Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gay Marriage in Colorado

There are two items on the November ballot in Colorado that impact marriage: Amendment 43 and Referendum I.

Referendum I is an attempt to create "Domestic Partnerships" and if passed would have the effect of of including the words "or domestic partnerships" everywhere the word "spouse" now appears in Colorado law. In other words, this is gay marriage. A same-sex couple would go to the courthouse and get a license and become "partnered".

Amendment 43 adds the definition of marriage to the Colorado constitution as "a union of one man and one woman". This is the current law already in Colorado but as recently as yesterday in New Jersey, judges ruled a similar New Jersey law as unconstitutional. You can read about the implications of the New Jersy ruling for Colorado in Baptist Press here. Focus on the Family has also written an insightful article that you can read here.

There are several websites that examine Referendum I and Amendment 43 in greater detail. I would encourage you to take a look and make your own decision. I would recommend you start here.

By the way, you can vote early in Colorado at any of several voting centers throughout Northern Colorado. Vote in Windsor at the Community Recreation Center. I voted last Monday for Amendment 43 and against Referendum I.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spending some time with my dad...

I drove down to Pagosa Springs, Colorado on Tuesday to spend a few days with my dad. He and my mom have held a timeshare in Pagosa Springs for the past 15 years and they have made the pilgrimage each of those 15 years to spend some time together recharging. This is the first time that my dad has made the trip without my mom and I wanted to join him. We have had a wonderful time just relaxing, enjoying the scenery, talking, and eating. We are scheduled to head to my house tomorrow (depending on the weather). There is no snow here...just beautiful sunshine. However, we will have to drive through the snow and ice that is being displayed on the news in Colorado Springs and Denver in order to get home. I have had time these last few days to work on upcoming sermons from Amos. I have a few more message outlines to share in the very near future. I also want to walk through the election ballot for our area and describe my votes. Blessings!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Amos on "Justice"

One of the first casualties of prosperity is "justice". Those who "have" always seem to want more and are willing to do whatever it takes to advance. No doubt that God has blessed America, not unlike the way in which He had blessed Israel. They had conquered all of their enemies and were living "high-on-the-hog" (lamb?). The unintended consenquence of Israel's prosperity was a tendency to abuse the very poorest among them. Amos 2:6-8 identifies four areas of injustice within Israel during Amos' time. These four areas of injustice are just as big a problem in our day.

#1--Financial Injustice (v6). The poor were sold into slavery to pay off debts acquired through unjust and abusive courts.

#2-Positional Injustice (v7). Those without position were stepped on and denied access to advancement opportunities.

#3--Sexual Injustice (v7). Prostitution was forced upon the poor as an occupation of last resort.

#4--Religious Injustice (v8). The gains received from the poor by unjust means were flaunted before God and included in worship.

Time could be easily spent detailing similar abuses in our own day in each of these areas. Multiple examples exist! Instead, let's just remember that all that have and all that we are is intended to glorify God and to help out our fellow man--especially the least of these. Let me challenge you to examine your life in these four areas and determine if you are guilty of any abuses of justice.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I've been too busy to blog...

I've been too busy to blog for the past several weeks but I wanted to at least stop in and let you know that I'm still here. I will try to make a fresh start on Sunday as I drive to Pueblo with my Youth Pastor for our annual state convention. I'll try to share some of the things are going on that may be of interest to those of you across the state and in other far away places.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What does a Member of the Body of Christ look like?

A member is someone who...

M--eets with God daily, 24/7, to become like Christ!

E--xpresses worship with other believers weekly!

M--inisters diligently wherever there is a need!

B--rings offerings consistently to bless the Body of Christ!

E--quips themself fully as students of Christ!

R--eaches out faithfully to grow the Body!

S--acrifices lovingly to strengthen the Body of Christ!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Message of Amos...

Here's a shot of me enjoying some early morning coffee last week out in the field. It's actually cold instant coffee. Yuck!

We've begun a new series of messages taken from the Old Testament book of Amos. It appears to me that the prosperous, self-indulgent nation that Amos addressed is very similar to our own. In fact, the warning that Amos issues has clear application for our church and our individual families. Israel, throughout it's history, has tended to abandon God when times are good and to call out to God when times are bad. It seems that the blessing of God has often become a curse to them. We risk the same mistake. Over the next several weeks, we will learn from Amos, "How to Survive Prosperity". Let's start with what the message of God looks like.

God's message is:

1. Burdonsome (v1) - Amos means "Burdon-bearer". God has given each of us a ministry burden to carry. It is whatever you are passionate about.

2. Visionary (v1) - Amos was given a vision. He did not dream up what he was going to do for God but rather God revealed to Amos what He was already going to do.

3. Appropriate (v2) - Both Uzziah and Jeroboam ruled during times of prosperity. The message that Amos brings was perfect for the times in which he lived. The message we carry is equally relevant to our day.

4. Authoritative (v2) - "The Lord roars from Zion". The message of Amos is filled with authority like a lion's roar. "And from Jerusalm he utters (places) his voice". God places his voice wherever he chooses. He often places his voice through you and me. The place where you live and work is the place where God has chosen to speak his voice through you. We have confidence in our message because it is God who has placed us and God who is speaking through us.

5. Scary - (v2) - The warning is really scary. The lush pastures will become barren and the summit of Carmel (Orchards) will dry up. The prosperous times will end. The blessing will be removed. God will not bless what He cannot direct. The message of God must be heeded in order to continue to see the blessing of God.