Marriage and Family

Kirk Cameron Under Fire… Again

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19). As many of us know, actor Kirk Cameron has transformed himself from the one time 80’s teen-beat idol, to one of today’s most out-spoken evangelical leaders. Just months after coming off the heels of a firestorm of sorts in which Cameron made comments about homosexuality being “Destructive” during an interview on Piers Morgan Tonight; it seems Cameron is now being brought under fire once again.

Recently, NOM (The National Organization for Marriage) named Kirk Cameron as “one of America’s most important champions of marriage.” To accompany this honor, NOM released a video on their website in which Cameron is shown speaking during an interview about the importance of preserving traditional marriage in the United States. Already, this interview has seemed to re-spark the debate against GLAAD and Cameron from months past; even finding media sources and bloggers alike to return to their keyboards in an attempt to revisit the Piers Morgan interview.

Ever since I read the controversy surrounding the Piers Morgan/Kirk Cameron interview, one statement that was made has always left me scratching my head. In their response to Cameron’s interview, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) attacked Cameron saying, “Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.” As I read this, I was left asking myself one question. To say people of faith believe in the gay agenda makes me wonder what Bible are they reading? We who call ourselves “Believers” accept the Bible as the Infallible Word of God, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Therefore, if a person claims to be a Christian, they must accept God’s Word as truth. While times may change and people become desensitized to social issues, the Bible is clear; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

As Christians, sin is to be hated; there is no excuse for looking the other way or taking it lightly. There are many sinful acts that occur in all of us. And people who try and place homosexuality as a sin higher than any other are just out right wrong. Nowhere in the Bible does it describe homosexuality as a “greater” sin than any other. All sin whether it is theft, murder, dishonesty, or adultery; it’s still offensive to God. Homosexuality is just one of the many things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that will keep a person from the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we are called to love all sinners by being faithful in witnessing to them of the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ.

If we call ourselves followers of Christ, then we know that the truest act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though he/she knows you do not approve of their lifestyle or their choices. Looking the other way is not loving in the eyes of God. We are not called to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. Therefore, “We will speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). While people may stand upon their soapbox claiming Kirk or any other follower of Christ is judging or intolerable to the homosexual lifestyle, understand, it is not hateful to speak out against sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true. We as Christians are called at all times to love the person sinning. But as for the sinful acts, we must refuse to condone, ignore, or excuse them. Kirk Cameron’s remarks are not only biblically accurate, but in my opinion, refreshing in a day and age where Lukewarm Christianity is becoming socially tolerant.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

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They Can Never Escape Your Prayers

If you’ve taken the time to read my testimony, you already know that my coming to know Christ was not a road I would wish anyone to travel. Having grown up in the textbook definition of a “bible banging” Christian home, you might think that my future had already been mapped out for me. I mean come on, my grandmother was a church leader and my grandfather eventually built the church we would one day call our home church. The Gospel was force-fed through and through. Even though it seems like so long ago, I can still remember sitting with my grandmother at her dining room table when I was 8-years old. That was the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

As years past, my walk with Christ seemed unshakeable. But suddenly, just after turning 10, my life would change; something so horrific was about to unknowingly rule most of my adult life. It was the summer of 1980, and a good friend named Ritchie had invited me to a church summer camp. I felt great, I was making lots of friends and everything was going good until my second night there. As I lay fast asleep in the bottom bunk of my bed, I was startled to find my Christian pastor standing over me. Then that’s when it happened. I don’t really recall that many details; but I know he touched me in a way that no child should ever be touched. To this day I remember his obscene jokes as he whispered them into my ears. That night, he took my innocence; and forever changed my outlook on someone in his position of trust. Now that’s a lot for a 10-year old boy to deal with. I’m not sure if I was suppressing it or just trying to forget. But one thing I knew, my God had let me down and I didn’t want anything to do with Him or the church ever again.

