Archives For May 2012

 Remembering my Grandfathers

Memorial Day

I don’t have to look far for an example of what it means to serve our country.

The young man next door just returned from serving in Afghanistan. His family is of course ecstatic, as they should be. He has endured not only intense training, but has daily put his life on the line for the safety and security of others, dutifully carrying out the will of his country. I thank him every chance I get.

As I have prayed for him over these past months, I have often been reminded of the freedoms I am afforded due to the service of such outstanding men and women. Because others serve:

  • I get to sleep at night without threat of harm in our homeland.
  • I get to raise my daughters in a peaceful land.
  • I get to enjoy the benefits of a stable government.
  • I get to serve the Lord and do His work without being oppressed.
None of these freedoms are guaranteed. They’re not automatic. Millions in this world live without what we often take for granted. Our freedoms are bought and paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of our military families, and we owe them at least a debt of gratitude.

I think of prior generations, who sacrificed so much to lay our foundation of freedom. My uncle Don served in Vietnam, courageously carrying out his duty during an unpopular and thankless war. I hope we never again treat our troops the way we did then.

My Grandfather Wood served in the Navy during WWII, travelling the world by sea as it seemingly came unhinged on land. I cannot imagine the intensity of those years. The outcome was not written. Brave men had to wrest a better future from the hands of those bent on evil.

Just following the war, my Grandfather Wickman came of age to join, and sailed the seas as well. I am forever indebted to this generation. We all are. I am also blessed to still have my Grandpa with us. Today he’ll be at our home for a celebration of life. My daughters have birthdays to celebrate in May, and our family and friends are gathering. We’ll take time to pray before we eat, remembering all those who have gone before us, securing our freedom.

Porn by the Numbers

May 22, 2012 — 7 Comments
 Porn by the Numbers

Porn by the Numbers

When I was a kid, a prominent member of our community got “spotted” exiting the Adult Bookstore. In my family, and in most of our community, that was pure scandal. What filled the shelves of that non-windowed store was considered dark, dirty, smut. But today you don’t have to walk into some seedy store to get more porn than you can imagine. The internet, in all its splendor, brings explicit content right to your monitor, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Lucky us.

The result is that porn is now viewed by more people, in greater volume, than ever before in history.

In this weekend’s Marriage Workshop at New Life, I identified porn as “the intimacy killer”. The effects of porn are far reaching, and impact the viewer, their spouse and children, and the people producing it. I’ll go into greater detail in a future post. I researched some numbers on one of my favorite websites, xxxchurch.com . (Trust me, this is the only xxx site I will ever recommend.) The numbers may shock you.

Here are some stats from xxxchurch that may open your eyes to the prevalence of pornography in our homes:

  • There are over 11,000 pornographic films produced annually.
  • According to 2004 IFR research, U.S. porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion). Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises. The pornography industry, according to conservative estimates, brings in $57 billion per year, of which the United States is responsible for $12 billion.
  • Approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually involved with the Internet
  • 2.5 billion emails per day are pornographic
  • 25 percent of all search engine requests are pornography related
  • Sex is the number 1 topic searched on the Internet
  • Wow. Those numbers are mind-boggling. The sad news is, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at the rest of the porn stats, complete with references.
Is porn a problem in your home? You’re not alone.
If you’re struggling with pornography, there is great hope for you.

Need some motivation?

If this doesn’t inspire you to blast through barriers, you might want to check for a pulse.

Has life unfairly dropped a heavy load in your path? Join the club. If this man can overcome the loss of a leg, and still compete, I’m sure you can find a way out of the wreckage and into recovery. Just take it one step forward at a a time.

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

(Matthew 19:26)

What’s stopping you from moving forward?

It has happened! After years of wishing and wanting, hemming and hawing, I have had my words published. I was even paid for it.

llm may12 foundation Three Things I Learned by Getting Published the First Time

Light & Life Magazine

A few months ago I contacted “Light and Life Magazine“. After a brief back-and-forth with Jeff Finley, Managing Editor, I decided to submit a “foundation article”, designed to give a biblical perspective on the month’s theme.

This month it was published in print and online. Take a look at my very first published article, “Politics Alone Not the Answer“.

Here’s three things I’ve learned through this experience:

  1. “Writers write.” Over a year ago I met with a mentor of mine. I drive an hour a couple of times a year to pick his brain on theology, pastoring, and life in general. I dropped the “I’d really like to be a writer someday” comment into our conversation. He acknowledged the sentiment politely with two words, “Writers write.” Then he moved on. He didn’t pause to indulge my fantasies, but instead gently demanded to see product. The message was clear. If this was such a burning passion, I would stop talking about it and simply write. I would write when I felt like it and when I didn’t. I would squeeze it in between work, family and the rest of life. I would find a way.
  2. “Just start.” I never would have taken this step if I didn’t hadn’t taken the last one. Beginning the blog was the “watershed moment” that signalled the mental shift from non-writer to writer-in-the-making. Making it into print was the next.
  3. “Start at the start.” The first magazine I turned to knows me, and I know them. “Light & Life” is the official publication of the Free Methodist Church USA. This provided me a great “foot in the door”. Jeff was great to work with, guided me through the process, and gave me the chance to ask all sorts of first-time questions. I’m now looking to make connections at the next publication.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.