Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Couldn't Resist!

For the Diehard STAR WARS Fan, this is Classic! It is among the top 10 most viewed on YouTube for 2011 - Enjoy! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Supply Surprises

This past weekend, I got a few surprises. Most notably were the ones that revolved around filling in for my Father at the church where he is Interim Pastor. We shall get there in a moment.

We coupled the weekend with a Family Reunion at my Uncle & Aunt's home in Central KY. Some of the smaller surprises where those in attendance and how they had grown - some taller and others sideways and more rotund. It was good to be there with my extended family and remind each other of the love and support we share for the growing family.

Other surprises were first being asked to Supply Preach for my Dad. I have had the honor to do so twice now and the honor doesn't shrink with each repetition. However, this time it was the two surprises that came with the invitation that make me smile even as I am typing.

"The Building Formerly Known as JWKH"...Changed To a Christ Honoring Church
The First - which allows me to WRITE IN a bullet point on my Bucket List and Cross one off at the Same Time - is that my Dad didn't tell me I would be preaching in a former Jehovah's Witness building. The church bought and used the former building of a cult as their house of worship. Pretty neat how God used that in the life of that church, isn't it? Our God is constantly in the business of redemption. This was Amusing Surprise No. 1.


The Best Surprise is that since my father was away preaching in another location, the Chairman of the Deacons asked that My Mother introduce me. What a joy! She was nervous, more than I was, and we both shed some tears before she finished. Her intro was a wonderful mix of childhood stories on adventure, Biological Facts and how God has called me to the Ministry - the greatest adventure of all. Thanks, Mom! I love you!

Ephesians 6

Children and Parents
 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life Change...

Below is an email letter I received from Lifeway after the Summer of Youth Camps was over. FBC Martin attended Centrifuge at Union University June 2011. I wanted to post one very visual example of why we invest in teenagers through the venue of Youth Camps & Retreats. 

"Dear Ministry Partner,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming to FUGE this summer. We’re honored that you chose to join us at camp and we sincerely hope your group experienced life change as a result of that week.

Now let’s celebrate together what God accomplished over the course of 2011. We know life change takes place in many different ways but here are a few tangible ways that we saw it happen this summer:

Decisions at camp:

·         1,129 Salvations

·         3,015 Recommitments

·         594 Decisions for Vocational Ministry

·         1,877 Other Decisions Made

6,615 decisions made (and those are just the ones we know about)!  This is reason to celebrate!  We are also excited to report that OVER $:$470,000 * was received in this year’s missions offering.
 

This money will be given to the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board to be used to spread the Gospel in Canada and to reach the people of Sub-Sahara Africa."

If you are interested in booking with Lifeway Youth Camps follow the link at the top of the page. They don't have a lock on the perfect camp, but my life and thousands of others have been touched by FUGE Camps. They are very good. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Courageous # 5

Box Office Mojo tracks movie sales over the opening weekend and Courageous is No. 5, threatening to take over the No. 4 spot.This is very significant since Courageous opened in nearly HALF the theaters that other films in the list are showing in.

Check out the link above & banner below for more information about the movie. 

banner

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coming Soon! COURAGEOUS

In my continuing effort to promote good media - here is a link to COURAGEOUS site. On their site you can view the trailer, download Web Banners to promote the movie through a personal or business site. Also available are resources for fathers who are motivated to lead their families.
Make plans to see this film on opening weekend - the first day through the first weekend make a huge difference in how long it will stay in the theaters after opening.



banner

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seeing Life to Choose Life

This is a thought provoking article from Baptist Press about the numbers of women who choose LIFE if they could just see their unborn child through an ultrasound machine.Two lives were saved in one day through the Mobile Ultrasound unit they are promoting.

"It's important to note that nearly 80 percent of all women considering abortion choose life when they see their unborn child on the ultrasound screen," says Mary Lou Hendry, Director of Sanctity of Human Life for the Florida Baptist Children's Homes.

See the Whole Article here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Smells of Remembrance...

