eleven20 Recap – December 9, 2012

If you missed this Sunday, you can check it out here.

Worship Set:
O Come Let Us Adore Him – Hillsong
He Has Come For Us – Meredith Andrews
Coming To Save Us  – Letters From Patmos
O Little Town Of Bethlehem – The Silver Fleece


Sex vs Sexy and the Sacredness of Life

The other day I posted a portion of a Facebook conversation among some respected theologians concerning what the Bible says about premarital sex. During that online discussion someone mentioned that this was the least “sexy” conversation about sex they had read. Dr. Lawson Stone responded with this beautiful description about what “sex” and “sexy” really is.

“As for “least sexy” conversation, sex is about SO much more than “sexy.” Sex is about helping your wife recover for months from a very difficult delivery of a baby you sort of had something to do with; sex is about loving the wrinkles and grey hair or thinning hair. Sex is about sitting by the bed wishing you could be the one suffering instead of them. Sex is about still feeling off balance when you have to go without your wedding band for some reason. It’s about staying together through times when you don’t feel in love, don’t feel dedicated, don’t feel “committed” but remember that before God and his church you made a promise, a covenant, and you’ll honor it–and discovering that those who keep faith with that formal, so-called legalistic boundary enter a garden of joy known only to those who surrender. “Sexy” in our culture is a sad, pale cartoon made up of too much cleavage, too little self-respect, too much butt-crack and too many tramp-stamps, and over-tight clothes; it testifies to emptiness, a hunger, but not real desire. Lots of energy, but is it really passion? Lots of smoke, but not a fire to light your life, warm your soul and nourish your heart. The eyes of the goddess are painted, but the eye-holes are empty. The courtesan looks alluring, but the heart is stone-cold. As long as we keep chasing “sexy” we’ll never find the real thing. Instead, we get Madonna and Lady Gaga. And we deserve them.” – Lawson Stone

As Christ followers, our foundation of faith is built upon the belief that God is intentional about life, that there is meaning in his creation, and that our life has purpose. If life has meaning then the things we do have meaning. If life is to be cherished, then our relationships are to be cherished. If life is sacred, then don’t waste it. Why do we take one of the most intimate actions in our life and treat it like a pat on the back? Sex isn’t supposed to be locked away never to be used, but neither is it a common commodity so easily to be discarded. Your life and those around you are too wonderful to be treated so casually. Commit to one another, commit to life, and then discover what real sacred love is.



If you missed Wednesday’s blog, click  Premarital Sex and The Bible.

Thank you to Dr. Lawson Stone for today’s contribution.

Losing To Win

News station WDTN of Ohio reported a story earlier this month of a high school track meet where a great act of kindness was done.

Meghan Vogel, a 17-year-old was set to come in last place after just winning a previous race. She didn’t have to be last. She was quickly catching up to a girl whose body had dehydrated and had taken a fall. Meghan, instead of avoiding last place and running past the girl, helped carry Arden McMath to the finish line and boosted her competitor across the line ahead of herself.  See the full story and video here.

Is this not part of the picture of the Gospel of Christ? Too often we Christians feel we are in last place regarding respect in the community. We feel hobbled by poor characterizations in the news and entertainment. In the process of us trying to gain traction we end up walking over the broken and tripping on the lost. We forget that the mission of the Christian life is not to get to Heaven and shout at everyone and gloat, “See?! We were right and you were wrong!!” The people who offend us are the mission. The broken and lost are the mission. In Christ there is no need for us to step over anyone. Our life’s worth is not defined by the ideas of success and champions of this world, but simply in the fact that we belong to Christ. If that be the case, then we can stop along the way, consider the value of others, and lift them up, even our competitors, so that they may not loose but have life.

Meghan Vogel was a winner even before she began this race.  She was not a winner because she won some visual victory filled with medals and public accolades. She was a winner because on her way to the finish line she lost so that someone else didn’t.

Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do I Have to Sing?

“Worship is the opportunity for busy people to touch the eternal, for sinners to glimpse the holy, for broken people to be enfolded in his perfect love. Worship is moving beyond our self-centered lives to meet the one who created us for something better.”

-Rob Frost

I’ve always liked to sing. As a little girl I’d pretend to be The Little Mermaid in the tub and sing, “Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah!” That’s translated into my adult life in that you can’t really get me to shut up. One of the most emotionally difficult times for me (and no poking fun at this) is when I have bronchitis during a worship service. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out (or if something does come out, it’s a cough or sandpapery wheeze).

On the other hand there are many people who don’t like to sing. When the music is loud in a worship service they may hum a, “Blessed be the name,” but if it’s a quiet contemplative song, they stand silent. Maybe it’s because they don’t like the sound of their own voice or because they don’t know the song. There are a lot of “maybes,” but the question is, does God want us to sing?

The truth is, I can’t answer that question. I also don’t think it’s a simple yes or no answer. The place to start for us to answer that within the context of our relationship with Christ is with our definition of worship.

Quoting Tara Burke from an article in Relevant Magazine, “The words ‘worship’ and ‘music’ have been tied together so permanently that people think worship time ends when the praise team leaves the stage.” I know you may have heard the phrase, “Worship is more than music, it’s a lifestyle.” This is true, but I’d like to unpack that. Worship is engaging yourself with the Creator. It’s adoration, obedience, faithfulness, passion, and creativity. Worship is intentional and selfless.

I have the tendency to get lost in the music (partly because I want to make sure the right chords are played). When I’m not leading worship and participating in a service, my tendency is to sing every word all the time (I sometimes have to stop myself from singing the Kim Walker “ha-ha’s” in Jesus Culture songs). The downfall is that I sometimes sing just to sing. Not to be heard, but just to sing. I have to constantly remind myself of the deeper meaning behind the melodies and words.

For those that don’t like to sing, there’s the danger of being disengaged with the deeper content as well. When you look at the lyrics, you understand what they mean. However, it’s also important to verbally declare your hope is in the Lord and your love for Him.

Take time to reflect on where you stand as a worship service participator. Pray and ask God to give you the capacity to be engaged in worship.