I recently saw this video posted on a teenagers facebook wall. While I think the song and video is pretty tongue in cheek, check out the get-up the lead guy is wearing I do think the message is not as far off from reality as you would think. I think many teenagers , girls in particular , facing the time in their lives when they start thinking about relationships with guys, sex and their own likability wonder if this is how they need to fit in. I know at that age I would have found the blatant references to socializing and group sexual experience really intimidating. Having 2 teen age daughters I can tell you that a lot of teenage boys have no problem objectifying the girls they know, rating their looks and giving the girls the idea that they are interchangeable. As the song says, “I will be the discoball, freak and give my all to whatever girl’s booty I’m freaking on.”

The most curious part of the video for me is how happy all the girls look to be there.

So my questions is this, is this a joke or is this the new man and his outlook on how to socialize and treat women.


Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to make fun of prostitutes.  I, like many others, understand that a women’s decision to sell sex favors for money often comes from neglect, victimization and a misguided feeling that there is no other way for her to survive.  Maybe it’s not completely misguided.   Sometimes there is no other way for some of the women on the street to survive.  However, I can’t help but feel that the criticism directed at Joan Rivers by a women’s advocacy group called GEMS,  for her segment, “Starlet or Streetwalker” is completely missing the point.

On the comedians show “Fashion Police” on the E Network, Rivers ends her half our with the segment that shows a picture of an anonymous women in scantily clad clothing and asks the question, “Is this a starlet or a streetwalker?”  We, the audience, get to guess which it is and if the general viewing public is anything like me, we are often wrong.

Sure, I sometimes wince when I realize it’s a non-celebrity working the streets but often the picture she shows ends up being some well-known actress attending a public function dressed in clothing that one would mistake for prostitute attire.   That is the point.  Sure, Rivers can be rude, crude and often distasteful but again that is the point.  More and more the line of decency and indecency is blurring.  All the world’s a stage these days and these high profile, wealthy women are wearing their costumes everywhere.

The picture above was used in the segment.  It is not a streetwalker.  This is an American actress, Taylor Momsen, who portrays the character of Jenny Humphrey on the CW television series Gossip Girl.  She is 18 years old and she is pictured in the outfit she wore to attend The Justin Beiber Movie premiere.  At the time Justin Beiber was 17.

You may disagree GEMS but personally, as an advocacy group for women I think you should be concerned with the real point of the segment.

We’ve all heard about how important it is to “think outside the box” right?  The phrase is so overused it’s annoying.  Unfortunately, when I watch television lately  can’t help feeling that not only are the showrunners thinking very inside the box they have taken the sterotypical female image thrown it  back in the box, covered it with styrofoam peanuts so it doesn’t get nicked and somehow call it feminism.  Seriously, do we really need to do Charlie’s Angels again?

For the next few weeks or more I am going to explore the world of how the media portrays women and girls.  With the onslought of reality shows like Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant,  Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of (insert place here)  TV viewers  have been inundated with images of women that are reckless, coniving, manipulative, and materialistic, among other things.  I often wonder what effect these images have on women in our society and more so what effect does it have on girls who are watching and looking for clues on what it means to be a women.

I will also comment on music, award shows and celebrity gossip magazines ( one of my favorite sources of ridiculous female imagery.   So hang on there’s more to come!

(This post is a contribution to July Clawson’s call to blog about “What is Emerging” in the Christian church on Monday the 19th.  She called it a syncroblog and I am terribly out of sync.  That’s nothing new.)

Well, I thought this question would be easy but it is so not easy to answer. As a matter of fact 10 years ago, when my husband Don Heatley and I co-planted Vision Community Church, we didn’t consider ourselves emergent. I actually never heard of the movement until some local Christians starting “accusing” us of being in it.

I guess there were a few things that God had led our church to do that seemed different to them. We felt called to meet at a community center. Maybe it was because we placed our chairs in the round so everyone could see each other. It could have been because we don’t speak from a platform but stand on the same level as fellow worshippers. These are just esthetic issues, so my guess is it was deeper than that. Or at least I hope so. Probably the most likely reason to label us as Emergent is that God had put on our hearts that we accept all people into the body of Christ and are open to a wide breadth of Biblical interpretation. Having said all that, for whatever reason we were labeled emergent. I am grateful. I kind of welcomed the label, in part, because I liked the name.

