Sola Scriptura in Kids and Youth Ministry

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I do believe that some people die and go heaven and come back again. I also believe that some people make things up or embellish their stories to gain influence and credibility.

Recently this has come to light. Through an open letter from one of the children who supposedly died and went to heaven. This brief letter is thoughtful and profound. It’s God exulting and pushes people back to the authority of scripture.

An Open Letter from Alex Malarkey “The boy who came back from heaven”

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of heaven outside of what is written in the Bible . . . not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,
Alex Malarkey

This letter was written by a boy whose body is broken due to an unfortunate car accident and it appears that his heart was broken by those who leveraged his situation for personal gain.

Desire becomes sin when it fails to include love of God or men. Further, I think there are two practical tests as to when we are coveting against God or men; first, I am to love God enough to be contented; second, I am to love men enough not to envy.

When I lack proper contentment, either I have forgotten that God is God, or I have ceased to be submissive to him. We are now speaking about a practical test to judge if we are coveting against God. A quiet disposition and a heart giving thanks at any given moment is the real test of the extent to which we love God at that moment.

Francis A. Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer
True Spirituality (Tyndale House Publishers, 1971), pg. 8

Death of the 50% myth of marriage.

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50% of marriages end in divorce. Raise your hand if you have never heard that statistic. As far as statistics go it is by far one the most touted, most popular and accepted by everyone as gospel truth. I found an article in the WSJ debunking this stat as a myth. The article was refreshing because it was good news and intriguing because it challenged my assumptions that divorce was increasing. I figured we were in the 60% range headed for the 70%’s. Here’s what the article had to say.

About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th
anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65
percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in
the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends
continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce,
according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan
economist (who also contributes to The Upshot). Via the New York Times

That’s good news! There were some logical reasons for drop in the divorce rate as noted in the article.

4 things I want my boys to learn before they start dating

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We teach our kids about sex, we tell them what to avoid. But we don’t teach our kids how to engage in meaningful and eventually lifelong relationships with the opposite sex. We talk about how babies come into the world but fail to give them the practical tips to help them navigate the waters of dating and courtship.

As I think about my boys becoming men I want them to know how to treat women in a God honoring way. I want them to see women for who they are and for the means of God’s grace their future mate will be.

Before my boys start dating here are 4 things I plan on telling them.

My favorite productivity tools for 2014

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I am sort of an app addict. One of my small talk questions is what new apps people are using. I love finding new apps that fit into my life and make it easier. These are few and far between. Most apps I download or use briefly I am iffy about. Those that don’t make a strong impression after a few days use get pushed aside.

Here are some of the tools I use regularly that help keep me on track and productive.