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.

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

This is the Culture the Church Has Created

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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}

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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

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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

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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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Are You on Good Terms with Abortion? Why Words Matter

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Friends, we have lost control of the conversation about abortion. It’s our own fault. For forty four years we have not only acquiesced to a wicked and unjust court opinion in Roe v. Wade, but we also adopted the opposition’s definition of terms ensuring our failure. We stand by while millions of our neighbors are murdered and we carefully purge our language of offensive verbiage. We converse in terms of viability, legality, choice instead of humanity, justice, and sin. We beg sinners to love life while refusing to call them to repentance for pursuing death. We peddle faux compassion in. . .
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Are You Living the Gospel Before Your Children?

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Your Life Speaks Your children will do what you do, not what you say. Other familiar ways of saying the same thing are, actions speak louder than words, and more is caught than taught. Generally speaking, I agree with these statements. Not to diminish the significance of verbally teaching our children the faith, the benefit of these statements is that they remind us that our actions teach our children what we really believe. This is a difficult reminder for me. I regularly see my children sinning only to realize they learned that particular behavior from me. The sin of their. . .
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Be Steadfast {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Steadfast Faith In a world where people display the constancy of butterflies and changefulness of chameleons, be a sequoia. Sequoias are not only the largest trees in the world, but possibly one of the oldest living things on earth. They are broad, sturdy, tall, aged, and if they can be said to do anything, they stand. They stand there, year after year, growing in height and breadth. I think we may safely call them steadfast. We should be steadfast too. The prophet assures us: The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.—Isaiah 26:3. . .
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Filed under Faith, Women

Be a Protector for Your Home & Family

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Moving to the Country In June of this past year, my family purchased and renovated a home near our church. Our home is in the country, and my kids are getting to experience a childhood that is similar to mine and Brittany’s. We have wanted to make this move for a couple of years and the Lord has been exceedingly gracious to give us this place to call home. If you have ever moved to a new home, you know that the first few days are spent adjusting to this new environment and I felt ready and excited to get. . .
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Filed under Family, Parenting
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