Purpose




Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace





Friday, April 28, 2017

Never un-friended

  Social media is a great thing, but not everything is great. We act in ways online that most of us would not act off line with people. One such way is un-friending. That wasn't even a word until Facebook came along. And it is something we do too easily. Can you imagine Jesus doing that if He had a Facebook page?

"Criticized Trump too much, Un-friend!" (That has happened to me)

"Criticized Obama too much. Un-friend!" (That has also happened to me)

"Posted too much about homosexuality." Un-friend! (That happened too....)

"Didn't 'like' my cat pictures." Un-friend! (I don't think that has happened)

"You post too often. Un-friend!" (That has happened)

  And can you imagine doing that off-line. Picture someone walking up to you and saying "Hey John, I don't like you questioning my voting decision and criticizing  the person I voted for. You are no longer my friend!"

 The idea of any normal person, much less a Christian, going up to someone and telling them they are no longer their friend for the reasons we do it online......is just ludicrous. So why is it OK online?

 I have un-friended people, and wonder sometimes if I should. Some cases are more extreme though, so should we un-friend or not?



Exhibit A:

  "Ron" added me as a friend last year. He is a young guy raised like me, and not living for God. He posted a lot of profanity, and went on a profanity laced rant after I posted something against marijuana.....which he obviously uses. I removed him.

Exhibit B:

"Jon" was a friend since Bible college. We never hung out, but got along and I enjoyed talking to him when I ran onto him.

 During the election, I re-tweeted a Twitter comment from the guy I ended up voting for, Evan McMullen (Independent). "Jon" replied and said if I wasn't for Trump, I was for Hillary and was for killing babies. I saw red and was also hurt. "Jon" knows good and well that I am pro-life, and was just insulting me because I wouldn't vote like him. I removed him and his wife.

Exhibit C:

   I deal with same-sex attractions and am involved in a ministry for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. A lot of men and women also using the ministry or who are active leaders have added me as a friend. I never had trouble until a few weeks ago. "Bob" had added me and had not interacted much with me. He had messaged me how much a blog post had encouraged him that I had written, and had "liked" some of my Facebook posts.

 This night, I was up late since I didn't have to work the next day. He messaged me and said he was struggling that day to feel masculine. I replied back that I have days like that. He then replied with a graphic description of what makes him feel masculine. I deflected and made an innocent comeback. He pursued with the sexual comments, so I told him good night and logged off.

 The next morning, I felt it best to remove him from my friends list, but he had already done so and blocked me. Ironic when he was the one in the wrong, but oh well.


Exhibit D:

  On a couple of occasions, I have gone through my Facebook friends. If I know a person has not interacted with me for several months, they go.

  I am not saying if I was right or wrong in any of these cases, but I would ask what would Jesus do in the cases where I was un-friended and when I did the un-friending. If Jesus used social media, would He ever un-friend someone? I cannot imagine that He would. This is the Jesus who promised to be with us through eternity. This is the Jesus who said nothing can separate us from His love. If that is true, than no Facebook post could ever cause Him to hit that "Unfriend" or "Block" button.

 And if we are to be like Jesus, should we do that? I really don't know. I don't want to be Facebook friends with people who use profanity, accuse me of something they know is untrue, or is just a plain jerk to me......yet Jesus takes far more than that......and Christians in other countries take a lot worse than that.

 This Jesus who we serve will never unfriend or block us. No matter what we do, He will never walk away. I believe we can walk away from Him, but He will never, ever desert us, or walk away. Others will. People from our own church and family may unfriend us online or off-line, but Jesus will never do such a thing.


 And by the way, it is a little nicer to use the "un-follow" feature. The other person never knows. Of course Jesus wouldn't do that either........





 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Voiceless

  What would you do if an abortion clinic was across the street from your church? What would your church do?

  Last night, I watched a great movie called Voiceless. That is exactly what happened in the movie. Jesse Dean is a former military man discharged because of injuries sustained in action. He is the new outreach minister of a church that has an abortion clinic across the street. Day after day, he watches women go in and out of the building. He tries to talk some out of it, and feels the loss when one young girl kills herself after having her baby killed.

 He wants to do more, but the church is apathetic. They don't want to get "political". They pray about it, and feel that is all they need to do. But Jesse wants to do more. He needs to do more. I won't give any spoilers away, but he has a few brushes with the police as he does what he feels God is calling him to to: minister to women intent on killing their babies, and try to save lives.

