PayPal moves to punish North Carolina over transgender law

Do you think the North Carolina law is just? Discriminatory? Out of touch with modern sensibilities?

If you were legislators in NC would you cave to the mounting pressure to conform or would you stay the course?

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 5, 2016) — PayPal says it’s canceling plans to bring 400 jobs to North Carolina after lawmakers passed a law that stops transgenders from using any bathroom they might choose.

Source: PayPal moves to punish North Carolina over transgender law

Living with a Dirty House

Dirty house

Is your house dirty?

As I was pondering the mysteries of life this week ( not!! ) I felt it would be prudent to interrupt my regularly scheduled day of leisure for something that has been weighing on me. It really is a simple matter but with consequences for everyone involved. I do not know how I have lived this long without dealing with this issue more thoroughly. How clean is my house? I mean really. Or better yet, how dirty is it?  When was the last time the furniture was moved, the baseboards scrubbed, the ceiling fan spotless ( don’t ask ), and all the beds made?
If you have kids like we do you know that they are little dirt magnets ( 3 boys ) and self-contained demolition crews. They can enter a room and in 2.5 seconds have everything overturned and dismantled. They are truly little whirlwinds that blow in, blow up, and blow out leaving destruction and mayhem behind them ( well not quite that bad ). Between them and myself my poor beleaguered wife ( the fabulous Mindy Kay ) can barely keep up.

When someone calls and says they plan on stopping over do the sirens blare and the vacuum rev in an effort to minimize the embarrassment of an untidy house? Do you, like many of us, attempt to ward off the unexpected visitor with all manner of guile until ample time has been given to straighten, clean, and polish? Do things get shoved into closets, under beds, or ( gasp! ) actually cleaned to give the appearance of order and decorum: After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness isn’t it? ( 1 Martha Stewart 2:12 )

Are our temporal houses microcosms of what is occurring in our spiritual lives? Do we put on airs while among the saints but retain clutter and filth ( unconfessed sin ) in our souls? Do we fake it around particular people in certain places to appear righteous despite the sins that are swept into the back rooms so no one can see them? Hypocrisy is a blight and worthy of the harshest condemnation as evidenced by our Lord’s dealings with the Pharisees. Outwardly their cups were clean but inside they were full of lies, hate, and corruption and were castigated for their pretense.

We, as believers, need to do better. Hiding sin neither honors our Lord nor provides a firm foundation for lasting friendships. If the foundation is rotten the whole structure is also unsound and will come crashing down around us. Be sure your sin will find you out because dirt under the rug is not removed only hidden and will only migrate to other more noticeable parts. Confession, daily repentance, prayer, and study are among the things that will reveal our true nature to us and lead to a deeper walk with Jesus Christ.

Do you have unconfessed sin? Are you a believer in God through Jesus Christ and the redemption found at the Cross? If not then today is the day of salvation for the Lord commands all sinners everywhere to repent and turn towards Him. Think about it.

 

Post Tenebras Lux

Gun Safety and Missing the Mark

Gun Safety

I like to shoot guns.  Pretty simple statement isn’t it?  I believe that it is my right as a citizen of this here United States of America to own and use firearms in accordance with the law.  Now, I also believe that, to quote Uncle Ben From Spider-Man, that with great power comes great responsibility and owing firearms is a great power bestowed upon an individual.  One of the responsibilities of owning firearms is gun safety and it should be learned early and often.

 

 

A couple rules of safety

Now, there are several rules of gun safety but two that I would like to point out are these:

  1. always treat the gun as if it were loaded
  2. always be sure of your target down range

A firearm should always be handled as if it were loaded.  The muzzle should never be pointed at anyone or anything ( except the ground or a verified safe direction ) until you are ready to shoot.  When you are ready to shoot you must be sure of your target and that there is nothing down range that could be an unintended recipient of a fired round. We must be careful at all times and in all ways when we are exercising our Constitutional right to own and bear arms.  Our children should be taught to respect firearms, how to use them, and when to use them.  With proper use and care a day of shooting can be great fun for the entire family.  See here for 10 gun safety rules.

 

A weapon apparently with no safety

  1. imageThere is, however, another weapon that all people possess, no license is required, and very little training is evident in its use: the tongue.  This is what James has to say about the tongue:

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. – James 3:5-6

How many people do you know, yourself and myself included, that shoot off at the mouth with little to no thought of what is being said?  Our mouths are often rolling along before our brains are even in gear and we tear down without building up. Our tongues are sharp instruments of destruction inflicting damage that scars others deeply.

We think we are being witty when we are actually being cruel.  Are we known for our acerbic wit or our comforting words?

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1.

Do our words calm a heated situation or do we throw gasoline on the fire fueling the blaze by what we say?

Just like with gun safety there are at least two rules we should follow when speaking:

  1. treat your words as if they are loaded.
  2. Be sure what is down range before your speak.

A word spoken cannot be taken back so we should measure our words with care and be sure our speech is seasoned with salt.  There is a live round in the chamber and even if what is spoken is true it is not always necessary to speak at that time or in the manner that first comes to us. Give it a few minutes, hours, or even days and then say what needs to be said with grace and love.

Our words are are often like a scatter gun; throwing out a broad pattern indiscriminately at whoever is standing before us mowing down the intended target and those innocently standing around.  Friends, there should be no collateral damage when we are speaking.  Parents, have you argued heatedly with your spouse in front of your children?  Next time tempers flare,  remember they hear and learn from our behavior.  Young ones, have you ever said something to your siblings or parents and regretted it the moment the words passed your lips?  A little forethought would both resolve and negate so many bad situations that our tongues get us into.

Before we utter that harsh and so often unnecessary word next time, let us ponder these words of Christ spoken to the Pharisees:

34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:34-37

What do you think?  How can we better control our tongues?

 

Sola Deo Gloria

The Covenant of Marriage 

Covenant
: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
a : a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
 
Our God is a Covenant making God as is readily seen in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.  The various covenants in The Bible including the Abrahamic, Noahic, Mosaic, Davidic, and of course the New Covenant are important as they attest to God’s dealings with man in His redemptive purpose.  There is, however, one specific covenant instituted by God not listed above that is under attack today: The Marriage Covenant.
 
A Man and a Woman
 
Matthew 19:5

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

 
This is how the Creator of the universe defines it.  Male and Female joined together as Christ is joined to His Church.
 
I am happily and passionately married to my wife of over ten years thirteen years, Mindy Kay, and I recognize the importance of a Godly marriage.  She was created by the very hand of God as a help-meet for me ( May the Lord have mercy on her ) in my sojourn in this strange land.  She is a nurse, a cook, an exhorter, and a comforter.  She is a mother and an educator….drying the tears of three unique and wonderful boys all the while making our house a home.  She is my complementarian partner not only in ministry  but in the whole of life and I thank God for her.
 
My goal, as should be every husband’s, is to love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for Her.  I am called to be the Protector, Provider, and Priest in our home and in the lives of our children and may God grant me the mercy and grace required for such a task.
 
I ask you now, today, wherever you are at, to pray for not only my marriage,  but for marriages around the world.  Pray for purity, commitment, and honor to be present in the lives of men and women.  Pray for the steadfast assurance that God is with us; that the love within marriage would be unconditional.  Pray for your pastor’s, elder’s, and deacon’s marriages as they and their families serve God, the Church, and you.  Pray that your children would find a godly mate and that they would be one.  Pray for our families…….
Share about your marriage and what you and your spouse do to make it great.
Sola Deo Gloria