Archives For God

Last year I wrote an adaptation of the classic “twas the night before christmas” for a christmas eve service at my church. After much prayer, study and journeying with God over the last year I have revised and finalized this poem. I wanted to give families something they could read to their kids or even to other adults that would remind them during the season of the truth around Christmas. That we can see how amazing the father is by looking at His son. That God didn’t mess up but the gospel was ALWAYS plan A and oh how He loves us.

I hope to publish an illustrated book of this next year.

Below is the PDF of the poem if you would like to print it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the night before CHRISTmas

By: Joel Klampert

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the world,
Man’s minds were cloudy, their hearts were all swirled;
From beginning to end it’s not often told,
This story is new and also quite old;

Our tale begins, of course from the start,
In the garden with Adam, followed by God’s broken heart;
Eve was tempted by knowledge and pride,
While her husband stood passive, right by her side;

The greatest of love is to lay down one’s own life,
So why didn’t he act to save his sweet wife;
Ashamed they stood, pride divided their heart,
Riddled by fears, their whole world fell apart;

Countless years go by, many hours are spent,
Mans repair strategy never made a real dent;
Prophets spoke up, straight from the Lord,
Truth rang out, a loud hope had roared;

The Father above, a craftsman by trade,
Stared at the gifts that his hands had made;
He made them whole and He made them right
Now they lay broken, shattered by night

The misfits were nestled all snug in their sin,
Awaiting redemption that soon would begin;
The father and son since the beginning of time,
Had a glorious plan to clean off man’s grime;

An angel appeared to a young girl on that day,
Fear not, you have favor is what he would say;
And the peace from the creator poured out like an oil,
On the squeaky heart of Mary, faithful and loyal;

She knew she was pregnant, her heart now made whole,
Joseph stepped up, earthly father with soul;
The dark one, now frantic, did all that he could,
To stop the one who would crush death for good;

In the middle of a field stood the lowest of low,
Tending their sheep when the sky started to glow;
They shook in their sandals, Their eyes open wide,
As an army of angels appeared in the sky;

“I bring you good news” the angel had said,
“you’ll find him wrapped snug, while resting his head”;
Their voices soared, what a song they would sing,
Then the shepherds packed up to go find their new king;

They hurried to the village to see with their eyes,
Astonished, they saw Him, and heard his sweet cries;
The stories they’d tell, sharing with any who’d hear,
That Jesus had come, The Messiah was here!

A few years had passed when some magi had heard,
The prophecies were true and Herod got word;
He sent them all out to seek and to find,
With a ruse that he’d worship with all of mankind;

To Bethlehem they rode, navigating by star,
Which stopped over a home, a sight so bizarre;
They bowed down and worshiped leaving gifts at His feet,
And left to trick Herod so death they’d not meet;

Mary sat with Gold, Frankincense and myrrh,
Silently thinking, it’s all been a blur;
She knew what would happen, but did she know the whole truth, 
Did she trust that God’s plan was completely foolproof?

Jesus grew up in wisdom and stature,
Fully God, fully man, the Grace dispatcher;
He took on flesh to save mankind’s skin,
God became misfit to free misfits from sin;

From heaven to earth, From manger to cross,
He came to seek and save all who were lost;
As he Hung on a tree mary saw her small child,
Was now a man who’s love was vivid and wild;

Too many are convinced that God turned his back,
Because He was angry and we were off track;
But The truth of this story comes in like the tide,
As we see the real Father with arms open wide;

Recklessly loving, His eyes peppered with grace,
All lives must change that look at His face;
He loves us with passion, our value He views,
Our God is alive!! Celebrate the good news!

When you sit with your family, as you unwrap and you eat,
Remember that death has suffered defeat;
We have been given a gift, receive His pure light,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

 

————–

Of course the original is public domain and this version is copyright 2016 Joel Klampert


what a

The God who breathed stars into existence, who spoke and made the heavens created us out of dust, to be little mud men in relationship with him. What a mystery. What a privilege to be called sons and daughters because of the mind shattering love and grace and mercy of God.

Jesus, God’s plan A, took all of our sin, all of our garbage, all of our hurt on himself. All the things we have done and have yet to do. He bore it all. He did not come to condemn. As he was being beaten and nailed to a cross, He responded to the offense with “FORGIVE THEM!”.
What a privilege it is to worship Him.

