Monthly Archives: October 2013

Kevin Smit OFSAA Cross Country Championship: Sudbury, Ontario

Kevin Smit is a friend of the family and is a high school cross country runner. Kevin lives in Plympton Wyoming, Ontario, Canada and also has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Kevin has won both qualifiers to get to the Championship as he is competing in the para-athlete division. This event will take place Saturday November 2 on the beautiful campus of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. OFSAA is the provincial finals, which is similar to the State final.

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But Kevin needs our help financially! It’s about a 7 hour trip to Sudbary and he will also be staying in a hotel, needing meals etc.

If you would like to get behind Kevin financially please visit  http://www.gofundme.com/50316g

“Kevin is looking forward this upcoming weekend to participating in a cross country championship (para-athlete division) in Sudbury, Ontario.He will be competing against students from across Ontario. He has earned this privilege after placing first both in the Lambton/Kent and South Western Ontario divisions. He is very excited about this opportunity and would like to ask your help to cover some of his costs associated with travel/lodging/food. If you would like to do so, you can use this fund raising page that we have created. Kevin thanks you and hopefully will be able to share some great results upon coming home!”

                                               http://www.gofundme.com/50316g

Check out www.ofsaa.on.ca/cross-country-running for more details

 

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7 Things We Regularly Get Wrong About Worship by Dr. Joe McKeever

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name (Psalm 29:2).

It’s Sunday around noonish. As the congregation files out of the sanctuary heading toward the parking lot, listen closely and you will hear it.It’s a common refrain voiced near the exit doors of churches all across this land.

“I didn’t get anything out of that today.” “I didn’t get anything out of the sermon.” “I didn’t get anything out of that service.” “I guess her song was all right, but I didn’t get anything out of it.”

Sound familiar? Not only have I heard it countless times over these near-fifty years in the ministry, I probably have said it a few times myself.This is like dry rot in a congregation. Like a termite infestation in the building. Like an epidemic afflicting the people of the Lord, one which we seem helpless to stop. But let’s try. Let’s see if we can make a little difference where you and I live, in the churches where we serve and worship. We might not be able to help all of them, but if we bless one or two, it will have been time well spent.

1. You are Not Supposed to ‘Get Anything Out of the Service’

Worship is not about you and me. Not about “getting our needs met.” Not about a performance from the pastor and singer and choir and musicians. Not in the least.

2. Worship is About the Lord

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name.” That Psalms 29:2 verse atop our article today is found also in 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalms 96:8. It deserves being looked at closely.

a) We are in church to give. Not to get.

Now, if I am going somewhere to “get,” but find out on arriving, I am expected to “give,” I am one frustrated fellow. And that is what is happening in the typical church service. People walk out the door frustrated because they didn’t “get.” The reason they didn’t is that they were not there to “get,” but to “give.”

Someone should have told them.

b) We are giving glory to God. Not to man.

We know that. At least we say we do. How many times have we recited, “…for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”? And how often have we sung, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”?

c) We do so because glory is His right. He is “worthy of worship.”

This is the theme of the final book of the Bible.

  • “Who is worthy?” (Rev. 5:2)
  • “You are worthy…for you were slain, and have redeemed us” (Rev. 5:9).
  • “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Rev. 5:12).

3. Self-centeredness Destroys All Worship

If my focus is on myself when I enter the church–getting my needs met, learning something, hearing a lesson that blesses me, being lifted by the singing–then Christ has no part in it. He becomes my servant, and the pastor (and all the other so-called performers) are there only for me. It’s all about me. We have strayed so far from the biblical concept of worship–giving God His due in all the ways He has commanded–it’s a wonder we keep going to church. And it’s an even greater wonder that our leaders keep trying to get us to worship.

The poor preacher! Trying to cater to the insatiable hungers of his people, even the best and most godly among them, is an impossible task. One week he gets it right and eats up the accolades. Then, about the time he thinks he has it figured out, the congregation walks out grumbling that they got nothing out of the meal he served today. The typical congregation in the average church today really does think the service is all about them–getting people saved, learning the Word, receiving inspiration to last another week, having their sins forgiven, taking an offering to provision the Lord’s work throughout the world.

Anything wrong with those things? Absolutely not. But if we go to church to do those things, we can do them. But we will not have worshiped.

Warren Wiersbe says, “If you worship because it pays, it will not pay.”

4. Evangelism & Discipleship, Giving & Praying, Grow Out of Worship; Not the Other Way Around

The disciples were worshiping on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled them and drove them into the streets to bear a witness to the living Christ (Acts 2). Isaiah was in the Temple worshiping when God appeared to him, forgave his sins, and called him as a prophet to the people (Isaiah 6). It was in the act of worship that the two distraught disciples had their eyes opened to recognize Jesus at their table (Luke 24).

