after a long hiatus, 'The Gospel for Children' by John B. Leuzarder is ba...
02/13/2020
The Gospel for Children

Back In Stock!

We are pleased to announce that, after a long hiatus, 'The Gospel for Children' by John B. Leuzarder is back in stock.

“This book is very special. It presents the Gospel in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner — explaining the truths of God, the Bible, sin, Jesus, the need for repentance and faith, and counting the costs of the Christian life, but in a way that both children and even adults will easily benefit from. I highly recommend it.”
—Tedd Tripp, author of 'Shepherding a Child’s Heart'

Author: John B. Leuzarder / Illustrations by Regina Orr / Paperback, 40 pages / ISBN 9780976758280

"It is easy, though unhealthy, for a parent to cling to a false hope regarding their child’s eternal state. No parent wa...
02/13/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Facing the Hard Reality

"It is easy, though unhealthy, for a parent to cling to a false hope regarding their child’s eternal state. No parent wants to face the hard truth that the sudden earthly departure of his or her child will lead to eternal punishment. But if we do not face the hard reality of our child’s apparent eternal state, we will err in the manner that we pray to God and in the manner we speak to our child."

“Didn’t he ever make a profession of faith in Christ as a child?” This question came in response to a request to pray for our wayward son —in particular, asking God to show mercy and save his soul.…

"Wise love begins with knowing a person… knowing a person is different from knowing about a person or about their proble...
02/12/2020
Loving Messy People: Knowing In Love

"Wise love begins with knowing a person… knowing a person is different from knowing about a person or about their problem. We’re often content to learn some basic facts about a person or about their situation without taking the time to truly know the person as a unique, image-bearing individual. This is a clear indication that we’re more captivated by the problem than we are by the person."

Gospel care is essentially a ministry of love. And love, if it truly seeks the best for the other person, is not applied arbitrarily but wisely and carefully. As David Powlison wrote, “Wise counsel…

"Parents of a prodigal wrestle with questions of how their own failures contributed to their child’s choice of a wayward...
02/07/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Embracing Forgiveness

"Parents of a prodigal wrestle with questions of how their own failures contributed to their child’s choice of a wayward path. It is natural to reflect on your parenting and identify things left undone, things you wish you did not do, or things you could have done better. Those who have a prodigal are especially prone to blame themselves, which inevitably harms other relationships in life. As a parent of a prodigal, how does one deal with these struggles?"

Parents of a prodigal wrestle with questions of how their own failures contributed to their child’s choice of a wayward path. It is natural to reflect on your parenting and identify things le…

"Almost every system to deal with people’s messes caters to self-defined goals. Whether you want to be happier, calmer, ...
02/05/2020
Loving Messy People: The Goal and the Gospel

"Almost every system to deal with people’s messes caters to self-defined goals. Whether you want to be happier, calmer, more productive, more disciplined, or less stressed, there are countless self-help resources and professionals with the express purpose of helping you change in the exact ways you desire. We define our own messes, and so we also define our own goals of change.

"However, if we are going to follow God’s call to speak the truth in love to one another, we must first clarify what the goal of that love-filled truth is. More specifically, we must make sure that our goal is in line with God’s goal. Thankfully, God has communicated his goal for our ministry clearly and repeatedly in Scripture."

Almost every system to deal with people’s messes caters to self-defined goals. Whether you want to be happier, calmer, more productive, more disciplined, or less stressed, there are countless self-…

"As parents, we cannot assure the outcome of our children—for good or bad. This does not mean we should abandon instruct...
02/04/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Responding to the Judgment of Others

"As parents, we cannot assure the outcome of our children—for good or bad. This does not mean we should abandon instructing our children. We must teach, both in word and by example. We have a responsibility before God to do our very best. The uncertainty of the outcome for any specific child does not reduce or remove this responsibility.

"How then should we respond when the painful judgment of others falls upon us?"