The prince of peace came in humility. The bread of life was broken so that WE might have life… so that The love of God might finally be revealed with such clarity and impact that nothing would mistake it.
What a privilege it is to worship Him

And the curtain of the temple that separated the presence of God from man was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. Bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. All that was created from beginning to end, Angels and demons, principalities and rulers, Satan and the religious, All of heaven and earth, all that is seen and all that is unseen suddenly woke with a realization… Through the splinters of wood and the poured out blood, revelation came. “Truly this was the Son of God!”
What a privilege it is to worship Him

To seal the deal Jesus rose from the grave, fully man and fully God. He returned as a teacher, friend, healer, gardener… as God…He ministered to followers that would change the world as an act of worship.
What a privilege it is to worship Him

He ascended into heaven and left us with the Holy Spirit. The living God and the same power that raised christ from the grave to be with us always. So that as we draw near to the Good father we can be reminded that his love endures forever. What a privilege it is to worship Him

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Eph 3:16-19

What a privilege it is to worship Him

50shades2There are 5 million posts on 50 shades of grey coming out with people who are for it and others who are against it. When the trailer came out I wrote a post all about my concerns. Over the time period between the trailer release and maybe a month ago there just didn’t seem to be too much media on it encroaching on my space. Then February began and I could not watch tv without seeing the commercial. Everybody on the planet wrote a blog post on it. Every commercial on hulu had an advertisement and every late night host wanted to chat with the actors.

I didn’t necessarily want to flood the internet with more chatter, but I do have a few things to say on this topic as a Pastor, Man, Husband and father… so here we go.

In the last week I have seen discussion on twitter, facebook and other social media from friends and acquaintances about their excitement over the release tomorrow night of this film. I have seen people setting up ladies nights for valentines day to go see the movie instead of staying home with their husband. Most of these woman are Christians and It makes me sad.

As a pastor: I have had the pleasure of doing a bunch of marriage counseling. Marriage is hard and worth fighting for. Porn of course is our new addiction of choice. In the old days guys would hide their playboy under their bed. Porn was underground and secret. Somewhere along the way it became almost an expected norm that Guys would be into pornography. In recent years we have noticed a recognition that this addiction is not gender specific and women are also becoming addicted to erotica and pornography.  Whole ministries are dedicated to working on healing of the minds and hearts of these women, like Whole Women Ministries and Dirty Girl Ministries.  Study after study has been done that porn and erotica doesn’t “spice up” a marriage, but instead it destroys it. It creates in a mans brain a photoshop image that can’t be erased and in the woman’s thoughts a fantasy that can never be duplicated. I have seen this tear apart homes. I have seen it lead to affairs and divorce. Getting wrapped in it, is a perversion of love and an invitation of that perversion into your marriage bed!

I don’t care if the movie/book is good or not good. Arguing over it’s literary quality or cinematography is worthless. It is a twisted view of sex and relationships. Most importantly it is a perversion of LOVE. – From “50 Shade is Black and white

In addition to all of this is the sick and perverted increase of people who are searching for the abusive, submissive and violent world. You can call it what you want, but it all boils down to something commonly known as intimate partner violence. I have friends on the front lines of trying to take down sex trafficking. I have worked with bringing hope to hookers. I have pastored people who have been beaten, abused and almost killed under the guise of love.
This movie does NOT represent 1 Cor 13 and how God describes love. 

This is not a statement that all movies with nudity and violence are evil. It is a statement that 50 shades is designed to normalize smut. I have met with too many couples who’s marriage is on the rocks from issue after issue… Don’t add another one to it! I truly believe the precedence that this movie with make with it’s record breaking ticket sales and normalizing the erotic/porn culture will make the marriage counselors have more appointments this next year than they will know what to do with.

As a man: The word says “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28 and if most of us are honest we have committed that sin.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Simply put that I know I will be tempted, but it’s my choice to take the “way of escape” that has been provided for me.

It is a man’s choice, knowing he is a visual creature, to remind himself to run from things that will be burned into his memory.

A man should be in pursuit of real intimacy and a healthy sexual relationship instead of a selfish, abusive cheap thrill.

