God and Guns

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor and Marketing of Bicks Books LLC

Last Monday, I watched an event unfold in my (almost) home state of Virginia. The people I admire and love were under attack for their 2nd Amendment rights and guns. Flashbacks whizzed through my memory as if it were yesterday. I recall my dad and brothers spending many hours cleaning their guns in the living room. My oldest brother, an NRA board member, has won many medals in target shooting over the years. However, my father was a real stickler about gun safety. His words resounded in my mind – “never point it at someone” and “don’t go near the gun case without someone being with you.”

When I moved to Virginia as an adult, most of my friends belonged to hunting clubs. Some may classify them as “rednecks,” but they were the kindest human beings I ever knew, regardless of the stigma assigned to them by outsiders. Murdering others, and disrespectful, threatening behavior was not in their dialogue. So, why are these law-abiding citizens now considered the anti-Christ?

I studied the Bible for information about guns and Christians owning weapons. Many scriptures condone the use of weaponry, such as in Luke 22:37-39, where Jesus affirmed it is sometimes necessary to be armed for self-defense. In biblical times, militaries were commanded to carry something for self-defense. Nowhere does the Bible tell a soldier to give up his weapon for a life of peace.

However, there is a glitch to ponder about God and guns. Though God encourages a believer to own weapons for hunting and protection, weapons are still to be governed by civil authorities and the will of God.

What does this mean to gun owners?

Before we purchase a gun, we should consider our motivation for owning one. Is it to harm someone else, or is it to protect our life and family? After all, Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love God and love others. Exodus 22:2-3 shows that self-defense must be proportional. We can fulfill the strength of God, often, just by our faith, not self-defense.

We inherently understand there is plenty of evil in the world. Jesus understood this because he allowed one of his disciples to carry self-protection. Murders and mass murders existed long before rifles were invented, and it still exists today in countries where firearms are illegal. Explosives and box cutters committed the worst school massacre in 1927 in America, not guns.

History has proven we will never live in a violence-free society through the laws of man. Our government is mistaken to think they can control those who walk the earth intending to harm innocent people. Mankind can never control the mentally ill or those possessed with an evil spirit. We must understand that only God can protect our life, for He had a plan for us before we were born.

Whether a Christian should take steps to protect his life and family, or trust in God for protection, will always remain a debate. I’m sure a believer’s opinion on guns will be based on cultural issues more than biblical mandates. It is unfortunate one side or the other will be hurt by a government who is falsely misleading its citizens. Maybe we should pray for the officials’ peace of understanding.

Strengthen us in the power of Your might, O God. Dress us in Your armor so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. We know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12


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What Happened to the Dream of MLK Jr.? [Video]

Martin Luther King Jr.January 20, 2020, was the official recognition holiday of the life of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is intended to be a time of remembrance and celebration of a life courageously given to make a simple but monumentally profound dream into a reality.

However, MLK Day should not stop with a moment or two of reflection, though the reflection is appropriate. As noted in this journal previously, King was a childhood idol of mine, and I was crushed when he was assassinated in 1968, less than five years after he gave voice to his righteous dream in the nation’s capital.

Rev. King’s most famous speech is known as the “I have a dream” address on August 28, 1963, in front of 250,000 people in Washington D.C. at the official end of the “March on Washington.” His most famous quote is from that speech,

I have a dream that one day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character I have a dream today.

His dream was a powerful and iconic ideal set before a people who were languishing in the evil of racial oppression and sensed the winds of history were poised to sweep away the injustice of racism. A dream of such potency that it could not be ignored, especially when spoken with the force and elegance only Dr. King could invoke as the man God chose for that time.

Identifying the Dream of Liberty

There remains no better person to articulate and identify the noble dream of Dr. King than King himself. Here is a video capturing the entire address on the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial to the quarter-million listeners in D.C. and the millions watching on television, who hung on every word.

If you have never heard this astonishing address in its entirety I would urge you to view and listen to it carefully. It has the additional grace that most great speeches throughout history in that King’s words are inspired but brief at just over 17 minutes in length.

In my time as a pastor, I preached over a thousand sermons both inside and outside of a church sanctuary. There were two comments I would invariably hear spoken to me after almost every one of those messages, and I wager that many of the readers could easily guess the content of those comments.

I would hear, sometimes from the same person, the words, “Good sermon,” and “You really stepped on my toes today.” Sometimes, in my efforts to be cordial, I would thank the person and I always tried to make sure I verbally gave all the glory to God, where it rightly belonged.

However, many times I would be dismayed by those comments and would often reply, “If I stepped on your toes I missed my target because I was aiming for your heart.” Dr. King presented a sermon before his audience that hot August day in 1963 and did what I often longed to do, hit the target at which God was aiming, the human heart.

The ideal, the dream set forth before the world by Dr. King carried the power of profundity with the force of the Divinity straight to the hearts of his listeners. Moreover, even today, over 46 years after the profession of his dream and through the filter of technology, the power of King’s dream can still grip our souls anew, if we will but listen anew.

As Dr. King set forth God’s message, he built an eloquent case for the righteousness of the dream that people would be regarded as equally human by each other just as they were so regarded by the LORD. Though he targeted the condition of America specifically, his speech was a worthy ideal for all the world to emulate.

Pursuing the Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.It is one thing to identify and masterfully present an idealistic goal to any audience. It is another matter entirely to actively pursue that goal with sincerity and integrity.

The biggest reason Dr. King drew such crowds in 1963 was that he went far beyond just talking about it. He pursued it with deeds that risked his alienation and much worse from his opponents.

He had built support starting with his first noteworthy act of civil disobedience, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955-56. He helped organize the boycott through his organization the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which virtually shut down the city busing industry there.

