Sister to Sister: Ferguson–Truth is Unimportant.

images-3That’s the largest lesson of the new school year for children in Ferguson, Missouri. Here’s what they are learning this fall and the lessons will stick lots better than if they were they being taught using workbooks and flashcards. Lessons taught in real time and real life always do. So here’s that real-life indelibly inked curriculum:

 

Whenever you feel life has treated you (or “your” group) unfairly:

1. Truth becomes less important than agenda.
2. The commission of crimes against innocent people is justified.
3. It’s okay to take (and keep) what does not belong to you.
4. You no longer have to answer to any civil authority.
5. Physical force is your authority and, thus, the new law is “Might makes right.”

When the investigation is over and the facts are laid bare, the lessons will keep coming. Suppose Mr. Wilson is declared innocent in the end. What then? The premise will once again apply; that is, a large group of people will feel that life has treated them unfairly and the above “rules” will direct behavior. If Mr. Wilson is guilty of murder, then let the investigation render that truth (and may he be duly punished).  But mark it down: If he is innocent of murder, there is no verdict of his innocence that will be powerful enough to stop the agenda, reinstate proper authority and change the “curriculum”. Class will be over. And it will not be a peaceful recess.

Sister to Sister: Where Are Our Non-Negotiables?

Unknown-7While driving home from Bible Study last night I heard a snippet of talk radio in which a Catholic man was being interviewed about his political work as a representative of “Catholic Answers”. The topic was a voter-guide pamphlet that has been published by his organization in which five non-negotiables are listed for Catholics to consider when they go to the polls. The non-negotiables, as listed for Catholics, are these:

Candidate must be opposed to:

Abortion

Euthanasia

Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Human Cloning

Homosexual Marriage

Now, while I believe Catholics are responsible for one of the biggest religious perversions of “Christendom” existent in our day, I believe they are dead-on about this list. The talk show host then asked this man why these are the non-negotiables (Why not the economy, securing the borders or our involvement in the Israeli conflict?). The answer was a bit nebulous, but to be fair, I did not get to listen to all of the segment.

Why can’t we just say that God is the author/creator of life and, thus, it is sacred!? Four of these listed behaviors directly or indirectly involve the destruction of life. The fifth on the list is a slap in the face of God who repeatedly condemned homosexuality—the very act, much less the inclusion of that heinous sin in the definition of the marriage relationship that He also invented, instituted and protected in His Word!

Most importantly, why are the Catholics louder and more organized about this than we are in the body of Christ? Several years ago my husband was in a preacher’s meeting in which the idea that preachers should be saying things from the pulpit that could be construed as political was met with fervent opposition from some in the room. There are congregations today in which elders and deacons are supporting political leaders who are supportive of all of the items on the above list. They pledge allegiance to these leaders based on economic promises. Never mind that their political heroes are responsible, as a conglomerate, for the deaths of one out of every three pre-born babies in America today.

As a result of our failures to teach, our girls are getting abortions. Our teens are experimenting with homosexuality. Several times within the past few weeks I’ve been painfully reminded that our silence is paving the way for our own members to participate in the sins that will lead them to hell at the expense of the innocents. A member (in good standing) of a congregation in the Southeast U.S. makes her living as a nurse who preps women for abortions. She justifies this by the rationalization that she is not actually taking the life; she is only taking the blood. Besides, “Someone else will take the woman’s blood, if I quit this job.”  Another Christian sister in another state wrote to me descrying that fact that her grand-daughter, brought up in the church, also works in the abortion industry. I recently was upbraided for trying to convince a sister that the dozen or so babies that she has placed in a freezer (as she is enjoying the one or two she chose from the test tube) are living children and that she has a grave responsibility to them. She brought those lives into existence. (What are we thinking?) My husband recently traveled to another state to counsel a young member of the church as she revealed she had become involved in a relationship with a “girlfriend” at school. And, yet again, my husband was recently visiting in the home of  Christians in another state when they revealed to him that their child was  involved in homosexual pornography. And the list goes on…

Thankfully, all preachers are not silent. All elderships are not blind to the dangers. I applaud and am grateful for those brave church leaders who are vigilant even when the political landscape is a battleground.  Not all of these instances might have been prevented if we were boldly teaching the truth, even against the political and cultural tide. But some of them and some others would have. Some lives that are currently being snuffed out, would be preserved. Some children, and now many adults would be living and working and some would be leading our churches if we had been vocal all along.