Ever had one of those episodes where you smell something and it takes you back to a memory way before? I have - Strawberry Freezer Jam, Fresh Cookies Baking, Summer Squash & Okra sauteing in butter and spices. Others from my life are Salt Water on the Coast, Fresh fish smell on my hands, Tobacco being fired in the smoking barns the Summer I paid for Jessica's Engagement Ring.

The Disciple Peter had a Smell Of Remembrance too. The smell was an outdoor fire, one that the Bible calls "charcoal", used only twice in the New Testament; both times with Peter and Jesus involved. The significance of these two scenes cannot be understated. Personally, I think the significance of that second smell slammed home painful memories to Peter as he came up on the beach after his "It Is The Lord!" swim from the boat. But then, he couldn't twist away. He had to deal with his failures. This charcoal fire smell and the ironically created situation was one of those emotional avalanches that started slowly and then hit him like a ton of bricks as they sat there eating. Peter must have remembered the FIRE SMELL, DARKNESS & EVIL, JESUS NEARBY, 3 QUESTIONS, 3 ANSWERS, A LOOK FROM JESUS, WEEPING, HORRIBLE GUILT as the smoke and smell faded. Then his present reality that was MORNING & LIGHT, JESUS NEARBY, JOY, GUILT, 3 QUESTIONS, 3 ANSWERS, CONFESSION, and REINSTATEMENT, COMMITMENT.
Not so different from our own lives when we sin, eh? temptation, decision, sin, guilt, memory, scars. Then when we encounter a similar situation again, there is a sort of beach meal with Jesus. He requires us to fess up to our shortcomings. He urges us to FOLLOW HIM again. Privately first, then more publicly, then if asked before the world - much like Peter confessed to the world with his death. Honesty is a MUST if we want to be healed, if we want to be saved. In the midst of confession, we have to go through the memory of the whole dark scene again before Jesus can lead the way to forgiveness and restoration.
Next time you smell something that makes you remember, think of Peter. Think of yourself. Be encouraged - we serve a God of Second Chances. Just look at Peter's life for a reminder.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Friday ... Don't Relax

Adults, do you remember Summer Vacation? When we finished school and all the hard work paid off and the relief settled in?
The ZITS cartoon pretty much demonstrates the level of relaxation by students who have finished their latest year of school. Our VBS workers are feeling sort of the same way after finishing our long week of Outreach. WHEW! It's over. I got another pie in the face - this year, my WIFE was the agent of swift whipped cream and graham cracker destruction to my cranium. Though, I will say that dried whipped cream in hair can withstand hurricane force winds and support small woodland creature nests.
The Most Important thing about VBS week is that multiple children made professions of Faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Their lives will forever be changed because of the dedication and creativity of over 100 workers at our church. Thank you everyone for making a mark on ETERNITY!
Looking back to the cartoon above, after big events and spiritual highs, I believe there is a level of relaxation, maybe too much relaxation in our Spiritual Life as well. We go through something stressful and spiritually challenging and we come through it with fortitude and to the Glory of God. Afterward, part of us wants to celebrate and rejoice. But there is another part - one that we don't see very much and may not realize is active. That second part is our flesh that just wants to relax and reflect on the victory. This relaxation could be dangerous if it means that we "sit on the couch" and won't even do the things we normally do for Spiritual Upkeep.
This can lead to ....
Laziness
Less Resistance to Temptation
Sinful Activity
Lack Of Accountability
Harsh Attitudes
Lack Of Discipline in the Spiritual Disciplines like Bible Reading, Prayer Time, Memorizing God's Word

So, if you are coming off of a spiritual peak in your life, and you saw God move on the heights, keep doing the things you were doing before the Mountain Top Experience. God rewards those that seek His Face, and strive to see Him high and lifted up. They may not be the rewards we think of first, but it will be His and ultimately the fulfillment we need.
It's Friday, Don't Relax!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sports Center ready for Rapture?

