Adultery

When a sinner sins, that’s their normal behavior. That’s why they’re called sinners. When a Christian sins, it’s out of character and totally unacceptable behavior. When a pastor sins, one who has tasted of the goodness of God, so much so that he leads others in it. Even sinners sense that there’s something really wrong about it. How much more does God take a dim view of it. I would not want to be in his boots on The day of reckoning.
Today someone told me about a married woman who had a long term secret affair with her pastor.
“God knows my heart, and I really want to do the right thing. How could it be wrong if it feels so right, and we really care about each other.” How does that work? Was she praying about it? What did God say? Maybe she dialed up the wrong god? What about the pastors’ wife and kids, and the poor church? What about her husband? Even if he was a jerk. How would she justify it to her kids? One reason God forbids adultery is …people get hurt.
I know of another pastor who was caught in a relationship with a choir member. This is not a small time little pastor like me, but a big name well known pastor. Get this …..they were not actually having sex, just hang’n around together with nothing on, so technically it wasn’t really adultery. Uh, I was born on a Monday, but not last Monday! He and his wife believe it was a spiritual attack from the enemy. He got that one right, problem is he gave into it, and now it’s just called sin. It gets worse. The church leader and group of pastors that support him don’t want to expose him and upset the church. He’s back in the ministry. What happens when the church finds out? He’s going to have a big millstone hang’n about his neck, along with the cover up crew.
Who do they think they’re fooling. As if God doesn’t know about it. Perhaps He was busy elsewhere or maybe He thinks it was ok ??? I think not.
Some things in life you get one kick at the can. Marriage and ministry might fit into that category. Perhaps God will forgive them, but at the moment I’m having a tough time of it. Maybe that’s why He’s God and I’m not.

Beneath me

Last nite I went to do my regular volunteer job at Main and Cordova, handing out hot chocolate on the soup line for the Salvation Army. I said to Mike, “there’s too many volunteers tonight so give my job to someone else.” “You can do garbage pick up tonight it’s a great job, you’ll get to talk to lots of people.” He was right! I got to roam around between lineups, pick up their garbage and talk to the men. I thought, “this garbage is beneath me, that’s why I’m picking it up.” But the job was not beneath me, I couldn’t think of anything on earth I’d rather be doing.
This deep sense of being filled with the Holy Spirit came over me. As I spoke to the guys, I felt like my words were not my own but God’s. The volunteers are just as needy as the street people and needed His encouragement too.
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
Our very presence brings the death of conviction of sin to some, and the life and encouragement of Christ to others.
What a privilege to be an ambassador of The Living God. “Lord, teach me to serve and never be too proud to do lowly jobs for lowly people, in your name.”
Men search for You in lofty places, but You’ve hidden yourself amongst the lowly, where we would never think to look for You.

Uniqueness

Last night we had a dear older couple over for dinner. Afterwards we sat and shared with each other for about three hours. We had such sweet fellowship, we prayed, then parted,sensing there had been another person in the room. In fact there was, the Holy Spirit was there for sure. I love spending time with them. My friend is a pastoral sort, nice to the bone. He’s constantly encouraging and looking for the positive side of things. I’ve always wondered why I gravitate towards these nice guys. Perhaps it’s because opposites attract.
Some one whom I know and whose opinion I respect, gave me some constructive criticism about my blog. They stopped reading it because it was too negative. Because I tend to think there is truth in what they say, I tried really hard to write a positive blog. I felt like a fish out of water. The harder I tried, the more I realized that it just wasn’t me. My daughter in law writes these heartwarming narratives of her daily life with two active children. She has an uncanny gift of making her blog so uplifting, you want to read more of them. My blogs tend to be slightly caustic and goading. What you write is usually a reflection of who you are. Someone said he was worried he’d have to get a tetanus shot if he rubbed against me.
All to say it’s best to function in what you’re good at. Not that we don’t constantly try to improve and be more like Jesus, but there are some basic personality traits that you cannot change.
My wife and one of my sons are rabid evangelists. It motivates them more than anything in life and they are very good at it. I’m sort of an evangelist. I like it and do function in it, but it is not my number one driving force. I’m ok with that, I don’t need to beat myself up because I’m not the same as someone else.
God created each of us totally unique and different from each other. We can celebrate that uniqueness, thank Him for it, and start using the talents He did give us to be of useful service to God’s kingdom.

