Sunday, April 26, 2015

That's Our Song: Intimacy

or, Let's Get Naked.

We learn to see not a perfect person, but an imperfect person perfectly.

To be known, fully known is one of the greatest joys of being human.

The scripture lesson is Genesis 2: 18 - 25

God, having made everything, pronounce his creation "good."  But here we hear him say, "It is not good."  It is not good for man to be alone.

Intimacy is gravely important in marriage.  
Intimacy between man and wife is much greater than intimacy in any other relationship.

An intimate relationship is an interpersonal  relationship that involves the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the participants.

Many marriages operate under a false idea of intimacy.  It is much more than romance and sexual activity.  Our current society is so oversexualized that we don't have a proper understanding of intimacy.

In the account in Genesis we see that when God brought the animals before Adam, Adam gave them names, that is, he assumed dominion over the earth and all that is in it.  But when God brought the woman before Adam, he did not name her.  He did not assume dominion over her, but instead he burst into song, for a suitable helper had been found!

The woman was suitable, for she was the same, yet different!

We note that after The Fall, Adam named the woman.
  • Too many men, and women, accept dominance of man over woman.  This is not conducive to intimacy or partnership.
Many marriages have substituted children for intimacy.
  • Children are born as a result of intimacy.  What a shame to lose intimacy because of the children.
  • Once you have children you have to work all the harder to maintain intimacy.
When you look into the eyes of your child you see a part of yourself.  When you look into the eyes of your spouse you should see a part of yourself.

Intimacy requires work, dedication, commitment, communication, and togetherness!

How can intimacy be properly found?  To make it happen
  1. Leave  father and mother to start a new relationship.  Failure to shift interest from parent to spouse is operational in almost all failed marriages.
  2. Weave your lives together.  More than being together in the moment, make the moment together.
  3. Cleave, stick to, cling to.  Won't leave when things get bad.  Commit to communication and forgiveness.
  4. Get naked and feel no shame.  Sexual activity is the pinnacle of commitment in the marital relationship.   Sexual activity is reserved solely to the marital relationship.   Angry people and strangers can have sex, but that is not intimacy.
When you look at your spouse know that there is nothing to hide and nothing to hide from.  We must help people see that God desires more from them.

NAKED:  Fully known, fully know one another.

Mutual love and affection built to the level of physical intimacy.
  1. Start to communicate; forgive.
  2. Get to know your spouse, the completed "good" that makes you, you.
  3. Rediscover intimate conversation.
  4. Schedule time away together, opportunities to build memories.
Rejoice in one another!

Listen to the sermon? Click -->HERE<--

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, April 25, 2015


“I found the most fantastic floor lamp at Merv’s antique shop.  Had to have it,” Herk told me. “I brought it home, set it in the living room.  It was great!  Then Tildy came home from work." 
“What the heck is that?” she asked.
“Isn't it great! It speaks to me,” I said.
“You are lucky to have it then because as long as it is in the house, I won’t.”

Sunday, April 19, 2015

That's Our Song: Forgiveness

Sometimes "sorry" is not enough.
One can say "sorry" yet not be good at forgiveness.


Forgiveness issue: holding a grudge.
Bitterness from pain not dealt with is easy to miss.  Sometimes couples don't even know that bitterness is the issue.  If left untreated bitterness will lead to damage to or death of the relationship.

I bring hope in the grace of Jesus Christ who can heal anything if we are willing to participate.

Bitterness can turn into indifference which can result in a disconnect.

Buried unresolved feelings will sooner or later come out from their shallow grave, and when they do, it isn't pretty.

Wrongs of the past may be dredged up to hang over your head as to why you are wrong now.  I call this living with Zombies.  Dead issues brought to life are not helpful.

"Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."  Romans 12:3 (NLT)
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)

Have you trouble forgiving?
  1. You may think too highly of yourself.  Assess your role in the situation.
  2. You may think too highly of the other person.  No one is perfect; we expect more than we should.  Give more grace as God gives grace to both you and the other party.
Forgiveness is not.
  1. forgetting
  2. a quick event.  Forgiveness is s process.
  3. painless.  Sacrifice is involved; must lay down of oneself.  It hurts.
  4. easy
  5. reliant on the other person.  Reconciliation is, but forgiveness is not. (But that is another sermon!)
Forgiveness is
  • letting go of the need to get even.  Too often we want "justice;" we want someone to "pay;"  God says, "Vengeance is mine."
  • a choice. Make sure the situation is dead and buried deeply.
  • a step toward healing.  You will be at peace.  Forgiveness is the pathway to freedom.
Forgiveness is grace offered and received.  It is received by God who pours out grace on you!

How can I forgive?
  1. Think of Christ who humbled himself. (Philippians 2)
  2. Be honest.
  3. Ask Christ to give you grace to forgive.
I will not throw past issues in their faces.  I will not judge according to faults.  I will lay it down.

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you". - Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, April 17, 2015


and worth passing on.

Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

That's Our Song: Communication

James 1:19  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (NIV)

  • Communication makes a relationship; communication breaks a relationship.
Communication has to change as we grow in a relationship.  It must change with the dynamic of the relationship.
But it is important that we control the change.

The scripture lesson says quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath.  We too often reverse the order: boil to anger, speak without thinking, fail to listen.

