Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Fishing With Nets

We had some unusually warm weather for the end of December today. So nice that a thaw was visible as the cold made way for the warmer tempatures. It may be only a temporary peek at the coming release from the winter cold, but it is a great reminder that though the days are cold and dreary, yet soon the spring will reappear and we will be liberated from the icy chill.

I sit in my car during lunch often, many times in the same spot. Today this sign posted beside the pond caught my attention. It said 'No Fishing With Nets'. I had probably saw this sign dozens of times before and paid no particular attention. Today, this sign's words seemed to capture my heart.

The warm weather had begun to thaw things out. The ice was breaking on the pond. Somehow my heart too was thawing after an overly long period of icy coldness. Months had past without a prayer, without a desire to hear the Gospel preached, without a desire to worship and praise God with my church family. Never has there been such a long, cold, spiritual freeze in my life. There did not even seem to be an ember in my heart for the Savior or the Gospel. Prayer! Glorious commune with the Father. Joy at the sermon on my car radio. And guilt and sadness over the lost time with God and the joy that I missed while my heart was frozen. God thawed my cold heart. Christ still loves me. Joy is still found in the Gospel.

Now, what about the sign? In the depths of my own spiritual deep freeze, the joy had gone out of my heart and my desire to tell others of the wonderful saving work of Christ was lost. I had not cast a net into the water to fish for the soul of another for so long now. But cast the net I must do. It is my Savior's command. It is my privilege. It's time to take the sign down and throw out the nets. Fishing for men. The gospel is the net and the duty to work and serve is ours. Tell men and women everywhere of God's love for sinners and the Grace and mercy that is found in Jesus Christ.

Luk 5:1-11
(1) On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,
(2) and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
(3) Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
(4) And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
(5) And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets."
(6) And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.
(7) They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
(8) But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
(9) For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken,
(10) and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
(11) And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Looked For Love In Your Eyes- From Tim Challies blog

As the 1 year anniversary of this blog has come and gone I am reflecting on the past year. After much time without a post... I have been wasting time on fruitless endeavors... I am sad about the loss of time and the many opportunities to serve Christ that have been squandered. This poem found on Tim Challies web site brought tears to my eyes. I realized that there are many avenues of service and many sins to be fought, in my own life and in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I do not normally post whole articles from other sites, but this one is worth your reading whether you are a wife, mom, dad, son, daughter or friend of another who has struggled or may struggle with the sin of lust in their lives.

I Looked For Love In Your Eyes Tim Challies
A few days ago I received an email from a reader of this site, a woman who was responding to some of the articles I’ve written on the subject of pornography. She shared a poem, a bit of free verse she had written in the midst of her husband’s addiction. I wish I could say it was the only email I’ve received from such a woman. Sadly it’s not; not by a long shot. That same day I received another email from another woman looking for resources for dealing with the wife’s response to a husband’s sin (rather a gap in the available literature right now, I think).

Anyway, I thought I would share this poem. It’s a little bit graphic, but only so far as it needs to be. I think it’s particularly heartbreaking in drawing out the clear connection between pornography and violence. And it’s just a realistic look at how so many men are damaging and destroying their wives and families. It’s reality.

So here it is, “I Looked For Love in Your Eyes.”

I saved my best for you.
Other girls may have given themselves away,
But I believed in the dream.
A husband, a wife, united as one forever.

Nervous, first time, needing assurance of your love,
I looked for it in your eyes
Mere inches from mine.
But what I saw made my soul run and hide.

Gone was the tenderness I’d come to know
I saw a stranger, cold and hard
Distant, evil, revolting.
I looked for love in your eyes
And my soul wept.

Who am I that you cannot make love to me?
Why do I feel as if I’m not even here?
I don’t matter.
I’m a prop in a filthy play.
Not an object of tender devotion.

Where are you?

Years pass
But the hardness in your eyes does not.
You think I’m cold
But how can I warm to eyes that are making hate to someone else
Instead of making love to me?

I know where you are.
I’ve seen the pictures.
I know now what it takes to turn you on.
Women…people like me
Tortured, humiliated, hated, used
Images burned into your brain.
How could you think they would not show in your eyes?

Did you ever imagine,
The first time you picked up a dirty picture
That you were dooming all intimacy between us
Shipwrecking your marriage
Breaking the heart of a wife you wouldn’t meet for many years?

If it stopped here, I could bear it.
But you brought the evil into our home
And our little boys found it.
Six and eight years old.
I heard them laughing, I found them ogling.

Hands bound, mouth gagged.
Fisheye photo, contorting reality
Distorting the woman into exaggerated breasts.
The haunted eyes, windows of a tormented soul
Warped by the lens into the background,
Because souls don’t matter, only bodies do
To men who consume them.

Little boys
My little boys
Laughing and ogling the sexual torture
Of a woman, a woman like me.
Someone like me.

An image burned into their brains.

Will their wives’ souls have to run and hide like mine does?
When does it end?

I can tell you this. It has not ended in your soul.
It has eaten you up. It is cancer.
Do you think you can feed on a diet of hatred
And come out of your locked room to love?

You say the words, but love has no meaning in your mouth
When hatred rules in your heart.
Your cruelty has eaten up every vestige of the man
I thought I was marrying.
Did you ever dream it would so consume you
That your wife and children would live in fear of your rage?

That is what you have become
Feeding your soul on poison.

I’ve never used porn.
But it has devastated my marriage, my family, my world.

Was it worth it?