A CBSM Parent’s Honest Testimony (Colossians 2:6-15)


My Parenting Testimony & Colossians 2:6-15

Why Am I Writing This?
Legalism is as deadly to parenting as it is to all other areas of Christian life. That is why I am writing this testimony–I pray that you will learn from my sins. Legalism is a destructive force in families that masquerades as good discipline, consistency, or even “good parenting”. Legalism is probably embedded in family traditions and culture. The concept of legalism I am using is simple: living with an emphasis on rules over God’s grace. God’s grace is his unmerited favor. His favor toward us appears in all of our lives, for instance, in the air we breath, the food we eat, and in the families, jobs, and homes that we have. God’s special grace on those who follow his Son appears, for instance, in the spiritual gifts he gives to Christians and of supreme importance his favor appears in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in giving his Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins so that by this amazing grace, through our faith, we may be saved from hell and live eternally with God in heaven. (ESV, Ephesians 2:1-10) If you have not placed your sincere faith in Christ, that is the first thing you can do for yourself and for your children, to the glory of God.

How are grace and rules related? Understanding and embracing God’s grace, in all its forms, and keeping Christ’s sacrifice at the forefront every day, motivates us to want to please and honor God. Isn’t that the attitude you want for your children!? Living by grace, we voluntarily seek to please and honor our Lord with every thought, word, and deed. We voluntarily seek to expand the ways we please and honor him. In doing so we freely live within an ever expanding universe of love for Jesus Christ and for his ways and for his thoughts. Because God is infinite, and we seek to live in his universe of righteousness, we have infinite freedom. Living by rules, though, we seek to know only the boundary established by the rules so that we can exploit every bit of space allowed by the rules. Our freedom is limited by the rules because rules are finite and rigid, and so only by exploiting all the space within the boundary can we maximize our freedom. In practice, we either edge as close to the boundary as possible–which is foolish(!), or we set up more rules to be sure we stay away from the boundary–which further reduces our freedom. Living by rules we find ourselves asking, “Am I allowed or required to do this?” instead of, “Will this please and honor my Lord?” Living by rules, we impose on everyone around us our personal interpretation of the rules. Living by grace, we know that God sheds his grace differently on each person and therefore we are humble, understanding, forgiving, and loving toward others. Can you see the implications for parenting? Continue reading

What “Christian” Teenagers Are Really Thinking!

This is a necessary article for every teenager and teenager’s parent to read. Some of my favorite professors and teachers are ones who could call me out on what I was thinking…and I didn’t even realize it before hand. This is a great article on what the average “Christian” teenager is thinking…and how wrong it is. This type of thinking is absolutely anti-gospel. It’s a focus on ourselves and not a focus on Jesus and the gospel. We must not think “I must try harder.” Rather we should think, “I need to trust in Jesus…period.” Here’s the article:

What Christians Really Believe: “I Must Try Harder”
By: Ed Welch
Published: Nov 17, 2011
http://www.ccef.org/blog/what-christians-really-believe-i-must-try-harder

“Hello, I am a moralistic therapeutic deist.” That’s the word from a number of evangelical teens.

I really liked that phrase when I first read it, though it seemed a little clunky. It was introduced by the 2005 book, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. After listening to about 3,000 interviews the authors suggested that evangelical teens describe their beliefs this way:

God created
God wants us to be happy
God waits around until we have a problem then jumps in to help
Good people – people who are nice – go to heaven

In other words, they are moralistic therapeutic deists. Continue reading

CBSM Sermon Video “CBSM on Cutting: When Pain Feels Good”


Since we hit the tragedy of suicide hard last week, God directed us to take one more week in the hard issues of teenage life…and talk about cutting, self-injury, self-abuse, and self-harm. God surfaced so many struggles in the lives of the students through this sermon. I literally stayed for an hour after the service just counseling teens who were hurting and admitting struggles. I was up past midnight responding to all kinds of texts and emails over the topic. I believe many times, youth ministries aren’t coming close to scratching the surface of the real issues in students lives. And at other times, the student ministries who do focus on all the immediate issues…aren’t pointing them to Jesus thru the gospel. There has to be a real balance here of being proactive and reactive. Proactively letting the Holy Spirit deal with issues from the Word, and reactively preaching the issues that we’re aware of when they become urgent. Feel free to check out and use all of our media on cutting and self-abuse for your own life and ministry.

