SEX, JESUS, AND THE CONVERSATIONS THE CHURCH FORGOT

So often, our impurity grows out of our impatience.

Guilty as charged. This is a true statement because sometimes our desires grow so strong that we give into sin. It is hard when all your friends are getting married, and you are just in a corner singing “All By Myself”. It is easy during the impatient season to try to make something happen out of God’s will. This is when we settle for what our culture wants. I have noticed that churches that have small groups and accountability partners do not struggle with this as much. It is still hard, but find a group of people that can keep you accountable through your impatient season.

We have made love a relative term-open to anyone’s definition.

This statement could not be truer in our culture. We say we love so many things that we have lost the definition of love. We do not understand the definition, and that is why we let anyone define love because the word has lost its power in our culture. Our culture has defined love, and the church is losing the war in this topic. We watch love movies and Hallmark hoping that one movie would be my story. Love is not defined by a fiction story; it is defined by the cross. You can’t fall in love until you’ve fallen for the one that has died for you.

 “Invited Jesus into our bedroom”- In a humble and unassuming step, he became the first man in my entire life to realign God and sex into their rightful positions-intertwined with one another and braided together with our love story.

I love this point! If we are honest with ourselves, how many men have done this in their marriage? I am not married, and this point hit me in the heart because I would have never thought about inviting Jesus into the bedroom. Yes, some of you may think that Jesus is already in our hearts, but we need Jesus in the bedroom as much as we need Him in our heart. Sex in our culture is not sacred anymore. It is sad because we as men have let this get away from us. I must apologize to the women for not taking a stronger stand on this topic. We as men have to become better and realize women are a gift to us- not to be taken advantage of. We have to get better at building up worth and dignity in women. This is our job as men of the church. Stop being boys and start being men. Set a new standard.

This book is raw! I read this book from a man’s perspective, and it reminded me that men are imperfect and have a lot of work to do. The church cannot shy away from this conversation. I think the average age now of kids seeing pornography is 10 or 11. We must have these conversations at home and church. Do not let culture talk about this topic before you as parents or church leaders address this issue. Men, we have to get better. We have to set the standard and be the man of the house. I would recommend reading Kingdom Man by Tony Evans for all men. We can go longer wait; it is our time to be counterculture.

The Broken Way

When the church isn’t for the suffering and broken, then the church isn’t for Christ.

I really enjoyed this concept in the book. The church does need to do a better job at creating spaces for brokenness. I think a lot of people are afraid to be open with others because the church can turn someone’s vulnerability into gossip time. This has to change! If you have to tell the church every week that this is a safe place, then I question how safe the space truly is.

He looked out the window and pointed. Every morning that the sun rises, and you get to rise. That’s God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He’s writing through you. He believes in you as a gift the world needs.

Our brokenness has purpose even though it feels like there is no hope. Our hope isn’t found in the one that caused our brokenness, but our hope is found in Christ. As I read this in the book, my mind went to when my parents got a divorce. I was broken to the core because my whole life had just changed. It was hard! I was 8 years old, and it took me until I was a teenager to deal with that deep wound. There were many nights that I did not care. I questioned God; I asked why. I know now that it had a purpose, and God has used me to help other kids going through that same brokenness. It is true that God is writing a story through us. Even though it may take years to see the story, it always ends in God’s redemptive plan and points back to Him.

It’s always the vulnerable heart that breaks broken hearts free.

This is probably one of the most important aspects of the book. Be open about your brokenness because it is through our brokenness that God can heal the broken heart. I got the picture of having open heart surgery. God is there about to mend a broken heart that has been through a lot of pain and blockage and needs blood to flow through it again. He has to go in and make the blood flow clear again and put His touch on the heart. The recovery will be painful for a short time because the surgery takes time, but your wounds are now scars that can tell the story of God’s sovereignty.

The Broken Way isn’t just a good read. It is a soul-searching book. It will bring up wounds from your past that may not have been taken care of, but through this book, God will do a work. Tears will be shed as you read. Have an open heart as you read this book. Be prepared to close the book at times to talk to God. Don’t rush through God moments because you will have them as you go through this book. I encourage you to keep a journal too. I wrote some things down from my past that I thought were taken care of, but there was more that needed to be exposed. Don’t be afraid to go digging because some roots need to actually be dug up and not just trimmed. Get ready for a journey through your brokenness.

