Ashley Madison, Porn and no limits

prov910If you Google “400 church leaders to resign after Ashley Madison hack” you will find a lot of websites this headline.  It is from an interview with Ed Stetzer in Christianity today.  I think what surprises me most is the idea and reactions of the world when Christians are caught.  Even within the church there is this gasp of the fear of being caught.  These notions are foolish because if we are truly focused on the One who is over all can see, hear and do, then we should be trembling in our boots and beds and on our computer screens knowing that this One is the same that can create and destroy.  The One who can save or reject on whether He calls us to know His Son.

There is this false sense of security in the privacy of one’s own space.  Albeit a computer, a laptop, a smart device or television, we think we are immune from the world finding out.  When instead, we should be in complete fear and dismay in knowing that the God of this Universe and the Creator can see, hear, will and do whatever He pleases.  He breathes us into life and knows when He has appointed our time of death.

The mere fact that God is over all (including those that do not know Him or claim that He is not real) is scaringly sober.  How is it that we fear public opinion but we do not fear God when it comes to our sin.  Woe be it to a Christian who sins an does not repent of that sin.  Even more so, woe be it to the lost who sin and does not know God’s son to save them.  Now if you are a professing, transformed and born-again Christian, I do not want you to take away that you can lose your salvation, rather, I do not want you to die with unrepentant sin in your life and meet our Creator.  I would much rather desire that both you and I repent when we sin (and we do sin) and share these sins with our brothers (who we should let have a voice and power of accountability in our life) so that we can turn from this sin and put it to death.

God calls us to be pure and holy.  He calls us righteous (those that confess His Son Jesus Christ).  We are adopted and called sons of the most Holy God.  Therefore, as disciples of Christ, we have a burden of discipleship.  This is not a burden that is beyond our ability, because God knows how wretched we can be, so he sent a Helper (The Holy Spirit) who dwells within the saved.

Job 7:17-21New International Version (NIV)

17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,  that you give them so much attention, 18 that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? 19 Will you never look away from me,  or let me alone even for an instant? 20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?[a] 21 Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

Read Psalms 38

Galatians 6New International Version (NIV)

Doing Good to All

6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

 

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

—–

When we approach the throne room of God in repentance (when we sin and if you are like me that is A LOT!) be humble.  Be low in spirit.  Be honest and open and transparent.  Be fearful (you are approaching the Holy of Holy.  Be a friend (spend more time in prayer and word with Him).  Be honest.  Be emotional.  Do not be proud or arrogant and in all that you do, “15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him – Colossians 3:15-18.

To the One who sees and knows and does it all – be fearful and be humble.

Confess your sins to Him and study Him and His will for your life and you will find God’s best for you in whatever He desires for you.

Blessings,
Dante

 

 

Why the Church

Faith ChurchWhen you think about life, the Bible and God’s plan for us, it is amazing to think and believe that God chose us.  God chooses to use us to build His kingdom.  God chooses us to share his love.  God chooses us to share His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world.  We are called by the Son to go and make disciples unto all the world.  Remember the important narrative here in that God chooses us!

In His wonderful creation and word, God shows us the importance of community.  After all, in the beginning God created (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) everything.  The older I get the more I see man’s hypothesis and science give way to the Truth, to the Way and to the life given to us by God the Father.  God shows us the importance of community by Himself, His Son and His Spirit who are three-in-one and one-in-three.  That is a concept that is way above my understanding, yet when you test it against the truth in Scripture that is the only way that it could be.  God gives us community by the living, breathing, and awe-inspiring love that He has for us.

Ephesians 3:9-10 (ESV)  9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[a] God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Community is a very important part of God’s mission.   God made us to be in community, we crave community.  He exemplifies true community in the Holy Trinity.  He wants to model this some community in the Church, the body of Christ.  We are to love each other and to continue to do good to each other in brotherly (and sisterly( love).  The more that we let the Spirit bless us with His fruit (for the Fruit of the Spirit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control).  This is fruit that should pour out of our lives, in community, when we bear the name Jesus as Savior.

What we believeWhen Jesus was on this earth he exemplified this model to us all through walking with His disciples and having them walk with others along the way.  Remember, in the Gospels, that there was a point where Jesus sends out the disciples two by two and Scripture reveals to us that there are 70 disciples plus the twelve with Jesus.  Where did these 70 come from?   The answer is simple:  Through community.