For a number of years following the incident, I kept this deep dark secret suppressed. On the outside my life seemed the same; but on the inside, the more I was around the Christian faith the more I felt like a hypocrite. Without knowledge of what had transpired, my devout grandmother would constantly pray with my brother and I. She would often sit us down on her bed and try her best to reach our hearts with words that, honestly, fell on deaf ears. This proved to be a tremendous test of her faith. Again and again, I routinely nodded in outward agreement while staring out the window, all the while wishing it would end. I learned that if I wanted to get it over quickly, it was best not to disagree or raise opposition, or the prolonged torture would never cease.

This went on until I left for military service just after turning 18. The distance apart made it much easier to have no accountability for not attending church. Not to mention escaping the constant interrogation from my grandmother; which always ended with that oh so familiar question, “When are you going to get back in church?” As time passed, the questions came fewer and far between. Then one day, it dawned on me; my grandmother had quit her onslaught of lectures. I was like, “Finally!” What a relief; no more lengthy discussions, no more feelings of convictions. “Whew!” I had escaped her persistent pleading! What I didn’t realize at the time was that while I had escaped her pleading with me, I hadn’t escaped her pleading with God.

28-years had passed since that fateful day. Many mistakes and regrets had occurred a long the way. I went from blaming God for what I thought He allowed to happen to me, to thanking Him for what He used to perfect me though. After I gave God control of my life and was reborn, I couldn’t wait to call my grandmother; the same grandmother who sat at a small kitchen table with me as I gave my life to Christ 28-years prior. When I told her of the Good-News she began to cry. She told me that God had finally answered her prayers. I was shocked to find out that my grandparents had never stopped praying for me. My grandmother revealed how she had determined to quit talking and instead begin to diligently pray that I would return to our Father and be saved. She and my grandfather prayed for God to bring me back to Him for over twenty-years. What a testament of perseverance; twenty-years went by and they never gave up on me. Why? Because they knew of the redeeming power that God provides to us all. What I came to learn from this ordeal was that it wasn’t God to blame for what happened to me as a small child; it was Satan. For Satan knew that if he did not try and separate me from my Savior, I too would become a force to be reckoned with for building God’s Kingdom. My life had become a testament to the verse, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). And this is why my catch phrase is “Building His Kingdom one soul at a time…” It only takes a small stone to make a ripple in a large pond. We all have past issues that seem disheartening. Whether it is abuse, drugs, crime, whatever; always live your life with one thought in mind. “Do not allow your past to become a crutch… Use it as a ladder to elevate your future!”

I share this with you today and pray that it may serve as encouragement to all you parents and grandparents who have children that seem to have no interest and at times may even seem hostile to your faith. I know on the surface things may look hopeless. And you may even begin to question if God is even listening to your prayers. But let me assure you, I would not be the man I am today had my grandparents stopped praying for this once lost child. So let me challenge you, who may be weary and are having feelings of despair, don’t give up! Though it may seem like there is no hope in sight, and you may feel like God is not at work, know that He is—in ways you can’t always see. Most of us have spent our lives trying to take care of things our way, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, we must learn to trust our lives to His care and in His timing. When we seek to do so, we can say with the psalmist, … “I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands…” (Psalm 31:14-15). It is in these moments that we will come to know with all certainty that our prayers will be answered according to the will of God.

I pray that through my testimony it will inspire you to not lose heart in your situation with regards to your children. I pray you will keep seeking, keep knocking, and keep asking! “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). It is when we put our trust in God for their salvation, and feel comfort that all is done in God’s timing that we will see God move in our situation. And remember, your children may be able to escape your preaching, but they can never escape your prayers.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

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Wedding Officiant Services – Colorado Springs

Your wedding is one of the most memorable days in you life. Your celebration of love represents one of life’s greatest commitments. But it also is a declaration of love as you enter into a covenant relationship intended by God to be a lifelong relationship exemplifying unconditional love, reconciliation, sexual purity, and growth.

As a Christian Pastor, I only conduct Christian themed weddings. I believe that since marriage is a divine institution, and we are asking God to join you as husband and wife, it is only fitting and right that each should faithfully promise before God to accept the sacred marriage covenant according to His divinely ordained Word.

As you think about your wedding day, remember it should be special. Therefore, I’m able to perform your wedding anywhere and almost any time you want. No matter the size or the formality, I’ll do my part to make your day memorable. I want your day to be about you… “Your wedding done your way.” Depending upon what type of ceremony you want, you are open to incorporate personal vows, special readings, scriptures, songs, poems, and other distinctive touches. Contact me below and we can sit down for a free consultation to discuss how we can make your special day end like a fairytale.

