Thursday, June 28, 2012

6-25-12

Reflections on Father’s Day with a piece below that some of you fathers/grandfathers out there may want to copy and give to your children/grandchildren. [Written by one of our faithful Crossroads fathers/grandfathers…Used with permission.]

“I am reminded each Father’s Day of the wonderful blessing I have been given by the Lord.  Being a father and grandfather is one of the greatest gifts in this life.  But we are not perfect you know, unlike our Heavenly Father.  There are many things, looking back, that we would have done differently.  To be a father and grandfather carries such a great responsibility.   We work to provide a living and we try to balance that with family time.  We try to always be loving and thoughtful, but we often fail.  We talk when we should listen and give advice when we should take it.  We take when we should give and we admonish when we should praise.  How grateful I am that we all have a Heavenly Father that does none of that.  He is always faithful, never compromising.  He loves us for whatever reason, never admonishing, never criticizing, always listening, always forgiving.  To be like him, that would be my goal as a father and grandfather.


Let me assure you of this…In the early morning hours, when my mind is clear and the cares of the days are gone, I pray for you.  I lift up each of your names to the Lord.  I pray for your safety, and I pray that your minds and hearts, and the things you say and the things you do are in His will.  I pray for that protective shield around you that will follow you all of your days.  I pray that you will love the Lord with all your heart, and that you will, in turn, lead others to Him by what you say and do.  I pray for Him to forgive when you fail and when you stray.


I count among my greatest blessings the gift of being able to participate in the baptism of both of you [adult children] and witnessing my grandchildren being baptized.  You see, it doesn’t matter how much education you have, the amount of holdings you accrue, or your stature in society.  It doesn’t matter how nice you’ve been as a father and grandfather, if your children or grandchildren are lost.


Being a father and a grandfather is and will continue to be one of the greatest blessings of my life.  I promise you this…I will continue to fail miserably at times. I’ll continue to be insensitive at times, when I should be sensitive; and at times I will fail to set the example I should.

But remember this: I love each one of you with all my soul and all my heart.  I’m terribly proud of each one of you…And I truly would die for you.  I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, and a wonderful family.  I have been blessed in innumerable ways.  All of these blessings have come from my Heavenly Father, the very same Father you have.  So my prayer for you is this:  Every day be thankful, and then, be thankful again, for the perfect Father in heaven that we all have.

With love, Dad and Grandpa”

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/18/12

Norma Jean Mortenson…. Remember that name?  Norma Jean’s mother, Mrs. Gladys Baker, was periodically committed to a mental institution and Norma Jean spent much of her childhood in foster homes.  In one of those foster homes, when she was 8 years old, one of the boarders raped her and gave her a nickel.

He said, ‘Here Honey…. Take this and don’t ever tell anyone what I did to you.’  When little Norma Jean went to her foster mother to tell her what had happened, she was beaten.  She was told, ‘Our boarder pays good rent. Don’t you ever say anything bad about him!’  Norma Jean at an early age learned what it was to be used and given a nickel and beaten for trying to express the hurt that was in her.  In time, Norma Jean turned into a very pretty girl and people began to notice.  Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too – not just a body – or a pretty face – but a person.

Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name – Marilyn Monroe.  And the publicity people told her, ‘We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.’  Her na├»ve reaction was, ‘A symbol?  Aren’t symbols things people hit together?’  The said, ‘Honey, it doesn’t matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.’  She was cast in dumb blonde roles.  Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe because she would keep the filming crews waiting two hours on the set.  She was regarded as a selfish prima dona.  What they did not know was that she was in the dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.  She went through three marriages used and abused by heartless men.  And so finally, on a Saturday night, at the age of 35, Marilyn Monroe took her own life.  When the maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook.  It was dangling there beside her.  In the last moments of her life she called to tell a Hollywood actor that she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself.  He answered by saying, in so many words…. ‘I don’t care.’ 

What really killed Marilyn Monroe, the love goddess who never found love?  The dangling telephone was the symbol, a metaphor of her whole life.  She died because she never got through to anyone who understood or cared for her.

