Award Shows…the Heart

It’s the award giving time of the year for Hollywood and all of its media branches. It’s a time when the “people choose” and all the little gold-plated men go to the brightest stars of the multibillion dollar industry. After all, who doesn’t like a good pat on the back? But at the end of the day, the awards given out show more than just who’s “number one” – they show the true heart of Hollywood.

Look at the movies that win. You don’t have to watch the shows to find out. The news channels fall over themselves trying to tell you about it. The movies that win the vast, vast majority of the time are ethically, morally and socially rotten. They continually glorify and celebrate murder, prostitution, hate, violence, profanity, fornication, organized crime, greed, theft, lying and adultery. Whichever movie pushes the envelope the best usually ends up finding its name inside the envelope to get the award.

“But the actors and actresses deserve an award because they make it look so real”, some say. Well I say if you want to see real then get out on the streets where real people suffer because of the things that Hollywood celebrate! But that wouldn’t be any fun would it? The claim of, “movies help to escape reality”, while reality is made up of the actions and behaviors that the movies celebrate just don’t make sense to me.

Never forget, what goes in the heart comes out of the heart. This is true on a personal, community, cultural and national level. And if one considers the poor and disgusting behavior of people on the big or little screen award worthy, then that award helps to reveal what the heart really values. So who’s the winner of our heart going to be? It’ll be whoever we lay out the red carpet for.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19 – NKJV)”

#award, #culture, #entertainment, #heart, #hollywood, #movies

Jesus isn’t allowed in school? What’s new?!

There’s a news story out there on the web about a 6-year-old who was told by his teacher that “Jesus is not allowed in school” after bringing some candy canes for his classmates with a religiously themed note attached. Now I personally understand that the teacher was trying to use words that a 6-year-old could understand, but I also understand that explaining something in its simplicity does not do away with the truth, that being that the school is not interested in having Jesus around.

Schools can’t have Jesus around, huh? So what’s hanging around schools since Jesus isn’t allowed anymore? Contraceptives without the parent’s knowledge? Sure. Telling kids how to have sex instead of educating about sex? Sure. Teachers having sex with kids? Sure. Kids dressing like they’re ready for the late night streets and the beach? Sure. Kids relentlessly physically and mentally torturing other kids? Sure. Kids buying and selling drugs? Sure. Kids disrespecting and threatening their teachers? Sure. Kids taking the lives of others kids? Unfortunately and sadly, sure.

Why wouldn’t you encourage a 6-year-old boy who will soon be a 16-year-old young man to bring someone to school who can teach the other kids to love and respect their parents, to love and respect their self, to love and respect their fellow students, and to love and respect their teacher? We wouldn’t want kids growing up to do that would we?!

Look at the major problems that schools are dealing with today – large dropout rates, graduated ignorance, out-of-wedlock children having children, drugs, gangs and school shootings. Why didn’t this stuff happen 40 to 50 years ago anywhere close to the way it happens today? Is it because you couldn’t drop out of school? Nope. Is it because there weren’t any kids not interested in learning? Nope. Is it because kids weren’t capable of having sex? Nope. Is it because there was no such thing as a group of punks? Nope. Is it because there were no drugs? Nope. Is it because there were no guns? Nope.

One of the biggest contributing factors may just be that the last generation of adults were more interested in telling Jesus to stay home instead of coming to school with the kids resulting in a generation that doesn’t know about the Lord, because of a generation that didn’t want to know about him, thus resulting in a generation of kids who are being given an education for their physical side but are being deprived and starved of an education for the side that helps to temper the physical one.

So Jesus isn’t allowed in school? Where’s that getting our culture and our children?

And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)

#children, #culture, #education, #jesus, #kids, #morality, #news, #school, #school-system