HA! Well if we can get ESPN to acknowledge the Rapture - we shouldn't be too far from reaching the world with the Gospel. Below is a Tweet from SportsCenter today. 
If u knew the world was going to end, what sporting event would you want 2 witness B4 the rapture comes? Best answers on 3P"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Candy Cane Case

Candy Cane Case & First Amendment Rights (link) - Candy is not the only thing at stake when this case goes to court. Basic First Amendment rights are at stake, and confidence that the public school system will allow children to talk about what they believe and not what the government says they should. The defendants are 16 year olds, who as children had pencils and candy canes confiscated by a Plano, TX school for having messages about Jesus on their gifts to classmates. To read the whole article, click on the link above to go to CitizenLink.com. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tiger TomCat

TIGER
We have new neighbor and a new pet...sort of. This is Tiger. He is a stray our neighbors picked up and started feeding. As neighborhood animals often are - he is at other houses quite a bit too. He fell asleep on our van a few nights ago; and the girls play with him whenever they are outside. All in all, he has been well received on our street.
However, a couple of Saturdays ago - he showed that he still has a nature in him quite beyond the domesticated house cat. Tiger went on the prowl and caught a starling - the girls called it a crow - either way - it became an after dinner snack.
 The Bible teaches us in many places that we carry within us a constant involuntary desire to "miss the mark" called sin, or sinfulness. This is seen throughout the Bible, but some specific examples are found in Romans 3:9, 5:12-13, 6:1-2, 1Corinthians 15:56, John 8:21, 34, 46 and Romans 8:3, which says, "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God DID; sending His own Son in the LIKENESS of SINFUL flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh." Jesus came as FULLY GOD and FULLY MAN to be a Divine Sacrifice for Sin - paying the Divine Penalty also - giving us access to heaven through Jesus - the Way, the Truth & the Life, John 14:6.


Tiger demonstrates what we see in ourselves daily - a nature that in CHRIST'S POWER we resist and even hide - but is always there. Tiger can eat from a stainless bowl 99 % of the time - but the desire to hunt and kill will always be there - Hence the Starling Snack Bar. He did the whole cat thing - batting it around in the air and playing with his food before finally biting the head clean off of the poor bird. That was when I realized we are the same way.
We are not bad all the time - but humanity is as bad as they can be given the chance. I have witnessed this sinful nature come out at random places - in traffic, in crowds, in stadiums, at dinner with friends...all of us have missed the mark somehow. Here is the picture: Sinfulness is always there, Sin is defined by the Law of God so we know it is wrong, and Sin is carried out through the body or flesh of all people.

King David demonstrated this picture for us. "In the Spring, when kings go off to war..." King David stayed behind, got bored and took a walk on the roof. He wasn't where he was supposed to be and he didn't listen to the Spiritually Controlled part of him, he listened instead to the sinfulness in him. He missed the mark! He was confronted and he thankfully repented and got as many things right as he could.
HMMM

But we all know he couldn't continue as if As The Jewish World Turns didn't just happen. He paid dire consequences and the man after God's own heart continued to pay the rest of his life.


When we face our lifelong enemy SIN next, we need to be reminded of the Power Christians take for granted many times.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5  4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

When we take sinful thoughts captive and Christ bends our wills toward  His - sinful thoughts don't make their way to action through the flesh. I am reminded again and again watching the cat roam our yard, that THROUGH Jesus there is Daily Dying that must happen as long as we live in the Sin-FULL Condition as Humans.

Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On The Loss Of A Child...

This blog that I read regularly helped me in some of my private struggles in dealing with the loss of a child, unborn or born. Hope you are encouraged in the midst of your own struggle over such a tremendously painful issue.
Click the Enclosure Link on the Title (On The Loss of a Child) or go here:
http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/05/10/it-was-not-wicked-for-the-lord-to-take-our-son/ 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Secret To Marriage...

At a wedding, the DJ polled the guests to see who had been married longest.  The bride's grandparents took the honors.   The DJ asked them: "What advice would you give to the newly-married couple?"  The grandma said: "The three most important words in a marriage are, 'You're probably right.'"  Everyone then looked at the grandpa for his answer. He, wisely, answered: "She's probably right."

God willing, we will grow old together. I just hope I'll be able to remember that answer then.

Joke from Daily Subscription to Mikey's Funnies @ http://www.mikeysfunnies.com/

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Are We Really Saying...

The name Christian represents something. Here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definitions.

