Why Fight Gay Marriage?

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“Rosemary Williams, the third wife, said the fear of prosecution is always in the back of their minds, though they feel there is more acceptance for polygamous today than when the Browns came out. Brady Williams said the increasing social and legal acceptance of gay marriage has helped society open up toward plural marriage.”

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“Millionaire gay couple the Drewitt-Barlows have confirmed they have launched a legal challenge to the right of churches to opt out of gay weddings.

In fresh comments published by the Chelmsford Weekly News in the U.K. today, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow said legal action had started.

“We’ve launched a challenge to the government’s decision to allow some religious groups to opt out of marrying same-sex couples,” he said.”

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“What wisdom did the aspiring potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee have to share with the world this time? Gay marriage will lead to hate speech laws and the persecution of pastors and Christians.

“Everywhere I go people are afraid for the future of our country;” Cruz says during the interview. “I think we’re at the edge of a precipice. If we keep going down this path, we’re risking losing our nation; we’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty.””

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“After six years and hundreds of celebratory confections, it wasn’t the economy, the stiff competition, financing, or any of the other usual road bumps of building a new business that caused Sweet Cakes by Melissa—a husband-and-wife bakery in Portland, Oregon area—to close its doors at the end of the summer.”

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“A Christian couple who refused to let a gay couple stay in a double bedroom at their B&B guesthouse, have been forced to sell up after losing a lengthy court battle.”

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“Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court a May 31 decision by a lower court finding a photography company guilty of discrimination for declining to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. Furthermore, the court ordered the company to pay almost $6700 in attorneys’ fees to the lesbian who filed the complaint. The ominous implications of this case could affect churches and other religious groups who believe marriage is defined as one man and one woman.”

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“We see this last parallel throughout the Bible. For instance, Jesus refers to Himself as the “bridegroom” and to the kingdom of heaven as a “wedding banquet.”

These points demonstrate that God’s purposes for marriage extend far beyond personal happiness. Thomas is quick to clarify that God isn’t against happiness per se, but that marriage promotes even higher values.

“God did not create marriage just to give us a pleasant means of repopulating the world and providing a steady societal institution to raise children. He planted marriage among humans as yet another signpost pointing to His own eternal, spiritual existence.””

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Friendships With Someone Other Than Your Spouse

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“Let’s Have a Talk About Emotional Modesty,” by Holly Girth says don’t get into an emotional affair.

“A few weeks ago a friend of mine were chatting. Her husband is in a leadership role at a church and she shared how women often confide in him in ways that are personal. That led us to a discussion about how easy it is to share your heart with men who are not your husband these days. There are plenty of opportunities to send a Facebook message, email, or open up to a guy friend. Yet here’s the thing: I believe that baring our hearts makes us just as vulnerable as baring our bodies.  If you are married and a man is not your husband, do not share your heart with him. And if you are single, do not share your heart with a married man.”

Emotional and physical affairs are central to the plot of the novel I am writing. It’s easy for an unsuspecting woman or man to get into an emotional affair. As Holly wrote, an unmet need filled by the opposite sex means we need to ask ourselves what need is our husband or wife not filling? In our independent and modern society, its been a topic of conversation. Should we keep friendships with the opposite sex that we had before we married?

A former co-worker was getting lunch at the same place in the mall as I, but we sat at different tables. Even now, I don’t feel comfortable having coffee or tea or putting myself in a situation where it appears like a date. Holly writes that we need to have emotional modesty. In other words, don’t share the treasure of our hearts with the opposite sex. Sharing our hearts should be reserved for our spouses. While I trust myself to have emotional modesty and to share my heart with only one man, I know how things can look and how a man can misconstrue the intent. Friends of the opposite sex are okay if your spouse is also friends with them, and you meet them together, like a double date, to a movie or a restaurant, but never one-on-one.

Holly ends her great article with this quote:

Here’s what I didn’t know when I tied the knot: Marriage takes work, friends. A lot of work. There’s a myth that says, “If you love someone you won’t have to work at it.” But I’ve come to believe the truth sounds more like this, “If you love someone you will work at it.” When you emotionally attach to another man, it lets you avoid that work. And in the moment, that feels pretty good. But it has devastating consequences long-term.