CBSM on Cutting: When Pain Feels Good


Free files for youth pastors and small group leaders:
Cutting (mp3).mp3
Cutting (handout).pdf
Cutting (ppt).ppt
Cutting (notes).doc
Cutting (small groups).doc
Cutting Teen Testimony.doc
Cutting (service).doc
We used a “Teenage Cutting Story” from youtube as our sermon intro video.
Since we hit the tragedy of suicide hard last week, God directed us to take one more week in the hard issues of teenage life…and talk about cutting, self-injury, self-abuse, and self-harm. God surfaced so many struggles in the lives of the students through this sermon. I literally stayed for an hour after the service just counseling teens who were hurting and admitting struggles. I was up past midnight responding to all kinds of texts and emails over the topic. I believe many times, youth ministries aren’t coming close to scratching the surface of the real issues in students lives. And at other times, the student ministries who do focus on all the immediate issues…aren’t pointing them to Jesus thru the gospel. There has to be a real balance here of being proactive and reactive. Proactively letting the Holy Spirit deal with issues from the Word, and reactively preaching the issues that we’re aware of when they become urgent. Feel free to check out and use all of our media on cutting and self-abuse for your own life and ministry.

cbsm sermon video: Job 2-37 “Afflicted: Oprah and Other Christless Counselors”


This sermon is preached by our very own, David Munoz (CBSM and Sparkman Sophomore). David is part of our KTL ministry group who goes through a spring semester class to learn how to preach and teach from all the Scriptures in a Christ-centered, gospel-grounded, and life-changing way. In this sermon, David is preaching Job 2-37 on how to get and give Christ-centered counseling.

storyline #76: job 2 – 37 “afflicted: oprah and other Christless counselors″

Free resources for youth pastors and small group leaders:

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (mp3)

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (handout)

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (Davids sermon notes)

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (small groups)

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (service)

2 – Job 2-37 – Counseling (ppt)

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Sermon Intro Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2YHAjH_fLk

This sermon was preached by David Munoz, one of our sophomore students in our KTL ministry.  We have been going over “how to preach” for the last 3 months.  These KTL guys have probably put somewhere around 30 hours into their sermons.  Can you imagine your first time ever publicly preaching to an audience of 125ish teens, about 20 adults, around 12 college students, friends and family present, video recorded for views on the net, and audio recorded for iTunes?  No pressure, right?!  As our first KTL preacher of 2010, David definitely stepped up to the plate and knocked a homer out of the park.  He challenged us on how to GET and GIVE Christ-centered counseling from Job 2 – 37.

CRISIS COUNSELING: School Shooting in Madison

It has been a day filled with emotion, hurt, fear, drama, anxiety, worry, and chaos. The world of safety and security has been toppled upside-down for so many middle schoolers in the Madison, AL area. I heard from our secretary around 2pm today that the shooting had occurred at Discovery Middle. My phone started blowin-up with calls and text messages from concerned parents and students. Another youth pastor in the area called me and said he could get us into the schools (which were on lockdown) to minister to the kids. We went out there, got on campus, past the perimeter police, but then they wouldn’t let us in the doors.

We had several students from our church in the school during the time of the shooting.  A student was in the same hallway as the shooting, a student had just left the hallway right before the shooting, and several others were still in the building.  Some of our students knew the victim.  Some of our students knew the shooter.  One had lunch with him.  One had a class with him.  To say the least from this huge tragedy, our students are dealing with fear, anxiety, hurt, sadness, worry, vulnerability, doubt, and confusion.  A youth pastor’s question is always, “How do we counsel them?”  

1.  Whenever I counsel a student, I always make sure to listen.  Continue reading