Texas Hold'em Poker - John Van Sloten

January 29, 2006

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryToday’s message will be dealing with the topic of Texas Hold’em (the #1 card game in a poker craze that is currently sweeping the world)

“Poker has been a companion, a mistress, and a constant pleasure for most of my life. Nothing can match the adrenalized flush of a bluff in progress, or the cocksurety of a lock hand while your bettors expansively build up the pot. There is no greater game created by God or man.”
Lee R. Schreiber, Poker as Life “

Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat--I am... Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”
Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 9:23-25, The Message

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Calgary Sun Newspaper Article


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September 16, 2012
ya meetings didnt do anyithng for me either the problem is family and friends mean well but gambling isnt really a disease like other addictions and most addictions arent diseases some have a chemical dependency gambling does NOT gambling is always a player WANTS to either action, money, both, escaping reality and maybe a few other reasons having someone truly explain the odds in a casino game if you are addicted to lottery or slots or table games can really open your eyes the house edge is so big you truly can not do these for a living and or expect to hit it big- if you are addicted to games that ARE beatable like Blackjack or Sports betting or Poker you just need to ask yourself is chasing a dream worth it while these games are beatable its the 1% that beats them. Now we all want to accomplish greatness but this road has a high risk and most fail. the more people you have dependent upon you should weigh heavily if your a kid with no spouse or kids dependent on you, I will give more latitude in terms of chasing your gambling dreams, but if you have people dependent on you you need to make an adult decision personal responsibility is EVERYTHING YES the choice is yours, but I would suggest that if you have a spouse or kids, you also have to consider their feelings also, gambling is a narrow road with little middle ground between Big Dreams and Heartbreak and the Falls can be great, and while maybe you can handle it, other people in your life maybe cant or don\'t deserve to go through it because they are not affected by gambling and the appeal isn't there for them to risk it all for the small chance of winning it all!!!! Meetings can only help but they aren't the whole solution- your right they occupy your time- they give you people that have been through the same stuff they aren't judgmental but they treat you like a child, its never your fault, your have a disease, which I dont agree with its never a bad thing to admit its ALL your fault when it is, and most gamblers its TOTALLY our fault because we risk everything and more than money for a dream and an opportunity!!!!Good luck to you

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January 31, 2006
I thought that the sermon on texas hold'em was in my opinion, one of the best sermons I've heard in a while. I thought drawing the parallels between the feeling of risk and being all in in poker, and being all in in our faith and the risk feeling that occurs was an incredibly connection. In reality - i think this message is really going to "stick" with me, any time taking those risks - hiking a mountain and standing at the peak realizing the risks that you took to get to the top and then the reward that came with it.
I thought that the message did cover it's grounding in making sure people were aware of when gambling - or alcohol - or sex went too far - that's when it becomes an addiction and the person becomes less whole, and exits important relationships. There were resources in the program and a checklist for people to examine if gambling was becoming an addiction.
Yes - the sermon did touch on a hot topic issue - however, i think that the message was clear. For instance, the same message could have been preached using extreme sports as the example - but less people can connect with that. Here, we have something relevant, probably something that a lot of people have played for fun (just like playing any other board game). , and something a lot of people can connect with. Overall, I thought the message was fabulous and certainly rang home with myself and those people that I talked to.

An idea for the future.....what about a message on taking risks in your faith and what that looks like? Just a thought

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January 31, 2006
When I first heard that John was going to do a sermon on gambling - I thought that it could be an issue that would evoke some strong feelings. It has - and it's been great. Some of the best discussions I've had with my kids and extended family and friends from other churches were because of this message. It was awesome - and I felt (and everyone I talked to agreed) that it was something that was perfect for church - for newbies as well as old because it was something we could all relate to in many ways. John gave some great examples and some good follow-up and it all helped to solidy my thoughts on faith and salvation too. As Christians we have won the jackpot!

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January 30, 2006
Just some thoughts that occured to me in the past 24...

I think that the issue of Gambling could be placed under the heading "disputable matters". These type of issues don't come accross well for sermons in my opinion for the sole reason that they only ever cause division (thus the name - disputable matters). I believe what we are called to do as Christians in these matters (according to scripture) is keep our ideas to ourselves. Unfortunately, as a result of our Church trying to find and balance on that fine line between sacred and secular, I think we may have caused a lot more confusion and hurt instead of direction and healing. Perhaps we should take more caution when talking about these issues, for they only lead to conflicts - art vs p0rn, indulgence vs addiction, drinking vs 'drunking', medicine vs drugs...

In addition to all I have already said, I think there was a stretch for a connection in the sermon between gambling and casting lots. I know that the connection made didn't hold any truth for me, for the practice of casting lots was always used as a means to make decisions. That point is explicit throughout scripture.
Just something to think about...

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Copyright Info:

New Hope Church 2006


Luke 9:23-25,Mark 12:31,1Timothy 6:10,culture,person,gambling,cards,games,money

Length: 31:28     Rating: PG     Audio Downloads: 784