Month: July 2013

The intolerant tolerant

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Just for the record, there is no lawsuit out there where those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman have “pressed charges against those who believe differently”. Nor is there an example where people were forced to quit doing charity work by those who believe in the traditional marriage model.

None.

However that is not true of those who have a more “tolerant” view of the institution of marriage.

Here are just a few of the many examples of the intolerant tolerance from those from the other side…

New York:

New Mexico:

Massachusetts:

  • David & Tonia Parker were given no right to opt their kindergartner out of instruction on gay “marriage” or even get prior notice of such instruction—despite their religious beliefs. David was even arrested for refusing to leave until the school provided him some accommodation for his family’s beliefs.

Vermont:

  • Jim & Mary O’Reilly, B&B owners, were sued for discrimination and forced to settle the case due to significant economic loss to their business after they refused to provide their services to a same-sex wedding because of their deeply held Catholic beliefs.

Colorado:

  • Christian bakery owners face a discrimination complaint for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony—they may be punished with fines or even jail time!

Washington:

  • Barronelle Stutzman, a florist for 30 years, faces a discrimination lawsuit by the ACLU and the State of Washington for refusing to do the flowers for a gay “wedding” based on her Christian beliefs.·

D.C.:

We can conclude, just as we have always known, that the marriage issue was more of an attack on the freedom of religion than a fight for love. Marriage is not a civil right, no more than flying an F -14 is. But your religious belief system is. All people of all races are to have the right to believe as they choose and no one should be forced to do something they feel a strong conviction not to do.

No one

White, Black, Mexican, Japanese, Jewish,Greek, etc…

or as I like to say… Any AMERICAN

has the right to adopt a belief system, worship as they choose and proclaim what they believe to others without being suppressed.

Do I wish all people believed in Jesus?

Yes

Do I think that they should be forced to?

No

Do I think that religious ideas should have freedom of expression in our free country?

Yes

Do I think people should have the freedom to live their faith openly without hinderance?

Yes… as long as they are not flying airplanes into buildings, killing or physically harming people with their actions…

Like lawsuits or forcing people to sign things they do not agree with.

I am glad to live in North Carolina, because at least for now we are free.

God help America wake up soon before it is too late.

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Anthony, Huma Abedin, The Clintons and Marriage

marriage.p Of course everyone knows the stories so they will not be repeated here. There is no need but what I think is interesting is that the wife of both of these men chose to stick with their man.

No Divorce

No separation

Just forgiveness, a determination to work through it, and move on.

Why?

Maybe it was for love or for some other reason that only these two families know. But at the end of the day, by sticking it through these times of extreme awkwardness, they made a choice to stay together, resulting in political gain.

Yes… It helps them politically.

Regardless of the people who are against them or the jokes that are vocalized, the testimony of keeping their marriages intact is strong enough to give them a political boost.

Why?

Because people are saying…

“What woman would stay with him?  I know I wouldn’t… Props to her for putting up with that.”

“I would drop him in a skinny minute… she has some guts, she has resolve” I’m not saying what they did was right, i.e. the sin these guys committed against God, so don’t get me wrong.  I’m just saying it is a strong, positive testimony for them to stick with their marriage, and at the end of the day, whether they are doing it for this purpose or not, they have achieved political gain from that decision.

So, let me throw this into the mix…

What if staying with your current spouse would result in spiritual gain?  What if your story, of forgiveness, change and restitution could be told to others as testimony of God’s grace and power at work in your marriage at a time it was at the point of falling part.   What if your decision to stick by your woman… to stick by your man and work things out, resulted in spiritual gain?

What if I told you there is no doubt that is what you would achieve?

Yes, sticking it through, working out the differences, forgiving the other spouse would result in spiritual gain for you personally, for your testimony to others and for the church as a collective whole.

People would be saying…

“I would have given up on my marriage… props to them for having the strength to do what it took to keep their marriage together.”

and you could say…

“Yes… it is amazing for it was only the power of God that enabled us to mend what was broken.”

and these statements would be only the beginning of the spiritual gain you would obtain.

So the lesson for us today, whether we are on our second marriage, our first marriage, divorced and looking, in a great marriage or one that needs some work, if these two couples can stick it through for political gain then we can stick it out for spiritual gain. “for He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world”

What is Summer Spectacular?

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What is Summer Spectacular?

This is a question that is often asked but often while the answer is being given the communicator is interrupted with this phrase…

“OH… It’s VBS”

and then the conversation ends.

The problem is the person that does this walks away with the wrong answer because Summer Spectacular is not VBS.

Now I am not saying that VBS is wrong to do. I am not saying that it does not have value. I love the fact that other churches do VBS (or for my friends at CG – Summer Adventure).  I think anytime the church invests in children it is a great thing.  I applaud each church that dedicates a week of time to do that through VBS. ‘Praise the Lord” is my attitude toward that!

and That brings us back to our question…

What is Summer Spectacular?

It’s a kids show.

There are no Bible Stories that are told in classrooms.

