Archive | September, 2012

What if I am the Only Glimpse of Christ that Person Gets Today?

30 Sep

I Timothy 1:16, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first JesusChrist might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

I was thinking about all of us needing to grow and change, as we learn to accept constructive criticism in Christ.  I also thought about the antithesis of a person who knows he or she has to grow and change.  That person would be a stubborn person.  And I wonder whether there is any trait worse than stubbornness for making a person look unattractive as a representative of Christ.

Just imagine, we represent a grace-based faith in which the Creator of the Universe cared enough about His fallen creation that He entered history as one of us, as the God-man, and bought us back from the dark side by dying a death of torture for us, then rising from the grave three days later.  This faith is about love.  This faith is about grace.  This faith is about second chances.  So when we are presenting this wonderful grace-filled faith to people, what if we come across as stubborn and arrogant about ourselves, as though we already know everything there is to know and as though we already do everything 100% correctly all of the time!!??

To be sure, we are to present Christ that way.  He is God so He does know everything and He indeed never sinned while He was on earth and He never will.  But, even in Him, we are quite a different story.

I once asked a friend about a phrase in something he wrote that I thought was a misprint.  He told me it was not.  That was okay–I could accept that I might have been wrong in my observations or that we might differ in our definitions of what he had been trying to say.  It was what happened next that was telling.  This man who makes it his highest priority to witness to others spent the next ten minutes defending his use of that phrase.  Every time I thought he was done, he would come back with another reason that the phrase was correct.  And I wasn’t arguing!  He was in a defensive mode and got caught there.

I left the encounter thinking “How unattractive.  I hope he doesn’t deal with the lost the same way he just dealt with me.”  You see, his observations were not about how gracious and loving the Lord Jesus is, they were about making sure I understood he was right.  And the more he went on, the less I was sure he was right.  I was just sure of one thing–he seemed very stubborn at that moment.

We can all be like that if we are not careful.  Some of us may have had perfectionistic parents or teachers as a child.  We may have quickly learned that if we gave way on anything, we would be shredded emotionally by that other person.  We learned to stand our ground for the sake of self-preservation.  But the tool we learned then makes us very unattractive as adults,  when trying to present Christ to people in all His love and glory.  He wasn’t stubborn.  And, if anyone had the right to be, He did.

My prayer is to be teachable, to be tender, to reflect the graciousness of our Lord Jesus.  I fail so many, many times.  I can be so sarcastic, then realize that I just won the battle and lost the war as a Christian witness.  May God help us all to look in the mirror and see what unsaved people see when they look at us.

As the old hymn says, we are only sinners, saved by grace.  Or as I have heard someone say, “Witnessing is like one starving man telling another where to find bread . . .”

For you, I’ll always care…

29 Sep

Another one of my posts from last year on the church blog. About loving the lost as God loves them.

Tabernacle for Today

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?  saith the Lord God:  and not that he should return from his ways and live?”  (Ezekiel 18:23)

“Breathe on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou dost love, and do what Thou wouldst do” (hymn by Edwin Hatch/Robert Jackson)

My nineteen-year-old son had a series of “lovies” in his younger years.  A couple of them are still memorable to me.  First, he got attached to a blanket he called “special geggie” when he was around two.  It had been handmade for him when he was born by my friend Kathy and it went with us everywhere.  Consequently, it had to be frequently washed.  It surprisingly did hold its colors and texture well, despite the wear and tear.  As time went by, I found myself growing attached to that blanket, too, to…

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Thoughts on idols (icons that might need to be smashed just to show that God is all in all)

29 Sep

I John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen.”

This is from a note I wrote to a friend today (Disclaimer:  I promised, when I started Iconobaptist, that I would never smash someone else’s icon/idol, and I abide by that promise.  If this post makes you think about smashing one of your own, well, that is between God and you!):

The older I get, the more I am fixated by watching people’s faces.  And the more I become aware of how fragile we all are, even in Christ, and how little it takes to hurt someone else and how hard it is to look at someone’s face when someone has just hurt that person.

I find myself pulled in two directions.  There is the need to speak truth about theology.  A lot of theology is mushy or downright scary.

But people identify themselves with their theology and therein lies a problem.  If somebody has spent years clinging to something and defending it, they may find it feels like part of their identity.  And if we oppose it, they may feel their very essence is being opposed.

