The Love Languages of My Children

Psalm 127:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

If I said my love language is “words of affirmation,” would you know what I am talking about? God designed many of you the same way. Others of you love giving and receiving gifts. Still others feel and give love through acts of service. The huggers in the crowd live for heart-felt moments of physical touch. And many people think that love is spelled T.I.M.E. and desire quality time with those dearest to them.

Collectively, these 5 ways of expressing and receiving love are known as the five love languages, developed by well-known Christian author Gary Chapman. People who have discovered their love languages have learned how to be better spouses, parents, and friends. Not only can adults find out how God has designed them to show and receive love, Chapman has also written quizzes for teens and children (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/).  I recently encouraged my kids to take the assessments, and there were a few surprises in the results.

My oldest, Allison, shows and receives love primarily through quality time. As a teenager, she loves to spend time with her friends, but she also invests time in the lives of her siblings. She will invite her younger sister to hang out in her room, or to grab fast food with her brother. One thing I need to do is intentionally invest more one on one time with her.

Nathan, my middle child, also desires quality time. Many times, he has asked me to shoot baskets with him and challenged me to a game of around the world. He is not just driven by competition. He also enjoys the one on one time with his dad. He would rather play with someone else, no matter the activity, than spend time alone.

Audrey, our youngest, is the one who surprised us with her results. My family thought her primary love language would be physical touch. She loves to give hugs. I mean lots of hugs. But more than that, she loves to give and receive words of affirmation. She writes notes and draws pictures on sticky notes and leaves them for others to see. She is a nurturer who lets those she cares about know it.

One of the surprises is that, for all three of my kids, receiving gifts and physical touch were the least desired ways for expressing and receiving love. I would have thought otherwise, but it is not surprising that children raised in the same home would have similarities in their preferences. Now as a dad, it’s my responsibility to show love to them in ways that speak to their hearts, and fortunately for me, the current coronavirus crisis has given us lots of quality time together. What an unexpected blessing!

PARENT CHALLENGE – take the quizzes at https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/ and see how you can better love your family!

Leonard Prater
Associate Pastor of Adults

Scripture Memory: Transformation Through Renewal

“Therefore” because of what God has done for you, He sought you, and called you out of darkness. (1 Peter 2:9)
1. With that salvation comes. New Life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
2. With that new life comes great privileges and responsibilities.

Your responsibilities are:

  1. Not to be conformed to this world. Conformed means to be pressed into its mold. Physically your life is being molded by what you feed it. Spiritually, same concept applies – read, hear, see, think. Question is…what are you being conformed to?
  2. Be transformed by renewing your mind. The word renew means to exchange for something new. So how do you do that? How do you exchange your mind? I believe the answer is found if Scripture Memory and Meditation!
  • Scripture Memory puts “the word” in your head (and)
  • Meditation transforms your heart

What does the word meditation mean to you? Many times the word meditation scares people because they conjure up images of some far Eastern mystical guru chanting some mantra. Not talking about transcendental meditation, talking about scriptural meditation.

Biblical Meditation is focused thinking.
Anyone have a problem keeping your thoughts focused on anything for very long? As our technology advances it helps train our minds not to focus but jump from image to image and sound bite to sound bite. We must take time to renew our minds! We must get away, retreat, focus on the Word. Not just read it but memorize it and meditate on it.

Meditation helps you:

  1. Digest and assimilate the truth into your spiritual bloodstream. When you eat something, that which is digested and assimilated, is what gives you nourishment. Ever wonder why you can’t remember a teaching/message after 2 or 3 hours? It’s because you have no plan to digest and assimilate the most important parts of it!
  2. Meditation will help you think from God’s perspective not your own. The reason why is because when you memorize the scriptures you saturate your mind with the Word of God. (Philippians 2:5) That’s what Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Inwardly you are being renewed day by day”.
  3. Meditation helps you evaluate the spiritual condition of your heart. There is enormous power in our thought life. All our actions begin with a thought. Our thoughts produce our attitudes which determine our actions which in turn build our character. A person’s character is formed by what he thinks! (Proverbs 23:7 and Matthew 12:34)

A.W. Tozer said “Our thoughts not only reveal what we are; but they predict what we will become. We will soon be the sum total of our thoughts.”

