Tag Archives: Christianity

Reality Check: Not Feeling Rich Today?

This afternoon, I read the Time.com post in which; “4, out of 10 Millionaires Do Not Feel Rich,”

I became stupified by the idea of having asset’s, revenue’s,,, (whatever they were using to show that they had a proposed net worth of at least a million dollars) and feeling as though I did not qualify as being rich!

Do you get how they could feel that way?

I had an instant flashback to my college years when I had the wonderfully humiliating experience of being almost out of gas in my car, nothing in the fridge at my apartment, a whopping .05 cents in my bank account, and another week and a half to go before my next paycheck from the grocery store that I was working at part time! Talk about Broke!!! I was seriously broke!

I remember very vividly, how I felt when I finally got my paycheck in my hand, (there was no direct deposit back then) and how I felt empowered! Rich enough to catch up my rent for the month, put gas in my tank and even take my girl out to a movie! I knew I wasn’t rich,,, but it wasn’t gonna take much to get me there!

It’s amazing how, looking back on those feelings from 25 years ago seems odd now, when comparing how little it took to give me the feeling of being rich then, to now;

  • having 3 children,
  • a mortgage
  • car loans
  • home/car/life and health insurance
  • utilities
  • education
  • vehicle and property maintenance
  • clothing
  • gas
  • groceries and
  • 2 pages of ancillary budget items (you get the point)

The amount that it would take to create that fuzzy feeling for me now, is at least 400-500 times greater, and even then, the feeling would be heavily influenced by the balance of my savings account.

This, sadly,,, is one of the primary reasons we as Americans are so driven to work more than 10-12 hours a day, spend very little time with our families and most importantly, invest little, or nothing into the Kingdom of God.
This is the reason why Paul, the Apostle of Christ wrote in an Epistle to the Hebrews (12) nearly 2,000 years ago, that we should cast off all of the weights that weigh us down, because they will eliminate our ability to “run the Christian race.” It’s why he referred to all of these things in Matthew (6) as “things that will be destroyed by rust and moth’s, or stolen by thieves and if these things are our treasure, it is where our heart will be as well.
To further complicate our pursuit of riches,,, history and scripture both provide a large number of examples where mankind, and his thirst for wealth, prestige, power, possessions, land, etc. are never satisfied,,, no matter how much we acquire.
Could this be part of the reason why these individuals who have so much, feel as though they do not have enough?
Even I do not even show up on the radar of being a millionaire, I am thankful everyday that I do not need to be a Millionaire in order to “feel rich,” because I am intimately familiar with life’s most fulfilling promises and even though I do not “feel wealthy with stuff,” I still “FEEL RICH” every day of my life with all of the blessings that I have received from God!
Most importantly, knowing that I have been saved from the consequences of sin,,, Yeah, I AM UBER RICH!

“Do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for?”

What is Jesus Worth to You?

In his recently published book entitled: “Radical David Platt invites us to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what we’ve heard. He challenges us to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. (ouch)

Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among followers of Christ in modern culture, then he proposes a radical response, in that we live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.

I love the idea, but how achievable really is this? How many people do you know that are willing to Abandon Everything for Jesus?

What part of the Gospel is optional?

It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily… But who do you know who lives like that? Do you?

Do you understand the scripture to suggest that we should be ready to give everything up?
Would You?

COLOR BLIND

As you know, we launched this particular Blog series several months ago, entitled: “HOT TOPIX!” as an opportunity to address issues that in many cases, have become very difficult for people to deal with and may even find embarrassing,

By the way: This information was compiled from the Pastor’s notes on the recently concluded Message Series entitled: “Hot Topics” as it was taught by Mid Lakes Christian Church Senior Pastor; Doug Dykstra. See what you have been missing? Let’s begin with HOT TOPIX #7,

“COLOR BLIND”

For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (I Cor 14:8)
Armies in the ancient world were trained to respond to trumpeted signals, If the trumpeter blew one sound, they would charge – if he blew a different sound, they would retreat, but, if his tune was garbled, or if he didn’t pipe it clearly, then the army would be thrown into confusion

Today, the church is God’s trumpet.
We’re responsible to set the moral tone, but on the issue of Racism, the church has failed – miserably.
If the church had been playing God’s music to our society for the 230 years of our nation’s existence, all the confusion on all the subjects we have discussed could have been avoided, instead the Trumpet of God – the church – has wimped out and failed to take a stand on each of these issues. And if the church isn’t blowing a clear signal, what will come of our world?