That is in their perception, but it is there.

You may see where I am getting to with this.

I am seeing, wherever I go, that Christians are very similar in defending the extrabiblical traditions of their particular branch of Christianity, no matter where they worship.

We all have found idols that need to be replaced by God’s good grace in our lives.

In fact, since there is no perfect denomination or church, I would dare say that every single Christian on this planet has some man-made doctrine they are defending as though it is in the Holy Scriptures.

One blogger I read said that, if we can’t identify such a doctrine in our lives, it is only because we have not formally written down our denominational infrastructure in order to objectively examine it.

Try changing the offering at a Baptist church.  Make it an ATM at the exits where people can transfer funds to the church rather than throwing an envelope into a plate.

I’ll bet that would get a howl of outrage.  Why? Did God tell us in the Bible we have to pass an offering plate?

In fact, I love the offering plate, but I acknowledge it is a man-made tradition.

That is why we need to write Iconobaptist.  Too many good people have not thought through their cherished icons.  And thus they become idols.  For all of us.

iEncourage

28 Sep

In conjunction with my post today about not sharing people’s personal thoughts, hopes, dreams, and fears with other people, I add this piece from our church’s blog. I wrote it last year. It is always good to remember to encourage each other.

Tabernacle for Today

“And so I charge thee by the thorny crown,
And by the cross on which the Savior bled,
And by your own soul’s hope for fair renown:
Let something good be said.”

(Old hymn, words by James Whitcomb Riley)

How often do I, as a blood-bought, ransomed child of God remind other believers that that is what they are, too?  How often do I encourage others (which is, by definition, pouring courage into them)?  How often might I do the opposite and be a discourager?
Nobody sets out to discourage others, but the truth is that all of us do it on occasion.  I have to pay attention not just to what I say to others but to the way I say it.  I have a very quick way of speaking that can come across as rather glib, if I am not careful to maintain eye contact and to really…

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This is what an 85 pound weight loss looks like on this blogger

28 Sep

This is what an 85 pound weightloss looks like on this blogger

Romans 6:15, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

A reminder from God’s Word that our spiritual standing, with Christ and with our fellow humans, is under grace.

Lots of things in this world are under the law. Natural law, mainly.

Weight Watchers is under the law. You obey their guidelines, you lose weight. You stretch their guidelines and your body stretches too (smile).

Our yearly work evaluations (which we are doing at the office right now) are under law. You excel in your job, you get a good raise. If you disappear in the middle of too many workdays, most (or all) of your raise disappears, too.

You see where I am going with this. This world, under its present system, functions under the law in most cases. No one goes to their boss asking for grace so that everyone gets the same amount in their yearly raise.

Yet, in Christ, things are different. So we Christians need to live in the reality of that difference.

We are under grace in our relationship to Christ. He will never love us more nor less than He does at this moment.

We are under grace in our relationships with our fellow Christians. We will be with each other, under grace, for eternity. Let’s live that way already, shall we? Christ has bought us and set us free to live in love. The church should never be known as an institution that eats its young . . .

And finally, we are under grace in our relationships with unsaved people in the world. They don’t know that. So let’s tell them about grace . . .

Photo credit: Melissa Wells, iPhone photographer extraordinaire

Keeping Someone’s Confidence . . .

28 Sep

Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.”

Another one of those “the older you get, the more you learn” things.  I have recently thought to write about what it means to keep someone’s confidence (something secret that they tell you, from their heart, that is meant for you alone).

This isn’t because I am admonishing anyone on here.  In fact, as Pastor often says, since I don’t have a specific incident with anyone to talk about, I can be pretty free in how I say this.

I just have noticed the cyclical nature of life that leads to people I love being hurt by people who probably also love them but who blab their business to others.

I am going to leave aside the fact that, if we are Christians, we are called to not gossip.  Many others have written very good pieces on that.  Let’s take a slightly different approach here.

Why do we do this?  Why do we spill people’s secrets?  First of all, it gives us something to say when we might not have something to add to a conversation.  But . . . let’s be honest.  Silence would be preferable to blabbing someone else’s confidences.  Wouldn’t it?

