Thursday, December 31, 2009

Georgia's Super Speeder Law

My wife was returning from Atlanta a couple months ago. As she was making her way through all the construction going on in the Newnan area she looked in her rear view mirror and saw the dreaded blue lights flashing. The State Patrolman stated that she was going well over the posted speed limit for a construction zone. My wife admitted that she had failed to slow to the posted limit but she was simply going with the flow of traffic. If was 9:00 PM on a Sunday night and there were no construction crews at work. She called me on the phone very upset that she had been given a $400.00 fine. (We are keeping score, I’m ahead of her 8 to 1). I stated that the enforcement of that law at that time wasn't about protecting anyone, there was no one working at 9:00 pm, it was more about meeting a quota or raising revenue for the state of Georgia.
Starting tomorrow, January 1st, Georgia will enact a law unlike any other in the country. It’s called the "Super Speeder Law." The law states that someone going 75 miles per hour on a two lane road will be fined an extra $200 on top of the original fine. If the driver is caught going 85 miles per hour on the interstate he will be fined an extra $200 dollars also. "Super Speeders"? I think it’s quite a stretch to claim someone going 75 miles per hour is a "Super Speeder".
Our governor, Sonny Perdue, says that the new law is an “attempt to slow high-speed drivers and reduce high-speed crashes and trauma injuries.” Yea, right! Come on Gov, admit the real reason for such a law. Tell the residents of Georgia that your new law is going to raise over $23 million in 2010!
Who can argue with a law that saves lives but that may be difficult to prove? National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey has done research that suggests that traveling at high rates of speed accounted for only 5% of “pre-crash events”. A similar study from the state of Virginia concluded that speeding only caused 2% of accidents.
Wouldn’t we save more lives and prevent more accidents if we did more to discourage cell phone use? I nearly rear-ended an elderly gentlemen on the interstate last week. I think he was going about 25 mph in a 65 mph zone. I slowed to see what was the problem and observed that he was engrossed in a cell phone conversation and didn’t realize how slow he was going. Very dangerous!!
We know the “Super Speeder Law” is more about raising money through a type of tax that will be unfairly applied to the poorer segment of our society than it is about saving lives. What we don’t know is where will all that money go?
Georgia passed a state lottery years ago to improve education in the state. Last time I checked Georgia ranked 49th out of 50 in public high school graduation rate. So, where is all the money going? If it’s going to education than it’s quite obvious that increasing funds has no correlation with improving education. Saying it goes to education is a really good sell to the residents of Georgia. But, as we all know, where there are large amounts of available monies there usually follows unprecedented corruption.
Go ahead a tax us, Governor. But please call it what it is and tell us where the money is going.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don’t Fold the Tents…Yet. (Part 1)

Jesus was the most popular man in Galilee. He was one of those, you know, whom you really love or you really hate. Jesus felt the resistance to his ministry growing so he left Galilee and crossed the sea to Caperneam. Just to make things interesting, his disciples rowed a boat and Jesus WALKED! The crowds sought him out and when he saw the great gathering he insisted they be fed. Over 5,000 feasted on two fish and five loaves. He had performed miracles, walked on water and fed the multitudes. Who could resist such a Savior?

But then Jesus began to set aside his miraculous works and he began to preach. His message in a nutshell….In order to experience eternal life you must be filled with my spirit. Eat my flesh and drink my blood. Embrace my teachings and become one with me. He was talking about making the ultimate sacrifice so they wouldn’t have to. The problem was their unbelief. John 6:60 “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” v. 52 “They were disputing and arguing sharply among themselves. v. 64 “There are some of you who do not believe.” v. 66 “Many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”

The Capernaum Times may have reported: Extremist Who Claims to Be Messiah Finally Stumbles. In the beginning of chapter 6 Jesus has 5,000 followers. At the end of the same chapter he has only 11. Would that not be a loss of 4,989. Jesus ministry hits rock bottom. Thousands walk away. It all came crashing down in a moment. He may have felt like Tiger Woods. Looks much like failure. Looks like the resistance has won. Satan goes twelve rounds with Jesus and scores a T.K. in the final round.

Is Jesus discouraged? It sounds like he is when he asks his disciples this question: v. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Thank God for Peter, he steps up to the plate once more and hits a much needed home run. v. 68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

This chapter really stretches the mind. Why does the chapter end with failure? Why does it seem that Satan wins? Why does it leave us groping about in a dark valley?

Perhaps the purpose is to teach us that in spite of the dark times we face in our lives all is never lost. The chapter is difficult to understand but so too is our lives. When we find ourselves being overcome by quicksand, he becomes the solid rock under our feet. When the darkness smothers us he becomes the lamp that lights our way. When the mountain is too rocky and steep to climb he lowers his shoulder and lifts us.

Jesus’ followers were now only eleven. There was even a traitor among them. What is the message? I have put the devil right here in the midst of you and he is under my control. The message of this difficult chapter is that God is sovereign. When circumstances seem to overwhelm us, he is in control. When the resistance seems to be winning, he is in control. When Satan makes his presence known in our families and ministries….he is being controlled by the all powerful, sovereign God. God provides a sanctuary from the tormentor.

Jesus declared to them in verse 70, “Have I not chosen you…?” Am I not in control? Unlike the thousands, these eleven stayed. The thousands were attracted to the miracles and were in it for a free lunch. But when the tough words were spoken it was too hard to accept and so they drifted off. The eleven were much impressed by the miracles but when the tough words were spoken they believed. Being a true follower of Christ is not so much about what you know as it is about what you are willing to believe. It’s about faith, not knowledge.

Are you involved in a ministry that seems to be failing? Don’t be discouraged, Christ is in control. Are you having problems in a marriage or with family members? Are you distressed because of the direction your country has taken? Does it seem the resistance is winning? Do you find yourself asking, “Where is Jesus in all this?” He is right there, walking on water, willing to perform marvelous miracles, well qualified to be our Savior and Satan’s conqueror. Don’t panic, don’t fold the tents, just step back and watch the powerful, all-sovereign God work in your life.