UNFORTUNATELY, NON-BELIEVERS HAVE LED THE WAY IN OVERCOMING RACISM
Conservative, Bible-believing churches have largely stayed out of the whole issue of racism. Sadly, I’ve never to my recollection, heard a sermon on the subject, but in keeping our head low (so we can stay out of the fight) we have become silent co-conspirators in the ugly things that have happened in our nation’s history. Even worse, some churches have used tradition, or convenience, or even misused the scripture to justify racism, oppression, and prejudice. Take our worship services for example, many, are still the most segregated public place in our nation.
But here’s the most disgusting thing of it all: In the matter of racism, the church was more like a car’s taillight – merely trailing behind America’s Supreme Court and other secular agencies, when we should have been a headlight, leading the way.
~ It took the Supreme Court to handle a problem that the church should have
straightened out 230 years ago!

Tony Compolo is Italian descent, but he loves to preach in black churches because they are so expressive in their worship.
It’s true! I got the chance to preach to a black church once and it was a blast!
They never asked me back, though.
When whites go to church, they just sit there with their arms crossed and body language says: “Go ahead, say something interesting.”

Getting back to Tony’s story: When you preach, they amen you – like saying “sick‘em to a dog.” But one time, Tony wasn’t getting any affirmation from the crowd. He could tell that he was laying an egg that day. The crowd got quieter, and body language was telling him that he wasn’t ringing their bell. It got even quieter. Finally, there was a pause, and a brother from the back stood up and said: “Help him, Jesus! Help him, Jesus!”

RACISM
A. RACISM – is the attitude that says one human being is superior to another because
of the color of his skin – or his national origin.
Great comment written by a black man in Texas
When I was born – I was black
When I grew up – I was black
When I go in the sun – I am black
When I am cold – I am black
When I am bruised – I am black
When I am sick – I am black
When I die – I am black

Now, you white folks….
When you were born – you were pink
When you grew up – you were white
When you went in the sun – you got red
When you are cold – you’re blue
When you are bruised – you’re purple
When you are sick – you are green
When you die – you are gray
• So, who you calling “colored”?

B. RACISISM IS A PROBLEM ALL OVER THE WORLD
1. Neo-Nazi’s – Skinheads
2. Apartheid
3. Africa’s ethnic cleansing Hutus killing Tutsis, or is it the other way around?
4. Croats, Serbs
5. Japanese and Koreans
6. In Iraq, we seek the Shiites killing the Sunnis, and they both want to kill
the Kurds

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF RACISM?
I.e; Why does one person feel superior to another because of the color of his sin

A. PARENTAL INSTRUCTION
1. For many, our parents taught us to resent those who didn’t look just like us
Often prejudice is simply learned behavior.
a. Kids aren’t born prejudiced – They have to be taught to hate – very carefully taught
b. But, if you grew up with parents who had condescending attitudes toward blacks, or toward whites, or Orientals – whatever – then, you’ll probably carry those thoughts the rest of your life.
3. If you were carefully taught by statement or example to think that way, this is an area the Lord would have you reprogram your mind.

B. IGNORANCE
1. If we don’t know people from other races, we question their motives, or intelligence
We somehow diminish other races…find ways to think less of them as people
At a U.N. dinner, an Oriental fellow was seated next to a typical blowhard type. The blowhard, attempting to make conversation, leaned over and said: “You like soupee?”
The Oriental nodded
When the main course came, the guy said: “You like steakee?”
Oriental nodded
Then, they introduced the speaker for the evening, and it was the Oriental guy, who got up and gave an excellent speech, lasting 40 minutes — in perfect Oxford English.
When he came down and took his seat again, he looked at the blowhard and said: “You like speechee?”

C. FEAR
1. “They’re taking over. They’re taking our jobs.”
2. ‘They’re taking over our neighborhood – property values may suffer.”
3. “My daughter may marry one of them”
4. “There’s getting to be more of them than there is of us”
5. Cultural stereotyping. Prejudging = prejudice

D. OUR SINFUL NATURE
1. Because we have inherited the sinful nature, we have a desire to feel superior to other people. We want to exclude, demean, humiliate other people because it makes us feel better about ourselves.
2. We feel better about ourselves if we can look down on others
3. Racism is arrogance, and ignorance….but the bottom line: it is sinful

1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show
favoritism. …..
8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as
yourself, you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers (Jas 2:1, 8-9)

III. IS GOD A RACIST?
A. GOD TAUGHT MIRIAM A LESSON
1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.
9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.
10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy;
(Numbers 12:1, 9-10)
1. Moses’ wife was “Cushite” = Ethiopian
2. But, the interracial marriage was dividing the family, as they do to this very day
3. God’s response: The Lord’s anger…Miriam got leprous…Moses pleaded for her healing, which the Lord granted – after 7 days

B. GOD TAUGHT PETER A LESSON
1. Peter was the poster-boy for racism in the first century
2. But God sent visions to him about that – and insisted that he go to a Gentile’s
house, which he did – begrudgingly
3. Now, this former racist made a remarkable statement
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34-35)

C. GOD TAUGHT THE DISCIPLES A LESSON
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20)

D. GOD TEACHES THE CHURCH A LESSON
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.” (Rev 7:9-10)
Shouldn’t the church on earth look the way it will look in heaven?

