Tag: open letter

An Open Letter To Adulterers

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There are approximately 56 million couples in America. 112 million men and women who were joined together as husband and wife to begin their own miniature civilizations.

That number represents about one third of this nation’s population. After reading a number of different statistics on various websites, and after discovering that an estimated 50% of marriages are being undermined (or maybe “mined”, as in blown apart) by adultery (emotional and/or sexual), I decided to write this letter to the 56 million or so people who have already had, or who are considering having, an adulterous affair.

Here it is.

An Open Letter To Adulterers.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. Adulterer, 

Although you probably envision yourself as a romantic, passionate lover, your decision to ignore your marriage covenant isn’t about romance or love. Adultery is not the steamy hot tryst Hollywood likes to portray. 

It is a real life killer of relationships, hopes, dreams, character, and, of course, trust. 

Adulterers aren’t lovers. They are murderers. “Affairs” don’t just happen. Neither does first degree murder.

I’m sure you don’t believe that about yourself.

How does cheating on your spouse make you anything but a selfish, out of control loser? How do you justify your feelings as love? Didn’t you “love” the person you married? Didn’t you promise to love, cherish, and protect your partner until you were separated by death?

You say you can’t live without your new found love. You’ve said that before. And just because your heart has become so hardened it can no longer distinguish between truth and lies doesn’t change the fact you are a liar, a cheater, and totally untrustworthy. 

If you won’t honor your vows to one, don’t think for a moment you will next time. And if your new “love” couldn’t keep their vows with the one they swore “until death do us part”, how can you honestly believe you’re the exception? That they’ll treat you differently?

Mr. and Mrs. Adulterer, will you stop fantasizing long enough to face some real facts of life? 

Fact – adultery isn’t simply a fling, an affair, a rendezvous, or even a one night stand. It isn’t merely an inappropriate touch, or a suggestive remark. 
It is an attack against your very own civilization; the very one you promised to protect. 

It’s as though you grabbed your spouse by the hair, threw them to the ground, and held them while your “lover” chopped off their head with a machete!

 

Adultery isn’t any nicer than ISIS. It’s just less bloody. 

 

Fact – adultery teaches a lesson to the next generation that it’s okay to be unfaithful. It’s alright to ignore vows and obey sensual desires. If it feels good, do it. After all, happiness is the main thing, isn’t it?

Is that what you want your children to learn?

Happiness is not the main thing, if in the process you must destroy others in order to have your way.

Fact – adultery is a lazy person’s way of dealing with marital problems. It’s kind of like a kid playing hooky from school because they can’t pass a test. They didn’t study for the test, didn’t pay attention in class; instead they spent the time daydreaming about playing outside with friends. So, they skip school rather than work on the lesson. 

So you have problems with your spouse. Yeah? And who doesn’t, at some point in their marriage? 

It might help if you quit looking out the classroom window, and began studying your lesson.

Fact – adultery doesn’t fix any problem. It never repairs relationship issues, it won’t cure sexual addictions, and it only mocks the ones who say they did it for the sake of love.

Rolling around on the bed of adultery is not an expression of love. It is the picture of a person who likes themself better than anyone else in their world. Even more than the person they are “making love” to. 

An adulterer does not understand love.

As I close, may I introduce you to a few timeless truths you may or may not have heard before? 

1. God avenges the one who has been cheated on. 1 Thessalonians 4:6

2. God blesses the marriage bed, but judges the sexually immoral and the adulterous. Hebrews 13:4

3. God sees you as an infidel, and one who’s denied the faith, if you won’t care for your own (which includes your spouse and kids). 1 Timothy 5:8

4. God will NOT grant you His peace as long as you’re rebelling against His will. He will not bless your hands while they are the hands of an adulterer. 

Maybe you’ve thought through all this rhetoric and still believe your happiness is all that matters. Your mind’s made up. Your course is set. 

Then have at it. 

But hopefully you’re re-examining your heart; remembering the sacred vows of yesterday. If so, it’s time to get up and out of the situation. Break it off, turn your back on it while you turn your face toward the ones who really matter. 