1Chris·tian

noun \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\

Definition of CHRISTIAN

1. a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ b (1) : disciple  (2) : a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3) : a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961
2.: the hero in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

Origin of CHRISTIAN

Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos
First Known Use: 1526
Within the name, there is a bit of another Name, one that we carry with us if we know Him. Christ - the God-man, The Incarnation, The Logos (logos, in Greek, The Word from John 1), God with us, and in us and working through us. My point? Just that when we are known as a Christian, we have opened the door for them to not only listen carefully but to watch us, to evaluate us. People form opinions more so about our Christ than about us. They base their evaluation on their observation of me and you. Let that sink in for a moment. People make judgments of JESUS based on us. Now, take it one step further.
When we enter a restaurant to eat, then leave no tip or a small tip - the staff forms an opinion about Jesus based on our tip and our behavior.
When we pay to see a movie with questionable content, we are not judged on our claim of knowing Christ - we are judged on taking Him with us to that film.
When we put our bodies at risk by our eating or substance abuse we are claiming that Christ honors those poor choices and He does not.
What got me thinking about this again was a blog I read by James Emery White. Here is a quote from the manager of an English pub who said, "Bloody Christians!" He manages the English pub called The Eagle and The Child, the pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet to discuss their writings. The trouble is that Tourist Christians keep stealing the memorabilia off of the counters, shelves, walls and tables.
No wonder we have trouble sharing Christ with people, they have seen too much. Maybe we realize that to do so discredits our Lord, because our lives just don't match up.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7  "5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." 


Compromise Completes The Devil's Schemes - Live For Him Today.

If you are interested in the whole article about the English pub, go here: Church & Culture Blog

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just For Fun...

Great Stuff from the Chick Fil A Chuckle Maestro! Risking Side Effects for Full Range of Motion. More at www.timhawkins.net/video

Friday, March 25, 2011

Digging At The Root....

We have two Crape Myrtles in our yard. Wait, correct that - we have one now, and we have some root fragments, and a large hole in the ground. Recently, my lovely wife persuaded me to "see about the one closest to the house." So upon seeing about it, I realized this was not going to be an easy job. 
Crape Myrtles are known for having large, rather epic root balls even if the trunks are not so thick above ground. This particular Myrtle had been planted more for the fast growth than with the future of landscaping in mind. It presided between the sidewalk and the house. It was not a big tree, but I had to trim back the branches a minimum of twice a year because they hung out over the sidewalk and brushed against the house. Myrtles are also a Japanese Beetle nursery and restaurant - and every year we hosted tons of the Asiatic creepers.

So - if you are keeping up: fast growth, beetle breeder, poor location, and nasty rumors of uprooting = JMW not looking foward to"seeing about Myrtle."

I have added fuel to the slanderous tales of Myrtles being hard to dig up.

The tool - an axe. Long, heavy, and very sharp
The locomotion - me.
The Reason - Myrtle was an invasion upon normative life, annoying, a breeding ground for other things. The worst part was the potential for roots breaking the sidewalk and uprooting other plants nearby.(I pulled up one root that stretched over six feet long.)

I guess by now, you are seeing the spiritual application the Lord allowed me to see that afternoon. Getting rid of sin is not easy work, sometimes it takes years. The Root Ball of Sin is deep in the landscape of our lives and in the heart of each of us. We can never fully rid our "lifescape" of the sinful fragments in this life. God gives His Word as a sharp tool that divides soul and spirit, joint and marrow, and it lays bare the hidden attitudes of the heart, Hebrews 4:12-13. When we read the Word of God, we become aware of how deep the root is and God gives us desire to remove the root. The Spirit gives direction and fuel, but in the midst of all He provides, there is still an expectation of us; that we do some work to dig it out. Especially if something sinful is encroaching upon the abundant life Jesus expects us to live.

