This is not cool…
Sex is good. God designed it to be that way! As more and more scientific studies are completed and research papers published there is one thing becoming more and more clear—God’s way of having sex (a married husband and wife) is the best way to do it.
Pornography before or during marriage is a relationship killer.  Porn makes you objectify the other person, seeing them as an object to be used and not a person to be loved.  Porn creates unrealistic expectations that your spouse cannot live up to.  Even so-called “soft” porn is the open door to more destructive viewing habits.  Porn erodes the trust that holds a relationship together.  Porn isolates marriage partners from each other, because they think they can find satisfaction on a screen.
Having sex before marriage actually rewires your brain, making it so much harder to bond with your spouse after you say “I do.” Check this out:
For over a decade, there have been numerous studies that reveal three different attachment styles in the way people bond sexually: secure, anxious and avoidant. The latter is what’s interesting as it reflects the behavior we see in the statistics above.
According to Dr. [Sue] Johnson: “Those of us who are avoidant, that is, uncomfortable with emotional closeness and dependence on others, are more likely to have what I term ‘sealed-off sex.’ Sex is self-centered and self-affirming, a performance aimed at achieving climax and confirming one’s own sexual skill. Technique is prized; openness and vulnerability shunned. There is little foreplay, such as kissing or tender touching. And no cuddling afterward—once the Big Bang occurs, there’s nothing left … Because pleasure without emotional engagement is shallow and fleeting, this kind of sex needs continual boosting to be thrilling.”
God’s desire is for your sexual relationship with your spouse to be intoxicating! The descriptions in Scripture are of a husband and wife intoxicated with each other, and God pronouncing a blessing over the couple as they are wrapped up in each other! God wants sex in your marriage to be so amazingly good that there is never a shadow of a thought of looking anywhere else.
But if you want this, you must do sex God’s way. One man and one woman who are married to each other, and who have left behind all the entanglements of other partners, whether they’re real or virtual.
“Patience is the evidence of an inner strength. Impatient people are weak, and therefore dependent on external supports—like schedules that go just right and circumstances that support their fragile hearts. Their outbursts of oaths and threats and harsh criticisms of the culprits who crossed their plans do not sound weak. But that noise is all a camouflage of weakness. Patience demands tremendous inner strength. For the Christian, this strength comes from God.” —John Piper
“Prayerless people soon become faithless people. The more they forsake the gift of access, refusing to draw on God’s provisions, the more they drift away.” —David Wilkerson
“Christians are not fighting for victory. They are fighting from victory. The outcome has been determined.” —Tony Evans
Whether you are a Detroit Tigers fan or not, this is a very cool story: The Day Willie Horton Saved Al Kaline’s Life.
Researchers are working on some amazing advances to treat infections without using antibiotics.
Seth Godin really shakes up the status quo in his book Poke The Box. I loved it! You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes I especially liked.
“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.”
“Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn’t do. If you lived in that world, what would you do? Go. Do that.”
“Creative people or those with something to say believe that they have to wait to be chosen. … ‘Pick me, pick me’ acknowledges the power of the system and passes responsibility to someone else to initiate. Even better, ‘pick me, pick me’ moves the blame from you to them. If you don’t get picked, it’s their fault, not yours. If you do get picked, well, they said you were good, right? Not your fault anymore. Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.”
“The fact that it doesn’t work every time should give you confidence, because it means you’re doing something that frightens others.”
“Poking successfully also requires tact. You are trying to change things, not have people recoil in anger or fear from your poking.”
“Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing. … It’s a personal, urgent, this-is-my-call/this-is-my-calling way to do your job.”
“Not-allowed lists exist in school, in relationships, and in jobs. The park near my house doesn’t allow dogs, non-residents, or birthday parties. It’s interesting that the allowed list is harder to remember and to write down. I think we might be afraid of how much freedom we actually have, and how much we’re expected to do with that freedom. It’s comforting to live with a list of what’s not allowed. We remember it, we push against it, but ultimately we enjoy the confinement that the limits bring us. When revolutions appear, when the list gets much shorter, it’s surprising how long it takes for us to take action.”
“‘This might not work.’ Is it okay to say these four words? Is your work so serious and flawless and urgent that each thing you do, every day, must work? Change is powerful, but change always comes with failure as its partner. ‘This might not work’ isn’t merely something to be tolerated; it something you should seek out. … Try is the opposite of hiding.”
“Starting means you’re going to finish. … To merely start without finishing is just boasting, or stalling, or a waste of time. … If you don’t finish, it doesn’t really count as starting, and if you don’t start, you’re not poking.”
“Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. … Keep starting until you finish. … Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.”
“I believe that if you’ve got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond ‘should’ and reaches the level of ‘must.’ You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us. … To do less is to steal from them.”
“Failure is an event, though, and with rare exceptions, is not fatal. The process of starting, regularly, and of seeking out opportunities to do it more often, is never a failure. The process is now essential for those who seek to succeed.”
Seth Godin is skilled at asking the uncomfortable questions, at demolishing our excuses, at getting us to look at age-old things in a new light. In short, he’s really good at poking the box. Poke The Box is an attempt to shake up the status quo, and wake us up to the value of starting something fresh and new.
On the opening page Seth says, “The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” Indeed, this is what Poke The Box addresses head-on. Why do we accept the status quo? Why don’t we initiate something new? What fears are holding us back? What might happen if we try and fail?
Poke The Box is written in a similar style to Seth’s popular blog. In fact, the book itself is “poking the box” of the typical, tried-and-true publishing style. Instead of chapters organized around a particular thought, the whole book is one big chapter, with the constant theme of challenging the just-sit-there-and-do-the-usual-thing attitude.
I loved it!
If you are ready to shake some things up, Poke The Box might be the nudge you need. Seth closes the book with this word of encouragement—
“Speaking up is not safe. People might be offended. Innovation is not safe. You’ll fail. Perhaps badly. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what are you going to do about it? Hide? Crouch in a corner and work as hard as you can to fit in? That’s not safe, either. Might as well do something that matters instead.”
“The test for apostles and teachers is not that they talk wonderful stuff, not that they are able to expound God’s Word, but that they edify the saints (Ephesians 4:12).” —Oswald Chambers
“Does your self-esteem need attention? You need only pause at the base of the Cross and be reminded of this: The Maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you.” —Max Lucado
“Sometimes the enormity of war overwhelms the truth that all great struggles are just the sum of individual stories. Each is more than just the story of one soldier’s service and sacrifice. Their service ripples across their families, friends and their communities. Memorial Day reminds us it is the noble sacrifice of many that makes us who we are.” —James Carafano
“How can we expect to foster a pro-life culture if we hide our beliefs in the shadows? Abortion clinics have flourished by boldly and unapologetically declaring their stance. As a result clinics like Planned Parenthood have become a mainstream part of our culture; being invited into our government’s budget, school systems and communities. Pro-life options have been bullied into a corner where their life affirming options are patronized under a label of intolerance.” I love this: a pro-life pregnancy center is going to open in Georgia just 10 feet away from an abortion clinic.
Here’s another reason I love Cedar Springs: our City has adopted an family escaping war in Africa.