It’s NOT the Wind and Waves that will Sink Me (and how NOT to sink)

We often think it’s the wind and waves that will sink us. Or the hurricanes or the floods. Or the disease and destruction.

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Follow me here (Reader’s Digest version):

Matthew 14, Jesus walks up to the disciples on a boat. In the middle of the rough sea.
Disciples: “It’s a ghost! Run away run away run away! No, wait – we’re in a tiny boat! Nowhere to run!!”
Jesus: “Nope. It’s Me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter: “Let me walk on the water too!”
Jesus: “Come on.”

Peter does. Peter is EPIC– out of the boat going to Jesus walking on the water (obviously not as epic as Jesus…don’t have a cow).

Since Adam and Eve, nobody had ever walked on water, and nobody has done it since. ONLY Peter! And ONLY because he took a great step of faith. I want to be Peter!

 

But Peter, walking on water – begins to sink. One second he’s strolling across the water like it’s nothing, the next second he’s about to drown. Between those two events, only one thing happened: Peter saw the wind and the waves. He focused on the wind and the waves.

This is so significant! Consider: 

  • Jesus didn’t disappear. He’s still right there. In front of Peter.
  • Jesus didn’t lose His divine power to sustain Peter. He’s still God the Son.
  • The wind and waves didn’t, “just appear.” They were there all along.
  • The wind and waves didn’t, “all of a sudden obtain destructive powers.” The power was there all along.
  • The wind and waves didn’t even increase in intensity.

The only thing that changed? Peter’s focus.

Peter quit seeing Jesus, and he began seeing the wind and the waves.
He begins to fear the wind and waves more than he trusts Jesus.

And he sank.

Which leads to a powerful truth:

It’s not the wind and the waves that will sink me, it’s how I THINK about the wind and the waves.

In this life, it’s not the flood that will sink you, or the destruction, or the job loss, or the bad circumstance, it’s how you think about that thing.

“That’s not true David! There are things you can’t control – like storms and floods and hurricanes and disease! And they WILL sink you!”

Wrong. 

Even death can’t sink the person who has put their faith in Christ. Because they know that death is not the end.

That’s why Paul, when dragged out of town, beaten and left for dead, got back up the next morning and went right back into town. That’s why (according to tradition) Peter when faced with crucifixion, instead of losing all hope, or begging for mercy, or crying like a four-year-old, asked to be crucified upside down because he didn’t consider himself worthy to die like Jesus.

At some point, both Peter and Paul realized that a beating or even death could not sink them – because they were consumed with Christ. They knew that Jesus would sustain them – even through death – and greet them on the other side.

So whether you are taking a giant leap of faith for Jesus, or encountering the wind and waves that we all face living in this world, the goal is to be so caught up in Christ, with eyes so fixed on Him, that…

We

don’t

sink.

We keep walking on the water…with Him.

So get out of the boat, walk on the water, and always always always – keep your eyes focused on Jesus. He will never let you let you down and never let you sink.

Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Amen amen.

 

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Focused

 

When Your Soul Is Crushed

What do you do when life threatens to crush your very soul? All along the Texas Gulf Coast, people are dealing with the some of the most heart-wrenching pain imaginable….losing everything, unable to even go to work, losing loved ones in the hurricane and flooding. And Florida may be in for the same kind of heartache.

When devastation hits you it’s sometimes easy to turn from God – and that’s precisely the wrong place to be.  I have no magic words or simple answers for what folks are going through, but these four things might be of help – be sure and read to number four:

#1. Remember God is good. 

He created everything, and He created it good. Why? Because He is good.

Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, and that corrupted EVERYTHING. Even creation.

Right there in Romans 8, God says all of creation groans to be set free from the corruption. 

Jesus gave Himself to make us good again. Because He is good.

Think sin is no big deal? Get a grip on this:

IF there were no sin in the world, there would NEVER be a hurricane, a flood, or death. All is a result of sin corrupting God’s good and excellent creation.

Every time you see a horrific death, a terrifying flood, or a powerful hurricane, stop and think, “God is good, and sin is horrible.”

