The LGBT Deception, A Closer Look

Well, I hope all of you had an opportunity to review the scriptures that I included in last week’s post and gather your thoughts as to what the they not only say but what they really mean. With this week’s post I hope to take a closer look at these and give some insights as to how different people view them. In addition I want to add some examples along with personal comments that may help shed some light on the subject. So hang on to your seat and let’s go for a ride.

I think all of us are familiar with the passages in Genesis in which Moses relates the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s reasoning for bringing such harsh judgement against those wicked and perverse people. Included in the list of sins they were involved in on a continuing basis was that of homosexuality. In Genesis 19 this perverse sin is made very obvious in the story of the two angels in the likeness of men that came to visit at Lot’s house. The Bible states that the men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and demanded that Lot send the men out so they could have relations with them. Some scholars say there was no single word at that time to describe the term relations with men but it is obvious our word today sums it up, homosexuality. It was sin then and it is sin now.

The passage in Leviticus 18 states plainly that a male is not to lie with another male as he would lie with a female, i.e. have sexual intercourse. I find this passage very interesting because it says that this is abomination but just calls having sex with an animal a perversion. The Bible here emphasizes how horrible the sin of homosexuality really is in His eyes. In Leviticus 20 the punishment for the sin of homosexuality between two is death for both men. Some scholars want to make you believe that because the Levitical law is no longer the standard then the sin of homosexuality is not really condemned in the Bible for those of the present generation. It was sin then and it is sin now.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans as seen in chapter 1, Paul writes that although men knew God in that day they did not honor Him as God.  In that passage he describes one of the sins as men burning in their hearts for other men and performing indecent acts with them. He also points out that women were leaving their natural affections for the unnatural obvious describing lesbianism as we call it today. In both cases it is the sin of homosexuality and the Bible says here that God turned them over to a depraved mind. He also calls off a long list of many other types of sin that apparently went hand-in-hand with these perverse act in order to drive his point home of their total disregard for God’s commandments. He goes on to point out that they not only were doing all of these thing they gave hearty approval for others to do the same. It was sin then and it is sin now.

In his first letter to the church at Corinth in chapter 6 Paul calls off another list of sins and perversions of which homosexuality is one and how those who practice these on a regular basis will not inherit the kingdom of God. We know that he was writing a group of people who where a part of the church there but were doing these thing. However, he also pointed out that some of them no longer should be in bondage to these things because they had been washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit. There is hope for anyone in this situation but just like it was sin then it is sin now.

When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy he again associated the sin of homosexuality with the lawless and the unrighteous which by inference means that is not a practice of a true believer. Paul was encouraging him to be strong, stand on God’s Word and not let the false teachers mislead the church he was responsible for. It was sin then and it is sin now.

I realize that this has been a rather short look at these scriptures but I also believe we can come to the conclusion that homosexuality is sin no matter how you slice it. God hates sin and this particular sin carries with it a condemnation like no other sin in the Bible. It is an abomination in the eyes of God. But writers to-day want to dilute and even deny what God’s Word really means on the subject. I copied the paragraph below from an article I found online recently and if you read it you will have a better understanding  of what I’m talking about. 

In his book “God and the Gay Christian”, Christian LGBTQ activist Matthew Vines challenges LGBTQ-condemning interpretations of these Scriptures — sometimes referred to as “clobber passages.” But these clobber-texts aren’t the only Scriptures that can guide faithful Christians as we seek a godly understanding of sexual and gender identity.

In another article I found a quote by a former United Methodist pastor of nearly 30 years that is a strong supporter of the blessing of gay and lesbian unions in the church. This quote is taken from his response letter to a question from a young woman concerning the Bible’s view “that homosexuality is forbidden by God?” and it can be found on the Human Rights Campaign website at http://www.hrc.org/resources. The quote is as follows:

Sexuality is a wonderful gift from God. It is more than genital behavior. It’s the way we embody and express ourselves in the world. But we cannot love another person intimately without embodying that love, without using our bodies to love. And that does involve genital behavior. Sexual love is for the purpose of giving and receiving pleasure with our most intimate partner. It is a means of deepening and strengthening the intimate union that exists. This can only be healthy and good if our behavior is consistent with who we are and with whom we love, and when we are true to our own sexuality and orientation.