 The man in the White House just launched some rockets at Syria because their  lunatic leader has been using chemical weapons on his own people. I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not. I do know Mr, Trump violated laws by doing this without Congressional approval. That issue aside, should we attack another country for such a thing?



 On a daily basis, we are murdering innocent babies with chemicals and other cruel methods. If we have the right to attack another country because their leader is committing atrocities on his people. does that mean another country has the right to attack America for the atrocities we are daily committing in the name of women's health, choice, and other cutesy words we use instead of butchering and murder?

 "But it is different. The Syrians being killed are out of the womb." Really? Why is it different? It is only different because we have gotten apathetic about the murders sanctioned and funded by our government. Is it because we can't see what these babies are going through as they are burnt with chemicals or torn apart by a butcher masquerading as a doctor?

 What if when we Americans stand before God, He asks us why we let it go on? What would we say? "I didn't want to get political." "It was legal, what could I do?"




 I have heard professing Christians protest making abortion legal, "because women will go to back alleys and do it with a coat hanger. At least it is safer this way." Safe for whom? Not  the baby. It is safer for the person ordering the murder. Why are we so concerned about making it as safe as possible for someone to commit a murder?

 I have felt for a long time that we aren't doing enough to stop this atrocity. I find myself wishing I could do more, but wishing doesn't really do anything. Sure, I vote for pro-life politicians. In fact, one of the many reasons I did not vote for Trump was his praise of Planned Parenthood.

 But that isn't enough.

 If we had buildings all across America where toddlers and small children were taken and cruelly murdered, would we stand idly by? I can't imagine we would. We would want whatever necessary done to stop it.

 If someone is killed trying to harm or kill a small child, or even an adult, we feel justice was served and they deserved what they got. Yet, we are so worried that a mother killing her baby can go about it as safely as possible.

 I heard a pastor say this in a sermon once: "If the blood of Abel's blood cried out to God from the ground, what must He be hearing from all of the babies we have killed here in America?" How long will God put up with it? Are we a truly Christian nation when we sit idly by and don't do anything to stop this American Holocaust?




 We (well, Trump) just launched rockets at Syria because of the atrocities being done there. What are we going to do about our own? We can't even get a Republican Congress and  the "Republican" Trump to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Even a lot of conservatives and Christians don't really think Roe vs Wade should be overturned. But why not?

 Really, what kind of people we are, what kind of Christians are we to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to this issue? And what kind of people are we that we have become so comfortable and apathetic about babies being ripped a part in the womb? It should worry us if we don't view the killing of babies in the womb as bad as the killing of people outside of the womb.

 Do we have any right to wonder why Christians didn't rise up against slavery, when we let this go on? Do we have any right to wonder how Hitler exterminated and treated the Jews so horribly when we sit by and let it happen to the most innocent of humankind? Do we have any moral right to go after Syria for what their leader has done while we have our baby butchering and killing legal and funded by our government?




 I'm no expert on these issues, but here are some reasons we don't do more, or anything:

1) We have gotten used to the murder of babies.

2) It's legal, so many people feel it should just be left alone.

3) We don't care enough.

4) We don't want to take the time or effort to do anything about it.

5) Some of us feel it is better women go to an abortion clinic than a back alley.

6) Many feel it is a political issue.

7) We just try not to think about it.

  There may be other reasons, but it doesn't really matter. When we stand before God, if He should ask us what we did to stop the slaughter of innocent lives, what will we say? If He asks us why we didn't do anything, what will we say?

 And who is to say He won't ask that?






Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mark's musings, A la carte



  I still am not doing much in the area of blogging. So here is another post of random things that has been a couple of weeks in the making.....it is kind of a la carte, which means if you're reading this, you can pick and choose what you wish to read.......



1) Names

    One thing working at the hospital has showed me: I don't  have that bad of a last name. Because of Hippa Laws, I can't share them, but believe me...... there are some very bizarre last names out there. And first names :)



2) KJV


2) People who are radically KJV only drive me crazy. They practically worship the translation. The older I get, and the more translations/versions I explore, the more convinced I am that the KJV is NOT the best version, much less the only one that should be used.





3) KJV 2


Imagine if everyone talked like the language of the KJV. "Wouldst thou pardon me from thy presence? I must goeth to the market and buyeth food for thou and the rest of my family because I lovest thou and them so much......." Maybe we should have a "talk like the KJV" day.......