See the word “emerging” conjures up a specific image for me. Don’t laugh, but I keep seeing a swamp monster emerging from the muddy waters of some secluded and foggy woods. They always seem to emerge from someplace secluded and mysterious. The place everyone knows but doesn’t dare go there – the swamp. It’s loaded with so much muck and mire that everyone knows it’s dangerous. Except now you can’t help but look because this thing has arisen and it’s coming out into the light of day.

These monsters are always scary, always messy and always dripping of the place in which it’s been. This particular monster is dripping of all the thousands of years of church history, the early church principles of community, ancient artifacts and icons, stories of people welcomed and stories of people excluded and oppressed, great strides of justice and glaring mistakes, different forms of prayer, worship and interpretations of Biblical stories. And just like those science fiction monsters, this lovely emerging monster can be very scary but certainly not evil and usually misunderstood.

The scary thing about this emergent movement is that it pushes our buttons. It challenges the preconceived ideas we hold to be central to our faith. For each of us, those might be different things. To hold all of these things together under one roof and in community, we are forced to communicate with one another, to listen, to argue, to accept. You will only feel safe if you allow yourself to be willing to really examine why you think what you think and listen to why others think the way they do.

From the day we met this creature soaked in all the lovely fractured moisture of our splintered Christian roots our community hasn’t been the same. More and more what I see emerging are Christians who don’t want to be categorized, who don’t want to fight about the dividing lines, and who are willing to relate to other disciples of Christ who may see things differently.

Sometimes it’s a relief, sometimes it’s exhausting, but I truly believe for us it’s the right path. Just this week we were challenged yet again to ask ourselves at Vision, “Do we want to politely smile at one another here and avoid the hard issues or do we want to experience real human relationship as it plays out in our quest to connect with God?” We decided we want the latter. It’s not finished, but it’s emerging.