My husband and I share our private thoughts only with each other–the blogs I delete, the thoughts I don’t write about here, and my praise or criticism. All these treasures of my heart belong to him, a man who deserves my loyalty, my love, and my intimacy. Never let anyone come between you and your spouse, even if it is innocent at first. Time spent away from him are moments I can never get back or do over. We only get to live this life once. Make the most of it with your spouse.

Can you relate?

A Culture of Indecision

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A guest on Fox and Friends said, in order to keep a good job, you must take responsibility for your actions. Their target audience were millennials, but all ages are guilty, especially in this culture of indecision.

Examples often observed are the lack of commitments to anything from church membership to weekend plans, even to marriage. The culture waits until the eleventh hour to make plans or to decide not to attend. This serious lack of commitment in our society has bothered me.

The cure for the culture of indecision could be in creating better habits:

1: Keep a day planner or Google calendar. When you are asked about weekend plans, you can answer yes or no right away.

2: Make plans and keep them, even if on that day you get a better invitation someplace else or don’t mentally feel like showing up. I have often awoken in the morning before a full day and wished I could call in sick from my commitment. Short of family emergencies or illness, I am going to be there when I have committed to something.

3: Commit long or short term to a project or ministry. Practice makes for better habits. Start with a small project and commit fully to its vision. When obstacles come, find a way over or through them. Don’t let discouragement keep you from using your gifts.

4: Find a church and commit to its vision through the long haul, even when trials come. Church is often like the weather; bad weather comes, people fall away, and return again. Bad weather is a great time to stick it out and shine. Allow yourself to emotionally connect with others who attend that church and love them as good as family. Contribute to that church and help it become successful.

5: Find a job and hold on to it even when it’s no longer fun. Jobs are not fun. Even the fun jobs have moments where you absolutely hate it. They pay the bills and grow character. So stick with a good job and give them 110% no matter what they pay. You’ll earn more than a paycheck; you’ll earn people’s respect, and that in itself, is a very powerful testimony of your belief in Christ.

6: RSVP to an event yes or no; or follow up on your maybe. Be respectful to the host or hostess. They have to buy supplies for the party and need a head count. Don’t make them chase after you with follow-up phone calls and emails. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t forget to follow-up in short order on a maybe. I’ve forgotten to do that once and I felt bad, but haven’t done it since.

Matthew 5:37 struck me some months ago. It read:

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

Like Fox and Friends said, take responsibility for your actions. A non-answer or not showing up allows the other to make sometimes wrong assumptions about you. The Bible implores us to be firm in our answers. Maybe that’s why I beat myself black and blue when I let someone down? I don’t want to hurt those I care about the most.

Your Heart’s Desire

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Your Heart’s Desire by Sheri Rose Shepherd is a great book, but, for me, I really had a tough time finishing it. I can’t identify why. I wasn’t given the novel to review. My only obligation was to post her articles which can be found here and I just happened to get a free book for my efforts.

I believe the claims are fulfilled in this book where the back cover says it’s, “for the married woman who desires more for her marriage; for the single woman who desires a godly man to love her; for the divorced woman who desires and deserves a second chance to find love again.”

After months of trying to read it, I just gave up. The writing is good. It’s a simple read and is formatted like a devotional. Halfway through satisfies me that someone who is struggling will find great worth in reading this as a devotional during her prayer time. Again, it’s not a reflection on the writer’s talent or content, but this time, it’s just me. Read other reviews here.

Forever Friday

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“In fact, romance was simply an external result of the willingness each of them had to continually choose each other over their own selfishness.” Pg. 181, Forever Friday; Waterbrook-Multinomah

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis is not just a love story times two, but a how-to on building a healthy marriage in novel form.

Adam Colby, a divorcee, does estate sales. In the Huck Alexander estate, he finds an album of postcards and poetry written by Gabe Alexander to his wife, Huck. Drawn to the love Gabe unceasingly gave in sixty-something years of marriage to Huck, Adam can’t help but pursue the story behind the album even when the estate sale is over and he is serving other clients. Adam is still reeling from his divorce. He has so many questions. To help him find the answers, Adam begins to pen the story of Gabe and Huck Alexander. This is where Forever Friday is also a bit of a supernatural story.

