Did you know the Bible tells the story of the most expensive meal ever? Can you guess what it was? Actually, we don't really know much about the meal. We only know it was some sort of red stew. Figure it out yet? This Sunday, I'll be teaching the kids at church about Jacob. But I'd like to share a little bit with you today about his brother Esau. Esau makes a terrible mistake that I believe we can all learn from. Let's set the stage...
Date night this week was the first time Christy and I went out without Michaela. We saw The Grey because I am a huge Liam Neeson fan. Unfortunately, the movie was a bit of a disappointment. It attempts to tackle big themes and issues like depression, faith, death, and more but the answers the movie gives to life's big questions are just plain wrong and discouraging. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it.
Its about a group of men who end up stranded in a fierce snowy tundra. While trying to survive the cold and find civilization, they realize that a pack of hungry wolves wants to make them their next meal. As the wolves attempt to divide and conquer and the men led by Liam Neeson fight for their lives, Christy and I saw some interesting analogies for our spiritual lives. Without further ado, I present to you some survival tips that should help whether you are up against a pack of wolves or more everyday things like temptation to sin or even attacks from the devil.
I've been taking the children at my church through a new series called, "Who's Who in the Bible?" We started a few weeks ago way in the beginning with Adam and Eve. I thought I'd share a little bit of that with you.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. -- Genesis 1:31
We've heard the story before right? In the beginning, God spoke everything into being. And it was good. The world was perfect. There was no sin. No pain. Better yet, there was perfect relationship with God. Adam had it made and the future was looking bright!
The votes are in and today's question is: Can demons hurt us? Whether you're a Christian or not, you've probably been scared of demons at one point or another. Have you seen the Exorcist? Have you heard strange, scary, and unexplainable stories around a campfire? The devil and demons can be a scary thing to talk about, but what is true and what is Hollywood? What is real and what is hype?
Have you heard the stories of Amber Miller and Rob Sloan? I heard about them over the past few weeks and I find their stories, especially when looked at together, to be hilarious and pretty insightful. I'll start with the bad guy in the story.
Good Christian movies are hard to find. I remember growing up in youth group and watching movies like The Cross and The Switchblade.
While the message was good, the movie was pretty bad. We Christians have really fallen behind in the realm of media. Most Christian music when I was growing up sounded like it was a decade or two old. It really is a shame.
SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!! (Nothing too major, but I do talk about something from the new movie)
Have you seen the latest Harry Potter movie? I saw it with my wife last night. Without giving too much away, there is a scene in the movie where Harry gets the Elder Wand. In case you don't know, the Elder Wand is one of three powerful magical items called the Deathly Hallows. The Elder Wand is the most powerful wand in the world and with it a wizard would be unstoppable. And it falls into Harry's hands!
What does Harry do with it?
"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27
A friend of mine was recently caught in the middle of drama. We'll call this friend Jim. Sally told Billy a lie about Jim. As a result, Billy is now mad at and not really speaking to Jim. For the moment, this lie has wrecked that relationship.
Jim and I talked about it for a while and he finally asked, "Is it okay that I'm mad? Is it wrong for me to be angry about this?"
The answer? It is perfectly normal for you to be mad, disappointed, hurt, and angry when somebody wrongs you. It is not a sin.
Amy Winehouse died last Saturday. For those of you who don't know, Winehouse was a very successful music artist who won five Grammys from one album alone. She died at the age of 27.
To the best of my knowledge, the cause of death is still uncertain. Tests have returned inconclusive and we may never know for sure. However, Winehouse's lifestyle points to a sad possibility. After reaching a good level of success and fame, she began abusing alcohol and drugs, harming herself, and spending time in rehab. This has led many to speculate that her recent death was an overdose.
Chris Farley, Brittany Murphy, Heath Ledger, Judy Garland, Billy Mays, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on and on. Whether or not Amy Winehouse's death had anything to do with an overdose, there are a frightening amount of celebrity overdoses.
But how? How does it get to that point? How does anyone come to the place where they are not only abusing drugs and alcohol, but abusing them to the point of killing themselves?
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.