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement.

Dr. King suffered for his actions as did many of those who were his supporters. On one such occasion, he was arrested and thrown into a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama for organizing demonstrations against the racial injustice of that city in 1963.

Dr. King had read of a public statement “of concern and caution” about the demonstrations released by eight white religious leaders in the South shortly before his arrest and he wrote a lengthy response, Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The letter was a brilliant defense of non-violent action aimed at the religious leaders’ objections as well as educating all who read it about the specific goals and methods of their actions.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no
gainsaying of the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.

Dr. King then continues to specifically list the problems and steps that had already been taken to address the racial injustice.

Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of police brutality is known in every section of this country. Its unjust treatment of Negroes in the courts is a notorious reality. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in this nation. These are the hard, brutal, and unbelievable facts. On the basis of them, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the political leaders consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

When negotiations with the city failed, King and his followers went to step three, the step he called “self-purification.” King described what that process entailed as a prerequisite to demonstrations.

We started having workshops on nonviolence and repeatedly asked ourselves the questions, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” and “Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail?”

The careful preparations of both body and spirit were necessary for what those who followed Dr. King to fully participate in non-violent civil protest without reservation. As King realized, his was not the only movement against the oppression of blacks which garnered significant support.

Opposing and Reviving the Dream

Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam

Dr. King was virulently opposed by racists from groups like the KKK, and worse by black groups who advocated violence such as the original Black Panthers and the Black Muslims, aka the ‘Nation of Islam’ under Elijah Muhammed. Contrary to the urgings of King and others, black leaders on the other side demanded that civil rights be fought for “by any means necessary,” in the words of Malcolm X.

The great civil rights leader rightly feared the probable outcome of violent demonstrations against forced segregation and ‘Jim Crow’ laws that kept black people disadvantaged. Dr. King wrote that the groups advocating violence were,

…made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incurable devil. … There is a more excellent way, of love and nonviolent protest. I’m grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, I am convinced that by now many streets of the South would be flowing with floods of blood.

Today most of us rightly give respect to the accomplishments of Dr. King who gained more for the rights of black Americans than all the calls to “Black Power” and violence have ever done. Yet the minions of those who call for violence today, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” and the so-called ‘woke’ groups of “Antifa” insist that non-violence is impotent in present-day America.

Tragically, both the violent means and the societal goal are directly in opposition to the principles embraced by Dr. King a half-century ago. In an excellent piece by Dr. Eric Wallace of the “Freedom’s Journal Institute,” he compares the stance of BLM versus that of Dr. King’s strident non-violence, specifically the dream of being judged not by color but character.

But with what measure are we to be judged today? How are the demands of today’s “Woke” culture or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement representative of a people who continue to thrive in the face of injustice? Needless to say, neither of these movements proclaim a biblical foundation or Christian roots.[1] In fact, one could argue that these contemporary movements demand the opposite of what Dr. King stood for and fought to accomplish. Many in these groups are quick to judge White people by the color of their skin while insisting they have “white privilege,” which automatically makes them guilty of racial injustice simply because they are White. This reasoning turns Dr. King’s words on their heads. Thinking that one is guilty simply because he or she is White or another is oppressed simply because he or she is not is the opposite of what King preached.

The lifelong quest of Dr. King for racial justice and equality through non-violence has been largely spurned by those who claim to speak on behalf of the black population in America today. It is past time for that righteous dream to be revived if we are going to continue moving toward a more just society instead of careening down a steep slope toward racial anarchy and destruction.

Fortunately, King’s dream is still alive and growing though it has taken President Trump’s administration to move it off of life support. Ironically, it is a person the Left constantly berates and accuses of being the biggest racist in world history who has brought more opportunity and prosperity to minorities than any administration in our history.

Those among the minority population, other than the mind-controlled minions of the MSM, have seen these results from the Trump administration and are leaving the Leftist Democratic [but I repeat myself] plantation in droves. The support for President Trump has risen to unprecedented levels among blacks in America as evidenced by a number of recent polls and is consistently above 30% today.

While 30% is far from a majority, consider that President Trump won in 2016 with just 8% of the black vote. As noted in a recent piece at Real Clear Politics,

Even 20 percent African-American support for Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020.

This is truly good news for the promise of the profound dream of Dr. King. I hope and pray that the re-election of President Trump will take place and move America closer to the point of true racial justice and harmony.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Mike’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Public.Resource.Org’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Entitlement

Today’s society is bombarded with many slogans that portray us to be “deserving” of something. Such self-focused messages are:

            “You deserve a break today…” used by McDonald’s

            “You owe it to yourself…” used by cruise lines

            “Treat yourself to take the break you deserve” used by Hilton HHonors

In the dynamics of families and relationships, how many times have you graciously gave a gift and never received a “thank you” of any kind? How often have you heard the stories of parents passing away, and the children fought over the estate and money? If a sibling or parent is near their deathbed, do they deserve to be treated with respect if they never reciprocated love to family members in a state of healthiness? What if a husband and wife purchase a home with their hard-earned money – should their children feel entitled to the parent’s assets?

Within the business world, employees arrive late and perform their duties with little ambition. They demand pay raises and better benefits. Are they really deserving of it? Or, a parent scrapes and works hard to grow a business, and their grown children now believe they’re entitled to run it when the parent is deceased.