Why should we memorize and meditate on God’s word?

  1. We are commanded. “Keep my words, store my commandments within you. Write them on your heart.” (Proverbs 7:1,3). “If anyone had an excuse not to meditate it would have been Joshua. Moses just died and Joshua was to take over the leadership of God’s people (Joshua 1:8). This is the first time in history that God tells man to live his life according to the words of a book.
  2. We are to follow Christ’s example. (Luke 4: 4,8,10) The word of God is our most effective weapon against the evil one! War is raging in our hearts, it’s called spiritual warfare.

Wade Liberator
Associate Pastor of Adult Ministry & Evangelism

Creating a Grace-Filled Home in a Stress-Filled Time

As parents, we all know that feeling when…your rambunctious kid is doing that annoying habit one more time, your patience is running out, and it takes all the self-control you can muster not to BLOW UP! We live in a challenging time right now, with the stay at home order passing the 30-day mark, and families feeling the stress of staring at the same four walls. But, there is hope, and it is possible to balance grace and discipline as we shape our children during this chaotic and historic time.

Extending grace and consistent discipline are two of the biggest challenges of parenting. A deficiency in one area will undoubtedly affect the other. Kids will be kids. They will mess up and get on your last nerve, but there are some principles that can guide you to maintain consistent discipline while showing grace.

Foremost, get on the same page.

As parents, husband and wife must agree on the same philosophy when it comes to grace and discipline. When it comes to maintaining proper discipline with your kids, consistency is key. If married, make sure you act as a team when dealing with issues so that one spouse does not bear the burden alone. If divorced, first get on the same page with your former spouse, and if that is difficult, develop your own grace-filled approach and follow through as best you can. Seek the support of others who know what you are experiencing.

Sometime parents think leniency equals love, but in fact it’s a very dysfunctional form of love.  Some parents think punishment equals love, but there is a big difference between punishment and discipline. Children desire a safe, orderly environment, and most expect their parents to discipline them. Children need to learn that wrong choices have consequences. Godly discipline has more to do with teaching responsibility than forcing obedience.

One word best describes how God deals with His children: grace. God helps imperfect parents, recipients of God’s amazing grace, to shower their children with the same grace. As a parent myself, I have felt that gentle tug of the Holy Spirit to bestow grace on my kids – a great lesson was learned by both father and child.

When parents work together for the same outcome, raising responsible kids, it is necessary to create a common language with expressed expectations.

6 essentials to think about:

  1. Rules without relationship equals rebellion.
    Knowing when to lay down the law and when to engage in relationship-building is greatly important to practicing grace and discipline.
  2. Choose your battles wisely.
    If you find yourself becoming easily agitated when your children misbehave, you may be fighting too many battles on too many fronts, and you may lose energy to fight the really important battles later.
  3. Nagging doesn’t work.
    It stifles intimacy and sets your kids up for future failure. Are you planning on following them to college and nag? Your children could get used to decision-making spurred on by nagging, and then have an unhealthy relationship with their spouse. The Bible has this to say: “And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice” (Ephesians 6:4 TLB).
  4. Yelling crushes and shuts down your child’s spirit.
    The more you yell at your kids, the less they hear. They will only think you are mad at them. A wise person once said, “Parents need to out-mature, not out-power, their kids.” Parents, yelling accomplishes nothing and ultimately is a signal that something is not right in us.
  5. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes.
    Apologize for wrongs done or said. Your children will not disrespect you for it. The opposite is true. Model confession and forgiveness.
  6. Clearly express your expectations.
    Your children need limits and boundaries, and when they meet your expectations, they feel good about themselves. Be consistent in following through with consequences or your kids will learn rules are not for them. Parenting expert, Kevin Leman, once said, “Inconsistency is how to raise a yo-yo.”