I’ll close today with a  news article that I recently received from a friend.

fetalmodel

 

A NICU nurse, who worked a long time at a Baptist Hospital in _________said, “When I first went to work in NICU I helped to care for a baby this size until it died, because it was too small and the lungs were too underdeveloped for the doctors to be able to do anything for it. We put it in an isolette and kept it warm and did all we could, but though it slept, and didn’t seem uncomfortable and didn’t cry or grimace, it couldn’t breathe right and I think it died in under half an hour. I then had the sad job to help to get it ready for burial, and take it back to its grieving mother.”

“Baptist had a special kit with a tiny hand-sewn dress, a ceramic footprint mold, a tiny little fleece-lined box like a bed, a sympathy card with a sweet poem about the baby’s early departure, etc. I think that particular baby was a girl, because the little care package I used was pink. That was the difference in the doctors’  attitudes at Baptist vs. the ones at a hospital  across town. At the other hospital they would have treated it like a “fetus.” At Baptist they treated it like a baby. I was so blessed to work in an environment like that.”

The saddest thing about this letter from my friend is not that it was her daughter who held this baby until it died. The saddest part was that she went on to state that her grand-daughter, this NICU nurse’s daughter, is now a nurse at the “other” hospital. Will you join me in praying for these three anonymous women? While we are at it, let’s pray that we, as Christian women, will have some non-negotiables as we vote and as we raise our children…as we vocally (not silently) remember the conveniently orphaned children who are daily being killed in the “other” hospitals around our country.

 

 

 

 

The Eclipse

BabyGloves1A couple of weeks ago, our children surprised my husband for his birthday with an evening in Nashville to watch the Harlem Globetrotters. This was a pretty big deal to Glenn because of nostalgic childhood memories of watching the Globetrotters. He was totally surprised when we stopped at an antiques mall on the way there, rounded a corner in the middle of the huge warehouse store and there stood Ben and Hannah, statue-like and garbed in hats and props from the booth where they were standing. Very fun.

We shopped for a while and I found amazing deals on a child’s Christmas quilt, the sweetest little Madame Alexander baby doll, and a beautiful crib sheet. I have, through the years, amazed myself with a strong and strange propensity to shop for baby things (shower gifts, children in the congregation and one-day grandchildren), even though there hasn’t been a single baby in our family for many years. I guess it’s nostalgia that makes me love Victorian children’s books, smocked and French hand-sewn baby dresses and wooden toys. I think Glenn and I are hopeless reminiscent sentimentalists.

It was a fun antique romp and we were basking in the pleasure of being with our kids, talking about their preaching works, Caleb’s graduate work (that’s almost done!) and the fun times we’d shared over the holidays. Little did I know that every fun thing about this birthday meeting was about to be totally eclipsed.

It was a quiet restaurant to which the kids directed us. Seated at a round table right in the middle of the restaurant, we ordered gourmet Bison burgers and then the kids had gifts for their Dad. Suddenly, when he unwrapped this, it was the moment of eclipse:

DSC_0007

In everything else that we were eating, doing, talking about, looking forward to, we suddenly lost interest. What birthday? What hamburger? Globetrotters? Who cares about them? We looked at each other and just exclaimed, “We are going to be grandparents!”

All three kids quickly corrected us: “You ALREADY ARE grandparents!”

And so we are. There is a baby right now in Louisville, Kentucky that is traveling around in the safest of all carriages. I know she/he belongs to Ben and Hannah, but can I just call that baby “my baby”? Just humor me here. The gender of my baby has been decided. Heart is beating. Eye-color, skin tone, hair texture and color, all genetic characteristics already determined. Praise God!

