An Email Thread with a Teen about Piercing & Tatoo's

Hi Pr. Dave, i came across your web-blog and was wondering if maybe you'd be able to answer a question for me...more like give me your opinion on a topic. I was wondering what your opinion...as a pastor, is on tattoos and piercings?!?! I've been getting mixed responses on this lately so would really appreciate your point of view on it and some help...

Thank-you

_X_X_X_X

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Dear _X_X_X_X,

Thanks for you email. It's great to hear your thoughts!

Piercing is really a cultural issue. There is plenty of it happening in the Bible. Have a look at Ezekiel 16 for a story told by God through his prophet. In that story God is talking about his love for his people. Because piercing of the nose was a way of honouring a wife, God says he gave a nose ring to his lady! Cool, eh?

Today the people of God are not a particular nation, but those who love Jesus. We are called his Body. We are called his
Temple. I think as "God's Lady" (the church) today we need to ask the questions, "How can I best represent Jesus? How can I bring people to him through my lifestyle and words?" Then, the answer really depends on the world you live in.

Hudson Taylor, a missionary to
China (read his story sometime, it's WOW!) decided to dress, eat and live like the Chinese people so that there were less barriers between him and them. But, he did it because he wanted people to know Jesus, not because he wanted to fit in so he could "be cool." Everything in the Christian life should be about funnelling people to Jesus.

So, Go for it! Bring those people to Jesus! How will you do it? How will you represent Christ? How will you be his
Temple? How will you be his Body? Those are questions each of us needs to answer!

God bless,

Dave

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wow! thanx for ur quick reply :)

...sorry to hassle you...but im a bit dense tonight (haha). so am i right in thinking that what your telling me is that as long as im doing it for the right reasons (as opposed to me just wanting to do it 'cause its the 'cool' thing) its okay for me to do it?

I'd like to say that i was doing it so that in some way i could maybe reach out to some non-christians but honestly it's more just the fact that i want it...i've heard people say that once you're a christian you 'should' stop being selfish...i guess...and stop doing things just because you want but you have to now think of God and what he would want from us (i dunno if i explained that properly).

I guess what i want to know is if it's wrong for me, as a christian to get these things done...?!

P.S thanx heaps for ur time...

_X_X_X_X

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_X_X_X_X,

I am currently studying with a girl that has both ears pierces twice, nose, tongue and belly button... all pierced. And she asks some of the best spiritual questions I've heard in a long time. She is very passionate about all she does and especially about her new found relationship with Jesus.

I, on the other hand, only have the holes in my body that God put there. And I am quite well adjusted and have an occasional good thought without the extra ventilation. :)

We live in a world full of choices. What will I wear? Where will i spend my waking hours? Who will I hang out with? When will I clean my room? What will I pierce. It's all about pro's and con's. consider it. Pray about it. do it. live with it. wash. rinse. repeat until clean.

God bless,

Dave

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Dear Pr. Dave

Thank-You very much for your opinion and guidance...you've helped me heaps so...very much APPRECIATED!

God Bless

_X_X_X_X

Heaven's Heroes

This morning, over breakfast, Josh Walker told me a really amazing story. His aunty is a teacher and recently received a new student - a boy from the Africa. The boy speaks very little English and was having a hard time fitting in with the other kids.
One morning the teacher and students received the scare of their lives. A sparrow flew in through an open window and was followed by a hawk that was trying to catch it. The teacher and the kids hit the floor screaming as the two birds clamoured franticly through the classroom. Then the little African boy slowly approached the hawk from behind. The students said to the teacher, "Make him stop!" But she was wise enough to say, "Let him do what he needs to do."
The boy wrapped his hands around the closed wings of the hawk, lifted him and released him back out the window. Then he quietly did the same to the sparrow. Now the boy who was struggling to fit in, is a hero!
Imagine how difficult it is for visitors in our church. They don't understand us and we don't understand them. We try, but we come from different worlds. We need to endeavour to provide experiences in which they can excel. And then we need to celebrate their uniqueness and their victories!

Jesus in the Real World

The non-Christian glibly threw the remark, “So, where is Heaven? Is it always up? What about if you are in California and I am in Tasmania… Who’s up is Heaven?”
We spent the first week of our family holiday at my wife’s parents home in
Melbourne. As the airplane banked to line up with the Hobart runway, Rachael, our four year old, looked out the window and made a profound statement, “We’re not in Grandma’s world anymore.”
Truer words have never been spoken! While to an adult
Melbourne is only an hour from Hobart, to a four year old it is a world away. It is often much the same in our faith journey.
Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like… a mustard seed… a merchant… a treasure…a net… a king… the owner of a house… ten virgins… a landowner… yeast…” While you and I may struggle to answer the sceptic’s question, Jesus made one thing very clear – Heaven is anything but a world away.
John the Baptist said it. Jesus said it. And he commissioned his disciples to say it – “The Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Jesus saw God’s Kingdom in every landscape and smelled it on every breeze. And he made it as real as possible for every person he encountered. Heaven in the real world – that was Jesus’ canvas and his paint.
How down to earth is your picture of Jesus? Is he someone you can laugh with, smile at and listen to? How yo
u see him is how you will paint him. Paint him in the everyday garb of the life about you. That’s what he did. That’s who he is. That is a Jesus your friends and family can relate to. Give them Jesus – in their world.

