Ministry for the Christ-follower is an important role in his or her life. Many times when we hear the term “ministry,” we think about preachers, ministers, and missionaries. Those are important roles, but I believe that there is another often overlooked ministry that is getting more attention. That ministry is the ministry of the family. 

Sadly, many people do not see the family as a place of ministry. If one looks through the Bible though, he or she sees easily that the family was to be one of the primary places where ministry was done and taught. 

Terence Chatmon shares insights and experiences from his journey as a husband, father, and businessman to help other parents become more successful at building a spiritual legacy in Do Your Children Believe?

I found Chatmon’s book to be a good resource in trying to lead my family in the manner that God desires. I don’t know if it is because I am in the middle of it or what, but I have noticed an emphasis on families becoming more intentional with their discipleship plans. Too many times families just go through the motions and hope that when we get to the end that it all works out.  It doesn’t take long to realize that if you do not pursue something intentionally (especially pertaining to family) then it will not happen. 

One of the things that I really like about Do Your Children Believe? is that Chatmon gives you steps and points you in a direction, but never gives you something to just copy and paste. While we may like the simple task of copy and pasting something, it does not work in family life. Each family is unique. In this book, Chatmon gives some really good principles along with a push to apply them to your unique family. 

Recommendation

After taking time to read Do Your Children Believe?, I would definitely recommend this book to all those who are looking to lead their families well in the Christian faith. I believe that it would help with getting an intentional plan together and moving forward. 

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

Last night, my oldest son got his first real taste of “homer umpires” in his baseball game in a nearby town.  I’m sure that if you have been in the baseball scene for a fair amount of time, you have gotten a taste as well.  It is never a good thing when you see the umpires favoring one side over the other.  The children that are learning and enjoying the game are the main ones who get hurt.

As I was thinking this over and it took me down another rail of the thought train.  It is one thing to experience dishonest scales on the ballfields, but it is a whole other thing to experience it in other parts of life.  One area that should never have dishonest scales is the church.

The church is to be a place where honesty and truth are at the forefront.  Proverbs 11:1 tells us that “dishonest scales are detestable to the LORD, but an accurate weight is his delight” (CSB).

In the church, there are many different things that are dealt with.  One of the greatest ministries of the church is dealing with people and their issues.  Because of this, it is important that the church have honest scales when dealing with issues of people of all kinds.  It is easy and tempting to use one set of scales for those who are “outside” the walls and another set for those that are “inside.”  Sometimes there are different scales that are used even between different groups inside the church.  This should not be.

The church of Jesus Christ has been a champion of absolute truth.  There is a truth that is relevant and applicable to all people in all places at all times.  This truth is what is given to us in the Bible.  While one cannot expect unbelievers to act like believers in this life, yet there are still some truths that apply to each across the board.

It may be easier to just let certain things go with some people because “that’s just the way they are” or because “they have been a part of this for so long” or “they hold this position/weight in the church/community.”  This is no reason to use dishonest scales.  When we do give in to that temptation, the cause of Christ is harmed, and the people suffer greatly.

May we be careful to have honest scales in our dealings.  If Christ uses honest scales with each of us no matter what we come to Him with, then we – as followers of Christ – should also use honest scales.  It may not be easier… it may not be what people necessarily want, but it is most definitely what we need.

 

Faithful is a word that seems to be a buzz word today.  It seems so hard to find a true manifestation of this word in our world today.  When you do come across something that meets the criteria to be called faithful, then you need to make note of it.

I was reading in the Bible recently about how God had used a man named Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.  Joshua took over for “the man,” Moses.  These people had been delivered from a life of slavery and mistreatment that lasted for generations.  The journey from slavery to the Promised Land was not an easy one.  It lasted for an entire generation because of unfaithfulness and distrust of the people in God’s word.

In Joshua 21, we see that the Israelites did not wander forever.  God brought them into the Promised Land as He said that He would.

So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side according to all he had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.

Joshua 21:43-45  CSB

For the casual reader, this may seem to be just a neat way of ending up that section of the Israelites moving in to the Promised Land.  If you look closely though, you will see that there is much more in those verses than just a summation of what happened.

The LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their fathers…  The LORD did not generalize on the promises that He gave his people.  The Bible tells us here that the LORD gave all the land He had sworn.  He didn’t give part… He didn’t give most… He gave all.  This seems to be a pattern with God.

The LORD gave them rest on every side according to all he had sworn to their fathers.  The LORD once again kept His word by giving them peace on every side.  This was a peace that covered all borders.  This was a peace that was promised to a people that had not known peace in centuries.

None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed.  Everything was fulfilled.  Read that last line again… everything was fulfilled.  That means that nothing was left undone.  There were no loose ends.  There was no halftime here.  God kept His word fully and proved Himself faithful.

Now I imagine – and it doesn’t take much imagination when you read the accounts – that the people wanted to see God’s “faithfulness” a little sooner than it came about.  The truth is that God’s timing – especially in context of His faithfulness – is perfect. God is never late, but He is never early either.  God always comes through and proves Himself faithful.

What is it in your life that you are looking for God’s faithfulness about?  

I enjoy reading books. This has not always been the case. In middle and high school, you would hardly ever see me reading anything. In college, something began to change. Maybe it was one of my professors that I admired sharing one of his little rhymes – “you must read to succeed!”

I have found myself devouring books both physical and electronic since I got out of school. You will see authors of various kinds on the bookshelves in my home and office at the church. You will see men who see things very similar to what I do. You will also see men that I differ in viewpoints on. I believe it was Rick Warren who said something along the lines of “if you cannot learn from those you disagree with, then you are in trouble.”

I have enjoyed being a blogger reviewer for HarperCollins Christian Publishing. I have read some really great books through their program. I began to notice one troubling pattern developing: the authors I was reading were all men. As a man, I appreciate having other men speak into my life. I need that. But I also believe that God is using some women to speak into the life of the Church, and they deserve an audience. This is one reason that I signed up to review Rebekah Lyons‘ book, You Are Free and give my honest opinion. 

The Book Itself

You Are Free is a book about experiencing the freedom that Christ died to provide each and every person that puts their trust in Him. Lyons shares a story of how she came to experience freedom in various areas of her life. She reminds readers often throughout the book, “Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free.” You Are Free contains fifteen chapters, each devoted to a specific area of freedom to experience. 

My Personal Thoughts

I did not know much about Rebekah Lyons other than what my wife had talked to me about. I had read some of her husband’s work (Gabe Lyons), and was a big fan. With Ann Voskamp writing the forward, I thought that this would be worth the read. I was not wrong. 

You Are Free is a great little read for those who are looking for a personal story of what freedom looks like in a person’s life. Lyons uses this entire book to walk the reader down the path of her life with each chapter setting up the next well. I really liked the personalness of this book.  It was much more than just a “how to” book or an information dump… this was a woman sharing her story of what God had done in her life. The vulnerability that Lyons shows is refreshing to see/read. 

Lyons makes sure to use Scripture well throughout this book. Most of the references are footnoted and gives the reader the opportunity to check what God’s word has to say on the various subjects discussed. 

My Recommendation 

I would say that if you are looking for a “how to” book, then you will probably be frustrated with You Are Free. It is just not that (and I’m so thankful that it is not). If you are more interested in hearing/reading the story of a woman’s journey to finding freedom in various areas of her life with some helpful tips along the way, then this book is for you. 

I thought that You Are Free was a refreshing break from my normal reading. It was good to get the perspective from a God-loving female author. It is encouraging to know that God is still gifting and using ladies for His work to speak to and edify the Church. I look forward to many more in the near future.

I cannot think of a better song for today.