Consumer Christianity

American culture is designed for the consumer. When I was young and we purchased something called “record albums” they usually contained three good songs, two mediocre songs and then a couple of stinkers. You bought them all and you listened to them all, but not now! Now we buy only the songs we like and we design Internet radio stations that only plays music we like. I enjoy living in a world without the Bee Gees, Justin Bieber or anything disco. I’m a consumer, they need my business, so I am in charge! We don’t do business with those who don’t please us.

 

That attitude may be fine in the business world but when we carry that attitude over into our faith, into the way we follow Jesus and the way we participate in church, it is devastating. If you walk into a church thinking that they need your business and your money and so they better please you and give you what you want or else we’ll take your business elsewhere, you have fallen into Christian consumerism.

 

You might be a Christian consumer if;

–      Your relationships with other Jesus followers are superficial.

–      If you think this sermon is directed at everyone else except you.

–      If you criticize the church service at lunch like a movie critic picks apart movies.

–      If you don’t give or you’ve withheld your giving because you did like what someone else did.

–      If you’ve ditched church because you didn’t feel like going.

–      If the highest spiritual authority in your life is you and what you think.

–      If you regularly say “no” to opportunities to serve without even praying about it.

 

When you treat your faith and your church like a cell phone plan – always ready to jump ship for newer and cheaper technology – you are infected with the deadly virus of Christian consumerism.

 

Here’s what Jesus said: Matthew 10:43 Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Jesus does not call you into consumership but into discipleship. Disciples serve. Disciples give. Disciples love. Disciples go second. Disciples put others ahead of themselves. Disciples give their life for a bigger cause than their own comfort. Disciples suffer.

 

Mother Theresa rose to great heights even to the place where she addressed the president of the United States. How did she get to those heights? By going low and by giving her life. One of the biggest growth spurts that you’ll ever have in your faith is when you realize that Jesus is not here to simply serve you, but you are here to serve Jesus. It will be when you realize that the church is not here to simply serve you, but you are here to serve the church. But oh how consumers loathe that idea.

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20 reasons John the Baptist couldn’t make it today

There’s no doubt that John, the one they called the Baptist, that odd man out in the wilderness, would never make it in today’s culture. Here’s 20 reasons why:

 

  1. Location, location, location. This man chose the wilderness and a muddy river to set up shop. Nobody goes out there for church except the rednecks.
  2. His clothes gave off the wrong impression. For heaven sakes he wore camel skin! He could’ve pimped it up at least a little!
  3. The carry in dinners were all wrong. His diet of locusts and honey left a lot to be desired.
  4. He actually baptized people, by immersion, publicly, for repentance of sin in an unheated river! That is so out!
  5. He was way too candid. John had no problem telling people what God said and that was a problem for some people.
  6. He demanded too much of people. He wasn’t much for the “user friendly gospel” of these days.
  7. He scorned pedigree and tradition. He despised fake religion.
  8. He was all about promoting another ministry instead of his own. He kept talking about Jesus and eventually everyone started following Him and that left John high and dry.
  9. He never hired a marketing specialist. He had no radio, TV, website, or newspaper presence, he only had the Holy Spirit.
  10. He was not what you would call high-tech. He wasn’t using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art equipment to thrill the crowds.
  11. His music wasn’t jammin’. Every great preacher needs a great worship leader and John clearly didn’t have that.
  12. His pews weren’t padded. He probably made people sit on the rocks, or worse yet, stand.
  13. He didn’t have any credentials or PhD’s.
  14. His life experience was minimal. With no wife or kids or tattoos how could he relate to anyone?
  15. He didn’t have big hair. His grooming left much to be desired unlike today’s TV sized personalities.
  16. He didn’t have a wife with big hair. Enough said!
  17. His message wasn’t positive enough. He didn’t build up too many people’s self-esteem when he called out their sins.
  18. He didn’t cater to every age group. There was no children’s ministry, youth ministry, college ministry, singles ministry, senior’s ministry, dog lover’s ministry, etc.
  19. He meddled in politics. He called out a politician for his immorality and was killed for it.
  20. He was from another era. John was a throwback to a day that didn’t exist anymore.

