Tag Archives: Pornography

Weekend Picks ~ 9-29-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Review of a book that many should read who probably won’t…

How to Think in a Post-Truth WorldAndrew Wilson

Timely, because we’re currently swimming in a sea of punditry, post-truth, partisanship, and perpetual news, which seems to be making engaged thoughtfulness harder and harder. Encouraging, because in spite of all this, Jacobs is optimistic about the possibility of thinking

 

(Click here to read more about this book or to order from Amazon.)


Noteworthy…

Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite Era
Kate Shellnutt
Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite EraThe Village Church, the multisite Texas megachurch led by Matt Chandler, will transition from several campuses across the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex to individual autonomous churches within the next five years, leaving behind a multisite model for a deeper commitment to local ministry and church planting.


On Hugh Hefner’s legacy…

One Man’s Dream Destroyed MillionsJon Bloom
This is precisely what we humans are so prone to do: to view others, and the world, as a projection of our own fantasies. Even we Christians can lose sight of the world as a battlefield of horrific cosmic warfare, with people caught in its crossfire needing to be rescued, and see it as the place where we want our dreams — self-centered, self-serving, self-exalting, self-indulgent dreams — to come true. The more we indulge such fantasies, the more inoculated and numb we become to reality and the less urgent we feel about the real needs of other real souls…

…on the occasion of Hugh Hefner’s death, let us resolve all the more to abstain from fantasy passions of the flesh, which wage war against our souls — and not just ours but others’ souls as well (1 Peter 2:11). When we look at a woman, whether she’s Marilyn Monroe, the girl from Ipanema, a co-worker, classmate, fellow church member, another man’s wife, or our own wife, let us say to ourselves and, when needed, each other: “she is not your playmate!”


2 Lessons from a Bygone ChurchRob Tims
What we can do with our family ancestry we must do with our spiritual heritage. Our faith is not new. We come from a long line of spiritual generations, and we stand much to gain by considering their wins and losses … what they did well and where they failed … if we are to serve the Lord at least as faithfully as they did…

I see two things the church today must emulate from the first church … things that we may be ignoring today.

First, we see a church that embraced diversity, and diversity at the leadership level….

Second, we see a church that gives itself to worship and mission (not one or the other)…


Normal teenage behavior?
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Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Monday Picks ~ 7-17-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

This will be the best thing you’ve read all week, even if you know absolutely nothing about Eugene Peterson. I read this yesterday afternoon after hearing a challenging message on Sunday morning about reaching across the racial and ethnic divisions we all recognize. I’m learning that empathy is the thing that we seem to be missing in so many of our conversations, and that empathy never begins with the other person. It always begins with me…

That Time I Said “Yes” When I Really Meant “No”: One Last Thought on Eugene Peterson’s InterviewRebecca Reynolds
As I look across the landscape of evangelicalism, I see the sorts of leaders who bloviate and blast, and I used to be intimidated by them. But over the years, I’ve seen enough sex scandals emerge from this camp, I’m no longer awed by their proud self-righteousness.

I’m now drawn to gentle teachers who speak about sin with a tender understanding of how human pain works. While these tender men still hold to orthodox truth, they engage with humility and deep concern because they’ve taken time to weep with those who weep.


Some very helpful “dos” and “don’ts” for worship leaders when it seems your congregation isn’t singing. His first “do” is one I believe is often overlooked…

To Sing Again – a constructive approachAaron Hoskins

Why aren’t they singing?

…We could get lost in conversations that could quickly turn into a criticism of the modern worship movement about singing and participation. Instead of criticizing the church. I choose to build her up. This is not an exhaustive list but I hope it helps you to think differently how to lead your people.


I have often wondered this same thing…

Dear Feminists, Where Are You?Melissa Edgington
Our girls need to see you unfurl your fury on an industry that tells them they exist only to please men. That their pleasure is secondary to their willingness to do anything that is asked of them in the bedroom. That their worth is measured in naked photographs. That their minds and their souls are of little importance because they have vaginas and breasts, and those are the only things that really matter. Where are you, my kindred?

