Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love is Love: An Inconvenient Truth

This is something that has been on my heart and my mind for a great while now. I've put off writing about it because I know it's a topic of such great controversy and I do hate hashing it out with people.
But let's hope that there will be no hashing.
I couldn't put it off any longer and I feel God's impressed upon me to speak about this, so I shall.
The topic has greatly to do with the truth about love and homosexuality.
Now, before I begin, let me just go on to say that I have no hatred for any person or group of persons and this is not a hate-blog. It's simply finding a different perspective on a topic that seems to be foremost on America's mind.

"Love is love." Often a person will say this when defending a homosexual relationship. But what is love? Some call it a feeling, others call it a choice. 
You know, in the Greek, there are no fewer than four types of words to express love?
Eros/Eran describes physical love; Storge/Stergein describes a sort of family love, or love of your people, ruler or nation; Philia/Philein describes "to look on someone with affectionate regard". It can be used between friends, family and even husband and wife. It also stands for a physical show of affection; Then you have Agape/Agapan. "Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live. Agape has supremely to do with the will."
   In order to understand love, it's important to also understand that there are many different 'types' of love.
Love, to have an affection towards someone, is a natural thing.
To have a love so deep, you'd die for that person, it's beautiful. But does that mean you need to marry them? Or are even attracted to them? No. This is one misconception (but probably not the most common), that if you find you have feelings for someone of the same gender, you must be gay. 'Tis not true, my friends!
Many people know about David from the Bible, the one that killed Goliath. David had a friend whom he loved dearly--more than his own soul! 1 Samuel 20: 17 "And Jonathan caused David to swear again (regarding a promise they made), because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul."
There are many groups around the world and throughout the ages that assume this means David and Jonathan were in love. But it does not say that, David was Jonathan's brother-in-law and kept God's commandments, how could he have been in a right relationship with God and been gay at the same time, since God calls homosexuality unnatural and unseemly (Romans 1:27)? But, I digress.
   I, also, love my best friend. We have a perfect relationship and high confidence in each other. Are we gay? Well, it's almost laughable to think that. But, no, we are not.
Does it mean that, since I have such great love for another woman it means I am unaware that I am gay? Certainly not. Being gay is not something you can catch, are born with, or become unwillingly, it's something you choose.
This sort of love between friends and family, isn't a sort that you choose, but a one that grows over time.

God made beauty. And I believe we're to enjoy beauty.
If someone thinks that another person is pretty or beautiful, there's no problem with that. A mother may think her daughter is beautiful. That is certainly innocent enough. I think lots of people are beautiful, I like to appreciate beauty. No one person is the same, they all have different facial features and aspects about them that are beautiful all on their own. But I believe people mistake appreciation for beauty as physical attraction. A man doesn't necessarily think of other men, "wow, they're hot." But they can acknowledge certain looks as being handsome or unique. It doesn't mean he's in love with him!
So many relationships these days are based off of physical attraction -- which is NO reason to start a relationship, by the way -- and, therefore, makes room for confusions between attraction, feelings, love and lust. 
If people don't understand that it's alright to have a close relationship with a person without having to be in love with them, and if they don't understand that you can appreciate a person's beauty without being attracted to them, then it's simple to understand how they could mistake these things for real attraction towards the same gender. 
Back in the day two girls could walk down the street, holding hands, because they're best friends and nobody would think anything of it. Today they would wonder if they were gay.

There is a terrible case of stereo-typing going on in this world. A woman should be of slight stature, well-endowed and beautiful.
A man ought to be tall, handsome and strong.
These are the typical stereo-types for men and women. But, just as all stereo-types, they should be done away with. People are different. That's just how it is. You may think it hypocritical of me to say this and then to, at the same time, say being gay (different) is not normal.
But sexuality and your physical appearance are two very different things. This post explains how normal and acceptable feelings and physical traits have been twisted into abnormal and unacceptable acts.
A woman who may be a little large with plain features, or perhaps tall and flat-chested, may feel a little 'manly'. Especially in today's society, they may feel picked on or ugly, not meeting the status quo of the other ladies about her. She will start to feel insecure, especially about boys. Who would like her? But perhaps if she looked manly, another woman might find that appealing? Perhaps she was meant to be gay?
Let's take a man as an example. They're supposed to be tall, with deep voices. But suppose this guy is short, soft-spoken. So what? Does that mean he's a woman? I would beg to differ. But he may feel inadequate and, after all, who would want to be with an unmanly man? He shouldn't be made to feel so.
We also have hobbies and likes and dislikes. Perhaps the woman enjoyed sports or hunting, her likes, along with her physical appearance, could put her in the confined box of a man. This could cause her to feel insecure.
What of the man? Perhaps he has an appreciation for flowers, beautiful things. What if he likes to dance? Perhaps people would call him a sissy or feminine and tease him. Again with the insecurities.
And, thus we have our stereo-types coming into play.

