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Fat Man's Misery - September 22nd, 2022
Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Fat Man’s Misery
Lest anyone believe I am being insensitive or have stooped to “fat shaming”, let me put that to rest right away. The title for this post comes from the name of a very narrow passage in the subterranean recesses of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. I was actually surprised that a quick Google search revealed that the name of that passage has not been changed. I guess social justice doesn’t really run that deep after all.
I was introduced to “Fat man’s misery” as a young boy. Somewhere around the age of twelve my parents took me and my two brothers to Mammoth Cave for a vacation. We enjoyed tent camping, campfires, and spelunking for an entire week. Mammoth Cave, aptly named is the world’s longest known cave system and has several different tours available for visitors. While there we did many things that left lifelong (to this point anyway) impressions on me. The 40 plus years since I was there have not taken from me vivid memories of that vacation. One I will never forget was my first experience with total and absolute darkness. My parents allowed my younger brother Gary and I to take a children’s tour without them one afternoon. Following a park ranger with lanterns affixed to helmets on our heads we crawled through a small entrance to one of the innumerable recesses that make up the entirety of Mammoth Cave. After a walk inside of perhaps 200 or 300 yards, the guide had us sit down on rocks, be completely quiet and one by one switch off the lights on our helmets. Lastly, the ranger turned off her light and the darkness enveloped us completely. It was a surreal experience. I recall expecting that my eyes would adjust to the darkness and I would regain at least some ability to see, but that never happened. I remember thinking that I understood what it must be like to be totally blind. I also remember beginning to feel uneasy and insecure in the total darkness and silence. Though the spiritual depths of this are begging to be explored, and maybe I will in a later episode, I want to move on to another memory from that family trip.
During another tour of the caves we took as a family, we followed our guide as a group of people made their way down a long set of steel stairs to one of the entrances to the cave. About an hour later, we emerged in a completely different place in the forest hundreds of yards from where we began our journey. There are several things from that particular tour that I remember. There was a huge room where the “ceiling” was several stories above. That room, named “The Cathedral” was so called because of its size and sound echoing acoustics. I was surprised and somewhat shaken to learn several years ago that the “ceiling” weighing many thousands of tons had come crashing to the floor. Weird to think that as a young boy I had stood under that very space looking up at all that rock, now understood to have been somewhat precariously perched above us.
As a part of that tour we meandered through a series of fissures in the rock that had been worn into smooth paths. Sometimes the “walls” were wide and ten or twenty feet apart, other times much closer maybe a four or five foot span. At one place, the path narrowed to about fifteen or eighteen inches and the walls were only about four and a half feet high. This part of the path, known as “Fat Man’s Misery” was so named not only because it is so narrow but also low and requires one to bend over to pass through. I can only assume that some people have had to turn around and return the way they came, unable to navigate “Fat Man’s Misery”. Even then at my young age that experience caused me to consider Matthew 7:13-14 that I had heard about in Sunday school. That scripture reads as follows in the New King James Version, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by
Marital Conflict Worldly Wisdom vs Wordly Wisdom - Session Seven - September 19th, 2022
Hi this is Pastor Ken and this is my Monday Marriage Message. This is will be the seventh and final installment in the series looking at Marital conflicts…Worldly Wisdom vs. Wordly Wisdom.
In this edition, we will look at the Worldly Wisdom position that “The Ends Justify The Means”. Most of us understand that concept and many intuitively and internally shudder when we consider it, knowing there is something we find unsavory about the idea. Even so, on some level most people subscribe to it just the same. We drive faster than the posted speed limit because we have places to go, people to see and things to do. Social media has such a hold over us that we feel compelled to “Check it…just for a second” even though we are being paid and trusted by an employer to be doing other things with our time on the clock. The justifications don’t stop there. In marriage many are willing to allow the ends to justify the means. Maybe we tell our spouse “Little white lies” because telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth might leave us vulnerable to their criticism. Perhaps there is an expenditure that we know our spouse wouldn’t approve of, but it is justified because we really want what we have our eye on. It may be that we join in at work or with friends as conversations center around our distaste for the things our spouses do. Even if we don’t feel right about it, we justify that everyone is doing it, and we want our friends or co-workers to find us acceptable. These are some examples we might view as benign, there are others that are engaged in every day that are much more harmful. People use all kinds of justifications for engaging in activities that have the potential to be incredibly detrimental to their marriages.
