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Organizational Insights from Numbers 2

Front Page Leadership My Spiritual Life

This morning, I was reading the first few chapters of Numbers. I have to be honest with you, and I am somewhat ashamed to admit, I wasn’t expecting much. Aside from a few interesting (and confusing) stories, the book of Numbers is filled with, you guessed it, numbers!

The first few chapters are all about counting the people of Israel. This tribe has 60,000 people. That tribe has 40,000 people. With twelve tribes to go through, the lists of numbers and names of people can get tedious. Continue reading

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“for the Bible tells me so” — documentary on homosexuality

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UPDATE: This film has been posted to YouTube if you want to watch it. link

Tonight, our life group skipped our normal routine to watch a documentary purportedly on the relationship between homosexuality and religion called For the Bible Tells Me So However, the documentary was actually on the relationship between homosexuality and the conservative/fundamentalist “Christian right.”

Basically, the title calls to mind the song Jesus Loves Me (which should communicate that God loves us) in contrast to the words of those who would claim homosexuality is an “abomination” simply because “the Bible tells me so.”

Since I have already written a few articles on the topic, I won’t take the time to rehash my position. However, I need to make a couple comments.

Continue reading

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I was (not) in a motorcycle accident

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On Monday, August 24, 2009, our local newspaper printed the following:

Accident Closes McCarty For 3 Hours

A Lafayette man was taken to the hospital and McCarty Lane was closed for nearly three hours Sunday night after a motorcycle accident.

According to Officer Nicholas Amor of the Lafayette Police Department, Jeffrey Mikels, 28, of Lafayette crashed his motorcycle while leaving the parking lot of Danzers Show Club, 3481 McCarty Lane, at 7:20 p.m.

“All we know at the moment is that he pulled out of the parking lot and didn’t hit any other vehicles,” said Amor. “When we arrived he was bleeding from the head.”

Mikels was taken to Clarian Arnett Hospital after the accident. Officers at the scene said his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

After the accident, McCarty Lane between Creasy Lane and U.S. 52 was closed.

Amor said alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash, but police will not know for sure until a medical examination is completed.

I have been having people contact me for the past couple of days asking me if I’m ok, but so far no one has called me asking why I was driving out of the Danzers Show Club! Anyway, I’m going on record saying, “That was a different Jeffrey Mikels!” Actually, there are three Jeffrey Mikels in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and one of them has the same middle initial as I.
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Trials prove how strong you are

Front Page Spiritual Health

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we read:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

— 1 Corinthians 10:13

In this passage, we are given three promises:

  • You are not unique or alone in your temptation. Every temptation or trial (in the Bible, the two words are interchangeable) that you face has been faced by someone else.
  • God will only allow you to face a temptation if he knows you can handle it.
  • God will always provide you a “way out.”
  • The “Way Out” is not an “escape” but a light at the end of a tunnel so “you can stand up under” the temptation.

Are you going through a struggle, a trial, or are you facing temptation. Know this. Whatever you are facing is only in your life because from God’s point of view, you are strong enough for it. If the trial is 100 pounds heavy, God must know that you are capable to lift at least 101 pounds. If the trial is 2 tons, that’s God’s way of telling you that you can handle 2.1 tons!

How big is your trial? That’s God telling you how strong you really are.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

— Philippians 4:13

God knows that you and I are able to endure far more than we are generally willing to put up with.

How big is your trial? How strong are you? How strong is your God?

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Marriage on the Rocks? Read this!

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An article recently posted on psychologytoday.com is not approaching marriage from a Christian perspective, but it is an excellent assessment of what has happened to the relationship between men and women in the past 40 years or so.

Here’s the gist: Men today grew up in a world where it was largely okay for a husband to work 50 hours a week, come home, sit in his chair, and watch TV until bedtime. However, though women have not lost the desire for men to be strong breadwinners, they have lost the patience for a man who would watch sports all night from his special chair. Instead, they are looking for a soulmate too. Continue reading

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More on Homosexual Recovery

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This week, CNN posted an article describing a recent report that attempts to help homosexuals “recover” do more harm than good.

Since I wrote an article on this very topic (see Is There Recovery for the Homosexual?.), I thought it would be good to have a link to this new article here and to add a few comments of my own.