“Guard your mind and your body. God has a plan for you and it does not include selfish Love. It is a sex-saturated society… Like David and Bathsheba, Stop looking out at woman bathing on rooftops! RUN!” – From “50 shades is black and white

As a Husband: One of the many favorite slams from the “pro 50 shades people” is that those who are against it are prudes. Let me go on the record here and say that sex is awesome! There is no reason to dance around that statement. Sex is great! God didn’t create something so good that he would also keep it from us. He wants us to enjoy it, but He also gave us boundaries for our sake. Sex is not just physical. It is emotional and spiritual. The Bible says that when a man and woman come together they become one. Most people who have had sex and broke up with their partner will also say that they lost something of themselves because it. God knew what He was doing, but our society has taken this amazing thing and made it common and of little value.
If a woman knows their husband is looking at porn, thinking about other women while having sex with his spouse, or going out to strip clubs… most of them would be pretty upset because they know it has destroyed intimacy. It has brought another “woman” into the marriage bed.
Erotica for women is no different.
As a husband if you found out your wife was reading erotica and pre-ordering tickets to see this movie you would be pretty hurt. What has surprised me about this movie is that scenario isn’t happening. Instead, many men are standing by idly while their wives make plans to see a movie the will add a visual to the fantasy they have already created in their minds from reading the book. This is a fantasy that breaks trust and creates a sexual longing for somebody other than their husband.
Men… Why are you ok with this? 

Men…Pursue your wife today.. make sure they know how amazing they are. If you haven’t told your wife she is beautiful lately, GO NOW! The bible says to treat your wife like Christ treats the church. We are to be willing to give up everything for her. Not treat them as a slave for OUR selfish needs. Love her. Cherish her. Be intimate with her. Pray for her. Protect her. – From “50 shades is black and white

As a Father: I am a proud father of 4 kids. 3 boys and 1 girl. I want my kids to know how great sex is. I want to make sure they never feel weird about it or ashamed in a world where much of the church still treats the word “sex” like it’s taboo.
I also want to make sure that they understand why sex in a marriage was God’s plan for us because that’s where it’s best. I want them to know that intimacy with your spouse is the most amazing thing you can have.
When my boys talk back to their mom sometimes I pull them aside and say “I never want to hear you speak to your mom… or ANY woman like that again”. The reason why is not just because they need to respect their mom, but also because they need to learn that women are a gift. My boys need to learn that women are to be treasured and not lorded over. I want my boys to know and admire beauty without being in the trap of the disease of lust… And I pray for them daily and for their future wives.
Then there is my daughter. I want her to know how valuable she is. She is a jewel and the fingerprint of God! I want her to be strong, powerful, giving and beautiful inside and out. I pray daily that she will never ever seek her self worth in some jerk of a man who treats her like she is disposable. I pray daily for her future husband that he will love her, cherish her, applaud her and protect her.

If my daughter ever gets caught up with a man who is like grey in that he is a stalker, abuser, selfish, domineering, controlling, and violent then he needs to know that I will create my own red room of pain and KICK HIS SELF ABSORBED #$@!

Let me conclude this long and final post on this issue. Well… at least until 50 shades book 2 comes out.

I want to plead with you dear reader:

This is not art.
This is not a romantic chick flick.
IT is warped, twisted, photoshopped and scripted.

DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. Do not fall into the trap that this will be harmless fun. Do not bring this into your marriage bed!

Church Leaders: STAND UP and Don’t be afraid to tell your congregations that NOTHING about this film fits into what God wants in our minds and hearts according to Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Women: Valentines is this week and instead of going to see 50 shades with the ladies, stay home and have sex with your husband. Your marriage is worth more than $9.25! If you aren’t married…

How you choose to live in Christ NOW maatters. God has a plan for you. You are holy and pure because HE IS! Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! – From “50 Shades is black and white

Men: actions speak loud…Pursue your wife! PROTECT her and your home. Chase after intimacy and love.

If you aren’t married…

Like David and Bathsheba, Stop looking out at woman bathing on rooftops! RUN!

Parents: Teens are going to see this movie. Please teach them that what they see and feel won’t leave their minds. If your kid does go.. Pray and talk to them about it no matter how awkward it is.

 

A few links worth a read on this:

Glenn Packiam –http://mysteryoffaithblog.com/2015/02/10/better-sex-the-subjugation-of-women-and-shades-of-the-real-thing/

Challies – http://www.challies.com/a-la-carte/7-lessons-from-50-shades-of-grey

A real 50 shades relationship – http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/the-reality-of-a-fifty-shades-relationship/

50 Problems with grey – http://www.garythomas.com/50shades/

Crystal Renaud and Dirty Girl Ministries – http://dirtygirlsministries.com/

 

 

50

The 50 shades of Grey trailer released at 8AM on the today show yesterday barraging mens minds with the permission to control and lust after women as well as giving women the permission to live in a fantasy land and escape their marriage in visual adultery.