OUR RESPONSE TO RACISM MUST BE…..

#1 CONFESS OUR SIN
Tony Evans, a nationally known preacher says: “Racism is not a bad habit. It is not a mistake. It is sin. And therefore, the answer is not sociology – it is theology.”
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8-9)

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as racist, but sadly, most of us are racist – at some level, just as we all have some measure of pride, greed, etc. We can’t get away with justifying ourselves by saying: “That’s how my parents taught me,” or…. “I had bad experiences with people from this or that race.”

I was so disturbed by the racist, anti-Semitic comments Mel Gibson made recently when he was arrested for drunk driving. The terrible thing about this is that so many Jews were against his movie, “The Passion of the Christ” because they said it was anti-Semitic. The continual response was that it wasn’t at all anti-Semitic. But when Gibson had that meltdown at his arrest, and spewed anti-Semitic comments, he undercut the value of a great film!
Likewise, we undercut everything our Savior stands for when we are racist! So, we need to ask God to:
#1 Reveal to us our racist tendencies
#2 Work with His Spirit within us to transform our heart and mind.
#3 BE COMMITTED TO RECONCILIATION

Reconciliation is God’s will for us.
Now he had to go through Samaria. (John 4:4) Jesus was traveling north, between Judea and Galilee. All Jews would take the long way around, crossing the Jordan River and then coming back across again, once they were above Samaria. But Jesus HAD to go through Samaria because the Samaritans mattered to God.
Jesus came not only to reconcile man to God – but People to one another

Paul writes to the Ephesians: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility(Eph 2:13-14)

The Jews put up a 5’ high wall in the temple that Paul here calls the “dividing wall of hostility” On that very stone from that wall, found recently by archaeologists, it says that “no Gentile is to go beyond this point, for if he does, he will only have himself to blame for his death which will surely follow.”

Obviously, God intended the church to be a place of reconciliation.

Martin Luther King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream” on the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial, said:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

Well, I have a dream of our church being a model of reconciliation to everyone we can touch. Here, people of every tribe, and language, and nation are unified under the banner of Jesus’ cross.
Our church is not a yuppie church, a baby boomer church, a DINKs (double income-no kids) church, a generation X church, a retirees church, a black church, a white church – – – Our church is all of these things! We are a Christian church, where Black/White, Asian/Hispanics rich/poor, young/old experience welcome hearts, where they feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.

The world isn’t much impressed with beautiful church buildings – but what captures their eye is a group of people who treat each other with respect and grace – across the board …. Where genuine love flows like a river. Where they see people living in peace and acceptance where elsewhere, there is hostility.
– – – That’s where Jesus is praised!

#2 BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE OF OTHER RACES
Jesus didn’t just say “Hi” to the Samaritan woman – he deliberately struck up a conversation with her. She was so impressed she went to her village and brought out the whole town (also Samaritans) to meet him. He stayed there for two days, teaching them
The first thing that we can do to someone who has sucked up all the courage they can find and come to our church is to look them in the eye and warmly greet them.

#3 FORGIVE PAST OFFENSES
Don’t get caught up in bitterness, holding grudges is like mixing poison for someone else and then drinking it yourself.
Everyone is bitter! Whites are bitter about affirmative action and reverse discrimination, Blacks are bitter when slighted by whites, or treated unfairly, etc. But we are supposed to respond differently than the world! Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph 4:31-32)

Keith Richburg is a Washington Post reporter who spent three and a half years in Africa as a reporter. After this, he wrote a book “Out of America,” in which he talks about the negative view of Africa that he developed in his time spent there; “I am not a hyphenated American. Though slavery was a terrible sin, I’m thankful to be living in America and not Africa today. Is there anything left of Africa in those slaves who made that torturous journey across the Atlantic. Is there anything left of Europe in the white Americans who sailed that same ocean – English Americans, or Dutch Americans?
I see the flaws in America, I curse the intolerance, but even with all that, I recognize that it is the only place I truly belong. It is home. And, I feel for Africa’s suffering and empathize with its pain, but most of all I thank God my ancestors got out. I thank God I’m an American.”

