Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Widmer Testimony

Yes, I am still alive, just on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Life is very crazy right now with trips, work projects, and this new 4 week series from Galatians that I'll be teaching the opening message for this weekend. Last Sunday we closed out a series on stress with a message on, "Rejoicing in Times of Stress". The following is one of the testimonies we featured on the Widmer family in our church. It was a moving story and a wonderful illustration of how to rejoice in times of difficulty. Watch and be blessed!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Back On the Job

After a week at seminary and week on vacation, I am now back and in the office. Please be patient as I take the week to catch up on email and my other regular duties at the church. I am looking forward to a busy summer as we program for the Fall, reorganize the vocal ministry (thanks to a vocal reorg team), develop a job description for a Pastor of Worship and Music (search starting soon), recruit architects, develop a master plan for a new church facility, and...... (the list goes on and on).... busy summer to say the least. I now leave you with a few of the fun pictures from our vacation. For those Parkies out there, see you Sunday if not sooner!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Cost of Adultery

A year doesn’t seem to go by without someone in ministry or the church confessing or being caught in the sin of adultery. It is a serious problem with serious consequences. So often people get to this point slowly, compromise by compromise. Often, by the time one gets there, they are consumed by their emotions and unable or unwilling to contemplate the destructive consequences of their actions. Surely there is hope for forgiveness and recovery, but more often then not the costs are great and lasting. Years ago Randy Alcorn assembled the following list as a reminder of the consequences he would face as a Pastor if he chose the path of adultery. It is a good and sobering reminder that there is a cost for every action. Lord helps us all to stay faithful!

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ's sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci's respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. ("Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?")
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Shame to my church family.
  • Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:
  • Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I've led to Christ and discipled. List of names:
  • Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.
  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community "this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?"
  • Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.