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A group of judges took it upon themselves to re-define marriage in Iowa.  Within the year, a new definition was given to the Holy Family in my neighboring town of Cedar Falls, IA.,  when two women posed with Baby Jesus in their congregation’s “living” Nativity.

We used “the youngest baby in the congregation to play the role of Jesus,” said Rev. Linda Butler, pastor of St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls.  “The parents just happened to be two women.”

“What we emphasized was that this was two parents,” she said, “and this is our baby and this is our story.”  Butler continued, “It does fit so well biblically,” noting that Jesus had a human mother, but Joseph was not the Savior’s actual father.  “If He was born of a virgin, then Joseph is not the father.  He’s not part of the conception.”

In an interview with WND (WorldNetDaily), Butler explained that her church welcomes all sexual orientations and gender identities.  In his article for WND, Joe Kovacs quoted from Butler’s sermon of December 26:

“In the midst of this Christmas joy,” she said from the pulpit, “when God appears to us in human form, the gospel reading reminds us . . . we have to shout at church actions . . . that do not affirm God’s holy work among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  We have to shout [that] the government shifts money away from the prevention of AIDS and HIV to abstinence-only policies . . . We have to increase our efforts to strengthen LGBT youth who come out, and are thrown out of their families so depression and suicide do not become their modus operandi.  We have to advocate against local schools . . . that have attempted to eliminate books on multi-dimensional families from curricula and libraries.”

Kittredge Cherry, who calls herself a lesbian Christian author and minister from Los Angeles, promotes her own style of “gay” Nativities on YouTube.  “What if the child of God was born to a lesbian couple or a gay couple?  Because, after all, love makes a family.”  Cherry admitted, “Obviously this is not about historical accuracy, but I believe that [it is] true to the spirit of the Christmas story in the Bible: God’s child conceived in an extraordinary way and born into disreputable circumstances.  Love makes a family . . . including the Holy Family.”

God’s Word, the Bible, never once describes or mentions same-sex “marriage.”  The opposite is true.  The Old Testament, rich with the history of civilization, records warnings against homosexuality, calling it an “abomination” and a “sin.”  God’s Word in the New Testament is consistent.  Romans 1:26-27 explains that the “unnatural relations” and “shameless acts” of sodomy bring dire consequences.

Ms. Butler doesn’t want depression and suicide to become the modus operandi of young people.  Nor do I.  But, for that not to happen, two things must take place.

First, we have to expose the modus operandi of those who deceive young people.  GLSEN and other LGBT advocates work feverishly to mentor girls and boys because, as Dan Savage (founder of the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign) writes, “. . . Gay activists want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality” because “our future depends on it.” (Salon magazine)  Daniel Villarreal is just as candid as Savage in his article that appeared in the homosexual blog Queerty in May.  He wrote,  “I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach and expose children to queer sexuality.”  So who, Ms. Butler, is putting young people at risk for depression and suicide?  And, for what reasons?

Second, God loves all of His creation.  Each one is precious in His sight.  In a fallen and sinful world, however, we struggle against our own passions.  We desire to do the things we shouldn’t and fail to do the things we should.  But, once again, God’s love appears for our benefit.  In Jesus Christ, we have an advocate before the Father.  In Jesus, we find strength to leave dangerous ways behind and, with the help of caring parents and community, move patiently forward on a safer and more hopeful journey.  God is not cruel.  He does not create people to be homosexual or lesbian and then laugh because they don’t “fit.”  Can’t procreate.  Are at higher risk for anal cancer and HIV/AIDS.  No!  God wants all of us — those tempted by homosexual or heterosexual sins — to practice self-control.  Turn away from the cliff of despair and toward new beginnings.  Leave old ways behind and shed burdens at the foot of the Cross.

Ms. Butler, we prevent HIV/AIDS by helping people abstain from sex apart from real marriage.  We show compassion not by tolerating harmful behavior and calling it “good,” but by involving ourselves in the lives of young people and leading them away from deception, predators and profiteers.  Young people rarely ask to be restrained.  But, responsible adults do it anyway – for the sake of the boy or girl.  As a Methodist in your position, Ms. Butler, you serve your people best with God’s Word rather than improvised words of your own.

And, Ms. Cherry, contrary to what you may think, love doesn’t make a family.  God makes a family.  He uses the love of a man for his wife in the procreational act of sex to bring new life into the world.  That is a family.  In His Book, it always has been.  Always will be.

My appreciation to Joe Kovacs and WND, 8-5-11

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My friend and mentor, Joanie, knew she was engaged in daily spiritual battle.  Her soul and the souls of those around her were targets for the enemy of our lives.  It was for this reason that Joanie tightly grasped the Sword of Truth.  “God’s Word is all I need.”

Once, while walking through a deep valley in her life, Joanie asked me to write out the words of Lamentations 3:21-23 (KJV):  “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”  I wrote out a second copy for myself.

One of Joanie’s favorite authors was Oswald Chambers.  His book, My Utmost for His Highest, is in our home library.  At a time when I was feeling insignificant and unappreciated, my husband asked me to read a page he had marked in the book.  There, Chambers quoted Philippians 2:17 (NIV):  “But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.”  Chambers’ commentary reads:

“Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer — to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others?  Or do you say, ‘I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him.  I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice.  And I want to have certain people watching me saying, ‘Well done.’ ”

Chambers had my attention.  I was compelled to read on.

