Daily Archives: May 5, 2013

10 Biblical Steps Towards Restoration After Sexual Sin

It is no secret—Hollywood glamorizes sex. As we watch our favorite characters move from one love interest to the other, it’s easy to forget how sexual sin confuses and complicates our spiritual, emotional, and physical lives.

God’s people are warned to: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

Although the consequences of our sins (unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, emotional ties, etc.) may still linger, Jesus will forgive [1] and give wisdom for each issue. It’s essential to take the necessary steps towards restoration to avoid being mastered by sexual immorality.

Article printed from What Christians Want To Know: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com

URL to article: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-biblical-steps-towards-restoration-after-sexual-sin/

URLs in this post:

[1] forgive: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-forgiveness-20-encouraging-scripture-quotes/

[2] Small group: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-good-small-group-bible-studies/

[3] Image: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Biblical-Steps-toward-restoration-after-sexual-sin.jpg

[4] grace: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-inspirational-bible-verses-about-grace/

[5] Why Should I Trust God? I Feel Like Giving Up: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/why-should-i-trust-god-i-feel-like-giving-up/

World’s first GM babies born

The world’s first genetically modified humans have been created, it was revealed last night. The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics. So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three ‘parents’. Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental program at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey. The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Extra genes from a female donor were inserted into their eggs before they were fertilized in an attempt to enable them to conceive. Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults –two women and one man. The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated them into their ‘germline’ means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them on to their own offspring.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-43767/Worlds-GM-babies-born.html#ixzz2SSJgj8TO

The ‘new legalism’ – How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God

Is Paul’s urging to live quietly, mind your own affairs, and work with your hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11) only for losers? Do you feel that you’re wasting your gifts if you “settle” into an ordinary job, get married early and start a family, or live in a small town or suburb? Acton Institute Power Blogger Anthony Bradley has some provocative thoughts on the “new legalism.” —Marvin Olasky

A few days ago on Facebook and Twitter I made the following observation:

“Being a ‘radical,’ ‘missional’ Christian is slowly becoming the ‘new legalism.’ We need more ordinary God and people lovers (Matt 22:36-40).”

This observation was the result of long conversation with a student who was wrestling with what to do with his life given all of the opportunities he had available to him. To my surprise, my comment exploded over the internet with dozens and dozens of people sharing the comment and sending me personal correspondence.

I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they “settle” into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.” For too many millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about.

Here are a few thoughts on how we got here.


Rear admiral vows to continue sharing faith

WASHINGTON—Faith in the military took center stage Thursday at the 62nd observance of the National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C, as lawmakers and faith leaders gathered on Capitol Hill. After a series of speakers addressed those gathered at the Cannon Office Building, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. William D. Lee, took the microphone to represent Americans serving in the …

May  2   Thursday –  http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/rear_admiral_vows_to_continue_sharing_faith

The Monarchs Of Money

The world’s central banks have printed unimaginable amounts of money in recent years – “these guys are really more powerful than the government.” Neil Macdonald explores what this means for the global economy and for your financial well-being – “can you imagine if the American public knew there was this ‘club’ that met secretly in Switzerland and made decisions that dramatically affected their lives, but we’re not going to tell you about it because it’s too complicated.” This brief documentary should open a few eyes to the reality behind the world’s most powerful (and real) cabal.


Why Netanyahu ordered more air strikes in Syria: Analysis

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Around 2:00am Sunday morning local time, Israeli fighter planes conducted another round of air strikes against Syrian targets. This was the second round of Israeli preemptive strikes in the last 48 to 72 hours.

The targets were in and near the capital city of Damascus, and early reports indicate they included storehouses for advanced missiles that the Assad regime was preparing to transfer to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.

Big questions:

  • Are more Israeli air strikes coming?
  • Will the Assad regime — or Hezbollah, or Iran — retaliate? Syrian officials are already calling Israel’s actions a “declaration of war.”
  • Will this trigger a new regional war, or help prevent one by sending a clear message to Israel’s enemies not to cross certain red lines?
  • How will the Obama administration and other world governments respond?

One thing is clear: Netanyahu is not waiting any longer for Obama to act. Israel is…

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The Alternatives to Patience

By Charles Stanley

Galatians 6:7-9

Have you ever felt the Lord calling you to something really big-maybe some task that seemed impossible or a goal that would no doubt take years to achieve? Most likely, some aspiration or God-given promise just came to mind. As you think about it, let’s consider three common courses of action.

