Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reflecting on San Francisco

     Wow, what a great trip!  It is always difficult to take a week of experiences and communicate them in an effective way to those who have not seen the things you have seen, heard the things you have heard, or showered as little as you have showered (most of us only had two showers during the week).

    I can't tell you how many times I was asked why we were going to San Francisco.  Parents, students, and a lot of others would ask me this question.  It seemed as if they wondered what we could do in San Francisco that we could not do in Denver.  Actually it is a fair question.  Even though most of the people who are there speak English the few hours we drove around when we got there and prayed over the city we quickly realized we were not in Kansas (CO) anymore.  This was a different world with different problems, different people, and most certainly a different attitude when it came to driving.  In a lot of ways it was like being in a completely different country.

     Ten thousand homeless (a very conservative number, it may be double that at times) make San Francisco their home and most of them live in an area called the Tenderloin.  We spent some time their during the week doing things like helping serve 2,500 meals and delivering hot meals to those suffering with HIV and AIDS who were not able to leave the SRO (Single Room Occupancy) they lived in which is smaller than the bedroom i live in at home.  Many of those SRO's are bug infested and dirty.  Most of us would argue that they are unfit for human occupancy, yet they range in price from $600 to $1500 per month.

    Whether it was serving meals, meeting someone's need who was living on the street, or helping out with a VBS the Salvation Army was putting on the need was great, our eyes were opened, and God worked.  The importance of serving on a mission trip both for our group and the one whom we served is unparalleled.  The word of God was spread, His name was lifted up, and our hearts and minds have been changed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 7 in the Books

One last group picture (minus April, who had to fly home because she was not feeling nice) with our amazing hosts Michael and Allison.

We had a good day walking by Fisherman's Warf, China Town, and chillin at Starbucks.  Some of us sat and watched the Sea Lions fight.

John had his first Oyster today:

Tonight we are staying at Kieth and Steph's house just outside Sacramento.  Big thanks to them.  Tomorrow and the next day we will be on the road trying to get home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 7 in the books

Today we had our last day of ministry.  We had a great time with the kids at the VBS.  It was a field trip day to the Kroc center (as in Ray Kroc the founder of McDonalds).  We played basketball, air hockey, fuseball, volleyball and a lot  more just hanging with the kids.

Since the Salvation Army has church on Sunday we also cleaned things up a little.

After a full day with the kids we went out to eat at a Thai Restaurant, the food was again great!!  After wards we walked out to see an older lady going through the garbage for food.  We quickly asked for a box and packed up the food that was left our table which had been untouched (it was served to us family style) and gave that to her, plus we gave her a couple of sandwiches we had left over from lunch.  All of this was the students idea.

We didn't go to another country, but we found so much need in San Francisco that our students began to realize we don't have to go across some line on a map in order to find people who are in need.  We don't even have to go to San Francisco, we can go to Denver or even Littleton.  The needs might change, but in meeting people physical needs we often have opportunity to meet there spiritual ones as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 5 and 6 in the Books

I wasn't able to blog yesterday, so I will try to cover two days.  yesterday we had our first day at Salvation Army Harbor be honest I was a little disappointed.  They didn't seem to know how to use us, but I was able to talk to Captain Nance about how we could help make things better and today we went back and had a plan.  We were able to use our gifts and talents to help the VBS go well.  It was really a good day.

Last night we had a free night and I had reserved two Zodiac boats for our group to go out on the bay and see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island (The Ellis Island of the West), and a bunch of other stuff.  It was truly amazing as you can see by the pictures, both Robin and I were able to drive one boat and Captain Paul drove the other.  It was a ton of fun.

After a great day today and some Greek food for supper we decided to give the group some time to rest as it seems everyone is pretty tired.  No worship time tonight, instead everyone is going to take some time to do their devotions since we didn't get a chance this morning, and then hopefully a good night of sleep before we finish up the trip strong tomorrow.

It has been great so far, but I think the trip is going to end at just the right time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 4 in the books

This post was written by Robin and Tony:

It’s 9:00 pm and this morning seems like it was a very long time ago. Our alarms when off at 6:00am and we had an hour to drive over to the Salvation army and take one of the two showers we will get this week. We ate breakfast and headed over to St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room which was across the bridge in Oakland.  

The St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room was a large, clean and very well organized dining room that serves 1000 meals per day to people who cannot afford to buy food. During our second half of the day we served with an organization called Project Open Hand.  

