Addiction can start as a small thing

Addiction to Adoption: From the clutches of porn to the reality of sonship. (An excerpt from my upcoming book)

Addiction can start as a small thing and end up a big thing especially if you try to hide it.  Children of addicts are at a greater risk of becoming addicts themselves. It does not have  to be the same addiction it might be another type of addiction. I myself am talking about the addiction to alcohol.

The link above talks about an addiction to pornography, which is easy for kids to get ahold of. So what I’m trying to tell you is, if you are a parent you need to use parental controls to block the access of pornography  from your kids. Even when they are searching for something not related to pornography it can still show up. If it would show up your child might be tempted to look. I’m not trying to be rude but we have all been kids ourselves, we know what temptation is. We know how hard it is to overlook or overcome that temptation.  So if you just do that one simple act of blocking what you think is inappropriate it may slow down or stop the temptation so it is not an issue. I know it is worth the time.

Your brother in Christ,

Jon

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Verse for 8-31-16

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. — Mark 8:31

Thoughts on Today’s Verse….

Knowing Jesus is God’s Messiah is one thing. Following Jesus as our Lord is quite another. Getting our minds, hearts, and lives to all line up is always a challenge. Once Jesus’ disciples confessed him as the Christ, he knew he had to teach them the real road to glory. Each of the Gospels reminds us that this road led to the cross of agony before it led to the crown of glory. The early church captured it in a song that reminded them that they, too, must walk that same road (see Philippians 2:5-11). We are a heaven-bound people, but we can be sure that we will encounter potholes and bumps along the road and even steep hills to climb as Satan tries to derail and defeat us. Our Savior, however, has already walked this road, and he is our great reminder that the path leads us to share in his glory, too.

My Prayer…

Dear Father, I know several believers who are struggling to follow Jesus faithfully. Please, dear LORD, I ask that you give them the strength and the courage to endure, and that you use me to encourage them and to help them through this dark time in their lives. I want to specifically mention several people by name, and ask you to bless them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

readings 8-31-16

August 31, 2016

Wednesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 433

Reading 11 COR 3:1-9

Brothers and sisters,
I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.
While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,
are you not of the flesh, and walking
according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another,
“I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men?

What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul?
Ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
For we are God’s co-workers;
you are God’s field, God’s building.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
From his fixed throne he beholds
all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

AlleluiaLK 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases
brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.”
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, “To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Rick Warren The rest you need.

THE REST YOU NEED
Tom Holladay
August 27-28, 2016

Six ways to get rest for your soul:

I. DEPEND on your Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”
Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

Action Plan: Write down one or two ways you compare yourself to others, whether it be a material item you want, a job someone else has, or even physical attributes.  Take that piece of paper in your hand, lift it up to God and pray “Lord, take these wants away from my heart, I’m a sheep that depends on you for all my needs, I want for nothing.”  If you feel comfortable doing so, share your list with your small group and ask for their prayer support.

II. TRUST God to refresh your soul 

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
Psalm 23:2-3a (NIV)

Action Plan:  This scripture tells us that God is good and that he gives us “green pastures” to rest in. Do you ever find yourself running through pastures rather than taking time to lie down and rest in them?  God gives blessings to you out of his goodness and mercy.  Write down 3 blessings that God has given you.  How can you slow down and be refreshed by God’s generous gifts this week?

III. FOLLOW God’s path 

“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:3b (NIV)

“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.”  2 Timothy 3:16 (TLB)

Action Plan:  Do you have the habit of reading God’s word every day?  A daily devotional time? Do you find yourself struggling in certain areas of your life without knowing why?  Following God’s path for you means spending time in the Bible and talking with him through prayer; talking to God about your questions and asking for guidance about decisions you need to make. Seek God sincerely and he will provide you with direction.

IV. REMEMBER God is with you 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

God comforts you through both protection and correction

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

Action Plan: Write down one or two instances where you struggled in a difficult or dark situation.  Did you try to ‘fix’ it yourself or did you reach out to God for help? God knows how much protection and correction you need for each situation you face.  How fully have you accepted his love in these areas?  Discuss these instances with your small group, share the struggles you may be facing, and accept their unconditional love and prayers.

V. APPRECIATE what God has given 

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)

Action Plan: A daily challenge: Each morning and each evening, share with God and your family/friends what you are grateful for that God has given you. From the smallest item that you don’t think God cares about to the largest that you feel only God could have given you.  Are you able to humbly accept that you are not responsible for what you have, but that God is?  Discuss any struggles you may have with your small group.

VI. FOCUS on all & forever 

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:6 (NIV)

Action Plan:  Practically, you have to live in the here and now (your daily life), however, your soul rests in the ‘all and forever’ (being with Christ in heaven for eternity). Your soul can rest today when you accept that, as you live practically, you can also focus on living with God for eternity.  Write down one or two things that are bothering you today.  Share with your small group how those irritations of daily life affect your focus on eternity with God.  How might your day-to-day challenges pull your focus away from the reality of eternity with Jesus.

Verse of the day 08-30-16

Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. — John 8:30

Thoughts on Today’s Verse….

While we often talk about Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can also find it easy to ignore his voice. Let’s make a commitment to read through each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) before the end of the year. And as we read, let’s do it as a search for the heart of Jesus and ask God to help us know him better.

My Prayer…

Be with me, dear Father, as I seek to know Jesus better and obey his words more faithfully as I read your holy Scriptures, which find their center in him. In his name, Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

A good family model you should try to follow

From Surviving to Thriving with 13 Kids: Inspiration from a Faithful Catholic Family

Readings 8-30-16

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 432

Reading 11 COR 2:10B-16

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13AB, 13CD-14

R. (17) The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.