John 2:1-25 – Honourable Parents

Jesus had a divine plan the timing of which was lined up well before his birth. Thousands of years of prophets and predictions had gone into getting ready for the paradigm shift from BC to AD. Yet Jesus was willing to alter these perfect plans to honour his mother. Obviously the Ten Commandments, which revealed his character, were embodied in his humanity. He placed the 5th Commandment higher that the expected starting point of his signs and wonders campaign. In so doing, Jesus showed that the Law of God is eternal and that relationships are more important than plans and procedures – especially when a parent can be honoured!
Jesus had a plan of attack that started with rebellion against the Jewish religion. It was his intention to stand boldly as the new “way, truth and life.” The comparison he made between the temple of the day and the temple of his body was a stark one indeed - the temple of his body would be broken and rebuilt. By beginning his ministry in the
Temple he would have established that his kingdom was a spiritual one – not one of flesh and blood. Jesus’ plan and purpose was introduced through the clearing of the temple. He had come to make things right in his Father’s house. He had come to lead people into worshipping the King of Kings and entering the Kingdom of Heaven – not an Earthly kingdom.
His plan was to start and finish his ministry during the Passover – three years apart. Turning the tables of money changers to begin and the sacrificial table to finish - one sacrifice to end all sacrifices. The Lamb of God had come to finish the work of reconciliation between God and men! Jesus did away with the temple by becoming it’s full replacement. In the temple, Jesus began his intentional plight of fulfilling prophecy. He had given the messages to the prophets over the millennia and now it was his task to see that he dotted every I and crossed every T. Every prophecy given was fulfilled for one express purpose – to draw people to the cross – to redemption.
All this was done so that we could come into the presence of the Father. Thousands of years ago our Heavenly Parent was willing to change his plans – perfect plans – to organise a rescue mission. Aren’t you glad he was willing to change over 6000 years of His story to save you?
It’s not so hard to see why Jesus was willing to follow his mother’s wishes that night at the party. Like Father, like Son. God is in the habit of changing his plans to rescue humanity from small or great loss, from either embarrassment or death. He loves us – more than we can imagine.

: ! ? . . . --- The Perfect Bible Study Tool for Groups?

Over the last couple months I have been exploring ways to get group members involved in the discussion during Bible Study. I have developed a model that works really well, is easy to remember and is fun. It looks like this...

:!?...

And here is the explaination. If this is done in a classroom I write the symbols on a board in different quadrants and then take 3 or 4 students (the first to pipe up and say something) and work the rest of the exercise with their ideas. The rest of the class will join in during the last three steps (they can't help themselves!)... If it is done in a small group I will use a board or large piece of paper. If done in a large group I have the students each draw the above six symbols down a page as if they were numbering 1-6 but using the symbols instead - leaving one line after 1, 2 & 3 (: ! ?) and then 5 or six lines for 4-6 (. . .).

: --- The passage you are studying (eg John 5:1-5)

! --- The main point. The big idea. The "aha" you (the student) see in the text.
Hint: Do NOT give your (the teacher) big idea. Many people will not have a go if you have given the "right answer"... The teacher is always right, eh?

? --- Reword the ! as a question.
Hint: You will be amazed at how different their question often is from what you thought it would be. This is especially true for children. They are extremely lateral thinkers!

. . . ---
Answer your question with three possible answers. What answers are presented in the passage? Are there any typical answers that are often given that are "wrong"? What answers can you think of? Do you know any stories in scripture that answer the question?

This model is loved by teachers and students alike.

Give it a shot!
:!?...

Pr Dave - Still Alive and Kicking!

I have been away for the last two weeks. I attended the Union Session in Melbourne and then was the guest speaker for the Tween Camp up at Orford. I am tired and ready for a break!

So, it's a great thing that we are going to have a brief holiday this week. Jenny and I and the kids will be on holiday in N/W Tassie until this Friday night. Then we will be back in full swing.

Get ready for October First! That's when The Prophecy Story begins! It will be a great time of stories, friendships, worship and commitment. Bring a friend on October one.

ONE FOR ONE ON OCTOBER ONE!

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...