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.

When Salt is not Salty

By in Highlands Blog on

  “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has become tasteless, how will it be salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown and trampled under foot by men” (Matthew 5:13). What is happening to America? In media outlets and other sources, secular and religious pundits bemoan various national trends of cultural and moral decline. While many politicians seek answers in new legislation, tax-cuts, reforms of various social and bureaucratic programs, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to this issue of cultural decline in the Sermon on the Mount. Preaching this most famous sermon. . .
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Filed under The Kingdom

Realignment

By in Highlands Blog on

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “If we all got together and put our troubles in a pile, each of us would go home with our own.” I’m remembering that story’s details poorly but the idea is sound. While we fret and complain about our troubles, they are distinctively ours (in God’s economy of course) and so we are uniquely qualified to deal with them. But it’s still good for us to hear about those that affect others. Modern life is fast and complicated and our lives have many, many moving pieces. Put one kitten in a room. . .
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If God Would Only Encourage Me

By in Highlands Blog on

I am presently meditating my way through the book, Everyday Glory: The Revelation of God In All of Reality, by Gerald R. McDermott. The author’s primary goal is to point out “types” of the gospel that exist in all of creation, for all of us to see, all the time. This is one of those books that I am likely to read again, immediately. The principle reason being that I am so personally encouraged about my own life through the content that McDermott presents. Let me give you an example. This is from the third chapter: So why do you. . .
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Filed under Faith

God is God and still, there’s gravity

By in Highlands Blog on

We still live in a fallen world and a world with built-in rules, both of which can result in pain. Some days we’re keenly aware of the fallen world and other days make us perplexed with “bad” things happening to us. Shouldn’t our status as God’s children protect us from this world? The world is a difficult place because of our sin and all of our efforts will be hampered by either our sin or that of others. We were promised as much when thrust out of the Garden of Eden. There’s still good work to do, but it’s going. . .
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Filed under Suffering & Grief

The Burden of Works Righteousness

By in Highlands Blog on

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30). We’re wicked, God is Holy, and the way to have peace with our God is only through trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. That should end the issue for us. It’s really simple. We bring nothing to the equation. We. . .
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The Poor

By in Highlands Blog on

Before we examine how the Christian and Pagan differently deal with the poor, we should try to figure out what God’s definition of poverty is. The Bible has a lot to say about the poor, almost all of it extremely sympathetic. There seems to be an assumption of victimhood as there is great concern that they are susceptible to being exploited. And in a world without hospitals and government safety nets, we can easily imagine how an injury to the bread-winner could quickly impoverish an entire family. With a call to help the poor, the Israelite would have to make. . .
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Filed under Community, Work

Is Salvation Enough?

By in Highlands Blog on

Here you are, born-again. Your sins are forgiven and you have peace with God through Jesus Christ. But are you satisfied? Are you experiencing a full life? Or are you living with an obvious, yet hard to figure out, deficit that makes Christian living more of a duty and nowhere near what could be considered a pleasure? What if I told you that even Jesus, who was sinless, always at peace with God, and who lived a perfect life, needed more as well?! What if I proved my point in such a way that you not only didn’t think I. . .
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Filed under Uncategorized

Fulfilling the Great Commission

By in Highlands Blog on

“I want to do something great for the kingdom of God,” we often hear. Spoken by singles who have no idea how to go about it but who have a few hours each week and are eager to make use of it. The gap between what a Christian can do between work and bedtime on a Tuesday and what a parent does over the course of twenty years is staggering and the tragedy is that too few American Christians realize that the real work exists without fanfare and back-patting and it’s not accomplished in a few hours each week. Yes,. . .
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Filed under Parenting, The Kingdom

Son, Saint, Sinner

By in Highlands Blog on

As I pass through this life as a Christian I do so with a perspective that was first, not my own, but now that I own it, it makes all the difference. For instance, I am a sinner. I know that. This means that I am in constant need of God’s grace and mercy and strength. I didn’t have to figure this out. All I had to do was read the Bible and the Word revealed why I struggle, fail, and am weak and that is good, good for me. It reminds me of a scene from one of those. . .
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Letting Me Handle the Reins

