[forthright] What I Want My Boys To Know/Ours To Fix, Not Ours To Curse

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 13:02:21 -0600
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

What I Want My Boys To Know by Barry Newton
Ours To Fix, Not Ours To Curse by Stan Mitchell

COLUMN: Hands-on Faith

What I Want My Boys To Know
by Barry Newton

That you are a gift from God to your mother and
myself ... so expect us to love you and to take
our responsibility to raise you to love God very

That the God who created this universe will one
day destroy it ... so don't get too attached to it
nor build your identity or self-worth upon it.

That God can provide for your needs and take care
of you.

That a final Judgment Day is coming ... so you are
responsible for what you do and say.

That God loves you so much that he has made it
possible through Jesus for you to have eternal
life with him, even though you will not deserve

That to receive God's gift of eternal life, God
wants you to trust in Jesus to save you. God
starts to recognize that you are trusting in Jesus
when you acknowledge Jesus and rely upon him
through being immersed.

That to love God and to love others in the way you
love yourself is more important than what your job
is, where you live or what you own.

That to love God involves obeying God ... so you
need to follow what God says, not what your
feelings are nor what others might tell you is

That the Bible is God's message to you ... so
study it carefully and pay attention to how you
listen to it.

That life is not fair ... so what matters is how
you choose to respond to your situation. Respond
as someone serving God.

That sin always has bad consequences even if you
do not see them ... so avoid it and get rid of it
from your life.

Choose carefully your friends because they will
have an influence upon you.

Whatever you do and whatever your job might be, do
it right ... so that as someone serving God your
effort will bring him honor.

Resentment, bitterness, and such things will only
hurt you and others ... so learn to be a forgiving
and loving person.

Enjoy what God gives you, but keep in mind this
life is short and eternity is forever.

This list does not represent what I anticipate you
would expect a preacher to write.  Rather, these
are the foremost lessons I hope they will learn.
Sure I want my boys to know much more than just
these few things. But since I know that my boys
throughout their lives will make their decisions
based upon what they believe and value, my primary
goal is to help them start with the right
foundation leading them to navigate the rest with

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COLUMN: Reality Check

Ours To Fix, Not Ours To Curse
by Stan Mitchell

"... Christ loved the church and gave himself for
her to make her holy ... to present her to himself
as a radiant church, without strain or wrinkle or
any other blemish, but holy and blameless"
(Ephesians 5:25-27).

You probably read that a US army officer was
convicted recently of abuses in the notorious
torture scandals on Iraq. I'm sorry it happened,
and I am sure what took place brought a black eye
on the reputation of this country. Having said
that, I notice that this trial makes one more
trial for official abuse than Saddam Hussein's
forces were ever asked to undergo in the bad old

Even with her flaws, America is better. We hold
our police, politicians, soldiers, and officials
responsible for their actions. As Colin Powell
once said: "Never lose faith in America. Its
faults are ours to fix, not ours to curse."

The church is like that. She is not perfect.
Jesus, her head, is perfect, and the Bible, her
constitution is perfect, but she is not. Why is
she not perfect? The reason is simple. You. And
me. We're human, flawed, and we sin (Romans 3:23).

It saddens me when brethren point fingers and
(apparently) delight in showing up the church's
flaws. The church isn't interviewing for the
"Church critic" position. That position has
already been filled! It does need servants,
teachers, leaders, and encouragers. We're not
better because we're perfect; we're better because
we work on ourselves. We see a ministry need, and
we volunteer to fill it; we see a discouraged
sister, and we encourage her; we see something
others have missed, and we don't cry indignantly,
"Why don't they do something about it?" We do it
ourselves! The church's faults are ours to fix!

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