4) A gay president


  After nominating and voting for Donald Trump, will the conservatives and Christians ever vote for a gay president? Why shouldn't they? If a gay man has a monogamous relationship, why would he be any worse than Donald Trump? That is the problem with lowering the bar so much. And to be honest, a gay man in a monogamous relationship may not be any worse..... and the Republican party has lost their right to moral outrage. I honestly can see no moral reason any Christian could present for not voting for a gay president who voted for Donald Trump.



5) Mike Pence



  I haven't really been impressed with Pence since he backed down on the Indiana Religious Freedom Act, and then became Donald Trump's running mate.... but the liberals and media have shown how insane and truly idiotic they are with their outrage over the boundaries Pence and his wife have set for their marriage. Sadly, a lot of Christians are also knocking them.


The thing is, if every married couple was that careful, there wouldn't be as many affairs, broken marriages, and divorce.

So thumbs down on a couple of things, but thumbs up for this, Mr. Pence.





6) Being liked


Sometimes I wonder if anyone truly likes me, or if they just like me when I act in ways they approve of, and am what they approve of.



7) Donald Trump and the Freedom Caucus


  Trump has been calling out the Freedom Caucus leaders,  the few in Congress that are actual conservatives. Were it not for them, we would have Obamacare Lite. My support is with them, not him.



8) Black Lives Matter


If you pay attention to  the Black Lives Matters people, they don't want equal rights. They already have those. They want special rights, and have some ridiculous demands.

 Their recent outrage over the Pepsi ad shows just how pathetic and hateful they and many liberals are. To be so outraged at the idea of someone at one of their protests giving a can of pop to a police officer shows how hateful they truly are.



9) Predestination


  I have been following a lot of posts by Calvinists in a group I am in, and many of them seem to have the idea that we are basically robots that have no choice in being a Christian. If God picks us out, we can't say no. If He doesn't pick us out, we are doomed with no chance of ever becoming a Christian. Why do they want to portray a God like that? And why do they so hotly defend a God who picks and chooses who He will offer salvation to?



10) The Shack


  Choose this day who you will serve: the god of The Shack, or the God of the Bible.... for they are definitely not the same. (Yeah, I am still disgusted at how many Christians are into the book and movie and ignore or don't care about the heresies and false teachings)



11) Easter bunny


A church I pass on my way to work was advertising breakfast with the Easter bunny........ way to confuse the kids, Bring the Easter bunny to church


12) Church expansion

  My church is expanding. They are knocking out the front of the church and making the sanctuary bigger so a few more rows of pews can be added. I may be the only person in the church against it. We rarely need more room than we have, and with churches dying we may not need the room we have in 5 years. But I doubt anyone wants to hear thoughts contrary to the boards and whoever else made the decision. So I shall keep silent, and no one will know my thoughts who doesn't read this blog post.



13) Job

  Do I dare admit it on my blog..... I don't really like my job. There are various reasons, but I don't. Sadly, they are getting rid of my old job so I couldn't have it back if I wanted. And I am really tired of the drive, especially to the other hospital.


14) Depression

   My depression and anxiety are worsening, if that is possible. I think unhappiness with my job has added to it. I seriously feel like I am drowning in depression, despair, worry,  and hopelessness. I am not sure where to go from here. I am between doctors, since I just got my insurance from the hospital... but medications have never seemed to help, and I wasn't quite honest with the doctor the last couple of times I saw him. I was afraid of what might happen if I was 100% honest. I knew for one thing he would push counseling, and I can't see that helping......especially if the counselor is not a Bible believing Christian.

 I constantly feel lonely, yet I don't want to be around people...... a bad problem to have with my job duties.

 And it is getting more and more difficult to go through the motions of every day life.




15) House

 I still haven't found a house, which is another thing weighing me down. And now I am starting to wonder if I really want one in the town I have been looking in. I have no plans to change jobs at this moment, but now I am wondering if the reason nothing is working out is because maybe I won't be working where I am working. But I am about to turn 48.....and don't have many skills. I'd have a hard time getting a decent job elsewhere.


16) Late to the Trump party

  No, not me..... I can't see me ever liking the man.   It seems that people who took a hard stand against Trump, and caved at the last minute or after the election, are the most rabid when he is criticized. Even though they stood arm and arm with we #nevertrump people, they seem to think that just because they flipped the switch, I must also flip that switch and have no right to not do exactly as they have. They are the loudest and harshest when he is criticized.....maybe they are trying to make up for the days when they were against him.

