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Thursday, May 30, 2013

God Hates Gossips!

Scripture links it with evil, depravity, murder, deceit, God-hatred, heartlessness, and ruthlessness (Romans 1:29-31) and with disorder, arrogance, slander, and anger (2 Corinthians 12:20). The Word of God states it shatters friendships and fuels quarrels (Proverbs ; 26:20). Proverbs 6:16-19 brings the shocking statement that God hates those who practice it. 


What is it? 

Gossip. 

The lure of gossip is so prevalent that Proverbs gives the peril a rare double dose. In both 18:8 and 26:22 the Bible declares "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." 

If you want people to really listen, whisper. People enjoy listening to gossip. Why? It makes them feel like they are "one-up" on others. A poor self-image may be a causal agent to an appetite for gossip. If I can keep the focus on others, I don't have to look at myself. Non-biblical, of course; but rather comfortable. The destructiveness of gossip does not depend on the perpetrator's motives. 

I've heard gossip prefaced by the attempted disclaimer. "I don't want to gossip, but we need to pray about" Intentional or not, trying to sanctify gossip is like trying to legitimize abortion you can flap your jaws endlessly and arrive nowhere. 

I know of only one way to stop gossips from dumping on me. Too often I whimp out and don't seize the opportunity. It is a risky technique, but I want to increase my use of it as I realize afresh how horrific the sin of gossip is in the sight of my Father. 

The technique is simple. When someone starts dumping on you about someone else, say something like, "You may be right, but I don't have all the facts. Besides, you need to talk to him/her about it. I trust you want to do the right thing, and scripture tells us to go right to the person. Just to make sure, I'll tell him/her today that you need to talk to him about this." 

I said it wasn't easy. 

If you use the technique, you've got to follow through. 

Used often, it should lessen the appearance of the gossips at your ear. That's good protection, because a gossip is someone who snares the unsuspecting in a mouth trap! An amazing thing about gossips is that they give you all the details without knowing any of the facts.

What about when you are the object of gossip? 

Draw some comfort from the words of Proverbs 26:2, "Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest." I believe gossip is a curse, and I am convinced this proverb means that God intervenes when some talebearer blabs gossip to others. Either their sin finds them out directly, or perhaps God almost erases the garbage in the recipient's mind. Recognize that those who may spread undeserved garbage about you are simply trying to elevate themselves out of their self-imposed and self-defined filth. Don't resort to "counter-gossip." 

Now, if I've said something that offends you, let me know. Don't let others know until you let me know! God helping us, I'll try to do the same. I don't want my life categorized with the horrible types described in the first paragraph and, I trust, neither do you. 

The Heart of the Matter

If I was limited to only one magazine, it would be "World."

If you've not checked it out, I urge you to so do
(http://www.worldmag.com/)

This column by Janie B. Cheaney appears in the latest edition...read it (in case you are a skimmer, I've bolded what I think are incredibly powerful statements):