Don’t Fold the Tents…Yet (Part 2)

Do you feel the same awkwardness I feel when you hear someone refer to the United States as a Christian Nation? When I read how many ‘Christians’ believe in reincarnation, how many ‘Christians’ are followers of Oprah Winfrey’s New Age and how many Christians believe there is a heaven but not a hell, I just don’t know what ‘Christian’ means to people anymore.

As we close out the first decade of the 21st century there is nothing too encouraging to contemplate. Pat Buchanan wrote an article describing our present economy to our economy ten years ago. In 2000 the U.S. produced 32% of the world’s gross domestic product. By the end of the decade we produced only 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. In 2000 the economy was in full employment, now we are 10% unemployed. Somewhere between ¼ and 1/3 of our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. While median income for families remained the same (not a good thing) our national debt doubled! The dollar lost half of its value to the euro. We owe our soul to the Chinese government and they are becoming impatient because we haven’t started paying back what they’ve lent us.

All of this happened in the last decade, most of which was under the administration of George W. Bush. The dot com bubble burst in 2000 and the decade ended with the bursting of the housing bubble. Two simultaneous wars have drained us while we continue to develop more and more entitlement programs that we’ll have to borrow from China in order to finance.

Ten years later we are now fighting Al Qaida in Afghanistan although they now take up residence in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other northern African countries. Americans have believed that America is too strong to fall. Most of us now realize that we are the only ones who now believe that. Our enemies are inspired by weak leadership, indecisiveness and confusion in the White House. “W” certainly had his problems but at least we felt safe. We lost 13 innocent lives at Fort Hood and nearly lost hundreds more in Detroit recently. Our Homeland Security and our White House failed miserably to protect us. It’s troubling that our president is playing golf in Hawai’i while terrorists attack the country he leads and ‘loves’.

Our government seems to be ‘Obumbling’ along like a bull in a china shop, destroying everything it touches. No one in the Congress seems interested in or capable of balancing our books. We haven’t been able to win a war in fifty years. We obstinately or mysteriously refuse to protect our borders. We’ve sold our soul to China and we are more interested in passing out goodies to gullible voters to get reelected rather than do what is necessary to preserve the soul of a great country.

There is much reason for discouragement. Some are asking ‘Oh, what will God do without American?’ Don’t fall off your chair…God will be just fine without America. He will go somewhere else to reveal his glory. His plan will be realized with or without America. He will be glorified in China, in Israel, in Africa, in Korea. An all powerful, all sovereign God doesn’t need America but America surely needs him!

The greatest question is ‘Can the decline of America be reversed?’ If God’s plan is to lift this nation again as the ‘light on a hill’ then count on it, the decline will be reversed. Know this for certain, with or without us, God will be glorified and his name will be honored among all nations. What greater way to reveal his mercy and power than to take a wayward nation like ours and revive it! God always shines brightest in our darkest hours.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Should I See Avatar?

Should I see Avatar?

I've not yet seen Avatar. It now costs an outrageous $30 plus to take my wife to see a movie so I don't want to waste money on a movie that promotes a worldview contrary to my own. I need to have some questions answered before seeing Avatar:

1. This movie was produced by a leftist liberal. Is he using this film to promote his Marxist ideas?

2. I agree with Aristotle who wrote that good entertainment contains first and foremost a good, intelligent plot followed by character, dialogue, idea and music. Last on the list is spectacle or sensationalism. Special affects in our world. Is this another movie to show off special affects while covering for a weak minded plot?

3. Are all of the Na'vis played by African-Americans and Native Americans? If so, what is the subliminal message behind that?

4. The surviving humans represent the oppressive, evil, white, capitalists who are destructive, conniving and greedy. The strange humanoids are always happy,they've experienced an "at oneness" with nature and are honorable and spiritual. Why would I want to see a movie that portrays 90% of Americans as greedy and evil?

5. Why is it that the strange humanoids are bright blue and look like cats? Strange. If you wear camouflaged you get hit, if you are bright blue they can't seem to hit you if they were firing ICBM's from the shoulder!

6. Liberals think poorly. They actually think that guns kill people and if we eliminate all guns people won’t get killed. They think SUV’s kill people. They always want to blame an object instead of an entity. So, people are evil and they will eventually, because of their capitalistic greed, destroy the earth. What to do? Eliminate guns, eliminate SUV’s and when all else fails, eliminate people. Isn’t the theme of Avatar “kill all the humans”?

If only the liberal mind could see how marvelously the human being can be transformed by the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ? Humans are ugly, greedy, evil people. But the solution isn’t to kill them all. The solution is to convert them to Christlikeness.

7. Isn’t Avatar New Age stuff?

8. Isn’t the producer suggesting we love nature and hate people?

9. Isn’t paganism and Marxism promoted while Christianity and capitalism are condemned?

10. Near the end of the film, Jake can only become whole by destroying the humans by sending them back to their dead planet and then leaving his human body and entering a Na’vi body. Would this movie fly if we switched races around?

11. This film seems to be full of Mother earth, Gaia stuff. Did Al Gore have any part in writing the script?

Unless someone out there can convince me, I don’t think it’s worth $30.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama's Christmas Tree

Obama's Christmas OrnamentsShare

Would you like a glimpse of the Obama's Christmas tree in the White House. Here is a quick look...I hope you aren't expecting to see Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph or a manger scene!

Picture #1 Christmas ornament #1 is in honor of of transvestite character, "Hedda Lettuce" Inspiring and uplifting for all the children who look on our president's tree.

Picture #2 Christmas ornament #2 goes to Mao Zedong...murderer of 50 to 80 million of his own people.

Picture #3 Christmas ornament #3 goes to Barack Obama himself. His face is added to Mount Rushmore. No narcissism going on here.


