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Category Archives: Exodus

What He Said…

#marriagediscussion, #biblicalresponse http://growinguptriplets.com/2013/03/27/what-he-said/Gay. Straight. Marriage. Hate crime. Tolerance. Intolerance. Wackos. Religious. Homosexual. Homophobe.

These words are pretty much everyday words in mainstream media these days. Seems everyone has an opinion and few want to listen to those opposing their viewpoint. If you disagree, you must be intolerant. If you fall on the other side of the line – in a different camp – you must be made to accept my convictions. It seems fear is often at the base of the motivation of many who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who trust in Him for their salvation. But this ought not to be so! For this earth is just our temporary home! We are journeying through! We are guaranteed that the world will hate us (John 15:18). Why are we surprised when we are mocked, ridiculed and called intolerant? We shouldn’t be surprised…but we are.

Joe Dallas, author/speaker/father/husband, recently wrote this:

This week we will hear arguments presented to the US Supreme Court which will, most likely, settle the legality of same-sex marriage once and for all. So far the justices are predictably divided – 3 for the traditional view; 3 for revision; Justice Kennedy providing the swing vote. Two cases are under consideration here: The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, voted into place by California voters in 2008 as a defense of traditional marriage. Whatever the outcome, there’ll be anguish and elation, simultaneously, nationwide.

Personally, I’ll be shocked if the court doesn’t vote in favor of same sex marriage, officially ushering in a new era with untold ramifications. But even if I’m wrong, no doubt America will see homosexual marriage ratified, if not now, then soon. It’s impossible for even the most hopeful traditionalist to deny the trends, and they run decidedly in favor of revising, rather than maintaining, the status quo.

What to do? (Read the whole article here.)

My favorite sentence from his article is, “Because what looks like midnight in America will dissolve, perhaps very soon, into a morning we’ve talked about for decades and hope more than ever to see…” 

So…how will we respond if the result is not what we would hope for it to be? In love? With patience? Gentleness? A humble willingness to be mocked and not always proven right? Trusting our Saviour to care for our children and their future? Acting and getting involved to raise up and install godly men and women who share our convictions?

Yes! Let’s do it! Let’s show this world Who Christ really is and what His death on the Cross means! Let’s speak gently but firmly. Let’s fight sin and not the sinner, the enemy and not the ones He created. Let’s love and challenge. Let’s be above reproach, confessing sin and walking in the Light. Let’s get involved at the local level. Let’s do it!

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Porn, Sex and Protection

The Christian blog scene is hopping with reviews of recent movies and books hitting the press. (Some of my favorite posts are listed below.) Before you sign off on this, bored, let me ask you a question. Does anyone in your house view pornography? Has anyone in your house ever viewed pornography? No? Sadly, I’ll bet they have. The statistics say they probably have. Did you know:

“90% of children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed porn online. The average child sees porn for the first time at age 11….The number one consumer of pornography is boys, ages 12-17…Statistically, you’re probably too late.” (Mark Driscoll, The Peasant Princess)

A little shocked? So was I. If 10 moms of 10 kids between the ages of 8 and 16 read this post, statistically speaking, 9 of them have already viewed porn. ALREADY. Moms, this does not differentiate between believers and non-believers. Whether or not you’re a Christian, your child is not going to be safe from the slimy fingers of pornography! …Unless you are prepared to help fight off those slimy fingers!

First, though, are you fighting them off of yourself? Do they already have a grip on you? Your husband? Do you have boundaries set up for yourselves? Standards you won’t compromise? If not, let me plead with you to do so. I’m sure we all know of marriages torn apart by pornography, adultery or some other sexual sin. In fact, statistics also show that most marriages that end in divorce state porn as a main contributor. If you think you or your marriage are above this happening to you, please – think again. If you are a believer and think you are protected from these things simply because your husband denies a draw to pornography, or because you’re both committed to one another, let me challenge you. You are married to an imperfect person. You yourself are imperfect.

“[Only] 10% of American adults admit to being addicted to internet porn…Of those, 28% are women.” This is clearly not just a man’s issue, ladies! “More than 70% of men from ages 18-34 visit a porn site every month.” (Mark Driscoll, The Peasant Princess) Again, these statistics do not differentiate between Christians and unbelievers! Breaking it down, if there are 10 women reading this post right now, statistically speaking, seven of your husbands have (or will have) viewed porn this month.

So what do we do? How do we protect ourselves? Our husbands? Our marriage? Our children? Well, we don’t live in fear, certainly. God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). But He HAS given us everything we need for life and godliness…and He’s given us wisdom. With the constant development of media and technology, He has also given Christian men and women the ability to create tools to assist us in protecting our families. I am grateful for the place Covenant Eyes has in our family (we have it on our work and home computers and both of our cell phones). Certainly these tools cannot and should not take the place of the Holy Spirit. However, accountability is a must in this day and age. And it’s hard to lie to a tool like this.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface of this issue, and if this is a struggle for you or someone you know, please remember that through Christ there is HOPE for freedom from pornography. Satan has a hard time getting a foot hold in our lives when we open ourselves up to others, confessing our sins to our spouses and God; Satan hates the Light! And creating this atmosphere of openness, accountability and freedom doesn’t end with adults. Parents, PLEASE have conversations with your children. Consider removing computers from bedrooms and setting boundaries for time spent online. Reread the statistics above, take a deep breath, and prep for a conversation that will produce GOOD fruit.

Below are some excellently written posts…my particular favorite is the third on the list.

Finally, take a moment and look at your children. Aren’t they worth protecting? Think about your marriage, your own soul and purity…is there a price too high to pay for their protection? I think not.

