Archive for May, 2012

I’m thinking of a particular woman.  When she is feeling energetic, creative and loving, she desires to help people have a good time.  She wants to help everyone around her have fun.  She is high on life and wants to help others experience that exuberance, too.

But, when she is not feeling so energetic, creative or loving, she descends to a dark place.  She is unhappy.  Burdened with sadness.  Discontent.  Instead of helping others to have fun and enjoy the high of life, she helps them descend to a low place with her.

I don’t pretend to know all I need to know.  I am not a psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist of any kind.  But, I know this.  I know that God created woman to be a helper.  It is a woman’s nature to help.  A woman is constantly helping — to the good or the bad.  To build up or tear down.  With discipline and restraint, or without.  With discernment, or without.  With patience or impatience.  To meet the real needs of others or to meet her own perceived needs.

For the sake of others, we women do well to recognize and accept our identity.  We are unique creations of God lovingly shaped to be helpers for men and, therefore, our world.  We are helpers by nature.  We cannot help but help.  The question is, how will we choose to help?  To what end will we help?  Will we exhibit self-discipline and restraint, or will we do whatever we want whenever we want?  Will we withhold our help when others need it?  Will we overwhelm others with the help we feel like giving when they do not need it?

Will we let our feelings set the course for our actions?  Or will we pause to think about what we are doing and why?

Is it all about us as we insist on helping our way?   Or is it all about serving God by helping others His way?

It does make a difference.  It matters.

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Americans who see life from a Biblical worldview have always had the right to disagree with those who do not.  And, vice versa.  Disagreement of any kind should be, according to a Biblical worldview, sane and civil.  Kind.  Respectful of the person no matter their opinion.

Recently, some folks who don’t see life from a Biblical worldview decided not to be so sane and civil to some folks who do.  Their less-than-kind behavior should capture the attention of all citizens interested in preserving true liberty and freedom of thought.

The media hasn’t reported it, but here’s what happened.  Doug Phillips of Vision Forum ministries and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis both responded to President Obama’s public support of same-sex “marriage” with concern and words of caution.  Both pointed out that the president had mocked God who instituted marriage on Day Six of creation.  Both gentlemen have been faithful to defend marriage because it is the bedrock of civilization.  Marriage between one man and one woman is in the best interest of children.  Phillips posted his concerns on the Vision Forum website.  Ham posted a blog.  Then things got nasty.

The website of Vision Forum was compromised.  I’m not a technical wizard, so I can’t explain the hows and whys, but their public survey question on marriage was skewed in favor of same-sex “marriage.  Their website was overloaded and their on-line store couldn’t be accessed.  The blog of Ken Ham was compromised with pornography and profanity.  I’m wondering what will happen if ezerwoman continues to speak in favor of Biblical marriage.

What kind of behavior is this?  What happened to the popular idea of tolerance?  Or does it only work one way?

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There is a “shocking level of moral illiteracy” among American kids.  A few years ago, writes Chuck Colson, the Josephson Institute of Ethics released the findings of its survey, “Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth.”

“Ninety-two percent of kids surveyed admitted to lying to their parents; seventy-eight percent admitted lying to a teacher.  Seventy percent said that they had cheated on a test, and half of them said that they had done so more than once.  Twenty-five percent said that they would like to get a job.”

The findings, notes Colson, were summarized by the Atlanta Constitution: “America’s next generation [believes that] it’s perfectly acceptable to lie and cheat.”  This is true despite the fact that three quarters of all U.S. states mandate some form of “values” or character education that encourages honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for others.  (How Now Shall We Live: A Devotional, 2004)

Does character education work?  If so, why are so many young people increasingly willing to lie and cheat?  Could it be that that most character education fails to explain why people behave morally? School programs may tell students that honesty is the best policy or that respecting others is a good thing to do, but they don’t provide reason for these beliefs.

Why not?  Because they are forbidden from doing so.  Discussion of moral behavior that grows from a faith foundation is not allowed in the public school.  The government has determined that Christianity has no place in education.  Neither does teaching young people that each individual is ultimately responsible for personal behavior.  The Biblical faith community which can explain the origin of humanity, why bad things happen, that good and evil exist, and why resisting evil and doing good builds a healthy society is shut out of public discussion.   This leaves girls and boys with only self-gratification as a reason for moral behavior.  It leaves them vulnerable to their fickle emotions and the pressure of peers.

When Christian faith, which partners so beautifully with science, is kept out of discussions on sex education, students who are told to wait for sex until marriage justifiably ask, “Why?  If it feels right for me, why would I wait?  I’m a sexual being, after all, so having sex is perfectly acceptable.”

Helping young people become morally literate, writes Colson, “requires that we change how we teach them about right and wrong.  This doesn’t mean turning classrooms into Sunday schools.  But if we want to give our kids reasons for acting morally that actually work, we must get over our phobia about the role of faith in public life.”

