April 30, 2008

Looks As If Wright Is Wrong

I have followed the Jeremiah Wright story with some interest simply because I am a pastor who has more than a few politicians in his flock. At last count I shepherd a probate judge, a county commissioner, three school board members, and one city council member. Granted, none of these are running for he highest office in the land but they do bear heavy responsibility combined with unique exposure in a small, close knit community. I desire to challenge these leaders to impeccable integrity and want to encourage them to do their very best.

The first sound bite I heard from Wright's most recent public appearance gave me hope. He said something to the effect that while Obama was a politician he (Wright) was still a pastor. I like the tone of no compromise that set. Regardless of the political office with which a pastor is confronted, as an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) he is obligated to speak the truth and not to coddle the affections of those in power. I thought, "Here is a man with sound biblical principles he is willing to live with and is willing to share with others." But then the man kept on talking and the foolishness of his heart was revealed.

To seriously think that the US government engineered the HIV virus to exterminate the black community is asinine. To assert that the US provoked the attack on 9/11 is beyond any reasonable process of thought. And these are the two statements that attracted the most press. There were other statements that were equally ridiculous. Wright is apparently just another charlatan playing the religious game for profit (and apparently playing it well as his 10,000 sq. ft. new home on an exclusive golf course attests). There is no end of men like him who have the ability to whip a crowd into a frenzy over secondary issues and make them look like issues of primary importance all the while garnering wondrous sums of money for their talented twirling of plates.

Paul's words to Timothy could very well have been written about Rev. Wright,

"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain."
1 Timothy 6:3-5

Paul also warned Titus about such men,

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."
Titus 3:10-11

I am always amazed at the keen edge scripture holds. It certainly cuts quite fine. Looks like Rev. Wright is wrong, not only in his cultural assessments but more importantly in his spiritual responsibilities. Here end my dealings with the Wright who was wrong.

April 29, 2008

About the Picture - Pastor Sheep's got a little Cap'n in him!

After a powerful week of ministry with a sister church in Guatemala our group had the opportunity to do a little sight seeing. And did we ever see the sights! The picture is of my good friend who became known as "Pastor Sheep" all because our Guatemalan brethren could not say "Chip". Yes, we all laughed long and hard over this one in his life! Pastor Sheep is looking out over the incomparable Lake Atitlan in central Guatemala as a storm is rolling across its waters.

We spent the day in Panajachel doing the typical tourist thing of buying all kinds of unique treasures to carry back to the United States with us. It is an incredible feast for the eyes, ears, and nose. The visual impact of the hand made wares is nearly overwhelming. Guatemala is noted for its textile production and in Panajachel many hand woven items are on brilliant display. They believe in using color and it is beautiful. I have a photo of an alley where many of these items were for sale and the color is almost overwhelming!

The eyes are busy looking even as the ears are busy listening. Everyone is hawking their wares for you. Enough tourists over enough years have visited Panajachel that the locals know enough English to bombard you with their sales pitch. Forget just walking and looking! "Twenty dollars! Twenty dollars! No. O.k., for you fifteen dollars. I make you a special deal." If you are not accustomed to bargaining you are in for a crash course! If you accept their first price, well, let's just say you are not getting your money's worth! Not only are you paying far more than the item is worth but you are also missing out on the joy of interacting with these craftsmen about the real value of their wares!

Lake Atitlan is considered among the most beautiful lakes in the world. It is surrounded by three volcanoes (one of which you see in the photo) and it's waters are a stunning blue/grey. We did not avail ourselves of the opportunity to go out on the lake and visit the communities surrounding it (I think I will definitely do this on my next visit) but the brief visit we paid there is forever sealed in my thoughts as one of the outstanding days of my life.

As for the photo, it was as we were getting ready to climb aboard our van (driven by the incomparable JUAN PABLO!). Pastor Sheep stepped to the wall to take in one last look at this marvelous creation of God and I happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture the moment. When I look at the photo it's almost as if I'm looking through Chip's eyes on one of the most remarkable places I've ever visited.

