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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Prisoners in Our Own Homes?

Friday, March 27th, 2015

I am thinking today of how our world has changed.  I remember sayings from the past. “A man’s home is his castle.”  “Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.” I grew up in a world where home was relationships, refuge, comfort, protection; home was sacred, desirable, warm and cozy.

For many today, home is last place we want to be.  We do not know how to enjoy family time.  We do not appreciate the safety and tranquility of spending time with family. A few years ago, high gasoline prices cut into the holiday plans of a large number of families. An interview that was included in the evening news caught my attention.  The woman who was interviewed reflected on the inability of her family to travel:  “I feel like a prisoner in my own home.” When the adults do not like spending time in their homes, perhaps we can catch a glimpse of what’s wrong with our kids and with our society!

In our contemporary society, we are finding our joy in the wrong places, thinking that joy comes from the things and experiences on the outside when joy really comes from who we are on the inside. Our families remind us of who we are, and help us become what God intends us to be.

Stars to Steer By: The Root of Marital Problems?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

“More than 95% of marriage problems are rooted in what happens to a person before the age of 9.”

Don’t know whether this is provable; is at least food for thought.

It’s Sunday Again: Family

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Last weekend I preached in Dierks, Arkansas–the first place Jan and I did a full-time ministry work after graduating from college 44 years ago. It was delightful to spend time with a part of our spiritual family–a part of the family we have not seen for many years. The memories are still sweet, the love still flows, and the church surprised us with a wonderful gift for the mission work.
Last evening I received news from San Juan del Obispo (also a part of my spiritual family) of three more baptisms and of the anticipated baptism today of one of the ladies I taught during my February trip to Guatemala. I am grateful for a spiritual family that is virtually endless in the multiplied churches across Latin America where I work in missions.
This weekend Jan and I have Michael and the grandchildren with us–we have spent the weekend enjoying family. This morning we will worship with our spiritual family at Park Plaza–this is only the third Sunday this year that I have been in town so I will enjoy immensely renewing our sweet fellowship. Today at noon, our Community Group will meet for lunch at our house–a small slice of our spiritual family but those who are special to us.
Family gives us identity. Family reminds us of who we are. Family supports us, encourages us, loves us, forgives us, and helps us become what God calls us to be. As my grandchildren pray, “Thank you God for my family.”

Home and Family

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

I arrived home late Monday night this week after almost three weeks away.
The sweet reunions and special times spent with family during the week have given me opportunity to reflect upon the importance of home and family. Not only have Jan and I spent more time together this week than during a “normal week”, I also had some one-on-one time with my youngest grandson on Tuesday–climbing trees, looking at pine needles, and enjoying some late afternoon rays from the sun as it treks further south in the sky. Wednesday evening our two oldest sons joined us for homemade pizza and salad before Bible class; Thursday evening Jan and I enjoyed time with Geoffrey and his family–eating out, lingering over the meal, talking about plans for the future (Thanksgiving plans together and Skyla’s plans for college in the spring), agreeing together that ice cream afterward was a bit much, enjoying small talk and sharing life. This weekend Jan and I will get away together for a mini-vacation, and next Tuesday we will make a day-trip to Arkansas to help take care of various issues related to her mother’s ongoing care.

Reflections….
Family is a major influence in our identity, a part of who we are. In family, we are continually reminded of our significance, that others love us, that others care and want to be with us.
Family time depends on quantity. One cannot spontaneously generate “quality time.” Quality time is a serendipity of quantity time.
Family is an opportunity to learn mutuality. In the midst of deep relationships, we do what we do because we confidently know that others have done and will do the same for us.
In family, we invest ourselves in others, seeing the beauty of the past and the hope of the future.
Family is a place where we give without asking how much it will cost or whether we will get anything back in return.
Family is a place of encouragement and strength, a place of laughter and life lived lovingly.
Family is a place where we share life fully, a place where we know that others will welcome us and accept us.

Calling an elephant a horse…

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Calling an elephant a horse does not make it so! Memorable words of wisdom.

Yesterday’s breaking news! The U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear two cases related to marriage. Short summary: they are going to try to decide if something that is not marriage should be called marriage. The question? Should certain unions be called marriage and receive legal recognition and benefits.

Marriage was instituted by God and is defined by God. God created human beings in his image, male and female. Marriage is the basic building block of society. Marriage is older than nations. The nature of marriage is inherent in the word which derives from the concept of husband and wife. (The Spanish word, marido, husband, has a parallel etymology.)
We must recognize that there are cultural aspects of marriage. How is the consensual contract validated and recognized by the society? These must not be confused with the inherent nature of marriage.

I return to our point of beginning. Calling something marriage does not make it so!

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Today is our eldest son’s 41st birthday! He was almost an Independence Day baby!
Happy birthday, Michael! May your day be blessed with friends, laughter, and joy. May you know God’s presence, peace, and power in your life today, and every day.

Family

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

The quote in memorable; I do not know when I first heard it, but I have long remembered it. Robert Frost wrote, “Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
My version is shorter, “Family is where they have to take you in.” Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are more and more exceptions–families that reject some family members, homeless children in the sprawling cities of our world, broken families with broken hearts.
The person is blessed who has an accepting family. The person with an extended family that celebrates being family is doubly blessed. Blessed is that person who understands, appreciates, and enjoys family.

This weekend Jan and I are enjoying a reunion of our extended family on my side of the tree. Every two years, we get together, not all of us, but many of us. My mother was one of nine siblings, we were eventually 21 first cousins. Only one of the generation I call aunts and uncles is still living. The 21 first cousins are now 19. But subsequent generations keep coming–second cousins and third cousins and….

Families are the basic structure of every society. Family is important, special, significant. Family helps us know who we are. Family gives us orientation. Family gives us roots, and wings.
This weekend would be a good time to celebrate your family. If there are disconnections, this weekend would be a wonderful time to write that letter or email, or make that phone call, and strengthen the family.

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