With the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning on gay marriage, I felt the need to speak to all of you concerning what will become a word war over the next few days and weeks. I do believe this is a critical time for this nation. This decision is not as much about the people who are fighting from either side of the issue, as it is the heart of our nation and its foundational truths.
How do we respond?
1) PRAY! Pray for this nation and its leadership. Especially the leadership in the church. Let the church truly navigate these troubled waters in this manner…Matthew 10:16 (KJV) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
2) Don’t be argumentative! That’s hard for some of us! Don’t be drawn into the spectacle of debate over this issue. If someone does not embrace the Bible as truth, you’re probably not going to argue them into agreement with you. Learn to ask the right questions if someone tries to confront you on this issue.
3) Love people regardless of their sexual preference or moral position. Remember loving people does not require your approval of their lifestyle. Parental kind of love is the best example of this love. I love my children regardless of their choices, but I’m certainly not going to approve of anything they would do that ultimately harms them.
4) Be a light! At no time in the history of humanity, has there been a greater need for marriage according to the Biblical pattern to be well represented. Husbands and wives, let’s get it right! I know it’s work, but it’s worth it!
Romans 5:20…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. We are living in troubling times, but hopefully we recognize the opportunity to be a light in a dark world! Let the Love of God abound in your life and all of your relationships! I Love you all and will see you soon! It’s Friday…but Sunday is on the way!
Just a few thoughts from this past Sunday…
We all know what it’s like to live at the place that we’ve prayed and prayed, and nothing has happened.
…But this is a new day. The things that you prayed for are coming. The fruit is on the vine. A time of harvest is here.
I Samuel 1
How do we Break out of Barrenness…what can I do??
1)Find your secret place with him. Stop! Be Still!
2)Keep up your faithful acts. Remain FAITHFUL! Keep doing the right things!
3)Renew your passion! Create an atmosphere of expectancy!
Malachi 3:11 (NKJV) 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD.
As we enter the Holiday season, one thing that I face now is the reality of how life changes. People that have been such an important part of your life, are not there anymore. And boy, how the holidays bring that reality home! Over the last decade or so, I have experienced the loss of several of my family members. As I move further away from their departures, I have to admit It still hurts. The laughs and sounds of their voices are still very clear, but only in my memory. Those voices would be wonderful to hear during the holidays, but that will have to wait. So wait I will, until we are together again. It is so wonderful to know that what we know as life, does not end here. The great Apostle Paul wrote, “…that if in this life only we have hope, we are of men most miserable.” I could not live without that hope! This life is so fragile and can change within seconds. The people that we love so much can be taken, with or without warning.
I think that people in ministry are sometimes perceived as being bullet-proof. A pastor like myself, can be viewed as not having some of the weaknesses or pains that the real world has to go through. But let me tell you from my own experience, we are real people in the real world! I know that many of you experience the same kind of grief that I’m talking about, especially during the holidays. Our sorrow is not as devastating because of the hope that We have in Christ. We know this is not the end, but it still hurts…our sorrow is real, but so is our hope! 1 Thessalonians 4:13 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
I spent some time last week in classes and seminars. I feel like there’s always something to learn – always room to grow! Life is really about a continual learning process. The prophet Isaiah said, “…learn to do well.”(Isa. 1:17) People learn and grow by a variety of methods.
>Intellectually – Some people don’t like to put themselves in an environment where they are not the most knowledgeable in the crowd. Hang out with some people who know more than you do, about the subject you are in pursuit of.
>Experience – Place yourself in a position to experience life at a different dimension. There are times that your experiences will far outweigh your education.
>Resistance – The challenges of your life will many times become the most fertile ground for your growth and progress.
>Refusal – There must be a conscience decision made that says, “I refuse to settle and remain where I am right now!”
I believe the moment you decide to stay where you are, and stop growing and learning, is the moment you choose to give up on your destiny. That can happen when you’re 15, 27, or 45! Or, you can still find progress being made when you’re 45, 65, or 85! The choice is really up to you. But, I challenge you…KEEP GROWING!
