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Riding in a boat, sleeping on a cushion | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

It had been a busy day, and Jesus was exhausted. It was late evening and crowds of people had swamped Him with their needs. He said to that special group of His disciples, “Let’s slip away to the other side of the lake”. So they took Him along, just as He was – no change of clothes = and put Him on board a small fishing boat. He walked directly back to the stern, dropped His parcel to the deck, and stretched out on a cushion and went to sleep. The disciples had hardly got the boat under way when a furious squall suddenly arose, and the waves began to break over the bow as it plowed eastward. But in His weariness, Jesus kept on riding in the stern, asleep on the cushion.

Life Lessons from Living at The Inn

Recently,  in reading Mark Batterson’s book, The Grave Robber, I discovered the term “inattentional blindness” – also known as perceptual blindness. A Wikipedia article regarding  inattentional blindness says “it may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight. As I read the definitions, I realized that could illustrate some of the 10+ years that I lived in The Inn.

The Bond of Peace

I was reading in the book of Ephesians this morning, and my eyes were suddenly glued to chapter 4 verses 1-3.  I suppose because The Inn is a forty year-old ministry to the reconciliation of families, I found a new light shining in this scripture: 

I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

First Family

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.     — Ephesians 5:31-33

What a high calling marriage is!  The first command God gives  to man following the creation of woman is to leave mother and father and cleave to his wife (Genesis 2:24). Adam did not have earthly parents, which makes this scripture, written in the beginning, even more extraordinary and weighty.

Remembering Our Roots On This 4th of July | Susan Pons

Remembering our Roots on This 4th of July!

Charles Finney (1792-1875)

We desperately need a Charles Finney in our country today. In these turbulent times in our nation, Christians must stand and cling to their God given, pre-ordained place in the affairs of our America. Finney states it best:

The Church must take right ground in regards to politics….The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…

God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground.

Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God… God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.


Charles Finney understood the roots our America were founded upon. It was a spiritual happening when the Pilgrims landed on our shores;

On Family | Jay Fesperman

God created family for the fulfillment of HIS plan. HIS purpose, HIS pleasure… Man’s family was to be God’s instrument of preparation, of training for His people to learn how to live in fellowship with Himself and His Son… In the unfolding plan of God, the family of man is a most vital link.

His Land, Our Land 2015

What an amazing weekend it was here at CTCI  as we gathered together with guest speakers Dave Kubal (President of Intercessors for America) and Larry Tomczak (Executive Director of The Awareness Group) for a time of relevant discussions and engaging intercessory prayer for our nation! In this controversial and shifting season in our nation’s history, we were able to witness the presence of God firsthand as He spoke words of life, power, and readiness to His Church. We were incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to host both Dave and Larry, and even more blessed to have had the Lord share His heart with us during this year’s His Land, Our Land Conference.

If you would like to purchase the full audio set of this year’s conference, please email info@lifeisrelationships.com with your request.

Audio Download (full set) = $12   ||     CD Set = $25 + $5 shipping (shipping optional)

 

 

Two-Souled People | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

One more! LOVING vs. GOSSIP. Why is gossip such an attractive thing to the human personality? It is a strange way of relating, isn’t it? James says in [chapter] 3:9, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and FAther, and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing”. We walk up to a brother and say, “I love you in the Lord”. Then when we are with someone else, we say gossiping things about him. Wow! That’s really being DOUBLE-MINDED! Again, the problem is something within our-SELVES that we need to face. Probably, we have a very low image of [ourselves]. Or we are carrying . . . rejection for one reason or another, and we build [ourselves] up by tearing down a brother. We salve our hurt by hurting another.

