Tag Archive | son


The Prodigal Son

“I don’t think it’s ever too late, Mark.  Remember when Jesus mourned over Israel and said, “…how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37)  It’s easy to feel the passion He felt for backslidden Israel.  All heaven rejoices when even one sinner comes to repentance (Matt. 17:7).  But the Bible also states that the good shepherd rejoiced when he recovered the lost sheep (Matt. 18:13), and the woman rejoiced with her neighbors that she had found the lost coin (Matt. 15:9).

By Tim Massengale

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Pastor Mark North studied the New Convert Information Card on his desk.  Finally he reached a decision, picked up the phone and punched in a number.  On the third ring Elder Vernon Baker answered.

“Hey, my friend!  It’s Mark.  Have I caught you at a bad time?”

“No, not at all,” the elderly pastor replied.  “What’s up?”

“Well, we had a young man visit our service last light.  He came to the altar and received the Holy Ghost – or perhaps I should say he was refilled with the Holy Ghost.  He’s a backslider.  He said he used to attend your church about six years ago as a teenager.  You baptized him I think.  His name is Clayton Morris.  Ring any bells?”

“He received the Holy Ghost? Wonderful!  I remember Clayton well.  He and his mom came to the Lord during a revival over ten years ago.  They both received the Holy Ghost.  His mom quickly backslid, but Clayton continued coming.  I think he liked a young lady in our youth group.  Anyway, after a couple of years he got caught up in high school football and stopped coming.  We stayed in touch with him and his mom until they moved out of town three years ago.  I ran into him several weeks ago at the mall and we talked at length. I told him we missed him, were still praying for him, and hoped he would get back in church.  I could tell he was still tender to the Spirit so when he mentioned he had moved to your area, I encouraged him to look you up.  He’s a great young man.  He must be, what – about twenty-two now?

“He just turned twenty-three.  He wrote on his information card that he used to attend your church so I felt I needed to give you a call.”

“Well, I’m thrilled to hear he’s back in church.  I think he has real potential.  If you can get him grounded in truth, he will be a solid saint.”

Mark nodded.  “We already have him set up for a home Bible study and he said he would attend our New Life Class on Sunday morning.  He really got a great touch of God – spoke in tongues for over ten minutes and jumped all over the place.  He seemed to really pray through.  I talked with him afterwards and he spoke very highly of you.  I felt like he’s sincere in his desire to live for God.”

“That’s fantastic!” Brother Baker exclaimed.  “That’s a real answer to prayer.  We have had him and his mom in our Prodigal Ministry for a long time.  This could be an inroad to getting her back in church too.”


The Prodigal Ministry

“I hope so too,” Mark replied.  “Now, what’s this Prodigal Ministry?  You been holding out on me?  I thought I knew all the programs and ministries in your church.”

“It’s a part of our Outreach Department.  Tom and Sandy Hoffmeier oversee it.  It’s our ministry to reach out to backsliders. Once a person leaves the church we have a system set up to contact them several times a year by mail, telephone and occasional visits in order to invite them to various church events.  We also pray for them regularly.  It’s my conviction that we have an obligation to never forget them and to keep reaching for them as long as they are receptive.”

“Does it work?” Mark asked.

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How to Talk to Your Son about Pornography

How to Talk to Your Son about Pornography
Mark Merrill

Pornography is a powerful threat to our sons. It skews their view of sex, love, women and relationships.
Obviously when many of us were younger, access to graphic sexual images was not as easy to come by as it is today. A magazine belonging to friend’s dad or a movie on late-night cable TV was our most common exposure. Even in those seemingly more innocent days, there were things I saw at a friend’s house at an early age that were confusing. Quite frankly, they were damaging. It felt wrong, but, fearing I’d get in trouble, I never told my dad what I had seen. I wish I had. With a palpable feeling of guilt, I was left on my own to try and figure it out. My dad didn’t have porn in our house, so naturally, he assumed I hadn’t been exposed to it. Things are so different now. Having the Internet on so many devices inside and outside the house means the barbarians are perpetually at the gate. We can be more vigilant and protective about what our children see. However, we can sadly assume that our sons will be exposed to it at some point. Maybe the silver lining in that assumption is that they will not be left alone in processing it. The best way to fight it is to prepare them for pornography, expose the ugly reality of it and its many dangers. It may be difficult, but here are 3 points on, how to talk to your son about pornography:

1. A momentary thrill leading to dissatisfaction, emptiness and addiction. An explicit image is stimulating and causes a scientifically-proven chemical release in the brain. That is why we are drawn to it like to the ring in Lord of the Rings.
However, when the viewing is over, we are left empty, unsatisfied and full of guilt. Our conscience is telling us that something wrong has taken place. Sex is not wrong. Sex outside of the right context is wrong or, at the very least, not what it was made to be. The quickest way to deal with those feelings is to try and get another thrill, but when we return to porn, it gives a diminishing return of enjoyment. In the end, we need more to experience less, resulting in addiction and chains. In other words, it is a road to an addictive prison cell. Don’t be enticed down this road; choose the path that is life-giving.