In a single week in March, Sen. Rob Portman, social analyst Charles Murray, and writer Jonah Goldberg—conservatives all—said that same-sex “marriage” is all but certain, and America will have to adjust. For Portman it’s personal, for Murray it’s practical, for Goldberg it’s logical, and each in his own way made a plausible case. The fact is, brothers and sisters, where this issue is concerned our backs are to the wall.
So-called gay rights (for lack of a better term) is the third great civil-rights movement of the last 60 years, and the most vexed. Here’s why: Racism challenged society, feminism challenged the family, but sexual identity challenges our very being. “Male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27), but what does that even mean? “Mere” homosexuality has morphed into LGBTQ, not an identity but a range of identities with unfixed borders.
A young man I’ve known from an early age was raised in a Bible-believing church among peers who casually mocked “fags.” He knew he was different and prayed earnestly through his teen years that God would change him. God didn’t change him, and eventually he gave up the struggle and accepted himself. “This is who I am,” he says.  
Christopher Yuan, son of high-achieving Chinese immigrant parents, faced the same dilemma and the same conclusion: His identity was inseparable from his sexuality, and by his early twenties he knew he couldn’t change it. He was and would always be gay.
That’s the heart of the problem—of all problems. “This is who I am” unwittingly bares the human soul. Sin is not primarily a matter of what we do but of who we are. We are liars, idolaters, adulterers, hypocrites, perverts. That is why we lie (to ourselves especially), worship the creature rather than the Creator, stray from our true lover, pretend righteousness we don’t have, and misuse God’s gifts to our own selfish ends. But most of those sins can be hidden, even within the church. The homosexual’s peculiar burden is that his sin can’t be hidden.
Therefore, says the world, it must be accepted. Our nation is dedicated to the pursuit of happiness, and how is happiness possible if you can’t be who you are (as long as it hurts no one else)? The rejection that used to be the homosexual’s lot has shifted, so quickly we’re taken aback. It’s okay to be gay; what’s not okay is to deny someone’s identity. In other words, the burden gays used to bear is now squarely on the Bible-believing church.  
Some Christians say that abortion is a far greater threat to society than same-sex “marriage” because millions of souls have been lost to abortion, in comparison to a relative handful of homosexual spouses. But if abortion is a greater threat to society, same-sex “marriage” is poison to the church, a direct hit to her prophetic role and biblical authority. To claim that God has absolute right over what we do with our bodies is a very tough sell, and always has been. When church and culture were roughly on the same track, it wasn’t so apparent. Now it’s not only apparent but glaring, all the more as the church remains true to her Lord and His Word.
But with God, nothing is hopeless. In his memoir, Out of a Far Country, Christopher Yuan describes how he became a Christian while serving time for drug-dealing. He confessed his orientation to a chaplain who reassured him that, “actually the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality.” Christopher eagerly pored over the book the chaplain gave him, comparing its arguments to what the Bible said. Reluctantly, he had to conclude that traditional teaching was right and the gay-justifying revisions were wrong. What then?
Liberation came when he realized God was not calling him to be straight, but to be holy. “My identity was not ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ or even ‘heterosexual,’ for that matter. But my identity as a child of the living God must be in Jesus Christ alone.” Jesus is at the center, where He belongs. God give us courage to keep Him there.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3 Verses We Don't Believe...

A few years ago, at one of the teen camps, I preached a message titled "Three Verses Most Christians Don't Really Believe". The Holy Spirit empowered in unique ways, and hours were spent following the messages discussing how to apply the content to real life. 

What were the verses?

The first was Matthew 25:46, "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." In days in which annihilation and universalism are being promoted as viable alternatives even in "evangelical" circles, credence is given to the following from Kenneth Kantzer, "I give serious consideration; indeed, I must confess, I am deeply impressed by the arguments of brilliant thinkers. But what do these men know? What are the data on which they base their judgments? When it comes to the important question, "what is man's destiny after this life?" I prefer Jesus Christ, the God-man as my authority to Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann. And above all , lest you misunderstand me, I prefer Jesus Christ to my own blind human guesses based on woefully inadequate data." Bottom line...if hell isn't real and eternal, Jesus lied. But He didn't and doesn't lie, and He would really rather die than live without us. Why? Because he loves you; but He doesn't love you any more than He loves the homosexual, the child molester, the drunk, the bad relative, which leads to the second verse most Christians don't really believe: 

What is that verse? Romans 10:13, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Do we really believe anyone can get saved? Or do we believe that God will love tossing at least some people into hell...because we would? But 1 Timothy 2:4 reminds that "God wants all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Ezekiel 33:11 quotes God, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Second Peter 3:9 declares the Lord "is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Are there people in your life that you have "written off" regarding salvation? You do not have that right! 

Okay, I agree with you, Jack. Now what? That leads to the third verse most Christians really don't believe, which is Acts 1:8, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be My witnesses" Aren't you thankful the first century Christians believed the verse, and "passed on" the faith to a succession of people leading to the person who introduced you to Christ? 

Don't break the chain! Be newly aware that every person in your sphere of influence will spend eternity in one of two real places, both of which Jesus said would last for the same length of time...forever! Understand that though it is true that "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him," (John 6:44) we finite beings have no idea when God is drawing...so our job is to brag on Jesus to every "whosoever," regardless how hopeless they look if we lean on our own understanding. 

And we dare not wait for the "professional" Christians (i.e. pastors, evangelists, etc.) to do the task to which every Christian is called. 

I have to spot-check my heart often to see if my life evidences a genuine belief in the cited verses. As has wisely been said, "A talk talks, and a walk talks; but a walk talks louder than a talk talks." That simply means that it doesn't matter what we say, nor even what we say we believe about the Word, unless it is reflected in the way we live. 

May God help us all to live, speak and pray out of our belief system in the entire Word of God.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tune Tuesday

Numbers.

Some Christians are fascinated by numbers. Perhaps better referred to as "body counts."

As a Vietnam veteran I'm not impressed by body counts. (24 saved, 3 assurance, 4 dedications etc...)