“It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a ‘doormat’ under other people’s feet.  God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, ‘I know how to be abased . . .’ (Philippians 4:12).  Are you ready to be sacrificed like that?  Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket — to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?  Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted — not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister?”

I am thankful that my husband was drawn to this particular commentary from Chambers’ book.  I reflect on it whenever I’m tempted by my human nature:  Does anyone notice my hard work?  Does anyone see how “poured out” I am?  Will I be credited for my help?  Then I think about Joanie.  She was always pouring herself out for others.  She was my hero, but the life marked out for her required becoming a doormat.

Joanie was willing to be insignificant — to give and minister to others — all the while calling attention to the Savior Jesus Christ.  In turn, something amazing happened.  Joanie was never poured out to empty.  God’s Spirit filled her with enough for each day.  His compassions never failed.  They were new every morning.

Poured out?  Unappreciated?  Used up?  God sent me Joanie whose life assured me: “Great is Thy faithfulness.”  As I pour out to His glory, He is faithful to fill up.

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Joanie was scheduled for surgery.  “I’m getting my affairs in order,” she told me.

Joanie had come into my life as an older, wiser friend not long after my mom died.  She became my mentor.  A reminder that God’s Word is all that matters.  A reminder that Jesus is that Word for my life.

“My surgery is to repair an aneurysm,” Joanie explained.  “It’s a routine procedure.  But, whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

A few days before the surgery, Joanie’s two daughters flew in to be with her.  Joanie called to tell me she had a grand idea.  “We’re going to have a joyful night on the town.”  Later, I learned that night was special indeed.  Over a leisurely dinner, Joanie and her daughters shared many memories.  They laughed, then cried, then laughed some more as they lingered over a single glass of white Zinfandel.  Later, they returned home to curl up in the living room where they continued their story-telling late into the night.  Somehow, I had no difficulty hearing Joanie tell her daughters, “I gotta tell you girls.  Whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

When Joanie’s son called to say he would drive down to be with her, she assured him there was no need.  “You stay with your family right now.  I’ll see you soon.”  Then she penned him a loving letter with words that can only flow from a mother’s heart.  The note ended, “Whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

On the morning of the surgery, Joanie woke early.  She slipped out the back door to say good-bye to her two dogs, the faithful companions who greeted her this morning as they did every morning.  Coming back inside, she slowly walked through the rooms of the house, touching her lips and planting a “kiss” on the photo faces of her husband, children, and grandchildren.  She sighed, then picked up the bag she had carefully packed the night before.  With one quick glance over her shoulder back at the house, she walked to the car.  No one but her Father heard her say, “Whatever you’ve got going here, Lord, is fine with me.”

The surgery did not go as expected.  There were too many complications.  My friend’s body grew weak and could no longer fight the battle of life over death.  In the distance, she could hear the great choir of heavenly angels praising God.  “Whatever you’ve got going here, Lord, is fine with me.”  Then, a brief hesitation.  Did Joanie hear one of her daughters say, “We must let her go.”  Did she hear the other cry, “No!”  Joanie waited as if she were giving her daughter time to adjust her thinking and receive the same peace that was now flowing through the mother.  It was not easy, but both daughters agreed, “Mom is ready.”  And they entrusted her to God.

Days later, Joanie’s daughters opened the bag which their mom had packed for her hospital stay.  In it were all the things that a woman would take for recovery from surgery — a few toiletries, nightgown, photo or two of her family, books for passing the time, and well-worn Bible.  Looking through the items in the bag, they paused to remember the behavior of their mom the morning she left home for the hospital.  They heard her sigh and saw her lingering glance at the house.  They knew she had written a “good-bye” letter of encouragement to her son.  But, at the same time, here was a bag filled with the items one would need for life.

Joanie truly believed, “Whatever you’ve got going, Lord, is fine with me.”  She lived each day ready to do those things God had already prepared for her to do, yet she kept her eyes focused on the Savior who would one day carry her home.  In the time that I had know her, Joanie spoke with excitement about her eternal home with Jesus.  Yet, never had I met anyone more content to be in the present — loving souls and sharing the Word of life.

Joanie departed my life much too soon.  Plans had been made for her to spend a week in my home.  I anticipated that visit.  I needed more time learning at the feet of my mentor.  Learning how to adjust my attitude.  Learning to focus less on self and more on Christ.  That visit did not happen, but others will.  With all confidence, I anticipate daily visits with Joanie in our Father’s house.

With eagerness, Joanie expected Jesus to come for her.  She only hoped she would not stand before Him ashamed.  Therefore, whether she lived or died, it would be to the glory of her Heavenly Father (Philippians 1:20-21).

“Whatever You’ve got going here Lord is fine with me.”

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Seems that New York has followed the lead of my fellow sophisticated Iowans.   Same-sex “marriage” has just become law there, too.  People like me who don’t believe we have the right to define an institution created by God justifiably oppose tampering with marriage and parenthood.  But, we are told, not to worry!  Legalizing same-sex “marriage” won’t hurt a thing.

I disagree.  So does Michael Cook, the editor of Mercatornet.  In his article of July 11, he asks: “Anything else on the menu?”

He offers three reasons why the legalization of same-sex “marriage” will, indeed, affect our culture.  All come from authors featured in the New York Times.  First, Michael Cook notes the commentary of Katherine M. Franke, a Columbia University law professor.  She confessed that she really didn’t want to marry her long-time lesbian partner anyway.  Why lose the flexibility and benefits of living as domestic partners?  Cook quotes professor Franke, saying as far as she was concerned, “we think marriage ought to be one choice in a menu of options by which relationships can be recognized and gain security.”

“One choice in a menu of legally supported relationships?” Cook asks.  “How long is the menu?”

Cook offers a second reason why legalizing same-sex “marriage” will impact society by highlighting another article in the Times by Ralph Richard Banks.  Banks is a professor at Stanford Law School.  What comes after gay “marriage”?  Banks “puts his money on polygamy and incest” because legal prohibitions on either practice are losing strength.  Society forbade them in the past because they were seen as “morally reprehensible;” therefore, society felt “justified in discriminating against them.”  I follow Banks’ reasoning.  Just as homosexual advocates are working hard to shift our thinking and normalize the behavior God calls a sin, so will advocates of polygamy and incest.

Two more behaviors, Cook notes, are added to the “menu of [sexual] options.”

The third reason why legalized same-sex “marriage” will have a domino affect on the culture is voiced by Dan Savage.  The Times describes Savage as “America’s leading sex-advice columnist.”  He is syndicated in at least 50 newspapers.  Here’s what Cook writes about Savage.  “Savage, who claims to be both ‘culturally Catholic’ and gay, thinks that gay couples have a lot to teach heterosexual couples, especially about monogamy.  Idealising monogamy destroys families, he contends.  Men are simply not made to be monogamous.  Until feminism came along, men had mistresses and visited prostitutes.  But instead of extending the benefits of the sexual revolution to women, feminism imposed a chastity belt on men.  ‘And it’s been a disaster for marriage,’ he says.  What we need, in his opinion, is relationships which are open to the occasional fling — as long as partners are open about it.”

Cook continues, “Traditional marriage — well, actually real marriage — is and has always been monogamous and permanent.  There have been and always will be failures.  But that is the ideal to which couples aspire.  They marry ‘for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part’.  The expectation is exclusivity in a life-long commitment.”

Cook believes that legalization of same-sex “marriage” will most assuredly “affect the attitudes of young couples who are thinking of marriage a decade from now . . . it will be one of a number of options . . . they will have different expectations . . . marriage will include acceptance of infidelity, will not necessarily involve children, and will probably only last a few years.”

Advocates of same-sex “marriage” in New York say it’s good for marriage.  Cook concludes:

“In a way, they’re right.  Just as World War II was good for Germany because out of the ashes, corpses and rubble arose a heightened sense of human dignity and a democratic and peaceful government, same-sex marriage will heighten our esteem for real marriage.  But in the meantime, the suffering will be great.”

Amen.

Mercatornet: Navigating modern complexities
Check it out!

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Yesterday, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that requires the state’s schools to teach the contributions of people who are lesbian, bisexual, “gay,” and transgender.

S.B. 48 makes California the first state in the union to pass such a law.  It was authored by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, a homosexual.  The law requires textbooks be re-written to include information about LBGT Americans and “present them in a positive light.”

Students as young as six will be affected.  Parental notification is not required.  Parents cannot opt their children out.

The governor says the bill prohibits “discrimination in education.”  He stated that “history should be honest.”

For the sake of honesty:

  1. What is the driving force behind this law?  What is the desired outcome?  Who does it benefit?
  2. To whom are children entrusted: their parents or the school?
  3. If parents teach God’s Word to their children because it protects them from harm, why would the governor, teacher’s association, or school want to contradict parents?
  4. Why does the bill prohibit teachers and textbooks from telling students that homosexuality is a risky lifestyle?  The practice of homosexuality carries with it the highest rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, high cancer rates, and earlier deaths.

It has always been a good thing to teach young people about the contributions of earlier Americans.  But, honestly, where is the textbook describing the contributions of George Washington the heterosexual?  Clara Barton the heterosexual?  Martin Luther King, Jr. the heterosexual?

Apparently S.B. 48 is California’s eighth school sexual indoctrination law forcing itself on parents and children.  What will this trend in sexual trail blazing leave behind?

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Do you know why the sanctity of human life remains the most important issue of our time?  Because how we care for the most vulnerable member of the human family is how we will care for all members of the family.

Can you imagine the smallest of voices?  Perhaps this is what a child might say in the moments before he or she is aborted.   CLICK HERE

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The animal rights group Mercy For Animals hired a hog confinement site employee to go undercover.  Photos were taken of some unethical behavior.

Mercy…  please!   Animals will never be able to thank you.  But, if you would put your passion into protesting the cruelty that happens daily inside abortion clinics, I’m sure some children and their children will thank you.

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