A Christian View of Sex (2/28/2016)

Sex is a topic that causes anxiety in most congregations. While sexuality is a natural part of being human, the simple truth is it’s an uncomfortable subject to discuss. While this may be  true, we still need to address the subject because we see physical attraction and sexuality mentioned in the Bible.

Song of Solomon 7:1-9 says, “How beautiful your sandaled feet,

O prince’s daughter!

Your graceful legs are like jewels,

the work of a craftsman’s hands.

2     Your navel is a rounded goblet

that never lacks blended wine.

Your waist is a mound of wheat

encircled by lilies.

3     Your breasts are like two fawns,

twins of a gazelle.

4     Your neck is like an ivory tower.

Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon

by the gate of Bath Rabbim.

Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon

looking toward Damascus.

5     Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.

Your hair is like royal tapestry;

the king is held captive by its tresses.

6     How beautiful you are and how pleasing,

O love, with your delights!

7     Your stature is like that of the palm,

and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

8     I said, “I will climb the palm tree;

I will take hold of its fruit.”

May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine,

the fragrance of your breath like apples,

9     and your mouth like the best wine.”
(more…)

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Expectations (2/21/2016)

 

I come from a family of poor gift-givers. When I was first married, the Christmas gifts I gave to my wife, Stephanie, contained too many appliances that we needed for our home. I could have done a much better job of buying her things that were more personal and meaningful to her.

The sad truth is this trait has been passed down from generation to generation in my family. Several years ago, about a week before Christmas, my father placed a large, wrapped box under the Christmas tree for my mom. She was excited when she saw it because dad usually doesn’t buy gifts that are this big. Since mom had told dad she wanted new dishes, she convinced herself this box contained new plates, saucers, bowls and cups. Throughout the days leading up to Christmas, mom’s expectations grew. (more…)

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How Do I Love? (2/14/2016)

Maintaining a happy and healthy marriage is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do. We’re full of love, forgiveness and optimism when we say “I do” and we think our marriages will always be like this. While marriages can and should always have these qualities, the simple truth is our attitudes and feelings can change as the years go by. The pressures of careers, children, finances and getting older put new stresses on relationships. This can cause love, forgiveness and optimism to erode and be replaced with some selfishness, complacency and perhaps even a little bitterness. One of the reasons this happens is because of the way our relationships develop. When we’re dating, we are typically on our best behavior. Many people even try to hide some of their little flaws and imperfections from the other person. Once we’re married and living together, the truth comes out. We realize the person we married isn’t quite as perfect as we may have originally thought. As a saying from an anonymous author states, “Love is blind, and marriage is the eye-opener.” This brings us to an interesting question. Once the realities of life set in, should I assume taking my spouse for granted and allowing our marriage to plateau or even decline is normal? We see it happen with many of the couples around us. Does it have to happen in our marriages? (more…)

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Have I Praised God Lately? (2/7/16)

Several years ago I got myself into trouble by letting my thoughts drift to other things instead of paying attention to what I was doing – driving. As a result, I ended up driving 70 MPH in a 55 MPH speed zone. This caught the attention of a Virginia state policeman who pulled me over and gave me a speeding ticket. While getting the ticket was bad enough, it got worse. First of all, it just so happened that my mother-in-law was in the vehicle with me when I got pulled over. She was nice about the whole situation and never mentioned it again but let’s be honest. Who really wants to get a ticket while your mother-in-law is riding with you? Second, while the officer was writing me the ticket, he began telling me how he was doing me a favor by stopping me because it might have been devastating if I hit a deer at 70 MPH. I honestly didn’t need to hear that. And third, when I got home I would need to tell my wife, Stephanie,  about the ticket. While I knew she wouldn’t be mad about it, I didn’t know what her reaction would be. (more…)

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Which Chair Do You Sit In? (1/31/16)

*As you read this blog, please also read the scripture references in their entirety.

In Matthew 22:34-40, the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus into saying something wrong so they ask him to tell them which commandment in the Old Testament Law was the greatest. Jesus replied it is to “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind….And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Vs. 37-39). As we think about Jesus words, let us ask ourselves this question: “Am I more focused on loving God and others or am I more focused on loving myself?”

To help us answer this question, let’s pretend there are three different chairs before us which could describe our relationship with Jesus. The first chair is the chair of Commitment. The characteristics of people who sit in this chair are:

Actions: Loves People, Uses Things / Knows God, Knows His Works

Attitude: God First, Me Second

Description: Spiritual, Hot, Whole Heart for God

Examples: Abraham, Hannah, Peter (more…)

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