The Gospel and Manhood
June 24, 2009, 10:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak


David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brooks Hill, preaches on the gospel and manhood.  Listen as he preaches about 7 truths his dad taught him about manhood.

HT:  cbmw via twitter


Is technology beneficial to Christians?
May 29, 2009, 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak


I know, that’s a big question.  I’m sure there are thousands of answers, opinions, and convictions about how to use twitter, facebook, myspace, texting, and blogs.  Josh Harris recently posted about using twitter during church and his thoughts for his congregration, Covenant Life Church.  Albert Mohler writes about texting among teenagers and the all-consuming nature of technology.

Listen to this quote from the NY Times I found pretty humorous about teens texting:  “They do it late at night when their parents are asleep. They do it in restaurants and while crossing busy streets. They do it in the classroom with their hands behind their back. They do it so much their thumbs hurt.  Authorities now blame excessive texting for sleep deprivation, distraction in school, poor grades, and even repetitive stress injuries.  These teens are texting while they should be sleeping, and they are sleeping with the cell phone set to vibrate so that they can respond to texts from friends without waking parents.”

Where’s the line?  When is it too much?  When is it beneficial and when does it lose it’s benefit?

testimony of an intern
May 28, 2009, 11:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

This is the testimony of Evan Wilson, soon to be intern for VFC.  He shared this at CCK several Sundays ago.  Enjoy!

“My career at UT began in the Fall of 2004.  My original purpose in coming all the way to Knoxville, TN was to get as far away from my parents as possible without forfeiting the hope scholarship by going somewhere out of state.  I was so sure that leaving my small Christian school in Jackson, TN and coming to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville would be the best decision that I could have ever made.  I was captivated by the fact that I had freedom to do anything that I wanted without being bothered by my parents or called into the principles office after a weekend of drinking with my friends.  The drinking and partying from high school carried over to my college years and I could not seem to get enough of this new lifestyle.  The world’s attraction began to grow stronger as I got bored with my usual friends, and I eventually decided that there must be another level of satisfaction at the University of Tennessee.  Continue reading

The Eclipse of Manhood
April 14, 2009, 9:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak


On the Albert Mohler program yesterday, he addressed the issue of biblical manhood.  He said that one of the biggest challenges facing the church today is the eclipse and confusion of manhood.  The show walks through what callers would say to young Christian men

What would you say?

Sex isn’t the problem, chapter 2
November 15, 2008, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Featured Resource, Roles and Relationships

by Mike Plewniak

sex-is-not-problemLust:  Is it biology or is it sin?  To understand what’s going on inside of us, Josh says we need to begin with God and how He has created us.  “We need to reclaim sexual desire as God’s amazing and good gift to us.”  Where in the world did these desires come from?  I love this paragraph where Josh writes, “One moment you’re a kid and the opposite sex is yucky — boys are gross and girls have cooties.  The next day the world turns upside down.  Hormones begin to pump, your body transforms, hair starts to show up in weird places, and this pulsing, driving, burning sexual awareness and desire begins flowing through your veins like molten lava.”

It’s good to know that God gives those desires to drive us toward something — this wonderful gift of marriage and sex.  It’s good to understand that having a sex drive is not lust.  But, lust does hijack our sex drive and want sex outside of the context God has created it for — marriage.  This list is very helpful so that we do not feel guilty for having these desires:

– It’s not lust to be attracted to someone

– It’s not lust to have a strong desire to have sex.

– It’s not lust to anticipate and be excited about having sex within marriage.

– It’s not lust to experience sexual temptation

The issue is how we respond to these desires — by faith in a good God or hijacking these desires to serve ourselves and to give into unbelief in God. Invite God into your desires, what you wish for, and invite His Spirit to come help you with self-control, patience, and perseverance.  As John Piper defines lust, it is “sexual desire minus honor and holiness.”  Let’s be thankful for sexual desire and not be controlled by it, but submit it to the good plan of God.  “When we understand that the very nature of lust is rebellion against God, we realize the gravity and the seriousness nature of the sin — and hopefully we’re more motivated than ever to pursue a life of purity.”

