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.

Beware the Mantra of the Unbelieving Life

By in Highlands Blog on

Submission is a dirty word to contemporary ears. It has considerably more than four letters, but often gets a more negative reaction than its abbreviated counterparts. We think it means defeat, which it doesn’t unless we are submitting to a loser. Luckily we already know who the Winner in time and eternity is, so we need not suffer that embarrassment. Much to the distaste of defiant grumblers, Jesus never loses. Questioning God Still, the world wants us to feel self-conscious for simply believing God and doing what He commands. They think that instinctive submission is naive and they proceed to. . .
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Filed under Faith, Social Issues

Planting Seeds in Your Children

By in Highlands Blog on

Parenting is a challenge on the very best of days, even for those whose chief aim is just to keep the kids alive for twenty-four hours. Trying to disciple a child at the same time as we try to help them be civilized, clean, helpful, and educated, is often overwhelming. What Christian parent hasn’t daily fretted about the missed prayers or times of deep talk or catechism and Scripture memorization? Missed days turns into weeks because Mom is pregnant and not feeling well and life becomes an hourly act of survival rather than what we always imagined—all the wee ones. . .
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Beware of False Friends

By in Highlands Blog on

There is an old missionary adage that goes something like, “Pay close attention to the first person who enthusiastically greets you when you get off the boat. That will be the first person who will try to kill you.” This saying resonates with us because we have all known folks who have received us warmly but then turn against us without warning or provocation. Of course this does not mean that we should view every warm enthusiastic person with the same level of suspicion or cynicism. Many people are genuinely friendly, receive us quickly and are without guile. But that. . .
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Filed under Relationships

God Talks to Us

By in Highlands Blog on

I think of it as awesome that God talks to us. Of all the persons on the planet that you would like to meet and get to know, wouldn’t the Creator of the universe be your first choice? Because God speaks to man, we can know why we are here, what life is all about, what is after all of this because we do see leaves change and fall to the ground. If somehow God were seated next to us on a flight, what might we ask Him that He hasn’t already revealed? By that I mean that He has. . .
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Dredging Up the Sand

By in Highlands Blog on

Withstanding the Tide The sea is always trying to take back the beach, the daily tides are complicit in this reclamation project. It’s not work for the impatient wave, but for those with a bit of resolve, the rewards are inevitable. The beach ultimately returns from whence it came. Some of our seaside friends know that they have only a few years before the ocean reclaims both the sand and perhaps even their vacation homes. We fight against it as best we can and dredge up sand from the water and haul it back and give ourselves a few more. . .
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No One is Safe…with God

By in Highlands Blog on

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?

By in Highlands Blog on

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

By in Highlands Blog on

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)

By in Highlands Blog on

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

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
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