Tattoos are all the rage! And just like anything that is popular in our culture it’s not long before the latest rage arrives in a church near you. Even a few preachers are getting “inked up” to connect with the culture. In the back of my mind I can hear my mother’s sweet voice when I came to her with my desire to jump on passing bandwagons, she would say, “Just because everybody else is jumping off a cliff, doesn’t mean you have to!” She saved me a lot of embarrassment and pain, not to mention, heartache.

I know you have seen the trend develop. Maybe you have even jumped on the band wagon yourself. Sometimes the body artwork is small and understated, at other times it is bold and nearly wraps the entire body in ink. Indelible ink. Tattoos like any form of art always say something. They speak about causes, and cares and they also say a lot about the person who wears them. The messages range from silly to scriptural and the art itself ranges from crude to creative. Like bumper stickers they convey a message but unlike bumper stickers or text messages these statements upon human flesh are stamped in a medium that will live as long as you do. They don’t get lost, erased or deleted until you do. As long as you live, they live, and in some cases, I am told, they live even longer.


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Can reliability and readability co-exist in a modern translation of the Bible?
 
“Pastor, with so many Bible versions available today, how can I choose the best one? What should I tell a friend who is looking to buy a bible she can read and understand with more ‘up to date’ language?”
 
Dear Friend, Thank you for your honest questions about translations of the Bible. It’s a great question and certainly one that deserves a thoughtful reply.  I know I am probably going to give you much more information than you ever wanted, but I hope it helps. The long answer that follows may read more like a book than a blog but I wanted you to understand my heart on this. It is very important to “get it right” when it comes to the Bible we read. You may have your personal favorite version of the Bible or you may know a new believer looking for a Bible they can read and follow in their walk in Christ.
 

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What we feel or think about marriage (or any topic) needs to be subjected to the Word of God. The real issue here isn’t whether we sense that things might work out better in a new marital relationship; the real issue is what does God say about this? Our opinion is not the issue. Culture is not our standard. God’s Word is the final Word on all matters of faith and godliness. Here are some guiding principles:
  • Marriage is good and instituted by God (Gen 2:24). He is the Author/Designer of it.
  • Marriage is a covenant purposed by God to be life-long. (Matt 19:6)
  • Stay Married! Marriage broken by any reason other than death is hated by God. (Mal 2:16)
  • He takes the vows seriously because it is a covenant “until death”. It is a picture of God’s unconditional and sacrificial love for his bride. (Eph. 5). Problems in marriage must be traversed together without the option of escape.
  • Because of the hardness of sinful hearts, God allows only 2 exceptions to break the marriages vows. I say allows because even in our differences and frailties, God’s ideal is to stay married and reconcile if at all possible. Here are the two biblical exceptions:

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In a vote of 53-44, the Senate has failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act. Consider this action. A total of 44 Democrats voted NO on this bill, with three GOP senators not voting.
 
The failure of this bill’s passage into law is absolutely immoral and unconscionable. If one considers the actual ramifications of the failure of this bill, which was designed to force doctors and healthcare officials to provide care and nurturing for babies who actually survived the abortion process, it’s clear that some see murdering children as an actual option and permissible under the law. It isn’t. In 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated that the “unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.” [1; emphasis added] The absurdity of the above statement should be plain to everyone. First, she actually referred to an unborn child as a “person.” Second, she states because it had not been born (was still inside the womb or had been aborted); the “person” has no rights under the Constitution. That is illogical.

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Government in Crisis: We’re going to cover two subjects in this article. The first is what the Democrats of the new majority House of Congress are attempting to accomplish since they took office this past January 3, 2019. The second has to do with the fact that so-called social justice curriculum is making inroads into many Christian schools and even home school curriculum. Parents and administrators need to be on their guard now more than ever. Now that the Democrats have gained the majority in the House of Representatives, their agenda has been made apparent. On the very first day, the following was put forth
  • Move to protect Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump[1] in spite of the fact that the President of the United States has the power to fire and remove Mueller from his position overseeing a special counsel.

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In my office are the relics of an old hobby I used to enjoy – taxidermy. In fact, right before college I toyed with the idea of just skipping college and starting a taxidermy studio called, New Life Studios, Inc. – I even had a motto – ‘We bring dead things to life” which was a little take-off of GE’s former tagline, “We bring good things to life. It didn’t work too well for GE. The problem is life, both physical and spiritual is the sole domain of the God of Heaven who is the giver of real life and all that is truly good. No one can really create anything. Especially life.
 
The animals in my office have no breath, no pulse. They simply serve as dusty curiosities to those in the 3-6 year old range. They are only representations of life, merely imitations with glass eyes. This is a day in which the church’s eyes are “glassing over”. The new expectation from the young (aged teens-mid 30’s), is that church should be full of life. Amen to that! Where the Spirit of God is there ought to be life. Real life. I get that. I want that. We need that. Those under 40’s so often leave fundamental churches looking for more life, vibrancy, and sense of God’s power and presence. Though I detest the departure, I applaud anybody with a real hunger for the living Lord. This should be a wakeup call to all those who take pride in cold orthodoxy alone. Churches should have a pulse.

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