Sex, Sex, Sex

We live in a ridiculously sex charged culture.  Years ago I took a survey in a mall, where I was asked about a commercial I was shown for a razor blade.  The guy who used that brand of razor blade got the girl.  Trust me, I have been shaving my beard too long to think that there is something sexy about my morning ritual of shaving my face.  I told them that I thought that commercial was ridiculous.

But sex sells, right?  Sex is everyway.  It is all over the internet.  But it isn’t good. In fact there is a lot of sick crap out there.

Obviously God created sex, and it is brilliant when we use it as God created it in marriage.  And we as men try to find fulfillment in “cheap sex” from photos, videos, whatever, and it costs us.  We sometimes don’t realize it.

1. It costs us in our closeness in our relationship to God.  You know the guilt that you feel.  And you also know when you feel that small amount of purity we possess slipping away.

2. Attention that we should be paying to our wives, we are paying to someone else.  Again it could be anywhere.  It could be something as simple as a swimsuit calendar up on the wall at our auto mechanics, but each time we go to the shop, we have to peek to see if it is still there, or if he has added another. We run a deficit with our wives. If you rob your wife, aren’t robbing yourself? Or maybe the penalty is double or more when we are robbing our spouse.

We claimed as married men that we are going to honor, cherish and love our wives.  How are we doing at that?  God is also going to call us to account for how we acted toward our wives.

Interestingly in Ephesians, we are supposed to love our wives like Jesus loved the church.  Jesus sacrificed himself for us, who are part of the church.

Also in that same passage in Ephesians, it says that the man who loves his wife loves himself. 

Years ago I read a cover of a book and it stuck with me.  I even bought a copy, though I have never honestly gone all the way through it.  It is called “Do yourself a favor, love your wife.”  On the cover of the early edition there was a two lane road with three cars.

Two cars going one way, and other car was going the opposite. 

The two cars going the same direction has two occupants in each car, and they were sitting on opposite sides of front seat.

But the other car, and maybe this dates the book, obviously had a bench seat, and the occupants in the car were sitting right next to each other.

Are we giving our wives the attention that they deserve or are we giving the attention somewhere else because it is easier? 

Are we shorting ourselves in a number of ways?  Are we sinning against God with unbridled lust? 

Are we sinning against the woman of our lives?  If we made the effort to love our wives as God intended, with cherishing and honor, do you think that would have a positive impact on our daily lives?  We only have one life, so lets not screw it up.

One book/CD that I need to go through at least once a year is called, “Everyman’s Battle” by Stoeker and Arterburn.  It is about reclaiming our lives from this crazy lust infected world that we live in. Here is the link http://www.fredstoeker.com/book/everymansbattle.shtml It will give you hope, no matter where you are, or what you might be involved in now or in your past.

I have it on Audio book and have been listening to it the last couple of days on my drives with work. I am refocusing on my efforts on my relationship with God and my wife. I figured that it would be a great encouragement for you as well. I like that the title is “everyman’s battle.” Not “some men’s battle”. Us guys are red blooded males, and our eyes, minds and hormones can get us into a lot of compromises that we shouldn’t. To be the men that we are called to be by God, that takes a bit of discipline, to keep our eyes from wandering. But it is worth it. Check it out. Hey, if you want me to loan you my copy, of Everyman’s Battle, let me know. Or you could pick it up at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or just about any Christian book store.
God bless you gentleman. Have a great weekend. See ya at Church.

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Finally figured out the lyrics — Man, what a powerful line!

Sorry there is no proper video for the Tree 63 song “Answer to the Question”.  I got the CD a couple of years ago and listened quite a bit.  Really focusing on some of the other songs on the CD.  I highly recommend the CD, and if we had an online store, would like to provide it.

Have you ever listened to a song, and got part of the lyrics wrong?  Well, I sure did recently.  I pulled out the CD and listened to it recently.  All night long I had the song stuck in my head.  “He is the answer to the question. . . He is only seventeen.”  That line is just dumb, so I knew that it couldn’t be right.  Tired of having it stuck in there wrong, I was determined to listen to it careful for once.

Chorus: “He is the answer to the question, He is cure for the infection.  He is . . . ALL HE SAYS HE IS!  He is ultimate reflection of holiness and true perfection.  He is . . ALL HE SAYS HE IS!”

Wow, what a concise way to describe Christ.  Who is he?  Is He this, or that?  Man, who does He say that He is.  Is there reason to believe that He is who He claimed to be?

With all that in mind, I started to go through one of my red letter Bibles where all the words of Jesus are written in red.  He says things with so much power and conviction.  With such beauty and backs up His words with miracles.

Years ago, Kelloggs cornflakes had an ad saying, “Try them again for the first time.”  Because people were skipping over cornflakes in the aisles for fancier cereals, that they forgot that cornflakes really are an OK cereal.  Sometimes I think that we can do that with the Bible, the gospels, claims of Jesus etc etc.  Sometimes it is just good to go back and taste it again, for the first time.  Really take a look at what Jesus was saying.  I would encourage you to take another look.  You know what, He is all He says He is.

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The NET Bible

I had originally intended to put this as a post script at the end of the first welcome post but I’m afraid it will get lost down there so I have decided to put it here instead.

I have chosen to use the Net Bible as the linked to and quoted reference on this site.  The reason is that it has a forward thinking copyright policy that allows it to be freely used in ministry on the internet.  From their site…

Bible.org’s ministry objective is to be used by God to mature Christians worldwide. To accomplish this we needed to quote a modern Bible translation in the production of thousands of trustworthy Bible Study resources that could be offered on the Internet for free. We predicted in 1995 that the number of Bible verses quoted in these studies would soon surpass available legal permission limits. We tried for a year, but could not obtain the necessary permissions. Lack of a legal ability to quote the Bible online makes online Bible studies impossible and threatened bible.org’s “Ministry First” model. Quite simply the only way we could secure permission to quote a modern Bible was to sponsor a new translation – the NET Bible. We now want to ensure that other ministries and authors don’t experience the same roadblocks. The NET Bible is not just for bible.org, but for everyone. (source)

It saddens me greatly that there are versions of the Bible with copyright so strict that it would prevent ministry from taking place.  In fact, when I did the album art for my friend Jolene for her new new project we had to put a huge copyright line on the inserts to clear usage of the NIV scripture she quoted.  That really bothered me.  Restricting scripture like that seems wrong.  Bible.org seems to have a much more balanced methodology, allowing ministry to take place freely but restricting exclusively commercial uses.  Quoting a Bible verse on a CD case shouldn’t be as big of a hassle as the NIV makes it.

Some of the cool things that I love about the Net Bible are…

I especially like the daily Bible reading page.  I set it up as my first bookmark every day when I get to the office so I get the important stuff first.  I find it truly helpful to be presented with the scripture first thing every morning.

As far as the reference materials, there is a study dictionary, study maps, word study and sermon illustrations.  And so as not to discriminate, in its older incarnation it included the Apocrypha to provide functionality to our Catholic brothers and sisters.

If you ever thought that you start reading the Bible again (or for the first time) give The Net Bible a shot.  The daily bible reading is still in the Old Testament book of Hosea so if you are new to the Bible you should probably think about starting in Luke and continuing in Acts.  Both of those books in the New Testament were written by perhaps the most intelligent Apostle, the physician Luke.  Both of these books are written as an eye witness account for his friend and young believer Theophilus, kind of like a history of the Church part 1 and part 2.  There is no better place to start.

I hope this is an encouragement to you to take a look into the Bible.  One thing, if you come to the Bible with a sincere heart, and give God permission to speak to you through it, He will.

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