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


  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!