Ephesians 4:31-32

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


1 Thessalonians 3:1-3


1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.

Romans 12:17-21


17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. 

20 On the contrary:  

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

 if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Acts 20:35

35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”


Taming the Tongue

James 3:1 (NIV)

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.


Listening and Doing

James 1:19  (NIV)

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,


Psalm 34:18-19


18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,

    but the Lord delivers him from them all;

Kissing, Necking, and Petting before Marriage

by Sarah Faith Schlissel --


There are those who would argue that it is not wrong to kiss before marriage. To refute this we could look at statistics of couples who thought they could start the fire and shut it at will, and found they were wrong. We could state the number of pregnancies that started as "innocent" goodnight kisses. We could look at all the practical reasons not to kiss before marriage. But those who defend the activity might still say, "Perhaps it's best to refrain, but I don't see it condemned in the Bible, so it can't be sin." This is a weak argument at best. 

First, a definition of the term. Obviously, not every kind of extramarital kiss can be wrong. The apostle Paul expressly commands us, on several occasions, to greet one another with a holy kiss. (It would be a stretch to say that Paul was instructing husbands and wives to do something which normally requires no prompting). But premarital kissing does not fall under the same category as kissing a fellow believer, your sister, your dog or your parakeet. In Genesis 26 we read that God told Isaac to stay with the Philistines in lieu of going to Egypt. When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he told them that Rebekah was his sister, because she was beautiful, and he was afraid that the men would kill him to get at her. In verse 8 we read, "When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, "She is really your wife! Why did you say, 'She is my sister?'" This shows that there is a type of activity which is only appropriate with a wife, and not appropriate with a sister. 

What is premarital kissing? For the purpose of my argument, premarital kissing is engaging in that kind of kissing with someone other than one's spouse which is inappropriate with a sibling, in activity and motive. What is the purpose of such kissing? Some would say that it is a legitimate display of affection between a couple who is courting or (horrors) dating. But let's face it, it is not merely an innocent display of affection. It is a display of passion. See definition above. It is rather far-fetched to deny the intimate and emotional nature of a kiss. You would not kiss your mom or dad in the same way you kiss your wife or husband. If you're arguing for that type of kissing before marriage, no argument here. It's ok after marriage, too. But I am speaking of the type which is unique to a husband/wife relationship and imitators thereof. "If you wanna know if he really loves you so, it's in his kiss"? 

Kissing in this way outside of the bonds of marriage neither proves nor enhances true love. Rather, it proves, demonstrates, enhances a physical attraction that is Biblically classified as lust when not consecrated in marriage. While the physical aspect is a necessary ingredient in a marriage, it is not necessary for a premarital relationship. Rather, it hinders true communication between the couple. Why is premarital sex wrong? Isn't one reason that we are to keep ourselves pure for the person who will one day be our spouse? We may not have sex with anyone who is not our lawful spouse. Those who are single do not have a lawful spouse. Therefore, singles may not have sex. End of story. Now let me ask you a question. How happy would you be if, after taking wedding vows, your beloved passionately kissed someone other than you on the lips? I daresay you wouldn't like it much. If you would, then you are not being an imitator of God in His jealousy for what is His own, and should repent. Well, what right have we to kiss someone now in a way that is not lawful later? Can we not extend this to say: We may not kiss anyone who isn't our lawful spouse; someone who's single has no lawful spouse; therefore singles may not kiss? Take a moment to look at it this way. Let's assume for the moment that premarital kissing is permissible. For the purposes of the argument, it is fine for you to passionately kiss someone when you're single. Is the person you're kissing your husband or wife? Obviously not. Therefore, we have a premise: It is OK to kiss someone who is not your lawful spouse. Logically extending that idea, what is to prevent a married person from passionately kissing someone she/he isn't married to? What's that you say? "No, they can't"? Why ever not? It must have something to do with the nature of marriage and the nature of a passionate kiss.

I maintain that the reason extramarital kissing is not permissible is that such kissing is sexual in nature. This agrees with both A and B. Working backwards, then, it would be wrong extramaritally, and it would be wrong premaritally. "Show me a verse that says 'No Kissing'", you say. "Scripture doesn't even mention it. You can't make me feel guilty for doing something the Bible doesn't forbid." There are many expressions of passion that are not specifically recognized in Scripture yet which are wrong to engage in outside of marriage. Can you find me a Scripture passage condemning petting, or other practices that don't go "all the way" to include the act of intercourse, yet involve passion and intimacy between unmarried persons? How about a passage that condemns homosexuals kissing? Or one that says you can't smash your neighbor's windshield? You can't, because they don't exist. And yet I hardly expect you to condone those practices. The key is that these actions are subsumed under the broader heading of "sexual immorality." I would submit that premarital kissing, because of its very nature, also falls into this category. The Heidelberg Catechism assures us that some sins are more heinous than others. Just because one sin is less heinous than another doesn't mean that it is not, therefore, sin. Christ himself warns us that if we hate our brother we have already murdered him in our heart. Therefore, hating our brother is sin. It is not punishable here on earth, but such a thought will be judged.(Matthew 5:22)