Fear. All of these factors can build a case against a person and cause them to stumble into the realm of 'who am I?'
Many gay people (and I don't know if I've heard of anyone who hasn't) struggle with being gay before they finally 'accept' it and 'come out'. Everyone now days, of course, says that it's because of all the persecution gay people get and, therefore, no one wants to admit they are gay out of fear of being bullied.
But I believe that, in most cases, they fear it first and foremost because it's unnatural and wrong. Their consciences speak against it. You know that feeling when you're thinking about to do something wrong and you know it's wrong? It's your conscience saying, "don't do it!"
But Satan is out there and he loves to cause people to stumble any way he can. 
You start to think you're attracted to this person, or multiple persons and so Satan takes these insecurities and runs with them. Then, you start to worry: "Am I gay? Do I like this person? Am I attracted to them?" The worry strikes panic. If a person is strong in the Lord they are equipped to deal with such things, brush them off as silliness and walk away. But, most likely, this happens to people that are not even in a right relationship with the Lord. So they don't have the fighting power needed to stand fast against such ridiculous notions. They start to be tormented by these thoughts because being gay is not normal.
Nobody tells them that appreciating beauty, and loving people comes naturally and doesn't require you to commit sinful acts with the person. Even further, they don't explain to them that becoming gay is not the answer to all these feelings.


People often fight off being gay. And you have to ask yourself, if it were so natural, why would it be so hard to accept? What is natural?
Women were made for men. If you look at the physical make-up of our bodies, it's very simple to understand. 

We cannot reproduce one without the other. That's how we were created, it's how it is. This is the natural way of things. We cannot exist without each other. People will sometimes use the argument that animals have homosexual tendencies.
Are we now comparing ourselves to animals? (I know evolutionists would).
Will you be comfortable going out and marrying an animal? I should hope your answer is no.
A man with an animal is completely unnatural just as a man with another man is completely unnatural. Even in electrical hardware, plugs are called males and outlets are called females. Have you ever tried to plug a cord into another cord? It doesn't work. It's illogical.
Just as with magnets, opposites attract. North with South. You cannot put North with North unless you force it together and, even then, they will not remain together.
You may beg to differ but chances are, at the end of the day, you're using a computer that is plugged into an outlet. This is what is normal, logical and acceptable. In God's eyes and in the laws of nature.


It's all up hill from here, folks.
Lust is a terrible and powerful thing, if you let it be. It can destroy your life.
A lot of people simply burn with lust, a sinful desire for unnatural things. These lusts can be taken care of with the help of self-discipline and control as well as the Holy Spirit.
As I mentioned above, sadly, lots of people aren't in right relationships with Christ so they are not equipped to fight off these lusts.
The majority of the world--even in the Christian realm!--make excuses for the flesh. I've heard more times than I can count that men can't control their minds, their urges and desires.
This is such complete and utter drivel it makes me sick. Are you not master of your own body? Are you not master of your own mind?
Any person, male, female, straight or gay has no excuse when they say, 'I just can't help myself'. And you can bet I'm not railing on just the gays, but all people--even the Christians--who use this as an excuse to sin in mind or flesh.
You can help it. And you must.
Say a straight man has a best friend who is married, and he finds himself attracted to his friend's wife. What should he do? A good and decent man would slam the gate shut on such thoughts and not do his friend and his friend's wife the indignity of burning in lust for her.
If a straight person can control lustful thoughts, a person can control gay thoughts as well.