Are we getting the picture? How about this one? Former president, Jimmy Carter,  Southern Baptist, and long time Sunday School Teacher said during an interview on HuffPost Live that he believes that Jesus would approve of gay marriage. I recently read an article about when Jim Nabors, a great actor (Gomer Pyle), and a great singer, passed away in recent times, his husband was by his side. The retail store, Target, now has a children’s line of clothes called Rainbow Pride but yet we still keep on buying there. The former president of the United States, Barack Obama, was thrilled to light up the White House with rainbow colors to honor the LBGT movement. We have parents on Facebook condoning and supporting the gay lifestyle of their children and at the same time profess to be Christians. Everywhere we turn we are being pushed to accept this abomination as an acceptable lifestyle. And it seems to be working. But just in case you haven’t got the message. It was a sin the first time it happened and it is still sin now.

Next week we will continue our discussion and will talk about warnings concerning the sin of homosexuality and how we as Christians should deal with the issue based on God’s Word. Until then may God richly bless you. 

 

 

 

The LGBT Deception

Two weeks ago the title of the weekly post was “Stand or Cower” and my intent was to encourage the reader (and myself) to become more aware of the evil that seems to be taking over our country and begin to make a stand against it. Last week I tried to point out in the post entitled “E-V-I-L, The Real Enemy” that this evil is certainly the real enemy because it is being ordained, organized and orchestrated by Satan himself. He is using his resources to undertake an all-out, no-holds barred attack on Christianity in general and each of us individually that are believers. However, keep in mind as we look at some of the manifestations of this evil that we are not at war with people but with forces that are not of the physical realm. But in turn, we must also realize that it is necessary to show that this evil is carried out by blind humans that have never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and that, I believe, we have an obligation to warn them of their predicament. So our discussions will require us to describe who those individuals are in addition to an in-depth look at the evil itself.

In a previous post I stated that I try very hard to stay out of the political arena but it seems to me like many politicians seem to be the ones leading the charge. Although they can come from either sector, by far the majority are liberal leftists and almost everything they stand far is in direct contradiction to God’s Word. They are called by the term “Progressive” but in my opinion the better name for what they stand for would be “Perverted”. Their perversions are taking this country down a road that the ultimate end is destruction and unless we stand and be counted there is no hope for our children and grandchildren. As I said before, a lot of this is going to be hard-hitting but we need to call a spade a spade and tell it like it is. Not out of ill will towards any individual but a hatred for the sin that they are advocating.

The first issue I want to consider is that of homosexuality and it may take several weeks to cover everything I want to say. We know that it is becoming more rampant and acceptable in the world view but to our dismay many churches seem to be embracing it as a natural sexual behavior. So tonight I have included several scriptures for us to consider that address homosexuality in some manner. As you read these and think about what they say and the context in which they are said, I would like for you to come to a conclusion in your own mind about what God thinks about this sin. So here they are:

Genesis 19:1-11

1Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.”3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They [k]struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.

Leviticus 18:22

22 You shall not lie with a male as [l]one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to [m]mate with it; it is a perversion.

Leviticus 20:13

13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. 

Romans 1:20-32

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit [u]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

1 Corinthians 6:9

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicator, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1 Timothy 1:10

8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Next week we will get into an in-depth study and discussion of these verses and bring to light how certain people interpret them. From this we want our conclusion to the matter to be the same as God’s.

E-V-I-L, The Real Enemy

As we stated last week there are a number of issues we are faced with today that we did not have to openly encounter 50 years ago. As we begin to take a look at these things I just want to remind you that they did not happen all at once but over a period of time. Bite by bite we have been forced to eat of the bitter fruit that Satan has prepared and provided to us through his army of followers. If you look close, you can find them in every walk of life, disguised as normal folk, with some as heroes of their career environment. They include such people as actors, entertainers, athletes, judges, senators, representatives and yes, even some as religious leaders. But I’ve come to the conclusion there is only one word that can describe these characters and the ideas and tenets they espouse. And that word is the four letter word E-V-I-L.

I believe that what God classifies as  evil in His Word is evil just likes He says. I also believe that He has placed in every man, woman, boy and girl an inherent understanding of what is good and evil which we call the conscious. However, a great deal of people have ignored that conscious and have certainly ignored what God’s Word has said, if they have even read His Word. In other words, they have no standard by which to guide their lives but trust in their own self or Satan and his demons. And we see that every day in everything around us and we as christians have to decide how we are going to react and what stand we are going to take. What cause we are going to support.

