10 whenever actors, athletes, and pop-musicians are seen as experts in policy, especially when discussing supposed moral issues like poverty and wealth distribution; and yet they spend their money on their third house and 5th vacation to Acapulco. (And ironically the millions they make come from playing billionaire Wall Street playboys…and they love every minute of it).
9 when students think their parents, former pastors and leaders are “stuck in the mud politically and socially;” but when the student becomes “stuck in the mud financially or emotionally” the parents, pastors and leaders are the first people they run to. (And it is usually because the progressive voices they have been listening to are never really available to come help them out).
8 when people declare themselves as “independent” not because they really have convictions but because they like to look down on people who do have convictions.
7 when politicians say they are defenders of the poor while sinking your money into programs that increase systemic poverty; and even though you daily work with the poor and support people and organizations that do, they accuse you as being “someone who doesn't care” because you want accountability with the services and money you provide.
6 when politicians say they are speaking “on behalf of the American people” but they never say anything you personally agree with.
5 when people claim their ideas are "morally righteous" but they don't think God or religion has any place in public debate. (Often these same people can be found in progressive gospel denying churches broadcasting their agenda to bring the kingdom of God on earth, while they moan and complain when their opponents try to form their convictions and policies from widely held orthodox biblical teachings).
4 when politicians always expect you to trust their motives and show them loyalty while ignoring their actual words because they have a history of lying through their teeth.
3 when people accuse you of being on the wrong side of history and you are only trying to be faithful to the one who created history.
2 when people feel morally superior to you because while you see the content of a person’s character as a prime factor in the way you vote; the color of skin or gender is the most important thing to them when they vote (and they will often say they are one of Martin Luther King Jr's biggest fans).
1 when people accuse you of being a “single issue voter” simply because the premeditated murder of an innocent human being really does bother and infuriate you.
* Suggested reading for more fun: “Letters to a Young Progressive” by Mike S. Adams
Vampires, very, very dangerous!
At least that I what I grew up believing as a kid. I learned while watching the Night Stalker on TV, vampires often roamed the dark shadows of city streets driven by thirst,"Va-a-a-anting to suck my blood." From Bela Lugosi to the suburban creeper on "Fright Night," I convinced myself never to trust a white faced, sharp-toothed Count from Transylvania.
But my contempt for vampires was soon to be challenged; my wife brought home a rather innocent looking book with an apple on the front. "What book is that?" She replied,"It is called Twilight, it is about a gorgeous vampire named Edward. He's so dreamy!" (She didn't quite say it like that, but that is what she meant). I was appalled. "You mean to tell me, you...like...vampires??"
She went on to explain how vampires are now COOL. Edward and his family only suck the blood of animals, and they are friends to humans. He even is in love with a human girl named Bella because he is intoxicated with the scent of her blood and wants to be her eternal soul-mate. "How romantic!" Well, as most of us know, the Twilight series hit the big-time in book sales & silver screen, and vampire mania went crazy. Now vampires are all the rage, lovable fuzz balls now for us to eagerly embrace; the perfect model of what fathers everywhere hope their daughters would marry. The American people took the monster and domesticated him. A vampire has now become a hero...hence, the vampire makeover.
A few years ago one of the students in my youth group pulled me aside and sheepishly said, "I am really having a problem with my mom." After a few seconds of silence I asked her for more specifics. Here is what she said, "Well, the best way to put it is that my mom...well...she is like a vampire. She is one person in daylight, putting on a great show as a responsible mother for all to see; and then when night comes she completely changes. She drags me with her to all the seedy bars & clubs while she tries to be a sensual lady trying to pick up other women. I am supposed to respect her new lifestyle choices, but how can I when she has turned into an irresponsible adolescent driven by lust?" Like a vampire lurking & thirsting in the shadows...
Well, most American experts, teachers, and cultural connoisseurs tell us now not to worry, lust is now a good thing. Sexual preferences now define who people are, they can't help being thirsty. The contempt we once had for sensual obsessions and perversions has been domesticated; instead of encouraging self-control, it has now become a repressive vice. Self-expression and personal freedom is the moral high ground to claim and fight for...the vampire is now our hero. And God?