If my fees seem like a lot less than other area officiants, please know that I feel called to solemnize the nuptials of believers in Christ. I do not officiate weddings for the money. My fees cover my costs associated to offer my services (travel, prep time, meetings, and rehearsals if needed).

FEE

DESCRIPTION

INCLUDES

$75

Informal Weekday Weddings
(Monday-Thursday, Friday before 5)

  • No Rehearsal
  • Short Meeting if Necessary
  • Wedding Ceremony

$99

Informal Weekend Weddings
(Friday after 5, Saturday and Sunday)

  • No Rehearsal
  • Short Meeting if Necessary
  • Wedding Ceremony

$149

FULL Formal Weekday Weddings
(Monday-Thursday, Friday before 5)

  • ALL Meetings necessary prior to Rehearsal
  • Rehearsal
  • Wedding Ceremony

$199

Full Formal Weekend Weddings
(Friday after 5, Saturday and Sunday)

  • ALL Meetings necessary prior to Rehearsal
  • Rehearsal
  • Wedding Ceremony

A 50% reservation fee (non-refundable) is required to save the date and time longer than 7-Days Prior

Vow Renewal Prices are the same listed above depending on the Ceremony Day / Formality

Consultations are free and scheduled by appointment

THIS CONTACT FORM GOES DIRECTLY TO MY IPHONE – I WILL CONTACT YOU SHORTLY

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The Love of Christ – How Are You Measuring Up?

Awe, the enchanted memories of yesteryear… That bejeweled white dress, a crisp tuxedo, beautiful flowers adorning the isles, and dear old Dad kissing his daughter just before handing her off to her Knight in shining armor. You know that time; when the rosy-colored glasses are almost too thick to gaze through. Yes, I’m talking about that milestone in a couple’s life, your wedding day. Well years begin to pass, and that once hard body you had when you first met, has now transformed from six-pack abs of steel to something resembling more of a rusted out pony-keg. Then throw in a couple of kids, that new house that will be yours in just 355 more payments, and an unrelenting boss; and you’ve got stress. How’s the view through those rose-colored glasses now?

On the day we said “ I Do,” we did so because we were motivated by one thing; LOVE. Love is such a powerful emotion that it motivates many aspects of our lives. Heck, why did any of us get married in the first place? Because we felt like we were “in love.” Strange… we feel like we are “in love,” yet more than half of all marriages end in divorce. Could this be the problem in today’s society? Having gone though a divorce myself before coming to Christ let me tell you, I like everyone today had missed a very clear message in scripture. Love in the sense of a secular world is completely different from the type of “true biblical love” God has called us to have for one another. If you take nothing else from this blog get this point straight; the Bible does not teach that “true love” is an emotion that can simply come and go. TRUE LOVE IS A DECISION!

Let’s turn our focus on one of the most widely recited scriptures used during many weddings today; I Corinthians 13:4-7. In this scripture, the Apostle Paul tells us that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” If one takes the time, we realize that Paul is not stating what one should “feel” for one another, but a “decision” we should make. This decision is to commit ourselves to one another so selflessly, that we share the common goal of practicing biblical love in or homes.

As I sat down to write this I knew I had to make it clear, I’m not trying to come off as “holier-than-thou.” I too struggle with the same issues that everyone is faced with today. Life does get in the way at times and unfortunately it does bring out the worst in us. I slip up just as much as every one else. However, the point to be made here is that even during those times of strife, we can always rebound, repent to God, and ask for grace from our partner. My intention for writing this blog was not only about asking you, but asking myself as well, “As outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, how is your love measuring up to the love Christ has called us to have for our spouse?”

As the New Year is quickly approaches and people begin making those New Year’s resolutions that, let’s face it, end within the first 30-days; I’d ask you to join me in thinking about what Paul’s epistles has called us each to ask of ourselves.

1. “Love is patient.” Are you willing to bear with your spouse’s worst behaviors and attitudes regardless of the reasoning behind them, and without seeking revenge?