Superman. Spiderman. Even Santa Clause! Everybody is looking for a hero. Do you know where to find one? In Hollywood? On Wall street? Maybe the Sports World? Any of the aforementioned arenas usually turn up nothing. Positive role models are hard to find there. What makes it even worse is the fact that most of the news that comes from those arenas is simply not “hero stuff.” What about you? Do you have the “stuff” that heroes are made of?
Jesus taught us what the “stuff” is.
1)Being right in the wrong. In a culture of twisted religion, Jesus spit in the face of the self-righteous, and welcomed the unloved, the unaccepted, and the unthinkable.
2)Small was Big. Jesus lowered himself to humanity, and became a “nothing” to become my “everything.” Remember that the next time you’re trying to be “something.”
3)Life is Death. The Living had to die so that the Dying could live.
4)Giving Gains. Hold on to what you got and you’ll lose everything you’ve got coming to you. Let it go, and get it all!
I realize that the terms may be a little vague, but think about it in the light of His life. Jesus is the ultimate Hero! Before you disqualify yourself from the possibility of stepping into that role -Hero – remember he said his disciples would do even greater things than he did. And, Lord knows, and I think you’ll agree, there are some Heroes Needed!
I love being married! Gena and I hitched up on August 16, 1986. After 28 years of being married to the same woman, I can still say the institution marriage is a wonderful thing. I’m crazy about this wife of mine! I hear people from all walks of life(even Christians) degrade marriage. What a shame that their experience with this relationship has caused them to see their marriage as a bad thing. I hope you married folks have something to celebrate. Here are some ideas that may keep the celebration going.
>Make the Effort. Spend the time, energy, and money that you spent during the dating years. It’s amazing how little effort is given to marriage.
>Keep the Romance. Practice your Love relationship. Hold hands, hug, kiss, etc.. You loved those things while you were Courting/ dating your spouse. Why did you stop?
>Protect the Union. Never allow anything to separate you from this treasured relationship. Busyness, temptations, work, even ‘the kids,’ can have a way of driving a wedge between you. The marriage relationship must be the priority of your life, just below your relationship with God.
If you want to see a picture of a ‘Red-hot’ marriage, there’s a book you might want to read. The title of the book is “Song of Solomon.” It is actually a sub-section of another book called “The Holy Bible.” Surprised! You may find that book has a lot to say about Married Life.
Sorry for the absence over the last few weeks. I know some of you have been anxiously waiting for the next blog! Let me think that anyway, even if you haven’t been “on the edge of your seat biting your nails” waiting.
I’m helping with coaching the local youth recreation football league. Doesn’t seem that long ago that I was coaching my own son in little league football and baseball. That sure flew by! Now he’s getting ready to open his freshman season with the Appalachian State Mountaineers football team next Saturday. They will be playing at The “Big House” at Michigan. I, like many fathers probably, wish I could get a “do-over” and relive those little league years again. I stressed way too much!
In little league baseball, we always had a “draft” of the available players. The “draft” can be right stressful at times when it comes to trying to decide the fate of the kids that will be a part of your baseball life for the next 3 to 4 months. You go into the draft with your list of prospective players that you would like to have on your team. But, you can be sure of one thing, by the end of the first round of picks, your list is shot! Your dreams for those kids and their baseball destiny is over! All of the teaching and fundamentals long forgotten for those you missed on! (I know this is overly dramatic, but let me wax on!) Come’on, a 12 year old and their “baseball destiny.” Get Real! A lot of these kids will never play baseball again in their future. Maybe, and I stress maybe, a small percentage of the whole league will play beyond their high-school days. In spite of the wild hopes and dreams of many of us baseball dads, that think our kids will one day be Major-leaguers, baseball is simply not part of their mission!
But with that thought, think about a 12 year old kid who had a clear understanding of his life and it’s purpose. He understood his life would be one filled with adversity, challenges, and rejection. At 12 he realized The Mission. His name – JESUS!
Luke 2:49 – And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Pretty amazing for a 12 year old…