 

Compassion and Culture

I just started a new book by David Platt called Counter Culture. He is breaking down nine areas that our culture has basically allowed to become social norms. The book has me thinking a lot about the word compassion and how to be compassionate in a world that is broken and without compassion.

First, compassion moves us to action not anger. We as Christ’s disciples have to realize that he didn’t call us to be angry at the world but he called us to love it. This doesn’t mean we must keep silent about issues but there is a right way to standup for what you believe and protesting isn’t one of them. We have killed our witness over social media platforms because of us “protesting” in the name of Christ. It is easier to protest against someone than to love them. We have gotten really good at protesting but lack in love.

Second, everyone is called to be compassionate not just a few people. I do not like when you people say, “Daniel, you are so compassionate.” It makes me upset because it is almost like they are saying “thank you for doing my part as a disciple for me”. Compassion is a call for everyone. The issues and the cries of this world should break your heart. It shouldn’t make you look around and encourage people that are living out a compassionate life. Your encouragement doesn’t replace your responsibility to be compassionate.

Third, GET INVOLVED! Nothing makes me more upset than people that talk about an issue but aren’t doing anything to help. The world has seen enough talkers, they are looking for doers. Your greatest witness to the world is to show them you care further than your pew seat. Pews keep making the Christian church more comfortable while the world is crying out. Don’t be afraid to get involved in someone else’s mess.

Don’t be a bystander anymore. Get involved in some mess. It is time that we quit making the word compassionate about how big of a check we write. Checks don’t replace your compassionate duties. My prayer is that we don’t just write checks but get involved with the place our check is going towards. What would happen if we activated compassionate loving disciples in a broken and dying world?

The Trap of the Cracked Door

Have you ever walked past a cracked door and wondered what was behind it? I find myself doing this all the time. I will usually end up walking past the same cracked door a few times and wonder, what in the world could be hidden behind the door. It could be completely dark and I would still take a peek because I want to know what is behind the door. Isn’t this the same way we feel about the calling of God upon our life?

I know there has been many times in my life where I have tried to peek and even open a cracked door that was never meant to be touched. The door looked so promising and looked like a perfect door for me and I felt compelled to open it. Sometimes I feel like we can get so caught up in opening a promised door but it wasn’t our promised door to open. If YOU have to open the door then the door was never promised for you. The problem with opening someone else’s door is that we actually take away from their promises and try to do their calling when God never called us to that door. This is why we have to learn the art of patience.

It is hard to be patient and wait. I look over my life and the times that I have tried to open a door that was cracked. I will never forget starting Transition Furniture when there were many door cracking moments. I would always want to move faster and dream bigger and force doors to open into the future. I could never live in the present door that WAS OPENED for me. I learned an important lesson: Moving from cracked door to cracked door only holds you back and never leads you further into the future. If you learn to live in the present door that WAS OPENED FOR YOU, then the other doors will open and you will not have to worry about a cracked door.

Be careful of cracked doors. The cracked doors look promising but they are only traps to hold you back from the future. Learn to live in the present and stay faithful to the opened door in front of you.

What You Do Today Impacts Your Tomorrow

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough to do what God has called you to do? This is my biggest struggle on a daily basis. I have so many questions about life and what the future holds. To be honest, I’ve even wanted to walk away from the nonprofit and start new in another city. I’ve always asked the question, “If I leave who would replace me in the nonprofit.” I’ve even thought about asking people but I could never leave what God has started through the nonprofit. I know God is up to something when life gets hard because it is a test of faith in our occupation. There is one rule I’ve learned through all the struggles and questions.

God is always working behind in the scenes while you’re working in the scenes. I’ve seen this play out day by day. There have been countless times that I’ve wanted to give up and God puts someone in my life to help me get through the hurdles. I’ve realized that what God does through you today will truly impact your tomorrow and someone’s future. No one can do what God has called you to do for his kingdom. There are times that I want to give up in the nonprofit world but after hearing a family share their story; I know that I’m here for a purpose.

You have purpose. The impact you make on those lives around could change their future and yours. Yes, life has challenges but it’s through those challenges that we develop integrity and character. Don’t give up on today and what God has called you to do in the future. There’s purpose in your impact today and tomorrow.