God. And the little civilization called your family. 

Sincerely,

Jan

Worship Is Not A Magic Lamp

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Part 3 of “An Open Letter To Worship Teams”

“Do we sometimes treat worship like a modern day Aladdin’s Lamp?”

There’s a word, a thought, I’d like to share with everyone, especially every believer.

But particularly with anyone who is part of a worship team.

The thought is this: God is not trying to hide from you. He hasn’t locked Himself away from you, expecting you to figure out the lock combination before He’ll “step out into the open.” He does not expect our times of worship to be a production, dance steps, or an equation of so many fast and slow songs. None of those things will automatically produce the Presence of God.

God will not be manipulated. He will, however, respond to simple, from the heart, worship. In fact, Psalm 22:3 says God is enthroned, or seated comfortably, on the praises of His people.

Please read the following verses. See if you can sense God’s desire to fellowship with His people.

Gen 2:7
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Ex 25:21-22
You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

Ex 40:33-35
So Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

2 Chron 5:13-14
indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Ps 84:1-2
How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Rev 21:3
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
[all scriptures NKJV]

God never intended for us to treat worship like Aladdin treated his lamp.

The truth is – GOD is the One Who has been chasing man for the past 6,000 years.

He’s the One Who created man, filled him with His heavenly breath, and fellowshipped with him throughout the day. God’s the One Who told Moses to build the Tabernacle; a place where God and man could fellowship through the offering of an animal’s blood.

God is the One Who filled the Tabernacle with His Presence, much like He filled Adam’s lungs with His breath.

Later on, King Solomon built the Temple and sanctified all the instruments, singers, musicians and priests; dedicating them to the Lord. As soon as everything was prepared, God, once again, filled the place with His breath, His Spirit.

And, it is God Who has planned to tabernacle, dwell, fellowship, with man forever and ever. It is God’s Son Who offered His blood so we could have eternal fellowship with Him.

Who needs a lamp and a genie?

But don’t expect every “worship experience” to be the same. Sometimes, when the Lord steps into our room, it is simply to receive our worship and fellowship with us. He doesn’t make a huge entrance; but those who were expecting Him, are waiting for Him. “Seeing” Him walk in, they usher Him to His favorite chair. From His place of enthronement, He communes with His family. He and His kids, enjoying each other’s company.

Other times His appearance may be so subtle, one doesn’t even know He’s in the room. People all around, talking, laughing, enjoying each other’s presence. He sits quietly, listening to our conversations, ready to join in. But only when asked. Though He is jealous, He isn’t rude. He loves us so much, yet He will not force Himself upon us or into our world.

Every so often He’ll step into our world like He stepped into Abraham’s. In the heat of the day (Gen. 19) God came calling. Abraham recognized Him and asked Him to stay a while so he could serve Him properly. So Abraham worshipped God by feeding Him. THEN, the actual purpose of the visit became clear. Worship led to intercession, with God drawing Abraham into His plans and purposes for the deliverance of Lot and family.

And then there are moments…yes, those times when His Presence in the room is much larger than the room itself! As He steps into the doorway, everything within us wants to fall prostrate before Him. Our shouts of joy are silenced by His eternal awe and beauty. Songs become mere melodies in the presence of His Glory. Even our breath responds to His Presence, becoming so “thick” we cannot speak, as He adds His breath to ours. The Eternal God, fellowshipping, communing, with man.

He rejoices with us! He sings and shouts with us! “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17

He DESIRES to be with us. Whether we’re doing well, hurting, mad or happy. He desires to be in our presence; it’s been that way since the foundation of the world.

So, throw away any magic lamps, special charms, or anything else you feel you need to “conjure” up God’s Presence. You don’t have to talk Him into coming!

Simply worship Him.

An Open Letter To Worship Teams (part 2)

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“Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, “Who shall be first to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?” And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up. Indeed I have delivered the land into his hand.” So Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me to my allotted territory, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I will likewise go with you to your allotted territory.” And Simeon went with him. Then Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek. “Judges 1:1-4 NKJV

In the above passage of scripture, Judah was told to lead the battle against the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Most people understand the name, “Judah”, means “praise”. That’s one reason the idea of “praise” marching against the enemy is taught. But some people read this passage and believe God always sends His worship team into battle first. God has done such things a few times, but “few” doesn’t equal always.

The words Canaanite and Perizzite have meaning as well. Canaanite is “to humiliate” or “vanquish”. Perizzite means “open” or “unwalled”. In other words, “praise” was to go up against a formidable foe that had the reputation of humiliating and vanquishing all of their enemies. And if that wasn’t enough, the other half of the enemy combatants were so powerful they needed no walls of protection for their cities. They could defend their territory without anything but their ability to fight.

Worship can be, and is at times, used by the Lord to rout an enemy from a situation, a people group, a city, etc. An example can be seen in 2 Chronicles 20, in the story of King Jehoshaphat.

But for worship and praise to have Heaven’s Anointing upon it, it must have God’s Word, God’s direction, behind it.

If you are part of a worship team, you are in a critical, front line ministry. Notice I said worship team. I’m not talking about a group of singers and musicians who perform for their congregation during the “worship” part of a church service. I’m referring to a group of singers and musicians who, along with their leader, actually have their heart fixed on worshipping God, whether there’s music or not, whether the song is fast or slow. They worship God. And others follow their lead, right into Heaven’s Throne Room.

As I said, leading worship and ministering on a worship team is front line ministry. Worship, coupled with intercession (the two go hand in hand), has the ability to connect Heaven and Earth. God moves through the conduit of worship and touches those in need, those who are bound by afflictions or addictions, and brings deliverance. But one of the things a worship team must understand is, the Lord doesn’t necessarily use a packaged or planned worship set like we’d believe; for there’s nothing magical, or spiritual, about an arrangement of songs.

I keep track of worship “sets” I use. I do that for three reasons. One, in case someone would ask about a certain song used on a particular day or service. Two, to file a report with CCLI regarding song usage. And three, for my own reference in planning future worship times. These “sets” have been blessed by God, at times, to “bring Heaven down”. People have received from the Lord marvelously as our worship team sang and played the worship set.

However what worked before doesn’t guarantee future victories. Repeating a worship set doesn’t mean the automatic rerun of a previous “gully washer.”

Judah had an idea. I believe it was an idea we as worshippers need to adapt. Judah (praise) said to brother Simeon, “will you please help me?” Simeon means “hearing”. The picture behind the word isn’t just the physical act of hearing. It means “to hear with the intent of obeying”.

So “praise” said to “hearing, with the intent of obeying”, “please help me defeat these enemies who have the ability and the reputation of defeating all who rise against them.” “Hearing” agreed, and TOGETHER they cleared their land of the enemy.

When we as worship team members and leaders stand in front of a congregation, singing songs should be one of the last things we’re concerned with. Singing praises alone doesn’t automatically open windows for victory. We must keep our heart and mind sensitive to God’s voice, and to the leader’s heart (and the pastor’s).

When we unite praise and obedience to God’s voice we will see God’s Kingdom come and His will done in our world.

When I “plan” the songs for worship, I try and sense the Lord’s desire for the gathering. I’ll pick the songs, the keys, arrange the order, and submit the finished set to the pastor or sound personnel. But the songs aren’t set in stone. We may do some, all, or none of them.

What we will do, with the Spirit’s help, is join Judah and Simeon together – praising, listening, and obeying God.

THAT is when the enemy is routed and people are set free. THAT is when Heaven touches Earth. THAT is when Jesus is glorified!

It’s great to prepare worship sets. It’s great to practice vocal parts, instrumentals, tags, etc. It’s important to rehearse and “perform” the best we can.

But when it’s time to worship, don’t forget to listen to the Chief Musician’s heart. He just may have something other than singing planned.

There may be a Canaanite or Perrizite to drive out.