Shelley Lubben Coming Back

Ok, so I have a question -

What in this world is wrong with us in the American Church? Now I know there are countless answers, and countless counter arguments to those answers and the dialog can go on and on. So - let me narrow it down at least a bit.

Has the Holy Spirit rewritten Scripture and I missed it, or does it still say that Jesus hung out with prostitutes? I know he hung out with many types of people, but aren't the prostitutes still there?

To take it just a tad further, doesn't the geneology of Jesus Christ still include prostitutes? Or has that been washed over too? I'm afraid that someone has worked up a TSIV translation - Todays Suburbia International Version - with all the other specialty Bibles out there that may not be too far fetched. Personally I'm still waiting to see The Fetus Study Bible, but I digress...

Here in Birmingham, Alabama there was a ministry called Starlight that focused on ministering to the girls working in the strip clubs in town. The great news is that they began to have a very positive impact, and many of the girls began to come to church after being assured of acceptance.

It was not long before the girls quit coming, and slipped quietly back into the shadows of the night. This was puzzling to the sponsoring church, because they believed that the ladies had been welcomed and accepted without any fuss. The church had been prepared for this, and nobody freaked out when these women walked in for worship.

What was the problem? When the women were asked why they quit coming they said that it was nice to come in and not feel judged, but there was a different problem. The problem was that the acceptance was not genuine. These precious women, ready to experience the grace and freedom of the Gospel saw many of their regular customers in worship, and when they went to say hello, all of them acted like they didn't know them. So, in their acceptance, they dealt them the ultimate rejection of putting their reputation above the possible salvation of these ladies.

They just could not handle the lies, and went back to work, and were no longer interested in hearing about the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus. After working up the courage to come to church, they were lied to and rejected which is how many of them have been treated their entire lives. The church was no different.

How did we get here? How are we comfortable with placing our image above the truth of the Gospel? How are we comfortable treating anyone as disposable?

When my friend Shelley Lubben began her work as a missionary to the American Sex Industry, she contacted the largest churches in the San Fernando Valley. For those of you who do not know; this is the porn production capital of the world. Tens of thousands work in the sex industry right there in this valley. Shelley contacted these churches asking for support on this important mission field. How many churches rallied? One.

One.

One?

One.

Are you kidding me? With the porn battle what it is inside the church, this is the response? People, we have got to do better. I'm no military genius, but I do know you will lose every battle that you don't show up for.

We say we are followers of Jesus, but are we really? If we're not supporting a mission like this, how can we honestly say that? Yeah, it's important to go to other countries and paint and build new churches, but how can we neglect these areas right here at home? How can we decide not to carry the Gospel into this arena, particularly when this industry is crippling families, and ministries.

Not all of us are equipped for this type of ministry, but Shelley really is, and we can, and should support her - and others - in this important fight.

Please take a minute and go to her site and read about The Pink Cross Foundation. It takes a great deal to help people out of this industry. They need counseling, rehab, recovery, job training, and a place to live just to name a few of the major needs. But when I read my Bible, I see a Jesus who has sex workers in his bloodline, and a Jesus who loves them dearly.

If we say we are followers of Jesus, then we should follow him here, too. How can we, as the Body of Christ, justify ignoring this mission field?

Shelley will be back on the show this week, and it will be great to have her back. We'll be talking about the successes they have had with workers in the sex industry, and how God is moving in this ministry. Please join us Sunday night at 9:00 EST/6:00 PST and call in to encourage Shelley! Sirius Channel 161.

What do you think about carrying the Gospel to the sex industry?

The Shack is Back!


Hey Friends!

We are very fortunate to have William P. Young back on the show this week. Who is William P. Young you ask? He's the author of The Shack, which has now sold over 750,000 copies by riding the best marketing blitz that $300 can buy.

The book is not without it's detractors and controversy. Just check out Driscoll's rant on Youtube.

He's far from alone, but still, this book is having remarkable success. I read the book, and while I understand where some of the critics are coming from, it seems clear to me that most have not even read the book.

This book is great if you have shame issues, or if you have suffered greatly in your life.