Free Will.
You choose whether to obey these lusts or not. You choose whether to be gay. 
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16. Sure, you may not believe in the Bible, but the words are still true. Or do you not have a free will? People are not born in any state of being besides neutral, having not made choices to do right or wrong. (Many Christians believe that they are born in a state of sin, but this is not true and is not supported by scripture) "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;" Romans 9:11
Therefore, I do not believe that people are born gay. Then there would be an excuse.
If you did not have a free will, then are you not choosing to not believe in God?
If you believe there is no God, then how could you not have free will?
Do you give yourself such small credit as a human being that you will fall prey to an idea that you do not have control over what you say, do, think, and feel?

I've read about people that were gay and were delivered from it. They explain how they weren't happy while being gay. Their consciences convict them until they finally turn away.
That's the problem, these days, people think it's too late, that they can't turn away. That there's no going back. But there is. It's always easier to jump into a pool than climb out. Once you're immersed in the water you get used to the temperature and you don't want to leave. But, after a while, it starts to chill your body, because even though you got used to it, the water is still colder that your natural body temperature. Your body will start to shiver to tell you this. You can fight against it, or you can make the choice to climb out of the pool. It's still your choice. And you can do it.

Emotions are not to reign us. Sadly many people do not know this. We are to control our emotions, not let them run us rampant. When entering a relationship you are to use your head, not your heart, emotions, body, lusts. So with all of these points in place I can soundly say there is no excuse to being gay.
I will not accept somebody's excuse that 'love is love', 'I was born this way' or 'it's perfectly natural.'
The only way a person is gay is because they give themselves over to their own lusts and allow themselves to be enticed by them. This is their choice and they will be accountable before God.

There is my post about homosexuality. Let me just say in closing that I feel the same way about any sin. There is no excuse and it should not be done.
I am related to many pro-gay people and they will, of course, not be happy with this post. But this is my view on it and this is America where freedom of speech is still *mostly* a right.
I do not say what I do out of malice or hatred, but with thought and conviction.
I do not laugh maniacally at the thought of gays--or anyone--going to hell (as I believe anyone with sin will go to hell) and it's my wish that all come to repentance just as it is God's wish. What m
ost people don't understand is, choosing the way out of sin feels far better than sinning in the first place. I know, first hand because I've done both, many times.
I've given into temptation to sin, and of course felt badly afterwards and would have to repent.
And then I've resisted temptation. And every time I do I smile (sometimes outwardly) and even laugh at the temptation. Because I didn't let it have dominion over me. I didn't let it win. I had control. I had a will. And I used it.

You can use your will, too. Sin is unhealthy. God created the best way possible for us to live. That way is without sin.
So what do you do? How do you live as God intended?
Repent! "And the times of this ignorance God winked at (overlooked); but now commandeth all men every where to repent:"
Renounce your sins, ask the Lord to forgive you. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."  "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Be baptized with the Holy Ghost. "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
Sin no more. "She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: Go, and sin no more."
After you are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, God can help you fight off temptations. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
And He can help renew and clean out your mind. Thoughts can be difficult, but aren't impossible to control--especially with the power of Christ.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
'Tis not impossible, my friends. For the World says it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Thank-you for reading.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were (past tense) some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Bible references:
Acts 17:30
Romans 10:9
Romans 10:13
Acts 8:17
John 8:11
1 Corinthians 10:13
Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Does God Know?

Once, a very long time ago, I found myself in the position of being confused about some things.
Did God know the future?
Did He know my thoughts before I thought them?
Was the future absolute?
Or did I have the power to change it?

Knowing that the future exists, somewhere, out there, leaves one with a listless feeling. Nothing can be changed. The future is written in stone.
Some people say that the future is out there, but it's constantly moving.
I honestly don't believe it even exists.
But coming to that conclusion was hard. I was driving in my car and I was so confused I thought, "well, I will just pray to God and ask Him." But my mind answered, but if God knows the future, He knows you're going to ask Him. So why do you need to bother going through with asking Him?
"Fine. Then I guess I don't need to ask Him."
But if I don't ask Him, that means in the future I never asked Him in the first place.
So which was it that He knew I was going to do? Did He know I was going to ask Him? Or not?
Regardless, I think I asked Him anyway.