Parents, please know that there is grace available for you if you have made mistakes in your parenting. The Bible clearly says that we all sin, and one area we illustrate that truth is how we sometimes parent our children. But remember God is the God of second chances, and modeling that to your children is a lesson all by itself.

*Inspired from Jim Burns’ book, “Confident Parenting”

Leonard Prater
Associate Pastor of Adults

5 Helpful Principles of Scripture Memory

One of the most helpful books I have ever worked through that relates to Scripture Memory is called, “The Topical Memory System, LIFE ISSUES” by Nav Press. It’s a very practical system for hiding God’s word in your heart. The Life Issues collection includes 72 scripture verses dealing with 12 different topics commonly encountered in daily life. This book was instrumental in helping me realize the impact that scripture memory could have on my life. 

The following are five of the most significant principles that you will experience as you memorize and meditate on His Word:

  1. You will have victory over temptation and sin! (Psalm 119: 9, 11)
  2. You will experience peace in your life. (Isaiah 26:3)
    “The mind that is controlled by the spirit gives life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
  3. Your mind will continually be transformed and renewed. (Romans 12: 1, 2)
  4. You will be able to discern the truth and make wise choices.
    “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
    “The word of God will guide you when you walk, protect you when you sleep and speak to you when you awake.” (Proverbs 6:22)
  5. You will be prosperous and successful. (Psalm 1:1-3)
    “Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a fruitful tree planted by the water, whatever he does prospers.”
    Joshua 1:8 will give you a sound foundation for memorizing God’s word!
    * The objective of scripture memory is Meditation
    * The objective of meditation is Obedience
    * The objective of obedience is a Spirit Filled Life

You may be asking…How do I get started on memorizing God’s Word? Well, start with the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Wade Liberator
Associate Pastor of Adult Ministry & Evangelism

Three Transformational Teaching Tips

Our methods have to change periodically, but the Message (the Gospel) never changes.  I want to offer a few suggestion as we are navigate teaching and leading our life groups through screens.

As you teach, include the members and be interactive as much as possible. For example, when I’m teaching, I would say, “waive at me if you’ve ever read the book of Ruth”. Another way to keep people involved during teaching is to encourage them to type in questions or comments in the Chat function on Zoom and designate another leader to monitor those comments. By doing this, it brings people into the teaching experience and makes them feel included!

Here are 3 Transformational Teaching Tips!

  1. Pray: Like seriously! No matter how much experience you have teaching, you will always need God’s touch and anointing. And that comes from constant and consistent time in prayer. You are teaching God’s Word to His people so pray to Him for His help!
  2. Develop good discussion questions: I know you have a short amount of time but consider using the breakout room function on Zoom to allow for small groups to discuss the questions so they can personalize what has been taught. If you make the groups small enough this could take about 5 min.
  3. Study! I’ve heard it said “the call to teach\preach is a call to prepare” So dig deep into the text. Don’t just read it but study it.

So here are some great online resources to aid in study and prep time:

  1. gotquestions.org This is a great resource that provides answers to countless “what does the Bible say about this or that” questions!
  2. biblestudytools.com This website contains Bible commentaries, concordances, and dictionaries to aid in deep Bible study!
  3. blueletterbible.org has audio & video commentaries, topical indexes, maps, Encyclopedia\Dictionaries, Greek\Hebrew resources, and much more. This website even offers free online classes such as “Counseling God’s way” “Biblical Worldview” and “Christology” to name a few.

But if you’re looking to expand your physical library here our my favorite books that I look at EVERY time I teach.

  1. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  2. The MacArthur Commentary
  3. ESV Study Bible

So pray, have good questions, and study well and this will take your teaching to another level!

Paul Calcote
Associate Pastor to Young Adults

How to Make the Most Out of Online Services

To say that things have changed would be an absolute understatement. In the midst of this global pandemic, known as COVID19, God’s Word still remains faithful and true!