 

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“Joy, No Matter What”

I don’t know about you, but when I hit a difficult situation my first thought is something like “how do I make it through this with as little discomfort as possible?” I know I thought this when my children were showing me their food forcefully from both ends last week while I was fighting back my own. And I have thought this every day that David has been gone this week. (He’s gone for 8 days at Exodus International’s annual Freedom Conference.) But in the midst of these situations, and others!, it is rarely my goal to search for how these circumstances might be furthering the Kingdom. More often than not, I am unaware of how I might choose joy over complaining…or even joy over silence!

JoyThis morning, I happened upon a gem that seemed perfect in timing as I face the longest, most challenging day with my babies yet. It is from Brownback’s Joy. This snippet is taken from Philippians 1:12, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” There’s no mention of “joy” in this passage, you’re thinking. I know, right?! Hold on, though. Check these out:

– “…From the moment [Paul] met his Savior, Jesus became his life. When trials crashed in on him, he was not crushed, because he viewed everything that happened to him as an instrument to advance God’s kingdom. That’s why he was joyful during the setbacks, disappointments, and difficulties.”

– “…rarely do we find ourselves joyful in the midst of [a rough season].”

– “[Paul] had no idea if his circumstances would work out so that his life could flow along comfortably, but he knew that God’s kingdom would advance through the outcome, whatever it was.”

– “The reason we lack joy in our trials is that we are set on an outcome that will make our lives easier.”

– “It isn’t human to rejoice in suffering; it is supernatural. God is glorified not by calling strong women but by giving his strength to weak women.”

– “Being called to suffer is actually a privilege. Each trial is a gift. It’s a chance to know God’s strength and supernatural joy and to show that following him is worth everything.”

Wow. That just might affect the way I toss prayers up to the Lord today – prayers that usually are seeking my peace of mind, comfort or happiness. Maybe the Lord actually has plans for my DIScomfort in the midst of three fussy, crying babies. Certainly, they are not “trials” in light of what Paul walked through, but they certainly are very “trying!” Maybe I can find joy in releasing my hubby to serve God’s people today – amid all the poopy diapers, spit-up and fussy babies. I’m sure I’ll need His strength, though, to do this; I’m so grateful He will be helping me!

 
 

Overdue…

Hmmm…it’s been almost a year since I updated our blog. A lot has happened in that time – family vacations, first Christmases and anniversary, and such… I won’t bore you with a recap. You probably get all my Facebook statuses on your feed, anyway. =) Instead, I’ll tell you about what’s ahead!!

One of my favorite things about being married is working together! With David working for a ministry and me working for the church, there are many opportunities!! Sometimes I help out with his Leadership Conference…and sometimes he helps me out with my conference. This week, it’s mine. Sex Matters (a CCEF Regional Conference) is being held at Metro Life Church (you can still register, by the way! =). We are both super excited that our church leaders are enthusiastically seeking to trhelp equip the church in how to deal with the questions about sex and sexuality that our culture has necessitated. We have see the devastation that sin has brought into the arena of sexuality and the many distortions of it. God intended it for good. Sin wants to destroy it. The images we see on television/internet, the abuse of innocent children and people, the temptation to self-gratification, same sex attraction, adultery…all of these are things we all are tempted with or affected by – and often ill-equipped to know how to help others (or ourselves!) beyond a “pray and ask God to help you.” David and I are so excited that such a topic that – usually silent in the church – is being communicated loudly this weekend at Metro. So while I’m running around (and hoping to hear as many messages as I can), David will be greeting and driving speakers to and fro and rubbing my shoulders…ok, maybe not the last  one. =)

After this conference, I am hoping to go on a site-visit with David for Exodus to Minnesota (shout out to my daddy-o’s Vikings! =). We hope to visit some of David’s long-time friends. I always love the opportunity to connect with his friends from years past! The majority of his life, I have only his versions of the stories to build a memory on. Hopefully these friends will be able to share their versions of those stories! I don’t know if Minnesota is cold in the spring? For some reason the name “Minnesota” just sounds cold to me…

On a weekend in the near future we hope to have the laundry sink put in that we haven’t been able to find online yet (we’re lookin’ for a stainless steel 22″ for less than $150…got any leads??). After that we’ll need to finish a few odds and ends in the laundry room and bathroom. Then I’ll post pictures!!! My very first real home projects! It’s been intense! And, with limited weekend hours, has dragged on till we’re both nearly insane. I love my pretty laundry room and sometimes I wash clean clothes just to be in there…ok, not really.

On some other weekend in the future, you will find us raking. The few oak trees we have in our yard do not care that Saturdays every few weeks are supposed to be days of rest. Instead they spend every weekday inbetween shaking leaves and now pollen all over our dying grass. I told David I’m not sure how long the honeymoon phase of raking will last. I don’t like yard work like mowing or raking. I am not Kristen. I like planting – heck, I’ll even mix fertilizer for you.

Annnnnd in May we’re planning to attend Next 2011!! We are SO excited about this year’s theme!! (Check it out for yourself, yes I’m shamelessly pushing you to their site.) And it is in Orlando! To be able to work with my Kristen Ryan Catoe again? To see my friends from all the SGM churches (it’s been two years since we went and we were courting at the time. :)? To hear the lineup of guys they have speaking? I am not sure it gets any better than this! I’ve only missed a couple of New Attitude/Next conferences since they began in 1999. Each one has been full of memories (leave a comment with your fave =).

Ok, we’ll stop there since this is getting long. I promise it won’t be so long till the next update!!!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in CCEF, Exodus, The First Year

 
 
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