Fifty Years After Obamacare

Fifty Years After Obamacare.
Molly is a nurse in the Harry Reid Abortion Clinic in Reno, Nevada. This clinic, like millions all across America, was built with government funds raised by the passing of the Healthcare Bill of 2010. Molly’s job is to assist the numerous doctors there as they scrape life from the wombs of their customers. Life has never been better for abortion doctors. The cost of abortions has tripled in the last twenty years as American’s now contribute a good portion of their earnings to fund such procedures. Molly spends her days carrying the mutilated remains of unborn life to an incinerator where they are cremated. Those who pass by the clinic see a plume of smoke drift skyward every twenty minutes. The scene is repeated at numerous other clinics across the nation: the Pelosi clinic in San Diego, the Obama clinic in Chicago, the Murtha clinic in Philadelphia and the Dodd clinic in Bristol, Connecticut.
It is most difficult now for the unborn to survive. Very few make it out of the womb. It is estimated that those who build their own life by murdering the innocent have successfully aborted 120 million unborn babies since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 and about 80 million more since the passage of the Obama Health Care Bill in 2010. Those who predicted that white Americans of European descent would be the minority by 2050 were proven wrong. They failed to take into consideration the increase in the number of publicly funded abortions, especially in the inner cities of America where there is a large number of minority families. African-Americans now only account for 8% of the U.S. population and Hispanics have dropped from 13% to 10%. It is very hard to acquire well guarded statistics from the government but it seems that Margaret Sanger’s dream of limiting minority growth in the U.S. has finally come true.
Jeremy and Emily live in Hannibal, Missouri. They worked the family farm until they retired in 2047. This elderly couple enjoyed rearing five children on the farm. The boys put up hay, harvested crops and went on hunting and fishing trips with their father. The daughters helped as well in the many outdoor chores and also acquired baking and sewing skills from their mother. Their children all grew and went off to big city colleges and became very successful. They married ambitious spouses and focused on realizing the great American dream of acquiring great wealth. One of Jeremy and Emily’s sons returned home to live with his parents. He is now 43 and still single but lives a comfortable life. The other four children all married but none have had any children. Jeremy and Emily will never know that their four children shared eight abortions. Their dream of having a passel of grandchildren to gloat over in their older years will never be realized. Their children will live in huge, 5,000 square feet homes in which the voices of small children will never echo off the walls.
American society is old. There is an abiding emptiness that covers the land. Most can’t really put their finger on why they feel so dark and depressed. They didn’t realize how much the elderly need to hear young voices and feel the exuberant energy of youth. Elementary school buildings are now multi-purpose community buildings. Little league fields are overgrown with weeds. Nurseries and Daycare buildings are boarded up. It’s a rare treat indeed to hear the laughter of young children playing together.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Priest Advises the Poor to Steal!!

Priest Advises the Poor to Steal!
British Priest Tim Jones gave unusual advice to his congregation Sunday. During his Nativity sermon he broke away from his prepared words to advise the poorer members of his congregation to shoplift from large businesses if things got to difficult for them. A shepherd of the flock ordained to care for the dear children of God is advising them to grieve the heart of God by committing sin. Exodus 20:15 “Thou shalt not steal.” This is relativism at its worst. According to Father Jones it is okay to steal if you are poor. How do you measure the level of poverty which makes it okay to steal? He advised that his congregants not steal from small businesses but steal from larger franchises so the loss would be spread out among their many customers.
Father Jones insists that “society had failed many needy people and (he) said it was far better that they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options like prostitution, mugging or burglary.” How about another suggestion, Father Jones? There is a very appropriate verse in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Or, how about the verse in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It is blasphemous, sir, that you would advise people turn to stealing in time of need rather than turn to God in time of need.
The parish priest of St. Lawrence Church in York refuted the idea that he was encouraging people to break the 8th commandment. “because God's love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.” Hmm, let me get this straight. God loves the poor so much he approves if they steal from national business chains.
I wonder, Father Jones, does God love the poor so much he approves if they help themselves to your offering plate as it goes by?

The Manhattan Proclamation

The Manhattan Proclamation

Finally, after hearing all of the brouhaha about the Manhattan Proclamation, I’ve read it in its entirety. This document was developed and adopted by a group of Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals who joined together to protest three basic issues that I feel very strongly about:

1. The Sanctity of Human Life

2. The Dignity of Traditional Marriage

3. The Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty
I certainly agree with their listed reasons for protest regarding all these areas. But I’m wondering if we are selling our souls to ecumenicalism in an attempt to unify under a political or social banner. The more important calling of all Christians is to proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. While the goal of addressing these issues is admirable and noble are we not drinking the poison? When we lump ourselves together with denominations who deify Mary and base their salvation on works are we doing more harm than good? Are we helping to legitimize a system of belief that is contrary to the true word of God?
The differences between these three groups is fundamental and explicit. The lines of demarcation between the fundamental truths found in the gospels and the heretical apostasies are blurred. The document begins with these words: “We are Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians…” How can these three gather under the same gospel banner when their fundamental beliefs regarding the gospel have differed for thousands of years?

It is a dangerous thing when large numbers of denominations and those with different interpretations of the gospels all try to cram under one tent. Once the camel’s nose gets under the tent just about anyone is welcomed? Why are there not also Muslims and Buddhists and Mormons involved in this movement? They too have strong feelings about these issues.
As an associate pastor of a local Nazarene Church, my primary obligation is to be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a shepherd of a flock we are too protect the sheep from the introduction of error at all costs. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and there is no other way.” Rather than joining hands with those we consider apostate, why don’t evangelical Christians begin a movement of their own?
Some good and honorable evangelicals see it differently: Dr. James Dobson, Randy Alcorn, Kay Arthur, Gary Bauer, Chuck Colson, Josh McDowell, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dr. Michael Youssef, Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Wayne Grudem and Ravi Zacharias all signed the Manhattan Declaration.
Some equally good and honorable evangelicals failed to sign: Dr. R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John McArthur, Alistair Begg, James White, and Mark Driscoll.
I love how the document addresses the three social issues but I don’t feel the document defines what is the true gospel message. Therefore, I will not sign.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What the Expecting Mary did not Expect

What the Expecting Mary did not Expect.

a. She wasn't expecting the angel to tell her she was pregnant

What was her family going to say? She was engaged to Joseph? Surely, he would be very hurt. How could he possibly believe she was a pregnant virgin? Will Joseph cast her off? Will her family disown her?