Hebrews 10:23-25 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”’

This passage admonishes the reader to keep trusting God for He is FAITHFUL. We may not know what our future holds but we definitely know who holds our future, and HE is good, perfect, and sovereign! So, now more than ever, it’s imperative that we stay close to God and “close” to each other. Verse 25 exhorts us to keep meeting together. The way we “meet” has moved online, and you may ask, “how do I to attend church online?”, well, I’m glad you asked. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of our online worship services:

  1. Get out of bed (on time) and get dressed! My wife and I did this on Easter it totally changed our mood and mindset as we prepared for worship.
  2. Gather everyone in the house and worship together. Save chores for later and put the phones away so you can really lean in to this worship experience.
  3. Play the service on the biggest TV in the house. (Trust me on this)
  4. When the music is playing: stand, sing, and worship! It doesn’t matter how well you sing or don’t sing because Psalms 95:1 declares “Oh come let us sing the the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”
  5. During the Sermon: Bring your Bibles and take notes. When the sermon is over have a quick discussion about the you learned and conclude that time in prayer.

I can almost guarantee you, if you follow these 5 Steps, you’ll have a richer worship experience!

Paul Calcote
Associate Pastor to Young Adults

Fun Family Activity: Questions To Ask Everyone In Your Family

Even though our current challenges are causing certain hardships, those hardships have created some unexpected blessings. One of those blessings is that we have extra time to spend with our families. So why not gather around, take this questionnaire, and have fun!  Here are some questions to get you started. You may even come up with questions of your own!

  1. If you could only eat one food, for an entire week, what would it be and why?
  2. If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go and what would you bring back?
  3. If you could have dinner with any 3 people, who would they be and what is one question you would ask them?
  4. If they were to name a public holiday in your honor, when would it be and what would it be called?
  5. If you could have one million of anything except money, what would it be?

Using the Internet to Grow in Your Faith

These last few weeks have forced all of us to adjust to new routines. Our old routines are out the proverbial window. All areas of our lives – work, school, church, and play – have been affected. We’ve learned new ways to communicate. How many of you knew what Zoom was a month ago? However, some things have not changed. God is on His Throne. Jesus is alive. And He has a purpose and plan for our lives. 

There are two parts of the redemptive story of Christians – God’s part and our part. God’s part was started in creation, promised in Jesus, fulfilled through His Death and Resurrection, and continued through the work of the Church. Our part is to accept His gift of salvation, and as the Apostle Paul said, “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). This “pressing on” implies an intentional pursuit that requires thoughtful planning. 

What radio was to the spreading of the gospel in the 20th century, the internet is today. There are many great websites available that offer free resources for Christians to help grow in their faith. You can take free Bible classes and watch engaging videos that will broaden your understanding of God’s Word and His will for your life. Here are a few: 

  • Biblical Literacy – taught by our own Mark Lanier, there is a library of previous lessons taught with handouts to download. 
  • The Gospel Coalition – offers free classes on a variety of subjects from church history to New Testament. 
  • Southeastern Baptist Seminary – and other seminaries offer free classes for anyone to take. 
  • Biblicaltraining.org – is a ministry that offers over a 100 free courses ranging from Christian Ethics to learning Arabic. 
  • BibleProject.org – is a ministry that develops great teaching videos that adults and children can watch together. 

For some of you, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on the computer. In our new reality of home quarantine, that is understandable. But don’t dismiss too quickly the usefulness of the internet to potentially grow your faith. Peruse the websites above and see what God does. 

Binge Watching and Binge Reading

David Upchurch
April 1, 2020

Have you seen the hottest new show or asked your Facebook friends to recommend a series to watch? Do you or have you “binge watched” a TV show or series all the way through in a sitting or two? It has become a convenient phenomenon in the age of “On Demand” and DVRs.

