But it’s OK for Men/December 5, 2017

 

For years, it has been the unspoken standard that a woman should be a virgin when she marries. Modern society has eased that standard quite a bit what with women ‘hooking up’ and couples living together for months or years before taking the plunge into marriage–but the belief is out there. Brides typically wear white as a symbol of their purity.

So why didn’t the standard apply to men?

Oh, it’s just “boys being boy” is heard time and again. “A man is expected to have ‘experience’.”

With all the hue and cry over sexual abuse and infidelities that we are reading about, maybe it is time to draw a line over the attitude of how it’s okay for men to ‘sow their wild oats’.

We are fast becoming a nation where young men are doing little more than sit home and play violent video games, watch pornography, party hard, do drugs, or join far-left/far right political protests.

None of this behavior should be acceptable.

A young man who is a virgin would be mocked, hazed, or bullied.

Why?

If a woman is expected to be pure, why isn’t a man?

Do we believe humans are so unintelligent that men and women who have refrained from sex won’t figure the process out? Or are we so naive that even with all sex education give in schools today, we are frightened to admit that SEX WITHOUT LOVE IS SIMPLY A FUEL OF LUST AND DIFFERS FROM LOVE?

And, there you have it.

Anyone can have sex to scratch an ‘itch’ the same way that anyone can scratch their back. Find a willing partner and go to it. Avoid the realization that there is any real meaning to the act. Avoid any conscience of guilt, sharing, or commitment for that is ‘old-fashioned’. Let your iconic movie stars, recording artists, or even politicans provide you with your role model.

We live in a culture that EXPECTS ‘happily-ever-after’–as long as we don’t have to pay a price for it. Heck, now we have experts telling us monogamy is dangerous and swingers are better physiologically.

The concept of one man and woman who have joined together in innocence to form a physical, emotional, and spiritual bond is one pretty much ignored or made fun on today.

Yet, isn’t that bond what most still (if they were truthful) search for?

For all our modern twaddle about how ‘elevated’ we have become in our thoughts, actions, and society, we have made little progress in our attitudes. We believe ourselves gods–free to spout that we have all the answers and deserve whatever ‘world’ WE decide is the right one for us without consequences.

I found this Biblical example perfect for contemplation.

Proverbs 6:32-But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 

You can substitue MAN for woman here.

No matter how modern society tries to get around it, we are speaking about our SOULS. The inner self that makes us who we are.

The best robots we may ever create may be intelligent and be fashioned perfectly in the future, but IF scientists ever find a way to instill them with emotions and they begin to debate things for themselves, we had better run…and run fast for I doubt that they we find US worthy of continued existence. Without a soul, wouldn’t a robot proclaim the same decision Solomon made when faced with two mothers claiming the same child? If you remember, his decision was to “cut the child in half.”

One without a soul may have followed through on that illustration.

One with a soul would see through the lesson with the eyes of love.

I worry over the choice of men as husbands available in the future. Boys today lack heroes who carry the banner of strength in weakness; masculinity with sacrifical equality; innocence with confidence; protectiveness without dominance.

There is nothing wrong with virginity of either sex. Waiting until you find a soul-mate…and getting to really KNOW that person before uniting in sex should be applauded and proclaimed as ideal.

It’s time for our society to examine themselves. Are those who proclaim themselves so ‘experienced’ and ‘free’ really happy? Or are they searching for the solution God has already given us in His word–His love, His forgiveness, and the ideals and laws that allow our souls to FLOURISH rather than be destroyed?

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On Catsup and Sex/December 1, 2017

Relax.

The old lady hasn’t decided to come up with some new idea to shock people. I’m talking about the old commercial for catsup that featured everyone in a state of anticipation waiting for a certain brand of catsup to grace the top of a hamburger. This catsup was so thick that children licked their lips barely concealing their joy in their anticipation of the gift that was to come.

Sex and catsup have a lot in common.

What do ALL people in every country around the world want most?

They want to be loved.

Poets write about it. Movies, books, and songs from every genre proclaim the joy and difficulties we all experience in our search.

If, you accept the premise that humans need love in order to completely fulfill their exsistence, then one would also accept that despite what many believe there is MORE to sex than the simple physical act–and THAT is what sex and catsup have in common.

ANTICIPATION fades.

Once that child tastes that catsup-covered burger he/she may want another one but their anticipation of savoring that red condiment is no longer the same.

It’s pretty much the same with sex. Once you have experienced the heights of pleasure and completion from the physical act with someone,  you become accustomed to everything going accord to plan. LIFE, however, has the nasty habit of changing our plans. The bond holding two people together has to be based on more than physical initimacy or it is doomed from the start.