Churches also run into the same dilemmas when the congregation feels entitled to receive answers from their pastors or to hold positions within the house of worship. And, while I walk down the path of religious connotations, many believers feel deserving of God’s blessings. Speaking of this, do you know why much of humanity walks away from God and stops believing in Him? They prayed for an answer they wanted to hear and didn’t receive it. He was a means to get what they felt entitled to in life! Ironically, I believe our church leaders are responsible for this incorrect train of thought. They stand on the pulpit and preach God will meet all our needs and give them their desires if they pledge their soul to Jesus. The fact is our sin separates us from the Lord.

Entitlement is a dangerous walk in life – it’s Godlessness. Let me be frank here – God, parents, and employers owe us nothing. God blesses us with things because He wants to – an unconditional love of grace. A selfish demand for His generosity will reap no benefits. It’s that simple!

Jesus’ ministry spoke of loving others with a grateful heart. This includes treating each other with respect, even amidst our differences. The well-being of gratitude promotes healthy relationships, both in our walk with the Lord and relationships with others.

In the subject of parenting, fewer children today respect their elders. They ignore the recognition parents deserve for years of hard work and dedication to their families because they live in the “gimme, gimme” world. These generations are gifted with their heart’s desires, and they expect it from the parents. Thus, the slogans I mentioned at the beginning of the message above, come into play. As the children grow older, they feel entitled to life. Little do we know, it promotes laziness, ungratefulness, and the subject of this blog – entitlement. What are we teaching our children and others?

So, how can we live a life feeling less entitled to things and people?

•          Humbly give thanks to God for all we receive. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

•          Remember the grace of God, for Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We do not deserve to be treated with graciousness for our sinful attitudes, but the Lord’s love and grace reaches out to us, anyway. “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:3-5

•          Set your mind on eternity with the Lord and not on this world. Money and physical possessions mean nothing, for they cannot be taken with you to heaven. “But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

•          Continuously pray for discernment of entitlement. Why do I feel entitled, and how can I change this train of thought?

In summary of today’s message, expect little, receive with a grateful heart, and always give thanks. Give God the glory for your unexpected blessings!

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor and Marketing of Bicks Books LLC


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HAPPY GREGORIAN NEW YEAR!

With the changing of the calendar there are disagreements about if it is really a new decade.

What a silly disagreement.

Humans feel they control time. They can catagozie and contain it. However, as diverse as Humanity is, there are as many ways to contain time as there are civilazations.

I Celebrate three New Year’s. My actually new year is aligned with my pagan beliefs with the start of the year on Samhein, Halloween.

Then I recognize the Gregorian New Year, which most of the world, particularly the Western World, follow. Then, finally, I celebrate Chinese New Year. This is out of appreciation for Asian culture.

I once owned a Tibetan Buddhist Calendar. It being based on the moon as opposed to the sun. It was definitely different.

My friend in South Korea has two ages. One which is “western,” one which is based on her culture.

Not only are there calendar and time controls within different cultures, there are different views of time in various religions.

Growing up in the United Methodist Church we followed the Christian calendar (hint we are still in the Christmas Season until Epiphany). There are specific traditions and practices associated with certain times of the year in every religious practice.

And don’t even get me started on the different political calendars across the globe.

Sometimes this societal agree on the meaning of time is to our detriment. More and more people are having sleep problems and health issues because they are no longer in tune with their own physical, internal clock, their circadian rhythm.

It is worth remembering for all of the different views and beliefs on time, it is all fabricated by our brains. It is simply a way for our brains to catagozie and barely begin to understand our place in the Universe.

This Gregorian Year of 2020 I suggest we all take a step back and allow the Universe to speak to us, to reset our clocks to its time, instead of the chaos of societal time.

Are Christians wrong about Christmas?

Many Christians today refuse to celebrate Christmas. I’ve heard all their rationales and why it is wrong to observe this holiday. Here is my selection of the top five reasons:

(1) “It’s not biblical, for Christ never sanctioned it.” “It is a pagan holiday”. (Based on Jeremiah 10:2-4 and Isaiah 44:14-15; 44:14-17, and Colossians 2:16-17)

(2) “It promotes lying to children.”

(3) “Historically, Jesus was not born on December 25.”

(4) “Jesus never taught us to acknowledge His birth day.”

(5) “The Christmas tree represents idolatry.” (Based on Jeremiah 10:2-5, Isaiah 40:19-20, and Isaiah 44:14-17)

Are Christians wrong about Christmas based on these statements? Let’s visit each of the comments and discuss them a little more in depth.

#1: Christmas Is A Pagan Holiday; Never Sanctioned by Christ

Many call Christmas a pagan holiday based on Colossians 2:16-17, which warns us not to observe any special months, seasons, days, or religious festivals.

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:16-17

This Old Testament passage was written before the birth of Christ, and by Paul the Apostle, who was referring to the Old Testament festivals. It did not pertain to today’s holidays. The issue which Paul describes is not the observance, but the reason, attitude, and spirit in which a celebration occurs, even the Christmas holiday.

Paganism, spoken in the Old Testament, was lost centuries ago when most of Rome became Christians before the year 391. December 25 was the date Romans celebrated the sun god. The Roman emperor, Constantine, converted to Christianity in 312 A.D., and he wanted to alleviate the worship of false gods to acknowledge Christ. Christian leaders accepted his conversion as a means to convert the pagan world. Pagan temples changed over to churches, and persecuted Christian martyrs replaced the idols of pagans. Christianity remained with the promise of a Savior through a virgin birth. Rome became the hub for Christianity.

There are no biblical passages that point the way to not celebrating the birth of our Lord out of love, devotion, and joy of the season. Furthermore, the Bible speaks of the angel who came to announce Jesus’ birth and the men who came bearing gifts. Such an announcement was a celebration.

