Saturday, October 23, 2010

two masters

a mormon and mark twain were debating the issue on a man having more than one wife and the biblical view. the mormon was absolutely determined to convince twain that polygamy was divinely encouraged and is taught in the bible. he gave his strongest points and twain was still not sure of the standard. the mormon chose to challenge twain and told him to find a scripture in the bible that was actually in opposition to having more than one wife (quite common for those who want to do want they want to do without any real concern for what god says about the issue). twain went on the next week searching and researching the position of the bible. he had found something, so he returned with quite a confident demeanor. the mormon quickly jumped right back into the topic and challenged twain's ostensible confidence. mr. twain replied that he had found in scripture jesus himself challenging the position of a man having more than one wife. he pointed to matthew 6:24 and read...

no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other...

women make terrible gods. men make terrible gods. marriage makes a terrible god. i find marriage today has become just that...a god intended to fulfill or complete individuals. marriage can't give anyone that satisfaction. it's going to fail you every time you put something in the place of god. so when women put expectations on a man that he was never meant to fulfill, he WILL NOT MEET them. the outcome is disastrous for both, she is disappointed and he is either defeated or he is searching for someone who won't constantly hold him to such unrealistic expectations. i think if men are placing any unrealistic expectations on their women it comes in the form of inconsistent leadership. men will be afraid to lead, or set a standard and women will be confused about where the relationship is going.

marriage then is a wonderful, yet brief, blessing (matt 22:30). in everything jesus displays his standards were never meant for the assumption that this earth is our final home. i believe, just as you see in marriage, so much our culture creates will stand against what our heavenly father stands for. marriage isn't any different because if its finitude. because this perspective is so radical it creates tragedy for some who hold to unrealistic expectations for their spouse. marriage will not meet your needs, jesus will. don't make marriage a god.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a case for conflict

because of the thought, research, and passion i have for this particular subject i will be splitting it up into a few different blogs. that way those who claim they are NOT readers can sit for a short period of time and yet still get something out of what i have found in the word. otherwise, these people will lose focus and feel the need to be entertained on youtube by seeing if there are any more song renditions of a robber coming into peoples houses and doing things to them so they best be hiding their kids, wives, and husbands too (we gonna find you). i feel i have already lost some of you to that search as i type this now.

god is good. and marriage which he made as the first institution (gen. 2:18-24) is just as good as he is. however, as we read in the very next chapter of god creating this institution, we find that there is what some call a "fall," or maybe you prefer a "fracture," or for the small few who have a sense of humor "what always happens when a woman enters the picture." whichever you choose to describe what takes place in chapter 3 of genesis we know that there is an awakening that creates the ability for man to find other forms of gods (with all of it having a root of self idolatry). james 4:1-3 spells it out pretty clearly as i mentioned on tuesday night, a look into the source of conflicts. and conflict is the viewable layer we find in divorce, it is the tree that produces the fruit we so despise in any individual. yet we will never ever find conflict to be a distant memory of our past. even the most loving and dedicated believer will encounter at one point and another a conflict with another individual. so to work and strive towards a conflict free relationship with a spouse is like trying to separate the air from gravity.

i leave you with this thought...

iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another
-proverbs 27:17

if the axe becomes dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
-ecclesiastes 10:10

there's more to come...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the d word

tonight at the gathering i am fortunate to be able to share on divorce. i have roughly 20 minutes which is waaaaaaaaay to short of a time slot on this extremely important issue in the church, and even outside the church for that matter. so in order to appease myself i will be opening up my blog for a broader and more in depth revelation that i have received. i wish i had a week to share all my thoughts and all that i have found on this issue but unfortunately i do not. so look for the notes in the coming days.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

early and often

teens who consistently suffer "life" lessons/consequences will find no angle of trust for a parent who is inconsistent in their rules for their teen...even if the parent's claims are for the well-being of the teen. this sounds a lot like many christians who fall away due to their claims god is inconsistent or feel his values are NOT for their well-being.

another reason parents need to establish a better picture for their kids early and often

parents, have rules that are consistent and fair. and remember that rules without consequences are worthless and confusing, which is another reason kids these days are growing to see god the same way

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

playing to lead

today is a wonderful day in dfw history. the rangers are entering into the post season for the first time in over a decade. i am so giddy inside about this. i haven't followed as closely as i had when i was in jr. high and elementary but i think for me the simple connection is that it is headed by nolan ryan. nolan is my favorite player of the game. it is truly fitting that he is here leading it like he was attempting when he was pitching on the mound 20 yrs ago. i already consider this year a success for those players but i do have a desire for them to do what no other ranger team has.

like 6 years ago

its beginning to hit me that i will be leaving for belgium in just a few short weeks. i can't believe this is real and it is happening. if i were to tell you about the detailed work of the lord i would be committing a blogger no-no (too long of a post). i am already one who does not hold to that rule as much as i should.

as of recently liz and i have found how expensive it will be just to get ourselves over there, with our kids this time. yeah it's not cheap. i think the strangest work of god is using the establishment liz and i despised for so long to be the actual instrument he has used to get us over to belgium and minister...her work place. sheesh, i think that is a blog in and of itself. maybe even a book. but here we are a few weeks out and this job of liz's is something we have now seen as an arm of the lord for our good. did you hear me right, this, this thing, this utterly disgusting and dead-end job for liz has transformed our lives by the working of the holy spirit. i don't have words to express my understanding. even when liz marched into our apartment when we first were married and told me that she was done with this job (this was like 6 yrs ago) i felt so bad because of her feelings of frustration. so all i have is my thoughts, which are not always communicated effectively out loud, and my pen and journal.

all i can say is that god is good. not because he has given me what i wanted, but because he has used what i didn't want, to make me what he wanted. man it is truly a miraculous testimony that i hope to be able to share with each and everyone of you...another day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

you need him more today

matthew 26:35 - peter said to him (jesus), "even if i have to die with you, i will not deny you." all the disciples said the same thing too.

...remember what happens?

we are always quick to make such bold statements about ourselves when we haven't faced the realities of the cross just yet. it is easy to abandon the idea of our weakness and lack of faith when it hasn't been challenged by what god offers through the cross. the charge christ makes is to remember who you are and not forget the promise of the cross. that promise has implications for those who are weak, unable, and find a need for the saving power of the blood of jesus. it also has a severe consequence for those who hold to pride so much that they subconsciously refuse the cross' design.

i don't enjoy my sin but i enjoy acknowledging i am one who commits it. this provides much room for the work of the cross to transform me into his image.

come on people...acknowledge you need him today!