10 Resources To Help You Talk About Transgender/Homosexuality, Biblically.

gay-marriage-resources

1. Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage: An Apology, an Answer & an Assignment

Todd Wagner

People who claim to be followers of Christ have had two equally unloving responses to homosexuality: Either we have condemned homosexuals and told them to clean up their sin on their own, or we have enabled a sinful lifestyle in the name of tolerance. Here is an objective look at the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and an appropriate, loving response from those who follow Christ. http://www.watermark.org/media/homosexuality-and-same-sex-marriage-an- apology-an-answer-an-assignment/457/

2. Real Truth. Real Quick.

Is it Okay to Attend a Gay Friendʼs Wedding?

What’s A Loving Response When A Friend Tells Me They Are Gay?

Why Is It Front Page News When A Celebrity Announces He Is Gay?

Why Does The Church Talk So Much About Homosexuality And Gay Marriage?

What Does The Bible Mean When It Says, “Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged?

Why Do Christians Ignore Other Old Testament Laws But Condemn Homosexuality? 

How Do You Respond To A Friend That Believes They Are Transgender?

How Should A Christian View The Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

3. Why There’s No Right to Gay Marriage in 6 Video Clips

http://dailysignal.com/2015/04/24/why-theres-no-right-to-gay-marriage-in-6-video-clips/

4. Homosexuality: Why Isn’t This Taught?!?! [WARNING: Explicit content]

Ricky Chelette, Jonathan Pokluda

Is someone who struggles with same-sex attractions just born that way? Is change possible? Ricky Chelette, Executive Director of Living Hope Ministries, addresses a topic many find too confusing or politically charged to tackle. http://www.watermark.org/media/homosexuality-why- isnt-this-taught-warning-explicit-content/1027/

5. God, Love, Sex, and Homosexuality

David Marvin

Whether through marketing slogan or cultural values, TV, music, movies, and media flood us with messages about life, our world, and ourselves. When it comes to homosexuality we are capable of listening to these messages, which tell us either that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality or that homosexuals are “freaks”. In this episode we examine what God has to say about homosexuality and how we are to respond to it. Do we listen to God’s message or to grace and truth. http://www.watermark.org/media/homosexuality/2132/

6. Same-Sex Bonding

Ricky Chelette, Jonathan Pokluda

In this episode, we hear the story of one of the leading authorities on the theology of homosexuality. This is a must-listen for all parents and anyone who struggles with sexual sin. This is also a great resource for anyone who has loved ones in the gay lifestyle. Ricky Chelette does an excellent job explaining that nature of sexual struggles and their origin. He has an amazing message of hope and shows, from the scriptures, God’s design for sex. http://www.watermark.org/media/same-sex-bonding/1980/

7. Same Love

Jonathan Pokluda

In this message we tackle the hit song “Same Love.” We explore the difficult topic of homosexuality, examining what God has to say about it, where the church has missed God’s instructions on how to approach it, and where we all must change and conform more fully to Christ’s embodiment of grace and truth. http://www.watermark.org/media/same-love/3206/

8. Living Hope: Support and Resources for Those Leaving Homosexuality

http://livehope.org/

9. Seminar on Homosexuality

Matt Chandler

It seems this is increasingly becoming a difficult subject to handle well. Some pastors harp on this issue in a disproportionate, condemnatory way. Others, swinging the pendulum in the other direction, donʼt want to appear insensitive or right-wing and thus avoid it altogether. So it takes courage to tackle it head-on without being a jerk. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/06/23/matt-chandler-seminary-on- homosexuality/

10. Books

Why I’m Not As Excited About The Pastor Protection Bill (SB 2065) As You Think I Might Be

The title of this blog post might come as a bit of a surprise in light of my position as a vocational pastor and leader of a local church. Let me start by commending what I believe to be the intent of the bill, which is to protect the church, an essential pillar of society, from harm or harassment from an increasingly antagonistic government.  Anything we can do to protect the “conscience of the state” is praiseworthy.  On that front the bill is excellent.  We need to ensure that the government cannot force a pastor, clergy member, or church to perform any act that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. My problem is not with the bill’s intent but rather with its implications.

