Archives For Challenges

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Last week a federal judge ruled that the State of Alabama’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional.  A constitutional ban that was approved in 2006 by 81% of Alabama voters.  As an American I’m extremely troubled that activist judges are ignoring the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans. However, that’s another subject for another day.

I will approach this article primarily by responding to things I have heard from those who support homosexual rights.

1.  If you don’t support gay rights you’re a hate monger.  I agree that there are people in our country who hate gay people but those people do not represent all of us. I also acknowledge that there are people who call themselves Christian who are full of hate. They are not Christians.   I believe that same sex relationships are a sin but I DO NOT HATE HOMOSEXUALS.  I’m sure that some will read this post and respond to me with anger and even hatred but I refuse to hate you back.  I do not hate you and God does not hate you. God hates sin but not the sinner.

2.  I was born this way.  Ok!  I don’t have a problem with that statement and I may be one of the few conservative Christians that you will hear say it.  Here’s why I don’t have a huge problem with the statement.  The Bible (my authority) says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.  I was born a sinner too. Let me give you an example. When I was three years old I lied to my mother. I was a three year old liar. No one taught me to be a liar, it came naturally. I was born that way.  God’s word teaches us explicitly that we should not lie.  When I became a follower of Christ, part of my growth as a believer was to overcome my “tendency” to lie.  So maybe you’re not a liar but you do have a “desire” to have a gay relationship.  If you are a follower of Christ you should be seeking the healing and deliverance of God to change you’re desires and overcome them.  I stopped lying years ago.

I have a few questions:

  • If a man is born with a desire to kill should he have the constitutional right to do so because he says that he was born that way?
  • If someone wants to have sex with children and their argument is “I was born a pedophile” does that make its ok?
  • If a man gets married but then discovers he likes having sex with multiple people should the constitution protect him from his spouses desire for a divorce?

3. People who use the Bible to support their belief’s are “Bible Thumpers.”  Ok again.  I believe the Bible.  I have been a  student of the Bible  for almost forty years.  Reading the Bible and accepting it by faith is part of my faith. However as I am referring to it I’m not angry nor am I foaming at the mouth.  In addition to accepting the Bible by faith I also see the Bible being fulfilled throughout history and even today.  It’s real and it is the inspired Word of God.  As a Christian I have to believe that. If I don’t believe it, then my Faith in Christ comes into question. The Bible is my final authority on all matters.  If you don’t believe the Bible, Ok but don’t hate me because I do and I want society to reflect it.

4.  God doesn’t care about homosexuality.  You have to ignore the Bible to make that statement. Scriptures are replete with passages that show God’s disdain for homosexuality.

Leviticus 18:22New International Version (NIV)  “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Leviticus 20:13 New International Version (NIV)  “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Note: Because I understand scripture and understand that Leviticus is the law, I’m not suggesting that God wants us to put homosexuals to death. All I’m doing in sharing this verse is to show you that indeed, God does care.

New International Version (NIV)   1 Timothy 1:   8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Look at this passage of scripture from Romans 1

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

I’ve given you just a sampling of scripture. There are many more. My only motive is not to “Thump” the Bible but to show you that God does care and that God does not approve of homosexuality.

If you have made your mind up about this matter I may not change it. But if your trying to decide what you believe then take my argument to heart and mind.  If you call yourself a Christian but support the gay rights issue I’d love to have you hear my heart.

If you feel trapped by a desire to be a homosexuality, there is deliverance.

As I close I’d like to reiterate that I don’t hate you if you disagree. I love people,  even those who do not agree with me. I love you!

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Note from me: I usually write when something is burring in my heart or heavy on my mind. I write and  type fast and I make mistakes. I don’t take the time to have my entries proof read because of the urgency in my heart at the moment and, spelling and grammar are not some of my strong points. So please excuse the spelling errors that get by Word and for my grammar and  mistakes.

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Every year during the month of January many in Christian churches spend time fasting as a first fruits offering, a way to give God the first of the new years. The church where I serve has done this for many years. I thought I would share with you two, only two important points about fasting, points that will help you.

One: It’s not supposed to be hard. Our bodies need food and when we don’t give it to them they rebel with hunger pangs, dizziness and other negative side effects. In addition to the need to have food for health and survival we Americans are accustomed to eating, eating a lot and eating a variety. Our social lives surround food. We sit at the lunch table talking about what we will eat for supper. It’s harder in our culture because food plays a bigger roll here than in many places.

Two: It’s not for your glory. If you’re drawing attention to the fact that you are fasting then you have your reward. Your reward being that other people know you’re fasting and possibly admire you or feel sorry for you. J

esus is recorded in the book of Matthew chapter six saying, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

We fast for the Glory of God. Read Isaiah chapter fifty-eight and see the results of fasting. Here is the list.

