Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Link Highlight 3.29.13 – A Letter From a Lesbian to The Church

This week I’ll highlight the following article from several who clicked on it from Monday’s post:

An open letter to the Church, from a lesbian

I have said before I have a lot of difficulty on this debate in culture. PLEASE read the article, then see a few thoughts I have below.

1. I believe people with all kinds of sin sit in churches (myself included!). The one writing this letter writes from the perspective of a committed Christian struggling against homosexuality.

Note that not all people claiming to be homosexual really care what the Bible thinks. They don’t sit in churches and wrestle, looking for hope. But, I wish they would. The love of Jesus transforms all variations of sin, homosexuality included! The person writing this letter is brave and honest about the hope she seeks in Christ!

2. Does ANYONE fear others in church?

If the answer is that churches are places where certain types of sinners are singled out, mocked, etc. then that’s just ridiculous. No person should be afraid in that sense. We should be able to love people, tell the truth, and give anyone the support and resource necessary to live out a commitment to Christ.

3. What “not compromising” really means.

Please know that if someone disagrees with me, it doesn’t mean I think they hate me. Many sensible, loving Christian people are getting turned off by the “You hate us” rhetoric coming from those demanding same sex marriage rights. It’s simply not true and we can demonstrate that. Therefore, because I refuse to compromise God’s Word to accommodate popular belief, know that it simply means I’d give anything to show anyone the love of Jesus and treat them with love and respect regardless if they agree.

Have a great weekend everyone. Be challenged!

On My Mind #56: The death of Jesus.

I posted the following article on our church’s blog regarding the death of Jesus. 

http://gosschurch.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/holy-week-the-death-of-jesus/

 Be careful to give Jesus all the praise today and throughout this special week for everything we have in Him!

Monday Links and Bullets 3.25.13

Last Monday post of March? Wow.  Good thing it’s snowing. More on that below in my weekly round-up of thoughts (bullets).  First, a bunch of articles I found challenging (links).  Enjoy!

Weekly Links

Link(s) of the week

I find the gay marriage debate to be very difficult.  Here are two articles that challenge me this week.  First, if you are for gay marriage, please read the fine print. Second, for churches, here is a letter from a lesbian that speaks well to the very personal issues involved in this topic.

Christian Faith

Expect more from preaching.

A few somewhat Christian, somewhat general articles:

MARRIAGE: How to handle money in marriage. This is something both husband and wife should read.

PARENTING TEENS: It starts early.  This is a good article for ALL parents.

MARCH MADNESS: Why pursuing glory captivates us.

POLITICS: The U.S. Government is involved in a Christian issue in Iran.  Here’s a recent update on a very difficult situation.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

Personal Ramblings

  • Yes, I enjoyed the snow this morning.  It’s exactly what God had intended for us.  And, to be honest, I really can’t stand it when people complain about the weather.  It doesn’t mean I love the weather every time, but I really think complaining about it is a waste of energy.
  • On that note, I’m glad Akron went to school today.  I was hoping for a snow day so I could enjoy some extra time for the kids.  But, there was no reason to cancel school, so the lesson learned was: buck up and go do your best, even if other districts had the day off.
  • Last week seemed like a time warp.  A few days at Spring Training in Arizona were full of rest, enjoyment, and the truth of Jesus.

Faith

  • Wow, this is an exciting week.  God has acted in specific ways throughout history, and during “Passion Week” we explore the intentional acts of Jesus (and those committed against Jesus) which display God’s glory at its fullest.  I hope (wherever you live) you carve out extra time to be a part of special services your church may be having.
  • Here is a thought I shared via Twitter this morning.  It’s something I’ve run across quite a bit recently: Don’t expect from humans what you can only get from God.  This seems simple on its surface, but as you consider it more, it challenges you.  What do you expect from people in your life that should only come from God?

Sports

  • College basketball is definitely fun during the tournament.  Highlight of the weekend had to be Aaron Craft’s shot.  Big time! (Especially after how lousy he was in the 2nd half).  And for those still complaining about the charge, there is NO WAY it can be said with certainly it cost Iowa State the game.
  • The Yankees look like a ticking time bomb.  As this spring progresses and injuries get worse, I am starting to wonder if they are in for the kind of season Boston had last year.  The Yankees may be scratching to win 75 games this year at this point.
  • I read they’re paying $13 million for Vernon Wells.  They might as well pay $13 million for David Wells.  David Wells can probably hit better than Vernon Wells at this point.  What excites me most is that the Joba Chamberlain for Mike Olt or Elvis Andrus rumos won’t go away.  I’d be down with that!
  • I’m going to go outside the box here: I think the Browns will take a QB in this year’s draft.  Somehow, some way, they will draft someone to compete with Weeden.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Link Highlight 3.22.13 – What “Good News” do you believe about Jesus?

This week’s most clicked article from Monday’s post has to do with something very important: the Gospel.  Next week Christians all over the world will celebrate the good news that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again.  Have a look at Kevin DeYoung’s article:

The Gospel: accept no substitutes.

Then, here are a few of my thoughts:

1. You don’t ADD Jesus to everything else.

Someone truly wanting a relationship with God doesn’t just keep on doing what they want and then add Jesus into that.  The idea is that Jesus is truly king of your life, the one who shapes all of your decisions.  He rules and sits on the throne of our lives, He doesn’t become just another God among many.

2. The Gospel is NOT designed to make you feel better.

But, it does.  The Gospel is truth.  Taken to heart, it heals, helps, and most importantly — it saves.  However, healing isn’t the main call of the gospel.  Believers are called to sacrifice, and this call must be understood right alongside the more outwardly positive benefits of the gospel.

3. Dying is living.

See, really, it’s the opposite.  We can’t make Jesus servant to our desires.  When we die to ourselves, when our desires are His (however difficult), THEN, and only then, do we live.

Be blessed.  Be challenged.  Have a great weekend.

On My Mind #55: Five ways to honor Christ on vacation

It’s been good to be away for a few days. Back at it tomorrow. Here are five ways Christ can be exalted on any vacation trip.

1. Celebrate the place.

The Bible has many instances of God’s people changing places as a result of His work in their lives. In Christ, we have a promised land beyond our wildest dreams. On vacation, you can celebrate being in a different place as a reflection of how God has relocated the old self in place of the new.

2. Praise God for the discipline and finances.

No matter a trip big or small, praise God for His provision for the rest. You didn’t provide the money, He did. So, give Him thanks for it!

3. Look for opportunities to meet new people and share Christ.

On my recent trip with a friend, we encountered several people and were able to encourage spiritual growth, determine prayer requests for total strangers, and talk about God with random people. Being on vacation puts being on mission in a different context and gives different opportunities for sharing.

4. Fill that spare time with music, reading, or a sermon.

Hopefully, at some point you will relax on your trip. When that chance comes, fill your mind with a sermon online (provided the Internet at the hotel cooperates), some music, or just some extra Bible reading.

5. Pray.

Vacation can be a tempting time – the desire to stay stuck in fantasy world can be strong. So, pray! Pray for loved ones back home. Pray for God to give you meaningful rest. Pray for safe travel and give thanks for meals and special opportunities.

I could easily give five more, but hopefully this whets your appetite. Let your rest and time away be spiritual rest!