Reminds me of Joseph, in the O.T., sold as a slave into Egypt. When he had the chance to return vengeance on his brothers, he refused, saying he’s not bitter. “You meant it for evil, but God has used it for good.”

So, none of us should play the race card – we must play the grace card because the Bible says: “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”

CONCLUSION: THE STORY OF JOHNNY LEE CLARY
Johnny Lee Clary was raised by a racist father who taught him to stick his head out the car window and shout racial slurs as they passed by blacks. Dad would pat him on the back and say: “That’s my boy!”
His mother was an alcoholic, who didn’t pay him any attention. His grandmother was a Christian who took him to Sunday School every week until one time he came home singing:
“Jesus loves the little children – All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
From that day on he wasn’t allowed to go to church.

When he was 11, he was in the room when his father put a gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. His mother couldn’t take care of him, so he was sent to California to live with his older sister and her ex-con boyfriend, whose only interest in him was the government check she got each month.

One day while watching TV, he saw a guy talk about the Ku Klux Klan, and found out how to join. In essence, they adopted him and he counted the KKK as his only family. He rose rapidly through the ranks and ultimately became the Imperial Wizard of the KKK, then, one day, Johnny got the chance to do a radio debate with a state leader of the NAACP – a preacher named Wade Watts.

Preacher Watts completely shook up Johnny Clary. Instead of coming in with an angry spirit, preacher met him in the hallway, and put out his hand and said: “Hello there, Mr. Clary. I’m Wade Watts. I just want to tell you I love you and Jesus loves you.” Clary was so stunned he shook Wade Watts’ hand. Suddenly he realized he broke a major KKK rule, and Watts saw him looking at his hand with a stunned expression on his face. Watts laughed and said: “Don’t worry, Johnny. It don’t come off.”

Johnny started calling him names, and Preacher said: “God bless you, Johnny. You can’t do enough to me to make me hate you. I’m gonna love you and I’m gonna pray for you, whether you like it or not.” Clary says he didn’t know how to deal with that. He had never had that happen to me before.

After the radio debate, Wade Watts came running up to Clary, holding his baby. “Mr. Clary, this is my daughter Tia.” He held her out with her shining dark eyes looking straight at Clary and he said: “You say you hate all black people, Mr. Clary. Just tell me – how can you hate this child?”

As a result of this, the KKK set fire to Watts’ church, drove by his house calling him names, threw trash all over his lawn. Then they showed up wearing their sheets and hoods, and called out to him: “Get on out here, boy, we got something for you.” And he comes outside and he says, “Boys, Halloween’s four more months away. I got no trick or treat in here for you. Come back in October.” And he went back in the house.

They were running out of ideas, but one day they burned a cross across the street from his house. He came outside and asked us if they needed hotdogs or marshmallows for their barbeque. One day Clary called him up and disguised his voice and said, “Hey, boy, you’d better be afraid. We’re coming to get you, boy. You don’t know who we are but we know who you are.” Watts: “Hello, Johnny. Let me do something for you, and he began to pray: ‘Dear Lord, please forgive Johnny for being so stupid. He doesn’t mean to be so ornery, he has a good boy trying to get out somewhere in there.’”

One day they were watching Preacher Watts, when he went into a restaurant, so they gathered about 30 KKK member’s, went into the restaurant, surrounded his table and Clary said: “I’m gonna make you a promise,,, I promise we’re gonna do the same thing to you that you do to that chicken. So you think real hard before you touch that chicken.” So he looked at me and looked at the Klan, then he picked up the chicken and he kissed it. And when he kissed the chicken, the whole restaurant exploded in laughter. Even Johnny’s KKK buddies started laughing, so he got mad at them and told them they couldn’t wear their hood and sheets for 2 weeks.

Johnny Clary concludes this story by saying: “And that’s how one old black man defeated the entire Ku Klux Klan.”

Eventually Johnny left the KKK, drank himself half to death, put a gun to his head and said: “Well daddy, I’m following in your footsteps….”
Strangely though, the light coming through the grimy window of his apartment fell on an old Bible, gathering dust in the corner. Hoping for another way, he put down the gun, picked up the Bible and it fell open to Luke 15, the Prodigal Son. And that night another prodigal decided to come home

Johnny joined a multi-racial church, studied, and grew in his relationship with Christ. 2 years later, he picked up the phone and called Mr. Watts. When he came to the phone, Watts said: “Is this that Ku Klux Klansman? Hello, Johnny Lee.”

