As Simple as a Suit
Last week, for the first time in over three years I put on a suit when I made a court appearance in Uptown Charlotte.Â (No, I wasn’t in trouble but was supporting a dear family).Â When I was getting ready that morning, I slipped into my closet and came out with a suit that I hadn’t worn in a long time.Â Let me tell you, it brought back old memories of the corporate days when going to work was more about looking smooth than it was working.
Here’s what blew me away… My wife, Leslie, saw me and I could immediately tell that she was feeling what I had on.Â Now, you know how I was feeling!Â Aw’ shucks now… I knew what was about to come out of her mouth.Â She said, “You look gooooood!”Â “I reaaaally miss you wearing suits.”
I was blown away that simply wearing a suit would get that kind of response.
Heck, after that I wanted to wear suits everyday from that point on… What’s my point?Â My wife noticed something about me and let me know how much she digged it.Â This simple moment reminded me of how easy it is to take notice of your spouse and to offer encouragement to them based on what you see.Â My wife blessed me and build me up.Â I don’t know what your spouse looks good in but pay attention to everything they display before you.Â It will go a long way in your marriage.Â Word of advice – Go put on a suit!!!!!
John Piper Sends a Message to Our President
In the spirit of “Facing the Truth Before Our Righteous Judge” I have attached a riveting message from my friend to our longed for president.Â Please pray for repentance and courage to stand for truth!Â Be Courageous, Mr. President
The Distraction of Celebrated Breasts
Are women leveraging the power of their influence over men?Â In a recent article,Â ABC NewsÂ reports on the appropriate way for women to celebrate their breasts for their own benefit, even in the workplace.Â Could our Christian sisters be subtly buying into the “dressed up” and unspoken messages of the drivers of fashion in our culture?Â Are we allowing our body images to become our means of advancing ourselves or being perceived as striking and worthy of notice?Â Has tight become right because it displays your competitive edge?Â
Regardless of the reason, at this point our men are pleading for our sisters in Christ to be sensitive to our visual makeup.Â We anticipate the onslaught from unbelieving women but not from blood-washed believers in Christ.Â In my discussions with men, all they are asking for is that you pull your shirts up, put on a camisole (which is a sophisticated undershirt), and keep your body to yourself and your husband.Â We are pursuing holiness for the King and we have “made a covenant with our eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman (Job 31:1)?” We are attempting to respect and honor you, while weÂ guard our hearts.Â We bounce our eyes, we pray, we avoid certain sights, we bury ourselves in God’s Word and we make ourselves accountable to other men to honestly talk about the struggle.Â
Please don’t celebrate your breasts to our detriment.Â We as men have too much wickedness in our own hearts to be enticed by things that could be avoided.Â We love our sisters but really needÂ them to understand the impact of their choices.Â Let’s avoid unnecessary distractions to furthering God’s kingdom.
Cleavage is in but not with Jesus
Why aren’t Christians and Christian leaders publiclyÂ educating peopleÂ about the suggestive impact that visible breast cleavage is having on our women, men, young boys and young girls?Â Â Let’s send an APB out that alerts our sisters that it’sÂ destroying the body of Christ.Â Sensual fashion designers have duped Christian women into believing thatÂ clothes and “showing a little” doesn’tÂ hurt anyone…Â In a brief search, I realized that there were websites thatÂ teach women how to show cleavage with small breasts.Â I would provide the URL but it’s so ridiculous, I wouldn’t dare do it.Â Why are Christian women following the seductive, money hungry, pervertÂ fashion designers and not Jesus.Â I know Middle Eastern cultures covered their whole bodies when they got dressed in the morning but can you imagine Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus coming to our worship gatheringsÂ with three-quarters of their breast showing?Â Here’s a call to the husbands:Â wake up and check your wife and her heart before she leaves the house.Â If you don’t, you are as much to blame as she is… What’s the deal?Â Is it a matter of ignorance, preference, naivete, insecurity, fashion,Â turning the eyes of men, attention addiction, spiritualÂ immaturity or plain ole’ carnality, etc?Â Let me know what you think.
Life After Adultery (Pt. 2)
Without trying to short-change the seemingly eternal rebuilding process in the marriage, I believe forgiveness has to eventually be introduced and woven into the hearts of the couple if there is any hope for this marriage.Â After the hurt and anger surface, there has to be a definitive choice made.Â This decision can either close the tormenting cycle of hurt, anger and mental reminders with forgiveness or embrace the outcome of becoming a victim to it.