 

All this frumpy and grumpy man did was raise the spiritual temperature of Israel about 50° and prepare them for the coming of Jesus Christ. He did it not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. May we do the same.

Why we have a hard time forgiving.

I tell you why I’m not going to forgive you…

–      Because you owe me and you don’t deserve to be let off the hook.

–      Because I’m mad and I’m not going to take it anymore.

–      Because you look like you’re enjoying life and I’m just miserable.

–      Because you have to be held accountable and on the one to do it.

–      Because you might do this again to somebody else and so I must broadcast what you did to everyone, everywhere.

 

When you forgive someone you have to cancel the debt that they owe you. Our natural inclination is to never cancel that debt. The paradox is that when it comes to the debt that we owe God, we revel in God’s grace through Jesus and receive an entire cancellation of our debt, but when it comes to what others owe us we find it very difficult to extend forgiveness.

 

Jesus told story about that…

 

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someonewho sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

 

There it is, forgiveness is canceling the debt. It is erasing what is owed to you. To not forgive will jeopardize your relationship with God. To not forgive means you will be tortured.

 

When it comes to forgiveness I get a lot of questions thrown my way. Forgiveness is complicated. To make it easier I have created a list of what forgiveness will not do.

 

  1. Forgiveness will not untangle them from their sin, but it will entangle you from their sin.
  2. Forgiveness will not restore their integrity, but it will protect yours.
  3. Forgiveness is not excusing them or letting them off God’s hook, it’s letting them off of your hook, they no longer owe you.
  4. Forgiveness will not make you forget, some things need to be remembered so that they will not be repeated.
  5. Forgiveness does not mean that they will not pay for what they did, it means that payment will be extracted by God, not you.
  6. Forgiveness does not mean that you cover up bad things and you go on living in an abusive relationship.
  7. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that God removes their sin. That can only come with repentance.
  8. Forgiveness does not restore their purity.
  9. Forgiveness does not mean the relationship will be restored to what it once was, it means that you will be restored.

 

The truth is whoever owes you can never pay you back anyway so why not just close the account and say, “you don’t owe me anymore.”

Get Behind Me

Matthew 16:21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

 

Theology in America is all over the place. Everybody believes something different but there seems to be a common thread of belief in this incident with Peter all the way to our present day; we want God to make things easy and to keep suffering far away from us. Isn’t that the point of Peter’s rebuke of Jesus?

 

Peter grew up with the same kind of theology many of us have grown up with. He had heard that the Messiah would come in glorious power and would forcibly crush his enemies while he took the throne and elevated his people to prominence. Once that was done life would be easy. No wonder the disciples argued over who would get to sit next to Jesus in his kingdom!

 

We have grown up with the same strain of theology in our day. This thinking says Jesus is going to make life easy and that suffering will be practically. With Jesus involved marriage will be blissful, our children will be obedient, finances will be plentiful, health problems will be minimal and our emotional life will be tuned to happy. When there is a disruption in any of these areas we immediately think that we must have sinned, backslidden or garnered God’s disfavor in some way. Too often this very theology is made prominent by the constant appearances of certain TV preacher’s.

 

When Jesus messed up Peter’s theology by announcing that betrayal, suffering, injury, beating and death were in the future, I’m sure that it came as a shock. In fact it was so shocking that Peter felt like he had to straighten Jesus out. Surely the man who had walked on the water, raised the dead and calmed storms could call for an angel army to defeat his enemies.

 

I wonder how many times we have had this same conversation with Jesus, trying to straighten him out when it comes to his plan. How many times have we told Jesus that his plan was wrong because it included pain instead of ease, sweat instead of air-conditioning, tears instead of smiles, cost instead of benefit, death instead of life, getting up early instead of sleeping in, going overseas instead of staying home and dealing with problematic people instead of those who have it all together? We have all done that.