Perhaps, that is why so many who begin ‘hooking up’, cheating, or ‘swinging’ keep searching. They have the physical down pat. It is the emotional bond that is missing. Much as they may enjoy that thrill of anticipation, they cannot replicate it–and since they cannot achieve that constant flash, boredom sets in and they begin the search for it all over again.

Marriage is out of vogue nowdays. Whether it is due to financial stress or simply the change in attitudes of young people I can’t say. What I can say is that I believe they have been sold a bill of goods that they deserve and should expect to ‘have what they want’ without doing the hard slog of work that comes with creating a lasting bond with a lover.

Love is more than a climax. It is more than a ‘perfect’ wedding. It is more than a house with granite counters. True love is the creation of two people who have bonded so completely emotionally, that they would sacrifice their own wants for another.

So how does one achieve finding this type of love?

Well, for one thing we admit that desire is a natural expression of love. That said, we differentiate between lust and love. Lust exists to satisfy SELF. Love exists to put another BEFORE self.

Genesis 2: 18-And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God created the idea of a woman as a completion to man. That does NOT make her inferior or subservient.

1 Corinthians 7: 3 & 4-Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Benevolence-an act of kindness or a generous gift.

Physical love in a relationship depends upon benevolence..for good sex means giving. Otherwise, you simply have a selfish act of domination in order to achieve gratification at the expense of another. There is this ‘power play’ going on in the very act itself–and the ‘win’ is established by understanding the body, emotions, and spirit of the person with whom you are enacting intimacy.

I watch the media portray lust a lot–in books, movies, ‘stars’, clothing, etc.

I see little attention to love.

I see the emphasis on POWER–male dominance vs. female empowerment.

Nowhere, however, am I hearing much about love. You can automate sex dolls to do your bidding, but will they understand sacrifice?

Have we so lost the idea of love by reaching out only to gratify physical human need at the cost of emotional bonding?

Non-believers often criticize Christians for their old-fashioned ideals. They delight in seeing Christians brought down by scandal and infidelity as if to mock the mores of our beliefs as atitudes.

What they fail to understand is that Christians are not prudes. We have simply decided to try follow the rules established by God, accepting such values because we believe that He knows best.

We TRY.

We also FAIL.

We are no better or worse than others because we have all sinned and continue to sin even when we attempt avoidance. Humans sin. Christians sin. We are simply given the chance to beg forgiveness through Christ’s blood as our sin offering. And we are to attempt to refrain from continuing such sins, mindful that true remorse is needed–not just a continued pattern.

The best advice I could give to those looking for love is to search your heart BEFORE physical intimacy. I would like to say you should wait until marriage but I am realist. That is, indeed, God’s perfect solution. But who among us is perfect; for the sole source of human perfection was Jesus Christ.

Take time to try to KNOW the person you are attracted to. Is there a temper problem? Will this person show they will sacrifice in ways while you are dating? Are your interests compatible? Do you have similar ideas on finance? Family? One of my best ways to ‘see’ into the mind of another is how they treat those in certain positions such as waiters, waitresses, maids, even clerks in stores or fast-food places. Are they respectful? Or do they demand or look down upon these workers? How do they treat others of different cultures? Do they disparage them because of skin color? Accent? Culture? What about those with physical injuries or the disabeled? Do they belittle them? These are easy ways to glimpse character. Do they smile at people? Or growl? Are they always impatient? Do they always need their own way? Can they agree to disagree? Or must it always be THEIR way?

Love and marriage do go together like a horse pulling a carriage. Relationships are an ‘in tandem’ process.

God instituted physical desire. Two helping each other through the pitfalls of life, gladly sacrificing themselves as one in an emotional bonding. Ideally, Christians listen and understand WHY this bonding works better with another Christian and heed the warning that linking with an unbeliever will cause great difficulty.

It is tough seeing the way modern society stamps our ideals as ‘past it’. That said, humans don’t change. We are all looking for love. Christians are blessed to have found the all-encompassing unconditional love bequeathed to us by Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself as our sin offering. IF, we are blessed to additionally have found a partner in marriage who loves Him together with loving us we should thank God daily.

And, if we are still looking, we should be mindful of seeking His will when we are still searching…

Blessings.p

 

 

A Quick Thanksgiving Prayer/November 23, 2017

We thank those who continue to touch our lives and our spirit and we wish you continued blessings this day and all the days that follow….