Despite my personal passion for moving couples toward forgiveness, the Bible allows for the divorce of a spouse who commits adultery (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 19:9).Â However, God’s heart for marriage is that forgiveness would be chosen over divorce since God detests divorce (Malachi 2:16).Â Nevertheless, the Christian spouse who has been victimized by the wounds of adultery often lives between knowledge and emotion.Â On one hand they may know what the Scriptures teach about adultery and divorce.Â On the other hand, they may sense an emotional impossibility to function in the midst of the constant reminders and feelings.
Life After Adultery (Pt. 1)
Can a marriage recover from the devastation of adultery?Â This is the pervading question that is pondered by the adulterous couple as well as the counselor who is tasked with assisting them.Â How does a couple whose heart’s desire is for the pain to disappear proceed?Â How does a couple obtain the courage to venture into their heartache in order to salvage the rubble from the aftermath of the betrayal and emotional chaos?Â Once the reality and impact of adultery hit, the only remaining question is how to continue living life?
Following the realization of adultery are insurmountable emotional, mental and physical aches and pains that become life’s daily reminders of the breech of trust.Â In addition to the inner anguish is the on-going presence of the person who has inflicted this pain.Â Instead of choosing to escape from the inflictor of pain, one is now left with the confusion of whether to ever trust their spouse again.
Who needs a foot?
Recently God has taught me a tremendous lesson about the beauty of the body of Christ through my own pain.Â After experiencing a simple stretch of my foot under a table at Panera Bread, pain reeked up my entire leg.Â As I got up and headed to the door, I noticed that I had to limp to make it out to my car.Â Twenty minutes later, I was in the emergency room seated in a wheel chair curious as to what was going on.Â Long story short, it was tendonitis from the past few days of testosterone release (football and intense bball w/ my competitive teenager).
God has shown me personally that no part of the body is insignificant.Â After hopping on one foot and parading everywhere on crutches, I have been humbled by how much I need my feet.Â Also, 1 Corinthians 12 has taken on a new meaning.Â The is church is one body with many members.Â Every member is needed in order for the body to function properly.
We recently celebrated as a church over forty oneÂ volunteers at Wellspring who have made themselves available through service.Â ItÂ is amazing to see what God has done through the body through many members.Â Check out the message once it’s available online.
Reflections of 1 yr. over 40
I’m not one of those bloggers who seeks to draw attention to himself to get everyone to read my blog butÂ since I justÂ celebratedÂ my 41stÂ birthday I think I have some wisdom to share.Â You see, when you get “seasoned” you gravitate to things like reflecting on what you’ve learned in life rather than persistently thinking about the future.Â Needless to say, I’m a visionary but every good visionary has to surmise what he or she has learned from the past.Â Thus, my desire is to share random bullet thoughts that capture where I am in life regarding a few areas.
He is my hero and central focus.Â I aim to please Him and not people.Â I’m too old to care what people think about me anymore.Â It’s too much work.
I’m reading, teaching and preaching about Him more these days – I think I finally understand.
I love Him with a fond affection and not just my head.
He is indeed Sovereign and Savior not simply theologically but intimately.
I repent to Him more and more these days as more years have past enabling me to really see how sinful I am.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.
We live out the reality of the gospel in culture, not in a vacuum or in our heads.
Jesus’ penal substitutionary atonement was sufficient for my salvation.
The gospel isÂ not something I just responded to 20 years ago, it’s what I am learning to live out everyday.
It is my very life, not just the “Four Spiritual Laws.”
I didn’t do squat to deserve salvation, it’s ALLÂ GRACE.
3.Â MY WIFE
I love her more than anything in this world and will serve her faithfully until I die.
Serving and leading my wife is true manhood not living in spineless apathy appeasing her every wish…Â So many dudes are waiting on their wives to lead them instead of them leading their wives through humble servant leadership.
Headship is more about my response to God’s order than my ability to tell my wife what to do.
I need my wife more than anyone else in this world.
I’m learning to comfortably lead out of my weakness and not out of my strength.
I allow myself to be corrected more by my wifeÂ now than everÂ before (she’s my partner and cheerleaderÂ not my adversary).
We celebrate each other’s successes and embrace each other’s failure (it’s about the team win rather than the individual win).
I repent more than I ever have before.Â Some days I really stink as a dad but really learn alot from those funky days.
I’m learning how to parent through the gospel and not out of a law narrative.
I love my kidsÂ tremendously and pray consistently for them.Â I’ve aged watching them grow up but it’s been wonderful.
The only desire I have for my kids is that they love Jesus, His Word and honor us as parents.
It’s a waste of time to be anything other than myself.
Nurture a few intimate friendships and discern carefully who you let in your personal space.