As parents, we cannot assure the outcome of our children—for good or bad. This does not mean we should abandon instructing our children. We must teach, both in word and by example. We have a respon…

"My entire life I have been surrounded by messy people with messy lives. The only reason it doesn’t bother me is because...
01/31/2020
Loving Messy People: Speaking the Truth in Love

"My entire life I have been surrounded by messy people with messy lives. The only reason it doesn’t bother me is because I’m messy, too.

But it should be familiar to be around messy people. That’s what the church is. I assume that’s been your experience, too. Some people can trick you for a season, but I promise, they’re just as messy as the rest of us. All Christians are. Eventually the depression, anxiety, chronic health issues, addictions, doubts, insecurities, pride, abuse, prejudice, or poverty will come to the surface. To know a person is to know their mess."

My entire life I have been surrounded by messy people with messy lives. The only reason it doesn’t bother me is because I’m messy, too. But it should be familiar to be around messy people. That’s w…

"People find great hope in the story of the prodigal son told by the Lord Jesus. It pictures the gracious love our heave...
01/30/2020
The Painful Path of a Prodigal: The End of the Journey

"People find great hope in the story of the prodigal son told by the Lord Jesus. It pictures the gracious love our heavenly Father shows in forgiving all who repent and turn to him. Many a follower of Jesus whose child chose a path of sinful living have clung to the hope their child’s story would have a similar glorious ending. Untold numbers have returned in repentance and to restoration. We join the angels in heaven praising God for each who returned. But many have not. Many never did, nor ever will."

Having forewarned me it would be difficult to look at, the man slid a photo across my office conference table. I forced my eyes to look down at the image. There was no need to gaze long upon the fa…

"Nancy Ganz: God imparts biblical history to us, not in a dry academic way, but through the exciting lives of real peopl...
01/27/2020
From the Archive: Interview with Nancy Ganz, Part 4

"Nancy Ganz: God imparts biblical history to us, not in a dry academic way, but through the exciting lives of real people. God’s truth is revealed to us in a very stimulating way–in peoples’ stories. There are some dry facts communicated too (such as long lists of numbers in the book called Numbers) but this never lasts very long. One time in Russia, my husband and I were having a tour of the Jewish Ghetto that was liquidated in WWII. The historian was imparting to us historical facts: lists of the numbers of people exterminated in different places and the dates when the massacres took place. At the end of the tour I asked the man to recount for us his personal story of that terrible time. At first he refused, saying it was unimportant. I contradicted him and said his personal memories were of utmost importance to me and to the world. I do not remember a single statistic that he told us, but I remember his story almost word for word. That is how God has imparted historical information to us–in the midst of exciting stories. This is not just important for children. It is important for all of us!"

This post concludes our interview with Nancy Ganz, author of Herein Is Love, a set of Bible commentaries designed specifically for children. We believe this series is unique, with thoroughly biblic…

"Nancy Ganz: The book of Leviticus is essential to understanding the New Testament. How can you understand what John the...
01/25/2020
From the Archive: Interview with Nancy Ganz, Part 3

"Nancy Ganz: The book of Leviticus is essential to understanding the New Testament. How can you understand what John the Baptist means when he says about Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” if you don’t understand the place of the sacrificial lamb in the Old Testament? God was impressing upon us the severity of our sin and our need of a Savior by the continual shedding of blood, morning and evening, day after day, year after year. Sometimes I feel sick just thinking about all the bloodshed. Good. That is what I am supposed to feel. Sin is sickening and the price it required was much more than the blood of innocent animals. It required the blood of the Holy Son of God. Why did God give us the book of Leviticus? He wanted to impress something awful upon us. And He wanted us to recognize the Lamb of God and His Sacrifice, when He laid down His life upon the cross for us. This wasn’t an accident. It didn’t just happen. God was showing us the blueprints of His Great Plan (in books like Leviticus) many hundreds of years before Jesus Christ even entered this world."

