Copyright Information

The information herein is copyright to Rev. John Franklin, and may be used only by permission. Contact:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

IN-TI-MATE Score Card


Rev. John Franklin, all rights reserved, June 2010, e-mail:,

The IN-TI-MATE SCORE CARD is based off of the Sermon Series in the Song of Solomon by Rev. John Franklin. For copies of the 11 part series, contact John @ John & Penny are also available for Solomon Retreats using the IN-TI-MATE format.

Each question is worth ten (10) points. There are a possible two hundred points from the combined seven sections. If you’re married, take the plunge, then sit down and talk it through with your spouse. You’ll see some things that you need to change… that’s ok, just change them; you might be surprised at the good things positive change might bring!

Section 1 – Holy Sexuality (Song of Solomon 1:1-7)

“Being consumed, or intoxicated, with that which is from God will bring to focus all that is good and holy, and set us upon the right direction for life; intoxication with that which is unholy will simply blur everything, spin us around, and point us in the wrong direction!” - Pastor John

Holiness & Sexuality Co-exist in my life: ____

I engage Holy Intoxication: ____

I avoid Unholy Intoxication: ____

Section 2 – Fighting & Celebrating (Song of Solomon 1:8-2:5)

“Fighting to defend my spouse is holy… fighting with my spouse to defend myself, well now that’s something altogether different!” - Pastor John

When I fight, it is for the defense of the one with whom I am fighting: ____

I celebrate love this many times per week: ____

I affirm love this many times per week: ____

I reserve fantasy only for my spouse: ____

Section 3 – Desire (Song of Solomon 2:6- chap. 3)

“Desire without intentionality is really kind of worthless…” - Pastor John

I desire my spouse: ____

I keep desire only for my spouse: ____

I exert intentionality into desire for my spouse: ____

Section 4 – Praise (Song of Solomon 4)

“Do you notice that Solomon not only praised his bride in their private conversations, but wrote an entire play around that praise? Maybe we should consider following suit with the great king!” -Pastor John

I praise my spouse privately: ____

I praise my spouse publicly: ____

Section 5 - Celebration (Song of Solomon 5)

“In our fear of being thought of as ‘going overboard,’ we have often times missed the opportunity to communicate extravagant worth.” -Pastor John

How overboard do you go in celebrating special events for your spouse? ____

Would your spouse say you celebrate regularly or rarely? ____

Would your spouse say you celebrate lavishly or sparingly? ____

Section 6 – Completing the Mitzvah (Song of Solomon 6)

“How can he or she know what you think about them unless you communicate it?”

-Pastor John

My spouse feels the focus of my attention: ____

I comprehend the need I have for my spouse: ____

I have communicated my need for my spouse to my spouse: ____

Section 7 – Reprise and Reflection (Song of Solomon 7-8)

“You might see some things you don’t particularly like here. That’s OK… God is in the business of working miracles for His children!” - Pastor John

I feel loved by my spouse: ____

I know the needs I fill in my spouse: ____

TOTAL: ____

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Giving You My Roar!

JeeP (in from playing chase with the Mission Team): "Daddy, the lady scared me!"

Me (eyes up from working behind my desk): "Really, JeeP, what happened?"

JeeP: "She said 'roar' to me."

Me: "Well, why don't you just say 'roar' back to her?"

JeeP: "I did, but she didn't move!"

Me: "All-right then, buddy, I'll give you MY ROAR!"

JeeP: "REALLY???"

Me (reaching over the desk as if to hand it to him): "You betcha, little buddy, here ya' go!"

JeeP: "But, Daddy, what if she has your roar, too?"

Me: "Don't worry, JeeP, she can't have my roar."

JeeP: "Why not, Daddy?"

Me: "Because I only give my roar to MY kiddos!"

JeeP (accepting the invisible 'roar' into his hand and looking for a place to store it on his toy four-wheeler): "Thanks, Daddy! I'm gonna put it right here in my cup-holder!"

Me (watching JeeP charge out of the door of my office on his four-wheeler): "Hoo-ah, JeeP!"

JeeP (barely even slowing down): "Hoo-ah!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It is by faith that we are saved... by faith that we are sustained... by faith that we are embraced by God at all.

The knowledge of the unseen being crucial to our existent success, how is it then that we pray so little?

May it be not so with us!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Lessons from Solomon: Happiness, Peace, and an Army with Banners

Do you ever wonder why you love? Do you ever wonder about the where's, the how's, and the deeper things of love and necessity? Have you stopped lately to ask the soul searching "why" questions in the arena of love and romance?

This past week, I had the great privilege of expositing the sixth chapter in the saga of the Song of Solomon. One of the magnificent and alluring aspects of this great play is the extolling of love and passion between Solomon and his Shulamite bride as Solomon recounts their life of engagement and marriage in his most excellent of songs.