No wonder Mary goes off to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, for nine months. Elizabeth will understand because there is a miracle going on in her life also. Mary pondered these things in her heart for nine months. She felt the baby growing in her womb. She felt the first movements. She wondered what he would look like. She wondered what his personality would be like. She wondered what sort of a handsome king he would be for all of Israel. She made clothes for him. She planned how she would decorate his nursery. She pondered the message of the angel.

b. She wasn't expecting to give birth in a barn.

I love Christmas cards with manger scenes. Have you ever noticed how everyone in the card is clean? The stable seems to glow. The animals are all standing there in perfect stillness as they contemplate the humans who have invaded their space. Baby Jesus is lying perfectly wrapped in spotless, white downy cloths and none of the hay seems to prickle at his perfectly soft skin. Baby Jesus never cries in a Christmas card. Mary is the most beautiful woman in the world and Joseph is tall, dark and handsome. The goats are not trying to eat hay from the stable, there are no insects or crawling varmints.

I remember days in my uncle's barn. Rats running about here and there. The milk cows were swatting at flies and leaving deposits that seemed to linger in your nostrils long afterward. Mary must have known while riding that donkey all the way to Bethlehem that her time for delivery was near. She expected a warm, clean room in the Holiday Inn but instead she gave birth in a barn.

She knew she carried the Son of God. Surely, God's plan was not for his son to be born in a stable! He is royalty! He is divine! But he came in great humility. Was Mary familiar with the verse in the Old Testament: Isaiah 55:9 ""As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." God doesn't always do it the way we expect him to. We are thrown off when he does something we don't expect. When things happen, when sorrows come, when we start to think, you know, God's not in this. Where is he? What did I do to deserve this?

How many young couples preparing to marry conjure in their minds a Christmas card image of marriage? "I'm marrying the most wonderful person on earth." But after awhile, the most wonderful person is not so wonderful after all. Faults rise to the surface. We live in a sinful world. Illness comes, debt accrues, conflicts arise. This isn't quite what I expected.

In those times we need to consider how Mary dealt with the unexpected: "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38) A weaker woman might have collapsed in fear, her faith might have crumbled to dust but Mary put her trust in God.

c. She wasn't expecting Jesus' ministry to be so difficult.

She expected Jesus to be well received. Who wouldn't love such a gentle, loving person? She expected him to be respected by all. She must have been hurt by the hatred, anger, jealousy. She never expected him to be persecuted, tortured and finally murdered. He was the Son of God. Why is he hanging on the cross?

Mary teaches us what do you do when unexpected things happen in your life? Keep trusting God. He sees the big picture. We are driving along behind the dashboard and we see no further ahead than the next curve. He has a bird's eye view of the whole landscape. He sees the bigger picture that we can't see. Mary played the angel’s words over and over in her mind: “Be not afraid, Mary.” Are things not quite turning out as you expected, be not afraid, repeat the words of Mary and make them your own, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"And a sword will pierce your own soul too"

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too”

When Jesus was but forty days old he was taken to the temple by Joseph and Mary to be dedicated. Simeon the Righteous was there to receive the child and he had words that would cause Mary to ponder. Eastern orthodox tradition says that Simeon was one of the seventy who translated scripture into Greek. While he was translating Isaiah he came upon the verse that says "Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son" (7:14) He was flummoxed by the verse and thought an error had been made. As he was about to substitute the word ‘virgin’ with ‘woman’ an angel appeared to him and declared, “You shall see these words fulfilled. You shall not die until you behold Christ the Lord born of a pure and spotless Virgin." He was believed to have been well past two hundred years old when he died.

Imagine the relief when Simeon finally held the Christ child. As he blessed the child he made a vague prophesy concerning his crucifixion. And the words that cause Mary to ponder… “a sword will pierce your own soul, also.” (Luke 2:35)

Mary was a very strong-willed mother who was responsible for rearing a very strong-will child. Can you imagine the sibling conflicts that took place in Joseph’s home. James and Jude and the other siblings of Jesus had to cope with the perfect, sinless older brother. Was there jealously and accusations of favoritism? How does Mary explain to her other children that Jesus is never wrong? How did they react when they were punished for sinful behavior but Christ never did anything worthy of punishment? It was a sword that pierced Mary’s heart.

After the visit of the Magi, Mary learns that Herod the King is determined to kill her son, Jesus. An angel appears to Joseph in a dream and instructs him to take his family to Egypt to escape the danger. Joseph walked in the house one day and said, “Start packing, Mary. We’re moving to Egypt.” How must her heart been pierced! She must leave her home, her family, her friends, and all the things and places that were dear to her to go live in a strange and foreign land. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been had my father walked in one day and said to us, “Pack up, boys. We’re moving to Siberia.”

Herod, the evil king executed his plan. The haunting and terrifying sound coming from the community of Bethlehem was the wailing of mothers who had lost their children to a maniacal tyrant. Mary was able to take Jesus safely to Egypt but her heart must surely have been pierced by the screams of anguish caused by the birth of her son.

We know very little about the early childhood of Jesus. Scripture says he “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. At age twelve he accompanied the family on a journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast. Joseph’s family spent about a week there before returning home to the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. They traveled as a group in a large caravan. After traveling for most of a day they discovered that Jesus was not with them. I can only imagine how Mary’s heart must have been pierced with anguish.

“Mary, is Jesus up there with you?” Joseph asked.

“Why, no dear, I thought he was back there with you.” she replied.

“Oh, this is just great. This can’t be good! We’ve lost the Messiah, the Son of God!” Joseph must have been exasperated.

Every parent has experienced moments of panic when children are unaccounted for but three days must have been a nightmare for her. I remember feeling greatly panicked while Christmas shopping for my wife about a year ago. I had our three year old son along. What was I thinking? While I was trying to make a decision on an outfit for Shannon, he disappeared. Had he walked out the door? Had someone snatched him? How could he disappear like that? He was standing right here beside me just moments ago. He was hiding in the circular racks of clothing as all small children love to do. I was relieved but I reprimanded him firmly.

Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus. He was in the temple amazing the theologians with his vast knowledge of scripture. It seems Mary scolded him. “Jesus, did you not know that we have been looking for you all this time?!?”

