Scott Slayton – Why Time Away from Your Phone Would be Good for Your Soul

With the average American spending two hours a day on social media, an increasing number of voices argue that we need to learn how to step away for a while. Since the engineers at social media built their platforms to attract your attention, accomplishing this will take a lot more work than you might think. However, when you consider what time away from our devices will do for our spiritual lives, ministry fruitfulness, and emotional health, the pain of putting them down is absolutely worth it.

Here are five ways that putting down your phone will make your life more fruitful and more joyful.

More Time in God’s Word

I agree with Jen Wilkin that we are in the midst of a “biblical literacy crisis.” From reading some literature from the early 20th century, I’ve become convinced that the average person on the street in 1918 knew more about the Bible than most followers of Jesus do today. These things should not be this way.

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Scott Slayton – The Absolute Necessity of Scripture Memory

Recently, I ran across this post about Vern Poythress’ Scripture memory habits. While I had been faithful in my own personal Scripture memory the last couple of years, late last year I started slacking on reviewing the verses I had memorized and this post provided me with the example I needed to get going again.

I doubt that I am the only person who struggles to be consistent in his Scripture memory. Scripture memory has no deadline and rarely does anyone ask us how we are doing in our Scripture memory. It doesn’t feel urgent in the way that many other things in our lives do. Scripture memory falls into what Stephen Covey would call the “important but not urgent” category. We need to memorize Scripture. We must memorize Scripture, but we fail to grasp the importance of it until we are in a situation where knowing God’s word by heart would be helpful.

We need to remember why Scripture memory is so vitally important for our walk with the Lord, so here are seven reasons that you need to store God’s word up in your heart.

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Scott Slayton – Why You Should Live in the Psalms

In our distracted and fast-paced world, many Christians struggle to gain depth in our spiritual lives. If our devotions happen, they are usually hurried, so we don’t often make the unhurried time that we need to soak in God’s word and linger before God in prayer that we so desperately need. The result is that we often evidence a weak and shallow Christianity. We may be able to fake depth for a while, but eventually, the hard times come and expose us for who we really are.

The Psalms provide a welcome antidote to our craving for shallowness. The Psalms, which seem so easy to understand on the surface, invite us to deep study and contemplation. They show the blessing of cultivating a deep and abiding trust in the Lord and beckon us to leave behind our life of distraction so we can know and love God more deeply.

Here five reasons that our hurried and forgetful hearts need to live in the Psalms for a while.

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Scott Slayton – How to Teach the Gospel to Your Children

Parents face the great joy and burden of teaching the Gospel to our children. Paul’s command to raise our children up in the discipline and nurture of the Lord should ring in our ears every day. (Ephesians 6:1-4) The problem for many of us is that we simply don’t know how to talk to our children about the Gospel.

When we think about teaching the Gospel to our children, we shouldn’t focus on only one method for doing it. When I was younger, every time I thought about teaching my children I pictured family devotion. While this is a practice I recommend, it is not the only way we teach our children. Most of the conversations with our kids will take place in the manner Moses prescribes in Deuteronomy 6. He says we should talk of the things of God with our children when we sit down, rise up, or walk by the way. Every life situation offers the opportunity to talk to our children about God, human nature, Jesus, repentance, and faith.

Here are five ways we can teach our children in everyday life.

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Scott Slayton – How to Cultivate a Lifelong Love of Learning

I turned 40 a few months ago and have started experiencing some of the things associated with growing older that I have heard about for most of my life. For example, I have noticed that my physical health is something that I have to stay on top of. If I don’t actively work at getting in better shape, I go backward quickly. I can’t rely on all the miles I ran in my early 30’s. I have to be working now.

In the same way, we often shift into neutral when it comes to learning as we get older. We know what we need to know to get through our day and don’t bother ourselves with knowing anything else. This is an unhelpful practice for us in general because it means that we are not cultivating the life of the mind that helps us to grow as citizens, neighbors, spouses, parents, and friends. When it comes to our spiritual lives, this kind of apathy towards continuing to learn the Scriptures shifts our walk with the Lord in neutral, or worse, When we are not being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we will be conformed to the course of this fallen world.

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Scott Slayton – Five Parenting Myths I Used to Believe

Most of my weekdays follow a similar pattern. I take the scenic route home from work and turn the radio off when I cross the highway five minutes from my house. In the silence, I ask God to help me stay fully invested in my family when I get home. Some days, the front door flies open as I pull into the driveway and some combination of my four children greet me before I can get out of the car. Other days, I walk to the front door, pause for a moment, and open it, having no idea what may greet me on the other side.

