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.

On Turning 50

By in Highlands Blog on

Landmark Birthdays I’m young for my age and so all year till now, I’ve been watching my former classmates turn fifty and finally it’s my turn. Many of these same friends have Facebook pages filled with pictures of them with their college freshmen or even recent college graduates. I’m on a different path; Lindsay and I have five children and the oldest is but seven. Yes, I had a late start. And yes, she is much younger than I. Birthdays like this—when the AARP solicitations begin—are a time for reflection. I’m not at all where I thought I’d be at. . .
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Filed under Family, Marriage, Parenting, Work

Is Sexting Okay for Christians?

By in Highlands Blog on

When God arranged the first marriage in Genesis chapter two, there is the most interesting of comments that follows: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. What is sort of strange and wonderful about this is that, since Genesis 1:1, we have had only historic narrative and now, for the first time, we have commentary. At this point in the narrative, there were no sons and daughters, fathers or mothers. But the comment is inserted by Moses for all future couples and however that marriage is. . .
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Filed under Family, Marriage

Freedom & Tyranny in Your Small Town

By in Highlands Blog on

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. As Christians we know what true freedom consists of—freedom from the effects and consequences of our sin. Earthly freedom is of far less importance. A godly man can enjoy a free spirit though imprisoned, as our brother Paul aptly demonstrated. But of course, freedom of speech, of movement, of assembly, are a great blessing and one which we should desire for ourselves and our neighbors. And that is where involvement in the political systems of our towns comes to bear. Someone will be given the authority to make laws, to retract laws, to. . .
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What Should I Do With My Life? {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

By in Highlands Blog on

We all feel small. We fail at things. We sense our inadequacy long before anyone else ever notices it. When wondering what to do with our lives, insecurity often drowns possibility. The truth is, life isn’t about us, but we don’t find that out by taking an emotional inventory. If you run in Presbyterian circles, like I do, you’ll hear the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (What is the chief end of man?) rattled off ad nauseum as the complete solution to every practical question about work and life. You ask, “What should I do. . .
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Beating the Drums of War

By in Highlands Blog on

Picking Fights Americans love to fight! We are fighters and we are good at it. This presents us with a special temptation. Good fighters rarely walk away from a fight, even when wisdom would require it. They are prone to take up quarrels not their own. They take a dog by the ears (Proverbs 26:17), because they can whip the dog. Americans are good fighters and our history proves it. We have won wars against the British, the Mexicans, the Spanish, the Germans, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Iraqis, and more. The only war we really lost was the one. . .
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Filed under Government, Politics

The Spirit of the Age is Alive & Well in the Bible Belt

By in Highlands Blog on

I have lived in Tate County, Mississippi nearly all of my life. Tate County is made up of small Southern towns and rural communities, totaling just fewer than 30,000 residents. In terms of belief system, Tate County is predominately Southern Baptist. Politically, it is overwhelmingly made up of Reagan Conservatives and “blue dog” Democrats. Nearly every student attends public schools. Tate County is a typical Bible Belt county, which is a sign of strength and weakness. It is certainly more like Mayberry than Babylon. Nonetheless, it and communities like it are not free from the spirit of the age rooted. . .
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Filed under Church, Culture

Marriage: Are You Just Playing House?

By in Highlands Blog on

Honeymoon Bliss When a couple gets married there is the initial honeymoon period that is all bliss and adjustment. While they aren’t exactly sealed off from the rest of the world, their existence is pretty much wrapped up in each other for those initial months. However, while the foundation of a relationship that is laid during that period should endure, the day-to-day life eventually takes on a somewhat different tone. For Christian couples this tone should be defined with a distinct kingdom focus, one that keeps the entire world in view, not just our marital relationship. As we see in. . .
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Filed under Marriage

Why Community Fails

By in Highlands Blog on

Community Pool People have funny ideas about what “community” is. Some think that it’s formed by a list of rules like the sign you first see at a pool that states clearly: No Running, No Diving, No Alcohol. Just keep the rules and you can stay. Break the rules and you just might lose your pool privileges. Others think of community as being in the pool together; this is what they have in common. They are all in the water and they are all wet. Some pools have memberships and the members have the entrance codes to the gate and. . .
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Don’t Be a Narcissist {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

By in Highlands Blog on

A Revolutionary Act Giving thanks is a revolutionary act. Thankfulness is not intuitive for us as we sit calculating our wants and needs. On top of our own inequitable ideas of what we deserve, we find ourselves operating in a world crowded with misery and injustice and violence, where our suffering may indeed be the result of someone else’s sin. The innumerable manifestations of wrongdoing proliferate daily and are displayed publicly by absentee fathers, gossip mongers, child pornographers, smooth-tongued liars, hypocritical churchgoers, and a seemingly endless variety of miscreants. The stinging pain of all that sin presses in, trespassing in. . .
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Filed under Faith, Thankfulness, Women

What are a Young Woman’s Priorities?