As a Bible reader I note that most of the time in the New Testament numbers are vague...about 120, about 5,000...there is even a place where the Word says about 12! Good grief, even I can count to 12!

But I ramble...

Here's today's question...What's your favorite song with a number in at least part of the title?

Here's mine:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Against the War? Or Against the Warriors?



Forty-five years ago I served in Vietnam, attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Forty-five years???? (What is such a young guy doing trapped in such an old body???)


I was not yet a follower of Christ. I was into a lot of garbage. It was not unlike my later years locked up in prison...I learned a lot there, but I don't wanna go back!

Of course it was a different war than the ones in which we fight now.

And I remain thankful that most of the people who are "against" the wars, are not...this time...against the warriors.

It is not unlike being against sin, but not against sinners.

And I encourage and ask you to ponder that last sentence...honestly...and examine who or what you are "against." If that is a person created in the image of God, you need to repent...

Concur? Disagree? That's what they make "comments" for...

And as we honor our military men and women...past and present...let us not lose sight of the One who gave His life as a ransom for many...the One who loved us so much He'd rather die than live without us...























































































Saturday, May 25, 2013

Okay, let's get uncomfortable. Think back to the last time you remember speaking roughly, unkindly, or rudely to someone. Didn't take long, did it? Now, who was the receipt of your deadly barrage (because, after all, the old rhyme is a lie: sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can break my heart!). My personal survey reveals the tragic fact that those who suffer harm from the infliction of my harsh words are my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Perhaps I am not the only one who tries, and usually succeeds, in guarding my tongue around the lost, for fear of compromising my testimony for the Lord. But the guard all too often comes down around Christian. That awareness draws me back to Galatians 6.:10 which records Paul admonishing followers of Christ to "as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (emphasis added)." The Spirit of God prompts me to 1Thessalonians , which states "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." The "each other" is obviously a reference to the church, thus re-emphasizing the "especially" of the verse from Galatians.

As I survey, however painfully, my life I recognize that I have the most verbal failings around those who mean the most to me: my "blood" family and my "Blood (purchased by) family." Excuses are like elbows, everybody has a couple, but God does not forgive excuses, He forgives sins when we agree with Him that such failings are not "character weaknesses," "just the way I am," or "oops," but are sin (see 1 John 1:9). 

It is not much comfort to recognize I am not alone. I occasionally filled in to answer the phones at a large ministry I served, and that can be traumatic as there are occasions when ticket seeker verbally assault the staff. Gratefully the vast majority of people were gracious, kind, and understanding. But others, apparently Christian, feel the clerk is personally responsible for sell-outs and let him/her know in words they'd hopefully never use in conversation with those "outside the faith." Others accused us of being "non-Christians" because we charge for tickets and try to maintain control of them. 

Again, their choice of words and their reasoning is embarrassing. Wherever two or three are gathered, there will be conflicts. But I certainly need to strive to resolve any disagreements in a way that is in accordance with the clear commands of God, who tells me not to play the "but I'm a fellow Christian" card, nor to speak harshly, cruelly, or otherwise unkindly to anybody, "especially" to my fellow ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

How dare I speak to His representative in a harmful way! Too many years ago I thought Ephesians 4:29 was God's telegram direct to my heart. These many years later I've memorized the verse, but I have a devil of a time applying it with regularity that pleases me.....or Him. So, if you have a moment, pray that I'd obey that verse (look it up if you need to). And, perchance, maybe the Spirit of God will speak to you through His comforting yet cutting Word. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

You Can Argue Whether You Were Drafted or Enlisted...but if you are a Christian you must fight!


  "The true Christian is called to be a soldier, and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death.

He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence, and security. He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven, like one traveling in an easy carriage. 

If he takes his standard of Christianity for the children of the world, he may be content with such notions; but he will find no countenance from them in the Word of God.

If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice, he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter. 

He must fight."

                        J. C. Ryle (10 May 1816 – 10 June 1900) 

















Thursday, May 23, 2013

Matthew 7.21 Feeder...

I have long considered Matthew 7.21-23 the most terrifying passage in Scripture. Thanks to the witness of the Holy Spirit and First John, it does not terrify personally, but reminds that there are so "many" (His Word, not mine) that profess Christ but don't possess Christ.


Long ago A. W. Pink observed,

"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness."




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We've Adopted because We're Adopted

Jane and I have two children the old-fashioned way; and we've been blessed also with two adopted children.