17) Diabetes

  Due to circumstances, I have gotten lax in checking my sugar. I was shocked to discover today that I have not checked it since September.......

18) Christians and outrage

   It may be since I have been on the other side of it a few times...but I have been wondering if we Christians get too easily offended and outraged. And if we always react as we should when that happens. Could it be that some things are more important to us than God......or at least more important than loving people?

If you dare criticize homeschooling, many homeschooling moms will turn into screaming banshees. (Not much of an exaggeration)

If you criticize a politician someone voted for, you get un-friended on Facebook.

   There are Christians in Muslim countries suffering torture, loss of family, and more...... and I have read stories of them forgiving those who persecute them.... yet we can't handle people criticizing our voting choice, our schooling choice, or a host of other things that we love so much.

 If we cannot handle criticism of such things, how on earth will we ever handle true persecution?


19) Un-friending

  Speaking of un-friending on Facebook,  should a Christian do it? We all have done it.... or at least many of us, but should a Christian delete someone as a friend on Facebook?

I've been un-friended for criticizing Obama

I've been un-friended for criticizing Trump (by the same people who had no problem with me criticizing Obama)

I've been un-friended by at least one person for talking about gay-related issues too much

I have routinely gone through my Facebook friends and deleted anyone who had not interacted with me for several months.

I have deleted and blocked people who have said some very ignorant, mean, and untrue things to me or about me.

  I'm not saying we have to take abusive language from people, but I am asking how easily should Christians un-friend people? We wouldn't do it in real life, and it wouldn't be Biblical in real life to do it as easily as we do it online..... but is online any different? Does loving people. turning the other cheek, and all that stuff go out the window when we are on Facebook?

 Would Jesus delete someone for criticizing a politician He likes.....even if He felt the criticism was over the top?

 Would Jesus delete anyone for any reason?

There is the "un-follow" option, which may not be any nicer, but the person doesn't know about it. I used that a lot on people who posted too much pro-Trump stuff :)

  I am far from guiltless in this area, but it is something that has been on my mind lately.




20) Passion Play 2017

  For the very first time ever, my entire family - parents, sisters, their husbands, my nieces and nephews, and I - will be going to the Passion Play together. Most of us have the day off, and the others work early enough in  the day that they can go. We have been attending the one at Highway Tabernacle in Austintown Ohio for several years now.


21) CDs

  I said this was random. I am getting way too many CDs. I already had a lot, but I have been finding a lot at used stores lately.


22) Vacation

  I am looking forward to our family vacation at the end of next month. It is coming fast, and I haven't  lost any of the weight I wanted to lose before it arrived. Outerbanks here we come, the entire family.


23) Weddings

  I really don't like to go to weddings. Part of it is knowing that can never happen for me. It has been 17 years since I have attended one, and that was my little sister's. I think I made some family members upset when I didn't attend a cousin's wedding last month.



24) Bible

 There is a new Bible version I have been wanting to check out, and found it on a $5 deal table yesterday at Lifeway Christian Stores. It is a very basic Bible , but it retails for $14.99..... so that was a good deal.





25) Family Christian Stores

  I was disappointed that the Family Christian Stores are going out of business. I have got a lot of good deals there. I am hoping that Lifeway Christian Stores come into the area. It is a possibility, as they are going to buy some of the Family Christian Stores.

 And maybe I am off-base, but I wonder if their being open on Sunday had anything to do with their having to close. Only God knows. It always bothered me that a Christian store would be open on Sunday.

 Regardless, here is hoping Lifeway does move in. I need a Christian bookstore close to me other than the one I worked at for 5 years, which I don't prefer shopping at.


26) Spring

  We have had some really decent days lately, and some not-so-decent. Tomorrow they are calling for snow. I am looking forward to the days coming to stay where I can wear sandals and short-sleeved shirts. Bring on the warm weather!





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CPR, and bad memories


It is amazing how things in our past can affect us years later, and even hold is in a grip of fear. I am experiencing that. Tomorrow I have to do something at work that I don't want to do, and that I am dreading: I have to be trained for CPR.

 I'm not sure why. After all, I work in a hospital where I am surrounded by medical personnel, and am close to the Emergency Room. But the powers that be want everyone who does the job I do to have CPR training. No problem, right?

 Wrong. I am worried and dreading it. Why you ask? Well, it is kind of silly.