There is so much crap flying at our faces these days and quite frankly to keep our minds pure is a battle.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I have seen too many broken families in the last few years that have bought into the lie that fantasy is reality, that reading a book is equal to making love to your spouse, and that watching a “harmless” film doesn’t affect your marriage.

It is a lie from the enemy! It is not grey. It is black and white.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.- Matthew 5:28

I don’t care if the movie/book is good or not good. Arguing over it’s literary quality or cinematography is worthless. It is a twisted view of sex and relationships. Most importantly it is a perversion of LOVE.

God created sex and it is great! God is love and He is perfect. Don’t let your mind and heart be cluttered and jammed full of the garbage of this world. The Bible says to FLEE from temptation and sexual perversion. I know it is tough.  It says flee because God knows that it is tough and He wants us to run away and run towards truth. I get bombarded with these temptations…I am human too, but friends it is a battle worth fighting!

This is not art.
This is not a romantic chick flick.

IT is warped, twisted, photoshopped and scripted.

Real love… real sex… real commitment is messy, flawed and part of Gods design to bring a man and woman together and make them not only ONE, but also to teach them to love selflessly and unconditionally.

Men: Pursue your wife today.. make sure they know how amazing they are. If you haven’t told your wife she is beautiful lately, GO NOW! The bible says to treat your wife like Christ treats the church. We are to be willing to give up everything for her. Not treat them as a slave for OUR selfish needs. Love her. Cherish her. Be intimate with her. Pray for her. Protect her.
If you are not married: Guard your mind and your body. God has a plan for you and it does not include selfish Love. It is a sex-saturated society… Like David and Bathsheba, Stop looking out at woman bathing on rooftops! RUN!

Women: Submission doesn’t equal slavery and pain. You are worth more than a cheap popcorn smelling fantasy. You are a jewel and a daughter of God. You are created in His image and are beautiful. Keep your eyes pure. Pursue your husband. Let him know how great he looks and how much you love him. Love him. Cherish him. Be intimate with him. Pray for him. Protect him. Like David and Bathsheba, The only man who you should invite to bath with you on your rooftop physically or in your mind is your husband!
If you are not married: You are worth so much. Your past doesn’t define you. How you choose to live in Christ NOW does. God has a plan for you. You are holy and pure because HE IS! Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!

If you were considering seeing the movie, Your marriage is worth more than $9.25! DON’T
If you are considering reading the book, regardless of how innocent it may seem… IT is not the LOVE that God has taught us about. DON’T

Married or not, DON’T sacrifice LOVE for a cheap thrill that WILL harm you, compromise you and steer you away from the things of God.

REAL LOVE – 1 Cor 13 
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

 

NEVER lose the wonder.

June 19, 2014 — 2 Comments

wonderEvery time my wife and I take our four kids to a hotel, the first thing they do is run around to every room and explore. They jump on the beds, check out all the cool things, play with the hair dryer (even though we have one at home) and gawk at the outdated TV. They love to explore new things and are in a state of wonder when we go to new places. It is actually pretty cool to watch them flutter around discovering amazing treasures.

Matthew 18:3 says “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

Children live in wonder. Where anything is possible. Remember those days? The days when grabbing an old towel and wrapping it around our neck instantly turned us into superman and we were able to fly. When our toys came to life… When our playroom became an amphitheater and moms cooking pots were our drum set begging to be played for a sold out crowd.

Being adults makes us jaded and hard over time and we lose the wonder. The grace and mercy of God started well before we thought and it goes on forever. Because of Jesus and his great mercy we are adopted orphans of God. We now have access and can approach with boldness the King of kings. Such mystery and wonder and yet our calloused souls forget all about it.

Imagine God is like that hotel… We race around and go from room to room and learn more about Him. We explore in excitement, share our findings and discover God had planned greater things than we imagined. In a normal hotel, once all the rooms have been explored the fun is over, but With God the rooms are never ending.”

Job 11:7-9 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”

Every time we think we have God figured out another door in the “hotel” opens. May we NEVER lose the wonder.