Peacemaker or Peace-Breaker

Percival Wilde once described a man with these memorable words: “He made enemies as naturally as soap makes suds.” Think about soap and suds for a moment. You don’t have to work very hard to get soap to make suds. Just mix a little water with the soap and agitate it slightly — and presto — out come the suds. Some people are like that. They make enemies easily. Agitate them ever so slightly and they are ready to go to war, if not with weapons at least with words. It just seems to be in some people’s nature to make and see other people as enemies. Thousands of years ago the psalmist found himself living around people who didn’t care about getting along with others — “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). Sadly, daily headlines and simple observation reveal that our own world is populated by far too few who are for peace and far too many who are for war. The proof of that is all around us. The God Christians worship is called the “God of peace” (Romans 15:13). The Christ Christians seek to follow was described by a prophet as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And the gospel Christians preach to the world is referred to in the Bible as the “gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15). All the more tragic, then, that we live in a world at war. Unless you are from another planet and just arrived today, you know there is war between nations. And here at home in America there is a lack of peace on our streets. The FBI “crime clock” reports a violent crime is committed every 23.5 seconds (, 1/16/13). We are disgusted and stunned that violence now frequently enters the hallways and classrooms of our public schools, turning them into war-zones and killing fields. TV programming is saturated with violent acts. In many homes in America children and spouses are abused and even murdered. And thanks to “a woman’s right to choose,” violence has invaded and destroyed even the peace of the womb, making the womb, statistically, the most dangerous place to live in America. As some anonymous wag has noted, the most amazing thing about someone being arrested for disturbing the peace these days is that they found any peace to disturb.

How challenging, then, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the children of God.” God’s children are known for trying to make peace. Now, while there is more to being a child of God than being a “peacemaker” (see John 3:3-5; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, etc.), there certainly is not less. That’s why an inspired writer directed us bluntly in Hebrews 12:14 to “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” To be God’s sons and daughters is to take on His nature. And the gospel forcefully demonstrates His nature is to make peace, even when the cost is supreme (see Ephesians 2:12-17 and Colossians 1:20). It is no surprise then that Romans 14:19 lays down this directive to Christians: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Christians must seek to make peace, even as we wage “the good warfare” and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12). Get real and search your heart: are you making war or peace? Are you a peacemaker or a peace-breaker? Think about it.

Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

#beattitudes, #christianity, #culture, #god, #jesus, #peace, #peacemaker, #violence

“Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow” by Gospel Minutes

I talked to the editors at Gospel Minutes and I received their permission to put up a PDF of the article that I referenced a few days ago written by Clem Thurman called “Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow.” I encourage you to check it out if you don’t receive these papers through your congregation. Brother Thurman did an excellent job relating an “obscure” piece of scripture that’s thousands of years old to our modern-day mindset when it comes to finding fulfillment in the wrong places of life. Just click the link below!

PDF of Bed Too Short and Cover Too Narrow

#culture, #emptiness-of-life, #fulfillment, #god, #gospel-minutes, #isaiah, #pdf, #popular-culture, #religion, #sin

A Sanitizer For The Soul

I am looking at an eight ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. The kind you pump into your palm and then feel the cool sensation and smell the alcohol-like smell as it presumably kills millions of potentially life-threatening germs and bacteria living on your skin! The brand-name is “germ-X hand sanitizer.” In bold red letters at the bottom of the bottle are these words: “Kills 99.99% of germs.” The prevalence of such products reminds me we live in a dirty world. Several years ago a news report in Nashville revealed that bacteria was found on 50 of 51 public places and things examined, including telephones, computer keyboards, restaurant salad bars, etc. Believe it or not, one of the cleanest places found were commode seat lids! The news segment was entitled, “IT’S A DIRTY WORLD!” In our hyper-health-conscious age, Americans are more concerned about dirt than ever. We use cleaners, disinfectants, and antiseptics. Soap is big business. We scrub, clean, deodorize, sanitize, and sterilize because we know dirt can be dangerous and even deadly to physical life. So we wash and clean our clothes, cars, hands, heads, houses, bodies, and buildings. We filter our water and air and demand the food supply be kept pure. We wouldn’t want impurities in our lungs or livers. Or cholesterol in our veins, lead in the pipes and paint, asbestos in the walls, second-hand smoke in the room, or smog in the atmosphere. We even insist landfills be “sanitary,” and spend billions to insure waste is disposed of in a way that doesn’t pollute the water table or land!

