APRIL FOOL’S DAY

TL 4-1 APRIL FOOL'S DAY

When I share God’s Word, I share all of it.  There are parts that are not easy to hear (for any of us), but we can’t just pretend it’s not there.  Christians are the only people who are not tolerated in today’s society.  We’ve been labeled haters and intolerant toward those who openly embrace a lifestyle that contradicts Biblical teaching.

What about the rights of Christians?    Are they still protected under the first amendment?  We still have a Constitution here in the United States, right?  Christian faith-based businesses are being backed into a corner.  I used to have a cat that was generally a docile pet, but there was one thing you really didn’t want to do.  You never wanted to back that cat into a corner where she didn’t think she had a way out!  If you did, you only got to do it once.

What exactly IS an abomination?  According to the dictionary, it is defined as something that causes disgust or hatred.  The Bible says that fools have done abominable works.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  – Psalm 14:1

As I sat in front of the television set last evening, listening to the ongoing debate about the now famous RELIGIOUS FREEDOM bill in Indiana – and the spin that sprang forth, I had to laugh.  Nineteen such laws are on the books already – so what’s the big deal?  Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence, is in my prayers.  He has really taken a lot of heat over this.  I have to wonder if the bill had been called the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION bill, would it have drawn such attention???  I doubt it.  The word RELIGIOUS gets some people’s dander up.  In this case it is completely unfounded.

Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.  – Proverbs 13:16

The only thing this would do for folks is give them the right to fight in court.  It does NOT say that they have any right to turn anyone away for any reason.  It just says that if they do, they can present a case in court.  Nobody gets to discriminate so just calm down, fools!  All this spin is ridiculous!!!

Oh wait…  Christians are getting trampled and backed into a proverbial corner – but who cares about them, right?  Hey, just keepin’ it real.

It’s funny, (not ha ha – but sad), when other special groups want FREEDOM, that’s okay – when they want equality, that’s fine.  There’s something about the religious community…  when we want protection, i.e. the right to defend our personal religious beliefs against abomination – well, that’s somehow different.

A few years ago I wanted to be a professional photographer.  I changed my mind after I saw how the ceremonial trend was moving.  I truly believe that some Christians will be forced to get out of the business they are in if that business could possibly run into a conflict.  Yes, I know it’s not fair and Christians who believe every word of God’s Word have rights too – or we should.  Do we now?  Nope.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have a business that you spent money and sweat equity on, as well as every minute of your life – just to be ruined because you are asked to go against your fundamental beliefs.  If you say no, you will be sued – and you will lose.   

Remember when florist Barronelle Stutzman was taken to court because she wouldn’t sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony?  She lost – and had to pay a $1,000 fine plus $1 for court costs and fees.  She violated Washington’s nondiscrimination laws and was told by Judge Alexander Ekstrom that she was not to discriminate against anyone again, including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies.

Up until now, we have been so very blessed to live in a county where we have the choice to believe as we choose and respect each other’s beliefs and have a Constitution that protects our right to do so.  – Barronelle Stutzman

True religious freedom does not exist because tolerance does not cut both ways.  One would think that a mutual level of respect and maturity would come into play, but that’s apparently too much to hope for.  See, I don’t know why if a business owner is asked to do something that goes against their beliefs, they cannot just politely recommend another place.  Why is that offensive?  I don’t get the level of insensitivity.  I’m not going to go into a Kosher deli and eat a ham sandwich!  Why are the beliefs of some business owners not just respected?  If someone tells you no and recommends a different place – just go to the other place and leave it alone!  Grow up, people. 

In this day – face it, there is no religious freedom, so the name itself is misleading.  Now the Indiana law will get tweaked, so it’s really a joke.  In the 20 years this law has been around, no one has ever won a case using it – oh, except that dude who wanted to use an eagle wing in his religious ceremony – and he was told by the government that he couldn’t.  Yeah – he went to court and won using this law – they are giving him his eagle feather back so he can use it in his religious ceremony.  Good for him. 

I do not discriminate against anyone; however, I expect the same respect in return.  Tolerance needs to cut both ways – it really does.  You can’t force someone to accept you.  Christians are well aware of that fact.  Christ never won a popularity contest for sure, but He is my best friend.  And God’s Word – all of it – yeah, I’m a big fan.  I know not everyone is, but respect me for my beliefs – it’s my belief that abomination against God is sin and God can’t look on it.   It’s not about my beliefs, every person needs to read God’s Word and find out what He says about it.  He is the judge of all of us.

 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.  – Leviticus 18:22

Man’s laws will come and go.  As Christians we are to be obedient; however, God’s LAW was in place a long time ago and it is steadfast.  If man’s law goes against God’s law…  hmm…  gotta go with God.  That’s no April Fool’s joke…  that’s a fact.  🙂

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

CHASING STEEPLES
Oh Lucinda! This poem cracks me up!!! If we ever meet in person, girlfriend… you’re ON! We’re gonna chase down some steeples and take some cool photos! 😉

What might we find???

I want to begin by saying the steeple on a church building holds no special power in itself. It is just a part of the architecture of the building – nothing more – nothing less. With that said, I also want to tell you something else: The Holy Spirit can use anything and anybody He wants to communicate with His children! Lately, I have noticed steeples on churches. They do not speak to me, but God’s Holy Spirit uses them to get my attention and then HE does plenty of talking.

This “steeple mania” began a few months ago while my husband and I were on an extended road trip. It may have begun as the result of an overdose of caffeine, but remember, God can use anything! We were traveling down I-35 heading East. We were near St. Louis and I happened to look out the passenger side window of the truck. It was not a special view, rather one I had seen many times before. Something caught my attention this time. I noticed a very large steeple centered right in the middle of the scene.

God spoke. “You take these for granted because they have been among you all of your lives. Don’t you know what meaning they hold? Look where they point. It is no accident that this steeple caught your attention today. I want you to remind others to consciously seek them and listen to me speak as they do.”

I always keep my camera handy. I took a shot of that landscape, with the steeple right in the center. That is where it began. I shared what happened with my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill, and she wrote this wonderful poem. She also took the awesome photo that I used for the design.

Since that time, many conversations about steeples and churches and how awesome the power of God’s Holy Spirit is have followed. God wants us to talk about how wonderful HE is. Steeples on churches point the way to heaven. They are all around us, quietly reminding us that there is a God and He loves and cares for us so much. Let’s not take our house of worship for granted, for it could get taken away – yes, even in America. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it could not happen.

How do you feel about dreams? Are they another way for God to communicate with us? God used dreams in the Bible. I had a dream shortly after our trip back East. When I woke up, I wrote this poem. God’s Holy Spirit has something to say, not just to me, but I believe to all Christians.