A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

July 16, 2022

The Word From the Lord is "Restored Families"


That is what I heard in my spirit as I asked Jesus how we can save this nation. That may sound confusing or too simple to some, but it cannot be denied that we have been seeing the deterioration of the American family for some time now. God's plan for the family unit has degenerated from the Biblical model He established as a father, mother, and children to become any combination the human mind can imagine ... two fathers or two mothers with science-enhanced children; children who choose to change gender; children born outside of wedlock, and far too many one-parent families.  Furthermore, children were called blessings by God, and He instructed His creation to "be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and govern it". But men sacrificed their children to idols, and children became a commodity; to be eliminated when desired. God grieved then ... and He grieves now.

You see, the Bible chronicles the effects of disobedience so well. And although it might seem an exaggeration, the Word shows us that it only takes one generation to abandon the morality established by God in order for a nation to fall away from Him. The result of this rebellion is the absence of the Presence of God, and a generation that loses His blessings as they choose to follow other gods. The great English theologian John Wesley stated it perfectly: "What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace". There has been a continual sliding away from Godly principles towards lives that mimic the temptations of the world. 

When this nation was founded, the majority of the country looked to the Bible when establishing its laws and governmental structure, its educational systems, and the accepted conduct of society. And the nation flourished. But just like ancient Israel, when one generation begins abandoning God and His commandments, disobedience becomes the norm, and the next generation no longer knows the boundaries that holiness establishes. It happened over and over again in the Bible... the people would rebel, God would rebuke them and turn them over to the consequences of their choices and the idolization and worship of false gods became the pattern. They would repent, God would forgive them and bless them and they would again prosper until another generation began corrupting God's guidelines and the moral decay would start all over again.

Nothing is different here in modern-day America. And this pattern is easy to see among our own families and generations.  Two generations ago, families attended church together; they knew the Lord and the history of faith in their bloodlines. Today, it is rare for the Millennial generation to declare faith in a God they've never known, or to acknowledge that they are bowing down to the false gods of our culture: entertainment, technology, social media, material wealth, sex, or politics. 

But who is to blame for this decline in our families, culture, and nation? In the Bible it was the parents and the priests. Same thing now ... for the 246 years this nation has existed, it has been the parents and the pastors who kept us on track. But one only has to look at how both of those turned from the God of the Bible [as their guide] and began to conform to the dictates of the world. The parents lost their way, turning the instruction of their children over to the programs of godless universities. The churches lost their way, allowing the government to determine what they could teach and preach. And both became part of a nation that once followed the ways of the Lord, but no longer knew Him and did evil in His sight. We have a generation whose god is their phone and Social Media -- it is where they get their morals, their identity, and their value. 

Ancient Israel always seemed to have a king who rose up and returned the people to the Most High God. This ruler would remind the people of all God had done for them; he would remind people of their history with God. I fear that we have a more difficult struggle because our history is being revised, rewritten and erased. The Kingdom of God is a concept to be ridiculed and mocked. And too often, it has become a buzz word in the Church as the latest theme for evangelism; it's trendy, but no real staying power. Where are the Spurgeons, the Tozers, the Moodys? Although I am greatly heartened as I see individual Christians and the remnant fervently seeking to make the Kingdom a reality, we need to see Church unity become a force for real change in the moral foundation of this country.

Also, I think we have forgotten that we serve a jealous God. He is Jehovah Qanna. He will not stand for any rival. He is not envious; that signifies greed. Our God possesses righteous jealousy because of the Goodness of His love for us, His children, and His relationship with us. He desires our worship because He deserves it; He is the best thing for us. And if we are worshiping anything besides Him, we are headed down a path to destruction.

So, it is time for us to repent and return to the path of righteousness in this nation. And it starts with restoring our families! God will once again bless this nation with His righteousness and prosperity when we dedicate ourselves to raising up a generation that will abandon the ways of the world to follow Him, and Him only! This nation can be redeemed when our churches start equipping their members to resist the secular culture; teach the children [in spite of what Twitter or Facebook says] that all gods are not the same; throw off the shackles of government; and actually GO OUT to disciple and baptize in the Name of Jesus!

Let us not see the name of America be dragged through the mud any longer. Let us fortify the next generation with the Truth of the Word so that they might know the Lord. And it starts with the family. Enemies of God have always found it easy to corrupt a God-fearing nation when the people get lax about securing faith for the next generation. It is up to us to begin restoring our generations to a knowledge of the One True God. Without Him, we will continue to compromise and fall for the lies of false prophets. It is time we declare that we have the power of the Holy Spirit with us and in us! We can overcome the rebellion against God and re-establish our greatness when we restore our families. Let those with ears to hear, receive the Word from the Lord!

Psalm 71:18   Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim Your power to this new generation, Your mighty miracles to all who come after me.


December 22, 2020

Why It's Important To Teach Your Children To Remember Their History

For the past couple of days, I have been listening for the Holy Spirit to guide me about what I am to bring to you in this post. And I'm always surprised as that thought pops into my head when I least expect it. I was driving the back roads of our rural South Texas, and I instantly recognized the Spirit's prompting. And I became convicted of the importance of my assignment. Interestingly, it echoes His counsel from as far back as what I was prompted to write in 2012 and 2017. Apparently, the Lord has deemed that this concept is extremely important for us to grasp at this time. So I will be obedient to His prompting....

I know that many [if not most] of you reading this post are in the midst of preparing to celebrate Christmas. And I'm pretty sure that this year, the Christian holiday is viewed through a different lens. There will not be many families who have not suffered a loss in 2020 due to Covid-19. Whether it is loss of a family member, or the loss of a job, or the soul-impacting loss of hope, it may be difficult to focus on the "peace and good will towards men" message of our Savior's birth. Through what has most likely been a painful and/or confusing process, each of us has had to come to a place in our spirit and our heart where we have determined how we are going to live in the changing dynamics of our world. 

So, I would like to share what Moses spoke to the Israelites as they faced a daunting and frightening future, while preparing to enter the Promised Land: "But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May His miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives! Tell your children and your grandchildren about the glorious miracles He did. Tell them especially about the day you stood before the Lord at Mount Horeb, and He told me, ‘Summon the people before Me and I will instruct them, so that they will learn always to reverence Me, and so that they can teach My laws to their children" (Deuteronomy 4:9-10).

I believe that as we Baby Boomers come to terms with the possible scenarios of 2021 and beyond, our youngest adult generation, Generation Y.1 (a subset of the "Millennial Generation, and aged 24-29), are struggling the most with how to navigate the minefield that is our future. And I believe we, along with the generation that followed us [Generation X] have done them a disservice. Let me explain... In February 2012, just two months after I began writing this blog, I wrote this: "It is becoming more and more apparent to me that our children are no longer learning from us.  When I was growing up, I can remember listening to the stories of my grandmothers, and loving to hear the history of my parents." 

You see, I heard my ancestor's personal testimonies of poverty during the Depression; the sudden loss of a young husband and the need to provide for 5 small children by taking in laundry and doing sewing repairs; the loss of 3 infant babies to "consumption", and many more stories of personal devestation. My father told me tales of his grandmother, who remembered traveling as a young girl in a covered wagon to escape Tennessee and the "advancing Yankees".  They dug up the silverware from it's burial place, and left it all behind to start anew. And I knew his own story of signing up for the Navy at 17 (with his parents' permission) after Pearl Harbor, and fighting in the Pacific as a turret gunner in a low-level strafer and bomber (Ventura PV-1). And I have a permanent record [written down by my 94-year-old aunt) of what kind of man my grandfather I never knew was; his principles and the high esteem in which others regarded him.

