Category: Engage the Culture Stories

Praying for our schools

This Sunday, August 14 prayer walks are scheduled for Duval & St. Johns County Schools:

  • 2pm- elementary campuses
  • 3pm- middle schools
  • 4pm- high schools

Participate in the prayerwalk at the school(s) you are zoned for.

Here are 10 prayers for schools:

  1. Love. “Father, may the students and staff of this school experience Your love through the Christians they know in profound and authentic ways” (John 13:35).
  2. Truth. “Lord, release truth in this school. Help students to rightly discern truth and not believe false teachings” (Proverbs 23:23).
  3. School board. “I pray blessings on each school board member (try to pray for them by name). Father, may your will be done at board meetings” (Romans 13:1).
  4. Principal, Faculty and Staff. “May (name of principal) recognize the God-given responsibility he/she has for the best interests of the children who attend the school. May the faculty and staff walk in wisdom, integrity, grace, and truth” (Proverbs 2:1-11).
  5. Failing students. “Lord, I ask you to encourage those children who are struggling with their studies. Strengthen their minds. Help their teachers and parents know how to help them learn. Protect them from feelings of worthlessness and shame” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
  6. Violence. “Lord, stay the hand of violence against the children and staff of this school. Dismantle any plan to bring harm to them. Expose any weapon brought into the school premises and render it harmless” (Psalm 34:7; 54:1).
  7. Christian programs. “Father, I pray for abundant blessings on programs that bring Christ into this public school. Help the groups who sponsor such programs function according to your Word and in harmony with each other. Bless the leaders and bring forth new and growing believers” (1 Corinthians 12:12,13).
  8. Christian students. “Grant the Christian students who attend this school wisdom and boldness in living out their faith. Help them share effectively the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ with their classmates” (1 Timothy 4:12).
  9. A chosen generation. “Father, may your kingdom come. From the students at this school, raise up a generation of people who worship you in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23,24; 1 Peter 2:9).
  10. An open door. “Lord, may there be an open door in this school for the gospel to be shared with students and staff. Allow full advantage to be taken of every opportunity to name the name of Jesus” (Matthew 7:7; 1 Corinthians 16:9).

School Loans CRIPPLE the Great Commission

student-debt

The debt 18-year-olds get into today to attend their dream school or just “go away to college” – will keep them from living for the glory of God.

Today, the average 18-year-old will go into major debt to attend college away from home just to get “the college experience.” This “experience” could cost them more in the long-run than they ever imagined.

Let me share with you a common story of today’s 18-year-olds.  Today, an 18-year-old will get into a college that takes them away from home.  This young person will take out college loans for living expenses, food, books, and probably classes as well.  This will not include the credit card they carry that buys them Chick-fil-A and new shoes when they don’t have the cash they need to get it.

After year 1, they will be in debt to the tune of about $10,000.  That’s one year in, and one year of college courses under their belt.  Don’t forget that credit card they are carrying.

After year 2, (still no degree) they will be over $20,000 in debt with no job and no degree.  Oh yeah, that credit card they carry is almost maxed out and they are just paying the minimum balance.

After year 3, they have declared a major have an associate’s degree and are excited about the future they are planning towards.  At the end of year 3 they are $30,000 in debt.  They are on track to get a degree in communication (because truthfully they don’t know what they want to do). They also now have 2 credit cards.  The first one is now maxed out.

After year 4 they feel a call to the mission field.  They are excited about this calling, and need only one more semester to get their degree.  So after four-and-a-half years of college they have a degree in communications, over $45,000 in student loans, and 2 credit cards nearly maxed out.  Oh yeah, and they want to be a missionary.

5 years after high school, with a college degree and a calling to the mission field they are now stuck working a 9-to-5 job just pay off that school loan.  Now the plan is in 13 years to head to the mission field- because that is how long it will take to pay off the school loan.  They will then be 35 years old…

The point is, the decisions an 18-year-old makes about college now, is going to impact their future and the future plans the Lord has for them more than they will ever know.

The average school loan debt is $30,000, for an undergraduate degree.

The average school loan debt is $57,000 for a master’s degree.

1-in-4 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $100,000.

1-in-10 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $150,000.

Years ago Pastor John Piper claimed that the very thing that keeps young people from going to the mission field is the guilt that comes from sexual sin.   While this may still be true, there is now something else creeping in, preventing missionaries from heading to the mission field, student loan debt.

Parents, you will be held accountable along with your 18-year-old.

Josh Glymph is the Pastor to High School Students at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com.

How Netflix Keeps Me from Sharing the Gospel with My Children at Home

Actually, Netflix is not the only thing.  I have created a list, in an attempt to repent of the things that keep me from preaching the gospel at home.  I am sharing this list in the hope that it will encourage you and lead you to repentance in areas that keep you from sharing the gospel at home.

  1. The Big Fat TV. Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, ESPN, HGTV, NFL network, Monday Night Football, College Gameday, Movies, The Office, Breaking Bad until I finished it.  How pathetic is it that I can allow the above devices and programs keep me from sharing the gospel at home. How pathetic is it that the list is so long.  How pathetic is it that in the end none of that will truly matter.  Lord, forgive me for making things that do not matter, matter.
  2. Football. Games, fantasy, college, pro, a different favorite group of teams at each level;  Friday night, Saturday and Sunday after church;  checking scores, checking standings, checking statistics;  watching pre-game, post-game and mid-week reports.  If I am not careful I can allow it to consume me.  Lord, forgive me when I make football and idol and allow it to blur my focus.  Lord, remind me daily that sharing the gospel is greater that any football game could ever be.
  3. Tired. I carry these titles: Husband, Father, Pastor, Employee, Student, Preacher, Guest Preacher, Bill Payer, Yardman, Coach, Teacher, etc.… I am not alone and I know more people who wear more hats.  But the hat I should wear first and foremost is Herald.  A Herald of the gospel.  And I must herald that gospel at home first!  Lord, forgive me when I fall short of this.
  4. Selfishness. I just want to sit there, read the paper, watch CNN, read a book, and go fishing by myself.  There are times I do not want to be “bothered” by others.  There are times I want to be left alone.  Lord, forgive me for the times that my own selfishness takes precedence over your gospel.
  5. Laziness. Sometimes I would rather do nothing, literally nothing.  Just be, just breathe, just exist, and just be quiet.  Lord, help me in times of laziness to know that I do not have time to be lazy.
  6. I get flat out busy. Much of my business is keeping my children busy.  From soccer practice, to basketball practice, to church the constant shuffle of kids along with feeding, cleaning and laundry.  Most of this my wife doing… When I am too busy I begin to believe the lie that I will make time tomorrow to do what is most important.  Share the gospel with my kids.  Lord help me to not get lost in my business.  Lord help me to place priority on sharing your gospel with my children even in the midst of business.
  7. “They do that at church.” It is not the church’s role to share the gospel with my children, it is my role as their father.  Salvation, discipleship and worship should all at the very least begin at home and very often occur at home.  Taking my kids to church should be the reinforcement of what is taking place at home, NOT where the only conversations about the gospel take place.  In my experience most children do not hear the gospel at church enough anyway.  Lord, help me to see that sharing the gospel at home, not expecting the church to do it, is what you have called me to.
  8. It is easier to place emphasis on ministering to others. I have family members that need the gospel.  I have neighbors that need the gospel.   I have friends I have met, and people at church that I serve that need the gospel.  Lord, help me to see that my first ministry is to my family. Lord, help me not be so hypocritical that I only focus outside my home.
  9. Sin. My sin makes me lazy, selfish and complacent.  My sin causes me to value things differently.  My sin causes me to place importance on the wrong things.  My sin tells me lies that I believe.  Lord, help me not to be blinded my own sin.
  10. Some days I don’t believe the gospel. Some days I wake up and don’t believe the gospel and do not take the time to remind myself of the gospel. Lord, on the days I do not believe you are better and do not believe your gospel, remind me of Romans 5:8.  Lord, remind me that you took my place.

 

Lord, forgive me for any instance in which I place any activity, any sin, any device before sharing the gospel with anyone.  Lord, help me to embrace my first ministry: to share the gospel often in my home.

– Josh

Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com

Aubrey Thompson’s Testimony to God’s Love

On October 16, 2013, Aubrey Thompson was critically injured in an automobile accident. His story and the way God worked to bring healing to him touched our community in an incredible way. Soon, his story had encircled the world as people prayed and interceded on his behalf. In this video, Aubrey and his family tell his story – a testimony to God’s love, healing power and grace in each of their lives.

Aubrey Thompson from Fruit Cove Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Festival of Hope

The Franklin Graham Festival of Hope is almost here. Many have prayed and prepared for this exciting time of worship and evangelistic outreach. You can learn much more at http://jacksonvillefestival.org/ and, to get a sneak preview of some of the musical artists who will participate, take a look at the following video.

A number of events are coming up in preparation for the event. Go to http://jacksonvillefestival.org/events/ for an overview and pay special attention to the crusade events on May 29-31.

There are many volunteer needs as well. You may go to http://jacksonvillefestival.org/volunteer-form/ to sign up.

We hope and pray that you will engage in the Festival and help bring hope to Jacksonville.

The Evils of Social Media… Part 2

social-media-image

Each week, I try to do a blog post on various topics. This week is on Social Media and its effects on our students. After doing a series with our high school students, of which social media being a part, I thought I would share some of my findings and how we can respond with you. You can see my other related blog post at fruitcove.com/how-social-media-can-ruin-your-teens/. I hope this encourages you to be aware of how it can effect your teen and what steps you can take to prevent some of the negative effects.

The Evils of Social Media… Part 2

 2 Weeks ago, I wrote a post about what I believe can be a trap and disaster for many teens:  Social Media.  Teens who operate social media unfiltered, inexperienced, and unaccountable is a disaster that will happen (not waiting to happen).  I would like to offer a short follow-up to that.  In the last post, we identified the problem.  Now we must answer how we as parents can help our teens honor God FIRST and be safe on social media second.  Here it goes…

  1. Follow them.  There is no good reason for a teen NOT to be followed by their parents on social media.  See what they post, see what they share.  This will do 2 things, 1- hold them to a standard of what to share and 2- help you to see what they their peers are talking about. Also don’t like or comment on their posts. Trust me when I say its just better this way.
  2. Monitor them.  Have a weekly or bi-weekly unannounced time where you go through their phones and computers.  Tell them you are doing it, and have them sit with you when this occurs.  I believe there is great value in doing this when they are around, not in secret.
  3. Talk with them about what is appropriate and not appropriate as it comes up and as you see it.  A win is your teen coming to you and asking what you think about post.  Another great way to talk with them is when a friend of theirs, that you know, posts some crude or shady and talks about it.  Ask your teens thoughts and discuss it.
  4. Offer Grace.  As we say ALL THE TIME at r12 Parent Worship – TEENS ARE SINFUL.  As parents we MUST be able to discern between when to bring the hammer and when to just correct.  There are times you need to look at your teen and say that was silly/dumb, take that down AND there are times when you need to take the phone/computer away and lock them in a dungeon for a few years.  If we want them to grow up, give them freedom but allow them to make mistakes.  Just be ready to offer grace.
  5. Look at what they follow, favorite, retweet and post. Go deeper than what you see them post; see what they value.  Who and what they follow and who and what they favorite call tell you a lot about that they care about.  If your teen is always tweeting about pizza, that means they love pizza.  If your teen is always posting about dating/sex/relationships/boys/girls that means they are into something else.
  6. DON’T stalk (follow) their friends… but DO frequently look at their pages/posts and see what they are putting out.  Not stalking their friends will get you some credit with your teen.  But doing research is what a smart parent does. So do your research, know who you want your teens around and who need to be shut out.
  7. Snapchat is weird.  Plain and simple, Snapchat is an app that lets them take pics that others can view for 1-10 seconds and then they are “deleted.”  I would have a healthy discussion with your teen about the ramifications of an app like this.  How, what can be sent and what they can send can impact for eternity.
  8. Honor God.  The goal must be in all this to honor God.  Social media is fun and can be useful and it is yet another tool that we as parents can use to teach out children about honoring God.  One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is that we are not worried about what others do/have done.  We honor God even if we are standing alone.
  9. Read: “SCREEN AND TEENS” by Kathy Koch. It is $10 on Amazon and $4 for Kindle/paperless.  Dr. Koch was recently on Focus on the Family discussing social media and teens.  She has incredible insight and VLOG’s quite frequently.  Check her out here: www.drkathykoch.com
  10. Don’t be a hypocrite.  As parents we must be faithful to practice what we preach.  If your teen sees you/catches you viewing thing online that do not honor God (porn/violence/etc…) then all you have to say about what they look at goes out the window.  We CANNOT be parents who say “do as I say, not as I do”.  Jesus said follow me.  Parents should respond in the same way, “follow my example.”

– Josh

How Social Media Can Ruin Your Teens

 

Satan’s newest weapon aimed at teens: Social Media.

 

  • 81% of teens (ages 12-17) are on social media.
  • Only 3% of boys and 17% of teen girls have NEVER seen internet pornography.

 

Recently at r12 (our high school worship service) we discussed the impact of social media/technology on Christian teens.  We talked about the dangers of social media for teens; the problems with selfies, and the drama the “likes” create.  The most disturbing part was the amount of sexual activity and pornography that takes place in social media.

 

I hope to scare you as a parent about some FACTS with social media:

  1. Your teen DOES NOT need a smart phone or to be on social media. By definition they are NOT an adult and you pay the bills. I’ve said it forever, it is better to have a sober, out of jail, under my roof teen who “hates” me; than to have a sexually active, needle in the arm, porn addict, pot head that is on a different couch each night.

 

  1. If adults make poor decisions with social media, and often times do not handle it properly (I have been guilty,) then what kind of fool are we if we give it to a 13 or 14 year old.

 

  1. If you allow your daughter to post pictures of herself in a bikini on social media, grown and even married men will look at these pictures as a form of pornography. So will many, many of their teenage friends, both male and female.  The truth is, too many of our young ladies are not mature enough yet to make a decision of what they should or should not post on social media yet.  Just as bad is the self-worth and value they find in themselves based on what is said on social media about their body.  The parent who lets their 15 year old daughter post pictures of their “body” online, will have to answer to the Lord one day for leading their CHILD into sin.

 

  1. Social Media will lead your kid to pornography. PERIOD. There is not a tool or app out there that can 100% protect your teen from seeing pornography when they spend a good bit of time on social media.  A parent can however help them deal with this and run from this.

 

  1. Social Media can lead your teen to find their identity in a number. A number of likes, comments, or shares rather than how God knit them together in their mother’s womb can define them. The parent’s job is to teach them they are more valuable than a like.

 

  1. Your teen WILL BELIEVE what they read on social media, true or not. Social media is just as real to teenager as going to school. It is not a virtual world, but part of their world.  Therefore Twitter accounts that describe what is romantic (rather than the scriptures) will be believed.

 

  1. Your teen will witness, be part of, or be the victim of bullying as a result of them being on social media.

 

  1. Social media handicaps a teen’s social skills. Things like looking people in the eyes, shaking hands, holding a conversation without texting. And bigger things like speaking truth or when reconciliation needs to be pursued, these type conversations are much easier and less meaningful and fruitful over social media. Recently a “friend” of my wife made assumptions about my wife based on what she perceived on social media. She then sent her a ridiculous inbox message about the issue, filled with things that she would have never said to my wife’s face. This is what social media has the power to do relationally.  Fracture.

 

  1. It’s evident that you don’t follow your teen on social media by the language they use… Teens will say things and re-post things on social media that they would never say in front of their parents.  Do you know what they are saying?  Ask them to show you…

 

  1. If your teen is not responsible enough to drive a car, they are not responsible enough to handle social media properly. Currently there is an age “suggestion” on social media, but nothing preventing a 13 year old from getting on Twitter.  As parents, we need to help our kids discern when they are ready for different things in life.  Dating, staying home alone, getting a job, driving, for example.  Social Media needs to be viewed through the same lenses.  We must guide them in this process.

 

God created us as relational beings, in His image to be in relationship with Him.  This is a good thing.  Social media was created to a relational end but it is much more than that now.  I use social media and believe, managed properly it is a great tool, as well as a way to stay connected. I have been greatly encouraged through it as well as humbled at times.  Wisdom and discernment are needed though for anyone who chooses to use these devices.  And two areas teens really need help in are the areas of wisdom and discernment. Guide them well.

 

– Josh

 This blog post was written by Joshua Glymph, High School Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can contact him at josh@fruitcove.com.

Engaging in Controversial Cultural Issues: Secret Church 2015

Engaging in Controversial Cultural Issues: SC15 from Radical on Vimeo.

Must the church engage in controversial cultural issues? Can’t we just believe in Jesus and go to church?

At Secret Church 15, David Platt will lead us to see what the Word of God has to say about cultural engagement. Go to Radical.net/SCsimulcast for more information about registering.

Secret Church. April 24, 7pm.

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