Sunday Night Reflections

Nov 5, 2006

I am tired…and I have several thoughts I want to address…three actually—the first being today’s message, the second being what has taken place with Ted Haggard and the third being my post from Thursday. 

First…today’s message was by far the heaviest and most difficult message I have EVER done in my ministry career.  After the first service I felt like someone had thrown up all over me…and after the second service I nearly broke down in tears…I actually asked the second service to pray for me because I didn’t want to come back tonight and give that talk again.  Tonight when I went out on stage my stomach was in knots…and it didn’t get easier as I went along.  (You can download the message here.)

The title of the message was, “How To Have An Affair.”  I admit that I stole the title…but we took the message and made it our own.  It was TENSE!!!  BUT…as I said this morning…I am tired of churches that merely screw around with “deep issues” that no one gives a crap about…all the while people are struggling with REAL issues that matter…but rather than hit them head on the church RUNS from them.

I think it’s time the church started to wake up & smell the Starbucks…to meet people where they are…deal with the issues that people deal with every day…and show them how real Jesus and HIS word are…and how He can pull us out of the situations we get ourselves into.  As I said tonight…Jesus not only came to save us from hell—but He also wanted to save us from hell on earth.

We hit this subject HEAD ON!!!  AND I felt the heaviness of the people in the audience.  WOW…NewSpring, please—pray that God will use our church as a healing place to restore marriages and save entire families.

Second—Ted Haggard…this story has broken my heart.  I am angry and sad at the same time.  Angry at the enemy that he has taken down another leader.  Sad because Ted had an incredible ministry that was reaching thousands of people.

I know there are those in the Christian community that will throw rocks…I’m not going to do that here because I know that, if it were not for God’s grace, that I would be in places a lot worse than where Ted is right now!!!

This story scared me…because I want SO bad to finish well in my ministry.  I thought about this at the Clemson game on Saturday when our team had a lot of BIG PLAYS that pushed our team WAY down the field…but because we could not get the ball in the end zone we eventually lost the game.  I do not want to be the pastor that has BIG PLAYS but cannot finish the drive.

I say that to say this…please pray for me!!!  I have boundaries in my life—I have people I am accountable to…but I need your prayers.  I am pure—and am convinced that ONE of THE reasons I am that way is because of the numerous people who lift me up.  If you do not attend NewSpring then pray for your pastor…every day…by name—that God will protect him, his marriage, his thought life…EVERYTHING!

The thing that REALLY got my attention was when I realized that Ted is in his 50’s…and then I thought back to Swaggart and Baker—who I believe were also past 50…folks, the enemy does not “ease up” when we get older—he comes at us harder.  SO please—pray for those you know in ministry!!

Third—THIS POST from Thursday set a new record in hits at!!!  WOW—I had an idea it might create some interest—but HOLY COW.  (And this is the LAST thing I am saying about this for a while!)

What has amazed me the most has been two things…

The first being the number of people who have approached me to talk about it.  I have been asked some questions over the past few days that would probably make a sailor blush…but I answered them…if you have the guts to ask—then I have the guts to answer.

The second is the people who have e-mailed in trying to defend masturbation!!!  Let me say this again—just so you can be sure where I stand…IT’S WRONG!!!  And dudes—quit telling me that you are a man and that you need a release…because that’s not true.  WHAT is true, if you are a dude who masturbates, is that you are actually a pervert who needs to practice self control!!!  QUIT IT!!!

I’ve always heard the best way to measure whether or not you would do something is by asking the question, “Would you do that if Jesus were sitting next to you?”  NOW…apply that to masturbation, could you honestly look at Jesus in the face and say, “Hey, I need a release…you understand don’t you?” For some reason I am thinking NO would be the answer…so, once again, YES, it’s wrong!!!

Whew—that’s it—I’m tired…don’t forget this coming Sunday I will be talking about the role of biblical manhood…YEAH!