Jesus replied, “Woman, I was about my Father’s business in my Father’s house.”

Mary’s heart was pierced over and over again. Though he is mine he belongs as much to others. His relationship with the Father trumps his relationship with me.

It seems Mary’s heart was pierced by the passing of Joseph because he is no longer mentioned . She was likely a single mother now trying to rear Jesus and his siblings.

Twenty one years after the experience in the temple Mary would stand with others at the foot of a cross just outside the city. Her heart would be pierced one last and final time as she watched her beloved son die on a cross for the sins of humanity. So many wonder why this young, poor, peasant girl of Bethlehem was chosen to mother the Son of God. It was because she was strong enough.

Some Take Global Warming More Seriously Than Others

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ivy League Grad Should Know Better

Ivy League Grad Should Know Better

Mr. Obama's acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize included praises for a couple of previous presidents on the other side of the aisle, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. He offered a justification for the War in Afghanistan although, it was a bit awkward to hear a war president defend war while accepting a prize for peace. Seems the world really has gone mad!

As a history teacher, I'm always on alert for those who would revise history to promote their own agenda. I'm wondering if Obama learned his history from Occidental, Columbia University or perhaps Harvard? Here is a quote from his speech: "Most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded." Do I interpret this correctly? Obama's war in Afghanistan is justified but the Christian's war against Muslim oppressors was not?

Obama insinuates that the Crusaders attacked the Muslims without provocation. Revisionist historians would like us to believe that the Crusades were all about plunder and forced conversions to Christianity. Some plunder is acceptable for the spoils of war go to the victor. But is astoundingly ignorant to insinuate forced conversions. Forced conversion is a concept incompatible with Christianity. I've never heard any Christian declare that he was forced to accept Christ as his Savior!

The Crusades were as just as any war ever fought! Each crusade was a reaction to an attack against Christians by Muslims. The first crusade in 1095 was a reaction to the Turkish invasion of a dominantly Christian Asia Minor. In 1144 the Muslims conquered Edessa and the second crusade was a response to that invasion. In 1187 the Muslims descended on Jerusalem and Christians from throughout Europe traveled to the Holy City to defend it from Islamic invasion and occupation.

Jihadists were marching through Spain in an attempt to conquer all of Europe in the 8th century when they were met by The Hammer, Charles Martel, in one of the most culturally significant battles in all of history. The Christian victory in the Battle of Tours preserved Christianity in Europe. Had the Muslims conquered Europe we would never have enjoyed the liberties we value so dearly; freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to worship and equality of genders

It's disturbing that a U.S. president, a Harvard graduate, would be so ignorant in his interpretation of history. It's especially disturbing that he be so willing to besmirch his own faith, Christianity, in defense of a religion that teaches that violence and deception are virtues.

Monday, December 14, 2009

So, Who's Mad at Obama?

So, who's mad at Obama?

Presidents who ascend to the White House from the far left and the far right finally realize that in order keep their hope of reelection alive they must govern from some where near the middle. One thing we can all be sure of: Obama wants another term, badly!

In order to position himself and avoid getting walloped in his attempt at reelection he is now alienating his far left, liberal base. So, who's mad at him? Conservatives are very angry that Obama is making government bigger than ever by taking over Wall Street, General Motors and the mortgage industry. Illegal immigrants are angry because they were promised an amnesty bill that hasn't happened yet. The Global Warmists are angry because it doesn't look like the sky is falling after all and the attempt to limit CO2 emissions died in the Senate.

Those who want the government to decide and provide for all their health needs are angry because Senator Lieberman seems to have stuck a knife in that turkey. All of the anti-war activists are enraged because Obama opposed Bush's surge in Iraq but decided on a surge of his own in Afghanistan. In the mean time, Obama's approval ratings have plummeted to 44%! Many African-Americans are very angry because they have large numbers in poverty and who are unemployed. They are hurt most by a sluggish economy floundering in recession. Many who voted for Obama are embarrassed a year later because they feel they were duped by Obama's charisma and his empty promise of hope and change. They have enough sense to realize that something is very wrong, very, very wrong when our president tries to lift the economy from debt by going on a spending spree that would make the world's worst shopping addict look like a moneygrub.

Many conservatives sympathize because they fell like they have "been there, done that." They were disillusioned by George W. when he promised to address their conservative domestic concerns. He did little, if anything at all to advance the ideology of the his conservative supporters. Was George W. anti-abortion? I can hardly remember. His followers were convinced something was amiss when George teamed up with Ted Kennedy to pass the "No Child Left Behind" bill which assured Americans that they would continue to dump money in the bottomless well of a behemoth bureaucracy of education while our student's test scores continued to plummet.

Bush signed his name to a farm bill and American farmers were all to willing to drink the poison of government subsidies that would make them overly dependent. While government sponsored entitlements are the hallmark of the Democratic Party, Bush signed into law the largest entitlement expansion since LBJ's War on Poverty, the Medicare drug bill.

"W" also sent out "free money" to stimulate a failing economy. It seemed he was willing to compromise his fiscal conservatism in a feeble attempt to save his legacy. He didn't want to be the man in the White House when the economy plummeted but plummet it did and it was on his watch. It seems like any president, regardless of political affiliation, follow the old adage "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" once they get to the White House.

“The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of Socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly” - Norman Thomas

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why the Inn Keeper Missed Christmas

Why the Inn Keeper Missed Christmas

Luke 2:7 “And she gave birth to her firstborn, as son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

My two older sons and I drove from Columbus, Georgia to New York City to see the Yankees play one of their last games in Yankee Stadium. After a 16 hour drive we were pretty exhausted. We stopped at a motel in Jersey and were told there was no room available. There was a concert in town and rooms were scarce. The motel manager began calling around to other motels to see if he could find us a room.

Mary and Joseph approached the inn in Bethlehem. It was tax time and thousands had come to pay their taxes and participate in festivities. The inn keeper looked Christmas in the face that night and missed it entirely. “I have no rooms, but there is a stable…” He was too busy to be concerned for this desperate couple. It was obvious Mary was due to deliver very soon. Yet, the inn keeper was so busy he didn’t even call around to see if any other rooms were available, he didn’t even call for someone to help the young mother. He was busy living, busy earning money, busy saving for retirement.