While it is essential that we protect the rights of pastors and churches for our country to prosper as God intended, it not okay to perpetuate an unhealthy understanding of the role of every believer in the church.  Intentionally or not, this bill will do that by implying a false distinction between church staff and church members.  As the bill is currently written (see bottom of post) it will continue to reinforce a perspective that is too often and too widely held by too many church attenders.

The “Priesthood” of The Believer

Regarding the Church, SB 2065, in its current state, is inconsistent with Scripture’s teaching regarding the identity of priests and pastors.  The Bible makes no distinction between salaried saints and faithful laymen. The Scriptures teach the “priesthood” of the believer (1 Peter 2:9-10); SB 2065 does not. Any law that would give vocational clergy and the institutional church protection, but deny those same protections to individuals, is intentionally (even if unwittingly) redefining the biblical mandate for all believers to “walk worthy of the calling to which they have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

If there is a distinction in the roles of leadership and laymen taught in God’s Word, it can be found in Ephesians 4:11-16. Here we see that it is the role of leadership to equip the saints for the work of service, which is to say, it is the job of every member of the church to remind, reprove, correct, care for the people and speak truth in the land.  The idea that a pastoral staff alone is to be given responsibilities,  protection and rights was never God’s intention. The Church (which is a people, not a 501C3), is defined in Scripture as a people called by God out of darkness into His marvelous light to proclaim His excellencies (1 Peter 2:9).  Faithfully proclaiming God’s word and faithfully performing God’s will are responsibilities given to every Christ follower, not just those on a church staff.

The First Amendment Already Protects All “Pastors.”

While SB 2065 is written in such a way that it will give me, as a vocational leader, fortified protections, in its silence it withholds it from others who deserve the same protections.  The fact that this bill even needs to be proposed, when our Constitution already gives and protects the rights of all believers to be able to live out their faith unhindered by government, is the first part of the problem; the second is that current language of the bill far too narrowly defines, and thus reduces, the number of individuals called by God to speak His word.  The First Amendment clearly grants the rights of all citizens to courageously live their faith in our country in the Establishment Clause, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Any bill that continues the common error of confusing the distinction of clergy and laity, is not helpful to society or the Church itself.

Centuries ago, Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Retracting our society’s understanding of what defines the “good men” who are legally protected in their right to speak good won’t help. The last thing we need is to pass a law that could potentially limit the rights of the true Church by claiming that only those ordained by men have the right to do what has been ordained by God for all His men to do.

There are three divine institutions established in God’s Word: the Family, the Church, and Government.   Any damage done to any of these will directly result in damage done to the land.

1. FAMILY:  Whose job is to educate the next generation.

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

2. CHURCH: Whose job it is to remind, reprove, correct and care for people.

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1–5

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.5 ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

Ezekiel 33:1–7

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

3. GOVERNMENT: Whose job it is to prosecute evil and protect those who do right.

1 Peter 2:13–14

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Romans 13:1-7

Our government is already looking to constitutionally redefine the family.  Our government is already operating outside of its biblical mandate to prosecute evil and praise those who do right.  Let’s not help the government by limiting the definition of the true church or by limiting the number of people who already constitutionally have protection.

Join Me In Ministering To Others!

Since starting Watermark 16 years ago, I have consistently said, “Just as there was a reformation in the 16th century, which got the word of God out of the hands of clergy and into the hands of the entire Church, there needs to be another reformation today that gets the work of God out of the hands of the clergy and into the hands of the laity.”  Whatever your view on SB 2065 may be, join me in being a minister of the Gospel in our land and a beacon or truth and hope to all. No matter your title, the tidal wave of compromise is here and the time to remind, reprove, correct and care for our land and its citizens is now.  All of us need to play our prophetic role.  Paul’s exhortation to Timothy is God’s encouragement to us all.

Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

1 Timothy 4:13–16

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:2–6

Below you will find a copy of the Pastor Protection Bill (SB2065)

By:  Estes                                            S.B. No. 2065

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the rights of certain religious organizations and individuals relating to a marriage that violates a sincerely held religious belief.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 2, Family Code, is amended by adding Subchapter G to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER G.  FREEDOM OF RELIGION WITH RESPECT TO RECOGNIZING OR PERFORMING CERTAIN MARRIAGES

Sec. 2.601.  RIGHTS OF CERTAIN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.  A religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, an individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage, provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage, or treat any marriage as valid for any purpose if the action would cause the organization or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

Sec. 2.602.  DISCRIMINATION AGAINST RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION PROHIBITED.  A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges under Section 2.601 is not the basis for a civil or criminal cause of action or any other action by this state or a political subdivision of this state to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any protected organization or individual.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

What Is Your Position On Racial Integration In The Church Body At Watermark?

To: Todd Wagner

From: xxxxx

Subject: On The Fence About Watermark

Hello Pastor Wagner,

Good Experiences So Far:

We, as a family, have been visiting Watermark for the past month. We are very much considering joining the church and actively participating in its community missions. The services have been relevant in our day-to-day lives and compelling. My doctor – Jay Burns, a lovely Christ follower, is a walking testimonial for Watermark and even offered to introduce us to you.  I have had a wonderful conversation with Suzanne Sanderson about the elementary children’s program to make sure I’m aligned and okay with it. I also had a moving discussion/debate with Suzanne about the color of the membership.

The Fence:

With that said, I have been on the fence about joining primarily because I feel lost in what I call “a sea of White.” Please do not be offended by my phrasing. Everyone at Watermark has been inclusive and welcoming.  Being black, I feel as though I stand out more within the congregation. Bottom line, I know that’s not what matters. It’s about being spiritually fed and feeling as though God brought me to Watermark to carry out a purpose or mission. I’m just trying to reconcile that with a natural conflict with traditional churchgoing norms. You don’t see many White people falling over themselves to join a predominantly black church and I think that’s only natural from a comfort perspective.

Our Questions:

What is your position on racial integration in the church body?

Does Watermark plan to actively market to more diverse audiences/if so how (e.g. black, Hispanic, Asian)? (keep in mind we reviewed your Web site to see the faces you present and I cruised your lot on a Sunday to see the faces and ask questions of your attendants)

What is the greater vision for Watermark in Dallas?

Why does Watermark do community mission work in South and East Dallas as oppose to any other Dallas locations?

Best,

Xxxxxx

 

—————————————-

To: xxxxx

From: Todd Wagner

Xxxxxx…thanks for your note and your honesty about your concerns right now.  I am so grateful that you have enjoyed Watermark for the last month and would love to answer your questions. If you’re familiar with our website, you may have seen our position/passion for diversity, but if not, it’s below so that you can continue to be informed.

Diversity — We agree that churches more easily attract those with similar preferences and/or life experiences. Therefore, we acknowledge that simply by being who we are, we necessarily “target” a certain segment of our society. Our desire however, is that the Holy Spirit will bless us with a rich diversity of ages, life-stages, religious, racial, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We desire to foster an atmosphere of unity that communicates warmth and acceptance of all that care to join us. It is our hope that the things that ultimately define us are those things that speak to the needs of the entire human race not only specific ethnic or demographic ones. Therefore, we stress such universal concerns as forgiveness, redemption, significance, peace, meaning and truth above styles, tastes and preferences.

To answer your question about marketing ourselves towards races, our heart is to continue to pursue Christ and minister to ALL He brings to us, hoping that the sweet aroma of Jesus is upon us and attracts anyone who is hurting, lost, or broken. As a church we don’t target races, but rather all hearts to be turned completely towards Christ. We would love for the Lord to bless us with as many unique personalities and life experiences to aptly form a unified yet mosaic body to completely serve Him. We hope all who feel stirred to worship with us are equally loved, encouraged, and challenged, and that we foster an atmosphere that allows for our members to feel comfortable inviting their friends from every sort of background to join us.

Regarding vision, as a church our purpose is to call all people to be fully devoted followers of Christ. We want to continue to reach out to the unchurched, de-churched, dead churched, as well as call followers of Christ here to Believe in Him, Belong to His body, Be trained in truth, and Be strong for ministry…which is what we refer to as the “4 Bs”.  We would love to see all believers realizing the abundant life that they have with Christ on earth, and want to leave a lasting impression wherever we are!