#2. Remember God is near.

Phil 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” That was the whole point of my last post here.

God is near, and He knows WHAT is around the corner, but even more than that – HE is around the corner, around the bend, up there in the future in that land we call “uncertainty.“ And He is always able to take care of business.

Where you are right now,

God was here yesterday.

Where you will be tomorrow,

God will be there. He is good, and He is near.

But I get it.

Some days you get up and think, “I don’t have the emotional, physical or spiritual strength to make it through today!” And I’m sure there are folks all along the Gulf Coast and in Florida right now who feel that way. So you have to understand…

#3. God will provide as you go

Most often God does not provide before we go, but as we go.

The Red Sea is a perfect example: the sea didn’t part until they got there. I’m sure they felt great stress with the Egyptian army bearing down on them. “What will we do? We are going to die!” No – when they got to the Red Sea, God used Moses to part it, and they walked across on dry ground.

Same thing happens Luke 17. Ten lepers cry out to Jesus for healing. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests who served as the health inspector and could declare them healed.

But they weren’t healed at all. They STILL had leprosy!

Why go the priest? They’ll just be told, “You’re going to die!”

But they went. And the Scripture says as they went, not before, and not until, but AS they went, they were healed.

In the same way, God who is good and near will provide for you in

good days,

bad days,

hard days

and disastrous days –

as you go.

HE will provide the emotional, physical or spiritual strength to make it through today, the help you need…along the way.


But I understand…

it’s still hard to believe this information when your heart is breaking and your soul is crushed, and you really are in a bottomless pit. And so do this…

#4. Preach it.

But I’m not a preacher!

Sure you are. Everyone preaches. The question is, what is your sermon? God preached a sermon in the garden, and so did Satan.

You preach to yourself all the time. But what is your message?

David preached to his own soul: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 43:5 (ESV)

I heard Steffany Gretzinger say, “Sometimes we sing something because we believe it because we’re sure. And sometimes we sing UNTIL we’re sure.”

Sometimes we sing until we’re sure. 

That may be a word from the Lord for you today.

Maybe the devastation is strong in your life, and you want to believe that God is good and God is near, and God is powerful, and He is going to provide for all the uncertainty in your life right now – you WANT to believe that…

…but it’s not your experience right now.

Preach it to yourself! Cry out, “My soul – why are you cast down. Hope in God – ever will I praise Him! Ever will He be good to me! Ever will He be my salvation. God, You are my rock and my salvation and my strong tower in the storm!”

Maybe you’ve been singing the wrong song, preaching the wrong sermon, thinking the wrong thoughts…change your tune!

Sing it and speak it and preach it and keep on until…you believe it.

And then keep on declaring His goodness and nearness and provision to yourself over and over and over again and don’t quit doing it. Ever.

And the day will come when He will wipe every tear from your eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. Forever.

Amen amen amen amen.

 

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Man Up!

Lots of confusion about what it means to be a man these days (and at least since the 1970’s). A few years back a political campaign thought the “pajama boy” ad lead_largewould really get men psyched up about discussing health insurance (this ad brought to you courtesy of estrogen!).

Hot chocolate or pajamas are fine but what Einstein thought THAT would inspire men? It was immediately ridiculed to death (a sign of some sanity out there).

And maybe in part, a reaction to the pajama man-child culture, “Duck Dynasty” beards Untitledhave become all the rage. Add military service, and a sleeve of tattoos…you look like you eat nails for breakfast!

I saw a guy with a fierce beard at the gym. For three weeks I thought he was completely jacked! Then realized he was actually skinny to moderate. But the aura of that beard just shown around him like some testosterone infused cloud.

But I’ve been around long enough to know that while looking manly is excellent, it is in no way indicative of “manliness,” or “maturity (see Anthony Scaramucci’s recent gutter tirade).” You really don’t know if you’re looking at a man or a scared self-centered child trapped inside man’s body.

So what is a man?

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (ESV)

WHOA! Now that is a manly verse. And God used Paul to write it.