Well...he is now society's primary villain. "Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 2:29)
John Lennon became greater than Jesus, Fidel Castro seized control on all Cuban cigars, and Miranda was finally read his rights; all of this happened in the strange year of 1966. Another very weird thing happened in that year: I was born.
It is a year that sociologists are not sure if they should categorize as the "Boomers, Busters or Jones Generation." It never really quite fits.
A while back I was talking to my mom about 1966 and she made an off-handed comment, "One of my all-time favorite books was written in that year. It is called 'Tell No Man,' by Adela Rogers St. Johns. I devoured that book." And when my mom devours a book, she really devours a book! I asked her if she still had it-- and sure enough, way down in the basement sitting on one of her crusty old shelves, there it was. "Can I borrow it mom?" She replied, "Sure, you can keep it if you like." So I began to read it, and let me tell you, I devoured it too! This book is fascinating because it is written with all the 1966 weirdness included...and as you read it, it will grow on you. It has now become one of my favorite all-time reads (4 times now to be exact), precisely because it is so weird.
Why is it so weird and yet so good? Because it is a very honest story about a man changed by Jesus; without any of the cliched baggage of most Christian novels. There is no knight from the 1500's coming home from the crusades to reclaim a lost love, no swash-buckling pirates who win the pure maiden's heart, no beautiful blond Amish lady who rides buggies & churns butter, and there is no appearance of the Anti-Christ in the form of Nicolae Carpathia. It is simply about a worldly man, Hank Gavin, from Chicago (think Don Draper from Mad Men) who comes face to face with Christ. The author begins her story by saying, "I must tell it without the benefit of togas, helmets, camels, or walls to fall off of, not as a costume play to believe which makes no demands on our credulity, but as a reality of our own day, time, household, and city, wearing a business suit..." I must say, it is a risky book with all the dark details of the pre-Christ world, but the risk and oddness makes it so fascinating, and honest.
What propels the author to write her story about Hank Gavin is the possibility of experiencing the miraculous in real life. She writes, "All my life, a life sometimes desperate, driven, worldly, defeated, repentant, magnificent, filled with fun and love as it had been from the day my grandfather with holy simplicity read to me from that book called The Acts of the Apostles, I had been invaded by a passion for, an overpowering excitement about, a painful, always hopeless yearning toward what came to Paul on the Road to Damascus...a light shone for all to see. Such, they told afterward, as had never been seen before. A voice spoke with such love and hope as no voice has spoken to us since."
And then she writes, "For years I had tried to assure myself I couldn't hope for it to happen here. Or now. Not in our enlightened century, our scientific age, our age of intellectualism and education. A myth. We must call it one of the many myths. Or dramatic license, like the ghost of Hamlet's father. Or an illusion. Miracles yesterday. Miracles tomorrow. No miracles today." But in Hank Gavin's life, she saw God enter our world in a very real and direct way.
What she wants is what I believe we all want; to really see Christ work. I think we all yearn to see Jesus change someone as he changed the Apostle Paul. I know I do! It doesn't happen as often as I would like, but when it does, the weirdness of new birth is like nothing else. Jesus says in John, "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." In the story of Hank Gavin his life change was so profound that she writes something that is truly wonderful when a person is genuinely born again, "Nothing could stop Hank Gavin from trying what Chesterton said had never been tried." Do you know what that is?
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried” – G. K. Chesterton -
Last week, I was asked this very odd question, "You sure have done lots of weddings & funerals in the past 5 years; out of those two, which one is more fulfilling?" My answer was easy, but I know it sounded odder than the question, "Funerals, hands down." As a pastor, I have seen how death has a way of waking people up. We rarely stop and reflect how most of us live like zombies: "I work from 9-5...I go home to watch my favorite TV show or movie on NETFLIX...I wake up and do it all again the next day...on the weekend I do everything I can to forget about my 9-5 job...and the world continues to turn." Is that the reason we have been created? Hardly! So when death comes knocking it shocks for a moment, the zombie inside is prodded, light flickers in the darkness. But I have been noticing recently that death doesn't bite as hard as it once use to; in fact death has become quite romantic.