My point in recounting all this?  I have a standard to live by because I was raised on the memories of the courage and the moral values of my ancestors. I wanted to learn everything I could from those who came before me. I wanted to learn from their experiences. I wanted to feel that I could be as brave and determined as they were in the face of adverse circumstances. And I have a feeling that, very soon, I am going to have the opportunity to prove myself worthy of their legacies.  

But perhaps, among my most valuable possession is the family Bible, which dates back to 1814.  In it are recorded the births, marriages and deaths of the long line of people that leads to me. It is a reminder that life in this world can be harsh, and it shows me that my existence is not all about me. And that brings me back to my concern for our youngest generations. They don't seem to care about knowing where they came from; instead, they are willing to follow whatever the latest celebrity or media guru tells them they should feel, think or say. And I'm afraid our couple of generations of prosperity have brought an expectation by Generation Y.1 that "Easy Street" is not only their right, but that it will continue unabated.

If you asked them to tell you what they've learned from their parents or grandparents, could they tell you?   Have we handed over the responsibility of forming our children's identity to some nameless entity that knows better than we do?  And most importantly, do they know that it is not all about them?  That the rewards of this life come from working hard, helping others, overcoming adversity, and giving all the glory to our God?

And it is precisely because we've been such a prosperous nation post-World War II, that the American mindset became all about giving our children everything it was possible to give them. We made it all about them, as we left the memories of our family histories behind. The Enemy convinced us that we didn't want them to suffer lack, or discouragement, or difficulties, and we lost sight of the tremendous value of sharing [and experiencing] those very aspects of life. That's why God spends so much time in His Word reminding us to remember! It is through our shared and deliberately remembered history that we are able to see our role in our present conflicts. When we forget our history, we forget that we possess, within our DNA, the memories of how to overcome the obstacles, oppression, and struggles the devil puts in our way. When we lose those memories, we don't really know we are or who we came from, or what our present role is to be. And more importantly, we lose whose we are. 

God admonished Moses to remind the Israelites to remember all He had done for them; the miracles of their survival through horrendous persecution. Have we taught our children and grandchildren of all the ways God has seen us through our own trials and tribulations, or shared the stories of their grandparents or great-grandparents? Or have we chosen to shelter them from anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or that might be too difficult for them to handle? If so, then finding their way through our uncertain future is going to be difficult for them. But it's not too late! It's time to become deliberate and attentive to remembering! Teach your young children the stories in the Bible of God's people overcoming their obstacles, and then relate it to your own family history. And we must begin to amend the lack of "remembering" that we didn't teach our young Millennial adults. It's time they begin to understand that what they've "learned" from technology and social media does not compare to the power of God's works in their family histories. 

Each of us has a story to tell --- and that story helps define our morals, our value systems, and our successes in life. By the Grace of God, I owe whatever strength of mind and character I have to the examples that were passed down to me.  What are we passing down to the next generation? PLEASE take the time to tell your children and grandchildren about overcoming difficulties; and teach them how to think for themselves. They have inherited a rich history of resiliency and fortitude. That is the American legacy. Teach them to embrace it. They are going to need it!

Psalm 78:2-4   A parable and a proverb are hidden in what I say—an intriguing riddle from the past. We’ve heard true stories from our fathers about our rich heritage. We will continue to tell our children and not hide from the rising generation the great marvels of our God—His miracles and power that have brought us all this far.

September 25, 2019

When "The Church" Does Nothing, Someone Else Will Write Our Laws

     I wish I could take credit for the title of this blog post today, but this is actually a statement made by Dutch Sheets, a pastor and Executive Director of Christ for the Nations. And, oh, how prophetic is this statement becoming. It has never been made more clear than in the proceedings surrounding the AISD (Austin Independent School District) Board of Directors and their proposed curriculum for middle school students.
     Texas Values is a website whose purpose is to preserve and advance a culture of family values in the state of Texas through Biblical, Judeo-Christian principles by ensuring that Texas is a state in which religious liberty flourishes, families prosper, and every human life is valued. But when they exposed Austin ISD’s plans to adopt a radical new pro-abortion and pro-LGBT sex-education curriculum for grades 3rd-8th, it was time to take a stand.
     Texas Values reports that the curriculum, called "Get Real", was created by Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider and encourages students to engage in "role-play" scenarios that would then be graded by a teacher. One situation includes two girls who act out as lesbians having oral sex; another situation encourages students to pretend to be drunk. Here are some other proposed scenarios:
     Students engaged in this curriculum are discouraged from using words like "mom and dad" or "male and female". The curriculum promotes the use of "Gender Inclusive Language", saying "It is important to avoid terms which refer only to "male" or "female" identities as this can limit their understanding of gender into binaries and can exclude children who may not identify within these identities. For example, when discussing family members or adults they may have in their lives, try not to only use terms like "mom" or "dad". Try integrating terms like "parents" or "guardians" to include children whose parents might not fit into "traditional" concepts of family structures. Additionally, when discussing topics such as unsafe touch, try not to use gendered examples. Instead of saying something like, "If a man tries to touch you", use the gender neutral term "person", or even "someone you may know".  Can you believe this?!?!
     The proposed curriculum also suggests that students be given a sexual orientation vocabulary test on words like "pansexual", "bisexual", "asexual", and "homophobia". Texas Values also highlights some of their other concerns regarding this disturbing curriculum:
•  It teaches children how to enter into romantic relationships with adults
•  Promotes homosexuality and "gender fluidity" as early as elementary school
•  Teaches children that not having a crush in life means that their sexual orientation is questioning and indoctrinates them to choose a “sexual orientation” before they develop romantic attraction.
     I have to say that as alarming as this proposed curriculum is, it is equally disturbing that we have even come this far in perverting our culture. I can remember back in the 1990's listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger warning on her radio program that the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was trying to infiltrate our public libraries with their pedophile and pederasty agenda and activism. And as morally offensive as that organization is, I am also deeply distressed over the lack of safeguarding and protection offered by "The Church".
     Don't get me wrong, I am deeply proud of efforts by the Austin group calling themselves "Concerned Parents", along with Texas Values, and my Kingdom-of-God-minded friends at Luke 4:18 Ministries in Austin who showed up to protest these curriculum changes at the AISD hearing a couple of days ago. I praise the Lord for your faithfulness in representing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth! May He continue to strengthen your resolve as you battle against this "Beast System".
     But I have to ask ... how did it ever get this far? Where has The Church been? And why isn't the Church standing toe-to-toe with these concerned parents? Oh, yeah .... there's that nasty 501(c)3 designation, isn't there? They can't get involved with anything that is aligned with State Government, such as school curriculum, due to the supposed separation of church and state.
     So, can you see how serving two gods has allowed moral depravity to enter into our culture; and now our schools? But you see, Jesus never called for "The Church". He said He would build His "Ekklesia", which is supposed to be the righteous governing body of believers on the earth to promote and protect God's style of government -- His Heavenly government. But instead, The Church protects its own interests while our children are exposed to ever-expanding un-Godlike ideas and practices. How do you think our Father in Heaven feels about what our/His children are being introduced to? We will be held accountable!
     So, I just want to finish by expressing this simple prayer: Father, I pray that You will strengthen Your remnant who have answered the call to rise up to their responsibilities as Kingdom citizens and stand for the innocence of these precious children. We see the agenda of the Enemy and we oppose it in the spirit and in the Board Room. We bind the spirit of Baphomet who yearns to ensnare children in his depravity and wickedness. We decree and declare that Austin and the state of Texas will be the forerunners in defeating this evil curriculum across our nation, and that the heavenly host will join Your remnant in this important battle. Furthermore, we plead the blood of Jesus upon the Board meeting next month. And in the power and authority given to all believers by our Lord and Savior, we bind the lies, propaganda, and money sourcing behind this curriculum, and loose the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal Your Truth and Your strategy to defeat this evil scheme. Thank you, in advance, Father, that You go before us in this battle in the state of Texas. We are trusting You in this important matter. Amen!