 Way back several years ago when I was in 8th or 9th grade, some EMTs came to the Christian school I attended to train everyone in junior high and high school in CPR. There we were, all in one room. I can't remember much about it, but I know when I stepped up to perform CPR on the dummy, a couple of kids started making fun of the way I was doing it. I can't remember what I did wrong, nor what they said. I do remember what happened next: I ran. I fled the room, ran down the hall, and hid in the boy's bathroom.

 You see, I was the kid everyone made fun of and bullied. I should have just stuck it out and tried harder, but I didn't.

 One of the EMTs was a woman, and I remember at least she coming into the bathroom to try to talk me into going back and trying. I know she wasn't alone, so there may have been 2 EMTs trying to talk me into it...... and I refused. There was nothing they could say that could talk me into walking back into that room in front of all of those kids, and trying again.

 And now, 30 + years later, I have to do that. I have to listen to the training again, and again perform CPR on a dummy in front of at least a few people. I'm not that 13 or 14 year old kid anymore, but I still have the same feelings of failure and poor self worth.

 I, Mark Buzard, am scared to take CPR at the age of 47. It sounds pathetic. And it is pathetic that a bad memory has me tied up in knots so much

 So if you're reading this, say a prayer for me tomorrow, March 22. Pray I can get this out of my mind, and successfully complete this CPR training. Maybe that will help me get past what happened so many years ago.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A tale of two young men, and two different paths

 **Names have been changed.

"Sean"

    I saw something on Facebook last night that made me sad. A young lady I am friends with had changed back to her maiden name. She was no longer "Shayla Brown", but was now "Shayla King". I knew what that meant. She and her young husband had divorced. I looked up his Facebook profile, and was further saddened by what I saw there.

   Shayla joined the Hope For Wholeness Facebook group a couple of years ago. HFW is a ministry for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. She didn't join because she was attracted to the same sex. She joined because her young husband of less than a year, "Sean",  had asked permission of her to experiment sexually with other guys. He was gay, and wanted to forsake his wedding vows so he could fulfill his sexual desires with other men.

 I prayed faithfully for this young couple for months. She disappeared from Facebook for a while, and then I found out from a mutual friend that Sean decided he didn't need his wife's permission, and had started having sex with random guys. He'd cry and apologize, and then go out and do it again.

 Last night, as I looked at his Facebook profile, my heart broke. He has dove head first into the gay lifestyle. There are pictures of him at gay pride events, all kinds of pro-gay posts such as ones claiming two lesbians do a better job of raising kids than a mother and father..... and more.

 Sean is a very nice-looking young man, and I know what it is like. Him being around gay guys is like waving red meat in front of ravenous wolves. As he tries to find fulfillment and happiness with other guys, he will be used over and over by other guys trying to find fulfillment in multiple sexual hook-ups with him and other guys. He won't find happiness and fulfillment, and has embarked on a dangerous path. The health and mental risks are much higher in active gay men than heterosexual males.... and the end of that path will be an eternity in hell if he does not repent.

 I've been thinking. How long has it been since I prayed for Shayla and Sean. True, I have never met either of them, and have never interacted with him at all. And true, me praying for them doesn't guarantee any different outcome..... but what if it did?


"Michael"

   And then there is "Michael", whom I have met and heard his testimony. He may not mind me using his real name, but since I made the above couple anonymous, I may as well stay with that. Micheal is close to the same age as Sean, though possibly  a year or two younger at age 20. Michael also is attracted to the same sex, and I believe he chose to give into those attractions and desires for a brief time. Since then, he has given his life to God and is living the very difficult life of a young man attracted to the same sex, but living for God instead of his desires.

  It isn't easy. I can attest to that, It also gets easier, in some ways. At my age, there is the loneliness factor, and the fact that guys my age are married with kids..... and then there is me. But it is still easier at my age than Michael's.

  I don't think people get how difficult it is to have same-sex attractions, and live for God instead of giving in. It is far more difficult than I can explain. And for a young man of Michael's age with the hormones and sex drive of that age......you truly have no idea how difficult it is for him to serve God and remain pure and celibate.

 Sure, he may be able to marry a woman at some point, but there is no guarantee. What does the church have to offer him? A pat on the back now and then? The struggle is real, and at times is more than we can bear.



   Sean nor Michael asked for this. It is not a choice. Neither they nor I woke up one morning and thought "I think I am going to be attracted to the same sex!" No, that isn't how it goes. No one knows for sure what causes it, though I have heard some credible ideas and I can see some of them in my own life.