Scattering

I know a fellow who is always talking about God’s grace but is intolerant of others sin. He is clear on salvation by grace but his day to day Christian life is one of works. I’ve talked to him about it but he just doesn’t see it.
Should we write off this type of person as apostate? What does God think of him and his errors?
He’s had years of drug abuse that have scrambled his brains. Coming to Jesus and getting his life straightened out was an absolute miracle after the life he led. He has been forgiven much and so he loves much.
I think God has Grace for our theological errors. We would crucify the guy for misinterpreting a few scriptures, while God looks on the man’s heart. Has he repented or does he continue in sin? Does he love righteousness and despise wickedness? Dare I judge the servant of another and incur His wrath upon myself?
I’m always cautious about criticizing another Christian for not believing as I do. I think when I get to heaven, I’ll be surprised at who’s not there and even more surprised at who is!
I fear for the radio preacher that has all the answers. Anyone that buttons God down and puts Him in a box is on dangerous grounds. Those who would argue about the details of the faith are a divisive force in the body of Christ. Generally speaking, I think it’s better to preach what’s right than judge another Christian for preaching what’s wrong.
A few months ago I read “Hell’s best kept secret” by Ray Comfort. It has totally changed the way I look at evangelism. I now see that repentance is crucial to evangelism in a way that I have never seen before. His method of presenting the gospel may not be the way I would do it, and sure he has some funky ideas about the Ten Commandments. But then I’m sure some people would take issue with some of my weird ideas. So we “eat the meat and spit out the bones.”
Yesterday my son sent me a long and exhaustive critique of Mr. Comfort’s theology written by a well known group of ministers. I could not bring myself to read it out of respect for him.
Is there not enough positive work to do for the kingdom of God without nitpicking about the details of another’s theology? Does he not love Jesus with all of heart, and serve him to the best of his ability? Is he a Mormon or a J.W. or a post modern heretic worthy of exposing?
So where is the biblical precedence that gives us the right to criticize the servant of another?
In Matthew, Jesus says “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
My question is, are they gathering or scattering?

Anger

In doing a series on anger at our church, I discovered an interesting fact. We say “he made me angry,” shifting the blame for our anger onto someone else. My wife is learning Spanish and she tells me that they say “I am angry” making it personal, never blaming someone or something other than ourselves. We blame the traffic, the economy, the weather, other people, anyone or anything but where the blame should fall. The fact is, anger is our problem and we need to take ownership of our actions.
The anger of man is a destructive force, it has no mercy, and often injures everything in it’s path. People seldomly handle their anger very well. Either they explode in fits of rage, they simmer and manifest later or their personality becomes intolerant of anyone that crosses their will. Either way, everyone has to tippy toe around them so as not to upset the sleeping giant. The issue is control and nobody wants to upset the angry person so they are manipulated into obeying his every whim. In contrast, God is slow to anger, quick to be merciful.
As Christians, we learn that our anger does not accomplish the purposes of God but gives an opportunity to the devil to wreck havoc in our lives. An angry person is an unforgiving person and when someone gives full vent to his anger, they are nothing but a fool.
We also learn that there is freedom from an angry spirit for those who repent of it and seek reconciliation with their maker.
There is a peace and a contentment that awaits the soul that has learned how wonderfully freeing it is to practice forgiveness as God forgives us.

Retirement

Retirement is when I’m no longer useful to society and they want to put me out to pasture like an old horse.
When my biggest thrill in life is hitting a little white ball around in the grass. (golf) It’s when they say “go play, you’re redundant now” It’s taking up life’s most useless, totally self centered, unbiblical, wastes of time called retirement. At the time in your life when you could be the most productive and have the greatest earning potential. To throw away 65 years of learning and preparing, to squander all that’s been invested you is a travesty beyond measure. Freedom 55 is the slogan of a dream and people’s plans to opt out of society at 55 years old.
Someone I knew retired at 59 and spent his last 20 years traveling to somewhere hotter than here. It was a tragic waste as his grandchildren were deprived of getting to know their grandparents.
My desire is to make my last years here significant for the kingdom of God and a blessing to my family. It’s not as much how you run the race but how you finish it that counts.
The scriptures say that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, not just spending his children’s inheritance as so many do today. With 8 grandchildren and counting, I’ve got to make a few more dollars to qualify as a good man.

Obama

A very smart man once wrote that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time.
The president assured us that another term would continue the progress he’s made over the last four years.
So the 6 Trillion dollars of debt he put the country into, which is more than 200 years and 43 presidents have indebted the country in total, (excepting Bush), can be expected to continue.
Ben Bernanke gets to continue entertaining us with his folly as his printing presses roll out more unbacked fiat currency. He has another term to inflate their way out of the financial mess they’re in. That sounds like an intelligent economic policy.
It was never any fun having the US dollar as the currency standard of the world anyhow. We should let another country have a turn at it. Perhaps China would like to.
The utter destruction of the American manufacturing industry, by failing to protect it by free trade, will continue. But that’s OK, dollar stores are improving their quality.
Exciting news for the gays, they can now get married in Colorado and our neighboring state Washington. That sounds like great moral progress.
The news showed Washington Democrats rejoicing because marijuana is now legal in their state. I’m sure that will improve their driving habits and add new enthusiasm and drive to their workforce. Just what the economy needed.
As they race towards insolvency, America really needed the increased financial burden of Obamacare to assist them on the journey.
Perhaps a reduced population due to the now mandatory health insurance coverage of sterilization, contraceptive and abortive pills, will be a progressive moral change. After all, they need to make room for the flood of foreign immigrants due to anemic immigration laws.
Perhaps if we leave the Taliban alone, they won’t bother us. 9/11 was a long time ago, and I’m sure they’ve changed their minds since then. Muslim’s are only radical in other countries. The trouble they’re giving France would never happen in the US.

Congrats Mr. Obama for besting the Republican used-car salesman. You get to kick the can down the road a little longer.