Mark 9:42     But if anyone abuses one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a heavy boulder tied around his neck and be hurled into the deepest sea than to face the punishment he deserves!   

October 24, 2018

Satan's Focus: The Family

     There are days when the tactics of Satan to absolutely destroy God's divine design for the family are hard to ignore. The other day I clearly saw it on Facebook. Now, I don't spend a lot of time on social media because I don't want to become addicted or obsessed with it, but I do enjoy the spiritual encouragement that many of my friends display on the site, so I will periodically check to see what they are saying. But on this particular day, I came across a post by someone who was lamenting their status as an only child.
     This person was making a statement that "the older they got, the weirder they felt about not having siblings". What complicates this person's social position is that they are in their mid-30's, an only child who is contemplating growing older, with aging parents, and living as a transgender individual. I felt his sadness and yes, a sense of questioning, in his statement. What would his life had been like if he had had brothers or sisters? Our parents inevitably pass away and we are left without their guidance and support. Would siblings have understood his decision to become transgender, and would they have continued supporting him, or is he destined to traverse the remainder of his life alone in uncertain and controversial circumstances?
     First of all, I admit that I cannot comprehend the lies that a person hears from the devil to convince them that they should go through painful and complicated surgeries to change the sex they were born to. I keep going back to the Scripture that says, Should the thing that was created say to the One who created it, "Why have you made me like this? (Romans 9:20). Yet I know that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and that can happen within the womb. I will tell you that, in our Inner Healing Ministry, we have heard more than one testimony of a Beloved who felt rejected in the womb. Although the conception of a child is a miracle from God, is Satan able to influence the self-identity of a fetus through deception and lies stemming from rejection and unwantedness? We know that whatever the Enemy means for evil, God can use for good. If we know our identity as a child of God, there is no confusion. But we also know that our human pride, arrogance, and rebellion will fight against God's perfect will for our lives and cause doubt, uncertainty, and most undoubtedly, confusion. So, it was with immense sadness that I sensed some regret and actual fear as this person faced a future that might find him without any family.
     But my feelings didn't stop there. I was actually shocked at the responses that his post inspired. The overwhelming consensus was that no one felt they were blessed by having siblings! The comments ranged from "It's not really that special [having siblings]" to "I feel bad for my spawn as they lose each other to age. That sounds worse than being an 'only'. Less sadness behind me". Still others commented, "No siblings are better than lousy ones. My sister is bi-polar and my brother is a Republican. I'm not sure which is worse", and "The only thing I have in common with my siblings is our parents. I know we wouldn't be friends or like each other if we weren't family". Finally, one of the biggest concerns among all of the respondents was the fear that they would be left to take care of an aging parent or a disabled sibling when the parents died. The lack of compassion and mercy was regrettable and shameful. At the same time, I understood that most of these remarks were coming from a community of people who identified with his gender confusion and had no relationship with their Creator.
     What has happened to the familial bonds that God established? It is with profound heartache that I read these comments from people who will obviously never know the benefits of family -- the loyalty, the dependability, the devotion of people who share your heritage, memories, and if you are lucky enough to have faithful parents, the spiritual instruction to last a lifetime.
     It further saddens me that so many families have been limited by abortion; a definite satanic stronghold in our culture. But I find hope and optimism as I witness the Christian families around me who have multiple children and are raising them as a picture of the divine family of God. They exemplify the joining together of humans to honor and worship the Lord; ministering to each others' needs and encouraging each other to be all they can be for Christ.
     Satan has successfully corrupted our culture and society, and I'm afraid the loneliness portrayed on Facebook will only increase if we do not humble ourselves, confess our sins, repent and turn back to fulfilling God's purposes for us here on the earth. He established marriage, and the family unit helps to secure the marriage relationship, the Godly covenant that Satan hopes to destroy. As the oldest of five siblings, I can see that we are all different; our interests, politics and levels of faith are all different. We live hundreds of miles from each other, but we are making an effort to stay connected now that our parents are gone. I may not agree with them about everything, but I love them. We are supporting each other in our aging years and there is just something about being connected to someone who shares your memories and experiences. It is a bond that we are carefully nurturing and will not abandon.
     But is family limited to those who share your DNA? The answer for me is an unequivocal, "No". Mark and I are blessed with varied "families" with whom we are united in life experiences, and those with whom we share a sure and proven faith. These relationships are honored, reliable, unfailing and founded in mutual love and trust. Our "families" -- both genetic and chosen -- are valued and respected. They are gifts from God and not to be destroyed by Satan's lies, deception, or corruption. May we become culturally sensitive to the fading family unit. May we become spiritually convicted to re-establish what God intended among the peoples of the earth. And may we recognize the loneliness of those who don't know their Father God; praying that they will be drawn to Him and His desire to receive them into His divine family; knowing He is the Source of their existence.

Ephesians 3:14-15    "So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth".

