Category Archives: Giving

Bake me a cake as fast as you can?

Son, I am still trying to understand this whole religious freedom controversy here in the U.S.A.  We have the bakers who refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple.  We also have the flower lady who refuses to provide flowers for a gay wedding. There are many more examples like these.

I have a few questions first before I get into this:

What if the gay couple were Christians?  Does that matter?

Do these business owners ask what a person’s religion is before they offer their services?

What about Atheists?  Do they get the cake and flowers?

Divorced people who are seeking to get re-married, are they ok?

What about the customer who just moments before entering the flower shop lied to their boss about being sick and needing to miss work?

What about the straight couple who wants to get married, but already had pre-marital sex?  Do they get their cake and eat it too?

If faith tells you to not serve homosexual couples, does your faith also tell you not to serve ANYONE who believes in God and the Bible but lives a life contrary to their teachings?

I keep trying to think of what Jesus would do. I think he would show compassion.  I think he would take any chance he could to help people understand who He is, what He has done for us, and how we can get closer to Him.   Yes, like the story of the woman caught in adultery in the Bible that was about to be stoned to death, Jesus would forgive and tell them:  ”go and sin no more”, even though he knows that is impossible for them or any of us. (John 8)

I think if Jesus the man was still walking the earth today and just starting his ministry he would go straight to the LGBT people to let them know there is a place for them.  Just as in the Bible, Jesus didn’t go to the priests and religious people first; he went to the poor and needy and the sinners.  I think if Jesus were here, he would say something like “They have it wrong.  How can someone who sins everyday against me and my Father also condemn you who sin?   I think Jesus would assure them that there is room at God’s table for them if they believe and repent of their own sins; whatever sins those may be.

Jesus wouldn’t  turn anyone down.  Do we really think God looks down from heaven and says:  only help those who are blameless and sin-free?   If that was the case, there would be no one to help.   I get that the Bible says homosexuality is unacceptable and a sin.  However, it also says lying is a huge sin.  It also says having sex before marriage is a sin.   It also says knowing God, but not living the life he expects from you is a sin.  Can you imagine how horrified the people were when they saw Jesus touch the leper?  (Matthew 8) They were probably disgusted by people like that, but Jesus wasn’t.  He loved him, accepted him, and made him clean.  In fact, many people that others found repulsive or annoying Jesus made a point to help and tell us about in the Bible. There weren’t many people who thought anything was worse than being a tax collector back then, and Jesus made one a disciple.

When I think of tyranny and lack of freedom of religion, I think of the Christians being beheaded and thrown in jail just because they believe in God.    I think of what happened to Daniel when he was told anyone caught praying to any God other than the King of Persia was to be thrown in the lion’s den.(Daniel 6)  I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  They were 3 believers who were thrown in the fire because they did not bow down to the gold statue of the King of Babylon.(Daniel 1-3)  These are acts of real religious persecution.    By forcing someone to make that cake, or arrange those flowers, how are we losing our freedom of religion?

Adultery used to lead to death.  Does it anymore?  Working on a Sunday would lead to your banishment from your people, does that still happen?  Women who became pregnant before marriage were disowned and stoned to death, does that still occur here?  Are we to believe we are sinning by allowing our services to be used by anyone who considers themselves LGBT?  The money they pay us and we use to help others, would God blame us for that?  Does putting the flowers together for them drag us away from God?  Will God punish us for making that cake?  I say NO!

I believe from what I have read in the Bible that all sin can lead to death.  I believe God sent Jesus to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins; knowing we could not conquer sin ourselves.  In doing this He assured those who believe in Him and ask for forgiveness  will not die, but have everlasting life in heaven.

As I stated before when I wrote about this a year or so ago; my position has changed from how I thought most of my life.  Through God’s word (the Bible) and prayer for understanding, I have completely reversed the way I used to think about this issue.  How could I ever point a finger at someone else when I have lived the way I have?  I am grateful enough that God forgives me every day I admit my own sins to him.  I couldn’t imagine trying to condemn someone else for what they do.  All I can do is continue to learn more about how Jesus lived and always try to figure out WWJD!