There are few absolutes in the world. I know of only a couple: the WORD of God, and GOD HIMSELF. In almost everything else, there is the constancy of change. Autos were developed as a mode of transportation. Now they are either a toy or a status symbol. Football, baseball, basketball, and tennis were games to play for fun and exercise. Now they are business, used to sell all kinds of products. Our houses were the abode and meeting place for “family”. Now they are hiding places and entertainment centers for frustrated individual spirits [who are] searching for “reality” and not finding it. The social mores of the people of America are radically different from that which came forth in the settling of this land [only] a short 200 years ago. And the system of law under which we are governed is a far cry from where it was just 50 years ago.

And in all this, God is seeking to bring us to the realization that we who are the Body of Christ must come into some radical change in our own personal relationship with Him. So, the problem of being a double-minded person must be faced candidly and openly. In Colossians 2:8 Paul warns us to “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the ‘world’ rather than on Christ”. Now, that is one of the most pertinent things the Bible says about the day in which we are now living. Human tradition , or HUMANISM, as it is known today, simply says, “Do your own thing. Follow the world’s viewpoint, and have more fun! You can be a Christian and still be the beneficiary of the world’s concept of Life”. But Jesus says, “NO!” Straight from the shoulder, James fires this salvo: “YOU ADULTEROUS PEOPLE, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God?” And for emphasis he adds, “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an ENEMY of God” (James 4:4).

One of the “Guidelines for Parents” [that] Sally and I give in our teachings is this: SET HIGH STANDARDS EARLY. A standard of behavior is meant to eliminate DUPLICITY. Being double-minded causes young people to seek to follow two sets of standards – one for inside the home, another for outside the home (out in the world”). Christian men and women must work diligently to eliminate that latter set of “standards” and the resultant relationships.

God’s Word to me personally, a long time ago, was, “YOUR LIFE IS MY MESSAGE TO THOSE AROUND YOU”. In the establishment of the first church in Acts 2:46, Dr. Luke says, “Every day they continued to meet together . . . , and they broke bread and ate together with gladness and SINGLENESS OF HEART”. That word “SINGLENESS”, in the original language that Luke used in writing this account, has a very clear meaning: TO ELIMINATE DUPLICITY!

Because of our NATURAL background, namely that “we are, by NATURE, children of wrath”, we must recognize that we still often find ourselves dealing out of two personalities – “THE OLD MAN” and “THE NEW MAN”. Since the devil was and is the “lord” of the “old man”, we absolutely must give top place in our “new man” to the RULERSHIP of Jesus, our LORD. Well, praise the Lord! The Spirit of His Son, the SPIRIT OF OBEDIENCE, dwells within us. Let’s allow Him to set our standards AND our patterns (our LIFESTYLE), as we seek to move towards the ONE SET OF STANDARDS He gives . . . us in His Word. And again the Apostle James says, using that unique phrase, “PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YOU DOUBLE-MINDED”. And then he adds, “Humble yourSELF before the Lord, AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP! (emphasis mine). Yes, we take the first step AS AN ACT OF OUR WILL, and God’s promise is that HE will bring us to “maturity” as we become SINGLE-MINDED!

-Jay Fesperman

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 37, March 1984.

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

All the members have been given gifts, a call, and authority to exercise those gifts. But they must be under someone’s control; otherwise there will be chaos. Thus, as the Church, the Body of Christ, is growing up and maturing into what she has been called to be and do, all the functions of ministry must be under the rule, the government which the Lord has set in place. Sometimes, there are restraints prematurely put upon the flow of ministry. But we have to remember that everyone in the church was a rebel, and that characteristic has not been totally removed. We still want things “our way”, to “do our own thing”. We haven’t put way childish things. But both forms of authority are given, that we might all come to maturity. So Paul tells Timothy that a man must manage or RULE his own household well and get obedience and respect from his own children. At home or in the church, ministry and rulership both must be established. A very simple principle evolves within this distribution of authority: “The more effective the MINISTRY is exercised, the less GOVERNMENT is needed. So, top priority should be given in ministry.