And all the Hagers have been adopted by the One who would rather die than live without us...

This is a beautifully-made film walking us through a couple's adoption and evolution into family...it is worth your time...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

STOP! Watch this...

Carve out 22 minutes...if you can't, wait until you can before you start this.

This young man died yesterday (May 20). How I wish I could have met him! How I wish I had confidence that I'll meet him in the future...but there is no evidence of the latter.

But he redeemed the time...he lived life.

And my guess is you'll need some Kleenex, as did I.

And if you share faith-in-Christ you'll ponder the same question...



Here is his music video that brought him to national..international...attention: 


And here is, I assume, the last video he did with Sammy, published in early April:


And here is the full version of the clip that was in the first video:

Tune Tuesday - Sometimes the Great Adventure Stinks...

Here's a not-so-moldy-oldie from Steven Curtis Chapman...


Tragedy visited Steven and his family in recent years; here's one of his new songs, which starts with a reference to "Great Adventure"...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Huh?

I recently received a fund raising letter from a ministry with which I am somewhat familiar.

I am perplexed, almost astonished, and baffled by a paragraph contained in the letter.

I am not putting it in "context" as I don't want to identify the ministry or make them think I'm attacking them...

Here is the puzzling paragraph:

"I told...of how we get to serve thousands of young people and minister to them. We try to do this with a generous posture that creates space for their humanity. Too many camps and churches try to force young people into a confining, human-created mold when what is really needed is an environment that allows young people to lean into their own God shaped humanity."

I am ignorant as to whether this ministry farms out its fundraising, or if this was penned by someone on their staff.

But would..could..someone explain it?

I'm reasonably certain I would fall under their category of "too many camps and churches (and speakers) try to force young people into a confining, human-created mold.." though I would argue the "human-created" part if they refer to things like holiness,sexuality,etc. 

I don't try to "force" anyone to do anything; though I try desperately to preach/teach the whole counsel of God...to include the "inconvenient" parts like sacrifice, service, and Biblical standards (as opposed to legalism). But, then, to some extent legalism is in the eye of the beholder...

Again, I have absolutely no clue what the writer of the paragraph means, or is trying to describe. But at face value, I don't want to have anyone..to include me...lean into my humanity...I need to lean into Jesus..not a Jesus of my choosing, but the only Lord and Savior Christ Jesus...and that only happens through repentance and faith.

NOTE: Some of you who read this may have received the same letter, or are pretty sure from where it came....may I ask you not to identify or guess?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Protest Clinics...and Churches?

R. C. Sproul makes a strong point:

"The evangelical church's chief strategies to end abortion have been to put pressure on abortion clinics and on elected officials. There is nothing wrong with these strategies; however, one strategy that has not been used or adopted widely is that of protesting those churches that support the ghastly murder of unborn babies.

"It is time for Christians to give prophetic criticism to the church, specifically to those churches that support abortion on demand or remain silent on this major issue...(and) when the church is silent in the midst of a holocaust, she ceases to be a real church."



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Please...Who?

“If we displease God, does it matter whom we please? If we please Him does it matter whom we displease?” ― Leonard Ravenhill

At some point in your life...you should prayerfully shout a huge "YES" to pleasing God...but it's more than raising your hand, going forward, praying, committing, etc...from the moment of that big YES you will constantly have to be choosing whether to say yes or no  to living your life for the Audience of One...








Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Most Stressful Thing I Do

I love to preach.

But I take seriously "Let not many of us presume to become teachers, for as such we shall incur the stricter judgment."

So everytime I speak...prison, church, youth group, camp, social club...whatever...I have a sense of holy terror.

But it's not the most stressful thing I do.

For over three decades I have had the immense privilege of "quizmastering." A rather pompous term, but it describes the one who asks questions of Bible quizzers. 

It's kind of like music and money...no matter what you do, you are wrong; in the sense that someone won't like what you are doing, how you are doing  it, etc...

As Aesop observed, "Please all and you please none."

But at the end of a quiz day..whether local, regional or national...I am one tied-in-a-knot individual!

My main desire is to honor the quizzers by being consistent...in my cadence, in my rulings, in my attitude.

They are under much more stress than I, and they deserve my very best.

Will it please everyone? Of course not...

Some will say I "give words." Others will say I ignore fouls. Some will say I stop reading too quick. Some will say I flop on flips (only some will understand this :)

Some will say I talk too rapidly; others will grumble that I'm too slow.