Why teach your children about Leviticus? Today we continue our interview with Nancy Ganz, author of Herein Is Love. This is a set of Bible commentaries designed specifically for children. We believ…

"Nancy Ganz: Each of the commentaries is part of the Herein Is Love series, because God’s Love shines forth in every boo...
01/24/2020
From the Archive: Interview with Nancy Ganz, Part 2

"Nancy Ganz: Each of the commentaries is part of the Herein Is Love series, because God’s Love shines forth in every book of the Bible, in every chapter of every book of the Bible! This is part of a New Testament quote: 'Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us – and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins' (I John 4:10). That has to be one of the most important verses in the entire Bible."

Today we continue with our interview with Nancy Ganz, author of Herein Is Love. This is a set of Bible commentaries designed specifically for children. We believe this series to be unique. The mate…

"Nancy Ganz: I wrote this book to teach children about the Love of God. When I was a child I learned about the God of wr...
01/20/2020
From the Archive: Interview with Nancy Ganz, Part 1

"Nancy Ganz: I wrote this book to teach children about the Love of God. When I was a child I learned about the God of wrath in the Old Testament. When I came of age I was confirmed in the church, even while I rejected this God in my heart–but at the right time, on the day appointed for me by God, at the age of twenty- one, the Lord brought me to Himself and I embraced this God with faith. I placed my trust in Him to forgive my sins and rescue me from death. He was not a God of wrath, but a God of Love and Grace. It has grieved me that my heavenly Father should be so maligned, especially in the eyes of little children. God’s great Love pours forth from the very beginning of the Bible, from the opening words in Genesis, to the closing words in Revelation."

Nancy Ganz is author of the Herein is Love commentary series, a Bible commentary set for children. They are written following the model given to God’s people in Deuteronomy 6—that is, these b…

Are You Celebrating Insanity?!There is a popular definition of insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert ...
01/02/2020
Are You Celebrating Insanity?

Are You Celebrating Insanity?!
There is a popular definition of insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and others. It goes like this:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Every January 1st, most of the world celebrates insanity. Times Square is filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People are excited about the promise of a new year. They hope the disappointments of the previous year will be replaced by better times in the new year. They believe that their new resolutions will work better than last year’s.

To continue reading, click on the link below:
https://www.shepherdpress.com/are-you-celebrating-insanity/

There is a popular definition of insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and others. It goes like this: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting…

You Have More Gifts To GiveThe presents have all been opened. Christmas is done. For your children, next Christmas seems...
12/28/2019

You Have More Gifts To Give

The presents have all been opened. Christmas is done. For your children, next Christmas seems more than a lifetime away. I remember feeling sad that there were no more gifts to open, even as I was surrounded by presents and empty boxes! As I look back, I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with a self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts!...

to continue reading, click on the link below:

https://www.shepherdpress.com/you-have-more-gifts-to-give/

Time and the Glory of GodTime as we know it is not eternal, it is created. Before there was time there was God. After ti...
12/27/2019

Time and the Glory of God

Time as we know it is not eternal, it is created. Before there was time there was God. After time ends there will be God. This is one reason God refers to himself as I Am. God is infinite, he cannot be measured by time. He simply and profoundly is. Time is temporal, having to do with what is temporary. As Paul says, don’t focus on what is temporary, but focus on eternity. Faith has to do with eternity. This means that faith is rooted not in time but in the person and character of God!...

to continue reading, click on the link below:
https://www.shepherdpress.com/time-and-the-glory-of-god/