By in Highlands Blog on

It is interesting how just a little taste of something can awaken an appetite that you didn’t know you had. And obviously, that taste doesn’t have to be food. It can be an experience, a relationship, a word of encouragement, or an opportunity to use a latent gift. In 1990, I was a recently married salesman for an industrial gas company. We had just begun attending Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which was pastored at the time by Frank Barker, one of the finest, most humble and effective pastors I have ever known. Frank led a men’s Bible study. . .
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Filed under Preaching, Work

Beachhead

By in Highlands Blog on

I noticed a young woman reading her Bible at the Panera where I was studying. After getting my coffee refilled, I stopped by her table and told her how it encouraging it was, especially these days, to see someone privately reading the Word of God in a public place. She smiled, said “Thanks” and then gave me a wave later when she left. I see this godly activity a lot in places where coffee is served and people meet.That anonymous young lady represents everything gospel going on in our country. Hope is alive, tastefully dressed, and drinking a vanilla latte.. . .
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Filed under Culture

Transformed by Ink and Paper

By in Highlands Blog on

Recently I had the occasion to evaluate every book I own. Because our church moved offices, I packed up my entire library and relocated it to our new place. The process of efficiently packing books is a challenge for me. I find it impossible to simply shove them in boxes without flipping through the pages, glancing at my marginalia and underlines. When I glance across the titles on my shelves I see a timeline of my theological journey. Several volumes stand out to me as having been particularly influential at key points in my life. When I think back to. . .
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Filed under Education

And There Shall be No More Death

By in Highlands Blog on

Dear _______, I just heard about your boy’s death and I mourn deeply with you and your family. I’ve prayed often that I would outlive my children as the prospect of living without any one of them seems too hard. On reflection, it’s quite possible, in God’s perfect plan, that even as your boy lives eternally with his Savior, his early death means that he’ll live in your hearts in a more powerful way than he would have otherwise. Not a day will pass when you don’t reflect upon him, his smile, his character, his laugh. Perhaps accompanied by a. . .
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Filed under Suffering & Grief

Friends

By in Highlands Blog on

When determining how wealthy we are in friends, there is only one question that must be asked? What is a friend? The Bible gives us some direction here: A friend is wise, reliable, willing to rebuke us, loves us at all times and is closer than a brother. Presumably, a friend is also someone we like, someone we have things in common with and someone around whom we can be ourselves. On Facebook, some of us have thousands of “friends,” other sad folks have only a few hundred. Imagine if you truly had a thousand friends who were “closer than. . .
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Competing Storylines

By in Highlands Blog on

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. The Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away. These childish lyrics start innocently enough with a recognition of the season. Bells are prevalent and wonderful, they ring from church towers, they are played by choirs, they are a significant part of the festive decor adorning doorways and trees. But then, without warning, and surely for its iconoclastic shock-value, bell gives way to smell. The Caped Crusader is said to be malodorous! This is surely an adolescent attack on all that is True, Good, and Beautiful. The listener recoils realizing that. . .
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Filed under Uncategorized

The Faith of our Fathers

By in Highlands Blog on

The American political landscape is divided into two principal camps. We have official names for them, Democrat and Republican and nicknames like liberal and conservative or wackos and Nazis. It can mostly be boiled down to two opposing and fundamental opinions, either we believe our fathers had it right or we believe they had it wrong. Where we fall on the political spectrum is how strongly we feel about the job they did. “Our fathers were mostly right” makes you a conservative. “They never erred” makes you a right-wing nut job. It’s the same for the left side. If nothing. . .
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Filed under Church, Politics

Possessed

By in Highlands Blog on

Possessed. Now that is a selective word. We reserve such an evaluation when we want to describe unnatural or bizarre behavior. “They acted like they were possessed,” is what we say when reporting. “They were scary” or even, “They acted crazy” fails to convey our experience. And yet every person is possessed by some drive or emotion or desire everyday. We are all living under the influence of someone or something. That is why we dress the way we do and talk the way we do, to name just two everyday habits. You say, “I don’t care.” I ask, then,. . .
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Selling Jesus

By in Highlands Blog on

We’ve all been there, either at the giving or receiving end of a sales pitch. Giving it, we’re convinced the prey will never buy and on the receiving end, we’re convinced that the hunter will never leave us alone. No one wants to be sold something they don’t want. And if perchance we purchase, we’ll forever somewhat resent that person who “convinced” us we needed that product or service. And yet we love to buy things. Put a soft red sweater on display on a long wooden table with rock music playing overhead and we’ll gladly pass you six crisp. . .
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