Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Personal Ministry Moment

I learned a couple things today. The first is in the state of Indiana it is Legal for one person to drink a pitcher of beer. How do I know this? It was a pitcher of beer the washed down my chicken wings that I had for lunch (yes, I know a very healthy lunch-- I'm gonna have to stop doing that. Its not good for me or my heart). I was shocked when I discovered this. A few weeks ago I went to my usual watering hole and had a couple beers. The bartender said I should just get a pitcher, it was cheaper. I'm still living with Texas liquor laws on my mind (as weird and bizarre as they were). I was under the assumption that you had to have at least two people working on a pitcher (that's the way it was in Texas) not so here in Indiana. So I had a pitcher of beer today and damn, was it good. And believe it or not I don't feel none the worse for wear.

The other thing I learned is this: porn makes me feel queezy. Really it does. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. Today was a day of sin for me. I had the day off and I was bored. I stopped off at the video store and bought a movie and rented a porn dvd, why? I haven't a clue. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Its been YEARS since I last rented porn, probably college... what's that five years? So I rented one today. I got home, put the disk in my computer and in a couple seconds flat I turned it off put it back in the little plastic case it came in and had nothing to do with it. I felt sick and it wasn't an I've-had-too-much-beer-and-wings kind of sick it was something deeper then that. It was almost a revoltion. I felt dirty and filthy inside. Empty. It was just such a base feeling, if you know what I mean. I can't really describe it. I've been out of sorts all night because of it. I feel like done something horribly and dispicably wrong. But I'm working on changing that feeling to one of hope. I am often brought back to "life" if you will by this:
...but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in ardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Cor. 5(b)-11
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984

There are things I know I need to work on. I know I'm not perfect. I'm not a big fan of those "Jesus Loves You" bumpersticker type things, but there is one that has really meant a lot to me: I'm not perfect, I'm forgiven. How true, how true indeed.

Then there is this:
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart
-- 2 Tim 2:22 That is easier said then done, but that's why we have both those lovely things called Law and Gospel, right?

There's more. This comes from 1 Corinthians chapter 10: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Let's hop over to my favorite book in the Bible and see what James has to say about this: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:12-18)

I am not perfect. I fall, alot. But as I've gotten older and become more sure of who I am and who God is I can see His Grace in my life. I am guilty, but because of a faith I have I am forgiven.

1 comment:

j said...

kudos k on broaching a taboo subject
this kind of discussion is really important and helpful to alot of people church/non church - pagan/christian - professional church workers

takes guts to be honest about that stuff and it's so taboo to say that you actually have temptations or struggles with porn that nobody ever says it nobody talks about that empty feeling that accompanies porn and people who use it regularly forget what it's like to not feel that way