Paul was an epic man:

  • First century Jew = epic beard.
  • Rugged to the core. Beaten for preaching and left for dead outside of town. Got up and went back into town. Kept preaching. Who does that??
  • Viper latches onto his arm. “Shakes it off” Taylor Swift style, right into the fire.
  • No use for quitters. Canned John Mark for quitting.
  • Didn’t run from fights. Instead preached radical (and true) stuff that caused riots.
  • No fear.
  • NEVER had a cat. Look it up. 2 Hesitations 2:6

Paul had all outward trappings of virility. But what are some of the things he would say are “manly?” I’m gonna give you two that might not often come to mind.

A real man:

1. Embraces his insufficiency. Even boasts about it.

“But I’m bad to the bone! I’m tough as nails! I have muscles, and my muscles have muscles! I post fitness selfies of my muscles all…day…long.”

Are you badder than prostate cancer? All the muscle tone in the world won’t stop it pajama-boy-3from killing you.

“But I meant mentally tough, David. I’m mentally tough! GRRRRRRRR!”

Really. Will your “mental toughness” keep Alzheimer’s at bay? No. In fact, it can steal every ounce of mental fortitude you possess, until you have no mind at all.

Undeniable truth of life:

there is no such thing as a bullet proof man (or woman).

You are NOT the biggest and baddest. God is.

After God told him His power works best in weakness, Paul of the awesome beard said quite famously:

I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

Paul was a survivor who cheated death over and over again. But his success came from43766371_ml knowing he was weak and ordinary, empowered by a God who was strong and extraordinary.

Any man that recognizes his insufficiency and relies on the limitless power of the all sufficient Master of the Universe…is on his way to being a real man.

And a real man…

2. Can afford to be gentle.

I rarely hear that “real men” are gentle. Because it is a dog-eat-dog world! If it’s all on me, I cannot afford to be gentle. I’ve got to use all weapons at my disposal to get my way. I’ve just GOT to:

  • Get all I can.
  • Can all I get.
  • Sit on the lid.
  • Poison the rest. 

And of course, the natural extension of that attitude is sometimes a man becomes a human-hand-grenade-with-the-pin-pulled-out-ready-to-go-off-at-the-drop-of-a-hat. And NOT safe to be around. Never know when they’ll just…BOOM.

But Paul the riot-starting-viper-burner (Acts 28:5) says:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5

If God is near, has my back, really REALLY means things like Romans 8:28 He’ll-work-all-things-together-for-my-good-and-really-cares-about-me…

I can afford to be gentle.

I can afford to be gentle at work, with my family, with others. I can be safe for others to be around.

NOT passive. NOT defenseless. Willing to bring the heat when appropriate. But safe.

atticus_scout
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird – gentle, proactive, strong, epic.

 Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

How much better to speak softly because you have a big God? You can afford to be gentle because you’ve got a God who is bigger than any stick.

So grow a massive beard if you want! Get ripped from head to toe! Shake off vipers! Do NOT under ANY circumstances take a picture in a flannel onesie whilst drinking hot chocolate! Good Grief!

And take these two truths on as your motto:

  • I’m insufficient but filled with a limitless all-sufficient God.
  • I can afford to be gentle because my limitless God…is near.

That’s the goal. Amen amen.

 

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Dip Cone Hair and Simple Life

891d3-conesThis is a picture of my hairstyle a while back.

Yes, the dip cones to the left are an exact representation of my hairstyle.

I’d like to say it’s more “Jimmy Neutron” than Dairy Queen to increase my “cool factor,” but that’d be stretching it.

This isn’t on purpose mind you – it just happened that way. Hair got a little too long, a little too free with the gel and…voila! DQ Dip Cone hair!

I noticed the DQDC resemblance in the mirror, and told a couple of friends “Look! I have dip cone hair!” to which one responded, “you absolutely do – did you do that on purpose?” “Yes! And tomorrow I’m going for a Hunger Buster belly!” OK…sooo not really.

I want the simple life.