How difficult it must have been for Mary. Could her loneliness been any more intense than it was that night? Her birth pains were intense, she was alone with Joseph in a strange, smelly stable. I’m sure Joseph did the best he could but Mary needed someone who had been there and done that. She needed a midwife, female company to sympathize with her and encourage her during her first birth. Alone, very alone. The worried lines on Joseph’s face were not reassuring to her. The occasional bleat of a sheep or the restless cluck of a chicken offered her no comfort.

Years ago in a small town on the east coast of the United States, a dozen people met for a town meeting. There was a man there that night whom no one seemed to know. He rose to make a comment about some of the projects they were considering and was rudely interrupted so he quietly sat down and did not speak again.

After the meeting was over, a man who had arrived late, asked the others, “What was he doing here? Is he here to help us?” The rest of them said, “What are you talking about?” The man said, “You don’t know, you mean to tell me you don’t know the man who must walked out? That was John D. Rockefeller, his yacht is in our harbor, did you get his help?” In despair they cried, “No, we didn’t get his help, we didn’t know who he was.”

Had the inn keeper only known who he was? This baby born in a nearby stable was the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world. Many of us, like the inn keeper, miss Christ because we are so busy, too busy to get to know him. We make no room for the king born in Bethlehem, no room for the lamb who died on the cross, no room for the savior who rose from the dead.

If we miss Christ we miss Christmas. It’s not about the cookies, the presents, the decoration…it’s not even all about the children. We live in such a child-centric culture that children often feel they are more important than the adults. Our children need to know that it’s not all about them, it’s about Christ.

We dare not miss the whole point of Christmas! The Christ of glory was born miraculously, he lived perfectly, he died vicariously (in our place), he rose victoriously and he reigns eternally. This is the true meaning of Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"I am Tiger Woods" by Kevin Probst

"I am Tiger Woods"

By Kevin Probst

     I recently watched Tiger's first Nike commercial. Do you remember, all the sweet, cute little kids saying, "I am Tiger Woods"?  I felt sad. Sad that Tiger lived such a destructive lifestyle and yet allowed himself to be emulated by these innocent children. Sad that mothers will now disapprove when their little ones say "I am Tiger Woods." Sad because a man who seemed to be very skilled in making the right decisions on a golf course was so foolish in his private life.

     The website Roll Models on the Web says "Tiger thinks that being a good role model to others is even more important than his golf. He thinks his golf is just a vehicle for him to influence people. He wants to influence kids in a positive way. Tiger feels that's what it's all about." Obviously this was just a marketing gimmick for his Tiger Woods Foundation.

     I've never seen such a meteoric fall of any athlete like that of Tiger Woods. Kobe Bryant transgressed, bought his wife a multi-million dollar diamond and all was forgiven. Pete Rose transgressed and sacrificed his hopes for Hall of Fame induction. A-Rod transgressed but his post-season performance covered a multitude of sins. Michael Vick served time for dog-abuse. But none of these even come close to the fall of America's squeaky clean, Boy Scout like god of golf.

My father always taught us growing up that one's reputation is far more important than the accumulation of riches. Tiger will always have riches but his reputation is in shambles. When will he play golf again? Will he ever play again? Will he be able to salvage his marriage? Does he still want to be married? Would he rather walk away from a beautiful wife and two lovely children to pursue his playboy lifestyle?

     Tiger needs a new start. He needs to break with all the people who assisted him in the cover-up of his adulterous lifestyle. A real friend would have approached Tiger with sound advice, "Walk away from this before you destroy yourself and your family." Did anyone give him that advice? Does Tiger have even one friend who would do that for him? He should fire all the people around him who assisted him. His manager should go, his sponsors should go, his fast-lane friends should go and his bulldog snarling caddie should go. Clean the slate and start anew.

     Tiger needs to start being honest, especially with himself. He must decide if he wants to love the honorable life that goes with fidelity and faithful fatherhood or would he rather choose play bunnies over family. Tiger has had pretty much everything in life handed to him on a silver platter but integrity and honor are not delivered on a platter. They require sacrifice, they must be earned.

     I think its sickening and narrow minded when I hear professional athletes excuse their immoral and immature behavior by declaring they are no one's role model. Denying the truth doesn't change the truth. Of course they are role models. Nike understood that clearly when they made the "I am Tiger" commercial. When you sell your reputation to a sponsor for millions and millions of dollars you agree to a certain degree of behavioral expectation. Tiger would like to argue that he has a right to privacy. Now we understand why he fought so hard for his privacy. I would argue that the price one pays for becoming the first American billion dollar athlete is a very large measure of his privacy. A very private famous person is an oxymoron. If you are going to allow Nike to market your face and reputation into the homes of millions of Americans and influence them to spend their hard earned money to buy the product you promote, then they deserve to know who you are. Tiger is a role model and he has sacrificed his right to total privacy.

     It's very sad. Shame on those who, in some sick way, are gleeful to see the self-destruction of Tiger Woods. Shame on those who would seek profit from exploiting his downfall. I'm not defending Tiger, I think he deserves to be penalized for playing out of bounds. What's so sad is to see how cheaply he sold his wife and kids. What's so desperately sad is that the god Tiger turns to during the difficult times in life is Buddha.

     He serves a powerless god. Obviously his friends are few or none. The press feed on him like a school of piranha. The father he loved and depended so strongly on is now deceased. Maybe Tiger will learn what many of the rest of us have learned…when there is no one else to turn to, Christ stands knocking at the door.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

“I Must Find a Way to Stop Christmas From Coming”

“I Must Find a Way to Stop Christmas From Coming”

I stopped by the library yesterday and picked up a Christmas story to read to my four year old son. Shannon had mentioned that we should try to expose him to some of the Christmas classics. So, I remember seeing a Jim Carey movie a couple years ago and I thought I would read Dr. Seuss’s classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, to Kameron.

