I love December. While it may not be cold enough in Texas for nightly fires, I am enjoying the Christmas tree my family put up this last weekend. I hope that as you enter the hustle of the holiday season, you take time to reflect the birth of our Heavenly Father.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Here’s a few articles that I’ve found interesting lately…

1. Top 3 Blogs: Five Destructive Parenting Habits We Must Replace

via Growing Leaders

“Our generation of parents are riddled with fear. We’re scared our kids won’t make the honor roll; they’ll get pregnant; they’ll get abducted, you name it. Even though research shows that “stranger abduction” only represents one-hundredth of one percent of all missing children, we fret like it happens in our town every day. School shootings scare us into keeping our kids close and in view at all times. Imagine the message this sends to our young: The world is evil! Don’t take any risks. Never trust anyone. It’s enough to produce the most anxious population of American teens to date. So here’s my question: what if we replaced motivating kids with feelings of fear with encouraging them by using words of wisdom. Simply offering logical wisdom for each decision completely reframes their attitude and stifles their inner fear. Let’s be rational, not emotional.”

2. Grace-Paced Living in a Burnout Culture

via Desiring God

“But by connecting God’s grace more and more to our daily lives — by growing in grace — we can learn how to live a grace-paced life in a burnout culture.”

 3. Foster Care Explained

via Parents.com

Looking for some basic answers about foster care? This article from Parents does a great job concisely explaining the general questions people have about foster care.

 4. No, You Are Not Running Late! You are Rude and Inconsiderate!

via Tim Challies

“There is so much we don’t see. There are many people who love to do good to others, and they allow that doing good to others to take precendence over their schedules. My temptation is just the opposite, to refuse to do good because I don’t want to be late.”

 5. Parents: It’s Time to Wake Up about Pornography, Sexting, and Your Children

via Eternal Perspective Ministries

“If your child has a smartphone or has access to a phone, a tablet, online gaming console, or a computer, they are vulnerable. As a parent you might wonder, “Do I have the right to interfere? Isn’t that being nosey?” Your job is to interfere, and to know what is going on in your children’s lives, as well as what happens when they’re at friends’ houses and at school. You need to protect them, just as if you were standing next to a freeway and would feel an obligation to put your arms around them and say, “Stay off that freeway.”

 6. How Your Church Can Reach More Millennials

via Paul Alexander

“Research shows that millennials are most interested in marriage, parenting, and social causes (in that order). What is your church doing to help them navigate these issues and find real answers that will help them have a fulfilling marriage, become a better parent, and engage in real social causes?”

 7. Keep Christ in Christmas and Have Your Starbucks Red Cup

via Huffington Post 

So while some Christians may feel that their holiday is being taken from them, in my opinion, the reality is that it’s an opportunity to share your faith with others through action during a time period where it’s not so awkward! During the holiday season, more than others, it becomes more socially acceptable to do things like invite strangers over for dinner. So do it.

The holiday season opens up something awesome: an opportunity to live out your faith in a seriously awesome way.”

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