A church member with a biting wit was giving me a hard time just two days before. In response I emailed her – “I’m leaving the ministry… getting a job at Dairy Queen in Gonzales (my daughters and I go to that DQ when at a friend’s ranch in the area). I will be their new “dip cone” guy. I dip the cone and then turn it upside down before I hand it to the customer. Then I smile sweetly (I’m good at that). That’s the life for me. No harassment. No stress. Just honest simple labor .”

Sweet, sweet lady. In response she emailed back “Is this the part where I say, “You’re good at being a dip?” The love of the Lord was all over her.

It got me thinking though.

Great job dipping cones. Nothing else to do. No complications, no worries. Just fill the cone, dip it, turn it upside down before handing it over. Creamy perfection.

And if you do it right…everyone loves you. People all over town saying “love the dip cone guy!”

My life isn’t like that at all.

There are regular complications, issues, and…you can do the right thing, and sometimes people will still hate you for it. Jesus mentioned that we should expect that.

And life is never free of stressors. Even the dip cone guy has stress. “Red alert! Red alert! The chocolate’s too hot! I turned the cone over, and it plopped onto my shoe!” Then he’s banished to the fryer and a life of chronic grease induced clogged pores and Crisco hair. Talk about stress.

What I really want, is a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego kind of life.

They were told if they didn’t worship the king’s statue they’d be thrown in the fiery furnace. Their response?

Something like this: “Hate us – we don’t care! Throw us in the fiery furnace – we don’t care! We won’t worship your statue!”

That is so bold and excellent. I want to respond like they did! BUT…I want to already know beforehand that it is reeeeaaally gonna be OK.

Like God is whispering in my ear “I’ve got your back on this! Act a little more uppity! Wave that freaky dip cone hair around and say something like ‘whether God rescues me or not, I don’t care! Cause I’m one faithful bad mamma jamma!’”

That’s NEVER happened to me.

God does tell us beforehand that He’ll always be here and never forsake us (Deut. 31.6). But it seems that more often than not, He shows up (great Biblical point coming…wait for it…wait for it…) while we are in the fire. He shows up in the middle of our inferno and carries us safely through.

That’s what He did with Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego:

He (Nebuchadnezzar) said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:25

Not hurt. Not burned. God with them.

Are you in the middle of a fire right now? Look for God. He’ll be right there with you and will never, ever leave you.

Amen amen.

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Mike Pence = Taliban

Washington DC is #1!  Washington DC is #1!

#1 for what David?

Ok – I exaggerated. DC is #4. DC is in fourth place in the US regarding Ashley Madison cheaters, with 50,000 members looking to discreetly commit adultery (the website connects married folks who want to cheat).

But Mike Pence is the freak.

An article came out in the Washington Post about the Vice Presidents’ wife. The article revealed how disturbingly deviant Mike Pence really is. He said (HIDE THE CHILDREN’S EYES – IT’S HORRIFYING!):

He doesn’t dine alone with a woman other than his wife.

Some people got the vapors over this. Here are a few choice tweets:

  • I wonder what happened that led to these rules?
  • Sounds like someone who knows he has no self-control.
  • God spare us the Jesus freaks.
  • Would love to see what’s hiding inside Pence’s closet.
  • He is extremely creepy. Just makes my flesh crawl.
  • American Taliban.

    Stymie
    If this causes you to hyperventilate, you a) never saw the full Little Rascals episode (the boys realize the error of their ways) and, b) take yourself way too seriously. This is hilarious!

The consensus of the left is that Mike Pence (and every Christian) is part of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

In response to all of that craziness, here is a great tweet:

“Bill Clinton never dines alone with his wife. Who’s REALLY crazy?”

I know I know. So unkind. But the truth of our day is that for many, a serial adulterer is a hero and the man who sets boundaries for himself is the freak (and he just said dining alone with a woman so spare me the histrionics about not meeting with women – he didn’t say that).

But guess what? 

Billy Graham has a similar rule. No one has ever accused him of being a member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club OR of having an affair.

Cal Thomas said years ago, “The Puritans may have had some problems. But AIDS was not one of them.”

Rick Warren has been preaching this for years. From his 10 Commandments to Help Staff Maintain Moral Purity, the first two (which don’t apply to singles) are:

  1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.
  2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.