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Watch for my new book from Shepherd Press coming in May!
J. J. Hall “Author, Scholar, Janitor: Mostly the Janitor!” (Psalms 84:10) Obadiah’s Cave: “As God is Triggered.” So far we looked at “When God is Triggered” and “What Triggers God.” But as believers what are we to do “As God is Triggered?” The answer is simple. We preach the Gospel! Why the Gospel? Because as God is triggered, there is but one recourse for the saving of mankind, the substitutionary death of His Son Jesus Christ. As it is written: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Romans 1:16-18) But in an age where we have many of the news outlets content to flood the air with lies, doing their father’s work, how to we compete with such an overwhelming torrent of misinformation to preach the Gospel? Allow me to bring you back to the time before such influence by cable networks to reveal that this is not a new challenge, as the prince of the power of the air has always waged a misinformation campaign against the righteous. Isaiah seemed to be under such a barrage of news intended to drown out his voice on behalf of God. Yet the LORD conveys the following: “For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say you not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear you their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isaiah 8:11-15) Our news is filled with “conspiracy theories” trying to persuade the public that the confederacy of pagans outnumber and are more influential than the righteous. Whether Russian collusion or Alex Jones telling us the government is going to get us, there are many who use fear to fulfil their agenda and gain notoriety. So it was in the day of Isaiah. But God counsels the prophet with a “strong hand.” Don’t be moved! Instead “What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you on the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28) The answer is the Gospel, the only news that can save a soul from the wrath of God! In today’s application, when Facebook filters conservative voices, preach the Gospel! When Twitter tosses you off their platform, preach the Gospel! When CNN show up to your house when you are accused falsely, preach the Gospel. If the FBI sends a SWAT team to your doorstep because you pray for President Trump, preach the Gospel! Fear the LORD so much that your first thought is to proclaim how we are all saved from His anger! Let them try to silence God! Their confederacy to do so will ALWAYS fail! So is the LORD triggered? “The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turn not to him that smites them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 9:12-13) America shares Israel’s problems with Syrians and Philistines (Inhabitants on the West Bank), but our main difficulty is that we have not turned to the Lord who is chastening us. Indeed, we have even more responsibility to do so as it is written: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation of John 3:19-20) We are the land with a “personal” relationship with Jesus, but are too busy shopping God’s blessing to to give our Lord the time of day! Again, that is why the disposition of our spiritual leaders needs to be to fear the LORD and preach the Gospel instead of being “life coaches” on a 10% commission. When it is time, God has a plan for the confederacy that is against Him. “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” (Psalms 2:4-5) In spite of His anger, He is laughing at the futility of those who oppose His will! This is not an out of control temper, but the confident disposition of omnipotent divinity. Fear God. Preach the Gospel like eternal life is in the balance. God’s eternal nature is not what hangs in the balance, but the souls of sinful men. May the LORD Bless you and Keep you!
IRON SHARPENS IRON Radio's guest for *WED.*, JULY 25th, 4-6PM*ET*: NANCY SNYDER, K-12 Student Support Services Coordinator @ Logos Academy in York, PA, with experience as a homeschooling parent of 4 sons, & interpreter of conferences & translator of seminary courses for Deaf pastors, who will discuss: "The GOSPEL For MOVING TARGETS: Helping Active Children Grow in Grace" Listen *LIVE* GLOBALLY @ www.IronSharpensIronRadio.com EMAIL ON-AIR QUESTIONS for our GUESTS daily to: [email protected] (include your FIRST NAME, CITY & STATE of residence & COUNTRY of residence if outside the USA)
Thankful to Shepherd Press for publishing my book on prayer.
My 11-year-old daughter is working her way through Nancy Ganz's "Herein Is Love" commentaries and asked me this morning if there are any more that we can get. I told her that I wasn't aware of any, but I thought I'd ask if there are plans for any additional titles. They are so helpful!
FREE Book Giveaway *TUES.*, AUG. 15th, 4-6PM *ET* when our guest on "IRON SHARPENS IRON" Radio will be: PAUL TAUTGES, senior pastor @ Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, OH, series editor for LifeLine Mini-books, blogger @ CounselingOneAnother.com & author of many books including Comfort the Grieving, Counseling One Another, & Brass Heavens, who will address: "PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING" Listen *LIVE* [email protected] www.IronSharpensIronRadio.com or ANYWHERE BY PHONE @ (563) 999-9206 (press 3 when prompted for Christian Radio) EMAIL ON-AIR QUESTIONS for our GUESTS daily to: [email protected] (include your FIRST NAME, CITY & STATE of residence & COUNTRY of residence if outside the USA)