Or how about when we think there is some sort of inner circle going on among our friends, and we are really happy that we are part of it, so we spill confidences just to confirm that all the right people confide in us?  Hmmmm, does anything say “low self esteem” like this sort of action?  We don’t think people will like us enough for who we are, so we make sure they know that the “cool” people not only like us, but that they confide in us, too?  Wow!  Take a second to unpack that one, folks, and see whether it is an image any of us would really want to have!

Or . . . we don’t spill the confidence, but we smugly let someone know that we were told something in confidence by a certain person and wouldn’t think of sharing it for anything!!!  That is kind of the same thing as the last paragraph, right?  Name-dropping in order to inflate our importance in our circle of friends. If we think about any of these actions for more than three seconds, we can see how self-defeating they really are.

Be the friend you want to have.

Another thing that is often said is “I didn’t realize that was said in confidence because she didn’t tell me not to say anything to anyone.”  Yes, but why not tell your *own* story and your own personal business to your friends, instead of someone else’s?  No one tells your story better than you do.  If you are a Christian, that part of you is called a testimony and you are meant to share it.  Telling someone else’s “testimony,” no matter how well-meaning you might be, is just not as effective as telling your own.

How about assuming that anything someone tells you having to do with their thoughts or feelings or hopes or fears is probably a confidence intended for you alone?  How about that being our default setting?

I realize that we don’t live in a perfect world and all of us will offend at some time by saying something that crosses the line into somebody else’s personal business, but if we set our standards so that we aim to minimize that, we will do it far less than if we presume that anything shared with us can be passed along unless it is specifically labeled as a secret.

Just a thought (and you can share that one, ha ha!).

Why I try my hardest to use “people first” (inclusive) language . . .

27 Sep

I wanted to address an issue that may initially sound strange coming from a 53-year-old conservative.  You have probably heard of this issue before, but it probably came from a much younger or more liberal person than me.

I have come to the conviction that it is right to try my hardest to use inclusive, “people first” language when referring to others, and even to myself.

The way it goes is that I don’t allow an adjective to get in front of the person’s name unless I consider that to be the defining characteristic of that person.  Because I am convinced that putting that adjective before someone’s name does become the defining characteristic of that person, whether we mean to have that happen or not.

With someone with disabilities, it works like this.  Instead of saying “that autistic child” I will say “Johnny, who has autism.”  See, he is Johnny, first and foremost.  The fact that he has autism may or may not be relevant to the conversation at hand, but it is only one of his traits, like blue eyes or blonde hair.

We all struggle with something.  And think how it sounds when people use our struggles as adjectives about us (“disorganized Jim” instead of “Jim, who has trouble staying organized” or “overweight Mary” instead of  “Mary, who has fought weight issues for years”).  Really brings it home that way, doesn’t it?

Some will say that takes too many words.  I won’t argue.  In fact, I used to say that myself.  I changed my mind.  Maybe you will, too.

And, most of the time, we don’t need the modifier at all.  Why do we say “the black kid” in conversations where race isn’t relevant?  How about just saying “Gary” instead of “that Hispanic kid Gary”?

We are all people first.  And it doesn’t take away from the fact that we all have individual challenges when we say that!

So, to sum this up using myself as an example, I would love to be known as “Christian Mary” or “that Christian woman” (defining characteristic) but not by “breast cancer survivor Mary” (that could be stated as “Mary, who survived breast cancer” when it is relevant to the conversation).  I am not overly sensitive or prickly about this, but merely issue it as a challenge, or food for thought.

Would love to hear your responses, especially the things you consider defining characteristics about yourself.  What are  other characteristics that you prefer not be used as adjectives in front of your name?

Link

History Wednesday: The Integration of Little Rock Central

27 Sep

On the Anniversary of the Integration of Little Rock Central

This Week in History . . .

Reposting a link, even one from 2002, should not usually be an exercise in creativity.  I found that it was today.  And it was a blessing to find a creative way to present this piece of history!

I was looking for an angle from which to cover the integration of Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957.  Since this blog is Baptist, I looked for a Christian angle, and found one.

Second Baptist Church of Little Rock, a largely white congregation back then, played a key role in the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

This was not a quiet day in the neighborhood.  Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas opposed the integration; President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne to protect nine black teens as they entered the school.

Heroic days!

Ambivalence About Alcohol

26 Sep

A warning to those seeking liberty by Pastor Chris Anderson:

Ambivalence About Alcohol

Yom Kippur

26 Sep

Genesis 22:8, “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”

For our Jewish friends on Yom Kippur:  As the high priest used to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, with a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people that year, so may your hearts remember and cry out to God for His Messiah.

