September 2016

Dear Friends in Christ,

This month's TLO Disciple is focused on families.  Every person is placed by God into a family.  After creating Adam and Eve, God has chosen to work through mothers and fathers to nurture, teach and protect children and pass along faith in Christ.
Fatherhood and motherhood come with the highest honor and great responsibility.  Luther wrote, "God has given this walk of life, fatherhood and motherhood, a special position of honor, higher than that of any other walk of life under it."

It is no surprise single and two-parent families today face many pressures and many families are fractured.  Sociologist Andrew Cherlin describes the situation many families experience as so much "churning."  Even well-functioning families can become disrupted and damaged because of sin and are in need of healing.
It's time for each of us in the Christian Church to ask: What can we do as members of the body of Christ and in the name of Jesus to help build strong and healthy families?  And what can I do personally to bring the blessing, forgiveness, peace and restoration that Jesus gives to so many who suffer in fractured families?
This TLO Disciple is focused on providing resources to build strong families and restore fractured families.   Click here for more on families in Gene Veith's excellent article, The Family in God's Design. 
I pray that if you or someone you know struggles with a fractured family, that the Lord will assure you of His mercy and grant you His peace and forgiveness that you may be restored.
May the Lord strengthen your family by His grace.

Pastor James Kroonblawd


All the ends of the earth shall remember
      and turn to the LORD,
 and all the families of the nations
      shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the LORD,
      and he rules over the nations.
Psalm 22:27-28

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 
Eph 3:14-21

No matter what age and stage you and your child are in, no matter what your family dynamic is, the principles of grace can set your family free and unlock everyone's true potential.  In this 6-part course available through Rightnow Media, Tim Kimmel, Founder and Executive Director of Family Matters, talks about how to take the grace that we receive from Christ's death on the cross and bring it home into all of our relationships.  To begin this course online follow this link.

No one is born knowing appropriate boundaries or limits. As parents, we need to give kids age-appropriate limits to keep them safe, to keep them moral, to teach both respect and self-respect, ...  Read more 
'Tis the season of overindulgence. Wherever we look, there are ads, whose sole goal is to make us and our children discontent with what we have. Advertising lures us into believing that buying something (or a lot of somethings) will ...  Read more
Catch lies and half-truths.  Catch verbal asides, when candidates assume the mic is off.  Catch unflattering photos.  Catch compromising situations.   I am going to encourage each of us to play a very different kind of "catch" today ... and every day!   ...  Read more
Forty-one years ago, I planted my very first vegetable garden. My two year old was my able assistant. We opened the packet of carrot seeds. What??? It looked like a scant spoonful of coffee grounds that had lost their fragrance.  ...  Read more
Three things are clear from the scriptures: God knows us uniquely, God loves us unconditionally, and God sends us into community - in our homes and in our congregations - to love every child of God uniquely and unconditionally. So how will we begin?  Read more
On Valentine's Day last year, my husband's beloved stepdad, Carl Martin, died.  His funeral was held in the same church in which he was baptized 96 years ago.  Carl lived a life of following Jesus and...Read more
  • Smile at children and their parents.  No scowling!  Greet them.
  • Children are not the future of the church, they are the church.  At baptism, we welcome them to God's family and promise to journey with them.
  • Catch their interest, wonder, and enthusiasm.   
  • Read more
Research tells us that children who worship with their parents are three times more likely to grow into adults, who have a life-transforming faith in Jesus Christ and who are connected to a worshipping, serving, learning community of faith themselves.  Isn't this precisely what all of us want for the children we love?  Read more
What would it mean to love one another as God in Jesus Christ has first loved us?  Let's explore a few of the elements of loving our children with the love of Christ. Read more

Marilyn Sharpe is adjunct faculty
at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  'Honor your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise),  'that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.' Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:1-4


This symposium grapples with one of the biggest problems - consequently hardest jobs - facing the United States and our Christian Church today.  What can we do to repair the massive family fragmentation facing our congregation, the Church, and our nation?  This booklet features 35 essays by men and women from Minnesota and across the country dealing with this topic.


FamilyLife┬«  provides multiple resources that help people build stronger homes and communities.


At HomeWord, we believe in STRONG MARRIAGES, CONFIDENT PARENTS, and EMPOWERED KIDS.  We exist to strengthen and equip parents, couples and families.  Turn to us to find resources to help your marriage and family succeed.

  Click to learn more


Protect Your Marriage  
If asked to list our priorities, most of us would say God and family easily fill the top two spots, but do we always live that way? How do you keep your marriage elevated above your job and hobbies and even ministry? In this training post, family ministry expert Jim Burns teaches married couples how to rightly prioritize their marriages.   Access here
Teaching Children Healthy Sexuality   
We want for our kids to honor God with their bodies, but our culture constantly pressures them toward unholy, unbiblical sexual expression. Jim Burns, President of HomeWord, demonstrates how parents can teach their children God-honoring, biblical sexuality.   Access here


TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at  651-454-7235 or the  Church Office via email.
Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month. Click here for August 31 issue .  This publication is also mailed upon request.
Soli Deo gloria

2950 Highway 55
Eagan MN  55121
p:651-454-7235    f:651-454-0109

Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran Church