Have you thought about how prolifically present mutual discovery and delight must have been within this marriage in order to produce this human reflection of divine passion and romance?

Consider that for a moment. Solomon and his Shulamite bride must have joined in such deep and abiding connection and communication at so many levels that it would consume the life of the ordinary reader. What we read is certainly the tip of the iceberg, the icing on the cake, if you would. It is the poetic reflection of life lived poetically.

In verse four of chapter six we find Solomon retelling a moment of intimate communication with his bride. Solomon describes in her what every man is wanting to see in the eyes of the woman he loves... happiness, peace, and the security of armies at peace!

"Que paso???" you might say. "Where do you see that, preacher?" Well the key lies within the meanings of the names of the cities Solomon sees when he looks at his bride. When he declares her beauty as Tirzah, he is declaring that happiness surrounds him as a the great city whose name means delight. When he ascribes to her the aspect of Jerusalem, he is proclaiming that through her, peace surrounds him as does the peace of the loveliest of cities; and when he compares her greatness to that of an army marching in full martial array, he is declaring that within her love is the security that kings find within great and confident armies in peacetime.

How long has it been since you looked into the eyes of love and found the happiness, peace, and security you desire?

If you try, you'll quickly learn that they aren't won without great sacrifice, and often great pain. They are not cheap, but require the heart, the mind, the soul, and the strength of man.

What would you give for love?

Do you know that God loves you?

Are you willing to walk the path of God, indeed of love, and allow His path to both depose from you every worthless thing and give to you the happiness, peace, and security He has planned for you?

May the Lord of love and life grant you these three in the eyes of your husband or your wife today!

This is my prayer for you.

In the peace of Christ,

Pastor John

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This week, our church has begun the transformation process of Vacation Bible School! The theme for the year is "Saddle Ridge Ranch," and the church building is now sporting hay bales, a chuck-wagon wall, a camp-grounds, and a "worship barn"... all in all, it's pretty entertaining to see!

The funny thing about transformation is that it's a messy process.

Today, the chuck-wagon backdrop is hung, but there is paint on the floor (our resident expert says it will come up with a good buffing)... progress is sometimes messy. The hay bale worship set is in place, but a few sprigs of hay dot the carpet, which is designed for easy cleaning and localized replacement, but can still draw the jaundiced eye... progress is messy. Today I saw the new "rocks" for the watering hole in the camp-ground... paper bags filled and painted like rocks... you guessed it, painting rocks is messy.

Yesterday, my assistant went through the building straightening up in the aftermath of transformation. It wasn't as lengthy of a job as it looked like, but it was big enough, and the results were amazing! Today before the ladies Bible Study, and my Wednesday morning counseling session, I became the backdrop hanging tech, got messy, sweaty, and in the end, transformation is taking shape... inconvenient, messy, and beautiful.

The same is often true in life, isn't it.

For all our efforts, God works His beautiful transformation art upon us in His own way, His own timing, and His own system of organization/mess ratio.

Isn't it interesting that the first step toward salvation is to admit the deity of Jesus... thus submitting to the fact that He is God and we are not. That one admission can tear us apart, can't it. All the constructs of modern humanism hang upon the joint intersection of personal pride and independent deity... and even in light of modern "enlightenment" God simply continues to invite us to join in His singular way, knowing that His path is the only one that will lead us to life.

The tide of God is relentless and unbreakable. Though I could MAYBE swim up a river, I simply invite myself to drowned if I swim against His tide.

Today, I look for His transformation. Instead of running from it, I want to run to it.

For me, it makes all the difference in the world!

In the peace of Christ,

Pastor John

Friday, June 4, 2010

Biscuits and Bacon

This morning, I got the rare opportunity for a real morning off. This is a rare treat, and by the time I got up, Penny had already fed the kiddos, so I relaxed with a cup of java, and eventually started to cook a couple of biscuits and a few slices of bacon. And that's when the climate changed...

Isn't it amazing how the sound of the oven opening can bring the cattle runnin'?! It reminds me of walking out to feed cattle when I was a little boy with my grandfather in East Texas. I would always be amazed that all we had to do was quietly slide the metal slide to unlock the gate, and cattle from the far reaches of the ranch would perk up, look our way, and begin the long walk to the feed lot.

It wasn't long before the question came, "Daddy, can I have a biscuit?" Now this from a little boy who had already devoured a full breakfast. And not long after, his sister focused in on the bacon. At this point I had a choice to make, my bacon and my biscuits, or the fellowship of my children who want to be with me and enjoy what I enjoy. Do you ever wish you didn't have to make those choices?!

Can we not have the biscuits, the bacon, and the love?! The answer is, quite honestly, "no."