Romantic? Yes, romantic. I am using romance here in the general philosophical sense: people are actually finding personal significance and satisfaction by participating in the aesthetic experience of grief, mourning and sorrow. "Being in the moment" is now what matters. Dressing up, acting sad and crying on someones shoulder, even if you barely know the deceased, is all part of the sublime beauty of death. This is especially true when a celebrity dies. No longer does death carry a sting, it is now an invitation to join in solidarity with others to experience communal sorrow. Somehow, what happens after a person is lowered into six feet of dirt is no longer considered or even questioned. Society's consensus is now to assume that the deceased will be doing just fine! Heaven's gates are always open.
A few years back, a high school student died in our town. I went to the funeral and it was packed; the local high school bused students to the church. And as I walked in I saw a host of dressed-up & sobbing high schoolers. The student who died was not really popular at all, he didn't have many friends; but you would never know it by the way the students were responding. In fact, when he was alive I would often talk to him and he would laugh in my face whenever I mentioned Jesus. The day after the funeral I had youth group, and I knew it would be jammed packed with confused students who wanted to hear me talk about his death. As I prayed about what I was going to say, I decided to write a parable to help work through such a difficult issue. I read a letter that I wrote, and the students had no clue it was fabricated...it is called "A letter from Yuri":
FROM: Yuri of Stavropol TO: Chris Weeks of Kent City
Dear Chris or should I address you formally as Pastor Weeks,
I have a major dilemma on my hands and I need your help in handling it. Yesterday a tragedy struck our family. My brother is in Russian jail, if I do not pay 1,000,000 rubles he will be stuck in there forever; my family is pressuring me to come to his rescue. They are crying and dressing up and visiting him at the jail and they are mad at me.
Five years ago my brother Stos wanted to make some quick money. He had a distillery in his basement where he was making vodka with rat poison. I told him not to do it but he just didn’t listen to me. I would say, “Stos, you can not make vodka with rat poison for it will kill any one who drinks it.” He would say, “Ahh, come on Yuri you are too worried and serious all the time. When I put the rat poison in the distillery it smells and looks like vodka, and plus I have already gotten 30,000 rubles in advance sales. I know no one has tried the vodka yet, but who cares look at all the money I am getting. . . and plus it is easy fun.”
So I asked him, “Stos, what does mom and the sisters say about you making vodka out of rat poison?”
“Oh, they don’t care. Actually they saw all the money I was making and we all had a party with my early sales. In fact, sister Larissa says that you are way to serious and life is meant to get all you can, stop pointing out the bad things.” I tried to warn him to send the money back and destroy the vodka. Well he didn’t listen and he finally sent the vodka to over 50 customers. When the vodka arrived all of his customers who drank it got sick immediately. Many were bed ridden for weeks and two actually died.
Now he is in jail awaiting life in prison if I don’t do something. Am I supposed to send him the money? Am I supposed to get dressed up go to prison with my sisters and cry? Or am I to tell the truth and be despised by everyone? What do I do?
I asked the students how I should respond to his letter, and they replied, "That is a terrible thing, he needs to pay the time for doing the crime. How could anyone make vodka out of rat poison?"
Well, I told them that I wrote a response: "Dear Yuri, This is your brother you are talking about, your own flesh and blood! Who cares if he listened to you or not, he is still your brother. Go see him in jail by dressing up nice, show tears because that means you are a caring person, and the more tears you show the more compassion the jailers will have for you. Remember this and never forget it: it isn’t about breaking some sort of law (We all are lawbreakers), it is about how deeply you care. The more tears the more care. The next thing you should do is pay him the 1,000,000 rubbles. Get him out of jail; no one deserves the punishment he is getting. Now if he was Adolph Hitler or Stalin he should stay in, but once again this is your brother we are talking about. Your brother who liked to smile, and boy was he a nice guy when he was with you, and boy could he party! And finally, you should be ashamed of yourself for always being so serious: he was only trying to make some money. And it really isn't his fault , you should blame the rat poison for being poisonous. I hope that loving advice helped,
The students were mad at me. They actually started arguing with me and telling me that I was forgetting about the family of the deceased. "So, you think he should be punished?" I asked. "Yes! He murdered two innocent people."
