June 2013

INTRODUCTION – Not surprisingly, media outlets like the Atlantic Monthly in their June issue – – perhaps hoping to influence the Supreme Court’s any day decision re: marriage – – for sure trying to influence popular culture re: their view of marriage – – these media outlets of late – – have been predicting and proclaiming the inevitable demise or death of traditional marriage as we have known it.

In Liza Mundy’s cover article “The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss” several facts are stated in her introduction to substantiate her claims or conclusions or solutions – such as: 1. Americans are waiting longer to get married or are putting marriage off longer than ever before. The median age of a person’s first marriage is 28 for men and 26 for women, up from 23 and 20, respectively, in 1950. 2. Rates of cohabitation ……. or couples living together without getting married have risen swiftly and sharply, …… and more people than ever are living single. 3. Most Americans still marry at some point, but many of those marriages end in divorce. 4. Having children before you marry – if you marry at all is becoming more common. Continue reading Why children and young people can look forward to a happy harmonious heterosexual marriage!

Read more

INTRODUCTION – Progress reports or assessments of the early church = 2:42-27; 4:32-37; 5:12-16. 7 things from this passage, though really only 6 of them are signs or marks of a healthy church that concern us.

Signs and wonders at hands of apostles – vs. 12

Unity among the church – vs. 12b

Healthy reticence to want to join this group – vs. 13a

Esteemed highly or healthy respect by watching world – vs. 13b

Constant growth of new believers being added to the church – vs. 14

Peter’s anointing for healing was being especially sought out – vs. 15

People from cities around Jerusalem coming for healing and “all” getting healed – vs. 16
Continue reading THE PATH TO CHURCH GROWTH AND HEALTH – Acts 5:12-16

Read more

June 16, 2013

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”….” The First Amendment of the United States.

I just skimmed through a file of letters to the editor and articles written by normal citizens, editorial boards, journalists, clergy, etc., during the Prop 8 battle here in CA some years back – all seeking to motivate Californians to vote no on prop 8 and thus to support same sex marriage. Interesting how many times “separation of church and state” came up in those letters/articles. In a number of cases, it was either explicitly stated or implied that we pastors and Christians who believe the Bible is the word of God are free to say whatever we want inside the walls of our church buildings, but in the public discourse we should only be observers because of what Thomas Jefferson said in the constitution about the Separation of Church and State. So freedom of speech applies to everyone in America except us I guess. Continue reading Secularism & the Separation of Church and State

Read more

June 2, 2013

INTRODUCTION – Review of Last week – the early church in Jerusalem walked in a very full measure of purity, signs, wonders, unity, healings to the point where multitudes of men and women were constantly being added to the church and people from surrounding cities were bringing the sick and demonized to be healed and delivered. Even those who were unwilling to bow the knee to Jesus and join this fast growing powerful church respected them from afar.

Transition: Whenever a church begins to walk and minister in the power of God, the enemy rises up in fear and jealousy, and interestingly enough – opposition and persecution often comes through religious not secular leaders.

As we finish chapter five today – we are going to read about two back to back arrests of the apostles by the religious authorities. I believe the Holy Spirit led Luke to record these accounts so we could learn some things about how God defends His church, and how His church must respond when opposition and persecution breaks out. Continue reading The Church’s Defender! Acts 5:17-42

Read more

June 2, 2013

“Life is…..like a B-grade movie. You don’t want to leave in the middle, but you don’t want to see it again.” Media Mogul Ted Turner

“It sounds so trendy, California….but I believe a lot of us feel a kind of hole in our heart – an unfocused ache that’s fixed by some people eating too much, for others with free base. In my case, I’m a romantic junkie.” One time leading Hollywood actress to USA Today

One of the strange things about our culture is how hard our media folk work and angle to interview people who have to be the epitome of emptiness. I have many more quotes like this of “successful” people. But my point is not to trash Hollywood, and there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with being successful. My objective is rather to use their easy to find quotes to illustrate a condition that is true of all of us – – and that is – soul emptiness and spiritual bankruptcy. Continue reading The Danger of Settling for Less

Read more
Resize Font