I remember asking Him how something turned out in the end. Because if you believe God knows the future, eventually you begin to believe you don't have much choice. "God, where will I be in ten years?"
I imagine His answer to be something akin to, "That is for you to decide."
You have no idea (maybe you do) how scary it is to realize your fate is in your own hands. God has power over the universe, the inanimate, unintelligent objects such as the sun, planets, rocks, the ocean, etc; He has power over the animals, the trees, the fish and the birds; He even has power over us. But He chooses not to control us. You have a free will that you use to make choices that will affect your life. It seems easier to just say, "God's in control, He will make me get this job, or He will make this happen."
Oh, it's true, God will cause things to come about. If He prophesies about something He will do later, He will follow through with it. But God isn't in control of your life the way a five-year-old girl is in control of her barbies. He gives us opportunities but it's our choice to take them. (..I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Deut 30:19)
He also gives us commands. But, here's the tricky part, it's still our choice to obey or disobey. Just as it was Adam and Eve's choice to eat the forbidden fruit. God certainly did not cause them to.

"Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil (judgment) that he hath pronounced against you." Jeremiah 26:13
Here is an example of the Lord giving the princes of Judah a choice.

Now, God has taken control of a situation and/or a person before. It can happen. But when he does, the person is not responsible for the outcome. He can not be punished or rewarded for something God caused him to do. And God can never take control and cause someone to be saved. Salvation is always a free-will choice made by the person. This is called divine intervention and is usually the exception, not the rule.
But we are not talking about all that at this moment. We are talking about our free will and how it affects the future.
I go to examples in the Bible, such as Israel. If God knew how rebellious Israel was going to be, might He have chosen a different nation to be His people?
What about the world, in general? If God knew Adam and Eve were going to sin and He still created them anyway, seeing ahead to all the murderers, genocides, suicides, and sins (resulting in eternal damnation), wouldn't that mean God was responsible for creating such an atrocity?
I myself refuse to believe that.
If it were true, how does one explain Genesis 6:6 where it says that it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it GRIEVED him at his heart. This is when he decided to destroy earth. Why would he create them at the same time knowing he would destroy them? Why not stop it before it happens?

The simple answer is this: God does not know the future. Because it does not exist.
Many of you will have a cow reading that; God knows everything, how dare you rob power from Him?
I agree. God knows everything there ever is to be known.
But the explanation that the future does not exist and, therefore, is impossible to be known is so simple and logical is almost hurts my mind.
People have it all worked out how God is outside of time and there's this dvd playing on His screen and He knows how it all ends because He's seen the movie before--wait. . .Doesn't that mean He doesn't have any power to change what's already been done? Oh! Right, the future is always moving. But, then, how does He know anything's going to be final? How can He be certain about the future that He's seeing if it's constantly changing? He'll never know, for sure, what's going to happen until it actually does.
You see how twisty and turny this 'logic' gets?

People may argue that we don't know what God knows and so it might even be impossible to say whether He knows the future.
But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2 talks all about how we have the Spirit of God. And what knows a man better than his own spirit? Therefore God's Spirit knows all and reveals the deep things of God so that 'we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory'. Sure, there are things we don't need to know. But whether or not God knows the future and has the power to change it is important and it is very clear in His word that He doesn't know the future.

Time is just one event happening after another. Our choices haven't been made yet. They aren't sitting, locked away in a closet, they are yet to come into existence, we are yet to think tomorrow's thoughts. Therefore, it's only logical to assume that the 'future' does not exist.
It's as simple as that.
And knowing that it doesn't exist gives God all the more power to help shape a better 'future'.

Figuring this out allowed me to pray again.
Realizing that the future doesn't exist isn't limiting God in any way. In fact, it frees us to pray more fervently and allows Him to work more intricately in our lives. There are unlimited possibilities for our future and nothing is written in stone. I knew God would help me as long as I submitted myself to His guidance. I knew that I had a choice in the matter of my future and that, whatever was to come my way, He would be right with me, ready to offer His help whenever I need it.

"God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God." Psalm 62:11

Friday, April 13, 2012

To Floss One's Teeth

Is absolute bliss.
I just went a few days without flossing because I was out of floss and had to wait 'til pay day before I went to Walmart to spend it all. (I don't know why I didn't think to just borrow some from the other people of the house..)
And, let me tell you, my mouth never felt worse! Okay, maybe when I skipped brushing. But I can't believe how much of a difference flossing makes! Yay for healthy habits!
In addition to floss, I also needed some face wash. Well, I've been on this whole health kick thing lately. I still use "regular" lotions and soaps, but little by little I've been trying to cross over to all-natural. This trip to Walmart produced a natural face wash (well, 96% natural. . .hey, baby steps) called Say Yes to Carrots. It's awesome, I love it already and I've only used it once (well, actually, twice because I had to try it again after the first try because it was so cool-feeling). I also bought some plain old Ivory body wash because I couldn't find anything else that seemed tree-huggerish enough that wasn't going to break the bank. This seemed nice and simple, fragrance and dye free at least! So after my shower tonight I felt completely clean and happy about myself. Going over to naturals and organics gives you that good feeling about yourself. You know when you're tempted to do something wrong but you walk away from it and feel awesome? It's kind of like that, but not so life-threatening. (Then again, some foods can be a life and death decision, but they don't usually have an effect on your eternal salvation).