April 28, 2008

Monday Morning Message - A Modest Proposal

As I come to the end of this brief series of messages I am a little sad and a lot relieved. Sad because this series has evidently struck close to home for many in the flock I am blessed to shepherd. I can't remember a series of messages that have generated this much discussion beyond the Sunday morning moments we share together. I have discussed these issues in hospital waiting rooms, coffee shops, at the ball field, waiting in line at the bank, and a whole list of other places. I am grateful for the response but I am relieved as well. Discussing these matters in a family friendly fashion has been one of the unique challenges of my pastoral journey. Imagine talking about matters of sexuality with an audience ranging from 4 years to 90+ years old. Try and hit that target without making a mess! So, I will breathe a bit easier (and, truth be told, so will some of my flock!).

I place before you a modest proposal today. Actually I offer three proposals. None are earth shaking, seismic shifts in our lifestyle or thinking. Rather they are modest, simple changes that have the potential for dramatic impact in our own lives and the lives of those we encounter. Each of these proposals are firmly grounded in biblical principle and each builds on the other.

Husbands love your wives. This seems so simple, and it is, but it is an incredibly powerful principle. Ephesians 5:25 states, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." I fear that far too many marriages are like the guy who told his wife, "Listen, I told you I loved you on the day we got married and that was 20 years ago. If I change my mind I'll let you know!" Gentlemen, let the woman you are blessed to share life with just how precious and important she is to you.

A legacy I am blessed to have in my family history is the example of my great-uncle McKinley Cash. He was married to my grandfather's sister Ovella. Understand that Ovella was a common enough looking woman; she would never grace the cover of a magazine, nor do I suppose she ever won many beauty contests. However, a few moments around this marvelous couple revealed a startling and open secret, Uncle Cash knew that Ovella was beautiful. He always treated her as a queen and cared for her as such. It was not some syrupy sweet puppy dog love that made you sick to watch, rather it was a deep and mature love that blessed all who came into contact with it. Even the saltiest of my uncles seemed to soften a bit in the presence of this truly great love. Uncle Cash stands out in my memory as a man who loved his wife as Christ loved the church. He was a man among wannabe men.

A second proposal I would put forward is for women to understand true beauty. We live in the age of the air brushed supermodel. We need to regularly remind ourselves that "what we see is NOT what we get" and that "seeing is NOT believing" in our beauty obsessed age. I read, with some pained humor, the stories of the beautiful people feeling ugly. The rest of us usually offer them a sarcastic, "Bless their hearts!" Proverbs offers us unusual wisdom concerning this very issue. Proverbs 11:22 states, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion." In other words, beauty with no prudence is useless, or worse, wasted. Unfortunately this is the standard held up for all to revere in our society. There are entirely too many "beauties" with too little brain failing to understand the nature of true beauty. Proverbs 31:30 states, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Herein is true beauty. It is an "imperishable beauty" as 1 Peter 3:3-4 affirms.

We need women of all ages and stages to stand tall and declare that the cultural definition of beauty is broken and untrue. There are daughters and granddaughters who need to hear and see godly women exhibiting an undeniable beauty of spirit. There are young women being mercilessly sucked into the societal lie of what beauty is who stand in need of rescue from a destructive pattern of dissatisfaction with their outward appearance. Please understand I am in no way opposed to putting one's best foot forward! I'm much like the old country preacher who was asked about his views on make-up. He replied, "I'm for anything that can make a stink weed look like a rose!" I am simply pointing out that this fixation on external beauty is leaving an empty shell.

One final modest proposal I would offer, we all need to embrace modesty. I am not advocating a particular dress code but simply that a little common sense in this area will go a long way. My good friend Kevin relates an experience he had in a Burger King in Manila. There he noticed two women dressed very differently. One was covered from head to toe in the traditional Muslim burka and she had to gingerly lift her veil to even get the food to her mouth. Opposite this woman with no skin showing was a local call girl who had skin-a-plenty showing. Quite the dichotomy of ideals concerning appropriate dress. Modesty, by definition, is 'kept within due measure'. Not given to the extremes my friend Kevin encountered.