Johnny told of his conversion, and the interracial church he’s attending. Watts could hardly contain himself and insisted he come and preach at his pulpit, which he gladly did.

Now, Clary finds himself preaching to a mostly black church, where he tells his story. He told them that racism is a learned characteristic – but that love can be learned as well. When he was finished, a teenage girl got to her feet and ran down the aisle, threw her arms around him and hugged him. A weeping Preacher Watts leaned over and told Johnny: “That’s Tia, my baby.”

THE GROUND IS TRULY LEVEL AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS

BECOMING A+ CHRISTIANS IN A XXX WORLD

Just for the Fun of it, we are launching a Blog series, entitled: “HOT TOPICS!” (Doesn’t that sound interesting?)
This is an opportunity for us to address issues that in many cases, have become very difficult for people to deal with and may even find embarrassing,

Do I Have To?

But as we strive to become more like Jesus,,, these are issues that we absolutely must talk about. Are you ready?

This information was compiled from the Pastor’s notes on the recently concluded Message Series entitled: “Hot Topics” as it was taught by Mid Lakes Christian Church Senior Pastor; Doug Dykstra. (See what you missed?)

Let’s begin

As we deal with “Becoming A+ Christians in a XXX World,” It is unfortunate that satan has manufactured so many lies that it seems impossible to find the right way for our lives.
That is why the Bible says: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Prov 14:12)
As we walk through this topic, we’ll be studying questions like:
➢ What about homosexuality
➢ Divorce
➢ Addictions, like alcohol, gambling, drugs
➢ Internet, and porn
➢ Abortion
➢ The Occult

But today, we’ll be dealing with the seriously HOT TOPIC of: “What does God have to say about sex outside of marriage?” (did somebody just say ouch?)

Unfortunately, the world is SHOUTING it’s answers to all of these questions,,, and sadly, the church has become timid, seemingly, afraid to speak out. Many churches simply acquiesce to the standards that are being shouted out through lifestyles, television, movies, activities in universities, clubs, bars and the millions of other social avenues available today for us to interact with society at large.

Professor and Christian author, Howard Hendricks said it right: “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.”
But we must not stutter! We must “speak the truth in love” as Paul says – but boldly, so there can be no misunderstanding.

Quite often, this is hard for Christians to talk about, we feel like the father who’s son, at a boarding school, just turned 14. It’s awkward…
Dad realized it was that time for “THE TALK” – the talk that all dads hate to have with their sons, So, he took the coward’s way out – He wrote a letter:
“Dear Son,
Now that you have reached the magical age of 14, the time has come for me to tell you about the bees and flowers.
There is a male bee and a female bee, (although I haven’t the slightest idea which is which.)
As for the flowers – we get ours from Plaza Florists. They’re in the book. Well, that takes care of that. We should talk again soon…


Affectionately,
Your Father.”

We tend to feel pretty smart about these issues, but when it comes down to it, we may not know all that we think we know…

I love the story about a 4-year-old girl who had a habit of sucking her thumb. Mom tried to scare her out of the habit by saying that if she keeps sucking her thumb, she’ll eventually blow up like a balloon.
The next day, mom and the 4-year-old were at church, standing next to a very pregnant lady. The little girl walked up to the expectant mother pointed to her tummy and said: “I know what you’ve been doing!”

Our modern society is TRIVIALIZING the Momentous!

A. WE’VE TRIVIALIZED SEX BY DESCRIBING IT AS “CASUAL SEX!”
(It is important to note here that there is NOTHING CASUAL about sex.)

Let’s see what sexual relationships outside of marriage accomplish…. They:

  1. Anger God
  2. Destroy your marriage
  3. Eliminate your self-esteem, reputation
  4. Destroy your walk with God
  5. Endanger your health
  6. Risk destroying a potential child’s life, (assuming he is allowed to live) And….
  7. They destroy all these things for your partner, too

– – – So….what’s so casual about it?
We say that our society has over-emphasized sex – but the truth is they don’t emphasize it enough. They’ve TRIVIALIZED it!

A great story about a mom taking with her daughter before going out on her first date. Mom says: “Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away when your with a boy, so Remember, a short moment of indiscretion could ruin your life.”
The daughter: “Don’t worry, Mom, I don’t plan on ruining my life until I get married.”