5. We are to Give Him Worship and Glory in the Ways Scripture Commands

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name and bring an offering.” So commands I Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 96:8.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart–these, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Singing, praise, rejoicing. Praying, offering, humbling, loving. All these are commanded in worship at various places in Scripture. The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “Those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). That is, with their inner being, the totality of themselves, their spirit, not just their lips or their bodies going through the motions. And in truth–the revealed truth of how God has prescribed worship to take place. He is not pleased with “just anything” that we claim as worship.

We must balance our worship between spirit (the subjective part: body, soul, emotions) and truth (the objective aspect: all that God has revealed in His word).

6. We Are the Ones Who Decide Whether We Worship upon Entering the House of the Lord

Don’t blame the preacher if you don’t worship. He can’t do it for you. No one else can eat my food for me, love my cherished ones in my place, or do my worshiping for me. No pastor can decide or dictate whether we will worship by the quality of his leadership or the power of his sermon. Whether I worship in today’s service has absolutely nothing to do with how well he does his job.

I am in charge of this decision. I decide whether I will worship.

When Mary sat before the Lord Jesus, clearly worshiping, He informed a disgruntled Martha that her sister had “chosen the good part,” something that “will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). That something special was time spent in worship. Such moments or hours are eternal. Lest someone point out that Martha could have worshiped in her kitchen by her service for Christ, we do not argue, but simply point out that she was not doing so that day.

7. Remember: Worship is a Verb

And it’s an active verb at that. Worship is something we do, not something done to us.

In the worst of circumstances, I can still worship my God. In the Philippians prison, while their backs were still oozing blood from the beating they’d received, Paul and Silas worshiped (Acts 16:25).

Even if a church has no pastor and has to make do with a stuttering layman or some inept fill-in, I can still bow before the Lord, offer Him my praise, and give Him my all. I can humble before Him and I can bring my offering.

What I cannot do is leave church blaming my failure to worship on the poor singing, the boring sermon, or the noise from the children in the next pew. I am in charge of the decision whether I will worship, and no one else.

Someone has pointed out that ours is the only nation on earth where church members feel they have to have “worshipful architecture” before they can adequately honor the Lord. Millions of Christians across the world seem to worship just fine without any kind of building. Believers in Malawi meet under mango trees, according to retired missionary Mike Canady, and their worship is as anointed as anyone’s anywhere. (What? No stained glass!)

Our insistence on worshipful music, worship settings, and worshipful everything are all signs of our disgusting self-centeredness. It’s disgusting because I see it in myself, and do not like it. No one enjoys a great choir more than I. I love to hear a soloist transport us all into the Throneroom by his/her vocal offering in the service. A great testimony of God’s grace and power thrills me. And of course, being a preacher, I delight in hearing a sermon that you feel is direct from the heart of God. But if I require any one or all of those before I can worship, something is vastly wrong with me.

My friends, something is vastly wrong with us today.

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

Visit him at joemckeever.com/mt.

http://www.crosswalk.com/church/worship/7-things-we-regularly-get-wrong-about-worship.html?ps=0

*I do not agree 100% with this article but I think it is headed in the right direction.

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To the Keweenaw by Jonah Reenders

Jonah Reenders is a student at Northern Michigan University studying Environmental Science and is an avid photographer. The pictures below are from his most recent photo session up in Keweenaw. Keweenaw is a county in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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Jonah was able to grab these awesome shots while out with some friends and using a Canon 5D Mark 2.

To see more of Jonah’s work please visit www.jonahreenders.com

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To see more of Jonah’s work please visit www.jonahreenders.com 

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Homeschooling?

I was shown this and as a former Homeschooler I never knew or understood the benefits of homeschooling. I knew there was some advantages but not necessarily like the graphic below. This is great for anyone who doubts or is curious about homeschooling.

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

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Family Structure Study by The Witherspoon Institute

This study is ground breaking as it disproves “the “no differences” claim—the claim that children raised by parents in gay or lesbian relationships fared no worse and in some cases better than children raised by intact biological parents. On the contrary, the children of these households, on average, did worse than children raised by their biological, still-married parents.” I can confirm this as an education major because in two of the texts book I use for class proudly present the above claim.