Wordly Wisdom insists that the ends do not justify the means. Jesus said that our yes needs to be yes, and our no should clearly mean no. (Mathew 5:37) We often interpret this scripture to simply mean that if we say yes or no we shouldn’t need to add anything to illustrate that we really mean what we say. However, a deeper understanding has to include the overall effect this has on our integrity. If we avoid wishy-washiness, and if our yes always means yes and if our no always means no, we won’t need to swear by anything else…people will simply be able to count on us. Perhaps most importantly, our spouse. If we are consistent about what we choose and the things we are not willing to allow in our lives, our spouse can enjoy the confidence that our every action, thought and word is for their benefit and blessing.
Wordly Wisdom also argues that the ends do not justify the means, but in fact, it is we who are supposed to end up justified. In other words, God wants to use our marriages to guide us into a life of justice and righteousness. In his book, The Joy of the Sacred Marriage Gary Thomas suggests that God is far more concerned that our marriages make us holy, than that they make us happy. He rightly says God uses our marriages perhaps more so than any other experience in life to move us toward holiness. I simply say that according to Genesis 1 and 2 God designed marriage to reflect His image and likeness. Our marriages are purposed to be a mirror God can look into and see Himself. To Gary Thomas’s point, God is holy and therefore we are to be holy also. 1 Peter 1:13-16 says, So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” Here we are being told that the point of our lives and in fact our marriages is to be holy like God is holy. We are supposed to be c
Let Him Be Your Guide - September 19, 2022
Let Him Be Your Guide (Mark 14 : 27-31) September 19, 2022
Thank you for joining us at Crossroad Community Church Georgetown. Pastor Rick continues out of the book of Mark 14 : 27-31. For more information on how to get connected with Crossroad Community Church Georgetown with small groups, bible studies, events and times of services visit crossroadcc.us
0:00 - Pastor Rick Betts Message (Mark 14 : 27-31)
2:32 - Zechariah 13 : 7
4:30 - Genesis 3 : 24
6:44 - Mark 14 : 28
7:56 - Luke 22 : 31
16:05 - Mark 14 : 29-31
21:45 - John 13 : 36
23:40 - John 21 : 18-19
24:48 - 2 Peter 1 : 12-15
33:55 - 2 Peter 1 : 10-11
37:24 - 1 Peter 1 : 4-5
40:11 - Hebrews 11 : 16
42:55 - John 13 : 37-38
Part Deux Tell
Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Part Deux Tell.
For those listening to this podcast as opposed to reading it who know my infatuation with a good pun, I am spelling the word do, D-E-U-X as in the number two in French. So, for your benefit this edition is entitled “Part two – Do Tell. This is in fact part two of our look at the scriptural account I introduced last week in the episode entitled “Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures”. In that message I pointed out that the nameless desperate woman we read about in Mark chapter five who had experienced a twelve year battle with a hemorrhage also had a desperate faith that Jesus could make her whole again. She determined in her heart that if she could just get near enough to Jesus to touch His clothes, she would be healed. The law that governed her actions due to her “unclean” condition didn’t allow for her to approach Him as so many others did. As we read last week, the Bible tells us that she approached Jesus from behind, and my belief is that she did that to avoid violating the law she was restricted by. Her righteous attempt to obey the letter of the law and at the same time act in her desperate faith in Jesus’ ability to heal her is remarkable. Her desperate faith compelled her forward to her exchange with her Messiah, but didn’t extinguish her desire to obey her understanding of God’s law. I wonder as she approached Jesus from behind, were her quivering lips whispering the words “Unclean…unclean” hoping they would not be heard this one time and give her presence away? We read last week that as soon as she touched Jesus’ robe her bleeding stopped and she knew that she was whole. This week we are going to pick the account up there as another understanding was taking place…so now, Part – Deux - Tell.
Today we resume the account we began reading last week in Mark Chapter Five. Mark 5:30-34 in the New Century Version says, At once Jesus felt power go out from him. So he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His followers said, “Look at how many people are pushing against you! And you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus continued looking around to see who had touched him. The woman, knowing that she was healed, came and fell at Jesus’ feet. Shaking with fear, she told him the whole truth. Jesus said to her, “Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace; be healed of your disease.”
Last week I told you how this woman was treated under the law, and how in her desperate actions she was ministered to by the power of Grace. In that segment of the passage we discovered that it was an extraordinary thing that she did to get to Jesus because of the Law, but that in so doing He did a more incredible thing in her life through the awesome touch of His Grace. Today I want to focus on the second exchange that took place between this woman and Jesus immediately after she knew she that was healed the instant she touched the hem of His clothes.
