Don’t Hide From “The Talk”

friendsBOOK REVIEW

Our young people are living in confusing times when it comes to relationships and sexual identity. As Christians, homosexuality is possibly the most contentious cultural issue we are regularly confronted with. It is of utmost importance that parents are knowledgeable on the cultural changes going on around them and know how to wisely point their children in the right direction, especially when it comes to the matter of identity and loving our neighbors as representatives of Christ. Don’t hide from “the talk!”

The author begins “CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens” by using Scriptures to lay a foundation but quickly addresses the importance of a loving relationship and open communication between parent and teen. He then moves to the child’s other important relationships: his/her friends, teachers, professors and administrators.

I love it when an author or pastor takes the time think of the hard questions one might pose before confronting an issue. This book is packed full of the possible accusations and inquiries a Christian might face when approaching the topic of homosexuality. He categorizes these challenges around the areas of God and the Bible, social policy, intolerance and hate.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 9.39.30 AMSome of the most important advice comes in his talking about our love in action, listening, humility and touch in our relationships with the LGBT community. Yes, I did say touch. The author states, “Next to listening, it (touch) seems the next most important way to connect in is a very simple one: a friendly touch or casual shoulder hug.” I am so grateful for this short but extremely important challenge and setting straight on the term homophobia.

This is an crucial conversation and vital book. We must communicate with our children wisely and this book helps us ask the right questions and seek the Bible for our answers. Although the issue of homosexuality is controversial and although individual Christians we may not agree with each other ()or a book on the topic 100%, I believe that this guide for parents was written from a heart of love and offers a world of well-thought through wisdom and advice. Well done Tom! Thank you to Tom Gilson and Kregel Publications for a copy in exchange for this honest review.

Steve’s book writing adventure: “NOT A MALE FAIL: Finding Hope & Identity in a World of Macho Stereotypes” Here’s his blog post “You May Not Be Gay”

The Antidote to Restlessness

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“People look desperately for things to make them happy, often without realizing what they’re missing spiritually.”  ~ Jan David Hettinga

A BOOK REVIEW

Jan David Hettinga in his new book Still Restless: Conversations That Open the Door to Peace does an excellent job explaining that our restlessness comes from within – a longing that is in our DNA. We were all created for a kingdom bigger than ourselves and yet we try so hard to find inner peace and contentment our own way.

31yemfd3il-_sx321_bo1204203200_Spiritual peace is available to us and often comes with our being real with Christ, asking the hard questions, and finding true peace. These one-on-one conversations (thoroughly examined throughout the book) show us that we build kingdoms that crumble but Christ offers peace to our restlessness when we are willing to step through the door of repentance, faith and trust in Him.

Our straight forward gut-wrenching communication with Christ will allow us to “abandon our failed experiments with independence and self-rule” and be replaced “unexplainable peace” our “antidote for fear and restlessness.”

No book explains the kingdom of God, our profound purpose and God’s ultimate plan of redemption and peace any better that this. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who are Still Restless.

Thank you to Jan David Hettinga and Kregel Publications for a copy in exchange for this honest review.