Do you remember where Jesus is talking to Peter about the church and references him in regards to on this rock, he will build His church.  This is not a reference to any specific religion, rather, this is referencing the Church – God’s church.

When we are in community and doing God’s will, then we can see His purpose and wonderful path that he has for each and everyone of us.  How can we do this:

Be in community

Serve together

Share God’s love story together

Read the Bible daily

Pray often

Walk with other brothers (if you are a man) and with other sisters (if you are a woman)

In all you do, do in love and forgiving each other (in the church) as God has forgiven you

Love one another

In all you do, Coram Deo.

Blessings,

Dante

Rule of Law

MAN’S LAW:

  • The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials.
  • Civil law, civilian law or Roman law is a legal system originating in Europe, intellectualized within the framework of late Roman law, and whose most prevalent feature is that its core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as the primary source of law.

Constitution

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

  • A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have. Thomas Jefferson
  • When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. Thomas Jefferson
  • The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.€Thomas Jefferson
  • It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.€Thomas Jefferson
  • “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Thomas Jefferson
  • “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” The Federal Reserve Bank (The FED) is a private bank.” Thomas Jefferson in 1802:

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Should we keep on sinning

If I were to look at the church from the outside in approach (as not being a Christian) in most American churches I would most like being skewed and left with hypocritical opinion of the church.  That is, to say, that I would probably ask why do I need God if Christians continue to do the same thing that they did before and continue to sin and keep on sinning.  I would say how can they judge me when they keep doing the very things that they say that they are saved from.

cheap graceIf I were to look at most men in these churches in America, I would be disappointed by the statistics that compare the world to them, meaning there probably wouldn’t be much difference.

If I were to be real with these American churches that were just lukewarm, I would look to the book of Revelation and say to them what Jesus said to one of his churches about being lukewarm – he would rather have that church be hot (on fire for Him and His will) or cold (worldly) instead of lukewarm (which is like vomit in His mouth).

stopBased on the way that some Christians live, some in the world can conclude that the salvation of that church (living like the world) is like a lottery ticket – meaning that they can be “saved” and also live like they used to live by continuing to keep living the same way as before (this is the world’s view). I would caution any church against living a lie such as this…you will be held accountable by misleading others.

Let’s test that against Scripture:

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What should the top 6 + 1 priorities be?

Earlier last week, I posted What are your top 6 priorities?  I listed, in any order:  Family, community, work, church, friends and God.  One other person, that I respect, amended this list and added Self.  I asked you to do some honest work on assessing this in your life with your spouse and yourself and what you thought that the Bible would say about this list.

priorAs a result, I am listing the following order of what I believe the Bible tells us that our priorities should be:

  1. God – Jesus said, when asked by the leaders of Israels time, what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength (and the second, to love our neigbhor as our self.)
  2. Self – some may argue with this one, but I would like to contend the following verses:  1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 3 John 1:2, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 5:7-9.  Our bodies are a temple to God (His Holy Spirit resides in each of us that are born again).  How can we help others when we are not well?  How can we show Christ in us, when we do not treat our bodies, mind and soul with this respect that God calls us to be.
  3. Family – as legacy dads we are called to be prophets, priests and kings of our household.  Ephesians 5 tells us to love our wives as Christ loves the church.  Colossians 3 gives us important details about the family:  Love our wives and do not be harsh with them, do not embitter our children.  Deuteronomy 6 tells of how we are to raise our children.  Family is our direct mission field.
  4. Friends – we are to love our neighbor as our self.  Who is your neighbor and why are we called to take care of our friends?  Our life should model Christ and point our friends to church.
  5. Church – can really be included under friends.  In church, we are called to corporate worship and to listen to the reading of scripture.  We are called be the body (working together) to go and reach the disconnected growing the connected and making disciples.
  6. Work – King Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, tells us that life is but a mist.  We are to work hard, enjoy life and to give all that we have to our maker.  Without him in our life – it is pointless.  Colossians 4 tells us how to approach work and to realize who we are working for.
  7. Community – lining up #1 – #6 gives us the importance of our mission field in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states and nations.  Mathew 28 gives us the Lord’s commission – The Great Commission.

humilityThis is my two sense (cents).

Blessings,

Dante

What are your top 6 priorties?

