Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Price of Principle

What price are you willing to pay to stand on your principles? If you are Carrie Prejean, the price is not winning the Miss USA title.

On Sunday, April 19, 2009 Prejean was a finalist in the Miss USA pageant representing the State of California.

Her interview question asked whether or not she supported gay marriage. Since she was considered an odds on favorite to win the pageant, her answer would be decisive. She could give the politically correct answer and win. She could answer truthfully and lose.

She chose truth.

Prejean said that it is great that in America people have a right to choice their own lifestyles but she personally believes that marriage is between a man and a woman because that was the way she was reared.

That answer didn’t fare to well with the judges. She was named 1st runner up instead.

In the aftermath she said that she considered the question a test of her faith, especially since she had prayed not to be asked that question. Since the question was asked she viewed it as God's will and stood on her principles.

Since Sunday, the woman who did not win has become an instant celebrity. She’s appeared on television news shows, talk shows and has been the subject of thousands of news reports. In fact, the winner of the pageant is rarely mentioned.

It appears that Prejean didn’t get the title but she’s receiving the love and adoration of most of the nation, especially those who know and follow the teachings of the bible.

Standing on principles is hard to do for every Christian. We have been warned that we will pay a price for any decision that we make for Christ. We have also been promised that we will be blessed if we do.

For Prejean the blessings will be obvious. It will be Prejean that will get the book deals, movie offers and celebrity. The winner of the pageant will drift away namelessly into history.

There is a bible verse that is appropriate. Luke 21:17-19 says, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not throwing in the towel

Dr. James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, analyzed the massive effort he has led to re-establish Christian values in America as a failure.

Dobson said the massive fight against abortion, homosexuality and a plethora of other ungodly living has been turned around as new generations abandon godly principles in pursuit of their own. He cited some gains but concluded that Christians are losing the moral war. He quickly added, however, that God is in control. (

In some respects Dr. Dobson may be right. The present generation seems to be "me" oriented and not "Him" (God) oriented. This generation gives the pretense of worship because it expects something for "me" in return; not simply for the greatness of the Lord. It is long on "me" oriented praise but very short on service.

It seems to shape its values around its own expectations. To appeal to this generation, Churches have resorted to slick packaged emotionally charged concerts that tickle the ears of the crowds rather than the more difficult task of standing on principle.

To draw crowds, the standard has been lowered and social deviance has been tolerated; and in some cases promoted.

Unlike Dr. Dobson, I'm not throwing in the towel. I choose to be among the remnant that believes in old fashioned way. God, family and moral uprightness are the key elements of the old fashioned belief. Like 15 minute grits, home made biscuits, mama's pound cake; the old way is slower, doesn't attract mega crowds, but it's the right way.

There is a thought in Ephesians 6:12-13 that says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. "

I suspect that are millions of Christians are not as pessimistic as Dr. Dobson; they are willing to stand, if they have to stand alone.

We're not throwing in the towel.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Giving fathers a bad name

This morning I read about a man in Flint Michigan who has been jailed because he owes $530,000 in child support for 14 children he fathered by 13 women.-Prosecutors say he's giving fathers a bad name.

I read the particulars of the incident and pondered on it.

The man's name is Thomas Frazier and he may hold the unenviable title of biggest deadbeat dad.

"This guy gives fathers a bad name," said Genesee County Friend of the Court Jack Battles.

Frazier says he's not sure all of the children are his, but he hasn't paid any support claims for that he owns. He says he's the victim because he faces about $3,000 a month in child support payments

In October of 2008, Friend of the Court officials said Frazier gave them a false Social Security number and tried to convince investigators he was someone else.

He remained under the radar until late last month when he got pulled over in Iowa for a broken taillight on his Mercedes Benz.

Frazier says he "messed up" and wants to take care of his mistakes, but hopes the Friend of the Court will knock down his bill to a more manageable $200,000 and set him free.

What is the responsibility of a father? Is it to simply father as many children as possible then leave the children to fend for themselves? A man with one child usally finds that it takes most of his time, talent and energy to provide true nurture. A man with more than one child doesn't have a life of his own anymore, he belongs to them.

Generally, children require more than just a child support check. They require a father's time, counsel, love and resources. Child support only considers the money part; and a very small part at that.

What caught the headlines for Mr. Frazier is the fact that he owes $530,000 in child support for 14 children that grows at the rate of $3,000 a month. What's not in the news is the time, counsel and love that he also owes.

Most of the children he has never seen,or spoken to, let alone provided for.