December 21, 2016

We Need More Godly Men

     This is going to be a very personal post.  Thirty years ago today, I married the man God had planned for me.  I had just about given up that there could be such a man, having learned from my mistakes in other relationships that I would not settle for less than I deserved.  I will admit that I didn't truly know my Lord at that time in my life. I mean, I knew He was real, and I had internalized all the basic Church knowledge of Him; but I didn't know Him as my Savior.  But He was knocking on the door of my heart, and I was on the verge of answering His call on my life.
     Nearly simultaneously, my future husband entered my life.  A genuine friendship would be established before any thoughts of romance or marriage surfaced.  By that time, I was seeking God, and I instinctively knew that this young man was going to be a good and Godly man.  His faith was rock solid, and we both wanted a deeper and committed relationship with God. We may have been taking baby steps, but we were on our way!
     We had a lovely, small wedding, in a friend's home before their fireplace. We both knew we wanted to be married in the eyes of God, but since we didn't belong to a church, we weren't sure how to make that happen.  After several disappointing phone calls to various churches whose pastors refused to marry us because we weren't regular members of any church, I remembered a new church being pastored by a young minister I had liked in college.  That church would receive us and we soon became members, following the traditional path of Believers -- church every Sunday, joining a Sunday School class, and emerging ourselves in the social life of the congregation.
     But that's when God got ahold of us and began to show us that "traditional" and "conventional" was not the path He had planned for us.  And that's when He began transforming my husband from an exemplary man into a Godly man.  Let me try to explain what that looked like...
     I can remember deciding that the one real way to get to know who my God is, was to read His Word.  I began a diligent study of the Bible and wondered why, when my husband grew up in the Church more than I did, that he didn't have a hunger to read and study the Bible, too.  I asked him that question once, and although he couldn't really give me an answer, it wasn't long before I noticed him beginning his own study, and in a manner that told me he was sincere. Although initially following our own individual paths, we soon began pursuing our Lord diligently, conscientiously, and together. And that's when my husband began his journey as a Godly man.
     He took the lead and assumed his Biblical role as head of our home. He began challenging his own belief system, and where it was incompatible with the Bible, he wasn't afraid to dig in to try and discover God's will in the matter, rather than man's interpretation.  He was not passive in questioning church doctrine, nor was he too prideful or stubborn. Through "iron sharpening iron", he was open to changing his opinion; all he wanted was God's Truth.
     And, of course, a Godly man is not afraid to speak out. It is my husband's sincere belief that to be silent in covering up sin, is a sin in itself. And when the Holy Spirit began convicting us that our beloved church of 20 years was compromising in their duties as God's instrument on earth, he was courageous in speaking up and demanding accountability. He was beginning to live out his fear of God, rather than fearing his reputation among men.
     As anyone who has stood up to centuries of Church Doctrine knows, it can be a lonely position. But my husband has stood strong in defense of God's Word and has not backed down when attacked, criticized, challenged, or ostracized. A Godly man knows that his path may be a solitary one; yet he is willing to undergo abuse for the sake of the Truth -- even from fellow Believers.
     But perhaps one of the things I admire and respect most about this man who has shared my life for 30 years is that he has made it his goal to live a truly righteous and humble life. He has battled those things in his spirit and soul that he knows separates him from his God. He is diligent in his confession and repentance of those sins, and views his service to others for the Kingdom of God as his priority in life.  The business of earning a living, and meeting the obligations of his life here on earth will be taken care of by the God whom He seeks first. I must admit that he often shames me how easily he puts his trust and confidence in God.
     These are the main characteristics of a Godly man, but a life lived fully in service to our God manifests itself in all areas of our existence.  A Godly man is aware of what he lets into his mind; he is careful to avoid stimuli that lead to sin.  Instead he seeks to discipline his mind, in an earnest desire to possess the mind of Christ.  A Godly man knows that you can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly, because you cannot be influenced by that which you do not know.
     Relationships in a Godly man's life are lived according to Biblical instruction; as a husband, he loves his wife as God loves His church; as a father, he does not provoke his children to anger, but brings them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
     A Godly man has integrity; nearly a lost concept in today's world of selfish manipulation and compromise.  But a man's character, conscience, and deep intimacy with God are hallmarks of a man who has the courage to keep his word and stand up for his convictions.
     A Godly man recognizes that the vocation he has chosen is an opportunity to glorify his God. I am proud to say that my husband's creativeness and talent speak volumes of the discipline and honor he bestows on each painting he creates.  He has always said that it is his job to get up each morning and paint the best he can, and the Lord will take care of providing everything else.
     I know there are some who will say that a Godly man is a man who enjoys good standing in a Church; a man who gives of his time, talent and treasure for the Lord. But I don't see where the Bible instructs a man to be in a church building every Sunday as part of his commission for Christ. My husband lives by the Scripture that says where two or more are gathered, the Lord is there -- and he never forsakes the assembling together with other Christians to study, worship, and build relationship with his Savior. Every day is an opportunity to meet with the Lord, every open door is an opportunity to fellowship with Believers and nonbelievers alike; all for the sake of telling others of the glorious salvation through Christ!
     Those are the characteristics of a Godly man ... and I'm more than blessed to see them in the person of the man I married 30 years ago today. He has given me his love, support, and encouragement.  He has made me laugh when I wanted to express anger; and his pure and humble love of my Lord and Savior has made me cry.  His honesty has given me the precious gift of trusting him; his strength has made me feel secure; and his compassion for others has allowed me to see his pure heart.   We have grown a lot in the last 30 years -- from two individuals who barely knew the Lord to a couple who has grown, as one, into a new creation. I know we are not unique or better than the millions of other couples the Lord has brought together unto His service. I just know how incredibly blessed we are, and I do not take it for granted. But I am excited to begin the 31st year together with this incredible man who has taught me the meaning of unselfish devotion and never-ending love.  Happy Anniversary, to the best husband God could have given me! And thank you, Father God, for the blessing of this divine union of spirits and flesh!

Song of Songs 5:16    This is my beloved. This is my friend...

November 30, 2015

We Are Family...

     As I sit here contemplating what I have discerned during my brief time away from this blog, I would say it is this.... That I have realized just how important it is to never lose my focus on loving people and God.  As I reread those words, I know they sound overused and appear to lack originality or a fresh perspective, but let me elaborate.
      For the last four years I have dedicated each day to being alert and aware of what is happening on the world stage, because like all of you, I see what a scary place it is becoming.  I have felt a calling to try to bring both clarity to what I see, and a reassurance that God is still Sovereign and in control.  I have tried to look at events and situations through a Biblical lens to try to understand the implications for our spiritual lives and how we are to glorify our Lord.
      But for the last 5 or 6 days, I have intentionally shifted my focus away from the world and centered it on individual people.  I refused to let the mounting tensions of terrorism, racial division, government corruption, or any of the other news stories that permeate our everyday existence interfere with connecting with the people in my life.
     I was aware that all the disorder and mayhem was still swirling out in the world, and could not escape references to Russia, Syria, Planned Parenthood, gun control, and tension in Chicago, but I refused to let it permeate my sphere.  In effect, I took a mental and emotional break, and I found that concentrating on Jesus's two great foundational commandments -- loving the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind; and loving others before myself -- transported my soul to a place that transcended all the world chaos.  And what peace and rest I found!
     Instead of having one eye on family and one on world events, I was able to immerse myself into deeper engagements with people -- not news headlines, not current events blogs, and not the actions of those who would destroy my country or way of life.  It was a time of real connection with neighbors, individual family members, and my husband.  And it was all independent of how the world was effecting us.  It was deep conversations about goals; it was sharing intimate moments and memories; it was engaging in activities for the sheer fun of it, and most importantly it was about exploring our God and discovering new insights for both old Believers and new Christians.  I think I was experiencing real thankfulness and the true human experience.
     And in the midst of it, I received such blessings and saw God at work!  I watched Him work through the people we chose to surround ourselves with; both those related by flesh and blood and those linked through the blood of Jesus.  Friends who are going through some changes in their personal life were invited to join in our Thanksgiving celebration, as were friends who have become like family.  And the greatest blessing of all for me was the presence of my cousin's son, who spent the entire weekend with us.  I have just recently "found" him, so to speak.  His mother and I were part of a close family growing up.  We both grew up in Illinois and then I went off to college in Texas.  The last time I saw her was at my wedding nearly 29 years ago, and before she moved to California after her own college graduation.  Needless to say, life then got in the way, and our paths just never seemed to cross.
     Then out of the blue, she calls me in September and says her son is going to school here in Texas on a football scholarship.  Naturally, I was more than excited to reconnect with her and get to know her son.  When I saw her walk through that door, it was like all the years melted away, and I have since been so sad at all the wasted time.  Her son said he was glad to know he had family in Texas and it was a foregone conclusion that he would spend his Thanksgiving break with us.  Needless to say, I know that God does things in His own timing, and I am now convinced that our reunion was a Divine Appointment!  My husband and I spent the weekend getting to really know him; laughing together; relating family history; and best of all, many long conversations about our shared faith.
     I have been given so much hope that God is still at work in our youth and our nation.  His inquisitive mind is asking all the right questions about God and about the purpose for his life in these times; about the bigger concepts of God that he has not heard in the Church; his knowledge that God is a God of not only Love, Grace, and Mercy, but of Justice and Judgment; and yes, even questions about the relationship of the fallen angels, the Nephilim, and the space aliens that his generation is so interested in.  At 21, he is light years beyond what my understanding was at that age and wants more knowledge about the God Most High.  He is an exceptional young man and I'm looking forward to having him in our lives.
     So, as I reflect back over the weekend and my "time off", I am not only grateful for the rest and respite, but so thankful for the opportunity God gave my spirit to revel in the renewed connections with my family and friends.  And I want to extend that concept of family, because it not only included those in my physical presence, but those of you who take the time to connect with me through this blog.  Because you are family, too.  I really know what the term "the family of man" means now, and I am so appreciative to God for allowing me to see where my priorities lie.
     I needed these few days off.  I am refreshed and revived and full of hope.  Yes, I will continue to engage in our conversations about what is going on in the world...  in effect, we need to because, after all, we cannot ignore the plans, lies and deceit perpetrated by the Enemy.  But I have a greater sense of our purpose, and how we are to live our lives to glorify our God.  I hope to maintain this new sense of optimism, even as I know I must immerse myself back into dissecting the world and its ramifications for God's kingdom.  I will continue to look at the ugliness with which Satan is infusing the world, and I will persist in revealing how I think God wants us to take our stand.  But, at this very moment, I am at peace in my spirit and I know this is where Jesus wants me.  So, we will move forward together, knowing that the presence of God is ever before us.  We will be grateful for each day He gives us, showing His love toward others and appreciating the Divine favor He shows us.  The giving of thanks .... that is what it was all about, and I don't want to ever lose sight of that.