Lastly, sin rarely affects just the individual. Just like the invasive root tendrils of Myrtle, the tendrils of sin reach out and touch others: alcoholism, depression, obesity, selfishness and addictive habits are just some that come to mind. I have no further to look than the roots of sin in my own life to see how sinful behavior in my past has reached out and affected others around me. I wish the Youth in my ministries over the years would get this principle - it is not enough to to duck under or trim away at sin, only to see it grow back and breed other things. God has shown me that I must rely on His power in me, then give my best in the destruction of sin at the root. We should dig up the problem, confess sin and let God replant the landscape of our lives, fertilize with forgiveness and grace - and watch new life blossom. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just A Reminder or Two

A Funny thing happened to me last weekend. I got a reminder. I got reminded of some of the good kids out there. I don't know who reminded me, but I definitely got the message. The message that There Are Lots Of GOOD Kids, and a lot to be proud of in them. 
Culture says that kids are no good now days and constantly in trouble.
But I say there are tons of great teens out there and I know several hundred of them in our area.
Culture and Media sometimes say that teens have no future and they don't listen. But I remind teens of Jeremiah 29:11, that says "For I (GOD) know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE"
My Reminders

Honestly, I'm tired of the negative outlook, and the negative media. How about some good stories of the good teens doing good for God and Community? There are TONS of Great Teens in the world and they are making a difference. I am out in the Community a lot and I see them doing, serving, and helping others. I see them sharing their love for God and love for others. I am looking for a Revival to happen - in their Generation - A Generation that lives out 1 Timothy 4:12, I "will not let anyone look down on me because I am young, but [I will] set an example for the believers in love, faith, speech, conduct, and purity." Which oddly enough, was the Reminder that they sent me Saturday morning. These notes repeated love, faith, speech, conduct, and purity in multiple handwritings - reminding me of two things. 1 - That the subject of our last Retreat was 1 Timothy 4:12, and 2- that they were living out those characteristics. Choosing to be godly and have fun at the same time. There are A LOT of Great Teens out there. I just got a small reminder of that FACT.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Those Days...

There is a haunting phrase used repeatedly in the book of Judges as the Downward Spiral of Morality is described within. Four times the phrase toward the end it repeats, "In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did as they saw fit." The simple context is below.
  1. Judges 17:6
    In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
  2. Judges 18:1
    [ Danites Seek Territory ] In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel.
  3. Judges 19:1
    [ A Levite's Concubine Degraded ] Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim, who took a concubine for himself from Bethlehem in Judah.    
  4. Judges 21:25
    In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
I was checking an email I get about the Youth Culture and it reminded us as Youth Leaders and Parents that we need to be at least taking the pulse of the culture so that we can see the cultural slide and warn others not to step into the lubricant goo that can make us fall. We need to prepare our Gospel Boots, Belt and Shield, Ephesians 6. The example used was the Top Ten songs on the Pop Charts and the lack of explicit warnings for content. Examining the content and more importantly the definition used by iTunes and the board that determines warning, you start to feel your morality sliding as you read. Here is the link to the article and some of the content:  http://tinyurl.com/4bb7qb6 - note on reading the very slippery definition of explicit

Standards have been laid down by God, Man has continually pushed and broken those standards, and God being a loving, merciful God has honored the choices of His creation and allowed us to pay the consequences of those actions. Here is where I want to tie in the picture to the left.

As a leader and a parent, I am attempting to slow the fall, to laid lightly in culture - held up by God's Grace and Love. I know I'm sinful, but I trust God to hold me up and guide me as I float through the world's atmosphere. Those around me sometimes don't see the need for God in their lives. They have chosen to jump without a 'chute. It's ironic that you can't share a parachute unless two people start out strapped to the same harness, but in God's Kingdom I can hand them out before we jump.

"Listen! Do you realize what we are getting ready to do? You need this. Out of love and respect for you a created being like me - take this! Put it on, and be saved." Grace is individual and Jesus died for the sin of the world. I believe it is sufficient for all. Everyone could have a parachute.