May we all continue in the assurance that we serve a God whose kingdom cannot be shaken and whose consuming fire refines us and brings us joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hebrews 12:28-29
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

Stop Speaking!/November 19, 2017

Just stop.

Truly, just stop.

It is time to call a halt to worthless speaking–in person, on the internet, in the media, etc. Enough, already!

We have three days (not including this day) to begin readying ourselves for Thanksgiving. IF we even grant this holiday the due to our God for His continued blessings upon us (rather than thinking only on what we can order online or in stores for Black Friday) we tend to spoil our expressions of thankfulness with speech that usually gets us nowhere.

Thanksgiving is not a time for politics. It is not a time for football. It isn’t even a time to overindulge eating a spread that people spend hours creating because Norman Rockwell decided to deliver us the perfect picture of a family gathered around a huge turkey. We spend our time around the dinner table, perhaps issuing the standard: “I’m thankful for…”

Then we get to our ‘conversations’–which usually descend into arguments. Our words become hurtful when others don’t agree with us. Sometimes, we deprecate the beliefs of others to CAUSE drama for the entertainment of ourselves or others. Sometimes, our passion for causes leave us unable to keep silent and we forget to carefully choose our words in order to try to sway opinions. Sometimes, we simply demand that conversations hit on topics that we know would be better left alone.

Why?

We forget what this holiday is all about.

Thanksgiving should be what it was established to be–A DAY OF CELEBRATION FOR THE HARVEST IN HOPES FOR CONTINUED BLESSINGS.

Yes, we all know about Pilgrims and Native Americans. It might prove beneficial for us to remember the scene from the movie THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS where after killing a deer for food, the father immediately took time to recount his thankfulness for this provision of food and went on to even thank the creature for the gift of sustenance it would provide.

Do we do that?

I doubt many of us thank the turkey. I’m not even sure we spend a moment to thank those who did the cooking! No, we ‘chow down’ as quickly as possible to get to parades, football games, or online sale ads.

Christians, more than any others, should meditate on how blessed we are. Whatever the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we have the guidance and care of the Holy Spirit living within us, the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ whose blood we claim for our salvation, and the awesome awareness of the magnitude of the eternal God of creation.

We are to be thankful in the essence of ‘hallowed’ be Thine name. Hallow–to honor as holy, to REVERE. Instead of sitting, we should be prone, face down, when we meditate on what we have been given.

God gives us direction on speaking: Ephesians 4:29-“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

This Thanksgiving, I urge you to stop speaking for a spell.

Sit.

LISTEN.

Allow yourself to truly give thanks for the harvest and bounty that has been provided to you: in food; in family; in friends; but most of all IN GOD.

Having done that, say nothing but what is good and uplifting.

Speaking solely that which is positive will impact all of those at your table. You may even find that the conversations of those involved in shopping, games, and arguments will suddenly diminish. Even if they don’t, your awareness of the love of God and His many blessings will impact you this Thanksgiving!

Blessings!

WARNING…Danger Ahead/November 13, 2017

The Bible if full of warning about certain behaviors, but I’m not sure those on Facebook or on the media have read the message.

It seems as if there is a huge PILE ON of famous people making the news lately for behaviors that are truly despicable. The problem I have with the news is how quickly judgments are being made as to the guilt or innocence of those involved.

Since when did we try accusations on Facebook or Google? I will ALWAYS be on the side of those who suffer abuse…but I have to withhold judgment to allow our system of justice to work. Now, I know that there are power issues here. Those who suffer in jobs because they need the work, or the money, are often too embarrassed or unable to follow through with demanding justice for what they suffer in the workplace. Women who live with abusers worry about their safety and the safety of their children. To gain the courage to leave or go to the proper authorities is challenging. Add to this the many years of people turning aside to abuse as they ‘didn’t want to get involved’; didn’t want to believe; or were afraid to support someone they knew was being abused because of their own issues.

Abuse and power seem to go hand-in-hand. Those who we often trust the most are those who often let us down the most..whether politicians, Hollywood stars, or even those in the ministry who claim to want to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

Having said all this, I’ll confess to worry.

Jumping on a crusade without waiting for factual proof will help no one. To be taken seriously, we have to let the justice process work. There is much ‘he said/she said’ going on that I’m afraid the true criminals will slip through the cracks. I recently read where EVERY college accusation is guided by the judge to believe the WOMAN…even when circumstances may show through text messages or other behavior that the behavior exhibited was mutual.