Psalm 26:3    "For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness."

October 17, 2015

Advice For The Daughter In All Of Us

It's not often that I run across an article that says something that I feel should be shared in its entirety.  But in this day, when raising children is beset with all kinds of misinformation through social media and our education system, it is refreshing to see a father give some sensible advice to his daughter.  There are a few things that I would like to add to his recommendations, and I will do that at the conclusion of his commentary.  But, to begin, I would like to introduce John LeFevre, a former Wall Street banker, who left the industry to become a writer for, among others, Business Insider and the Huffington Post.  If I am correct, I believe Mr. LeFevre writes from a secular perspective, yet this article, written for his daughter, offers some logical and well-grounded council.  

     When it comes to our kids, we seem totally lost. It’s not just that millennials tend to be these narcissistic, overly sensitive, entitled kids who are unable to cope with the realities of life, it’s that we’re the ones enabling this dreary, flaccid, cultural malaise.
     So far this year on college campuses, we’ve seen the banning of phrases like “land of opportunity” because they might be offensive; the removal of the American flag from “safe zones” because it endorses American superiority; and the canceling of screenings of “American Sniper” for fear of offending Muslim students. Teachers are even afraid to give low grades because of their students’ emotional fragility.
     What kind of adults are we raising them to be? Look no further than the advice the New York Times recently prescribed for being a modern man, which included such absurdities as owning a melon baller and a shoe horn, while sanctimoniously dismissing guns. And the advice that young woman are getting from a media enamored by social justice warriors is even worse – politically correct, unrealistic and even dangerous.
     Since I wrote a book about deviance and debauchery on Wall Street that included anecdotes about the celebrated misogyny and objectification of women in the workplace, I get snidely asked all the time, “What are you going to say to your daughter?”  So, now that I have a daughter, [and] here’s my advice for her:
1.     Stand up straight.
2.     Know how to change a tire, but whenever possible, let a man to do it for you.
3.     Your physical appearance matters. That’s the world we live in, and it’s also how we’re wired.
4.      Inner beauty — intelligence, personality, confidence and a sense of humor — becomes more important as you get older. Wit never sags.
5.     You are more beautiful than you will ever give yourself credit for.
6.     It’s my job to keep you safe. That’s why it’s also my job to teach you how to use a gun.
7.     Take good care of your skin.
8.     Don’t worry about dieting. Eat healthy, exercise, drink in moderation and everything will fall into place.
9.     Gender is not a social construct. Embrace the differences between men and women.
10.   Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain.
11.   It’s safe to assume that almost every guy you meet wants to sleep with you.
12.   If anyone says it’s OK to be fat, they’re lying to you.
13.   Let him pay for dinner most of the time.
14.   Just because you can fit into that tiny dress doesn’t mean you should wear it.
15.   Don’t sleep around.
16.   Play sports. You’ll probably run, throw and fight like a girl, but that’s magnificent.
17.   Money is important. It won’t make you happy, but it solves many of the problems that will make you unhappy.
18.   You will regret getting a tattoo.
19.   If you are blessed with the gift of being able to create and shape a life — embrace it. You’ll probably find it more rewarding than any career.
20.   You have all the power over boys. Let them cherish and revere you.
21.   Ignore the boos; they usually come from the cheap seats.
22.   Don’t try to party like one of the guys. You don’t metabolize alcohol at the same rate, and that’s how bad things can happen.
23.   Success is doing whatever it is that you love, and doing it well. But… (see No. 17.)
25.   Just because your brother might go on spring break with his friends doesn’t mean you can. (See Nos. 6, 9, 11, 22.)
24.   Finally, remember that rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of a smart, strong woman.

     I would only add a couple of suggestions of my own, and they concern the spiritual life of Mr. LeFevre's daughter.  I would advise her to look beyond what this world tells her defines her as a woman.  I would hope that she sees a comparison between her relationship with her earthly father and her Heavenly one... that she seek to please Her Father in Heaven and to respect and submit to His commands, as much as she does her daddy here on earth.
     I would also tell her that there is a purpose for her life greater than the treasures that youth, beauty, and fame can bring; that God wants to work through her life to project His grace and mercy through serving others --- it is not all about her.  
     And finally, I would recommend that she seek the counsel of older, wiser women who can share their testimonies of hope and faith in a God who has protected them, strengthened them, and grown them through the ups and downs of life.  We all have stories to tell, and our experiences in our salvation process are immeasurable.  Think about it... what advice would you give?

Psalm 31:28-29:    Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

August 6, 2014

Women Against Feminism

     I will readily admit that I am not a lover of social media.  Facebook, and the like, are a convenient way to stay in touch with loved ones who live far away, but I'm just not one of those people who are obsessed with knowing every routine event in everyone's lives.  Nor do I think that anyone is really interested in my ordinary life.
     That being said, social media can be an interesting way to determine what is driving our culture, and in what direction our younger generations are moving.  There was an interesting article in National Review Online this week that proves that very point.  The title of the article was "Anti-Feminists Baffle Feminists" and it appears that there is a quite vocal group of young women who have started a hashtag campaign on social media called "Women Against Feminism".
     The Tumblr site features pictures of women holding up handmade signs explaining why they do not adhere to the extreme versions of feminism that would label them "victims" of a patriarchal society.   From what I can gather, these young women take offense at the position that being called "pretty" by a man, or having the door opened for them, or even (gasp!) choosing to stay home and raise a family instead of pursuing a career, somehow makes them the weaker sex.  They seem to reject the hard-core feminist ideology that centers around gender bias.  In fact, these "women against feminism" celebrate the differences between men and women ... they don't want to be equal in everything!
     I suppose that I can understand that the Gloria Steinem's of the feminist world would feel as if this generation was taking a step backwards.  After all, it was their life's work to convince us women of the 70's and 80's that we were miserable in this "man's world".  But I actually applaud these young women who don't want to be viewed as man-haters, or as angry, militant, and grieved parties.  They love men and believe in the intrinsic value that each gender brings to society.  That's the way God made us!
     And it's nice to see all types of young women recognizing the contributions that both men and women bring to our lives.  Some of the home-made signs read thusly:  "I don't need feminism because I'm proof that I can have a successful career and be a loving, supporting wife and mother.  I love to be in the kitchen!"  "I reject feminism because being a wife and mother is the greatest source of joy in my life.  I love and respect men and their priceless contribution to civilization.  Feminism emanates contempt for honor, grace, class, maturity, respect, and responsibility.  I am not a victim."  "I don't need feminism because I want my boys to grow up knowing what TRUE equality is."  "I don't need feminism because I like to be treated like a lady by a gentleman."
     I can almost guarantee you that the radical feminists are tearing their hair out.  But I have had my own suspicions throughout the years that the agenda of this radical feminism was to destroy (or at least re-define) the idea of family.  I can still recall the feminist mantra of my college years:  "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" (coined by Gloria Steinem).  These women urged us to make our careers more important than getting married or raising a family.  And if you were a home-maker, then you were a traitor and an embarrassment to your gender.
     I, on the other hand, have long believed in, and advocated, the Biblical model of family.  I like feeling protected by my husband; and as a child, I loved spending all my early years with my mom, learning to cook and to care for a home.  Most of all, I loved that she was waiting at the door when I got home from school.  I realize that our current economy makes it difficult for families to exist on just one salary, but I know of many young families that are making the sacrifice to put their families first.  And I am not indicting those women who work outside the home, because I am also encouraged by the number of marriages of friends where they work together to provide a strong and stable foundation for their children to grow and thrive.
     I want to stress that these modern young women do not see themselves as second-class partners in their marriages or homes.  I think that they fundamentally perceive that each gender brings something unique and valuable to the relationship; that there is no need for a "gender struggle" to feel validated.  Each and every person -- whether man or woman -- has the right to feel recognized and accepted.  There is no need to be "labeled", and no need to promote one gender over the other.  They already see themselves as smart, talented, and ambitious women.  So while this attitude may be a direct benefit from the Feminist movement in the 70's and 80's, they no longer need to distinguish themselves from the male population.  Perhaps it could be said that they accept the root concept of feminism; they just reject the word.  I salute their confidence and their way of thinking!