 We need to be there for the Seans and Michaels of the world..... and yes,  the Marks also. All Christians need each other, but this is something in a class pretty much by itself. There is no God-approved way of someone with same-sex attraction to fill their sexual desires and attractions. Many today are trying to claim that God is OK with loving relationships between two people of the same sex, but they are wrong.

 Imagine being 20 years old, and it is wrong to be attracted to the opposite sex, to marry them, to have a loving relationship with them...... that is our reality every day with the same sex.

 My heart breaks for Shayla and Sean, and for Michael...though in a different way. I know what Michael is going through. I know the struggle and the difficulty of living for God and not always getting the support you need. I pray for Michael, but am resolving to pray more and harder. I believe this is a young man God can use if he continues to follow Him.

 In closing, this: A while back, over a year ago, Sean agreed to meet Michael. They live fairly close to each other, and Shayla got her husband to agree to meet Michael. Sean hadn't started down the wrong path yet. We prayed for that meeting, that God would give Michael the words to say, that Sean would listen and turn to God.

  Sadly, the meeting didn't seem to do any good..... but who knows the seeds that may have been planted that day as Michael shared his testimony of deliverance from homosexuality and showed Sean what his life could be like.

 This life is so fleeting, and we all so easily forget that we aren't living for this life. When Sean stands before God some day, he will wish he had followed God instead of his sexual desires, as he hears those dreaded words "depart from me." I hope and pray he finds God and follows Him before that day happens.

 But for Michael and all others who served God instead of living for our sinful desires here on earth, we will hear those words "well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord".

 I want to hear those words, and I want Sean and Michael to hear those words. Say a pray for these two young men dealing with the same struggle, but in two very different ways. One is on the right path, so pray he remains on it and God gives him the strength he needs daily. The other is on a very wrong path. Pray he finds his way to God before it is too late.

 And if you know of anyone else dealing with this very tough struggle, pray for them, and reach out in love.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

March musings

  Blogging has been rough lately. I only blogged 3 times in February, and March isn't looking much better. I haven't had much to say that isn't political, and no one wants to hear my political thoughts since I'm not for the man in the White House.....plus my depression/anxiety have been really bad lately, which interferes majorly with a lot in life, including my writing.,..... it has also made me more anti-social.  But even with those issues, I still have had things bouncing around in my brain, so here they are:

Germs

 If they can come up with something that kills 99.99% of germs, why not come up with something that kills 100%? Want to impress me with your product, Lysol, make your product kill 100% of germs...



House buying

I am seriously tired of and discouraged with the house buying venture...... I am starting to wonder if I'm even supposed to buy a house of my own.

"Trumpcare"

  The Trump/GOP healthcare plan sounds a lot like Obamacare. So much for that full and complete repeal......



Feel-good Christianity

  Whether it be The Shack, Jesus Calling, or anything else that may not be up to Bibical standards, as long as it makes people feel good, or they receive help - or perceived help, no one seems to care anymore about things or people agreeing with the Bible. Instead of calling out false teachers, we buy their books and other media, and defend them against accusations that they are wrong.

 Lies We Believe About God

   William Paul Young, the author of The Shack, has written a non-fiction book titled "Lies We Believe About God". In it, he takes the same beliefs he put in The Shack and brings them more blatantly out and says we have believed lies. His beliefs: universalism - everyone is going to Heaven, that there is more than one way to God, that no one goes to hell.... among other false teachings and heresies...and yet Christians are raving about his book and movie.



Transgender God

 Speaking of The Shack,  there is a transgender pastor who is claiming that God is transgender. Maybe he got the idea from reading The Shack........ am I really the only one who considers it beyond bizarre that the god of The Shack is a woman who wants to be called "Papa"? Maybe the god of The Shack IS transgender.





Elevators

 I have been somewhat surprised at my job to discover there are actually people afraid to ride elevators. Often they ask for someone to ride it with them, and others they want the stairs. The one that surprised me the most was a  young man in his early 20's who asked for the stairs so he wouldn't have to ride the elevator.

St Patrick's Day

 I don't really get St Patrick's Day.....people wish you a Happy St Patrick's Day, but how does one have a happy St Patrick's Day? The closest I came to doing anything to commemorate the day was sitting in a restaurant that was playing Irish music and was decorated for the holiday.


