Posts Tagged ‘David’

This past Sunday at Epic Life was so sweet! The power of God’s Spirit is amazing and the place I get to journey at this particular moment of my life is phenomenal.

There is nothing I am about to write that I mean to be disrespectful to anyone.

This month’s series at Epic Life is “Three Men Who Blew It and Made A Comeback, and One Who Didn’t.” My intro in the Journal is here.  We are speaking on the lives of John Mark, Peter, King David and Solomon and each Sunday will be from a different speaker. I spoke this Sunday on John Mark and told the story of a young man who ran away but was restored by God.

The Spirit moved and even though it was a Labor Day weekend we had many in the service, including several from the streets, many from international communities, families, singles, old and young.

As I finished up the message and Averi brought in music on the keys I told everyone that it is time to Stop running, Drop to our knees and repent and Roll – Turn back to God and follow after Him. He is always there to forgive and has, in fact, already done so. He will restore us.

Recently our Family has been expanding with several men and women from the streets who have the propensity to talk back while I am speaking from the stage. It doesn’t bother me. I just figure they must be paying attention because most of the time what they are saying out loud has something to do with the message. (Not always though). This week I offered prayer to who ever wanted to join me in the front. All of our homeless friends came forward along with a few others and we, (Jeff, David and I) got to pray over each of them. They smelled of alcohol and a lack of bathing, but they did step forward, a couple to repent, another to ask for prayer for someone else, another for prayer as she enters rehab.

So here’s my big prayer! I am praying that we as Epic Life will be able to exemplify the beauty of the Acts 2 Church and have all things in common with ALL the believers. I am praying that we never become like the Corinthians (1 Cor. 11:20-22) who didn’t even share their wealth during communion. I am praying that we are able to break bread together: rich and poor, learned and unlearned, old and young, from every ethnicity, every language, every socioeconomic level, and every spiritually mature level.  I pray that joining us on our knees in the front of church repenting will be all of these people together, side-by-side, without judgement. I pray that this work the Spirit is doing will draw people to Christ and not scare them away.

I know that what happened this past Sunday was scary for many and way out side of their comfort zones, but it was so beautiful!  And, I praise God for counting me worthy to experience it first hand, to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears the full family of God. If you are reading this and you are part of the Epic Life Family, be Bold! See beyond any selfishly focused motives and judgments. Be humbly confident that God has placed you in this place at this time for his purposes and you get the amazing privilege of being in the front lines of something completely remarkable.

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I have recently been tuning my ears into a local talk radio station here in Seattle. All they are talking about recently is this whole Tiger Woods fiasco.

I have a couple of things to say about it…from a mans perspective…from a pastor’s heart…from an outside observer with inside knowledge because I am a man.

Warning! If for some stupid idiotic reason you have a high undo imposed idolicised view of me and my purity of mind, this will ruin you and you should not read what I am about to write. Close this now. Run!

No man is prepared to have hundreds of women throw themselves at his feet offering their bodies up to him for whatever he wishes. No man is prepared to turn the free offerings of sexual pleasures away, when it is available 24/7 and with no apparent or worth while price tag. When a man is married or enters into a committed relationship, he quickly discovers that he will have to work at love and affection and sex and he discovers that the sexual world isn’t all about him getting pleasure and his own fulfillment, his view of relationships changes and over time the desire of self fulfillment and personal attention grows and becomes somewhat tragically enticing.  All cards are stacked against him.  Every question is asked. Can I get away with this? Is it really that bad? Why not, everyone has been unfaithful at least once, right? Will anyone really find out? Questions that plague man by the enemy.

Consider this, every Biblical patriarch had more than one woman in his bed. Even David, the man after God’s own heart.   Adultery has been a common place in all of history in all of the world and is consistently available at all times. And… adultery is not a black and white list in a book some place.  Where does it start?   At sex? Does it begin with a look? Or a thought? Or a dream, or spending to much time with a woman or is it really even about women, or the opposite sex or the same sex or is it about what ever else we decide to pursue when we should be pursuing our spouse?

Take a man who is being constantly tempted. Even if he discards the 99 out of a hundred offers of infidelity and takes the one, he will be forever remembered for the one he took and not the 99 he turned away from.  No one will ever tell of the strength of this man who told 99 to get lost, who stood up and with power and determination to stay true to his wife turned his eyes to only focus on one.  He will always be remembered for being unfaithful because of that one.