  • To loose the chains of injustice.
  • To untie the chords of the yoke.
  • To set the oppressed free.
  • To break every yoke.
  • To give food to the hungry
  • To clothe the naked.
  • Your light will break forth.
  • Your healing will appear.
  • You will call and the Lord will answer.

Wow. That’s pretty impressive but there is no way a man can get or take glory for those results. The glory goes to God. If your fasting for attention or for your glory, STOP and go get something to eat. You’re wasting your time. That’s it! I believe in fasting and I believe that it brings great results in our lives. Blessings on you.

Below are links to good books on fasting.

For Sermon Audio on Fasting Click This Link.

God will never torment you with the truth.

Jeff Scurlock

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Psalms 46:10a He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;…

It’s amazing how busy we become if we don’t carefully monitor our obligations. Life becomes a series of stacks on top of a desk with all sorts of to-do list, appointments, obligations, hobbies and more.

What does the scripture mean when it says “be still?” I think it means that we can be so busy, so loaded down with the actions of life that we forget to step back and let God be God in our life.

So often I find myself overwhelmed with life. Overwhelmed with the pressures and stresses of my calling and all the other parts of life that are important. When that happens I sometimes forget to let God be God in my life. I forget that He’s got my back and that I can depend on Him to help me. So, instead of stepping back in stillness I race to solve life’s problems, put all my effort into every project and wind up making a mess of things.

I think I’m so smart but God is smarter. I feel that I have to defend myself but God said that He would be my defender. I try to fix stuff that only God can fix and all the while I’m just making a big mess out of something that God could have handled, had I gotten still and let Him.

Sometimes we just need to be still. Just sit back and let God help us with His presence and His wisdom and His ways which by the way are far above our ways.

I started with Psalms 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God:’ Now I’ll share it with you in it’s context.

Psalms 46:9-11 He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire.  He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress..

Does it sound like there is any thing that God can’t do? BE STILL!

I’ve just in the last few days finished what I believe to be the best and one of the most important books I’ve ever read. That’s right, THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. The title, WRECKED, When A Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life, by Jeff Goins.

I must confess that I don’t know that much about Jeff Goins. I read the book because Michael Hyatt recommended it. I do know that Jeff is young. I’ve searched and searched for his actual ages and can’t find it but my best guest would be late twenties, maybe early thirties. I know that Jeff works for a mission’s organization that leads individuals on mission’s trips. I also know, now, that Jeff Goins is one of the most gifted writers I have ever read.

Jeff Goins

He is gifted with words, yes but also with a message.  I downloaded WRECKED to the kindle app on my iPad and began reading immediately. The book didn’t’ grab me right away and I even laid it down for a few days after reading the first chapter. I kept thinking about that upside down turtle on the cover (what an awesome cover design) and the title. So, I picked it back up and read. By the time I finished chapter two I was totally hooked. I read this book in a couple of days.

I guess I should just say, read this book and then shut up. I can’t. I’m overwhelmed with the message and with the artistry of the words.

There is no way I can tell you what the book is about in a short blog and do it justice.

I thought that I would share a few quotes that I highlighted in my Kindle app. As I scrolled through them (and there were many) I knew that I couldn’t decide which ones I should use so I decided to use just one.

“We’ve believed a lie. We’ve been told life is about us. That if we work hard enough, save enough money, and buy enough stuff, we will eventually be happy. Many of us have done just that, and we are anything but happy.” Jeff Goins

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. If we can’t get everyone to do it lets try to get it’s message into the hands of teenagers and young adults who think life is about living with mom as long as possible, taking on no responsibility and being master of a gaming system. What Goins calls extended adolescence.

Who else needs to read this book you may ask. Pastors, leaders, parents, teachers, college professors, politicians, and just about anyone else.

 I hope my recommendation for this book is not over the top. It’s just seldom that a book moves me like this one did. I understand that if I give something a high recommendation to something and you don’t agree with me that in your eyes I loose some credibility. I do not however have any reservations about recommending this book.  Get the book today. It’s available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle Edition.

There are several links throughout this post that will lead you to this book. Go there now.

In the spirit of total openness, my site jeffscurlock.com is an  Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on the link and buy this book that I will make a few cents in commission. This is not however why I am giving this book such a recommendation.  If you don’t want me to make .20 cents leave this site go to amazon.com and buy this book anyway.

ANOTHER LINK TO THE BOOK WRECKED BY JEFF GOINS.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO MY BOOK THE EYE OF A NEEDLE