B. WE’VE TRIVIALIZED SEX BY TALKING ABOUT: “SAFE SEX.”
(In our society, this term is never used of marital sex, which is the only safe sex)

There are a raft of sexually transmitted diseases out there, and many of them deadly. Instead of doing the right thing and teaching abstinence, the issue of Sex is dealt with in conversations where it is referred to as “Safe Sex.”

It is sadistic for parents, school systems, and Planned Parenthood, etc., to pass out condoms to kids and give them a pat on the head, telling them all about “safe sex,” they are deliberately perverting our children.

School systems from middle school through college should be sued for perverting kids and risking their health. It’s depraved indifference. When a student gets pregnant or picks up an STD, the school system should be sued for encouraging their extremely risky behavior!
Here’s why…..

  • First of all, when they pass out condoms, they are conferring adult approval to immoral and self-destructive behavior… “If today’s schools were teaching drug education the way they teach sex education, they would be handing out clean needles and showing the kids how to shoot up.”
  • Secondly, condoms have a 15% failure rate – they leak either because of flaws in the latex, or by breaking from deterioration.

Imagine you are at a parachute school and the instructor tells your class of 20 students: “3 of you are going to drop like a rock, but don’t let that worry you – it’s only 15%! Ok, now lets load up and have fun!” Whatever…

But our educational leaders avoid the stark reality of their own research…..
-No wonder so many kids are surprised by their pregnancies
-No wonder so many kids who are practicing what they consider to be “safe sex” are surprised with their diseases;

Fact!: “The AIDS Virus is 1000 times smaller than sperm”
Fact!: “The rubber comprising a latex condom has intrinsic voids about 5 microns in size!” (The HIV virus is 0.1 micron.) source: (Roland, Rubber World. June 1993. Roland and Sobieski, Rubber Chemistry and Technology. Vol. 62, 1989.)
Fact!: “The University of Texas tested condoms against the AIDS virus and found the failure rate to be 31%!”

Dr. Robert C. Noble, professor at University of Ky said this: “Doctors can’t fix most of the things you can catch out there. There’s no cure for AIDS. There’s no cure for herpes or genital warts. Gonorrhea can ruin your chances of ever getting pregnant and can harm your baby if you do. That afternoon in the motel may leave you with an infection that you’ll have to explain to your spouse.

There is no safe sex outside of marriage and Condoms aren’t going to make a dent in the sexual epidemics that we are facing. If the condom breaks, there is a possibility that you may die.
We should stop kidding ourselves.

Fact!: “The United States’ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 56 million Americans have an incurable STD. That means 1 in 5 Americans are infected!”

At a recent conference of 800 “sexologists,” Dr. Theresa Crenshaw asked them to raise their hands if they would trust a condom to protect them with a person known to have HIV. At first, not one raised their hand. Finally one raised his hand.
Dr. Crenshaw went on to tell them that it is irresponsible for therapists and counselors to give advice to others which they would not follow themselves.
She said: “The point is, putting a mere balloon between a healthy body and a deadly disease is not safe.”

Even though we are addressing a large number of facts and concerns about the teachings of “SAFE Sex,”
None of this even touches the problem of unwanted pregnancies, which destroy the lives of the “lovers,” and their families on both sides, and the poor unwanted child, who will never enjoy a normal family relationship

Beyond that, of course, there is the pressure to kill the unborn child, which if she yields, will lead to the ruin the mother’s life with perpetual guilt.

What a tangled mess we’ve made of our lives.

I know that many think that God sits in heaven devising ways to put passions into our hearts and then telling us not to follow them, but the truth is that sexual relations outside of marriage are displeasing to God because of their destructive behavior.

  • Self-destructive to us, personally
  • Destructive to our marriages, children, and future children
  • Destructive to our extended families
  • Destructive to the sexual partner
  • Destructive to our church, and even our community

Immorality breeds pain, heartbreak, and wretchedness, and that’s why God has placed a fence around the mountain of sex….because He knows what’s best for us.

God’s aim is not to keep us from experiencing pleasure, but rather to keep us from destroying ourselves and everyone whose life our life touches.

Websites to check out condom failure rates:
http://www.prolife.com/CONDOMS.html
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/preventingpregnancy/malecondom.html
http://www.hli.org/index.php/condoms/139?task=view

C. WE’VE TRIVIALIZED SEX BY CALLING IT: “CONSENSUAL SEX!”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.” (6a)

We constantly hear warnings about Con-Men, i.e; Men who work the confidence game. They will promise a new roof…. take your money and run. Paul is saying that no one who is a Christian should become a con-man, “wrong his brother,” or “take advantage of him”
Def:= to defraud someone, to steal, to pull a con

Sure, it’s “CONSENSUAL SEX” – in the same way as Con-men work at consensual stealing, they don’t use guns, they use stealth, lies, the ruse. They get you to give your money to them, gladly!
CONSENSUAL SEX is the same thing.

