I've been watching all the hubbub about the Religious Freedom Law that Indiana just passed. The governor started out saying it was a good thing for Indiana and the people there, then the crowd got started and turned it into the most hateful thing that could be done since the Third Reich went after their own Jewish population.
I've got a problem with that. There is a federal law on the books that says the same thing. Bill Clinton signed it and there was no vomitous mass of indignation.
There are 23 other states with pretty much the same law on the books, and there were no industriously indignant individuals.
What is going on here is the law is open ended and, to me, makes sense. But there are legion of people who want to control my thoughts and actions in order to fit their world view. I'm sorry, I'll keep my liberty. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is appeasement, and that never leads to good decisions. So the tyrannical gay rights crowd is wrong.
The litmus test has been court cases where bakers have been forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding or be threatened with lawsuits. That has happened more than once and it has ruined two businesses.
In my view, both parties are wrong. The gay activist crowd wants to punish somebody and takes away their livelihood. That's evil, that's tyrannical, that's wrong.
However, the Christian business owner is wrong as well. We are taught to love the person but hate the sin. I can love a customer, and their same-sex partner, and can make them a cake decorated the way they want and not compromise my beliefs. What I have just done has been in this world, not of this world. If we as Christians were to love them instead of castigate them, their own arguments start to go away.
But the Christian will ask, how far does it go? Would a Christian tuxedo shop rent to a gay couple? Yes
Would a gay florist make two bouquets for two women getting married? Yes.
Would I expect a church to allow a gay wedding, or a Pastor to perform a gay wedding? I would have to say no to both. Like I said, we love the person, but hate the sin. Homosexuality is clearly called out as a sin in several places in the bible, and even in love, I cannot see how that can be consecrated in a church, or by a pastor. Do pastors and churches do it today? Of course, but I am concerned about the theological sophistry they have to weave to be true to God with those actions.
Love is gentle, love is kind, yes, but there is also right and wrong. I think both sides have amped up the indignation to a point where it becomes hard to have a discussion about the core topics.
What season is it for you? Is it summer, where you have planted your seeds and they have taken root and are growing. It is a time of joy and weeding, and waiting for things to come to fruition.
Are you in Autumn, the time of harvest, when you reap what you have sown and hopefully it is a sweet and plentiful harvest.
Are you in Springtime? The season when you watch for frost yet bide your time to prepare your ground and plant your seed.
Or are you in Winter? The season when the ground is cold and lifeless, and you hope that the harvest from the fall will keep you going.
Each of us is in a different season, and we help sustain and fortify each other as we go through our own times of winter. Our human society has seasons as well. The 80's were summer, when very little weeding was done and the harvest in the 90's and early 2000's provided great technological windfalls, but left us culturally and morally bereft. We are now in a cultural winter, where we hope for spring and await the next awakening.
Heavenly Father, bring us an awakening of you and the Holy Spirit. Let us breathe you in and taste your goodness. May all see and hear the miracles that you perform. May all come to you and seek out a relationship with you. May the world know peace. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.
I am humbled by the new review for Inspiration Point, found on Amazon.com
This is a story about a family, about the history of a family and the legacy it has built. The story opens by telling us that a family is hurting; their daughter has cancer. The love the parents have for her is immediate and obvious: the mother tells the visiting realtor that they have to leave soon so they can be with their sick child and the father adamantly declares that he is willing to sell not only the family ranch, which has been in the family for generations, but also the family store to help provide care for his little girl.
From there the stoy drifts from the past to the present. Although the opening is strong, what hooked me into continuing to read was Isaac's story. Descriptions of the hard mining lifestyle reminded me of my blind grandfather listening to Western books on audiotape. The more pages I turned, the more I was drawn in.
Though this is a Christian book, I did not feel as though I were being preached at. Instead, there were members of this Family who found themselves mad at God, others who clung to the faith. Inspiration Point is a place on the ranch where they go to pray when the valley of life is too dark. Prayers in the book, as in life, are not always answered--at least, not in the way the characters want them to be. But still, they go. And they pray.
In the end of the story, the reader finds comfort in knowing that people of faith are not exempt from human struggle--indeed, they face temptation and fear and human fallacy just like everyone else. But what sets them apart is a faith in God--what sets them apart is the belief that a higher being loved them and is involved in their lives.
The writing is clean and precise; the dialogue is believable and intriguing; the message is uplifting and inspiring. This is a book that you will be glad you read--I am!
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus... Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing." - 1 Timothy 2:1-8
What are you praying for?
My pastor asked all the men in the congregation to fast and pray one day a week for our leaders and this country. We believe this country is at a crossroads and we seek the intervention of the Almighty through prayer to help this nation.
"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14
So therefore, I pray... Heavenly Father, give us leaders such that it will be for your glory to grant us victory through them. May our nation not stand against your purposes in the earth. may we stand so that all men may come to a knowledge of the truth and salvation in Jesus Christ, Amen.
There are times when I wish I knew God's will better. Or to be even more honest, for me to impose my will on him. It would be nice to have a new car in the driveway, and new house, acreage and a tractor. But those things will become a reflection of my will, not his.
My walk with Christ started in High School, and within months after meeting him and starting a very tenuous relationship, I threw it away. I lived the life of an atheist for almost thirty years before God and my wife orchestrated me back into Church. While there are times I regret those thirty years, it also gives me perspective about what people are going through when they have no net, no support, no friend you can call on anytime, anyplace. That life is lonely and full of heartbreak. I understand why people buy things to make themselves feel better, but it just leaves them empty and wondering. Things and self are not the answer. A relationship with the creator is the answer.
It will be four years next month that I came back, and the changes and experiences during those four years would fill several books. I can now speak with absolute assurance that I know God's love. I know my savior and I know that He wants the best for me. Tina and I have been through trying times, and have learned from them.
My wish is for each and every person to go into a quiet place and ask, "God are you there?" Be absolutely still, in your mind as well as your self. You will be answered. It might be a chill, or a warm spot on your shoulder, or an echo you hear in your mind. You might see a picture of a leaf, or something else. Take it seriously, God is.
He is there, and He has met me every time I've sought him.
What does he have in store for us? He has peace, love, contentment, provision, abundance, and a way of life where you don't have to compete any more. Rest upon Him and He will make you a new person.
I guarantee it. I'm living proof.