Speak the truth in love to those who want to hear it and pray for those who are hardened by sin.
Don’t waste time with people who can’t rejoice with you and weep with you.
Maturity is not about how you posture yourself before menÂ on the outside but how deep is Jesus inside of you.
I take joy in being a person not simply a title… Pastor is what I do not who I am.
I seek to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in all ministry and not my flesh.Â
I value a gospel-centered ministry more than ever.
My ministry and service in my home means more to me than what I do before those outside my home.
The fame of Jesus is more of a priority to me than the fame of men.Â This must be due to age because early in ministry it was all about how I could be a Christian celebrity… Now IÂ try to quietly live life becauseÂ Jesus is the real hero.
I can’t stand arrogant men or woman who seek to impress people with their theological smarts when their hearts are full of themselves.Â We can serve Jesus because of His work not ours.
Men are called to lead in the home and in the church in full dependence of the Holy Spirit so that women can properly respond to his leadership.Â For example, the Bible calls men to be elders and pastors, not women.
Men are gravitating too much towards apathy, timidity, game-systems, idol time, sillyness and meaningless hobbies.Â Age has taught me to redeem the time with diligence, be courageous, read everything, serve without the longing for applause, enjoy humor and simplifying life to keep the main thing the main thing.
Some women are hurt, broken and seeking for meaning in life oftentimes at the expense of competing with men for roles clearly defined by God in the church.
Women are precious, tender, feminine, industrious, strong and worthy of respect.Â Men and women are equal but distinct in their roles.
Healthy eating and exercise isn’t optional anymore, it’s MANDATORY.
Taking vitamins have been a life saver.
It’s thrilling to age… Thanks for listening.
Enjoy the Pleasure of Kissing?
Christianet recently came out with their staggering poll results related to kissing – (Click Here) – Kissing Is Acceptable While Dating. The poll revealed that 134 out of 271 respondents said that it was acceptable to kiss during dating.Â Of the other 137, seventy-one said “no” and 66 were unsure.Â Is it really that shocking?Â Sex is pervasive and bannered everywhere for our convenient indulgence.Â Who cares if a passionate kiss takes me into fornication with someone I’m not married to?Â Or on the other hand, what’s wrong with expressing my love and care for my boyfriend or girlfriend?Â I can control myself and make the necessary decisions to prevent dishonoring God by fornicating.
My purpose in blogging on this is not to bound singles in legalism or accentuate liberalism.Â Stimulating the reason why and the impulses that drive us into how we make decisions is my intent.Â Do we do what we do based upon tradition, culture,Â preference,Â and feelingsÂ or based upon true biblical anthropology and natural God-design sexuality?Â Passionate kissing physiologically drives humans towards the culmination of fulfillment in sexual intercourse.Â Is there a place for it in “cultural dating?”
From a Sermon to an Apple Cobbler
There is never a dull moment when you have children that like to eat.Â I thought I had the evening planned for working on my sermon until the word “cobbler” was mentioned.Â Since I am the self-proclaimed chef, it was my responsibility to slice the apples…Â Off I went, slicing over 15-20 Granny Smith apples.
As my kids, hovered over the bowl asking for every fifth slice, I hurried as fast as I could in order to prevent getting weary.Â After a cramp in my finger and sticky fingers, my job was over and Les’ job began.Â She is what I call the “Crust Master.”Â I passed the bowl of apples to herÂ and she started mixing the crust.Â However, my ego was shattered as my kids suddenly began migrating now toÂ where my wife was working.Â My stock had tanked, nonetheless, I was pumped that my job was over and forty five minutes later, the masterpiece was done.
In those few moments, God taught me an incredible lesson about the beauty of teamwork.Â My wife and I have been teammates over 17 years… We cherish our ability to work together to see that the Bond family wins.Â I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.Â
As we are preparing for our community group that we will teach on teamwork – http://www.familylife.com/1-800-358-6329/detail.asp?id=6524, we are attempting to live it out.Â
You may ask yourself, how do you move forward as a team:Â (1)Â Recognize that if a husband and wife don’t work together, no one is going to win; (2)Â Determine what is the win for your family and work together towards that win; (3)Â Serve one another sacrificially even when you don’t feel like it; (4)Â Fight against pride of wanting to win by yourself and for yourself; (5)Â Try to see the end from the beginning; (6)Â Allow the strengths of your spouse to help the team win; (7)Â Celebrate a win when you both work together; and (8)Â Thank God always for your mate because if they weren’t in your life, you wouldn’t win.Â I think this apple cobbler wasÂ God’sÂ sermon for me this evening.Â Sorry, I wish I did have a Blog-smeller! 🙂