Highlands Blog

Here you will find posts by the Highlands staff and friends of the ministry. This includes posts on Christian living from people we think will be helpful to you. We will also introduce you to new resources and special offers.

No One is Safe…with God

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Prosperity for the Righteous? We are told early on that old man Job had it all. He had a big happy family, a prosperous business, and was obviously a public figure in that he was “the greatest of all the people of the East.” Along with that, he never missed going to church. From what we know, he was conscientious regarding the spiritual state of his children, he had built strong friendships with others, and he was charitable toward the needy. To top it all off, the Lord Himself, said of Job, “there is none like him on the earth,. . .
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Are You a Yes Dad or a No Dad?

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I have spent no small amount of time over the last few years dissecting my parenting decisions when my children were younger, and personally flogging myself for the mistakes that I now see very clearly. I’m sure that many of you do this from time to time. In my case, it seems to have become one of my favorite hobbies. It causes a lot of wear and tear on the self-image, but it’s a lot cheaper than golf. When you realize a mistake in your parenting philosophy or practice, after you confess it and repent to God and your children,. . .
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Filed under Family, Parenting

When Trauma Hits Close to Home

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Wrapped in a white cloth with only his blood-covered face visible, my older brother Rich lay unconscious in the hospital bed. Wires and tubes protruded from under the cloth, making it almost impossible to identify him. “Is this Rich?” asked the neurosurgeon, standing in the doorway behind us. “That’s him, alright,” said my Dad. Looking down at my eighteen-year-old brother, I wondered how my Dad could be so sure. The blood and gashes marring his face made him look like someone else. “OK,” said the doctor, “we’re going to take him into surgery now that you’ve identified him. We’ll show. . .
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Does Commuting Kill Community? (pt. 2)

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Life is simpler when you live where you worship and work where you live. Geographically separating these three strands of life introduces all sorts of complications that take a great deal of common sense and godly wisdom to untangle. Instead of arbitrarily settling on work or home or church to be the center of your life, or choosing on the basis of convenience or high-minded principles, Proverbs 27:23 encourages us to “know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” The people in your household matter most. If they are flourishing even in the wild ride. . .
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Filed under Community, Family, Work

On Turning 50

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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?

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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

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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}

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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}

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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“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
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