Tighten the Knot Group Date Event Recap

We laughed, we cried, we kissed, we dined! It was a wonderful evening of love and laughter all around...

Pastor Jeff hosted an enlightening Newly Wed game for some not-so-newlyweds that may need to get to know their spouses quite a bit better. The youth helped to serve a wonderful meal to the couples. Many wonderful people watched children away from their very relieved parents. Pastor Fred Neal from Harvest Community Church in Fairview, PA gave a fantastic word on marriage and our roles within God's design. Fun was had by all!

A huge thank you to Nancy Carmichael and Sherri Kashuba for coordinating such an amazing evening in celebration of marriage! And another thank you to Kate Brown Photography for the beautiful and especially funny photos of the event!

If you'd like to continue to "Tighten the Knot" of your marriage we are teaming up with Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh East for a weekend marriage retreat in mid-March. Check out the details on our Event Page.

In Control and In Perspective

Last Sunday, we saw in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 that God’s people are to control their bodies (sexually), unlike the world, who doesn’t know God and lives out of control (again, sexually). We also saw that there are consequences for living “out of control”.

It didn’t take long for the issue to be in the news again, proving the truth of God’s Word. Jared Fogle, the famous Subway spokesman who dropped a ton of weight eating their submarine sandwiches, topped that crazy story by being accused of sexual activity with minors and being in possession of child pornography. Aside from the lives of children that have been ruined, think of the damage Jared has done to himself because he didn’t control his sinful sexual appetites. Worth 15 million dollars and the face of a franchise, he has lost his job, his wife, his 2 children, his reputation, and is heading to prison. Was it worth it? Reeling from that news, we were hit with the Josh Dugger accusation of having two profiles on a website designed to help people cheat on their spouse. Out of control. Destructive.

The church is not exempt from the dangers of sexual immorality, either. We must guard ourselves or else destroy our families, our reputation, or our testimony for Christ.

And I also want to caution on buying into some of the popular church teaching that good sex is the key to a good marriage. Yes, sexual fulfillment is meant to be enjoyed, yes it is meant to be apart of the oneness of marriage, but sometimes the teaching from the church creeps into the territory of “sex is the main event”. The way I have heard some preachers preach on sex, you would think sex is the main reason to get married. That’s not good.

Why the caution? We love to hit the extreme side of the spectrum. I grew up in church and always believed sex was a bad thing by the way it was talked about. That’s a wrong presentation. But if we jump to the other side, the “sex is ultimate”, the side of “good sex = good marriage”, we can end up concluding on that extreme side of the spectrum that “no good sex = no good marriage”. It puts eros (the Greek word for love that means “passion”) over agape (the Greek word for love that means “your needs over my needs”). In other words, physical intimacy becomes the focus instead of self-sacrificing, “lay my life down for you” love. If some physical anomaly resulted in a husband and wife unable to have relations, does that mean the marriage is over? Does that scenario justify marital breakdown and sexual immorality? “If I can’t have sex, what good is the marriage?” Whoa, wait a second, do you truly love your spouse or do you just love what they can do for you?

I’m not being some hyper-prude. Yes, enjoy your spouse. But make sure the physical intimacy is an overflow of the oneness that comes from the highest love. Don’t buy the world’s propaganda that the physical act is the highest priority over everything. Agape over eros.

p.s. - not a hyper-prude, or even a calm prude

Lifting the Gay Marriage Ban is Just Part of the Story

Pay attention. You are watching the Bible’s message happen right in front of you, and you may not even realize it.

We heard one more line in the story of the Bible proclaimed this week in the lifting of the ban on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

If you can put any strong opinions about this hotly debated topic on the shelf for 2 minutes, you can see it.

Can we take a look back at recent history? Even just looking at how things have accelerated in these last 2 generations. What have we seen?

Instead of embracing the truth that we were created by God and for God, evolutionists have, in the name of science, embraced and promoted a “God-less origin-of-man story” to completely crowd out even the option of a “God-driven origin story” in public schools. Remember when that was the hot topic? Seems like it was just yesterday it was all over the news. In short, we can say, REJECTING GOD.

Creation isn’t science. Evolution is science. We don’t need a story about God to explain how we got here. The Bible’s story is foolishness, the intelligent people understand that there is no God behind this all. In short, we can say: PROCLAIMING MAN’S WISDOM.

Evicting God resulted in a worship void. We were made to worship, and we will worship something. It can be man (athletes, musicians, politicians, myself) or even animals. There is little regard for saving a human baby (just abort the blob of tissue, after all, you have the right to do whatever you want with your body), but mention some endangered species or malnourished cat and everyone is ready to write a sad song and run a 5K for them. In short we can say: EXALTING MAN AND ANIMAL.

And as I said earlier, there has been much rejoicing this week over lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. It’s Marriage Equality. No one should tell anyone who they can love and marry. If two women want to marry, or two men want to marry, I have no business objecting to that. In short: HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY.

And we have not only accepted homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle”, we have evolved into such forward-thinking people that we applaud the courage of those who have stepped out to declare their same-sex love. People like Ellen Degeneres, Ellen Page, Jason Collins, and Michael Sam are the real heroes. Let’s give them a standing ovation for their incredible courage, so long as it doesn’t interrupt any congratulatory calls from the man holding the highest office of our nation. In short, let’s say: HEARTY APPROVAL.


And God told this story almost 2000 years ago in Romans 1:18-32:

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.


Rom 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,


Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.


Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.


Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,

Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Rom 1:32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.


(Emphasis added on Scriptural references.)

Keep your eye on the news. And your other eye on the Bible. It’s almost as if God saw this coming.

p.s. - as always, comments welcome below, whether you agree or disagree...

Marriage and Sexuality: Is there such a thing as "right" and "wrong"?

Grieved. I can’t get it out of my mind. I read an article Monday morning, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

If you want to read the rest of this blog, you may want to pause and read this article so you know what I am talking about.

At this point, the accusations are loaded, ready to fire. “Jeff is condemning homosexuality." I hear that type of language a lot. I don’t even know what that means. I have not the power condemn anybody. God is the judge. All I can do is relay the message of the Bible. I don’t make it up, I just broadcast it.

I have friends that are homosexual, just as I have friends that are liars, thieves, gluttons, self-centered, gossips… name something the Bible says is sin, and I am sure I have a friend who fits that category. And so do you. In fact, the worst sinner I have ever met is Jeff Miller, and if not for the grace of God, I would still be on a crash-and-burn path of destruction. Far from perfect, I am not yet the person I want to be, but I thank God I am not who I was ($1 to Pat Kelly).

My concern is where the line is being redrawn. God, who created marriage and sexuality, has established the lines long ago. One man, one woman, one lifetime. (See Matthew 19:4-6 for Jesus‘ commentary on marriage, which should not be regarded lightly.)

And in the midst of the homosexual marriage legal battle (with passionate advocates on both side), underneath the clamor of redefining marriage, the line is being redrawn again. Where is the line? God says, “One man, one woman, one lifetime. Anything beyond My drawn line is not in my plan.” And America says, “Let’s move the line to include homosexual marriage as part of the plan.” And the APA perks up with, “Before that line is drawn, let’s move it to include pedophilia as a valid sexual orientation.”

So what is right? What is wrong? Who has the authority to draw/move the line between right and wrong? Is there even a line anymore?

I think the line America has drawn echoes the line drawn in the days of Israel in the book of Judges, the very last verse of the book: In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

In other words, “There is no authority. I am the authority.”

Post your comments below.

p.s. - Disagreeing with someone’s beliefs does not mean you hate them. That goes both ways, for the record.