So how do we live with these desires and sex drives while remaining pure, holy, and godly.  Josh writes, “As Christians, embracing our sexuality looks radically different.  We don’t obey every sexual impulse — nor do we deny that we have sexual desires.  Instead, we choose both restraint and gratefulness.  For us, sexual desire joins every other part of our lives — our appetite for food, our use of money, our friendships, our dreams, our careers, our possessions, our abilities, our families — in bowing before the one true God.”

If you haven’t bought the book yet, it’s worth it!

Sex is not the problem, part 1…
October 3, 2008, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

As you remember, we are going to walk thru Josh Harris’ book Sex is not the problem (lust is).

Chapter one:  “Not even a hint — why i can’t seem to beat lust?”

“I’ve come to believe that lust may be the defining struggle for this generation”.  Is that true?  Is lust your defining struggle? Do you relate to Chelsea as she feels “conquered” by this sin and  lives each day in despair recognizing how far short she has fallen from the glory of God.  Do you feel hopeless to battle lust?

For probably every college student, guy and girl, lust is an issue.  Our hearts frequently want to go outside of God’s guidelines and the joy found in him, and we want what we want and we want it NOW.  No waiting. No trust.  Just instant pleasure.  But we discover that instant pleasure often leads to future misery.  The joy that lusts promises turns to condemnation, despair, and hopelessness.  Ever felt that way?  Like you’ve been lied to and swindled out of the joy only found in God?

“God doesn’t want you to live in an endless cycle of defeat”, Josh says.  How can we change?  He begins by pointing out where change comes from.  “God’s standard of not even a hint quickly brings me to the end of my own ability and effort.  It reminds me that God’s standard is so much higher than the standard I place for myself that only the victory of Christ death and resurrection can provide the right power and the right motive needed to change me.  Willpower won’t work.  Only the power of the cross can break the power of sin that keeps us on its treadmill.”

God forgives our past, present, and future sins in Jesus Christ alone.  As Jerry Bridges says, “let’s remember that these sins that we battling against are forgiven sins in Christ.”  We must begin our battle with lust at the foot of the cross, by the power of the gospel, and in His blood.  And then, we must remember the good design God has for us and for sex.

God is pro-sex within the context He designed it for:  marriage.  God wants us to delight in Him and the gifts He provides for us.  God is not keeping good things from us, but working all things together for our good and His glory.

Let’s begin fighting lust this week by receiving forgiveness for our past lust, remembering the truth of who God is and what He has done for us, and fighting the lies of lust “with the massive promise of superior happiness.” (John Piper).  Let’s go forward in faith to break this cycle by the power of the cross.

Manspeak book study…
September 12, 2008, 9:35 am
Filed under: Featured Resource | Tags: , ,

by Mike Plewniak

Lust = craving sexually what God has forbidden.  Do you battle lust?  Probably (definitely) every one of us would say “yes”.  In some way or form, there is a daily and probably hourly battle with our thoughts and our desires.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ is fully aware of our temptations.  Hebrews 4:15 — “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin.”  That without sin is important.  Because in his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has represented us and has won!  He did it without sinning.  And now we are credited with his righteousness, his perfect obedience.

Not only did He purchase our forgiveness and righteousness, but He has ransomed us from being slaves to sin, He has given us His Spirit inside of us to live for God, to be free, to enjoy God and true pleasure.

So, let’s battle lust and impurity so that we can enjoy God fully!  Thankfully, to help us do this, Josh Harris has written this wonderful little book, Sex is not the problem (lust is).

So, beginning in 2 weeks, we will be reviewing this book chapter by chapter.  If you do not have a copy of the book, you can buy one here, or you can pick one up at the CCK bookstore.  This little resource is a gift from God, so let’s take this opportunity to use it, to grow, to bring God glory, and to enjoy Him!