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Summary: This sermon looks at what some peple would consider gray areas in their Christian walk but through a series of five questions helps to discover that things are black and white with God.

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Happy day after Valentine’s Day. Guys, I hope you remembered in time to celebrate with your lovely spouse. Valentine’s Day is a good day to take that special someone out on a date, perhaps a dinner and a movie. Well, this year the media is all aflutter about a movie based on the book “Fifty Shades of Grey”. There are probably not too many people who have not heard of this book. Since it was written in 2011, it has become the #8 best seller of all time. It is currently #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List, where it’s been on the list for 75 weeks. It has sold 100 million copies, surpassing “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by 15 million copies and is fast approaching to overtake “The Hobbit.” In four years, it outsold a great book based on Christian principals that was published 65 years ago.

This past weekend it was released as a movie. It is estimated that it will generate $89 million dollars at the box office, shattering the opening weekend of “American Sniper”, making it the most lucrative debut of an R rated movie in history. One theater in Ireland is showing the movie on all 12 screens due to the presales of 3500 tickets.

Of course Wal-Mart is not about to let this opportunity to make a dollar slip by them. You could have bought your significant other a romantic gift basket featuring a 'Fifty Shades of Grey' theme. The basket includes gourmet snack foods, bubble bath, handcuffs and mask, and other assorted goodies in a gift box hand-tied with a rope. And Target has a line of lingerie with a “Fifty Shades” theme.

Now, anyone who has read the book will tell you it’s a complicated love story between a man and a woman. For the record, I have not read this book. The title of the book speaks of the complications in this man’s life.

The author said that she chose the surname of Grey because nothing is black or white; it depends on your point of view. Thus, she is not is not judging Christian Grey’s behavior but telling a life full of ‘shades.’

In fact, the shadows are the different facets of the life of Grey. In the book Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey have a conversation, where he tells her a little about what happened to him in his childhood. He has a tormented soul, he is a man with many shades… 50! Hence the title, “50 Shades of Grey.”

To some extent her analyst of life being in a gray area at times are true, even in relationships. There are things in the life of my wife and myself that can be gray, not clearly black and white. So I thought I would solve that problem by making a list of those gray areas and write them on her Valentine’s card. Allow me to share that list with you.

“Learn to work the toilet seat. If it’s up, put it down.

Do not ask me what I am thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation, and NASCAR.

Shopping is NOT a sport, and I am never going to think of it that way.

When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

Ask for what you want. Let me be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work. Strong hints do not work. Obvious hints do not work. Just say it!

I don’t remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar.

Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think I’d be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?

Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

Come to me with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what I do.

Anything I said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

If something I said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, I meant the other one.

You can either ask me to do something or tell me how you want it done - not both.

Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do I.

When it comes to colors peach is a fruit. I have no idea what mauve is.

I am not a mind reader and never will be. My lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little I care about you.

If I ask what is wrong and you say "nothing", I will act like nothing’s wrong.”

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