Blogs

Our blogs offer thoughtful content from a variety of writers that will help you live with simple focus on Christ and His kingdom. This feed will give you all our newest content from all our blogs. These posts, we hope, will help to separate our thinking from the surrounding worldliness of our culture, and live deliberately at home, in the church, and in the world!

Links to each of our blogs may be found in the left sidebar. You may also browse all our blogs by topic by clicking the link in the right sidebar.

Flaming Out

By in Highlands Blog on

The average American is having two children. The average Christian American might be having two and a half. Those in our circles probably have five or six or seven. And the world we live in just isn’t cooperating with our lofty goals both to have many children and to disciple and educate them at home. Lindsay Owens recently pondered, “I don’t think we were meant to do this alone.” By that she meant without family nearby, family surrounding us, lots of help, emotional and physical support and godly examples. Our families are getting burned out because we’re doing it alone.. . .
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Filed under Family

Debt

By in Highlands Blog on

Debt is an oppressive weight. It hangs in the air like Amazonian humidity which makes it hard to breath, hard to live and move and enjoy our being in God. Sometimes debt happens. Often times we are its creators. Regardless of how it appeared, it grows and lives and visits us as we try and sleep. It can become the monster in the attic, under the stairs, hidden yes, but we are always aware and our children know that we are afraid . . . of something. Debt binds us to work we that don’t like and to a frugality. . .
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Filed under Uncategorized

Giving Up Control in Marriage

By in Highlands Blog on

Marriage, most often, starts with love. Love of self and what that other person brings to the table. Another way of stating this is well known in counseling circles, relationships are about expectations. When I do marriage counseling, I will ask the doe-eyed couple, “Describe for me what you think the day after your honeymoon will look like.”  No one has a ready answer. After a confused pause the guy will say, “Well, I will be going to work.”  If the new wife isn’t going off to a job I will ask, “And what will you be doing?”  They are. . .
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Filed under Marriage

It Was Our Turn

By in Highlands Blog on

Sunday, April 8; I’m gearing up to watch the Masters golf tournament which is my favorite sporting event of the year. This is only relevant to know so that I’ll look great after you read the next sentence. Lindsay has been feeling poorly having just fought off a nasty uterine infection following the birth of our son Ceallaigh Patrick. She thinks the infection has returned. Her fever spikes to 103.5, the pains have returned We head to the emergency room with the little boy as well. The doctors are concerned. Her white blood cells are off the chart. An infection. . .
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Filed under Church

Twenty Five Reasons Why I Love My Wife

By in Highlands Blog on

On June 5th I will have been married to my wife, Angela, for twenty-five years. In anticipation of that milestone I thought I’d share with you all why she is more to me than just my main squeeze. She is so genuine. She is who she is. There is no hint of pretense about her. When she is afraid or angry or happy it is apparent to everyone. She’s generous. All that she has is yours if you need it—even her stash of chocolate. In our first few years of marriage I thought of her at times as a ball-and-chain.. . .
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Filed under Marriage

Sin and Reality

By in Highlands Blog on

Our sin is both an escape from reality and the establishment of a new reality all-together. First, we sin because we do not like the world that God has constructed for us, either in general or in the moment. Any sin, from mental covetousness to physical murder is our way of reshaping the world in our image. We lie because the world of our lie is preferable to us to the world of truth. We lash out in anger because someone else is not acting in conformance to our desired reality. You can take this across every sin, those against. . .
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Children Remind Us of God’s Love

By in Highlands Blog on

God is skilled at giving us windows of insight into Himself in unexpected places. Our relationship with our children is one of those unexpected places. Now, in many ways it should be normal to see parallels because we look to God as children to a Father. However, it is unique because the parallels work in more directions than one. Children are token factories. By that, I mean that they are constantly giving us tokens of love and memories. Be it a hug, a smile, a picture, a leaf, or even the way that children are quick to tell us that. . .
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Filed under Parenting

My Favorite Book of the Bible

By in Highlands Blog on

Admitting which book of the Bible is your favorite is like admitting you have a favorite child. You are supposed to love them all equally, but deep down inside you know that there is one that aggravates you less than the others. If I were asked to name that book of the Bible most difficult for me to love, that would be easy. It’s Job. A friend of mine who once described Job as “nauseating.” It is practically unteachable, and perfectly unpreachable. However, the child you are least likely to favor is the one who undoubtedly needs more of your. . .
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Filed under New Testament

Gratitude

By in Highlands Blog on

Because it is my wont to fret and be dissatisfied with my lot—a lot—I have to, HAVE TO, regularly stop and create long lists of all that I’m thankful to God for. And when I walk the dog and it’s quiet, I’ll let my mind wander and express my gratitude for all of the incredible gifts He has given me and my soul will be recalibrated and I’ll see the world correctly once again. I’m grateful for Lindsay my wife who struggles with chronic illness and yet loves on her children fiercely, teaches them through her kind spirit to love. . .
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Filed under Thankfulness

