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In my last post, I explained a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The CDC is giving a renewable grant to GLSEN, an activist organization that promotes the gay and lesbian lifestyle.  The gay and lesbian lifestyle is proven to be a high risk behavior and is harmful to people emotionally and physically.  Research the statistics for yourself.

The very unnatural practice of homosexuality (sodomy) causes infections; STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes; hepatitus A and B, anal cancer, and diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

So, why would an organization that exists to control diseases want to partner with an organization that promotes them?

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GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) has been awarded an annually renewable grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This will allow GLSEN to “partner with 20 targeted school districts across the country” and to reach “14,500 school personnel and 4 million students.”

So, at taxpayer expense, homosexual activism may be coming to a school near me… or you.

How will GLSEN use the grant money (up to $285,000 per year)?  It plans to start “internal Implementation Teams” and training programs based on their Safe Space Kit.  Here’s a “quick review” offered by Candi Cushman (CitizenLink 6-23-11).  The Kit:

  • Promotes GLSEN’s controversial book list for schools
  • Encourages teachers to display homosexual-themed materials from “LGBT organizations” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender).
  • Recommends that schools “celebrate LGBT events” and incorporate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender themes into curriculum and school literature.  “Whenever possible,” the guide tells educators to give examples of “same-sex couples” and “LBGT parents.”
  • Gives teachers an “LGBT-Inclusive School Checklist” to see if their school has a “gender-neutral dress code” and “gender-neutral” bathrooms.

Cushman explains that GLSEN wants educators to avoid using words like “husband,” “wife,” or gender-specific pronouns in the classroom.  The Kit includes a vocabulary sheet that includes “zie” rather than “he” or “she” and “hir” rather than “him” or “her.”

Is GLSEN’s goal to render meaningless the concept of “male?”  “Female?”  Traditional marriage?  Basic English pronouns?

This doesn’t have to happen.  GLSEN doesn’t have to prevail.  Why?  Because God says that children are entrusted to their parents.  Parents have both the right and obligation to raise sons and daughters in a moral, healthy, and God-pleasing way.  The homosexual lifestyle brings nothing good.  Right.  Or true.  It is empty self-gratification.  It brings confusion.  Heartbreak.  Disease.  Hopelessness.  Separation from God.   A parent’s duty is to lead sons and daughters away from danger.  And, if a son or daughter is tempted into harm’s way, a parent is to rescue.  Love unconditionally.  Patiently re-connect to God’s Word for male and female.  Exodus International is one of several ministries helping parents do just that.

Parents, not the government, are to raise children.  The government may express controversial opinions and even fund those opinions with taxpayer money.  But, parents still have a voice.  They must use that voice.  Be a voice of reason.  Unite voices.   And, if their voice is not heard, they need to seek other school choices if possible.

Resources for parents are offered from Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, The American Family Association, Vision Forum, and The Alliance Defense Fund.

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Words matter, especially the words God chooses to speak to us.

So, I am thankful that the largest evangelical denomination in the nation — the Southern Baptist Convention  — voted recently not to commend the 2011 New International Version (NIV) Bible because of its gender-neutral language.  Why?  Because it alters the intended theological message.

For a long time, I have been appreciative of the work of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  It has helped point me to a proper understanding of the uniqueness of male and female.  My respect for both only grows.  I hope I am passing on this respect through Titus 2 Retreats.  Dr. Randy Stinson is the president of CBMW.  He is also the dean of the School of Church Ministries at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He notes that Southern Baptists and other Christians “affirm what we call the ‘verbal, plenary inspiration’ of Scripture which means that we believe not just the broad thoughts of Scripture are inspired by God, but every word.  And so every word, when it is translated from Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, matters.”

Yes!  Amen!  Let it be so!

I, too, embrace a word-for-word translation philosophy.  And, to better help me understand the meaning of God’s carefully chosen words, I am also thankful for the Lutheran Study Bible (English Standard Version).

God really did say.  And He used specific words to say it!

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All students at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, CA., were recently instructed in a sexual indoctrination course.  The training host and consultant was a Bay Area-based organization called Gender Spectrum.

In the lesson called “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training,” documents released by the school say that students were taught that “gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy.”  Another document from the school advises parents that “when you discuss gender with your child, you may hear them . . . exploring where they . . . fit on the gender spectrum and why.”  Gender Spectrum tells parents that children need to learn that sexual “variation is normal.”

Students in all grades were told there are different ways to be boys and different ways to be girls.  Some of the reading list includes Boy, girl or both? and My Princess Boy (grades K-1), What is gender? and 10,000 Dresses (grades 2-3), and Three Dimensions of Gender (grades 4-5).

Gender Spectrum hosts training events and consultations aimed at questioning the role of gender in society.  They encourage gender neutral restrooms in schools.  The course program at Redwood Heights Elementary School was funded through a grant from the California Teachers Association.