Some even more important things have already been determined as well. Genetic traits are fun to ponder, but they are not nearly as important as environmental influences. The environment in which my baby is going to grow up has already been determined as well. Her mother is a faithful Christian. His daddy is a gospel preacher who lives the truths he teaches. Her parents have family Bible time every night. They choose entertainment activities very carefully. They pray together before each meal and lots of times in between. They think of the needs of others. They offer hospitality. They revere the name of God. I’m glad and oh-so-thankful for this spiritual make-up of my baby’s future. So much was determined so long ago when both of my baby’s parents were baptized into Christ and took on the characteristics of Jesus, the strongest traits they will pass along to my baby.

I have often humored grandparents by oohing and ahh-ing over stacks of pictures they just “happen to have” in their wallets, by laughing hysterically when they tell me the latest antics or the cute things their babies have said, or by picking up the wee ones and bragging about how beautiful and smart they are. But I must confess that I never really thought I could be so silly as to think my grandchild was the prettiest or the smartest one on the planet…until now. Now I know it’s true. Only Brian and Beth Giselbach will have a grandchild as beautiful and intelligent as ours. And I bet I am the ONLY grandmother who just happened to have a baby gift right there on the spot at the very moment the baby’s upcoming birth was announced. Glenn said I was pretty efficient. He’s right. I snapped into grandmother mode with no trouble at all.

So we have hung the plaque and they have tucked away that pretty little crib sheet with the tiny bears and hearts. September! Hurry up, September!

DSC_0011

Sister to Sister: “Let’s Hope He’s as Easy to Get as this Birth Control.”

“OMG! He’s Hot. Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control!” So goes the Obamacare ad: Ad 1

It’s the “In-your-face, Christians” kind of advertising that no-one twenty years ago would have imagined as promotional material for a government program (It just would not have flown…even in Colorado). But shockingly immoral undertones (and sometimes blatantly irreverent overtones) seem to be the theme of some of  Obamacare’s proponents, namely Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, the underwriters of the ads. It’s the reckless (but still relatively healthy) twenty-somethings that Obama desperately needs to anchor his plan and such organizations are  stopping at nothing to get them. The encouragement of STD-spreading sexual behavior and keg parties is just the beginning of an unbelievable congratulatory nod to unhealthy and unholy lifestyles. Take a look at a few more of these internet ads that, “if there be any virtue or anything worthy of praise” in you, will knock your proverbial socks off. Ad 3

Ad 4

Ad 6

Responsible parents of kids in their late teens and early twenties should be livid. High school principles, family court justices, child social services workers and law enforcement officials who think soberly should be disturbed as these harmful messages emanate from non-profit “health education” organizations. Of course, teens who look at these pictures of cool twenty-somethings who are enjoying the “real world” of free sex and partying-crazy drinking are, without question, negatively influenced by the implied normalcy of these dangerous behaviors. Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), is setting his trap for America’s kids as they emerge into His “real world.” Encouraging kids to go ahead with the keg parties and casual sex in the context of claiming their “health care” is preposterous. The last time I checked “health” has to do with the preservation of the well-being of the physical body, and “care” has to do with attention given to that cause. Standing on a beer keg or hoping a “hot guy” is as easy to access as birth control is open defiance to any sort of “care” about “health”.

Here are a few more: Ad 11

65

Ad 9

Yes. One could totally fall. I guess themessage is clear by now. These organizations don’t really seem to care too much if you fall, if you get an STD, have an accident while skiing and drinking, or are bloody, bruised and broken. The important thing is that you’re enrolled in Obamacare.

We’ve ushered in a never-before-witnessed blatant promotion of a socialist agenda regardless of harm to those who buy in—or those who don’t, for that matter. And, in the ushering, we are ironically ushering out the principles of liberty on which the nation was founded. It seems that millions of Americans are not wise enough to see through the smokescreen of the selfish agenda for which they pay at their own peril. The message is “ So now, you can go ahead and live without consideration of harmful consequences. Sure, this lifestyle will result in bodily harm. But who cares? It’s nobody else’s business and then suddenly, when it’s time to pay the piper, it’s everybody else’s business. It’s reckless socialism advertised by in-your-face sin.