 

Our misguided theology makes us believe that Jesus came to assure our comfort, our financial advancement, our prosperity, our ease, our happiness and to validate and affirm our lifestyle no matter what it might be. That is not the mission of Jesus Christ. After Peter’s correction of Jesus, Jesus has heard enough and rebukes the Satanic words that had come from Peter’s mouth. Jesus basically points out that the theology of ease, comfort and no suffering comes straight from Satan. It’s the theology that’s always talking us out of expending ourselves for the kingdom. If the theology that says God would never have us get uncomfortable or suffer for his cause. It’s the theology of the easy way. It is the theology of Satan.

 

Jesus told Peter to stop seeing things from a “human point of view.” Maybe that’s good advice for us today as well. Maybe we need to stop looking at God from our human, limited, small minded and selfish point of view.

My Worst critic ever

There is nothing pleasant about being criticized and we all seem to have our fair share of critics, but in real life there seems to be one that rises above all others. I have a critic like that. This guy is relentless, he picks on literally everything, nothing escapes his attention, and much of the time I am forced to agree with him. He seems to know my every move; where I’m lazy, where I haven’t studied enough, my habits, my moods, the depth of my prayers and even my personal feelings. Then he begins to harp on each and every one of them telling me how insufficient I am, that I’m a failure, that I’m not measuring up, that I should just give it up and do something else. This critic points at things all around my life to prove his point;

–      Church attendance should be higher and it’s your fault it’s not.

–      Commitment should be deeper and it’s your fault.

–      Those people should be more happy and it’s your fault that they’re not.

–      “You shouldn’t have said that.”

–      “You should’ve gone more often.”

–      “You should’ve been more patient.”

 

It’s always something.

 

I know what you’re thinking, “why don’t you just dump this sorry loser? Kick him to the curb! Block his e-mails, stop his phone calls and delete his texts. You don’t need to listen to that!” I would love to do that but the critic that I’m talking about is…ME! That critic is living inside of me and that judgment is stemming from a black hole deep down within me. I just can’t shake me off. I just can’t shut me up. Something drives me to try to live up to an impossibly unattainable standard. Have you ever had that problem?

 

So let me give you the five easy ways to get over this problem…NOT! Don’t you hate those five easy step programs that never work? I have to admit that this is one of those issues that I have to be relentless about. I have found an interesting statement by Paul (who probably struggled with the same problem!):

 

 1 Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

 

“I don’t even judge myself.” Interesting. He goes on to say in verse five that God will bring to light the things that are hidden within us, our very purposes. So I am trying to allow God, to allow the Holy Spirit to bring the light the things that I need changed in my life. I’m trying not to judge myself. I’m trying not to scan every nook and cranny of my life for those things which I deem as unacceptable and trying to allow the Holy Spirit to bring those things to light. And I am trying to listen to the voice of my Savior instead of that critical voice whose roots lie not in love but in some kind of misplaced fear. My job is not to be my own worst critic, the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. I could use a little more conviction of my righteousness through Jesus rather than my failures to live up to somebody else’s standards.

 

So I am trying to let myself off the hook. The devil is the master of saying that you’ve never done enough; if you’ve prayed for 10 minutes, he says you should have prayed for 20! If you gave $1000 you should have given $2000. There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1), that stuff comes from our enemy. I must be relentless in this pursuit and so must you. Self judgment is just another way that we try to do the work of the Holy Spirit by perfecting ourselves in making ourselves acceptable to a holy God. It doesn’t work. What Jesus did on the cross is sufficient. I must accept that.

I want to enjoy it, not develop it!

Somebody blew us off recently! This well taught church “consumer” came in to check out what we could offer him. He was hoping to find a ready to go, already set up, primed and polished ministry for his age group. When he didn’t find what he was looking for, he politely informed us that he wasn’t interested in creating such a ministry, he was just hoping to find one already thriving that he could easily attach himself to. When we didn’t he didn’t either!