I believe he would want us to show compassion and let his light burn bright in us for EVERYONE to see!

I love you son!

Dad

BENT ON LENT

Son, in my spiritual walk I started to read up on Lent.  It is known most commonly out here as the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter when Christ arose from the dead.  It is  a time to fast and bring one closer to God.  Although there is no mention of Lent in the Bible, there are stories in the Bible when 40 days and 40 nights worth of fasting occurred. There was the 40 days and 40 nights Christ spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil; devoid of any food or water. Moses also spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt Sinai without food or water while he spoke with God and received the 10 commandments.  When the prophet Elijah escaped from Jezebel he traveled 40 days and 40 nights without anything to eat or drink.

 

I have also been studying up on fasting after reading about it so many times in the Bible.  I even heard our pastor talk about it a few Sundays ago.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say fasting is something you are “required” to do, but the effects of it when done right, are something we should all “want” to do.  There are many wonderful stories of fasting in the Bible, and the main purpose is to help us focus on worshiping and getting closer to God.   Fasting isn’t always giving up on food and water.  The Bible also tells us fasting can include giving up anything you find is taking up time that could be devoted to God.  Different religions fast from different things over these 40 days of Lent, but the main reason is to get rid of stuff you normally spend or waste time on and devote that time to worshiping, reading the Bible, praying, and helping others.
Well, how can that be a bad thing?  Fasting is a way to bring us closer to God; something I have been striving for over the last 2 years.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.  It ends the Saturday before Easter.  (Sunday’s don’t count).  I am going to fast. To kick it off I am going to abstain from eating food for 2 days. I am also  going to give up my games. No more poker, blackjack or bingo.  Neither will be easy, but I plan to replace these hours per day with prayer, Bible study, and helping others less fortunate.

The biggest event in Christian history is only 40 days away!  What better way to prepare than by abstaining  from things that get in the way of worshiping Him.

Nothing is by chance

Nothing is by chance

Zach Bruno
I was trying to figure out what we could do this weekend to help others. It has been a few weeks and I have to get out of this house! I opened my Facebook page and saw a message from a good friend I recently connected with on Facebook. I haven’t seen her in a very long time. She has seen my posts and knows that you and I have been giving out water bottles and food. Her church has some leftovers from feeding the homeless and she offered them to us.

We now have something to do! Time to make some burritos!

Watch for those signs buddy!

Dad

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foodz

Refreshing help

Son, thank you for always going with me, and never ever complaining about it. You are a great kid, destined for great things!

Dad

Isaiah 58:10
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

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Giving what you can

It’s not about “how much” you can give. Instead let it be about “what” you can give.

Some weeks it is money we use to help, some weeks it is food.
This week it is water.
It may not be what they want, ($) but it might just be what they really need.

Let’s go help. It’s going to be 96 degrees today and 103 tomorrow.

I also have an idea of how to take this a step further…..

We will make our plan when you wake up.

Dad
John 4:14
“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

An investment in me

Son, I have outgrown my “free” website. I have almost 100 posts on there and I need to upgrade in order to organize and categorize everything the way I want. There are way too many posts on one page, and I want more flexibility to highlight some of my favorite lessons.

I don’t really have the $100 it costs to be able to customize and better position all my writing. I was going to wait until my first bonus check in October to upgrade. I was driving home from work today and I kept feeling like I should stop by my parents. I should ask them if they wanted to invest in my writing. As I sat there in the family room talking to my mom and dad, I started to get flashbacks.

Many, many times I had come to my parents asking for money. Usually I asked them for money because I spent all mine on beer or food. Sometimes I came to them because I couldn’t make my rent payment. The worst one was when I got my car repossessed for not making a payment.

This time was different. This time it wasn’t about money to help me live some dream or crazy idea I had. This time there was a good reason! It felt great! Even though I could tell your grandma was a little nervous at first, once she figured out what I was selling, she went and got a check.

What your grandparents gave me tonight was much more than the $100. They gave me confidence because they believe in me!

I believe in you son!

Dad