Holy Sexuality

I am going to teach an eight week class called ‘Holy Sexuality” beginning Feb 19th at New Life Church. My goal is to video record each session and post it here on my blog. Below you will find a description of the class and the particular topic for each week.

Our American culture is working overtime to shape the way that we think, feel, and live when it comes to our sexuality. Which means that the very worst thing the church can do is to remain silent about sex, same-sex attraction, transgenderism, porn, purity culture, and the temptations that we all face each and every day. It has been said that the more religious a family is the less likely they are to talk about sex in the home. This needs to change in the home and in the church! When it comes to this class we want you to bring your questions. We want you to bring your friends. Together we will discover just how incredibly relevant God’s Word is when it comes to addressing all these topics. Pastor Michael will be leading this 8 week class and it all gets started on Sunday, Feb 19th, 10:15 AM. Hope to see you there!

Week 1-How We Got To “I’m A Woman Trapped In A Man’s Body”

Week 2-Is Our Sexuality Who We Really Are?

Week 3-What Purity Culture Got Wrong And Right

Week 4-Homosexuality

Week 5-Pornography

Week 6-Parenting Kids In A Hyper-Sexualized Culture

Week 7-Marriage and Divorce

Week-8-Growing In Holiness

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Dr. Wayne Grudem was one of my professors when I studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary. Dr. Grudem received his PhD from Cambridge, his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary and his BA from Harvard University. Dr. Grudem is a New Testament scholar and he wrote “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.” Chapter 39 of his Systematic Theology book is entitled, “Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit.” HERE is the link to this chapter. I believe Dr. Grudem does an excellent job of explaining what the Bible teaches when it comes to the topic of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are incredibly important questions that this chapter will answer:

What is baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit received by all believers the moment they are saved or is it a later work?

Are there two types of Christians? Those who are baptized in the Spirit and ordinary Christians?

What is the difference between being baptized in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit?

What role does speaking in tongues have to do with all of this?

How do we understand the “second experiences” of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts?

One of the things I appreciate about this chapter by Grudem is that he is looking at all of Scripture and not just a few isolated passages. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and get ready to do some heavy duty reading and thinking!

Why do smart men and women settle for the wrong person?

One of the great temptations that exists among single people is to settle for a relationship that is not best for them and does not glorify God. I have been in pastoral ministry for approximately 20 years and I can guarantee you that these relational compromises take place all the time.

On top of that I have three kids and one of my great desires is to see them marry someone who loves God with all of their heart. So this topic of finding the right person to marry is very important to me.

With that said, I want to strongly recommend to you that you buy and read “She’s Got The Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle” by Deepak Reju. Yes, the book is about how and why women make bad relational decisions (and how to avoid it) but this would be a great book for everyone to read. Singles should read it. Teens. Moms and dads. Male and female. This book is excellent and will give you a lot to think about when it comes to what to look for when it comes to dating and marriage.

The author, Deepak Reju, is a pastor of biblical counseling and families at Capitol Baptist Church in Washington D.C. His writing is absolutely filled with with biblical wisdom and not merely his own opinion.

Part 1 will begin to answer the question, why do smart women settle, and how to live by faith in all of your relationships.

In Part 2 Deepak begins to describe some of the kinds of people that could potentially lead to a bad marriage:

-The control freak

-The promiscuous guy

-The unchurched guy

-The new convert

-The unbeliever

-The angry man

-The lone ranger

-The commitment-phobic man

-The passive man (danger!)

-The unteachable guy

In Part 3 you will find topics like, breaking up for the glory of God, in pursuit of a real Christian man, why waiting is okay, grace for today.

As I have already said, I strongly recommend this book. I believe it could potentially save you, or someone you care about, a lot of heart ache.

Slow death in small town America

I grew up in a small town in America. I have memories of mom and dad attending church at times and prayer happening before the evening meal. It was at Vacation Bible School where I said the sinner’s prayer and I was eventually baptized. In my home, and in the life of my parents, Christianity and church always felt more like an obligation than a passion.

