Tag Archive | Planned Parenthood

There Was A Time When…

red ryderEvery Christmas season, Americans have countless opportunities to view the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. Who can forget the adventures of Ralphie, his family and friends, and his trusty “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle“. Many of Ralphie’s experiences ring true, for those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s (and even the 70’s). The sights and sounds, the camaraderie of friends relegated to playing in the great outdoors… who would be best friends one day, fighting the next, and back to “buddydom” the very next day. Many of us can relate to having friends like Flick or Schwartz…

And many can relate to having a Scut Farkus in our lives as well.

In Ralphie’s life, Scut Farkus (and his “little toadie” Grover Dill) were the community bullies, bullying Ralphie and his friends until one day Ralphie had had enough, and in a moment of pure rage, turns the tables on the bullying Farkus. From that point on, Scut and Dill never pick on Ralphie or his friends again, proving the belief that, for most bullies, all they need to back down is for someone to stand up to them.

While I don’t condone senseless violence, watching that movie reminds me that there was a time when friends stood up for friends, when right and wrong were simple choices, and the world (much like the television of the 60’s) was black-and-white.

I remember that there was a time when…

  • A person’s first reaction to seeing another person in distress was the lend a helping hand. It is maddening these days to see videos posted online and on the news of an individual being taunted, bullied, picked on, or beaten down with no one coming to that person’s aid, but to look and see a dozen people standing by — all with cell phones — videotaping the altercation. Romans 14:7 reminds us that “none of us lives to himself“. In his classic, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote…

If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer.

And friend, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our culture is suffering.

  • Freedom of speech, good or bad, was a basic right. Freedom of speech is a double-edged sword. The same right that allows a Christian to unashamedly share the love of Jesus also allows people to espouse some pretty offensive things — words of hate, negativity, profanity, etc. It is a simple right, guaranteed by our Constitution. Yet recently, the story came out that a university police department is encouraging students to turn people in for “hateful and/or hurtful speech”. One problem (of many) with such a rule is this: Who defines what constitutes “hateful or hurtful” speech? To a non-believer, the idea that they face an eternity in Hell, devoid of the presence of God might be considered “hurtful speech”. Sometimes the truth — regarding things of faith or not — hurts. The Bible says that, to someone who lives a life of spiritual disobedience, Jesus is considered “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (see 1 Peter 2:1-8). Does a person’s right — under any circumstances — to not having their feelings hurt trump another person’s right to free speech, guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution? Whether we like it or not, starting down that path is a slippery slope to totalitarianism.
  • Police officers were respected in our communities, and supported by our leaders. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in violence against police as a result of misleading stories and irresponsible reporting in the media, and lack of support of leadership in government. When criminals are afforded the assumption of “innocent until proven guilty” but police are not, we are on a dangerous path to societal rebellion and anarchy. When police have to go into hiding simply because they either did their job or protected themselves (or both), we are in danger of becoming a completely lawless society. In Romans 13:2-3, Paul writes…

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

  • IMG_1905Men were men, women were women, and society knew the difference. The LGBT agenda has
    permeated every facet of our society. From local gyms where “transgender” individuals are allowed in opposite-sex dressing rooms (and those who object have their memberships revoked), to school systems where “transgender” students are (considered) being allowed into opposite-sex locker rooms… the lines of decency and propriety are rapidly disappearing…When a young girl is subjected to awkwardness and embarrassment in a locker room because a boy is in there who claims to “identify” as a female;

    When a national magazine selects a man who dresses up like a woman to be their “Woman of the Year”;

    When a group of black-robed justices defy the God-ordained institution of marriage —

    Such things bring to mind the warning of the prophet Isaiah…

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20

  • The world knew we were Christians by our love. While it is vitally important to stand for what is right, we as Christians have become known more for what we are against than what we are for. Oftentimes, instead of focusing on the Great Commission, we brow-beat a secular world over things that amount to no more than a diversion they don’t understand. We are inconsistent in our priorities, which sends a confusing signal to a culture watching us through a “microscope lens”. Consistency in the message of Christ matters, otherwise we seem disingenuous at best. For instance, IF I am going to boycott a secular organization, it should probably be less over the color of their “holiday” cups and more over their support of abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

CoffeeWith all of the mayhem that is going on in the world, we are seeing an unprecedented assault on Christians in our lifetime. Things may never return to “the good old days”, but there is definitely room and opportunity for improvement. Regardless of how we are accepted in today’s society, one thing is certain: We won’t change the minds of people in our culture until God changes their hearts, and what God will use to change their hearts is a Body of Christ that operates in righteousness, walks in unity, and talks in truth and love.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. ~ 1 Peter 3:15

Love is the language that all people understand, because love is the language of God. He IS love, and as creatures created in His image, love is our native language. For some, it may be deep and buried, but it is there…

And it is our responsibility and opportunity to try to find it.

Saving The Planet from Ourselves

Who owns the earth?Pine Ridge2

I heard a Pastor say recently that Satan owned the earth because St. Paul calls him, “the god of this world…”

…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4

Aegean CUThe NKJV translates this verse correctly – it is “age” (“aeon” in Greek). This represents a period of time in which Satan is worshipped, not ownership.

So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. ~ Exodus 9:29

Signal PointThe earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein. ~ Psalm 24:1

…for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:26

 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:28

NH Snow MtnsClearly the planet and all of its inhabitants belong to Yahweh God. Now having said that, we need to understand that we are stewards and managers of all that we occupy on the earth. God expects us to take responsibility for our earth and its environment. Please do not confuse me with one who worships nature to the detriment of human life, and don’t lump me in with those who want to save the whales while aborting babies. This is NOT what I am saying. There is a significant difference between utilizing the earth and abusing the earth. A person with a healthy respect for the planet is very different from someone who idolizes and/or worships the planet.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. ~ Romans 1:25

FlowersEven in its fallen state, there remains so much beauty in the earth. How my heart thrills every day as I look at the majestic hills around where we live in East Tennessee. Whether the rivers, oceans, forests, deserts, or majestic lakes, our planet is blessed. However, how sad it is when I see people throw trash in Lake Chickamauga, birds covered in oil in the ocean, filthy inner cities, and piles of junk ignored.

Phony environmentalists claim America is the problem. However, having traveled to most of the world, I find that the contrary is true. Trash is everywhere in many countries. The United States is a picture of pristine cleanliness compared to MANY places to which I have been. A lot of it is simply people too lazy to clean up their own mess.

Harrison BaySeveral years ago, a former leader in our church walked in one morning and informed the staff that there was litter on the parking lot. Our church administrator at the time, the late Dr. Jim McClanahan said, “Why don’t you pick it up?” The man turned and left in stunned silence. Dr. McClanahan went out with our custodial staff and picked up the trash in question.

So… why am I carrying on about this?

Pemmaquid PointBecause good stewardship is not just our giving. We can also show good stewardship by caring for our properties, our living spaces, and our communities on this earth. We can’t fix every thing every where, but if we start with where WE are, and show respect for what God has blessed us with, we can be an example… an example that can catch on and be repeated throughout the world.

Here is a verse that stunned me as I was doing a re-read of Revelation…

The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth. ~ Revelation 11:18

There is a judgment that falls on those who destroy the earth. Let’s be good managers of all God has blessed us with.

Morning Water