Needless to say, he loved it and I had to read it through twice last night. The Grinch is a grumpy creature who feels no happiness and has no joy in his heart. He is deeply envious when he sees the Who’s of Whoville preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. So, he devises a devious, dastardly plan to destroy the season by declaring his intent to “stop Christmas from coming.”

During the course of events the Grinch realizes that Christmas is much more than just Christmas trees, wreaths, cookies and lights. If Christmas is simply a babe in a manger then we’ve missed it because no babe in a manger ever saved a lost soul. The babe grew, he lived a perfect life and thirty-three years later he hung on a cross so that we might experience salvation full and free.

A mistake my high school apologetics students often make is attributing to Satan some of the attributes that belong to God alone. Satan is not omnipresent (being in all places at all times), he is not omnipotent (all powerful), nor is he omniscient (knowing all things). Satan only knew that Christ would come and that he would be empowered to save mankind from destruction because he was told, he learned it from the Old Testament and the voices of the prophets. He believed it.

So, Satan, like the Grinch, set about to “find a way to stop Christmas from coming.” The first prophecy of the coming Messiah is found in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Satan went on a mission to destroy the family (Christmas) tree. He tempted Cain to kill Abel but his plan was foiled with the birth of Seth, who replaced Abel. All of mankind descended through Seth by way of Noah. Satan succeeded in corrupting the hearts of all of mankind and God in his anger destroyed them with a flood except for one family who managed to preserve man because they lived in righteousness.

Satan sent world-wide famine but God had Joseph in place. Satan employed Pharoah to kill all the Israelite males but God had Moses in place. Satan recruited the wicked queen, Athalia, to destroy the Davidic line by murdering all her grandsons and introducing the worship of Baal but God had Joash in place. Satan construed a plan to eliminate all the Jews during the reign of Xerxes but God had Esther and Mordecai in place.

In order for Christmas to happen Jesus had to be born of a virgin. Satan tried to steal Christmas by tempting Joseph to make a public spectacle of Mary but he chose not to. I’m sure he was tempted to have relations with her before their actual marriage but he refused. Satan tried in every way to throw a cog in the wheel. There was no room in the inn. Herod was determined to find the child and destroy him but Joseph obeyed the voice of the angel and swept his family away to seclude themselves in Egypt until the danger had passed.

Satan’s attempts to steal Christmas had all failed. Dr. Seuss writes this line in his classic, “He Hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”

There was a birth, there was a perfect life, there was a death, there was a resurrection, there was an ascension. Just as surely, there will be a second coming and an earthly kingdom to parallel the spiritual kingdom and these will evolve into an eternal kingdom and Satan will mull over it for all of eternity, “IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Skeletons in the Closet Reveal the Grace of God

The Skeletons in the Closet Reveal the Grace of God

If you were writing a book in hopes of making the best seller list, I doubt you would begin by putting a genealogy on the first page. But, that is exactly what Matthew did. Why provide the boring list of names in Jesus’ family history? Matthew was validating Christ as King by proving his royal line through his father David and his racial line through his father Abraham. He was without doubt prompted by the Holy Spirit to write this record because all genealogy records were destroyed in A.D. 70 when the Roman, Titus Vespasian, sacked Jerusalem.

Had there been a king in Jerusalem during the days of Jesus it would likely have been Joseph, the man who adopted him. Joseph was a direct descendent of David. But Mary was also a descendent of David so Christ had the royal blood running through his veins. Christ was therefore, the son of Joseph which gave him the legal standing to be king and he was the son of Mary which gave him the royal right to be king.

The genealogy has some interesting nuggets of truth if you dig deep enough. Matthew 1:10-11 tells of Jeconiah who was the son of Josiah. If you refer to Jeremiah 22:30 you find that Jeconiah, also called Coniah, was a very evil man. The Lord cursed him and declared him childless. “no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David.” If Jeconiah is in the direct line and the line is broken because of the curse, then how can Christ be king because the line has been broken?

The sovereign plan of God cannot be frustrated or compromised by the failures of men. The curse of Jeconiah was bypassed by the virgin birth. Joseph carried within him the cursed blood of Jeconiah but Mary did not so Joseph was bypassed and the seed in Mary was planted there by the Holy Spirit of God.

Of the forty two names mentioned in the family history, there were at least four women mentioned whose reputations were severely tarnished. Matthew 1:3 speaks of Tamar. Genesis 38 teaches us that Tamar was a prostitute. Perez and Zerah were born to Tamar as a result of the incorrigible sin of incest. All three are listed in the genealogy!

Matthew 1:5 speaks of Rahab. She was a prostitute who ran a house of whores in Jericho. Not only is she in the messianic line, she gave birth to Boaz who is a symbol of Christ himself.

Matthew 1:5 also speaks of Ruth the Moabitess. The Moabites were a whole race of people that had been produced by incest. They were cursed and despised by their neighbors. Ruth was a pagan who married Boaz and became the great-grandmother of David.

Bathsheba’s name is found in verse 6. She is well known as the adulteress who answered David’s call while her husband was off to war. She gave birth to Solomon who followed David to the throne. She ran into the arms of the man who had her husband murdered.

So, what was God thinking? He plugged into the family tree of Jesus a most evil man cursed of God, two prostitutes, a pagan and an adulterous woman. Why are they there and what does this say about God? It reveals him as a God of grace. 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

The genealogy of Christ validates the truth of the word of God. Any other king would go to extreme means to hide the skeletons in his closet but Christ exposes all the dirty laundry so that we might see the wonder of the grace of God.

I relate more with the weak than the strong. I’ll never write an autobiography. There is too much in my past to be ashamed of. But, by the grace of God, I now minister to youth in a Christian high school and I’m an associate pastor of a Nazarene church. Living proof that God can use the foolish as well as the wise, the weak as well as the strong. He isn’t looking for perfect character, he is looking for perfect willingness.

So, if you see yourself as least likely to be qualified to minister for Christ and you identify more with the skeletons in the closet, should your heart be willing, you may very well find yourself standing in a pulpit or trudging toward a mission field one day because “The harvest is great and the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37) kpprobst

Friday, December 4, 2009

Can a Conservative Opppose the War in Afghanistan?

