My Journey toward my “New Normal”

It’s been quite q while since I posted anything. Been quite a busy time. Here’s my latest thoughts:

Five months ago today, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. I have learned many things since then. I learned that the brain takes lots and lots of time to heal. And even though the tumor was between the skull and the brain itself, I’m still not there yet. I’m told that this is normal and nothing to worry about at this point. I’m still processing all of this. I’ve also learned that you can develop Blood Clots that can travel to your lungs where they are called Pulmonary Emboli (more than one), if you are inactive after surgery. I’ve also gotten to learn about Blood Thinners, Torn Rotator Cuffs and a few issues to be dealt with. My body and emotions are still in the process of healing. I hope this is not my “new normal”, but it’s my “normal for now”.
But my soul is a different story. As the old hymn says “It is well with my soul’. I thank the Lord God Almighty that my brain tumor was benign. I thank Him also for all the friends and family who have taken care of me during this time. I thank those of my friends and family who prayed and/or reached out and met every one of my needs.

I have learned so much about the Lord and my relationship with Him. When I cried out to Him, asking Him to heal me, “ And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)”. He has reminded me to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 NKJV).

I am attending a mid-week Bible Study that is going through the Book of Philippians. Pastor Lafferty taught us that Joy is an attitude and Happiness is an emotion. I have Joy in abundance, not so much happiness. James, the brother of our Lord Jesus said in James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Thank you again for journeying and praying with me. I don’t know what my “new normal” will look like, but I am sure that the Lord will be there cheering me on.

A Loving Christian Response to the LGBT Agenda

We are the first generation of Christians, in this country, who have had to deal with a growing positive attitude towards, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. The Supreme Court has decided that Gay marriage should become the Law of the Land. Television shows now feature characters who are gay and in committed relationships, or even married. I find it disturbing to hear a man talk about his “husband” or a woman about her “wife”, either in real life or on TV. God created marriage in the Garden of Eden and Gay marriage is really just another ploy of the enemy to counterfeit that which God planned for good. We need to make sure that this loss of morality in our nation does not cause us to compromise the values of God.

How did this happen? Political correctness did not exist when I was growing up. There were clear rules of right and wrong. And even as late as the beginning of this century, I don’t think most Americans considered homosexuality a normal sexual behavior. While lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have existed as long as civilization has been around, until the last quarter of the 20th century, there was no political agenda for acceptance in this country. The LGBT movement simply didn’t exist. Of course, there have always been lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals; people just didn’t talk about it as part of their daily lives. If homosexuality was discussed, there was usually a hint, or maybe more than just a hint, of disgust. The stereotypes concerning gays were never positive. It was a well know stereotype in the 1970’s and 1980’s that if a hairdresser wasn’t married, he had to be gay. My mother would only allow a woman or married man to be her hairdresser. She wouldn’t take the chance that one of “them” might touch her.

If gay couples lived together, people just assumed that they were good friends and roommates. Even today, no one thinks it’s strange for 2 men or 2 women to rent an apartment together. The vast majority of Americans wouldn’t have thought there was anything more going on. Things started changing toward the end of the last century and beginning of this one. Many homosexual couples had been afraid to let it be known they were in relationships. In addition to the social stigma that went along with homosexuality, in many States, sodomy was illegal. In June 2003, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas statute concerning sodomy. This also invalidated similar sodomy statutes in other States and basically legalized homosexuality in America.

Men have been dressing and living as women and women as men for centuries. There are documented cases of women dressing like men, so they could fight in wars. There are men who dress as women, even to the exaggerated extreme of being Drag Queens. But it wasn’t until the latter part of the 20th century that surgery was available which allowed individuals, who identified as transgendered, to mutilate themselves so they could have their bodies match their alleged internal gender identity. Most Americans probably became aware of people claiming to be transgendered in the 1970’s when Richard Raskind had gender reassignment surgery and became Renee Richards. She then successfully sued the United States Tennis Association, because they wouldn’t let her play in the US Open as a woman.

So why is any of this history important to us as Christians? I believe it is because in the past 25 years or so, it has become more and more politically correct to accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal. Even in the psychiatric world, where homosexuality was once classified as a mental disorder, it was decided that it was within normal parameters for people to be attracted to the same gender.