You and I disagree on some issues. We march in opposite directions in our various battles. But, here, on this hallowed earth, this war for the hearts and souls of our children, this is our common ground. We are all mamas, sisters, aunts, grandmas. We are all casualties of this war, whether we know it or not, and we are now watching our own sons and daughters fall into its devastating grip. Where are you, courageous ones? Our boys and girls need you to turn and fight and rail and rage and squall.


Literally awesome…

The Closest-Ever Shot of the Great Red SpotMarina Koren
Two days ago, Juno, a pinwheel-shaped spacecraft, zoomed over Jupiter, coming within just 5,600 miles of its best-known feature, the Great Red Spot. The spacecraft’s camera stared at the oval-shaped storm as it soared above, capturing a few images of its orangey-red coils. The photo shoot lasted nine minutes. Juno travels at tens of thousands of miles per hour, and it doesn’t slow down. The spacecraft’s orbit flung it beyond Jupiter, toward Callisto, one of its moons, and away from the worst of the planet’s radiation.

Nine minutes, and humanity managed to capture the closest-ever photograph of a storm on another world, one that’s bigger than the entire Earth and has been churning for decades.


Serious Humor…
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Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 6-27-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Good explanation of an important recent SCOTUS decision…

Why a Church Playground Matters for Religious Liberty
Joe Carter
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/playground-swing.jpgThe issue of whether a church playground can qualify for states grant to purchase rubberized surface material seems rather trivial. So why is the decision considered a significant victory for religious liberty? Here are three reasons why this ruling matters:

1. It upholds the First Amendment understanding of religious liberty…

2. It’s a win for equal participation of religion

3. It requires the state to treat religious people fairly


Perhaps you need this encouragement today…

Victory over Porn Is Closer Than You ThinkJimmy Needham
Is actual, extended freedom from besetting sin really attainable, or am I bound to this sin until death, like a leech on my soul? It might seem like a silly question to those who aren’t in the throes of addiction, but having been a porn addict for a decade, it was a question I desperately asked for years.

If you find yourself in this seemingly hopeless cycle, there is good news for you: victory, real and lasting victory, is possible…


What Your Kids Really Need is Your Authentic Christian Life Melissa Edgington
So, you see, I found out that what God has called me to is much higher than lesson planner. I do need to teach my children scripture. I need to give them sound doctrine. But, I can teach these things to my children, as the Bible says, when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we rise up and lie down. In other words, impressing the things of God on my children is an all-day, every day, life-long pursuit. It is more than a curriculum. It is a way of life.


Yeah, no. I think I would sort of say that I agree…

3 Phrases Smart People Should Stop SayingEric Geiger
I have listened to a lot of podcasts. Some sermons, some NPR, some HBR, and some random ones too. All really smart people, smarter and more articulate than I am.

Yet I have noticed some recurring phrases that make the intelligent people seem less so, that blunt the impact of their words and distract from the message. …here are three phrases smart people should stop saying…


Parenting transitions made easier…
https://safr.kingfeatures.com/idn/cnfeed/zone/js/content.php?file=aHR0cDovL3NhZnIua2luZ2ZlYXR1cmVzLmNvbS9aaXRzLzIwMTcvMDYvWml0c19udGIuMjAxNzA2MjVfOTAwLmdpZg==
Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 4-11-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

For the Christian PerfectionistFaith Chang
https://reformedmargins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/pexels-photo-362749-1.jpegI’m not writing here about people who are Christians and happen to be perfectionists in other areas in life. I’m referring to those of you who love the gospel, live in the church without hidden sin, but struggle, maybe even to the point of despair, with the feeling of never being good enough before God.