I looked at them and said, "All of us murdered Jesus Christ." That was the end of the discussion.
A couple of days after I started writing this blog, Derek Max came into my office, looking cool & confused, and posited the question, "Chris, what's your point, why are you writing a blog, and who are you trying to argue with?"
Argue? I am not trying to argue...or am I? Maybe I am, but with whom? And what does it really accomplish because everyone is right these days...and we are all entitled our opinions because all of our opinions are valid...aren't they? And why does Derek have to spoil my fun? RAT-FINK!
As I have been mulling these questions over in my mind I was studying Saint Augustine's treatise on "De Trinitate" (The Trinity) written in 371 a.d. Ironically, he addressed the exact same issue of argument and its purpose, because "De Trinitate" was an argument to prove Christ's deity. In the year 325 the Council of Nicaea established Christ's absolute equality with the Father as orthodoxy for true Christian teaching. But that didn't stop the battle for doctrine to stop raging because there were still large pockets of Arians and Sabellians who were teaching their followers to deny the full divinity of the Son. And to say both sides were right was just wrong! So Augustine took up his pen to both show how New Testament scripture supported Nicaea's teaching and to silence the loud voices of opposition. We probably can't even imagine the fury and violence felt between both factions. So Augustine, in his introduction, addresses the people who would rather fume and bluster than reasonably think.
"We must first establish by the authority of the holy scriptures that our teaching is true. Only then shall we go on, if God so wills and gives his help, to accommodate those who have more conceit than capacity, which makes the disease they suffer from all the more dangerous...perhaps [through scripture] they are able to discover reasons they can have no doubt about...they will sooner find fault with their own minds than with the truth itself or our arguments."
More conceit than capacity: in other words, many of the people we try to have discussions/arguments with will often be confident of their position not based on reason, but on who they think they are. That is why he says God has to help them with the "disease they suffer from." What is that disease? Pride: Conceited people think they know things simply because they think they are better, smarter, & have experienced more of life than anybody else. Sometimes because they have a degree, the color of their skin is different, they drank a beer, or they have moved out of mom and dad's house, they think they know everything. And the rest of the world, well, they are morons! Proud people are blinded by their own pride, and when you try to have a civil argument with a proud person you lose the argument even before you open your mouth.
Augustine decides to keep arguing anyway, even if he is surrounded by conceited critics, because he thinks it can still help save and rescue people, "If there is a particle of the love or fear of God in them, they may return to the beginning and right order of faith." Hopefully, through honest well articulated debate we can steer people back onto the path. Open dialogue also demands that we also must be willing to be corrected by the critic. Argument and contention has always been around; and even though it may get heated, I think we still owe it to people to tell the truth and point out error. I thank God for writers who have corrected me, taught me, rebuked me. The shallow soul is the person who sees someone heading over a cliff and fails to warn because they don't want to cause conflict.
I love how Augustine ends his discussion on argument, "I should prefer to be censured by the censurer of falsehood than to receive its praiser's praises." In other words, it is a good thing to make proud foolish people mad at you; because if you stay safe so they agree with you, you become part of the party of fools! Courage requires you to stick your neck out knowing someone is going to try to chop it off.
As legend has it, Harry Houdini died because he was sucker punched. Out of nowhere he was punched in the gut and he wasn't ready for it. I have read where some of his contemporaries blamed him for not being prepared; he should have seen the punch coming. But how can one man be prepared for a sucker punch that can come at any time? It is impossible to be prepared for everything at all times. In our arrogance as "know it all" onlookers we judge and stamp the label of "failure" on others when they make a mistake or are casualties of events that are out of their control. What could Harry do, he was sucker punched?
Sin sucker punches us all. When we least expect it sin unleashes into our world deadly unforeseen damage that can leave even the strongest of us speechless. I have seen people weep & wail because of sin's venom. So, often out of the blue the hurting come running to their pastor, the leadership, or trusted counselors and cry "help me!" In their pain they wonder why no one has stopped this, or why no one warned them about the real horror of sin's consequences.