2. Living in isolated fantasy versus living in connected reality. A full life is found in relationships and shared experiences. Those things are built in reality, not fantasy. Porn is about entering a fantasy world. The more time we spend in that world, the more we become isolated. In essence, our soul becomes intertwined with something that isn’t real. There’s no connection, just loneliness exacerbated by guilt. When we fill our lives with nothing, we are left with nothing. Porn doesn’t provide anything; it takes everything. Strong men of character are ones that are firmly founded in reality and relationships. Live in the real world.

3. An example of diminished, one-dimensional sex. One of the biggest and most dangerous of all lies is that porn stars know how to have the best sex. Great sex is experienced when two people know one another in emotional and physical intimacy. True intimacy and knowledge of one another comes in commitment. When women know we are committed, we create an environment where they feel safe to share their whole selves with us. It’s a multidimensional connection, like a high wattage of electricity. Porn turns sex into mere physical acts. It is one-dimensional sex and will always fall short of what it could be. In fact, it even falls short physically. We are all uniquely made. Personalities and bodies respond differently. Sex for a committed couple that continues to grow closer in love and knowledge of one another will continually get more passionate. It’s like becoming an expert at playing an instrument. A guitar is held and played much differently than a violin. The best sex is between a committed couple who has learned well how the other desires to be loved. Glorified actors who are actually deeply degraded and hurting people will never be able to come close to sex that good. Sound off: What age do you think it is appropriate to talk to a boy about pornography?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Is there anything you’ve ever seen that was confusing that you would like me to explain?”

All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks. Used with permission.
From: www.allprodad.org web site. November 2014.

The above article, “How to Talk to Your Son about Pornography” was written by Mark Merrill. The article was excerpted from www.allprodad.org.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

Posted in AIS File Library, MM - Men's Ministry0 Comments

How to Teach Your Son to Become a Godly Man

How to Teach Your Son to Become a Godly Man
B.J. Foster

When I was in my mid-30s, I had a life-changing epiphany. I worked on the road a lot as a financial adviser, but on this day I was in the office on my computer.
When my boss walked in, I buried my face into the computer screen as she spoke with others. I was filled with anxiety and hoped I would go unnoticed. I realized at that moment, that was how I normally responded to my bosses. Then a question reverberated in my brain, Why are you hiding? I wanted to find out why I was afraid of the authority figures in my life.
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t feel like an adult. Physically, I was in my 30s, but internally, I felt like I was twelve and I was afraid they would find out. That fear kept me from being comfortable with my true self. Instead, I would try to play the part I thought they wanted in order to mask what was going on inside. I would always be in awe of those I felt like had the keys to a kingdom of which I didn’t have access.
Sons need their dad to show them how to be a man. My dad was amazing in so many ways. He taught me a lot. I loved him, he loved me, and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else as a father. There were many reasons I felt the way I did that had nothing to do with him. However, somewhere along the way, there were things that were missed in bringing me into manhood. As I have studied what I was missing, I have narrowed down the following things in teaching a son how to become a man.
1. Identity. Unfortunately, the world communicates to our kids that they need to be a certain type or way to be “successful” or perhaps even “acceptable.” When they believe it, they conform and/or perform for approval. In other words, they hide their true self. If they have been rejected by an authority or their peers, they will bury it even more. Our boys need a strong understanding of who they are as individuals. Until our sons are able to authentically be themselves, they will remain in perpetual childhood. Bringing a boy into manhood involves nurturing his real self to the surface. A man is not made; he emerges. We draw him out with unconditional love, listening, encouragement, and gentle coaching.
2. Belonging. Although being independent is often lifted up as a virtue, we were never meant to live that way. We were meant to be connected to one another through love and belonging. It is a major factor in our maturation process. Our sons need to know they are worthy of belonging otherwise they will never feel good enough. They will always feel as though all others are a step ahead. It will inhibit their ability to be vulnerable which leads to stunted emotional growth. A father is one of the most powerful factors in a son feeling worthy. Our boys need our presence and approval. Merely spending attentive time with him verifies his dignity. Affirm his value so that he knows it is not based on his accomplishments, but on who he is.
3. Voice. In Walt Whitman’s poem “0 Me! 0 Life!” is the line, “That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” Our sons are made with gifts and talents. They have wisdom gained through their own experience; a story to tell. They have powerful things to offer the world. A child shrinks into his parent’s arms (or computer screen), but a man stands up and contributes his verse. Help him find his gifting by encouraging him to try new things. Give him room to toil and let him know it’s OK to fail. Give him space to find his voice. Don’t sculpt it for him or be quick to shoot it down. Affirm it instead.
4. Ceremony. I believe this is something our culture has lost when it comes to bringing boys into manhood. There are still cultures that do it, but they are declining. Have a ceremony that communicates he has gone from a boy to a man. We have weddings and graduations. This is equally important. Here is an example of a blessing ceremony.
B.J. Foster is the content manager for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

From: www. allprodad.com web site. October 2015.

The above article, “How to Teach Your Son to Become a Godly Man” was written by B. J. Foster. The article was excerpted from www.allprodad.com.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

Posted in AIS File Library, MM - Men's Ministry0 Comments

To My Grown-Up Son

To My Grown-Up Son
Author Unknown

My hands were busy through the day
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I’d say “A little later, son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past…
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear…
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.

Posted in IN - Inspirational Stories and Illustrations0 Comments

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