“Too much purity!” Not our problem today.
“Not enough adultery!” No one is claiming this is our problem.
“We need more divorces!” said no one ever (divorce lawyers excluded).

Here’s my thought: In a career and town that is known for cheaters (Clinton, Weiner, Gingrich, even Petraeus) Mike Pence is wise to set boundaries to protect his marriage, and every man and woman should set their own similar boundaries so they can keep that marriage that God gave them! In other words, don’t be an idiot!

In marriage, you’ve got a GREAT thing! What’s so great about it you ask? Just this:  Genesis 2:24 (love this) says  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

One flesh. That is great news if you’re like me. I married waaaaay above my station! And because my wife and I are “one flesh” – on the day we were married, I instantly became a much, much better person because I’m part her.  Yay me!

And marriage is such a great gift that God wants you to pull a “Mike Pence” and do whatever is necessary to protect it. 

In the NIV, Genesis 2:24 says a man should be united to his wife. “Be united” is so tame and sounds wussified to me (wussified? see definition here – it’s really good!). It doesn’t suit the need of the day. King James says “cleave,” which is a better action word, but no one today knows what it means since it’s a 16th-century word. The ESV says, “hold fast.” That’s an action word.

Hold fast to that marriage. 

Brings to mind a picture of an angry sea that is rocking and a rollin’ and the ship is about to capsize. The captain lashes himself to the ship’s wheel, so he can’t be thrown overboard. He’s holding fast to the ship’s wheel. If the ship goes down, so does he (I have no knowledge of sailing ships – I just made this up – but it is a good picture of the verse).

What God intends in Genesis 2 and what we need today are people who leave mom and dad and everything else that might get in the way and hold onto that marriage like grim death!

777da-45139-bigthumbnail
Actual photo of Grim Reaper. Snapped it with my Iphone and ran like the wind!

“Hold on like grim death” = to hold tightly to something, despite great difficulty.

Genesis 2:24  ESV    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

What Billy Graham and Rick Warren and Mike Pence know, is one of the best ways to hold fast to a marriage, is to make sure you don’t ever put yourself in a compromising position. Almost nobody ever says, “When I get married I want to commit adultery.” Yet somehow, millions commit adultery every day. 

Why? Because it’s MUCH easier to cheat than to celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary.

So hold fast to your husband or your wife! Not in some weird/controlling/stalker/creeper/abusive kind of way. That’s just crazy. But hold fast through the hard times and tempting times with an understanding of the weaknesses and frailty of all men and women and do whatever is necessary to protect that great gift of oneness. And never apologize for that.

And if you’ve already blown it? Repent, stop it, reject the sin, and move forward with Jesus.

American Taliban indeed. Oh geez.

Amen and amen.

 

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What I do When I’m Hammered

2c1b5-thor-2-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth4
GREAT hammer!

Oh wait – you didn’t think I meant “hammered” as in inebriated, intoxicated, wasted or drunk did you?

So sorry.

I meant, “hammered” as in, “emotionally hammered,” “hammered by life,” “down in the dumps,” “feeling really low.”

What do you do when you feel like giving up? When you can’t go on? I could tell you all the usual stuff:

1. Man up (I like that one! Seems so, “manly.”).
2. Your grandparents had it worse (true – many were risking lives in wars that covered the globe and faced a depression without “government help” (oxymoron anyone?), so quit whining.
3. The sun will come out tomorrow (what if it doesn’t?).

But none of those helpful comments get me through. Here’s what does:

Hammer it out with God’s Word.

88f05-wref
Example of, “stating the obvious.” But fabulous artwork!!

Why God’s Word? Let me first state the obvious. About God’s Word, you see, it’s umm, how do I put this? It’s hmmmmm….oh I know!

It’s God’s Word.

Don’t let your familiarity with the phrase, “God’s Word” undermine its power. When we say “God’s Word,” we’re saying a lot.

The Bible says it’s “God breathed.” It’s “powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.”

God spoke, and there was light.  God spoke, and the world came into existence.

So God’s Word is kind of a big deal. And it can change you, your insides, your outsides, all of you.