Here are a couple of suggestions...
  1. Guys, 'Just say no to crack' isn't just for plumbers anymore. Pull 'em up, please! We are not interested in the cool print that is on your boxers. Furthermore we are a little weary of watching you try and do simple things like walk or stand still while you try to keep you pants from falling down around your ankles. Suspenders, belts, or (shocking I know) pants that actually fit work amazingly well here.
  2. Girls, in like fashion, I can think of no reason it is necessary for me to know what color and type (granny, bikini, thong, etc.) of undergarments you have chosen for the day. That should be something between you and your clothing.
  3. On this note, ladies, it behooves you to know that men are visually stimulated creatures. I am aware that some of you already know this and enjoy messing with the guys in your life. I encourage you to re-think this approach. For those of you, young and old alike, who may live in blessed oblivion on this matter please give some consideration to the men in your life. Help them notice that your face and eyes are just as attractive as your bust and butt. Perhaps they will then begin looking for that inner beauty that you are hopefully developing!
I could go on and on here but you get the idea. I encourage and challenge men to love their wives, women to understand true beauty, and for all to embrace modesty. I believe we will find a better culture in which to live, a better enjoyment of the gift God has given us in sexuality, and better appreciation for the fact that God truly wants the best for us!

April 25, 2008

Pruned - A Follow-up

You may recall a Monday Morning Message post from January (see it here) in which I discussed the pruning of a little plum tree in our yard. As a follow up on that little story I present you with the fruit of my labors. The picture above is indicative of the entire tree. It is literally loaded with fruit this year (the little green balls are the plums - I'll try to remember to post a photo of the ripened fruit)! Seems that pruning does have a profitable return.

Sadly, I cannot produce a similar photo of my own life. If anything, it seems that I have gathered new things that are preventing me from being as fruitful as I should be. The well worn wag that "good is the enemy of best" certainly rings true.

A serendipitous moment was given me this week. What could have been a huge frustration turned into a marvelous blessing in my life. A lapse in communication found me in another town with 5 hours of unclaimed time. The early morning departure from my house only to discover I could have left closer to mid-day at first rankled me but an unread book in my bag, a stunningly beautiful morning, and a bench near the river offered me the chance to enjoy some uninterrupted time to myself. Amazingly, all those pressing, important, and insistent things that I could have been doing in those 5 hours were right where I left them with one important difference, the jangle of their insistence was gone.

Pruning. I am more convinced than ever that it must be a regular part of my life. I am far too prone to collect parasitic flotsam and jetsam and need to remove it often. It always results in better fruit in my life.

Jesus told his good friends to "Consider the lilies of the field..." (Matthew 6:28) I'm watching, Lord. Thanks for the opportunity to learn from a simple tree.

April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Message - Gaurd the Gates

Yes, the Monday Morning Message is being posted on a Wednesday...for those of you eagerly awaiting this post I apologize for the wait.

In late 214 b.c. or early 213 b.c. the Roman general Marcellus laid siege to the city of Syracuse. Armed with three legions totaling over 25,000 men, 100 warships, and great numbers of siege engines Marcellus approached the unbreached walls of Syracuse with confidence that this would be a short ordeal. It seemed that Marcellus had calculated everything correctly except for the variable of one man named Archimedes.

Archimedes who was described by Livy as 'that unrivalled observer of the heaven and the stars, even more remarkable as the inventor and engineer of artillery and engines of war' had prepared the city with ingenious anti-siege machines. The Romans were stymied in every attempt by land and sea by these marvelous machines, some of which would literally lift a Roman ship out of the water, shake it, and throw it to its demise against the cliff wall of the port city. What was to be a short endeavor took on an ominous character of desperation leading Plutarch to comment that "The Romans seemed to be fighting against the gods." It seemed the Romans were to be thwarted in their effort to take this prize city until an overture from one of the city leaders of Syracuse changed everything.

One of the three prefects of Syracuse, Moeriscus by name, offered to betray the city for a price. During a diversionary attack by the Romans, which only emboldened the defenders as they saw the futility of the Roman efforts, Moeriscus opened the gates of the city and allowed the attackers to enter uncontested.

I believe much the same thing is happening in many lives today. People with high standards of morality and purity in their lives are allowing their strength to be compromised and, in many cases, defeated because they've not set guards at the gates of their lives. Proverbs 4:23 states "Keep your heart will all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." It doesn't take much poison to ruin a spring, no matter how strong and fresh it is. Once it is polluted it is useless until it cleaned up. We need to actively and aggressively guard the gates of our hearts. Particularly in the areas of what we see and hear.

