Sex! Advertisers sell it, Hollywood exalts it and Billions of dollars are given every year in search of it. But, there is something we crave even more than sex – it’s just that we often don’t realize it.
SEEKING GREATER INTIMACY
Valentine’s day is just around the corner. It is a time when people romanticize and think a great deal about the perfect, mutually-fulfilling relationship. Sadly, that kind of relationship appears increasingly difficult to come by. Life is busier, more distracting and frustratingly complicated. It also doesn’t help that culture persistently inundates us with confusing, and often opposing, ideas of what the ideal relationship is actually like. Continue reading “Sex: What Does it Have to do with Worship?”
It’s time to celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year,” do you have all your gifts ready? What about the ones for the guest of honor? You know – the One Christmas is really all about – the REAL meaning of Christmas. For great gift ideas, let’s seek some sage advice from a group of wisemen.
Despite the traditional teaching that the wisemen brought three gifts to Jesus, I would like to suggest that they presented at least five gifts to the child king. Yes there was Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, but I believe they offered some other treasures that were every bit as important and meaningful. Additionally, I would like to suggest that the three traditional gifts carry much greater significance than we often consider. Continue reading “Worthy of a King”
We need three positive emotions to balance out every negative one according to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a Pastor and Life Coach, I can’t help but believe that many people are living with a deficit. The good news is we don’t have to be stuck that way. We can “choose” good feelings.
I remember this principle coming home to me in a very real way when I traveled out to the remote village of Kakamega Kenya. When my friends and I got off the bus from Nairobi, we were greeted by enthusiastic children and adults. As two of us were white, we got special attention. Many of these children had never seen a white person before and were amazed as they looked at our skin. Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving!”
What was the woman thinking as the Jewish man moved closer to her? She knew that Jews considered her kind untouchable merely for their ancestry. Her personal secret life took her discomfort and shame to an even greater level. As he opened his mouth to speak, she was most certainly expecting some kind of put-down or curse. Instead, he asked her for a drink of water.
What was the woman’s attitude? Was she merely surprised by the unprecedented request, or was she belligerent at the audacity of a man – from a group of people known for always looking down on her race – asking her to serve him?
From “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down” to “God Bless the USA” Country music has always been a strange mix of heart-land Christian values and drunken rabble rousing. Over the past several years, however, several artists have started to completely sever the music from its Church roots and have begun to create a completely new genre of agnostic and even atheistic Country music. The dress has become increasingly provocative and the lyrics less and less rooted in traditional values.
I began thinking about these issues several years ago while attending a songwriting workshop in Nashville. A group of successful songwriters and producers were listening to new songs by several of us who were trying to break into the industry. One of the songs that was presented was ostensibly a Christian song, but it contained a large amount of New Age imagery. One of the panelist explained to the writer that while it had many good attributes, it would never work in the Christian market because of the nature of the lyrics. The writer replied something to the effect that he was not surprised as he wasn’t sure if “you Christians” would get it.” I remembered thinking at the time, if you aren’t one of us, then why are you trying to write and sell songs into the Christian market?
How many times have you heard the refrain, “Faith is a private matter?” It has been repeated so often that it has become sacrosanct to many. The truth however is far removed from the rhetoric. It doesn’t matter how many times a lie is repeated or how profound it may sound, a lie is still a lie.
According to polls, per capita church attendance may be lower than any time in American history. Has the church-age run its course? Is church no longer needed except for the occasional wedding, funeral or concert?
If God has anything to say about it – and He does – church attendance is as important as ever.