Raised Up

By in Highlands Blog on

  I rolled out of bed this morning still feeling heavy from last nights dinner. Smash-burgers, topped with jalapeño pimento cheese and served with a side of sliced potatoes fried in beef fat, will do that to you. I hit the shower at 5:30am and was sipping a cup of Sumatra before the day dawned and it dawned drowsily with cool temperatures, a misty rain and an overcast sky. The weather wasn’t offering any perk to my morning and neither were the contents of my French press. This is the kind of day where you feel like you never really. . .
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Filed under Faith

Fishing for Men

By in Highlands Blog on

“Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus’ first call to discipleship in Mark’s Gospel compared His ministry to the work Simon, Andrew, James, and John knew very well. He saw fishermen at work and made a ready comparison. But this call also connected what Jesus was doing to the Old Testament hopes found at the end of Ezekiel’s visions. The prophet had foreseen God’s people returning from exile and rebuilding the temple to restore right worship. Out of that rebuilt temple flowed a river of life and Ezekiel 47:10 talked about fishermen standing beside. . .
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How Christians Should Sleep

By in Highlands Blog on

When it comes to the subject of rest, believers in Jesus Christ should be having a phenomenal experience every night—unless you have a newborn in which case you have a glorious reason to be awaken several times by little baby sounds and hunger cries. And there is also that sacrifice of slumber due to staying up with someone who is ill. Also the necessity laid upon the student whose term paper is due and let’s not forget those first-responders who put out fires and the police who guard our neighborhoods when darkness falls. There are many other scenarios as well.. . .
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Filed under Personal Growth

Community Life is Painful

By in Highlands Blog on

I was perturbed and couldn’t ascertain the reason at first. All day I’d been in a funk and with just a little reflection, the truth was revealed. I was angry that some news had penetrated my world and for the umpteenth time, my peace was broken. It wasn’t the right reaction but a common one for me as part of a close-knit community of believers. The first thing to know when you are seeking to become a part of a community of believers is that you are greatly increasing the number of people who can ruin your day. When you. . .
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Filed under Community

Are You Angry with “Those People”?

By in Highlands Blog on

These days, as much as I have ever witnessed in my life, are typified by anger. While much of it may be directed at our President (either the past one or the present one), much of the anger I see is directed at larger groups of people. These groups, whoever they may be, may represent values that we stand in opposition to. Or they may represent a group that we perceive as hurtful to us. It could be that our anger towards them lies in the fact that they just plain irritate us. It may be the rich, the poor,. . .
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Profanity & the Love of God

By in Highlands Blog on

People use to say “For the love of God” a lot more than they do now. You can still find it mostly in old books and old movies. It is a variant of the desperation or exasperation of, For Christ’s sake! and other profanities. When this phrase is used, for example, “For the love of God, stop torturing that accordion!” the motivation isn’t, as you might imagine for the person to whom it is directed, to actually love God. No, it is more of a final appeal. “Don’t do (____) for me or for yourself or even for all of. . .
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Filed under Culture, Social Issues

The Discipline of Children

By in Highlands Blog on

It is one of life’s most disturbing moments. Our beautiful child, the apple of our eye, looks into that same eye and lies to us. He, without shame, violates the trust that we have built up for so long. Our instinct is to recoil in horror. And that is appropriate because sin is that wicked and the harm a small child can inflict upon their parent is proof of that fact. Like with Adam, that one act threatens to cast them out of the paradise of our heart. Restoration The child must then be disciplined because our God has commanded. . .
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Filed under Parenting

Blessed Frailty

By in Highlands Blog on

Dependent Our great and loving God created us with a built-in frailty. Our bodies reveal to us hour by hour our dependence on Him to sustain our life. Ignoring for a moment our beating heart and our inability to keep that happening, we are otherwise forced to pause to consume calories at least three times during the day and at the end of just sixteen hours of daily life, we need to rest for a full eight. Because we are not conscious during our rest, we don’t fully appreciate how frail we are. Eight hours of rest to propel us. . .
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Filed under Faith, Sanctification

Beware the Mantra of the Unbelieving Life

By in Highlands Blog on

Submission is a dirty word to contemporary ears. It has considerably more than four letters, but often gets a more negative reaction than its abbreviated counterparts. We think it means defeat, which it doesn’t unless we are submitting to a loser. Luckily we already know who the Winner in time and eternity is, so we need not suffer that embarrassment. Much to the distaste of defiant grumblers, Jesus never loses. Questioning God Still, the world wants us to feel self-conscious for simply believing God and doing what He commands. They think that instinctive submission is naive and they proceed to. . .
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Filed under Faith, Social Issues

Planting Seeds in Your Children

By in Highlands Blog on

Parenting is a challenge on the very best of days, even for those whose chief aim is just to keep the kids alive for twenty-four hours. Trying to disciple a child at the same time as we try to help them be civilized, clean, helpful, and educated, is often overwhelming. What Christian parent hasn’t daily fretted about the missed prayers or times of deep talk or catechism and Scripture memorization? Missed days turns into weeks because Mom is pregnant and not feeling well and life becomes an hourly act of survival rather than what we always imagined—all the wee ones. . .
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