POH was founded to serve those who are trapped in their own homes due to a terminal illness (HIV/AIDS, etc), disabilities, or just the elderly. We were given a set of 15 meals and a map, and sent on our way. While delivering the meals, we were able to gain a glimpse of their lives. Most of these people lived in SROs (Single Room Occupancies) which are smaller than dorm rooms which cost $1000-$1500 a month to live in. It was heartbreaking to see these people who are trapped in their own homes, some constantly in pain, with no one to look out for them. Some were barely able to come to the door and open in on their own. It makes me wonder, what has happened in this person’s life so that they now have no one? Who watches out for them, making sure they get to eat each day, get their medication, or even take their trash out when they can’t even leave the room? If they were to die in their little rooms, which most of them probably will, who will bury them? Or will anyone even know that they died until rent was due? Before we came on this mission trip people asked us what we could possibly do in a beautiful city like San Francisco where rich people live? We are now beginning to see that the question should probably be “how will you ever find time to sleep in a city with so much need ?”

Day 3 in the Books

Today's blog post is written by April Lang one of our College/Career types who is on the trip.  Tomorrow Robin Reuter will be posting a blog.

Today we served at the St. Anthony’s Foundation in which we served food and bussed tables at their Dining Room.  It was not exclusive to the homeless because there were many other people there. Whether they were on the verge of being homeless or since it is the end of the month their Social Security checks are now gone and need a good meal.  Each one of us had a good experience there because we got a new perspective on the needy people of San Francisco. Many of us had preconceptions that these people were dirty and weird…far different from us…yet we were proved wrong when many of them were happy and very easy to talk to and get along with.
We also ate lunch at the Dining Room and were challenged to sit separate from our group so that we could interact with the other guests at the Dining room. Some of us had good conversations with the people eating lunch near us, while unfortunately others did not get the chance to talk to them.  But God did open the opportunity for one student, in particular, to learn about some of the people’s lives and actually pray with them for their faith, well-being, and futures. That was definitely a God moment and will be long remembered by the student as well as the individuals she prayed with.  It was a privilege for us leaders and students to serve those people and learn more about their lives.
Later in the day we spent a couple hours on Haight & Ashbury with the goal to “meet a need” for someone we encountered on the streets.  We broke into two groups and were each given $10 to buy someone something we found necessary as well as interact in conversation with them with the goal to share Jesus’ love.  One group reached out to three 18 year-old guys and got them guitar strings and an egg-shaker and had great conversation until a drunken girl rudely interrupted.  The other group reached out to a girl, probably 19-20, who was playing a home-made Bohemian drum with her dog Pepper nearby.  They bought her some coffee, banana bread, a banana, and a Sobe drink for later. They too had a good conversation with her and she was a sweet girl who had a positive outlook on life. The topic of creation and God surely came up and though the gospel wasn’t shared, Jesus’ love was definitely shown.
For dinner we had Indian food which was delicious and the restaurant was very nice and peaceful. Afterward our group had a debriefing session where we shared our thoughts, feelings, and experiences from the day. The intimacy of the group is growing and our faith is being stretched and God is definitely moving through the team.  A time of prayer and singing (worship) also took place and we got to bow down before God and the cross and spend time just focusing on Him and what He is doing through and to us. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 2 In the Books

We arrived safe, but a little late...some of the ladies had a little bit of a tough time getting going this morning and the traffic wasn't great either.

When we parked the van there were three homeless guys catching some zzzz's on the sidewalk outside the church where we are staying, I think that is when the culture shock began with most of our group.  You can talk about the more than 10,000 homeless that live in San Francisco, but when you begin to see them with your own eyes the number becomes real.

After we threw our luggage in our rooms they took us out to a Vietnamese restaurant.  The food was amazing...they served family style, so we were able to try a lot of different things.  Some people had a little trouble with the chop sticks (normal silverware was not an option).  Tessa tried all of the different types of food in spite of her reluctance to do so...way to go Tessa!!

After dinner we had a prayer tour of the city.  Every city has it's issues, but as we went through the city and saw the extremely wealthy (knob hill) and just a block or two away the extremely poor (sixth street or the Tenderloin District) the need of the people in San Francisco became very real.

Pray our hearts will be right and that we can be God's hands, feet, and mouthpiece this week.  We will certainly be ministering to peoples needs, but God is a lot more concerned with their hearts than their clothes or the place they live.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 1 In the books

We are in the town of tooele, UT...For those of you making jokes in your head, they are probably appropriate to the town. Not much here, today was a good start, but tomorrow will be much more demanding. The ladies are in the pool or going to get Chinese for supper...the guys are chillin and waiting for the pizza.