Huck meets Mr. Jack in a glen at ten years old who talks in riddles and says she will find her soul mate. Throughout the story, Mr. Jack shows up in various ways saving Huck and Gabe’s life and marriage. Mr. Jack is a unique character and the reader is in doubt whether Mr. Jack existed at all, or whether it’s a figment of Huck’s imagination, but circumstances build a strong case for him otherwise. Huck is engaged to Clark Richards when she meets Gabe. That engagement doesn’t last long when Gabe and Huck realize they were meant to be together. Clark becomes the villain in the story. There is a hint of violence there. The story rotates between three points of view: Gabe, Huck, and Adam.

Adam meets Yvette who is the key to helping fill in the blanks between postcards. Gabe sent a postcard every Friday to his wife until his death; postcards filled with poetry to keep their marriage from falling apart. Yvette and Adam are both unusual and wounded from their pasts. Now here’s where the fluff meets the meat of the story.

Christian romances most of the time carry the usual messages for the unbeliever, sometimes even breaking up the flow of the story. Publishers require the messages in them. Forever Friday did not appear to carry the usual conversations and instead kept true to the story. All stories have messages, something the writer wants to tell the world, but the messages should remain true to the story and not deviate from it. Forever Friday was a lovely novel. The only thing I objected to was how unfinished it felt. The main storyline finished, but Yvette and Adam’s story did not “end.” It did not feel complete. A story can be open ended and still feel complete.  I was disappointed at the ending of it, but not unhappy with how Timothy Lewis wrote Gabe and Huck’s love story.

On a side note, this novel is based loosely on Timothy’s great-aunt and uncle. Timothy found an album of postcards in the trash at their estate sale. Each postcard had a poem his great-uncle wrote for his wife every Friday throughout their long marriage. If you read this novel, be sure to take the time to read the author’s note at the end of the book.

Overall, I gave Forever Friday four stars. Someone should make a movie about this one (hint, hint, Hallmark). This novel releases September 3.

*Book given by publisher to review.

Activist Faith: The Growing Hypocrisy

From The Higher Calling

From The Higher Calling

While teaching a Sunday School on marriage, someone asked me, “What’s the difference between living together and marriage?” The fight for marriage has dominated the headlines, but how can we say that same sex is not okay if we are living together in sin as professing Christians?

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Honeymoon in Paris

“”Yes, it can,” he said, waiting as I padded across the bare floor back to him. He pulled me into bed and looked at me steadily from across the pillow, a rueful smile upon his face. “It can last as long as we wish it. And, as the master of this house, I decree that every day of our marriage must be a honeymoon.”” Location 888-890, Honeymoon in Paris

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Honeymoon in Paris by JoJo Moyes uniquely combines the stories of The Halstons and The Lefevres as they are on their honeymoon in Paris. The Halstons are distantly connected to a painting in a gallery done by Edouard Lefevres.

Liv Halston and Sophie Lefevre share similar frustrations and jealousies across the years. Liv is jealous of what monopolizes her new husband’s attention; not another woman, but a job opportunity. Liv and David are passionately in love and fly to Paris to enjoy a week away from responsibility. David brings his work with him and embraces an opportunity to woo some billionaires to allow him to build a building in Paris. Liv ends up spending the first half of the week sight-seeing Paris with her mind on David’s broken promises. She begins to regret the marriage. Another woman suffers fear and jealousy in another century.

Sophie marries a painter named Edouard. He painted nearly naked women from a questionable line of work. Many of those models are still his friends. One in particular doesn’t like that he married Sophie and sends Sophie’s warm, new-married feelings into the gutter as the lady infers Edouard would not stay married long. Sophie’s anger is not justified.

This novella is another fine example off writing by JoJo Moyes. It uniquely combines the stories of two couples from different centuries and shows how love triumphs, even argues, on a honeymoon in Paris. I gave this novel five stars.

*Book given by publisher to review.