I applaud our commitment to physical cleanness and purity. But our hands are not the only things that need sanitizing. On any given day in America, we are exposed to thousands of spiritual germs and bacteria. Spiritual toxins and impurities constantly seek to enter and pollute our spiritual hearts! Our culture is saturated with dirty words and images and sights and sounds. Dirt and germs seek entry into our hearts through our eyes and ears. These days TV could easily be taken to stand for “trashy values.” It’s getting harder and harder to find decent TV programming during prime-time viewing hours. Dirt also comes packaged in much of the music that fills the air and millions of iPods. Doug Stone released a song in 1992 that warned, “They ought to put warning labels on those sad country songs.” We might add on those sexually suggestive country songs, too. And not just country — also rock and pop and hip-hop! I could go on but don’t need to. You know I am telling you the truth. We live in sinful and morally dirty world that seeks to pollute our hearts. That’s why Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:8 are so critical — “Blessed are, the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” We don’t just need a hand sanitizer. Because of contact with sin, we need a heart sanitizer. Thank God we have one! “If we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We apply that sanitizer to our souls when we respond to Christ’s call to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). It is truly a dirty world, but the blood of Christ is powerful enough to sanitize our souls and make our hearts pure. Do you have a pure heart?

Dan Gulley –  Smithville church of Christ

#beattitudes, #christianity, #culture, #heart, #jesus, #purity, #sermon-on-the-mount

Glorified Violence and the Disrespect it Shows for Life

We live in a blood thirsty culture, or so it seems anyways. If it’s not “reality TV” at the top of the charts then it’s a show that reeks with violence. Examples abound but examples aren’t worth the effort to type.

With Halloween around the corner the adoration for bloodshed will only increase with “haunted houses, mansions, prisons and woods” and whatever else you can think of that will charge an admission fee to expose an untold number of minds to things that should not be entertaining in any way!

Glorified violence shows a blatant disrespect for life and it should not be celebrated in the human heart under the guise of excitement or drama.

Do you want to see the true horror of violence? Look at the pictures that were taken by the Nazi’s during the holocaust! Look at the pictures taken during a real life war! Situations like these reveal the horrible nature of violence in a way that can’t be ignored! And if these aren’t enjoyable then why should any scene that recreates such horrors find anymore pleasure in our heart?

I read a sad and heart-wrenching story this morning on a congregation’s newsletter about a sister in Christ who was beaten to death by her husband because she had converted to Christianity. And now the man is promising the same fate to anyone else who converts. It hurts my heart to think of what that woman, who was created in the image of God, endured during the last moments of her life. And how could any person who’s living without a numb heart not feel the same way? But yet there will be a TV show on tonight here and around the world that will glorify such behavior and people are going to enjoy it. Why?!

Whatever a culture consumes for entertainment will consume that culture, and in case you haven’t noticed there’s no lack of disrespect for human life on the airwaves so why should we expect anything different to show up on our spiritual EKG?

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9 – NKJV)

#culture, #heart-and-mind, #human-life, #media, #tv, #violence

A “Twitterpated” Church by Dan Gulley

Bambi was a dear movie about a dear deer! In one memorable scene Bambi and his bunny-buddy Thumper and fragrant little skunk friend Flower are puzzled as they watch a pair of “love-birds” flitting, fluttering, chirping and happily chasing each other about. Friend Owl explains, “They’re `twitterpated.’ Twitterpated is when you get weak in the knees, you’re head’s in a whirl. . . you feel light as a feather and you’re walking on air. . . you completely lose your head.” Ever been “twitterpated”?!!

A computer search for “twitterpated” yielded this: “a word used to describe the fluttery rush of feeling that comes when one is in the presence of his or her crush; the giddiness of new love” ( what-does-the-word-twitterpated-mean). Who can deny love may bring on some “twitterpation”?! In a highly poetic Bible passage about marital fidelity, Solomon discusses the powerful effect of romantic love between a husband and wife with these words: As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured (or intoxicated, English Standard Version) with her love” (Proverbs 5:19). Sounds like twitterpated to me! And moreover, these twitterpated feelings are part of God’s design for married love. The problem is the world has reduced “love” to nothing more than the “rush of fluttery feelings” akin to being “twitterpated.” The feeling element in love has been cut loose from the wider Biblical definition. The “love” pervasively advocated and celebrated in music and movies and in society at large is often nothing more than plain old lust. As in when Alan Jackson sang in a popular country song a number of years ago, “I’m in love with you baby, and I don’t even know your name.” Need I tell you this kind of “love” is wreaking havoc on our culture? Unplanned pregnancies, unwanted babies, sexually transmitted diseases, broken homes and hearts and lives — these negative things are the offspring of a stunted, twitterpated kind of love that centers on nothing except a “fluttery rush of feelings.” That kind of love that is more concerned with what one feels than how one acts toward others.

