Sunday, January 27, 2013

God's sense of humor & it's risky to be frisky:

This video reminds me of how God does have a sense of humor.

Today I preached out of Genesis 18  on the story Sarah laughing at God.  The passage offers an interesting insight into the character of God.  First, Sarah eavesdropped on God telling Abraham they would have a baby, then she laughed about that, and when she was confronted about laughing about the news, she lied to God and said she didn't laugh.  How does God handle that?  He blesses her!  See Gen 21:1-7

But, I think what everyone at New Song seems to remember from today's sermon was my one-liner, joking about Sarah being 90, and Abraham being 100 years old at the time.  I said Sarah laughed because at their age, "It was risky to be frisky..."

May you discover God's sense of humor and find Him more & more approachable!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Can we love, accept and embrace sinful people?

Yesterday I preached through a couple of passages in Genesis, narratives on the Flood and Sodom & Gomorrah.  I was asking will wickedness win?  Then, in light of the "signature" sin of Sodom & Gomorrah,  I touched on the side-topic of how we as Christians have no right to be judgmental or cruel to people today who live the lifestyles associated with the story of Sodom.

The question I then posed in the sermon, ran along the lines of asking how would Jesus minister to people today, to those who live outside the revealed will of God.  I mentioned that Jesus was always truthful with people -- He was honest about the need to change and the reality of the consequences of sin.  Yet, I can't think of a single time Jesus drove sinful people way from Him, people who wanted to follow Him but stumbled along the way because of sin.

Tons of religious people got fed up with Jesus and abandoned Him, or betrayed Him.  But when did Jesus ever reject anyone that was trapped in sin and yet earnestly wanted to follow Him?  My guess is, most people who are "unchurched" but who are attracted to Jesus, will always keep the church at arm's length, until we who are "in" the church practice loving and accepting people the way Jesus did.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Local "Gentleman's Club" burned down. Wives happier? I doubt it.

Last night the Mouse's ear in Gray burned down.  I saw a joke on FB along the lines that there was a wife somewhere, that finally had enough.  Sorry ladies, the truth is, that fire won't change any one's behavior.   

Working across the street from "the ear" for over a year, I've seen the parking lot hundreds of times.  We'd start at our shop sometimes at 6:00 a.m., and I would be surprised to look across the street and see cars still in the parking lot.  I've wondered more than once what I would've thought had I seen any vehicles I recognized? 

I had a funny thought when I heard the news about last night's fire.  What if you were sneaking out there, yes you were a patron, but you wanted to be unnoticed (We still have taboos, right?).  Then, there's a big fire, and all of a sudden, now you are found out by your friends & family!  That reminds me of Numbers 32:23, "Be sure your sin will find you out."

Will there still be a market for a "Gentleman's club" after the fire?  Probably.  But, you ask, what's big deal anyway?  Nobody is holding a gun to any one's head to work there, or to lay down your hard earned cash to help them keep their doors open either.

Well, the truth is establishments like the Mouse's ear devalue the beauty of women and their intrinsic value.  The perpetuation of strip clubs simply sends the message that women are tools for our pleasure.  The strip club's lopsidedness, its one-way drive, removes the reciprocal, give & take element of pleasing each other, promoting selfishness & being self-centered.  Who raises their daughter saying, "I can't wait till daddy's little girl grows up to..." You get the idea, at some level we all disprove. 

Is nudity good?  Yes!   But, a river without banks become a stagnant swamp, we all need boundaries:

"Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.  Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?  For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths."  (Proverbs 5:18-21 ESV)

Also, strip clubs teach our culture that eroticism and sexuality independent of a relationship secured within the safety of marriage vows are natural or normal or acceptable   Intimacy, mimicked on stage or not, has a powerful hold over hearts & minds.  There are downfalls to this, it results in failed relationships.  How so?

Sex is more than physical contact, there is a deep emotional & spiritual connection that accompanies it.  We wonder why we have so many problems in our culture with failed relationships & broken marriages?  Perhaps we have lost too much respect and appreciation for the beauty & Biblical value of nudity that is best enjoyed between a husband & wife.