As believers, we need to remember that we have to treat Christians and non-Christians who live or promote the LGBT agenda differently. It goes without saying that we can never approve of homosexuality, bisexuality, or those who claim to be transgendered. We must remind ourselves, however, that those who practice this God abhorred lifestyle, and don’t know Jesus, are not going to hell for their sexual sin. They, like all other Christ rejecters, will face the Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15. “11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (NKJV)”.

We know that the Kingdom of God is the rule and sovereign reign of Almighty God. We also know that God’s Will isn’t perfectly realized today; but will be in the age to come. We have been blessed to be given a taste of The Kingdom; we need to do that which is pleasing and glorifying to God. Rather than condemning those who are confused about their true sexual identity, we need to concentrate on sharing the Gospel with them. It does no good to tell them that they will go to hell for their lifestyle choices. They need to learn that God will accept them as they are. And it is through their relationship with Him, that He will change those things He wants changed.

But what do we do if a Christian Brother or Sister claims to be homosexual? We need to take them to God’s Word and show them, in love, how God feels about this particular sexual sin. Some people even say that God made them this way. We need to show them that it is impossible for God to “make” someone homosexual, bisexual, or anything in between. He tells us in Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination (NKJV)”. The Lord confirms this in the New Testament in Romans 1:27 “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (NKJV)”. God also tells us that unless a man and woman are married, they need to be chaste. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 says “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion (NKJV)”. If a Brother or Sister struggles with same-sex attraction, we need to counsel them to remain celibate, just as we counsel our unmarried heterosexual brethren.

When considering the case of people who identify as being transgendered, I have not found Scripture that specifically covers this situation. However, Psalm 139:13 states “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb (NKJV)”. The Bible also states that God is perfect, and as Bible believing Christians; we need to take God at His Word. If He made someone with the gender of a male and the inner feelings of a female or visa-versa, then we would have to say that God can make mistakes. Scripture tells us that this is impossible. Psalm 18:30 says “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him (NKJV)”. Matthew 5:48 tells us “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Deuteronomy 32:4 states “He is the Rock, His work is perfect, For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He (NKJV)”

Do we try to navigate a slippery slope in our response to the entire LGBT agenda in order to keep to the straight and narrow, or do we just stand firm in our belief that we will follow God and His precepts. As Christians, we need to decide our responses to many issues. We also need to decide if we are willing to be called closed minded, persecuted, sued, or even prosecuted by the Government for keeping God’s Word. Some Christian business owners have been forced to close or change how they do business, because they were not willing to bake cakes, take wedding photos, or arrange flowers for Gay weddings. Are we willing to stand on God’s Word, no matter what the cost?

Many of us have relatives who live or support the LGBT lifestyle. What do we do if we get invited to their wedding? Do we attend? Marriage is a biblical concept, created by God in the Garden of Eden. God’s plan never included the marriage of same sex couples. I would not attend a Gay wedding ceremony, as this is a clear violation of God’s Word. But then you might ask, “Is it ok to attend the reception”?

Do we turn off television shows that promote the LGBT lifestyle? There are at least 2, possibly 3 new TV series being promoted about transgendered people, one of whom is a teenager. Do we not watch TV shows that show homosexuality as “normal”? And what do we do about companies promoting the LGBT lifestyle as “normal” in their commercials? The other day I saw one about a wholesome snack and it showed various types of “wholesome” families. The first family had 2 dads and a kid. I also saw a commercial for a pain reliever that talked about family and showed both homosexual and heterosexual families. How did we go from, I guess it’s ok if someone is gay, to promoting it? Should we stop buying these products? And why have we relinquished the rainbow, which is the sign of God’s promise not to destroy the earth by flood again, to the LGBT cause?

There are many people who believe that they are Christians and have no idea how to follow the Lord. They don’t see the LGBT agenda as wrong, because they don’t really know Christ. We need to start gently and lovingly reminding them that God is not only about love and forgiveness, but also righteousness and holiness. As followers of Christ, we need to stand up for what we believe. We need to emulate our Lord as best we can, as we live our daily lives. We need to say what we mean and do what we say. When people look at our lives, we need to make sure that they aren’t seeing us as hypocrites. But if I go to a gay reception, watch a particular television show, or buy products that support the LGBT lifestyle, am I being hypocritical?