Now, as a Christian, it would be easy for me to advocate the idea that those who choose to peruse behaviors unbecoming to our morals have to suffer…but that isn’t who Jesus Christ is. His love extends to ALL sinners as exhibited to the woman taken in adultery. Therefore, let us look at this admonition from the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 11:9 – An hypocrite with [his] mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

The just SHALL be delivered. It is up to all of us to see to that. We must ensure that ALL accused are given the chance to refute their accusers. We must look at facts. We must ensure that our minds are not corrupted by the media or others in our search for justice.

All young men and women must be taught what is proper behavior–whether it is from a youth minister, a coach, a boss, a husband/wife, or family members. They must be supported so that they are warned about consequences of bringing false accusations in the same way that they are to be taught about standing up to abuse and gaining the needful information that they can use to alert authorities to this behavior.

Finally, it is past time to begin having honest conversations with our children and others about things we keep ‘hidden’. That may be uncomfortable for many Christians–but if WE don’t do it, if WE don’t face these issues head-on then we dishonor what our Lord has instructed us to do for those who are helpless.

We need PRAYER more than ever…for our children, our spouses, our country, our church, and ourselves. Satan is a tricky tempter. Sometimes, he manages to outshout the warnings that the Holy Spirit is trying to impart.

Be warned. There is danger ahead…sometimes where we least expect it. That said, God is with us and will give us strength when we ask for it. What is more, we know that those who may seem to escape justice in this world, will eventually be called to account in judgment before God

Why? November 9, 2017

With all that is happening in the world, I think that we are all suffering a bit of: “What is happening? Why? and even a What’s the use?” kind of feelings. I know I am. Maybe, that is why I find myself SLOGGING away at my attempt to get through the book of Job right now.

Job isn’t the easiest book to read in the Bible. In many ways, I think it is because it hits too close to home. His friends keep coming up with ways to make Job go through even more self-doubt than he is already experiencing. Job is a guy who is afloat with questions but keeps refusing to blame God. His faith is strong–but his questions are compounding faster than the gold old Scrooge kept counting in A Christmas Carol.

Job’s questions are a lot like ours today. Why do bad things happen to believers? Job doesn’t ‘get’ why God is punishing him. If he has committed some sin, then why won’t God forgive him when he has asked for forgiveness?

Job’s friends certainly aren’t helping the situation. They refuse to believe Job’s assertion that he believes he is being punished unjustly. They point out that death is the end. They believe justice has to be found in this life. They are rigid rule-makers who feel that ‘they’ can speak FOR God because they are good at discerning rules. These arguments swirl back and forth between Job’s friends and Job who is trying his best not to curse God but force God to explain Himself.

There are three amazing truths found in the book for Job that we often overlook. The first is in Job 23: 10-But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. The second is in Job 19: 25 & 26-For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God. The last is contained in Job chapters 38-41 which I will not type out but implore you to read.

The finality of Job boils down to chapter 40 where we find: Job 42:1-6 where Job comes to his realization: Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be witholden from thee. Who is he that hide the counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Job’s questions have not abated. Like all of us, he still wrestles with why bad things happen to those who are good and the evil can be blessed. He has, however, gone from just ‘HEARING’ God’s words and instructions to actually SEEING God and understanding. God’s ways are not always of our understanding. We are given trials at times in order to learn and comprehend matters we never would have comprehended. God’s grace allows us the faith to worship Him not for all that we would RECEIVE but for who and what He is–our Creator and sovereign God.

The tests we endure in this world are many. Some are so heartbreaking (like what just happened in Texas) that we have no earthly way to come to terms with why God would allow them to happen.

Christians, however, all trod the way of Job in life to the point that we can do little more than cling to the assurance that while it may not be our way to understand these matters here on earth, one day it will all be explained—FOR THOUGH OUR BODIES MAY BE DESTROYED, YET IN OUR FLESH WE SHALL SEE GOD…FOR WE KNOW THAT OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Why Hollywood and ‘Oscar’ and some ‘Deplorables’ Have Always Been on a Head on Collision…

Deplorable.

The word has been in the news a lot since it was used in the political arena…but it has also been associated with those of us who practice religious behavior that is at odds with worldly vice. This has nothing to do with Hillary or Trump. This has to do with attitude…the attitude of those of us who still: “CLING TO OLD-FASHIONED VALUES”…like belief in the Ten Commandments.

Hollywood has always looked at us with disdain.

The phrase ‘sleeping to the top’ is not new. Nor, is it any wonder that Hollywood is being rocked by a scandal over powerful PEOPLE using their power to intimidate, harass, and sexually manipulate both sexes in a carrot-and-stick approach.

