New Years Resolutions

Yes, it’s that time again. Christmas is over, the New Year is about to begin. The stores are getting ready to bring out the Valentines Day merchandise. So, people all around the world will be making New Years Resolutions. th

The Apostle Paul made a famous resolution which is recorded in 1 Corinthians 2:2, though I doubt it was at the turning of the year. He wrote, “ For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

For those inclined to make resolutions at this time of the year – or at any time, I have a list of suggestion. The list is not original with me, but is borrowed from John Piper.

Twenty Resolutions from the Book of James

  1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single-minded devotion to him (1:5).
  2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Jesus Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ (1:9-10).
  3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth (1:13).
  4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak (1:19).
  5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor (2:1-4).
  6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment (2:12).
  7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ (2:16).
  8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience (3:14).
  9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidence of a bad heart that needs to be mortified (4:1).
  10. I resolve never to speak decided evil against another out of a heart of antagonism (4:11).
  11. I resolve never to boast in anything but what I will accomplish (4:13).
  12. I resolve to speak as one subject to the providences of God (4:15).
  13. I resolve never to grumble. The judge is at the door (5:9).
  14. I resolve never to allow anything but total integrity in everything I say (5:12).
  15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer (5:13).
  16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I’m cheerful (5:14).
  17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I’m in need (5:14).
  18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed (5:15).
  19. I resolve to pray with others for one another whenever I am together with them (5:15).
  20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander (5:19).

Do you have any resolutions you’d like to share? Let’s discuss this. 

 

 

The Results Are In

There are companies out there whose product is survey results (think Gallup and Barna, for instance). That is not us. Sandra and I, however, did recently post surveys on our blogs to find out who reads what we write, what they like, and what they would like to see more or less of. Here is a quick analysis of what we found out.

  • thThe readers of these blogs (Views from the Loft and JCurtisLovelace) are overwhelmingly female. This comes as no surprise to me, since most of the respondents to the two surveys were readers of Sandra’s excellent blog.
  • The readers are primarily in the 35-64 age range, with equal distribution in that group.
  • Most (but not all) are married with children. Many have adult children.
  • The readers are pretty evenly split regarding work outside the home. There are some retirees in the group.
  • Most of our readers live in the US. However we had folks respond from Africa and Europe. One family describes themselves as Global Nomads. And so they are.
  • Responses to the question about what you like in our blogs were pretty similar. We saw answers such as “honesty,” “realness,” and “EVERYTHING” (the caps were in the original response!). One person wrote, “your authenticity. My heart resonates often.” Another stated, “Humor, honesty, spiritual encouragement.” We are, of course, thrilled and humbled with responses like these.
  • While most people told us that they like the blogs the way they are, there were some suggestions for change. Several folks think that we need to make sure to keep the posts short. Another asks that we give more details about our lives. Bullet-pointed articles were brought up a couple of times. Please notice the format here! We don’t promise this many bullets all the time, but it’s a start! We get it – don’t be long-winded! OK.
  • Many of our readers are also writers. A great many report that they have blogs, themselves. One person reports, “working on it.”
  • Family issues, including child-raising, and aging are challenges to several of our readers. Keeping faith in the face of pain and suffering is another.
  • The almost unanimous answer to the question regarding what would help with the challenges is: PRAYER (caps mine, this time). We commit to pray regularly for our readers. We encourage you to send specific prayer requests. We would also covet your prayers for us. Encouragement from brothers and sisters in Christ was also high on the list.

So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen. This is who you are and what you think in regard to our blogs and our questions. Thank you for the time you invested in this project of ours. We are endeavoring to meet needs through our writing. We are hoping to grow in our efforts to serve you – and others the LORD will bring. Please feel free to share the addresses of our blogs and our social media sites.

PAUSE AND PURSUE

My Girlfriend and I intend to PAUSE from the internet for the next three weeks.
We plan to PURSUE God separately and as a couple.
We feel strongly t10352750_10202596960720042_1681608562432533201_nhat we need to submit ourselves to His will for us and our ministry for the coming year.
There will likely be times when we need to enter cyberspace. We hope to maintain our blogging schedules, but for the most part we will be offline.
We will miss you and hope you miss us. Whenever we come to mind, please pray God’s power and love, wisdom and mercy, grace and joy over us as we seek His face.
We expect to return on 1 January 2015.