This healing account describes the first exchange as Jesus felt the healing power go out of him…and she felt her illness leave her. The ‘parade’ must have come to a halt because the Bible says that Jesus stopped, turned, and asked the question “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples were astonished at this question! By this time, they were quite used to people rushing up to see Jesus, pushing up to Him with no account for His personal space. I imagine they saw this crowd no differently than they had seen countless others before, and so they tried to point out the obvious. “Look at how many people are pushing against you! And you ask, ‘Who touched me?” their incredulousness at his query did not deter Jesus, He continued looking to see who it was that had touched His clothes. I think He knew exactly who it was, I believe that just as He did with the woman at the well, He already knew this poor woman’s entire
Marital Conflicts...Worldly Wisdom vs. Wordly Wisdom Session Six
Hi, this is Pastor Ken and I want to welcome you once again to the Monday Marriage Message. This will be the sixth installment in my series on Marital Conflicts between Worldly Wisdom vs. Wordly Wisdom.
When it comes to marriage, we do a lot of things differently than we did before we got married. We consider things we never did before. We choose differently than we did as a single person. When we interact with our spouse, most of us react to them differently than we might toward anyone else…at least on the outside. Why is this? On the surface that may seem to be a silly question, but in reality it is one of the more serious questions we can ask. People who enjoy highly successful marriages ask that question and recognize it requires an answer.
Worldly wisdom has many answers to the questions, “Why do we act differently after marrying than we did previously?” and, “Why do we react differently toward our spouse than with many other people”. More than a few men are likely to respond “Happy wife…Happy life.” Though they are attempting to be humorous, worldly wisdom, common sense has taught them there is a modicum of truth to that answer. If you ask many women why they respond differently toward their husbands, they might say, “To keep the peace” or “I’m just trying not to rock the boat”. These answers and most others to these questions reveal a deeper truth. When it comes to marriage worldly wisdom indicates that the motivation for acting differently as a married person ultimately is to keep your spouse happy.
So what’s the problem with that? Sounds like a pretty selfless thing to do. Shouldn’t we want to keep our spouse happy? Isn’t it right to try to give them what they want? Shouldn’t we interact with our spouse differently than we might with others? At first glance those responses might seem right and to make good sense, but probe a little deeper and a less than righteous motive begins to surface. Why do we want to keep our spouse happy? The answer to that question is as plain as day in the various answers people give to my original question. “Happy wife…Happy life”…is the goal more to have a happy wife…or the resulting happy life that can be enjoyed if she is happy? “Trying to avoid rocking the boat, or keeping the peace”…Who exactly is it you are hoping will enjoy some peace? The fact of the matter is, if we act differently after marrying, and we are following the common sense narrative that our goal ought to be to keep our spouse happy, we are deluding ourselves. Those thoughts are self-righteous cop-outs for our real motives. We want a happy life…we want a little peace and quiet, we want…we want…we want. All of the sudden it doesn’t seem to be such a selfless approach. Sounds like not much has changed actually. Before we get married, we do things to enjoy peace and happiness, after we marry, it seems we try to keep someone else placated, so we can we can continue to enjoy peace and happiness. Sorry to wake you from living the dream.
So, what is the difference between that attitude and Wordly Wisdom? Motive. When we look at what God has to say about how we should act toward our spouse after we marry, the key difference is motive. Today I want to share just a few of God’s instructions to married people. I am intentionally selecting specific ones that are difficult for people to accept. Why choose these? The fact of the matter is that if we can wrap our minds and hearts around the correct motivation for the most difficult of instructions, the remainder of them become much easier.
Eph 5:33 says, Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. This scripture gives two distinctly different marital directives, one to the husband the other to the wife. They are distinct because they are specific as to who must do what. The commands are different for the husband and the wife, and they
Shine For The Light (Romans 6 : 1-13 & Galatians 3 : 27-28) - September 11, 2022
Shine For The Light (Romans 6 : 1-13 & Galatians 3 : 27-28) - September 11, 2022
Thank you for joining us at Crossroad Community Church Georgetown. It is our Baptism and Picnic weekend and Pastor Rick talks out of Romans 6 : 1-13 & Galatians 3 : 27-28
For more information on how to get connected with Crossroad Community Church Georgetown with small groups, bible studies, events and times of services visit crossroadcc.us