Job shared with his friends that he had made a covenant with his eyes to not look lustfully on a young woman (Job 31:1). He was guarding the gates of his life because he knew how easily sin could trip, ensnare and, ultimately, enslave him. Job also knew that sin never made good on it's promises. It may be sweet for a season but it always ends with an unsatisfying flavor. We would do well to emulate Job's wise course of action and set a guard over the gates of our lives.

It is amazing to see what was once relegated to the back streets of our cities now parading down main street. Pornography, thanks to the availability, affordability, and anonymity of the internet, has unleashed a sexual beast that threatens the very fabric of society. If you have some time browse through the report given to the U.S. Senate Committee on Judiciary concerning Pornography's Impact On Marriage and the Family. To say it is a sobering evaluation
would be a serious understatement. Unless we guard the gates we will discover not only our lives being deeply affected but we will also see the very society which we treasure being torn apart. de Tocqueville said it well, "If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Have we let the enemy in through the gates?

April 14, 2008

With Thanks To Our Volunteers

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of men and women." Tomas Paine, The Crisis, December 1776

Paine's words, heard now as dim historic echo of a time where heroes walked and ordinary men and women made extraordinary sacrifices, ring true in our day. Those that "stand it now" do deserve our love and thanks. With the news that our local National Guard unit will be mobilized again the personal imprint of this trying time is once again felt intimately and the need to express support and gratitude is renewed.

Even though this post is partly motivated by our local news I am reminded that this a national issue. Note the following statistics...

National Guard (Federal Status) and Reserve Mobilized as of February 27, 2008

· Army National Guard and Army Reserve: 74,588

· Navy Reserve: 5,328

· Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve: 6,982

· Marine Corps Reserve: 8,773

· Coast Guard Reserve: 343

Total National Guard and Reserve

personnel mobilized:

Regardless of your views on the war it is important to remember that every man and woman currently serving in our armed forces volunteered for this duty.

Some simple suggestions...
  1. Red Shirt Friday. Wear your red shirt as a show of solidarity and support. (I've been doing this for several months now.)
  2. Tie one on, a yellow ribbon that is. Put one on your door, or on your car antenna, or on your lapel. (I will have this in place today.)
  3. Learn the "Thank You" sign and pass it along anytime you see any of our military personnel. If they don't know it already they will learn quickly as they see it over and over again. You can check out a brief video on this one at The Gratitude campaign.

Monday Morning Message - Stuff God Wants You To Know

"There are two kinds of people in the world, those who are interested in sex and liars" (Anne Ortlund, Building A Great Marriage)

To once again emphasize the need for a discussion concerning purity I offer for your consideration a few headlines pulled from the news of last week.
  • U.S. Prosecutor Accused of Seeking Sex With Girl, 5
  • Florida Principal Faces Child Porn Charges After Nude Images Found in Office
  • Cops: Dad Sodomized Teen Stepson (18) to Avenge Rape of Daughter (8)
  • 6th-Grade Teacher Gets 10 Years in Prison for Sex With 13-Year-Old Boy
  • 4 Michigan Cops Fired Over On-the-Job Sex With Dispatcher Scandal
  • Cops: Texas teen(14) tried to flush newborn
  • College Class Trip Takes Tour of Nevada Brothel, With Seminars From Prostitutes
It's clearly evident that somewhere the train is off the track when it comes to sexuality in our culture. What strikes me is that these are the cases being reported. Perhaps a re-consideration of God's plans for sexuality is in order.

It is my perception that society believes God's plan for sexuality to be all about denying mankind the joy, fun, and pleasure of sex. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. God sees sex as an incredibly positive thing! I know, you're surprised by this. I think a lot of people are surprised because somewhere, somehow, "sex" became a dirty word and nice people weren't supposed to talk about it. This is so unfortunate when God has so much to share with us about this marvelous (woo-hoo!) gift.

Here are a few "surprising" truths from scripture about sex. These are truths I believe God wants us to know.

1. God made you a sexual being! Genesis 1:27 clearly states, "So God created man (mankind) in his own image...male and female he created them." Furthermore in Genesis 1:31 God says it's "very good." Not only did God come up with the idea of sexuality but He thinks it is a VERY GOOD idea! (An interesting side note here is that this is the only time in the creation account that God says something is "very good." Everything else is "good.")

