Monday, September 17, 2007

Good Doctrine Makes Better (Teenage) Saints

Proof that teenagers want the True Gospel From Desiring God:

By John Piper August 15, 2007

Here it is again. More evidence from surveys what the Bible makes so plain: superficial, non-doctrinal, non-serious Christians sin pretty much like the world; but more serious, more doctrinally oriented Christians lead lives that are morally distinct. Two years ago Ron Sider flagged this in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?

Now a new book by Mark Regnerus called Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers gives the same bleak picture of so-called “evangelical teenagers” who sleep around as much as unbelievers. But again the book points out that “the 16% of American teenagers who say that their faith is ‘extremely important to their lives’ are living chastely” (Gene Veith, “Sex and the Evangelical Teen,” World, August 11, 2007, p. 9).

Some of you may remember what Sider said two years ago. But here it is again. The point is that what he said then has now been confirmed again by a totally separate survey. May the Lord use both these studies to encourage us that even though growing a church by serious teaching of biblical truth may be harder and slower, it does bear more radical fruit than less doctrinally serious strategies of growth.

Here is what Sider says the more radically transformed Christians believe:

These people believe that “the Bible is the moral standard” and “absolute moral truths exist and are conveyed through the Bible.” In addition they agree with all six of the following additional beliefs: that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator who still rules the universe; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; Satan is a real, living entity; salvation is a free gift, not something we can earn; every Christian has a personal responsibility to evangelize; and the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches. (Scandal, p. 127)

Then Sider lists the kinds of behaviors this more doctrinally rigorous group tend to show.

They are nine times more likely than all the others to avoid “adult-only” material on the Internet. They are four times more likely than other Christians to boycott objectionable companies and products and twice as likely to choose not to watch a movie specifically because of its bad content. They are three times more likely than other adults not to use tobacco products and twice as likely to volunteer time to help needy people. Forty-nine percent of all born-again Christians with a biblical worldview have volunteered more than an hour in the previous week to an organization serving the poor, whereas only 29 percent of born-again Christians without a biblical worldview and only 22 percent of non-born-again Christians had done so. (Scandal, p. 128)

Sider concludes with a word that pastors and youth leaders should hear with great seriousness—mainly because the Bible teaches it, but also because Regnerus’s new book points in the same direction. Here is Sider’s conclusion:

[The] findings on the different behavior of Christians with a biblical worldview underline the importance of theology. Biblical orthodoxy does matter. One important way to end the scandal of contemporary Christian behavior is to work and pray fervently for the growth of orthodox theological belief in our churches. (Scandal, pp. 129-130)

Yes. Pray for sure. And work our heinies off teaching and preaching and modeling the Truth. And resist an entertainment model for youth ministry. And cultivate a joyfully blood-earnest atmosphere for worship. And call for our youth and our retirees to go risk their lives somewhere for the risen King Jesus. This is where serious truth-driven ministry takes us.

Growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus with you,

Pastor John
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Congratulations Robert and Kimberly on the birth of your son!

Congratulations Robert and Kimberly on the birth of your son, Camren Emmanuel Owens (CEO) on 10th September, 2007, 8lbs.

Welcome and Happy Birthday from uncle Joe and aunty Tiff. We give you lots of love.

What a blessing it is to add to your family this bundle of joy - who by the way looks just like his father.

To Rob and Kim, we're so proud of you and you know you can call on us anytime. Keep smiling and praying. And GET MARRIED so that you may experience God's blessings in that wonderful union.

To Demetrius, I hope you're prepared for your role as the big brother.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Psalm 127: 3-4

Friday, September 14, 2007

You Think I Look Like...

I mistakenly stumbled upon a site, that among other things, allows you to view and compare yourself to celebrities through its "face recognition technology." I was curious to find out what celebrity I resemble the most. So I registered with this site and uploaded a picture of myself. A few seconds later, I was paired with nine celebrities (I was only allowed to select 8) that this recognition technology thought I resembled the most, including rapper Kanye West...What? - I know, right.

As it turns out (and you can see the above results), I most resemble Gabrielle Union followed by Whitney Houston, Alek Wek, Jayne Mansfield, Michelle Branch, Brandy Norwood, Rosario Dawson and Vivica A. Fox.

I've seen this type of comparison and commentary by late show comedians and other entertainment shows that would attempt to make a comparison as to what celebrities resemble other celebrities. Some even joke and predict what the offspring would look like if they were to "hook up.”

This behavior say's a lot about our culture and sickness of heart, that we would subject ourselves to compare ourselves with each other. This is dangerous because besides both physical and spiritual consequences are far beyond our comprehension. The Bible warns us of that it is not wise to compare ourselves; We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12) This scripture is hard enough to understand; however I would suggest that the meaning is that we should never look upon another's successes, losses, works, gifts and say that we are better than them or would be better-off had we had the chances and resources as the other person.