Ephesians 5:33     "However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

July 26, 2014

TV Is Out Of Control

     Has anyone else noted the rapidly changing landscape of American TV shows?  I just want you to know that I'm not a huge TV-watcher, so the situation has to be critical for me to even want to comment on it.  In fact, PLW and I work such long hours at our business that we usually have just a few shows during the week that we DVR and watch at night to wind down and calm our brains.
     While several of the new shows this summer season looked promising and imaginative, I have been astonished at the subject matter and in-your-face sexuality, violence and evil.  I love quirky and imaginative science fiction series.  And I have been mildly surprised at the insinuations that "other worldly" entities are among us.  (You might be surprised to know how my Biblical worldview supports that consideration -- but that's another topic for another day).  I like good, smart and knowledgeable writing on this subject matter.  But the glorification of Satanic-like creatures and demonic practices is not something that I think is entertaining.
    And why does this evil have to be coupled with pornography?  It's not even of the "soft" variety!  The second episode of a new crime thriller managed to couple satanic rituals with one of the most crude sex scenes I've ever seen.  It would have been easily rated R at any movie theater, yet here it was on during prime time.  What happened to the suggestion of sex and passion?  I don't need to see complete nudity, multiple partners, and deviant sexual behavior combined with full-on temptations from the Devil.   Needless to say, that show was deleted from our recording schedule.
     Then there was what I imagined would be a thought-provoking show about an American returning to visit his Middle Eastern roots and all the issues that would arise from the West vs. East mindset.  But that show seemed to pride itself on showing the brutality of the fictional Middle Eastern oligarchy, as well as a gratuitous and overt sex scene every chance it got.  And of course, they had to throw in a homosexual relationship between an American teenage boy and his Middle Eastern counterpart.  I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of that plot line, since it is sure to anger a large portion of Middle Eastern Americans.  That show was also deleted from the recording schedule after just two episodes.
     But it is not just the new shows that we have sworn off of.  Shows that we have watched for several years because we enjoyed the characters and the unconventional stories have, suddenly, in their fourth or fifth season determined that they needed to up the quota of violence and/or take the sexual content to a new and aberrant level.  And please don't take this the wrong way ... PLW and I are no prudes!  We probably are more accepting of different shows and subject matter that many of our faithful friends would find "questionable".  But we have noticed that we are no longer willing to tolerate images and plots that our spirits find offensive.  We don't want or need that kind of imprinting on our souls.
     I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the increasing number of commercials that feature half robot/half human characters.  It doesn't take much intelligence (of the human variety) to perceive the message:  here it comes, the computerization of the human race.  We're all set to become less than we were designed to be, and definitely not in the image of God.
     Is it just another manner in which God is removing us from this decaying culture?  And is the current crop of entertainment becoming part of the spiritual war that is assaulting our country?  If you have even an ounce of discernment, you should feel uneasy at the allusions being presented on your TV screen ... aliens/fallen angels/demons; vampires and monsters that are straight from hell ... all thrown together with a good dose of naked bodies, greed and sadistic brutality.  Is this what you want you kids to see?
     There is one show that we have grown fond of ... The Last Ship.  The storyline is plausible, and the characters are virtuous and patriotic.  In fact, this is one show that is not afraid to invoke the name and authority of God.  How refreshing to see strong men and women openly praying to God as they deal with a new crisis each week.  I don't know where these writers came from, but may their numbers multiply!

Ephesians 2:2      "You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience."

March 21, 2014

Prayer Needed For One Of Our Own

     When I received the prompting to begin writing this blog, the purpose was two-fold: to let those who found their way to this site know they were not alone in their apprehensions about the world; and to glorify our Sovereign God, who sustains us in these times of trouble.
     It has been my extreme blessing to have come to know many of you; whether through your continuous comments on my posts, or your decision to contact me on a more personal level through the email link on the site.  It has been my privilege to get to know you intimately; some of you by real names, others by pseudonyms -- either way, there has been a connection made that is real and genuine.  And you are all indeed true friends.  But there is one person who has come to represent you all, because God made it possible for us to meet in person, and to exhibit His will that we are all one in relation to each other and His body.  By arranging our union, He sealed us all together.
     From the beginning, the Green-Eyed Jinn confirmed that this blog was meant to be; that God had a purpose for it.  His erudite comments added to the substance of my words, and his loyalty and encouragement made me want to write my best.  He was the first among many of you that have become  active in contributing to the message that this blog is meant to convey.  And he joins a special group of you that have shown me God's presence in our correspondence.
     So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when he "just happened" to be visiting my part of the country on a work assignment.  My husband and I agreed to travel the two hours to have dinner with him, and it was at that first meeting that I realized that all of you are not just "virtual", computer-generated contacts, but real flesh and blood.  And we are making real relationships, and getting beyond mere formalities.  We know each other, we care about each other, and there are real connections being made.  And it is no coincidence that we have found each other.
     And now one of our "family" needs us to pray for him.  Joe (that's his real name) emailed me several weeks ago with some serious concerns about his wife, Debbie's health.  She had unexplained pain in her back that was debilitating and increasing to the point that they sought a medical opinion.  Through a series of tests, they thought they were dealing with one form of cancer, only to be told the tests were wrong and new tests would be needed.  There was a ray of hope that perhaps it wasn't as serious as they thought.
     But a few days ago I received an email from Joe that broke my heart.  The latest news from the oncologist was about as bad as it could be.  I won't go into the details, because I don't want to betray Joe's confidence, but suffice it say that he is overcome with worry.  He confided that "normal" no longer exists in their household.  He is carrying a huge burden in caring for his wife and sheltering three children from the pain of the diagnosis.  He asked me for continued prayers for his wife, but also revealed that he needs them, too.  His words, "I am devastated", tell it all.
     So that's why I am turning to you.  Joe asked me to pray for his family and I promised him that not only would I be praying, but that I would call upon all who believe in the power of our Lord to heal to join me.  I have reached out to my local Prayer Warriors, who I know will be faithful to my request.  But I will admit that I have felt inadequate in my words of comfort to Joe.
     Today, I found myself awake in the early hours before dawn; tossing and turning with Joe and Debbie on my mind and searching for ways to reassure them.  I asked God to help me find the words; to show me how I am to lift them up.  That's when the Holy Spirit said, "Take this to my Body", and I knew that all of you were the ones who could help Joe shoulder this burden.
     At times I have been overwhelmed with the number of readers of my simple blog.  And I have been astounded at the places you call home.  Just this week, you have logged in from China, Ukraine, France, Canada, Germany, Iran, the United Kingdom, Poland and Indonesia.  And at this very moment, you are reading this post from Austria, Australia and Romania.  I am not egotistical enough to think it is because of my own abilities that you have found your way to this site.  But, in my spirit, I know that it is God using this blog for His will and purpose and to glorify Himself.
     So I truly believe that if you read this blog, we are all one in the Body of Christ; we are a family of Believers.  I want to make good on my promise to Joe that he and his family will be lifted up in prayer; so will you join me, from every corner of God's world, in praying for a miracle for Debbie?  It doesn't matter that you don't have all the details, or know their last names.  God will know on whose behalf we are all interceding.  Let's astound the doctors with a miraculous healing, and show Joe that he is not alone.  And that, after all, will accomplish everything this blog is meant to be and fulfill His purpose for it.  God Bless you all!