The Facebook store

  I hate it when people are constantly using Facebook to try to sell some product. The constant posts are not going to get me to try a product.... it will just cause me to keep scrolling.

Fully Alive

  Way back in 1983, The Bill Gaither Trio recorded what I consider to be one of their best albums, Fully Alive. I consider Welcome Back Home the best one they recorded. Unfortunately, Fully Alive was never released on CD (the other one was). Other than 2 songs from Fully Alive, I have not heard  the rest of that album for 20-some years....until recently. Bless the man who put the whole album on YouTube. I am again able to enjoy that album.



Making God our puppet

 There is a danger with the onset of books like The Shack, Jesus Calling, and others. In such books, the author makes God say what the author wants Him (or her, as in The Shack) say. The danger is when people read those books and think that is really what God is like and is saying.

Liberals and the Bible

 It still amazes me how liberals will use the Bible to try to further their agenda on things such as welfare, illegal immigrants, and refugees.....yet ignore it when it condemns homosexuality and abortion.

 I wonder if these Christians who are liberals realize how hard liberals fight against religious freedoms, and that liberals will be the ones to outlaw Christianity..... if it ever happens in our country.




Donald Trump

 I still cannot stand the man - and it isn't stubbornness or pride on my part, as some have claimed.  I haven't forgotten how he treated people,  what he has done, and what kind of man he is..... and I am weary of people acting like you are un-American or un-Christian if you oppose him. That is liberal ideology.

 And though I don't like liberals either, I feel Trump deserves every attack he gets by liberals. Maybe if he had acted like a decent human being, I might drum up some sympathy for him. Maybe.

 I still believe the man will be impeached before the end of his term, but I could be wrong.

Winter

 I seriously cannot wait til winter is over. Yeah, I know it hasn't been a bad one, but I still don't like it. Everything is more dreary and grey. It is still cold and we still have snow..... and it has been proven that people are more depressed  in the winter..... something I can attest to.


Reading

  My stack of books to read is getting out of hand. Unfortunately, one thing my depression/anxiety affects is my reading. There are times I have to practically force myself to read.




Family Christian Stores

 I am sad that Family Christian Stores are closing. I don't really enjoy shopping at the only other Christian Bookstore in the area, the one I worked at for 5 years. I will probably shop more on Amazon and Christian Book Distributors, but I'll miss browsing in a Christian bookstore. On line shopping is no replacement for that.

 There are a lot of opinions why they are closing....... I have wondered a little if their being open on Sundays played into it. I have long believed God honors businesses that close on the Sabbath. Maybe that had nothing to do with it, but it is as good of a theory as some I have read.

Vacation

 Our family vacation is fast approaching - the end of May - and I still haven't lost any of the weight I want to lose before vacation. Not sure that is going to happen. Sadly my appetite is not affected by depression, unless it is to eat more.

Used stores

 People who don't shop at used stores are really missing out. Not only have I got a lot of nice clothing at these stores, I have also picked up some great CDs and DVDs for a cheap price at these stores.

Bible versions

 Speaking of missing out: I believe that people who only use the KJV are missing out. I enjoy reading from multiple versions. The people who bug me the worst are the ones who practically worship the KJV and are constantly putting down other versions and those who use them.

Predestination

 I get why Calvinists like the part of their doctrine that says that once we become Christians, there is no way we will ever not be Christians and miss Heaven. However, I cannot understand why they want to believe God picks and chooses people to send to hell without ever offering them a chance to serve Him. I would think that kind of God would be hard to tell people about. How can they say God loves everyone? And why defend that belief so fervently?

Girl Scout cookies

  I personally never plan on buying Girl Scout cookies again. If you look at the organizations they support, they are all liberal, pro-gay, and pro-baby killing organizations. Besides, the cookies are way too expensive.



Church addition

  My church is spending a lot of money to make the church bigger..... but I am not sure we need that. Churches are growing smaller and dying all around us. We have no assurance that in the future we will need even the space we have now. But no one ever asks my opinion....... I am just there to warm a pew :)

Eating at a bar

 Today I sat and ate at a bar. I went to one of my favorite restaurants, O'Charley's, for lunch. They had some deal that if you sat at the bar, you got free soft drinks. I was going to order water, but I was happy to sit at the bar for free pop..... and I was the only person sitting there, and one of two groups of people in the whole restaurant. They had some great Irish music playing that was mostly instrumental, and it really added to the ambiance of my dining experience.