Con men will say anything to get you to cooperate with them in their scheme, that’s what happens with immoral sexual relationships where, often, words like: “I love you so much” flow freely.

How is this stealing?
If you are married, you are stealing what belongs to your spouse, Likewise, if your partner is married, you’re stealing from his/her spouse.
If we’re unmarried….we are stealing what belongs to future spouses.
In addition, we are stealing from the potential child, who will come from this relationship and who will most likely, never know a normal mother / father relationship.
Finally, everyone is being robbed of dignity, self-respect, purity, and their walk with God

D. WE’VE TRIVIALIZED THE WORD: “LOVERS”

It is no wonder that extra-marital sex angers God so much, those who engage in extra-marital sex do not view their partner as someone who is precious, sacred, valuable…..
Instead, their partner is a collection of body parts to be exploited for one’s own pleasure – – – No wonder God is so angry about this!

The truth is, love has nothing to do with it because we don not exploit the one we love.

Sadly, guys will lie to their “partners” about their commitment and love – and according to research, women will believe it.
A study at a Midwestern college showed that 80% of the women who were living with a man believed they would marry, but only 12% of the guys believed that. This only compounds the problem, since this 80/12 philosophy has led to the delay of marriage.

Since women are disrespecting themselves so much that they don’t require marriage any longer before giving guys what they want, the guys see no need at all to commit themselves to marriage
To put it crudely, men are asking: “Why should I buy the cow when I can get the milk for free.”
That may seem offensive, but that’s what’s happening, and women have no one to blame for their estate but themselves.

Marriage was created for the protection of women, and children. Many Modern Women have sold out their last hope for themselves and their kids by giving in.

According to scripture, PROMISCUITY ENRAGES GOD

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Cor 6:9-10)

Many of us have been sexually immoral in the past and many are still carrying around guilt from those days – maybe even years later, But, I have some really good news….
As Paul continues his discussion with the Corinthians…The next verse says…..
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Cor 6:11)

ACTION STEPS

A. AVOIDING SEXUAL SIN STARTS WITH THE MIND

#1 STOP POSSIBILITY THINKING
a. Adultery begins long before the one-night-stand
b. It doesn’t start with the act, but with the imagination that considers such an action a possibility. After all, my wife/husband will never know. Never find out.
c. Even if your spouse never finds out – you’ll always know

I’ll never forget visiting an elder who was a great leader, highly respected, who had been a Christian all his life. He was on his death bed (cancer) and before I left, he asked his wife to leave the room. Once she was gone, he said: “There was a time in our marriage that I was unfaithful to my wife – do you think I should tell her before I die?”
He’d been carrying his infidelity for many years.

#2 RECOGNIZE THE BIG LIE
No mater what our culture says, sinful sex is not:
“Casual”
“Safe”
“Consensual”
And, it’s anything but: “Love”

#3 DO A COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS…

Extra marital sex results in;
a. Disease
b. Unwanted pregnancy
c. Breaking up a home
d. Guilt
e. Broken children
f. The wrath of God
– – – where’s the good news in all this?

B. MAKE BEHAVIORAL CHANGES

#1 GET SERIOUS – MAKE A COMMITMENT
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Job 31:1

a. Learn self-control

b. Some people think that if they get involved in immorality it will ease their passions. They think it will take away their thirst for sex.

c. But just the opposite is true. Sexual passions are addictive.

d. Like all addictions, they are easier to prevent than to cure

e. Having more sinful relationships are no more a treatment for lust than drinking more whiskey is a treatment for alcoholism.

#2 GET SERIOUS – AVOID TEMPTING PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE

1. Are your friends the kind of people who reject God’s standards?
2. We need to ask ourselves why we hang around the people we hang with.
3. Why am I attracted to friendships with ungodly people?

b. PLACES
1. It’s foolish for an alcoholic to go to a bar to sip water. You just don’t go there.
2. And, we all know of places, events, people – who will lead us into sin. Just get decisive and stay away from them
3. And, guys, if someone says that you’re not a man if you don’t have sex with them, tell her that cockroaches have sex – so what does that tell you???

c. MODESTY
1. Many Christian girls and women may not have sexual addictions, but they dress like they do because they have accepted the culture we live in
2. So, everything they have is tight, or short, or low – or all 3
3. Women must not use their bodies to generate lust in men. If your figure is that good, you don’t have to show it off.
4. The lame excuse many women use is: “Well, that’s his problem” or “He can look the other way” doesn’t cut it, and isn’t based on reality.
5. If your dress creates lust within men, you have led them into sin, and you’re as guilty as they are.