May our Loving Father bless you and keep you close between now and then.

Zombies Among Us?

The term “Culture of Death,” has been in use for some time. It is found in some ancient church documents and was popularized by a Catholic pope in the 1990s. It refers to the cultural fascination with the flesh and, particularly, with death. The term is often associated with abortion.

Nothing, in my estimation, exemplifies this obsession more than the current zombie craze. Dictionary.com defines a zombie as, “The body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.” Though the idea of “undead” individuals walking around and stalking the living is not new (Boris Karloff starred in “Zombie Apocalypse” in the 1930s) there has been a resurgence of interest in the last decade or so.

Interestingly, people have even found a way to use zombies to blame George Bush for just about everything, “The zombie mob originated in 2003 in Toronto, … and popularity escalated dramatically in the United States in 2005, alongside a rise in dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq. It was a way that the population was getting to exercise the fact that they felt like they hadn’t been listened to by the Bush administration…. Nobody really wanted that war, and yet we were going to war anyway.” (Read the entire article.)

Death_culture

Books, video games, movies, TV series, and comic books using some form of zombie theme have all proliferated recently. The photo here was taken in a large, popular department store recently. Advertised as a book for young adults, “The Walking Dead,” is based upon a comic book series and it’s attendant TV series.

How special. Instead of wholesome literature (by any definition) teens are reading about death, carnage, cannibalism, and general horror and gore.

The Bible speaks often of death. There are more than 700 uses of the terms death and dead in the English Standard Version (ESV). Not one of them refers to the “Undead,” although there are numerous instances of the word “resurrection” (see especially, Luke 11 and 1 Corinthians 15).

All people will die (except those living at the time of Christ’s return). Some will be aroused again. In Daniel (12:2) we read, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The Apostle Paul clarifies thusly,

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Jesus, Himself, declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (John 11:25).

But what about those who are not in Christ? Jesus spoke about them a few times. One instance will suffice to relate their eternal destiny. He said, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46). No walking around titillating the senses of young adults; no zombie mobs. In a sense, those who are not in Christ are walking dead (see Ephesians 2:1-10). But they are not zombies.

Oh, I understand fantasy and fiction. There are no hobbits in Scripture, either. But this emphasis on gore, mutilation, and destruction is not edifying. It may be, however, the opportunity to talk to people about eternal life. Remember the words of Jesus, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

Join with us on #GivingTuesday

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This is what we’ve been doing for the past 15 or so years: 

• spoke at and organized conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, USA
• wrote posts and articles for various media
• published Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship 
• welcomed guests into our home for refreshment and restoration
• offered support to parents and children via E-mail and Skype
• provided educational materials and records.

Here’s what we hope to accomplish in the next year:

• continue the above as invitations and finances permit
• complete manuscripts underway by each of us
• publish teaching units for Children in Church
• broaden our online presence through videos, webinars, etc.

You can join in by making a donation today.

Just go to Lifework Forum and use our PayPal page to become part of the team. 

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Lovelaces

We are speakers, writers, mentors.

We equip families to build honest, joyful Christ-centered lives in a fallen world by getting to know and love God.

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Past Service
• spoke at and organized conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, USA
• wrote posts and articles for various media
• published Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship
• welcomed guests into our home for refreshment and restoration
• offered support to parents and children via E-mail and Skype
• provided educational materials and records

Future Goals
• continue the above as invitations and finances permit
• complete manuscripts underway by each of us
• publish teaching units for Children in Church
• broaden our online presence through videos, webinars, etc.

Want to keep up with our progress?

LWF news is FREE when you send us your email address.

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The average GivingTuesday donation in 2013 was $140.

What will you offer to empower us to serve families?

• the amount you’d spend on coffee or snacks to go
• the amount you’d spend to encourage a mother’s heart
• the amount you’d spend on Christmas gifts for us
• the amount you’d spend to enhance a father’s leadership
• the amount you’d spend to attend an uplifting conference
• the amount you’d spend to disciple your child’s mind
• the amount you’d spend for a refreshing day or week off
• the amount you’d spend to invite a mature couple to build you up in Christ in your home, through your church, in a small group, at a conference

Consider what amount the LORD would have you send.

May He bless you for your response.

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The touchstone of the Lifework Forum ministry is Romans 12:2.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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