If we honor Christmas with a lack of Christian connotations, this would be sinful. Scriptures give Christians guidelines to follow so as not to distort this joyful season:

Do not attend wild parties with large alcohol consumption. Little regard for the birth of the Lord is present in these gatherings.

Do not overspend money on gifts.

Teach children about the reason for the season – not how many gifts they will receive.

#2: It Promotes Lying to Children

Santa Claus originated with St. Nicholas, who was the Bishop of Myra. (See my blog, Before There Was Santa). I believe Santa should be approached as a fairy tale and spoken with caution. However, salvation in Christianity is based on good deeds, and the Bible promises eternal life for obedience to the Lord.

#3: Jesus Was Not Born on December 25

Discrepancy of this date is not on the year of Christ’s birth, but the month. The earliest mention of December 25 came from a fourth-century Roman almanac, which lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.” Eastern churches use January 6, and it is known as the Feast of the Epiphany – a celebration of the magi’s arrival.

In either case, both dates occur in the winter. People who dispute the month of Jesus’ birth base it on the sheep who were being herded in the fields. They claim sheep are taken into enclosures November through March. It may be true, except there is no fact to confirm pens were built for sheep in that century, and too, it could have been a mild winter. Luke’s version of the nativity night tells us the shepherds were near Bethlehem and not in the fields, which also indicates it was the winter months. Bethlehem’s winters encouraged heavy rain and thick crops of new grass, best suitable for sheep. Therefore, December or January would be the most likely months for Jesus’ birth.

#4: We Were Never Taught to Acknowledge Jesus’ Date of Birth

I want to say there are two ways of observing Christmas. We can look at it as a commercialized party and gift-giving spree, or we can view it as a recognition of Jesus’ birth. In the Book of Luke, appearances of angels announced the birth of a Savior. First one, and then a multitude of angels told the shepherds of Jesus’ birth, and they asked the sheep herders to announce it to the world.

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” Luke 2:20

Should we not do this too? Praising God is glorifying His name, so why not use Christmas for this specific reason? It is the perfect opportunity to tell a non-believer of the reason God came to earth – to guide us to salvation. The promise of the angel — “for He will save His people from their sins” — are the greatest words of the entire Christmas story. Use this holiday to spread the Good News!

#5: The Christmas Tree Represents Idolatry

Christianity adopted many pagan components to Christmas such as the lighting of candles, exchanging of gifts, the Christmas tree, holly, and mistletoe. Some link the paganism of the Christmas tree to Jeremiah 3:6, 13, but in fact, it denounces the use of a grove of trees as a place for idol worship. If you read beyond these two brief Bible verses, Israel was using the woods to hide and commit adultery. These passages are taken out of the original context of their meaning and applied negatively to Christmas trees in homes.

Second, Jeremiah wrote this passage hundreds of years before Christmas trees became adopted into our holiday. Yes, the Christmas tree began with pagan roots. However, through the developing years of Christianity, the tree obtained many connotations and symbols of the Lord. It can now show the Star of Bethlehem, nativity scenes, red and green colors representing the blood of Christ and green for the life given to us through the birth of Jesus.

Christmas trees, like the holiday itself, is a matter of personal conviction. Where is your heart on this tradition? Is it with pagan thoughts of adoration for the tree and parties, or will it represent Christian values? It is your choice and personal conviction.


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The Evil Insanity of Gender Identity, Part Two: Societal Madness [Video]

Gender Identity, transgenderism

The first part of this series examined the horrible sacrifice of very young children and their futures that are a tragic consequence of the newly ascendant ‘trans-rights’ movement as a so-called civil rights cause. There are other, widely-spread societal consequences which threaten to remake western culture wholesale and send us careening toward oblivion.

There are three primary areas of concern within our society that are negatively affected by ‘trans-rights’ advocates in our time. These areas are all forms of the Leftmedia, the world of competitive sports, and the monolith of both primary and secondary public education.

Transgender Propaganda Reigns in Leftmedia

The gaggle of networks and media outlets which I have chosen to call the “Leftmedia,” has been aggressively promoting the ‘trans-rights’ social program as something good or, at the worst, simply benign. In order to accomplish their goals, the Leftmedia must engage in blatant propaganda hoping that what thinking people might still exist on the Left won’t notice or if they do notice won’t care.

The following video by Steve Crowder and company highlights the false narrative coming from the Left on this issue. Maher’s attempt to feign ignorance about the facts that Dennis Prager presents seems very weak at best.

Two critical facts were presented in the video are indisputable. One is that the newest claim by the transgender community that ‘men can have periods too’ is far from a fringe view in the Leftmedia!

Crowder names media outlets such as MTV, HuffPo, The London Telegraph, and even People magazine that have featured headlines claiming that ‘men get periods too!’ In fact, as he notes, the campaign of propaganda has been so influential that the “woke” among the retail sales crowd have been actively promoting the sales of tampons and feminine pads to ‘transitioning’ persons.

However, there is a bit of sleight-of-hand involved in all of this. The advertisement for the international tampon company in the video employs this tactic by featuring a woman who is trying to change into a man and her statement that for a time during her attempts to reverse nature, she was still menstruating as a woman does.

The trickery is twofold. First of all, she was a biologically normal woman who was experiencing normal cycles that apply only to the female of the species before she began the process.

Therefore, this does not apply to the case of the opposite, a man attempting to change into a woman. They didn’t have periods before they ‘identified’ as a woman, and they won’t have periods even after hormones and surgery.

However, and this is the second part of the deceptive propaganda, the advertisement carefully arranges the video sequence to conflate both types of ‘gender identity’ claims as basically the same. Moreover, this falsehood is enforced throughout various social media avenues such as Twitter or Facebook.