Can a Conservative be opposed to the War in Afghanistan?

We now fight a war for which it is obvious our Commander-in-Chief has no heart. He said during his campaign last year that the real war should be in Afghanistan and not Iraq. But now it is very clear that he hasn't the intestinal fortitude to fight this war. A narcissistic president who wants to be loved and accepted by everyone just can't give himself to conflict.

When trying to justify the war in Afghanistan one must determine just how important the country is. Does the country have a great influence on its neighbors? In the region? Is the country a real threat to regional stability? Does the country have natural resources that need to be protected? Is the country strategically located geographically?

Our motivation for going into Iraq was to remove a dictator who threatened his own people and neighboring countries. Iraq is located on the Persian Gulf, a chief waterway that provides a means to transport a resource (oil) the world must have. We were justified in capturing Saddam Hussein and executing him.

Our motivation for going into Afghanistan was to punish a country that harbored the terrorists who attacked us. We overthrew the Taliban government and Al Qaeda fled the country. What is our purpose in Afghanistan now? Does Afghanistan have any strategic value? It is landlocked and has no access to any important waterway. Instability in Afghanistan does not necessarily threaten the region. Does Afghanistan have any natural resources necessary to keep the world's industries operating? No resources unless you count opium.

There is a common argument that if Afghanistan falls into the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda then Pakistan will be threatened and the region will become unstable. But, the Taliban and Al Qaeda ruled Afghanistan for decades and Pakistan was not destabilized.

Obama offered no real motivation for staying in Afghanistan in his speech to the West Point Cadets. The goal is to make it to June, 2011, when we will withdraw win, lose or draw. This is a wimpy way to fight a war. Should Obama not have said, "The goal is to establish a terror-free government and society in Afghanistan and we're not leaving unto we accomplish this task!" It seems Obama was telling our cadets, "I'm sending you to Afghanistan in hopes you can survive until June, 2011. Good luck!" Dumb!

Perhaps the only real reason for staying in Afghanistan is that to leave is to admit defeat. How can we maintain our credibility among our allies and in the eyes of our enemies if we leave with our tails between our legs. Failure and the loss of honor go hand in hand.

We went to Afghanistan to 'whup' the Taliban and punish al Qaeda. We accomplished that. Setting up a democratic government may be most difficult if not impossible. Afghanistan is no Iraq. The country is much larger. The mountains are rugged and endless. The literacy rate in Afghanistan is only 33%. Are these people even capable of understanding democracy or electing a democratic government?

If we withdraw now we will suffer hearing the jeers and cheers of our enemies. If we withdraw in June, 2011, we will suffer the folly of sacrificing even more lives in an effort that our Commander has no heart for. Obama should have offered 30,000 more troops only after defining a clear path to victory or he should have brought the troops home. He did the worst thing a leader can do during war, he sent troops into battle with no motivation and no hope of victory.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Water That Brings Life

The Water that Brings Life.
by Kevin Probst

When Jesus met the woman at the well (John 4) he had a private conversation with her. She was amazed he was willing to ask her for water and to even speak to a Samaritan woman! As the conversation progressed, it was obvious she wanted to talk only of surface issues and then be well on her way. But Jesus wanted to dig deep into a heart that has been made cold and calloused by years of serial relationships that had left her empty and void of any feeling.

They talked about water, living water. She had no understanding of such a concept. They talked a bit about the religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans. She told him how much she hated hauling all her water pots to the well every day in the mid-afternoon heat. Then, rather abruptly, Jesus asked her a question that made her feel very uncomfortable….it was a “let’s put it all out on the table” kind of question. “Will you go get your husband and bring him here?”

She had learned some things in life the hard way. She had learned that real satisfaction doesn’t come from sexual relationships. She learned that some men try to validate themselves by pursuing attractive women but after each conquest they get bored with her because the world is filled with thousands of attractive, sensual women and so off he goes to find his next conquest. Her lifeless eyes and her pre-maturely aged face indicate a heart that has been wounded over and over and now the remaining scars make it very difficult for her to feel emotions any more.

The males in her life were seeking satisfaction in sexual relationships. It’s like the water Jesus was talking to her about. You drink deeply from the well at Sychar but you will come back again and again because your thirst always returns. You can drink from other wells, you can choose to use other vessels but the thirst relentlessly returns. A man’s true self-worth is found in the love and respect he gets from his family. Men were created to be monogamous. A man who has learned to be content is one who has learned the mission God had in mind for him when he put him on this earth and he is diligently working to accomplish that mission.

She sometimes gets so wrapped up in the cultural deception that if she is beautiful enough and sensual enough he will love her and stay with her forever. But, there are millions of beautiful and sensual women in the world. If that’s all she can offer he will get bored eventually. Her real beauty and her sustaining attributes are her warmth, her sensitiveness to the needs of her husband and her children, her grace and charm, her modesty and her love for her Creator. These features are God-given and they are the ropes that bind her to her husband and family.

He will go to the gym daily and endure long hours of painful workouts in order to achieve the athletic look that will catch her eye. There is certainly nothing wrong with staying healthy and strong. But, there is a reason for the ‘dumb jock’ syndrome. She will eventually get very bored with a good looking jock who only has one thing on his mind. Our culture is filled with sexual nomads who are frustrated because real, true satisfaction in their lives is so elusive. They haven’t the time for building relationships and eventually marrying.

I thought it was downright pitiful a few years ago when I read in a book written by a prominent FOX news correspondent his braggadocious claim to have bedded hundreds of women. About that same time a very famous professional basketball player also wrote of his multiple conquests. They thought this was reason to be admired. They’ve certainly drunk often from the well but they’ve never drunk the living water that satisfies forever the thirst in an empty soul.

She is not looking to be a number on his list. She wants a monogamous relationship. She wants to trust a man who is dignified by his trustworthiness. The relationship or the marriage will struggle when it’s all about him or all about her. The true secret to successful marriage is to make it all about God. When God is centered in the marriage then the two of them can build a web of love around their family and friends that is enviable and indestructible.

Is not the chief end in marriage to present to the world an earthy display of the divine love Christ has for his church?