In the following weekly posts we will take a close look at a number of these issues such as abortion, homosexuality, racism, civil liberties, civil authority, etc. and hopefully come to a better understanding of what God has to say about each of them. Keep in mind that our standard is God’s Word, not some other man’s writings or opinions. We also need to remember that it doesn’t really matter what we believe, only what God’s Word says.

I know that I will be the one most convicted as I go through this study and I pray that the end result is that all of us will determine to stand and be counted on to be the salt and light that He desires us to be.

Stand or Cower

I don’t know about you but I am getting sick and tired of all the ungodly things that are going on in our country today. I’m amazed at how far we have drifted from our humble beginning where the folks feared God and based most of their decisions on His Word. The majority of our citizens once upon a time valued human life, had great respect for  our flag, our military, our country and yes, even our president. But things have changed and I must say certainly for the worse. Our country is almost unrecognizable to me.

I try very hard not to get too hung up on the politics of our day but they have evolved into an all out war between the two major groups. The liberals on the far left seem to espouse a deep hatred for anyone who does not agree with them and I tell you folks, it is taking a tremendous toll on our homes and our churches. Jesus told His disciples that there was coming a time that when He was no longer with them that the world would hate them just like they hated Him. The disciples certainly found out how true that was and all of them were martyred in some fashion. And it looks like it’s our time now. We as christians have enjoyed many years of freedom from persecution in our country but that is fast coming to an end. Christians are suffering tremendous persecution in many other countries as we speak and that is where we are headed. God help us!

The real question is how are we going to react to all of this. We are aware that we have a responsibility to honor and yes, even obey those in authority over us. However, there is an exception that we must consider. Demands, statutes, laws, etc. that are in direct contradiction to God’s commands as He has declared in His Word carries no weight for the christian. Now we must certainly be careful to not use this as a means to not comply with those things that are not opposed to God’s Word. We still must render to Caesar what belongs to him. But when the time comes that we are asked or directed to comply with something that God does not approve of, what will our reaction be. Will we stand firm on God’s Word or will we cower in fear?

I plan to spend the next few weeks discussing some of the very issues that are beginning to affect us as christians. Issues where there is no doubt they are in total opposition to His Word. I hope to cover these in some detail and some of it will be hard-hitting. It is not my intention to offend anyone but I plan to tell it like I think it is. And I will back up the things I say with God’s Word. And if you disagree with anything I write, I would hope  you would take time to express that by commenting on the post.

I pray that God will richly bless each of you.

My Fathers!

The idea of having a day set aside to honor fathers was first expressed in the early 1900’s. There are actually two stories that are considered when one attempts to assign credit to someone for the idea. One story comes from the state of Washington where a young girl made the suggestion to honor her father because of his willingness to raise his six children after his wife died giving birth to number six. The other comes from the state of West Virginia where, once again, a young lady suggested a day be set aside to honor fathers after a tragic mine explosion claimed the lives of 361 men. Although the idea was supported by communities all over the country for many years, it wasn’t untill 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday. And the third Sunday in June has been celebrated as Father’s Day in our country since that time.

Father’s Day holds a special place in my heart because of the influence my “daddy” had on my life. Although I lost him almost fifty years ago, while he was in the prime of his life, the impact he had on my life remains to be one of the biggest reasons I am the person I am today. I am not referring to any impact that his education, his secular job, his special talents, his support of my endeavors, his love for life had on me and my siblings. And I’m certainly not referring to his wealth because, although we were not poor, we did not have a lot of material things in any abundance. But what I am referring to is his faith and his devotion to God. Daddy was saved in a revival meeting as a young teenager and a very short time later knew God was calling him to preach His word. And that is just what he did. From as far back as I can remember He was always following God’s will for his life as he and my mother raised us kids. He taught us from God’s word at our “family altar” times which were almost every night and certainly every time we made our way to church on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. He taught me every time I heard him praying and talking to God, on his knees, by his bed, at all times during the day or night. He preached every day of the week just by the way he lived his life. He truly lived out what he believed. In almost fifty years of him not be present here on earth, I have never heard anyone speak an unkind word about him. Those who knew him will tell you that he also had a great impact on their lives and that they were a better person because of his influence. So, if any man ever deserved to have a day set aside to honor him it would be my daddy. And as far as I’m concerned, that would be every day.