In rearing my three sons I found it necessary to be present in every aspect of their lives as a father: School PTA, Scouts, music lesson, plays, church, and recreation. It meant teaching them to type, use a computer (computers were new then), write a fluid sentence, handle money, and to be sexually responsible. Even doing all of that I fell short in many areas.

Fatherhood is a tough job.

Fathers who neglect their children provoke them in later years to hate them and to disrespect the name of image. That is not what God intended.

Ephesians 6:4 put it this way, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

It's bad enough that some fathers must be forced by courts to support their children. It's even worse, when even then they do shierk their responsibilities.

They give millions of good fathers a bad name and they lose favor with our heavenly father who never misses a day supporting us.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Early morning people

I arose this morning at 3:30 a.m. It's Sunday morning.

I'm a morning person. I do my best thinking, planning, meditation and study early in the morning. In the evenings my batteries run down. I need about four hours sleep and I'm fully charged; so I arise early.

It's not unusual for my Facebook posts, commentaries, blogs, emails and Twitter links to be posted at 4:00 a.m. in the morning because that's one of the times each day that I block out to read an respond to the prior day's mesages. Following that I have a self imposed 90 minutes of prayer and bible study in the morning and another at the close of the day (Three hours a day).

I'm at my best early in the morning. No coffeee or energy boosters; I'm rolling at full steam between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. By 9 a.m. my day is really rolling. By noon I'm in high gear. After p.m. I'm still rolling but attend to mostly housekeeping functions, no new ideas, fresh writing, or studying complicated ideas. By 8 p.m. I begin a slow shut down. Around 9 p.m. my final 90 minutes of of reading, prayer and bible study begins. Usually by 11ish it's lights out for me.

Traditional Black preachers end their sermons with "but, Early Sunday morning he arose from the grave." The emphasis is on "Early." For over 200 years black folks have been getting excitied when we hear "Early Sunday morning!"

Early on the morning of the resurrection Christ arose from the dead.

It seems that Jesus was an early morning person too, at least on that Sunday morning.

While the world was still asleep, He arose early to complete salvation. Even to day long before we think about our problems, he's up Early, at full steam.

Some will ask does God ever sleep?

The answer is in Psalm 121, "He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers or sleeps."

I woke up early this morning, but my Lord was alread on the job!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

We still need mom and pop.

Vermont has become the 4th State to legalize same-sex marriage. Vermont's actions follows that of Iowa by only a few days. It seems to be a growing trend.

Without being overly judgmental, I fail to see the ultimate point of the clamor for the title "marriage" as opposed to civil union.

A civil union is an arrangement between two parties that is recognized in a court of law. It allows for parties to designate whom they wish to care for them, receive benefits of their benevolence and any other rights they want to extend to each other under the civil law.

In America, persons have the right to associate themselves with whomever they choose and to enter into contractual arrangements at their pleasure, even if that arrangement angers their neighbors or the their neighbor's God.

Marriage on the other hand goes beyond a mere civil union. It's purpose is procreation; which is impossible in same-sex civil unions. A marriage produces a child that has a mother and a father. A civil union, at best, can adopt a child that will either have two mothers or two fathers.

I can accept civil unions for those who choose that route; I draw the line, however, when it comes to moving one step further and calling such unions marriages.

I just keep hearing the words of Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

God ordained marriages as the means of replenishing the earth. Civil unions are ordained by man, for his own satisfaction, but without a godly sanction or procreative purpose.

It appears that God has charged his creation to be fruitful and multiply, among humans marriage is the instrument.

It may acceptable to have civilized unions, but I think we still need mom and pop.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Taking in the Flowers

An April freeze in Louisiana is unusual; but that's what we had last night.

The weather forecast predicted temperatures of approximately 31 degrees and the news was filled with accounts of farmers trying to protect their crops from the cold weather.

In the middle of the report was an item that made reference to the Salvation Army suspending its rules to allow repeat persons to get shelter in light of the expected cold.

My wife began a scramble to take in her pot plants that sit outside. At first she was preparing to cover them with plastic, but the newscaster said, "Don't cover your flowers with plastic," so she brought them inside.

Flowers, crops and homeless people isn't that a strange mix.

What was interesting about the newscast is that most of the report had to do with protecting flowers and crops; there was just a blurb about helping people.

In an ideal world, helping people would have been the main concern and crops and flowers last.

We should be concerned about the poor and the homeless for therein is our blessing.

There is a passage in the bible that has these words, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in." (Matthew 25:35)

Save the crops, bring in the flowers, but let's be sure to save the "least of these first."