There are no crafts (unless you are a preschooler)

There is not a set over all theme for the week. We do not go to the “Moon”, “Ride Roller Coasters”, go “Outback” become “Knights”, or go to the “Fair” each night – “not that there is anything wrong with that” (see above)

It’s a show and each night has a different theme to it. For the “older kids” (Kindergarden – 5th grade) when the main show is over they all go “backstage” which is another show in a big room where they learn the Bible Story that backs up the theme they just experienced in the main show. For our preschoolers their whole Bible Lesson occurs in our Children’s Worship Center” There is no back room for them.

It is a show that is very interactive.  The main show has interactive “things” that occur that are designed as a fun way to impress the theme onto child’s mind.  After the main show when they go backstage the Bible Story is also presented in an interactive way. A way that is engaging and beneficial.  And what we have found is children do not quickly forget what they have learned.

No other church will have the same lessons that Summer Spectacular will present to your child. (This is not a criticism, see above for how I feel about VBS).

And I guarantee your child will be impacted by what they experience each night.

Is there a game time? Yes

Is there snack time? Yes – It’s included with game time.

So what is Summer Spectacular?

It’s an interactive kids show that presents the gospel and biblical principles in creative ways.

So don’t let your child miss out on it… register today (It’s Free)

Go to www.farmingtonbc.org and click on events to register.

We can’t always D WJWD

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I can’t always Do What Jesus Would Do.

When I’m in a hospital room and looking at someone who needs a miracle, a touch of healing, I often wonder if Jesus had met them 2000 years ago, would they be one He would touch and raise from the bed of sickness?  In some of those situations I am at a loss as to what to say and feel helpless because there is nothing physically I can do. In that moment WWJD? doesn’t work, because even if I had that answer only He can do certain things.

(Now be for you go loco on me, Jesus did heal gentiles.)

When Satan comes out of no where and grabs my hand and takes me into the arena of strong temptation it is not time for me to say WWJD?  For He was strong enough in His perfect state, to remain and withstand the full force of Satan’s temptation. I am not that strong and would be a fool to think as such.  When Satan grabs my hand it is time for me to Do What Joseph Would Do…. get lose of his grip and run, even if I have to leave something behind.

Because sometimes the thing to do is follow His commands not His actions.

Jesus laid down His life for the sins of the world.  He allowed people to beat Him, to spit on Him and to say whatever they wanted concerning Him.  The reason He did this is because He knew it was the only way to offer Salvation to the world. If someone began to beat me, the question is not WWJD?…

It’s how do I get out of this alive?

And if Jesus lets me live…

Great!

If not…

it was What He choose to Do with me, a fact that is troubling but true.

Yes, there are times when WWJD? is what we should ask, but those times are more limited than one may think.   For I can not always do what Jesus would do, but what I can do, is follow His commands and instructions.

So, maybe, we should think… What Does Jesus Tell Us to Do? more often than WWJD? because we are more able to live His commands than we are His actions.

Analyze

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Have you ever noticed that most of the time we do not take the time to analyze the “why” when things are going well?

But if there is a hiccup

If there is a bump

If something falls apart

We analyze the fool out of it.  In fact we even go back as far as when things were going well to pinpoint the moment, the exact action from the exact person so we can place blame on them and move on.

It’s interesting that most analyzing is rarely ever intended to fix a problem…

it’s used to place blame so we can feel better.

And the thing that is rarer than even that is taking time to analyze why things are going well.

In fact I would say it is hard to get motivated to analyze anything thing, when things are going well.  There is no pain, no crisis, or tense moments to motivate us to consider the why.

But maybe if we could find a way to stop long enough to figure out what is happening, what the key things are that have caused the positive momentum and then focus on those things maybe we could discover how to keep it going.  Maybe, if we could pinpoint the exact moment when the upward climb began, the exact action from the exact person, we could encourage each other and move forward to the greater things God has in store for His church and His people.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…

…just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The issue with this verse is the last line….

Are you taking time to do the encouraging that is needed?

Are you taking the time to analyze so that you can do it authentically?

So you can build others up?

That takes us making sure we are analyzing the good with the same intensity as we would analyze the bad.

Sand Castles

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I  built no less than 35 sand castles last week at the beach.  Sitting in my chair I would build and build and build until the ocean moved (referring to tides silly) and then would “follow” or “run” from it as a result.

It was nice sitting there in my chair, thinking about absolutely nothing…

well maybe that’s not true… (the thinking part)

building my sand castles, one by one

some big

some small

completely out of sand

knocked down by the returning waves everyday

and that’s why there is no evidence of my 35 sandcastles today

I can’t prove to you that they existed or that I built them, because they are just not there.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine (Jesus’ words) and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house…

and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sometimes in life we have a tendency to build sand castles with what we choose to do rather than building our life on the commands of scripture.

In fact I would say very few stick with the task of building their life according to the scriptures.  Why?

Because building on the sand and moving out of the way of the ocean is easier.

Because when building on the sand no thought is taken concerning the future only “now”, our “today” is in view.

Because building on the rock sometimes means we have to surrender what we want to do, surrender how we want to live in order to live the way Jesus says we should.

And surrender hurts

and building on the rock is hard and it takes work

but it is the best way to live

for it is a life built on the powerful principles God has set forth in His word.

Lets make a commitment to go for that.