She needed a Savior.  She needed a Lord.  She needed forgiveness and a life purpose.  She needed a community of caring friends who would surround her with genuine unselfish friendship.  How many 8 year old or 35 year old Norma Jean Mortenson’s will there be in our life path?

Pray with me…. Father, give us Your heart for the little ones, the lost ones who are around us every day.  Get us outside of ourselves so we can be used as a channel of your love and grace to the people with whom we interact today.  In the name of the One who went about doing good and loved the weak and the wandering, Jesus….amen.


Blessings,
Pastor Ken

Monday, June 11, 2012

6-11-12

God’s Word speaks clearly of the deep joy and satisfaction of sex in marriage.  It also warns of the shame and emptiness of sex outside of marriage.  A cartoon offered an insightful commentary on our times:  Moses had returned from Sinai where he received the commandments.  He said to the people, “I’ve got good news and bad news.  First, the good news…. I talked Him down from 20 to 10.  The bad news is He won’t budge on number 7 [you shall not commit adultery].”

God limits the gift of sex to marriage for our benefit.  But our 21st century culture has difficulty with His limits.  In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “We grow up surrounded by propaganda in favor of unchastity.  There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us.  Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales resistance.” But there are some very good reasons that breaking the 7th commandment constitutes sin….

Adultery is a sin because it defies God.  After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he recognized his failure.  Restored to his senses, he confessed to God, “Against you, and you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”  [Psalm 51:4]  When Joseph refused to be seduced by Potiphar’s wife, he said, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  [Genesis 39:9]

Adultery destroys families.  God designed the family – He is committed to it.  Adultery destroys the unique and sacred quality that is the basis for the family

Adultery defiles the marriage.  God established the standard for marriage. “Male and female He created them” and ordained that “a man leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.”  This love relationship represents a oneness that is more than sexual.  It is the physical expression of a spiritual and emotional union.  Adultery defiles that union.  Sex outside of marriage is never right, nor can God bless it.  The Bible says, “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.  But blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.”  [Proverbs 6: 32-33]

Pray with me…. Father, You are the Creator.  You are Sovereign in all the universe and on earth.  We have seen, both in the past and in the present, that Your Word is true and that it works when applied to life.  Life in the Son is life indeed, life abundant, life eternal.  We trust and have experience that your way is narrow and straight, but that it leads to eternal peace and joy that actually begin on earth when we are wise enough to conform our lives to your truth.  In the name of Him who is the Truth…. Jesus…. we pray, amen.

Blessings,
Pastor Ken

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6/5/12

Years ago Lewis and Clark set out across the western wilderness to blaze a trail over the Rockies.  Their party included a French guide who took along his Indian wife.  Life was rough and harsh for these men in the untamed wilderness.  Each night the French guide would offer his squaw to one of the men for a price.  Each night the men refused.  Finally, these men crossed their last river east of the mountains.  They needed horses to carry their luggage, their boats, and supplies.  They asked the chief of a nearby Indian tribe for help.  The Indian replied, “No help white man.  White man cheat.”  Lewis and Clark begged for help, but to no avail.  “White man lie!” the chief roared.  The Indian wife of the French guide stepped out of the party and said to the chief, “These men are different.  They keep their promises to their squaws back home.”  Then she told the story of nights by the campfire and the refusal of these men to commit adultery.  She was able to persuade the Indian chief, and he subsequently loaned Lewis and Cark the needed horses.  The explorers were able to cross the Great Divide, put their boats in the headwaters of the Columbia River, travel to the Pacific Ocean, and claim the Northwest for their government.  Consequently, their greatest achievement was not geographical or political; it was moral.  And without their moral character, Lewis and Clark would likely not have made it to the finish line of their journey.

Our journey through life will have some long and lonely stretches, times when compromise would seem a good escape, a way to make life more exciting, more mystifying, more self-satisfying.  But, when we are tempted, if we can keep our heads and exercise righteous moral discipline/judgment, we will find down the road that we can experience God’s best in this life and His best in the life to come.


Pray with me…. Father, give us the wisdom of the man who said when standing at the intersection of right and wrong, trying to decide which way to turn, …. ‘Of what shall I think of such a thing in my dying hour?’  Thank you for history’s record of those who have chosen to make decisions with eternity in view.  In Jesus’ name, amen