Oklahoma Beheading: Religious Act Like Any Other Religion?

judith-beheading-holofernesI realize that for some this will be a hot topic. Perhaps too hot for a Christian to address in these end-times. Never-the-less; today I read an article about the violent attacks that Alton Nolen (Oklahoma) is accused of. In my opinion, these acts are abhorrent and insane.

At the end of the article was a response that I found offensive. The author inferred that his acts were not different than what a christian might do. Here I quote the feedback and display the feedback writer’s words in blue, my responses are indented and in black: Continue reading

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Holding Onto Sexual Purity

How many of you have heard of these object lessons about lost sexual purity?

  • A used tooth brush
  • A flower picked
  • A pudding someone else stuck their finger into (This one I heard of long ago)
  • A fallen fruit
  • A half-eaten fruit
  • A piece of chewed gum
  • An unwrapped gift
  • Food that fell in the dirt

I want you to think about something. How are these object lessons received by those who believe they have lost their sexual purity? How do those who hear this, view someone whose purity has been stolen? How does the thief view their target? Continue reading

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Blessed by the Father

bwclipartReflecting on how blessed I am and have been, I can see so clearly in hind sight what could only be seen through the eyes of a wise Father through forethought. He has planned out a path for me, tailored to me. It’s immensely humbling and awe inspiring. My Mom and Dad put up with a lot from me as I grew up. But then again not as much as many of my contemporaries. I never took the car out for a joy ride or took a joy ride that ended badly. In my lifetime I’ve never smoked more than one puff of marijuana, one was way more than enough for a life time. I’ve never been drunk, not for lack of stupidly trying. I can honestly say I’ve never hated any person enough to beat them unconscious or dead. Not that I’ve never been very angry, it’s just never lasted very long. I have only two persons where it still bothers me that I would rather not see them again in my lifetime. Both hurt my wife.

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Christian Businesses and the LGBT Community

moralityThat is a hot topic today. With Christian photographers, caterers, cake decorators, event planners, etc. When I first heard about the incidents between aggressive members of the LGTB community and Christian business owners, I was really angry with those in government and the LGBT community. I kept reading trying to understand the reasoning (and the legalese) involved.

How could anyone insist that a Christian cannot decline to serve someone? There are many reasons any business owner can decline to serve a potential customer. If I have a client that is extremely rude, late to pay, does not deliver on their promises, etc. I can and must, for the good of my business, decline. Then I read a post by April Knox from Northview High School in Indiana. What follows is not a complete quote but I think it hits at the core of why Christian Business Owners should rethink how they deal with customers and clients.

“These business people want to protect their religious freedom based on something they can SEE with their own two eyes! BUT, what they don’t SEE is that they want to protect their religious freedom from something they are SEEING. Their religious beliefs are that gay marriage is a SIN, but what about all of the UNSEEN sinful behaviors of their other clients?

I ask the florist, the seamstress, the dress designer, the caterer, the photographer, “Do you give all of your clients a form to fill out to make certain they are following your religious beliefs before you agree to above services?” I think not… “Do you ask them if they and their finance are having premarital intercourse? Do you ask them if they have ever had premarital intercourse with anyone, including oral sex, masturbation/fondling? Do you ask them if this is their first marriage, second, third? Do you ask them if they have ever had an affair? Do you ask if they respect their parents? Do you ask if they’ve ever told a lie, shoplifted, injured another person, or been jealous of their neighbor? Do you ask them if there will be excessive drinking or playing of vulgar music at their reception? Do you ask them if they will be getting married in a church, by an official member of the clergy? Do you even ask them about their religion at all? Do you ask if God is number one in their lives? Do you ask them if they even believe in God?

The very idea that you do not KNOW anything about your clients lives when they walk into your establishment and as far as I can see, nobody is giving out these questionnaires as potential clients enter their place of business, makes this new change to the already existing religious freedom bill, discriminatory!”

Should There be a Law to Protect Christian Business Owners?

With the above reasonable comment from April Knox in mind, I can understand why a Christian Business owner should be able to do business with Christian and non-Christian alike. With one exception. When the customer wants the business owner to participate in sin.