Wait!

Consider this.  Almost every movie that has been released since the dawn of the screen has glorified infidelity. Theater before that. Every magazine, advertisement, billboard, clothing add,  television and news show gives the grand experience of fulfilling self. It bombards us on every front and in every direction our eyes turn. We cannot get away from it!  Over the years the men and women we look up to have fallen from grace.  Many great pastors have given themselves over to selfish gain and fulfillment and left a trail of despair and tragedy in his wake. And you and I both know that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, because the few who have been publicly arraigned are only the very few who have been caught with millions who stand in the gap and the fear of wondering if they too will be caught.

As men of God we are in a constant battle for purity. In a constant battle to preserve our bodies, minds and emotions for God and our mate. We all deeply desire to walk uprightly and never stumble. But the truth is we ALL stumble and fall.  And for some reason when the public finds out about our secret we are taken to a corner on Pike Street, stripped naked and crucified by the very men and women who wooed us into sin and who are themselves in bed with one who is not their spouse.  We are paraded in front of the masses who are throwing insults and bricks at us as they hold the hand of the prostitute they are about to dine with.

Yes Tiger Woods is wrong! It is wrong to be unfaithful to your wife or husband. Wrong! It ruins relationships, ruins families, ruins faith, ruins trust, ruins life, ruins….But can I just ask this question? Why is the world so torn up about Tiger? He isn’t a Christian as far as I know. Why not cheat on your wife when she is being a nag and all around ungrateful for the life you are giving her? When a Christlike ideology isn’t part of your essence, why would this little escapade really matter to the world? If evolution is how we got here in the first place, there really isn’t any such thing as adultery, its really about the survival of the fittest and let’s face it Tiger is the fittest. Why not let him create a new era of the evolutionary world by becoming the daddy of many Tigers and ultimately controlling the golf world as we know it.

Personally, I feel sorry for the guy. Yeah, I can hear the comments on that already. But seriously I do feel sorry for him for many different reasons. One being that as far as the media and world tells us – we are expected to fulfill ourselves and take advantage of what is offered to us. We are told there is nothing wrong with it. Two – Why single Tiger out? Just because he held some aura of admirable quality doesn’t mean he is the poster child of right and wrong, or what people deem right and wrong at the moment. Tomorrow there will be a lineman of the Seahawks who sleeps with three different women a week. Nothing will be said about him and if something is said it will be glorified and praised. Three – the guy is a human who desires fulfillment. Our world has for centuries told us that’s alright and that we should be about taking care of ourselves. He was just following societal norms. Four – Tiger really is desiring God. As long as he is running from a personal relationship with Christ he will not be able to keep from pursuing other means of fulfillment. Why should we get down on him for these pursuits? Five – The news media has made this the fiasco it is. It is trash and that is what news is. Trash. The noble man does not make the news. Six – I am not unlike Tiger. Yes you read that right. Tiger Woods and I have many things in common. My desires, thoughts, eyes and actions are not always on pure things. (I caution you about crucifying me, just because I am stating openly what you also have in common with Tiger and me). I only have one thing going for me – – I am forgiven and can live in freedom and my desirous focus is always drawn back to Christ by Christ and not on myself or even my wife, but Christ. That is what ultimately keeps me from cheating on my wife.

The fact is we have all been implanted with a moral code of right and wrong from Adam to now and even those who don’t follow Christ know that adultery is wrong. Something cries out to all of us Christians or not, we are to be faithful to the one. The world want to be able to hold someone up who is a great role model, someone we can point to and say, “See, someone can be noble.” But let’s face it “The Noble,” really doesn’t make very good news.

Man was not designed to be God. We can’t handle the pressure of being idolized. It doesn’t work. It tears us apart, destroys us. This has brought a new meaning to the passage in James that says. “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.” Why yes, when we are poor or “humble” in our circumstances, being faithful to but one woman is much easier. When we discover what we really deserve as men, as humans, it humbles us and pulls us more in the directions or not fulfilling self and turning our focus on others, namely our wife.

So…Tiger, I am praying for you.  Men and women who read this, I am praying for you. We live in a world that will constantly draw our eyes off the Father.  Don’t be too quick to judge Tiger when the truth is we are all susceptible and guilty of idolatry,  we are all guilty of cheating on God.  But if you are a Christ follower you have been set free and the guilt no longer remains. We must however daily take up our cross and follow Him.

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks for reading.