#3 GET SERIOUS – DEVELOP AN APPROPRIATE FEAR
We need to dread our own weakness
1. We think too highly of ourselves. We think we can handle these situations. So, we walk into them, and up with moral failure
2. Someone was interviewing the well-known Christian speaker and author,
Gordon McDonald.
The interviewer asked: “If Satan were to be successful at destroying your life with sin, how do you think he would do it?”
McDonald: “Well, certainly he can tempt me in many ways, but one area he’ll not be successful in is my marriage.”

Soon thereafter, through a series of seemingly innocent events, he found himself in an affair. That’s why Paul says:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (I Cor 10:12)

A young priest was talking to an old priest, saying: “When will I be freed from lusting after women?” The older priest replied: “Son, I wouldn’t trust myself around a pretty women until I’ve been dead for 3 days.”

SO…….
A. HAVE YOU BEEN THERE? IF SO…..
1. You probably cringe every time you think of it.
2. You’re probably questioning whether God can forgive you. Satan draws us into sin and then keeps reminding us of our guilt after we went there.
3. I have a text for you:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Cor 5:21)

B. ARE YOU THERE NOW?
1. Are you doing the live-in thing
2. Married, having an affair?
3. Kids doing the touchy-feely thing

IF SO……
1. If you are in these situations, get out of it now!
2. Get out of it like you’re running out of a burning house
3. “Flee from sexual immorality.” (I Cor 6:18a)

HERE’S WHY…..
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Heb 13:4)

God’s not a kill-joy! He’s the one who invented sex! But He intended it only for within the marriage relationship. But, God will surely judge those who are sexually immoral.

As a ministry of Mid Lakes Christian Church in Tavares, FL., we want you to know that there is a place you can go, where you will be loved, you can find help, and most importantly, you can find out what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We look forward to seeing you soon, or hearing from you.www.Mid-Lakes.org

A Behind the Scenes Look at Scripture

As a student of scripture, I am constantly wondering what was going on, behind the lens that scripture is told from. For example: I can easily imagine having been on the boat with Peter and the rest of the Disciples in Mat. 14:22-33 when Peter and the other Disciples were told by Jesus to get into their boat and go to the other side of the Sea.

So,,, they did just that, but somewhere between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., while the sea worked up a frenzy and tossed them around in their boat, they saw what appeared to be a ghost walking by on the water and they were totally freaked out until Jesus (knowing of their fear) yelled out and identified himself.

Bam! Just like that, Peter pop’s the question and suggests that Jesus ask Peter to come out to him. Now, with a show of hands,,, who would have been the person to do what Peter did? Seriously? Odds are, less than 1 in 1,000 have the type of personality that is so daring!

Keep in mind though, according to research, even those people would need some kind of confidence in the waters ability to support them, before they extended the dare.

Now imagine you are in the boat and you are taking this whole thing in, when suddenly, you see Peter throwing his leg over the side like he has something to stand on! But you know that it is dark! It’s deep! It’s tempestuous and it’s totally CRAZY! But your friend Pete is stepping out into what is almost certainly going to end completely wrong!

What are you saying to him at this point? Are you yelling? Are you raising your voice very calmly? Are you reaching out to grab his arm and hold him back? Are you suggesting he has gone INSANE? I can imagine you are not expecting him to stand up as though the water is supporting him once he has pushed himself off of the side of the boat! And you are most certainly not expecting him to walk on the water once he does… Right? Here’s how the story goes:

MATTHEW 14: 22-33

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Scripture does not tell us what is going on behind the scenes and I enjoy being able to imagine what his friends were thinking as Peter stepped out… What would you do? By what we see in scripture, Peter was not looking for a dare,,, he was not out to prove anything to his friends, he just wanted to be close to and doing the same things as Jesus!

Do we know anybody that has the same degree of passion about being close to, or like Jesus? Here’s a defining question, do we know anyone who has the kind of faith that is willing to step completely out of the logical place to be?

Think about it; The boat was intentionally designed to get them across the water, but what Peter was doing was by all accounts, illogical and just plain idiotic!

No wonder Jesus loved Pete’s attitude enough to build the entire New Testament Church off of his passion.

I want to find that place,,, do you? I want to know that level of pleasure in the eyes of God… How about you?

Unforgiving and tumultuous, deep dark seas

Would you have stepped out!