You know what’s amazing? How blessed me and my family are. You know why? Because of mercy. How? Death. Who? The Lord…of all of creation. The Lord of all creation blesses me daily. Despite my ignorance and disobedience. Daily. Blessed. By the creator of the universe. Yeah.
The Lord placed it on my heart recently to start sharing some of the youth lessons I’ve been writing for youth group. It should hopefully encourage me to more consistently write solid lessons, and hopefully will come in helpful for other youth leaders (as so many other bloggers’ lessons have proven useful for me).
The lessons are available here. Leave a comment if you use them. :)
This is very bad news:
The laws are changing to remove parental ability to opt their children out of sex education in public schools. This means that every kid in public schools, regardless of religious background or the parents’ wishes, will be taught the school’s version of sex education at 15 years old. This goes into effect in September of 2011. Thankfully, this is in Britain, not here in the US. Still, it’s a big deal.
What’s so wrong with that? Perhaps little, assuming that children will be taught responsibly. My childhood sex education experience, however, was anything but responsible. I was lucky enough to have to go through sex education at three different public schools across junior high and high school. Looking back, all three of these experiences were damaging to my health.
Before reading this article, I would encourage you to take a quick look at the infographic to the right. Click on the image for the full-sized version; it will pop open in a new window or a new tab.
The infographic does a very good job at demonstrating the beliefs, focuses, goals, and views of the left vs. the right. It is fair and non-biased, and though it certainly portrays political stereotypes, it does the best job possible at focusing on the core thoughts and values of both sides. I am sharing all of this because of the apparent lack of knowledge as to what conservative vs. liberal politics actually represent; far too often I find that people are glued to one side or the other not because of their personal beliefs, but instead because of a series of less important outside influences. In the past I have been guilty of this as well, but I’ve since learned how rewarding it is to define your own political stance from your true core beliefs, instead of following the crowd.
I often find myself biting my tongue during political and spiritual discussions, especially when they are interrelated, because I take a very non-apologetic and entirely spiritual approach to my viewpoints. Often, to avoid offending others and getting into heated discussions I simply back out of the conversations. Whether this is the right thing to do or not, I’d like to share some of my views specifically regarding America’s positions on freedom.
I’ve recently just gotten my finances in order in the last month or two, honestly for the first time in several years. Much to my wife’s dismay, I’ve taken a very “set it and forget it” and “oh well” approach to finances for the last few years. Now that I have my finances in order, it’s become more and more obvious how little control I have over the monetary side of my life, especially under our current economic state. I’ve been trying to come up with a decent plan for saving for the future recently, but I’ve run into a bit of a dilemma:
- I can’t invest my savings because the markets can’t be trusted to not go under.
- I can’t let the money just sit because inflation will rapidly decrease its value.
- I can’t simply spend the money because then I’ll have no savings, and since it’s an IRA account, I’d be severely penalized for withdrawing it.
An interesting topic came up at the Bible study I attended tonight and challenged a long-standing belief of mine. Though I thought this was a fairly common belief, I was apparently the only one at the Bible study who believed it. For that reason I’ve pondered it quite a bit this evening, and though I don’t necessarily plan on changing my views, I’m wondering what perspectives other people might have.
Those of you who know me well enough know that most often I really don’t care what people think. Sure, I have the occasional embarrassing moment and/or the rare concern that I’m being judged, but generally, I don’t let this get in the way of whatever I’m doing. This has given me a deep sense of freedom that I cannot express in any way other than to say that I am free from the public opinions and desires of society.
It should come as no surprise to you, then, that I will express my views on faith openly and without restriction. I will hold these views as the truth, as I wholeheartedly believe them to be true. And I will not be surprised, nor will I be thrown back, by any ridicule that is the result my expressing these views.
This is not to say, however, that I am a judge of others. I do not consider myself (nor anyone else) to be qualified enough to judge another person, and I work extremely hard to keep my thoughts humble and to help others around me feel like they can confide in me without me judging them.