It just seems that the secular world is trying to ignore the truth that SOME people who self-identify as homosexual are able to ADJUST desires or at least find fulfillment outside the homosexual lifestyle.

What if we lived in a society with a VERY vocal and VERY strong lobby promoting the use of smoking? What if in the context of that society, a report was done testing the effectiveness of anti-smoking programs? What kind of news articles would we be reading? “Programs to change smokers to non-smokers don’t work, report says”

It’s the combination of a VERY vocal lobby, a VERY supportive society and the inherent attractiveness of sexual sin that wage war against any “change” programs.

It’s exactly the same as when you read about how “Abstinence Programs Fail Among American Teens.” If the society fully supports something that’s pleasurable, all programs opposing that position will fail more often than not.

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Quick Study on the Rapture

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This week at my Life Group, we looked at the clearest teaching in the Bible regarding the rapture, and I’ve become even more convicted about one particular position. This post is intended to guide you through the same study we considered this week and to give an inside track on what I’m currently thinking about the matter.

What is the Rapture?

Before I talk about anything else, I should probably define what I mean by the rapture and why I want to talk about it now.

The Rapture refers to the event described in the Bible of Christ returning to earth and his followers being “caught up” to meet him in the air.

The major biblical controversy is twofold:

  1. Do the biblical statements on the rapture event indicate a literal and physical departure from the surface of the earth?
  2. When does the rapture event happen in relation to the rest of prophesied end-time events? Continue reading
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You Can’t be Both Pre-Trib and Calvinist

Front Page My Beliefs Tough Questions

If you are a Calvinist:

  • you believe that God has “elected” or “chosen” those who would be saved from before the foundation of the world.
  • you believe that those whom God has chosen have been predestined to respond to the gospel when God woos them.
  • you believe that salvation comes entirely without regard to human works or merit.
  • you believe that “elect” and “true followers of Jesus” are two ways of describing only one group. Continue reading
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Statement on Human Sexuality

Front Page Tough Questions

Apparently, with the legal pressure provided by pro-homosexual lobbies, there is a threat that churches will be liable to lawsuits for anti-homosexual practices unless our position on the issue is clearly stated in religious terms.

The recommendation is that we amend our statement of faith to describe our core convictions in this matter. Therefore, I’m putting here what I’m preparing to present to our church leadership on the matter. Your comments will be helpful.
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God cares even if we don’t realize it

Front Page Spiritual Health

This morning, I was reading in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, and I was in the chapters giving the regulations for what kind of animals are okay to eat, what to do about dead animals, and what to do with skin rashes.

It’s interesting to me to think that the people of old had no idea what germs and viruses were. They had no idea what parasites were, yet the commands God gave them were exactly what Continue reading

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Helping People Resolve Conflict

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When two people are in conflict with each other, bringing about resolution can be difficult. However, when two Christians are in conflict, the process of reconciliation should not be as hard as it is.

In conflict situations, I like to ask a few questions:

  • Describe all the sin in this conflict. Who has committed sin and what is the exact nature of each sin? (the goal is to seek reconciliation with God and forgiveness from each other over sins committed)

  • Describe all the pain in this conflict NOT CAUSED BY SIN. What actions caused your pain and why were they so painful? (the goal is to get people to explore their own inner life not blame others or air dirty laundry. The WHY is powerful.)

  • Describe the goals and desired outcomes on both sides. What is the bigger picture, the vision, and how do we get there now? (the goal is to establish a plan of action and guidelines for future relationship through listening to each other’s joys, hopes, needs, and dreams)

After all, as believers in Christ, we know the power of forgiveness, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit, and we have a purpose that goes far beyond our petty differences.

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What’s wrong with premarital sex?

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What’s wrong with premarital sex?

One of the questions I get a lot is the question about sexual morality as it relates to the Bible, and it’s one I have thought a lot about as well considering that I do quite a bit of marital counseling and also considering that I’m a guy and I think about these issues myself!

Of course, the biggest question about sexual morality is whether the Bible actually prohibits premarital sex, and if it does prohibit it, why?

I’m going to try to answer that question simply from three angles: What does the Bible teach about sex? What effect does sex have on people? Where should the limits be drawn (i.e. what is the Biblical definition of “sex”)?

Continue reading

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