You know and love Jesus, and you glory that your sins are no longer yours to carry. You know that your position before God is by grace alone, and have experienced the joy of his forgiveness. You desire to do God’s will and to walk in obedience to him. And you live under the constant fear of making a mistake before God.

Christian perfectionist, this piece is for you…


10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use in 2017
Tim Challies
As technology changes and as new generations grow up, the pornographic landscape inevitably changes. I went looking for updated numbers and want to present some of them to you today. All of these are based on credible studies carried out in 2016 or 2017…

In 2016, people watched 4.6 billion hours of pornography at just one website (the biggest porn site in the world). That’s 524,000 years of porn or, if you will, around 17,000 complete lifetimes. In that same time people watched 92 billion videos (or an average of 12.5 for every person on earth). Significance: So many people are using so much porn today that it is really impossible to tabulate.


Are We Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing?
Kevin DeYoung
large_make-the-most-of-holy-week-l503ynhwThis is not the week for being savvy and sophisticated. This is the week for being simple. Sin and salvation. Death and resurrection. Let every preacher preach this gospel and every congregation hold fast to this word (1 Cor. 15:1-2).

Holy Week is a check-up for the Church. To use a tag line that’s already overused, if your core message for this week is something other than “Christ died for our sins,” you’re doing Christianity wrong. If you want to preach about gender equality or social justice or progressive dispensationalism or the extra Calvinisticum, do it a different week. This week is about a substitute for our sin and an empty tomb for our justification.


Why our churches need more gray hairDenny Burk
In sum, Paul says that older men must be those who do not panic in the face of a challenge. They do not get angry when provoked. They do not fear in the face of a threat. The older men are to be as solid as an oak. They are to be the kind of men to whom people look when something is broken and no one knows how to fix it. They are the kind of men who are sought out for their wisdom and ability to speak truth into very difficult situations.

They are exemplary in faith and in love for wife and children and church and neighbor. They face trials with perseverance and courage. They are the kind of men that you want your son to grow up and be like.

Churches desperately need their older men to exemplify being sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Churches need an army of laymen who believe well, love well, and suffer well. And churches need them because these older men are the pace-setters for the rest of the church.


Take eight minutes and be inspired and encouraged…

“When I look at the story, I realize who Barabbas really is. That’s me. That’s you. That’s us.”

“We can pretend like some people are better than others and that’s why they’re blessed, or we can all come to the honest conclusion that it’s God, and it’s God alone.”


And those people are right. It’s unnatural…
Off the Mark

Thursday Picks ~ 12-8-2016

xmas-thursday-picks

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

This is a great follow-up to today’s God Questions scripture reading…

How God Became a Man: What Jesus Did for Thirty Years
David Mathis
Given the influence and impact of his life, humanly speaking, we might find it surprising that so little about his childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood is available — especially with the interest his followers, who worshiped him as God, took in his life. That is, unless, divinely speaking, this is precisely how God would have it…

The lion’s share of Jesus’s earthly life powerfully dignifies the everyday pains of maturity and growth common to humanity.


I always find this kind of stuff fascinating. There are some amazing photos here…

The Most Influential Images of All Time
Image result for 100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All TimeThere is no formula that makes a picture influential. Some images are on our list because they were the first of their kind, others because they shaped the way we think. And some made the cut because they directly changed the way we live. What all 100 share is that they are turning points in our human experience.


I absolutely HATE that we have to think about stuff like this, but we must…

Parents: It’s Time to Wake Up About Pornography, Sexting, and Your ChildrenRandy Alcorn
…I told parents that if they’re going to let their children have unrestricted Internet access in the privacy of their own rooms, through computers, tablets, phones, or any other device they might as well buy thousands of pornographic magazines and stack them in their children’s closets and say, “Don’t ever look at those.” It amounts to the same thing…

I’m a grandparent to five boys, the oldest of them 12. Like many of you, I find this information, and the related statistics, chilling. (And remember, it’s not just boys who are looking at pornography; young girls are too. Nor are girls the only ones participating in sending inappropriate pictures.) The reality is, if you have children in grade school and older, even if they themselves aren’t exposed to or involved in these practices, some of their classmates certainly are, and as the years go on, more will be.