  










Saturday, March 11, 2017

Would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast because of a gay moment?

   Sometimes you can tell the slant of an article by the title of it.... and this one was obvious: "Would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast because of a 'gay moment'?" The writer believes that there is no way Jesus would  boycott "Beauty" because of the gay moment.

   There have been a lot of posts about this controversy. There are people and organizations calling for a boycott, and people knocking boycotts and saying it isn't that bad, some are even saying that you should just let your kids go see it and educate them.

 But would Jesus boycott it?

   It amazes me how so many people know exactly what Jesus would do in these cases... and what a surprise that He would do the thing they agree with. The article writer has no issue with the gay moment and is against a boycott, so of course he is going to say Jesus would not boycott it. It's funny how that works....Jesus always agreeing with us and doing what we would do, or not doing what we would not do.



   Here is a better question: would Jesus watch anything for entertainment that glorified or painted in a good way a sin that He died for? Seriously.... would He? He went through the agony of the cross, suffered, and died for the sin of homosexuality (and all sin). Can you imagine Him being entertained by something portraying that sin in a positive light?

 Or any sin.

   Evangelical Christians tend to pick and choose what to be outraged by and what to stand against. Back a few years, a movie released in theaters called "Brokeback Mountain", a story of two men having a gay relationship. Christians were horrified and boycotts were called against theaters that showed it. Yet the same churches never called for boycotts against movies, or theaters that showed movies with heterosexual immorality in. I don't think any even called for boycotts of theaters that show the porn lite 50 Shades of Grey movies. But a gay cowboy movie.....of course we need to boycott that and take a stand.

 We condemn Democrats for immorality and other wrongs, yet have no problem when our party's candidate does the same and worse.

  We watch all kinds of immorality and sin on TV, but are outraged when a pro-gay company puts a gay moment in a movie.

 Selective morality. Selective outrage.

 Is it any wonder the world does not take Christians seriously?

    At the risk of sounding like those whose Jesus agrees with them and would do everything they do, let me give you a pearl of wisdom: I don't believe Jesus would watch Beauty and the Beast, and not because of the gay moment (though I hold with what I said earlier) -  I don't believe He would waste time on the entertainment Hollywood throws our way. Be honest: If the three persons of the Trinity would appear in bodily form, how many of our TV shows and movies would we still watch? How comfortable would we be if the Trinity sat in on our viewing of the shows and movies we watch? Would we cringe? Would we be  embarrassed? Would we want to fast forward through some parts?

  We tend to be too earthly minded, and too addicted to the god of entertainment. We will defend watching movies like the Shack, ignoring the many reasons we shouldn't. We will watch shows glorifying all sorts of sin and will defend our watching it. But have we so capitulated and bowed to the gods of this earth, that we honestly believe we MUST watch anything?

No, we don't have to watch the Superbowl

No, we don't have to watch Game of Thrones

No, we don't have to watch the newest vampire movie or TV show

No, we don't have to watch the newest Disney movie.

No, we don't have to watch the newest superhero movie.




  I have my things I like to watch, but really...... I don't need to watch them. I like to think I am careful in what I view, but am I careful enough? Would Jesus watch what I watch, if He watched anything?

  I am convinced TV/Hollywood has helped America become more godless and immoral. I am also convinced it has helped us become used to and more accepting of things we wouldn't normally be. We have gotten used to immorality and profanity. Homosexuality is the newest frontier, and they have been putting gay characters in wherever they can. Is anyone who has been paying attention truly shocked that Disney would put a "gay moment" in a movie geared for kids? Liberals and Hollywood have long been trying to indoctrinate kids that "gay is OK". It was just a matter of time til they tried it in a Disney movie.

  Back to Jesus. The TV show and movie that doesn't glorify sin in some way, or is not profanity-filled is rare. I don't care if it is Beauty and the Beast or The Dukes of Hazzard (the only sinful thing I remember about that was Daisy Duke's too short shorts.....)...... I don't think an argument can seriously be made for the Son of God to watch anything that glorifies sin.

   There is one thing you can count on: Jesus would be consistent. He wouldn't watch and be entertained by something that glorifies heterosexual immorality, then be outraged by a gay moment in a movie.

 So would Jesus boycott Beauty and the Beast? I believe He would boycott any form of entertainment that portrayed any sin in a positive light......including much of what evangelical Christians watch, listen to, and read.