SnapChat-Are you kidding me?

I know that I just posted yesterday, and I usually wait a week or two before I post again.  However, this one could not wait.  I have a friend who is a pastor in Dallas, and he emailed me an article about SnapChat.

I knew what SnapChat was and the dangers of it, but I did not know why the creators of the SnapChat App originally created it.  I also did not know how digital images are stored in the cyber world either.

After reading the article I am now encouraging everyone I know to delete the SnapChat App from their phone and to have it deleted from their child’s phone.

I know at times I can be extreme.  My request may seem extreme, but after reading what I read I wanted to throw up.

You may have already read the article.  If you have not and want to, then click on the link below:

SnapChat Article

I will continue to passionately write about and speak on how it is our Christian mandate to appropriately protect our children!  We must appropriately protect them from the forces of darkness and the pressures of culture, but, with the Lord’s help, we must appropriately protect them from themselves!

I am not a big New Year’s Resolution guy, but let’s take the word “resolution” for a minute.  It comes out of the word “resolve”.  Could we resolve in our hearts that for 2014 and beyond we will be directed by the Lord to appropriately protect our children, our children’s children, and our children’s, children’s children?

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Life of Sacrifice

I had some very interesting conversations recently.  One of the conversations I had involved a guy who hates the fact that he struggles with porn.  It has been a constant battle for him since he was an adolescent.  He wants to wholeheartedly love Jesus, but he deeply battles this great darkness.  Another conversation I had involved a guy who really wants to live a life for Jesus as long as he does not have to give up anything hard.

Is it just me, or do these conversations sound like similar ones Jesus had when he walked on this earth 2,000 years ago?  The disciples did not understand a life that would take up cross.  They did not comprehend a life of sacrifice.  They had no compartment for “servant leadership”.

If we were honest, I think we would say that we struggle with the same things the disciples struggled with 2,000 years ago.  The cross is painful.  Sacrifice is costly.  Serving is hard.  When you read Jesus’ words in the Gospels and Paul’s letters in the New Testament, you walk away from that knowing that a life for Jesus is a life of sacrifice!

It is the life that Jesus wants for His followers, and it mirrors the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.  The only difference is the animals aren’t the sacrifices.  Our lives are.  Before you say I am teaching works based salvation, please hear me out.

Jesus sacrificed His life for us on the cross, and rose again three days later.  I get to receive Him freely as a gift of grace.  As a response to this incredible grace gift, then I have no other choice but to live my life in wholehearted sacrifice to Him.  This is what Romans 12:1 teaches.  Paul writes:

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

I get the chance to live my life as a sacrifice for Him.  One day I will get the chance to say what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:6-7.

I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.   I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

If my life is lived as a sacrifice, then the end of my life is the drink offering poured out for Him!  It is an incredible privilege to get to live this way, but too often I let my own stuff get in the way of living as God intended.

My prayer for this new year is that I, that we, would let Jesus remove the stuff that gets in our way so we can greatly indulge in Him and His love so that I, that we, would live lives of sacrifice for Him!

Request

As I write this, there are tears running down my face.  My father asked me to do some research for him about what internet pornography is doing to our culture.  I was able to find multiple different things online like stats, etc.  To say what I found was disturbing would be an understatement.  I am choosing to not post the sites I went to on the blog because some of the content on those sites is not appropriate.  It is not porn, but it is inappropriate nonetheless.

I did not want to copy and paste the info into the blog because this creates copyright issues.  Instead, I put together 9 Word documents that contains all the info that I found.  In each document I sited the sources for where the info was found.  If you want to go to those sites directly, then you can.

This is my desire.  I would love for everyone who receives this blog to go to the Contact page of my site and request that I send them these 9 word docs via email.  I want everyone to read all 9 word docs.  It should take about 1 hour.  After reading this I would highly encourage you to go read Exodus 33:18-23, Exodus 34:29-35, and Isaiah 6:1-7.

There are two reasons I request this.  The first is because I want us to see the moral filth that is going on in our culture (and really see it!)  The shocking thing is that even the world is waking up and realizing that moral filth is really hurting our society, to the point that secular magazines are encouraging people to stop watching porn.  If this is what the secular world is saying, then what should the church be saying?

The second is this.  We need to see the moral filth of our culture side by side with God’s Holiness.  Those passages in Exodus and Isaiah tell of the Glory and Holiness of God.  Romans 3:23 is true!  We have fallen way short of God’s Glory!  However, Romans 3:24 is true, just as Isaiah 6:6-7 is true as well.  God makes us right with Him through Christ, and we can experience complete forgiveness through this Jesus.