Tomorrow we hit the road at 5am pacific time in order to arrive in San Fran in time for the prayer tour tomorrow was just a warm up!! Everything is going relatively smoothly although we ran a little low on gas today (insert joke here).

Everyone is safe and things are running smoothly.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Night Before

Tomorrow at 5am we head out on the road to San Francisco.  Though we have a tentative schedule and I anticipate things will go well, I also realize that there are almost always surprises on a mission trip.  Pray that everyone will have good attitudes and that God will work in and through everyone on the trip.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Truth and Nothing but...

I have four brothers, all of them younger, and we have had some fights over the years. Including one particular fight where I broke my hand. Most of the fights were not physical but instead they were mixed with a litany of insults, half truths, and flat out lies. The way that you knew you won the fight is if you could get the other person to cry or walk away first. This was usually accomplished by saying things that sounded like facts, but were not true. I would give you examples of some of the things we said, but I don't want this blog to be considered hateful or show up as a bad site on the spy software your parents installed so they can check up on you. In reality these comments were laced with opinions which were not valid. When we are walking the halls of our school, sitting in biology or social studies class, or hanging out with our friends at the mall we are bombarded with statements about all kinds of things including religion and spirituality. How can we tell what opinions are good or valid and which ones are not?

Several years ago my daughter came home from school talking about people's opinions and she talked about how each opinion was equal. We proceeded to have a rather long conversation about the value of opinions. America really is free in the sense that we can have whatever opinion we want. Having an opinion does not make it a good or valid opinion. Saying something is true doesn't make it true. Truth is a beliefe that represents reality.

Ya, I know it sounds kind of wierd, but if there is truth (and there is) and it can be known (it can) then it might be important for us to learn how to weed out bad opinions. Let me give some examples:
  • "I am typing this blog on a computer" This statement is true or it isn't. It can't be "kinda" true. You don't have to believe it is true if you don't want to, but that opinion would not be valid, it would not be good.
  • "Life is hard" This is an example where truth is subjective. In other words a persons perception of life is unique to them. Two people in the same situation might come to different conclusions about how hard life is and it would be true because the issue is the perception itself.
  • "I can fly by simply flapping my arms" This statement is either true or untrue and perception doesn't matter. If I think I can fly, but when I flap my wings I don't move then reality does not line up with my beliefe.
  • "The universe was created by the God of the Bible" Wow, that is a loaded statement. A lot of people have different opinions about how the universe began. Even if there are all kinds of different opinions this is either true or it isn't. In other words it is an objective statement not dependant on a persons opinion. We can develop an opinion abou this statement based on whatever we want (prejudice, evidence, emotion, sound thinking...) but in the end we will either find out that God actually did create the universe or we will find out He did not. There isn't a gray area.
So how does all this apply to our faith? It applies in this way. Jesus either was God or he was not. He iether did die on the cross or not. He either rose from the dead or he didn't. Those are factual statements. We can have opinions about them, but our opinions are either good or bad based on the actual fact of the matter. In other words we can have mistaken opinions. We should be Christians because we believe those things to be facts. Faith is not a blind leap off a cliff in the hopes there is a big cooshy mattress at the bottom. Faith (biblical faith) is when we consider the evidence and base our beliefes on the evidence available.

I believe the Bible is true and accurate. Because of that (along with my own observations about the world) I also believe all people are sinners and in need of salvation. I bleieve Jesus is the only means of salvation (Romans 3; John 14:6; Acts 10:43). It is for those reasons I tell other people about Jesus and what he did on the cross. I believe these things because there is good evidence. Check out these links for more info:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scammed by a Shoe Shinner

I'm sitting in my hotel room in San Francisco. Today I had a meeting with the CSM folks.  They are the organization we are working with on our mission trip this summer (  After the meeting my wife and I headed for an afternoon at Fisherman's Warf.  It was a blast.  The street performers were great.  The dancers, spray painters, and musicians were great.  There were two particular guys who really stood out.  Guy #1 you see in the picture to the left.  We'll call him Scare Tactics Guy.  His basic method for making money was scaring everyone who walked by.  He got both Christa (my wife)  and I.  You might look at the picture and think, "how could he scare people sitting on a bucket with just a few branches in front of him?"  I thought the same thing, but my wife and I sat and watched him scare person after person.  Ninety percent of the people who walked by didn't notice him until he grawled at them and moved the branches.  We watched and laughed as this guy scared person after person.  He provided us some great entertainment, so we tipped him.  He also taught me a lesson.  It is amazing what can sneak up on you if your paying attention to the wrong things!!