Transgenderism Is Destroying Women’s Sports

transgenderismThe transgender ‘athlete’ has made a definite impact on women’s sports in recent years. Men ‘identifying’ as women have been routinely dominating women’s competitions at the state, national, and international levels. As an article in “Human Events” online states,

The victory of New Zealander Laurel Hubbard is just the latest in a growing line of instances in which transgender women are claiming the top spot in women’s sporting events. The 41-year-old dominated the Pacific Games weightlifting competition this week, winning a gold medal for her efforts – and breaking women’s records in the process.

Despite the politically correct pronoun usage, the article argues against the practice of allowing biological males to compete against females if they ‘identify’ as a female. They note that recent scientific research supports the author’s arguments.

In a paper published in the BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics, researcher Lynley Anderson and her associates Alison Heather and Taryn Knox argued that capping testosterone levels, which has been proposed as a solution to maintaining a level playing field, just won’t cut it. …The researchers also argue that the advantages transgender women have over biologically female counterparts extends well beyond testosterone levels. Namely, they have denser and larger muscles, better muscle distribution, and higher lung capacities. Males even have an advantage when it comes to the amount of oxygen they can accumulate. All this lends to greater strength, agility, dexterity, stamina, and endurance.

A prime example of this is seen in a viral YouTube video with former Olympic women’s gymnastics champions Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson reacting to men doing women’s gymnastics.

In 2017, the state of Connecticut modified the rules of high school competition to allow biological males who ‘identify’ as females to compete in women’s athletics with no other requirements. Here is one result of the new policy that should convince any rational person this is not a good idea.

Connecticut’s 2017 rule change that allowed students to compete based on gender identity has terribly harmed women’s sports. A single male transgender student now holds 10 state records which previously belonged to 10 different girls.

What is worse, female athletes who rightly object to this practice are vilified and punished by ‘trans-rights’ activists. Tennis great Martina Navratilova, a fierce defender of LGBT rights was no exception to this.

In December, Navratilova tweeted: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.” McKinnon was not pleased by this and began a tirade against Navratilova. In her Sunday Times essay, Navratilova describes this behavior as bullyish and argues that, while she feels able to take a stand, she worries that other women will be “cowed into silence or submission.”

McKinnon refers to Rachel Mckinnon, a “transgendered woman,” who recently won the Gold Medal at the World Indoor Women’s Cycling Championship. McKinnon had competed in cycling as a male until the age of 29.

In reward for her stand, Navratilova was thrown off the board of the LGBT advocacy group Athlete Ally. So much for tolerance and free speech by ‘trans-rights’ activists on the Left.

Transgender Dominance in Public Education is Dangerous

Inset.2.11.13.2019This is the most serious area of all for both the present and future of American and western society for as one goes, so goes the other. The forced progression of ‘trans-rights’ advocacy in public education is appalling and cause for grave concern.

This insidious movement is requiring access to K-12 public students to present a biologically false and unhealthy premise as a required part of the curriculum. Children as young as five years old are to be indoctrinated into advocacy for transgenderism and, as noted in part one of this series, potentially turned into sacrifices for mentally disturbed adults.

Moreover, these policies in public education force young children and teens of different biological sexes together in potentially hazardous situations, especially for young girls. One prominent example of such forcing comes from the Fairfax, County, Virginia school district, just south of Washington D.C.

The new policy holds that boys who self-identify as female can use the girls’ shower facilities, locker rooms, and bathrooms, and it was voted in without any time for public debate and adopted within weeks.

The article is from 2018 and the author notes the policy passed in 2015 and faced harsh criticism from parents when it was announced. The policy was apparently put on indefinite hold as the action to draft regulations for it has been tabled until further notice.

One of the obvious factors the Leftist advocates don’t want to mention is that this is far more than simply teaching something in a classroom. It has dangerous real-life effects on children at vulnerable stages of their sexual development and could be traumatized or worse by seeing a male ‘identifying’ as a female in the locker room environment, as evidenced by a recent incident in Pennsylvania.

Attorneys for a female Pennsylvania high school student filed a federal complaint last week alleging her privacy was violated and that she was subjected to sexual harassment when a transgender student was using the same locker room, WNEP-TV reported. …Lawyers for the student posted a video online describing what they say happened. The unnamed female student appears in the clip and said “while I was putting on my pants I heard a man’s voice, so I turned around, and he’s standing there on the opposite aisle looking at me. I glanced down and could tell that he was wearing women’s underwear and what was underneath it.” She added: “When I knew that a man was looking at me, I felt very violated and very scared — especially looking at me while I’m getting dressed.”

The school district stood behind its policy but did not offer any further comments. However, some of the criticism this young lady received on social media was disgustingly brutal.

Some observers commenting on the Facebook page for the Law Office of Andrew H. Shaw, which is handling the case, also sided with the complaining female student, others were decidedly against her and her attorneys:

…“Sounds like your client is the one who is guilty of voyeurism. WTF is she doing checking out other people’s genitals? Shameful ambulance chasers.”                            …“The student called the trans student a ‘man.’ I think we all know where this hate is coming from. From her parents. Using ‘man’ is scary! Transphobia is bigotry.”    …“F*** you transphobes.”

transphobia, gender identityAs nasty and idiotic as these statements may be, they manifest and reveal much about the attitudes from Leftist ‘trans-rights’ activists. For instance, the second comment says that the girl’s reactions are full of “hate,” and accuses her of being “transphobic” and therefore bigoted.

A phobia is an irrational fear. This student had a perfectly reasonable trepidation about a man being in the women’s locker room while she is dressing. Moreover, who is actually phobic when they state that “using [the word] ‘man’ is scary!”?

