March 6, 2010

Mad Hatters, Johnny Depp, and Alice in Wonderland



     Some people refer to me as the “mad hatter,” since I am identified by the hats I wear. I am also considered, by many of my “friends,” as being “crazy.”

     So be it.

     Then again, I am not the only “mad hatter.” Johnny Depp is the Mad Hatter in the March 5, 2010, release of the 3-D film, Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton. Depp said his Hatter’s springy mass of tangerine hair is a particularly important detail because (more…)


A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 16



Monte Holland

This is the sixteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 15

Today’s photographs feature Thunder on the Mountain UAL Flt. 93 Memorial Chapel in Shanksville, PA To view click on:


The Seventh Commandment:  14Be faithful in marriage.  Exodus 20:14    

     As I said previously, everything is about being good stewards of God’s Creation. Since human beings are responsible for producing a new generation, most of our society, and most societies, consider marriage the appropriate model for reproduction and for rearing the resulting children to adulthood. Marriage is intended to produce a stable environment for a growing child, one in which they learn about relating to God and interacting with other human beings and the created order in general.

     In the marriage ceremony, before God, a man and a woman promise faithfulness to each other and to God. In specific they promise to only have sexual relations only with each other until one of them dies. Ideally, this makes the marriage strong and provides the best environment for children while they are growing to adulthood. Other factors are also important for the strength of the family, as will be seen in the remaining commandments.

     Marriage sets the standard for human sexual behavior, restricting sexual relations (to love in the deepest sense) to your marriage partner. Beyond this, though not stated specifically here, comes the prohibition of fornication—sexual relations with a person you are not married to. Single persons dishonor God when they have sex outside marriage. The Bible’s ban on fornication affirms the importance of monogamous sexual relations as a cement in the marriage and supports marriage as a children-rearing unit.

     Although extramarital sexual relations have always been part of the culture, the current generations have pushed very hard to expand the envelope on both fornication and adultery. The commandment stands as a call to take seriously the stewardship of our deepest human relationship, which includes human intimacy and rearing children in a stable environment.

Hear the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:14-20: The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.


Note: Marriage is a sacred trust, a cornerstone of a stable society—raising children and bringing a new generation into adulthood is a key part of life. Marriages with tensions of sexual promiscuity do not provide a good environment for the nurture of children. However, this Scripture has no statement that rejects other types of home structure, even though healthy types of home structures are expected to include the common denominator that adultery and fornication are not permitted.


Exercise 1: “Casual sex” is a common phrase in our vocabulary. This seems to imply that sexual relations are sometimes of little or no consequence. The Sixth Commandment says otherwise. The sexual experience is emotional as well as physical in a rather intense way. Give your own (more…)

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