And often even when we "listen" we are really thinking about what we are going to say next.
  • Hearing is not enough.  We must have a true desire to understand, then work to understand.
  • People need to be heard.
  • People need to listen.
People are naturally bad at listening.  We need to practice active listening skills.  Most people are reactive rather than reflective.  Hear James:
  • Be quick to listen.
  • "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."  3:6-8 (NIV)
Splits in the church have resulted from the failure of someone to keep his mouth shut.
  • How many times has your mouth gotten you into trouble?
  • Slow to speak:  think about what you say.
  • Words have the potential to bring life or death.  Choose them wisely.
Slow to wrath:  "wrath" implies to "get at" someone.  Don't do it.

In your marriage or relationship, there will be conflict.
Rules for conflict management.
  1. Fight fair.  Establish rules of engagement.  Avoid known "triggers."  Not fair.
  2. Take a time-out.  This does not mean walk away; agree to the time-out but return to the issue, for it must be resolved.
  3. Get past the past.  Forgive, let things go.  You cannot start a new chapter while you are still reading the last one.
  4. Talk it out.  Listening is key.  Never ignore or walk away.
The silent treatment is ineffective and not helpful.

What have you been communicating to people you are close to?

Intentional communication is the starting point for repairing relationships.

Every one of your relationships can be a "10" if you work at it, do it God's way.  See the text from James.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, April 10, 2015

So Hillary is going to announce.  Surprise, surprise.

But wait.  Isn't there a two-term limitation for the Presidency?

Seems to me she was President from '93 to '01.  Maybe the Constitution means "two consecutive terms"?  Technicalities.

Pish-posh.  Don't tell me who runs that "partnership."

A good ol' boy, hale fellow well-met and a shrewd, conniving woman.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Why is it," asked Herk, "that everyone swears the world is full of idiots, but everyone thinks he is perfectly normal?"

"Couldn't say, Herk.  Maybe idiocy is the new normal."

Monday, April 6, 2015


I’m Burl Snarkley
And I’m Brat Grumble, and we are here in the Cathedral to Sports built by the taxpayers for the amusement of the One Percent.
That’s right Brat, and we are thrilled tonight to have the Final Four.
Surely you jest, Burl.  You well know that this mania will continue into Eternity.
Of course.  But this is the big Championship Game.  At the end of the day, there will be a winner and a loser.
Not quite, Burl.  At this level, there are no losers.  Everyone is a champion!
Ri i i g h t, Brat.  You say.  And now down to the floor to Hanna Hurricane and Cook Cereal.
Thanks, Burl.  What do you think of tonight’s game, Cook?
Well, Hanna, it so much reminds me of that season of seventy-six. 
(Cook continues blathering for some time, then) Run on over and bother the coach of the Red team, would you Hanna?
Sure!  (Followed by Hanna bothering the coach)  Now, back to you, Burl and Brat, for the introduction of the teams.
Wide bodies
                    Display of athleticism
Take the floor                                    physicality                            Remember the center in 69?
                Back in the day                        had a double double                must seize the opportunity
execute                    he lights it up!                             a true freshman                        goes to the bench
             ramped up defense                    struggled at the line         a little hi-lo            off the glass
in the paint         the sweet spot will be there all game         Bobo is out of Rancho Cuckoo       
Halftime: much blathering by Burl, and Brat, and Cook.  And Hanna, bothering the coaches.
The battle royal is about to resume, Brat.
Yes!  The Red clads take the tip, and
must get it into the paint                draw fouls                Fires the three!                Knocked it down!
                    elevate                using his size            a true scholar athlete, carries a 3 point nine eight
in transition            couldn’t knock it in                Down to the wire!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Focus: When You've Seen a Ghost

Jesus said, "I will die; in three days I will rise."

Those who were close to Jesus were sad, thinking "What now?"
Those at a distance expected a conspiracy.  They were preparing for it, set a seal and a guard at  the tomb.  It was way too easy.  Jesus died without a complaint.  "As a lamb led to slaughter."  Crazy people do crazy things.

Then: 1) darkness over the Earth;  2) temple veil rent from top to bottom; 3) earthquake, splitting rocks, opening graves.

The temple veil torn revealed the holy of holies.  We can get in!  Yes, and God got loose.
Graves were turned inside out.  Holy people who were dead came back to life!
"I think that would scare the bejeezus out of you."

Unexpected stuff is happening.  The world changed.  What was dead is now alive.  The tomb was sealed so that Jesus' followers could not steal the body and concoct a tale.

But then.  Jesus started showing up!  Nobody expected that.  No way to put a cap on that!  People were terrified.

The centurion observing the goings-on, perhaps noting the open graves, said, "Surely this must be the Son of God."  Jesus was not the only dead one to return to life.  Nobody expected that.

It is not the temporal world that brings life.  It is Jesus Christ.

Do you have one leg in the grave?  Are you digging a new grave: addiction, relationships, physical pain, hypocrisy, disbelief?

God wants to give you peace, to show you He is alive and well!

Do you want proof that God lives?  Find those who used to be dead and are now alive!

"What's great about Easter is that God got loose, and nobody expected that!

Jesus Christ wants to

  • take you pain and give you victory
  • take your sorrow and give you joy
  • take your weakness and give you strength
  • take Death from you and give you Life!
We are alive and well this morning because of His glorious grace!

Are you dead, or are you alive?

God turns the grave inside out.  

God got loose.

The resurrection story is not told to bring you guilt, but to bring you life!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Easter Sunday morning

Friday, April 3, 2015

You say tomato,

The city fathers and the gendarmerie of the city hosting the Final Four this weekend have announced that there is "no market for it" in these environs.

There will be people there, right?