Episode 32

Disciple Up # 32
Merry Go Round Morality & Sexual Harassment
By Louie Marsh, 11-22-2017

Bible talks about it:

2  And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. Genesis 34:2 (ESV)

5  Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6  And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7  She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.” 8  Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9  Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” Ruth 2:5-9 (ESV)

The Bible Expressly Forbids it:

 “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.” Deuteronomy 22:25-27

3  But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:3-4 (ESV)

THE CULTURAL MERRY-GO-ROUND:

 From a largely Biblical sexual view to extremely libertine and now – in this one area – back to Biblical. Strange isn’t it?

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Episode 31

Disciple Up
The Not Always Natural Act of Giving Thanks!

THANKSGIVING DAY PROCLAMATIONS

Washington’s

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor — and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Ronald Reagan’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
September 27, 1982

Two hundred years ago, the Congress of the United States issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation stating that it was “the indispensable duty of all nations” to offer both praise and supplication to God. Above all other nations of the world, America has been especially blessed and should give special thanks. We have bountiful harvests, abundant freedoms, and a strong, compassionate people.

I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness and freedom.

Today we have more to be thankful for than our pilgrim mothers and fathers who huddled on the edge of the New World that first Thanksgiving Day could ever dream of. We should be grateful not only for our blessings, but for the courage and strength of our ancestors which enable us to enjoy the lives we do today. Let us affirm through prayers and actions our thankfulness for America’s bounty and heritage.

Thanksgiving day isn’t a duty to disciples – it’s an opportunity

Quotes:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”  – Harry Ironside

There should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” – A.W. Tozer

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G.K. Chesterton

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.” – Warren W. Wiersbe

“Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything.” – Dwight L. Moody

Praise isn’t always natural

“Why do you complain about me? All of you have rebelled against me,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 2:29 (GW)

It can be extremely painful

17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (ESV)

Praise at it’s most precious is an act of the will

6  With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good. Psalm 54:6 (ESV)

 15  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)

Real Praise Costs Us -often very precious things

But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Sam. 24:24

Real Praise shows in how I act…

25  I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need… 29  So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30  for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. Philippians 2:25,29-30 (ESV)

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Episode 30

Disciple Up # 30
Losing & Engaging Our Culture

Show Notes:

Sites I read from and refer too in podcast:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-u-s-is-retreating-from-religion/

https://allendowney.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-retreat-from-religion-is.html

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-religious-consolidations-20171010-htmlstory.html#nws=true

1) I engage my culture by overcoming evil by DOING GOOD.

14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21 (ESV)

  • I respond to cultural rejection by HELPING THOSE who hurt me.

14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

17  Repay no one evil for evil,

19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves

20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink

21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

  • I resist the temptation to always try and CHEER PEOPLE UP.

15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

  • I focus on lifting up others NOT MYSELF.

16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

  • I leave the bringing of justice to GOD.

20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

3) I engage my culture by living a LIFE OF LOVE.

 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-10 (ESV)

  • Get & stay out of debt so you are free to love as GOD COMMANDS YOU TOO.
  • The moral/sexual law of God is fulfilled by RESPECTING & NOT HURTING OTHERS.

4) I engage my culture by BEING LIKE JESUS NOT THEM.

11  Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14 (ESV)

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Episode 29

Disciple Up #29
Always Be Questioning
By Louie Marsh, 11-1-2017

ABQ – Always Be Questioning.

This episode started when someone I hadn’t heard from in years got ahold of me recently. I won’t use her name but she’s an old friend of mine from High School. She was part of my Youth Group – call the Key Teens (yeah, the title hasn’t aged well but then neither have I! – and she’s working with others who in the Group to start a FaceBook page and work on getting us all back in touch.

In her message to me she said in part: You were such a big part of opening discussions in our Bible Studies/other occasions, questioning things most of us would not have thought to question. I will always appreciate that.

Imagine that. It’s been about half a century and she still remembers and appreciates me mouthing off with all my teenage questions! Pretty amazing and it just goes to show you that you never know what kind of an impact what you say and do will have on others – and like most things that works for good and ill.

So todays podcast is dedicated to someone I’ll just call Mrs. KeyTeen, a lovely lady who was a good friend and who I had a my first HUGE crush on, but never acted on it because even then I knew she was totally out of my league!

And with that let’s get on with the show!

What Should I Question?

As a teen I came into Christianity from a pretty secular background. I questioned creation VS evolution, the truth of the Bible, etc. In those days during the Vietnam war I also questioned if Christians can fight in the military.

I questioned so many things – which shows I didn’t know or understand much, but I wanted too. Now some 50 years later, I’m still asking questions and this episode is my attempt to get you to do the same thing as well.

Question Everything!

Things to question: Faith and the Bible – YES! BUT, also question the culture you live in and all the strange and often contradictory things it demands you believe.

Doesn’t the Bible Say Questioning God is Wrong?

NO!!

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (ESV)

As an old Pastor once said to me, and he said this at a Key Teens summer camp called Planning Conference: “Doubt your doubts.” It was good advice then and even better advice to the moral and spiritual morass that surrounds and penetrates us today.

11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11 (NIV)

God not only commands us to question – He honors and approves it.

It’s our culture that forbids questioning. It, like all cultures, demands submission to whatever it’s saying this week and only wants you to question others, not itself. As I’ve said before in other shows of Disciple Up, this is the nature of all culture. Conform and submit. I felt that demand as a teen and I feel it now even though the culture has changed so much that what I’m supposed to submit too has radically changed and in some cases are the exact opposite of what I was told then.

God knows the only way to learn is to question.

Like culture, most religions also forbid questions and demand unthinking obedience. But Jesus wasn’t that way. When Christians and churches forbid honest and sincere questions they are sinning. Just look at this encounter Jesus had.

Quotes: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/questioning.html

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. Elon Musk

Religious belief, like history itself, is a story that is always unfolding, always subject to inquiry and ripe for questioning. For without doubt there is no faith. Jon Meacham

The marvelous thing is that for thousands of years people have continued questioning and searching and ultimately concluding that reasons for certain occurrences are not given to man to know. Robert Vaughn

http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/faithquotes.htm

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. –Paul Tillich

The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid. –G.K. Chesterton

21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Mark 9:21-27 (ESV)

Why Don’t People Question More?

• Taught not too
• Hard work
• Don’t know how – find the resources you can use
• Set priorities

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