Jesus demonstrated love the day He died on the cross for the sins of the world (Romans 5:8) — but He was just not just twitterpated. The love Jesus displayed at the cross did not feel good to Him, but what He did was very good for those He loved. The love that purchased the church (Acts 20:28) was not the self-centered, twitterpated love looking for a fluttery rush of positive and pleasurable feelings. The love that provided salvation from sin was tough and selfless enough to endure crucifixion and the suffering that came with it. The Bible calls Christians to “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2). A twitterpated world is not well-served by a twitterpated church willing to love only when it feels good. The cross of Christ reminds us that Christ-like love keeps on loving even when we suffer long (1 Corinthians 13:4).  And the Bible makes clear that loving God’s way is more about what we do and how we act than how we feel. Jesus was not just a twitterpated Savior. Are you just a twitterpated Christian? Think about it.

Dan Gulley serves as an elder and preacher for the Smithville church of Christ.

#biblical-love, #christian-living, #christianity, #consequences-of-sin, #culture, #love, #marriage, #the-love-of-jesus

One of America’s Greatest Scandals

It’s a problem that faces all of mankind’s cultures, but in America it seems like an epidemic in particular areas of our culture. I would even dare say it’s one of America’s greatest scandals. What is it? It’s the huge stumbling block of the abandonment of children by their fathers!

The Bible says in Matthew 18:1-7, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

In verse six the Bible uses a very interesting Greek word, and I almost believe we would be better off if it was transliterated instead of translated. It’s translated as “sin” in the above NKJV, as “offend” in the KJV, as “a cause of trouble” in the BBE and as “to stumble” in the ASV, but if we were to transliterate this interesting Greek word it would be done with the word, “skandalizo.” Can you hear our English word scandal in that?

In a culture in which there are some who pride themselves in not “needing” a father to raise a child, or having multiple children with multiple women on welfare, or even a “I’ll write a check, but then I’ll write them off” mentality, it’s our children who are bearing the brunt of foolish behavior and thinking. Yes, one of America’s greatest scandals isn’t what’s being done in the single White House – it’s what being done in the millions and millions of American homes every year!

I also know that every dad isn’t religious, but I do know that every dad has a responsibility regardless of their interest in that responsibility. America has some great dads, and thank God for them, but America has more scandals than what the headlines could cover if they would, for it seems as if in the face of all these “modern families” walking around that we’ve become oblivious to the millstones hanging around our necks.

And by the way, try looking up the original meaning of scandal…you might be surprised what the word originally meant.

#children, #culture, #family, #home, #matthew-186, #millstone, #parenting, #relationships, #scandal, #sin

How Much Plainer Does It Have To Be???

I just finished reading an article by some supposed “professors” of “history” and “religious studies” (which I’ve noticed is a world of a difference from actual Biblical knowledge even though they call themselves “academic biblical scholars”) that actually contends that the Bible doesn’t say marriage is only between one man and one woman but that multiple forms of marriage are actually acceptable according to biblical teaching.

Does “Professing to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:22) ring a bell to anyone but me?

In their futile attempt to promote the homosexual agenda they revealed (I almost spelled reviled) their contempt for anything that the Bible plainly contradicts when it comes to the sins of past, present and future cultures and societies.

The supposed “proof” of their claim rests upon the fact that individuals such as Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon had multiple wives. Oh how I wish these wolves in sheep’s clothing critics of the Bible would recognize the difference between the Bible’s record of something and God’s approval of whatever is recorded! David murdered people, but that doesn’t mean it was approved of by God!

If that weren’t enough, the supposed and self-professed “professors of the Bible” go on to completely ignore the point made by Jesus in Matthew 19:1-10. In the middle of a discussion about marriage and divorce Jesus brings the discussion back to the beginning of the marriage covenant when there was – wait for it – only one man and one woman who were meant to become one flesh! Not two men and one woman, not two women and one man and not three, four or twelve fleshes! There’s no way around it other than to stick your finger in your ears and yell la la la la. A biblical marriage is meant to be between only one man and one woman.

Entering into marriage is not a command that every man and woman has to follow, but a lawful marriage in the sight of God cannot be entered into without following the commands of God which makes marriage today exactly what it was meant to be from the beginning!

A person can call the Bible ancient all they want to, ironically it’s not anything new, but this ancient book still contains all the answers for today’s problems and it also contains the words by which every single and married person alike will be judged by regardless of what our modern-day ethical and moral “standards” think about it.