Whoever, or perhaps whomever (again, only some will understand this :)...says whatever...it matters not.

I know that I've tried my dead level best to do the very best job I can.

To be just.

To act with my head rather than my heart (most of the time).

And, again, to honor these teens who work so hard and take the risk of competition.

It's one of the most cherished things in the ministry to which the Lord has called me.

And though I hope to do it til I croak; I also hope that I have good enough friends that they will tell me when it's time to hang it up.

Here's a photo of me quizmastering the 3rd and final championship quiz last month at the Bible Quiz Fellowship National Tournament in Green Lake, Wisconsin:


Tune Tuesday - What's The Deal?

Welcome back to Tune Tuesday...where you can win a book just by making a comment...next Monday  I'll randomly draw a winner from those who comment in response to this...

Understand, this is not an attack on Michael W. Smith, but what follows is a very popular (if a bit old) song...this particular edition overlayed with scenes from Passion of the Christ...

I've never liked the song...at first I thought it was just me; but I've found others who share my sentiment...

What about you?

Do you like this song...or perhaps dislike it? 

Why?

Go...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Babies Rights Trump Moms

The comparison between babies’ rights and mothers’ rights is unequal. What is at stake in the vast majority of abortions is the mother’s lifestyle, as opposed to the baby’s life. In such cases, it is reasonable for society to expect an adult to live temporarily with an inconvenience if the only alternative is killing a child.

Randy Alcorn
Abortion, April 2013, Tabletalk, p. 23. Used by Permission.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cotton Candy - Sweet but Nutritionless

Ajith Fernando offers this sad analysis of the cause of much of the weaknesses in the Body:

"In its attempt to win a hearing, the contemporary pulpit
has been guilty of depriving our generation of lasting joy. They have had the responsibility of feeding the people craving for solid meat, but perhaps not realizing what they are craving for, they have kept feeding them dessert. It may have given the people instant satisfaction, but it has left them unhealthy and not really able to be salt and light for Christ in this world."







Friday, May 10, 2013

Oh, It Will Never Come to That...

Really? Do you somehow thing God will protect genuine Christ-followers from persecution? If you really take to heart "All I Have is Christ" you recognize two things; you need nothing/no one else; and you've got nothing to lose...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Country Classic

This early evening was a classic! Jane and I and the kids love our country home...but the extended winters can be a pain...

But days like today trump it all...Janelle and Jacob both had friends over and, after dinner, we all set out to explore and look for mushrooms...

A couple hours later we had a few ticks, lots of fun, and...yeah...some 'shrooms.

I don't really get into mushroom hunting, but I sure like to look around...

Here's some of what I saw...
























                                             close up of what our 'road' is made of...

"Love sinner, hate sin" counterpoint

A friend tweeted the following quotation.

I retweeted, but also want to post it here as it is worthy of careful thought.


It is authored by Marty Duren


And here is the quote:


"I suspect the mantra 'hate the sin, love the sinner' has made it easier for Christians to love hate and hate love."


Join me in chewing on that for a while...



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Nominee for Saint

Yes, yes, I know that all redeemed are saints...

But watch this video and perhaps you will agree that Larissa is a saint-of-a-different (rare)-breed...



Desiring God has just published an update and interview with Larissa...it is available by CLICKING HERE

The book referred to is purchaseable on the following link, and you so doing helps the Hagers...a family serving as home missionaries "on support/deputation"


You Will Find What You Are Looking For

Apparently U2 never did, but they are the supposed exception.

You find what you are looking for.

When it comes to people - God's amazing creations - and relating with them...two choices - look for the good or look for the bad. You will find it...

The hummingbird flaps its wings at a phenomenal rate, desperately searching for sweet, bright, fulfilling nectar.

The vulture appears to float lazily, but he is madly seeking dead, decaying crud.

Guess what?

They both find what they are looking for...

So do we...

So do I...

Do you sometimes have to see and point out negative stuff? Sure.

But...

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil 4.8



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In A Family Way...

Tuesday afternoon I had the duty to take son Joel to the Kansas City airport so he could fly to his place in Chicago after a glorious week's visit.

I then went to check out Lifeway Christian bookstore, pulling in to the parking lot and decided to stroll over to Best Buy first. Enroute I encountered this:

Nearby I spotted this:

I went to Best Buy, looked around for a bit, then came back...and was virtually charged by this ferocious protector:

His mate joined the attack, leaving me this view of the cause of their actions:

They were the only birds in the huge parking lot. Don't know what happened...timing is everything?...didn't know who to call....so since I can't find scripture prohibiting it prayed they'd be protected and that their unborn babies would see the light of day...and then thought about abortion and the many who fight the good fight trying to protect life...

Faith Trumps Fog

Tuesday morning I went outside around 5.45am to find fog near our country home.

The photos were taken with my phone.

Sometimes (often) life is foggy. Not sure where the road is going. It may be going through a deep, deep valley. The key word is "through."

"In this world you will have tribulation," said Jesus. "Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials," said James. "Exult in trials," echoed Paul.

You choose to listen to these men or to the eloquent, flashy, bright-teethed guys on tv.

Fight the (good) fight through the fog...



                                               This one features my foggy doggy Rocky

Tune Tuesday - What's Your Favorite Worship Song?

Answer the question in comments for a chance to win a cd and/or book!

What is my favorite?

For several years, "In Christ Alone"...as long as the phrase "til on the Cross, where Jesus died; the wrath of God was satisfied" is not deleted (as it is in some covers of the Getty near-classic)...the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of Jesus is not negotiable (to me).

Here's the song:

Monday, May 6, 2013

You Have a Problem with Porn

The headline may appear rude, but if statistics are anywhere close...I have very strong odds that the headline is accurate with you. If not, thank God and continue to read; if so, read as if your life depended on it.

Sexual Detox by Tim Challies is a small size book of less than 100 pages...no fluff, no waste, just straight talk (aimed at guys, though women would benefit from its principles) about a subject too often ignored, misunderstood, or elevated.

It not "only" describes the problems, it offers strategic solutions.

No easy fixes, no "just trust Jesus" cotton candy...but a clear recognition that it is a war and there are casualties and wounds...but victory can be attained.

I again give it my world-famous guarantee...if you buy it by using the link below and don't like it, I'll buy it back. (and as you purchase it on the link a small percentage will be applied to this home missionarie's account) 

Maybe you don't have a problem with porn. I'd bet someone in your immediate sphere of influence does.

Buy it.



Cat's in the Car Seat with the Police

If you are a parent of a certain age, you remember the tremendous song...tremendously convicting...authored by Harry Chapin (who in this music video says "Frankly, this song scares me to death.") "The Cat's in the Cradle"...Here it is:



A few years ago came a sort-of-similar song with the same conviction/challenge/comfort:



Then of course there is the legendary....



Common thread? 

Duh.

Your kids...and others...are watching.

You're writing a gospel,
a chapter a day;
by the things that you do;
by the words that you say

People read what you write,
Whether faithless or true,
Tell me, what is the gospel?
According to you?

Huge responsibility...marvelous privilege...

Tackle the day "bragging on Jesus" and walking in His ways...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What the Hell?


With ding-a-lings of all types playing games with the reality of hell, this quote is pertinent, important, and I dare you to share it with others on your facebook wall, blog, or whatever.

"The traditional doctrine of hell seems terrible to our modern ears because it is out of step with our modern intuitions about how God should behave. But our intuitions about these matters are hardly a reliable guide, given what Scripture says about the noetic effects of sin. To put it another way, the fact that an infinite punishment for sin seems an appalling, even disproportionate, punishment to contemporary human beings does not necessarily mean it is an appalling, disproportionate punishment. It may be that this is simply testimony to our failure to take with sufficient seriousness the idea of sinning against a being of infinite beauty and value. "
--Oliver Crisp, defending Edwards' understanding of hell, in "Karl Barth and Jonathan Edwards on Reprobation," in Engaging with Barth: Contemporary Evangelical Critiques (T&T Clark 2008), 316-17 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Remember this Coming Out?

Jason Collins public declarartion of an active homosexual lifestyle reminds me of the resignation of New Jersey governer Jim McGreevey in 2004.

In my earlier posting I refer to a statement Collins made that depicts the error so many professing Christians make in trying to, for instance, justify homosexual behavior, ignore the doctrine of hell, or play games with the exclusivity of the Gospel.

Collins' statement, though, is not an attempt on his part to "justify" anything. Yet Collins saying that he pays "particular" attention to some of Jesus' teachings parallels McGreevey's statement:

"At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world,
not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is.
And so my truth is that I am a gay American."

There you have it...Collins decides which of Jesus' statements to pay "particular" attention to...McGreevey opts to talk about "my...unique" truth.

Pilate wondered, "What is truth?"

The Lord Jesus..who lived the life we couldn't live and died the death we should have died...declared "I am the truth."