May God’s Holiness and God’s Grace motivate us and empower us to not only live holy lives, but to take necessary stands against the evils and moral filth of our culture.

I am sure it sounds like I am just beating the same drum.  It only sounds like that because I am!  We are drowning!  Our students and children are drowning!  We need Jesus to rescue us!

Let us not bury our heads in the sand.

Contact me requesting those articles.  Read them and have your heart broken.  Read about God’s Glory and Holiness.  As you read, you will be amazed and overwhelmed.  Choose to stand against this evil!  Talk to your child’s school.  Set up an appointment with your pastor.  Appropriately protect your home from this moral filth.

James 1:21 says, “Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

Let us fall on our faces before God and beg for His mercy and for revival to come!

God’s Promise, My Response

In the God’s Covenant, My Blessing Blog, we talked about how the great blessing from the covenant is Jesus Himself, and He is enough!  In this blog, God’s Promise, My Response, we will expound upon that.

Abraham was promised by God to be the Father of a great nation, but he did not have a son.  He and his wife, Sarah, decided the best thing to do was have Abraham sleep with Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant, so Abraham could have offspring.  However, this was not part of God’s plan.  The child of promise, the child of the Spirit, would come through Abraham and Sarah together.  Abraham and Sarah got tired of waiting on God.

Eventually, Hagar becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, Ishmael.  Fourteen years later, Sarah and Abraham have a baby together, Isaac.  Sarah now has strong resentment in her heart towards Hagar and Ishmael, and this has been brewing for some time.  She may even feel shame over the decision she made to have Abraham sleep with Hagar.  Nonetheless, she has Abraham kick Hagar and Ishmael out of their home.

I want to emphasize that God promised Abraham to be a father of a great nation, and God in His faithfulness, made good on His promise.  The problem was Abraham’s initial response.  He did not wait on God’s timing and jumped ahead by having a son through Hagar.

I believe many things about this passage, but I certainly believe that Sarah could have had a different response toward Hagar and Ishmael if she would have let herself be overwhelmed by God’s compassion and love.  She did not choose that.  She wanted them gone.

Abraham had them leave and was even encouraged by God to do so.  I don’t think that means that God was commanding Abraham to kick them out, but nonetheless, He did encourage Abraham to have Hagar and Ishmael leave their home.

This is tough to wrestle with, but I think God gave me some unique insight.  Ishmael was not the child of the promise.  Isaac was.  The question is this: Did God forget about Ishmael?  I don’t think so.  Go read Genesis 21.  Focus on the phrase “God heard” or “God was with”.  God was faithful to Abraham and fulfilled His promise to him through the birth of Isaac.  At the same time, I believe God was faithful to Ishmael.  How?  He heard him and was with him. 

Is this not what God promised us in Christ?  He is Emmanuel, God with us.  In John 6 we are reminded that God wants us to want Him for Him, not just for His miracles.  He wants us to run to Him for satisfaction.  He wants us to consume Him.  He is a faithful God and will be with us, as He was with Abraham, Isaac, and even Ishmael!  Not only will He be with us, but He will satisfy our every need!  What a faithful God!

Confronting Hard Issues and Thank You Jesus for New Life

If you go to the About Me page on my site, you can see a pic of our new baby, Emma, as well as an updated pic of our 15 month old, Anna Kate.  I am very thankful to God for new life, and I am so thankful to God for all the children He has given us.  New life reminds me of two things:

  • God does not just give new life physically, but he provides new life spiritually.  I thank God for the new life I have in Christ and that I am not who I used to be.
  • Emma’s birth is a new life in our home, and it is a reminder that God has given us our children for only a short time.

What will we do with that?

We live in a world where, more than ever, as parents God wants us to:

  • Connect Relationally with our Children
  • Invest Spiritually in our Children
  • Appropriately Protect our Children

Recently I was able to do some training on these 3 areas, but especially on the area of “Appropriately Protect”.  By God’s grace those trainings were caught on video.  You may view those by clicking on the My Passion page on my site.  I would encourage you to watch these, post them on facebook, or even email them to your pastor.

This may sound like shameless self promotion, but it is not.  God has given me a message about how to tear this immoral idol down, and I just want that message out there.

You may ask, “why”?  Again, 2 reasons:

  • We need to proclaim to our parents and students that Jesus is the giver of new life, and new life in Christ can mean freedom from internet pornography addiction for those bound in this addiction.  Believe me, there are more young men and women trapped there than you could even imagine!
  • We need to be good stewards of the children God has given us and protect them appropriately by confronting hard issues.

May we confront these hard issues as we connect, invest and protect our children!