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.

Service

By in Highlands Blog on

In a small, dusty town in western Oklahoma, it grew cold as the days shortened. One November a young single mother struggling to make ends meet had a thought that the more she considered it, the more it warmed her. She worked as many hours as she could at a local convenience store, barely making it. After work, she would take care of her small child and assist an elderly relative who lived in the same town, occasionally running errands and buying groceries. But she still felt a need to help others growing stronger in her heart. A nearby nursing. . .
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Filed under Sanctification

It Takes Community

By in Highlands Blog on

Everyone has emotional baggage, bad habits, a deficit of wisdom and knowledge, learned behaviors that need to be unlearned, and personal issues that need addressing. We have been marred by sin, our sins, and by the sins of others but the good news is that our good and gracious God is into healing and loves all of His people. In thinking about all of this out loud with some friends, I shared with them my observation about the supposed juxtaposition between that of Biblical imperatives “(Do this, not that Put this on, put that off Don’t think that way—focus on. . .
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Filed under Community

True Freedom

By in Highlands Blog on

On this day that we celebrate our country’s independence from England, it’s good to reflect upon what freedom really is. There are lots of different definitions and lots of ways in which we can fall off the other side of the horse in our tireless pursuit of this thing. We tend to desire freedom from and freedom toward. We desire freedom from oppression, tyranny, taxes. We Americans have fought to free others even from these things so strongly is our natural bent away from a strong hand ruling over us. Half of Americans think that taxes are oppressive and half. . .
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Filed under Sanctification

Idols Among Us

By in Highlands Blog on

  I have a friend who has become obsessed with her health. And she’s not very sick. A little discomfort here and there. It is to the point that her husband is extremely frustrated with the amount of time she spends on research and the amount of money she spends on “experts” and the cornucopia of supplements. It has become her religion and by that I mean, the search for a cure is like a pilgrimage across a dusty land and this true believer will not be dissuaded by time or money or family obligations. I track with that situation. . .
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Filed under Sanctification

Koinonia

By in Highlands Blog on

Two weeks ago fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This caught my attention as I breezed through the news and reminded me of an incident that occurred during my own childhood. When I was growing up and attending public school, our junior high classes gathered one day to have a spelling contest where everyone had to participate. As I recall we were given little to no preparation for this exercise in which each one of us had to take a turn standing up front before everyone, be given our mystery word, and then attempt an accurate spelling.. . .
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Filed under Community

The Many Faces of Mission

By in Highlands Blog on

The Church looks upward when she worships God, inward when she seeks to build up the Christian community, and outward when she seeks to draw others into the Church. When we talk about this outward mission of the Church, we tend to talk the most about evangelism and international missions, which are certainly essential and important parts of the Church’s commission to disciple the nations. But these aren’t the only ways that the Church interacts with those outside. When we limit our understanding of mission to evangelism and missions, we run the risk of leaving certain good works undone and. . .
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Filed under Church

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
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