The irony is thick in the time of the Judges, because sometimes even the Leaders, The Judges were doing their own thing - going against the standard and the God that raised them up. Gideon, and Samson being major examples of compromise under pressure. The list is long and sometimes distinguished with names of those who have fallen due to compromise in our day.  To quote Steve Farrar, I want to "Finish Strong."
In these days, we have a King. His name is Jesus and we cannot do what is right in our own eyes.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Changing Shells

Spikey the Hermit Crab
We just got to witness something really cool. Spikey our longest living pet yet, upgraded. But he didn't just upgrade, he moved into the Hilton of crab shacks. As my wife exclaimed, "Man! That was like moving out of a trailer and into the White House!"
What she meant was he chose a white shell with an opening almost twice the size of the one he had, AND it was much longer. He's going to get a workout hauling that thing around. The best part? We got to witness the whole thing! He was bathing and i went back in to check on the them and there he was streaking in the water like Ray Stevens!
I gathered the troops and we watched him climb up on the White House Shell and back his tail muscle into it and try it out. Very Cool! Instead of being happy for him, we are wondering if it will last because of the size difference. I put a couple of other shells back in the small tank and left him in there alone just in case. Stay tuned, updates to come later by comments. Haha.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God's Chisel....

  video  This video by the Skit Guys, God's Chisel is about 9 minutes long but worth a bookmark somewhere so you can go back and remind yourself what and Who's you are, and that is why i uploaded it. Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's Workmanship, (a Masterpiece of Grace) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." What needs to be chiseled in our lives?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Caaaareful Now....

The CLEAN comic Tim Hawkins does a great comedy bit about Parents giving good parenting advice too late. Too see it, click play or copy the link below and click on Tim On Parenting.  http://www.timhawkins.net/video.php  In the clip, he laughs about good advice given too late - kids playing with bricks over a period of time, throwing, catching, playing with bricks and eventually someone hurts themselves with the brick and the parent says, "Carefuuul!" Ha, ha.Well at that point - it is too late, tears and blood flow, and MAYBE a lesson was learned. But the children were allowed to play with bricks and over time they became less intimidated by the potential force of brick on a noggin.

As we raise our three children - I am reminded that good advice is never too late, but wisdom states that good advice can be put to better use if listen and apply the knowledge before the mistake is made.Good advice is that before parents allow their children to hang out with other children they check seriously on the influences those children have. The same should be said of media. Those influences make connections in young brains that can set in motion thoughts and actions that are not welcome, and far less than holy.

Pornography use is on the rise - and I read an article recently that called pornography, "Liquid" because it seeps through the defenses that parents put up. If children aren't allowed to watch a certain movie at home, they might see it at a friends or relatives or even school. If they cannot listen to a certain music style or artist...just wait-cause it will be on the radio, a friends iPod, Mtv, or other public venue. Liquid influences are dangerous also because the Internet is now even hand held and there are very few filters that work on mobile devices - the dangers are realized by the telling statistic that 1 in 5 teens has sent a "sext", a wireless picture message including at least partial nudity. Without understanding the potential of the Internet - teens are shocked when they discover how far a picture sent out of commitment or "love" can go.
My example is simple - the readers of this blog come from of course the United States, but this is where it gets weird and a little scary. I am new to blogging and already I have some "readers" or "views" from Canada (4), Chile (2), United Kingdom (2), Malaysia (2), Turkey (2), Israel (2), India (1) and the Netherlands (1).

I know many young people that simply do not understand the vastness of the Internet - the good, the bad and the ugly. I started this blog because I needed a creative outlet - I never really thought it would turn into much.
Similarly, a teen takes a picture and sends it, (never thinking it would turn into much), and before they know it their reputation is damaged forever, and they have been deeply hurt. My advice in a liquid culture is to limit the use of mobile broadband till closer to college age or till they fully understand the risks and costs. Also keep computers in a public place with supervision and put time limits on browsing. Too many times, I have counseled a young person drowning in liquid porn before they realize they were in too deep.












Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why I Only Watch The Game...