 

This story is told in countless different churches and in countless different ways so this post is to celebrate those who develop flourishing ministries. Behind every successful children’s ministry, in the midst of every flourishing student ministry, or college ministry, or adult ministry, or nursery, or senior ministry or any other kind of ministry there is someone who started it. There is that lone person, or that couple who started the ball rolling and it wasn’t easy. This person had a vision or a burden to solve a problem. Oftentimes they launched their group in the worst room of the building, the place nobody else was using. They started with minimal resources usually bought with money out of their own pocket. They promoted their vision and sought some workers to come alongside of them. They didn’t have much training but they had a lot of zeal and off they went. At first hardly anybody attended and it seemed like the people that did come were very needy and not very attractive. But they plugged away. They were faithful. They cried tears when it seemed it wasn’t working but they didn’t want to give up so they made more contacts, made the studies more interesting, urged people to bring their friends. They would drive the church van and pick up anybody willing to come. They dealt with the drama that came with leadership. They innovated, they got others involved, and they kept on working.

 

In the midst of pursuing what they believed was God’s will they got discouraged, they got criticized, the devil attacked, the prayers seemed unanswered, they preached victory but felt defeated but they kept plugging away. They planned trips, raised money, sold hot dogs, and spread themselves thin all for the sake of the ministry. They prayed, they wept with their people, and they fell in love with each and every one of them. They cleaned up the messes and kept on going. They rejoiced every time a great prospect showed up hoping that this person might be a cornerstone or a leader in this effort. Their heart broke when they didn’t come back because they were looking for something already up and running, something easy.

 

Finally the day came. For some inexplicable reason the momentum shifted and the ministry came to life. People were changed, life came from death, God moved, there were baptisms and people were “getting it.” Leaders sprang up out of nowhere and the ministry gained a great reputation. Suddenly those who were so hard to get in and so reluctant to join came out of nowhere. They wanted to be associated with this group. They wanted to be a part. The fruit of the ministry was delicious and many wanted to take a bite.

 

Let us celebrate all those who were not deterred by the days of hardship, the days of toil, the days of drain. Let us celebrate those who plowed and cultivated and pulled weeds and planted and watered and waited and waited and waited.

 

It is easy to walk in and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labors. I am happy to share the fruit with anyone, but let us remember that it only became what it became because of somebody’s effort. It is a shallow person indeed who shows up to eat a well-prepared meal without any intention of being involved in the preparation. God bless the faithful workers who don’t give up easily. You have made the church work!

What if My Fate were in your hands?

God put Moses in a very awkward position. There was a moment in time when the fate of every person under his leadership lay in his hands.

 

When Moses made his pitstop at Mt. Sinai as he was traveling toward the promised land, his prolonged absence while on the mountain created a mess for the people in the Valley. After 40 days the people decided Moses was dead and made for a golden idol and then worshiped it with moral abandon. Moses was disgusted, but God was even more disgusted. It was a pitiful display of faithlessness and vulgarity. That is when God spoke these fateful words to Moses:

 

Ex. 32:9 Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. 10 Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”

 

This is the moment of truth for Moses. The fate of the people of the people now lay in his hands. God is almost stroking Moses’ ego saying that he can destroy the faithless people and make something better out of Moses. It was up to Moses. What would you do? What if this kind of power were put into your hands?

 

What is Moses going to do at this moment? We know what he did because he wrote it down! He prayed for the people, he interceded on their behalf, and then he told God that if he would destroy the people then he should destroy himself as well; 32 But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!”

 

Do you think those timid and sinful followers were relieved? I bet they were. I bet they were glad to have someone like Moses who love them and cared for them with such grace.