His Land, Our Land 2015 | Dave Kubal

We at CTCI are excited to welcome Dave Kubal as one of this year’s guest speakers at our His Land, Our Land Conference. Join us as we delve into in-depth analysis of current events in the middle east and discover relevant issues surrounding key world figures – Israel and the United States. It is at this vital time in history for the “watchmen on the walls” to pray and make intercession. Come be a part as we hear from the Lord and discover how we can effectively partner with Him in bringing about His purposes in the world.

David Kubal is President of Intercessors for America, a 35+ year-old organization uniting believers in effective fasting and prayer for America. With over 25 years of national ministry experience, Dave is a seminary-trained ordained pastor and former Vice President with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has a heart to share God’s vision for America with others, and has written several Bible studies and workbooks using material from his talks that are currently being published due to popular demand. He brings a powerful message for Christians seeking to deepen their prayer life.

To register or for more info on the His Land, Our Land Conference, visit lifeisrelationships.com

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

. . . in the closing words of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples, “ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” (emphasis mine). In His prayer to the Father in John 17:2, Jesus said, “For you granted [me] authority over all people”.

Paul says in Colossians 2:10, “. . . you [we] have been given fullness in Christ who is the Head over every power and AUTHORITY”. So all authority comes to man from God, the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son. Thus, Jesus Christ has AUTHORITY over ALL authority. For example, in Matthew 10:1, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them AUTHORITY to drive out evil spirits, and to cure every kind of disease and sickness”.

His Land, Our Land 2015 | Larry Tomczak

We at CTCI are excited to welcome Larry Tomczak as one of this year’s guest speakers at our His Land, Our Land Conference. Join us as we delve into in-depth analysis of current events in the middle east and discover relevant issues surrounding key world figures – Israel and the United States. It is at this vital time in history for the “watchmen on the walls” to pray and make intercession. Come be a part as we hear from the Lord and discover how we can effectively partner with Him in bringing about His purposes in the world.

Larry Tomczak graduated cum laude from Cleveland State University where he served as president of the student body. After a position at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, D.C., he became involved in a city-wide teaching ministry and for the past forty years has given himself to planting churches, training leaders and authoring eight books, including the quarter-million best seller Clap Your Hands, plus Divine Appointments and Reckless Abandon. He is Executive Director of The Awareness Group (T.A.G.) and has four children. Larry and his wife Dorris were wed in 1976 and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

To register or for more info on the His Land, Our Land Conference, visit lifeisrelationships.com

2015 Summer Internship – Week One

Week one of the 2015 Summer Internship has come and gone. Fourteen interns have joined our staff this summer from all over – Brazil, Switzerland, LA, CA, FL, KY, GA, NJ. Week one is a most enjoyable week of labor at CTCI; long days, hard work, and lots of sweat have become the perfect agent to break down individuality and form family.

Enjoy this comical expression on week one!!

His Land, Our Land 2015

One of the most distinguished Bible scholars and speakers in Israel of these times, Lance Lambert lead the way in showing us not only how to love and pray for Israel, but also how to live our lives in holy sacrifice to God.

As we look forward to this year’s “His Land, Our Land Conference”, we reflect back on Lance’s life (1931-2015) and the words of the Lord he brought in years past. We hope you enjoy this video of him, and we hope to see you this year as we seek the new things that God has to share with us!

To register or for more info on “His Land, Our Land Conference”, visit lifeisrelationships.com

Rules for Holy Living | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

The children of today’s young adult generation will be the source of the leadership for the people of God. That generation will also supply the leadership for the people of God. That generation will also supply the leadership for governments, the educational systems, and all other institutions of the world. We must be aware that the present generation of the PEOPLE OF GOD – THE BODY OF CHRIST – has an immense responsibility. We must determine who will train, or disciple, these kids: Society? Our educational systems? The State? No. None of these!

