Category Archives: Religion

Church Unity – Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Last week I read a blog on the subject of church membership in whether it was biblical or not.   The writer did a good job laying out the benefits. I scrolled down to leave my comment when I stumbled across another blogger’s comment.  He was ruthless.

WRITER BASHING. The commenter slammed the blog writer up one side and down another challenging him on his interpretation of the scripture.  It was really sad and it embarrassed me to be a believer and witness another so called Christian assassinate the  character of his brother.

TO COMMENT OR NOT TO COMMENT. I read numerous blogs everyday, and not all do I bother to comment on, but I felt a need to let the author know that I thought he did an excellent job proving the case for membership.

The author’s entire blog post had a single scripture to prove his case  in that membership was biblical.  Yes, the author could have used any number of other scriptures to prove his case.  But did he deserve to be demeaned? NO.

SOUND THE ALARMS – WHERE’S THE CHURCH? In the wake of the shooting sprees in Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona, Chicago, the alarms are sounding that  the church has lots of work to do – your church, my church, our church, the church down the road – ALL churches who witness Jesus as Lord.  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!

Folks, we do NOT have to argue over the petty things. That one scripture did NOT discredit all the other good stuff that was written.

We must be the light to a dark and depressed world.  How futile it is to spend time online showing us how smart you are as you gloat as being the self-appointed scripture watch dog.  Shame on you!  You know my position, “If the shoe fits…”

IS IT ABOUT HIM OR YOU? If the commenter had a heart for the kingdom, he could have comment on the subject at hand and added “I would have used this scripture to prove the point.” His backlash instead displayed his motivation in glorifying himself by demeaning the blog writer.

MY FLESH WANTED TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH. I must admit, I wanted that commenter more than a horse wanted hay.  Had I  been able to comment I would have certainly wrote out of my flesh. In hindsight I am grateful that I was unable to comment lest I had said some things and blown my own witness.

There are just softer ways to address people.  We need to be sensitive.  Let’s concentrate on the things that UNITE us and stop trying to prove to others that we are so much better than they are.

WHAT ABOUT THE DENOMINATION DEBATES?  You know what I mean .. the Methodist are better than the Baptist who are better than the Lutherans who are better than the Catholics who are better than the  Episcopalians and the list goes on. And let’s not forget the denomination of the Non-denomination.

The fact is, “We are all leveled at the foot of the cross.”

Unless we have a Jim Jones thing going on and we see where a person in power is trying to get people to drink poison or a David Koresh where he’s advocating people to be burned alive, or others who are trying to convince us of the date of the end of the world, let’s speak the truth, but in love.

MOST OF US ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. We all have work to do.  Let’s be the light and stop trying to snuff out other kingdom workers’ flame!

Me . . Left Behind?


I love Sci-Fi movies.  Some of my all time favorites include anything Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Jaws & Jurassic Park I, II, III, IV, the Matrix, Alien -you get my point. Well when I found a single DVD with 10 Sci-Fi movies on it for only $4.99, I thought I have hit the “Jack Pot!”

One movie I watched really got me thinking.  It was called, “Apocalypse.”  I sat back in my comfy lounge chair with the foot rest up and awaited Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, but soon remembered that movie was called, “Armageddon.”

Although I did not know these actors; there was a similarity between both movies  in that they both dealt with an  unwelcome guest – an asteroid that threatened the existence of man.

It was an ordinary day.  People were busy doing what they do when a small asteroid hit and destroyed an entire city throwing an entire population in a panic.  The movie centered around a mother and father’s quest to find their teenage daughter who was in another state before the next ‘giant’ asteroid headed to destroy earth.

To my surprise this movie was a film about faith, guilt, courage, rejection and  acceptance.  Honestly, I don’t know how this movie was squeezed in among all the others but to my enjoyment, I was glad it was.

In the midst of coping with the aftermath of the first asteroid decent which set off additional tremors, quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and the mysterious disappearance of people, while on their adventurous journey, the mother attempts to witness  to her husband about faith and about the rapture.

REJECTION IN SPITE OF EVIDENCE. Like many others, the father vehemently dismisses and rejects her claims and desperately searches for an intellectual and reasonable explanation for the tragic events.

There was a point in the story where some one said, “Well, if you’re a Christian why weren’t you taken up?”  A response went something similar to this ” . . .God had taken up the ‘true’ believers.”

DO I MEASURE UP BY GOD’S STANDARDS? Wow! What a statement, ‘He took up ‘true’ believers.’ It left me thinking.  By man’s judgment, I am thought to be a ‘true’ Christian, but what about ‘God’s’ judgment?  Does He? hmm…..

PERSONALLY PONDERING. I have been reflecting ever since.  How is my relationship with God and His Son Jesus? Am I doing all I can? Is my worship for real? Is God really pleased with me or at this present state – would I be taken up or would I be left behind? hmm…..

PASTORS LEFT BEHIND? This movie was also very similar to the Christian movie, “Left Behind” starring Kirk Cameron.