The lives of our children and grandchildren hang in the balance.

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Sometimes, I am teased about the intensity of my life.  Or the issues upon which I focus.  Well, my eyes cannot help but see a battle between good and evil.  In my vocation of helper — as a wife, mom, grandma, friend and neighbor, I should be alert to what is happening in the culture around me so that I can speak up.  Warn.  Shine light in darkness.

On May 9, President Obama thumbed his nose at God and publicly endorsed same-sex “marriage.”  Will those who have been slumbering now wake up?  Here’s what Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Ministries, has to say:

“For two decades, the frog has been in the pot while the temperature has been slowly turned up.  On May 9, it was finally cooked and served to the American people in a sauce so thick as to cover the rancid flavor of the dish.

“The process began with the Bush presidencies and their toleration for homosexuality.  It was advanced in full by the Clinton Administration.  It has now reached its logical zenith under Obama.  So we should not be surprised by the official announcement that the President of the United States of America has finally declared to the world his opposition to the historical, common law and biblical meaning of marriage.  President Obama may be remembered for many things, but few are as fundamental in its treason to his countrymen, to his oath of office and to the living God, then his decision to use the presidency to redefine a definition of marriage that was established on Day Six of Creation and has been the benchmark of civilization for 6,000 years.”

Phillips rightly notes that on May 9, 2012, the President of the United States of America crossed a line.   He rightly claims there is “no return without repudiation and repentance.  Terrorists are dangerous.  The economy is a real and present danger.”  But, “just as the holocaust of the unborn imperils the safety of this nation, so does the leader of the Western world” who dares to raise his fist at the Heavens.  In opposing the Creator of marriage, this president places generations in jeopardy.  “Marriage,” Phillips writes, “is the bedrock institution of society ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state.”  But, this president has endorsed the perverted and dangerous practice of Sodom and Gommorah.  It is a perversion which cannot grow civilization.  It is a perversion that cannot exist on its own.  Two men or two women may desire to “marry” and be parents, but they must depend upon the procreative act of others.

President Obama came into office saying he wanted to transform America.  Should we be so surprised that that is indeed what he is trying to do?  Should we be surprised that he is carrying out the wishes of those who fill his re-election coffers?  God is not surprised.  He has allowed kings and rulers throughout history who were enamored with themselves and careless with human life.  At such times, God called His people to contrast good with evil, light with dark, despair with hope.

President Obama will be remembered by historians.  I would think, however, that he would rather be remembered for uniting rather than dividing; for building rather than tearing down, for bringing order rather than creating chaos.  Tampering with marriage — created and defined by God — will weaken our nation.  Make us vulnerable to enemies.  Place children at risk.

In the midst of chaos, there is always Jesus Christ.  Jesus is God; therefore, He is the creator of marriage.  Changing His definition of marriage to tickle someone’s fancy goes against His very being.  His very Word.   We can assure friends and family that Jesus is serious about marriage.

So serious that He calls Himself the Bridegroom for His Bride, the Church.

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Dan Savage is a gay activist who speaks to students across the country.  Recently, he was invited to address the National High School Journalism Conference about the need to prevent bullying.  He launched a vicious attack on the Bible and Christian beliefs.  As he put it, “We can learn to ignore the bull **** in the Bible about gay people . . . .”  He also stated that the “Bible is 100% wrong on sexuality.”

Please watch the short video clip here.

Does the fact that Dan Savage is invited to speak to students concern any of you parents?  Grandparents?

Does it concern you Christians who hold the Bible to be the very Word of God?  The Word that invites us to choose life rather than death so that we might have blessings rather than curses?

If we say that we believe true marriage is only between one man and one woman, we’re now accused of bullying.  If we say that homosexuality is a sin, we are accused of being intolerant.  You and I need to be aware that changes in word definitions are being used as weapons against Christians in a spiritual battle.

How do we — who believe that Jesus Christ is the Word on marriage, family, sexual behavior, and all matters of life — respond?

In this spiritual battle, may we never compromise the Word of God.  May we rightly use the Law and Gospel of the Word — Jesus Christ — in all circumstances.  May our speech and action show respect for all people, no matter our differences.

May we demonstrate kindness to those caught in the chaos and confusion of sinful choices.  May we volunteer to give blood for patients with HIV and others suffering AIDS.  May we exhibit compassion, not by tolerating lifestyles that bring harm, but by asking questions that help people think about their behavior and why they defend it.  May we, as Chuck Colson so rightly said, “never impose anything, but instead propose — propose an invitation to a better way of living.”

May we pray for people like Dan Savage who may be bold in an effort to cover anger and hurt.  May we pray for courage and never be bullied into silence.

Several students walked out during the savage attack on Christianity.  May we see hope in their courageous conviction.  May we see such conviction worthy of our nurture and defense.

Precious souls are at stake.

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