How much plainer does it have to be. There are none so blind as those who will not see still rings sadly true.

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

#biblical-ignorance, #biblical-scholars, #culture, #false-teachers, #god, #homosexual-agenda, #marriage, #news

Remembering Memorial Day

How can you forget a day of remembering? It happens a lot easier than what some may think…and there are some strong spiritual applications in that point, but regardless, this morning I’m particularly thinking of the American holiday that goes by the name “Memorial Day.” It’s the day when a large part of America goes on a camping trip or cooks out on the grill or takes advantage of a sale; you know, the stuff you’re not supposed to forget to do on Memorial Day, right?

Now I’m probably going to eat some food that’s been cooked on the grill today, so I’m not saying that the things mentioned above are wrong per say (cause my, how hypocritical that would be of me!). The point of what I am saying is that America, at least the larger part, has forgotten what we’re supposed to remember. Today I’m going to look at the American flag with different eyes. For a moment I’m going to try to see the men and women who no longer have the chance to see the flag fly because of their service. I’m going to try to remember that many of America’s blessings have come through the curses that they bore. Is this too much to ask on a day that I get off from work?

The ole’ Huff Post is a news website that I read from time to time. I don’t necessarily read it because it’s a good site, I mostly read it because of the unique stories that you can find there; but today I must give them their credit for a story worth watching. I encourage everyone to watch this recorded interview, but I caution you that the video shows the cost of war. It’s not full of blood of guts – for then it would be a Hollywood movie. Instead it shows the pain and horror that POW’s must endure. The video itself revolves around the story of one solider in particular, named Joe Delmar (I guess that’s the correct spelling – Huff Post has it spelled two different ways), who was dubbed “The Human Skeleton.” The man survived, so in many ways his cause is meant to reflect upon those who didn’t survive, but regardless, if you watch this video and you see what he lived through, I promise you’ll look differently at your hamburger today.

#appreciation, #culture, #history, #holidays, #interviews, #memorial-day, #national, #news, #prisoner-of-war, #the-human-skeleton, #video

“Funny” Quote

One of the quotes that I will remember from our revival this week with Larry Acuff said something to the effect of:

Political correctness wants a woman everywhere except in a marriage to a man.

So true. So sad.

The very culture that’s promising to make a woman more than she’s ever been is taking more than what’s ever been taken! That’s because the world promises what it can’t deliver, but God will deliver whatever His word promises.

#culture, #marriage, #political-correctness, #postmodernism

Sin Can Come In More Than One Color

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.” (Proverbs 25:19)

I thought of this verse from Proverbs today when I saw a story on the news about a “United Church of Christ” congregation that decided to place a rainbow-colored banner in their “church” yard to welcome any and all “gay” Boy Scouts. One man from the “church” was interviewed and said he wanted to make sure that they [the homosexual children] knew that all of God’s children were welcome there. This man with his endorsement, on national TV, encouraged the practice of child homosexuality and wanted them to believe that God is accepting of it! That my friend, to say the least, is the epitome of a whole mouth full of spiritually broken teeth representing an unfaithful man not worthy of any spiritual confidence during this time of trouble!

The scriptures describe sin with the color of scarlet, but it’s obvious that sin can come in more one color. For a “church” to take a banner colored according to the very sign given to Noah after the world was judged due to sin and to endorse its meaning concerning homosexuality is more than unambiguous apostasy – it’s an abomination that attempts to pervert God’s grace to the core. Jude identified this mentality when he warned God’s church by saying, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4 – emphasis mine) This depraved “church” hasn’t challenged me – this depraved “church” has challenged and attempted to rebuke the authority of God. They have denied the Law of the Spirit of Life that leads to Jesus to endorse the lust of the flesh that leads to death. This “church” proves that having the name of Christ on their building proves nothing! They joyfully removed the “banner of the blood of the Lamb” and happily replaced it with a literal banner of sin. They have rejected God’s will and have belligerently forgotten that “…the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” (2 Timothy 2:19).