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) asks: Should a child in kindergarten be introduced to the question of whether or not they really are a boy or a girl?  Does this have a place in public schools?  Are they engaging in an area that will, without question, result in children having problems that they likely would not have had otherwise?

According to PJI, there is no legal “right under California law for parents to opt out from this kind of pro-transgender indoctrination.”  PJI is offering advice to parents who want  help protecting their children from gender-diversity lessons.

In the Book of Beginnings, God’s Word explains that He created humans “male and female” (Genesis 1:27).  No where after that — in Old or New Testament — does God say that He changed His mind or decided to experiment with and alter His creation.

Is what happened at Redwood Heights Elementary School acceptable by parents?   What parents have requested that their child experience a “gender indoctrination” program?  What is the origin and purpose of this kind of teaching?

In May 2009, President Obama appointed Kevin Jennings to the position of Safe Schools Czar with the U.S. Department of Education.  Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and wrote the introduction to the book Queering Elementary Education.  Early in June, Jennings met with the White House to address LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) topics.

Jennings is leaving his post in July, but in what ways has he influenced the security of our education system?

(For details, visit OneNewsNow.com, Focus on the Family, or The Family Research Council)

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Where are the mentors?  They are us!

They are older women — in age, experience, or spiritual maturity.  Unfortunately, too many of us seem to fear the concept of mentoring.

Yes, we may mentor a child at school.  Yes, we may mentor through a “Big Sister” program.  But, mentoring Biblical womanhood is counter-cultural.  There is strong resistance.  Obstacles stand in the way.  There are two: the younger women and the older woman.

The younger woman is, quite honestly, the least problematic.  Why?  Because younger women naturally resist mentoring.  The younger generation always considers itself more enlightened.  It’s typical for a young woman to consider herself more progressive than her mother or grandmother and, therefore, want to leave “old ways” behind.  Even when a younger woman is willing to learn some things from an older woman, she may still believe (as I’ve been told): “The culture is different than it was when you were my age.”  Well, the culture is always different with every new generation.  But, Truth never changes.

The greater obstacle to mentoring Biblical womanhood is the older woman.  It is the older woman who resists the opportunity to mentor.  Why?  Maybe because we are afraid.  Perhaps we’re afraid to mentor because it means we have to act our age.  Perhaps we’re afraid to mentor because it means re-visiting our past mistakes and becoming vulnerable all over again.  Perhaps we’re afraid to mentor because we fear rejection by younger women.

Some of us might be afraid because we are untrained.  Perhaps no one mentored us with God’s Word.  Perhaps we were led off the good path of life on painful and dangerous detours by older men and women we trusted more than God.  Perhaps a parent, professor, friend or even a pastor that we trusted had been deceived by “silly myths” and passed them on to us.  Out of respect for them, we may feel defensive about what they taught us.  The ideas to which we cling.  But, letting the light of God’s Word illuminate the dark corners of our minds, may we move out of a defensive posture.  Lift up in prayer the person who passed wrong ideas on to us.  Let go of “silly myths” and deception.

I’m a baby-boomer.  Talk about a generation influenced by “silly myths!”  My generation was raised with no boundaries; told to obsess on our bodies; dared to compete with men; and sent to the university where marriage, family, and the church were mocked and boldly dismantled.

The fact is, we can’t mentor if we’re afraid to act our age.  If we don’t want to accept where we’re at in life.  If we’re afraid to re-visit our past and acknowledge our failures.  If we’re afraid of rejection.  In other words, we can’t mentor if it’s all about me.

I can’t mentor if it’s all about me.  My fears.  My inabilities.  My past.  I can’t make a positive difference in my world if it’s all about me.  I can, however, make a life-changing difference if I’m all about God.  God’s Word.  God’s Word in Jesus Christ.  It is God’s Word that tells me who I am and why I exist.  Trusting the Word, I don’t need to fear myself or the world.

As an older woman, I think God wants me to accept my age.  My experiences.  My failures.  My disappointments.  Then, making use of all of these, He wants me to warn.  Train.  Equip the younger women He places in my life.  There is only one thing necessary for me to mentor: His Word.  Trusting God’s Word and using it makes me wise.  Willing.  Confident.  Less focused on self and more focused on others.

The world is not my friend.  Recognizing this, I (and all older women) mentor with the Word of God.  Away from “silly myths.”  Toward hope.

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Titus was a young pastor who served his people on the island of Crete.  Young Titus and his congregation found themselves in the midst of a pagan culture.  “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12).

How could Titus and the men and women of his congregation not only remain faithful to God in the midst of evil, but affect the culture?  Shine light?  Share hope?  Titus was in need of a model, something that his people could use in the midst of selfishness, unhealthy lifestyles, and false teachers.