What sayeth you that in this movie some pastors were originally left behind?

Book Review: The Necessity of an Enemy


“Enemies often seem to get in the way of our plans, leaving us discouraged and disoriented.  But what if these obstacles are a part of God’s plans for us?

Our enemies – whether our weaknesses, circumstances, deep-seated sins, other people, or any other challenge—can become our stepping stool to new breakthroughs in life, if we leverage the opportunity.  Just as David’s encounter with Goliath transformed him from a delivery boy to a national hero, our enemies can be a blessing in disguise – if only we recognize and face them head-on.

Human nature tells us to flee our enemies, but Ron Carpenter will challenge you to embrace them.”

ON A PERSONAL NOTE…
GPS Bible Study.  I teach a Grow.Pray & Study Bible Class each week and we used this book  over the last eight weeks and my classes are loving it. Of course as a Bible teacher I always read over the chapters and decide what material we will review and which ones we will skip.

Weekly, the class  reads certain section of the book.  The chapters were short and easy, but powerful reads.  Each chapter/sub-chapter was as few as one page to as many as ONLY threehow great is that?

I  prepare questions, highlight scripture readings, ask for reflections and or assign group tasks.

Because we only had 8 weeks to read the book, I must admit that there were certain sub-chapters I combined while skipping others. Why skip? Because there was a lot other meat I thought we needed to spend more time on.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I rate this entire book including the study guide in the back of the book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The study guide was a bit limited in my opinion. The author could have done so much more, but that was minimal compared to all the other meat we were chewing on.

YEP, I RECOMMEND IT! It is a must have in my opinion for  Bible Studies or Small Groups as it accomplished what it sets out to do (5 stars on content) and that was to help us gain a different perspective on how enemies play a part in our lives particularly the direction and paths we find ourselves on.

Put this book on your reading list and let me know your favorite parts!

Chick-fil-A says “NO” to Gay Marriage


FUNNY HOW . . .  a company that is known for its chicken, office supplies, lawn furniture or housing supplies  finds themselves interviewed about their stance on a controversial subject like whether they support ‘gay’ marriage.

Evidently, Dan Cathy the son of  Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A restaurant confirmed the company’s commitment to ‘traditional’ values – the biblical definition of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.  Everyone is well aware that the Chick-fil-A restaurant is NOT open on Sundays honoring this day as the ‘Sabbath’ Day.  And in spite of its competition, they continue to gross profits, open up new stores across the nation and are loved by most.

It is NO SURPRISE to me and neither should it be to anyone to hear their position on Gay Marriages.  However, because they have openly made this stance, the Internet has gone viral in vehement speech against the company and its position.  Many people, in particular, gay activist have threatened to boycott the restaurant in an effort to either get them to change their minds or to force them out of business.  Chick-fil-A has now been labeled “Gay Haters.”

Chick-fil-A has had to deal with outrage over their biblical stances before yet it had not deterred them from standing for truth as they see it.  Regarding them hating gays, Don Perry, spokesman for Chick-fil-A states that their tradition is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of belief, creed and sexual orientation. Perry also states, “We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

MY 2-CENTS. Gay marriages and the homosexual lifestyle has certainly been one of our most heated debates.  Although, I know there are professing Christians who are strongly against this life style, are rude, non tolerant, abusive, offensive, arrogant, and even hateful, I don’t believe that is the stance of most Christians and I don’t believe that is the stance of Chick-fil-A.  I believe we can agree to disagree with a certain lifestyle, and certain privilege in accordance to what we believe is the Bible’s stance on the subject without having to assume the title of a “Gay Hater.”

Although there are certainly more scriptures on the topic, two scriptures that  leave me wondering about basic truths and how they can be redefined include the following:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

QUESTIONS: How do you reconcile these two scriptures? Should one really be called a ‘hater’ in standing up for what they believe truth to be?   In terms of supporters . . .  What if they are wrong???  Hmmm…….

Why I Hate Religion



This video is really profound.  It was all over the Christian Network, Christian News, Christian blogs and now I can see why.  Take a look.  It has received well over 15 million views.  I noticed that the author disabled the ‘comment’ feature. Although over 15 million people viewed this video, 260,000 liked it and 39,000 disliked it.  I wondered how many of the 39,000 people are religious…. hmmmm….

Your thoughts???  If Jesus walked the earth in human form what would he really be saying about the church? Would He be proud or disappointed?

Atheist Ads: Don’t Need God – Can Still Live Good


 

Can you believe this?  Metropolitan buses with the message you don’t need God.  I must admit I did hear about this in Europe some time ago. I found it disturbing but the truth is I dismissed it – probably because it was over there.  Then a guest pastor who recently came to our church brought the subject up again .  He told us that he had seen an advertisement on one of the MTA buses that highly offended him. He began to set it up. This ad had no reference to sex, no reference to drugs or even alcohol; there also was no profanity or violence. We sat and listened, then what offended you so? Then he let the cat out of the bag and said he saw a photograph of a woman hugging on her child with a caption that read, “You don’t need God – to hope, to care, to love, to live.”  The sentiments of the congregation was utter DISBELIEF. 