Psalm 116:1-2    "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live."

March 8, 2014

Do You Believe Your Children Are Yours?

     If you answered "Yes" to this question, then you don't fit the new paradigm of parenting as promoted by Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC television host and political commentator.  Ms. Harris-Perry, along with her feminist progressive cohorts, feels that "we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities."  Indeed, we are all supposed to adopt a "collective notion" about our kids.
     Just what does that mean?  Well, as reported in an article on the Cybercast News Service website, the Progressive view, as promoted by Ms. H-P, is that we need to invest more in government educational programs.  In fact, Lindsay Burke, of the Heritage Foundation says that the Left would like to see "preschool programs starting with infants and toddlers, expanding programs like Head Start to include three-year olds and younger children; all with the express purpose of growing government intervention in the lives of our youngest Americans and the American family."
     If that doesn't convince you that the government wants to usurp your influence on your children, then maybe this next argument will.  Janice Crouse, a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America (CWA) presented the Heritage Foundation's stance.  “The encroachment on parental rights is unrelenting -- from the Obama Administration to college classrooms to news desks across the country,” said Crouse. “Everyone, it seems, is hopping on the bandwagon to remove children from parental influence and let teachers, television programs, video games and cultural influences shape the minds and hearts of next generations of Americans. MSNBC has assumed leadership in just laying the agenda out there and exposing the plan: the left wants to expand government to the point of taking over the raising of the nation's children.”
     I can remember a time when teachers and the school system partnered with parents in a mutually approved education plan.  Now parents are being increasingly isolated and the State sees itself as the Collective Parent.  That does not bode well for the the influences upon our children.  All you have to do is read Ms. H-P's defense of her misguided comments.  On The Huffington Post, she is quoted as saying, "This isn't about me wanting to take your kids.  This is about whether we, as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years."
     There you have it!  And I can't believe they are bold enough to admit it!  It's all about the "collective good" versus "individual freedoms" AND the right of the State to impose their will on individual citizens -- especially when They determine it benefits the collective, as a whole.  This must not be allowed to advance any further than it already has!
     And that's why Michael Farris, a lawyer and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), has formed ParentalRights.org and is raising support for a Parental Rights amendment to the Constitution.  Currently, Parental Rights are recognized as implied rights.  This amendment will allow Parental Rights to become specifically enumerated in the text of the Constitution.  In addition, the Amendment would guarantee the following to parents:  1)  Parents have a right to make reasonable choices for their child in public schools, such as opting their child out of classes the parents find objectionable. It does not give parents any power to dictate curriculum or other choices by the school for the student body at large.   2)  While Parental Rights do not include a right to commit child abuse or neglect, they are due the same high legal protection as other fundamental rights.  3)  The amendment will not apply in cases where a parent's action or decision would end life.  This exclusion was a necessity to avoid the appearance that the PRA would affect the abortion issue either way, which would make its passage a political impossibility.  4)  Neither the Senate's treaty power, nor the courts, can subject parental rights to international law.  Furthermore, federal courts would not be able to impose harmful principles of international law on parents, because the rights granted in the text of the Constitution override and overwhelm any conflicts between parental rights and international law.
     I wish Mr. Farris luck in getting this Amendment before Congress.  As the attorney for the Romeike family, the German home-schoolers who sought asylum in America, he has championed a parent's right to educate their children according to their religious beliefs.  However, the Supreme Court declined to hear the family's appeal to the U.S. Justice Department's attempts to deport them back to Germany, where they risk losing custody of their children if they continue with their home-schooling.
    While the Supreme Court's decision does not bode well for the chances of a Parental Rights Amendment, Mr. Farris confirmed to Fox News earlier this week, that the Department of Homeland Security had granted the family “indefinite deferred status."  That means the Romeike family, who claim the German government is persecuting them because they want to raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs, can stay in the United States without the threat of being forced to return to their home country.  And that decision, says Mr. Farris, "is a miracle from God."
     So maybe Mr. Farris is working in miracle territory, and he can somehow convince enough members of Congress that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.  For the life of me, I cannot understand how it can be considered anything else.  It is the essential nature of being a parent, and a God-given responsibility.  No government should interfere with that!

Proverbs 1:8-9     "Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck."

March 7, 2014

The Perfect Book For Your Teenager

     World events are hard enough to comprehend and face for adults.  In fact, I would venture that many will find themselves uninformed and ill-prepared should any number of likely scenarios come to fruition.  So, if mature Americans are scared of facing their fears, think of what it is like for our younger generations; especially those in their teenage years who are on the cusp of reaching for their future goals.  How do we brace them for the possibility of disruption to their daily lives, and instruct them on getting through the coming chaos, without scaring the living daylights out of them?  The profusion of "Survival" books on the market have not been suitable for our younger populace ... until now.
     Author Julie L. Casey has provided not only an informative approach, but an educational and entertaining way to reach our kids and move them towards a prepper mindset.  She has written a book, entitled How I Became A Teenage Survivalist, in which she appeals to the teenage sense of adventure while subtly tutoring them in the fine art of survival.  The book is written from the viewpoint of sixteen-year-old Bracken, but has characters that will appeal to younger teenagers as well as the older ones about to enter adulthood.  
     Bracken begins his story after the advent of PF (Power Failure) Day.  He recounts how a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun changed his and his family's lives abruptly and permanently.  The author is able to weave survival situations into the plot that will make your teenagers think of the repercussions of such an event.  At the same time, she provides the solutions that the family and their neighbors develop so that your kids can see that they can adapt and thrive without modern conveniences.  I especially liked that the storyline was appealing and natural; it wasn't contrived in order to present a "how to" survival manual.  That would be a turnoff to teenage readers.
     Instead, the book is able to present events in a manner that will captivate the interest of this age group.  What would it be like to live in a world where there is no electricity?  Bracken and his brothers are resourceful in inventing ways to make pop bottle "lightbulbs", and homemade washing machines.  They learn the value of working the land for their food, how to conserve the gasoline they have, and enjoy riding horses into town to visit their friends.  Their mother introduces them to the many ways herbs can be used for medicinal purposes, and ... gasp! ... they even realize that they don't miss all the electronic gadgets and technological time-wasters they had before PF Day!
     The author also includes a touch of light romance in her story that is sure to appeal to both girls and boys as they begin to explore the concept of love in their teenage years.  But lest you think the book is all sunshine and lollipops, Julie Casey introduces her readers to the dark side of what an electro-magnetic pulse can bring.  She doesn't shy away from the violence that will inevitably come as those who live in the city begin roaming the countryside in search for food and shelter.  She introduces the concept of martial law (being careful to keep it more benign than it likely will be) and the right to defend one's self and property.  She also informs her readers that many people will die due to the lack of life-saving equipment and medical supplies.  She doesn't overly sentimentalize what our lives will be like, and she presents the information in an ever-widening awareness of the reality of life without electricity, without uniform law, and with only our ingenuity and our ability to care for each other to see us through.  
     If you are struggling with a way to approach your teenagers with the topic of survival training or prepping for The End of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), I suggest that you use this book as a conversation starter.  Your teenager will likely have lots of questions about your own personal situation and you can begin a dialogue about how he/she can take part in preparing your family for a possible breakdown of society.  In fact, this book stresses the importance of family.  Everyone, including grandparents and the youngest sibling, have value in protecting the family unit during turbulent times.  Think of I Was A Teenage Survivalist as a kinder, gentler strategy to introduce the younger members of your family to some scary concepts.  And to be honest, it's not too juvenile for the timid adults among us, either.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

This book is available on Amazon for under $10 in paperback, and 99 cents for the Kindle version. Not a bad investment to bring your kids into "the real world."  Click on the Title link in the post to go to Amazon and order today!