The Scriptures command us to keep a heart that is clean and free from sin. We should not, we may not seek to go as far as we can without violating the letter of the law. When we so seek, we are already violating the spirit of the law. Cain tried the same trick, and it didn't do him good. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise. (Psalm 51:17) Whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) How much more, then, has someone committed adultery who does not just confine himself to looking, but also touches in an inescapably sexual way? 

It is GOOD for a man not to touch a woman.(1 Corinthians 7:1) Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.(Galatians 5:16) Treat younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.(1 Timothy 5:2) Some have said that to them, kissing doesn't mean anything. I have acquaintances who kiss first and ask questions (like "What's your name?") later. This is dangerous, as demonstrated through the experience of one of those acquaintances. She felt that since kisses meant little, she owed something more than that to the boyfriend she "really loved." If such kissing is to mean anything, if it is to convey love and affection, passion and intimacy, as God ordained that it should, it is only properly done by a husband and a wife.

(Not a typo…)

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.


Don't Look Back




John 17:16-17

John 17:16-17

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.


[22] day challenge


Follow Me

Just picked up another great book.  "You may think you are a Christian - but are you sure? Jesus' call to follow him is more than an invitation to pray a prayer. It is a summons to lose your life. And find new life in him.

Pastor David Platt continues to challenge cultural Christianity in this much-anticipated follow-up to Radical. This book compels each one of us to examine the validity and vitality of our own personal faith. "Follow Me" is a life and death message for all who claim the name of Christ."


Psalm 139:23, 24

Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Not a Fan...

Just finished this amazing book by Kyle:  

Are you a follower of Jesus? Don't answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a 'Define the Relationship' conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn't ready to let him cramp your style. Then again, maybe you're not into Jesus, period. In any case, don't take the question---Are you a follower of Jesus?---lightly. Some people don't know what they've said yes to and other people don't realize what they've said no to, says Pastor Kyle Idleman. But Jesus is ready to clearly define the relationship he wants with his followers. Not a Fan calls you to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple. With frankness sprinkled with humor, Idleman invites you to live the way Jesus lived, love the way he loved, pray the way he prayed, and never give up living for the One who gave his all for you.

Go to the book store, order it, read it:

Matthew 7:21-23

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)


True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

This Is Water

(In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn't become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we've ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.

We made this video, built around an abridged version of the original audio recording, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience who might not have otherwise been interested. However, we encourage everyone to seek out the full speech (because, in this case, the book is definitely better than the movie).

-The Glossary - - -

I don't agree that it's the t-truth… but interesting video that just makes you think about the value of education, awareness and our perceptions.

1 Peter 1:6, 7

How Do I Handle a Difficult Trial Not of My Own Doing?

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:6, 7


Recently my four-year-old son asked, “Is it yesterday yet?”  Knowing the context, I understood his question.  His excitement about things coming up the following day had motivated him to ask if yesterday was in the past yet.  An entertaining dialogue ensued, with our seven-year-old son trying to explain time to his younger brother.

It has rightly been observed that “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”  When we are experiencing hardships that really aren’t our fault, what surfaces as most important is the urgency of clearing our own name.  But even if your speech is right, your spirit can still be wrong.

Unless we connect time with eternity, we will live as if time is always working against us.  But since God created time, it can be your friend.  Expectations about the future affect present decisions.  If you lose sight of your eternal blessings, all you will see is your present buffetings.  Time is either for us or against us. 

James states Peter’s perspective as a blessing: “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).  Having lived a few years longer than my children, I can appreciate their struggles with time and the blessings of being time tested.

Father, my recent ambitions have been focused on temporal situations.  I ask for Your forgiveness.  I want to live with balance.  As Your said at creation, I want to declare at the end of the day that it was good.  You know my day; You even know my minutes.  Help me to live the next five minutes for You.  I need You, Father, more than I need “Father Time”.  Help me, Jesus.  Amen.

*Thank you… Dr. Glynn Stone, Longview, Tx 

Colossians 3:12

Colossians 3:12 NIV

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."


Ephesians 3:20-21

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.