Psalm 139:1-6 personal paraphrase

Leave a comment

For my personal devotions I often paraphrase a passage of scripture. Today’s was Psalm 139. 

Lord, you have searched me. You have been to the depths of my heart — seen the fears and doubts, know the envy, jealousy and pride that is so deeply rooted there. You are not fooled by the hollow words I say to cover up the darkness of my heart. 

Psalm 139:1-5You know all that I do. Even from where you are you know all my thoughts. You know my words, actions, attitudes and thoughts. 

You know everything about my life. Nothing has escaped your attention. It’s not that you are just aware of my life — you are intimately aware of it!

You know me better than I do myself. Even before I have formed the words on my tongue you know the heart attitudes those words express.

You have cupped your hands around me, before and behind me. You have surrounded me with your presence.

Could all this really be true? How is it possible? God, your power and compassion is too much for me to comprehend. I can’t grasp it. I admit I don’t fully understand. 

 

Meet the Worwor Family

Leave a comment

Edy & Riama WorworCrossing is really honored to support a family that is truly “training the trainers” and by doing so is multiplying their impact for the Gospel many times over. The best way to get to know them is to take a minute to download and view this presentation they have prepared: Wowor Family.

Religious Fundamentalism Could One Day Be Treated As Mental Illness

Leave a comment

You know it’s coming. But when it hits you, when you finally are faced with it — it is still shocking!

hate_from_the_pulpit_posters-re7910d8096db444c81558031bb017eca_ai6vt_8byvr_216

But an Oxford University researcher suggests that one day all those detrimental behaviors & beliefs may be treated as mental illness.Christianity continues to be marginalized. Christians and the Church are already considered by many to be: unsafe, ignorant, homophobic, racist, archaic,  anti-scientific and bigoted. We suppress women, brainwash children, discourage intellectual discourse, spew hate speech and destroy indigenous cultures with our missionaries.

 “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated,”

What is your reaction to this? Are you shocked that there are people thinking like this in our world? How would you respond to someone who wanted to label your ‘faith’ as a mental illness? What would a world that considered ‘religious fundamentalist’ as mentally ill look like? I wonder how religious you could be without being mentally ill? What would be the distinction between those who would be considered mentally ill and those who wouldn’t be?

How should we respond to such thinking? What answers do we have that could serve as a deterrent to being ‘healed’ of our faith??

I have my thoughts. What are yours?

Read the HP article here.

A Mudder Birthday

Leave a comment

Recently Bette Jo was talking with the leader of one of the Cub Scout groups that meets at our church about their first ever Mudder Race they were hosting on the campus. He invited our boys to come by and enjoy the mud that day. Bette mentioned that it was Owen’s birthday that day and we had planned a party for him, so maybe next time. He replied, “Why not have the party here and let all his friends run the Mudder?” 
Well, you don’t get that opportunity every day, so we took him up on the offer!
It was a great day! Thanks to Tim K and his staff for allowing us to join them. Owen and his friends loved the mud and the climbing and running — all finished off by cake and hot dogs!

Getting hosed down by the fireman!

Over & Under!

And through!

Across!

Up a soapy slippery hill!

 

Into the MUD BOX!

Into the MUD BOX!

What it looks like when you come out of the mud box!

Bette Jo can’t resist the fun!

Neither could Grant!

Owen’s muddy friends!

Into the icy wading pool

Crawling through more mud pits!

Working together to move the big tires.

MORE over and under and through!

Snapple Confirms God’s Word

2 Comments

So I’m preaching through Psalm 90 this morning. Verse 10 says, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years.” 

I didn't realize how in tune God was with Snapple's Real Facts!Then I pop the top of a Snapple Peach Ice Tea and happen to check out the “Real Fact” inside the lid!

“With an average life expectancy of 81.2 years, the people of Okinawa, Japan live the longest.”

How cool is that! Right in line with God’s Word!!

Would Jesus Hang Out with Porn Stars?

Leave a comment

“Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” (Mt. 9:10-11)

Jesus constantly confused those who watched Him in His day. He still confuses those of us who read about Him today.

He did what the majority felt He shouldn’t. And He didn’t do what they thought He should.

Today I read a story about a pastor that is acting like Jesus.

Craig Gross is the founder of XXXChurch.com. They consider themselves, “The number one Christian porn site.” But they aren’t limited to a web presence. They also set up booths at the largest porn conventions in the nation with banners that read, “Jesus loves Porn Stars.” Their goal is to help people break free from porn addiction and to help porn stars break free from the porn industry.

What got my attention today was an article on the ABC news website entitled, “Ron Jeremy and Anti-Porn XXXchurch Pastor, America’s Ultimate Odd Couple.” Under the headline was a photo of the world’s most famous porn star, Ron Jeremy, sitting next to Craig Gross.

The article goes on to tell the story of how these two men have become unlikely friends. The quote I love the most is from a recent phone call when Jeremy was near death:

 ‘Craig, are you free for a couple hours?’ He goes, ‘yeah.’ ‘Are you still close to God?’ He goes, ‘last time I checked.’ ‘Well, I would like you and him to come down to Cedar Sinai Hospital, I’m going through a life-threatening operation,'” Jeremy said.

“There was something different,” Gross said. “He said, ‘Craig, I’m scared, and I don’t want to die.’ And he said, ‘will you pray for me?'”

I’m still processing this story. But there is a lot I like about it.

I like that the Christian never let the sin of the sinner get in the way of building a relationship with the sinner.

I like that the Gospel appears to be believable and real to the sinner and that is only true because they share a relationship that allows the sinner to see and know the Christian — and ultimately, to see and know the Savior.

I like it that the Christian didn’t allow the criticism and fear of other church-goers to stop him from befriending the sinner.

I like that the Christian’s behavior mimics and reflects the behavior of the Savior.

I can’t say it enough — our walk with Christ impacts those who are watching. Too often that impact is discouragement. But in this case that impact is inspiring! Thanks Craig Gross!

Yeah, I think Jesus would have hung out with porn stars.

You can read the whole article here.

PS: I just happened to watch a segment that Nightline did about XXXChurch in 2008. In it they interview Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross together. They challenge Craig about whether he has had an effect on Ron. To which Craig replies, “Not yet.” How cool to see that impact 5 years later. You can see the interview here. The comment I refer to is at the 6:19 mark. 

I’ve Told Untruths From the Pulpit!

Leave a comment

Yes, it’s true!

I’ve said things in sermons and from the pulpit that are not true. And I’m probably not even aware of most of them.

But today I learned of one untruth I’m glad to report to you and repent of.

On more than one occasion I’ve reported a “fact” that in fact was not a “fact” at all! I’ve said that Christians experience as much divorce as non-Christians.

Well that’s not true.

Ed Stetzer just posted a great post that reveals otherwise.

Specifically, the research shows that couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely, which in itself is quite impressive, I must say.

So what does this mean for you, for me, and for our churches? I see three takeaways: There will unfortunately still be divorce; discipleship is an integral part of marriage; and we must be careful when quoting statistics.

Click over to his blog and read the rest of his comments. It’s good stuff.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: