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FAITHFUL | 40 Days of Focus, Day 14

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“You shall not commit adultery."
(Exodus 20:14) We've all heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Actually, that's a myth. First, in no way does that mean your particular marriage only has a 50% chance of lasting a lifetime. It simply means that at one point in our nation's history (a couple decades ago now) for every 2 marriages in a given year, there was 1 divorce. The divorce rate was half that of the marriage rate.

This phenomenon occurred on the heels of court rulings that gave women more authority and control in filing for divorce proceedings. When women were given the chance, they were finally able to end a bad marriage. Imagine being stuck in an abusive marriage, or knowing your spouse is sleeping around, and not being able to do anything about it.
In reality, however, the divorce rate has been on the decline - dropping around 18% over the past decade? Why? Because newly married young people are staying together longer. True, fewer young adul…

Let No One Separate

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On Wednesday one of our students, Lauren Woods, read a monologue that I had written for our class on Mark 10. It's one thing to read and discuss what Jesus says about marriage and divorce. It's another thing to imagine what kind of real world impact his words had - and continue to have today.

The monologue is based on Mark 10:1-12. The full script is below if you want to follow along or read it on your own.

LET NO ONE SEPARATE
Performed by Lauren Woods
Written by Daniel Lee



I remember it like it was yesterday. Every new bride is nervous in the beginning. Will he like me? Will he think I’m beautiful? Will I be able to satisfy his needs? How many children will I give him? What will our life be like? Could he ever possibly love me?
All these questions and doubts were swirling through my mind throughout the entire wedding ceremony. He seemed a nice enough man. My father had made all the arrangements with his family. He was ten years older than me. I was barely a woman – only thirteen.…

You don't know me?

On Monday I will be celebrating my third wedding anniversary with my wife. It's crazy how time flies. It's even crazier how much has happened during those three years.

But even before we were married, we dated for 4 1/2 years. So really, we've been together for 7 1/2 years. We've been friends for 8 years.

And I would say we know each other pretty well.

We may not be able to read each other's mind every time. And I still drop the ball on what she really wants sometimes. But she knows me better than anyone else on the planet and vice-versa.

And I definitely know her well enough to know she's not a killer.

A couple years ago a guy known as the "Craigslist Killer" was arrested for murder, robbery, and some other charges. All the while he was living with his fiance in a small apartment in the city. They had been together for over four years, and she didn't have a clue. She swore that he was the sweetest man she knew and that he could never hurt a fly.

Place Prepared

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Once again, human calculations and predictions about the end of the world, the return of Christ, the parousia if you want to sound fancy, have amounted to nothing more than hype and media coverage.

And this Sunday I'm preaching on John 14. How fitting.

Jesus has just dropped a bombshell on the dinner conversation. He's going to die. He's going to leave them and they can't come yet. What's more, Peter, the confession-giving, water-walking, sword-slinging disciple was just told that he will deny the very Christ he proclaims to defend. If Peter's faith will fail, what chance do the others have?

But Jesus reassures them. "Don't let your hearts be troubled; don't fret; don't worry; don't let all this confusion and doubt stand in your way. You believe in God, right? Then believe in me, too. My Father's house has many room, plenty of dwelling places, and I'm going to prepare a place for you. Yes, you. So if I go and prepare a place for you…

God hates....?

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I'm sure most of you have heard of the Westoboro Baptist Church, unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade or so. In which case, stop it! There are much more comfortable places to live.

This small group of mostly relatives "worships" in Topeka, Kansas, and protests, well, just about everywhere else. There is a documentary I watched recently, Fall From Grace, which follows and interviews members of this church. The travel around the country protesting and picketing at different events (including military funerals) and places (including synagogues and other churches). One of their most common three-word-signs is "God Hates Fags." And I hate using that word. It pains me to type it.

That's a strong accusation. They blame homosexuality for most of the catastrophes and hardships that befall the US, such as Katrina and 9/11.

The most unfortunate thing is that these people are not the only so-called Christians who have bought into the lie that G…

Huh...Who Knew?

I just read this interesting NY Times opinion article about the importance of monogamy in America. The author is not necessarily pushing for the religiously conservative save-yourself-for-marriage type of monogamy, but he points out a surprising trend occurring in the sexual lives of teens and young adults.


Stats show that in 2002 only 22% of those age 15-24 were virgins. That percentage rose to 28% in 2008. He goes on to say, "Successful abstinence-based programs (yes,they do exist) don’t necessarily make their teenage participants more likely to save themselves for marriage. But they make them more likely to save themselves forsomebody, which in turn increases the odds that their adult sexual lives will be a source of joy rather than sorrow."


Across the board, teens are not exactly saving themselves for marriage, but they are waiting longer and being more choosy. This also correlates to recent finds that show, "a significant correlation between sexual restraint and emot…