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Archive for February, 2009

I keep hearing people say, “Why does President Obama constantly talk down the economy?  He needs to offer encouragement and hope to the American people.”    I believe he is doing this to gain support for his (or should I say Nancy Pelosi’s) Stimulus Plan. 

Let’s say you come to me saying you have a horribly sore throat and I tell you, “Yes, I can see your throat is red.  It’s pretty minor though.  Take this terrible tasting medicine and you’ll feel much better tomorrow”.  You’ll probably think to yourself, “Well, my throat does hurt, but man, that stuff sounds gross.  I think I’ll just suffer a little while longer and my throat will probably feel better in a day or two”.   However, what if I tell you, “Your throat is horrific looking.  You may have a deadly disease.  This is terrible tasting medicine, but if you don’t take it, you may be dead by next week.”  After hearing this, you’re going to be more inclined to take the yucky stuff instead of just waiting the sore throat out.

This is what’s happening now.  President Obama doesn’t want us to feel hopeful quite yet.  If we did, we wouldn’t be  so inclined to accept this massive spending plan that will cripple our country and place our children and grandchildren in “slave labor” to the government.  He wants to make sure we are thoroughly convinced that this is the only way out of the predicament we are in.  After the majority of the people can see no other solution than his, then he will begin bringing us back to hope.  But first he must convince us that we need this course of action.  Unfortunately, he has a lot of convincing to do, so it may be a while before we hear “the sun will come up tomorrow” from Obama.

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Taking the title from an oldie, but goodie song and giving it a slight twist poses an interesting question for all of us.  Think of the ways sex is often described:  “let’s get down and dirty”, “let’s do the dirty thing”, “the nasty thing”.  Ok, this is as deep as I’m going since I’ve rated this a PG blog.  But really.  Think about it. 

Now, as a boomer Christian, happily married I might add AND to the same man for 38 years, I’m not a prude, but neither am I a “swinger”.  Unfortunately, I know a Christian “swinger” or two and just have a terrible time wrapping my head around that one.  But back to the point.  As a Christian, I believe I am (1) created by God, (2) created in God’s image (hands, feet, body, head, thoughts, imagination, feelings, desires, hopes), (3) placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose, (4) responsible for my actions and my beliefs.  Now this last item can get a little sticky sometimes because we can act in a certain way and believe certain things based upon our experiences and what we have been taught. 

Many times we are taught things that just aren’t true.  Yes, we all know that our parents screwed us up.  That’s a given for many of us.  What we need to remember is that more often than not, they did the best they could with what they had.  And don’t forget, they had parents, too.  We are also taught things by our church or religious leaders, friends, teachers, TV, books and magazines, songs we listen to, etc.  Once we believe something, we begin to base our actions upon these beliefs.  The problem occurs when we are taught an untruth and begin acting upon it.

Somewhere, way back in history, the Church and who knows who else, began teaching that sex between a husband and wife should only be for procreation and not for pleasure.  Women really had a rough time with this.  We were to go from “good girls never do nasty things like have sex” to “Ok, Baby, anytime, anywhere” after we got married.  When a person has been programmed to believe something is wrong, guilt has an easy entrance into their thinking even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  (For those of you trying to psychoanalyze me now, have fun.  I know I can use all the help I can get.) 

Now, let’s get back to God.  If (1) I am created by God and (2) I am created in God’s image, then He knows how much fun sex is – He created it!  God knows every part of my body.  He knows its function, how it works, and how it interacts with other parts.  If He made me in such a way that my husband and I can enjoy each other in a physical way, then it must be good.  Remember, when God created man, He looked at what He had made and said, “It is good”.  Sex between a husband and wife is good, clean fun and a great stress reliever. 

So, for any of you out there who have been struggling with this, I hope this helps.  I know it helped me when I realized it.  Instead of letting satan steal this wonderful gift God has given us to enjoy, we should be singing another song – “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done”.

 

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When you take communion at church or at your home, for that matter, what does it mean to you?  Most of the sermons I’ve heard represent it as a time when you are to review your life, repent of any sins that are still lingering between you and God, and remember the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross for all of us.  All of these things are well and good, but I believe there is so much more involved here that we are overlooking.

In Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22, Jesus gives His disciples the cup of wine, speaking either of His blood representing a New Covenant or being poured out to forgive our sins.  He also breaks the bread to be eaten and states it is His body being broken for us.  While handing out the bread and wine, He instructs them to remember Him whenever they do this. 

Paul goes into greater detail in I Corinthians 11:17-34 as to the meaning of this remembrance.  In verse 26, he explains that by doing this, we are continually recalling what the Lord has done for us until He comes again.  Verses 27 – 31 hold a wonderful key for believers to be excited about, or fearful, depending upon how you look at it. 

In verses 27 – 28, Paul speaks of sinning against the body and blood of Jesus if we take it unworthily and that we should examine ourselves first.  Most sermons refer to this portion of instruction as seeing if you have any unconfessed sin and repenting of such if found.  However, I believe that this is not the total picture of what’s supposed to be happening here.  Of course, we always have a break in our relationship with Jesus when we have sin in our lives that we have not repented of, so that does need to be taken care of. 

Verses 29 – 31 tells us that if we have the Lord’s Supper without honoring His body, we are eating and drinking judgment upon ourselves.  This is the reason many are weak, sick and have died.  But, if we examine ourselves, we will not be judged by God in this way.

So what does all this mean today, now, in 2009?  How are we not honoring the body of Christ?  Jesus did a whole lot more for us than just pour out His blood for our sins.  Isaiah 53:4-5 explains ALL that He did for us.  “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 

Jesus has taken our sorrows.  We do not need to carry them any longer ourselves.  We can give Him our broken hearts and He will heal them for us.  He will take our guilt of past mistakes, heal our emotional woundings of the past and give us peace in our minds and lives.  He has taken the punishment for our sins and offers us a new and vibrant life through Him.  He will heal our bodies.  So many of the diseases we face today are because of the emotional conflicts and woundings we carry in our spirits (anger, bitterness, rage, shame, guilt, unworthiness, regret, unforgiveness, etc.).  Jesus came and died to bring us into freedom; into a new way of living and thinking.  Many medical studies have been done reporting that unforgiveness plays a big part in the cause of arthritis and other diseases (Baseline of Health Foundation article), (Washington Adventist Hospital article May 2008)(WebMD article) , (Health Spas Guide – South Africa article), (Health Unlimited Ministries article).

When we do not believe in Jesus for ALL He has done for us, we do not honor Him and we bring God’s judgment upon ourselves.  This judgment is not necessarily punishment for our actions, but inaction because of our unbelief.  If we do not believe Jesus can heal us emotionally and/or physically, we forfeit this wonderful blessing and are left to our own devices to deal with this pain. 

The next time you take communion, please think about everything Jesus has done for you.  He is still alive and well, fully powerful and faithful to meet your needs right where you are.  Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).  He is our hope, our peace, our deliverer, our healer.  God bless you.

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