So, let’s just take a look at a minor segment on a news show today. An anchor duo were ‘supposedly’ interviewing a new broadcaster who will be giving financial update segments from Wall Street. Several MAJOR problems should have been immediate to television executives: the anchors attempt at humor at asking about the background of the broadcaster should be classified as biased as they automatically assumed because the broadcaster in Hawaii she would have been to X amount of luaus.

Then we have the broadcaster herself. Why does AMERICAN television insist on giving us broadcasters who dress and look as if they just graduated a good modeling school? Anyone who has traveled overseas and watched ANY show can tell you that Europe does not place as much emphasis on ‘beauty’ as it does on performance. You need only look at the popular actors/actresses in English comedies, or German news shows to realize that those on the ‘other side of the pond’ seem to care more about the TALENT of the people they hire than their outer looks.

Does this keep them from those who abuse their power in television, politics, or business?

NO.

And that brings us to the ‘deplorables’ (of which I guess I should be classified as one). WE ARE PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS FIASCO. Since when did we decide to hold up Hollywood ‘stars’ or ‘power players’ as idols? Since when did Americans fall so short of any kind of moral standards that those who blatantly have thrown our religious and moral standards of behavior under the bus allow THESE PEOPLE to sway us politically? Or groom our behavior? Or our dress sense? Or influence us as to what we think, do, or say? Why would we think that because someone can sing or dance they should tell us where to go, what to think, or who to vote for?

Those classified as ‘deplorable’ by the ‘powerful’ (whether they be in politics, journalism, Hollywood, or even your local PTA) are beginning to revolt over the simple fact that our manner of beliefs in certain moral standards are considered ABNORMAL. That is not to say that those espousing racist attitudes should not be considered contemptible. They should. But just because someone still believes in faith, God, patriotism, or ethical or moral absolutes they are fascist bigots and coloring them as ignorant is also hateful.

The simple fact is this: Christians, by their very nature, are different. Our standard bearer is Jesus Christ, whose very nature is at odds with the world.

The world does not recognize God, nor is it interested in bowing to His will or His wishes. The world worships humanism, in that it’s entire belief system puts MAN over God. Satan just loves this. We seem to forget that the devil roams this world at will…for now. The devil has no ‘standards’ as his job is solely to cause division, dissension, sin, anger, and hate.

Let’s remember that this same Hollywood that is screaming over harassment applauded Playboy’s Hugh Hefner; promotes movies that applaud women as nothing more than objects; raises artists who curse, abuse, promote, murder, bigotry, and revere the perverse as ‘normal’ in song, film, and comedy. They have done this for YEARS…unchecked.

My heart goes out to these brave women who are just now bringing up a painful time in their lives and have lived under a cloud trying to physically and mentally come to terms with this rape, abuse, and mental anguish. Nothing in THIS world will erase their horror. No money will ‘make it better’. No ‘talk’ or ‘interview’ will aid their distress.

NO means NO…not only in sex but in behavior. Saying NO to alcohol does not make you a sissy or substandard. Saying NO to drugs isn’t odd. Saying NO to premarital sex  isn’t/shouldn’t be abnormal. Saying NO to ‘looking the other way’ to bullying or behavior that we know is WRONG should be held as honorable.

My husband once interviewed for a job interview at a point in our lives where he had been out of work for some time. His possible employer arrived with his mistress after a ‘lunch’ (this was not guesswork, but acknowledged). He was offered the job and came home so we could discuss it. He turned it down. Why? Because any man that would cheat in his home life, would probably cheat in his business life as well.

Many consider the Christian’s  attitude toward God deplorable because our standards are different than the standards of the world. The time will come, however, when all of us will be held accountable before God. Perhaps, that will bring a small sense of comfort to those who suffered under this Hollywood bigwig. But even those who suffered will eventually be called to account for their deeds, beliefs, and behavior in this world. Only learning and knowing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ and understanding what and why His sacrifical death on the cross was all about will they finally understand the sinful nature of ALL humanity and the abundance of love God.

Christians would do well to examine their own behavior..for although we may be forgiven, we still fall prey to sin. We should flee from that which we know is wrong and give no cause for others to take offense at our behavior. And, if we wrong, we should acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness, paying whatever penalty is demanded.

2 Timothy 3: 1-8-But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

It is time for us to reread Scripture and speak out about those who abuse whether they be in the ministry or Hollywood. We are called to avoid sin…so we are to speak out against those who would practice it…no matter how powerful they may be.