We have been graciously given the Lord’s favor to have ministry partnerships to serve in South and West Dallas, and have seen fruit in the opportunities we have been given. We also encourage our members to reach out wherever they may live/work/go to school – and we have story after story of lives being changed all around the Metroplex because the body of Christ at Watermark is faithfully loving neighbors, their kids’ friends, co-workers, or anyone else they may come in contact with.

We would love for you and your family to be a part of that ministry if you continue to feel led to make Watermark your church home, and we would hope that your leadership in joining a predominately white church will open the doors for hundreds and thousands of others to follow you as we pursue Christ, His purposes and each other together.  I would enjoy meeting you guys the next time you visit…you are always free to stop by after a service to say hello and allow me to welcome you in person.  Dr. Burns is kind to offer an introduction, and I would always love to see him as well if he wants to join you. I agree that he is a great example of faith and Christ-likeness to me, and I’m grateful that he has been the same to you and your family.

As you continue to process your next steps, we pray that God would have you yoked with other believers.

Thanks again Xxxxxx…it encourages me to hear how you have felt loved and welcomed at Watermark, and I am hopeful that you and your family grow in Christ no matter where you decide to worship Him. I look forward to meeting you soon and being able to greet you face-to-face.

Todd

214-239-8809

pastoraloffice@watermark.org

7540 LBJ Frwy

Dallas, TX 75251

www.watermark.org

Join the Journey at www.jointhejourney.com

12 Free Bible Study Resources

free-bible-study-resources-new

My good friend and partner in ministry here at Watermark, Jeff Ward recently put together a list of excellent free, web-based bible study tools for some friends he shares life with. He was kind enough to send the same list onto me and I thought I would bless you by posting it here. If you want to encourage Jeff then:

  1. Use these resources and serve the God they help you understand.
  2. Shoot him a note and thank him for his diligence in putting the list together jward@watermark.org.
  3. Check out some more of his work at watermarkblogs.org/externalfocus.
  4. Follow him on twitter @jeff_r_ward .

Go to work and dig in!

12 Free Online Bible Study Resources

  1. http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm – these are Dr. Constable’s notes on every book of the bible. He was a DTS professor and these are very helpful. Think a lighter commentary.
  2. http://preceptaustin.org/genesis_commentaries.htm – this is put out by Precept in Austin. This is a verse by verse resource that gives you a summary of all the main commentaries on the passage. This is VERY helpful if you want to focus in on a key passage and go very deep. There are also sermon links, etc to the particular passage.
  3. http://utmost.org/ – if you like Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest” this is a free site that lets you read it daily.
  4. https://lumina.bible.org/bible/Matthew+1 – this site allows you to read in parallel translations, also the greek, and also links to articles related to the passage. Very user friendly.
  5. http://www.blueletterbible.org/ – this is one of the Equipping Team’s favorite sites. I haven’t used this much, but looks like there’s a lot here. Topical references, multimedia, etc.
  6. https://www.biblegateway.com/ – I use this pretty often, when I want to look at various translations. It also has reading plans, etc.
  7. http://www.ccel.org/ – this is one of the most comprehensive assortment of commentaries I’ve ever seen. A lot of the classics here.
  8. http://resources.thegospelcoalition.org/library/scripture_index – these are sermons that indexed by passage.
  9. http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/by-scripture – John Piper is one of my favorites, and this is indexed by passage. You can also run a general search and find links to most of his books and articles, and can download most of them for free.
  10. http://www.gotquestions.org/ – as Kristie mentioned, this is generally our first stop for quick and well researched answers to questions. Searchable by any term.
  11. https://www.bible.com/moments/introduction – this has become my primary bible app on my phone and syncs with this website – there is both the online and the iPhone app. It also includes various reading plans that you can follow from guys like Chandler, Piper, Keller, and others. You can download different translations, and track progress.
  12. There are also several scripture memory tools out there. The one I like the most and use is called “Fighter Verses” – here’s a link to their website version, and they work topically through verses weekly (if you go through the whole program it’s 5 years), but you can also set up your own lists, pick your verses, and play memory games that help memorize the passages. It’s really easy to use. http://fighterverses.com/set-5-core-esv/week-9/ . If you want the app it’s here and costs a couple bucks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fighter-verses/id411711646?mt=8