This isn't just about people on the streets, this is true in our spiritual lives as well.  Beliefes that are unbiblical often sneak up on us when we are focusing on good things, but not really focusing on God and His word.  We might be looking right over the top of some dangerous lies about God, us, or His word.  If we are not careful Satan will sneak up on us and we will not recognize those lies until it is too late.  The thing about Satan is this, he doesn't want to just scare us, he will bite and destroy us if he gets the chance.

There was another guy, this shoe shine guy.  He was pretty slick.  As we walked by he offered to shine my shoes.  I of course said no.  He then told me, "Let me see your shoes and I can tell you where you got your shoes."  I was intrigued.  The conversation went on and after a minute he was bending over to look closer and as he put his shoe shine liquid on my shoes he said, "you got your shoes on the bottom of your feet."  of course he was right and I had been taken.  I let him finish shinning my shoes and listened to him lecture me about not listening to my mom when she told me not to talk to strangers.  I then gave him five bucks and laughed at myself (my wife laughed at me too) for about an hour.  There is another spiritual lesson in this, don't get sucked in by smooth talkers.  He didn't have good grammer (actually it was terrible), but he has learned some tricks regarding working people.  This guy was a fun guy to talk to, and I would love to be his friend.  He is not evil in any way, he is just trying to make some money.  

Still Satan works in a similar way some times.  He will use people who can deliver a message in an attractive way and lower peoples defenses to decieve us.  Keep your gaurd up, don't recieve spiritual advice from people who are not strong in their Christian faith.  Always consider the source.  You wouldn't take advice about relationships from a person who has always had bad relationships, so don't take advice about morality, life decisions, or spiritual things from a person who does not know and understand God's word.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Take Jesus to Prom

It's prom time and girls are out spending hundreds (dads don't swallow your tongue) of dollars on dresses and guys are trying to figure out how they can get their hands on a 68 Camaro or a stingray corvette to drive to prom in. Prom, just say the word an girls start giggling. For whatever reason it is the defining moment for many high schoolers. If you are lucky enough to be the king or queen it is a distinction you will carry with you the rest of your life. If your like most people that isn't you. Some people might be tempted to lower their standards for just one night. I wonder if that is you. Let me suggest that of all the decisions you make regarding prom make this one, take Jesus to Prom.

I know it sounds crazy. I am not suggesting you wear a big sign on your chest that says "John 3:16" or that you purchase a Jesus Bobble Head and put it on the dash of the Camaro (although that could be pretty sweet). Instead I am suggesting that you remember whatever you do will either bring glory to Jesus or it won't. The Bible tells us that whatever we do should be to God's glory.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is evangelism?

Last night we promoted the "Each On Reach One" campaign we are doing at the Rock. Some students were excited and some were...well, they were annoyed. Still some were indifferent. The question is, "what is evangelism?" I think evangelism has been misunderstood. Reaching someone for Jesus doesn't mean you have to grab a blow horn and head to a street corner. It doesn't mean being confrontational and mean. Nor does it mean correcting every little detail of someones theology.

One student I spoke with said they didn't want to try and convert their best friend because they didn't want to lose the friendship. They also told me that they often have spiritual conversations discussing what they believe. I have to tell you I was floored in a positive way. Simply having a conversation is half the battle. Evangelism isn't trying to convince someone to believe in a cause we ourselves don't believe in, it is an attempt to share with others what we ourselves have come to know and experience. It is about helping others experience the grace and love of Jesus.

Evangelism isn't something that should be forced, it is something that flows out of who we are as Christians, as lovers of Jesus.

Let's all be evangelists!!!! Let's love our friends no matter what they believe, but let's love them enough to speak truth to them. One of the saying we have here at the Rock is Jesus loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way!!! let's love our friends in the same way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Homosexuality, Why Does it Matter to me?

Over the years I have met many people who have chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle. Most, if not all of them, have been nice people. The question about homosexuality is not one of discrimination, we discriminate against people all the time. We discriminate by age, people can not vote until they are 18, they can't legally smoke until they are 18, they can't drink until they are 21, and they cannot be president of the United States until they are 35 years old. We discriminate against people with disabilities, we withhold drivers licenses from people who are blind or have some other disability that would prohibit them from operating a vehicle safely. We discriminate based on gender, men and women are prohibited from taking certain prescription drugs. We discriminate all the time and many times it is a good thing.