By in Highlands Blog on

I took the liberty of collating and grouping the characteristics and assignments found in our two passages (Titus 2:3-5 and 1 Timothy 5:3–16). I believe this list provides both very specific instructions for what a young woman should diligently pursue and the way in which it should be pursued. “To marry” and “to love their husbands” The “love” in Titus 2 is phileo love, brotherly, or in this case, sisterly love. It indicates friendship and companionship. It is good to note here that an unmarried young woman practices this love of husband in the context of family with her biological. . .
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Filed under Parenting, Women

What Kind of Woman are You?—3 Categories in Biblical Womanhood

By in Highlands Blog on

Worldviews in Womanhood The Bible has much to say about women’s roles in the Church and home, yet it seems that even among conservative Christians, cultural views often take precedence over revealed truths. Interestingly, Scripture issues dire warnings of what will happen if we discount or ignore these teachings yet we still do not see the connection between our disobedience and the cursing we experience. The Church is failing to give daughters a vision for life purpose as outlined in Titus 2:3-5 and 1 Timothy 5:3–16. That these passages apply to all women. A literal application of these verses will. . .
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Filed under Parenting, Women

Why Christians Hate Each Other

By in Highlands Blog on

Firing Shots at Fellow Christians I remember this time when this friend of mine had a disagreement that turned into a fierce argument. We both shot at each other with bursts of sarcasm attempting to win what had moved from discussion into a contest. Problem was, this sad and disturbing display was semi-public, it was at the place where we worked and all around us were people who we had been witnessing to for some time. One of them addressed us in shock, “The two of you are fighting?!” That gave both of us pause, we stopped the verbal and. . .
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Filed under Church, Relationships

Confident World-Changing Prayer

By in Highlands Blog on

Prayers that Get to Heaven There are many prayers that only make it as far as the ceiling; they don’t make it to heaven and so they have no effect on the world. But in Ephesians 1, the Apostle Paul is absolutely confident that his prayers are not like that. He believes that his prayers are heard in heaven and he expects the world to be changed as his prayers are answered. So what gives him that confidence? Paul’s confidence in prayer is grounded on the truths about Jesus in Ephesians 1: 19–23, since Jesus has ascended to heaven, your. . .
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Does Commuting Kill Community?

By in Highlands Blog on

“The church has never really come to terms with the invention of the internal combustion engine.” Carl Trueman You can choose where you live. You can choose where you work. You can choose where you worship. Sometimes those choices converge, but usually balancing those poles of a life means commuting. Either you live close to your job and commute to church, or you live close to your church and commute to your job. Sometimes both. The time spent commuting can easily be redeemed, but it is much more difficult to counteract the de-stabilizing impact of a commute on a lifestyle. . .
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Filed under Community, Work

This is the Culture the Church Has Created

By in Highlands Blog on

In the early chapters of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick, Ishmael visits a worship service before joining a ship’s crew and heading out on his whaling expedition. The architecture of the church building he enters has a nautical theme and the pulpit is fashioned to resemble the bow of a ship. Ishmael comments on the propriety of this design: For the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the. . .
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Filed under Church, Culture, Preaching

Know Who Your Friends & Your Enemies Are {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

By in Highlands Blog on

Waging War Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?—James 4:1 Life together is difficult. I doubt many people will argue with that. We mount wars against each other when we should be blessed peacemakers. If we stop for a moment we can probably all think of an example of this in our own experience. The odd thing is that we keep looking for a serene existence all the while being led by our own desires to trample the perfect commands of God and grind. . .
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How to Be Bitter

By in Highlands Blog on

Bitter from Birth There exists a brilliant prescription for bitterness and we do not even have to wait in line at the CVS to pick it up. We are just born with it. From birth we have assumed that we are the center of the universe, that all of life and those other creatures we see around us exist to serve us. If we have very godly parents and at least one sibling, this notion becomes diffused a bit, though we suspect that the operating law is still valid but must be obeyed in light of several (annoying) amendments. We. . .
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Skinflint Stewardship

By in Highlands Blog on

Controlling Grip Maybe you’ve seen something like this: someone holds out a twenty dollar bill, but when the other person starts to pull it away, the first person holds on to it with a death grip. They only let go after an imposing glare or a final meaningful remark. The point of such an act is about control. Even when the money finally leaves their hand, the hovering presence of the giver still follows the money around, breathing down the neck of the receiver. This cash comes with strings attached. Scripture tells us plainly that the borrower is the slave. . .
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