Never mind that, according to NBC news, alcohol abuse kills about 75,000 of your countrymen yearly, with an estimated 35,000 dying each year from cirrhoses of the liver, alone . Never mind that, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are 20 million new incidences of sexually transmitted diseases annually in the US, with 110 million people in the country who are currently infected. Let’s just not think about those statistics. Let’s not think about disabilities, addictions, funerals or caskets. Let’s not think about sirens, morgues, weeping or graves. Let’s put big smiles on the faces of the partiers and let’s make the prospective sex partners very good-looking. And while we’re at it, just to spread the recklessness, let’s throw in some “unconventional” grammar, too, like doyougotinsurance.com. Now really, what kind of wisdom would you expect on a site like that?

Dear Sisters in California: I’m So Sorry.

chalkboardSometimes equations are simple: like “rock-solid-always-works-out” truth. Take 2+2=4, for instance. We know how it’s going to work out at first glance. And we get to the result quickly. But then there are complicated algebraic equations that go on and on. They have all sorts of variables thrown in, too. At first glance, we have no idea what the end result will be (and often we don’t care enough to want to work through them).

Truth is truth, though. Both the short, simple problems and the long, complicated ones have results and they will always end up the same way. Life is like that.

So what happens to a generation of kids raised largely in broken homes, going through its days and weeks with multiple sets of standards and spending seven hours in places where God cannot be mentioned, except in expletives, each day? That’s a complicated equation. Throw in some variables like MTV, ready access to pornography, and wealth like this country has never known. Maybe that scenario, working itself out over forty or so years, was just too complicated…the problem was too long for us to have seen how it would end.

But California is one state among many seeing the how the equation works out. It worked out in a pretty tangible way today. Can you believe that Governor Brown signed a bill saying that transgender kids in all elementary and secondary schools in the state of California are now free to choose which restroom… boys or girls… that they prefer to use while at school? They are now free to choose to participate in either gender of sports teams, as well. This means all restrooms on school campuses and all locker rooms and showers will be open to all transgender students.

This is insanity. Can you just imagine with me how this is going to play out? What does it take for a boy (genitally speaking) to get access to the girls‘ showers? Is there a transgender declaration to be signed? If so, can you switch up your sexual preferences mid-season? What about the girls’ softball pitcher who is from a Christian home? Apparently she has no rights of privacy or place for modesty anymore, at all. What about the girls who excel at basketball? This year at tryouts, they’ll be competing with boys (technically speaking) who are a foot taller than they are, but who are taking the transgender route of choosing the girls’ team.

Proponents say that transgender children across the state will now wake up in the morning without fear of being bullied in the restroom. What about the Christian teen girl who will fear having to use that tampon machine in front of guys? What about her modest sensibilities about sights and sounds that happen in locker rooms and restrooms? What about protective Christian parents who have diligently trained their kindergarten-aged son to respect the privacy of his sisters? Suddenly, they are going to have to explain to him that he is somehow going to have to get “comfortable” with walking into a restroom and sharing it with a fourth grade girl!?

See, the end of the equation is that California raised, with all of the aforementioned variables, a set of kids who are now adults. They are legislators and leaders in gay alliances and they are members of the state’s parent-teacher organizations. Today, they announced to the world that they’ve come up with an answer. It’s the incredulous transgender-rights-to-restrooms solution. It’s the amazing phenomenon that a biological guy can use the girls’ restroom anytime he pleases and California girls can walk in the men’s room at any school in California. Ditto to locker rooms and shower rooms for sports teams.