Headlines of the Day | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

In another one of his great letters to the churches, Paul told another body of believers they needed to have a mind-transformation. In Philippians 2:1-4 he said, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being LIKE-MINDED, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Not only are we to take our mind off the world, but we are to “save the mind” by getting our thoughts off ourselves and onto other people around us. Paul, using the same language, tells Titus to “encourage the young men by being SELF-CONTROLLED. In everything set them an example.” (Titus 2:6-7a). It’s the same Greek language Luke used when he reported that “Legion”, having been delivered of the many demons, was”clothed and in his right mind.”

Headlines of the Day | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Headlines of the day: “Mt. St. Helens Erupts Again!” “One Million Ethiopians Face Starvation!” “Soviet’s Expected Wheat Crop of 230 Million Tons Reduced by Weather to 180 Million Tons!” “Daily Rate of Abortions in the 1,000’s!” “U.S. Dollar Declines Again on World Market!”

Changing Things…By Prayer (Part 3 of 3)| Jay Fesperman

Now, there is one more thing: believing that we have a great High Priest, an intercessor – Jesus Christ, seated at God’s right hand. We hear Jesus say something like this, “Now, Father, you hear what Jay is asking; release it to him, in My Name.”

If we pray the way Jesus told us to, we will pray to the Father, “in Jesus’ Name.” “The Father will give you whatever you ask IN MY NAME,” Jesus said (John 15:16). But then He says, “In that day you will ask IN MY NAME. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No. The Father HIMSELF loves you because you have loved Me AND HAVE BELIEVED that I came from God” (John 16:26-27). What is Jesus saying? I think He is trying to get our identity with the Person of God, the Father settled into our spirit, by clearly defining to us who He is as He relates to the Father, and who He is as He relates to US.

Two-Souled People | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

In working with so many young-adult Christians who lacked a lot in living a disciplined personal life, we have come to appreciate more and more the short Epistle of James. In this short letter, he shoots straight at the target in a way few other writers of Scripture used. Some of his jibes are uniquely different, and often, the words he uses show up nowhere else in the Bible. One of these unique words in the original Greek is “dipsuchōs”.

No other writer of Scripture uses this word, but James chose to use it twice, both in 1:8 and in 4:8. It is a combo of “dis” (meaning “twice”), and “psuchē” (“a soul”). In other words, a DOUBLE-MINDED MAN is a TWO-SOULED man.

The Greatest Gift

As we enter into the Christmas week let us keep our eyes on the greatest of treasures. May all of us enjoy time with family and fiends, but may our greatest delights come in Jesus!

“Turn Your Eyes…

For more information on Lilias Trotter & Helen H. Lemmel:
http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Music/hymns-the-songs-and-the-stories/turn-your-eyes-upon-jesus-the-song-and-the-story.html

For more information on Simeon: 
Luke 2

For more information on Jesus:
Ask. Seek. Knock. Read. Pray. Walk. Enjoy.

 

A Believer’s Daily Proclaimation

As believers we are so incredibly blessed both to know and to be known by our amazing Lord and Savior. I would like to invite you to join me in proclaiming the following truths regarding what we believe and the fruits of our believing. As this Christmas season draws near, let’s celebrate together the wonder of the life we have in Him!

7 Reasons We Give Thanks

For many the yearly harvest has come to an end; the ground has yielded its final portions, yearly goals for work are due, and grades at school are almost posted. It is soon coming to the close of 2014, and a wonderful time to pause and give thanks.

Thank you, Lord, for the labor you have given to us this year at CTCI. Any and all fruit that has come through our labors is to your Glory!

Thank You Lord for FamiliesInnvision Fam

Family is God’s will, the building blocks of the Church, and the greatest of human structures. It has been a blast, a joy, an absolute blessing to watch families strengthened and restored at CTCI. Thank You Lord for new friends, for examples to look upon, for families that desire to honor you before all other callings!

Enjoy this beautiful testimony from the Earl family after two weeks of INNvision.

Thank You Lord for Young Men and Women that Love Jesus

The Lord is faithful to mature His children and raise them as a light to the nations. We have watched this process take place over and over this year: young people from from all over the world, growing in the image of Jesus. Thank You Lord for the harvest of young adults You are reaping, men and women that have caught a glimpse of “Christ in them, the hope of Glory”.
Young Peeps
TEEN Programs
YOUNG ADULT Programs

Enjoy this extremely silly, and hilarious, video of two of our Summer INNterns recapping the summer.

Thank You Lord for Godly Leadership

As a relatively young “Timothy” in ministry, I am indebted to the “Pauls” – God has placed in my life. Thank You Lord for the leadership here at CTCI that patiently grooms me (us) with Your hands. Sacrifice. Vision. Constant. Bold. Firm. Patient. Trusting. Faithful.

For all the faithful shepherds that have endured with “Timothys” over the years, THANK YOU. The younger need you. We want you. We desperately need the example of your faith, and your loving encouragement – and correction – that helps guide our lives!

 “Follow me, as I follow Christ” – Godly Leadership

Thank You Lord for an Extraordinary Board of Directors

Board

The Lord has been extremely gracious to us in the caliber and servant leadership of the Board of Directors of CTCI.  They tirelessly partner with us to ask God for a vision of The Inn for the future, and to work out the nuts and bolts of how to operate in the day to day.  They personally pour into the staff here with both encouragements and challenges.  Thank You Lord for sending such a special group who continually “lift up our hands” in this battle for families and young people.

Thank You Lord for Susan Kovaka

Susan Kovak

It has been an honor and a privilege to have had Susan and her family here at CTCI for the past four+ years. Ms. K’s passion and fire to see people’s lives redeemed and lived out powerfully in Christ has rallied our hearts. Her decorator’s touch has beautified the Inn – inside and out – in every season, and her passionate writing has inspired us with each fresh message of hope. Starting this December, Susan is pursuing the dream the Lord has given her to see women set free from human trafficking and prostitution. Thank You Lord for the blessed time she has spent here with us, and for the powerful work You are taking her to this next season.

Ms. K, you are truly a fireball 😉 … we will dearly miss you.

Thank You Lord for All Who Have Faithfully Supported CTCI

This year at the Inn, the Lord has showed up time and time again in many ways. There have been numerous times when a great financial need has been met with the Lord’s provision through faithful people responding to the nudge of the Holy Spirit.  We have also witnessed many healings and powerful breakthroughs in people’s lives because of the prayers of the saints and the work of the Holy Spirit. Thank You Lord for co-laborers in this glorious Gospel!

Get Connected Here 

Thank You Lord for You

One of the greatest gifts you have given to us, is the ability to see and express thanks of You. You Lord, we thank You.

You Lord – and not your gifts are our greatest delight. To know You, to see your goodness, your love, your endless mercy that blanket the skies. You Lord – and not your promises are what we cling to. Our heaven, our treasure, our future delight is in You.

Thank You Father – for your sovereign love.
Thank You Jesus – for your sufficient sacrifice.
Thank You Holy Spirit – for allowing us to see, and embrace the Glory of God.

Thank You Lord.

Feasting on Thanksgiving | Desiring God

In a week, most of us in the United States will gather as family and friends around a table and share in the lavish feast we call Thanksgiving.

The tradition of setting aside a day to give thanks extends back to the earliest days of the U.S. The Continental Congress proclaimed a day of national thanksgiving in 1777, and President George Washington proclaimed one in 1789. After 1815, the practice disappeared until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln established an annual national holiday of Thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November.

Into the Darkness You Shine

This testimony of renewal is written by a beautiful girl in our INNsight Program for young adults. She is finding freedom in Christ, and in wholeness she is enrolling in college. God provided a job for her during her program that was a perfect fit for her talents and interests. She was surrounded by people who loved her while she worked and people who loved her when she was here with us. We are cheering her on as she sprints to the finish line of her program. In Him, all things are new!