If you have read the book, please call the show tomorrow night to talk with the author! Again, we're on at 9:00PM Eastern on Sirius channel 161. We'll most likely take calls tomorrow night. SO, whether you like it or hate it, give us a call. You can also e-mail questions to hope@talprincelive.com
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Don't Race Down Redemption Road

Over the years, I've been around countless marriages and relationships devastated by the discovery of porn of sex addiction. An unsuspecting spouse mistakenly stumbles across an internet history and sees the name of a site whose title leaves no doubt as to its' nature. Another spouse stumbles across an e-mail that was supposed to be deleted, but the words on the screen describe in detail that infidelity has entered and trust is now shattered.

After a few days and weeks of being stunned and in shock, the couple often decides to try to stay together. This is where I usually get involved, and it's an honor to be there. What they usually do not understand that the road to redemption is long and you can not race down it. It requires a slow pace.

Many of us that have been on the offending side of this equation figure that everything is cool now that we have been "forgiven." You know, Teresa and I made that mistake at the outset. I confessed to her, and she said, "I forgive you" and then we prayed and tried to act like everything was cool. It wasn't.

Those of us on the offending side really would prefer it to be that way, though. When a cold front moves back into the relationship, we love to quickly say, "Hey, did you forgive me or not? Forgive and forget, right? You can't keep bringing this up if you've forgiven me." I've often found that the words, "I forgive you" come long before the act of forgiveness. We want to claim it and move on.

But here's the problem - we've done great damage to the relationship. Think about Lightning McQueen in the Pixar classic, Cars. He destroyed the main road in Radiator Springs, and was sentenced to repair and repave the road. When he pulls, "Bessie" slowly, the damage is smoothed out, and then a nice even layer of tar is spread and applied to the road. It leaves no record of what had happened to the road. But when he begins to focus on himself, as any truly selfish person does, here's what happens:




When we race down redemption road, the road does not get healed. We just pour some tar over the wounds and scars and act like everything is alright. The problem is when we try and drive down that road, it's not a smooth experience. Mater's response was classic denial, wasn't it?

Lightning McQueen brings out the addictive response of invalidating everyone's concern, and responding with pride. He demeans the town, shows no concern for hurt feelings, and rephrases the deal in hopes of finding a loophole to make the town feel that it's their fault.

It's a very tough thing to be the one to pour cold water on things, but it has to be done. The offending spouse thinks everything is cool when the apology is accepted, or they are allowed to come back home. They'll agree to do some counseling, maybe go to some meetings, but only for a limited time. They are racing down redemption road.

The offended spouse figures that it wasn't their fault, so they don't think they have work to do. They don't see their contributions to the problem at all. It's all the offender's fault. "What did I do?" they often ask. Plenty. They need help too.

Many in this field will tell you that the couple is going to need to be in a counseling process for 3-5 years. You can't race down that road, but if you will commit to it, and to each other, this damaged, devastated road can be made new again. AND, it will be smoother than ever before.

You may say that you've been wounded too deeply, and there's just no way back. That would be true - except that we serve a Savior that has overcome death. DEATH. Because Jesus beat Death, there is nothing He can not do. NOTHING. Your relationship can be redeemed, you just have to commit to the process and ask God to guide and aid you along the way.

Shelley Lubben on the Show This Week!

I am so happy to have Shelley Lubben coming to be on the show this week! Shelley is a remarkable story of truth and transparency leading to transformation. The power of the Gospel in her life is astounding. Why do I say that? Glad you asked.

Shelley is a former stripper, prostitute and porn star. Now, pulled out of the industry by the grace of an incredible God, she now has a ministry to help other performers, just like her, out of the adult entertainment industry.

She'll be sharing her incredible story with us live on Sunday night on Sirius Satellite Channel 161 at 9:00 PM Eastern. You can call in at 1.800.528.HOPE or you can e-mail us at: hope@talprincelive.com

Go check out Shelley's site. Tune in on Sunday night!
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Why Am I Surprised?


I love surprises. Do you?

Have you ever had a friend call you, or race up to you so excited to tell you some great news? To share with you something that God has done in their lives? Have you ever had that awful phone call in the middle of the night? Every time the phone rings in the middle of the night, my blood runs cold because any phone call that comes in after midnight just can't be good news.

Over the past few weeks a great deal has happened in the life of Tapestry, the radio show, and in the lives of friends both new and old. Much of what has happened was been fantastic, and some of it has absolutely sucked. But they have all been surprises.

I was praying with a friend today about some of the great things that are going on in his life, and I remember thanking God for all of the wonderful things that are happening, and thanking God for how amazing He has been to my friend and their ministry. I also apologized for being surprised by Him. I feel a bit guilty saying things like, "Wow! I can't believe God did that!"

