Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

21 November 2012

Poisen Pins between his toes

Making sense of North American Christianity was tough for me when I became serious about it at 19.   Then African Christianity was tough for me to make sense of when I lived there at 21.  THEN making sense of North American Christianity was EVEN TOUGHER when I got home!

This is a picture of Krissy preaching at the tiny rural Frafra church in Ashaiman where we ministered during our time there.  We saw and heard MANY things that were VERY uncommon to North American Christianity.

One story I remembered yesterday for the first time in many years, came from a time praying around the altars with a teenager from this church.  I've done youth ministry in many forms for many years, but no teenager I've ever known here has had to deal with anything CLOSE to this.  This is how I wrote it in my short journal entry May 28th 2000.

"I met Joseph today.  He's 15.  He was prayed for at the altar because he was at school this week and found a pin lodged between his toes. He took it out and then found another in the same spot later on that day.  Albert says that this is something that happens with tribal curses. Someone did something to Joseph. So he was prayed for. Amazing"

Indeed.

When I asked our teachers later, they told us that the local Juju Men (or Voodoo or Witchdoctor or Tribal Priest) will put poison on pins and pray over them to their Gods.  Then they will blow on them, and regardless of how far away the victim is... these pins will find their way into their feet and will make them sick.

After we prayed for Joseph, things changed.  He remained under attack but instead of the pins going INTO this feet, they couldn't enter his body and fell to the ground.  He'd look down in school and see a small pile of poison pins AROUND him... not IN him.  He was protected by the "Blood of Jesus" that we'd prayed over him.

This is not a "wild and crazy" story either.  These are some of the spiritual realities that Christians live with in culture where the spiritual warfare we only conceptually believe... is played out actively in sometimes life and death situations.

There were many lessons that Africa taught me.  But one of the biggest was that the spiritual world, and the struggle that rages for the lives of men, is a real one.  Both HERE and THERE.


12 November 2012

Ever been kicked in the face by Oswald Chambers?

Confrontational, bold, serious, convicting... and true.


After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek great things for yourself, thinking, “God has called me for this and for that,” you barricade God from using you. As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. Your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord. 


I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, “Lord, this causes me such heartache.” To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy “world within the world,” and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being “frost-bitten.” 

November 10th
My Utmost For His Highest 

5 November 2012

Good sex comes from a good attitude


They say you should never talk about sex, politics or religion in good company.  You know what? If that's you, I probably wouldn't enjoy your company anyway.  Those are three of the most interesting things!

What's challenging this 36 year old in regards to sex these days is different than it was almost 15 years ago when I got married and began having sex.  When I was first married I used to be curious about how to make this whole process work functionally because even though we both WANTED it to... things didn't click NEARLY as often as we wished it did.  There were many frustrating nights where we couldn't get our emotions, relationship issues and physical desires in line.

Can I get a testify?


Now that I'm a somewhat older married person, we've figured many of the rudimentary bits and pieces out.  Sex is WAAAAAAY better than it's ever been. But, ironically/Murphy's Lawish, it's tougher to find time for it.  Kids, long late work hours & emotionally draining ministry can all push our thoughts FAR away from each other. And it's the same no matter how good it is when we DO make the time.

What to do?  

There isn't a study that's ever been done (either scientific or man-on-the-street) that doesn't overwhelming say that good sex helps make a good marriage and a good marriage leads to good sex.  It's as important as sound financial management, foundations of faith and good communication skills.

Don't buy it?  Start doing any kind of counseling ministry... and get ready.  In Youth and Young Adult ministries that I've run... I've done anonymous sex-question boxes where I've read out the student's embarrassing questions had frank discussion about them.  People in AND out of marriage are wanting to know more about marital sexuality and what it should look like... AS WELL as what are healthy sexual standards/thoughts during singlehood too.  It matters.  

 "The Marriage Bed" is one of the best Christian Sex resources I've ever found.  It has great articles, encouragement and even a huge database of active chats about EVERY SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP TOPIC UNDER THE SUN where Christians sharpen each other and ask the embarrassing questions that they genuinely want to know more about but are afraid to admit. Facebook here and Twitter here.

Last week they tweeted this important nugget of wisdom:





There isn't a covenantal relationship participant that hasn't groaned at the thought of sex sometimes.  But it's rare that the end result of sex within marriage isn't some degree of connection.  Not all sex is GREAT.  Not every session is a memorable and an emotional experience. Sometimes it's a giant flop that we need to just learn to laugh about.

BUT....  

There isn't another thing under the sun that can (be it momentarily) shut EVERYTHING else out and simply connect two souls, spirits and bodies like sex.  Nothing.  It's YOURS and spouses alone.  Your covenantal contract has GIVEN you the Godly context to join together with another person in a divinely inspired way.

 A gift. 

What's challenging me these days?  Changing my attitude about God's gift on a more regular basis.  We're given moments and windows and time-frames within marriage where we can choose connection or choose the consuming outside world.  We don't HAVE TO have sex... we GET to. Lord knows we can't live in this place all the time... but if we're smart, we sure should visit as often as we can.





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