The few hours between arriving home from work and putting the kids to bed will be the most challenging, and often the most rewarding, of my day. Raising children frequently brings me face to face with my own ignorance, foolishness, and inadequacies. My children presented me with problems I never anticipated, disobey in ways I never imagined, and bless me in ways I only dared to dream.

Prior to the birth of the first of my three daughters, I assumed that I would struggle early as a Dad, but eventually figure out what I was doing. Instead, what I’ve found is that the moment I think I know what I’m doing will be followed by a reminder that I have a long way to go. Like every difficult thing in the world, the rewards of parenting help me weather the challenges. The hugs, the laughs, the smiles, and the blessing of seeing my kids grow dwarf the sometimes-heartbreaking realities that accompany raising children. To experience the good times, I first had to abandon some ridiculous preconceived notions and myths I believed about parenting.

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Scott Slayton – Four Suggestions for Reading the Minor Prophets

This week, my Bible reading plan brought me to the Minor Prophets. I have been a Christian for twenty years and sometimes I still struggle to read the Minor Prophets profitably. I doubt that I am alone in this assessment, but I have also found that putting in the work to understand these twelve little-known books can also pay great dividends by helping us grow in our knowledge of God, increase our grasp of the whole Bible, and live the Christian life more faithfully.

The next time your Bible reading plan takes you to the Minor Prophets, apply these four suggestions.

Read the Minor Prophets in Light of their Historical Context

It would be difficult to grasp what is happening in the diary of Anne Frank without knowing something about Nazi Germany during World War 2. In the same way, knowing the historical setting for the Minor Prophets helps us to grasp their message. With some exceptions, the Minor Prophets give you a key to unlock the historical setting in which they speak.

Let’s take the book of Hosea as an example. The first verse of Hosea says, “The world of the Lord that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel.” The list of kings in the first verse gives us the historical setting for the rest of the book. Look at the names of these kings then go read about them in the books of Kings and Chronicles. This will give you a window into the world Hosea is addressing.

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Scott Slayton – Five Obstacles that Dads Face

From time to time I hear men refer to spending time with their children while their wife is out of the house as “babysitting.” Remember, we are not talking about them watching someone else’s children. They keep their kids by themselves for a few hours and call it “babysitting.” While it is easy to criticize men who say such foolish things, it serves to remind us how often men struggle to know the right thing to do in parenting. We know we should lead our families and care for our kids, but we often don’t know what to do.

We could blame our parenting difficulties on the complexities of raising kids in the digital age. We can point out how much the world has changed and the ubiquitous presence of devices and social media, but this would be placing the blame in the wrong place. Men must face the brutal truth that our greatest parenting obstacle stares back at us in the mirror every morning. Our sin, obliviousness, and foolishness stand in the way of parenting our children in a way that brings glory to God and joy to us.

In this post, I want to deal with five common obstacles that dads face in their parenting.

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Scott Slayton – Five Areas in Which Husbands Must Grow

Like most things in life, marriages are not static. It may feel like there are times when we settle into comfortable seasons, but marriages aren’t like McDonalds’ chicken nuggets. If we ignore them for a week, they will not look the same when we come back. Every marriage is growing stronger or weakening. There is no exception.

Marriages grow because the husband and wife are growing. Our marriages don’t exist in some strange limbo where they aren’t affected by our character, spiritual growth, and emotional maturity.

Husbands Must Grow in Their Walk with Jesus

A man’s walk with King Jesus sets the direction for everything else in his life. It does not guarantee that you will have a great marriage, but it will be the foundation upon which all of your growth will be built. When you have a growing walk with Jesus, you will be actively putting to death. Your sin is not only a dishonor to your Lord and a hindrance to your walk, but it also has negative consequences in your marriage. Therefore, a growing Christian man repents and seeks to cut the things out of his life that don’t look like Jesus.

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Scott Slayton – 4 Bible Reading Strategies for Reading Plan Quitters

Do you sometimes find yourself being envious of the people who start a Bible reading plan, follow it faithfully, and stick through until the end? Then, they start the same Bible reading plan the next year and persevere to the end again. I’m sorry, I just struggle with doing that. Sometimes I find that I get halfway through a Bible reading plan, get bogged down, and cannot go any further.

This used to create a load of guilt in my heart because I would get stuck in the middle of really good Bible reading plans. It’s happened to me with some great Bible reading plans– Robert Murray McCheyene, the Bible Eater, and Dr. Horner’s Bible reading plan. All of these plans are built around solid strategies for reading the Bible, but in my personal weakness, I struggle to persevere.

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