At first, I thought binge watching was for “those” people who have a lot of time on their hands or just maybe who were so busy they couldn’t watch a show live. Then, it also seemed like a good idea for those who wanted to watch a TV season all the way through with no stops or commercials. So, recently we’ve tried out a series of two. 

I thought I would get into a new show or classic series, but I could only last an hour or two in one sitting. Maybe it is my life stage or need for activity. I couldn’t last very long before I needed a change of environment. I am not sure how anyone does 10 straight episodes, or more, in a sitting much less a straight 24 hours or an entire weekend.

Then I had a thought, does anyone binge read the Bible? The Old Testament records several times when Israel read or listened to the word of God. There was a day in Ezra/Nehemiah where they read the OT all day! Each of the letters of Paul, James, Peter, and John were likely read to the local church in one sitting. 

Start a Bible reading plan on YouVersion or another app (there are plenty of free ones in the app store). You also could pick famous passages of scripture to read like; The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7; the account of Creation Genesis 1-2; use a concordance and read all of the Parables or find verses with the word “peace” in them; the Love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. The “Hall of Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11. Read one of the epistles from beginning to end. Do a character study and read all of the way through the life of Abraham, Joseph, Samuel, Elijah, Esther, or Deborah, plus David and Solomon or the building the temple. You could read the “red” letters in each gospel, one a day. There are many ways to binge read in scripture.

Another good plan that we’ve done at Champion Forest is, 90 Days Through the Bible, by Zondervan. To complete it, it requires 12 pages, (yes, they are double columns), a day for 90 days. The suggestion is to set aside 45 minutes. 

Binge watching a new series takes hours. Plan to read your Bible before you start one of these series. Double what you’ve done in the past. If you’ve read in your bible for 5 minutes, make it 10. If you read 20 minutes a day, go for 40! You may find that some days you will want to read for longer. Read in a place that is as distraction free as possible, too.

Catch up on the “latest episode” in scripture using the 90-day Bible or YouVersion or your own plan in your Bible. The goal is reading God’s Word because it is living and active and will begin to impact your life with wisdom as it reveals God himself.

CFBC Resource: eBooks!

Did you know the Champion Forest Baptist Church Library has a large selection of eBooks available for free!

All you need is your library card number. You can check-out and download eBooks and audiobooks to all your electronic devices. If you do not yet have a library card, click the Library Card Registration link below. Or click the eBook Library link to see what’s available.


Staff Book Recommendations

Looking for a way to spend your evenings, stimulate your mind, and feed your soul over the upcoming days? 

Try picking up one of the books a few of our pastors are currently recommending.  The following list is a short sample of books these pastors find encouraging, spiritually uplifting, or simply entertaining.  Please check back periodically for updates.

NOTE: Almost all of the below list is available via the CFBC Online Library.

Paul Calcoate – Associate Pastor of Young Adults

  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Donald S. Whitney 
  • Welcome to Adulting: Navigating Faith, Friendship, Finances, and the Future. Jonathan Pokluda

Brent Johnson – Associate Pastor of Senior Adults

  • Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Disciple Making.   Oscar Thompson                  
  • Worship: The Ultimate Priority. John MacArthur              

Wade Liberator – Associate Pastor of Adult Ministry & Evangelism

  • The Power of His Presence. Adrian Rodgers 
  • The Reasons for My Peace. Billy Grahm

Steven Morris – Champions Campus Executive Pastor

  • The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. Kevin DeYoung 
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Abridged). Eric Metaxas

Leonard Prater – Associate Pastor of Adults

  • Habits for Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out by Philip Nation
  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

Scott Riling – Pastor of Pastoral Care

  • Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud by Philip Yancey
  • Hot Tub Religion. J.I. Packer

Jeff Skipper – Pastor of Adult Ministry 

  • Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You. John Ortberg
  • Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion by Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe
  • Run the Mile You’re In: Finding God in Every Step by Ryan Hall

Stephen Trammell – Global Executive Pastor & North Klein Lead Pastor

  • Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life by David Murray
  • People Fuel by John Townsend