“Into the darkness You shine. Out of the ashes we rise. There’s no one like You.” This song describes my story exactly. I was trying to be a Christian for a long time but remained broken inside because until I came to The Inn I wouldn’t allow God’s Word to shine into those dark places inside of me. Once the light of Christ shined in, this burnout deadbeat who went to church on Sunday and chased the next high on Monday began to rise from the ashes as a brand new creation to be set on fire in a new way, a heavenly way, and with a fire that will not run out. Oh, there is no one like Him! There is no one else who could take someone like me, corrupt in all my ways and turn me into a pure and righteous child of God. I’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.”

Give me your hand

When our children were young we taught them to immediately place their hand in ours when we asked for it. We would say “Give me your hand”, and they would come to us and place their hand in ours. This is great when crossing the street or in busy store.

Other-Centered Children

Parents must make a conscious effort to raise other-centered children since children are naturally self-centered. Self-centeredness is inherent in the sin nature we are born with, so the characteristic of other-centeredness must be taught and cultivated in the family. It comes through example, culture, and through training in rejoicing for others. Celebrations are a great opportunity to develop this habit. At birthday parties a parent can make sure to provide gifts only for the birthday child, and to prep the other children ahead of time that this day is a celebration for that child only. If the other children pout or cry, the parent has an opportunity to develop an other-centered heart within them through discipline and admonition.

Proclaiming The HOPE We Have

Have you ever spoken with someone who seemed hopeless? If so you know that being without hope affects everything:  words, decisions, appearance and life in general. We are not without hope and that is a  wonderful reason to celebrate. Join us in making this proclamation and let’s celebrate together ‘Christ In Us The Hope Of Glory’, may we help bring hope to the hopeless…

Jay Fesperman on Fulfillment in Family Relationships

If we learn to handle responsibility at home, we will more likely know how to handle responsibility in the body of Christ. With the gifting of God, in the Holy Spirit, we all have responsibilities in the Kingdom. “You are a kingdom of priests!” A husband cannot fulfill himself; it takes a wife. Fulfillment is the key to successful relationships. A father cannot fulfill himself; it requires a son or daughter. A brother cannot fulfill himself; he needs a brother or sister. It is the responsibility of the family to provide the learning about the nature of fulfillment, or maturity, in the Body of Christ.

Discipleship

Discipleship is messy; there is no way around it. Imperfect people, following a perfect man, while persuading others to join the impossible task??? If it were not for the internal work of God in us, this is exactly what it would be. But with Gods help, being a disciple and making disciples – is an incredible joy. Knowing this, we must train ourselves to understand discipleship through a simple lens. We must learn how to view life, and the lives of others, through a lens that directs us towards Gods end goal – maturity in Christ.

Below are sections from two different articles on discipleship from ministries I have looked up to over the years, and there is a third take on discipleship by us, here at CTCI.

It is important to that we train our minds to view life through a biblical lens. A simple lens that can help us mature as disciples of Jesus.

“What is a Disciple”
Jonathan Parnell of Desiring God
Original Article: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/what-is-a-disciple
(Quotes are only a portion of the complete document)

“… a disciple of Jesus is a worshipper, a servant and a witness.”

Jay Fesperman, Cofounder of CTCI, on Facing Troubles at Home

It is important that we realize the significance of a family “living in one house.” A family is meant to bring people together in close fellowship in order to cause friction among its members. If we don’t learn how to face troubles at home, we will not learn how to cope with the pressures of ordinary living in the world. There is a clear purpose in the closeness required of family members. But the nature of man wants to pull away and live unto its own self. Every young person growing up in America wants his own room, with his own radio, his own television, his own telephone. And we strive for the level of prosperity that will make it all possible for each child to have his own hide-out! The home of the family is the site of much interaction, much rubbing. And it has its clear purpose in the growing-up process. Family is meant to produce confrontation. But our nature doesn’t like confrontation. Nevertheless, it has its very clear purpose. Out of confrontation comes commitment, and when we try to live up to commitment, we learn how to cope with responsibility.