Over the years, you just learn some things. One thing i have learned is that church is not the place for the Super Bowl Commercials or the Halftime Show. Traditionally, I have a remote control and a chaperone or myself armed to change the channel at the breaks during the SuperBowl. For the Same reason, we host a Worship Service during Halftime to focus our attention on the Lord. Why? The information below is from a blog by Bill Johnson and the American Decency Association that updates me on what I don't want or need to see, so that I can protect others from the same. This is a line up of the written content of the 2011 Commercials that we missed at FBC Martin. Frankly, I'm glad we missed them. 
"-       Crude humor which results in a man getting hit in the privates – Check. (Pepsi Max ad)
-       Promotion of alcohol and excessive drinking – Check. (Budweiser ads)
-       Ads demeaning and sexually objectifying women  - Check. (GoDaddy.com, Teleflora, etc.)
-       Profanity-laced ad – Check. (Brisk ice tea)
-       Sick violence (i.e. catapulting a baby against a window, REALLY?!) – Check. (HomeAway.com)
-       Offending entire people groups with stereotypical depictions (GroupOn.com, Pepsi Max)
And so on. You get the idea. However, there was a commercial that FOX deemed so offensive it refused to air the ad. What was the ad that FOX didn’t want to touch with a ten foot pole? An innocuous ad that refers to the scripture John 3:16 and directs viewers to a website LookUp316.com.
The ad shows a group of fans watching a football game who notice that one of the players is wearing John 3:16 written in his eye-black. (A verse, by the way, that is as standard at American sporting events as the giant foam finger.) In the ad, one of fans says, “Hey, I’ve seen that before. What does it mean?” And another guy says, “I don’t know. Hey, I’ll look it up.” Cut to the site address on the screen for LookUp316.com. 
That’s the so-called “controversial” ad FOX refused to air. They’ll gladly take the $3 million per 30 second commercial to air truly offensive ads, but won’t take the money from a group promoting a truly inspirational message. 
However, FOX gladly took the money from Skechers shoes which ran an extremely salacious ad featuring a skimpily clad Kim Kardashian seemingly about to have sex with her workout trainer on the floor of a gym. The camera erotically pans her [...] body as she foregoes her trainer for [in favor of the] shoes.
And FOX had no qualms about airing the lewd ad for British-made Mini-Cooper cars. The catch-phrase of this ad was “Cram it in the Boot.” With a play on words and vulgar imagery, this ad made blatant reference to anal sex to the millions of viewers, both young and old, tuning in.  
These are the themes that FOX approves of for family viewing. But air an ad with a Christian message and you just might offend someone.  
FOX TV has long-proved it is no friend of the family with shows such as “Family Guy” and “American Dad” which offend moral sensibilities on a weekly basis. So it comes as no surprise that FOX continued that tradition of offending not only with the ads they chose – but also with one ad they refused to air.

John 3:16, "For God so loved THE WORLD, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish and have eternal life."  Being in the world, but not OF the world is watching the Game but not giving in to the sultry moral drift that even FOX TV - the self proclaimed Conservative TV has fallen for.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Skin Gun - GOOD Stem Cell Research!

This is an amazing video hosted on the National Geographic site showing burn treatment for patients using their own [ADULT] stem cells harvested from their own skin.Severe burns treated and cured in less than a week.

Yet again, this is another victory for Adult Stem Cell Research, a field of research where there exists verified cures and treatments, further defeating the need for embryonic stem cell research and the destruction of human embryos. 

"Adult stem cell research has provided treatments and cures for patients suffering from over 70 diseases and conditions. Contrary to these successes, destructive embryonic stem cell research has yet to provide any successful treatments for patients." [Family.org article by Focus on the Family Analysts]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gabi, Gabi!

As i type, i am listening to a South African spiritual called, "Gabi, Gabi" sung by 338 Youth in a Mass Choir called Youth Project in Jackson, TN. WOW! Not only did they all do a great job, but the whole choir together did a wonderful job of working together over the course of just under 48 hours of intense rehearsals and rest.
 One of our own church students named Jonathan was chosen to Narrate part of the Script and he is just one example from our church of being ready to serve when called upon, he had about 2 hours preparation before recording. What an attitude of service - one that speaks strongly that of the Attitude of Christ, the Servant Lord who resides in many of the teens at our church - others are coming to know Him on a daily basis.