Young women should never physically compare themselves to anyone, particularly celebrities because more often times than not, the reality behind the projected image(s) have been altered. The result is a lie or fabrication that has been presented to us to make a profit off of their "product." Do you understand what I’m saying to you?

Our goal and heart should be set on pleasing God and making every effort to Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. (Ephesians 5:1-3)

If you still need it put another way before you consider what I’m trying to say, imagine this: You and your friends are walking down King Drive, when a car pulls beside you. Two men jump out of the car and force you and your girls into the back seat. They take you to a place unrevealed to you until you arrive there. You find out that you have been taken out of the United States to a country where your freedoms, language, customs, education and beliefs mean absolutely nothing, because now you are forced to do whatever the king has demanded – no questions asked. If you refuse, you are subject to the guillotine to be executed. However, you want to eat some of your favorite foods, but all that’s offered is the king’s food. You want to pray to God and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, but you know if you did this, you would be taken into the guillotine.

What would you do? Surely, you wouldn’t give into this king who took you from your home without your permission and is now dictating to you every second of your life.

I could tell you what I would do, but that would be cheating. I would hope however, that you would make a decision to be faithful to what you have learned and to honor God even if that means to the point of death.

Now, I know that comparing yourself to a celebrity is not to the extreme that I described above but you need to be prepared to understand the difference of being “in” the world and not “of” the world. That’s what Daniel and his friends (read Daniel Chapt. 1) Despite the decrees from the king, Daniel and his friends refused to bow and turn from God. Which is what we must do when this world would attempt to dictate to us that we have to be as they are.

Would you search your heart for the dedication that Daniel had, and consider repenting (turning away) from all that separates you from God? I want you to think about making a decision to be like Christ. Make a decision to take a risk and share this with others.

Check out this video by Dove, The Evolution of Beauty. Although I don't agree with the whole self-esteem campaign, I do believe that our image of beauty and what beauty is has become distorted. Allow Christ to renew your mind that you may see that you are a creation of His.,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

High School Musical: Singing The Same Ol' Song

Young girls today are arguably making decisions about their lives with little or no guidance, support or supervision. It is clear and we can all see with our own eyes via the consequences that result and expose this very fact. Vanessa Hudgens is a very fine example. Although some think her current mis-hap is very well calculated to boost her career.
View this on Vanessa Hudgens
posted by healtheland.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Can I Reach You?

Perhaps the title of this post should be "How Can I Reach You?" I'm talking to the African American girl(s) that invests her time watching the "reality" shows and music videos that increasingly tell you that you are nothing. That you are not good enough the way you are-shrewdly convincing you that you need more of whatever it is they have or want to sell you.

Who are they? I'm glad you ask. They are the conglomerate corporate monsters called businessmen and CEO's that sit and wait for you to fall for the schemes that they portray to you as real life. They care nothing about you-it's all about the money, honey.

You see, as long as you are unaware of the manipulation of your mind, they can convince you to do anything, watch anything, think they way they want you to think and eventually steal your very identity-that's the thing that make you unique in personality and character. How can I convince you of this? Just think for a couple of seconds as to the last time you made up your own mind about the brand/label of jeans you purchased...go ahead, think about it........... Now, I can guarantee you that you saw your favorite singer or actress wearing and bragging about theirs. Then you just knew you had to have yours, right? Right! Okay, now think about the number one song from five months ago, four months ago, three, two, one. Can't remember can you? We'll that's no accident. Things change in the entertainment biz, they have to because those behind the scenes know that you (the consumer) are smart and will eventually put the pieces of the puzzle together and come to the conclusion that you have been duped out of your money (for purchasing the crap they sell) so the things have to continually evolve. They evolve from being good to great, then hot to hottest, from crunk to tight, eventually...nothing will be good enough - I call that the distortion of morality and judgement of the American culture, particularly the American Black youth.

I know that you have a mind of your own and I am not here to manipulate you to think the way I think, but I want you to think independently of the culture that has been spoon-fed to you since the day before you were born. I care about you and the quality of life you live. I am here to tell you the truth about what the world thinks about you and why they do NOT want you to rise above the BET/VH1/MTV culture.

So you see... I want to reach you not for me, but for you. I believe that the time for young ladies to be young ladies is now. I hope you agree. Some things we take for granted too often and sadly, one important thing we take for granted is ourselves. We are young women and if we act like young thugs, then what has happened to us? Where is our etiquette, moral conscious and faith?

I know this is a lengthy read but before you exit, think about how you want to be remembered when you cease to exist on this earth - that is when you die? What do you want to be said at your funeral? Will they say about you?