With all of that said, there is another Father, a greater Father than my daddy, that I want to honor. God the Father, creator of all things, provider of all things, sustainer of all things, the One Who, through His only Son, Jesus, made a way for me to be reconciled to Himself. He deserves all the honor, every day, every hour, every minute, and yes, every second of our lives because of Who He is.

So, in conclusion, thank you God the Father for giving me the greatest earthly father that a man could ever have. Thank you for the time I had with my daddy here on earth and thank you for the promise that I will spend eternity with You and him when my time here on earth is complete!

Happy Father’s Day! 

Taught By A Teen

Sometimes the life’s lessons that come our way are brought to us through ways that are totally unexpected and sometimes even unorthodox. Many times these lessons come from personal experiences that can either be a failure we’ve had or even a success we’ve enjoyed. But very often they come through other people who have led the way in areas that we have little experience or knowledge and we benefit from the fact that we personally know them and respect them. In virtually every case these people are older than we are, or, at the very least, very close to us in age. Seldom do they come from those who are younger, especially someone in their teens, but this very week I have experienced this in a tremendous way.

One of my sweet granddaughters has recently experienced several disappointments in her life and for a 15-year-old the impact of the events has been a great burden to bear. But I’m here to tell you that she has learned so much more than me when I was that age and certainly knows who to put her trust in during the time of trouble. She recently wrote a short article of her experiences and her reaction to those events without revealing details of the experience or naming those involved. When I read it (with tears streaming down my face) I realized that what I was reading could not have been better iterated by someone of many years or someone of greater knowledge. I was reading something from the heart, totally transparent, and when I finished her story it was obvious that I had been the target of another one of life’s lessons that I so desperately needed. And I had been taught by a young teenager.

With her permission I have included her article in the paragraphs below. I think it will have the same impact on you as it did me and you will be better for it.


Joy Comes in the Morning

Let me start by saying that a hurt heart sucks. Now that I’ve said that, there is so much that I want to share. I have always told my friends that through trials and hardships, they should keep their eyes fixed on what is good and on the One who brings the good in-spite of the rough times. At the moment, I’m having to listen to myself. I’ve recently been faced with a situation that, although I’ll grow through, is changing my normal. During this time I have the chance to bash people, trash someone’s name, exclude myself and shut myself out. Lock myself in my room and never come out. Totally take on life right now, all. by. myself. I have the opportunity to cause chaos, to ruin someone else and in return, doing so to myself. I have every earthly reason to make my family go ballistic and wreck myself, but I have every heavenly reason to take my broken pieces, to carry my burdens and troubles to the altar. I can bring them and leave them at my sweet Jesus’ feet, and that indeed is what I’ve decided to do. Psalm 147:3, “He heals the broken-hearted, and bandages their wounds.” I say all of this to get to this point; no matter how much your heart hurts and how rough something may be, our God is one of comfort and relief, and He certainly does not mind you running to His arms and crying on Him.

I just ask that the next time you get hurt, you run to Jesus. Earthly temptations sink in to talk bad, to think hateful and cruel things, to wish someone/something anything but happiness and prosperity and they sure are hard to turn away from. But I want to tell you, life is too good, life is too short, this problem is too meaningless to forget who you are in Jesus. We have a soul purpose to live like Jesus. WE win people for Jesus, that is our calling, and we certainly cannot do so if we are throwing pity parties for ourselves and seeking vengeance on others.We can’t live in the world and in the word at the same time. So much good will come your way by running to Jesus.

As I was sitting there in my thoughts, thoughts of awful things I could do, I looked up. I looked up and my eyes met a little wooden decoration in my living room. This piece read “Joy Comes in the Morning”, simply meaning, the pain now cannot compare to the joy coming. I have probably read this sign over and over a million times, but this time it meant something more than the verse in “Your Love Never Fails” by the Newsboys. A wave of relief washed over me.

I realized it’s going to hurt now, but there will be so much more coming my way than the simple, still life I’ve lived. Our God is so gracious to comfort us, wrap us in his warm embrace and remind us of His unfailing love. So the next time your heart hurts, the next time life changes, run to God and as my momma says, “Handle it with grace.” Because sweet JOY comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5, Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 8:18, Isaiah 43:18, Psalm 46:1


Isn’t it amazing how God uses people, especially those we love, to continue to grow us to be more like Him. Thank you Lord and thank you Emily for a well taught lesson for PapaDave.