I have a confession to make. I hate conflict. I wish I had personal relationships with no conflict, wouldn’t that be nice? I wish everything went exactly how I thought it should go, and the people I am closest to just instinctively knew what I needed. I wish the communities we lived in, our neighborhoods, school systems and churches could be places with no conflict. I wish everyone behaved nicely and we were all on the same page all the time. I wish I lived in that world. Do you know why? It’s because it would be easier. Dealing with conflict is hard and uncomfortable. When faced with it I always find myself thinking, “Why? Why is this happening? I don’t want to fight. Why can’t we just all get along?” The most uncomfortable reality of it all is “Now I have to do something about this or say something. Oh, I hate that.”
Let’s be real about this, the world I would like to live in doesn’t exist. Just look at all of us here at church. We are a community of people devoted to following Christ and I think we try our best to be loving and kind, but can we say we live conflict free lives? None of us, no matter how much we want it, have lives of complete harmony and love. If we know we live among conflict that we should expect it and even learn to embrace it. Conflicts come up in the best of relationships, the most loving of families and the closest of communities.
Then why are so many of us afraid of it? When I say “many” I don’t just mean us wimpy types that run away from any situation that looks like things aren’t going to go smoothly. I mean MANY, A LOT.
The story of Amnon and Tamar illustrates how widespread this problem is. It touches everyone, even the people we see as strong. In this story King David is afraid of conflict. Can you imagine? Conflict avoiders take heed for we are in good company. Even the strongest, most charismatic and most successful among us avoids conflict.
I would never characterize David as a conflict avoider. David is amazing. He is a shepherd anointed at an early age to be successor of the throne of the King of Israel, as a child he defeats a giant named Goliath, he is bestowed a promise by God and he is a great warrior. David is credited with writing 73 of the 150 Psalms in the Bible and yet he fails to confront his son about something that he definitely should have done something about.
Let’s look at the story for a moment. Without a doubt this story has elements in it that are probably like nothing any of us has ever faced. This is a conflict of monumental proportions. This is a story of meddling in other peoples’ business, rape, incest, the ostracization of a woman who did nothing wrong and the act of someone talking revenge into his own hands leading to murder. Then on top of all of this, there’s David, a father who would not confront the son that duped him and set the whole thing in motion. David clearly has cause to confront Amnon. He has raped his half sister, a completely unacceptable act (for us obviously) and in this culture as well. David was dragged into the middle of this. Amnon not only committed this heinous act, he used David to make it happen. David is mortified and angry at Amnon, but he does nothing. David has a fear of conflict. Can you blame him? Who in the world wants to confront this situation? I wouldn’t, obviously David doesn’t want to and I bet many of you wouldn’t want to either. After all, some of us conflict avoiders have a hard time telling the waiter our steak is too well done.
So, it should be comforting to know that the mighty king David is an awful lot like us. What flawed people God picks to do God’s work, huh?
It would be so easy to sympathize with David maybe sit back and have a glass of wine and kvetch with him saying, “I know, I know, what could you have done? That Amnon he’s no good. You raised him better than that.”
Unfortunately for David, all the well-meaning sympathy and friendly kvetching is not going to change the fact that his inability to confront the situation was probably a leading factor in why it got worse. Absolom went on to murder his brother after two years later to avenge the rape of his sister and David and Absolom’s relationship was never the same. As a matter of fact, Absolom went on to scheme an overthrow of his father’s reign because he had lost so much respect for him. He figured he should be king.
The scripture never really tells us why David doesn’t address the situation. Honestly, I think it’s because the writer assumes we know, of course we know. We avoid conflict for the same reasons.
The one that really smacks me in the face is that David is guilty of his own indiscretions and probably feels a sense of guilt or unworthiness. You remember the whole Bathsheeba incident, right? David falls in love with a married women and manipulates circumstances so that her husband dies in battle so he can have her. David is not exactly a jewel of moral behavior. He probably figures, “How can I do something about this when I’ve done it myself?”
How often do we feel like that? Have you ever heard yourself say, “Well I can’t really say anything. I’ve done the same myself.” However, as Christian people, we should not be acting out of our guilt and shame. We should be acting on our joy that we have been forgiven. We should act on our belief that there is forgiveness for others too. God’s gift of grace makes it so that those of us that have stumbled and gotten up can best address those that are stumbling.
I also think David could have been afraid of his own power. He was capable of slaying a giant as a boy. He was king after all. Maybe he thought his involvement would just make matters worse. Maybe he thought he’d use his power in a bad way. He had done that before. Maybe he didn’t trust himself to do the right thing.
I used to work with a woman and whenever she got involved in a situation with conflict she would say, “I would say something, but If I get involved it would explode!” or, “If I told him how I felt it would kill him.” Imagine knowing you have that much power? I think that’s great. However, we need to remember that power is not about anger or insensitivity, power is about influence. I believe that God bestows the gift of influence on some people and when those people are willing to enter into conflict in a kind and gentle way what a great gift to have and use to glorify God.
Lastly, I think David could be afraid of the reaction he is going to get. I can see why David could be worried. David does have a history of people trying to kill him. I guess he could be imagining an array of possible responses, from yelling to revenge, to leaving the family and never seeing this son again. We worry about those things too. We think about addressing a conflict and we wonder what it will do to the relationship. Maybe we grew up in a family in which anger was reserved for one person (the anger addict) and the rest of the family had to be always happy with everything. Maybe we fear abandonment. I think those of us who imagine the worst might be pleasantly surprised. I honestly think that most people want to resolve conflict. The best thing to do here is to practice. Begin with scenarios that don’t involve people to whom you are emotional attached. Go ahead send that steak back! (Just remember to make sure you don’t know the waitress.)
The good news is we can overcome our fear of conflict when we embrace conflict for what it is; an opportunity to reach out to those with which we have a disagreement, misunderstanding or hurt with the goal of extending God’s grace and offering reconciliation. It is then that we act like Jesus and become the peacemakers he asked us to be.
Jesus did not run a way from conflict. Remember the story about the stoning of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus didn’t run away from that conflict. He stayed. Remember what he did while they were arguing? He bent down and doodled in the sand. I think he was collecting his thoughts. He rose and said, “Go ahead and stone her but let it be by one of you who has done nothing wrong.” It was brilliant and both sides walked away with dignity.
So this is where we start. I think we should challenge ourselves today to follow some general rules of conflict resolution and you’ll see there not unlike the way Jesus acted. He knew what he was doing.