Like many of my Brothers and Sisters, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions. We need to ask the Lord to not only give us the answers that we struggle with, but to give us the courage and the stamina to make the hard choices. We need to be able to say, “No, I will not come to your wedding” to our gay friends and family members. We need to lovingly let those struggling with sexual identity know that God doesn’t make mistakes. We must stand fast for our Lord Jesus, who died for us. Shouldn’t we be willing to pay whatever price is demanded, for sharing His Love and Salvation with a sinful and dying world?

I’m back

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been on an amazing journey. The Lord has been showing me so much in the months that I disappeared. He has given me many things to write about and many things to share. I’m back in Theology School. Just finished a course on The Kingdom of God. Going to be posting some of my papers from that class. Tonight I’m starting a class in Apologetics. Can’t wait to share some of what I’ll be learning from that.

I’ll also be sharing some more about my life and what the Lord has been teaching me. Please pray for me, as I start to write again.

God Bless you and hope to be sharing with you soon.

Quick Question

Ok my Christian and Messianic friends. Here’s one for you? We all feel that there are things that we need in our lives, that we don’t have. BUT, God promises repeatedly to supply ALL our needs. My question is, are we wrong to think we Need things that God hasn’t provided, are these so-called Needs really wants, or do you think that our Needs are really Needs, but God’s timing has determined that they are not Needed now?

Happy Born Again Birthday to Me

During the past 56 years, I’ve made millions of decisions. Most were insignificant. Some were life changing. Some of the more significant decisions were which college to attend, who to marry, what employment opportunities to take, and where to live. But the most important, significant, life changing decision I ever made or ever will make was made 15 years ago today. October 31, 1999. I don’t remember if it was 2:00am or 3:00am, because we changed the clocks that night. On Sunday, October 31, 1999, I decided to give my life to Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior.

When I came to know the Lord, I was a widow. Twelve years after my first love died, I was blessed to find the love of my life. A wonderful Christian man, who wanted to marry me and live the rest of our lives together,. The Lord allowed us to be married for 5 years and then He chose to take Bill home. So today, I’m widowed again. But I rely on Isaiah 54:5 which says- “For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

When I came to know the Lord, I lived in a small one bedroom condo, and spent a lot of time alone and at my computer. Today, I live in a 2 bedroom mobile home. Still spend a lot of time alone and a lot of time at my computer. Before Jesus was in my life, there were weekends where I’d come home on Friday after work and not hear my voice again till Monday at work. I no longer work, but there are days when both my home and cell phones ring at the same time. There are times when I have to plan a “rest day”, because I’ve been so busy with friends and family and overdo and need the time to recuperate

When I came to know the Lord, I was working and making a very good living. I am now disabled and living on Social Security. The Lord worked it out that the good living I was making allowed me to make enough in Social Security to pay the bills that need to get paid, but that I still need to depend on Him for my provision.

Before I came to the Lord, I depended on myself to get things done. If something needed doing, I did it. Now don’t get me wrong, the Lord doesn’t come to my house and wash my dishes, but He’s with me while I do. He gives me the strength to stand long enough to wash the dishes. For most people, this really isn’t an issue, but for me, with my back issues being able to stand and do the dishes is somewhat of a miracle.(2nd Corinthians 12:9-10 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.)

Looking back over the last 15 years, I’m not going to say that my circumstances have always been easy or that they were always good. I will say that even though the worst of them, I was and am able to fall back and depend upon Jesus. There have been many times when people have told me how strong I was, to be able to go through all the trials and challenges I face, sometimes on a daily basis. I have cried out to the Lord about this and this was His response. Joshua 1:9- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God (is) with you wherever you go”

If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior, is it because you feel that you couldn’t possibly reject what you’ve been taught as your religious values, I did. I was raised a Conservative Jew. Do you feel that you’re not good enough and that Jesus wouldn’t accept you? I’ve done things that only but Jesus knows and that’s ok, He still forgives me. Do you claim to not believe in God because you are angry at Him? God has broad shoulders. He knows you’re angry and wants to reconcile with you. As a “birthday” present to me, won’t you reconsider what you believe? Won’t you consider the possibility that Jesus (or Yeshua as Him mother Miriam called Him) is the one true Messiah and the only way to heaven?