 

 

 

Total Trust?

Recently I was asked a very interesting question and one that probably all of us have asked ourselves at some point along the way in our walk with Christ. It is really a simple question that should demand a simple answer but as I considered it I realized that one must be very careful as to how they answer. Especially if we are honest with ourselves. The question was this: “Do you totally trust the Lord in all things and with all things?” Now keep in mind that the question was asked with the assumption that I had at some point in my life come to an understanding that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, repented and put my faith and trust in Him. So the question was not one of concern about my relationship with the Lord but was directed at someone who is already a true believer and follower of Christ.

I must admit that when the question was posed to me, my first thought was simply “Well of course I do!” and I was just about to voice it. But before I could say anything I realized that was not true and that I was full of self-righteousness to even think that. Yes, I have certainly put my faith and trust in Him and that brought about a change in my life. And yes, I look to what He did at the cross and the price He paid for my sin. And yes, my desire is to follow Him and I attempt to do just that. But in all reality I can’t say that I totally trust Him in all things and with all thins. So, if had voiced my first thoughts, they would have been full of pride.

The truth is that there are so many times that I think I can handle the situation on my own and I can fix the problem. I don’t even consider His involvement in any way and go about doing it my own way. Sometimes, He allows me to be successful in my effort and the result is a deeper sense of pride. But I really believe He is just setting me up for some future failure in order to teach me or remind me to trust Him. So, as I thought more about the question I carefully chose my words before I responded. “I’m not quite there” I said “and I don’t think I can ever get there.” What I meant with those words was this. Like Paul, the battle between my flesh and the Spirit is a daily thing and will probably be that way until He calls me home. That, of course, is not an excuse to give up and let my flesh rule but my desire should be to trust Him more and my efforts should match that desire. This is called spiritual growth and I’m not close to maturity yet. I need to be constantly reminded of this truth: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

And that folks, is the rest of the story. Good day.

 

 

New Beginnings; Committed Ends

Graduation is one of the major milestones of our lives and generally sets the course for the path we will take for our future. When we first start to school we don’t really comprehend the journey we are beginning. However, as the years pass by, we slowly begin to recognize the fact that at some point we will be on our own and thus we begin to look forward to that day. It seems to become a permanent thought in our minds that graduation day is when our lives really begin. Therefore our focus starts to sharpen for most of us as we look forward to that day.

This week just about everyone I know has been involved in some kind of graduation event with either their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and in some cases even their spouses. As I’ve already mentioned, many young people will begin a new phase in their life and I would venture to guess that most of them are very excited about that. Maybe a little scared but still excited. Young men and women all over this country will begin to make choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It is truly an exciting time for them and a new beginning into what they hope to be a successful life. So our hats are off to all of them for their achievements and our sincere wishes for their prosperous futures.

On the other hand, we also need to recognize those whose lives have prematurely ended due to the ravages of war. Memorial Day, which we will officially observe on Monday, is a time that has been set aside to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy in our great nation. The vast majority of those men and women were probably just beginning a new life when they found themselves in the midst of something much greater than themselves. While many young folks at home  were celebrating their new beginning these heroes were about to come to a premature end to their lives. I’m reminded of what Jesus told His disciples just before He was to be crucified. “No greater love than this that a man would lay down His life for another.” So many of our young men and women have done just that so our hats are also off to all of them in honor of their great sacrifice.

I would be remiss with all of this if I didn’t remind each of us of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made. He paid the price for our sin by giving Himself on the cross. And my friends, He did it willingly because of His great love for us. When he voiced those words to His disciples He was surely referring to Himself and the task at hand. And in the words of an old great gospel song, “Oh praise the Lord, He did it all for me!” 

 

What Did You Eat Today?

