Uprooting Anger

How’s it going in control your anger this week? As we discussed in Sunday’s Respectable Sins message on “Anger,” you have to get control of your anger before it gets control of you. James 1:19-20 is a helpful passage to memorize and have at the ready when an opportunity for anger presents itself.

“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

In addition, remember the steps for uprooting anger:

  • See the Warning Signs – elevated heart rate and blood pressure, tense muscles, raised voice. Your body has its own “Check Engine Light” to warn you of increasing anger.
  • Wait a Moment – count to 10. Count to 100. If you need to, count to 1,000. Remember what Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
  • Pray for Love – while you are waiting, pray to Jesus for love. Pray for the love that Jesus has loved you with to spill over to the person who is angering you.
  • Get Help – if you struggle with chronic anger issues, get some help. Our Recovery & Support Ministry can help you process some of what’s behind your anger and help you move to a place of freedom from anger.
  • Trust Jesus – at the end of the day, all of our anger challenges are rooted in “unfaith.” Make this your prayer: “Jesus, right now I am struggling with anger, and I need your help. Not only do I need to be reminded of Your love for me and for this person, but I also need help trusting You. My identity is in You. You are ultimately in control. And Jesus, You were horribly mistreated on the cross for my sin. You know how I feel right now, and I put all of this in Your hands. Jesus, I trust You. Amen.”

As you rehearse James 1:19-20 as well as the steps for uprooting anger, might the Spirit of God remind you that you are a new creation in Christ. You have a new power within you to combat that old anger. Together, let’s press into the sin that hinders us from running the race Jesus has marked out for us.

I’m praying for you!

New Series: Prodigal God

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One of the best known of Jesus’ parables is the “Prodigal Son.” This touching story of a rebellious son, his judgmental older brother and their grace-giving father has inspired people for centuries. But the traditional title may not be entirely correct. Prodigal does not mean “wayward.” It means, “spend until you have nothing left.” To be prodigal is to be recklessly extravagant. While the youngest son squanders his inheritance, it is the father who pours out reckless, extravagant grace to both his sons. In this series we’ll encounter a heavenly Father who offers this same kind of reckless grace to all who ask, from the most rebellious to the most self-righteous. And along the way we’ll discover His reckless grace and love is the key to experiencing the life we were made to live.

Here’s the schedule for the series:

April 5 (Easter) – Prodigal God

April 12 – The Younger Brother

April 19 – The Older Brother

April 26 – The Father

For more information on Northshore and our Sunday worship gatherings, click HERE.

Join us at 8, 9:30, and 11 am (Children’s Ministry available at the 9:30 & 11 am services).

Patient Parenting

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Let’s be honest. There’s many a day in parenting when we want to pull a “Tony Hawk” and duct tape our kids to the wall. But then we hopefully come to our senses and realize this might not be the best parenting technique.

On Sunday as we continued in our Bad Dates, Roommates & Soulmates series, we talked about parenting with “Parental Guidance Required.” Parenting is rewarding but tough. As Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” As parents we have a few short years to steward this gift before our children leave the nest. Sunday, we talked about some effective ways to patiently parent your kids. Reflecting the heart of Paul’s virtues of love in Colossians 3:12-14, we used the acronym THiNK to help us live out and model Jesus’ love to our kids.

T – is what I am about to say Thoughtful? It is “full of thought.” Am I just shooting from the hip in my anger and emotion right now or is what I am saying emotionally measured? We talk about not disciplining our children in anger because we can easily go further than we really want to go. The same should hold true for what comes out of our mouth. In our anger, we’ll take away a privilege for a length of time that we’re going to struggle following through on. Or we measure out some form of punishment that doesn’t really fit the infraction, but because we lost our cool and we didn’t think it before we said it. In the moment, we can say and do things we shouldn’t. It’s decidedly unhelpful, and it only escalates the conflict.

H – is what I am about to say Helpful? In a conversation with my child, am I trying to help them or am I trying to win the argument and get them to shut up? Sometimes we have to curb the conflict, but we can do that in a helpful way. If you can’t say something helpful in the moment, don’t say anything at all. Sometimes, that means allowing your child to have the last word (as hard as that is). And then when some of the emotions subside, then go address what needs to be addressed. What you have to say will be much more helpful when you’re more calm.

N – is what I am about to say Necessary? We often get baited into the craziness and the intense emotions when the conflict begins. When we take the bait, not only is what we say not thoughtful or helpful, what we say is often not necessary. Because we’re flustered, sometimes we go on and on and on with our parenting lecture, and the point of our communication is lost because much of what we’ve said is not necessary.

K – is what I am about to say Kind? This is where I struggle. I’ve got a short fuse. And when the conflict erupts, my words easily lack kindness. There’s an edge to them. There’s impatience. There’s a lack of compassion. Therefore, there’s a lack of love… because love is patient and love is kind. I have to force myself to slow down, to think, to pray in the moment, and to evaluate whether what I am saying is kind. Is what I am saying demonstrating that I love my child? Even if I’m frustrated with them right now… can and will they still know that I love them through how I am talking to them. Is what I am saying kind?

This is a practical way for you to put on and wear these virtues of love and THiNK about what you say before you say it. You can still be a strong, firm parent who speaks and disciplines in love. If your words are thoughtful, helpful, necessary, and kind, even though your kids might not like what you’re saying in the moment of the conflict, they’ll know that you truly love them. And that’s what they need most.

In addition to God’s Word, here are some of my favorite resources on parenting:

Top 10 Posts about Parenting – These are from Pastor Ron Edmondson’s blog. He’s one of my favorite bloggers, and he has some very practical tips for effective parenting

Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens & Teens – I read a quote from this book on Sunday about teenage brain development. It’s been a personal “game changer” in how I view emotional interactions with my teenager

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus – This is a great book to help us with “gospel parenting.” As parents who are followers of Jesus, we don’t just want “good” kids, we want “gospel” kids who know, love, and serve Jesus for a lifetime.

Legacy Countdown App (iOS & Android) – A smartphone app that let’s you know how much more time you have with your kids in the home. When you count the weeks you have left with them, you stand a better chance of making your weeks count. Warning: you will cry!

I’m praying for you as you model Jesus’ love to your kids by patiently parenting your kids!

This Sunday’s Message is PG-13

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This Sunday, October 13, as we continue in our Bad Dates, Roommates & Soulmates series, I am preaching a message called “The Bedroom: Battleground or Playground.” As you can tell from the title, I’ll be talking about sexual intimacy in marriage. It’s going to be a PG-13 message.

If your children are Elementary age or younger, I would recommend not bringing them to the worship service. I will not be graphic or lewd in any way, but I don’t want to force you to have a conversation with them that they’re not ready for.

If your kids are in Junior High, use your discretion. If you’ve had the birds and the bees conversation, as well as the sexual ethics and morality conversation, they should be fine. I will talk about the dangers of pornography during the message.

If your kids are in Senior High, this will be a good message for them to hear. I will talk about God’s design for sexual intimacy, placing a special emphasis on why sexual intimacy is designed to be a part of a lifelong commitment of marriage between a man and a woman.

Thanks for your understanding. I would appreciate your prayers for me this week while I prepare and this weekend as I share God’s heart for intimacy.