2. God made sex for procreation! Procreation - n- the producing of offspring; reproduction; i.e. 'making babies'. What a blessing children are! "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward!" (Psalm 127:3) Society sees children quite differently; much more burden than blessing. I am amused each time the report concerning the "cost" of raising a child is published. I usually take it and show it to my children saying something like, "Kids, there is no way your mother and I can afford you. We'll let you decide but at least two of you have to go." The most holy moments of my life have been the births of my three children. What a marvel that God lets us in on His creative process!

3. God made sex for our enjoyment! This is good news! (I received a hearty "AMEN" from our first service crowd on this point!) It is worth remembering that sex was created before sin entered the picture. It was perfect sex! Sounds good, aye? Even after sin gets involved and sex gets screwy (sorry...) God desires for sex to be something enjoyed. However, for it to truly be enjoyed it must be kept in bounds. Sex outside the boundaries is destructive and ultimately crippling (See "This Week's Headlines"). Much like the raging Mississippi River right now. While it is in its banks (boundaries) it is an incredible force for good. Commerce flows. People swim, fish, and boat. Homeowners enjoy magnificent views. But let it get out of its banks and it is no longer fun, just creating a lot of messes that someone has to clean up.

Proverbs 5:18-20 presents a great piece of wisdom concerning sexuality and its enjoyment.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth...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?
4. God made men and women to be together. Genesis 2 recounts the special creation of woman. She is truly the crown of creation! You can find this in Genesis 2:18-25. The story ends with this note, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." There is so much here to celebrate! Let me simply point out that they were 'naked.' Some, who are astute Bible students, will immediately say, "Of course they were naked! Clothing doesn't come along until chapter 3." To which I nod my head in agreement. But the issue of nakedness here has much more importance than just the skin they were in. The idea is one of intimacy with no shame, no 'skeletons in the closet,' no other lovers in the bed. God designed the relationship to be an unencumbered joy.

5. Purity is a lifetime calling. The need for purity crosses all age, social, economic, religious, and political lines. This is not just a message for youth. It is a message for adults of every stripe. There is a desperate need for adults to step forward and take up the banner of purity in their own lives.

"So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, you power to all those to come." Psalm 71:18.

April 9, 2008


Ben Stein has a movie coming out and I'm pretty sure you've heard NOTHING about it. I just happened to stumble across some info about it and it got my curiosity wheels turning. So I dug a little more and was wowed by what I found. Be warned, this could be an explosive movie. The tag line for the movie reads, "Big Science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom. What they forgot is that every generation has it's REBEL." It will be interesting to see if this well known "rebel" will generate much conversation on this topic that seems to be simmering under the surface of scientific pursuit.

You can watch the "super trailer" for Expelled and then take a look at the website. You may even want to locate a theater near you and take a friend.

April 7, 2008

Monday Morning Message - PURE

Ketchup was not always what it is today. In fact it's production history is a horror story waiting for a script. Before the Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 ketchup producers were known to use coal tar to enhance the red coloring. Yummy, huh? Others utilized leftover concentrated tomato pulp stored in less than ideal circumstances to make the popular condiment in the off-season. Thankfully, you can now put ketchup on your eggs (everybody does this, right?) with confidence that it is really ketchup! Following is the current governmental standard for ketchup.

B.11.014. [S]. Tomato Catsup, Catsup or products whose common names are variants of the word Catsup (Ketchup) shall be the heat processed product made from the juice of red-ripe tomatoes or sound tomato trimmings from which skins and seeds have been removed; shall contain vinegar, salt, seasoning, and a sweetening ingredient; and may contain a Class II preservative, and food color.

Standards like this ensure we are getting what we desire and not some cheap imitation or, worse, perversion of what we were pursuing. In similar fashion God has put standards in place to ensure we get the very best out of life and not some unsatisfying imitation. Jesus stated in John 10:10, "I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly!"

The notion that God desires for us to fully enjoy life comes as a surprise to many. Many believe that God is the "Fun Police" and if anybody is having any fun anywhere, God is sure to show up and put a stop to it. Nothing could be further from the truth. God desires the very best for us. Our problem is we like to disagree with God about such things. So, who's right? A brief rumination on this matter should give a fairly clear answer.