But let’s keep it simple:

You’re emotionally hammered.
Life has just dropped on you like a ton of bricks.
You’re not sure if you can get up tomorrow.
Or even keep going today.

Or maybe you’re not that low. But you are having a stressful day. This is still the best route. Trust me.

You can type this on your notepad, take a screenshot on your phone, and make it your wallpaper.

Find a verse that speaks to your situation (google, “Scriptures on God’s promises” or whatever). A great example is Jeremiah 29:11. Powerful verse about God’s plans for His kids. Write it on a card. Or make it your wallpaper on your phone.

During the day when:

tension rises,
anxiety increases,
worry creeps in,
or panic sets in…

…pull out the card or your phone, and displace those feelings with what God has said. Read it out loud or to yourself. Then say it as a prayer to the Lord. Say, “I believe.” Repeat it. And let it sink deep into your soul.

And as you do this, try to do it with the innocent trust of a child. With the trust you imagine a child feels when coming to a loving parent or to Jesus. 

I seem to remember as a child being told that the Bible was God’s Word. I was amazed – what an awesome book! I couldn’t set another book on top of it. I couldn’t let it get dirty. I treated it with serious and severe reverence.Who wouldn’t?!?!? It’s God’s Word for goodness sake!! What a precious and priceless and incredible gift!

Take that piece of paper or notation on your phone, and in the midst of anxiety or stress or worry, hang on to it. Grip it like grim death. Trust it like nobody’s business. Repeat as many times as necessary – all day long.

You do that, and  God will use it to change your thoughts, and renew your mind and hammer out anxiety and worry and panic.

Instead of getting emotionally and mentally hammered, hammer out the voice of the enemy, with the Voice of the Lord

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 
Proverbs 30:5 

God Speed,

David

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The REAL Sexual Revolution

Caution: adult subject matter. But nothing that’s not on regular TV or the news every day.

There have been a lot of sexual revolutions in the US over the last 50 years.

1. The bikini was kind of a revolution. A hundred years ago a woman would’ve been jailed for wearing one in public (even the men wore full body bathing suits). But they were transformed into good clean fun that “California Girls” of the Beach Boys songs wore. The Beach Boys were a fresh, clean and safe alternative to the drug-addled music of Woodstock. Who couldn’t love that?

2. The revolution of “free love” in the 60’s. “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” And while you’re at it, “don’t bogart that joint my friend.”

3. The revolution of some sex as “not sex,” led by that revolutionary (and serial adulterer) Bill Clinton.

Clinton defined oral sex as, “not sex” with “that woman,” and reportedly told an Arkansas State Trooper it was all he’d do because it didn’t violate the 10 Commandments. And thousands (maybe millions) of males used the line as ammunition for conquests with girls “Come on girl…it’s not sex! So it’s ok!”.  Researchers even call it the “Clinton-Lewinsky Effect.” The vast majority of college students think this two-word descriptor with the word “sex” actually in it right there in black and white, is not sex. Weird.

That’s Bill Clinton’s legacy.

But today a sexual revolution of tsunamic proportions is washing over us.

In all of those previous examples, sexual choices were just that, choices. Even though a bunch of unwashed hippies at Woodstock were having sex with everyone in sight you could still:

  1. teach against it in the local junior high or state university,
  2. warn against the dangers of it in local doctor’s office, 
  3. preach against it from the local pulpit, and
  4. lead your family away from it at home.

In fact, you’d be praised for that all of that by most of the population.

No more.

The current LGBT revolution is the first sexual revolution in America that is a 100%, take no prisoners, vanquish the opposition, mind control revolution.

werfd

David Gushee, a very liberal evangelical (oxymoron), wrote accurately for Religious News Service (click here) last week that two truths are becoming firmly ensconced in our country:

  1. There is no middle ground and no tolerance in this revolution. You are “for us” or “against us.” Meaning you either 100% embrace LGBT as wonderful and glorious and even part of Jesus and Christianity or you are part of the heretical evangelical fire breathing haters. And many will hate you. And already do.
  2. Dissent is not acceptable. The State and the culture will not tolerate any alternative views. Thought control is the goal. And Gushee seems to be a willing future “informant.” He says in the article mentioned above that he has been urging religious conservatives to change their Biblical view of sexuality, “voluntarily.” One can only assume by using the word, “voluntarily” he is suggesting that soon there will be a totalitarian enforcement that he appears to embrace.

