Shades of Sin
By Pastor Manny
I read some news the other day that made my stomach sink; the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey is anticipated to be the best selling R rated movie of all time. In this same article, a question was asked, “If this is the best selling R rated movie in history, that means there are likely people who attend your church that are planning to see it. There are certainly people in your church that have read these horrendous books. What are we going to do about it?”
I think more than anything, we have to be educated on what exactly we are participating in. This isn’t harmless fun or entertainment. When you read these kinds of books and watch these kinds of movies based on sexual immorality, lust, sex, or promiscuity, you are participating in sexual sin. It becomes so much more than a “good story” when you allow your mind and heart to go places they were never intended to go with anyone but your significant other. In short, you are partaking in pornography.
Don’t agree? This is the definition of pornography: “Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” By reading or watching books or movies like this one (let’s be honest, this isn’t the first or last time this will be an issue) you are using porn as entertainment. You are using sex as a means of leisure. That is not how God intended sex to be viewed or used.
So what can we do?
Well, scripture is a great place to start. What does God say about sex?
The author of Hebrews writes, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4, ESV)
In 1 Corinthians 7 we get a better explanation of what keeping our sexuality pure does for our marriage, “Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to ‘stand up for your rights.’ Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-7, Message)
So, scripture is quite clear, sex is for husbands and wives and no one else. Entertaining the idea of sex with someone else, watching or reading about sex, or any other kind of action that leads your mind to sex outside of the context of your marriage is not only harmful to your marriage, but it is harmful to your walk with God.
It’s sad that we’ve come to a point in our culture where these things are not only permissible, but they have become the preferred method of entertainment. I pray that you will consider exactly what it is you are subjecting yourself to when you read a book or watch a movie, and remember to seek to honor God and your spouse (past, present, or future) in all you do.
“You have a spirit. And, it’s constantly being shaped … by what you hear and watch and say and read and think and experience.” –John Ortberg
Remember in Prayer
~Friends/family/neighbors suffering from the flu, colds, or other viruses.
~Camp Quaker Heights - our mission emphasis in February
~The Yearly Meeting Superintendent Search Committee
~Mesquakie Friends Church near Tama
~Wings of Refuge Ministry in Iowa Falls who help victims of exploitation recover
~Those serving overseas - Nathan &
Brianna Martin in Cambodia, Sam & Becky
Barber in Belize- & those serving close to
home - Deneen & Juan Ahumada at
Mesquakie Friends Church
HOC Meal Report
On Thursday, January 29th, 42 guests were served shepherd's pie, baby carrots, mixed fruit, biscuits, apple dump cake or cookie bars, milk and coffee. Thanks to: Diane R, Wayne M, James & Sharon who donated funds; Diane, Betty and Vi who prepared; Darla, Vi and Ann N.; who served and Neil, Mike, Jo & Tom who were on cleanup. The shepherd's pie was especially enjoyed on a cold, windy night. Our next meal responsibility is February 26. Come join the fun!
~If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou
~ASAP - Always say a prayer
~A shut mouth gathers no foot
~A budget helps us to live below our yearnings.
~When God measures a man, He puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.
From FUM’s January CONNECTIONS
In 2008, the post-election violence in Kenya was mostly carried out by youth. When Charlotte Stangeland and Marlene Pedigo heard John Muhanji wishing Quakers could teach peace within the schools, they knew they could help. Friends since their college days, Charlotte is a professor of education and Marlene is a Friends minister. They joined with Mary Glenn Hadley, a former missionary in Kenya, and connected with a committee of Kenyan educators to help write a curriculum to teach non-violent conflict resolution skills in the elementary schools and train teachers. With approximately 1,200 Quaker primary schools in Kenya, more than half a million children are now learning to be peacemakers.
Pray for Peace
Oh, Creator of Peace, we pray that Friends would continue to transform Kenya into a place of peace, justice and hope. May the staff and volunteers make an effective witness in the lives of those who have been traumatized. May whole communities be led to prophetic acts of reconciliation with those who have been their “enemies.”
During February we will learn more about Quaker Heights Camp and support this ministry with our offering on February 15 when Chip and Alicia Daleske will come to share. Light refreshments will be offered during the Sunday School hour when we will meet in the fellowship hall to enjoy their photos and hear about the new maintenance building.
The Camp Quaker Heights mission is to provide an environment where people of all ages can come and experience God. It was established in 1948 by a group of Quaker Men. Today, Quaker Heights consists of 65 acres on a bluff overlooking the Iowa River near Eldora. It hosts Iowa Yearly Meeting youth camps during the month of June. IAYM camps present Christ and the loving grace of the Gospel to children and youth.
With Tall Oaks Retreat Center, the facility offers hospitality year-round. Other church groups, organizations, individuals and families use the facility during the rest of the year. For more information visit the Camp’s website: www.campquakerheights.org or check out their Facebook page.
Barclay College Leadership Institute continues monthly at BLFC at 7 pm the first Monday of the month. On March 2nd a new series continues, The Personal Life of the Leader. Contact Manny if you would like more information about the Barclay College Leadership Institute.