I consider myself to be an artist (not a famous one), but I won’t make a commissioned piece of art that celebrates sin or makes it look appealing. In the same way, the cake maker wouldn’t go to a wedding venue to set up a cake for a gay marriage and hang around to congratulate the couple. I build websites, but I will not build certain types of websites. If I’m a craftsperson that makes crosses out of found objects don’t expect me to make you a satanic pentagram.

I think when it comes down to it, don’t ask a Christian Business owner to participate in sin. If you want to buy a product or service from them and they decline, I highly doubt it’s because they’re being hateful or even mean. They’re just following a moral compass supported by God’s word.

To any Christian business owners, take a look at the idea proposed by Rev. C.J. Conner of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Dodge City, Kansas: www.theblaze.com

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My version of “Boys vs. Real Men”

I saw the original to the Boys vs. Real Men list more than a week ago and thought I’d tweak it. But I wanted to attribute the source of the original. I was unable to find that bit of information. But in the course of my research, I found a much more ambitious pair of lists. One for men and one for women. Warning these lists have some foul language. Its at http://raprehab.com/urbanthreshold-boys-vs-men-girls-vs-ladies/

Here’s my slight revision (before I found Urban Threshold’s) to the older short list:

Here’s to all the real men out there…

Boys play house, Men make a home.
Boys seek gullible pretty girls, Men seek an intelligent & wise woman.
Boys shack up, Men get married.
Boys make babies, Men raise children.
A boy won’t raise his own children, A man will raise his and someone else’s.
Boys use excuses for failure, Men use strategies for success.
Boys look for someone to take care of them, Men look for someone to take care of.
Boys seek popularity, Men command respect and know how to give it.
A boy can’t resist being ‘childish’ all the time, A man allows himself to be a kid sometimes.
Boys will loudly ridicule this list, Men will quietly agree with it.

Paraphrasing what someone else said: I earnestly wish more “boys” would ‘get’ this because it’s time to man-up…

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(Not) Celebrating Christmas

xmas-iconEphesians 4:1-3 urges us “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In the spirit of that urging, above all else I wish to patiently maintain gentle, loving, humble unity. What follows is, above all else, humbly addressed to anyone wanting to understand why I do not celebrate the Christmas Holiday Season.
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Digital Photos: Are You Safely Sharing?

7K0A0686I knew photos COULD embed the latitude and longitude automatically, because I use this ‘feature’ to add “locality” to my customer’s websites. The kicker is I assumed the default setting is “OFF” on all mobile devices. Silly me. To anyone who is security conscious, please disable this on your phone!

Article: http://kyeos.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/warning-if-you-take-photo

I did a little digging and want to pass you some more information. You should be concerned about any digital pictures you currently have or receive from others. Before you share any digital pics online (they may have been taken before you changed the settings on your camera/mobile phone) you can and should clean off the information you don’t wish to share.

I found a free app that lets you remove EXIF information from existing pictures. EXIF is information embedded in a digital picture that includes things like Lat & Long (precise location on earth), camera model & serial number, date & time pic was taken, and more.

Here’s the link: http://digitalconfidence.com/downloads.html

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Head Space

Where is my head at these days?  I’m never quitphoto of Paula Deene sure if I should follow the impulse to answer that rhetorical question or not. And my mind just spins in place. Slowly mind you but spin it does.

I thought I’d express my quandary over the idea of prejudice that’s been appearing in the news lately about Paula Deen. Now it may be that I’ve only heard part of the story so far but I don’t get what all the pot and pan banging is all about? People in the south (regardless of race) are still working through or away from the horrible old prejudices. Is there no room for someone that’s still on the pathway there but hasn’t reached the goal yet?

We all make mistakes! People in the southern culture still have many, many years of thinking to untrain in themselves. They need patient instruction not a lynching.

I agree that it was a mistake on her part, to try and arrange a party with black waiters and such. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Not everyone gets it that there is a distinction between a movie (with historical accuracy) that has black actors ‘in character’ for the time / place being portrayed and a party in your mansion.

Some of the other things she has said were not something I would say but I could understand someone ‘from the south’ who is (in their mind) trying to leave old ways behind, making that kind of mistake. She made a few mistakes, months and years apart! Break out the clubs and pitch forks!

My point is, if we as a culture don’t allow for mistakes along the way, when someone is making an effort then no progress will ever happen.

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