– When you encounter a conflict, stop and be quiet before you do or say anything you wish you hadn’t. Doodle in the sand if you have to. Acknowledge the conflict. Investigate internally why you are angry. Decide how you would have liked the situation to go and make a decision to do something about it.
– Approach the person directly. There should be no third parties, no mediators, no friends. (venting to your friends only reinforces anger) In Matthew, Jesus tells us that if someone sins against you that you should go and show him his fault alone, just the two of you.
– Don’t act anxiously. Speak to the person how you would like to be spoken to and use direct communication so you are not misunderstood. Explain how the event made you feel and ask for the change you would like to see occur. Make sure you are able to explain your feelings accurately while still respecting the dignity of the person with whom you disagree.
– Remember that the motive behind this action should be reconciliation. The goal is to restore the relationship. The goal is not to prove who was right, not to get back at someone, not to avoid the situation, not to turn away and forget. (I think we live in a really aggressive time in our history. There are news stories of teenagers bullying fellow students in person at school. There are stories of internet bullying. That kind of blatant confrontation with no goal of forging a better relationship is not embracing conflict, it’s aggression).

It’s unfortunate but understandable that a lot of times the church is THE place were we are most uncomfortable with conflicts. We feel that we are involved in matters of eternal significance. We care about our ministries, friends, pastors and values deeply. Often the arrival of conflict can make people doubt their church. It reminds me of a story.
Once upon a time a man was shipwrecked on a deserted island. He was an industrious, hard-working sort of man, so by the time he was rescued, 15 years later, he had managed to transform the island into a collection of roads and buildings. The people who rescued him were amazed at his accomplishments and asked for a tour of the island. He was more than happy to oblige.
“The first building on our left,” he began, “is my house. You’ll see that I have a comfortable three-bedroom estate, complete with indoor plumbing and a sprinkler system. There is also a storage shed in the back for all my lawn tools.” The rescue party was astonished. It was better than some of their homes on the mainland.
“That building over there is the store where I do my grocery shopping. Next to it is my bank, and across the street is the gym where I exercise.”
The rescuers noticed two other buildings and asked what they were. “The one on the left is where I go to church.”
“And the one on the right?” they inquired.
“Oh, that’s where I used to go to church.”
The absurdity of that story just brings to light how unfortunate it is that churches seem to have the hardest time with conflict. I can’t think of a better place to learn skills of peacemaking and reconciliation. A place where we can try our hand at living in authentic community with a diverse group of people all with one common bond, a connection to each other through Christ. Jesus says, if we’ll learn how to address conflict appropriately, we’ll remain a healthy, strong, loving community; and in such a community, when we pray together, wonderful things will happen in our lives. Creating healthy relationships invites the power of divine love into our midst, and with divine love, all things are possible.

So I was driving in my car with a family friend who comes here to church.  She told me (sort of in a half joking way) that since we’ve been doing the 10 Commandments she realizes that so far she broken the first 5 we’ve talked about.   But the consolation for her she said,  “was that we’re getting to Thou Shalt Not Kill soon right?  “At that’s good – because I know I don’t do that one.”

Some of you may be feeling the same way.  How many of you have been arrested for murder lately?  No one.  Whew!  Ok then, finish your coffee and we can all go home!

Oh how I wish I could tell you that.  I wish I could say this is the easy commandment.  The one you can emotionally skip over and tell yourself you don’t have to worry about because there “ain’t no way I’m killing somebody”. Well, don’t relax so fast.   The problem for us is that this commandment is about much more than we think it is.  Even if we stick with the literal meaning of this commandment you’ll find endless debates over what constitutes murder and what is justifiable killing.  For many of us even those things seem far away and removed to many of us.  So I’m not even going to go there today.

I want to talk about the part of this commandment that effects everyone of us, the part of this commandment that’s going to leave everyone of us saying, “Uh oh, I do that one too” because we all do.

Behind every murder is a thought.  A thought that can sometimes lead to the literal murder of someone but more often lead to just plain hurting each other.    You know it’s possible to kill a person in little tiny ways by chipping away at their self-esteem, trust, joy, sense of worth, security and sense of self.