My heart and mind are moved to write about MUSIC and what the Bible says about Praise. In a simple search of the NIV on Biblegateway.com - PRAISE turned up 363 instances from Genesis to Revelation. Not all are the same type of praise or the same references. What we know of Praise is that God intends it to be returned to Him. There isn't a way that we have to do it - Music speaks to each of us differently and we know that we can be moved to emotion by music, but these are associations that our brains teach us after repeated hearing of the type of music used for scary, cheerful, mournful, etc.
Psalm 102:18 says “Let this be written that a future generation, a people not yet created, may praise the Lord.”. This is true of the Bible and of Music which is why it is the Theme of Youth Project - a project of the Tn Baptist Convention Music Department. 
Music speaks to young people - but we owe it to our children and Youth of our churches to expose them to good music - not just the music they resonate with from the radio and culture. Now they are singing, "and we all bow down...He is the Light of the World & the King of the Cross...and we all bow down, and worship Jesus. You are the Love, the Unfailing Love of God" There is not a soul in the sanctuary that is not moved when 338 Youth sing of the Love of God. They aren't raising their hands and dancing - but they are no less moved - I have heard them talking about the songs they love from this weekend. Good music, music about our Lord gets in the Human System and uplifts the soul! I know of churches where the Youth Choirs have dwindled away and sometimes the students with the programs. I sit here on the back pew typing and my SOUL IS WORSHIPING! My heart is full of pride for the Youth of our Church and State - youth culture is not lost - they just need to be directed & PRAISE TO THE LORD is a great motivator for the soul - Young & Old! 
Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD."
   Won't you Praise the LORD?


 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

We SOO Need One of These Nearby!!!

 Check this out! Being a Youth Minister - something about Trampolines and Dodgeball still excite me!
Wonder if we can Lobby for one of these in NW Tennessee!?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_weekend/20110121/ts_yblog_weekend/trampoline-dodgeball

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cuckleburr Downhill 2010

Over the Christmas Break I took my last week of vacation. This year, we raced Northeast ahead of a Snow Storm and a White Christ-mas! We arrived in Central Kentucky at my in-laws farm just hours ahead of the snow and woke up 12 hours later to a blanket of white and visions of high speed runs down the rolling hills on my daughters new sleds - OKAY, those were just MY thoughts! However, I have a good evidence that my daughters were thinking similar thoughts - although they didn't have decades of other races and other snows to fondly remember.

This year we were able to add to our 100-yard+ sledding runs; a 4 wheeler to bring us back up the hill - with our socks and scarfs filled with explosions of cuckleburrs and bits of grass from our graceful wipe outs at the bottom of the hill. I was still smiles; but my daughters? - not so much, once they discovered cuckleburrs much more personally on Day 3.

Where we were - 3.5 inches of snow and sit-in molded plastic sleds were our 2010 combination for hours of cool, icy fun. In the past, I have sledded inside a Samsonite Suitcase (Hard Vinyl, zero control, Very Fast on Ice), I have sledded on a Metal Runner Sled (ideal for icy conditions - able to sled down Ky Mountain Roads - been there, done that), I have used Cardboard Boxes (very nice if you raise the front and have something to hold onto - they work till soaked with water), I have accidentally sledded on my rumpous-maximus while snow skiing (I fell and had a yard sale of all my equipment and couldn't stop on a black diamond run) Needless to say - I have used it all and love the snow. We got to sled 3 days this past December and made bunches of memories with film, video and snapshots of the mind.

Standing atop the hill looking at all the scenery - I was caught that God uses all manner of ways to get the attention of people whom He loves. He uses Creation, He uses Children and People, He has used and still uses the Supernatural through Miracles, but all of those venues have been ignored or have been ignored by the ones He loved - So He sent HIS SON - JESUS to be the Banner of Love - the Billboard of the Blessing - the One that would get the attention of the world - and keep our attention in some form or other this time of year for over 2000 years. It's true, you know - even those who don't acknowledge Jesus as Lord, still give gifts to their loved ones in remembrance of the Worship and Gifts of those in the Stable Inn. The World puts up decorations of God's Declaration; many thousands including the star that shined on Bethlehem or an image of the Proclamation Angels atop their tree.

God will continue to use a variety of means to cast the Gospel Seed to the Nations. The real question you must answer is will you be one of those tools? This New Year - will you share Jesus? I will.