Wagner Email Bag: Does Carbon Dating Disprove A Younger Earth Belief?

carbon-dating

From: XXX
To: pastoraloffice
Subject: I Respectfully Disagree

Todd,

Thank you for you courageous leadership throughout the years and your call for full devotion to Jesus. It’s been a breath of fresh air in a culture of weak churches and lukewarm leadership. Attending Watermark has awakened me to the gloriousness of the gospel and what it really means to follow Jesus.

Now to the subject line of the email. I respectfully disagree with some point you made in your recent “Real Truth. Real Quick” podcast on dinosaurs and the bible, specifically the theory of new earth. I don’t disagree with the fact that God could create an aged earth –after all he is God…only that it seems unlikely. If there is an infinite God with infinite time, why cram it in to 6000 (or so) years? Why create aged dinosaur bones and aged rocks etc to create a perception of age that simply isn’t true? On the contrary, the idea that God spent hundreds of millions (billions?) of years creating earth for us actually reaffirms the idea that God holds his human creation as extremely precious. This may be out of context but “one day is like a thousand years” to God (2 Peter 3:8). Why try to put limits on the God of the universe by cramming creation in to a human timeline?

Secondly – the assumption of a young earth spits in the face of sound scientific procedures such as carbon dating. We have very good evidence (again marketing major talking here, take with a grain of salt) that many things of this earth are reallllly old. Hundreds of millions of years old. To say the earth is really 6000 or so years old is like saying “the pen is blue” when the pen is black. Sounds evidence simply indicates otherwise. I hate to say this, but I fear it makes the Christian appear foolish to reject such strong empirical evidence, especially to the non-Christian.

One of the best things I have learned through work is that it is ok to say “I don’t know”. I find it endearing when someone that has the humility to take that stance. In this case, I don’t know. No one knows because they are not God. I do know God is good. I have seen lives radically changed because of his goodness. I would hate to turn someone off to God over something as trivial as how God created the universe. The fact is he did and we are here now.

Thanks again for your leadership Todd. To paraphrase your sermon a few weeks ago, “you are my pastor”. I don’t think that means we have to agree on everything, especially the non-essentials…and I think this is a non-essential.

Don’t’ worry I have copied my community group as well.

Thanks

XXX

———————————————————

From: pastoraloffice <pastoraloffice@watermark.org>
To: XXX
Subject: RE: I Respectfully Disagree

XXX,

I’m really encouraged by your email and the fact that you CC’d your community group. Way to go! I agree that this issue is a non-essential and love your trust in God despite things we don’t understand. What an encouragement.

To respond more to your email, as a reminder, in the RTRQ I said I’m more of a young earth guy and believe that it’s definitely closer to thousands of years than it is millions. Also, I found a few articles that talk about the unreliability of carbon dating, as well as a classic example in history of geologists and others who have observed things happening much faster than they hypothesize were previously believed (Carlsbad Caverns). The world has real ramifications in our ability to trust and defend Scripture, and I’m praying we keep trusting God’s Word as we see it unfold in the world around us.

Hope this is helpful and that I get to meet you next time I am out in Fort Worth!

https://carm.org/carbon-dating
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/31/us/errors-are-feared-in-carbon-dating.html
http://amazingdiscoveries.org/C-deception-carbon_dating_radiometric_decay_rates
http://youngearth.com/carlsbad-caverns-removes-sign-after-series-of-unsubstantiated-age-claims

– Todd

(Below you will find the episode of Real Truth. Real Quick. titled “What’s The Biblical View On Dinosaurs?”)

10 Ways To Promote Life And 6 Additional Resources

In response to my message, Aborting Your Silence and Dealing With the Shame of Abortion, I wanted to list a few opportunities for that I hope will encourage you as you seek to join the effort to celebrate and protect life.  Ultimately, the best thing we can do in this “cause” as all others, is prayerfully and personally engage friends, neighbors and co-workers in winsome conversations and thoughtful dialogue.  Meanwhile, as we wait for others to join us in our effort to value all life, here are some trusted partners and ministries that you should know about and prayerfully consider supporting personally and or financially.