When it comes to homosexuality is it good to discriminate by not issuing a marriage license for same sex marriage? The short answer is yes. Let's be clear about what is being done when this happens. First, no rights are being withheld from one person while being given to another. No person regardless of their sexual preference is given a marriage license by the state. That means this is not a civil rights issue. In addition anyone can marry whoever or whatever they want to, it just might not be recognized by the governement.

So why should we care? We should care because of the impact this will have on society overall and eventually on kids and teens. In Canada it is illegal to say anything that might be considered to be offensive to a homosexual. It is considered hate speech even if it is not hateful. You can be thrown in jail. This is not tolerance at all. There has been this kind of legislation proposed in the United states as well, up to this point it has not gotten very far. It would impact our cultures view of marriage and kids living in single parent homes would increase. In Norway close to 80% of first born children are born out of wedlock and 60% of subsequent births. In other words when homosexual partnerships or marriages are accepted by the government, marriage itself is harmed and children are harmed. Children are being born in situations that are note helpful to their development. Lifetime commitments are not present.

What should you do about it? First, stay true to the Biblical teachings regarding marriage and homosexuality. Second, make sure you treat all people with love and respect even if you disagree with the choices they are making. Third, be willing to speak truth when it is not popular to do so. Third, don't believe everything you are told about this issue, much of the time you will be misled by the media and by your teachers.

Where can I go in the Bible to see what it teaches about this issue? Leviticus 18:22-23; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10. There are other passages, but these are the most clear.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Far is too Far?

The age old question. Let's be honest, sex and everything that leads up to it is fun. We want to have as much fun as possible without sinning. I guess in some ways that is a good thing! Sinning is not so much crossing a line drawn in the sand as it is an attitude and a way of thinking. Jesus hit this very notion in His most famous message the Sermon on the Mount. This is why the question, "How Far is too Far?" is a bad question.

If we believe that the purpose of mankind is to in fact "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" then we must ask a different question when we are setting physical boundaries in a relationship. Our question in any decision we make must be "What will glorify most glorify god?" We are better able to enjoy God when we are glorifying him.

I am not going to suggest that I know where the line is. Here is what I do know. We will glorify God much better if our judgment is not clouded by an emotional draw to do what does not glorify God. In other words the more you can save for after the wedding the better for your relationship with God and the better for your relationship with each other.

I have said over and over agian that if I were to start at the beginning of all my dating relationships I would not kiss until my wedding day. You may think that sounds crazy, but consider this. I have been married for almost 16 years. My marriage is not perfect, but it is good and strong. I believe that my marriage would be even better had I never kissed my wife until the wedding day. Also consider this, I am not saying the opposite. I am not saying I wish we would have had more "experience" before we got married. Actually come to think of it I don't know of anyone who has ever suggested that. I am sure there are some, but no one I respect has ever suggested that.

It is much more important to learn about a persons character than it is to learn about a persons body. Do they love Jesus? Are they committed to raising kids in a Godly manner? Do they have a Biblical view of manhood and womanhood? These questions are of the utmost importance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dating Game

Dating, it's fun and's nerves and excitement all in one! The thing is, it isn't a game. As long as I can remember there have been game shows about dating. Really it is sad to let some game show host decide what your love life will be like. I imagine those kinds of shows are exciting for the people on them, but my guess is they are rarely effective.

When you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend you feel loved and accepted, maybe in a way that you don't at any other time. That is what marriage is like in some ways, only marriage is much better. You are loved and accepted in the context of a life long commitment. Unconditional love can only be truly experienced in that context. If it is love you are seeking (and we all are) then you should start by making sure you have developed a good relationship with the one who is most committed to you...Jesus! His commitment was completely sacrificial and He is committed to your well being more than anyone ever will be. In the story of Ruth she gets here relationship with God right before she ever meets Boaz.

In the end dating isn't about feeling loved for a moment, a day, a week, a month, or even a year. Dating is about finding that person with the right character and values. Dating is about finding a person who will be comitted to loving you for the rest of your life, not a person who "falls" in love with you and might just as easily "fall" out of love with you. Boaz went to great lengths to make sure that Ruth was taken care of, he was committed to her for as long as they lived. He wasn't the kind of guy that was going to give up and go away nor was he the kind of guy that would later turn his back on a commitment he made. Ruth was the same way she was in it for th long haul. That's what dating is about. As soon as you realize that the person you are dating is not that kind of person...end the dating relationship. The longer you put it off, the harder it gets to end it. If your not careful you will end up married to someone you should never have married.