First, we can take a shortcut. After all, if the Lord makes a promise or gives us a goal, wouldn’t He want us to attain it as quickly as possible? The answer is, Not necessarily. God often gives a pledge years before He brings it to pass. When we try to manipulate circumstances and “help” the Lord fulfill His promise, we’ll surely get in the way of the good things He has in mind for us. We should remember that part of the blessing will be the trust and wisdom that we gain while we are waiting.

Second, we can simply quit. We might tell ourselves, Who wants to wait ten years for anything? That is simply too long. I’d rather move on to something else. So we just walk away, forget that the opportunity ever came up, and try not to think about it anymore. But what a tragedy it is to say no to a promise of God and to miss out on the blessing He has planned for us.

Third, we can wait patiently and trust the Lord to bless us. This is clearly the best option, but sadly the one too many of us tend to avoid.

If someone were to say to you, “Ten years from today, I’m going to give you ten million dollars,” what would you say? Most likely, you would not respond, “No, thanks. I want it now or not at all.” Why then, do so many Christians say that to God? He has tremendous blessings in store for you-if you’re willing to wait.


Mirror, mirror…

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 16, sermon number 941, “The tender pity of the Lord.”

“If you cannot bear with your imperfect brother, take it for certain that you are very imperfect yourself.”

It ought to help us when we remember that we were converted through imperfect preachers. I am sure if any of you have been converted through my ministry, you have been converted through a very imperfect one. While I deeply regret my imperfections, yet in one sense I glory in my infirmities, because the power of God doth rest upon me.
For what are we! we cannot turn any to righteousness—the Lord alone can do that, but if by imperfect instruments you are blessed to the saving of your souls, you ought never again to be out of patience with imperfect people. Remember also that you are imperfect yourself. You can see great faults in others; but, my dear brother, be sure to look in the looking glass every morning and you will see quite as many faults, or else your eyes are weak. If that looking glass were to show you your own heart you would never dare look again, I fear you would even break the glass.
Old John Berridge, as odd as he was good, had a number of pictures of different ministers round his room, and he had a looking glass in a frame to match. He would often take his friend into the room and say, “That is Calvin, that is John Bunyan,” and when he took him up to the looking glass he would add, “and that is the devil.” “Why,” the friend would say, “it is myself.” “Ah,” said he, “there is a devil in us all.”
Being so imperfect we ought not to condemn. Remember also that if we are not patient and forbearing there is clear proof that we are more imperfect than we thought we were. Those who grow in grace grow in forbearance. He is but a mere babe in grace who is evermore saying, “I cannot put up with such conduct from my brother.” My dear brother, you are bound even to wash the disciples’ feet.
If you know yourself, and were like your Master, you would have the charity which hopeth all things and endureth all things. Remember that your brethren and sisters in Christ, with whom you find so much fault, are God’s elect for all that, and if he chose them, why do you reject them? They are bought with Christ’s blood, and if he thought them worth so much, why do you think so little of them?
Recollect, too, that with all their badness there are some good points in them in which they excel you. They do not know so much, but perhaps they act better. It may be that they are more faulty in pride, but perhaps they excel you in generosity; or if perhaps one man is a little quick in temper, yet he is more zealous than you. Look at the bright side of your brother, and the black side of yourself, instead of reversing the order as many do.
Remember there are points about every Christian from which you may learn a lesson. Look to their excellences, and imitate them. Think, too, that small as the faith of some of your brethren is, it will grow, and you do not know what it will grow to. Though they be now so sadly imperfect, yet if they are the Lord’s people, think of what they will be one day.
O brethren and sisters, shall we know them? shall we know ourselves when we once get to heaven, and are made like our Lord? There, my brother, though you are a quarrelsome man, I will not quarrel with you; I am going to live in heaven with you, and I will keep out of your way till then. I will not find fault with you, my friend, if I can help it, because you will be one day without fault before the throne of God. If God will so soon remove your faults, why should I take note of them? I will not peevishly complain of the rough stone, for I see it is under the Great Artist’s chisel, and I will tarry till I see the beauty which he brings out of it.


Going against God “just for fun”

Today we’re hearing a lot about Spiritism or Spiritualism, not to be confused with spiritual or spirituality, as in “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual,” or “I’m into spirituality.”  The term Spiritism has replaced what was once called animism and other religious practices involving the invocation of spiritual beings.

Some religions meld Spiritualism with Christianity.  For example, a blend of Christian and African folk beliefs that originated in Brazil is now practiced in the U.S.   Spiritualism is much the same as Spiritism only it has adopted Christian rites and prayers.  People visiting Spiritualistic services can be misled into thinking they’re Christian churches.  The problem is Christianity cannot be melded with any other religion or practice.