Either way, my point is, these products made me feel good. And clean! That's important, too, because I love feeling clean.
I also bought some health foods. Almond milk is so darn weird. It tastes like earth. I have to mix it with milk to drink it. Which means I need to buy organic milk because I can hardly bring myself to drink the pasteurized stuff anymore (but, still, I do! Sigh). All this stuff takes money. Which I don't have much of but that's alright, the Lord provides. I was thinking how people are like "organic eating is expensive!" But then I had the thought: Save money now and spend it on medical bills later, or use it now and be healthy. Hmmmm. . . Good point, Andrea! Yep, I know.
I've also been running three days in a row this week! Ah, it's SO good to be back to running, you have no idea.
So I say it's a pretty good start, healthy skin, healthy body, healthy mind.
I've also been listening to this guy:

Isn't he CUTE? He's married. But still, look he's got his little ironed shirt and his tie. So adorable. And he sings opera! You know, I think that will be my new dream, to marry a guy that can sing opera. Then he can just sing to me all day long and I'll be in bliss with my opera-singing-husband and my flossed teeth!
It sounds like a plan.

The Test

So, everyone who knows me or knows of me knows that my favorite color is purple.
It's a no-brainer!
BUT. I was staring into my closet the other night and noticed how many different shade of purple clothing I own! (Mostly scarves. If you ever need to borrow a scarf, look no further. I'm drowning in them.)
That's when I wondered. . .Everyone knows me well enough to figure out that I love purple--just take one glance around my room! BUT. Do they know my favorite SHADE????
<insert mad scientist look here>
(Throw in a maniacal laugh for good measure)

Here are the rules.
Look at the picture.
Decide my favorite shade.
Don't get it wrong.
Also, this is not a trick question. Anyone that answers "ALL OF THEM" will get kicked out.
The winner gets a "hurrah!" from me.
Just post your answer in a comment here or on Facebook (because some of you might be lazy and don't want to sign into blogspot :p--kiddddddddiiiinnng)

Also, you may want to take a few days to contemplate this, as that's how long it took me before I could be confident in my choosing.
You'll notice that there are three groups of purples in the picture. I like them all but two more than the other.
Narrowing it down to one item was even more challenging because I was stuck between three or four.
If you get a runner up you will get a hurrah as well, just a little less enthusiastic.

So. I think that's it! Without further ado...

Monday, April 9, 2012

April Fool's!

Hello Trolly People!

Well, April Fool's day came and went. But I realized I didn't blog about it! If there ever was a thing to blog about.. well April Fool's isn't it. But I took pictures and everything!

I shall show you.
First I put a rubber band over the sprayer on our kitchen sink. MUAHAHAHA. I got so many people it was great.
Then I put green food coloring and soap in the bathroom tank. Of course that didn't last through the whole night, which was a bummer.
Thirdly, I made these hilarious little drapery things to put over my brothers' doors. You'll see.
Finally, I switched around the common computer by copying a picture of the screen, hiding the icons on the desktop then putting the picture of the screen as a background so that it looked like the icons were still there.
Of course this didn't work well because no one uses the shortcuts on the desktop d'oh!!

The framework for my special surprise. 

It starts to take shape.. Do you know how hard it is to rip off duct tape in the middle of the night??

This was for Nick's door. Lol

With Jeffrey's I added a neat little recipe that came with the Reynold's wrap. 

Jeffrey's is done!
Over Jeffrey's Door
And, yes, I went there. 
 So, as you see, I had a fun April Fool's. I also put dye in Jeff's organic milk and the family's milk.
I'm not usually an active trickster on AFD, so I surprised myself with all my trickery. I'm sure my family will get me back next year. They got an early start...

This is what I found when I woke up.