God promised to provide the Lamb who would be the everlasting sacrifice, the Messiah.

Ask God, with your whole heart, Who that Messiah might be.  Has He already come?  Pray that you might be sure, as we all must be sure.

God bless you on your High Holy Day.

The Dreaded CPS Visit . . .

26 Sep

Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

When we had our CPS (Child Protective Services) visit, back when our son was six years old, I was very glad for a legal organization that believed in the above Bible verse.  In fact, they were a Christian legal organization.  In fact, they were the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA.

Having begun to homeschool Joey the year before (although not required to do so until he turned six, so this was just one of God’s many sovereign works in our life), I had signed up with HSLDA to cover our homeschool legally, especially as I was pretty sure that homeschooling a child with Asperger’s syndrome (high functioning autism) was not going to be a normal endeavor, by any stretch of the imagination.

It was summertime, but HSLDA was happy to take on the case of our CPS visit, despite the fact it was not related to schooling.

They will often do that, even for non-members, if the case seems to be making a precedent for parents’ rights.  HSLDA has long taught that parents in the U.S.A. are losing their God-given right to direct the upbringing of their children.  I now agree with them.

Let me backtrack and explain how we got to the place where CPS was planning to come to our house, inspect it, and meet with us to determine whether we were fit parents to oversee the upbringing of our son.

Our Joey went through a stage when he was five and six in which he was fascinated by spinning ceiling fans.  We had three of them but he always wanted to look at them in other people’s homes, in restaurants, in stores, and, most of all, in Lowe’s and Home Depot, where there were rows and rows of beautifully spinning fans!

I was on my third straight summer of active duty out at Dam Neck Naval Annex, having been hired out of reserve status to write security manuals for a nationwide reserve connectivity project.  Since I had started homeschooling Joey already, we had decided that I would work fulltime during the three summer months, while Noel was Joey’s primary caregiver, then I would be with Joey the other nine months.  It worked great for us and the Navy didn’t mind.

I had been hearing of incidents in which Joey would run away from Noel in public in order to go look at ceiling fans.  This was especially prevalent when they would walk on Chick’s Beach together, something they have done since Joey was first able to walk!

Joey had even entered some homes in which he could see fans through the windows.  Thankfully, Noel was always right on his heels and no harm ever resulted.  His obsession with fans was getting downright scary though . . .

We installed childproof locks on our doors at home when Joey started to sneak out of the house to go look for ceiling fans in the neighborhood.

On the day when a neighbor brought him back while I was on the phone, after she had seen him climb her six foot fence to get into her yard and house, I found a window open and a screen removed.  I childproofed our windows that day, too.

Then, just as we were starting to be able to channel Joey’s love for ceiling fans into field trips with Mommy to Lowe’s again, the worst day of all occurred.

I was at work when I got a call from my husband.  He said that Joey had gotten lost and been brought back home by the police.  He said that CPS had been to the house and left a note on our door.  I didn’t have time to get all of the details from him, but it sounded serious.

Terrified, I finished my day’s work and went home to hear Noel’s story.  Noel had been mowing the grass and letting Joey play in the yard as he did so.  At one point, Joey ran around to the back of the house for a toy he had left there and . . . he didn’t return.  Noel went after him within five minutes, but Joey was nowhere in sight.

As Noel walked through our subdivision, looking for Joey, he did not realize Joey had gone along a major road and into a cul-de-sac that also belongs to our subdivision (but away from the rest of it).  Joey saw a ceiling fan in the upstairs of a home there and he found an unlocked door to enter the house.

The home’s owner was outside painting on a ladder when he looked up and saw the fan in his upstairs bedroom turning on and off, on and off.  Approaching his door, he could tell there was someone in the upstairs of his house.  Knowing the house was supposed to be empty, he called the police.

My son walked out of that house twenty minutes later to police with their weapons drawn!  The homeowner had worked with special needs children before and he was the one who first understood the situation.  He called to the police, “It’s just a kid and I think he is disabled.”  The weapons were holstered.

Joey still remembers being placed in the rear of that police car and kicking and kicking to try to get out.  He was terrified.

So were we when we got the full story and realized all of the places where things could have gone much worse than they did!