St. Paul warned Titus away from the worldly influence, but also was inspired to give him a model for mentoring generations of hope.  That model is found in Titus 2:1-8.  That model — indeed, the wholeness of the Gospel — brings salvation and leads to self-controlled living.

Titus 2, however, is one of the least popular chapters of Scripture.  It is not particularly favored by Christian women.  There are at least three reasons.  Most obvious is the fact that Titus 2 speaks to men and women separately… because we were created equal, but not the same.   Painfully obvious is the part about women “submitting” to their husbands.  (Ouch.)  But, a third reason that Titus 2 may be dismissed or ignored is that older women are instructed by God to mentor younger women.  Oh my!  How is an older woman — who has not made right choices; who has had an abortion or lived with a man not her husband; who has been abused, or become addicted, or suffers depression — going to mentor a younger woman?

This weekend, at a Titus 2 Retreat, we’ll be talking about why an older woman (in age, experience, or spiritual maturity) might feel too intimidated to mentor.

I’ve heard older women say, “I can’t mentor!”  But, every one of us mentors… at any given moment… whether we realize it or not.  We are mentoring some kind of faith, lifestyle, or way of thinking.  We are being an example… of something.

There is a reason God calls an older woman to mentor the younger.

Let’s push aside all of her past circumstances, sins, fears, and failures.  If she is a new person in Christ, she is forgiven and set free to live in a way that glorifies God.  In 1 Timothy 5:9-14, we read that the Church was to distinguish older widows from younger widows.  The older woman is distinguished by her “faithfulness” and “reputation for good works.”  She is distinguished if she has “been the wife of one husband, brought up her children, shown hospitality, washed the feet (served) the saints, cared for the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work.”

The younger widow, however, is different.  She is more easily drawn away from Christ by her romantic passions (v. 11).  She may be more easily tempted away from the “faith” (Greek: “oath” or “solemn promise”) if she had promised not to remarry, or to abide by the Christian faith and teaching.  The young widow (v. 13) without a father, husband, children, or a job might be prone to social problems such as being idle, falling to gossip and the behavior of a busybody, or losing control of her tongue.  The Church was to encourage young widows to “marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary (Satan) no occasion for slander” (v. 14).

In what way would the young widow, perhaps more easily influenced by the world, be helped?  By the mentoring of an older, experienced, spiritually mature woman.  A woman who had also been wrongly influenced, but was brought out of darkness into light.   Who was rescued from the mess of life and covered by Jesus’ robe of righteousness.  The older woman is not distinguished because she is sinless, but because she has learned to trust God.  Not be deceived by silly myths.  Have faith in God’s created order.  And keep her eyes on the Cross of Jesus Christ.

An older woman does not need to fear being a mentor.  Her very experience — from floundering and failing to recognition of her identity as a treasure of Christ — makes her an instrument in God’s hand.  Using God’s Word, she becomes an example of humility.  Service.  Patience.  Self-control.  Hope.

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A woman who faces the reality of her abortion is in need of someone else whom God has named.  That person is you.  It is me.  We are her friends.  Comforters.  Encouragers.  We are imitators of the Good Shepherd who walks beside the heavy-hearted through a dark valley toward “goodness and mercy.”  A mother who mourns the loss of her child needs a Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18).

You and I must take care not to soften the seriousness of sin.  This devalues the magnitude of God’s forgiveness, bought and paid for by the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ.  At the center of our forgiveness stands the Cross of Christ.  Forgiveness is costly.  Our forgiveness cost the innocent Son of God His life.  There is no forgiveness without blood being shed, without paying a price, without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  But, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, sin cannot defeat us.

Peter, a follower of Jesus, sinned greatly, but he confessed his sin and received God’s forgiveness.  Through Jesus’ forgiveness the Holy Spirit enabled Peter to live a changed life.  That same power of the Holy Spirit works through the Gospel to change our lives — to enable us to live lives that reflect God’s love for us and withstand the temptation of Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh.

You and I can love and accept people burdened by their sin, but only God, in Christ, can heal them.  A woman who’s suffered an abortion may believe that God has forgiven her, but has difficulty forgiving herself.  Jesus is the key that opens the door and sets all sinners free.  What was the process for David in Psalm 51?  David was sorry for his sin, confessed that sin, turned from that sin, received God’s forgiveness, and was restored from sin.  Then he rejoiced over God’s healing touch of forgiveness and was eager to witness to others of God’s great forgiveness.  You and I can assure those who grieve that the memory of their aborted child will remain with them, but,

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Word of Hope is a ministry of hope and healing after abortion.  I have volunteered with this ministry for many years.  We know that God has called each child by name.  We grieve their loss, but entrust them to God.  We also know that He has called every mother, father, grandparent, and care-giving friend by name.  May we encourage all in a manner that honors the One who named us.

If you would like to talk with Grace Kern at Word of Hope,
please call (888) 217-8679 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (888) 217-8679      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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