Chain of Prayer - Prayer Vigil
Our day to participate in FUM’s Chain of Prayer is Friday, February 6th starting at 6 pm and continuing until our next Prayer Vigil on Saturday, February 7th at 6 pm. Our signup sheet has been filled!
The purpose of the Chain of Prayer is to pray for all of the Monthly Meetings, missions, and leadership of Friends United Meeting. We will also be praying for Center Friends Monthly Meeting in Pleasant Hill, Ohio and the needs of our own communities. Prayer guides are available.
We will gather together in a Prayer Vigil at the church at 6 pm on Saturday to ask for God’s blessing and presence with everyone connected, not only those mentioned, but families, our church and communities. We will end by praising and thanking God for this opportunity.
Our Monthly Potluck meal will be held on Sunday, February 8th after Worship with the Youth hosting. Our rescheduled February Monthly will be held after the potluck.
The Christian Ed Committee would like to encourage you to participate in the Wednesday night DEEPER classes. It’s never too late to drop into a study. A meal is furnished each week, beginning at 6:15, for your free will donations. At 7:00 we have several options for adults and classes for youth and children, as well as a nursery. Many stay after 8:00 to continue visiting. All are welcome. Feel free to bring a friend along. Don’t let the dreary winter keep you away from Bible study and fellowship. Join us at DEEPER this week!
We will gather at Betty’s home at Glenwood Place on February 17 at 1:30. Margaret will provide the program. All women are welcome to enjoy this time of challenge and fellowship.
The next meeting of Liberty USFW ladies will be a work night at the church at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 19. Each one attending is asked to bring a salad for the salad supper, and a pair of scissors to cut labels and box tops for education.
Blizzard Blast -
Iowa Yearly Meeting
Middle School Lock-In
(for 5th-8th grades)
February 20, 2015!
RSVP online at
Drop Off: February 20th, 6:00 pm @
Marshalltown 1st Friends Church
Pick Up: Feb. 21st, 6:00 am,
What to Bring…Gym clothes, swim
suit, towel and a friend!
Cost is $25 per youth if registered
by February 15, after that it is $30.
The Winter Family Banquet February 28, 2015!
Every year on the 4th Saturday in February the Iowa Quaker Men sponsor their winter banquet for all families. The banquet will be held at the MTC Atrium at William Penn University. This year the feature will be the children of our Mesquakie Friends Center, and also some pictures of their facilities and activities. And don’t forget the annual pie auction!
Reservations are $12 per ticket and $13 at the door. Reservations are needed by February 16th. Your reservation can be paid at the door. Please make your reservations with Chuck Watson via email- charleswatson902 at msn.com or by phone-641-673-3755. Also with Bill McCracken- wcmccracken at hotmail.com or by phone-319-694-3265.
Dates for Summer Camps at CQH
Mark these dates!
Little Fry (k-2nd grade) June 12-14
Elementary (3rd-6th grade) June 21-25
Jr/Sr High Camp (7th-12th) June 14-19
Young Adult - June 5-7
(college freshmen-age 35)
We do have a scholarship fund to help all
our youth attend camp if they wish
to do so. Camp brochures & costs
will be available soon. (Last year the costs ranged from $175-$315.)
*Youth will need to let Youth Pastor
Kris or Ann Rogers know they plan
to attend a summer camp
before the end of April.
A Line in the Sand by Al and Joanna Lacy, God’s Words of Life, God’s Little Promise Book and 8 Little House books along with a children’s CD Kids Classics Action Bible Songs are available for the kids.
Two New DVD’s are available -
The Hammer - Deaf. Defiant. Determined.
Inspired by the life of UFC athlete, Matt Hamill, this DVD depicts the struggles and successes of what it takes to become a wrestler with a disability. He uses his disability as an asset and becomes the first deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Championship and is an inspirational force to the hearing and deaf alike.
The Assignment - Mr. Clements is the exciting new history teacher at Wesleyan Academy. His first assignment uncovers a disturbing mystery for Eliza Baird about her own past. Clements said when bad things happen, it is what we do with the experience that matters most. How do experiences change us?
Iowa Friend Subscriptions Due
Friends may receive the Iowa Friend newsletter from the Yearly Meeting Office by renewing or signing up for a yearly subscription for $9.50 through our church. The newsletter is very helpful in keeping us informed about what is going on in the Yearly Meeting, in other Friends Churches in Iowa, mission’s news and special activities. Subscriptions are due by February 22nd.
In light of our visit from Wings of Refuge, we are sharing some statistics on human trafficking. This is a real problem and it needs a real solution. We are called to pray and work tirelessly to be a voice for the voiceless in this terrible reality.
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
· Vulnerable people are trafficked in the commercial sex trade and labor industry every day in America.
· In 2014, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline received multiple reports of human trafficking case in each of the 50 states and D.C.
· More than 18,000 total cases human trafficking have been reported to the NHTRC hotline in the last eight years. The hotline receives an average of 100 calls per day.
· The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. 5.5 million of those are children. 14.2 million of those are victims of labor exploitation.
· In 2014, the International Labor Organization estimated that forced labor generates $150 billion in profits a year worldwide.
· In 2013, an estimated 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 67 percent were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.