We were not out of the woods yet.  Noel had been cited for endangering a child by letting Joey run around the neighborhood unsupervised.  We still had to deal with CPS.

HSLDA counseled me to clean my house within an inch of my life (!), then to come to the meeting with the CPS worker straight from work, with my Navy dress blues on.  Since I was a Lieutenant Commander at the time, HSLDA believed I would convey authority, competence, and diligence by having this particular dress uniform on, with my officer’s gold on the sleeves.

They were right.  I came home that day, met with Noel, Joey, and the CPS representative, and had the case dismissed within ten minutes.  The woman never even looked at the house.  She said she could tell right away that we were caring parents who had been overcome by events beyond our control.

Praise God for that!

And . . . you will never hear me badmouthing a fellow parent who gets into a situation involving the CPS.

Now let’s pray for our friends this week, as the husband is facing a felony charge (and five year sentence) for leaving their baby in the car for five minutes as he dashed into the store for a bottle of milk.

The Matheny Manifesto

25 Sep

For all parents, here is a great lesson on other authorities in your kids’ lives. It is a letter from a little league coach named Mike Matheny, who now manages the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. We can learn a lesson in how to deal with coaches, teachers, pastors, etc. who deal with our children in our place. Wonderful stuff!

Enjoy:

Matheny’s Manifesto

Children in Cars, Busybodies, and the Rest of the Universe . . .

25 Sep

Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

This post, second of a three-part series, is not strictly from my Christian background, but more from my background as a parent, and a person in my 50’s who has watched society shift a lot during my lifetime.

I wrote yesterday about friends of ours who are facing a fiery trial in their lives (and a felony trial for the husband) due to a child left sleeping in a carseat for five minutes while Daddy ducked into a store for a bottle of milk.  They need much prayer, especially this week as the hearing starts.  I hope you will join us in praying.

My main point yesterday was that the child was unharmed.  The more I pondered the situation, the more I thought about that fact.  Something could have happened but nothing did.

When I was young, parents were not arrested for potential harm to their child.  Yes, there were arrests, but always after actual harm resulted.  And always when the intent had been to harm the child.

This felony charge for what was a case of bad judgment on the part of a daddy rocks me to my core.  The world has changed a lot in my lifetime, at least in the U.S.

Our friend could be sentenced to five years in prison for this.

Having raised a child with special needs to age 20, I have two stories to tell, the second one more heartbreaking than the first.

Today I will briefly describe my encounter with one of society’s busybodies.  I am not the best person to handle controversy, but I don’t think I did particularly badly this time.

I hasten to add that I have been the person observing an infant alone in a car while the mother was in a store (a Navy base convenience store).  I stayed next to the car till the mother returned.  It was a hot day and there was a danger, if she were delayed, that the child could overheat.

I didn’t call the Shore Patrol.  I just handled the situation.  I didn’t even say anything to the mother, although I am sure that she could see what I had been doing, waiting outside my own car to make sure her child was okay.

I think it is okay to be our brother’s keeper.  I am sure our friend would have appreciated quiet concern in his case, too.  It is when our arrogance kicks in that we get in trouble.

The time that someone went over the line with me, I was at the Starbucks on Shore Drive (across from the Chesapeake Bay, for non-Virginia Beach people).

Joey was about 12 and was reading a book in the back seat of the car when I arrived at the Starbucks.  He asked me if he could remain behind.  It was a warm day in the early spring, heading for 70 degrees, so I rolled down some windows and let him stay.

The line inside was long so I waited about 15 minutes for my drink.  I could see my car through the window.  I could see when an older woman, about 65, walked past my car, glanced into it, then doubled back.

She paced back and forth beside my car from then on, until I returned to it.

At least she hadn’t called the police on me, but she proceeded to give me a morality lecture, which I will recreate, to the best of my recall . . .

“You left your child in your car on such a warm day while you went to get coffee?”

“Yes, he asked to stay behind.”

“I wouldn’t leave my dog in a car on a day this warm.”

“Ma’am, your dog wouldn’t be able to open the car door and the restaurant door to come into the Starbucks if he got overheated now, would he?”

“Isn’t your boy special needs?”

“Sure, but he can tell when he is too hot and do something about it.  As you notice, he is not a small child strapped into a seat.”

“Well, I wouldn’t leave my dog in a car on a day this warm.”