Sisters in California, may I just say that I’m so sorry. I know there are so many of you who are God-fearing and faithful parents. You must be devastated. Maybe you have seen this coming for a long time. Maybe that, among other reasons, is why so many of you have been homeschooling your kids for years, now. Maybe this is not shocking to you at all. But, if there are those reading who have kept your children in the public schools in California, may I say that, although I know I am removed from the situation, I cannot see how you can keep them there any longer. I hope you are outraged by such legislation and I hope you will say, “Enough is enough.” I hope homeschooling in California just immediately empties the school system of all Christians. I think the day has passed when those who are running your school systems, at the state level, are willing to give you any concessions. I think your state administered education system has been hijacked by evil people. I think, in short, the devil is rejoicing that he has your lawmakers (at least the ruling majority of them) in his corner.

Back to the equation. No matter how long and complicated the problem and no matter how many variables it has, our God, the God of truth, knows how it will turn out. He sees the end even as we are ordering the constants and the variables in the scenario. He is omniscient. He knew this sad day in California would come even as parents were making decisions of divorce, cohabitation, and profligate living forty years ago. To Him, it was still as simple as 2+2=4.

Ahh, if we, as a people, would only look to His Word and decide that we are just going to trust Him–the One who knows the ends of our choices. If we corporately would let him be sovereign in our homes, if we would parent as he has ordered and if we would seek His counsel in our government, we might still have a chance to maintain the American life we love. But He knows the end of that equation, too. He is still sovereign.

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Psalms 66:7

Not the “Same Love” as I Corinthians 13…

love fireIn a late night dinner conversation last night, my son and I were talking about blogs. We were doing that because he is having fun right now designing his own upcoming blog. I’m excited about his little drop in the blog ocean because it’s going to fill a niche that, as I look, I believe is currently empty. Now, that’s saying a lot, I know, but I don’t think it will be just another blog.

As we were talking, though, he said something I probably need to think about more. In essence, he said that you can’t just keep saying over and over in a blog how bad the world is. You have to acknowledge that things in America are really in a deplorable moral state and then you have to move on to some solutions and even some other topics. He said that your message will get stale if that’s all it ever is and, further, he said, “Who wants to just feast (in his mind) on depressing depravity day after day?” He’s right. We can’t live like that. Besides, there are just too many good people and too many exciting possibilities to be tethered to hopelessness.

So next time, something positive, I promise. Today, though, if you are a mom of teens, you need to know that the following song has made it this week to the number 11 spot on the Billboard charts in America. It does not surprise me that it’s been written and, although sad, it does not surprise me that it’s getting lots of airtime. But I am surprised that it can become one of the eleven most popular songs, across the board, in our country. It saddens me that its popularity has placed it on the playlist that will, most certainly, reach your children’s ears if they turn on any pop or top 40’s type radio station today. Lots of lyric “pundits” think it will top out at number one. Sad day.

I find it all the more dangerous because it uses (misuses) Scripture, the very words of the Holy Spirit of God, in the effort to normalize, even glorify the sin. If you are sanctified, it will make your heart sick to hear the Word thus inserted.

I just think you should know. Perhaps you can discuss these lyrics and the fallacies inherent with your teens at Family Bible Time. Maybe you can use this as a catalyst to discuss entertainment choices and the optional nature of entertainment, itself. Maybe you can discuss the ability Satan has to slowly erode the holiness of God’s people and how he uses the media to do that. Maybe you could talk about the homosexual agenda in America today and even discuss the impending probability that preaching from our pulpits from Romans One will soon be characterized as illegal “hate speech.” At least, I hope you can control the devices within your home to keep trash like this song from putting its not-so-subtle-anymore message of moral tolerance into the hearts of your teens and preteens.

It’s just a blatant reminder to Christian parents that we have to be extremely aware and persistent in Christian parenting. It’s the application of the word “diligently” in Deuteronomy 6:7. Never has there been a time in America when parents more desperately need to take any blinders off and be committed to giving our kids the tools needed to do battle with the devil. Here are the lyrics:

“Same Love”
(with Ryan Lewis)
(feat. Mary Lambert)

When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k, trippin’ ”
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, “Yeah, I’m good at little league”
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don’t know

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom till we’re equal, d— right I support it

(I don’t know)

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don’t press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a d— good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind