CIL’s Immediate Response to Tragedy in Japan

On this beautiful Saturday in Tennessee, our hearts our heavy when we are reminded of the suffering in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami.

CIL is going to funnel our financial gifts towards Japan through Convoy of Hope.

You can give towards relief to Japan in three ways:

1. Any financial gift given Sunday that is designated “Japan”, “Earthquake”, “Tsunami”, etc. will be given 100% directly to Convoy of Hope.

2. You can directly give to Convoy of  Hope on-line by clicking here.

3. You can text “TSUNAMI” to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response efforts.  This donation will appear on your wireless bill.

A Woman’s Struggle with the Eyes

There is an old misconception that lust is a male problem, especially since men are visually driven.  While it may be true that men are more driven visually, women are also susceptible for lust to enter their lives through the doorway of the eyes.

I made a passing comment in my message Sunday on the Eyes that, “Potiphar’s wife was the first cougar.”  (Assuming she was much older than Joseph).  We were looking at the story of Joseph resisting the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 8But he refused . . . Genesis 39:6-8 (ESV)

In recent years it has become accepted, and even celebrated, that women should engage sexually with much younger men.  This is not referring to covenant marriage, as I know many Christian couples in which the wife is older than the husband, and their marriage is healthy and Christ-honoring.

The term “cougar” is a contemporary nick-name that refers to ladies who make sexual advancements on much younger men, who often are young enough to be their child.   According to this story in Genesis, this is not a new phenomenon, but an ancient temptation.   Like most sinful behavior, nothing is new under the sun.  Unfortunately, there are numerous stories in the media of female educators who have engaged sexually with male minors.

I’m not trying to be judgmental towards women in this area, as my gender has more frequently used sex in oppressive ways through the centuries.  I am just pointing out that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).”

In the doorway of the eyes, both men and women are vulnerable to lust.

“Staycation” Giveaway at CIL

In my sermon series, “God and Money,” I challenged us as believers to use Godly wisdom in approaching our finances. One idea for your family may be staying at home this Spring Break and doing things together here. This Sunday we will draw a name from our Children’s Check In System to choose a family from each service to receive a package with some great family outings for a stay at home vacation. Come early and register your family for this giveaway.  Also, tell someone you know who hasn’t been to church in a while about this “Staycation Giveaway.”


What You Look at You Become

What we gaze upon creates our desires.  In our series Doorways, I taught on the doorway of the Eyes on Sunday.   Temptation through our eyes happened at the beginning of humanity, as Satan tempted Eve through her eyes (Genesis 3:1-7).

The eyes are the entry point to your desire.   The eyes create.  They create ideas, desires, suspicions, justification, opportunities, excuses, options, jealousies, offenses, belief systems, lust, opportunities to steal, opportunities to cheat and opportunities to bless.

The eyes are the window to the soul.

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world . . .I John 2:15-16 (ESV)

This is especially true in the area of lust.  We live in a generation where lust is not just accepted, it’s celebrated.  Pornography is not just an option, it’s readily accessible.

That’s why I am excited about the first steps we are taking to help our men.  We are trying to cultivate relationships that will spring into more accountability.

How are we doing this for men?

– Men’s Bible study every Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.
– A monthly men’s fellowship the fourth Saturday of the month (7:00 a.m.)
– The next Men’s Night on Saturday, April 16th (6:00 p.m.) will deal directly with the issue of pornography.

However, lust is not just a male problem.  How do I know?  I’ll write about that later this week.

Reasons I want the NFL Lockout this Fall

In case you didn’t know, today the labor agreement between NFL owners and players expires.  If a new deal is not agreed upon today, there is a high probability that all or some of the 2011 NFL season will be missed.  To read more about this, click here.

I’m a life-long football fan, but here are some reasons I want the NFL to strike this Fall:

1. So there will be more touch football games at the park.

2. So a church service can go past noon without football fans getting antsy.

3. To see the modern-day “temples of excess” (aka NFL stadiums) empty on one of their eight “holy days” each year.   That especially includes the monstrosity in Arlington, TX.

4. So Fantasy Football players can discover there was another reason for the creation of the internet.

5. To see less 35 plus year old men wearing the jerseys of 23 year old athletes.

6. To give Thanksgiving more meaning

7. So more attention is given to high school football, where athletics is more appropriate.

8. To take away the advertising platform for Budweiser, Miller Light, Coors and

9.  To avoid the terrible pop culture cross-over concerts on Opening Weekend, Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl.

10. To help all of us football fans to remember that there is more depth to life than a silly football game.

Kent Henry Coming to CIL

Kent Henry is a seasoned minister who teaches about connecting to God through worship and intercession.   On Wednesday, March 23, Kent will minister in our regularly scheduled Wednesday night service at 6:30 p.m.   Full children’s and youth ministry will occur as usual.

On Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., we will have an additional Thursday night service with Kent, focusing on worship, intercession and impartation.   Childcare will be provided for children through age 4 on this night.   All children are invited to participate in this service that is focused on the Presence of God.

Make an effort to participate in these two services, expecting times of refreshing from the Lord.

If you know a pastor or worship leader, let them know about our second Pastor’s Roundtable on the morning of Thursday, March 24th at 9:30 a.m.   Worship leaders are encouraged to join their pastors for this morning of teaching and impartation.   You can access the Facebook invitation by clicking here.