 

What if that were you? Would you have abandoned those people to do your own thing? What if that power, what if the fate of others had been put in your hand? I’m telling you that this kind of power has been put in your hands! We are responsible for the lives of thousands of people; our coworkers, our golf partners, our neighbors, our daycare providers, our families, the person we bank with, literally every relationship we have.

I want you to know that a great responsibility is been put up on our shoulders and peoples lives are hanging in the balance depending on what you do with this responsibility.

 

Have you ever been at the mercy of someone else? Maybe it was a judge who had the sole power to determine your guilt or innocence, or how much time you would get this spend with your kids after a divorce. Maybe it was a job situation where whether you kept working or were fired was solely in the hands of your boss. Maybe you’ve been at the mercy of your parents as they threaten to take away your privileges. Or maybe it was a bank that you hoped would have mercy and not foreclose on your home.

 

It is a very uncomfortable feeling to lose control of your life, or your relationships, or the ability to pay a bill and be at the mercy of someone else.

 

And here’s the key point; the fate of your family, the fate of this church, the fate of every junior high, high school, elementary school kid, the fate of every family in the fate of every person in this city belongs to someone; it may belong to you. Basically God has entrusted us with a mission and we decide who gets to hear it and who doesn’t, how they get to hear it, when they get to hear it and if they get to hear it. We get to decide who lives and who dies.

 

When I think about these two stories this thing comes into my mind; I have been placed in Parkersburg, West Virginia in the year 2013 for a purpose and for a mission. This church exists for a purpose and for a mission. We are here to bring some heaven to earth, we are here to bring Jesus into every day situations, into real people’s lives. We are here to see that the city gets to hear this message, and not only hear it,

but they get to see it,

they get to see it lived out,

they get to see it lived out with love,

with grace,

with power,

with compassion,

with excitement,

in trial,

with joy,

during sickness,

in births,

in weddings,

in funerals and at death.

 

I’m just saying that the fate of many people is on our shoulders and whether they live or die, whether it’s heaven or hell, really depends on us. The temptation for us is to say that the job is too hard, that people are too far gone and to walk away. I’m saying you can’t do that. Someone’s life is hanging in your decision.

–      As a parent your kids are hanging on your decision.

–      Your coworkers are hanging in your decision.

–      Your students are hanging in your decision.

–      The fate of the church and of the movement of Jesus in this community hangs on your decision.

 

What story are you part of?

You are part of the spiritual story that is being written in your community. Which story are you involved in?

 

One story is the story of Jesus followers who are broken hearted over the spiritual condition of their community. These Christians are driven to their knees in prayer to ask God to apply the mighty power of the cross of Jesus to their neighborhoods. These humble believers can’t accept the status quo and are troubled by the apathy and complacency that others have toward spiritual things. They then arise from their knees and go to war against every place our enemy, Satan, has reared his ugly head. They serve, they work and they declare the infinite and unlimited glory of Jesus Christ. They believe that in Jesus there is an answer for the divorce rate, for the broken homes, for the poverty mindset and for the utterly empty and purposeless that engulfs many lives. These Jesus followers know that the porn addict, the alcoholic, the drug addict, the defeated, the despairing and the depressed can be delivered by His grace. These believers are part of the story of life, new life and revival. They are assets to their church and to their community. God is writing a story of renewal and they are playing a major role in what God is up to. People are being impacted by the generosity of these Christians and long held stereotypes toward church are being broken down. They are changing the spiritual condition of their world.

 

There is another story. It is the story of the spiritual demise of a community. There are major players in this story as well. It’s not the story of the devil and his followers who are trying to do as much evil as possible to ruin a community; it’s the story of another group who claim to be Christians and attend church as well, but their heart isn’t broken. No, they are actually reinforcing the stereotypes that the world has toward Jesus and the church of Jesus. It’s not that they’re doing anything bad, but no one’s going to call them a force for God and certainly no one’s going to heaven because of them. Their so-called faith is more like a duty; it’s a necessity to get to heaven but not a priority to live while they’re on the Earth. In fact, Jesus is sort of a nuisance to them and they certainly don’t organize their life around Him. Their religion is an hour-long weekend experience that is quickly forgotten. While droves of people all around them are marching to hell they will rarely do anything to stop them; that is inconvenient and inconvenience is a great sin. It’s a self centered kind of faith. They have Jesus to make sure that they make it into eternity but they just don’t want to do what he says now. The world looks at their religion and is unimpressed and unmoved.