Yeah, I attended youth group for awhile in high school, but eventually sports and work became more of a priority for me. There were moments where I sensed that something was not quite right with my faith. All the stories of lives changed and real joy in Christ seemed to only be the experience of other people. I just kept telling myself that I was not much different than mom and dad and my other church friends.

Went off to college and had a hard time connecting with a campus ministry or a local church. During college I grew intellectually and began distancing myself from quite a few of the myths of Christianity that I believed as a young boy. Eventually I got involved with the wrong friends and ended up partying and pursuing pleasure. Was there some temporary guilt? Sure. But I shrugged it off and found it easy to get distracted with a million other things.

I met a girl. She came from a Christian home and genuinely seemed to love God. We dated in college and eventually got married and moved back to my hometown. Life got busy and we found once again that it was hard to find time to get connected and involved in church. If I was being completely honest there were some people in the church that really bugged me and I had a hard time laying aside my bitterness and anger. The love for God that my wife had at one time seemed to slowly fade away. My kids were becoming apathetic about spiritual things. Was I the reason for their lukewarm faith?

I worked hard all my life. I had a passion for politics and those closest to me certainly knew my opinions. I took care of my family, enjoyed my hobbies and tried my best to be a good person. Was involved in Kiwanis. Attended church on occasion. Eventually, like everyone I died.

At my funeral my family and friends all had nice things to say about me. I was a good guy. I loved my kids. I was an avid hunter and fisherman. I had great sense of humor. The pastor preached about how I was with God and in a better place.

I never had a relationship with Jesus.

The Christmas Gift We Leave Unopened

When Jesus entered into the world of Mary and Joseph their lives became…more difficult.

They became the scandalized couple of Nazareth. “Sure Mary, the baby is from God, OK.”

Not hard to imagine that they lost some friends. Mary’s pregnancy was anything but calm. Traveling for the census, having the child in a dirty manger. The list of difficulties because Jesus entered their lives is quite lengthy.

Jesus did not put on flesh and enter into Mary and Joseph’s world to make their lives safer and more comfortable. Jesus came to Mary and Joseph as Immanuel to be with them.

I think all too often we are looking for God to give us the gift of a better, more pleasant life. We keep looking, we keep waiting and all the while we silently become disillusioned with God or wonder if there is something wrong with us. Perhaps the problem is that we are overlooking God’s gift to us.

Over in the corner, under the tree, there is a Gift that is neglected even by those who are followers of Christ. The Gift quietly waits. Waiting for us to remember once again how amazing it is that God loves us so much that he became a baby to be with us.

God might change your circumstances, he might not. Our joy has very little to do with God giving us our private wish list. Our joy is found in this one thing, Jesus (Immanuel) is with you and loves you no matter what you are going through.

You and I have a decision to make this Christmas season. Will we keep looking at the gifts from God (marriage, family, success, career) and waiting for them to satisfy the deepest aches of our soul? Or, will we quiet ourselves, remove the unnecessary distractions, and worship the Gift who loved us so much that he came to this earth to be with us and die for us?

Sometimes we talk about the presence of God, drawing close to Immanuel, and we quite honestly aren’t real sure what that means or how we do it. It does not require going to the top of a mountain or going on a spiritual retreat. HERE is a brief article that will help you even in the middle of all the busyness of a holiday season to enjoy being with Immanuel.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23

Week 2-Talking about the lie that you are enough

This is week two of discussing Alisa Childer’s new book, “Live Your Truth and Other Lies: Exposing Popular Deceptions That Make Us Anxious, Exhausted, and Self-Obsessed.”

I’m not going to cover every chapter, just the ones that stand out to me the most. Last week we looked at the lie (chapter 3), “Live Your Truth.” This week we are in chapter 4 and talking about “You Are Enough.”

Love to hear back from you!