“Thanks for your input, Ma’am.  Have a great day.” (driving away, while visibly shaking from the encounter).

I think it is that all-too-human need to lecture others and to consider ourselves above them that is scary in these situations.

I can understand coming up alongside someone to help.  I can’t understand lecturing another adult as though they are a rash, non-thinking six-year-old.

May God spare us from each other when we get into that mode!

I Never Knew This Was a Felony . . .

24 Sep

Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

This post is not strictly from my Christian background, but more from my background as a parent, and a person in my 50’s who has watched society shift a lot during my lifetime.

There are few things as heartbreaking as when a child dies due to an accident caused by a parent.  Who among us hasn’t shuddered hearing about a parent who backed over a child while leaving a driveway . . . a child who was supposed to be in the house at the time.

Or the ever-growing number of parents who accidentally leave their infants in rear-facing carseats for an entire summer’s day after thinking they dropped them at a daycare, only to find them when they leave work, dead of dehydration or heat stroke.

When I was younger, this event would not have happened, as children were not only allowed to sit in the front seat in a carseat, but they also were allowed to face forward anywhere in the car.

I understand why the changes have been made, for safety’s sake, but, as we say in the military, there are second and third order effects for every decision and . . . the children who fall asleep and are accidentally left in cars are a pretty gruesome second order effect to the change of seating arrangements.

Some zealous people who believe that actions should be punished even when not accompanied by evil intent have called for parents to be jailed when their children die due to such accidents.  Most of us just take in a long, loud breath when we hear this idea, saying, “This parent will already be mentally imprisoned for the rest of his life due to the loss of the child” and “There but for the grace of God go I” (if we are honest).

Now there comes another, related situation in which there is intent (not evil, but just misguided) that leads to an action with no harm to the child.

I am talking about cases where parents leave children in a car for a few minutes while they dash into a store.

I am not going to address the local case of a parent who did that and came out to find the car stolen.  That parent left the car unlocked and running and probably should be charged with something, or at least enrolled in some parenting classes.  We can’t legislate common sense, but maybe we can cause a person who lacks it to suffer some consequences . . .

I will only address those cases where no harm results.

I am talking about the case where a parent has a sleeping infant in a car and makes the decision, ill-advised but not ill-intended, to leave that child asleep while quickly trekking into the store for a bottle of milk.

A friend of ours did that about a month ago and is now charged with a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.  He took the baby to the doctor, because his wife was ill, and stopped to get milk on the way home.

I am not sure how hot it was that day nor whether he left the car locked and running.

I do know that our friend is a professional and a good father and . . . he made a critical miscalculation.  His life has been on the verge of ruin since he came out of that store and saw the police waiting for him.

He could lose five years of his life.  He could be branded a felon.  He could lose his voting rights and find it almost impossible to get a job, ever again.

And he and his wife have several little children.  Little children over whom they have already had to appear before the CPS, to convince them that they should not lose custody of their little family.

Maybe a few people are saying, “Well, good!” at this point, but I will wager the majority of us are not.  Most of us could see ourselves making similar ill-advised decisions.

There is no perfect parent.  We all get tired and rushed and preoccupied and we all make less-than-wonderful decisions at some point.

I am just amazed that this one has become a felony.

The point of my post is to warn others.

And to express my sadness that mistakes that do not result in harm to a child could be so severely punished.

This is not the world into which I was born.  Some things are much better now (racial relations, for one).  But the constantly increasing list of things that can be regarded as felonies is not.

It used to be that you had to have ill intent in your heart to commit a felony.

Not anymore, apparently.  Beware, folks.

But My Family is So Different From Anyone Else’s . . .

22 Sep

For Sunday morning, one of my favorite posts from our Tabernacle Baptist blog. Yes, I wrote it, but I also lived it. God still uses John 9 to calm me, grow me, and just, in general, love on me! He is wonderful!!!

Tabernacle for Today

John 9:1-3:  “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, ‘Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:  but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

I have a friend who recently married into a blended family situation.  When issues first arose with one or the other of the children, she wrote that she and her husband needed to “find our new normal.”  I love that.  Not only do I love it for my friend’s family, I love it for my family, and I love it for every brave, struggling Christian family out there.

Normal looks so different in every home.  While there are inviolable principles of Scripture that should instruct every home that claims His Name…

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