Colossians 4:6     "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." 

February 22, 2014

The New Family: Traditional Is Now "Alternative"

     A faithful reader sent me a link from CBC News in British Columbia that announced the first child with three parents listed on her birth certificate.  And it seems that this child not only has multiple parents, but multiple names to go along with her new status.  Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.
     British Columbia has enacted a new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, and allows for three or even more parents.  So when Danielle Wiley (and her wife Anna Richards) engaged the help of Shawn Kangro to become pregnant, in what they described as "the homestyle method", it was important to them all that Kangro be an active participant in "the family".
     First of all, let me say that, after reading the article, I do not for a moment doubt that these three people love this child and are committed to providing the best for her from their arrangement.  But as far as I can tell, my computer's New Oxford American Dictionary definitions of "wife", "parent" and "family" do not apply to this situation.  (Of course, very soon, I fully expect these same definitions to be annulled in the face of societal pressure).  But for now, let's consider the "official definitions":
•  Wife:  a married woman considered in relation to her husband.
•  Parent:  a father or mother.
•  Family:  a group consisting of parents (see above) and children living together in a household.
     What is interesting, is that these two women acknowledge that a father was important to this equation.  "Both of us, from the beginning, wanted to have a father that would actually be a participant," said Wiley.  "Both of us liked the idea of somebody who could actually be involved, and who could be a father figure to our children." When Kangro agreed to accommodate the women, the three began creating the contract that would specify how their family would work.  Wiley and Richards would have custody of Della, as well as financial responsibility.  Kangro would be a guardian, with rights to access.
     Their lawyer, barbara findlay, who spells her name without capital letters (what's up with that?), helped them navigate the legal system.  "Up until now, a child could only have two legal parents; There is now an upper limit of — we won't know how many parents. There's provision for at least four parents, and possibly more."
     So, does anyone see the potential problems with this arrangement?  A child can have a potentially unlimited number of parents?  Who sets the boundaries of behavior?  It's hard enough to come to a consensus between two people, let alone 3, 4, or more!  The family structure is being redefined to be anything anyone wants it to be... all you have to do is write your own contract.
     Now, let's compare the praise for the freedom this new Family Law Act gives in defining a family, with how Olympic Gold Medalist, David Wise's family is described.  NBC Sports' headline reads:  "David Wise's Alternative Lifestyle Leads To Olympic Gold."  Just what is this "alternative lifestyle"?  The article goes on to tell us:  At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada.
     So NBC feels it has the authority to declare that a husband, wife, and their biological child are now considered "alternative".  Just how mixed up will the children of this generation become?  It is not lost upon me that David Wise also reveals that he attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.
     God is the obvious dividing line in this social evolution.   I won't even present the argument that the Bible defines marriage as one man, one woman.  If you don't believe in the Bible, you won't consider that this union defines the family.  But even if you only believe in "Mother Nature", everyone knows that a child cannot be born without a sperm and an egg.  Two eggs can't accomplish an embryo; and neither can two sperm.  So, doesn't that necessarily mean this is the "natural" plan, or system, in the well-ordered Cosmos?
     I applaud Danielle and Ann for recognizing that a father is an essential element in the family dynamics.  But when you limit him to the role of "guardian", or father "figure", you diminish his essential role in the creation of that child.  He is more than someone with "rights to access".  He is an important figure in that child's ongoing development; a protector, a defender, a teacher.  We have two sexes for a reason; each brings something vital to the union and the family unit.
     My fear is that the further we go down this road, and the further we stray from our Creator's plan, the more we will become confused about who we were designed to be.  This family structure has worked for hundreds of thousands of years.  What arrogance to think that we, in the last 10-15 years, have a better plan.

Romans 1:22-23      "Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man."

September 25, 2013

Godly Alternative to Boy Scouts

I thought you would enjoy this post while I am taking my sabbatical.  Don't worry!  I'm still on top of what's going on around us and I'll be back in a few more days, refreshed and renewed!   

     I have to say that when God closes one door, He always opens another.  In the past, the Boy Scouts of America were upheld as the iconic symbol of strength, character, leadership, and faith.  But their recent decision to alter their membership policy and accept gay Scout leaders, goes against the Christian faith of their history.
     Now there is an alternative to those who wish to stay true to the God of the Bible in organizations for young men.  According to their official website, Trail Life USA, is a Christian adventure, character, and leadership movement for young men. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers. "Living the Trail Life" is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible. 
     Their vision is clear: to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.  And their Mission Statement is uncomplicated:  to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure.
     From what I've read, this is no fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants resistance movement to the Boy Scouts.  It appears to be a very-well-thought-out and organized group of former Scoutmasters, Eagle scouts, church leaders and parents who are dedicated to resisting the culture of political correctness.  The group has already conducted its first Leadership Conference, at which they released this statement:  “All boys are welcome to the program regardless of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status.  Our goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders.  However, adult leaders in the program will be Christian and must sign a statement of faith and submit to background checks,” a press release reads. “Both boys and adults will be required to adhere to a code of conduct.”  Gasp!  You mean they will have Godly standards???  In addition to their stated vision, their ultimate goal is to counter the “moral free-fall” of the nation, and “raise a generation of faithful husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders."
      From where I sit, it is refreshing to see Christians taking the initiative and standing for their principles.  And now there is an alternative for those who don't want to abandon their faith, while enjoying the outdoors and developing leadership skills.  And in case you might think this organization is soft on the faith and values aspect of their organization, get a load of this official Statement which must be signed by all adult leaders in Trail Life USA:

“We believe that there is One Triune God – Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity.”

Purity – Members are called to live a life of holiness, being pure of heart, mind, word and deed, reserving sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage; marriage being a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.

Service – Members are called to become a responsible part of their community and the world through selfless acts, which contribute to the welfare of others.

Stewardship – Members are called to use their God given time, talents, and money wisely.

Integrity – Members are called to live a moral life, demonstrating the inward motivation to do what is right, regardless of the cost

     Trail Life USA makes no bones about it; the basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards are found in the Bible.  No apologies and no compromising.  I like that!  I'm so tired of the Bible being soft-peddled to our culture.  It's time that Christians stand --- boldly and with no regrets --- and promote the benefits of living a moral life.  Just imagine how this kind of message could initiate a dramatic change in our culture!  I applaud Trail Life USA for their commitment and their courage, and for wasting no time in offering the young men of America an opportunity to learn the meaning of ethics, morality and integrity.  As of this date, more than 30,000 former scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts, parents, and church leaders have contacted the organization about the new program.  
     I pray for God's blessings on this organization and that we may see a new breed of leaders in this country.

Matthew 5:19     "Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."