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We were living in Canada when they passed a law forcing people to live together before getting married. Here’s how it worked.

The government was trying to stop people faking marriage for a fast path to citizenship. Person “A” would come in from another country. Wanting to expedite the citizenship process, Mr. A would pay an unmarried Canadian to marry him. Once married, Mr. A would file for citizenship, become Canadian, and get divorced. It was cheap, fast, and convenient – everything a government loathes.

So, the government passed a law that when someone from another country wanted to marry a Canadian citizen, they first had to prove they had lived together for a year first.

Sometime later, I officiated at a wedding for a Canadian hockey player and his Swedish bride. She had lived in Winnipeg for over a year, but not with him. We sent the paperwork in, and they immediately sent her back to Sweden for not meeting the marriage requirements. He later joined her there.

What’s a church to do?

This actually gave us some cool opportunities. Any guess what we did?

This week we look at biblical marriage, and same-sex marriage, and ask the question, “What’s a church to do?”

We believe God may give us some cool opportunities.

See you Sunday,

Dan

REBUTTAL! Someone emailed me with 5 reasons for keeping Ruth in the Bible. How dare they! They would have put it on the website, but the new site doesn't give a way to respond to blogs. Bummer. Here they are...

 1. It's the only chick-flick that I would/could ever watch more than once. This book has ALL the stuff for a great movie.

  • a) An under-dog
  • b) A great plot with twists
  • c) Always moving along
  • d) Great directing
  • e) Awesome location
  • f) A happy ending
  • g) Great sequel material


2) The story epitomizes God's mercy and grace

3) It would make a great blue's song

4) It proves that just because we may have a rough past, or come from the "wrong side of the tracks" doesn't mean that God can't, or won't, use us. Of the 5 women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew at least 4 of them (including Ruth) had something "questionable" in their lives and/or background.

5) It's a "feel good" story of life and hope. And we all need hope. (It would make a terrible country song)

See U Sunday!

Why is the book of Ruth in the Bible? It’s doesn’t fit. Here are my five reasons to remove it.

  • It takes place during the Judges, but there’s no judge in the book. No Ehud with a dagger, no homemaker with a tent peg. No fun.
  • It’s a chick flick before movies. Boring!
  • It’s not even about the nation of Israel.
  • The family involved is of no importance.


Here is the worst of it, reason #5. The ONE verse everyone loves to quote is silly. Here it is: "Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”  (Ruth 1:16-17)

We hear this a lot at weddings, but it is Ruth speaking to her mother in law. To apply the verse accurately, the bride would have to walk away from her groom, stand by her future mother in law and say, “Wherever you go…” That's just silly.

It's also a lousy way to start a marriage.

The Book of Ruth is in The Story, Chapter 9. Read it and be ready for Sunday.  Ruth should be in the Bible – but why?

See you Sunday!

 

Do you remember Walter Cronkite? Do you remember his sign off?

“And that’s the way it is. October 24, 2013.” Only, he never said 2013.

I remember Cronkite mostly for his giving the news during Vietnam and Watergate. It seemed we were never really at peace. Then I graduated High School and I started watching Magnum P.I. instead. There still wasn’t much peace, but there was a Ferrari.

We are in The Story, Chapter 8, covering the book of Judges. Cronkite would have liked it. It just gives life the way it was, in all its brutal self-indulgence. That’s the lower story.

But there is also an upper story. It’s the story of God rescuing His people over and over again, in His eternal quest to bring us peace.

God still rescues. He still brings peace. Come meet Him with us this Sunday.

 

The dealer won.
 
My son Micah was looking for a low-mileage roadster for driving from here to his AFB in Texas. We found a Miata for a bit over what his budget could afford – but it was the perfect car. Dark blue, new tires and battery, extended warranty. Surely they would negotiate the price.
 
We drove the car for the weekend. We fell in love. I piloted it back Monday with the top down hoping the dealer would blink. He didn’t. I drove away in JoLynn’s Avalon.
 
How do you recover when you bomb the test, lose the car, the job, the game, the relationship? Read The Story, Chapter 7, and be ready this Sunday to learn how to recover from defeat.
 
Meanwhile I’ll be checking cars.com for that $1500 low mileage 1967 Datsun Roadster. You never know.