When it comes to the issue of sexuality the Bible is full of stories that address this most fundamental fact of human existence. The Bible talks A LOT about sex and, for the record, God's opinion about sex is that it is "very good." (I offer a hearty, AMEN!) Here are a few stories you might enjoy re-visiting....
  • Genesis 3 & 4 - Adam and Eve - naked, no shame, "Now Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain." (Of course he "knew" her! - Bible language is so fun!)
  • Genesis 17, 18 & 21 - Abraham and Sarah - Abraham is quickly becoming one of my personal heroes in this area! 86 when he has his fist child! 99 when he's circumcised (ouch!) and 100 when he father's Isaac! My favorite scripture line in this story is attributed to Sarah in Gen. 18:12, "So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, 'After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?'" (Apparently yes!)
  • 2 Samuel 11, 12 and Psalm 51 - David and Bathsheba - This is a movie waiting for a script. Lust, adultery, political intrigue, murder, and power all in one story.
  • Song of Solomon - Can I just say, "WOW!"? To say this gets a little "steamy" is a serious understatement! My favorite is chapter 7 where the husband describes the wife from her toes to her head. Just thinking about this makes me want to head to the house!
  • Matthew 5-7 - Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount - If you can't see the "Bridge Out Ahead" signs, don't blame the sign maker for your car winding up in the river.
  • 10 out of 13 of the Apostle Paul's letters to the New Testament churches directly address the issue of sexuality. Only Philippians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon eschew this topic.
This is only a small sample but I place it here as many are surprised by how much sex is in the Bible. Society has an amazing preoccupation with sex and sexuality. It's evident society is looking for the best sex available but is finding a lot of unsatisfying imitations. In fact, I would propose that society is entirely missing the 'Love Boat' when it comes to sexuality. I present for your consideration the following.

  • Cohabitation rates are at an all-time high. (Interesting new moniker, it used to be called "Living in Sin") The 2007 edition of the New Oxford Review, published a report titled, Cohabitation is bad for men, worse for women, and horrible for children, by Dr. A. Patrick Schneider II. Here are a few of his conclusions.
    • Relationships are unstable in cohabitation. One-sixth of cohabiting couples stay together for only three years; one in ten survives five or more years.
    • Cohabitation brings a greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases, because cohabiting men are four times more likely to be unfaithful that husbands.
    • Those who suffer most from cohabitation are the children. The poverty rate among children of cohabiting couples is fivefold greater than the rate among children in married couple households.
  • STD's are on the increase. See this 2007 CDC report for a full view and check this recent news report stating that 1 in 4 teen aged girls have a sexually transmitted disease. Many of these are incurable (Congratulations! You now have a new lifelong friend!) and some are deadly.
  • Pornography is one of the leading causes of family breakdown. Two-thirds of the divorce lawyers attending a 2002 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said excessive interest in online porn contributed to more than half of the divorces they handled that year. They also said pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years earlier. (“Is the Internet Bad for Your Marriage? Online Affairs, Pornographic Sites Playing Greater Role in Divorces,” PR Newswire, 14 November 2002.)
  • And for one that will nicely turn your stomach, this recent story raises the question of how a 9 year old even knows about such things.
Is it possible that some standards in the arena of human sexuality are needed? Is it possible that maybe God, the inventor of sex, knows what He's talking about? The popular perception is that God is out to kill the fun but it's evident that society's spin on sexuality may be fun for a while but I'm pretty certain waking up with AIDS or herpes or dealing with your 7 year old who's been sexually assaulted isn't much fun.

Purity guarantees that we are getting the real thing. Perhaps a return to purity is in order for our society. Here are a few suggestions for today.
  1. Recognize the damaging effects of impurity.
  2. Repent (turn away) from impure activity.
  3. Recommit to a pure lifestyle.
  4. Rejoice in God's good plan for purity in your life!
"He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend." (Prov. 22:11) And just who is this king? "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Mt. 5:8) Here's to purity!

April 1, 2008

What's In A Name?

Blog browsing this morning and visited a site I've not stopped by in quite some time. What a marvelous gem was waiting there. Athol Dickson's insight into the name of God given to Moses is astounding to say the least. "What's in a name?" you ask. I assure you, there is spiritual gold in this name. Read all about it here.