If you are currently practicing a homosexual lifestyle or you have repented from such a sin, please do not place any faith in this “church’s” endorsement of homosexuality. Don’t trust your spiritual well-being with this thinking. Like all sins, with the exception of one, there is a basis found in the scriptures that shows forgiveness can be found for committing homosexual sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but there is no basis whatsoever in the scriptures that God has ever or will ever spiritually accept homosexuality. Those who say anything contrary to that truth are guilty of the one sin to which there is no forgiveness, and that’s sinning against the Spirit of God by perverting His plain word, rejecting His obvious truth and leading others down a path they have labeled safe and celebratory when God has labeled it sinful and shameful in the Bible. The color and purpose behind God’s rainbow teaches us that sin will again be judged on a large-scale one day, and homosexuality is a weight that will keep a person out of Heaven no matter who places a banner in their yard. The colors of the rainbow don’t excuse sin, they teach that there’s such a thing as sin. The blood of Jesus can cover the sin represented by the rainbow-banner, but the blood of Jesus won’t mix with it.

When sin of any kind is the issue, then confidence must be had that the truth is being revealed concerning God’s will and that the solution through repentance and the blood of Jesus is given; but when an individual endorses sin instead of the solution to sin, then that person is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint – they can’t be trusted and will remain useless spiritually…at least useless as far as any good thing is concerned. The invitation of the gospel of Christ remains open to any and all sinners, homosexual or not, who wish to find forgiveness; but forgiveness only comes through the grace of God that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). Those words are in black and white, no matter what their banner says or how bad they may want to “color” them.

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 17-19)

#abomination, #culture, #depravity, #false-teacher, #forgiveness, #grace, #homosexuality, #lust-of-the-flesh, #sin, #united-church-of-christ

Jesus enriched every sphere

Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3 1/2 years. Yet the influence of Christ’s ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these greatest of philosophers.

Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Hadyn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the music they composed in His praise.

Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.

—Henry G. Bosch

Acts 4:11-13 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

The True Value of a Friend
The gold of friendship is a magic thing.
The more we spend it on each other,

the richer we become.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#culture, #influence, #jesus-christ

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (10)

In Proverbs 5:1-14 Solomon has warned his son about the end result of adultery; now he gives a solution to help extinguish the tempter’s fire in Proverbs 5:15-23. And what is this solution? Feed the fire that burns at home and you won’t have time to feed the ones out on the street!

Verses 15-17: If you don’t go around drinking from any ole’ water source, then why trust just anybody with something that goes straight to the heart? The consequences are rampant even today. Illegitimate children who suffer because of bad decisions made through lust, broken homes and STD’s aren’t just modern casualties of illicit sex! But modern-day TV shows reveal hearts by having no shame in profiting from the spectacle of people not knowing who has fathered their child, marriages that get dissolved before they ever began and circus-like atmospheres that supposed adults create for our culture to be spoon-fed with all because someone decided to take a drink from a stagnant and deadly source. Stick with running waters and the source we can trust and there will be no sickness that others suffer with.

Verses 18-20: Solomon urges his son to be “intoxicated” with his wife and he won’t be poisoned by adultery! Sex was designed by God and God designed marriage to be the place where the passions get played out. Any other avenue results in grave danger (Hebrews 13:4). There is intended to be much more involved in sex than just the physical pleasure. Notice how Solomon does not leave out the word “love.” To reduce the act of sex to the physical act alone, is to reduce the one with whom the act is shared with down to a physical object that can be replaced, removed and resold! There is no safety in the arms of someone who seeks only the fleeting physical pleasures of sex and not the lasting bond of love, care, concern and happiness through God’s ordained marriage covenant.

Verses 21-23: Why listen to this marriage counselor? Why think with the mind and not the flesh? Because our Creator is watching! The immoral person couldn’t care less about the soul that we must give an account for. This lesson that’s worth remembering for our culture today has a lot more to do with the Law of Heaven than it does with the Law of the Land! Instruction has been given, but the results and deadliness of not heeding it can sadly be seen in every generation.

#adultery, #culture, #lust, #marriage, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #sex

“Sad Times at Pilgrim High”

What’s the new controversy on the street? A mural of a young boy, growing up and graduating from school? Nah. There’s nothing controversial about that. But a mural of a young boy, growing up, graduating from school…getting married and starting a “traditional” family. Now that’s controversial! At least that’s what some leaders of Pilgrim High School in Rhode Island considered it.

Whatever “progress” those at the Pilgrim school have in mind, it will never get ahead of God’s plan for the family: one man, one woman, one life (Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:4-5).

#culture, #family, #marriage