As far as being hateful goes, the third comment should dispel any illusions as to which side of this argument is projecting hate. Another reminder that the Left is always projecting their behavior to accuse their adversaries.

These things are the result of faculty lounge nonsense in higher education swiftly becoming mainstream. “Gender Study” departments in universities across the land have been teaching ‘Gender Identity’ theory as gospel for years especially since 2013 when the DSM-V changed the designation of people suffering from this mental illness from Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria.

This movement was also given support by former President Barack Obama in 2016, through addition to current Title IX anti-discrimination law. This served to give a Presidential ‘seal of approval’ to ‘trans-rights’ advocacy and education in public schools across the land.

The Obama administration is sending out an edict today [5/13/2016] to every school district in the country, insisting they open bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers to all children, regardless of sex, or risk federal discrimination lawsuits and yanked federal funds. Schools must treat children as transgender and thus entitled to open facilities access as soon as parents say they are, not after a medical diagnosis or birth certificate change.

The goal of such an accelerated pace to inject ‘gender identity’ teaching is apparent. The Left’s ‘trans-rights’ advocates wish to normalize their disturbing practice by “reproducing” the only way they can, through recruiting children to expand their population.

The many risks to society posed by the ‘trans-rights’ movement threaten the basic fabric of civilization. Moreover, the battleground of this gender ‘identity’ war includes even more intrusive edicts than Obama’s 2016 pronouncement from various legal venues in America today.

Part three of this series will examine that phenomenon of the incremental establishment of legal status upon the transgender ‘community,’ at local, state and national levels in America, as well as why the “T” should be dropped from the LGBT acronym.

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah Psalm 52:1-3 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Penn State’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Sangudo’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of torbakhopper’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of melissa.meister’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Fact Remains

This world still evolves in the past tense. I quoted a proverb in Ecclesiastes 1:9 which reads, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” and I’ll be darned if it isn’t true. Solomon wrote this statement, 500 years before Jesus’ birth, to emphasize the cyclic nature of human life on earth and the emptiness of living only for the “rat race.” It’s a life separated from God. But, our gracious God continues to rain down His love on us… even amidst the turmoil.

I’m not a great biblical scholar, but it’s obvious we, as God’s children have not learned a thing. It’s clear the hardships of Jesus are repeating themselves in the modern-day. How odd to read the trials of Jesus and then observe Christianity today.

The Pharisees and Jews took it upon themselves to discredit the Son of man. Jesus came to save the world and to give us salvation, but we’ve still not learned our lesson. He was a man so brutally beat, chastised and ridiculed because no one believed him. It was easier to side with the laws of the land, then to be uprooted to another religion.

But, a few knew the truth about Him in biblical days. They did not fear the religious upheaval, but embraced the faith, which led them to Him. In all His splendor and integrity, Jesus ultimately proved His identity when He died for our sins.

Today, our system finds it easier to ruin and destroy His direction than to believe in our Savior, who came to deliver us, two thousand years ago. The evil brews to the point of boiling, for unbelievers are monumentally winning over the world. The fact remains, if not for the faith of believers who held on to their principles, the rampant corruption would go wild. This is a prophecy in the Bible that our world is quickly fulfilling today.

My Dad, God love him, always said it’s easy to find fault in a person. I believe goodness lies beneath hatred when the truth slowly emerges from the layers. I can’t help but think back when Jesus walked on this earth. His ministry was short, for evildoers who had little faith and didn’t believe in His integrity blemished it. Doesn’t this sound familiar today as many allow the media’s march to undermine the truth of God’s word? I cannot imagine the inner turmoil of those who do not have faith in anything for they relish in hatred.

I energize my faith in the name of God’s glory, for the great master and overseer of all evil, brings to light the doers of animosity. Just as in biblical times, the proof takes a while to expose, but eventually, the truth will be revealed for it is God’s will!

Pray for those who live in doubt and fear faith because they find it easier to condemn than to compliment. The fact remains, God’s love will intervene in their destructive behavior.

My dad’s words ring out once more!

Proverbs 26:24-26

“A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within. When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his evil will be revealed in the assembly.”


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Enemy #1: Miseo

The most massive resistance to Christianity encompasses all the thoughts of evildoers. It’s black or white –  you either love or do not love. A lack of love carries traits of bitterness, jealousy, rejection, and envy. How sad we instigate not loving another human being! So I ask, can you truly love if there is an ounce of hate in your heart? There was only one word which described Christ’s mission and it was the word “love.” Jesus, the son of God, surrounded His ministry with this word. It gave birth to Christianity.

Miseo, the Greek word to love someone else less than you love the Lord, is found 173 times in the New Testament. It’s a viral unrest in the world which extends back as far as time permits. Why I wonder, do some hate so much, especially if they claim to be a Christ-follower? I ask my Father in heaven, why can’t we denounce hatred and share the benefits of having You in our life? How can I word this emotion best?

I can begin by explaining Satan’s evil ways. Though he runs rampant in the world, Satan will be short-lived because God has bigger plans for his demise. Hatred is a dominating force where prevailing winds howl – a lack of compassion. Wikipedia defines it well though as “a prejudice-motivated crime.” It’s a fear of things different from us and a lack of empathy. Did you know to hate others is also to hate yourself and God? This is an emotion the Lord never created humans to endure.

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

— 1 John 4:20-21

I’ve often read and was told Jesus “hated” throughout his life. Let me start by saying the Bible was translated hundreds of times from its original script. Certain words, which could not be interpreted accurately, entered the scriptures we read today, and “hate” or “miseo” is one such example. Our Lord is not a God of hate, but true, righteous, and holy. “Hate” in the Bible only describes the intense feelings of anger God has toward sin and persistent sinners. It also implies, “to feel less love”. If Jesus hated people, He would not forgive sin nor the sinner.

Hate is a state of mind and as barbaric as the animals in the wild. It is an unwanted gift conceived by the principals of a demonic character. Where there is hatred, there is no love. It’s impossible to speak of love (and mean it) from one side of the lips yet spew out verbs to imply hatred from the other side of the mouth.

I have a Sunday series currently posted about Paul the Apostle. This was a man who fought the hatred of Christianity every place he traveled in his missionary trips. It caused riots, his brutal beatings, imprisonment, and even his ultimate demise… and for what? Christianity is still alive. Paul stood up, dusted himself off, and walked back into their cities filled with love for the nation who despised him! What was the purpose of the Jews hating what Paul stood for when he always had God on his side? Hate’s negative energy doesn’t serve a purpose except to the sinner committing the crime.

If you pay close attention to your TV or even your children’s electronic games, evil hatred is broadcast, subtly agitating the subconscious of the brain. Enemy #1 becomes a deadly virus waiting to encompass someone’s life. Spiritual warfare is more pronounced today as Satan’s time is nearing the end. Fight to avoid falling into his pit of fire for it goes against the grain of our heavenly Father. God will, as always, prevail in your times of disasters and feelings of anger. Fill your ark with prayers for “Enemy #1: Miseo” to go away. A Christian must uphold God’s commandment to love one another.


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“Pro-Choice” Depravity Reaches New Depths of Evil

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This author has been ardently pro-life for about 40 years. Along the way, I have participated in some protests by marching with thousands and in others by praying alone in front of Planned Parenthood clinics, as well as helping establish Crisis Pregnancy Care centers in two communities.

During this time, I have also followed the antics and arguments of the “pro-choice” crowd closely and written much about the evil nature of the “pro-choice” philosophy. Earlier this year this vile doctrine of the Left plumbed the depths of evil to the very bottom when politicians in New York and Virginia promoted killing the baby up to, and even beyond, leaving the womb.

Or so I thought. I should have known better. I actually underestimated how grotesque  “pro-choice” actions can, and have become.

One might wonder what could possibly be worse than executing infants even after they are born. The answer is found when the motives of the murderers are seen.

Two recent reports concerning murderous motives used to destroy innocent human life revealed a new depth of depravity in the name of the ‘right’ to be “pro-choice.”

Baby Body Parts Peddled for Politics and Profit 

AbortionThis story is not new, but it is also not well-publicized and non-existent on the Leftmedia. It involves the work of two undercover journalists from back in 2016.

David Daleidien and Sandra Merritt were undercover citizen journalists who videotaped conversations with Planned Parenthood officials who detailed the illegal selling of aborted baby body parts to the company StemExpress.

The videos were released and of course, Planned Parenthood denied that they were authentic. However, with the aid of a current Democratic candidate for president, they also managed to convince California to charge Daleidien and Merritt with 15 counts of the illegal taping of confidential conversations.

Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris [D. CA] was then-Attorney General in California and ordered the seizure of the video evidence from Daleidan’s home in 2016. That search and seizure were specifically against California law.

An excellent piece chronicling this case which has now come to court in preliminary hearings in San Francisco was penned by Madeline Osburn on Sept. 11, 2019, at thefederalist.com. Turns out the videos were both legal and authentic.

…former California attorney general Kamala Harris sought to prosecute Daleiden at the behest of her political donors at Planned Parenthood. Even though Daledien’s unreleased footage should have been protected by the California Shield Law, Harris ordered a search warrant against Daleiden in 2016 and a raid of his apartment, seizing his computer, camera equipment, and footage.  Email records show correspondence between Harris’ office and Planned Parenthood officials, orchestrating public responses, filing police reports, and even drafting legislation targeting Daleiden. Harris has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities, so the nature of her behavior is no mystery.

Inset.2.9.14.2019The involvement of Kamala Harris would explain why more hasn’t been forthcoming in the Leftmedia concerning this. That and, of course, one other serious political consideration, the malevolent doctrine of “pro-choice” being a primary icon of the Left.

Otherwise, the Left might see this as a very important free speech case, as Ms. Osburn highlights. However, the video which is now being viewed in court has revealed the most disturbing details yet of Planned Parenthood’s baby body-parts trafficking.

Four days into the hearings, significant and graphic details about StemExpress’ business steadily emerge, such as their supplying of beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

This means Planned Parenthood was selling the beating hearts and complete heads to StemExpress who would then sell hearts that were beating and fully intact heads to the, um, ‘researchers!’ All of this is illegal, by the way, and undercover evidence of illegal activity is legal to obtain not only in California but under most whistleblower laws nationwide.

The fact that the “pro-choice” enthusiasts believe so fervently in their cause that they would support such butchery for profit and political gains even though it is illegal is pure malevolence befitting the label of demonic. Yet as disturbing as this revelation is, the next story matches, if not exceeds it in reaching new depths of malignant depravity.

Abortions for Sexual “Pleasure”

abortion, pro-choice, pro-lifeIf you are staring at the subtitle in disbelief, I shared similar astonishment when I first heard of this in another article from Sept. 11, 2019, at lifenews.com. Author Micaiah Bilger chronicles the beginnings of a disturbing new trend in a particular part of social media.