Busyness is Not a Virtue

People who often say they’re “too busy” or “crazy busy” sound like buzzing busy signals. And when you start sounding like an appliance, it makes it hard to connect with you. My reaction to your busy signal is much like that of Mindy Kaling, who sees stress as non-conversation:

No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.”


Likewise, going on about how busy you are isn’t conversation and doesn’t lead anywhere — except making your conversation partner bored, or worse, peeved. People who act super busy send the same message, making time spent with them never feel quite whole. Interestingly, I find that most people who are legitimately occupied — with their work, or family, or art, or what-have-you — rarely play the “too busy” card, or go out of their way to make time for meaningful connection exactly because they’ve been busy.

The Meaning Behind Busy

When you go on to other people, or to yourself, about being so busy, you’re often engaging in doublespeak. Let’s dig a little deeper to translate what you actually mean when you get in the habit of saying or acting like you’re too busy:

  • I matter. Being busy means I’m needed and significant in this great big universe. Though going around literally telling people, “I matter!” and expecting some sort of substantive conversation to result would be really weird, I’ll just say “I’m busy!” instead.
  • I am super-important. Doling out complaints and explanations about being too busy is the express line to a mini-ego trip. It’s going beyond “I matter” to “I matter … more than you” despite the fact that nobody ever wants to hear this.
  • I’m giving you an easy excuse. This is one of the easiest outs for stuff I don’t want to do. Alternatively, I’ve spent a lot of time being distracted or stuck, but this excuse allows me to feel okay with it.
  • I’m afraid. I keep relentlessly busy because I suffer from FOMO, or fear of missing out. I’m scared that I don’t matter, that I’m not important, that I’m not needed, so I’m going to spend my time on distracting stuff that doesn’t really matter, that’s not all that important, where I’m not actually needed.
  • I feel guilty. There’s fulfilling, meaningful stuff that I actually do want to do but I can rationalize it away instead of confronting challenges or changing direction. Alternatively, I think being busy is such a valuable quality that I’ll overbook myself to the point where I feel guilty for not getting to everything or for spending time on anything that doesn’t fit into a limited definition of “productive”.

The worship of busy-ness as such a virtue is where the trouble begins, providing the foundation to its indiscriminate use as a front or an excuse. It’s easy, even enticing, to neglect the importance of filling our time with meaning, thinking instead that we’ll be content with merely filling our time. We self-impose these measures of self-worth by looking at quantity instead of quality of activity.

How to Escape the Cult of Busy

In the children’s book (that every adult should read), The Phantom Tollbooth, the protagonist Milo comes across the frightening, faceless Terrible Trivium, a “demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.” Milo and his friends fall under his spell, agreeing to perform busy-work like moving a huge pile of sand from one place to another, grain by grain, using a tweezer. The Terrible Trivium’s explanation for this terrible fate?

If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing….

What a scary thought!

So if you find yourself feeling frazzled, habitually explaining away things with a busy status, it’s probably time to slow down and pay attention to the important, difficult stuff. Examine what is keeping you so busy compared to what you really should and want to be doing.

Here are a couple ways to start:

Track yo’ self.

In the quest to better connect your attention and action, do an attention audit. Track your time using a tool like Harvest or a time log spreadsheet. Break down how you spend time on the computer with RescueTime. Or see how you answer the questions of “What did you get done today?” and “What did you pay attention to today?” over time using iDoneThis.

Change your language:

We like this tip from Laura Vanderkam. Instead of putting things in terms of time and activity, frame them in terms of priority:

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Another thing you can do is once you have a clearer handle of your priorities and how you want to spend your energy, change your definition of “productivity” to encompass those things.

Press pause.

Not only do we need to rest and renew, we also have to slow down and pause to acknowledge our feelings, celebrate our accomplishments, and gain some insight.

Brené Brown explains how people stay busy out of habit and fear. She recommends letting go of “exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth” and allowing us to explore what matters:

[W]hen we make the transition from crazy-busy to rest, we have to find out what comforts us, what really refuels us, and do that. We deserve to not just put work away and be in service of someone else. What’s really meaningful for us? What do we want to be doing?

Do less and feel more joy.

The opposite of the fear of missing out, as Anil Dash so beautifully wrote, is the joy of missing outPay attention to what’s in front of you, and you’ll gain control and find joy.

Being the one in control of what moves me, what I feel obligated by, and what attachments I have to fleeting experiences is not an authority that I’m willing to concede to the arbitrary whims of an app on my mobile phone.

Feel more joy. Learn how to do lessStop spreading yourself so thin by saying “no” more, by saying “no” to being busy, and by meaning “yes” more fully.