The Blind Leading the Blind

The blind leading the blind is a familiar adage that I wrestle with as I seek to see this generation with heaven’s eyes. I have often chosen the comfortable blindness of legalism over the bright light of God’s love for those I struggle to understand and mentor. I have to take off my own generational blindfold and expose myself to the light of God’s love for this generation to see them as He sees them. With His eyes, I have no trouble believing that His work on their behalf is just as effectual as it has always been.

Please Support CTCI by voting Today!

We are still working on getting the word out about the Brand with 10 Grand video contest. Recently, some of our crew created a silly video as a submission in the contest, vying for $10,000 in promotional products for the ministry. Our video was selected as one of ten finalists, and this means we need your help! (You may really think so when you see our acting.) The winner will be determined, in part, by how many votes they receive from the public for their entry. Right now, you can support CTCI without spending a dime by voting for our video. Please take a minute to click here and then vote for our video (“Christian Training Center International”) at the bottom of the page. All you have to do is click “vote” next to our video to be counted. You can vote one time per day through October 23rd. Please share the video on Facebook and encourage everyone you know to vote for us. We had a great time with this project. And, we have managed to keep things running here, even while we were fooling around and dreaming of what we would do if we had $10,000 in products to advertise all of the great things God does for people through CTCI.

We hope you enjoy watching our lighter side. Remember your vote counts, and we don’t just mean in the next election!

Words, Words and More Words

When I was in high school, one night after dinner, my father said to me “are you aware that you used the word  ” ___ ” 72 times during this meal?”  YIKES, WOW and NO!  I had no idea that I had said THAT word so frequently!  Today, I could not even tell you exactly what THAT word was, however, I think it might have been “so …”.  I had a tendency to drop it out there, say it and then,  let it slide off into nothingness!  I had no great revelation or brilliant statement to follow up with … just  “so …”.  Can’t you just hear the edgy tone!

The Six Ways to Boost Happiness in Your Marriage | Jim Daly

A lifelong marriage goes through many seasons.

The romantic honeymoon phase kicks off the journey, but soon enough, the couple often enters into the hectic young-children-and-little-sleep stage. Before they know it, those toddlers are teens … and then the high schoolers go off to college.

Pretty soon, that once fresh-faced husband and wife are coming home to an empty nest.

With all of these changes and challenges how can we keep our marriages healthy and happy?

The Shed – Exposing the Heart

There is a shed in my back yard. I built it about 3 years ago to house my riding mower and garden tools. It was a kit from Lowes with a shingled roof, two windows and double doors that swing out wide. I remember being amazed when I picked it up on the loading dock at Lowes. Some engineer had worked the entire 12 x 8 foot shed down to where it would fit in a 4 x 8 foot box about a foot deep. Of course, all that “engineering” left some weak spots in the design and I had to modify some things to make it more structurally sound, but, overall it turned out nicely.

Grabbing Ahold of the Cross

The brakes!!! I really should have remembered the brakes. I had bundled ten month old Gabriel quickly into his stroller, eager to get outside and begin our grand adventure! I started to push the stroller along the driveway. It was hard going, either Gabriel had put on considerable weight of I was suffering a bout of weakness. Suddenly I realized I had not released the brakes. I reached down and did so, and then we were off.

The Bear Necessities – Alisha Ostby

You may be familiar with the Disney children’s movie based on the classic novel ” The Jungle Book”. Written by Kipling in 1894, the whimsical songs and care-free characters made this story one of my childhood favorites. I was surprised when I heard someone singing a song from it the other day on a campout with a group summer INNterns. 

As we were walking though underbrush, carrying on our backs just enough for the three-day trek, I heard the familiar lyrics “look for the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities”. A thought came to mind: Could there be a relevant message behind this song? What are the real necessities of life? 

Wonder Why You’re Here | Desiring God

You are.

You are tempted to fill in a blank at the end of that sentence. You are ___. Most of what you might place in that blank are not worthy to be compared to the revealed glory that you are.