Understand, this revolution includes all things sexual – wefhomosexual, bisexual, pansexual and whatever else you can come up with (eventually we’ll owe Utah an apology for forcing them to outlaw polygamy as a condition of statehood).

This also includes gender identity. Currently, only one judge (link) stands in the way of President Obama’s edict that all schools must allow boys who consider themselves girls into the girl’s locker room. No medical or psychological diagnoses or proof of any kind is required. The boy just has to show up to school and say, “I feel like a girl!” and abracadabra! He’s in the girl’s locker room!

Teenage boys deciding which locker room they should use.

The inmates are running the asylum. The crazy train has left the station.

If you don’t want to board the crazy train, sorry – you can’t stay off. Every effort will be made to get you “on board.”

Orwell-truthWith same-sex marriage now the law of the land, all public schools k-12 and public universities and all state and local governments and all government offices are required to embrace the new sexual morality. Corporations have embraced it. Small businesses have already been fined or forced out of business by the State or by threat of violence from homosexual activists (here and here). And there are those who are ready to hit any Christian church or nonprofit that will not renounce it’s Biblical morality and embrace the State sponsored sexual morality (link).

I wrote about all of that a year ago in an article titled Waving the Rainbow Flag and Declaring Christ?

All Of This Means You Have To Choose

You have to choose. And you only have two choices:

choose

a. Choose to the follow the Jesus of the Bible. The One who claimed all sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is sin. Who claimed that God made them male and female (not in between).

But to choose Him as He is and not as some like Gushee imagine or dream Him to be.
This could have severe consequences in the future. Maybe the loss of reputation. Maybe the loss of a job. Becoming part of a ridiculed and much-maligned and often hated subset of the population.

Maybe the loss of tax exempt status for churches (this is guaranteed if Clinton becomes President and appoints the next Supreme Court Justice). Fines for pastors who preach what the Bible says about homosexuality (criticism of homosexuality is already a “hate crime” in Canada).

b. Choose to reject the Jesus who actually does exist. Reject the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Embrace the politically correct Jesus that has been manufactured in the world’s mind or no Jesus at all. Doesn’t matter. The end result is the same-a rejection of the real Jesus.

Follow or reject Jesus. There is no middle ground. So choose.getrfedw

Historically this is not a new choice. It’s been made millions of times throughout history and is made daily right now in places like China and sharia ruled countries around the world. And it’s being made with joy.

Many first century Christians (called “atheists” because they only worshiped one God)
were burned at the stake or slaughtered in the Colosseum – all because they refused to embrace the gods of this world and only embraced the real Jesus, God incarnate. And they saw it as a privilege to suffer for their Savior.

The choice is, Jesus or the world? Be marginalized or even persecuted for Jesus, or bow to the state?

But do not lose heart and do not fear! My word to you: Choose Jesus. Choose all of Him as He has revealed Himself in His Word-all 66 books of it. He will make it worth your while.  Always.

Stand strong. I didn’t say stand obnoxious or stand, “in your face.”  God doesn’t call us to cinderellathat. Paul, when imprisoned for choosing Jesus, still preached Jesus with (in the words of Cinderella’s mother) courage and kindness to everyone he met, even his captors. Over and over until he died. He could do that because he was the victor. Confident that in Christ, he had already won.

No one could defeat him.

Not even death.

And Jesus made it worth His while. He lived maybe 70 years on this earth but has been in heaven, the place Jesus called “paradise” for almost 20 centuries.

Choose Jesus and celebration and joy are yours.  No one can defeat you. Not even death. And in 20 centuries you will look back with great celebration and say, “Jesus made it worth my while.”

Choose this day who you will serve. Everybody else, or God.

Amen and amen.

Pastor David

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