2. “Love is kind.” Are you making the effort to seek ways to be useful in your spouse’s life through loving kindness?

3. “Love is not jealous.” Are you more concerned with your own personal advancement, or do you find joy in the esteem and honor we are called to give to our spouse?

4. “Love does not brag.” Are you striving to standout and draw attention to yourself, setting aside your spouse in an effort to remain “one-up” over them?

5. “Love is not arrogant.” Have you become so self-absorbed that your main focus is striving to be the more important one in the relationship?

6. “Love does not act unbecomingly.” As our spouse’s look to us for Godly counsel, are you insuring you don’t lead them astray into ungodly activities?

7. “Love does not seek its own.” Therefore, is your top priority after God to be marriage and spouse oriented?

8. “Love is not provoked.” Are you making the effort not to resort to anger when difficulties between yourself and your spouse arise?

9. “Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.” Are you keeping a record of wrongs against your spouse instead of focusing on the positive aspects they hold within themselves?

10. “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.” Are you condoning your spouse’s unrighteous behavior? Are you fueling the fire by joining in its expression?

11. “Love rejoices with the truth.” Are you showing your spouse praise when you notice truth prevailing in your spouse’s life?

12. “Love bears all things.” Even when you feel that you can’t stand it anymore, do you remain publicly silent about your spouse’s faults?

13. “Love believes all things.” Do you express unshakable confidence and trust in your spouse?

14. “Love hopes all things.” Do you remain hopeful by confidently expecting future victory in your spouse’s life, regardless of their current imperfections and struggles?

15. “Love endures all things.” Are you willing to standup and defend your spouse against every assault that Satan tries to use to break up your marriage?

So how are you measuring up? If you’re like me and be honest with yourself, you’ll admit that what Paul calls each one of us to do is not always as easy as it sounds. Our poor choices and behaviors lead us away from the path of making the “decision” to love one another, to the one that is based strictly on “emotion.” Can this hurdle be overtaken? The truth is, YES; we are all capable of having that “true love” feeling. We just need to change our mindset from thinking like secular man, and make the effort to close that gap that separates ourselves from the “true biblical love” that Christ has called us to have for one another.

I heard it once said, great marriages don’t just happen by chance. They happen when two people make the “decision” to love one another unconditionally. No matter if you’ve been married for 1-day or 50-years; every marriage needs continual refreshment through frequent confirmations of these biblical truths. With Paul’s words applied, good marriages will become great. And that weak marriage can begin to gain its strength back. In the end, when we finally take off those rose-colored glasses and get real about our love for our spouse, we’ll find that it really is important to distinguish between following our emotions or following God’s will for our lives. For in the area of marriage, God’s will is easily defined. Paul shows us that True love is a “decision” not just an “ever-changing emotion.” And “True biblical love” is about loving someone all of the time; not just when you feel “in love.”

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

 

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Are You Being Distracted by Facebook?

As a “Techie-Guy” by nature, I love my iPhone, my Xbox-360 and any of the numerous devices that have come on the scene to keep us entertained and informed in this hustle and bustle world. Along with these devices have come websites that seem to make us feel like we wouldn’t know what to do if they never existed. Case in point… Facebook. A handy little website that enables us to keep in contact with our loved ones and reclaim our long lost friendships of yesteryear. While we’ve been provided the gift of staying in touch and knowing what Suzy and Tommy from grade school are doing now, along with that comes those annoying posts that people feel they have to let everyone know about. Like I really want to know that your cat has an ongoing digestive problem or that you currently hold the high score on Farmville. After graduating from college, one of my first acts as a new pastor was to prioritize my life. That means God, family, ministry. Recently, when we decided to take a family vacation, my wife and I decided to disconnect from all social sources; email, news, and yes… Facebook. While Facebook can be a good tool, what we discovered was that if you are truly honest with yourself as we were, I think you’ll agree that it really has become sort of a distraction. Answer this… Do you spend more time on Facebook or in HIS book? Do you feel the need to check Facebook everyday… several times? Do you sublimely just tap on the Facebook App on your smart phone? Gotcha… you’re being distracted!