One last thing. A couple of people have asked me how you go about asking a girls dad if you can date her. Let me give you a couple of ideas:

  • First, you may want to go on 1 or 2 dates to make sure she is interested. Going on one or two dates is not a relationship. On those dates I would highly recommend not even holding hands. Holding someones hand only tells you the temperature of their body which is probably close to 98.6 degrees (mine is closer to 97.6...must be Minnesota blood).
  • Second, if there seems to be a desire on your part and her part to actually have a relationship, then it is time to go and talk to dad. If it is possible do this in person
  • Third, her mom and dad are always "Mr." and "Mrs." Be respectful and honest.
  • Fourth, let dad know your commitment to his daughter is honorable and that you take a dating relationship seriously. Because of that you are committed to being honest and forthright in the relationship.
  • Fifth, make a commitment to yourself, your girlfriend, and you her parents to stay pure...but make sure you follow through on it. As a dad who has a daughter who will one day be dating I can assure you that if that commitment was made to me I would want to do everything I can to help the couple accomplish it and I would be very upset if that commitment was broken. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be grace and forgiveness, but I might have to go off by myself and cry for a couple days.
I am going to do another post later this week about how far is too far.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why is sex before marriage such a big deal?

Sex...just saying the word can cause a persons mind to wonder in certain directions. What is the big deal? Why does God tell us in Scripture to avoid "sexual immorality"? What is sexual immorality? Is sex before marriage really that bad?

Those are some great questions!! Sex is a big deal, but not for the reasons you might think. It isn't a big deal because God is a kill-joy. It isn't a be deal because a bunch of strait edged Christians decided "fun" was the devils tool. Sex is a big deal because God designed it to be something great!! It's kind of like this, you don't buy a great game system for a three year old. they will simply take the controllers and break them. Sure they might try to use the system, but they do not have the right experiences, maturity, and commitment (they didn't have to raise the money to buy it) to operate it the way it is intended to be opperated. God created sex to be great and amazing for people who have the right experiences, maturity, and commitment to participate in sex. When it is not used in the right context it can be damaging to a relationship instead of good for a relationship.

God is all about relationships, He created mankind to have a relationship with him and he created man and woman to have a relationship with each other. These are good things!! God wants people to have the best relationships possible. Sex is a physical intimacy that caries with it an emotional and even spiritual connection. It is not optional, you can't turn off those connections and I am not sure why you would want to. Sex in the right context (between one man and one woman inside the commitment of marriage) is great and those connections bring the two people involved close together. Sex actually is good for a marriage relationship. When there is not physical intimacy taking place inside of marriage there are likely problems. Hebrews
Hebrews 13:4 tells us clearly that we are to keep the marriage bed pure. The problem is this sexual intercourse isn't the only thing two people should not do outside of marriage. Some have made the mistake of believing that everything except intercourse is acceptable. The problem is this Intercourse itself is not where the spiritual and emotional connection takes place. The connection takes place in all forms of physical intimacy at different levels. The more physical a couple become the more they are connected emotionally and spiritually. That is why there needs to be a commitment surrounding deep expressions of physical intimacy. We should not be asking "how far is too far?" instead we should be asking "what is good, wise, and honoring to God in a relationship?" When we ask the first question we are trying to get as close to sin as we can without sinning. In one sense this is itself a sin. Our attitude is not a Christ like attitude. The second question is one of submitting to a wise God who has our best interests in mind.

Sex outside of marriage dulls the senses and limits the quality of future relationships. Having sex with several people trivializes sex and in so doing trivializes marriage. The best sex is found only in marriage and the strongest marriage relationships will be ones where the couple did not have sex outside of marriage.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Usually when you see a movie involving vampires you expect to see a lot of violence, gore, and blood. In the case of Twilight there is some violence and blood, but in reality it is very mild considering the fact that it is a vampire movie. Instead we find a romance surrounded by all kinds of different relationships. There are relationships with parents, with friends, and with those who are...different.
At Rock student ministries we are beginning a series based on the book of Ruth. This book has a lot of similarities with Twilight the movie. There is a romance, relationships with parent, friends, a those who are...different. As we go through this series I am going to be blogging about the topics we cover each week. Relationships are difficult and the decisions we make in regards to these relationships often impact us for the rest of our lives in ways we may not even be aware of.
Check out the blog every week for some added insight in regards to relationships.