 

We are part of one of these stories; the story of life or death. Which one are you part of?

Drainers and Drano

Mark 1:35 and in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.

 

Private time was a constant practice and discipline in the life of Jesus. For much of Jesus’ ministry he had the status of a rock star. Everywhere he went he was thronged by anxious and needy crowds. They hung on his every word and came to touch or be touched by him. At times in his travels he could no longer enter towns openly and at night he was forced into the lonely places of the wilderness where he could be alone. Even then his disciples had a hard time letting him rest.

 

Mark tells us that in those private times Jesus prayed. This should tell us that prayer is way more than a laundry list of things we need from God; it is a two-way communication where we are renewed and equipped and given our daily bread for what’s in front of us. Remember it is daily bread; not weekly, or monthly but every day.

 

I think that we can say that Jesus balanced his life in a healthy way. Often you would find him spending time in spiritual renewal, he did not neglect this part of his life. We should not neglect this part of our lives either.

 

The disciplines we need to keep ourselves sharp as followers of Jesus have been talked about and taught throughout our life. Things like;

–      Spending time in the Bible allowing the word to speak to us.

–      Prayer at a designated time and place.

–      Possibly books and music that fill our hearts.

–      Gathering together with other believers.

–      Confession of our sins and forgiveness of sins against us.

–      Accountability, allowing someone to challenge us.

–      Being quick to listen and slow to speak. It is a great discipline to stop using our words in a way that makes everyone think correctly of us.

 

Maybe we don’t see it, but there are many things that are draining our spiritual vitality. With Jesus it was the constant clamor of people around him wanting something from him. Jesus could never escape people and their problems, their sicknesses, their need for affirmation or their simple need to be touched. People drain us. It seems that in most relationships we give more than we take. When people keep taking from you it eventually sucks the spirit out of you.

 

Those people could be the ones we work with and the politics of the place we work in. Every day we have to watch our footing in that environment and watch our tongue as well and that can be draining.

 

Those people could be the ones that we live with. Our very homes could be filled with drama or tensions which drain us.

 

There are other things that are constantly draining our spirit in this fast-paced world that we live in. I would contend that spending hours on end listening to talk radio or news channels or talk shows slowly drains us. Why? Because these venues harp on fear and discouragement and that the world is falling apart around us and there’s no leader on the right side that can change it. Have you ever seen the commercials that push the cholesterol drugs? They show little particles of plaque floating through your veins until they pile up in one place causing a heart attack. These news outlets spew out particles of plaque that can end up collecting on our soul until we are fearful and discouraged and negative like everyone else.

 

And what about the messages that comes from entertainment? Television shows often offend our convictions, sometimes our music has a message that competes with THE message and who can hear the name of our Lord used as a curse word? This can leave our spirit aching.

 

I remember warnings as a kid about rock music and its influence on me. I was always cautioned that the driving beat of the music and the words would deposit something bad inside of me. They were even playing records backwards looking for hidden messages that somehow our subconscious was hearing which would lead to smoking weed! I bet those same people live on a steady diet of Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity and never think twice about what is being deposited into their souls!

 

Jesus teaches us that there is a daily discipline that requires new forgiveness, a fresh cleansing, a hot meal and a renewal of our heart, mind and strength. Paul talked about “putting off” the old man like taking off old clothes and then he added that we should “put on” Christ like a freshly laundered set of clothes. However you want to explain it we need a daily time of renewal. What you ate yesterday has already been digested; you need to eat for today.