When you look at other ministries and other people what fruit do you see?  Do you see the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the sinful nature?  If we are truly saved, by Grace, then what should naturally flow out of us?  Often, we will find individuals that have this insatiable drive to serve and to bust their humps to be busy, but how often do we see individuals that truly are bearing the fruit of the Spirit in their every day lives.

priorIf I were to ask you in any order:

  • Family
  • Community
  • Work
  • God
  • Church
  • Friends

Which would you say that is your top priority naming them 1 (most important) through 6.   So go ahead and in your best and most honest answer by the fruit in your life (what your family, friends and the world (even your checkbook) would say that that order is.  Now, what would your wife and kids say that your priorities are?  Now ask your wife what her priorities are (really are) and what she thinks others would say (including you).  Now, once these two exercises are done let’s have the two of you (and your family) based on the Bible write down what priorities you think should be the order collectively.

Once you that down, click here for where the second post is going (don’t click on it until you complete your family lists (come on, be honest)

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

blog-pursuit-of-happinessThe unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

These men were standing together against tyranny and against a form of government that no longer cared about the inalienable rights of individuals as highlighted in red above.  They stood together against a far superior force and military that for any other reason would be overwhelmed if it had not been for God allowing these men to form a nation:  The United States of America.

This post is not about the rich culture of American History and the men that made this such a great nation.  Not every founding father was a professing christian and had a relationship with Jesus Christ, but we read in Romans 8, that that doesn’t matter because God will use who He chooses to use for His good and purpose.  I am so thankful to be a part of this country and to be able to be free to speak and to worship and to read the Bible in public venues without fear of persecution or condemnation.  Clearly, some of you may be thinking that this government is so far away from the original statements laid before in this wonderful Declaration, but we have seen this before.  Communists trying overthrow our government through media channels, Nazis infiltrating very aspects of our society and some other modern day Governments that so desperately crave to destroy the very essence of Freedom.

There is a lot that is wrong with this world and even in our country, but remember this, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.  No matter how we hope that legislators and rulers and bosses and so on can get the very essence of God’s word to promote justice and freedom and the belief for each and everyone of us to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we will always find those that want to stunt this thought and have plans of their own.  Plans that our contrary to the word of God and to the very statutes of our creator.

These founding fathers understood the most important lesson in life:  There is a Creator and every knee will bow and tongue will confess.  So what does that mean for you and I?  Simply put, why should each one of us act differently then the world?  Why should we be humble, teachable and respectful of others?  Why should we love the Lord God with all of our heart, mind, body and soul and secondly why should we love our neighbor as ourselves?  Because Jesus told us that these are the two most important commands to follow (because all the others hinge on this).

What rights do we have as legacy dads:

  • To love God
  • To read his word daily
  • To pray often
  • To be loved by Him
  • To love our wives unconditionally (Read 1 Peter 3:7)
  • To love our children unconditionally
  • To pursue our happiness (honoring God all the way)
  • To be humble in all circumstances
  • To trust and obey (for there is no other way)
  • To Submit to God’s will for our lives (this brings us His plans and His freedoms for our lives)

What if these are not the case in my life?  What if my life is bearing more sinful nature stuff then the fruit of the Spirit? What should I do, Dante? Lance?  Where can I turn?  How can I right this wrong?  How can I turn this ship around?  How can I take this dead marriage back to life?  YOU CAN’T, BUT  GOD CAN MAKE NEW THINGS AND RAISE THE DEAD TO LIFE!!!

Right now, if this speaks to you:

  • Pray, ask God to reveal His will for your life (note:  If you are not reading the Bible, then you will not get this request)
  • Get involved with other men (in a bible study, in an accountability group – true accountability)
  • Love unconditionally
  • If there is more deeper issues (scars, hurts, wrongs) get profession biblical help

Wait on God & Trust Him.

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s on the sin of lust

Hebrews 12:1-  (NIV) 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The following is a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Temptation:

calls a man“In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce.  With irresistible power, desire seizes mastery of the flesh.  All at once a secret, smoldering fire is kindled.  The flesh burns and is in flames.  It makes no difference whether it is a sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, our love of fame and power, or greed for money…”

“At this moment God is quite unreal to us. [Remember those words.] He loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real.  The only reality is the devil.  Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God…  The lust thus aroused  envelopes the mind and will of a man in deepest darkness.  The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us.  The questions present themselves as, ” Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?” And, ” Is it really not permitted me, yes, expected of me now, here in my particular situation to appease desire?'”

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