"Hey, we all were sucker punched!" Instead of casting stones of blame, or demanding a new policy to be put in place to stop all sucker punches; let's first learn to offer mercy toward each other, practice patience, and do not leap to judgment. "Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ."
My good friend Ken Vanderwest told me a story about what it means to be a pastor. It is quite cryptic, but if you chew on it awhile the truths will squirt out...that is how it is with all good parables.
Imagine you are walking along a scenic path in the mountains. It is a beautiful day, a cloudless sky with soft rays of sunlight warming you as you enjoy your hike. Up ahead is a long wooden bridge connecting the trail that is interrupted by a deep canyon crevice. As you pass along the bridge you stop to look down; the steep cliffs of the canyon stretch a good 500 feet into a fast moving river.
Out of nowhere, you see a man running toward you down the path...he has a rope tied around his waist. He comes to you quickly on the bridge and commands you to hold the end of the rope that is tied to him. As you grab it he jumps over the edge. "Hey buddy, what are you doing?" He says nothing while he dangles 20 feet down over the open mouth of the canyon. You can barely hold on so you yell down,"Climb up, I can't hold on to this forever." The man doesn't respond he just dangles.
What do you do? Well as the rope starts slipping, you realize you have no leverage to pull him up on your own. There is nothing you can do. When the rope finally does slip out of your hand who gets blamed for his death? The one who was holding the rope, and that is ministry.
Sin makes sport of all of us, it sucker punches us and we are left blaming each other. That is Satan's whole objective of the sucker punch -- not to hurt us directly but to distract us, turn our anger on each other rather than on the sin that so easily entangles.
Why in my right mind would I ever pray for a tattooed buffoon who wined and dined with the murderous dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un? What good would that ever do?
Well, that's just it! God's business is really none of my business. When it comes to prayer he wants me simply to pray for people, including my enemies. We think we have life figured out, our understanding of the world and others is THE right view. So, in our conceit, we go to prayer to tell God what he needs to do to make the world better. We advise him on how to run it, who should be the winners & losers, and we offer him OUR great solutions because he probably has run out of ideas.
In reality prayer works in just the opposite way. I pray because I am helpless, I pray because I am clueless, and I pray because I am dependent for God to carry out, "Thy will be done!"
You may be wondering how Dennis Rodman could possibly ever be part of God's will? He is made in his image, and so is everyone of your enemies & irritants -- and Jesus died for them too! You do not have a corner on his grace (otherwise his love would be conditional, and if it was there is no chance for even you!). Did you know Jesus also died for Joe Biden, Rosie O'Donnell, and all atheist professors who wear a tweed jackets? We need too even pray for those who vehemently disagree with our ideas and blog posts. And if you are one of those who hate my writings, you need to pray for me because it is more than obvious...that I need it! And while we are on speaking terms, have you ever once prayed for George Bush or those who wear wide ties to church and love to sing Bill Gaither songs?
Prayer is dependence, not quiet time to figure things out or solve the world's problems. Mary the mother of Jesus knew what prayer was when the host ran out of wine at a wedding. It was an unsolvable problem that she knew only Jesus could fix. And boy did he ever: out of unsuspecting water jars flowed the smoothest wine ever! And yes, it was wine. For those who don't think so "I'll pray for you."
Wait a minute, wait just one minute...after reading this post, does that mean...does that mean...I have to pray for the President too? Especially him!
Have you ever been slapped in the face? Stings, doesn't it? Personally I hate being slapped in the face. But what if someone told you they are slapping you to save your life? I wouldn't buy it.
Well this is exactly what happened out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on July 30, 1945. The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed & sunk by a Japanese submarine, it took only 12 minutes to be fully submerged. 1,196 sailors were aboard that ship, 300 went down with the ship, which forced approximately 900 to try to "stay alive" in the warm Pacific waters. For three days these sailors had to survive without adequate food and fresh drinking water. As they say, "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!" But out of desperate thirst some sailors drank, not even caring that the saltwater they were ingesting was slowly killing them. When a person is poisoned by salt, not only will they quickly dehydrate, but the mind will begin to hallucinate - - which in turn caused many of those sailors to swim outside the protective circle of the living, the only defense against hungry tiger sharks. It is estimated over 500 or more men were ravaged by the sharks.