The pastor began to tell us that there is a humanist group  that has launched an ad campaign, declaring that atheists and the nonreligious can live good, meaningful lives without God. 

The campaign is sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, an Amherst, N.Y.-based organization whose mission is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.  I went online only to find out that they are also targeting African Americans and ex-Muslims particularly – GO FIGURE! 

Their Motivation:  The president Ronald A. Lindsay said the ads are aimed at dispelling some myths about the nonreligious. “One common myth is that the nonreligious lead empty, meaningless, selfish, self-centered lives. This is not only false, it’s ridiculous,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, all too many people accept this myth because that’s what they hear about nonbelievers.”  He further asserts that  people can find meaning in a life that is human-centered, and that reliance on the supernatural is unnecessary.

Another myth that the group is looking to dispel – that the nonreligious are immoral, or at least that they can’t be relied upon to be as good as those with religious beliefs.

Washington D.C. currently has 15 of their Metro buses promoting these ads.  Indianapolis and Houston are also publicizing these ads.

Okay so here is the question –

What does this tell you about the TIMES we are in?  What is the responsibility of the church?  What role should we be playing in saving the lost?   Any other comments?

Hot New Workout class: Pole Dancing For Jesus??


Pole Dancing (Pole FITNESS) for Jesus?

If I was your psychiatrist and said to you, “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say the words, ‘Pole Dancing’?”  I am sure you are not picturing all things Holy.’ If I further asked you “What comes to mind when I say, ‘Pole Dancing for Jesus’?” You are probably thinking the ultimate sacrilege [gross irreverence, blasphemy, disrespect].  I must admit this was my first thought as I saw the local news reporter sharing this story about a woman named, ‘Crystal Dean’ from Texas who was offering pole dancing lessons for Christian Women.

At first, I thought she wanted to teach married Christian women how to spice up their love life, but as I listened on, this dance instructor asserted that it was a great form of exercise for women. The dance class music includes “upbeat contemporary Christian music”.  Dean states that she is a devout Christian.  She attends church every Sunday.  She prays and has a relationship with the Lord.  She states she knows people have a problem with her and that’s okay, but the Lord does not.  Dean stated that she does not teach women to strip and explains that the class was designed to help women get into shape, to help women have a positive self-image and to celebrate the body God gave them.  Dean further states that she is hoping to remove the negative stigma attached to pole dancing. Her classes are free, she just asks that the women bring in a church bulletin.

Have we gone too far??  Could Dean have given it another name of a less sleazy frame of reference?

Some interesting facts about pole dancing

Legend 1: Pole dancing was said to have been originated as far back as the 12th century as a pagan fertility dance.  

Legend 2:   (Where all the stripping came from) Pole dancing roots can be traced back to ancient Sumerian times where a mythical goddess named Innana was known to have descended to Hades to find her lover Damouz.  At each of the seven gates of Hades, she removed a veil and a jewel.  The earth was barren for as long as Innana remained there but when she returned, the earth was fruitful and abundant again.

Do you remember the story with John the Baptist being beheaded? It is said that Innana’s dance lived on as the famous dance of the seven veils of Salome who dance for King Herod.  

What is Pole Dancing? It’s a form of performing arts combining dancing and gymnastics, involving a vertical pole. These athletic moves include: climbs, spins, and body inversions. Upper body and core strength are important to proficiency, which takes time to develop. 

3 Categories of pole dancing include:  

Exotic Pole Dancing – usually performed by women who dress provocatively for male entertainment.  This type of entertainment is mostly found in gentlemen’s clubs, strip clubs and is also accompanied by strip teasing, Go-Go and lap dancing. Originated in the 1980s from the strip clubs and girlie bars in Canada, of all places.

Pole Fitness – these are classes conducted for women in private studios or gym and the instructors are highly skilled and trained. Pole is used as a way to get fit and feel good.

Pole Sport – this is the competitive side of pole. The women and men involved in this category compete around the world. They display incredible amounts of athleticism, strength, flexibility, and control in their routines. Cirque du Solei have used Chinese pole acts. The first type of pole related fitness dated back to the 12th century in India with the art of Mallakhamb (meaning “man of power” or “Gymnastics pole”).

Did You Know . . .

  • The U.S. Pole Dance Federation (USPDF) exists?
  • The Pole Fitness Association (PFA) exists?
  • The U.S. Pole Dancing Championships exists?
  • They are trying diligently to get Pole Dancing (Pole Fitness) to be a part of the Olympics as a competitive sport?  Of course it will not include nudity or strip teasing!  Is this really so far fetched when we have the balance beam, the uneven bars and the vault? hmmmm
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Your Thoughts on the subject?  Is Pole Fitness for Jesus more acceptable than Pole Dancing for Jesus??