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.

Choose Life

By in Highlands Blog on

I was adopted at birth by Mike and DeEtte. God truly blessed me with a wonderful family and it’s a God story from start to finish, but that isn’t the story I am here to tell. This story is about a woman named “Maria,” my birth mother. She found herself in a miserable situation, she was pregnant, the father of the baby was married and was a friend of the family. She was terrified of what her family would do to her if they found out. So, she took her three-year-old son, got in her car and left. She lived. . .
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A Great Offense is a Good Defense

By in Highlands Blog on

  Do you understand the temptation of good things? As we walk through our Christian life, most of us agree that we are often tempted. As a “mom of many,” I struggle with the temptation to be angry and not patient and kind. I struggle with a temptation to be lazy in discipline, selfish, and critical. We agree that these sins are all wrong, bad for ourselves, our husband, and our children. But the greatest temptation I face day-in and day-out is the temptation to do good things. If I may point out a personal strength, I am a fairly. . .
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Is Our God Cruel?

By in Highlands Blog on

You may be like me and eager to see God’s hand in our daily lives. Knowing that there are no accidents in His kingdom, I give real gravity to things that others may not pay much heed to. But like a well-directed movie, nothing is happening on screen except what the Director wants us to see. And so we live our lives as best we can, pursuing good things like children, job opportunities, spouses, promotions, prizes, and the like. And if we’re paying close attention, there are lots of signals. If we’re pessimistic, we read them one way, if optimistic,. . .
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Creating Wealth

By in Highlands Blog on

Mike has nothing. He lives in a hole in the ground. He does have some strength, his mind, and his ambition. There is a piece of land near the hole he lives in with large trees on it. He strikes a deal with the landowner that if he’ll let Mike chop down one of his trees, Mike will carve a canoe out of it and give him half of the $10 he thinks he can sell it for. Mike goes to a hardware store and asks the owner to lend him a saw and hatchet for a few days in. . .
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Culture Wars

By in Highlands Blog on

When it comes to wars, the best ones are the ones where one side doesn’t know they are even in a conflict. That makes it quite easy for the aggressor to win, quickly and handily. Such wars are being fought for our very souls at the moment but we aren’t even aware of it. It’s the whole frog in the kettle thing all over again. The water is getting warming and we’re about to be burned but we’ve been mostly comfortable so no alarms are going off. The tension between the impulse to retreat totally and the dangers of being. . .
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God’s Ecosystem

By in Highlands Blog on

I was writing to a friend recently encouraging her in her distress by stating that the Church needs the needy like the oil that lubricates the machine. Without someone to serve the Church dries up. She would rather not be at the mercy of others’ largesse at this point in her life but that’s where God has her. It’s humbling to be the one the Good Samaritan has to rescue. But she is as vital to the work of the Church in her situation as those who are stepping in to meet her needs. My children are really interested in. . .
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In Defense of Simple, Godly Men

By in Highlands Blog on

On a wall in my house hangs a matted and framed charcoal rubbing of the cornerstone of the old Syrian Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Without the background of why that particular piece graces my wall, it seems rather odd and out-of-place in the rural country home of a southern boy. The coarse engraving is not hung because of the aesthetic value it adds to the room, but for the story it has to tell. It prompts our visitors to inquire, and to ask why. Our story involves heroes. Heroes are not only the notable people that have gained notoriety through great campaigns they. . .
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Filed under Church

A Multitude of Sins

By in Highlands Blog on

We are all guilty of treating the Christian life like an elaborate accounting problem. Credit this, debit that, in our attempt to stay in balance with God and each other. It doesn’t help that we all have undergone vastly different accounting training. What I though was ten points in my good deed column, you put down only two because you perceived that I had selfish motives. I know that I hurt your feelings last week but given how you’ve treated me recently, I think it’s a balanced account but you have me down twenty points because last week you weren’t. . .
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Filed under Relationships

Who is Sanctifying Who?

By in Highlands Blog on

The Lord works out our sanctification in many different ways. One of the most unexpected ways is through the discipline and training of our children. When I was a new parent, my assumption was that my children were there for me to sanctify them. I was to train them through my words, actions, and example of how to lead a godly life and follow after Christ. This is true, but it is not the whole picture. Children are there as much for our sanctification as we are for theirs. As we train, discipline, and rebuke our children, God is also. . .
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God’s Sovereignty and the Difficult Things

By in Highlands Blog on

There is a long bookshelf in our living room that holds more than twenty years’ worth of photo albums. My wife is a fantastic photographer and with her camera she has chronicled the birth and growth of our children, their birthdays, softball and basketball games, family vacations and other special occasions. We will frequently pull a random book off the shelf, sit together and enjoy these great moments all over again. If the house ever catches fire, those albums will be what I grab on my way out the door. Yet, as grateful as I am for the love and. . .
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Filed under Sovereignty

Planting and Resting and Trusting

By in Highlands Blog on

A farmer plants his seeds at the appropriate time in the spring and then waits. That’s it. There’s little else to do. He can’t hurry up the process of sprouting and growing. He can water. A bit but not too much. He can’t even weed for awhile because that could disturb the delicate seed-to-sprout process. He simply trusts that God will transform that seed into a plant and the plant into a food-bearing vehicle. Because the world in which we live in is much more complicated than that of planting seeds, we often forget the lesson that God was instilling. . .
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Filed under Faith

Random Book Thoughts

By in Highlands Blog on

  I love to read books about reading books. The passion an author has toward their books rekindles my own passion and the joy they get from a new acquisition or re-reading of an old favorite offers a warm handshake across the page as I connect with another soul who I think “gets” me. There are many way of organizing your books but by color is not one of them. Yes, it looks cool on Pinterest but please resist the temptation. How will you ever remember that Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full has a gray spine? I arrange my. . .
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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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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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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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