One of the ships doctors demanded the sailors to do everything they could to keep their friends from drinking the water, even "punching" or "slapping" them if they had to. A slap in the face saved lives, and that slap was motivated out of love not judgment. Every once in a while, we too, out of love, need to slap people. But our society frowns upon it and labels verbal slapping (warnings & rebukes) as judgmental and intolerant.
Everyone has real desires and human needs, but sadly many of those we love reach for saltwater solutions which they believe will help quench their thirst. At first, what they choose to ingest may seem to work, even making you look educated & enlightened; but over time these tempting solutions become deadly. Let me give you some examples:
- Humans all fear the idea of eternal punishment, while at the same time their natural selves still crave personal autonomy and freedom to do as "we wish!" So along comes the cool, hip, trendy voice selling saltwater, "Psst, buddy, drink this: it's water from the universal fountain and liberal mountain stream, it offers all the freedom of human choice without any of the consequences -- all love, no wrath."
- Every person on earth has been made to desire human touch and intimacy (no one can claim they are more needy than others here), but sadly in our post-modern era we have wrongly been told that we don't need to bridle these cravings. It should be your individual right to freely experiment and find personal satisfaction in the arms of a lover of your choice and preference. "Psst, buddy, drink this: it's called rainbow water. Sure we bottled it from the putrid flowing sewer of perversion, but its packaging & marketing is ingenious and sophisticated...in fact, all the celebrities drink the stuff!"
- Humans want to be right, we have a desire to know and find certainty & purpose in a confusing world; and yet we also do not like it when others disagree with our findings or prove us wrong, especially in the area of spirituality and morality. Here is how the water of tolerance is sold these days, "Just because some cantankerous white men think a 2000 year old book contains the very words of God doesn't mean it is so. In fact, drink this water: C. S. Lewis called it the 'God in the Dock' brand. God is the one found wanting, his ways are not working, & He and His Son need to be put on trial because I am not sure they even exist. The verdict on Him is still out; but we are certain that mankind is innocent (especially the smarts ones who read philosophy & the poor ones who have been oppressed)."
Have you ever noticed, extremely thirsty people don't like to listen when saltwater is nearby? So you may need to slap them. But let me warn you ahead of time, it wont go well. Jesus said something to the affect of "if they hated me they will hate you." The famed reformer Martin Luther was a master at slapping, especially the pope and his cronies. They didn't like it so they asked him,
"Martin Luther will you retract?" Here is his response, "I am bound by scriptures...my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience."
I am not sure post-modern people even have a conscience anymore to even go against? To them, saltwater is no longer bad for you...and the sharks probably are not real.
For a moment, I would like to revisit the progressive pendulum swing; I will show you how it actually works in reality. Two days ago I read an article in the New York Times that has me a little unhinged, it is titled, "Sex is Not Our Problem," written by Charles M. Blow. He is a very intelligent & sophisticated op-ed journalist at the New York Times. He also appears on CNN and MSNBC -- you could say he is firmly placed on America's progressive stage.
His article is yet another attempt of trying to solve the complex and confounding problem of our country's high rate of "unintended pregnancies & sexually transmitted infections." It is a noble goal, one that all caring parents and leaders should be concerned about. But as you read his article it is clear that he also means to attack conservatives by painting them as "simplistic" and "puritanical" (a code-word that means they don't like sex & they aren't cool - - you will never catch them dead in a new pair of metro-sexual skinny jeans!). Like all lock-step progressives, he hates the idea of the nuclear family: for progressives the family is nothing more than a construct of European patriarchal hegemony. In other words, traditional marriage was designed by white men who want power over women. You know: having June Cleaver in the kitchen, children who are seen and not heard, and a properly folded newspaper to read on the sofa (preferably the Wall Street Journal and not the New York Times).