 As unimaginably evil as it seems, apparently some couples find a sexual high in purposefully getting pregnant and aborting their unborn babies. Summit News recently uncovered couples discussing the disturbing sexual fetish on Reddit. The comments came from a post where one user explained that their female friend “has a really powerful fetish for breeding.”… “My girlfriend enjoys her pregnancies and she enjoys the abortion,” the person responded. “Her preferred date to abort is between 20 and 24 weeks of gestation. I enjoy making her pregnant. And I enjoy the time of her pregnancy. She has no menstrual period and she is sexually very active. …“In the last ten years in our relationship we have done seven abortions and my girlfriend is pregnant again with a little girl,” he continued. …A third person praised the abhorrent behavior, writing: “It is good (and rare) to hear of a couple (both man and woman) where both members are into abortion and pregnancy. This is a wonderful and potent example of personal power, where sex meets violence and creation combines with destruction,” the report continues.

The most surprising aspect of this behavior is not that it actually happened. Something akin to this was always the logical extension of the legal and societal approval of abortion on demand.

One thing that is more surprising and disturbing is this scenario makes abortion a “good” thing because couples can exercise their “personal power, where sex meets violence and creation combines with destruction.” It’s kinda like being a pair of sex-crazed serial killers without ever having to see your victims or worry about getting caught.

To put it another way, the couple gets a high playing God by sacrificing other lives over and over. Moreover, it’s all for the physical comfort and ‘pleasure’ of the self-made demigods which they can enjoy again each time a child is snuffed out!

What I also found astonishing was the nonchalance the Reddit commentators showed discussing killing the unborn child when they obviously know he or she is really a human child. The one whose girlfriend was now pregnant for the eighth time casually noted that the child now in her womb was a girl.

He makes this comment knowing that in a few weeks, they were going to pay someone to have this little girl killed once she served her purpose for their pleasure. Not only was he okay with that, but he seemed happy that they could just start the cycle all over again!

pro-life, pro-choiceThis is a different level of depravity on display than any I know. It manifests a deeper evil than even the abuse and murder of slaves or the Nazi medical experiments on living human beings.

This practice is a deeper evil for two simple and virtually unprecedented reasons. First of all, there is no force or coercion of any kind toward the mother.

In the vast majority of abortions, coercion plays a large part in the decision to abort. The mother is often pressured by the father, her own parents, other authority figures and peers to “fix” her “mistake,” so she can move on with her life.

However, in this scenario, the father and the mother agree to a long series of abortions, one after the other, for as long as they are together and physically able, for the sake of their own ‘pleasure’!

Secondly, the child in the womb is viewed here as a “sex toy” to be used and later discarded in favor of another human child to use as another “sex toy.”

Not only is the life of the child viewed on a lower level than the life of the parents, but the child herself is regarded as an inhuman non-living thing! Even when deceptive “pro-choice” advocates say that the fetus is a “lump of cells” they at least acknowledge that those are living human cells.

Recently an official from Planned Parenthood said this,

…we will continue to defend the truth: EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” said Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

This means that Ms. McNicholas would have no problem with serial abortions as a sexual fetish. Taking what she has said in another light, she could add that according to this view, there is also no good reason to actually give birth to a child and every good reason to destroy that child!

Welcome to the depths of depraved “pro-choice” ideology where what was called light is now darkness and what was good is now called evil. Should this ideology continue unabated, it is a frightening omen for the future of society.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of David Jackmanson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of American Life League’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of billy verdin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Walt Stoneburner’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal

What Love Looks Like

I remember my pop would get dressed on Sunday morning, perk a pot of coffee, and slip on his gardening shoes. He’d find his car keys, then drive to the local country store to buy a paper. I guess it was more a habit to get a newspaper than to turn on a TV channel. Sundays were always quiet.

As he flipped through the news, I played on the flagstone porch floor whose mortar joints I used as roads. For hours I built and constructed a world all of my own. It was a painting better described as Norman Rockwell… a father’s face buried between the worldly events and sports, and a child at his feet building miles of dreams in his head. This is what love looked like to me at home.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

The serene scenery of swans swimming across the waters of the Tred Avon River lent itself to the ducks which lined the dock in search of food. It was a different world in those days. The infrastructure and landscape were ever changing. It would not be long before we could drive over the waters of the Chesapeake, instead of taking a ferryboat.

This morning I flipped from Google to Yahoo news and read the commentaries of discernment. The world is full of hatred – an opposite ingredient of what love looks like with God in your world. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live in a place without the condiments of love! We are God’s prodigies who live in a society of recreational love with very little significance to the word.

The Bible has over one hundred scriptures directly related to the fundamentals of love. I can find what love looks like everywhere in my world. It’s from my sweet wife giving me a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer afternoon; my cockatoo who comes to me in his time of need; hanging up a fresh towel for my wife on a hook near the shower; turning down her corner of the bed at night. Love isn’t just an expression of “I do’s,” but a state of mind.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”

Ephesians 5:25-26

What love looks like outside marriage may involve the special squeezes or a smile from our grandchildren; a neighbor getting the mail for a someone housebound; baking a dish for the less fortunate; donations or volunteering to help others. Giving of yourself, even if it’s inconvenient, means more than all the money in the world. A lesson on the definition of loving one’s neighbor is in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). We are to have compassion and love towards each other, irrespective of the parameters which divide us.

So, what does love look like to you? Have you searched your heart, or is the wallet more important? Love is a verb meaning affection based on admiration. It begins when selfishness ends.

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:31

It’s another perfect morning, and I give God the glory and love. My gorgeous bride prepares breakfast for her hubby. I think about the many wasted years I wish I could do over, for we missed so much living separate lives. How can I ever show her how much I love her? It’s easy, you know…  I stand beside her, and God is our center. I never want to let go of the immense feelings of love I have for her!

Dana and Anne’s Wedding Celebration


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