  1. North Texas March For Life
  2. Council For Life: Life Lessons Box Lunch
  3. Texas For Life Coalition
  4. Thrive Women’s Clinic
  5. Council For Life
  6. Someone Cares
  7. Forgotten Fathers
  8. Online For Life Prayer App
  9. Buckner International 
  10. Life Talk Resource Center

Additional Resources

A Letter To My Son

todd-wagner-letter-to-son

As I sat down years ago to think about how to encourage my “arrows” (See Psalms 127 and this message) to set their heart to study, apply and teach the word of God (Ezra 7:10), I decided to quickly write out some of the promised benefits of their devotion. My prayer is that in reading this blog post, you too will be encouraged to give yourself to the greatest gift (other than God Himself appearing in the person of the Son) that He has ever given us.  Philosophers are correct in opining, “until we hear a still more sure word from God, we are forced to trust in only the best opinions of men”.

Arrows.

You don’t read your bible as an intellectual exercise so that you might know facts about God. You read your bible so that you would know one thing – what does my loving heavenly Father say I should do because God is good, His word is true, and He doesn’t make mistakes.  You should fear that you would miss out on even one syllable of encouragement or instruction from the One Who “withholds no good thing from those who love Him” (Psalm 84:11).

Every Day tell Him, “I am desperate Father.  Instruct me. Teach me in the way that I should go, show me Your way, guide me, give me a heart to desire only what You want for me.  Make me believe that in following you I will find my greatest reward.”

What if I told you that the perfect loving sovereign of the universe would speak to you in kindness and love, and direct you and show you how to live.

You would say, “can I get a moment with him?”

Through His perfect Word, in this bible I am giving you, you can have all the time you want.  Drink deeply my little one.

Psalm 19:7-11

7. The law of the Lord is perfectrestoring the soul;   (your father is not)

 The testimony of the Lord is suremaking wise the simple.   (the example of your father is sometimes suspect)

8. The precepts of the Lord are rightrejoicing the heart;   (the practices of you Daddy are sometimes wrong)

 The commandment of the Lord is pureenlightening the eyes.  (the instructions of your Daddy may be polluted)

 9. The fear of the Lord is cleanenduring forever;   (God is a leader you can always follow without regret)

 The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. 10They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb11MMoreover by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.   (I will sometimes make mistakes)

Remember:

No man is wise who is ignorant of God’s word and no man is uneducated who knows the Bible’s teachings

The man who doesn’t read the bible has no advantage of the man who has no bible.. Apply your whole self to the text…apply the whole text to yourself.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy, share it to be useful

My prayer for you, my vision for your life is that as a result of this Word…

One day you will be able to answer the most complex problems in the world with confidence.

One day you will be able to face the darkest and most difficult of circumstances with hope.

One day you will be sought out by multitudes to provide them comfort, guidance and leadership in their distress and you will be found ready, full of unfailing confidence that you can serve them well.

One day you will be able to stand firm against the passions of your flesh, unwaveringly remaining pure though all around you fall to the irresistible titillations of the moment.

One day you will be able to speak with profound insight, great courage and unwavering boldness while others are uncertain, constantly changing and consumed with the opinions of others. 

One day you will be a pillar of strength for a world ready to collapse under the weight of its foolishness.

One day you will be able to stand strong when others crumble.

One day you will speak and others will be fed by the fruit which pours forth from you lips.

One day you will be able to reveal to others what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and you will be able to unveil powerfully truths that have never entered into the hearts of man.

One day you will be able to restore souls, rejoice hearts, enlighten eyes and inform minds with perfection.

One day you will be ready to step up and lead courageously, speak out boldly, stand firm bravely, stay humble continually and serve the One true King nobly.

One day you will be blessed because you will delight yourself in the law of the Lord, and on that law you will meditate day and night.

I am praying that you read it through, pray it in, live it out, and pass it on, all the days of your life.

Todd Wagner | Pastor

Watermark Community Church

p. 214.239.8809 |  t. @wordsfromwags

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