Recently, I came a cross a national poll that states that the typical person spends an average of 6.5 combined hours each week on Facebook. Do the math, that’s over 1-day a month that Americans spend on a website! What could you be doing with this time? After my wife and I returned from our vacation of cutting out all social media from our lives, we discovered something very interesting. We were happier, less annoyed, and more dedicated to our family. Some people might say that this was “Just because you were on vacation.” I would say, “No, it’s because I didn’t have to listen to someone tell me “If you’re blah, blah, blah… Repost this on your wall!” Come on, let’s be truthful here. Has this what we’ve really led ourselves to become more concerned with? Yes, Facebook can be a good keep-in-touch tool, and even used greatly for ministry; but is it taking you away from the real world and God’s call on your life?

The Bible is clear; Satan has one goal in mind, “To steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). And guess what, at this point, he’s winning. Divorce is at an all time high, teenage pregnancy is off the charts, and our children can be subjected to pornography within seconds of most Google search results. He will stop at nothing to win. And distraction is just one of his tactics that he uses to avert our minds away from pursuing God’s purpose for our lives and furthering Christ’s ministry. I’m not saying that Facebook is the Devil and you should disconnect from it (well not in this post anyway); but I am saying that when you become more obsessed with checking Facebook than reading the Bible then there is a problem. When you go through your day what book do you access first; Facebook or HIS Book? This American distraction has taken our time away from reading and studying the Bible, spending quiet time with God, and spending time with family; in short we’ve lost our biblical worldview.

If you are one of the elite that spend more time with God than on Facebook, then I commend you. But I’ll bet if most of us (present company included prior to this media separation experience) are honest, we’ll find that Satan has done a pretty good job of keeping us distracted from God. Look, my point is not to write this with the view of condemning you, but to make you aware of what is going on in the world. Our attack is no different than Jesus Himself once faced. Satan once tried to distract Jesus while He was enduring His wilderness experience and at Capernaum while He was beginning His powerful ministry. If Satan tried to distract Jesus, suffice to say that he too will try and come up with another tactic to distract our time away from fulfilling God’s call on our lives and our own powerful ministries.

It is my hope from this blog that you really stop and think. Where is your time being spent? We must all reclaim a deliberate walk with Christ and place more emphasis on what we are called to do. Preach the Gospel and love on our families; and this begins by cutting the umbilical cord of social media. Think I’m aloof in my call to action? There are many prominent pastoral leaders today that not only agree with what I’m saying, but also call for their congregations to completely disconnect from Facebook all together. Why? Because they know all to well that if we as Christ followers want to truly take charge of your lives, then we have to start by getting rid of various distractions; and with Facebook claiming that they will have reached 1-billion Facebook accounts by end of 2012, clearly Facebook has become a very real distraction in modern society. I’m not calling for you to go and delete your Facebook account; however I am hoping that for the sake of your family and walk with Christ you place limits on this distraction so that you can get back on the right path toward taking purposeful action daily! When we reclaim the sanity from Mark Zuckerberg’s college experiment spiraling out of control; we will all be brought back to our wealthy place in God so that we can be a blessing to His kingdom here on earth.

In closing, forgive me if you can’t find me to friend on Facebook; I no longer have one. I finally decided enough was enough. I’m making my life about His Kingdom, and not a social media site that has a proven track record of creating division amongst families and the Body of Christ! Don’t believe me? A quick Google search will shock you! Hmm… A rise in divorce, a rise in adultery, pornography, child-trafficking arrests, pedophilia arrests, not to mention the constant abuse of your and my privacy; yep, what would we ever do without Facebook?

I am thankful that God has given me a new lease on life. I’m not spending one day taking that for granted. I would hope if you are reading this that it sparks you to take a real hard and close look at your life’s priorities. I’m going to end with a view that I like from my father-in-law (who coincidently also does not use Facebook). He states, “He likes to deal “face-to-face” without the Book.” And isn’t that what we’re called to do, have real relationships? Life is not measured by the number of friends you try and accumulate on your Facebook friends list; it begins by how it’s measured through the relationship you have when you make the decision to accept HIS friend request. Have a blessed day, and remember… “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

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