So maybe you’re saying “When have I ever done that?”   We all have times in our lives when we let our anger rule us or when we let those things that emerge from our anger like resentment, jealousy, competition or even our self-centered drive to survive entice us to treat each other without dignity. When we do that, we compromise the chance that the person we hurt can have the abundant life that God wants for them.  In other words, we take a life and we commit murder.

Yes, I am saying that a hand gesture at a car that is annoying you is just as bad as murder, because it comes from the same place, anger.  That does not diminish the act of murder in any way, but it does increase our understanding that everything we do has the potential to chip a way at someone’s soul.   I believe there is a real death that occurs in people whenever we speak unkindly about them, throw thoughtless insults at them.  Or make little digs in our conversations with them, often disguised as humor.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not the first person to bring this up.  I’m in very good company.  In the book of Matthew Jesus says,  “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire”.

Jesus tells us that he came to embody the law, to fulfill it.  The way he is going to fulfill the law is to practice it, not just at its face value, but to dig in and uncover the spirit of the law.  When we kill whether literally or figuratively we do so because we allow feelings of rage, jealousy and inadequacy to over throw our desire to embody the will of God.

Jesus knew that we humans are capable of chipping away at one other, bruising souls, crushing dreams, taking away life.   Although he would see it first hand but Jesus was unshakable. Even amidst harsh criticism and threats Jesus continued to love, comfort, teach, liberate and reconcile people back into the community from which they were shunned or at odds.  He lived not only the letter of the law, he lived the spirit of the law.

So today I’m asking all of us at our church to become more mindful of embodying the spirit of this law.  That may sound easy but I assure you it’s not.   Unfortunately we find ourselves in a social climate where it is acceptable to put down, undercut and put people in their place (where ever we think that might be).  We disguise our snarky comments as wit and we our blatant leveling of others as ambition.

In a book about his success, a popular rap artist said, “It’s not enough to bat someone down. You must annihilate them so they don’t come back stronger”.  The creators of Survivor say, “If you want to succeed, you need to vote off everyone that doesn’t agree with you or they will get in your way to achieving your goal.”  Kanye West thought it was OK to pull the mic out of someone’s hand during their acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards because he thought she shouldn’t have won.  Spurring of course a debate over who’s video was better Taylor Swift or Beyonce.  That is not the point!

Lord help us we’ve even found a way to disguise tolerating intolerable behavior as advanced parenting.  In the parent tips section of a parenting magazine, I was shocked to find a article that proposed, “Don’t interfere when your older child pushes your younger child off the slide in the back yard so that the younger child learns how to fight back.”   Now, I’ve been to a enough parenting groups and on enough play dates to know that in some circles such techniques might make me appear to be a better mother, but I fail to see how that makes me a better follower of Jesus.

Unlike celebrities we cannot bounce back by appearing on the Jay Leno show the next night to apologize for the demeaning stunts we pull.  Unlike scenarios in modern magazines, we are not raising fictional toddlers.  We are dealing with human beings and we are in the position to steer them in the direction of either pushing each other around or being peacemakers.

It’s time we take this argument out of the hands of reality TV writers and out of the pages of magazines and place it right in the context of our lives as disciples of Christ.  The God I know and follow calls us, both pushers and pushees, to be peacemakers, merciful and meek.  The playground slide of this world we find ourselves on stands on Holy Ground.  It’s all Holy Ground.  There is no special place to be kind.  In this world, we are called to lead people to a Christ-centered community.  A Christ-centered community upholds the dignity of every human being because we are all made in the image of God.  Those are more than just words. Unless we’re intentional about changing this behavior, that community will never flourish. When we don’t lead by example, we alienate people, hurt relationships, forget to teach each other the way of Jesus and we kill one another bit by bit.

In a Christ-centered community, an insulting remark is something to be corrected not laughed at. In a Christ-centered community, putting someone down doesn’t really ever make you look bigger and takes its toll. In a Christ-centered community, pointing out someone’s shortcomings is never appropriate. In a Christ-centered community, people are less envious.  They know that someone else’s success does not mean that you cannot be successful yourself and someone else’s good fortune does not mean that you cannot be fortunate.  Someone else’s public attention does not mean that people don’t pay attention to you.

In a Christ-centered community, we take the time to get to know one another and don’t assume everyone wants the same things we do in life, or be like us. When we make assumptions about people, we don’t see who they really are.  All of us need people to know us as we truly are.

Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth and we should rejoice because we’re getting meeker, more humble and gentle.  They cheer each other on, not slap one other down. In a Christ-centered community, the people accept that there can be more than one strong women, or one strong man, or one strong teen in the group. In a Christ-centered community people are not evaluated by what they do but loved for who they are.

God did not call us merely to be friends. God called us to truly love one another.  There is a difference.  If you’ve been through middle school you know what that difference is.   Friendship can be based on purely self-gratifying needs.  Sometimes friends use each other and even kill each other.  On the other hand, love is willing to be used and die for the other.

This community, Vision, is on a journey of becoming a Christ-centered community. We’re not there.  We’ll never be there but we can try.  Throughout our attempt we will encounter a lot things.  Sometime everything will go just the way we want and all the people we know are easy to love and sometimes not so much.  However, it’s in the decisions we make in those difficult times that define us as a Christ-centered community and show the world that we are not takers of life but life-giving.

So I went to this thing called Christianity 21 this past weekend.  A lot of my friends joked that I should get away somewhere tropical with my husband since it was our 20th wedding anniversary.  But no… this is what we chose.  A 3 day conference in Minneapolis about what we dreamed for Christianity in the 21st century. This trip was no tropical paradise.

Believe me, I’ve come to expect the last place you’ll find the emotional equivalent to sand between your toes and Pina Coladas is a Christian conference.  Honestly,  I’ve been to many of them before and have found them to be rather “chilly”.  But here in Minneapolis amidst early warnings of snow (as a matter of fact it even snowed over Friday night)  I felt somehow thawed out.

I could first feel my toes moving when I heard the initial concept of the weekend.  There would be 21 speakers, all women who would speak for 21 minutes each. Yes, that piqued my interest, mostly because it wasn’t a women’s conference.  How refreshing for at least part of the Christian culture to proclaim women had something to say to everyone.  Something Jesus knew.

From theology to personal stories of faith to opinions of what church should be, these women brought it.   Each in their own way, they spoke of a God that welcomes change and a faith that transcends preconceived ideas.   Diana Butler Bass recounted the constant change that the church has undergone and how the church has always persevered.  With her example, “Protestantism didn’t kill Catholicism” maybe we can chip away at those frozen parts of guilt and fear of destruction and search on knowing that we are only adding to the understanding of this God we follow.

A God, I believe that can deal with our nagging questions because God purposely placed Godself within the human context of doubt and rejection and persecution and death.  As Debbie Blue said, “our stories are not stories that lift us out of our bodies, but stories that meet us there.”

So if God can meet us amidst all our unsavory humanness why can’t the church meet its people wherever they are?  And this is where the body thaws on the inside and the heart starts beating again.

Ah, to imagine a church as Seth Donovan says, “where it is less important to be right than to be loved.”  or a place that Alise Barymore described as “a church available to both the curious and committed.”

These people were speaking my language – thaw, thaw, thaw and  I didn’t perceive one secret handshake or whispered password.  That’s comforting for someone like me who has known the cold breeze of judgment when I somehow picked the wrong word, analogy or Bible passage when talking with other “religious people”.

But now I lay on this warm sandy beach of challenging theology amidst reflection of our Christian tradition and I felt I was not alone.

There are people grappling with the same issues I do and there are people who also feel compelled to do something about it.

In 2001 my husband Don and I  set out to start a church that was different from all the churches we had been to or visited.  We took our wacky step-sister of a service out of the conventional church we were in and planted it in a run down, under-funded community center not at all in the center of town.

There we attempted a church that was welcoming from the time you parked your car to the moment you left.  Not welcoming in a slick system or church logo’d polo shirt kind of way but welcoming because the community genuinely wanted you there.  You – no matter who you were, how you lived, what you thought, where you worked, what you looked like or who you hung out with.   We envisioned a place with a two-way conversation.  A place where we offer you food, talk with you and not talk at you.

We are not alone.

How warm the water is when you leave the frigid waters of accusation, piousness and code words. When you give in to the freedom to splash around and throw all that crap to the side of the water and discuss what it takes to make our churches a place of authentic community where people can be themselves, wrestle with their faith and bask in the warmth of God’s love.

Pina Colada anyone?