So what can concerned parents do? …


She also shares a lot of good reading recommendations to help one “side” consider the other…

We Cannot Complain About America if We Do Not Listen to OthersLore Ferguson Wilbert
Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 9.32.41 AMIt’s not as simple or cut and dried as the one-issue voters and die-hard Democrats want it to be, but none of us will grasp that if we continue to crave both “safe spaces” and “honest dialogue.” The two are at complete odds with one another; there is safety in numbers, but not if all the numbers look, think, and act just like you.

If you turn away from those who don’t think like you, you simply cannot complain about the state of politics in American today, you do not have the right to choose an America that only works for you or people just like you. Chance offense or hurt, your own or others, but actually listen to someone with intent to hear them…


I think you’ll be glad you took four minutes to watch this…
He Came Down

“Welcome to all of you, please take a seat,
We want to now share a nativity treat.”


Rudolph’s “Operation”…
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Off the Mark

Present Your Bodies: Eyes

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Photo by Katy C

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  –Romans 12:1-2 ESV

I’ve always been intrigued with the phrase, “a living sacrifice.” When you’re speaking with a Jewish audience, and you use the word “sacrifice,” they’re going to imagine a dead one. The act of killing is part of the process. A living sacrifice is a whole new concept.

And it’s a tricky one. Because a living sacrifice is a whole lot harder to deal with than a dead one. A living sacrifice keeps wanting to crawl off the altar. It must be offered daily.

Maybe hourly.

Maybe, if the part of the body you’re sacrificing to God is your eyes, then maybe that sacrifice needs to be minute by minute.

What about our eyes? How can we offer our eyes as a living sacrifice to God?

The psalmist says:

I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile. –Psalm 101:3

The word “vile” means wicked, perverted, offensive, disgusting, cheap, or degrading. Do we allow ourselves to look at any of that stuff? Do our eyes find their way to things that fit any of those descriptions?

I almost decided to skip talking about pornography here because it seemed a little too obvious. Everyone knows that we should keep our eyes away from that stuff, right?

The thing is, every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, and 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography.

That’s right, every second!

Pornography revenue in the United States exceeds the combined revenue of ABC, NBC and CBS. So maybe it bears talking about. Especially when you consider that, according to a 2014 survey of self-identified adult Christian men, 77% say they look at pornography at least monthly.

It’s a problem.

How can we “present our bodies as a living sacrifice” when our eyes (and presumably other parts as well) are being used in this manner? How can we “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” when so much of our mental energy is given over to the god of lust?

There’s something else to consider for those of us who are married men. The apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:7 that we should treat our wives with respect so that nothing hinders our prayers. What is more disrespectful to your wife than to look lustfully at another woman? Not only does it impact our marriages and our thoughts, but it hinders our prayers, as well.

Men, this must stop.

We must keep our eyes from crawling off the altar.

But wait, there’s more…

It seems to me that, if we’re presenting our eyes to God as a “living sacrifice,” there are some other things we must consider.

For example:
As we scroll through our Twitter feed or your Facebook newsfeed, what links grab our eyes? Am I a sucker for the outrageous “click bait”?

Or:
Do I fall for the “fake news” that seems to justify my already formed opinion, simply because it takes too much discipline to search for the truth?

Or, how about this:
Do I have a hard time seeing the good…

…in another person?

…in another race?

…in my own church?

…in almost anything?

God doesn’t look at the outside, he looks at the heart. It’s a skill we need to learn. Obviously, we’ll never be able to see within another person the way God can, but we can learn to look deeper than we do.

I’m sure this isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start.

We just have to learn to take an honest look within.

It’s a matter of presenting our eyes as a living sacrifice.

Lloyd


You can read what I wrote about offering our hands here.