Have you ever wondered why we get surprised when God comes through? Isn't that what He does?

I love all the positive ways that God does come through. I love to hear stories about how He has come through for a friend at the last possible second - as long as those stories don't involve me. I love to watch cliff-hangers, but I don't want to be in one. Those stories are so much fun, and we never miss the fact that God was there. We don't even have to say it - we just know.

Why are we so slow to find God in surprises that are not so great? Why is it that when bad things happen, our immediate question is "Where did you go, God? Where are you?" If it's not those questions, we may quickly tell friends "You just won't believe what Satan did to me today..." We assume that somehow God took a break, and Satan pounced on us.

We easily forget that we serve a God who is sovereign. Go back to Job 1, and catch this terrifying discussion between Satan and God: 6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?"

Satan answered God, "Going here and there, checking things out on earth."

8 God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil."

9-10 Satan retorted, "So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can't lose!

11 "But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He'd curse you right to your face, that's what."

12 God replied, "We'll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don't hurt him." Then Satan left the presence of God.

Does it terrify you that a conversation like that could take place about you? The key to the conversation is that God holds Satan's leash. There is only so far he can go. God tells him, "Do what you want with all that is his, but don't hurt him." Later on in chapter 1, a frustrated Satan returns and asks for a bit more lead in his leash, and God grants it.

Job takes a beating, and even his formerly supportive wife says, "Why don't you curse God and die." As my friend Dr. Smith says, "he was caught between I can't go on, and I can't give up." Have you ever been there? Just wondering where God has gone? Have you been caught between I can't go on, and I can't give up? Are you there right now?

Seems that is where lots of my community is right now. We've had the suicide of a young son. We have a divorce in progress. We have couples coming that are dealing with multiple issues from infidelity to unemployment and communication problems. We have folks looking for work. We have people in custody battles. We have people in desperate financial straits. We don't have much money, so we can't help them. We have one and sometimes two friends that are HIV+. We have people struggling with anxiety and depression. I talk with them and they are all caught between I can't go on, and I can't give up.

It is very easy to think where is God in these situations? How could he let these things happen? Where are the good surprises, God?

When you are dangling from that rope, life gets very difficult, doesn't it? You really do feel the tension of feeling unable to go on, but knowing you can't give up. It's so difficult. But because God is sovereign, and we know that what is happening in our lives has been allowed by him. It has been filtered through his fingers of love, and He has purpose in it. There is always purpose in pain and in pleasure.

So - where are you today? Are things great for you? If so, I'm happy for you! Or are you caught between I can't go on, and I can't give up?

Remember the storm where Jesus was asleep in the boat? The disciples knew what it was like to live between I can't go on and I can't give up. What do you do with a sleeping Jesus? Be glad He's in the boat with you! He has promised to never leave or forsake you. Never. He's there, and available to you. He knows what is happening to you. He cares for you. He loves you, and when your situation feels hopeless remember that you are a follower of Jesus Christ and that He has conquered death. Conquered Death! That means He can overcome your challenges, too. I mean he conquered death for crying out loud!

I'm learning this - in this life we will have surprises, both good and bad. But you know what? A dead God will never surprise you.

Drew Marshall and Willie P. Young

Hey!

I hope you are well, my friends! We are SO excited for this week's show. We are going to have Drew Marshall and Willie P. Young as our guests.

Willie Young is the author of, The Shack. This is a book that is gaining a great deal of tension out there, and has been selling out everywhere. It is not without controversy, and that's alright. The book deals with the Trinity through a fictional story about a man whose youngest daughter was abducted. I love the subtitle - Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity. That's nice.

Lots of people are upset about The Shack, and lots of people have been profoundly effected by it. Let's have a great discussion about it and remember as we talk that the Trinity doesn't become a quartet when any of us die. We are all highly capable of being wrong about stuff.

Drew is one of my new friends, and the only way I can describe him is - Stone Crazy. I got to appear on his show last week and we had a blast. Drew hosts the highest rated "spiritual talk-back" show in all of Canada. Go check out his show's site! The Drew Marshall Show.

We should have a great show! Do you have questions? e-mail them to me ahead of time to: hope@talprincelive.com Also, call the show and talk to us live! Our number is 1.800.528.HOPE We can't do the show without YOU!

Remember, we have our prayer team active for you! Let us know how we can pray for you!

What would you like for us to talk about on the show? Let me know!