Some quotes from the book Adolescence by Ian McMahan:

“Children of gay and lesbian parents are just as mature and well adjusted, on average, as children of heterosexual parents”-(Golombok et al., 2003; Patterson, 2006) (Page. 169)

“Comparisons of adolescents living with parent couples who are same sex and other-sex show similar levels of self-esteem, school achievement, functioning with peers, involvement in romantic relationships and problem behaviors.”-Wainwright & Patterson, 2006, 2008; Wainwright, Russell, & Patterson, 2004) (Page. 169)

“The huge majority of children of gay or lesbian parents, over 90%, develop a heterosexual orientation as adults. This is essentially the same percentage as in children raised by heterosexual parents.”-(Baily & Dawood, 1998; Golombok & Tasker, 1996; Gottman, 1990; Tasker & Golombok, 1997) (Page 169)

What is being said by this study by the Witherspoon Institute, is that this claim of “no difference” is not true, and children actually do worse in these environments of gay and lesbian relationships. There is also damage done to a child when they are in a single parent home, divorced home etc. When you view the study you will see the above quotes hold no water when it comes to comparing them against the study that has been done. What makes this study ground breaking is that it is the first  scientific statistics that have been produced that show the negative affect of same sex marriage/relationship on the child.

For the Christian, the plan cannot be to remain silent on issues like this. With legislation that is being passed, the state is setting itself up in opposition of Christianity. There is a thinking that we can just remain silent and do our own thing. That is not good enough for the LGBT group. They want the Christian to be in full support of their way of life, or you will be labeled as a bigot or homophobic. There is no you live your life and I live my life with the LGBT crowd. God created marriage between 1 man and 1 Female. Anything other then that, will have serious short term and long term affects on adults and children.

Please go to www.familystructurestudies.com to view this ground breaking and shocking data researched by The Witherspoon Institute.

 

 

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A Married Mom and Dad Really Do Matter: New Evidence from Canada by Mark Regnerus

A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study published last week in the journalReview of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.

Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.

While in the US Census same-sex households have to be guessed at based on the gender and number of self-reported heads-of-household, young adults in the Canadian census were asked, “Are you the child of a male or female same-sex married or common law couple?” While study author and economist Douglas Allen noted that very many children in Canada who live with a gay or lesbian parent are actually living with a single mother—a finding consonant with that detected in the 2012 New Family Structures Study—he was able to isolate and analyze hundreds of children living with a gay or lesbian couple(either married or in a “common law” relationship akin to cohabitation).

So the study is able to compare—side by side—the young-adult children of same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, as well as children growing up in single-parent homes and other types of households. Three key findings stood out to Allen:

children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.

Employing regression models and series of control variables, Allen concludes that the substandard performance cannot be attributed to lower school attendance or the more modest education of gay or lesbian parents. Indeed, same-sex parents were characterized by higher levels of education, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school than even those of married, opposite-sex couples. And yet their children are notably more likely to lag in finishing their own schooling.

The same is true of the young-adult children of common law parents, as well as single mothers and single fathers, highlighting how little—when you lean on large, high-quality samples—the data have actually changed over the past few decades. The intact, married mother-and-father household remains the gold standard for children’s progress through school. What is surprising in the Canadian data is the revelation that lesbian couples’ children fared worse, on average, than even those of single parents.

The truly unique aspect of Allen’s study, however, may be its ability to distinguish gender-specific effects of same-sex households on children. He writes:

the particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation. Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes.

Thus although the children of same-sex couples fare worse overall, the disparity is unequally shared, but is instead based on the combination of the gender of child and gender of parents. Boys fare better—that is, they’re more likely to have finished high school—in gay households than in lesbian households. For girls, the opposite is true. Thus the study undermines not only claims about “no differences” but also assertions that moms and dads are interchangeable. They’re not.

Every study has its limitations, and this one does too. It is unable to track the household history of children. Nor is it able to establish the circumstances of the birth of the children whose education is evaluated—that is, were they the product of a heterosexual union, adopted, or born via surrogate or assisted reproductive technology? Finally, the census did not distinguish between married and common law gay and lesbian couples. But couples they are.

Indeed, its limitations are modest in comparison to its remarkable and unique strengths—a rigorous and thorough analysis of a massive, nationally-representative dataset from a country whose government has long affirmed same-sex couples and parenting. It is as close to an ideal test as we’ve seen yet.

The study’s publication continues the emergence of new, population-based research in this domain, much of which has undermined scholarly and popular claims about equivalence between same-sex and opposite-sex households echoed by activists and reflected in recent legal proceedings about same-sex marriage.

Might the American Psychological Association and American Sociological Association have been too confident and quick to declare “no differences” in such a new arena of study, one marked by the consistent reliance upon small or nonrandom “convenience” samples? Perhaps. Maybe a married mom and dad do matter, after all.

Mark Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

From the Witherspoon Institute.

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