Tonight’s post is being compiled immediately upon arriving home from the local Olive Garden Restaurant where I enjoyed one of my favorite meals. Weather permitting, on Saturdays after our morning bible study, I spend all of my time outside doing the things that need to be done to maintain our house and somewhat of a decent yard. I purposely don’t have anything to eat during the day because I plan on having a large meal at dinner. So after a hard days work, my wife and I head to one of several restaurants we enjoy and have dinner. That’s when I pig out and tonight was no exception. Three bowls of Olive Garden’s famous house salad with their fabulous italian dressing and the dinner portion of their spaghetti with traditional meat sauce heat the spot. I just couldn’t get enough. However, I was a little more moderate when it came to the bread sticks. I only had half of one. Well, to tell you the truth, somehow they got behind my salad bowl and I couldn’t see them. But I was too full to enjoy them when the view changed. So, needless to say, I am stuffed!!!

Actually, I had intended to have a different subject tonight but the minute I started to type I had a very provocative thought enter my mind. I’m not one to over spiritualize things but I truly believe it was the Holy Spirit getting my attention again. Here is the thought I had in the form of a question. Why am I not stuffed with spiritual food from God’s Word? Why is my spiritual hunger not greater than my physical hunger? It hit me like a ton of bricks. And to be honest, I had to stop what I was doing, take a short walk around the yard and admit to God I wasn’t as hungry for His Word as I should be and ask Him to forgive me. I read God’s Word on a regular basis, I am taught God’s Word on a regular basis, I hear God’s Word preached on a regular basis and I even teach God’s Word on a regular basis. But even with all of that I find my focus drifting from what I’ve read or heard because I am not as spiritually hungry as I ought to be. God help me.

I had a wonderful meal at the restaurant but it was not the kind of food I needed for spiritual growth. So, what did you eat today? Thank you Lord for the stark reminder. 

Mother’s Day

Have you ever wondered how the holiday we celebrate as Mother’s Day got started? Is it a religious holiday based on some Biblical truth or is it just something invented by greeting card company’s to increase sales? Before we try to answer those questions we must all realize this very important fact. Every person that has ever been born had a mother, including Jesus Himself. With that said let’s take a look at a very short version of the history of the holiday as provided by Wikipedia in the following paragraphs.

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-in-law’s Day”. However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday (the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother’s Day, she became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother’s Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother’s Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis protested at a candy makers’ convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925. By this time, carnations had become associated with Mother’s Day, and the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, who was arrested for disturbing the peace.

For a more detailed history of the Mother’s Day holiday the link at the end of the post will take you to a great article that goes all the way back to the eighteen hundreds where mother’s were beginning to be honored even then. 

Now that we have somewhat of an idea how Mother’s Day begin and why, I want to challenge each of us to think about what impact our mother’s may have had on our lives. And, in the case of those whose mothers remain with us, what impact they are still having on their children. So, as you are thinking about yours, let me tell you about mine.

My mother was a wonderful woman and a great mother. I can never remember a time as a child or teenager when I didn’t feel loved. I never felt unwanted, just the opposite. I always loved the fact that she was there waiting when I came home from school and most of the time supper was ready or very close to it. We ate at the table as a family. No eating on the couch and watching TV because we didn’t have one. She was at every activity I was involved in and it was the same for all of my siblings. She supported everything we did and always thought we were the best one. Although as a young woman she encountered a number of health issues that would have stopped most people dead in their tracks, but not her. She showed great courage during those times that would serve her well down the road. I am describing these things that were important to me in some detail because they laid a foundation for how we as kids would handle the family tragedy that would come our way a short time later.

As a young man of 37 years my dad died from injuries he suffered when an automobile fell on him as he was working underneath it. My mother was left with three young teenagers still at home and one recently married and with a child of her own. Because my mother had always been a stay-at home mom, she didn’t know anything about working outside the home or even how to go about getting a job. This sent her into a tail spin that lasted a few years but because of her courage she finally overcame the terrible situation she found herself in. She worked hard and eventually became a proud and self-supporting individual. And she was able to do so until she reached an age that she could no longer physically function like she needed to but still managed to live by herself and take care of herself. Even though her last days on earth were quite painful due to health problems her mind remained very alert. Her courage up to her last breath remains quite an example for me and I pray that my children and grandchildren will be able to say the same thing about me someday.

My mother was a loving and caring mother, full of life and full of courage. I thank God for her life and the impact she had on mine. Thank you Lord for sharing her with me and I know she and my dad are in your presence praising you like they did so many times when they were here. I also believe You and they are waiting for us to come home.

I sincerely hope you have wonderful memories of your mother and that her impact on your life has helped bring you to where you are today.

**Link for article Mother’s Day Celebrated