So, what is his solution to address, as he says, "the complex areas of causation" that lead to these high rates of untended pregnancies? Are you ready for his wisdom and insight, it is quite breathtaking:
(1) "Teach young people to value themselves in a way that contextualizes the initiation of sexual activity as a thing fully within their control and not so easily manipulated by peer and societal pressures." Try reciting that sentence to your kids! They will look at you and say, "Huh?" And I guarantee you this lesson will not work on the 16 year old male in the back seat of a car. You must have forgotten what it means to be 16 if you really believe he can control himself!
(2) "Abstinence can be honorable, but it won't be for everyone." This is like saying, "Some students are very honorable when they don't buy those new $150 Air Jordan's on their parent's credit card; but credit card abstinence isn't for everyone, go ahead, spend." What student who is under the grip of hormones will care about "honor" when progressive elites so easily excuse a teen's lack of self-control?
(3) "they must love themselves enough emotionally to be in control of whom they allow to love them physically." It is proven, girls who do not have substantial love from a father figure crave it from other places. So let's get rid of the nuclear family because dads are really not that important, and oh yeah, in place of that, love yourself....THAT WILL STOP THE NEED FOR GIRLS seeking affirmation from horny guys at a rave party.
And to top it off, all of these powerful lessons can be implemented through, more spending on education & offering less abortion restrictions (Who really uses the issue of abortion as one of their main party platforms?). Education is the progressive's panacea for everything! Have you ever noticed how most progressive ideas originate from college and university professors? And for professors to survive, they need more students and more money spent on ...you guessed it, education!
Didn't Whitney Houston sing something about learning to love yourself? Bobby Brown really helped her with that one!
Let me assure you, I am not jumping on the bandwagon. Ever since I can remember I loved coffee. In the early 1970's my family would travel to the east coast for vacation and all my mom had to drink on those long car rides was coffee; she had the dark, rich, nectar hidden in her beat-up green thermos. It all started when I said, "Mom, I am thirsty." My dear mother recognizing my desperate need grabbed her thermos and slowly poured out this mysterious brown steaming liquid as we drove down the Ohio Turnpike into Pennsylvania, "Here Chris, try this!!" That's where my love began...a dark, hot roast of java, cradled in a thick mug, anytime of day!
So it is easy to see how tragic it is when I stumble upon an abandoned cup of coffee: spilled, mug broken in pieces, and the warming heat has faded into the lonely dark night. It breaks my heart. I mean, just look at that first picture: I am not angry at the coffee, I am saddened. It was meant for so much more, to cheer a heart, bring a smile, inspire a pastor as he sits to write his brilliant blog post.
My immediate reaction is to want to fix that cup of coffee, in fact I want to fix every broken cup. Make it brand new, clean it up, remold it so it can once again contain a delicious blend of Brazilian or Colombian dark roast. You see, the poor cup on it's own can't fix itself; my heart runs to repair. So after the glue is set in place, or I reach high to the top shelf and find a new mug, my soul begins to sing a new song, "Coffee, coffee, brewing bold. Darker, richer than the brews of old. Smell the bean, hear the drip, Coffee is coming home."
But a mug and a song is not enough. If all you have is a clean cup, you aren't even half-way there. Sadly, wanna be coffee drinkers think having clean new mugs on display will impresses others. They put them up on their shelf, arrange them in proper order, assuming the whole time that is good enough! But it is not, a cup is made to hold liquid not just look good. You might as well leave the cup smashed if the wonderful liquid is never poured. I would even consider using a crusty old cup if it could still hold coffee.
Here is what I do once I have a clean cup: I find the best blend of bean, measure the right amount, prepare it in the coffee machine, pour in water and wait. Delight is when you see the new brew come pouring out to fill your cup. Now, my friends, drink! For that is what it is all about!
Paul the apostle likes a full coffee cup too, not just a clean cup. Listen to Romans 4:25, "He was delivered over to death for our sins (He repaired the broken cup and made it new), and was raised to life for our justification (a completely filled cup)." Or this in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (God's life has been fully put in me!)"