As Bill used to say, I remain a beggar just trying to show some other beggars where to get some bread.

The Most Important Gift Ever Given

I know I haven’t written for a while, but it’s been an interesting time of growth and depending on the Lord for me. I’ve got something kicking around in my head to share about this time, but I wanted to share this with you now.

When I was growing up I had a normal (for the time) nuclear family. Mom, dad, 2 kids and a dog. One Grandma who was still alive, aunts uncles, cousins, great aunts/uncles. I thought this was the way it was supposed to be. I was surrounded by people who loved me because we were related, and it was good.

Then I grew up and my cousins started getting married so there were “others” who were now cousins and this was good. Then I got married and I got “in-laws” and a whole new family to interact and become a part of. I was surrounded by people who loved me because we were related, and it was good.

During all this time, people I grew up with and loved were dying, because of age or illness. I had less people surrounding me who loved me, and this was NOT good,

Then God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to give me a second chance at love. He sent me a man who loved God and loved me. The funny thing is, we did not share a culture. We shared a loved for God and Jesus and that was enough to build a life and for me to become surrounded by many more people who loved me because we were related and it was good.

God took a twice widowed middle aged barren woman, and surrounded me with people who loved me.. Some who have been there since the beginning. Some, like my great-niece Athena who will be one tomorrow, are new. Some are related by blood, some by marriage, some by our mutual love of God.

He gave a woman who never bore a child a stepson, daughter-in-law and grandkids. I have close to 30 nieces and nephews from my marriages to Michael and Bill. And oodles and oodles of great-nieces and a great- nephew or two.

Ok, so you’re asking why are you sharing this today? Well, part of it is that while God always gives us what we need, exactly when we need it. He doesn’t always give us what we want. On this Saturday, as we await the most important Sunday of the year, please remember, that Jesus died and rose so that you can spend eternity with Him in heaven. As blessed as I am that He has surrounded me with a family that loves me, nothing show God’s love for me (and you) more than His Death (on the Cross yesterday) and Resurrection (from the grave tomorrow).Image

How do you celebrate Messiahmas (Christmas)

When I was young, my parents would hang stockings from our fireplace. There was one for me, one for my brother and one for the dog. I guess my parents didn’t want to deal with explaining that Santa didn’t come to the houses of Jewish kids. My mom also took us to see Santa in the stores. Things were very different in the 60’s.  When my brother was 6 or 7, they decided to tell us the truth and that was the end of the Christmas Stocking and visiting Santa traditions.

 I also remember that every year, on Christmas Day we would get up really early. We would meet Uncle Herbie and Aunt Beryl (dear friends of my folks) and their kids at a diner  on the way to New York City. After breakfast, we would head for New York and park the car. Then came standing in the freezing cold (felt like days but was probably less than an hour) to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, which if I remember  correctly,  consisted of a Christmas movie of some sort, and the Rockettes. After the show, my dad and Uncle Herbie would argue a bit about which Chinese restaurant they wanted to go to in Chinatown. Funny thing was, neither one of them could remember where we had gone the year before. I remember always going down into some sort of basement/street level restaurant and always having the best Chinese food, I’d ever had.

 Today, I am a Jewish believer in Y’shua (Jesus). When Bill was alive, we would go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve and then spend Christmas Day with his family. I’ve continued that tradition since the Lord has took him home. This year, however, because I’ve been ill for so long and still need so much pain medication for my shoulder, I think I’m going to have a very Jewish Christmas. My plan this year, is wake up Messiahmas morning, say Happy Birthday Y’shua (Jesus) and go back to sleep. At some point, I’ll go out and get Chinese food and probably watch a movie. I did, however, wish my brother a Merry Christmas today. While he rejects the religious aspects of the holiday, he embraces the traditions of Christmas Eve Mass, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gatherings, presents under the tree to respect his wife and her traditions.

 So how do you celebrate Christmas?