The biscuits came out (yes, they were the last two), and I split one between the kids, buttering each half and adding jelly instead of the beautiful dab of honey I had been tasting in my mind. Then I took some of the last few pieces of bacon and distributed them to the not-hungry troops who wanted to eat what I was about to eat. Somewhere in there, the memories of eating Daddy's favorite breakfast food on a rare morning off became more entertaining than the solace filled sensation of fresh biscuits and bacon.

Right now, they're literally climbing over me as I type here on the couch, JeeP directs who gets to wear my hat, and Jordan directs whose turn it is with the flash light. It's better than the quiet, even though I still have fond memories of quiet moments. I know there will come a day when there is too much quiet, and something tells me to soak this up. In a minute, the kids will ask me to read aloud to them what I've written, and our morning o' fun will continue.

I've traded a biscuit and some bacon to become a jungle-gym memory maker... it's a good trade.

Well, it's time to read.

Lesson for the day: trade the bacon, the opportunity is only for a moment!

Wishing you the joy of inconvenient play,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lessons from Solomon: Myrrh, Frankincense, and All the World has to Offer

This week, as we landed in the wonderment of Song of Songs 3:6-ff, I found myself wide-eyed in the theological treasure trove of verse six as the Great King Solomon makes his entrance for the wedding celebration.

As he does, the most interesting things are pointed out by the Shulamite... his perfumes! To sum it up, there are three basic aromas which the Shulamite bride smelled on the person of Solomon as he entered for the wedding celebration: she smelled myrrh, frankincense, and complimentary perfuming powders.

"So what's up with that?!" you might ask. It seems meaningless enough, doesn't it? So he put on cologne for his wedding... so what?!

It seems meaningless until we begin to remember something about Jesus being given myrrh and frankincense, and then we stop to think, "Hey, didn't they say something about that stuff in those painfully long Exodus passages that we thought were meaningless to read?!" And the answer, of course, is found somewhere within the realization that what God has delivered to us, no-matter how tedious or laborious it might seem, is never to be assumed "meaningless." It might do us well to consider that if God finds it important enough to include, then perhaps it's a bit arrogant to skip it, thus declaring it unimportant.

There are, in fact, some amazing lessons to be found in the three perfumes of Solomon.

First, the bride of Solomon smells myrrh. Myrrh is actually commanded as a key ingredient to holy anointing oil in Exodus 30:23-24. Along with Cassia, it is one of the two primary scents. This is the anointing oil set aside for things and people made holy to God... i.e. the Tent of Meeting and its appointments, the Priests, etc. When God anoints someone or something, this is the stuff. One suddenly recalls Samuel anointing David, while still a young shepherd boy, to be King over Israel, and so many other examples. And on the day of entrance to his wedding celebration, the first scent that is noticed upon the Great King Solomon, son of David, ruler of the Golden Age of Israel, is a key reminder of the scent of consecration to God.

Second, the Shulamite bride smells frankincense. Frankincense was the main ingredient in the incense of Temple Worship of God (see Exodus 30:34). This ingredient would smell as a reminder, once again, of the centrality of focus upon service to God.

Finally, the third smell noticed on the person of Solomon, was the smell of the world. Specifically, "...all scented powders of the merchant". Simply put, Solomon availed himself of the scented body powders available to him from merchants who visited from around the world. Remember here, that Israel was poised at the apex of a piece of geography which saw merchants collide from the East, as well as from around the Great Sea. Coupled with the massive fame of Solomon's kingdom, and you find the best the world has to offer right at Solomon's footstool.

So what do we learn from the smells of the perfumes of Solomon at his wedding to the Shulamite?

First, it is the anointing of God, the call to be set apart to His purposes, which is the most important scent of all when it comes to life, and relationships, and passion and romance. Solomon did not select the scent of the Shulamite's choosing, but the scent of his calling to inspire and "woo" his bride.

Second, the scent of service to God, frankincense which reminds us of the common essence of temple incense, is to be central to our lives of relationship, passion and romance. It defines our path; both where we are going and where we have been.

And third, that we are free to enjoy the scents of the world which fit with the other two.

Have you ever wondered what your house might look like if you emptied it first of anything except that which is holy to God, set aside for the work and purposes of Christ? What if you emptied your house, your life, of all else, and then looked about and only allowed the things that fit with the things of God to come back in?

To be honest, there would be some things that would still fit, wouldn't there? Some pots and pans, your favorite chair perhaps, that old tattered t-shirt that you love to wear on Saturdays... and then there would be some things that simply couldn't come back inside. Such were the fragranced powders worn by Solomon. Only the smells that fit with the smells of God were allowed.

Verse 6... who would've thought! What would happen if we smelled like that?

Live long, ride hard, and smell of anointed service to Christ!

In the Peace of Christ,

Pastor John